wizards of the coast

Pauper: playing Magic without going broke

pauper magic vincent van gogh

“The Pauper, reimagined” by Vincent van Gogh and yours truly.

Some time ago, I wrote about my return to the hobby of Magic: the Gathering. Sadly, since my posts, the amount of games played has crashed to zero. The reasons? A lack of players and other financial priorities. Yep, guys and gals, Magic: the Gathering is a pretty expensive hobby if you want to keep up with other players, and I’d rather spend my money on things like food instead of cardboard. Though a few cards of Magic would probably fill my stomach as well, they are a pain to eat and not really nutritious.

Anyway, I still have the urge to throw down cards and pretend I’m a badass planeswalker, and so I found an outlet in Magic: the Gathering Online (or just MtGO). While that game allows me to play with a truckload of other players from all over the world any time I want to, I still have to pay money for the cards. This time, they aren’t even made of cardboard, but of bits and bytes! I can’t eat bits and bytes!

Luckily, a friend of mine introduced me to the funky format known as Pauper. In Pauper, you build a normal deck, but you can only use common cards. In other words: you can only use the cheap cards nobody wants (alright, that’s an exaggeration). Even better, the format has been recognized by Wizards of the Coast and boasts an active and ever-growing community of players. Playing Magic without going bankrupt? Can this be true?

Yes, it can be true. Over the past weeks, I’ve been test-driving my first version of a green Stompy deck, and I’m surprised by how cool games with only commons can be. I’m getting my butt handed to me by some wicked awesome decks, and it’s good to see that Pauper recquires the same fine-tuning and tactical thinking as other, more famous formats. Also, playing this format saves my bankroll and allows me to take the lady out for dinner more ocassionally.

Thank you, Pauper, for not making me eat cardboard.

Slivers slither back into Magic

Just a few hours ago, Wizards of the Coast spoiled us with a look at some cards from their next core set Magic 2014. It’s normal for Wizards to give us a few spoilers way before the release of the set, but the cards we’ve seen now are proof of the return of one of Magic’s most iconic creature types: slivers. These nasty-looking beasts have first been sighted in the Tempest set, and had their last public appearance in Future Sight. Now, July will be the month they return to Standard play,

This has me hyped for two reasons. First of all, I hate sliver decks. I recall the days one of my friends built one, and though it was not complete, it annoyed the hell out of me that if he survived long enough, all his creatures had trample, flying, first strike and all other tools needed to ruin my day. However, I love slivers since I just love tribal mechanics. Focusing on a certain creature type gives me focus, and makes it easy for me to pick cards for a deck. Now, I’m actually considering building a sliver deck as soon as “M14” comes around, not just as a way to recover from childhood traumas.

How do you feel about the return of these hive-minds? What else do you hope to find in Magic 2014?