I wholeheartedly believe that if M:tG was not as flavorful as it is - if it did not have as rich of a storyline as it does - I wouldn't be nearly as engrossed in it as I am today, and the decks that I build tend to follow suit. For those of you that know your M:tG lingo, you know that that means I am a Vorthos player. For those of you that do not know your M:tG lingo, this simply means what I just stated: I care about the flavor almost as much, if not more so, than the power of the cards.
|Card art of M:tG's Highborn Ghoul|
As was revealed a while ago, and discussed this past weekend at Comic-Con (you can find the recording of the M:tG panel here, but do yourself a favor and read the rest of this first), the next block that will be released in October will take place on the plane of Ravnica. New players will find this really cool; to go from a place as dark and brooding as the plane of Innistrad to the bustling metropolis that is Ravnica.
Hold on a second...
>.> <.< >.>
|Ravnica art from M:tG's Comic-Con Panel|
Simple. This set is called Return to Ravnica. As the name implies, this is the second time M:tG is journeying to this plane. The reason I know so much (phrase used loosely because I am in no way claiming to be an expert, which you will see shortly) about Ravnica already is because I've already heard so much about it from other players. This is not the first time it has happened either. The Scars of Mirrodin block is the second visitation to the plane of Mirrodin. It's here that I always have to pause and smile, and why I think now is the perfect time for anyone who has been interested in getting in the game but haven't because of the vast history that it has behind it to jump in (I know, a long way to go to finally get to the point. I love talking about this. Sue me :P ).
These 2.0 sets (as they have been dubbed) give new players, like myself, a chance to go back and revisit these planes from M:tG's past for the very first time. I started playing at the end of Rise of the Eldrazi, just as Scars of Mirrodin was being released. I was dumbfounded when I started to hear people mention something about "affinity" from Mirrodin. It was then that I discovered Mirrodin's vast history as well as the all the horror stories from the block revolving around the affinity abililty. Here is where the true beauty lies: I've heard about the pains of Mirrodin, as well as all of the love people had (and still have) for Ravnica, and it sounds all well and good (Yes. I am implying that I would at least like to have tried playing in an affinity format). However now I get to experience it for myself.
Now is the time for new players, players who just want to test the waters (or is it the blue mana?) of the game, to give it a try. The stories alone will wrap them up and draw them in. They can now see for themselves how these stacks of paper and ink do more than just allow dorks to play a game. They can see that these cards are actually just pages from a fantasy novel that they actually get to be a part of; one that will blow away any other story they have heard before.
|Card art for M:tG's Increasing Confusion|
So let me finish this by summing up this WHOLE post: THANK YOU, Mark Rosewater and all of the M:tG staff for doing these 2.0 sets you have been doing. They allow new players, like myself, go back and revisit these planes for the first time, and that is something that is what makes me love this game more and more.
When I started playing M:tG, I came for a card game. What I got what so much more...
P.S. I am REALLY interested to hear from the readers whether you think I'm right in this? Or if I am just ranting and raving like a lunatic.