Since it took me this long to recover from the chaos that was my first San Diego Comic-Con, I totally dropped the ball on getting you all the awesome announcements from Wizards’ Magic: The Gathering panel. By now, you can find all that awesome content on a ton of outlets, namely here, here, here, and the CliffsNotes version here. Hell, you can even watch the whole panel here.
So since it’s not much fun to write up what’s already out there, I figured I’d change gears a bit from announcements.
I was not playing Magic when Ravnica was visited for the first time.
I know, crazy, right?
I was forced into learning to play Magic by my boyfriend about five years ago. After months of me ridiculing him early in our relationship for what some consider to be the nerdiest of nerd hobbies, we came to an agreement: I would learn how to play Magic and he would learn to do…some other thing. The details are lost now, because he never did said thing. And here I am wasting my day away following blogs, obsessing over Creative, watching R&D’s every move, and pouring money into this habit. Damn him.
Since then, I’ve forced – er…persuaded many of my friends to start playing Magic, and despite its nerdy reputation, I’ve yet to find someone that doesn’t enjoy it thoroughly once they learn it. Which is curious. As someone that’s studied game design intensively, it’s still a wonder to me that Magic has survived as long as it has based on a concept that’s been used so many other times with much less success.
I’ve realized that it’s actually less about the game, and more about flavor. And while Creative does an awesome job of developing worlds and creatures and planeswalkers and amazing pieces of art, I think it really comes down to the colors of Magic that make it so compelling.
See, my boyfriend is kind of an expert when it comes to teaching Magic, and I’d like to think that I’m following pretty closely in his footsteps. And the first thing that both of us do when we teach is take a card…and look at the backside of it.
And we point out the colors. We explain why they matter, what their personalities are. We talk about enemy colors and ally colors, the benefits to playing each, and the challenges in working with certain combinations. I feel like that’s such an important starting point, because during that explanation every single one of my friends has heard a color description and said, “That’s me.”
And that’s the moment I know I’ve hooked them.
It’s like creating your own character in an RPG. You choose a class, change your appearance, outfit your character with fancy equipment, and doing all that increases your connection to your in-game self. Well the colors you use to build your decks, the spells you cast and the strategy you choose, that’s how you create your persona in Magic, how you express yourself.
I quickly grew attached to playing black. It wasn’t the stereotypical evil, death, and decay that I necessarily liked – I was drawn to the ambition, and the focus on winning at all costs. Black forces you to make risky choices; casting powerful spells often comes with a negative repercussion. (For you fellow Fullmetal Alchemist fans out there, you’ll appreciate black’s respect for the concept of Equivalent Exchange.) That need to sacrifice a little of yourself to get what you really want, that’s interesting to me. There’s almost a feeling of desperation in the color, but at the same time, such confidence and conviction, a willingness to give everything, and a refusal to fail or bow to anyone.
It certainly helped that it was around this time that I discovered the stories of the planeswalkers, and I fell in love with Liliana Vess. The rest, as they say, is history…and I’ve pretty faithfully played black (splashing red) ever since.
So imagine my surprise when I took Wizards’ “What Guild Are You?” quiz, and ended up part of the Izzet League.
Izzet? But that’s red/blue!! Ok, so I have the one R/U deck that I love, and sure, Izzet’s leader is Niv-Mizzet, a badass, 15,000-year-old dragon but…blue?!? I hate blue! Yea, I know it’s the color of intelligence and all that, but it’s so defensive and it slows the game down and I just want to pummel people, dammit!
But red/blue…that’s different. That’s intelligence mixed with obsession and emotion. It’s egotistical, reckless, and a bit maniacal, but at the same time calculating, manipulative, and devious. Well…I can relate to that.
Call me a convert, I guess. Because in a strange turn of events, my first EDH deck that I built about a month ago just so happens to have a certain dragon as the Commander, and also happens to be R/U. So check back next week, when I break down my process of building that deck and why my newfound color alignment shouldn’t have been such a surprise.
So what color(s) are you?
What drew you to them? And what guild will you be aligned with come October 5, when RtR releases?
Go take the quiz now, and let me know your thoughts!