The Dominion of Magic
I give people a hard time that play Magic the Gathering. I do it mostly in jest, but sometimes people do get frustrated and ask why I “hate ” magic so much. This is when I take the time to explain to them my problems with the game even if they are not willing to listen. I get to explain my problems with it and help them understand why I ended up choosing other card games over the vastly popular Magic the Gathering. It also allows me to explain why I still collect Magic even if I do not play it. So for all the people who have ignored me or not paid attention to me while I am explaining my points, this article is for you.
First of all, I would like to start with an explanation of the name of the article. I have discussed before the difference between deck building games and deck construction games. In short, a building game is one where you build your deck during the play of the game and a deck construction game is one where you bring a pre-constructed deck to play with. Dominion is one of the most well-known games of the deck building ilk and it still sells many copies to this day. However, to anyone who has played or experienced any other deck building game, they find Dominion very toned down upon return plays. Not to say that Dominion isn’t important for founding the mechanics and type of game, but just because something is the foundation does not mean it ages well. Magic is very similar in this respect. Magic has a lot of wonderful things, but I feel like many of the other card games out nowadays have far more to offer than Magic has. And for this the name of the article is the Dominion of Magic. Get it?
Games like Android: Netrunner, Warhammer 40,000 Conquest, and A Game of Thrones have such interesting and strategic mechanics that I personally feel Magic lacks. Asymmetric game play in Android: Netrunner not only adds a whole new idea to the meta, but it also allows for some of the most awesome bluffs and psychological play I have ever seen. You think leaving mana open for a counter is a mind game, wait till you have to run a mushin no shin’ed server against Jenteki. Warhammer 40,000 Conquest is a game of alternating moves, so much like chess in that each phase has each player playing immodestly after one another. If you think getting an important creature dying to an instant is bad, wait until you get Doomed at the end of a HQ phase with an Ork Snowball in your HQ. The Game of Thrones plot deck and challenge systems allow players to play two games at once. One game is out-thinking your opponent’s long term plays and the other is deciding which challenges will net you the most power. If you think losing 11 life in a turn is bad, wait until a nasty plot and challenge combo swings you from an even 10 power match to 5 power and a loss. Each of these games offers something special that I don’t believe Magic will ever give me again.
The last thing that keeps me from playing Magic is the cost curve. I recently wrote an article about getting into Destiny. One of my main complaints was having to go back to proxying cards due to the unavailability and cost of the cards. Magic will always have the latter barrier. I like the idea of getting the cards I need to build all decks by paying a fixed price, period. However, this aspect of Magic is why I still buy into it even if I do not play; there is a lot of money in this game. Hypocrisy, maybe. Investment, definitely.
While I will always respect Magic for what it gave me, I have moved on to bigger and better things. I respect what Magic, and Dominion, have done for the their respective games, but I like the new games I play and I feel they offer me more than Magic ever could. That is enough of my personal opinion. How do you feel about Magic? Is it a thing of the past or will it never be beat? Let me know in the comments! Living Card Guy out!