A chance to learn from my hobby mistakes

As a “Magic: The Gathering” player, I’m sure you’ve all done it at least once. There just comes a time in every players life where they think they’ve had enough of the game. After countless hours of staring at your trade binder and all those 5000-count boxes, you think you’ve finally made up your mind, but you need just one more night; one more night to sleep on things. Then, when that morning finally comes, you’re ready; at least you think you’re ready…to sell your magic collection.


If my memory serves me correctly (which I am not completely sure of), I’ve sold my collection twice. The first time I sold it was in high school. There wasn’t much to brag about. I think the only thing of highlight was a “Force of Will.” Around 2000-2001, they weren’t much to cry over. I had priced everything out through an issue of “Scrye,” but I failed to realize that when the time came, the dealer would have to profit as well and my earnings were cut in half.


I just didn’t have time for it though. I was taking part in extracurricular activities that I needed to dedicate time to. So, unfortunately,  card gaming had to take a back seat for now.


Magic versus College


My freshman year of college was where I found a resurgence to play again. The next thing I knew, I was playing more competitively. I began to go through boxes and boxes of “Onslaught.” At the time, it was not a bad thing to do considering that the set gave birth to the Fetch Lands.  By the end of my sophomore year, I needed to take a break and concentrate more on my studies. I mean, I couldn’t stay in college forever, could I? Fortunately, I held on to my things.


When I finished school I took the summer “off.” I didn’t do much. In fact, I can’t even remember what I did that summer. I’m assuming it had something to do with “Dungeons and Dragons” as well as “Magic.” In the fall I had started work at State Street Bank and was making an okay amount for a kid fresh out of school. I had little expenses. So, I guess you can figure out where most of my money went into. My Fridays were rather exciting. I worked in Boston and I had to, sometimes, race out of the office to make the train to Abington in order to play in the FNMs at Battleground Games & Hobbies.


Pimpin’ ain’t easy



(Yes, that’s a case of Zendikar I opened for myself!)


At this point I had begun to amass a pretty nice collection. I had acquired several 5000-count boxes of just random commons and uncommons. However, the trade binder was looking really nice. I had made it a goal to gather a full play set of dual lands. I started with the hardest ones (the blue based dual lands) and would work my way down.


I had branched my way into Legacy without really trying. What I mean is that I didn’t have the intention of playing the format, but when you set a goal of gathering the dual lands, it just lands in your lap. By now, my collection “wants” were beginning to get out of hand. I recall being at a TCG Player 5K tournament where Vengevine was a card. It was quite the card, actually. I had managed to get my hands on three foil versions of the little guy. They were also Japanese to make things even more special. However, I found it impossible to complete the set, and, in the end, never could finish it.


By now my collection was reaching its peak. The “prettiest” deck I owned was a “Survival of the Fittest” deck I played in Legacy. The card is banned now, but it was a lot of fun while it was legal. If any of you know how that deck was played, then you can clearly recall why that card was banned. Nonetheless, it was extremely fun to play and it was only made better when your deck was nice to look at.


I was lucky enough to work a pre-release early that year with another company. At that event there was a guest artist in attendance. It just happen to be the artist who created the judge promo for “Survival of the Fittest.” Not only was I able to get my hands on a play set for a very affordable price, but she was nice enough to sign and draw on them for me. If you only knew what those cards go for now. This is where I come to the point of all this.


Someone get me a tissue


If you were to ask my right now if I had any regrets in my life, I would probably hesitate and then answer “no.” Why the hesitation? Well, I like to think that things happen for a reason. Therefore, me selling my collection happened for a reason. I hate to admit that the reason may have been all the wrong reasons, but they still happened, and there is little I can do to change that.


When I decided to sell my “collection,” it was a really hard choice. Part of me thinks I still rushed into things, but I know that’s not entirely true. Reason being is that I had to plan the whole day out in order to sell my cards.



(Goodbye sweet, sweet collection)


Look, I could probably write another one thousand words on my feelings and thoughts that were going through my mind when I sold everything. I’m not though. However, I am going to go over my word count for this week as I wrap things up.


The truth of the matter


“Magic: The Gathering” is a very special game. One of the best qualities about it is the amount a person can invest into it. I’m not just speaking in terms of money, but time as well. A large reason why people play this game is for the social factor. I know quite a few people who play the game just so they can hang out with their friends. Without it, I think they feel like they would have nothing (even though that’s not really true). What I want you to take from the post this week is to not give up so easily on your hobbies or things you’re passionate about.


I walked into the store knowing I was going to sell my commons and uncommons. The main purpose was to “make room” in my room. As the value of things began to add up, I decided to let go of most of my collection that day. However, I was going to hold onto my binder. It was where my heavy hitters were and most of the value laid. I guess I got caught up in the moment and I let dollar signs and “incorrect” emotions get the best of me that day. That’s when I decided to let it all go.


Don’t be a fool like me that day and give up on things so hastily. We all need breaks once in a while. In that case, take a step back and breathe, but don’t let go; don’t lose your grip on reality. When you take that step, look at all you’ve accomplished and gained. That’s when things really come into perspective. Maybe it will help save your collection one day; maybe it will help prevent you from having to write something like this.


About the author


Simeon is an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


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