Luke's return to Magic? 4th Edition to 2021...what a jump?
One of my X-Wing friends have recently jumped into Magic pretty hard and we've been chatting a bit and I've still got a lot of old cards kicking around. The game is a ton of fun and I was wondering what it would be like to jump back in after all these years. So I grabbed a couple of Commander decks and a few booster bundle boxes (School of Mages, Modern Horizions II, Core 2021) and put some stuff together.
Back when I was playing it was rarely in the competitive scene, in fact the few times my school yard chums and I went out for Friday Night Magic we got decimated. So we just stayed home and played our big power decks with house rules for fun. But once we started noticing the girls magic wasn't cool anymore and we moved onto other things.
So what is it like making a jump back into the game almost 2 decades later?
Right away I'm seeing the cards are a lot more complicated and there are some redesigns of classic cards. There are a ton of rules on these cards... in fact one of the cards I texted to my friend asking "So many words, so little understanding".
Cards that were powerful back then seem to be really under powered for the manacost in todays landscape. Serra Angel (one of the original classics in the game, and one of my favorites) for example being a 4/4 Flyer with Vigilance for 5 mana vs other 5 or 4 mana creatures feels over costed now. While ones like Mana Flare aren't even reprinted.
There is a lot more non-basic lands, and I think I've pulled well over a dozen dual land style cards in the new sets. They are redesigned (coming into play tapped now for example) but essentially the same thing. And those duals were HUGE chase cards back in the day.
Commander format and Planeswalkers are new cards for me. Commander seems really cool as a multi-player mode and the deck building rules are really interesting. I played a game with my Son teaching him the basics of the game and it was really cool. I can see how certain cards tend to lean more towards the format than standard play. I could see me focusing on Commander if I were to join the community. But with me being more involved in X-wing and Infinity I don't see that happening, just playing with those of us that play already in those groups.
Planeswalkers are interesting as they seem to have some real interesting abilities that can turn the tide of the game... However some are just garbage. Will be interesting to see how these work in game when I finally try them out.
The next set, which is based on Dungeons and Dragons, introduces a new Dungeon mechanic which seems really cool! I'll probably buy into that as it's a really intriguing game design.
Overall, the game seems more complicated, but for a game that has pretty basic standard rules and all the other rules printed on the cards it's easy enough to understand. It just comes down to finding the new combos and synergies. At the end of the day it's kill or be killed by numerous different ways, it's just a matter if you are going to outlast them, kill them, mill them, or just do something cool.