This week in Magic: How I got started

Wrath of God Fourth

It’s that time again! Time for another edition of “This week in Magic.” Have I ever told any of you how I got started in the game of Magic? I’ve talked to a few of you and some had expressed how they would always like to tell the story of how they got started playing Magic: The Gathering. If you ever want to, the podium is always available, but, for now, I’m stealing your idea and taking this time to tell my story.


If my memory serves me right, it all started in 1993-94. Around that time, I believe Ice Age was the newest set to come out. When I was younger, I attended a private school. At about 10:30AM every day we would have snack time. It was during these times that some of the other boys in the class would take out a deck of cards and play against each other. The game had finally caught my attention when a small group formed one day to watch the action.


It didn’t take long for me to convince my dad to get me a starter deck the following week. I remember like it was yesterday. Opening the very first pack of Magic cards is something I remember pretty well. Thinking back on it now makes me a little sad. When I opened that starter deck, I went through each card and stared at each one. I inspected the artwork and read every word on that card. Today, I rip boosters like a pro and go straight to the back where the “good stuff” tends to be.


When I opened that starter deck, the first card staring back at me was a Wrath of God. The card’s artwork showed bodies laying everywhere. There were Orcs and Humans in the image, and right in the center was a face. I thought it was cool. The text box was even great. It was simple and all it said was, “Bury all creatures.”


The artwork on the lands were awesome. I was a big fan of all of the artwork for the Forests in the set. This is definitely that can still holds true today. Not necessarily the artwork for Forests, but I’m speaking in terms of the artwork for lands in general. The artwork for lands have always been important for players and collectors. This can be seen when players break out their Beta lands or play with lands from Unglued or Unhinged. I know people who still enjoy playing with lands that have white borders. They have chosen to remain anonymous though.


When I first started playing Magic, you’d think I was crazy pulling off some of the plays I tried to make. If you saw how I used to play the game, I’d give you a pretty good laugh. One of my best memories has to do with the card Wild Growth. I used to think that Wild Growth added accumulated green mana over time. So when I eventually tapped it for mana it would make seven green mana. That was just enough mana for me to cast my Scaled Wurm (which was one of my favorite creatures at the time).


My time with the game slowed down when I got to high school. In fact, that was the first time I had sold any of my cards. There was a local card store near my high school and I ended up selling some of my cards. I thought that I wouldn’t have enough time thanks to after school activities and a teenage social life. That quickly changed once I got to college.


My freshman year I met a bunch of other people who had put together a legitimate “Magic: The Gathering” club. When I say “legitimate” I mean it. We put in the paperwork and somehow, the university approved our application and gave us a budget. The club was great. I remember when I first got invited to attend. I shook my head and said I would show up, but just to hang out and watch. That didn’t last long either.


Admittedly I watch some of the guys play and said to myself, “I could play better than some of them.” For the most part, I was wrong, and I’m glad I was. It was thanks to this group that not only did I gain a great group of friends, but I got that competitive itch to play. I slowly got back into the game by building some wacky “Vintage” decks. No power, no strategy, just a pile of cards that didn’t fit in any other format. You know, up to that point, I had always been a kitchen table Magic player. I didn’t know anything about formats or competitive rules. Learning about Standard really opened my eyes to the game. No more terribly “Vintage” decks. Now I could put together a deck that was considered good and was competitive. I got heavily involved in the game during my freshman and sophomore years in college. Like many times though, it didn’t last long.


I struggled my freshman year of college and had gotten myself on course for the five year plan. I took time off from the game to get myself back on track. Although, towards the end of my school days I had found time again to play the game while I was home on break. I was during one of those breaks where I discovered Battleground Games & Hobbies.


Once I finished school, I made the time play as much as I could. Since then I’ve sold the collection twice. The last time being the biggest mistake I’ve made in a long time regarding this game. That story is for another day though.


Well that’s it for now. I really hope you enjoyed the story how I got into the game. However, I would really like to hear how you got into the game. Sound off below in the comment section below and share your story!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also 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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