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My Nerdy History – Part the First

So…yeah, blogging. Something I’ve thought about for a good long while, but didn’t really ever have a SERIOUS reason to until now. And by serious, I mean serious in the context of a hobby, as serious as that can possibly be.

What hobby, you may ask? And even if you don’t, I’m going to talk about it anyway. I am here to talk about the collectable card game, Magic: The Gathering.

Since it’s my first blog post here, how about a bit of history? Or, since I tend to be rather verbose…a LOT of history. I should note, after reaching a good stopping point here, I’ve read back over it and thought to myself “Hmmm. Damn. Well, I’ve really glossed over this, and didn’t say a lot of the things I wanted to. Oh well, fuck it.” *post to blog*

So, knowing that…I’ll be revisiting this era, and likely, any others where I start out with a high level view, and drilling down into specifics in future posts. So don’t worry…I’m egotistical enough to believe that everyone wants to read ALL the sad little details of my cardboard fetishizing life…so it’ll all come out eventually.

I first encountered Magic in eighth grade. I won’t say exactly when that was because; first of all…I’d have to figure it out. And secondly, I’ll date myself enough by saying that Unlimited was the current base set, but was about to give way to Revised. There…if you’re really curious, you can figure out the time period. No…I didn’t ever get any Power Nine. I was in eighth grade, I wasn’t burdened down by gobs and gobs of disposable income.

And take your newfangled Modern border with you!

A new classmate of mine showed me the game, and I showed him…I don’t know what. I think it was D&D. The funny thing there is that within about six months, I really gave up D&D and went whole hog on Magic (still played D&D on occasion, but it wasn’t my gaming passion anymore) and he gave up Magic, and picked up D&D in a similar manner. He’d keep a deck around for random duels, but didn’t obsess about it the way I began to.

And obsess I did.  Slinging spells by way of turning some rectangular pieces of cardboard sideways, then putting other rectangular pieces of cardboard from my hand onto the table began to be one of the big things people knew about me. And in a small private school like mine…that meant EVERYONE knew. Since I was pretty young though, I didn’t mind. Yet, anyway. But let’s not skip ahead.

Or, let’s. For the next few years, I played, and played. It was my “thing.” I was known around my (again, small) school as, if not “the” Magic player, than at least one of the more well-known Magic players. I’m not saying that to boast…this was jr. high and high school. Playing Magic was even less cool then than it is today. Spending my lunch period tapping mana wasn’t getting me a ton of dates. After awhile, I started being FAR more quiet about Magic, and then…for a period of a time, I stopped completely. I remember getting back into it in my junior year, so I couldn’t have skipped more than a year, maybe two. That was quite some time ago, but I DO remember heading over to the LGS after lacrosse practice to de-jock-ify.

This continued for a bit, I made some good friends in that particular metagroup, most of whom were younger than me, and teased me about tapping my lands to produce “monna,” when they all said “mah-na.” I finally caved, and to this day, use a hard “a” when I say mana.

Oh Tycho, you blowhard.

But, alas and anon, I was not long for the Magic world at this point, and the last major event I remember participating in was the Exodus pre-release…where I had my typical poor showing, and was eliminated early. If I remember correctly (no guarantee there,) it wasn’t Swiss rounds, but rather, double-elimination. I was unable to completely abandon the mindset of my red/green constructed deck, which I’ll have to describe sometime, and I believe I went with some red/blue monstrosity, mostly because I wasn’t comfortable completely getting away from burn…and it sucked ass. I was a total Timmy in those days, and I’d NEVER done a sealed event, so I was hopelessly lost. I also remember being a little irked that I didn’t pull an Ertai, Wizard Adept, and a guy two seats down from me did. I’ve never had great luck with pulls, but I’m an eternal optimist.

So, soon after that event, I must have let Magic fade from my life. It wasn’t due to my poor showing, or the tournament at all…I just remember things in my life changing, and Magic didn’t have a place anymore. But, I’ll delve deeper into that, and the move forward in my next History/Random Thoughts entry, which will show up on Fridays. Next Mon, my first “Bad Deck Workshop: Janky Decks for Janky People” entry.

I know you’re all waiting with baited breath.