You can go home again

Hello everyone. It’s been awhile since I posted anything in here, and to be honest it’s good to be back. Where have I been for nearly three years (at least away from this page)? Well, let me explain.

After I left here I started writing for Strictly Average MTG. It was a great opportunity for me to branch out, connect with other content creators, and make connections. Sadly that site ended at the beginning of 2020. I really enjoyed the time there, had a lot of freedom to express my thoughts, and felt I was very creative with my content. I even had an article nominated for Article of the Year in the first annual MTG Content Creator Awards. Thinking about that all this time later still humbles me.

A few months later I joined Legit MTG. I was very happy to land a spot there, and even though I was not accepted by a few other places I wanted to host my articles I was not upset being turned down. Just getting an answer back was a great feeling because I knew at least I was given a fair chance. Through Legit MTG I felt like my exposure was growing, and my follower count on social media started to increase as well. However after nearly a year their the Legit MTG website closed without warning. Their online storefront disappeared, and sadly I have no idea why or what happened. I posted on Twitter that I chose to leave them voluntarily as I did not want to be in limbo anymore. There were no contracts, or other agreements beyond me submitting articles, and receiving compensation for my work.

…but how does that bring us here?

After several attempts to write elsewhere (The Meadery, MTGSalvation’s blog feature, and before that for a local store) I came here in the Spring of 2017. Yes. FOUR years ago. Where has the time gone? Magic: the Gathering sure has changed a lot since then, and there are more changes to come.

I decided to come back home. To where I could get back into writing about the game I love on a regular basis, and to return to creating content. “Content creator”. I still struggle with that. I never viewed myself as one for a long time until some friends (who are fellow content creators) made me realize that not only am I doing myself a disservice by not recognizing myself as one, but I am also selling myself short. For those of you familiar with my content you’ll get to see the usual run of deck techs, op-ed pieces on various subjects in Magic, and my year end Top Ten lists as well as predictions into the new year. For those new to my content I welcome you, and hope you enjoy your stay. With me returning back home I thought I would talk a bit about myself. Everyone has an origin story, right?

About Me

I have been playing Magic: the Gathering since 1993. I started with Revised, and began playing a few months after graduating high school. That was a big year for me. Graduating, learning a brand new game, and my first rock concert all within a 4 month period. Before Magic I collected baseball cards, and comic books, so the collectability of Magic cards was not lost on me. I wish I would have not been so stubborn in only playing with Standard (called Type 2 then) cards. Remember when a Beta Dual Lands, or even Moxes, were under $200 a piece? Yeah. I was an idiot then.

I love listening to music. It’s something I do when working, writing, and even working out. I would rather have music playing through my house than have the TV on. The only exception to that is during baseball season when the Cincinnati Reds are playing. I spent nearly 20 years being involved in music to some degree. Most of that time was spent DJing at local clubs, promoting shows, and for a time I even hosted a music video show on public access TV. I prefer industrial, and gothic music to other genres and they are the two I promote the most.

While I had been playing since Revised I did not attend my first Friday Night Magic until the fall of 2006. At the encouragement of my daughter (who was then 10) wanting me to teach her how to play I got back into the game I first fell in love with over a decade prior. Going to FNMs with her only lasted a short while it’s those memories with her that I cherish the most. Although dad was uncool to hang out with anymore I kept going to FNMs. The number of stores in the area grew to where we have enough stores, and players, that on Fridays two can host FNMs (each focusing on a different format), one can host a draft, and another can choose not to host FNM at all, and each of them are successful. Sure we can’t do any of that now, however we will be getting back to playing with our paper cards soon enough.

I did not attend my first big Standard event, a Star City Games Open event, until 2011. I was old enough to be someone’s dad, and that feeling did not get any better as the years passed. As time went on, and adult responsibilities grew, I knew that trying to win at big paper tournaments was futile. Unless I am attending with friends, or to see friends who don’t reside locally, any thoughts (no matter how remote) of doing well at a big event have now passed. Winning a match at FNM is not only much more obtainable, but it’s more fun as the atmosphere is relaxed, and you could make a friend while playing. I have. Several in fact, and that is worth more than any tournament winnings.

Beyond Magic I have played Dungeons & Dragons, and have even been the Dungeon Master a few times as well. I do love D&D, and would not mind returning one day. I’ve played the online Bioware game Neverwinter Nights, but it’s not the same as pen-and-paper with friends. I’ve played World of Warcraft casually on-and-off since 2009. I keep trying to leave, but I love Blood Elves too much. They just look so cool. When not having friends over to play board games, my wife and I watch a lot of television together. As I write this the final episode of WandaVision draws near, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Going Forward

That about sums things up from my past. For those of you that may not have seen it here is my list of 5 predictions for Magic: the Gathering in 2021.

  1. There will be no banned cards in Standard during the 2021 calendar.
  2. With Pioneer Masters coming to Arena the Pioneer format will become the most played non-Commander format..
  3. Adventures In The Forgotten Realms will feature the God card type, with dual colored cards.
  4. Either Counterspell is legal in Modern due to Modern Horizons 2, or Mana Leak returns to Standard.
  5. The fall return of Innistrad will usher in a new Standard legal draft booster box set between the fall release, and February following year.

How correct will I be? Only time will tell. I have a lot of topics to cover with the game, updates to the decks I play, and possibly more content coming in the future. So stay tuned.

In Conclusion

If you would have told me when I bought my first pack of Magic: the Gathering cards that I would still be playing this game nearly 30 years later, and hosting my own site for my articles, I would not have believed you. I started playing Magic 3 years before I ever connected to the internet so for me that in-person interaction will always be my preferred way of playing (when we can do so safely). While I have sold out, and bought back into the game several times since those early days it’s not until recently where I have learned not to sell out on myself.

When did you start playing Magic? What’s your favorite thing about playing? You can let me know by leaving a comment below, share with your friends, and follow me on both Twitter as well as Facebook, and check out The Astrolab Podcast that I co-host with Legacy & Vintage expert Joe Dyer.

Next Time

I’m going to take a look at two different Hasbro properties, and how Hasbro should have applied the lessons learned from one, and used them for Magic: the Gathering.

Until then…

TAP MORE MANA!!!

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