The Long View: Magic: The Gathering

The Long View

In this episode of The Long View, special guest Justin Nordstrom and I discuss the classic collectible card game, Magic the Gathering. In our conversation we discuss the factors that contribute to the longevity of this game, recent innovations, stereotypes and assumptions about the game and its fans, and if there are, in the end, any differences at all between ccg players and boardgamers. Thanks to for hosting The Long View, and thanks as well to for their continued support of the show. Thanks also, as always, to YOU for listening!

~ Geof Gambill

The Long View Podcast





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3 thoughts on “The Long View: Magic: The Gathering”

  1. Excellent podcast. This is my first listen to the podcast as I saw your post on the Dice Tower guild on BGG and was intrigued by your topic since I am just getting back into MTG after my friends talked about how they love the game so much.

    I too have a love hate relationship with MTG. While it is fun to find combos, build decks, play in limited tournaments and play fast games, there are a few frustrating parts of the game.

    To be any good at all, you do have to spend a lot of time learning the cards. And if you want to compete at all in standard, you have to spend lots of money. I have spent $200 building up a Jund deck and now I see it is getting fifth place or worse in various tournaments. That is frustrating.

    There are so many board games out there to play, it is really difficult to spend so much time and money on just one game. But I feel that is what you have to do to be any good at all.

    Anyway, I am glad I found your podcast. Keep up the good work.

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  2. Thanks John! I appreciate your posting and I’m glad you found the show. I too am torn about Magic. On the one hand, I enjoy it, but the commitment of time and money can be a little daunting. That being said, the money I spend on boardgames each month is probably not any more or less than what a typical Magic player may spend, so who am I to judge? In the end, I find that the joy of building your deck, learning the cards, and then testing your deck against another opponent is very akin to what I experience when I get a new game, learn the rules, think about what I would like to try to do, play to test, then refine my strategies etc. it’s the same process, it seems, only in a slightly different form. I think Justin did a great job of conveying these types of ideas and concepts in the episode. I”m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for listening!

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  3. Hi guys, I’m really enjoying the format of these podcasts – its nice to hear a single game getting such a long discussion.

    I’m also a very avid magic player, regularly competing in the very largest tournaments here in the UK etc.. so this episode was certainly interesting for me.

    I winced at some of the stories, and just wanted to post a comment to give an alternative point of view on a couple of topics. It strikes me that a common misconception about magic is that FNM is a “casual” event. In the MTG community, “casual” has a fairly specific meaning, and it is a little different to how that term is used in the world of boardgaming.

    Boardgaming casual event = “hi, come on in, we are just having a casual game.. we don’t really play to win, we are just hanging out, having fun, having a good time with friends”

    Magic “casual” event = “You are allowed to take back *certain kinds* of mistake, if (and only if) your opponent allows it”

    That might sound quite harsh, but I’d rather people knew what they were walking into than ending up thinking all MTG players were hyper-competitive psycho’s all the time. FNM is a tournament! Make no bones about it, your local FNM is probably not the place to start playing magic if you are just looking for a friendly, laid-back experience. FNM is the lightest form of competitive magic, but it’s still a weekly tournament, with prizes on the line, and it would be a mistake to expect the kind of knock-about atmosphere you are used to at a weekly gaming group.

    If you want the genuinely casual experience, most shops will run a “casual magic” night on some other night of the week. These are probably more the kind of thing really new players are looking for… a chance to play some magic, get a feel for the game, compare decks, trade cards etc.

    Loving the podcasts! Keep them coming!


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