Top 5: Questions I hate to answer

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So ungodly!

There was a time, in the early years of Magic: the Gathering, when the game itself caused quite a bit of controversy. Dungeons and Dragons, one of the spiritual predecessors of the game’s fantasy environment, had long been condemned by conservative religious groups for teaching witchcraft and heresy to young adults. Magic was no different – here are some pieces of literature regarding the game and its satanic connections from the late 90’s, today a mirthful footnote in the game’s history, but there was actually a time when it was taken rather seriously. For years, Magic didn’t feature demons as a creature type, and some of the artwork was censored. Most famously, Unholy Strength lost the pentagram in the background somewhere between its printing Revised and in 4th edition. Even to this day, Yahoo Answers is full of just powerful stupidity regarding the age-old question “Is MtG satanic?”

All of the silly satanism aside, Magic is still a game that can and often will prompts questions from the muggle community. This is my top 5 of questions I hate to answer from people who don’t know the game.

5: “Isn’t this just like Pokémon but with Lord of the Rings instead?” Trying to explain the fact that Magic as a game is older than Pokémon as a franchise, let alone the card game, and that the first Pokémon card game was designed by the same company and thus shares a few gameplay elements – thus if anything, Pokémon is like Magic, but with pokémon instead of magic, can be an annoying task indeed. Trying further to differentiate Magic from the works of Tolkien is even more of a challenge. I advise anyone getting this question to stay silent, turn around and walk away.


“Hey kid, you wanna play some standard?”

4: “Doesn’t just the dude with the most money to spend on the game win by default?” No, we’re not buying stocks, we’re playing a card game. There are ways to play that will not a fortune for just the land cards in the deck, and most of the people playing the game are playing Standard or Limited, in no way as expensive to get into as Legacy or Modern (though both Standard and Limited will of course be more expensive in the long run). Trying to explain the nuances of the different formats to people not familiar with the game is nearly impossible and almost always futile, since in the end, we’re just spending our cash on cardboard, like the fools we are. Further trying to explain that you know a guy who spends way more cash on Magic than you but who still fails to perform (we all know that guy) is even more futile, the concept of “skill” in Magic will probably not be grasped by whoever you’re talking to any way. Especially not if it’s your parent.

3: “Can’t you just play some other day?” When worlds collide between Magic players and muggles, plans fail to come to fruition, and teeth grit together over uncompromising schedules, this dreaded question always appears. The problem, at least for those who haven’t heavily invested in an online collection is that the answer to the question is almost always “no”. Playing a Magic event is a special thing, it requires weeks of preparation and is preceded by the utmost of anticipation, and you certainly can not just “play some other day”. Legacy events in particular are becoming rarer and rarer, unfortunately, so when a large one shows up on the horizon, it’s like Halley’s comet. Can’t I just play some other day? Yes, I can – in 76 years!

2: “Can’t you just sell some of those cards?” I’m sure I’m not the only one with a significant other that brings this up in a teasing tone whenever there’s an investment down the line (i.e. a car, a house, some food). There’s no point arguing it, however, the answer is always “no”. I could sell some cards, it’s completely within my power – just like I could give up alcohol if I chose to do so, but I don’t want to. More importantly, people need to get off my back about it.



1: “Hearthstone/Netrunner/any shitty LCG is just better…” Yeah, no, it’s not. If I am to invest a bunch of money, and – a lot more importantly – time into a card game, I might just as well pick the biggest of them all to devote my time to. The largest card pool, the most players, the most events. Magic is the juggernaut that just breaks all of its competitors when it comes to card games. Hearthstone is a different story, since it’s technically a video game, but it is very much just a scaled back version of Magic with no instants and different combat rules (i.e. less interesting, that is). It’s also wrapped in the shitty “comedy” of Warcraft that makes me cringe every time an orc character say something. Hopefully, the last line will at least agitate the other two contributors of this site!

What did you think of the list? Are these questions you get too? What else have people around you bothered you with regarding the game? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  November 14, 2014

    Yeah… I really hate these questions as well. Especially question 5. You can’t win question 5. The thing is, somebody is always asking that question with a big smirk on their faces, the more you explain why Magic is not like Pokemon/Lord of the Rigns/Yu Gi Oh/Whatever the bigger that smirk gets. What you especially shouldn’t do when somebody asks you question number 5 is explaining how Magic cards a much more valuable. And you really shouldn’t bring up that price tag of the most expensive cards, that never helps…

    Also, this was a very funny post. I’d very much like to see more of these kind of lists.

    Liked by 1 person


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