In my first installment of this segment i explained my experiences in Miniature gaming, today I will tell the tale of how i entered the world of CCG's
Back in the day there was 1 ccg, Magic the Gathering. Today there are a few that can exist alongside Magic, but it is still without a doubt the largest and most popular game on the market. I started playing it when i was still in elementary school. "The Dark" and Revised (3rd Ed) had recently released and my brother got into the game. Wanting to do what the older cool kids did, i too got into the game. It was a lot of fun. I wasn't great at the game, but I did win my fair share. It was over the course of my original tenure as a magic player that I became a terrible person. It was a slow change. I would cheat a less knowledgeable player out of a power card in a lop-sided trade. My mid-deeds got worse, but I would prefer they not become public knowledge. Eventually i found other interests. Mostly anime.
During my Magic days I tried all sorts of other cards games. Star Wars was the best of them. I tried the Star Trek game, but couldn't comprehend how to play. My brother and I picked up Jihad and spent 8 years with the Harvard law professor trying to understand the rules before realizing they were written in Sumerian.
As I was falling out of Magic, I soon took up the Poke-Mon CCG. It was fun and for a change I wasn't one of the youngest players. Plus I was really damn good at it! I had a water deck that would crush 90% of my opponents. I played Poke-Mon for about 2 years, tried Yu-Gi-Oh for about a month, and eventually just piled all my cards into boxes and left them in the basement. In High School some friends got me into Wrestling and that sparked me getting into the Wrestling CCG. My friends and I all played and I had one deck that was damn near untouchable, It was with the Rock, who else, and since i was a pompous asshole i kept my winning record recorded on the bottom of the box i kept my cards in. Off the top of my head i think it was like 26-3. But that too faded from my mind and i lost interest.
In my Junior year of high school Jay would wrestle after school during the winter leaving me to ride the bus home. It sucked, but I did find a few of the younger guys would play magic on the ride home. Feeling froggy I asked to borrow a deck to play. It was like 300 cards. I asked if i could try to modify it, they guy said sure, since he had never won a game. after modifications i could trash anyone else, save the one player who actually knew what he was doing. So i went home and built my old White Meekstone deck. With that power-house in hand i was unstoppable. Serra's Angels are without a doubt the best creature ever in MTG. I played here and there on the bus to prevent boredom.
It wasn't until my first year of college that I really got back into the game. i started to hit the tournament circuit again. i player through 3 arcs and was having a decent amount of fun. The best events were sealed deck, low pressure and lots of fun. The end of my magic days came at a Kamigawa event. It was a high pressure match as we were playing to make the top 4. winner would be guaranteed prize support, loser would go home empty handed. At one point my opponent was becoming so aggressive to told him to relax its just a game. his face literally contorted with rage unlike anything i've seen before. He slammed his hand down on the table and shouted, "ITS NOT A FUCKING GAME!" that was my last magic tourney.
I stayed away from CCG's until Mike showed me L5R. This game was a ton of fun and I played it a hell of a lot over the last 3-4 years. I took 3rd in two local tournaments and at Gen Con i made top 4 in 3 side events. It was a truly fun game. Lately though its lost its luster. I'm engaged now and don't have the unlimited time for gaming i once did. My schedule is tight during the week so i have to pick the games i REALLY want to play. L5R is a fun game with a rich world, but Celestial Ed isn't what i had hoped it would be. The game is impossible to balance and as much as I hate it the best decks are the ones that are the least fun to play. jank is unreliable and therefore can't win consistently. So the idea is to build as vanilla a deck as possible.
As of right now The last CCG i bought was a joke gift of Pokemon cards for Rockett for Christmas. I doubt i will ever get back into them at this point. I still have access to plenty of Magic Cards if I ever get the feeling to play it again. But as of now, the cost and hype competitive environment are what will keep me from coming back.