I have been playing Magic: The Gathering (MTG) on and off for around 16 years. I initially started off being introduced to it by a guy at uni, but I never bought my own cards. He brought in his own set of cards, and we played a few games. I was interested, but at the time I could not afford the initial investment of playing the game. The game requires collecting cards, and a huge number of them (unless you know which ones to purchase individually) - hence why I believe that they added the words "The Gathering" to the end of the game's name. Luckily, the guy at uni lent me his copy of the Microprose computer game of MTG, and while this was much appreciated, and well used, it was eventually met with disapproval from my partner at the time claiming it was consuming too much of my time.
Go forward to around a few years ago, I actually starting buying the physical cards. I have played with KittyKat, Jarvo, Chewie, and a few other guys from work. Some of them have likened the game, while others have just blatantly put up a mental barrier against the game stating it is too geeky and requires "too much reading". I'm quite interested at the comment of "too much reading". I wonder if anything will ever be labeled as "too little reading"? What is "the correct level of reading"?
Anyway, to get back on track, here is my latest acquisition - based on the initial theory of Chewie, that you should play MTG as it is - out of the box. It is the Phyrexia vs. The Coalition duel decks. In case you are wondering what is contained in this set, the decklist for both the Phyrexian deck and the Coalition deck is easily found on Wizard's main website (the subsidiary of Hasbro that develops MTG). The two decks play very differently. The Phyrexian deck is all black in mana, and plays very straight forward, attempting to cause damage with a swarm of creatures immediately. The Coalition deck is all 5 colours, but with green as its predominant colour of mana. To win with a Phyrexian deck, you need to keep attacking and swarming your opponent, while doing some graveyard and mana manipulation. To win with the Coalition deck, you will need to hold off / endure your opponent's attacks, until you can get enough of the correct colour mana generators to cast one of the three dragons in the deck. Once the dragon comes out, the game will be completed within another 3 or 4 rounds.
I purchased this from the Dungeon of Magic (located in the Royal Arcade, Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne City). Their prices are competitive when compared to what is on offer from ebay.com.
Lastly, I have started being more involved with MTG in Melbourne, by even fronting up to events to play against people I have never met before. It was very surprising to find that the attitude of the shop owners and the players are very courteous to new players - like myself. While I do know how to play the basics of the game, I am new to playing competitively. Upon playing my first booster draft game, I was issued my own DCI number, which can be used to track my progress over time. I doubt I will climb fast in the ranks, but it is still a fun game to play.
Anyone up for a game?