About 12 years ago, I was a spotty 12 year old goofball. I was really into video games and Star Wars and I was still heavily invested in the Pokemon card game, but it seemed like most people had moved on to Yu-Gi-Oh, or Beyblades or Tazos. This was before Twitter, iPhones, Flappy Bird and even mobile internet, so basically everything that I do now to pass the time didn’t exist yet. I was bored. I needed something new.
I remember my mum buying me a deck of Magic cards. It was a green/blue (Island and Forest) deck, a deck which I still have to this day. She had decided I wasn’t allowed to have it until my birthday, so I was a little let down because I was completely ready to get into something new. I had only caught a glimpse at the gorgeous art style on the box and one or two of the cards, and I was very interested indeed. I had never really experienced a game of Magic before, apart from seeing some of the older kids at school playing it, but I had never even held a card at that point. Eventually, mum decided to give me the deck and the second those cards hit my hands, I was in love. I spent the next few years dueling everyone that I could and I dare say, I got pretty good at the game. The last few years it’s gotten a bit harder to play in real life, everyone that I used to play with has moved on, gotten married, had kids and bought a lawn mower. I do play Magic via the various apps available, but it’s nowhere near the same as holding the real cards. So when I was invited to the Grand Prix in Sydney, let’s just say I was completely ready to be around Magic again.As soon as we arrived the Magic fan in me took over and I was completely overwhelmed by how many people were there. It had to be thousands, all devout Magic fans, from all walks of life, sitting around having a great time playing Magic. I was home. I ran around the outside of the playing area and took a bunch of photos, the scope of the area was insane. I still can’t believe how many people were there! I was then taken to the media area and given a bunch of cards to build a deck, which to my embarrassment, I had never done before. I had always bought the pre-made decks just to keep up with it, also they are only about $25 that way, which made it really easy to stay on top of the different sets that come out each year.
After building a deck, it was time to get started. To this day, my favourite thing about Magic, and in particular, the Magic community is how welcoming it is. There was all sorts of people playing, from international pros, to middle aged seasoned players. I spoke to one man who told me had been playing since the 90’s and at the same table there was a woman who had been playing for 2 months. The diversity and sense of welcoming was just incredible, exactly how I remember Magic. There was such a great sense of fun in the room, a sense that I don’t get as often as I would like. In this current set, there is a new feature that I had never seen before called ‘Transform’. I had decided to use a Forest deck again, so a lot of my cards were human werewolves that could transform and become significantly more powerful for the right mana cost. I am quite fond of these abilities, just because it’s almost like a surprise attack. There was a handful of times where my partner thought she had me, but with the use of Transform, my creature sometimes doubled it’s power and flipped the table on the game, which was very cool. Unfortunately, I did end up losing but I put up a good fight and I’m looking forward to playing more with my cards and tightening up my deck.