Category Archives: TCG

Magic: The Gathering and its hold on me still

I’m not just a videogame fanatic, but an extreme lover of all kinds of games. Board games, TCGs, CCGs, Solitaire, seeing how many pretzels one can fit in their mouth, and so on. In fact, I’d almost go the distance and say I love board games and card games more than console gaming except for one major hiccup: I rarely have anyone to play with. It’s usually just my fiancĂ©e and I playing a few rounds of Munchkin or the occasional grumble match known as Scrabble among family members. In the past I’ve dabbled in Killer Bunnies, Chez Geek, MagiNation (::shudders::), Settlers of Catan, Descent, and, most importantly, Magic: The Gathering.

Now, I’m not going into my full MtG history just yet. That’s a long and winding road, but I can say that the last time I played against a real life opponent was well over six or seven years ago. Yet my interest in the game has never waned. To fill this void, there’s Magic: The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers, which is decent enough, but certainly lacks the fun and creative outlet of deck customization. Still, every day, I continue to check spoilers of new, upcoming sets and read detailed, in-depth articles about the functionality of specific cards and draft formats and so on. I can’t get away from it…despite being nowhere near any of it.

Anyways, it’s cards like Khalni Hydra, a newly revealed beastie from the upcoming Rise of the Eldrazi set, that really gets me yearning:

Yeah, that’s an 8/8 trampler…for free. Any easy peasy task for any green-loving planeswalker, no doubt. Something I’ve always been at heart. Plus, hydras rock. Already, deck ideas are bouncing around in my head on how to abuse this hydra to no end. Drop two or three into an elf deck or saproling and you’re good to go. I just wonder if the developers learned their lesson after Urza’s Saga and the affinity for artifacts keyword from Mirrodin when it comes to giving stuff away for free. Time will tell for this one.

Want more spoilers for Rise of the Eldrazi? Make with the clicky right here.

So, even though I’ve stayed away from social MtG gaming, I’d like to think I know a decent amount about the game and its evolution over the past few years. Alas, I know I don’t. Looking at spoiler lists and reading strategy guides do nothing for a game like MtG. It has to be played–experienced firsthand–to be understood. While I grok the rules of landfall, I have no idea how it plays.

Every time a prerelease event looms near, I always think, “Man, that’d be fun. Getting back into Magic.” But then it never happens. Time, money, severe anxiety–they all play a part. And so I just keep on reading, reading, and yearning, in that order.