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Subject: Teaching My Spouse To Play Magic: The Gathering rss

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Luke Jaconetti
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Like so many other gamers, as I get older, I find it more and more difficult to find time to sit down and game while still spending time with my family. One major problem area is Magic: The Gathering. Friday Night Magic is a lot of fun, but it requires me to rush out the door by 6:30 (right after wolfing down dinner), and not getting home until after midnight -- it’s a big time commitment on a night when I would rather sit down and play or watch a movie with my wife and kids. But, at the same time, I still crave playing the game. So I did the only sensible thing: I taught my wife how to play!

Some background: I have been playing Magic on and off since 1996. The first expansion I played was Fallen Empires. So I am well-versed in the game and have taught others how to play before. My wife is not a "gamer" in the traditional sense, but she loves card games and is very quick on the uptake in games in general.

For fairness, I equipped us each with a 2012 Intro Pack deck -- me, W/G, her, U/W, after letting her read about the colors and pick the one she wanted to play. After some education on the different types of cards, she seemed comfortable enough to give it a shot, so away we went.

Our first game proceeded slowly. Several times she stated "I have no idea what this card does," so I explained it to her. I got out a Griffin Sentinel early, which annoyed her because she had flyers to block him with. But, generally, it was back and forth, trading off small creatures, with no one making much headway.

Once more she says "I don’t know what this card means," so we take a look and it’s Oblivion Ring. The keyword "exile" confused her. I explained that it used to be called "remove from the game" and it essentially puts the card off in limbo as long as she has the O-Ring on the table. So *ffft* goes Griffin Sentinel, the one card she was unable to block.

Things get ugly for me on the next turn. She studies a card, counts her lands, then taps 3WW and drops Serra Angel. Yikes! She’s familiar with Vigilance from the Griffin Sentinel, and with that and her Coral Merfolk she is primed for an assault. I keep the ground forces at bay with Saprolings, since Jade Mage can make them at will.

I figure, well, there’s plenty of griffins in this deck, between them and the Griffin Riders I should be able to at least blunt the Angel. Yeah, not so much, since I drew 2 Riders but not a single Griffin! She proceeds to lay the beat down on me with the Angel, and I have no counters. Tons of flyers in my deck, and their all at the bottom!

Around this point my wife asks me about when a permanent spell takes effect. "Can I play a card but not use it until later?" I say it depends on the card; some stay on the table until activated, some require you to choose a target when it enters the battlefield. She mulls over this and says she understands, so we move on.

Then I get lucky, pulling Aegis Angel! I drop her down, and give my Aura-enhanced Jade Mage Indestructibility. I feel pretty good, since I can stop her Serra and then return the aerial attack favor. Yeah, right! The question about when a spell takes effect comes back to haunt me, as she promptly Oblivion Rings the Aegis Angel, leaving me pretty much dead in the water once more! I delay the inevitable for a few turns with tricks like Divine Favor, but in the end I’m toast.

I ask her if she would like to play again, as most matches are 2 out of 3. She says yes, so we shuffle and away we go. The second game goes much faster, with her playing her Illusions to early advantage, but me using Auras to pop them. Turn 5, she drops Serra Angel again. And again, I have 2 Griffin Riders, a Mesa Enchantress, not a single Griffin, and handful of Green cards, and no Forests! She makes short work of me, trouncing me to take the match 2-0.

I think she has really gotten the hang of the timing of the game and the strategy of her deck. She understands why it takes time to put together a constructed deck and why each card plays an important role in the deck. Normally if she likes a game, we will start playing it more and more until it becomes a habit. So I am pushing for this to be our new Friday night habit, our little homebrewed version of Friday Night Magic. Just hope I put up a better fight next time!
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Jerbear
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"then taps 3W and drops Serra Angel."

Apparently, I I am a Magic geek. I saw this and thought, She cheated you dude. Serra Angel is 3WW.
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Ryan R
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Syvanis wrote:
"then taps 3W and drops Serra Angel."

Apparently, I I am a Magic geek. I saw this and thought, She cheated you dude. Serra Angel is 3WW.
Yes. I thought it was a 3WW drop card, too. Checked to be 10000% sure.

http://magiccards.info/m12/en/33.html
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Luke Jaconetti
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Vroomer wrote:
Syvanis wrote:
"then taps 3W and drops Serra Angel."

Apparently, I I am a Magic geek. I saw this and thought, She cheated you dude. Serra Angel is 3WW.
Yes. I thought it was a 3WW drop card, too. Checked to be 10000% sure.

http://magiccards.info/m12/en/33.html
Sorry guys, no such cheating went down. Just a typo on my part, which I will correct in the original post.

Been playing W since 4th Edition... not sure how the heck I missed that... heh!
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Lorie S
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Thanks for posting this! I'm just a newbie so I wasn't totally sure of what you were talking about but I smiled through it all anyway.
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Luke Jaconetti
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LadyNRA wrote:
Thanks for posting this! I'm just a newbie so I wasn't totally sure of what you were talking about but I smiled through it all anyway.
Lorie, welcome to BGG, and I am glad you enjoyed the report! The best way to learn how to play Magic, in my opinion, is to have a friend teach you by playing and letting you ask questions as you go. The strength of the game is that the basic mechanics of it -- tapping, casting, combat -- are relatively easy to pick up, and once you are familiar with them, you can pick up any card and have a pretty good idea how it works. Wizards' use of reminder text for special rules is helpful in this regard as well.

Best of luck to you as you begin your journey into Magic: The Gathering!
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