A Brief History of My Path to the Cube

I had planned on jumping onto Magic: The Gathering Online tonight to escape a bit of the stress I’ve been under at work of late, but I found that once I had finished my work up I felt less like playing and more like writing a little bit.. So, here I am; headphones on, music cranked. This is me escaping.

I’ve been a casual Magic player for a long time now. I feel like sharing the story of how I started, so let’s go for a little ride. In college I befriended my future brother-in-law. Actually, it’s more like he befriended me. See, one of my few jobs was working the weekend graveyard shift at the dorm desk. Working 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights was a lonely way to pass weekends. Good for getting homework out of the way, but bad for the social life. It was one of these nights where I met him. I woke up (yes, asleep on the job) to hear a group of guys knocking on the door, so I pulled myself together as quickly as possible and buzzed them in. Much to my suprise they stopped next to me on their way in instead of merely passing me by. One guy dropped a couple burritos on the desk for me, telling me something to the effect that I looked like I needed them. I did, and he made a life long friend from a simple act of kindness on a poor college student. Turns out he was in my major, two years ahead of me, and I found an awesome group of friends to hang out with thanks to him. It was in one of our many late night GPA-dropping group gatherings where I first saw a Magic card. I was a sports card collector when I was young, so seeing a box of trading cards in his room piqued my interest. I poured over those cards for a long time, asking him a bunch of questions. The biggest questions I had were how do you play, and why haven’t I ever seen these before. Apparently he hadn’t played in a while, and as other things were going on I put them away and forgot about them for a while.

Jump forward a year or so and somehow the game came up in a casual conversation. He promised to show me how to play and roped another guy into gaming with us. We went by the local cards store where I picked up the 7th Edition Infestation deck. I think he and the other guy picked up the Way Wild and Armada decks. We spent hours out in the backyard shooting the breeze and slinging spells at each other. I’ve been a casual player ever since. Magic to me is a social engagement, not unlike board gaming. I like to win, but it’s more about the fun and the people for me. Good memories.

Playing again must have hooked him as shortly after teaching me to play I heard that he was buying a box of 7th online. Upon investigating this a whole new world opened up to me and I caught the collector inside of me drooling a little. It wasn’t long after that that I had a box of my own on its way through the post, and then another. I haven’t looked back. We played a lot over the years, drafting and building decks. I would constantly build decks and have him play me, and he seemed to always win no matter which deck he picked. I was simply happy to play. Eventually he moved across the country, leaving me his collection. Slowly the rest of the group moved away to various places.
I kept playing magic here and there. For a long time we simply played Pack Wars, or Mini-Master if you will. I think it was during or shortly after Ravnica block that I discovered the cube format. I fell in love with the idea immediately, and promptly built my first cube by going through all of my collection and pulling anything remotely interesting and putting it in. Over time I learned about the theory behind the cube and have slowly built my cube up. My brother-in-law got back into Magic in Shards block and started playing competitively, pulling me into the maws of standard constructed, Friday Night Magic, SCG Opens and the like. But, as much as I enjoy the competitive side of Magic, the cube has my heart. It represents the glory days of great company, fun times, and playing with the best cards in the game. It also appeals to the collector in me, and I’ve had a lot of fun pimping out my cube over the years.

My brother-in-law really has pulled me into, willingly, the world of Magic. So, it makes me proud to know that I finally pulled him into something wonderful within that world, as he’s recently started building his own cube. I’m looking forward to see what he puts together and how it will evolve over time.

Thanks for reading a bit of my history. I’m tired. The next day is already starting the slow steamroll that will leave me flat and exhausted in the evening, so I’m going to bow out and get some sleep.

Father, husband, programmer, gamer. Magic: The Gathering enthusiast who enjoys playing and discussing the game with anyone who is willing.

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Posted in Cube, General, MTG

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