Or: How to get the most fun out of your $55 (AU)
Magic: the Gathering fat packs are a great way to experience a newly released set, or build your collection. There are a lot of advantages to this over just buying the 9 boosters that come in the pack, and I’m going to try and make you see that there is more to opening Magic than flicking to the back card, saying “crap rare” or “nice”, and then flicking the other cards onto the table for peasant players to scratch up for their peasant non-rare decks.
In other works, try to recapture the fire that drew you to the game in the first place, or for new players, give you a way to buy new cards that stays fresh and interesting. You should never be bored of Magic, I believe.
Step One: Open it like a Christmas present.
This pack is a present to yourself, or if you’re really lucky, a present from someone else. This one was a present to myself from the last con, for successfully making it through the crowds without king hitting a Disney princess in the back of the head. Don’t ask. So, anyway, get yourself in the frame of mind where opening this is a treat, not something you’re doing to fill 5 minutes between rounds. Capture the childish fun of Christmas in your heart. Too edgy for that? Then do it at home alone, where other twerps won’t judge you. Rise above peer pressure, retard.
What I really love about the fat pack is how much stuff you get. Ignore the boosters for a sec (also, 9 boosters here is like $54, so that’s the cost of the pack right there. Great, huh?).
Look at what else you get for as cheap as free. The players guide gives you some info about the best cards and the mechanics of the set, and an index of every card at the back. Read this forst. It gets you excited about what you’re going to open, and it’s early inspiration for deck ideas.
Most importantly, it gets you into the flavour of the story behind the set, which is so important that it gets its own bit… now.
Journey into Nyx is the climax of a story of clashes between gods, myths and heroes in a setting based on Greek mythology. If that doesn’t capture your imagination, go back to camomile tea and twilight. Seriously, get some fire and adrenaline in your blood.
You are a being who transcends reality, a walking avatar of elemental forces who summons gods, demons and intricate, impossible devices to crush your enemies. You think nothing of raining down fire and brimstone, raising the dead, calling miracles and monsters. This is a fantasy setting, which means that things are going to be fantastic. Get excited. Be the planeswalker. For a delicious moment, lost yourself in a story and become Elspeth, standing on a monument to gods and wielding an enchanted spear and your own power against an avatar of Chaos and Wild. I hope you fell even a little of the passion that I write this with.
Anyway, the players guide give your a look at the world you’re playing in, the setting. Read it, and you might get caught up in the story. Wizards of the Coast (creators of MtG) have more flavour sources; the cards themselves, on their website (look at the back of the players guide, genius), and they even release eBooks about the setting, which tie into the larger multiverse of story that is being created.
Anyway, the rest of the bonuses. Check ’em, awesome box for storing cards, taking to tournaments to carry your secka nd winnings, and just looking spiffy. Two deck boxes (which we’ll be using later) to store, lets see, decks. A 20 sided life counter dice (you start with 20 life, dawg). All that land! Eighty! (Sixteen of each.) This is awesome, you need land for every deck, and this is enough for three to five, depending what you’re building. Getting a surplus of land is essential for casual deck building.
Finally (on a long list), is the learn to play pamphlet. I have it on good authority (mine) that the best way to teach magic is to make the mewling newbie read this first before you play your first game together. That way, the newbie has an idea of what’s goin’ on and can call you on your obviously wrong bullshit and lack of real rules knowledge. Yes, I’m looking at you. It’s how I taught AnittheFlea, and she is on the ball when it comes to MtG – as long as she’s had her coffee.
Now me, I don’t drink as much coffee. No use getting dependent on caffeine. That much isn’t good for you.
Join me next week for part two of this project, when we’ll crack open these bad boys, build two deck and see which is better in battle royale! Or a duel, I guess.