A magical life by Alex Stratton

Hello 518 and beyond!

My name is Alex Stratton and I am a magic player. Well, sort of, I like to tell myself that I am a magic player. I do this so that I don’t believe that I am actually spending thousands upon thousands of dollars every year just foster an addiction that I actually don’t approve of. So, let me reintroduce myself as someone who enjoys playing Magic: The Gathering, but also aspires to get better so they can actually call themselves a legitimate magic player such as Jon Finkel, Brian Kibler, or many of the other greats.

So how did I come to this predicament, and how has Magic affected my life? Well I began playing initially because my Grandmother bought magic cards instead of YuGiOh cards for my seventh birthday. (Best grandmother ever right?) This was about the time of the release of Mirrodin, edging into the beginning of the Kamigawa block. (Interesting fact: My first pre-con was the one with Umezawa’s Jitte in it. ) So as I began playing in the world of Magic filled with it’s countless artifacts and legendary creatures, I began to ponder what else lay ahead for me in the multiverse.

My first tournament was a Time Spiral draft at my local gaming store, Zombie Planet, which I had then just found out existed, and I did poorly. I never imagined how much powerful wizards were when you traveled outside the realm of kitchen table magic. I was completely slaughtered and believe I finished the night at 1-4 thanks to a bye. I continued this routine until about tenth edition when I decided to call it quits and move on with my life, so I thought. However, like everyone else who quits magic, I soon returned bursting with vigor. My first event back was an M10 [Magic 2010] draft at Zombie Planet, and boy was I in for a surprise when I opened my first pack. As I looked down at the green huntmaster himself. “What is this strange looking card and why is the rarity symbol orange?” I thought to myself as I placed it in my newly started draft pile.

Garruk Wildspeaker - M10

Garruk Wildspeaker – Magic 2010

Later in the event I asked how this card worked and the tournament organizer burst into laughter! As I turned around and saw a look of jealousy on all other players faces in the room. From here I knew that Magic had changed, I also knew Planeswalkers and mythic rares seemed pretty damn cool!

I continued to play at Zombie Planet and eventually started exploring other stores in my area such as Flights of Fantasy, Aquilonia, and most recently, Kirwan’s Game Store, and Flipside Gaming. I never really realized how much Magic in the Albany area had to offer and what I had to offer it.

I believe I can say that I have played just about every format Magic the Gathering has to offer but one by far stands out for me, Legacy. Legacy is the reason why I came back to Magic. It has powerful cards, mythic rares, and the sight of jealousy on peoples faces as you show off your collection through one impressive deck. Sure, I have had success in Magic in other events such as winning sealed pre-releases, topping a standard $5K, and winning a large modern event, but legacy is what I enjoy doing and what I excel at. Most recently I have topped a large legacy event at a store a little over three hours away from my house. This shows my desire to play and willingness to travel for the format. Tournament report coming soon!



Undiscovered Paradise – Visions

Now that you know my favorite format, how I started playing magic, and who I am. Let me tell you what I believe magic has given me that most other things have not. Through magic I have made some of the greatest friendships I can possibly imagine. As I am writing this article, I have Facebook open and I am staying alert for notifications from my friends and their thoughts of things happening in the magic community. The ability to do something that you love and be able to do it with people who are amazing and love it also is truly indescribable.
So there you have it, a teenager with a dream of becoming better at something and the will to do it. Magic has been more than a hobby or a dream, but rather a lifestyle with its costs and benefits, such as high card prices or great friendships. I believe it is safe to say that if I had not gotten into magic I would not have nearly as many friends as I do today. So lets leave it at that, and until next time remember what magic has to offer you, and always remember the people and stores that help start your journey into the amazing world of Magic the Gathering.

Post your magic stories in the comments, I would love to hear them!

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Alex Stratton

Alex Stratton

Grinding Towards the PT and meeting some Great friends along the way. MTGO: StrattonAlex Acomplishments Level 2 Judge Multiple Legacy Event Top Finishes TCG Diamond 5K Top 8 Premier IQ 5K Top 4
Alex Stratton

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