Monday, February 17, 2014

Magic the Gathering - Alpha (Wizards of the Coast)



Magic the Gathering - Alpha
Wizards of the Coast
1993

Magic: The Gathering, or Mana Clash as it could have become to be known, is a card game created by Richard Garfield and released by Wizards of the Coast.  The idea for the card game came to Garfield as he was sitting in his bed complaining about Mondays...No, wait...Different Garfield.

This particular Garfield just a college kid when he first approached Wizards of the Coast with the concept of the board game RoboRally.  Peter Adkison, CEO of Wizards liked the idea of the game, but felt the company didn't have the resources to produce such a concept.  He instead mentioned that the company would be more interested in developing a "portable" game that could be played at conventions during down time.  Garfield later returned to the company presenting them with the concept for Magic, a portable card game, later changed to Magic: The Gathering when the company was seeking a patent upon release.

The game became an overnight success during it's first print run of 2.3 million cards.  It was so popular that the company even feared advertising it as they already couldn't keep up supply with demand.  Though it was widely received in the gaming community, many fans quickly started to complain about some of the more powerful cards which made sessions to one sided.  Thus began what would become a staple in the Magic community, the banning of cards.

The first series of cards came to be known as Alpha, or Limited Edition.  This set contained 302 cards, and set the premise for the game with its core functionality that it is still know for today - I.E. Tap mana to cast spells, creatures, artifacts and more.  As later sets became available, Wizards often times tried to add various gimmicks to improve the game, but in a lot of ways actually did more harm then good.  Gamers loved the core premise, and beyond that, much more wasn't necessarily needed.

The cards are broken up into various color sets - Green, white, red, blue and black.  In addition to that it features land cards, which are used to obtain mana, and artifacts.  From there, the cards are once again broken down by three levels of rarity - Rare, uncommon and common.  All of these various colors and rarities can have a combination of spells and creatures.  Below is every card from the now very hard to obtain, very expensive Magic: The Gathering - Alpha series.






























































It's safe to say that Magic: The Gathering is more popular today than it was when it was initially released.  Fans of all ages enjoy collecting the cards, building decks, and spending hours upon hours just playing and trading cards.  It's a game that has brought thousands, if not millions together, and most importantly, it's just good old fashioned honest fun.  Sure there are players out there who take the game a little too seriously, but for the most part, players are very grounded, well adjusted friendly, and enjoy the common bond they have with each other.

Join us next time when we take a look at New Gods!

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