Playing Magic over the long haul
Marland_Moore last edited by Marland_Moore
I know several of you who still lurk here have been playing Magic for a very long time, like over two decades like me.
This used to mean that you understood the game and had a certain level of expertise. I have come to learn that playing over the long haul has several negatives as well as positives. My relationship with the game has changed as my life has changed. It is hard for me to be in constant "play hard mode" but I hate playing casual.
The power creep era from 2019 through 2021 felt like I had to learn how to play magic again.
I have been lucky to have certain advantages like money and, at times, a good player base. The hard part lately for me is finding the fun in the game especially in Vintage. I play Modern in a kind of casual way with my brother, we build tier 1 decks and play through a gauntlet over beers. I take Vintage kind of serious where I like to build at least 2 tier 1 decks in MTGO but lately I cannot find any joy in Vintage.
Playing Magic for a very long time and keeping the game fun feels hard. I often remind myself that this is a hobby and it is a game. People complain that this is an expensive hobby but I'm not sure if anyone has priced out how much it cost to play golf, like really play golf. That is the hobby most of my peers are into and it is more expensive than paper Vintage right now, no joke.
The game shifts with the power level of new sets and I had time to get really good again back in 2017 - 2018 after losing a lot in 2016 I wanted to get good again and I put in the time. I got good and started to see results but I had a 3rd kid and backed off.
I started to get very serious again last year, and started to see results again in leagues but I no longer like the current Vintage meta. The time commitment also took its toll with my family. I was playing 3-4 nights a week, and that is hard with a family.
The largest issue I am struggling with is having fun playing MTGO but also having it feel worth it. Magic is a great outlet and great hobby but it can be all consuming. I like playing "junk" decks or jank that I like to have fun but those decks often lose to the tier 1 decks. The leagues used to be fun and now they feel repetitive or dumb.
Based on my life schedule Challenges are out of reach and without something to work toward playing MTGO feels pointless. I don't want to be a trophy grinder. The gathering was keeping this fun and those are only just starting to come back.
All of this is reach out to you old timers and ask how do you stay engaged? What keeps you in the game? I have pulled away and come back several times. I like buying paper cards and I keep my collection up to date but I find that had to justify on MTGO.
I really just don't like MTGO much or any digital version of Magic, it is not why I play Magic. I own a PS 5 and a Nintendo Switch, and honestly the videos games I buy for those platforms are just more fun than MTGO.
This post was a reaction to the latest Eternal Glory podcast, which is about coaching. It is a really good podcast and I recommend it but it reminded me about "leveling up" as I have done many times over the years but I usually back off because there is not much to gain from getting to the top.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be at the top of the Magic heap but when I make the necessary life trade-offs that always falls to the bottom of my list. I have a very successful career and family, those things always win and Magic is a hobby.
I can make myself better when I want to and I have risen to top before and backed off when I could have gone further. I just want Vintage to be fun again. I love this game and love Vintage the most, but lately it has not been fun. If I'm going to keep playing for another two decades I have to find that spark again.
@marland_moore Play Old School. It's all meeting up over beers and playing the oldest cards. Many viable strategies in a never-changing format. You can "solve it" and get good, or you can try early-days jank. It's fun and geared toward us old-timers who just want to sling some games with similarly-aged friends and drink beers.
Marland_Moore last edited by
@thewhitedragon69 I played a lot of Old School back in 2018 but the community locally really kind of died out in south eastern Michigan when Ben Perry stepped away from organizing.
I enjoyed playing Old School, it was a ton of fun to balance out the more competitive nature of sanctioned events.
I would play in Old School events local or an hour or so away if there were any. I hope Jaco returns to the scene to do the player's ball at some point.
@marland_moore You're running into the same kind of "limited tourney availability" that all of us have (outside of major cities). You have to drum up the support and do the organizing yourself. It's a headache and a lot of work, but I was able to get 14-person vintage tourneys for a while at a local shop when I tried years ago. If you don't go hard, you'll likely get 8 or less from just LGS players.
Old School players seem to be more willing to travel to good tourneys. They're older and have more $ in general, and while families tie them up, they will fly away for a weekend of good old school. They tend to play infrequently since OS isn't available all the time and never online. So you can enjoy local OS tourneys if you put in the work. If you build it, they will come.