Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Magic the Gathering Pauper Draft
I last played Magic the Gathering back in the days of Ice Age with just a smattering of Alliances. I traded it all away for Jyhad / V:TES which I considered a more interesting game. Years later, board games are back and with them board game stores. Magic is back in public view and is no longer relegated to tournaments and niche stores. You can even find cards at the dollar store.
A couple of friends wanted to play. Jamie has never stopped but Marc and I haven't picked up cards in years. So rather than buying pre-built decks of the latest release, we held a pauper draft last night with five packs each from the dollar/pound store. To do the draft, each player opens a pack, looks through the cards and selects one then passes the remainder to the right. The select and pass continues until all the cards from that pack have been distributed. Each player then opens another pack and the process repeats until all packs have bee distributed. Basic land is added in as desired to make a fifty card deck.
For the old timers there were more than a few questions about card abilities but in the end we were able to muddle through. I was gratified to see a Legends reprint Cat warriors in my first pack - I could understand this card at least, and looking at the rest chose that as the basis of a green-black deck. It was not to be since Marc was to my left and was also collecting green and snagged all the good cards. I had to revert to a Black/White deck with a focus on graveyard recycling and low coloured mana cost critters and spells.
The games went well with the usual problems of getting the land balance right. Jamie beat me pretty soundly with some new fangled magicky stuff. Marc and I took classical deck design approaches and had a couple of very close games. Two stand out. The first was where Marc had a heavily buffed up Cyclops ready to pound me to smithereens, and I played Eye Gouge sending it screaming to the graveyard. In another game I was hurting but Marc was down to 3. I attacked with a 1/4 which Mark did not block planning to kill me next turn with his creatures and I used a white border Transmutation to flip it to a 4/1 and killed him. The old cards are still good cards.
It wasn't about winners and losers though, just a bunch of mates having a good time playing games. I very much enjoyed playing and thought that I would enjoy getting back into it. Then I remembered that Magic is as addictive as crack and that a lead habit is much less problematic and costly than a card habit.
Top level decks in our area run between $250 and $2,000 to assemble, the "legal" cards change yearly if not more frequently and they're just frigging playing cards.
Back to buying lead I think.
But maybe just one more pauper draft.....