Club gives ‘Magic: The Gathering’ fans chance to compete at BHS

The emergence of a trading card game at Bearden within the past three years might mean competition for die-hard Pokémon enthusiasts. Magic: The Gathering, a fantasy-based game created in the 1990s, has inspired a student organization at BHS. In its third year of existence, the club is led by President Ashley Witt, a senior, and Vice President Zach Myers, a junior. Members of Bearden’s MTG club gather weekly to engage in competition. By definition, Magic is a battle between contending wizards, or “planeswalkers”. Players use magical spells, items, and creatures on cards to defeat one another. Club sponsor and band teacher Mr. Jamie Wilson describes the game as “very simple to play, yet ridiculously challenging to master,” with a complex set of rules and regulations. “That’s part of the fun of the game,” Mr. Wilson said. “It is limitless in how you can approach it, and most every tactic works to some degree, but will it work against your opponent’s tactics?” In order to win, players must use a variety of cards, ranging from the essential “manna” fuel cards to the elaborate “sorcery” and “enchantment” cards. Sets may include as many as 500 or more cards, creating endless possibilities for participants. “Each player starts with 20 life points,” Myers said. “The game ends when one side or the other drops to zero life.” MTG can be played with two or more players. Meetings at Bearden typically involve eight to 12 students. “We compete amongst ourselves,” Myers said. “It’s both an individual and a team effort depending on what we decide to do at each weeks meeting.” The club meets in German teacher Mr. Tom Dunne’s room (Room 324) on Wednesdays and occasionally in the mornings or on early release Thursdays. “During the summer and first semester of school, we set up drafts at local gaming stores like CM Games, Nord’s games, and Packard’s,” Witt said. With over 12 million players, Magic can be played both online and through an organized tournament system at the community level. “The game is very fun, but the greatest thing about it is once you take away all the art, the fantasy worlds and creatures, and the fact that it is a card game, the really great thing is that it makes you think,” Mr. Wilson said. Witt invites all students, regardless of skill level, give Magic: The Gathering a try. Rachel Riley is the news editor for The Bark . Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.