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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Many draws to Magic trading card game

    When you hear the phrase “trading card game,” you probably think of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon. Yes, those use trading cards, but they’re for kids. Magic: The Gathering, on the other hand, is for adults.

    As a matter of fact, it was the first modern TCG, invented back in 1993 when mathematics professor Richard Garfield sold it to a company called Wizards of the Coast. Since then, it’s provided millions of gamers with an exciting way to occupy their time.

    The rules are a little complex, but the basic idea is to build a deck out of 60 cards — there are 20,000 cards to choose from, if you can get your hands on the older ones — and use your deck to beat your opponent. Each player begins with 20 life points, and you take turns playing monsters and spells designed to bring your opponent’s total life points to 0. When you do, you win. While the ultimate objective is simple, Magic is a very strategic game, which is one of its draws. Just like with video games, many players appreciate and enjoy these strategic elements — and the thrill of overcoming your enemy appeals to humanity on a basic level.

    Magic is also compelling to many players because it’s highly customizable and easy to make your own deck. On a casual level, any card is on the table, which means your deck can truly be unique. And if you take the time to construct a competitive deck you’ll be hard pressed to find someone with the same build.

    Besides, if you hone your skills enough in competitive play, you can play in tournaments and win actual money. Some people make thousands of dollars off of this card game, and I have a hard time finding a more fun way to make some cash.

    As with most things there are some drawbacks. First and foremost, Magic can be expensive, at least when it comes to competitive play. A pack of 15 cards runs around $3.99, and with booster decks, you can never be sure what cards you get or how useful they’ll be. Considering you need 60 cards, that can add up.

    Most adults who’ve gotten over the novelty of collectability just buy singles, which does cut costs in the end. Some rare or collectible cards can be pretty expensive, reaching as much as $50 each, but just remember: Magic is only as expensive as you want it to be.

    Then there’s the social aspect. There’s a huge stigma revolving around Magic. In my experience, it has to do with the idea that adults shouldn’t be playing with cards — although the people you usually hear that from are people who’ve never tried. Besides, playing Magic can be a great way to meet new people.

    There used to be a group of students who played Magic downstairs outside of Cellar Bistro, but this year they don’t seem to be around as often.

    As an alternative, check out Amazing Discoveries at 2928 Broadway Blvd. There, you’ll find a friendly, knowledgeable staff who will be more than willing to show you the ropes. It’s got all the cards you could need too, and plenty of people of all ages to play against.

    If you’ve got a free night with nothing to do, give Magic a try. It just might surprise you. Starter decks are pretty cheap, and there’s a chance you’ll find a new hobby that will keep your mind sharp.

    — Jason Krell is a junior studying creative writing and Italian. He can be reached at

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