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Modern gaming is better than ever if we’re talking about just the bells and whistles. Everything from graphics, sound and technology itself will continue to evolve. It’s all getting fancier, but I believe card games remain extremely important and undervalued. They have stood the test of time as a viable option and alternative to gaming with a screen in front of you. These days, I solely play Magic: The Gathering when it comes to card games, which is easily one of the most popular trading card games in the entire world made by Wizards of the Coast.

I prefer playing with the physical cards in person as opposed to the online stuff for a variety of reasons. Don’t get me wrong – I love online games, but they can certainly lose the personal, human aspect behind the computer screen at times. There is something truly special about playing at a card store, a friend’s kitchen table or anywhere for that matter. I make it a point to drive out to a shop to get my card game fix each week.

The Five C’s as to Why I Love Playing Magic: The Gathering up Close and Personal

Cat Mat

The cat mat I use.

1. Cards
The cards themselves in Magic: The Gathering are cool to look at, and a lot of design overhauls throughout various sets have streamlined how most cards display their information. For the most part, many modern cards have arguably nicer artwork, as well as flavorful and easily understood mechanics that legitimately impact a game with both meaningful and interesting interactions. With this in mind, it’s no surprise Magic: The Gathering has some of the nicest pieces of cardboard you can ever lay your hands on to this day.

2. Community
When you’re playing with physically living and breathing people right in front of you at a table, it certainly changes the dynamic of the game you are playing. By all means, I don’t consider myself much of a social butterfly by default, let alone a social moth for that matter, but I certainly open up at a card table. I forget how shy I really am and can just become an outgoing version of myself around others. I have met so many different and unique people through Magic: The Gathering. I have also made a lot of friends because of the game. No one is a stranger once you get to know them.

I forget how shy I really am and can just become an outgoing version of myself around others.

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My trade binder has cat stickers on them.

3. Collecting
Card games like Magic: The Gathering provide you with so many ways to build a collection or two. There are so many cards, with a new set called Shadows over Innistrad right around the corner to add to the mix. Chasing after the rares of a set is always exciting, albeit it can be expensive for your wallet. For me, I have a penchant for trading after cards within my two main colors of green and white. Not to mention, I also like to find angel and cat cards because both of them are respectively awesome in my book.

4. Creativity
Quite frankly, one of my favorite aspects of playing a card game is how I get to be creative. I love the notion of strategy, and thus a deck I put together is like a 60-card composition of my tactics in plain view. I avoid netdecking (copying a deck online) because I strongly prefer putting my own creations together. I can tinker with deck concepts for hours, putting in just the right mix of cards that I would be willing to put my name on it. After it’s all said and done, I want others to be like, “Yeah, that’s something Nhan would make.” Say Naya Enchantment Angels five times fast. That’s the deck I currently roll with at the moment in the current Standard block.

After it’s all said and done, I want others to be like, “Yeah, that’s something Nhan would make.”

Cd5Ir-DUIAAyfum5. Competition
I am a competitive person when I want to be, especially when it comes to gaming. I love playing in Magic: The Gathering tournaments when I can, plus I attend weekly Friday Night Magic (FNM) events if my schedule allows it. Tournaments are a lot of fun if you enjoy the thrill of competition. No matter what the opposition is, no matter what kind of decks your opponents bring to the table, I eagerly look forward to seeing how my strategy fares against another player’s deck idea. What brings me more joy than anything else is when I can win tournaments with something outside of the box. Through victory and defeat, I continue to grow as a player, and it just makes delving into Magic: The Gathering‘s depth that more worthwhile and enjoyable. Not to mention, coming out the victor is always gratifying. Prizes are always cool.

If you haven’t picked up Magic: The Gathering yet, I highly suggest you find a local game store with this Store & Event Locator link.

It’s never too late to learn. My main piece of advice? Don’t be intimidated. Everyone has to start somewhere. For me, I began with a starter deck and worked my way up from there. This is more than just a card game. It’s an experience! Don’t miss out.

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Card images depicted are trademarked to Wizards of the Coast.

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