|I am a rabid wolf lion eagle dog demon hybrid... turned into a duck.|
Every now and again I find myself slipping a Magic the Gathering reference into some of my comics. Magic the Gathering is a trading card game developed by Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast in 1993. This is the same company behind Dungeons and Dragons; a fantasy tabletop RPG and another monument of nerd culture. In the world of Magic many powerful spell casters go to war with one another in all kinds of ridiculous styles, and they call these wizards Planeswalkers. They come from many walks of life in all shapes and sizes. However, they all seem to agree that summoning a bunch of creatures to throw at one another is the best way to solve their problems.
My history with TCGs goes back into the 90s when I- LOL no. I heard about MTG about a year ago when Day started SpellSlingers. Their first episode covers most of the basic rules:
Of all the fighting styles in this game we can boil things down into 5 basic styles of play represented by 5 colours; red, blue, green, white, and black.
Red planeswalkers are all about aggression and raw emotion. Red doesn’t care about petty things like defense; all it cares about is smashing down the opponent’s defenses and scattering the opponents’ troops about in a fit of shock and awe. They’ll constantly hurl lightning bolts and fire balls at the enemy. If the opposition still manages to survive they can throw bigger fireballs; maybe even some dragons, too.
Blue is the colour of intelligence. It doesn’t matter what your plans are this match; blue is going to figure out a way to unplug it all and leave you sitting there looking like an idiot. Blue players are ridiculously adaptable. They can snuff out spells before they’re even played, they can figure out ways to get more cards and suspend your army in a pit of confusion and inaction. They can even shove creatures into the game mid-combat that you’ll never see coming. Blue is all about tact and reactivity; you will either admire or despise blue.
Green is pretty straightforward; growth and nature. Green players want big creatures, and they can get those faster than anyone else can. Green is all about getting those large creatures and overrunning the opponent. Many early game green spells are often used to keep green players alive until the monstrosities are let loose, or to smash things that aren’t creatures. Green is an ideal beginner’s colour, but that’s only because you can run in with nothing but creatures and still have a decent deck.
White planeswalkers focus on civilization. They embrace order, morality; unity. Many white creatures are simple humans priests or warriors, but as the game goes on they grow stronger and bolder as angels and crusaders answer the call. White strategies often focus on building a big army of small creatures, coupled with a few larger creatures, and when the time is right they will move out and wreak pure retribution upon the enemy. A few extra hitpoints never hurt anybody.
Black stands for fear and amorality. Black is all about fighting dirty and putting your opponents into uncomfortable situations. Undead armies, vampires, horrors, and frightful creatures are now your allies. Things that steal life and add to your own are commonplace; anything that weakens the opponent is satisfying. There is no such thing as a moral victory against a black opponent.
I know I said there are 5 fighting styles; but a player can opt to have no colours in their deck. Artifact decks do that, and many of them rely solely on equipment, trinkets, artificially-made creatures, and having lots and lots of metal to work with. You have this army of machines and golems that can burrow equipment from one another and turn a little creature into a god-slayer in the late game.
Strategies start to get crazy when players start to hybridize several colours into a single deck, but that's another discussion in and of itself.
I think that's enough about MTG; how do you guys fare with analog gaming? What is the most interesting board game/ card game/ tabletop RPG/ dice game you've ever played? It could be a twist on a classic like Monopoly, or a Warhammer 40k army you've bought and painted. I look forward to reading your comments!