Club Spotlight- Magic: the Gathering

Photo courtesy of
One of the cards of Magic: the Gathering

Photo courtesy of One of the cards of Magic: the Gathering

Rachel Seo, Photojournalist

Walk by Mr. Shanahan’s room 372 at lunch and you might wonder why so many students are standing outside his classroom eating their lunches. Look more closely and you might notice that, one by one, these students trickle back into the classroom.


What in there could possibly hold their interest? Isn’t the whole point of lunch to get out of class?


This growing club is Magic: the Gathering. This consists of a group of upper and lower classmen brought together by one common bond: a card game.


Invented in 1993 by Richard Garfield, Magic: the Gathering is a complex competition involving intense battles among two or more people, each with one’s own deck of cards. Unlike the decks of standard playing cards, which have the same number and type of cards, Magic: the Gathering requires its players to assemble their own decks according to their different playing styles.


Cards are sectioned off into different colors: white (which symbolizes justice), blue (wisdom), black (ambition), red (chaos), and green (nature). Each card contains its own creature, power, or spell and can be used to challenge the opponent’s card.


The object of the game is to put the other person out of commission. This can be achieved by one of three ways: A) deal twenty life points’ worth of damage to the other person, B) when the opponent cannot draw any more cards, and C) when the opponent racks up 10 poison counters (a poison counter is a specific kind of damage that has its own count separate from the life point total).


So really, Magic: the Gathering is just a card game. Or is it? Why do so many people play Magic: the Gathering?


Mr. Cadra, an avid player and contributor to the club, said, “[I love to play because] the artwork [on the cards] is absolutely amazing…and of course the competitive nature, and trying to outwit your opponent…Magic has over 14,000 cards. When you’re playing a match, you always have to be thinking about how many cards your opponent has in his hand, and which of those 14,000 cards might he have at any given moment.”


Another Magic player, Anthony Park (11), said of the game, “It’s a fun game, it brings people from all around the school together–we kind of just hang out and have fun–it’s just something we really all enjoy. It’s a hobby of ours.”


Anthony continued, “…We have free decks, so if you don’t have a collection, we can just start you out…It’s a little hard to learn, but you’ll pick it up really quick[ly] because of all the people who are willing to help.”


When asked what the club is like on a typical day, Mikey Bishara (10) said, “Chaotic. But fun.”


What more could anyone ask of a club?