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Beneath the veneer of being a ‘game’, Magic has layers upon layers of science and strategy beneath it. That is why it is called the king of all trading card games, because it is the most difficult! Think chess, but rather than having around 6 different pieces, you would literally have hundreds of choices for you to select your card, dozens of ways to play them, and countless outcomes to consider! The games are high on tension and nerve-wracking. From card selection, to deck-building, to the actual competition, there are many things to consider and keep in mind. There are permutations in card appearance and variance in the probability to draw the card you need. There is anticipation, intuition, and even card-counting involved in being ready for your opponent’s next move!
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This is another reason why I play Magic: the Gathering. The fierceness and tension of the competition is exhilarating. The odds are against you every single time and a single defeat could spell the difference between being dropped out of the race, or being hailed as the next national champion.
Photo via mtggoldfish
Remember that Magic: the Gathering is a trading-card game? So other than being a game you can play, it is also a trading system that has its own economy! Magic is a game of playing cards. Cards are generally uniform in size and shape. But each card has its own unique price and cost, all affected and dictated by the law of supply and demand in the market!
Initially, a card may have a given value of let’s say P10. This is relatively cheap and very easy to acquire. While some cards may easily reach a price of P2,000 for a single card! Ridiculous right? But those aren’t even the most expensive! Some very rare cards reach amounts of up to hundreds of thousands of pesos FOR ONE SINGLE CARD. Yep. You read it right, a hundred thousand pesos or more for one single MtG card.
Not Just a Trading Card Game
This is why for many, Magic is not just a game, but a potential and profitable business. While most of the community are players, there are those who are merchants and are known throughout as people who buy and sell Magic cards. You can see them around. They don’t have decks of Magic cards to play with, but they always carry a big bag with bundles of card binders with cards you need!
A Profitable Hobby
The prices like I said, are also affected by supply and demand. Yes, the same law used in Economics. If a card plays well, and is used effectively in the major tournaments held all over the world, the demand to get that card goes higher, therefore the price goes up! So a card that you may have had which cost P50 before, may suddenly surge in price and become P200 or P400 easily overnight! Much like stocks or bonds, many choose to collect cards and watch the market to see if the predictions will match their investment. If the demand is high and the supply is low, time to sell! But if there are many of those cards floating in the market, selling it would gain you a much lower price.
The rarity of a card is a good yardstick too. Cards are classified as common, uncommon, rare, or mythic rare. Obviously, the rare and mythic rare cards usually pick up the best price. But like I said, a huge surge in use and popularity can boost the price, so one uncommon card can be even higher in value than a mythic rare card!
Here’s one great example of how the Magic economy can benefit you. A single MtG booster pack costs around P170 each. It contains 14 cards give or take. And in this pack, there is a possibility to find one card that has a market value of up to P1,000! That’s more than triple the yield of your initial investment of P170! Sounds great right? But look out, opening a pack can also give you a total gross market equivalent of P40! And that is a loss any way you look at it! That’s the exciting Magic economy for you!
Photo via tcgplayer
Another thing I like about Magic: The Gathering is the sheer amount of art and creativity that can be found in it. The cards themselves are printed with gorgeous graphic images and artworks. Illustrations of angels, and soldiers, and mountains, and landscapes are all beautifully and digitally rendered. Some of these pieces can even be bought as a poster and brought home to be hung on your living room wall.
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Other than the art is the massive storytelling that Magic has. Each card set is wrapped in a fictional world of creatures and characters and tension! The protagonists fight against would-be tyrants and evil doers. Angels rage against demons. Soldiers take down zombies. Beasts of the field compete against giant dragons in the sky! The fight of good against evil never ends as Magic always has a new world to discover and a new story to unravel. And you are right in the middle of it as you choose which creatures to summon to your aid, select spells to hurl at your opponent, and pick allies to fight alongside you in your quest to win!