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CardShark Content - Curtis Lindaas (9/23/2001)

The Beginnings

Well, I had heard of this trading card game (which everyone was playing) called magic the gathering. To me, it was just pieces of cardboard, which I really didn't understand - nothing more than a simple trend was what I reminded myself...just like POG and Marbles. It will fade away soon...and it did, I hadn't even thought about it for about 5 years since I first experienced it. Then, in 1999, while trying to pass time in school, a friend introduced me to the game. I was still skeptical, but I tried it. While I was playing that day, someone else walked by in the hallway and mentioned they had played the game before. I asked him if he had the cards, and he said he did, so I played him $5 for a deck of 60 cards. One day during history class, I made my first deck: Minotaur Sligh.

The Result:

Getting into the game takes a good knowledge of the rules, and me/my friends had very little. We played rules like only one creature can block a creature, cumulative upkeep meant you needed to pay what the card said once a turn, and cards like elephant grass and illusionary wall were broken. Finally, after a few visits to the local card shop, and meeting some people in school, we started to develop a keen interest and more insightful view into the game.

The Challenges:

Well, here's the thing that separates me from other players: I've been playing this game for over three years now. Even though there are regular tournaments/FNM in our city, I've only played in 3 sanctioned events in my entire magic career. The reason: magic doesn't appeal to me as a highly competitive game, and in fact, it's only a casual game to pass time. Me and my friends play a couple of games at lunch, with few edition/type rules that just limit to no unglued/proxy/fake cards, and that's about it. You won't believe the fun that's had when you play like that. So many decks over the years have been made, some of my personal touches were Serra
Serra
SerraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+1
Text:
All creatures you control get +0/+2.
Goblin (fast goblin punching in the beginning, Shadow Weenies in the middle, Serra Angel
Serra Angel
Serra AngelSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Attacking does not cause Serra Angel to tap.
s and Serra Avatar
Serra Avatar
Serra AvatarSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
45
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Serra Avatar has power and toughness each equal to your life total.When Serra Avatar is put into a graveyard, shuffle Serra Avatar into owner's library.
as the deathblow), Elf-ball, and Tim.

My Advice to the Newbie:


1. Do not start off going in to tourneys and events. It's healthy to visit the local card store, but it's better to play casually before anything else. Playing casually allows one to grasp the concepts, learn the rules, and explore the different colors/combinations. When I first started playing, I went to red, then white, then green, then blue, then finally black earlier this year...I only switched colors when I had a good grasp of the strengths/weaknesses of the cards.

2. Do not make a deck off the Internet; it just doesn't work unless it's your own creation. It's alright to use the internet as a guide, but what makes a deck work is 90% a person's feeling/strategy with the deck, and 10% luck, and making a deck of the internet or other source basically makes you rely on the 10% luck.

3. Do not play multi-color deck. I can't stress this enough for you. You can't start off magic with a 2-color deck because you have more problems to begin with. The most powerful decks throughout time were single colors, so a newbie deck can still be competitive and mono-color. My favorite starting color was red because it had creatures, direct damage, and destruction, so it helped enforce some basic Magic concepts. Choose a color right for you, and stick with a mono-color deck.

4. Finally, be persistent. Don't give up no matter how many times you lose or make silly mistakes. Everyone's a newbie at one point (like the person that just beat you soundly)! There's always potential for growth no matter what. Even a pro player like Finkel was a new to the game at one point, so you can be as good as them with a little persistence.


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