Ben, the newest member of the Casual Planeswalker, introduced himself not too long ago with some great articles telling his story of how he got into Magic. It’s always great to hear how people learned about Magic and started playing and thought I would share my story as well. Judging by the stories I’ve heard from most of my friends, I started playing pretty late. I’ve played Magic Battlegrounds, a pretty neat video game, although it doesn’t really play at all like the card game. I first played the card game around Odyssey when my cousin’s neighbor brought some decks to play a couple games.
I was no stranger to card games before Magic. My cousin was interested in all sorts of them and my brother and I would usually be the ones to join him. We tried Dragonball Z, Duel Masters, and most of all, Yu-Gi-Oh. We were young and never were interested in looking deeply into the rules for these games, however confusing some of them might have been. We played a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh trying to use the rules of the show with pretty disastrous results. Nevertheless it was a pretty fun way to pass the time, until I played Magic.
One day a friend brought a few decks of Magic cards and we gave the game a try. They were pretty basic decks. We had some elves, some goblins, I played a white deck, none were much more than preconstructed decks. It was awesome. The rules are real easy to figure out and most of the cards have text that is easy to understand. The cards were so cool too. Suntail HawkSuntail Hawkwas a flying creature for just 1 mana! If they never got a flying creature they were toast, I thought, in just 20 turns. Some of my favorites back then were the Pilgrim of JusticePilgrim of Justice and Pilgrim of VirtuePilgrim of Virtue. The whole Protection mechanic seemed so powerful back then. Against a red deck the Pilgrim of Justice would be invincible! My first deck idea was one that would include a Pilgrim with Protection of each color. Obviously I wasn’t aware that only two Pilgrims existed and I’m glad that I have much more interesting deck ideas now.
I got a short taste of Magic in high school but I didn’t really get into Magic until College. I met the guys of the Casual Planeswalker through the Game Club on campus and they met to play Magic all the time. I had a playgroup. I had borrowed decks from friends for a few weeks but there comes that time when you want to build your own deck. I was looking around the time of Shards of Alara but those cards with the focus on three colors looked a little complicated at first. The fact that they were only 40 card decks didn’t help either. I decided to look back a set and picked up the Morningtide warrior deck on a friend’s recommendation.
That deck is a lot of fun to play and I still have it somewhere to use every so often. There’s something satisfying about a simple beatdown with quick-hitting warriors. The real star of that deck for me has definitely been Unstoppable AshUnstoppable Ash. It ended a bunch of games by allowing my creatures to attack without worrying about losing them to defenders. Even though I’ve built many more decks this is still one of my favorite. But from that deck I started to build my legacy as a Magic Planeswalker.
Unlike Ben, I was never interested in tournament play. I’ve played in a few prereleases and been to some FNM’s though. I’ve mostly just played with my regular college playgroup. Tournaments are great but nothing beats getting together with friends and slinging cardboard. For that reason I will always be a Casual Planeswalker.