The One Ring of Ma'ruf

This was the first really rare card I owned.

Strangely, I can't fully remember how I got it. I want to say that I saved money, sold toys, and then bought it at Card Collector; an old game store in Gothenburg. Of the game stores I visited with some regularity back then, Card Collector is the only one that still exists. It's moved a dozen or so meters from its original location, but is still in the same building, with the same guy behind the desk. It was valued at 350 sek - about $40 - back then.

Even though its origin is shrouded in some mist, I very much remember what it was like to have it. Calling it "the crown of my collection" would have been an understatement. None of the people I frequently played with, at school or elsewhere, had any cards from Arabian Nights, much less a rare oddity like the ring. I think I could describe owning it as a pride of sorts for 12-year old Mg. Whenever I packed my deck, I would put Ring of Ma'ruf face-up at the top so it would…

Schram's Magic Fest 2019

"MtgUnderground"? Heh. What does that even mean? Is n00bcon - possibly Sweden's largest constructed tournament regardless of format - still something that can even remotely be referred to as "underground"? Is Eternal Weekend, or Fishliver Oil Cup, with their triple digit number of players and vast number of reports, reviews, deck list dissections and threads something that we still consider hidden or rebellious?

You are not your DCI number. You are not your highest Grand Prix finish. You are not your standard deck. You are not the contents of your trade binder.”
Ali from Cairo

We are, after all, not really a niche format anymore in the grand community. These days we represent a notable slice of the cake that is Magic. We are not obscure, but we are certainly not our DCI numbers either. We are casual. We are unsanctioned. We make our own gatherings the way we want to play them - some large and some small - and play in good company.

That Ali quote - translit…

Unlimited Adventures, by William Casale

In a world of perfect serendipity and elegance, this should probably have been posted two days ago. Or maybe the Akron Legionnaire we knew 25 years ago should just have been 8/6 all along. Regardless, it is the budding days of August, and it is my pleasure to give the soap box to an Akron Warrior in the flesh; William Casale. Enjoy! /Mg out
Hello Old School friends. Here in the burbs of Akron, Ohio we seem to have escaped the cycle of torrential downpour and heatwave that has defined the summer and settled into some nice weather. There have been many great evenings for slinging some spells on a patio with a cold one in your hand or taking a long ride to that out-of-the-way LGS you've been meaning to visit. As for me, I am spending some time outside on a breezy, sunny Tuesday  reflecting on roughly six months back in Magic after a 20-year absence. I am also sorting through the exciting ideas swirling in my head to chart a course forward. The Mana Flare my brother Jim gave m…

Menagerie and the Orange Orb

menagerie (noun)
a  : a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
b  : a collection of wild or foreign animals kept especially for exhibition     : a varied mixture
Let's talk about the second Chaos Orb playtest card from this post.

This is my current understanding of the history. Some of details could turn out to be a little off, and new information may be unearthed in the future to clear things up a bit more. There are some numbers here that I simply don't know for sure, and it can be hard to evaluate information even from reliable sources. Like how many playtesting iterations there were. The lead developer of the set suggested a while back that there were three or four iterations, but there seem to be (as far as I've found) up to seven different card designs from playtest decks for this set. Even trivia-guru Mark Rosewater (who worked on the set) has shared trivia on his podcast that I suspect is a little faulty. This history is obscur…

The Gamma Orb

A couple of people asked me to go into some details on the three cards I flashed in the previous post, so let's do it. These cards have a special place in my collection and carry some history.

As Magic players, we all sit somewhere between "100% player" and "100% collector" on the proverbial Player/Collector spectrum. Sure, there are players who don't own any cards (or don't care about the few cards they do happen to own), prefers to proxy up the decks they play, and couldn't care less about the flavor, editions or conditions of cards they use. And sure, there are people with vast collections and sealed rarities they never intend to sell that don't know how to play the game. But for most of us, we land somewhere in between the end-points of the scale.

I used to see myself as far more of a player than a collector. If we look at the spectrum as a 1-10 scale, with 1 being "100% player", I would probably have stated that I was a "3&qu…