Thursday, March 08, 2007

I Meant It, I Submitted an Article

Wow...back in the St. Louis Park days...that was a while ago. So here's my unpublished article on Magic: the Gathering™ I mentioned in the last post. The geekiness is palpable. At least Kyle has a postcard from my sister thanking him for a gift of MtG cards, so I'm not alone.


Have you ever really sat down and counted how many extra Magic: The Gathering™ common cards you own? Are there whole boxes of Prodigal Sorcerers and Mesa Pegasii in your closet? Are you approaching that point where your parents won't let you have any more storage space in the garage unless you can find some other place to store the car? Are they willing to buy your commons off of you because it would be cheaper than buying cordwood?

In two boxes of Ice Age™ cards, you are likely to end up with four full sets of common cards (484 cards), and 208 additional, assorted duplicates. If you attempt to obtain one copy of each rare card, approximately four boxes of boosters, your stock of additional commons skyrockets to 904 extra cards! Now try to collect four of each rare card, about 14 boxes of boosters—total extra commons: 7,864! Double that number if you are as avid about collecting Fourth Edition™ cards as you are about Ice Age™. With smaller expansion sets, the common overload can be even more acute (not to mention the issue of land accumulation from Third Edition™ boosters and decks). So what should you do with all these extra cards? Below are some sound ideas:

1.) Bookmarks - don't just put a card in the current book you are perusing; put a card in EVERY book you own! Not only will you always have access to a bookmark, but you will leave a curious discovery for future archaeologists (maybe even Argivian Archaeologists?) to ponder. Give cards to friends with books! Tell the local librarian you would like to leave a pile on the library counter for all those Magic-deprived visitors who file through the doors. Make sure to point out the cards with Chaucerian, Biblical and poetic references on them—they are a strong selling point.

2.) Tournament Business Cards - glue or shellac your name, address and phone number to the back of a common card and hand it out at tournaments, or to players you meet elsewhere. Personalize! Take all those old high school pictures and replace features on the reverse side of the business card: Benalish Betty, Pestilence Petes, or Giant Albatross Alberts - be original. Convince the gaming stores that sold you the cards to take back the commons and make their own business cards.

3.) Beat the world record for free-standing playing-card structures. According to The Guiness Book of Records 1995 you need to manage at least 81 stories and a height of 15 ft 8 in—that's without adhesives. A few months ago on CNN, I saw someone break this record—he was using a step-ladder; so your common collection should just cover the necessary matĂ©riel. Think of how much more colorful your edifice will be than one made merely of white, red, and black playing cards.

4.) Teach local children to use the cards like your parents did, placing them in the spokes of their bicycle wheels. Not only do you have the satisfaction of irritating every adult on the block with day-in, day-out chattering, but if you charge a penny a card, after 2,500-3,000 cards you can afford that spare Jester's Cap you've been eyeing.

5.) Make decks of standard playing cards for non-Magic players as Christmas gifts. Land works best, but any four colors will work to make the four suits. Two cards from the odd color out serve as Jokers. Tailor the deck so it looks like there is a method to its madness:

Blue: Tim the King, Creature Bond Queen, Zuran Enchanter Jack, Unsummon Ace
White: Samite Healer King, Abbey Matron Queen, Mesa Pegasii Jack, Mesa Falcon Ace

And so get the picture. For that professional effect, visit your local art store and for just a few dollars, buy some press-on numbers and letters, or run your cards through a laser printer. (Be careful, I take no responsibility for jammed printers!)

6.) Buy a sibling a single booster pack and, in conjunction, give them a complete set of commons—I once gave my sister over 300 common cards after a bout of collecting Fallen Empires™ and Third Edition™. Declare that because 15 cards cost $2.95 (use the newer, more expensive prices, not the price you really paid for them), your present is worth well in excess of $60.00! Make sure they know that you expect a gift of equal value in return.

7.) SDI hockey pucks - with reinvestment in America's Strategic Defense Initiative a Republican certainty, the funding for the accelerated-hockey-puck dispenser may be coming back. Shellac your cards together into small blocks and offer them to the government at a price significantly below what they're paying for contract-produced projectiles (you may need to coat the cards with a heat-resistant, semi-ablative surface for upper atmosphere shots, but who said making a profit was easy?). At $500 a puck or so, you'll make $4-$5 per common, and can sleep peacefully at night knowing that your cards are arming a slingshot for world peace—part of the anti-nuclear umbrella.

8.) Hold an unofficial Magic tournament with a 1,000 card grand prize! Forget to mention the prize is common cards...just make sure you're not in the building when the awards are passed out (and make sure it's not at your house, if you ever want to sleep peacefully again). On a less conniving note, invite your friends to join in commons-only day. Play for ante: the winner gets the loser's whole deck!

9.) Wallpaper! It's possible - it's weird - it makes other people nervous! Use the most disgusting commons you can find, particularly some of the thrulls from Fallen Empires ™. My favorite is the Necrite licking his rusty knife. Do your walls; do your ceiling; think about doing your floor. Touch up some cards with glow-in-the-dark paint until your room looks like something out of a King or Koontz novel. Charge your little sister and her friends for guided, late-night tours during slumber parties.

10.) Make a variety of common decks and hook your friends on Magic. Using common decks, you can play for ante pain-free. Ante is also more exciting, allowing you to hook more players (thus, more opponents, more people with whom to trade, and more tournaments). When your friends are done playing with you, encourage them to take your deck: take both! You can always score a few commons back later if you need them. In the meantime, they become your friend's storage headache...

1 comment:

PrincessMax said...


Is there really anything else to say?


And they didn't accept it?