Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. Welcome to Ask Ken, the column that does its very best to bring you the very best. I’m your host, Ken Krouner. It is always nice to take a look back once in a while. So today, I am going to bring you a question that deals with all of our roots.
Today’s question comes to us from Jeffrey Bosboom. Dr. Sunglasses writes:
What was Magic theory like when the game first came out? What was the metagame at that time? Who were the big players (the Kais) of the day?
–Jeffrey”Dr. Sunglasses” Bosboom
Well Jeff, you have come to the right place. I am one of the true old-timers in the game. Granted I wasn’t playing during Alpha, but I came on long before the Pro Tour. Magic theory wasn’t at all like it was today. Everyone had an idea of what cards were good, but nothing very refined. Clearly the early restrictions of Moxes and Ancestral Recall point to an understanding of the concepts of tempo and card advantage. With out a doubt though, the theory that was employed the most was the Philosophy of Fire. This is the theory employed by most people when they first pick up the game. The basic rules of the game point a new player in that direction – the first person to go to zero loses. That is why you see newer players Lightning Bolting opponents on turn 1 and chump blocking on turn 4.
The metagame when I started playing was a Red/Green weenie deck revolving around Berserk, Giant Growth, Fork, and eventually Blood Lust, Green/Black Land Destruction with cheap large creatures like Juzam Djinn, and Erhnam Djinn, Red/Blue counter burn with Candelabra of Tawnos, Mana Flare, counters, and X spells.
The big players early on were Chris Pikula, Jon Finkel, Scott Johns, Shawn”Hammer” Regnier, Thomas Guevin, Bertrand Lestree and more. It is hard to believe that when these guys were first slinging spells, pros like Jordan Berkowitz were just starting first grade. I hear he is finishing High School next spring.
The source on the past,
I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane…oh, who am I kidding? It was a history lesson. Join us tomorrow for a little look into the future. G’night everybody!