Ahh, Thanksgiving is this week. Us Magic players have much to be thankful for: Mirage comes to MTGO, Ravnica block looks awesome, and there will no longer be any new Kamigawa cards. As a penguin, I’m thankful that we penguins taste terrible with cranberries. However, this also means that the Christmas shopping season is upon us. This means it is the perfect time to buy a great Christmas present for the Magic player in your life. Perhaps you want to give a gift to the guy that let you borrow that Char
that won you States. Perhaps you are a mother who wants some idea what to give your son who’s grown out of Yu-Gi-Oh and is thankfully into Magic. Perhaps you’re the girlfriend of one of the few Magic players that actually have girlfriends, and don’t want to give him cards, but want to give him something he can use in his games. Well, this is the place for you. What follows is advice as to what to buy and not to buy (besides the obvious “don’t give underwear” rule) for the Magic player in your life [Editor’s note: Unless he really needs underwear]. I’ll give various items at various prices so that whatever your budget, you can find the perfect gift for your Magic player.
|Set: Ravnica City of Guilds|
Artist: Adam Rex
Text: Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
For years I have used a PLANO 1120 tackle box to hold all the decks I may take to play with. It is the perfect size for any Magic player. The top has room for 4 decks and 4 sideboards on one side, and plenty of places and customizable sections for all the various dice, tokens, and life dials he may have. It’s also very sturdy. You’ll find it for $17-$20 at your local Wal-Mart.
Magic players have various fashion senses. But whether their physical build is the string-bean type or the sumo-wrestler type, it is hard to go wrong with T-shirts with Dragons on them. Wizards are also good subjects for the t-shirts. Just remember that male Magic players often try to uphold some kind of machismo. I recommend the fantasy T-shirts found at TheMountain
.com; they are fairly commonly seen, they are great looking, and the player in your life will like them. ASL Apparel used to make MTG t-shirts, but nothing with recent cards, and they might be out of business by now. Buy the string-bean a Large, and the sumo-type a 2x or (preferably) 3x.
|Set: Arabian Nights|
Artist: Douglas Shuler
Text: Tap to add R to your mana pool.
When I don’t have my life dial handle, I like using dice. Dice are quite useful to a Magic player; they can be used to keep track of one’s life AND can be used to represent token creatures. I recommend 10-sided dies, as they allow the most versatility among the various sized dies. (I find d20s to be hard to use to keep track of life, as you have to look at the small print on 20 sides, while d10s are easy to read). I recommend buying the dice made by Chessex; mine have lasted for years. Be sure to get them in various colors, but make sure the colors don’t clash; that way, both the player and his opponent can read the dice easily from the table to their eyes.
You may be surprised that I haven’t mentioned yet. Well, it’s because it’s hard to get cards for them. If someone just got introduced to Magic, then packs from recent sets (Kamigawa, Ravnica, 9th) would be OK for them. But if someone has been playing for a while, then they don’t really need packs; they need certain cards. Tourney players need certain cards, many of which would be too expensive to be a stocking stuffer like most cards. For someone who is strictly about serious play, it’s best to avoid buying them cards. If they are casual, then I would suggest buying cheap cards from old sets. Nickel cards from Antiquities like Urza
’s Chalice or nickel cards from Legends like Fire Sprites
Sub Type: Character
Artist: Mark Tedin
Text: 3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
are excellent for casual players. (Look for other excellent choices of nickel cards from very old sets in the attached forum link).
Sub Type: Faeries
Artist: Julie Baroh
Text: Flying GT: Add R to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
Most Magic novels tend to suck. One that absolutely doesn’t suck is “The Brother’s War” by Jeff Grubb, which tells the first storyline in all of Magic history. If you can find it, Arena
by William R. Forstchen is also an excellent choice, but you’ll probably only find it in 2nd-hand stores, and many times with part of the back page clipped out (early promotion).
Artist: Rob Alexander
Text: 3, T: Tap target creature you control and target creature of an opponent's choice he or she controls. Each of those creatures deals damage equal to its power to the other.
One word: don’t. Magazines like Scrye and Inquest used to be good, but they are decidedly mediocre unless your Magic player is also into many other games. If he is fairly exclusive to Magic, than don’t bother. For non-novels, there is “Magic - The Gathering: Official Deckbuilder’s Guide” (Paperback) by Tim Dedopulos. If he plays MTGO, then go to Amazon and get “Mirage Revealed: A Review of the Mirage Edition of Magic : The Gathering” (Paperback) by Scott Johns, while you still can.
They are hard to find, but they make great token makers. Have too many useless commons? Then make them into pogs and have your own personalized tokens.
There you have it, some excellent gift ideas for the holidays. Have your Mom, girlfriend, whatever to read this article and see the quality of your gifts improve this Christmas.
Happy Thanksgiving, from your Pilgrim Penguin…
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