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Collecting in a Player's World - Ian Rugg (4/26/2007)

Don't get me wrong, I've been playing Magic since it was carved out on cave walls and all the cards were called ´´ug´´. I'd like to thing that over that time I've gotten pretty okay at it. I even beat someone once. I swear!

But I'm here today to talk about the virtues of *collecting* the cards instead of playing with them (or, as a primary focus). A lot of people have a favorite card, say either for its power or over all coolness. Some - and you know who you are - like a card purely for its art. Sure it's a 1/1 creature with no useful abilities *cough*Sindbad
Sindbad
SindbadSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Sindbad
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Draw a card. If it is not a land, discard it.
*cough* but you love the artwork. It's so pretty. Maybe you've got a ´´thing´´ for that Elf chick in Healing Leaves
Healing Leaves
Healing LeavesSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
c
Number:
150
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Choose one - Target player gains 3 life; or prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
? Or maybe you like Crovax, Ascendant Hero
Crovax, Ascendant Hero
Crovax, Ascendant HeroSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
3
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Other white creatures get +1/+1. Nonwhite creatures get -1/-1. Pay 2 life: Return Crovax, Ascendant Hero to its owner's hand.
- not that there's anything wrong with that.

But why collect over play? Isn't that the fun in Magic? Playing? Pitting your wizardly wits against an opponent? Slaughter
Slaughter
SlaughterSet: Exodus
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
74
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Buyback Pay 4 life. (You may pay 4 life in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Destroy target nonblack creature. That creature cannot be regenerated this turn.
ing that Control Deck with your White Weenie? Finally beating the bespectacled kid who mentored you? Seeing the look on their face when you thaw out Dark Depths
Dark Depths
Dark DepthsSet: Coldsnap
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Sub Type:
Legendary Snow Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
145
Artist:
Stephan Martiniere
Text:
Dark Depths comes into play with ten ice counters on it. 3: Remove an ice counter from Dark Depths. When Dark Depths has no ice counters on it, sacrifice it. If you do, put an indestructible legendary 20 20 black Avatar creature token with flying named Marit Lage into play.
? Why collect over that? What could you possibly get out of collecting? Looking? Dust on the sheet protector? The monetary value?

Well. No.

The thrill of playing is fleeting from one match the next, but the completeness in the collectors' heart is permanent - once their collection is, that is. I collect as a primary and play as a secondary. I only started doing that this year after a 7 year hiatus of doing both. I found I still loved playing (although when I was playing, we didn't have ´´morph´´ or ´´flanking´´ or ´´shadow´´ and the Unholy Strength
Unholy Strength
Unholy StrengthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Target creature gains +2/+1.
had the pentagon - BRING IT BACK!) I got a greater, lasting joy from collecting. From having every card in a series. Each card is unique, laid out as if conquests from a hunt. They aren't stashed away in a box until Friday Night - they're there on display as a show of my mastery at opening packs en masse from Booster Boxes! They're there in my binder, arranged in order from color to color. Each one lovingly drunk in by my eyes - and much to the annoyance of my wife - each one loved like a small, cardboard child.

Collectors aren't in it for the money, we'll spend more money at the WOTC coffers than we'll ever recover selling them here. But that's not the point - the point is getting them all. The joy in my eyes when I got Damnation
Damnation
DamnationSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
r
Number:
85
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.
after opening 20+ packets made it all worth while. Not because it was going to make my black deck awesome. Oh no, this baby would never see a deck. But because it made my collection, at last - complete.

Wait wait wait I hear you malign (yes, that’s right I’m abusing my English degree!) You just buy Booster Boxes, rip open the packets and then stuff them in folder sleeves? Where’s the joy in that? It’s no fun that way, is it? Well my friend, you need to buy a Booster Box. The Christmas feel of sitting on the floor, cross-legged opening little present after little present, watching as your collection grows – organizing your cards, first by color, then by alphabet. Being the first to read the flavor text and abilities. See that art, imagine how it would work in a deck and yes, even smell the card. Oh, come on, like you’ve never smelt a fresh, new Magic card. Slipping that card into place, watching as the folder fills out, blotting out the empty spots packet by packet. Double….double….double…ohh! What’s this? What a cool card! Come home my pet, right between Mindstab
Mindstab
MindstabSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Target player discards three cards. Suspend 4-B (Rather than play this card from your hand, you may pay B and remove it from the game with four time counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter. When you remove the last, play it without paying its mana cost.)
and Lim-Dul. Okay, Nether Traitor
Nether Traitor
Nether TraitorSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.) Whenever another creature is put into your graveyard from play, you may pay B. If you do, return Nether Traitor from your graveyard to play.
’s not that cool, but I’m writing that from work so I can’t remember what comes before and after Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Teferi, Mage of ZhalfirSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory & Jeremy Jarvis
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.) Creature cards you own that aren't in play have flash. Each opponent can play spells only any time he or she could play a sorcery.
.

Deck building is about winning first and fun second, it’s about getting two Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
s going with a Mana Flare
Mana Flare
Mana FlareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever either player taps a land for mana, it produces 1 extra mana of the appropriate type.
and Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
. Collecting is where even, for once, Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves
Llanowar ElvesSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elves
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool. This ability is played as an interrupt.
are cool. When was the last time that happened? Where you want to have at least one of every common, no mater how bad it is. Commons are fodder for players but treasures for collectors. Even lands are treasures to be kept pristine. When all the players have shuffled off the Wall Of Spears flavor text, yours will still be perfect as it was. Pack fresh. When players whine that “oh if only I had an Uthden Troll
Uthden Troll
Uthden TrollSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R: Regenerates.
this deck would be awesome” You HAVE an Uthden Troll
Uthden Troll
Uthden TrollSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
R: Regenerates.
. Even if it has ugly art – no offense to the Uthden lovers.

Collectors also have an advantage in duels. They’ve seen it all and played it all. Sure we can test play any card we want, we have them all! Why not take them out for a spin once in a while (In a sleeve and in a top loader, thank you very much) to see how they would play in a duel? You can’t pull a trick on a collector, it’s like trying to be the book club leader when one of the members is a Librarian. And by seeing and knowing every card intimately Collectors can plan better, can make more complete decks. To make more decks just for fun. When’s that last time you did that? Make a fun deck with nothing but creatures under 2/2 and no rares?

Personally, I’ve been collecting the Time Spiral
Time Spiral
Time SpiralSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Remove Time Spiral from the game. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.
Block, I’m almost finished with Time Spiral
Time Spiral
Time SpiralSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
103
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Remove Time Spiral from the game. Each player shuffles his or her graveyard and hand into his or her library, then draws seven cards. You untap up to six lands.
itself and I already have Planar Chaos
Planar Chaos
Planar ChaosSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
97
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, flip a coin. If you lose the flip, sacrifice Planar Chaos. Whenever a player play a spell, that player flips a coin. If he or she loses the flip, counter that spell.
. I’m waiting eagerly for Future Sight
Future Sight
Future SightSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Play with the top card of your library revealed. You may play the top card of your library as though it were in your hand.
to finish this block, then who knows? That’s the thing about collecting, that’s its virtually endless. Even on a budget (such as I) it can work. You save for a Booster box and then, once in a great while – you get it and you savor it. You open it slowly. One pack a day for a month. (Get real, like all Magic Lovers I tear through a box in a day and a half, tops. That includes cataloging and ordering)

In a collectors’ eye all cards are equal.

Well, unless it’s Regrowth
Regrowth
RegrowthSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Dameon Willich
Text:
Bring any card from your graveyard to your hand.
because that card has kickin’ awesome art.


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