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Subject: The Three Archtypes of Magic Players rss

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Ryan Hackel
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Some thoughts on Magic to start off my journal:

The First Wave. These players got into Magic on the ground floor ('93-'96), picked up some starters and boosters, and many have sold their collections off for an impressive profit. They love the old power cards, and tales of the Power Nine bring a tear to their eye. They view the newer cards as annoying rather than adding to the game, and swear by their old-school combos. Most of these players are no longer active in the game, but some lurk the Type 1 scene.

The Second Wave: Those who picked up Magic as it matured ('96-'01). They reminisce about the Tempest and Urza blocks, but didn't have much exposure to the older sets. Magic is a game with history to them, and they are along for the ride. They are active in tournaments, and respect the DCI for serving as the sheriff who tamed the lawless Magic frontier. They love theme decks, and seeing the younger players makes them feel their age. Most have little grasp for non-creature oriented deck construction, but don't feel creatures are game-winners either.

The Third Wave: These are 21st Century players, those who started after 2001. Many are holdovers from earlier times who still ride the tournament whirlwind. Others have now decided to whet their curiousity now that Magic has been around long enough. Still others are younger kids, those that were too young when Magic debuted, and graduated up from Jap-anime games. Third-wavers look at older players like gurus, but their zealous behavior tends to irritate the veterans. Most third-wavers see creatures as the fundmental path to victory, and design decks around rare creatures. They obsess over foil cards, and tend to eye older card sets the way car buffs eye pre-war vehicles.

I for one fall into the Second Wave, having picked up the game right after Mirage came out. My collection does not go back farther than The Dark, and my collecting has tapered off after Masques, though I still buy a pack every now and then. I've avoided the tournament scene, and have never been into trading. I guess that's why Auction and Barter-themed games such as Acquire and Modern Art don't appeal to me.
 
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Chapel
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The First Wave. These players got into Magic on the ground floor ('93-'96), picked up some starters and boosters, and many have sold their collections off for an impressive profit. They love the old power cards, and tales of the Power Nine bring a tear to their eye. They view the newer cards as annoying rather than adding to the game, and swear by their old-school combos. Most of these players are no longer active in the game, but some lurk the Type 1 scene.


First wave here. I was working at Wargames West in Albuquerque, one of the first distributors of MtG. Fell in love instantly, spent mucho moola, and played like mad till fallen empires. Then dropped out completely. Haven't played since. Made good money in the after market with sets of legends and arabian nights. Kept every alpha, beta card I ever bought. Now they sit in a box, probably till I die and someone sells them for a nickel in my estate sale...

devil
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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First wave here. I thought the power nine were overpowered and stupid in the early days. A lot of the new cards are overpowered and stupid too.

Fact is, Magic has an incredible mechanism in it to balance different cards based on casting costs but there's a huge difference between a basic 1/1 and one with ___walk, Bushido, flying, etc. How can they all cost 1?

That said, it's not even the start of the problem. Perhaps something they will invent Magic 2 or someone will come out with a different decent CCG.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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First Wave.

Original, Ice Age, Legends, Arabian, Dark.

Then I just got bored with it.
 
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Steve Leach
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With the prices for Beta cards the way they are now I would sell those suckers quick. You can get $25 for a Counterspell or Lightning Bolt! Not to mention the 4 figure pricing for some of the "power 9"

I think the "first wave" description above is a bit broad. I got into the game around that time and enjoyed it heavily all the way up till Tempest. I still play with new cards on a regular basis but am by no means going to get back into the tournament scene.

I tried when Mirrodin came out, because the cards were so cool, but the game will eat up all your free time if you let it. When I'm playing the game seriously I can't think or talk about anything else. It is truly a sickness. My wife and children have told me that I am no longer allowed to play the game.

But not all the people who got into the game early on dismiss the new cards. If you like the game you should appreciate the power balance that has been put into the game over the many years of development.
 
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Brett Myers
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First waver here, too. Started playing when everything was Alpha/Beta. My game store was just getting started when Magic was intoduced. We were taught the game by Peter Adkison at the annual fling at Chessex Midwest in Ft Wayne . When we ran out of boxes, I used to make runs to a little comic shop I was familiar with in East Lansing, MI. The owner was a good guy and sold me some of his extra boxes at near cost. Boxes of Beta boosters for $30.

My decks were always built with all black-bordered cards - a little point of pride. I despised card sleeves - cards are meant for playing with. My Moxes and Lotus were well-worn when I stopped playing. I had a couple of notorious decks I played with regularly. I added up the values once and they were worth about $600 each, by the book. After I quit playing (or shortly before, I can't really recall), one of my decks was stolen. I traded the other for a bunch of Warhammer 40k stuff. I don't play that anymore either..
 
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Chapel
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I traded the other for a bunch of Warhammer 40k stuff. I don't play that anymore either..


Thats funny, after I shelved MtG is when I started getting heavy into 40K. From one money sink to the next. Now eurogames! WIll I ever learn.


d10-1d10-0d10-1d10-0d10-1d10-0
 
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Paul DeStefano
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I despised card sleeves - cards are meant for playing with.


Yeah!

Card sleeves... You want to have fun or be obsessed about some value of some collection? Lemme spill some fruit punch on this one.

Card sleeves are for obsessives.

I hate card sleeves.

There's an adult oriented analogy, but I'll just leave it here.
 
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A L D A R O N
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I started with the "First Wave", and still have 3 complete alpha collections, as well as at least one of every card through the Urza block. But I didn't stay stuck in the "First Wave", and changed with as the game, my opponents, and the time I had to play changed. Today I play almost exclusively preconstructed decks (I have them all) with my kids and nephews. For me Magic has gone from a time-consuming obsession to just another great, well balanced game -- with exceptional variety.
 
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Jon
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First Waver...although more around Legends/Dark than Alpha/Beta. I stopped playing when WotC confirmed my suspicions of "overly-greedy bastards" by printing foil cards. Sold my collection of 15K or so.

Three years later I regretted doing so, and bought up a couple collections. I currently have somewhere around 25K or so cards, rarely play, but the beauty of the system, the cards, the flexibility, etc. make it a keeper.
 
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Jack Wraith
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First waver. Started with Alpha and played as a tourney-level devotee (e.g. 2 or 3 nights a week of practicing/training for the metagame and manys hours per week from the office on Apprentice) until Invasion. Something just soured for me there and I decided to turn most of my gaming attention to 40K and other GW pursuits.

I never looked at the new cards as intrusions or wastes of time. On the contrary, I was always quite interested in most of them (insane exceptions like Time Spiral duly noted.)

I played all kinds of decks but my favorites were always Black and Blue. I was largely a Control freak and one of the first in my area to recognize the worth of cards like Necropotence and Phyrexian Negator at various stages of the game.

However, as with a couple others in this thread, I was informed by my wife that had I not changed routes into miniatures, the card obsession was going to become an issue quite soon, as I was constantly building, testing, and analyzing decks in my mind, even while pretending to listen to her, and she knew it.

I still have all my cards but haven't looked at them in years.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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I'm right between first and second wave. Never had any of the 'power nine'. Started with Revised and Fallen Empires, did most of my buying in Ice Age and Mirage blocks, then tapered off rather quickly on the following blocks. I have basically all the 'key rares' from the Revised era, but none of those that didn't make the jump from unlimited to revised.


I never sleeved my cards. My dual lands are ... well-worn.
 
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Dane Peacock
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Another first waver here. I sold out.

I never got into the social, tournament type thing, otherwise, am sure I would have kept my cards. I am into CCG's for the gameplay and deck construction, and have found other CCG's that I like better than MtG.
 
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Stephen Tavener
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First wave, kind of
Just caught the end of unlimited. Refused a few trade offers of moxes and the like because they were boring. Ah, well

Still play most nights with Rosie, but haven't played in a tournament since folks started taking them seriously. We like the new and the old cards, so long as we can have fun with them.
 
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Steve Wagner
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I fall into 2 ranges. First waver, started when Legends went out of print and 3rd edition was very new. Got lots of cards almost completed a revised set. I let a friend borrow them while I moved away for a while and he traded them away on me. So all of my power cards were gone. (Basically a $1000 worth of cards. I don't even have that much in games now. But getting closer every day.)

Anyways, I got rid of the rest of my cards and moved on. But I did get back in when Urza's came out, but went back out right afterwards. Too much money for me to spend on it, just to keep up for tournaments.

I will tell you one thing, the thrill of playing a CCG or Mini's tourney is one of the best feelings of my life, after playing a great boardgame. We have been having some PR and other tournaments in Salt Lake City lately, but I can't see them being the same as a Magic Tournament. Maybe I should try one and take a chance...
 
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Steve Zamborsky
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I'm like Mark; started in with Revised and FE, and got out around...the end of Tempest block, I think. I never was too too obsessed with the game (except at the very beginning), because I always loved variety (hence my experience with dozens upon dozens of CCGs; good thing I had the freelance thing going with InQuest for a while to feed my habits).

Played some Magic Online last year in league play, but nothing too serious. I've found better games to fill my time.
 
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David K
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Not sure if I'm first, or second. Got into the game just as The Dark was loosing steam. Sporadically purchased boosters, singles, and the occasional box when I was in the mood and had the money. Got out of it, for the most part, around the time of Urza's Saga -- though, if memory serves correctly, I did buy a handful of Odyssey boosters.

I have some of the older cards (Legends and prior). Considering selling the whole mess, but I'm not sure if the older cards command much respect these days.

-V
 
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Jason Pass
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1.5er
I'm about a 1.5 waver. Started playing around the end of unlimited, went whole hog along with a few friends (like the days we played wak-pack poker with a box of Legends, and a couple of Revised boxes...). Luckily we were all min-maxers from the RPG days, so we figured out some of the strongest cards before a lot of the locals did, giving us a huge advantage (I still recall playing StP in my second tournament and having a player laugh at me for giving them life. 15 turns later, I decked them).

I eventually owned the whole power nine, peaking at 3 Black Lotus' (1 Mint Beta, all signed). Played a Weisman deck before it was a Weisman deck (and always lamented that we played it first, and played it better with the additon of Red for Bolts, a single Fireball, and a wheel), played on the boat at PT2 (playing the guy I travelled from Canada with in the last round (and beating him!)), met and talked with Richard Garfield (funny story, he had to referee my table at the PT2 draft, jokingly, I asked him what he did, he said he was a mathimatcian), got invited to Dallas for the first Type I invitation (was ranked about #18 in the world at the time (in Type I)), played for ante with Beta decks and won and lost Libraries of Alexandra, Juzams, and Moxes. Never made the national team...

Then along came the Urza Block and I realized that as I put together a Tolarian Academy deck with 42 Rares that this game was not for all players. Sure I could afford it, but how could the average kid? It wasn't fun beating up on people with $400+ decks in an "accessible" environment.

Quit playing shortly thereafter. During my run at the game I put about $5000 in and took out $10K+; still have over $4000 worth of cards collecting dust in the basement, including some of the Power Nine, and other high value cards...

I still like the game (though many of the new cards are combo oriented, but not as powerful as the power nine). And I may play again some day, but probably only with borrowed cards.

I have to maintain my rating after all!
 
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John Lopez
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First wave here: Second Edition got me started, still pick up an occassional precontructed deck but mostly play draft from the existing collection. Regarding Counter Spell: my favorite deck of all time was a blue/white denial deck.
 
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Tim Mitchell
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This is a naive question, but how do you know what set of Magic cards you have?

I have small whack of cards in storage, bought in the early 90s. Some have black borders and some have white borders, but other than that, I don't see anything distinguishing them.

I am pretty sure that moxes were gone by the time my friends and I started playing, so it's not like I have a stack of treasure down there, but seeing all these set names (Mirrodin etc) is baffling me. Do you just remember the wrappers they came in?

As you can imagine, I was a pretty casual player.

Yogurt
 
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Ryan Hackel
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Good feedback folks!
Lots of first-wavers here as I expected, but also many that fall between 1 and 3. Maybe I need to revise my definitions. Any ideas?

I'll agree on the card sleeves, since I'm more of a player than a collector. Thicker decks are much bulkier and the added cost of sleeving and boxing every deck is daunting. However, card sleeves are thankfully plentiful now, which is a boon to my creative game experimentation.

I also don't forgive WotC for foils and preconstructeds. Both ideas killed the singles market, so my Mirage-to-Mirrodin collection is practically worthless. However, the preconstructeds have made Magic more accessible, and that's an overall good thing, it just took me years to realize it.

I've moved on to other CCGs as well, notably Doomtown and Netrunner, both dead. I've also been curious about 7th Sea and Illuminati. I've just had a hard time convincing others to learn games other than Magic. My local gaming crowd is mostly beer and pretzels gamers (Geeklist on that ooming soon), and it has taught me a lot about game design.

My two further pfennig,
---Cerulean

 
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Paul DeStefano
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Quote:
but haven't played in a tournament since folks started taking them seriously.


That would be in Alpha...
 
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Wargames West!
Like M. Chapel, WGW got my store started on MTG. The owner of the store and distributorship was a good friend and he called me the day he got back from the 93' GenCon and said if I bought a minimum amount of cards (I think it was $500 minimum) he would guarantee sell through on them. How many game retailers have ever heard anyone say, 'Guarantee sell through."???

I'd never heard it before that day.

So I said, "Sounds good Wayne. Send me a million dollars worth."

Anyway, we all know the rest of the early MTG adaptor's storyline. And no, he didn't send me a million bucks worth, but I sure wish he had.
 
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Jonathan
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Put me down as...
First wave, from Antiquities to Mirage. I sold my Beta Lotus and the rest of the Power 9 a few years ago for a lot of money. I still have enormous boxes full of cards in my home. If I went through them, I'd have sets of everything from Legends on. I probably should do that at some point.
 
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Chapel
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So I said, "Sounds good Wayne. Send me a million dollars worth."



Good old Wayne Godfrey. Turned me on to MtG after Gencon 1993. But for that matter turned me on to D&D in 1980. Him and his War Games West will be missed!...sniff

 
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