So my pal Dave came for a visit, and we walked over to the neighborhood comic/game store so he could check out their Magic singles. Now, I used to be into Magic pretty bigtime several years ago, but I got out of it when time and money became an issue. Thus, I hadn’t played Magic much at all in a couple years. But I gotta say, looking at the cards with Dave suddenly had me jonesin’ again for the thrill of the tapping and the bliss of the “new card smell”.
I’m pretty good at quittin’ stuff. Years and years back, when I decided to quit smoking before I got too far to quit, I just stopped, and that was that. As of this writing, it’s been a month since I stopped biting my fingernails (fidgeting with them, though, is another story.) When I decided I had enough of The X-Files I quit watching and never looked back. With Magic, since I quit, I really haven’t backslid much, just buying occasional packs to play sealed deck with friends.
One thing I discovered when talking to people up here who play is how allegedly weird my old gaming group was. People can’t seem to understand that we didn’t build decks and then keep them together forever, only updating them when new sets came out. It was the old “how ELSE would you do it?” line. I also got the old, “What colors do you play?” question, which is just weird to me. All of them.
Perhaps it was because I didn’t want to release my obsession via nail-biting, but I pulled out my Magic cards the other day and began re-sorting them strictly by color (the people I’d play with here don’t really worry about “blocks” and “types”). And man, it all came back. Ideas for decks. Cards that were seemingly useless but could hold great potential locked away in them. All of our old in-jokes: The Chubwagg deck (does it need more chub or wagg?), Crotchwind Scrotumsong, and the line, “No, the squirrels smell the decay, and then they die. Because they don’t like it.” The horrible, horrible art of Susan Van Camp.
I originally got out of Magic for financial reasons, and that still largely holds true, but I do miss the game itself. How can this be? I mean, I don’t actively sit down and say to myself, “Let’s see. I read comics, play board games and role-playing games, watch Doctor Who, enjoy math, listen to Star Wars soundtracks, and play with Legos. What can I add in there to make me more of a geek without having to buy a trenchcoat?” Nor am I constantly looking for holes that I can throw my money down. But I can’t deny it; it’s a fun game. There really is something to it.
I still don’t see myself getting back into it huge. I wouldn’t go back to the days of buying entire boxes and completing sets, even if I could. Perhaps the people who thought me and my friends have the right idea. Instead of buying packs of cards, just buy singles that will help out some deck or other.
And there’s always the possibility that tomorrow a different shiny thing will catch my eye and my Magic cards will return to the bottom of the closet to be ignored again. It’s not like there’s no precedent for that, either.
But I can’t deny that I miss me some janky fatty beatdown. Besides, I’m intrigued by the new mechanic in the upcoming set:
Punchies 2: (When you summon this creature, your opponent may punch you in the arm two times.)
How cool is that?