Magic: The Gathering

December 5, 2017

Students Leave Reality Through a Deck of Cards

Casting spells and defeating their opponents, students strive to become the best player and advance in tournament play.

Magic: The Gathering is a fantasy, role-playing card game where the cards combine to help players gain magical energy. For instance, when players are attempting to cast a spell, they use the magical energy from the land cards known as “mana.” This strategy is used to win the game.

Using a 60 card deck, two players pick their decks and go head to head, trying to decrease the other’s life total from 20 to zero. “Each individual player can express their personality through their decks and through the colors they choose to play,” Carper said.

Teacher Christian Carper supervises the Magic: The Gathering card club. This club consist of six to ten students and teachers Jacob Becicka and Carper.

Carper became interest in the game when he sponsored an anime club at his previous school. The club soon converted to a Magic: The Gathering card club because of the high interest among the members. “Those students taught me to play, and I’ve been playing ever since, which has been a little over two years,” Carper said.

Although the club is not an official school club, it meets in Carper’s classroom every Monday after school. At the meetings, the members go head to head to advance in the tournament. The group also plans to participate in tournaments at the Comics and Games store in Dyersville.

“If anyone is interested, they are more than welcome to come in on a Monday and learn how to play,” Carper said.

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    Walking the Planes with Kaelen


    That’s how old Kaelen MacDonald (10) was when he began playing Magic: The Gathering, a trading card game.

    “My dad plays this game, and he taught me how to play,” MacDonald said. “I’ve been playing for about nine years now.”

    According to the website Magic the Gathering, the cards represent spells, creatures, and weapons. A minimum of two players, both with a variety of cards, are required to play the game. Players are Planeswalkers, spell casters within the multiverse. Beginning with 20 lives, one must magically beat his opponent down to zero lives to become the victor.

    It gives me the same feeling that professional football players get when they play football.”

    — Kaelen Macdonald

    In Cedar Rapids and Dyersville, card tournaments are held every Friday and Sunday. Tournaments are four rounds. Players start against a random person, and winning or losing determines who they play against next.

    “Most people play at FNM (Friday Night Magic),” MacDonald said. “There’s about 20 to 30 people who play there in Cedar Rapids and about ten in Dyersville.”

    MacDonald plays every Friday and Sunday. He especially likes the games interaction and diversity. “I have gone to them for about eight and a half years now,” MacDonald said. He enjoys the tournaments.

    On a scale of one to 100, MacDonald feels he is a 75. MacDonald said, “I understand the game a lot better than most people and can play well under pressure.”

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