It was around this time we started wondering what the actual best card in magic was. We couldn't deny that Force of Nature was better than the Island Fish, but there could after all be cards even better than that. Christian had heard that the best card was called Black Lotus and the second best card was called Mox, but wasn't sure what they did. We asked Daniel, and he said that Black Lotus was a zero-mana card that tapped for three mana in any combination of colors, and that Mox tapped for two mana of any colors. We all thought that that sounded very strange; those cards could do nothing against a Force of Nature, and they didn't even sound that much better than an ordinary Sol Ring, which we all had a few of.
I don't think any new player, at any time of the game, has thought that the Moxen were broken at first sight. Once we realized what they actually did, their main pull was the legendary status and their insane price. The first time I remember seeing a Mox was when Olle Råde bought a green one from TV-spelsbörsen, one of Gothenburg's' now closed game stores. If I recall correctly, he paid 600 sek for it, almost $80. We knew that Olle was a player at a different level than us, but how anyone could pay that much for a single card felt crazy. The card didn't really do anything after all, it was just a Forest with a price tag of at least six Shivan Dragons.
Power level was very different when you didn't know how to play or build decks well. Me and my sister played 2-3 Sol Rings in our decks, and I'm sure that moxen would have been no problem had any of us owned them, but cards like Rag Man was outright banned when we played as it was considered too powerful. The first really expensive card I bought was a Ring of Ma'ruf; not a powerhouse by today's standards. I was offered three duals for it by a guy who tried to rip me off, and when I refused to trade it, he simply stole the card from me and ran away. I took a long hiatus from the game after that.
So, mox. It's not really a word. Richard Garfield derived it from "moxie", meaning "force of character, determination, or nerve" according to a local thesaurus, or "energy, courage, or determination" according to WotC's webpage. And it really takes some determination to get them all. In 93/94, you didn't have the social media in place to find them, and even if you hung out at usenet, you probably didn't know you wanted them. Today, the price is the biggest barrier. How many hours would you have to put down to afford one? What will you give up for that time and money spent? It took me six years to complete the set, and my last one had a price of almost five times that of my first. The waiting game has never been a good game if you want to get Power.
|The cost of trading up this one from wb to bb was almost three times of what I paid for my first mox btw.|
I apologize that this post is a little different from what I usually do, and that it is unusually personal. I haven't been online for a while, and I needed to write something to get it off my chest. Passion is a strange creature. We take stuff for granted, not because they are not important, but because they are so important that they define who we are. We know we have ourselves, and that we will live with ourselves until we die. We may have people, places or ideas that define us, and become a part of us. When our home burn or our closest friends leave, something breaks. We didn't focus on it, because it defined us, rather than being something we simply had. We spent too much time on hope and didn't live for the present. As Albert Camus wrote "The typical act of eluding, the fatal evasion, is hope. Hope of another life one must "deserve" or trickery of those who live not for life itself but for some great idea that will transcend it, refine it, give it a meaning, and betray it."
I wish you all a great new year. Give some thought to your priorities, and try to not sublime your present in hope of some less tangible future. Life is a strange beast, but we are privileged.