“Magic: The Gathering” was a big part of my life in the 1990’s. I remember being introduced to the game by a friend, and within a couple of weeks, every one of our friends was working on their MtG collection. For better or worse, we jumped in with both feet, and spent years playing duels and having a great time. So I really loved the game for sure, but with that all said…
Five Things I Hate About Magic: The Gathering
- Restrictions: MtG is set up in a manner that forces you to constantly be buying new cards, so that you can continue to play in a “legal” manner. Their rules make older sets of cards unusable in tournament play, which makes it harder for older fans like myself to find pick-up games using our out-of-date decks. Why? Because people using Tournament-legal decks rarely want to duel against old decks like mine.
- Changes: While I expect a game to evolve over time, the changes that have come to Magic over the last 20 years are ridiculous! The current game looks like a completely different game, and it has changed so much that I might as well start over from scratch, if I wanted to understand the current game.
- The Fist of Hasbro/WotC: There have been many different Collectible Card Games over the years, but MtG has always been the biggest, or right up there at the top of the heap. That heap, though, is made up of the corpses of hundreds of dead CCGs that were choked our of the market by Wizards of the Coast, then by their new corporate overlords, Hasbro. Many of those dead CCGs I really enjoyed playing, and own decent collections thereof, but can never play now, because they have been dead for 15-20 years!
- Digital: How should I play MtG now? I have access to thousands of cards between my wife and my collections, but few options for playing those cards in person. So, what do? Well, I could play the digital version of Magic, right?… as long as I don’t mind starting completely over with my card collection! While that is enticing to some degree, the thousands of cards in my current collection would have disagree with that assessment!
- The Doom of Roleplaying: “Magic: The Gathering” was an all-encompassing obsession for some of my friends. I saw a woman I knew spend most of her inheritance on obtaining a full collection of the original Beta set, for example. But worse yet, in my opinion, were the friends of mine who would sell off their entire collection of tabletop roleplaying games, just so they could buy more Magic cards. When I saw that happening, I knew it was time to re-evaluate my wife’s and my interest in the card game. I never sold games like this, but I was spending way too much on the game, and so we cut back before our obsession got worse. Regardless, when those friends sold their games, especially obscure titles no one else had or could obtain easily, it really hurt our tabletop roleplaying.
Anyway, I really do enjoy “Magic: The Gathering”, and would like to play more of the game in the future. But it really is too much of a money sink, and I can’t justify that cost right now.