Magic: the Gathering – Ups and Downs

I have a strange relationship with Magic: the Gathering. I love the game to bits, but I don’t like playing quite as much as I like brewing decks. I could spend days or even weeks perfecting a build for my favourite deck – but the same can’t be said for my passion for playing Magic.

I quit collecting in 2007, not playing after Future Sight had made its debut. I started again in 2009 - about two and a half years later. This was when Zendikar had entered the scene. I came back in only to acquire the numerous full art lands. (I’m happy to say I have a very good number of these, and no you can’t have them.) As it turned out, it was a good set to be back in – power crept up a bit for Zendikar block, especially for lands, which if you play Magic, you’ll know are the most ridiculous amounts of money you will ever plop down for a card that needs other cards to work.

Not long after that, I came back to Australia for work. At that point, Scars of Mirrodin had just come out. At this point, you could say I had quit. I wasn’t collecting or playing actively for any reason. It was partly because I couldn’t afford it, and partly because I had lost interest. However, I decided somewhere in April 2011 that I should get back into the same – and did so with New Phyrexia. I went in and won the second draft event I had ever participated in.

At that point, I had settled down enough to afford to play and collect cards again – so I did. Eventually, chewxy invited me to go to Grand Prix Brisbane 2011. I thought this was a fantastic idea, and went off to brew what was blue-white Humans deck with a control frame. (An interesting fact is that pretty much identical decklists showed up a month or two later winning a couple of events, until Dark Ascension showed up.) I ended up not playing, although I went to watch chewxy play. After he had finished playing all his 8 rounds, we went off to get some sukiyaki for dinner.

As it happens, I continued to play a little here and there, and decided that I should play Limited exclusively. I wasn’t too bad at building decks on the fly for a given environment and it would certainly help limit my (notably excessive) spending on singles.

An opportunity to play in a Limited Grand Prix arose at the end of March 2012 – Grand Prix Melbourne 2012. I went to chewxy to said event - and proceeded to lose pretty much every match except my first one, despite having an excellent Zombie deck. I just always happened to have bad hands and bad draws for 3 matches in a row. This wasn’t the reason I chose to quit again, however.

After losing that many matches, I was determined to put in more practice so that I could come back for a better Grand Prix run next time. However, I had to wait until after my examinations before I could justify spending the time playing Magic. In that time, I decided that I wasn’t making a sound decision. There was no way I could play Magic on a decently regular schedule. The local game store only runs Sealed for prereleases, and drafts pretty much close to 10pm on Friday nights.

To be honest, I’m not quitting because it’s inconvenient to play. I’m quitting because it’s beginning to not make any more sense. Of course, I’m sure I’ll be back in about a year or two again. I’m sure I’m never leaving Magic permanently until perhaps I have family. Even then, if Magic is still around, I’m sure there will still be many fun games to be had.