Magic…(I don’t know what you were thinking…)
The greatest reason I like Casual Magic, I (or my friends and I) decide HOW to play it.
My reasons for liking Casual Magic have changed since moving to a smaller city, and it’s only been to my benefit for deck-building skills, and for love of the game. As I made new friends and joined big group games at the local shop, I realized that some of the tourney level decks I was playing, just weren’t going to cut it. This wasn’t a serious tourney environment, and the strictness of rules, just wasn’t prevalent. Needless to say, my decks were streamlined to win, and win quickly. But that isn’t the nature of group games. That isn’t the nature of House-Rules Games.
Dancing Scimitars and Kobolds stared me down from across the table. Faeries and Wurms were on either side of me. Surprisingly, none of them even glanced my way. The best part of it all, everyone was playing to see their decks and opponent’s decks work. So I need not worry about my life total. Combos were going off, and weren’t killing anyone. (Trust me – it seemed weird to me too…) Everyone was just enjoying the game they were playing, and weren’t in any hurry to win, or kill off anyone. And if someone messed up rules-wise, it was an automatic “re-do.” In-Effect House Rules just seemed to make the game more fun.
This was something I wasn’t used to, especially not at the local shop. Previously, in the not-so-po-dunk town, Hatter played plenty of casual duels, but everyone else was serious about the game and didn’t have “fun” decks to play or play against. It was all about the victory or kill happening as soon as possible. House Rules and new styles of play changed my previous way of playing, so I did what I had to in order to play in the local games. I began building decks that fed off of the opponents’ decks. Cards like Congregate became good friends of mine. Strong utility became more of my specialty. I created decks that could play duels and group games. Enchantments became staples in my decks.
Through more duels and group games, I began to see another side of the game. I became more interested in watching deck combos develop and finally “go off.” I wanted to see great synergy in card choices make it into play and influence the game. Blue just didn’t allow this to happen most of the time. Granted there are some great blue cards you can have fun with, but this is usually only to the content of the blue mage. I steadily became more convinced that this is where blue actually hinders the game of Magic. So, to make sure everyone had as good a time as possible, blue just didn’t get played, by me or anyone else. It was the simple little House-Rule that Magic lets us have as Casual Players.
This Casual Setting where rules are used most of the time, and House-Rules can take precedence, this is what has made Casual Magic so great. Our “semi-house rule” allows everyone to build and play any deck they want, including blue every rare now and then, without the worry of not being able to see their deck “work”.
House Rules or DCI Rules, Magic is a brilliantly designed game. This is what takes Magic beyond a 2-3 year fad, and turns it into a generational game. It’s ability to lend itself to the mages sitting down to play it, and how THEY want to play it.
Until next time,
Robert Hilliard – aka train.