What is the Lore of MTG?

To many people the lore (or story) of Magic the Gathering is what they love about the game. Dare I say, some fans of the game don’t even know how to play the game itself, but instead they only like Magic, for the story in lore articles and the comic book manga. I personally enjoy learning about the story, as it explains some of the changes in cards, such as Garruk turning evil, and the Gatewatch being a Pseudo-Justice League. I personally want to describe some of the planes in the future. For this post though, I will be talking a little bit about some of my favorite things about the lore.

maxresdefault1. Interesting Characters: When it comes to most stories, many characters can seem like they are one-sided personalities who either don’t do wrong, or can’t do any right. However, in the Magic the Gathering story, almost every character represents something that has real world connections. For example, Jace Beleren is a prevalent character in his mid 30s who has taken on too many responsibilities, yet can always come through. Another example lies within Sorin Markov, a vampire planeswalker who has tried to help all life, yet time and time again is hunted because he is a vampire. A personal favorite of mine is Lilliana Vess. Overall, her story starts as a heretical teenager who was tormented for years until she eventually could leave her home world. Once she did she had God-like powers, until one phenomenon known as the mending happened. She lost most of her powers, and she felt like she was going to die, so she sold her soul to demons in hopes of gaining power. However, her personal wishes generally coincide with those of her demon masters. I particularly like this character because she shows how everyone makes mistakes, and tries to fix them. These are just a few of the examples of characters that appear in the lore of Magic the Gathering.

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2. Deep Conflicts: Although the oversaturated good vs. evil conflict is included in some stories, most of the time readers will be left wondering whether the actions done by the characters in the story are the appropriate ones. For example, in the Theros story Elspeth was tasked with killing a newly risen god because he “did not belong there.” She had to make a decision as to whether or not she should kill the newly risen god because on one hand she was destroying a piece of the Theros Pantheon, but on the other hand that god was not a god for too long, and still was mortal despite being called a god. Conflicts like these make it so that audiences will actually read the stories. Ideas of licentiousness vs. rules and traditionally held beliefs vs. the hope of something new.

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3. The Loss: Sometimes things don’t happen the way everyone planned for. For example, the Romans were defeated by barbarians showing the world that all great things must come to an end at some time. This idea of the heroes not always winning is a huge part of the Magic the Gathering lore, as sometimes evil does win. Sometimes, our currently followed hero makes a heroic action, and that proved to not work out the way they had hoped. In these stories, well designed characters often times die, and worlds are lost to the forces of evil tyrants, and that’s okay. It shows a sense of accomplishment for when the heroes do succeed. Overall I believe this to be a good thing, and something I hope will not leave the lore.

Why I Hate Net-Deckers

For this post, I will be giving my 100% unbiased opinion on the stereotypical Net-Decker. I also will be writing what comes to mind right away, so if you are a Net-Decker try not to say how you don’t do what I’m talking about.

In case you were wondering, the Net-Decker is my least favorite thing about Magic the Gathering, and other trading card games for that matter. If you are wondering what a Net-Decker is, they are people who look at the best decks from any given tournament, and use them to win all of their events, be it a casual FNM event or a GP Qualifier. If you wonder why they are such bad people, let me tell you why. These people believe that they are superior to everybody else, and deserve to win because they have the “best deck” in the format. They are the people who are most likely to cheat to win, also because they believe in a pay to win system.

wpn_msfnm_headerThis hatred truly began when I went to my first Game Day event (Dragons of Tarkir Standard) and won a couple of matches early. I wasn’t there to win. I wasn’t there to show off how good I was. No. I was there to have fun. I wanted to play fun games of Magic the Gathering with people who had real decks, certainly better than mine at least. I was placed against someone who had the Net-Deck that everyone hated to play against at the time (Bant Company). I prepared myself to lose, but instead of losing the first game, I won instead. I was happy that I had beaten a Net-Deck, yet didn’t brag or boast about it. Instead, I asked if he was ready for game 2. His reaction though was what killed the fun. In his own words, he called my deck “the shittiest pile of crap that he had ever seen”, and told me that I should burn in hell with my deck. Although I had beat him game 1, he won the other two games, and after each one, called me a loser for not being able to beat him a second time. I didn’t care. I was upset at what he had done. However, despite him being kicked out of the store and me being called the winner, I was no longer excited to play in the finals. I legitimately lost those games, but in my mind I felt like I had lost every game that evening.

What I really don’t understand though is why can’t people enjoy Magic the Gathering as a game? Why can’t people see that this game was made to entertain, and not as a way to show superiority? I mean, at most casual tournaments you only win booster packs and maybe a cool promo card, but the wanna be pros use these tournaments as a hunting ground. They don’t enjoy the fun of the game, no. They only enjoy winning. A Net-Decker is the perfect example of these kinds of people, as they don’t give a damn about the other players, and want from this GAME. All they care about is winning, and attendance at many local game stores show that. Many of my friends do not go to tournaments like they used to because the game is loaded with Net-Deckers who don’t have fun.

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Another thing that I hate about them is that they raise the price of the cards in most Net-Decks to a point where most casual players can’t financially afford. If you look at the main decks from Khans of Tarkir in particular, is that they all cost around $500. I don’t know about any of you guys, but I am not paying that much for any game. I would much rather pay around $60 for a deck that can work almost as well as another deck in the format. However, those budget alternative decks can never work as well as those ultra-good decks.

What do we do if we can’t pay for a top tier deck? What do we do to play fun games for a potential reward? I sometimes imagine a future without these fun-killers who spent so much on a deck that they feel entitled to win. However, I don’t hate them with a passion. I just wish that they would understand that what they’re doing is wrong. I wish that they could allow others to have fun playing a game, which that is what Magic was always made to be. It was never about who won. Magic is a game, and once people understand that, it will be a whole lot more fun for everyone.