How To Make Magic The Gathering Fun Again
Brett Berger
United States
Near Cleveland
Ohio
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After getting on my soapbox in another list about Magic, it dawned on me that I've been playing this game off and on for over 10 years now. I don't know if I can say that about any other game... and I'd still give it a 10.
I know many are estranged from the game. I think this is due to two main factors:
The effects of the Duelist's Convocation and their enforcement of block rotation and, the Wizard's business model that has created a continuing need to buy cards.
I don't blame either of these forces as they serve an essential part in keeping the game fresh and the money made in Magic helps many a game store stay in business.
But there is nothing that says we should discard this game completely because of these factors. I think there are ways to bring the enjoyment back into the game without supporting the negative aspects (let the newbies do that). Gamers are competitive folks and it is difficult for the gamer to NOT rise to the pinnicle of Magic by obtaining every great card X4 and learning all obscure rules errata there is. Most Magic players have been there and it is a scary place that threatens to overwhelm time, funds and any sign of a real life.
But hope is not lost. I had a 2 year hiatus from Magic a few years ago and since then I think I've found ways to play the game without having it become some sort of geekish demonic possession.
I still believe that Magic is a great game full of strategy (deck building), tactics (playing your deck) and creativity. I can't think of another game in which creativity plays such a great role (although there is a geeklist on this...as there is on most subjects).
Anyway, Magic is known to most gamers, is loved, hated, abused, embraced, shunned, reviled, and enjoyed. There are over 100 geeklists that have it mentioned. If you are estranged from Magic I say seek peace with this excellent game and manage its vampiric ways so that you can enjoy it again.
I'm looking forward to some new ideas that others have developed in order to play without becoming prey.

PS. If you want to add ideas, add them as new numbers so we can comment and/or expand on each one. You can just use Magic as the game every time... unless you want to get creative and connect the game you add to your main point. Cool.
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1. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Brett Berger
United States
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Ohio
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Here is an excerpt from the rave that gave me this idea...

I think Magic play, even causal play was ruined by the Duelist's Convocation. That is where conformance to the idea of blocks is maintained and enforced. It is the motive force of the Magic money engine that keeps the game afloat in a business sense. Good enough... but if you want to play Magic and enjoy it, follow these suggestions:

1. Don't play in tournaments. They are full of super-optomized net decks that just aren't any fun to play or be trounced by.

2. Don't worry about "type" decks. I've had a lot of fun playing "type whatever" and just constructing decks with elegant, fun concepts and combos. We just observe the rule that you can only have a maximum of 4 of any one card (except lands of course). We also dance around the concept of restricted cards (no more than one) but don't really enforce it too much unless someone shows up with 4 Lotus, 4 of every Mox, 4 Ancestral Recall, 4 Vises, etc. Then we berate the unfortunate to within a millimeter of any shred of self esteem.

3. Use something like Magic Workstation to do deck development. Then when you get a concept you like, buy the cards singly on ebay or another source. This keeps the costs way down. Buying boxes/packs is a total crap shoot especially since most of the rares are crap (and the rares are really all that matters). Commons and uncommons can be had for pennies.

4. If you can't afford it, just proxy it. 'Nuff said.

5. Try to create decks that successfully use cards with big drawbacks... like really powerfull enchantments that hurt you as well as your opponents. Experiment with strange formats like commons-only decks, creatureless, multiplayer decks.

At its core, Magic is a great game. The convocation and the business model make the game problematic from a affordability standpoint. The blocks and rotation make it problematic from a time standpoint as you have to constantly learn new cards and develop combinations. If you can overcome these two forces you can have a lot of fun building cool decks with intriguing concepts. I have a great time playing Magic with my kids and friends.

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2. Board Game: Melee [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2465] [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Brett Berger
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I agree with the comment below about big melee Magic games. Group magic can be very fun. There are several variants of this like two-headed giant or Emperor. In addition you can add small rules like attack to the left, defend to the right.
Building decks for multiplayer can be really fun. I like to stick in cards like Hurricane and Earthquake which can often lead to "armageddons" in which all wizards perish.
Fun multiplayer cards:
Howling Mine
Spore Cloud
Hurrican/Earthquake
Megrim
Gauntlet of Might
and the ultimate if you want a short game for yourself...

CHAOS MOON!!!
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3. Board Game: Project Cube [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Nathaniel W.
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
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One thing I like is the Draft Cube. Draft is great to level the field for the rest of us who can't afford or can't justify the cost to play constructed competitively. So what is the Cube? Well, it is a set of cards to draft from that is fun and can be reused so buying new packs to draft with is no longer a money drain. My personal Cube is made of cards that are fun and/or interesting but too weak for constructed play. Since they are all about same power level, this puts the focus on deckbuilding and playing skill rather than luckily opening overpowered cards. My cube comes out every time I visit my Magic-playing cousins, and on other occasions as well.
 
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