The Real Secret of Magic: The Gathering’s Success

What’s the most enjoyable thing during FNMs for me? Winning is fun, sure, but its not the most enjoyable thing. Tight games, where the tide ebbs and flows between players is nice and I really enjoy that, but there are better things out there. Meeting new people? Nah. The chance to play? No. Learning something new? Nope.

That’s all well and good, but what makes me smile, every time, is when my opponent needs to read my cards carefully. Obviously I use the staples like Arbor Elf and Stangleroot Geist which everyone recognized, but most of my opponents need to read cards like Ulvenwald Tracker, Predator Ooze and Wolfir Avenger.

I think these are great cards, which are greatly undervalued, as they are hardly seen in decks. Whenever an opponent reads those cards, I get the feeling I’ve come up with something great. Granted, the deck my deck is based upon, was not designed by me, but I still have the warm feeling that I’ve gone deeper than my opponent in designing my deck. I’ve delved deeper into the secrets (yes, that was a joke) of Magic and now have brought my enlightenment to the masses.

Ok, I’m exaggerating, but that’s a huge part of the fun for me. Being deeper than my opponent. Being more open to a variety of options, despite having set myself clear limits (such as being mono-colored). Discovering something very good, which most people aren’t prepared for.

So, what’s the secret of Magic’s success?

Most of the Magic-players in the guild only play EDH casually. Some like the flavor, some like the social aspects, some like testing new stuff in their decks, some like the variety.

The secret is that the same game can be so many things for so many people. You can’t really play Chess for the flavor. There are limits to how many new ideas you can learn from Battlestar: Galactica Boardgame. You can’t really innovate with most games.

Whatever… Magic’s got you covered.

They design for certain kinds of people in mind (see Timmy, Johnny, and Spike and Timmy, Johnny, and Spike Revisited, as well as Melvin and Vorthos), but at the same time they try to have each set serve players of multiple formats as well.

There’s a huge difference between EDH, Standard, Eternal and Limited. Still, they do their best to serve all these groups of players. Not everyone equally, but all sets will have something for everyone. Which is why the game has grown and keeps growing still despite being 20 years old.

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