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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Craving a card game

So being the drug-dealers they are, Wizards of the Coast handed out free 30-card Magic: The Gathering ("MtG") decks at PAX as part of the "Swag bag" everyone could pick up on the way in. Being a former pokemon player and someone who is obsessed with collecting things like that, I took one...and through some trading and such, got 2 others (with the 4th on the way). Alas I did not seem to find a Green deck but I digress. Going through them has stirred within my feelings I've not felt since high school and a desire to get into some sort of CCG again. Admittedly a drug habit would be cheaper, but I'm sticking to the realm of "legal in most states" for now.

This leads me to the challenge of actually having to pick one to take up. MtG was the logical choice given that they handed me free cards and it's a game I am familiar with (sort of) and find easy to learn. Still, it is an entirely in-person experience so any play I do requires finding other shmucks people to play with. Frankly, as any avid reader of this blog has figured out, I am not really into serious competition and metagaming, which is the sort of community I've found in the past. Finding opponents that play at my level and intensity would thus be an added barrier.

On the plus side for MtG, a new series (MtG is typically released in series compromised of 3 sets around a unifying theme) is starting soon. It's based on Greek mythology, which, while not my favorite setting, is not one I dislike. However it doesn't release until 9/27 at the earliest, and because I don't want to start with a set that is ending..it means waiting.

So this leads me to the possibility of an "online" card game, the likes of which I know almost nothing. Solforge was being promoted at PAX, but the initial reviews I read about it were non-too optimistic. I'll have to wait and see if it picks up or improves. Still, MtG is technically also a possibility but it has the issue of being EITHER digital or real...maybe one day Wizards will find some way for you to have cards IRL and online.*

The online set comes with the benefit of matching you up against opponents automatically, and if they are programmed correctly, can also try and tailor your matches to players around your skill level (most games rate me as "Please Uninstall"). So aside from Solforge, there are the myriad F2P games on the iPhone/iPad but those leave a sour taste given the blatant level of pay-2-win in most of them. Hearthstone, Blizzard's new game, sounded like a possibility but it's still in beta and given its popularity I suspect my beta prospects are slim to nil.

So I'll keep looking, unless my readers happen to have some suggestions.

Edit: Since writing this originally I have also been made aware of "Scrolls" so I'll be looking into that as well.

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