Back to Your Roots

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There's not much that will take you back to your early days in Magic quite like teaching someone new to play.

It's an experience I had recently when a coworker called me up asking advice since he knew I played Magic. Turns out he just started playing and was looking for a way into the game. As someone who is more concerned with tournament results than the kitchen table these days, it was kind of a return to basics for me. There's something about looking at the inner workings of a thoroughly-casual Black/Green Nighthowler deck that was pretty fun.

Remember the days when running one of these in your deck was cool enough to build around it?

When I first started playing, my first deck was a Red-Black discard deck that wasn't so much focused on the discard as it was just playing individual cards I thought were cool like Wrench Mind and Transguild Courier. It was terrible, of course, but it's how I learned to play and it was a lot of fun.

This is how it all started for me.

What about you? What was your first adventure into Magic?

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Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler is a journalist living in Norman, Oklahoma (also known as the hotbed of Magic). He started playing in Shadowmoor and chased the Pro Tour dream for a few years, culminating in a Star City Games Legacy Open finals appearance in 2011 before deciding to turn to trading and speculation full-time. He writes weekly at and biweekly for LegitMTG. He also cohosts Brainstorm Brewery, the only financial podcast on the net. He can best be reached @Chosler88 on Twitter.

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17 thoughts on “Back to Your Roots

      1. My life is actually pretty awesome. I wrote my comment because this article or whatever it is, is a waste of time. I tried to get a dialogue going in the forums about these shorts, as well. The fact of the matter is, is that this article is inane. It’s like writing the following: I saw someone open a pack of Theros, and I was reminded of the time when I opened my first pack. Great, congratulations on having a memory. Corbin’s piece literally serves no purpose. It would be one thing if he said: I taught someone how to play Magic, and in doing so, I came to realize A, B and C, which can be applied to X, Y and Z in 1,2 or 3 ways. He didn’t do anything of relevance to make clicking on the link worthwhile. So go be smarmy somewhere else Alt.

        1. Thanks for your constructive feedback Jason. We’ll take it into consideration.

          For the meantime, I would suggest not reading the articles you find to be not worth your time. There is clearly a difference between the Insider and Free content, as they’re designed to be such.

          1. Insider here – I like most of the insider content but I also feel that some of the free content is … a waste of time? bad? insulting?

            I really really dislike all the additional ‘fluff’ articles and a high percentage of them are borrowed directly from reddit. It’s just one opinion and totally anecdotal but I agree with the commentator above and I don’t like the direction of the new free content at all.

            I think others may feel the same way but I leave that investigation and content planning to you all.

  1. The year, 1995.My age, 7. Ice Age was the new hotness. My Neighbor and his cousin had been playing Magic for a while now. I walked over to jump on the trampoline and saw them playing a game so I decided to watch. My neighbor DJ was playing a black deck with pestilence in it and the card actually terrified me, his cousin Cody was playing a white deck with a whole lot of creatures. I watched the game progress with wide eyes and wanted to play and learn about it more than all of my Jurassic Park toys and all of my Ninja Turtles. I asked if I could try and they both looked at me and told me to buzz off, I asked again and they proceeded to lift me up and throw me on the trampoline and started practice wrestling moves on me. My head got stuck in between two of the coils and my dad had to get my head out after being stuck there for about 20 minutes. I tattled on my neighbor and as a punishment they had to let me play magic with them. They gave me a red deck with Jokolaupse in it and a bunch of grey ogres. I lost every round and went home and watched Rocko’s Modern Life while eating Dunkeroos.

    1. I think this might be the best magic story. Just because of RML and Dunkeroos.

      The guy who taught me to play magic could have been a body double for screech from saved by the bell. That’s all I got. My magic stories are boring and everyone I teach magic just quits.

  2. I had 2 guys in my year in highschool who kept talking this giberish about some game called Magic. I asked them to explain and I got my very first introduction to what a Magic card looked like during a drawing class where they actually drew a card on one of the tables (at least we were drawing ;)).

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