Mandatory Health Warning

"Danger, Will Robinson!" You don’t realise how much danger you are all in! It’s a minefield out there (well, that’s what you get for wise-cracking the local T.A, I ‘spose)* YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER – ALERT ! ALERT ! Now, the last thing I want to do is alarm you**, but playing M:TG today…

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

You don’t realise how much danger you are all in! It’s a minefield out there (well, that’s what you get for wise-cracking the local T.A, I ‘spose)*


Now, the last thing I want to do is alarm you**, but playing M:TG today is a dangerous pastime – perhaps more dangerous than you would first imagine.

(pauses while you first imagine)

It’s worse than THAT, even !

I went to my Doctor the other day and asked his advice:

I said: "Doctor, What can happen to me if I continue to play Magic: The Gathering ?"

He said: "I have no idea – and I don’t recall asking you for a urine sample!"

So I did some research of my own (cigarette packet + Golden Arches + chat with local tramp = Research) and was both shocked, amazed, and stunned to find… er, hang on, I was inclusively shocked, stunned, and amaze…no, that’s not right – hang on, I’ll get it in a minute…(pause – sound of receding footsteps, muffled conversation, and approaching footsteps)


I was shocked, amazed, and stunned to find that there are legion afflictions with which ANY M:TG player could be.. well… afflicted during normal play. I’m thinking of sending a version of this article to the British Medical Journal, but I need to find my Thesaurus first – not enough long words, d’oh-ncha-no !

"It All Started With A Pain In My Thorax…"

Hereafter follows a comprehensive summation of medical afflictitudes and diseasiaries commonly attributable to regular practitioners of the collectible card game known as Magic: The Gathering:

Inverted Scan Myopia (I.S.M)

Symptoms include short-sightedness, blurred-vision, aching eyes, aching head, and/or achey-breaky heart; I.S.M is the result of reading an opponents’ permanents while they are ‘upside-down’. Treatments include TURNING THE BLOODY CARDS ROUND INSTEAD!

Draw Apathy (or "Can’t Be" Arse)

Mental condition inducing lackadaisical approach to a match where a player has already conceded in their mind, but is going through the motions – this is a debilitating condition which can also indirectly induce Gloater’s Rush (qv) in their opponent. Treatments include: pulling oneself together, sorting oneself out, taking oneself in hand (steeeeaaaady on there, old hoss!), and getting oneself a life.

Tap Sprain / Shuffler’s Wrist

Not to be confused with Single-Key-Press Syndrome (SKPS) / Surfer’s Wrist (caused by excessive browsing of Internet-based ‘skin’ sites), Tap Sprain and Shuffler’s Wrist are variation of R.S.I (Repetitive Strain Injury) – Mike Long may be the most well-known sufferer of the latter, whereby (despite all efforts) you are unable to sufficiently randomise your deck through shuffling.

Folder Elbow

Inflammation of the joints (wrist, elbow, and shoulder) caused through carrying excessively-heavy trades folders around. A common mistake that a lot of players make is to include commons and uncommons in their folders, thereby effectively carrying their WHOLE COLLECTION! Simple alleviations for this condition include: carrying fewer cards, purchasing a smaller folder, or getting a friend to carry them around instead.

Top-8 Nausea / Loser’s Tum

Two names, one set of symptoms – chronic nausea associated with either a) getting to the top 8 despite being a scrub and suddenly realising what the heck is going on, and b) that sinking feeling when, despite 20 minutes to go in the round, you are about to lose BIG TIME ! More often than not, these conditions will lead to Draw Apathy (qv), or in more drastic situations, to up-chucking one’s macaroni cheese over an opponent and the playing area. Psychologists recommend the following mantra to overcome this nausea:


(repeat ad infinitum until opponent attacks you, or a Judge issues an official warning)

Draw-Go Syndrome

Where a player has such powerful anxiety-related stomach and rectal spasms that they draw an initial card and immediately soil themselves (often a side-effect of Top-8 Nausea). If you find yourself susceptible to this condition, either wear incontinence pants or take up gardening.

Booster Rage

Increase in blood-pressure and anger-quotient due to other players pulling broken cards from boosters in a Limited environment.

Com B.O

Foul (often cheesy) odour emanating from a player using a deck that requires no interaction with an opponent WHATSOEVER.

Gloater’s Rush

High-powered adrenalin surge induced by the sure-fire knowledge that you are going to win a match – absolutely no question about it! Can lead to temporary blindness when examining your hand of cards and, therefore, the possibility of throwing the game away again !

P.M.T (Poor Mana Tension)

Mood swings, tending towards the depressive, induced by either mana screw (not enough mana, or not enough mana of a specific colour) or mana glut (too much mana and not enough spells); often summed up by sufferers as: "being unable to give my opponent any sort of game"; there is no known cure.

So, there you have it, my sylphs and gnomes; until the Badger of Fate is crushed beneath the fully-laden Articulated Lorry of Eternity…

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

God Bless,

Tony Boydell
[email protected]

*T.A=Territorial Army – part-time soldiering OR how to right-royally cock-up a perfectly good weekend

**BOO !