Way back in September, for the 42nd and 1/3rd time, I lost interest in MTG. Yes. Again. I know, I know, you guys most likely laugh at me and Noob when we proclaim that the game has gotten boring for us only to come back and say that a new set has relit the fire. I’d like to think that’s part of the charm of our website, we are not afraid to share our honest feelings about a game with you guys. We are gamers after all and who hasn’t become bored with a game only to rediscover it at a later point?
I had just bought 10 packs of Ixalan on a whim and joylessly opened them. I kept thinking about what cards in the set I *actually* could use in my various decks and couldn’t name one. Why did I just drop $40 on these packs? I couldn’t answer either question. There was no answer, I was basically on autopilot when I walked into the LGS and threw down my hard earned money. At that point, I realized that there was no point in buying cards anymore. All of my decks were formidable the way they were currently constructed. As I gazed on my boxes of singles stacked up in my closet, I decided that I would pursue a side gig selling on eBay. This worked to a certain extent. I felt like my cards had a purpose again and that purpose was to recoup some of the money I had poured into the hobby.
To my surprise, this actually worked, I easily made a good amount of money back, and quickly to boot. Starting a business only served to increase the sense of apathy towards the MTG. I didn’t see it as a game, but as product. I basically bombed out my entire collection with no regrets. I saved two decks, my green ramp and my storm, (both of which I’ve shared the decklist with you guys), and sold everything else. Why keep those decks? Well, if on the off-chance that someone wanted to play a game or two I wanted to have a couple of the decks that were actually fun to play. More on that later. I didn’t need the rest of my Modern decks because, to a certain extent, my gaming group dissolved. One of the members had a baby so that obviously takes priority over cards and his free time/free money dried up. Two of the other guys had a bit of a falling out so they stopped, and then one of the members, who takes the game very seriously, tried to insinuate that I was cheating during a game we played via Skype. To me, that was a complete turn-off from the game. Cheat? At MTG? During a friendly game no less? Or any game for that matter?! It’s just a game. At that point, the last guy I had to compete with was Shawn, and his free time was at a premium since he teaches and has 3 boys to take care of with his wife, so our nerd nights were few and far in between. The last one we had, we didn’t do any gaming. Instead, we watched Logan and Deadpool and ate calzones, which was just as fun as any other nerd night we had. My decks started to collect dust and I stopped thinking of the game entirely, besides a few texts here or there with Shawn. For me, the game was dead in the water and that was okay to me. It had been a good run and I had made a couple of good friends, as well as had some really fun times.
Fun, there’s that word again. Because that’s the key; I wasn’t having fun playing the game anymore. I hadn’t in a long time. I didn’t know how to put it into words until I was chatting with Shawn yesterday. He used a phrase that summed it up perfectly. “Keeping up with the Jones’s”. That’s been the problem for the last couple of years. Everything I was doing, everything I was buying was to remain competitive in the group. Since they all had Tier 1 Modern decks (Jund, Burn, Death’s Shadow, Elda-Tron,..Etc.), I couldn’t just show up with some wacky tribal deck because I would lose every game. Let’s be honest, no one wants to lose every game, everyone wants to remain competitive to some extent and win as much as possible, the game wouldn’t be fun if you lost all the time. But it’s also not fun when you are worried about building Tier 1 decks that you don’t even really enjoy playing just to rack up a “W” or two. I hated playing Tron, yes, it won quickly, but it just wasn’t fun. Same for Burn. Shawn and I always played really great, evenly matched games. We always had time to hatch our strategies and really enjoy the game without worrying about mistakes. This is because we didn’t play Tier 1 Modern decks. We were strictly kitchen table only..essentially anything goes, we didn’t care about banned/restricted cards. We just played the game. Thinking about it now, I miss those games. I would play with my buddy Phil (re: from the very first article I wrote for this site), and those games were fun too. Somewhere along the way, I had lost the fun. Opening packs. Not fun. Playing Modern games. Not fun. Going to Modern nights. Not fun. It just was something that I was doing just to do it.
I think Ghalta, Primal Hunger from Rivals of Ixalan did it. It got me at least thinking about the game again, and not in a negative way. I had mentioned it to Shawn about a month ago after one of the guys in the old group texted me a pic of it after it was spoiled, but then I forgot about it until Shawn texted me about it a couple of weeks ago. I instantly found myself wanting to add it to my green ramp. The same green ramp that had spent the last few months sitting on a book shelf in my game room. I felt reinvigorated in a way, not as in ”I want to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on booster boxes”, but in a “I wouldn’t mind playing a game or two” way. After chatting with Shawn and talking about just playing kitchen table, (he had mentioned that his boys enjoy Two Headed Giant), I spent some time with the few cards I have left and put together a 3 color Jund energy deck. Hardly the most competitive deck right? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it’s going to be fun to play and finally, after a couple of years, I’ve learned that’s what matters.
P.S Everyone is different and has a different philosophy of the game. I know that some of our loyal readers do enjoy Modern and as that’s the case, I will still be posting budget friendly Modern deck lists for you guys to check out.