Magic the Gathering – SwipeTrack Office PasstimeChris Levy
Magic the Gathering is a trading card game that was published in 1933 and continues to become more popular every year. Dr. Richard Garfield, at the time still a doctoral candidate at Pennsylvania University, created the game and teamed up with Wizards of the Cost to publish the colorful fantasy format. The game had its first debut in Dallas and was an instant success! Today over 12 million people play Magic and there are pro tournaments played world-wide. A typical Magic the Gathering game will consist of 2 players, each with their own respective 60, or more, cards in a deck.
Magic – a Sweet Marriage of Chess and Poker
Each player starts with 20 life points and whoever runs out of cards or life points loses. With over 16,000 cards and counting, Magic has a vast array of options and combinations that keep the game interesting. Like a sweet marriage between chess and poker, Magic combines the element of bluffing and secrecy with real-time strategy. Much like poker, keeping the nature of your cards a secret is paramount. Much like chess, with over 16,000 pieces, each element on the board operates with a unique style and purpose. Magic cards traded and bought like collectable stock. Pricing on a cards can fluctuate depending on its practical worth and rarity. Some cards can even go for up to 30,000 dollars at market value. There are almost too many cards to absorb all at once for new players, but there are many different formats in which one can play.
Vintage and Legacy are formats that include all cards, Legacy differs by having a list of banned cards. Modern is a format that allows all cards, except those that are banned, that released in 2003 to the newest cards today. Standard is the format that only includes the latest expansions. For example, Ixalan is the setting of the new set in standard that released on the 29th of September this year. The setting of the newest expansion is filled with pirates, dinosaurs, vampires and a search for a legendary artifact at the center of a golden city, Orazca.
The cards of magic are fantastical and seem like something out of a fantasy novel and that is no coincidence. Each new set of Magic cards are based off of the setting within an infinite multiverse. Magic paints a narrative of many worlds existing parallel to each other within a space called “The Blind Eternities”. Every world is unique and different in their own way. What connects many of these dimensions are beings called “Planeswalkers”. These powerful mages are born with the ability to travel to any of the infinite worlds within the blind eternities. Each card has a connection to a different world and the mechanics are creative and relative to the narrative. Magic is a mathematically pleasing game that has well crafted rules and formats, but the colorful story behind each card is the icing on the cake.