A History of …… Magic The Gathering

In which I get on my hobby horse and ride off into the sunset to tilt at windmills.

 

Magic_card_back

Back in 1995 a friend down the road introduced me to a new card game he’d discovered at his public school. It was called Magic the Gathering and was this fantastic card game full of math and fantasy, things both of us enjoyed. It had started in 1993 and had several editions already.

 

4theditionstarterpackI started my collection by buying a 4th Edition Starter Deck. It had everything I needed to start playing and had a wide variety of cards.  I bought several of those and then would haunt the local comic/hobby shop spending a lot of time looking through their boxes and boxes of bulk cards that I could pick up for as little as 10cents a card. When you are 17 and a diabetic paying for your own supplies, money isn’t something you spend profligately.  I had so much fun that I introduced it to a couple of friends at church and I remember one epic Saturday we had 7 of us all playing in one big group around the dining table.  It was a blast!

 

mirageboosterbox

I remember buying my first booster box. A booster box had 36 packs and each pack had 15 cards. When you measure the cards you own by the 60’s, well, that is a lot. I had to split the box because I couldn’t afford to buy it all by myself. I think it was $75 at the time? They now sell on Ebay for around $1100-1400.  Anyway, the cards had a very strong Dungeons & Dragons vibe and one of the parents took a look and decided their kids weren’t going to play that. He also was a regular speaker at our church and one Sunday talked about the game. He didn’t name the game or put blame on anyone but himself for allowing it into his household, but as I sat there in the front row, I knew who had introduced his kids to it and I knew that he knew. When you are 18, devout and taught to respect spiritual authority, it was as good a killing blow for my playing the game as it was for his kids. My parents didn’t care, but I did. So I gave up playing, got rid of all my cards and figured that my memories were all I was going to have from that time forward.

 

3ed-274-sol-ring

My memories of MTG were anchored on one particular card. Pictured above is a 3rd Edition (also known as “Revised”) Sol Ring.  When I thought “Magic”, that picture and the picture at the top of the post were what sprang to my mind.  That was the face of Magic to me. It still is in fact.

 

industries_in_2014_landing_page

Speed down the highway of Life to 2014.  I began working with a new coworker and it didn’t take long for us to realize that the way we thought and the way we handled the job was so different that it made life super difficult. To the point where I was ready to push him in front of a bus if the opportunity ever presented itself. Thankfully, for both of us, he mentioned that he had recently gotten back into Magic the Gathering. He brought in 2 decks and we began playing at lunch time.

 

By this time in history, Sol Ring had gone through various changes and had had special editions and premium versions, etc, etc.  I began collecting again so I could play with my coworker and keep the peace. Magic the Gathering gave us a common bond that allowed us to work together when it wasn’t really feasible.  He eventually moved on to other companies but we stayed in touch and kept on playing a couple of times a month at a local library.  By the end of 2019 I had tens of thousands of cards and over 16 Commander decks (Commander is a variant that has 100 cards in a deck instead of just 60, plus some other rules that make it the best version in my opinion).  Then my former coworker’s personal life took a dramatic turn for the bad and he had to retrench and move out of state. Then Covid19 hit and really put the kabosh on finding any new players who I could get along with at the local game store. My interest in Magic was on life support.

The following paragraph is where things get political. After the “Rest in Peace” card is where I go back to non-political stuff.

 

safespacefinal

Then in June of 2020, Wizards of the Coast, the company that owns and produces MTG (under the auspices of Hasbro) decided that their Social Justice Warrior Virtue Signalling hadn’t been enough.  They came out with the statement we will be removing a number of images from our database that are racist or culturally offensive,…”.  What this means is that any card that they deem to be culturally inappropriate they will ban from competitive play and will remove them from their online database. With this criteria being such a moving target, it means that any card, at any time, can be removed “because reasons”.  The only people who think that the cards being banned are problematic are the wokescolds who already think everything is racist.  This doesn’t make me angry, it makes me sad, because this signals the end of Magic. There is a reason for the quote “Get Woke, Go Broke.”

 

restinpeace

So this is the end of my playing Magic the Gathering yet again. I have the feeling this time it will be for good, mainly because I’m not having any desire to continue. However, MTG is what is known as a Collectible Card Game, or CCG, and that means that acquiring cards is as much part of the business model as playing. In that regards I do plan on continuing.  I currently own a complete set of 4th Edition (378 cards) and I plan on collecting Revised Sol Rings and storing them away in a nice binder.  My initial goal was 100 but since I’m almost there I think my next goal will be 500.  So feel free to blame me if the price goes up to $20 a card (which is outrageous by the way, but considering I’m seeing outliers at $15, it could happen).

solringbinder

My Pretties….

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Fail Harder (Caverns & Creatures #2) ★☆☆☆½

failharder (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Fail Harder
Series: Caverns & Creatures #2
Author: Robert Bevan
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 305
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The Gang of merry losers runs into some other humans who have been sent to this fantasy world by Mordred. They team up with them and learn of yet another group, of middle graders, who were Mordred’s favorites and are sure to run rampant once they learn of his demise.

Katherine, Tim’s sister, is kidnapped by a vampire who has also been brought here by Mordred. He turns her before the group can rescue her but they do rescue her and kill the vamp. With the loot and stuff they raid from the dead vamp’s castle, they pay a dodgy magician to get Tim back to the real world so he can find Mordred’s dice and figure out how to get everyone back.

Tim makes it back, but still in his halfing body and finds Mordred still alive in the freezer. The dodgy magician, having a glimpse of our world through Tim’s mind, decides he wants to check things out and brings the whole Gang back with him.

 

My Thoughts:

You know, I barely even noticed the profanity this time around. However, the reason I didn’t was because of the crass humor and the complete stupidity of just about ALL the characters involved.

This group of people who got sucked into the fantasy world? They deserve to die. In fact, the United States is a better place if these people really did die. The fact that scum like them get their vote to count as much as mine, it infuriates me.

Yeah, I was pretty pissed off for almost the whole book. That is how pathetic these people were. So I’m done. I knew I was going to be done with this book one way or another, but my goodness, the amount of idiocy the characters packed into a mere 300 pages was astounding.

Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with them being hardcore gamers. I can sit around and play Magic the Gathering for hours on end. But I’m not an idiot who just does whatever he feels like whenever he feels like. I realize I haven’t pointed out specifics for you to judge for yourselves. But just think of someone you know who does what they want, when they want, regardless of consequences and you have this group. I’ve been using the term “stupid” but it is more along the lines of irresponsible in the worst way.

I still would like to thank Swords & Spectres for his very enthusiastic take on this series. For some non-frothing at the mouth reviews, check out his reviews. Maybe he can convince you to read them.

★☆☆☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Critical Failures (Caverns & Creatures #1) ★★☆☆☆

criticalfailures (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Critical Failures
Series: Caverns & Creatures #1
Author: Robert Bevan
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 284
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A group of RPG gamers have put an ad out to a Cavern Master, as none of them want to do the hard work. A man shows up at the Chicken Shack, in cape and with all the other accoutrements a Cavern Master could need.

These gamers are jackasses. So they hassle the guy for wearing a cape and take their game playing very casually. This enrages the Cavern Master and has each of the players roll his special dice. This transports them into the game as their characters. The Cavern Master is interrupted by the sister of one of the players and her boyfriend. They too are transported into the game.

Shit happens and the gang gets separated, some in jail, some in the forest, more hijinks, mixups, etc. They all eventually get together, find out that the Cavern Master has done this to other people and trick him into a situation where he has to release them or die. Unfortunately for them, he dies and they’re stuck in the game world with no way to get out.

The end.

 

My Thoughts:

Swords and Spectres has been reviewing this series and I thought I’d try it. He did warn me about the profanity and folks, he was NOT kidding. These are 20 something losers with the accompanying attitude. Self-absorbed, filthy mouthed, caring about no one or anything but themselves. I was actually rather glad that they got theirs by being pushed into the game. Unfortunately, they are just as horrible in game as they are out of the game.

The humor was right up my alley and I kept snorting and laughing out loud but honestly, it was wicked crass and relied on a juvenile humor about death and body functions.

Even with that, I’l be reading the next book. However, since I’m pretty sure it is just more of the same, I expect to stop the series then.

★★☆☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

The Awesomeness that is M:TG

I play Magic: The Gathering, just in case you didn’t know.  I started back in 1994-95, then stopped in ’96 and took an almost 20year hiatus. I started again in ’15 as a survival mechanism to cope with a coworker who I daily wanted to throw under a bus [and when you swing a machete all day, sometimes you think about “accidents”]. Now I play a couple of times a month and just enjoy when I can play. Low pressure, low expectations. Some games go fast, some last for 2hrs.  It’s all good.

So here are a couple of funny pictures. I’m not sure how funny they actually are if you aren’t familiar with the game, but I’m willing to chance your boredom for my entertainment.

 

The Original Card

phryexianO

The Meme

phryexianName

Now this is just funny!

emrakul

And that is why I love this game. 15 squirrels CAN take down the biggest baddie the Multiverse has ever known and Angels regularly destroy Demons.

angel

The End of the Battle (Yu-Gi-Oh! R #5) (Manga)

5f33e3746260875ade480853d3631dc8This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: The End of the Battle

Series: Yu-Gi-Oh! R

Author/Artist: Akira Ito

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

Pages: 296

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Jonouchi duels it out with the resurrected Bandit Keith, as this whole thing was instigated by Keith as revenge for his death at Pegasus’ hand.

Yugi continues his duel with Yako. It is god card against evil god card. Can Yugi and the power of the cards break through the evil god cards’ influence on Yako?

Either way, there are some great duels ahead.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a long volume. At almost 300 pages, it allowed for 2 duels that were both book length in and of themselves.

Neither duel had the impact on me that previous ones had. Part of that was that the ending of each duel was the typical Yu-Gi-Oh ending. Lots of friendship and caring and heart of the duelist. I’d actually say that Ito took this further than his predecessor, Takahashi the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh.

Anzu always played a very small part in this franchise but in this series it felt like Ito didn’t know how to make use of her and so relegated her to a non-existence. Someone with that short a skirt should definitely have more page time!

Overall, I really enjoyed this series. Enough so that I’ll start saving up to buy these in paper.  If you liked the original series or the Duelist series, you’ll definitely like this.

Return of the Dragon (Yu-Gi-Oh! R #4) (Manga)

fe85ce42eeb200e45901383019a09046This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Return of the Dragon

Series: Yu-Gi-Oh! R

Author/Artist: Akira Ito

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

Pages: 200

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Gekko goes up against the Number 1 Card Professor, and loses. Hence, Yugi is shutout from rescuing Anzu.

Kaiba goes up against Yako and even with his Ultimate Blue Eyes, he loses spectacularly.

Things really don’t look good for Anzu.

 

My Thoughts:

Gekko’s battle was a bit underwhelming but at some point the Good Guys needed to lose. To bad Yugi was paired up with Gekko so one’s loss was the others as well. I know Anzu will be fine in the end, but I’m excited to see how Ito brings the story to its conclusion.

Yako and Seto’s fight was awesome! The dark god cards just radiate menace and it was fun to see Seto overwhelmed.

Looking forward to the conclusion of this series in the next volume.

Synthetic Soul (Yu-Gi-Oh! R #3) (Manga)

ed2e1af4b95a3ff0b9cdf5e84915d1b9This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Synthetic Soul

Series: Yu-Gi-Oh! R

Author/Artist: Akira Ito

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

Pages: 216

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Yako isn’t interested so much in who wins or loses, but simply that the cards are being used to duel. All part of his plan to bring Pegasus back.

Jonouchi and Honda duel to a dead end while Yako asks Seto to join forces with him against Yugi.

It is now up to Yugi and Gekko, Yako’s twin brother, to end this charade and save Anzu before it is too late.

 

My Thoughts:

Seto’s duel, where he once again uses the Blue Eyes White Dragon was exactly a Seto Kaiba duel. He was in control the whole time and he knew it.

Jonouchi ends up dueling a defensive girl and tries to engage her so she’ll actually be a duelist with a duelist’s fighting spirit. It doesn’t hurt that this allows him to win as well.

Yugi and Gekko take on the top Card Professors, and while not exactly wiping the floor with them, do overcome them. I have to admit, I was kind of hoping for a 4 player multi-duel with them.

I am still enjoying these and am glad I did eventually get around to reading them. They fit right in with the Duelist series and I am enjoying them more than the Millennium World series. It makes me actually consider reading some of the Yugioh GX series. I’ll keep considering that for now.