Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
75 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Magic: The Gathering» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review: Magic, Far From Magical For Me. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rank: 3

Even though I am into fantasy type games, movies, and books, I really didn't like this game too much. I still have my cards just in case my opinion of the game changes since the last time I played it was around 1994.

These type of games seem to be based on how much money you are willing to spend on buying cards to make a decent deck that can beat your opponents. If you are into collecting cards then this game is for you.

I believe a game should give all who are playing about as fair a chance of winning as anyone else sitting at the table. However, with Magic and games like it, it’s a matter of how many cards you want to go out and buy. In order to stack the odds in your favor you constantly have to spend money buying packs of cards or seek out uncommon or rare cards to supplement you deck. So, in a way it comes down to who spends the most money buying cards, and that just isn't fun for me.

It didn't matter what card I played, my friends always had some card that would foil what I was trying to do. I hardly ever had something to counter attack them so I sat there hopeless knowing that they were going to have some card that would stop me. And like I said, both of them were constantly buying several packs a week.

My advice is if the game looks interesting to you, pick up a starter pack and give it a try. It may be something you enjoy but be prepared to keep buying packs of cards to try and fill in weaknesses in your deck that will become apparent to you as you play the game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Imboden
United States
Evanston
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This game lost its magic on me once the collectible aspect overshadowed the actual game, and as a result everyone stopped ante-ing. We had a small group who'd play together for months, just passing the same Gauntlet of Might and Mox Ruby around in perpetua. And the the first Scrye magazine came out and whoops, surprise, no one's playing that Black Lotus anymore.

Yeah, Scrye singlehandedly blasted the fun out of this game for me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dave klokner
United States
Edgewood
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How/Why could you review a game that you haven't played for over ten years?? I admit Magic the Gathering is not the most balanced or evenly matched game on the market, but I still enjoy it after many years. My story starts back in the "day' when magic was new and cool. I played every day for many years and then I moved away from my group and sold my cards. A few years later my other gaming friends who had bad-mouthed MTG somehow got bitten and a new group formed. I bought more cards, played for a few months, and lost interest. Well once again I have been bitten by that crack like addiction called the MTG bug! For my third trip upon the wagon I decided not to let money be an issue (I am now old enought to buy what cards I want). I like to but one fat pack from each new expansion, and thats it. I don't troll cataloges or web sites selling singles. I don't stack my deck with only the best of the best. Like any game that one is skilled at, you can make do with cheap cards by relying on wit and suprise. Sometimes the best deck is a Wennie/common only deck. I build many decks , some tournament legal others not. I feel that I do very well with my new strategy/outlook. It's not like I am a professional MTG player, those people do spend hundreds of dollars on decks... but they also win tens of thousands of dollars if they are succesful. Just making a few comments in defense of a much maligned game that I stil love......
Now if somebody would just play Lunar Rails with me! Talk about a game only it's mother loves......
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthijs v S
Netherlands
Arnhem
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This review offers nothing new to me. Magic is a collectible card game, and your only criticism is the fact that it is a collectible card game. It's like saying: Chess is bad cause the smartest player always wins. Or: War of the Ring sucks cause dice are too random.

I find magic a strategically deep and interesting game that challenges you creativeness. Like you, I'm not willing to spend huge amounts of money on it but I do still ocasionally enjoy the game, going to fun tournaments with old cards and borrowed cards.

I admit one cannot play a high level tournament with just cheap cards, but there are many alternatives. Magic is the most fun with people who spend equal amounts of money on it, whether that's $200 a month or $2 a month.

edit: do your friends enjoy the game? If so, try switching decks, or even borrowing one of theirs. No one says you have to play with your own cards!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam
United States
Federal Way
Washington
flag msg tools
I can definitly see Matt's point of veiw. It can be really disheartenging to enjoy a game then not have a great a chance as the next guy because you can't/won't/whatever buy new cards all the time. When I have played the game in the past I found it very enjoyable, but me and the people I played it with used only the starter pack cards and one expansion pack each. Didn't need a whole lot, cause we had great fun with what we had. For guys who go into tournaments or competition, they take it very seriously, getting rare cards, and the "uber" deck. But if you are just out to have some fun, forget all the fluff, pic some cards at random and have at it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for reading my post about MTG. I admire your enthusiasm for the game, and hope that it brings continued enjoyment to those of you who enjoy playing it.

I was asked why I would review a game that I haven't played in over ten years so I'll answer that now. It's just because I'm new to this site and I wanted to contribute some reviews to it. So, I started thinking about the games I play now and those I have played in the past. Magic was one of them, so I wrote my review of it and what I experienced while playing it.

To its credit, it is the grand daddy of CCG's and is a great concept for a card game. Before it came out, there was nothing like it. Today, there are so many knock-offs, and they all have Magic to thank. I don’t for one minute forget that; it was a ground breaking game.

I just could not get into it for some reason and it wasn't just because I didn't want to spend money on cards. Because the fact is that if I found the game enjoyable, I wouldn't mind spending money on cards, maybe not hundreds of dollars, but more than I did spend on them.

Just understand, the friends that introduced the game to me were really into it. These guys would seek out rare cards at hobby stores and slap down $10-$20 dollars for one card. Then go out and buy several packs a week if not whole boxes and then play in tournaments at hobby stores. So, forget about a little imbalance playing these guys, I was just not even in the same league as this guys. They whipped my butt faster than you can say "Magic". There was no competition there at all.

Before I wrote the review, I flipped through the instruction book for Magic to see if maybe after all these years my tastes changed and I would find it an interesting game to play. Maybe if I played with people who were a little more my league, it would be an enjoyable game? But my review was based on my experience with the people I played with at the time. Which is why I made sure to state that I have not played since 1994.

Frankly, it doesn't make sense to me why I wouldn't be into it. I'm a guy that likes fantasy type games. I played AD&D back in the day when we used graph paper, a pencil, and dice and still play it on occasion with some friends from time to time. Here is Magic, a card game with a cool concept and nice artwork, and I just can't get into it? Who the heck knows, it makes no sense right? But there it is.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Douglas Buel
United States
Hollywood
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
matt71 wrote:
I still have my cards just in case my opinion of the game changes since the last time I played it was around 1994.


That's like saying that the last time you played Risk 2010 was back when it was regular Risk.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin
United States
Creve Coeur
MO
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
you can play games other than type 1 constructed.

try doing a simple rochester draft with a common pool of cards: decide a start player. they flip over 4 cards, and select one. the other player selects 2, and the first player takes the remaining one. the cards can stay face up or face down at your discretion - i prefer face up. do this until both have a deck, and allow unlimited use of land.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eliot Hemingway
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Draft is the single best format to play Magic, IMO. Down at the local store we used to have the store own build "boosters" out of his old crappy cards, and we'd run a booster draft out of those for $2 or so. It was great fun, very inexpensive, and the best players came out on top rather than the players with most money.

And playing booster draft with the newest block (Ravnica) is a great game experience well worth the cash to enter an official booster draft.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Douglas,

Have the rules for Magic changed that much since the game came out in the early 1990's? Could you give me an idea of how they changed since I have not kept up with the game at all?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Its not really rules as such, though there have been some changes. It is more the available card pool has expanded immensely, changing the game experience.

I have only played a couple of games with borrowed packs in the past year, so I'm no expert, but one aspect your review doesn't cover is the colours: the different feel of the colours certainly helped me fork over more money, back in the day.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After reading all the posts here, I have decided to give the game another try and will post another review after I play a couple of games. I took out my old cards and have started to read the old Ice Age instructions in more detail.

The game would be more balanced if I played with people more my speed and not against die hard Magic fans where the only way to win is to play a keep up with the joneses buy-a-thon of Magic cards; I'm not into the game that much to do that. (At least not yet. If I find that I get sucked into this game and start going on card buying sprees, I know who to blame.)

My Magic friends from years ago have moved away. So, what I'll do is make up some random decks and play a couple of games with current friends and see how it goes. It will probably be more enjoyable that way.

Thanks for the input from all of you guys.
1 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Showimg my ignorance of the game here, but what do you mean by Type 1 proxy?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin
United States
Creve Coeur
MO
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"type 1" is the tournament format with the least restrictions in terms of old/expensive/powerful cards. by proxy, he means to take a card like an ornithopter and write "BLACK LOTUS" on it and play it as if it's actually a black lotus.

i meant to say "solomon draft" before, not "rochester draft". surprised somebody hadn't already flogged me
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eliot Hemingway
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Neontek wrote:
dbuel wrote:
matt71 wrote:
I still have my cards just in case my opinion of the game changes since the last time I played it was around 1994.


That's like saying that the last time you played Risk 2010 was back when it was regular Risk.


Risk 2010 has different rules... Magic now, still is the same game...


Actually, the rules have changed significantly in Magic with regards to timing. I highly recommend looking at the official rulebook on the WotC website.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Sarnecki
Australia
Melbourne (north)
Victoria
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What Matt's review highlights is, for me, actually one of the strengths of Magic: that you can play it at whatever level you wish.

You can be Mr Suitcase and stock up on four of everything, so you can always play the latest net deck at tournaments. This doesn't make you a good player, though, and won't guarantee a win in competition.

You can play occasional drafts and prereleases, knowing everyone is working from an equally limited (not necessarily equal) cardpool. Here, your deckbuilding and play skills will make the difference.

You can keep a box of 500 commons under your bed and do a two-player solomon draft with your mate over a few brews. This can be enormous fun, and is very cheap.

If your mates are in the big spenders' group and you're trying to compete with a common-only deck, the results will be fairly predictable.

To enjoy the game at its best, you should play on equal terms and in the environment you prefer. It's like motor racing: you wouldn't put a Mini Cooper up against Fernando Alonso's Formula One Renault.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Cheung
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
You said... "My story starts back in the "day' when magic was new and cool."



Magic was never cool. It's not one of those hobbies that gets you chicks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And why does getting chicks make something cool?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
astroglide wrote:
"type 1" is the tournament format with the least restrictions in terms of old/expensive/powerful cards. by proxy, he means to take a card like an ornithopter and write "BLACK LOTUS" on it and play it as if it's actually a black lotus.

i meant to say "solomon draft" before, not "rochester draft". surprised somebody hadn't already flogged me

I ALMOST flogged you for that, but I thought better of it and cancelled the post. Mostly because I wasn't sure how to spell "Soloman".

Draft, or Sealed Deck, are definitely the way to go if you want to play good magic without having all the best cards.

Further, if you draft a lot of Ravnika and Guildpact (for example), you'll end up with enough cards to make/trade for a decent Block Constructed deck for local tournaments.

Here's an anecdote to prove that you don't have to spend a lot of money to win at magic:
I hadn't played any Magic in about 2 years, and my friends - who used to be Pro Tour players (albeit low end) - hadn't played in longer. We went to Friday Night Magic a couple weeks ago, but we didn't have decks. We bought 13 packs of the new set, and made three decks out of that (and some stuff I'd gotten the week before after winning a sealed deck tournament). We played against other people's constructed decks.

Admittedly, I had the best deck of the three of us, because I had some good cards from before. Jacob had the contents of those 13 packs, plus exactly 1 rare and 3 common cards I gave him. I won the tournament, and Jacob went 3-2 (3 wins, 2 losses). So you see, good play can win games even when your card pool is inferior.

So you see, you don't need to spend a lot of money, even to play constructed Magic. You won't win any pro tours that way, but if you're on the pro tour then you have access to the cards you want anyway. What you need is to worry more about how to play the game than how much of a disadvantage you might be at.

Oh, and a decade of experience in tournament Magic counts for something too
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Philip Thomas wrote:
And why does getting chicks make something cool?

Well, a lot of people think getting chicks is pretty cool...

It's difficult to get chicks playing Magic, but if you do, imagine how awesome the chick might be...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I thought I was detecting the essentially heterosexual male bias of mainstream culture. Plenty of guys playing magic- good for girls and gays alike...meeple

For that matter, there's something to be said for celibacy- its spelt with a c!meeple
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Douglas Buel
United States
Hollywood
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
matt71 wrote:
Douglas,

Have the rules for Magic changed that much since the game came out in the early 1990's? Could you give me an idea of how they changed since I have not kept up with the game at all?


I won't bore you with the details of the little things. Interrupts, mana sources, batches, etc. There are a lot of little differences, but those aren't that important.

Magic when you played it was a mess. The cards that you played with ranged from usless distraction cards all the way to completely broken. Broken right in half. When you played, it was worse than "Whoever has the best cards wins." It was that whoever had the best cards was playing a completely broken game.

Ancestral Recall. Black Lotus. Mox Sapphire. Balance. They don't print those cards anymore. They don't even print cards like them anymore. Those cards, and plenty of others when you were playing, were a broken mess. You were playing a broken game. When people talk about how three Marines don't have a chance in Doom: The Boardgame using the original rules, that's nothing compared to what I'm talking about. That's like the paragon of fairness compared with the brokenness of some of the early Magic cards.

Those cards are out. They don't print completely broken cards that snap the game right in half. The cards they print today constitute a real game.

When you were playing, there weren't even real formats. Well, there was one format, it was called "Put your broken cards into a deck." Magic has formats now. Players play the same format. They therefore agree on the card pool. It's, can you conquer the format. They just held Pro Tour Honolulu this past weekend. It was one of the most diverse Standard format tournaments ever. Lots of different decks i.e. strategies were viable. More than five -- so it's not just, "Magic has five colors."

Another massive change, by the way, is the advent of Limited. Card collections don't matter. You don't use your collection. You and your counterparts use unopened tournament packs or boosters.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dbuel wrote:
Magic when you played it was a mess. The cards that you played with ranged from usless distraction cards all the way to completely broken. Broken right in half. When you played, it was worse than "Whoever has the best cards wins." It was that whoever had the best cards was playing a completely broken game.

Ancestral Recall. Black Lotus. Mox Sapphire. Balance. They don't print those cards anymore. They don't even print cards like them anymore. Those cards, and plenty of others when you were playing, were a broken mess. You were playing a broken game. When people talk about how three Marines don't have a chance in Doom: The Boardgame using the original rules, that's nothing compared to what I'm talking about. That's like the paragon of fairness compared with the brokenness of some of the early Magic cards.

Those cards are out. They don't print completely broken cards that snap the game right in half. The cards they print today constitute a real game.

When you were playing, there weren't even real formats. Well, there was one format, it was called "Put your broken cards into a deck." Magic has formats now. Players play the same format. They therefore agree on the card pool. It's, can you conquer the format. They just held Pro Tour Honolulu this past weekend. It was one of the most diverse Standard format tournaments ever. Lots of different decks i.e. strategies were viable. More than five -- so it's not just, "Magic has five colors."

Another massive change, by the way, is the advent of Limited. Card collections don't matter. You don't use your collection. You and your counterparts use unopened tournament packs or boosters.

GREAT DESCRIPTION! You should go post that all over any page to do with Magic, so that people stop misunderstanding the game.

My friend tried to "grind in" at PT Honalulu Thursday night in the last chance qualifier. he went to game 3 of top 8, and was like 1 sub-optimal choice away from playing on the pro tour - after not playing Magic for about 2 years.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I see that some of you have said that the rules have changed somewhat and that the version of the game I played in 1994 may have been broken, I will keep that in mind.

Yesterday, I had a "game learning session" with a friend who never played the game before. We used my old Revised edition and Ice Age cards. I made the decks as even as possible as you will see below.

I created two decks of 40 cards each with 1/3 of the deck as Land cards. There were no duplicate cards in the decks except for the land of course. I had a black/white deck and a red/green deck. I had my friend choose a deck at random. In other words, we did not know which color we would end up with.

We both played with "open hands" so we both could see what cards each of us had. That way, I could point out what cards I would play on my turn and why, and what cards he may want to play and why. I think that it is an easier way to learn the game. That’s not the way I was taught the game, which is partly why the game was very frustrating to me years ago.

Here are our conclusions so far. Remember, at this point these are just personal observations my friend and I talked about during and after our session:

1. The rules are difficult to get use to. One reason is that the cards ARE the rules in Magic. So, if you read through the rulebook and think you understand the rules enough to play, you really don’t. There are hundreds of cards out there, and those cards supersede the rulebook. That is a concept new players just have to get use to; it’s part of what makes it unique.

2. The Timing Rules can be confusing to new players. Learning and keeping in mind what spells can be cast only during your turn, and which can be played on your opponents turn, takes some getting use to.

3. We found it difficult trying to remember each card’s special abilities and how they worked in certain situations. That is part of the game though, if you do not keep those abilities in mind, you are doomed to make costly mistakes. I assume that this becomes second nature as you play the game more.

So, these are just initial observations of the game while we are trying to learn it. Since it seems that allot of you have continued to post here, I will keep you informed how are sessions are going.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Timing rules have changed a bit since Ice Age, I think. Not that it matters if you only have Ice Age cards...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.