14 September 2015

How I got into Magic

As a kid, I idolized David Copperfield.  No, that's not right.  As a kid, I read David Copperfield.  The second one is actually true.  But neither of these have to do with Magic and how I started.

Magician doing Magic Things

Magic is a card game.  I had seen the infamous buttcrack photo album (kind of sfw).  I had heard about people playing the game and derisively called them nerds.  I thought it was D&D for the unimaginative (because D&D is for creative thinkers NOT nerds).

Then my niece Katy pulled out some cards to show to Noah.  And they played a game while I talked to my sister.  She knew Noah played Pathfinder (same game as D&D but cooler) and thought he might like Magic.  He had fun playing, picked it up pretty quickly and seemed interested.  He has a friend on the swim team who plays so I thought, "Hmm, I'll go to a game store and grab him a deck."

The very friendly owner of Gamescape North showed me some pre-built decks, asked about Noah's personality and based on his persona in Pathfinder, we decided he'd like a red deck.  The red deck was built around aggressive attacks; Noah's Pathfinder characters were all about power level and going for the kill.  Seemed a good fit.

Then he hit on some magic words when explaining the game to me.  He said, and I quote (as indicated by quotation marks), "it's all about probabilities."  You build a deck and make game decisions based on the probability of drawing certain cards.  In game, you can make choices to affect those probabilities (extra card draw, searching, et cetera) while during deckbuilding you make choices to make those in game choices easier (playing multiples of certain cards, land-to-spell ratio, mana curves, et cetera).  Turns out Magic is a great big math equation.

So I started building decks for Noah.  He stayed a step ahead of me on the strategy aspects, I stayed a step ahead of him on the mathy parts.  What we share is an addiction to hobbies so we spent a lot of time figuring out how to play and how to get better.

About 2 years later, we have dozens of home brewed decks, 5 modified Tier 1 decks, many tournaments played, quadrillions of kitchen table battles, so many cards that we have to give some away, and even a habit of watching other people play Magic on twitch.tv.  It's not David Copperfield but we do have Great Expectations*.

relevant XKCD comicBut it all started when my niece recognized us as nerds and then when I learned that it's not actually a game for nerds but a game for geeks....I was hooked.

* if you like incredible jokes like this one, you might want to bookmark this blog!


Tillerman said...

Welcome back to blogging. Long time no see.

How old are your kids now?

Do you go sailing at all these days?

EVK4 said...

Tillerman, glad you showed up!

Kids are 10 and 14 and it is 100% their faults that I don't sail any more. Last time I went out, I was looking to buy into a boat partnership, had a great time on the boat, then had a case of the realities when I got back to shore. If I didn't have time to sail my own boat when would I sail this one?

I missed day 43 on your blog, hope that was a good day!

Julie said...

Katy will be thrilled that she started such a wonderful addiction! Especially since it creates a shared activity!

Tillerman said...

You are totally making the right decision to partake in activities you can share with your kids. If my sons had not shared my love of sailing I suspect I would have given up sailing when they were young too. I am especially lucky that they still like sailing. I sailed a regatta this last weekend with son #1, now 37 years old. But now my time is stretched between sailing and spending time with my grandkids.

I fear that the aficionados of number 43 are not following my blog any more. I teased them by breaking with tradition and posting a different representation of the number after my 43rd sail this year and I didn't get a single complaint.