Robert Chesley

What Drives My Passion?

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can you hear the angelic choir??

What drives my passion?

When I was asked to write about Magic: The Gathering, I was excited. Let me tell you a little about me. I’ve been playing Magic for about fourteen years now. While I my interested waned a little bit in high school, I’ve been playing pretty much non-stop weekly since 2003. I play pretty much any format. I love drafts as much as love building random decks that come up with interesting ways to win. I’m generally a casual player at heart. My playgroup is becoming more robust, I play every Tuesdays. We always play multiplayer, rarely 1 v 1, and we never keep track of who wins and loses. My best tournament posting was a couple “4-0″s at a Super Friday Night at last year’s Gen-Con as well as a 3-0 at the Zendikar Prerelease. I have a high constructed rating as well. Although, I no longer get to play as often as I’d like in paper tournaments. I play pretty much every single day when it comes to Magic Online.

For those unfamiliar with Magic: The Gathering, the game in a nutshell is like a game of chess where you get to pick your pieces. The goal is to attack your opponent’s life total while defending yours. You play creatures and spells all in your quest to take down your opponent. So what has driven me to play this singular game for almost half of my life? The game is complex and simple. The game is always constantly changing (there are four new sets a year). When you finally think you’ve grasp the inner workings on the game you’ll find another aspect that you’ve never explored before. I first started out enjoying the time I spent with my dad. We still play every week to this day. But in the beginning we’d play on weekends. Well, at first, we use to play this game made by Microprose called “Duels of the Planeswalkers” we sat down and loaded the tutorial video. It seemed interesting enough, the mechanics are not hard to grasp. You need resources, resources pay for spells and creatures, and then if you sneak in enough damage you win the game. Fun. My dad and I were hooked nearly instantly. I was hooked on another trading card game at the time called Star Wars: CCG. It rivaled that of Magic, but I slowly grew disinterested and moved solely into playing Magic exclusively. My dad and I sling spells on a weekly basis much like we’ve done for at least the past decade now.

My early decks were terrible. As someone who didn’t have a job, I mean there are not many 12 or 13 year olds who have a ton of disposible income for cards, I would have to rely on what cards I could muster from random booster packs my parents would by me. My dad obviously supported my habit and we both collected a ton of cards. We would scrounge common bins at every local shop around (which is still a good way to bolster a collection by the way.) While my sisters and mom would shop, me and my father would spend hours looking through cards. Playing cards with my dad is a huge reason why it is such a big part of my world today. While I myself am not a father, I would suggest many who have kids who are of critical thinking age to consider Magic as both a past time and bonding experience.

rawr mother effers

Why do I play Magic?

I play Magic because I feel it is one of the most complex games on the planet. It fulfills many aspects of gaming that I find most enjoyable. I love watching giant monsters do battle on a giant table. I love buidling decks that have interesting interactions. I also like to be in control of every aspect of the game. Some of the most mundane aspects of the game are some that I find the most brilliant. I love sorting, reading, and looking for new cards and new ways to spice up my playgroup’s games. Competition at tournaments is far more interesting and fun for me than going to high stakes Vegas hold ’em events. I mean lets face it. Smashing face with elves is way better than being dealt pocket kings with another flopped on the river. I play for the stories I get to tell afterwards. Like for example, one of the first tournaments I won was off a top decked counterspell. At my local game store there was a “villian” and this guy was someone I considered a rival of sorts. We were pretty much neck and neck coming down to one of the final plays of the game. He casts a spell that would be fatal. So, I countered it. He countered back. Than I countered again. And because of that final counterspell I won the tournament in my own personal “Karate Kid” moment. There is just no other way to describe the feeling I had at winning that tournament against that particular player. These are the kinds of experiences you can expect when you get into playing Magic as a competitive player.

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach my future articles. I have a feeling I’ll go more in depth on decks and how I choose to approach certain situations. I know my next article is going to for sure include my reactions to the latest set coming out “Rise of the Eldrazi”. You can also expect me to in the future to provide product reviews and the latest gossip coming out in the Magic world. I also won’t shy away from helping anyone learn how to play and I hope if my artcles inspire anything its that more people are aware and more people continue to play what in my opinion is the greatest game being played today.

this is yawgmoth, he's awesome

If you know the rules of Magic and are itching to get back into the swing of things. There is the Rise of Eldrazi prereleases coming up this Saturday. I know the local ones start at 10 am. I always like to go to prereleases because for the most part it is a casual environment that is receptive to newer or inexperienced players. I like to go because as for sealed decks everyone is pretty much on the same page. Besides you get a really cool prerelease foil card just for showing up.

If you are more interested on learning how to play or learning more about the game I suggest going to or downloading “Duels of the Planeswalkers” on the Xbox 360.

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