Generational Magic Player Spotlight: Matt

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Sharing our Magic: the Gathering journey with each other is what makes this game more than just a game; it becomes a community. We create enjoyable moments with people who become friends and friends who become family. Here's a glimpse into someone's Magical life and how the game has influenced it.

Today we're meeting Matt. He's a Commander player that frequents Hero's Hearth. Join me as Matt shares a little about his Magic life!

Help Me Welcome Our Next Contestant...

What's your name and how long have you played Magic: the Gathering?
My name is Matt and I've played since 1999. I started around Mercadian Masques and Invasion blocks.


Who initially shared Magic with you?
I attended a local YMCA day camp and saw some of the other kids playing on the picnic tables, without sleeves mind you...

OUCH! We didn't think about condition much then, but now...
Oh yea, I cringe when I think about it. I saw these cards with cool artwork and asked about it. After getting a little more familiar with the game, I asked my mom if we could buy a few packs. She took me to my first card shop, which is no longer in business, called Comic Central. One of the employees, Daryl, was really helpful to my brother and I. His positivity in sharing the game, and finding out that my best friend Eric played as well, locked me in.

What was one of your first experiences playing the game?
I remember Eric had a mono-black deck that focused on Volrath the Fallen. Whenever he would get Volrath into play, we'd be quaking in our boots. At that time, we really didn't know what we were doing, but somehow he'd crush us with that card. Again, it being our early days of Magic, we'd just throw cards together and make a deck. Very kitchen table.

Were you ever able to beat him?
Yeah, sometimes he wasn't able to draw it and we'd gang up on him and take him down. I believe I would normally play my five-color Bringer deck in that group. It wouldn't win all the time, but it was a lot of fun.

I also recall one of my first shark moments, during Onslaught block. I had a foil Silvos, Rogue Elemental, which was worth a lot at the time. There was an older guy who offered me some garbage uncommon for it.

He tried hard to convince me that his card was better since it had a higher power and had trample. Fortunately, even at twelve years old, I knew this guy wasn't being straight with me. I impolitely declined his offer, but it stuck in my head. I hardly trade due to always thinking back to that.

What did you play tonight?
I played my Izzet Spellslingers Commander deck headlined by Veyran, Voice of Duality. I enjoy copying spells and spreading the love to everyone. A couple of my favorite cards in the deck are Wizards of Thay and Kaza, Roil Chaser. The deck also has a wizard tribal component, where putting these two really reduce the cost of my instants during an attack and give me an advantage.

Wizards playing spells. Imagine that!

So is Commander your favorite format?
Definitely, but I enjoy playing an occasional Modern game and getting schooled by Nick [co-owner of Hero's Hearth].

I see. What deck do you play when your stretching out into Modern?
I have a fun Naya big boy burn deck. I get out a couple creatures with five power or greater, toss in a little Temur Battle Rage, and smack for a bunch. Nick usually has a more tuned deck, but I get to beat down every now and then.

Since you've been in the game for a while, how has your play style developed over the years? Any recommendations?
Mainly don't be a jerk to your fellow players. We're pretty casual around here, so we all aren't very cutthroat. Meaning, playing a lot of tutor effects or quick combos. Not that those are bad in the right context, just be aware of the group dynamic.

Sharing your personality is easy and fun in Magic. I have a deck with Garth One-Eye and I put a lot of odd, rarely used creatures in, mainly to get reactions from other players stating, "Wow, I haven't seen that card before!" I'm more into the overall experience than just the win.

Do you play any digital Magic?
Very little. I just started trying Arena out about two months ago. I've tried a few Standard decks and I do enjoy the free-to-play option so I can test them out and see if I like the experience. I would love if they would have an option to test a deck without having to get all of the wildcards for it. Like try a Commander deck for a couple days and then it times out or something. Either way, I enjoy playing in person a lot more.

Have you been able to share Magic with anyone?
Every one of my girlfriends.

Very interesting! Tell us how that worked.
We would only play coffee table Magic, no in-store gaming. It was easy and fun to share the game with someone I cared about. Looking back, the nice thing is that three of the five took to it very well and really enjoyed it.

What did they like about the game?
One of them had fun with the pronunciation and wording within the game. For example, she would say, vil-igence instead of vigilance, just to be silly and goof around. The other two enjoyed how the cards interacted and how the rules worked. They definitely leaned toward the Melvin personality.

Matt showing a couple friends his winning moves with Veyran, Voice of Duality

What's one of your favorite Magic cards?
Definitely Door to Nothingness.

Very nice. Why so?
When it was first printed in Fifth Dawn, I thought it was the most hilarious card ever, so I had to play it! It was a lot of fun to do something that Magic didn't really have before. Sure, you had cards that said you would win the game, but none that I recall that specified a player loses the game.

My friends at that time didn't really play artifact removal, so I would ramp up and make my opponent lose the game. After a while, whenever it would hit the battlefield, my friends would just shrug and groan. Of course, I had Coalition Victory in the deck as well. Go big or go home!

Haha... absolutely! Are there any final words you'd like to share?
I appreciate the community of Magic, especially here at Hero's Hearth. Between the regular players and the staff, we're all pretty comfortable with one another and welcoming to new players. We help each other out in various ways and it feels great to be a part of that.

On that, how long ago did you start coming to Hero's Hearth and what drew you to it?
My first visit was last October since I had some extra free time and started playing again. I live about five minutes away, so it was pretty easy to stop by and get my game on.

The Wrap-Up

Being Matt's premier place to play, I'd also like to congratulate Hero's Hearth! As mentioned in their interview, they had been working on achieving WPN status and have succeeded! Good job guys!

I want to thank Matt for sharing his story and how Magic has been a part of it. I hope you enjoyed our talk and look forward to the next installment. Feel free to share your story with us in the comments or on Twitter.

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