Words Magic the Gathering with characters behind it

The classic fantasy card game “Magic The Gathering” (MTG) has been producing new art and play mechanics for nearly the past three decades. I grew up playing tabletop and card games, mostly competitive Pokemon when I was young. But Magic was always around and familiar, the demo stations were always there at gaming conventions.

As an adult, around a year ago, I became interested in picking up a game again. Over the course of the proceeding months I had two people hand me thousands of cards because they were extra cards they had no need of any longer. The nature of the value of cards of time and purchasing them through random booster packs can leave you with a lot of extra cards with no value, but that’s something we will get into later.

I went to the Ultimate Masters booster draft one day, where I met someone who gifted me a collection of cards. To those unfamiliar, there are tournaments held when new sets of cards come out and players build decks from randomized packs opened on site. There’s a small fee to play, but you end up keeping the cards, as well as being able to possibly win prizes for playing well.

The gambling aspect of strategy and card games is always a good, clean, fun kind of activity, but it sure can cost money if you make it one of your main hobbies. That’s when the new application for PC came out, Magic the Gathering: Arena. This application was an updated and animated version of a previous one, Magic Online. One where you had to spend money to get cards. This new platform allows you to easily get new cards just by playing, not even winning half of the time.

MTG Is now changing the way they sell booster packs. In the upcoming releases we will see a shift where you can now purchase booster packs that are themed – so that you can get a pack containing only black cards. You can also buy a different booster geared toward getting rarer cards, called the “Collector Booster,” which will be released with a limited amount of prints.

There will still be standard draft packs so that the format can retain its appeal in the gambling aspect. But people have very openly expressed how booster packs are a complete waste of money, and that buying singles is a superior option, financially. It’s a good move to make buying less of a gamble for a generation experiencing sky-high student loan debt while trying to make a living in a job market that hasn’t raised wages proportionately. The fairer you make something fun that costs money, the more likely it is to create profit. It is better than relying on the few who will buy cards no matter what, and I am sure there will be some new players or re-entering players to try out the new structure and feel.

The reason why they made this switch is clear. It is a marketing strategy to both encourage people to buy digital currency and to excel in the game, but also to sell their physical product. Magic The Gathering has been in a serious upheaval, creating new tournament rules involving the digital players now, switching marketing gears, and experimenting with making cards based on folklore of our world.

The common fantasy and horror themes of Magic are similar to the typical classic categories going back to J. R. R. Tolkien-like elves and goblins. They have zipped around a bit in exploring new ideas for characters and monsters and artifacts, but these are always based on creatures existing in different planes, different realities.

Taking a children’s book folklore story like Goldilocks (included in the reveal of the next set) is taking something closer to the world that I know, because it is a children’s story. But, the thing about that is, every fantasy sort of character you can have is derivative of someone else’s work. The fascinating thing to me about Magic is you can take a card with the same exact abilities and simply change the artwork to be resold and repackaged as a new idea.

Don’t get me wrong, there is value to seeing new creative interpretations of creatures. But it takes a lot of skilled artists with fresh takes. It’s got to be a hard game to sell, but all and all this new digital game is definitely a huge advantage for homebodies like me. The funny thing is, I was already getting into it and then all the sudden it’s booming and creating fresh content and changes, and I do like it.

If you’ve got nothing better to do or want to spend less time going out at bars in exchange for a gaming addiction, then go for it. Download Magic The Gathering: Arena (PC only, so far) and give it a try, it’s an absolutely free and a visually stunning experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up in a shop playing your Goldilocks. At least, that’s the idea, and not a bad one. Everyone, just buckle down and embrace a life of being a nerd. Playing the game can be a small vacation from work and the drudgery of a reality without…magic!

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