Gathering in the Magic Room

A new club connects students to play a card game called Magic the Gathering

Gathering+in+the+Magic+Room

Sean Jaeger, Journalism Student

The bell rings, and students flood the halls. While most go home or stay after for sports, or go to tutorial, some students walk into the music building. They walk down the main hall, pass through a set of doors, walk down a ramp, and hang a left. 

There lies room 519, typically the radio room. However, every Wednesday during tutorials, this room becomes boisterous and full of excitement. It becomes the Magic Room.

These students are not gathered to perform magic tricks with cards, pigeons, and suits. No, instead they are playing Magic the Gathering, a card game developed in the 1990s. 

They make small talk as they shuffle their decks and arrange desks to forms large play tables. They talk about the game, prices of cards, new strategies, their decks, and how they work. A jumble of jargon, it seems like they are speaking another language. Alas, it is only the language of Magic, very much English.

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Last year, freshmen Jared Wierzbicki, Wyatt Jaeger, and Noah Witheral, along with Mr. Lazovick, garnered signatures of support and went forward with the idea for the club. Less than a year later, the club is slowly growing, teaching new spellcasters to play and talking about the lore of the game. 

It started out at lunch during their freshman year, and Jared and his friends quickly started playing after school at the IMC. However, the game tends to get loud, especially as the players quickly call out cards they play and talk about their days. Eventually, they were getting shushed out of the IMC. One day Jared asked, “What if we made this an actual club?” So they did. 

In order to make the club, Jared had to talk to Mrs. Manfredi about his ideas. She gave him a form that had to be signed by 15 people saying they had an interest in a Magic: the Gathering club. He asked friends to sign their names. Quickly, he reached 15 signatures and returned to Mrs. Manfredi’s office. There, he had to sign some forms and, after some time, the club was created.

In the time since the club was created, members slowly joined. Now, they are up to 20 total members with an average of 8 people who come every week. Some people go to each meeting, like Jared and Wyatt, as well as fellow sophomores Caleb Peters and Paul Bruzzi. Others, like Noah, come often but not every week. 

Mr. Lazovick oversees the club even when he’s not busy helping students with their radio work. At the meeting I attended, Mr. Laz came into the room once after witnessing some club member’s throwing a paper airplane. “You know I love you, but you got to keep your head on a swivel,” he said to Jared. “There are four rules in the class, number 1 is no throwing.” 

When Mr. Lazovick is helping students with radio, Jared represents him as a figurehead of the classroom. He described Jared as his sentry. Last year, Jared had his Radio 1 class.  That’s how they met. “He’s just an awesome guy,” Jared said. It is clear that the teacher cares for his students. 

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Every Magic player has their own story. Whether it is when they started playing, who taught them, or what type of decks or mode they like to play, each person has a different story. It provides a platform for people to express their interests. Each deck takes on a unique personality which is often synonymous with the player’s personality. 

Paul, one of the founding members, enjoys playing a different type of Magic game called Commander. He described it as, “A different format where you can only use one type of card in the deck.” In this playstyle, players use 100 card decks instead of the standard 60 card decks. “It is the most popular multiplayer format,” he said. Paul also said, no two cards can be the same, unlike standard mode where you can have up to 4 of the same cards. 

Jared, the club president, was taught by his brother. He said that was around the Kaladesh came out in 2016. Kaladesh is one of the expansion packs that come out 3 to 4 times per year. These bring new cards and strategies. They also function to further the Magic storyline. 

Magic also has its own trading system, similar to the stock exchange. Cards can be sold or traded online, similar to other trading cards. One difference is that some Magic cards can be sold for thousands of dollars. The most expensive card, Black Lotus, currently costs between $1574-3051, depending on the condition. Other cards, such as Kingpins Pet, worth $75, are common cards. This was shocking, as you can buy packs containing Magic cards for $5. 

The Magic club meets every Wednesday in Room 519. Every player was super helpful, answering questions about the game and working to help each other grow. Students are eager to teach new people to play the game, and they told me that most players can understand the game after playing only twice