Non Sequitur Fridays

Oh, Oh, It's Magic

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistia team member's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. This is Jordan Munson's third Non Sequitur post. His last was about how you think about your personality on social media.

Hi everyone. Those of you who know me IRL, or who follow me on the Internet™ somehow, likely know that I'm a man of a lot of hobbies and interests. Heck, I even wrote about one of the larger ones, fantasy sports, with my first Non-Sequitur post. This post is about another hobby I have, one I don't actually speak about as much.

To continue the vagueness and mystique for a bit, it's a hobby that swept the Wistia office by storm a couple of months back and something in which my interest in has waxed and waned over the course of my life. This hobby is a little old thing called Magic: The Gathering.

Right now, there are a number of you thinking, "oh man! I remember that game!" and perhaps many more thinking "what in tarnation is that?" Well, let me learn you on just that. Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game, which is exactly what it sounds like—a card game you have to collect the cards for. Yes, it's like Pokémon, except not really. At all. Damnation artwork

Above is the fantastic artwork for a card called Damnation. It is a card that destroys all creatures on the battlefiled.

Coming up with a simple and clear comparison to Magic is tough, but it's sort of like chess—if you got to select all of your pieces and what they did, and each of those pieces had really awesome artwork. The general paradigm of the game is that you, as a player, are considered a planeswalker.

Each of the cards in your deck is like a spell you can play—whether they're creatures or other types of things that all act a bit differently. Your goal is to use those things to damage your opponent until they have no life left, killing them. Brutal.

I first got into Magic in the 7th edition core set (the yearly set of cards released designed for beginners), and stayed interested for a few years. At that point in time I had a pretty horrible understanding of the rules and mechanics, looking back on it. All I wanted to do was play the coolest looking creatures with the highest power and toughness. Those would surely win me the game.

As with many things, as my number of friends interested in the game waned, so did my interest—so I dumped all my cards off. Great move, Jordan. A few years later, I met a whole bunch of new friends who were huge into the game, so I jumped back in with intense fervor. Still with a pretty loose understanding of the rules and mechanics, I wasn't what you'd call an "expert" at this point in time, but it was still awesome hanging out with my friends, playing cards and eating horribly unhealthy snacks all summer. Spending my weekends walking down to the collectibles shop down the street, buying a couple packs from the Mirrodin and Darksteel sets, cracking them open and seeing what sort of wonders waited inside.

That new shoe smell, that new car smell—that was the same sensation I got when opening packs of cards. As you sift from the commonplace, junky cards in the front, on to the nicer, more uncommon cards, and on to the pack's crown jewel, the almighty rare card.

Sometimes this card was useless too, sometimes it was the card you were sure would put your deck over the top and you'd finally be able to best your buddy's really awesome Dragonstorm deck (maybe... I never really did). It was like getting new gifts every time you opened a pack, and you just hoped that it wouldn't be like that time you got crappy tube socks for Christmas.Dudes playing Magic

Here are some dudes playing Magic. The guy in the foreground looks like he's about to do some work.

I bowed out again soon after, returned again, then bowed out once more. A few months back, one of my pals over here at the Wistia camp got into Magic (Jim) thanks to Alyce (thanks Alyce), which almost instantaneously rekindled my love for the game, this time more intensely than ever. Jokingly (somewhat), I'm known around the office by the rest of the Magic players as "The Oracle," due to my somewhat extensive knowledge of the game's rules and mechanics. Lord knows I've done my studying. Lately, when they're playing a game and run into a rules question, it's rare that I don't have a good answer for it.

Meticulously reading though cards, combos, rules, ideas, and anything else I could saturate my brain with to create the most powerful and intricate decks, and find the most interesting and fun ways to defeat my opponent, has been one of the most stimulating hobbies I've ever had, and I think this time it's here to stay.

Lastly, huge shout out to all the dudes over at Comicazi, and the folks who play Magic there on the regular. They're all awesome folks. If you're trying to get into Magic and find yourself in the Somerville area, that's a great place to do so.

Actually, one more thing for you Magic die-hards... one of my all-time favorite cards: Leveler. Ask me why! (And tell me what your favorites are!) For those of you who are standard players, I'm currently on a quest to obtain multiple playsets of Fleecemane Lion because it's my favorite card printed in years! Selesnya forever!

Keep Learning
Here are some related guides and posts that you might enjoy next.