Magic the Gathering: A Positive Approach

I’ve taken about 5 different stabs at creating an article about Magic the Gathering. That’s a lot of attempts with nothing to show for it. I can’t encapsulate all of the things I love and hate about the game in a cohesive and complete way. So I’m going to try something that I’ve never done before… This article is going to be entirely positive. WHAT!? Yeah, you read that right – Kane is being positive about something. LETS DO IT!



Magic the Gathering is the most popular card game ever made. Hands down. No one can argue with that. There is no other game on the market that can stand up on an innovative, artistic, or monetary level to MTG. They put so much effort into making new and interesting mechanics that usually play well enough to stick around into future iterations. I mean, sure they probably have a staff of 100 people, but they sell so much, and they do such a good job producing the cards that they can afford to have numbers like that.

Speaking of the size of the producers, lets talk about the size of the fan base. There are events every week called Friday Night Magic where people gather to play cards. These events are literally everywhere. If you live somewhere with a reasonable population (not places like Mosby, Montana – chosen at random) then I can pretty much guarantee you that there is a Friday Night Magic event within a 45 minute drive from your house. And if you go to them, you’re likely to find at least 10 other like-minded magic players. That’s incredible. Most of the people who go to these things are pleasant as well. Isn’t that dandy?

I just went and searched Mosby, Montana on the FNM website. There are about 3 places within an hour and half drive from the middle of the nowhere. It’s in every corner of the country. That’s really impressive from a business perspective. Talk about corporate penetration.


Mosby – The heart of it all.

The other thing about Magic is that it’s so accessible. Players don’t have to start at the physical card game… because really, that’s a daunting start. I got my 3rd entry into the world of Magic through their Duels of the Planeswalkers series of video games. It’s a pretty great way to introduce new players to the way Magic works and the various types of decks one can build. If you have somebody you’d like to play Magic with, but they don’t know where to begin. I highly recommend going for a copy of DotP. They’re cheap and easy and teach you everything you need to know to play in a competitive manner.

Magic has the strange siren call of always baiting me back to the game. No matter what problem made me leave the game at any given time, I find myself beginning again years later, sometimes only months. It’s brilliant in how simple the game can be but also how complex it is when people get really inventive. The people who make it do a good job of balancing (usually). It’s rare that things get completely over the top, and even when they do it’s just a matter of months before the status quo is restored with the release of new card sets.

I know this article is a bit disjointed. It’s a combination of a few other articles and a few other ideas. My mind is conflicted when it comes to Magic. I would never recommend it to someone who is completely unfamiliar with the game because it’s so dense and can feel very unforgiving at times. It can be learned. I don’t want to tread across something i said earlier… but it’s dense. And unless you begin in very specific ways (like constructed deck vs constructed deck or DotP) it will drive you away from the game. In a way, Magic the Gathering is the perfect game, but it’s also the perfect game to make you crazy. I love it and I hate it – both with a passion.

P.S. I’m getting into the groove with my new job. I’m pretty much up to date on everything I need to be doing to succeed in my new position – and it’s offering some extra time to get back into PM stuffs. I’m going to start writing these articles on a regular basis again. No one down here is much of a gamer though, so I may have to stray from the Game centric talk for a bit. Be prepared for articles about movies and comics and books and maybe even museums. I’ll be back soon!

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