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Crack Magic - David Hunsaker (1/31/2013)

Just cracked another pack of cards today. I had to force myself to slowly sift through the common and uncommon cards instead of just jumping straight to the back of the pack to see if I pulled a foil or a rare.

I won the pack from a month long Sealed tournament at my local shop, Epic Games in Lehi, Utah. I had passed up the pack of Return to Ravnica that the store owner handed me thinking I would just want the most recent set, and instead asked for Innistrad. I opened it up and slowly made it to the Creepy Doll
Creepy Doll
Creepy DollSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
R
Number:
220
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Creepy Doll is indestructible. Whenever Creepy Doll deals combat damage to a creature, flip a coin. If you win the flip, destroy that creature.
that was sitting in third to last place. Even though I had just traded away my only Creepy Doll
Creepy Doll
Creepy DollSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
R
Number:
220
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Creepy Doll is indestructible. Whenever Creepy Doll deals combat damage to a creature, flip a coin. If you win the flip, destroy that creature.
a week ago to come closer to completing my EDH deck, I was underwhelmed with the rare I pulled. Why can't I pull the devilishly elusive Liliana of the Veil
Liliana of the Veil
Liliana of the VeilSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
M
Number:
105
Artist:
Steve Argyle
Text:
+1: Each player discards a card. -2: Target player sacrifices a creature. -6: Separate all permanents target player controls into two piles. That player sacrifices all permanents in the pile of his or her choice.
!

A minute later, into the store walked a guy that had finished much higher in the Sealed tournament. He took the pack of Return to Ravnica I had passed on, and 5 other packs. He tore into the packs, and skipped to the rare immediately in each pack successively, first pack Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Architect of ThoughtSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Jace
Rarity:
M
Number:
44
Artist:
Jaime Jones
Text:
+1: Until your next turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls attacks, it gets -1/-0 until end of turn. -2: Reveal the top three cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other on the bottom of your library in any order. -8: For each player, search that player's library for a nonland card and exile it, then that player shuffles his or her library. You may cast those cards without paying their mana costs.
which I would have opened, second Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice
Trostani, Selesnya's VoiceSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Dryad
Rarity:
M
Number:
206
Artist:
Chippy
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain life equal to that creature's toughness. {1}{G}{W}, {T}: Populate. (Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a creature token you control.)
, third Rakdos's Return
Rakdos's Return
Rakdos's ReturnSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
M
Number:
188
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Rakdos's Return deals X damage to target opponent. That player discards X cards.
. He stacked them up nicely in one pile with everything else that he didn't even care about in another stack. The fourth pack had a Cryptborn Horror
Cryptborn Horror
Cryptborn HorrorSet: Return to Ravnica
Cost:
11
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
212
Artist:
Richard Wright
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Trample Cryptborn Horror enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the total life lost by your opponents this turn.
which he threw into his pile of commons, next was an Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.
, and I can't even recall the last one, because it was just a bulk common.

Sometimes it seems so unfair that the best players get to open the most product, and get even more powerful collections, lol.

With a degree in psychology I should know better than to get my hopes up every time I open a pack. The very design of collectible cards and their rarity isn't really all that different from gambling. A variable-ratio reinforcement schedule with different rewards has given the game of Magic the infamous nickname of Cardboard Crack.

So is the game really that addicting? I remember quitting the game the very first time back in the mid 90s. I told my mom the game was evil, and gave away all my cards to a friend that played because I was spending every penny I could to open the next pack. I started again during Saviors of Kamigawa and original Ravnica. That time I gave all my cards to my brother-in-law when I got hooked on World of Warcraft.

It is really looking like I must have an addictive personality... So now I'm back for M13 and Return to Ravnica. What an exciting time in the game to come back. I've always been a small town kitchen table MTG brewer. Now there are so many options. Gatecrash is almost here, and I would have never thought there was a variant like Commander that could be so much fun. Now the trick is to dance with the devil without getting burned. I've been learning in life that balance is the key, and my hope for round three of Magic is to walk the fine line and not fall off. Wish me luck, especially if we ever roll the dice to see who goes first.


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