War of the Spark is fast approaching, and the Magic community’s enthusiasm about the new set has been off the charts. We’ve been following along each day as the story unfolds, all while brainstorming what kinds of decks we’ll build with the newest cards.
Magic inspires us in so many ways, and it’s always a pleasure for us to see how different members of the community connect with the game. In that spirit, we asked members of our affiliate program, “What sparks you?” In the process, we learned about their Magic origin stories and motivations for creating Magic content.
(Responses have been condensed and edited.)
How did you discover Magic: The Gathering?
Graham Stark, LoadingReadyRun: Like most people, I kind of “played” Magic back in grade school, but I didn’t really pick it up until after messing around with the 30-card welcome decks in our PAX swag bag, just before Scars of Mirrodin came out.
Ashlen Rose: I discovered Magic in 2009 when Duels of the Planeswalkers released on Xbox. I enjoyed it so much I went out and bought my first fat pack (Future Sight) and opened a Tarmogoyf… at the time. I had no idea if it was any good!
Nizzahon Magic: Well, I was 10 years old and it was the midst of the Pokémon craze. It had just been my birthday, and I had been given some money, and my plan was to go to my local Hastings (a now-defunct southwestern U.S. retail chain) and buy Pokémon cards. However, when I got there, they were sold out. But I saw that they had other cards too — Magic cards. Urza’s Saga was the newest set at the time. I looked at the packs and thought the art on the front of one of them was really cool — Phyrexian Colossus, I now know. And I decided to buy Magic cards with my birthday money instead. My very first pack had Karn, Silver Golem in it – and, for that reason, he is my favorite card ever!
Sam, Rhystic Studies: My older cousin, Kyle, is fully responsible for showing me Magic. We grew up playing Everquest together across the country (he in Virginia, me in Texas), and I later rediscovered the card game that we now both love. He’s my beacon for all things in the geek world, so I’ve been happy to follow in his footsteps in discovering this game.
Maria Bartholdi, Good Luck High Five: Meghan and I had a running game night with a friend. One night, he decided to teach us MTG. The rest is history! We were hooked from the first land drop we ever made – and were battling every spare second we had, including at parties while ignoring everyone else there.
Sam Tang, Kitchen Table Magic: I found Magic when I was in band class and it was a study hall day. I walked up to a huge group of my classmates playing Magic and said, “Hey! I have a bunch of those gifted to me in a brown paper bag in my closet. I got them years ago and I never knew what they were or how to play.” They were so excited and told me they would teach me. The next day, I brought that brown paper bag and my friend tore through them building decks. Ever since then, I’ve been slinging spells.
Andre, UMotivo: Magic: The Gathering was presented to me by some of my best friends in 2012. We were spending our vacation together, and they taught me how to play. I got so passionate about the game that I decided to create a YouTube channel about it.
Michelle Rapp, The Loregoyfs: In 2014, I was part of an LGBTQIA+ group at a start-up that loved Magic: The Gathering. I was immediately captivated by the different philosophies of the color pie, the rich lore of the game, and the genuine enthusiasm my friends had in playing it. We cracked a bunch of packs in the office, they helped me build a deck, and it’s been true love ever since!
MTGNerdGirl: My D&D group introduced me to Magic. After they took me to FNM, I was hooked!
The Professor, Tolarian Community College: Like many, I discovered Magic: The Gathering in high school. I was very scared of other people, had no friends, was pretty miserable and very outcast. Then, one day, I was invited to join our school’s gathering of MTG players. They’d meet every lunch at this little circle of stone benches by the only patch of grass in our entire asphalt-covered school. The circle became my sanctuary, and that group of people become…well, not lifelong friends, but at the time, whatever we were to each other, it was awesome and it saved me.
What motivates you to make MTG content?
The Professor, Tolarian Community College: In many ways, I create content to try and capture the essence of what I described above: bottle it, mass produce it, and send it out to people in the world so that they can all take a moment to enjoy the community and connection that Magic brings. I also do just want to save people money on card supplies, help them find the best deals and understand which products best meet their needs. Magic is funny like that: there’s the practical and the transcendent. The thoughtfulness and the passion. I’d like to think my content is where those two opposing concepts intersect.
Nizzahon Magic: I absolutely love the game. It’s a cliched answer, to be sure, but really my love of the game is what motivates me. Content creation is just another way to interact with this great game, and a way that can maybe help people love the game as much as I do! I like helping people get better at this game, and telling them about the game’s 25+ years history.
The Loregoyfs: We love Magic Story, and the lore is incredibly deep, layered and profound. And because we love Magic Story, we believe in making fun of it in lighthearted, playful ways. Twenty-five years of lore can be really intimidating for so many Magic players, and we want to show our listeners that being a Vorthos doesn’t necessarily mean reciting facts about the first Phyrexian invasion. It can be making fun of Bolas’s head egg, how high Liliana’s stilettos are, or creating a Celine Dion soundtrack to the invasion of Naktamun. Magic is a multifaceted game, and we hope our content inspires others to love it as much as we do.
Graham Stark, LoadingReadyRun: Magic is just the best game, and it keeps being the best game, even though it also keeps changing. So it always inspires us to make new things. Plus, the community is amazing and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.
Ashlen Rose: The community. I’ve never felt so comfortable and like I can be myself as much as I do when I make my costumes and get to share them.
MTGNerdGirl: My friends and family were so supportive of me playing Magic on a competitive level. When I started doing well at Grand Prix, they all thought it would be something I would like and they encouraged me to try it. I am so thankful that they did, because I love doing it!
Sam, Rhystic Studies: I’m inspired by everything. I’m endlessly curious. I love learning and being educated about the world around me, and I know that that is a sentiment that many Magic players share. The creative outlet that I have in my channel helps turn that inspiration into something I can pass on to anyone who watches my videos, which then inspires me further to keep making them!
Andre, UMotivo: What fascinates me most about Magic is the community. For me, Magic is not just about cards, it’s about friendship. Producing content about it is the best way I’ve found to get closer to this community. Today, we have over a hundred YouTube channels about MTG, and I couldn’t be more proud of the creators we have here in Brazil. ❤
Maria Bartholdi, Good Luck High Five: We love bringing joy into the world as performers on stage doing improv comedy. Making Magic content is another way we try to make the world a bit happier and brighter. If we can make your week even the tiniest bit more awesome, we’ve done our job.
Sam Tang, Kitchen Table Magic: Magic is such a vast game. There are so many cards, decks, and ways to play. Not everyone knows everything about Magic. So, why not interview other people about what they love about Magic? I’ve learned so much about the community and the game from my interviews on the Kitchen Table Magic podcast. They’ve taught me much about Magic, and about life.