In my 2016 Pop Culture of the Year post, I cited Magic: The Gathering as my Tabletop Game of the year. Today, (a year later) I’m here to talk about this mysterious card game (or not-so-mysterious), which brings players together both online and in real life. Magic is more than just a game, it’s lore, artwork, strategy, community, and above all role-playing (because we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love role-playing). In addition, on Monday, January 22 Reddit’s /r/gaming page voted Magic: The Gathering as the non-video game of the week.
It was about this time last year that Magic: The Gathering took my world by storm, and my love for the game has only grown since then. I now attend weekly events and compete for prizes at my local game store.
History and Lore
This year, Magic: The Gathering is celebrating its 25th anniversary. They have a lot planned for their anniversary, including the release of a new “Master’s” expansion set, titled Master’s 25 (scheduled for release on March 16). Master’s 25 will re-release 249 cards from across Magic‘s entire history, spanning approximately 80 individual sets, all with their own stories or lore.
The stories of Magic take place in The Multiverse – an infinite realm that contains untold numbers of fantastical worlds.
To learn more about Magic lore, click here.
Often times, the words “cardboard crack” are used to describe Magic cards. There’s several reasons for this, but one of them is their collectibility factor. Some Magic cards can sell for hundreds or, in rare cases, thousands of dollars. I regularly find myself opening booster packs with hopes of a pulling an expensive card. Most booster packs are sold for $3.99, with some exceptions, and include 15 cards per booster: 11 commons, 3 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare. Keep in mind it’s incredibly possible to buy a booster pack and not get your “money’s worth.” Prices of individual cards can be tracked tcgplayer.com.
Most players, like me, have binders full of expensive and inexpensive cards and are looking to sell or trade to other players. Some players collect cards for value, while others like the way they look!
Ready to get started?
Have I piqued your interest? If so, there’s several ways to get started.
- Download Magic Duels on Steam, Xbox One, or the Apple Store.
- Magic Duels provides excellent tutorials for new players and is absolutely free; however, it does not include all the cards and there are deck building limitations.
- Purchase a Planeswalker deck from your local game store, online, or a retailer like Target or Walmart.
- Planeswalker decks include a ready-to-play guide, two booster packs, and a pre-made, ready-to-play deck. They retail for approximately $15.
- Visit Magic: The Gathering‘s New to Magic page.
- Purchase a copy of Magic Online for $10.
- Magic Online is not as welcoming to new players as the other two options, but is sill a good way to play Magic at home. You’ll still have to purchase copies of cards you want, and these prices are typically similar to paper prices.
While Magic: The Gathering is not just a video game, it is a game that needs some love. Please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below with any questions or comments.