Magic, The Gathering: A Student’s Perspective on This Popular Card Game

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Since the new winter elective Magic: The Gathering began, a lot of students have started to learn about this fantastic card game. As a result, this game has attracted the attention of a large number of Rectory students from all grade levels.

Students have requested that the school offer more merchandise and event opportunities related to this game. For example, some students requested that Ms. O’Neil add “a trip to Wonderland Comics Bookstore in Putnam, CT,”  to the weekend activities list. She scheduled this for a weekend at the beginning of the winter term. Wonderland Comics Bookstore is a perfect place for buying new Magic cards. Also, the Rectory school store started selling Magic cards before the winter break!

This trend is not only spreading in the Magic elective at Rectory, but it’s also spreading all over the school! You often hear students talking in the hallway about the new Magic cards that they’ve bought. (If you want to learn how to play this game, please read Owen’s article titled “The History and Rules of the Card Game Magic.”)    


This term (winter, 2018/19) Rectory has a new elective about this popular card game taught by computer science teacher, Mr. Klett. Mr. Klett, a first-year teacher at Rectory, is also a big fan of Magic. He told us that his Magic story began with a normal field trip in 5th grade on a school bus. He loved the game instantly, and he started to learn how to play advanced Magic after a few years. Then, he began to play in tournaments all over the country, trying to become the most competitive player. He won a lot of times, but he also lost a few times. He learned lessons from those losses and became a better player. During his Magic journey, Mr. Klett also learned a lot of lessons that helped him in his life because Magic is not just a game of strategy; it is also very much a mental game. For example, he learned that success requires not just knowing the rules, but also having discipline, patience, focus, and the willingness to learn from your mistakes.

Mr. Klett said there were three factors that attracted him to the game of Magic. First was fantasy; there are dragons, wizards, and different kinds of magic in the game. Second is the competitive nature of the game; when you play the game, you want to win every time. Third, the game is the perfect blend of creativity, competitiveness, and collaboration (when you play a partner’s game).

Mr. Klett also thinks that there are a lot of benefits for students to play this game. He said: “I’ve never seen any game that teaches critical thinking better than Magic. It also gives students a common language. Students who never talk to each other can play together and become friends. They can practice speaking English or other languages with each other.”

Nevertheless, this game also has some aspects that are not good for students. The biggest one is that it is very expensive. A regular booster pack of cards (15 cards) costs $4.00 – $5.00, and you may only get one or two “good” cards from each pack. Students usually spend about $100 just to get one special card that they want. Mr. Klett added that Magic is just like any other sport, “Competition requires investment. However, playing for fun requires nothing but the love of the game. Players who study the strategy of the game will easily outmatch players who buy a lot of cards, but don’t understand them. Also, you can’t stop people from spending money. They will stop buying when they see themselves getting beaten very easily by players who don’t have good cards, but who use good strategies. They will realize that studying makes a better player, not having good cards.” He thinks that students should spend about $15 to start, and no more than $50 dollars before they learn advanced play.

Have you ever played Magic before? If not, you should try your hand at this card game. It’s fun, and you can learn a lot from playing it. Whether you play Magic now or become a new Magic player soon, take a tip from Mr. Klett; remember to learn more strategy, instead of spending lots of money buying a ton of cards.