Interlude: Road Trip Roundtable #1
Arriving at The Bluegrass Inn in Frankfort, KY was a similar experience as last year: the run-down, smoke-tinted room had a unique and almost comforting charm about it. We quickly settled into ordering some food and finally resting after a long drive and an always-too-short journey through Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Drafting was on everyone’s mind as we waited for food. Being the first night of the trip I decided we should start off easy: “What is your favorite card and why?”
Steve just busted out laughing, “I don’t even know cards! I mean, that’s something I like about Magic is that I don’t need to know the cards to know how to play. In D&D I need to know the rules; in Magic the cards pretty much explain themselves.”
“I totally agree,” I chimed back, “because I’ve introduced so many new players, including you, to my cube and it’s been fine. Skill varies dramatically, but the cards will speak for themselves.”
“Basically all you need to know is turn order and how to tap lands for mana to play stuff. Everything else is not he card – the important stuff in not he card,” Brendan agreed.
“As long as you’re not playing with a jerk!” Steve interjected.
“If you have somebody to help explain some cards that’s all you’ll really need,” Brendan added.
“What do you think Shawn?” I asked.
“You can play certain kinds of decks, but like a blue control deck? If I handed one to Steve, the why and when of doing things takes a long time ‘to get’ I think.”
“If you run into older cards before newer cards, like outdated templates and stuff, can put you on the wrong foot.” Brendan put in.
Shawn jumped back in: “True. I feel like if you step away from Magic for like three years you’re like ‘What the hell’s this?'”
“Yeah, changes like the M10 changed that took away mana burn.” Brendan explained.
“Wait, there’s no mana burn?” Steve queried.
“Yeah, that,” Brendan continued, “Mana burn made sense as a concept but it was like an extra thing that just sucked for new players.”
“My thing with Magic was that when you get different levels of players there’s such a short time to learn, like when you make a play mistake you didn’t know and people are like ‘Well, blah blah blah.’ and it just blows right by you,” Shawn started.
“Types of players depend just as much as tournament skill. Some tournament players will let you take back mistakes and help you learn from it but others are like ‘No, you have to live with that.'” Brendan shared.
“I remember this time we were trying to explain things to my buddies girlfriend and this tournament guy, with the calmest, smoothest, simplest ways explained the game. He explained the game way better than I could have ever hoped to or thought he could because he could really talk shit at events.” Brendan continued, “It gave me hope that not all tournament players are douchebags.”
While the conversation continued it;s been so long since I’ve been around such a different group of players digging into their thoughts and experiences. It’s almost surreal to recall that just two years ago I was in exactly the same shoes, returning to slightly different rules and a world of players that felt rough.
In the end, I’ve met so many amazing “Spikes” and awful “Timmies” that I’ve learned that each player is still just as unique as the cards we choose (even if we never actually get around to talking about them).
Have an idea for tomorrow’s topic? Post a comment and let us know!