The Magic Goes Away

(Note: This post has nothing to do with the book of the same name. In fact, it will probably be of little interest except to players of the Magic trading card game.)

Since I got back into Magic: The Gathering back in 2006, I’ve been playing in a weekly casual game. But a little over a year ago our regular host decided to move out of state, and we moved to a rotating hosting system. Our metagame had also been getting (to my mind) a bit stale, with people often playing the same types of decks (not quite the same exact decks, but the same basic frameworks used to trigger slightly different win conditions). And I’d been struggling to come up with interesting new decks of my own, which could work within our metagame.

Late in the summer my heart had gone out of it, so I decided to take a month or two off (conveniently timed around our trip back east in September). When I got back, I learned that the weekly game had been moved from Mondays to Wednesdays, which reduced my likelihood of attending to near-zero, as Wednesday is of course comic book night. Consequently, I haven’t attended since last summer.

Since then I’ve been gradually filing my cards and generally tidying up my card collection. Perhaps I needed the time off from the game. For some years I’ve been buying boxes of the new expansions and opening them, but that was getting pretty old, too – a lot of bookkeeping. Not to mention that all the cards take up a lot of space. If I want to keep up with the new sets, maybe I’ll just buy some singles; heck, I could probably buy playlets (4 each) of the best new cards that come out and spend less than I have been on the boxes.

(In theory I guess the total value of cards on the aftermarket end up equalling the cost of buying the unopened product, with commons as a whole being worth close to nothing, while the valuable cards account for most of the cost. The market is probably not quite that efficient, but except for a few outliers it’s probably pretty close. And acquiring more commons gets less and less interesting over time, as the design philosophy of New World Order has generally made commons less interesting to collect for people who own many of the older cards.)

Anyway, I still enjoy Magic and would like to keep my hand in it, but I don’t know when (or if) I’ll want to spend the time on casual constructed games in the future. And I know I don’t have much interest in serious competitive Magic. So what’s left?

3 thoughts on “The Magic Goes Away”

  1. Magic Online? Drafts? other Limited formats?

    Which reminds me, it’s probably about time to do sealed again sometimes 🙂

  2. I fell out of playing regularly when I started working in SF; I think it’s been 2 years since I played the weekly game. Although I miss playing with the gang, I just don’t want to commute home and then commute down to Mountain View. My cards are mostly packed away in the garage now. I’ve stopped buying cards, which saves me about $1000/year, which is good. Occasionally, Charlie (my son) will play but we now play more King of Tokyo and Cards Against Humanity.

    What I did do to feed the gaming need was to start up a Game Night twice a month at the office. I bring in some home-built decks on some of the better pre-cons. Have found that some co-workers like to play a bit, having been out of the Magic loop for a while. It’s just a bit of fun, but feeds my need. I’ve even started tuning a few decks.

    Then, I also get introduced to a bunch of new games and replay some classics. Good for team building, too. Still I miss the weekly game with my mid-peninsula peeps. Maybe we can try to set up a weekend game day other month, do some drafts, and just hang. Cheers.

  3. Try checking out Android: Netrunner, by Fantasy Flight Games.

    Kickass game, with a terrific meta. It’s a Living Card Game format, so there’s no collectible aspect to the game, when you buy a copy of the Core set or one of the expansion sets, you get every card in the set.

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