The pale figure strode forward from the swirling grey mists onto a plain that had long since been abandoned. No wind stirred the dead grasses and the dust from his footsteps quickly settled back onto the ground as if happy to be left dead once more. He turned his eyes toward the singular monument on this dead plane, a stone tablet written in a language that hadn't been spoken in ages. Sitting atop it irreverently was a man clad in green, wool garments with red hair. "You're late." He spoke scathingly, "and I have little patience as you well know." The pale man blinked his lifeless eyes once and spoke with a voice that carried the chill of the grave with it. "Then let us finish this so I can return to Ravnica and the research that you have torn me from." "Fine!" The fiery mage spat as his eyes lit with an inner fire as he called an elemental of living flame from beyond the Blind Eternities.
This is how a duel of Magic: The Gathering starts in my mind, not with the shuffling of a deck of cards but with two powerful Planeswalkers meeting to do battle for any number of reasons. This challenging game of strategy and skill is often looked at as just that but underneath the strategy and the cards is a wonderful, mystical realm where you are the Planeswalker and your spells alter reality and summon creatures of myth and legend. So often I meet players who build their decks around what wins, however the people that build their decks around themes and with the flavor of Magic in mind are, often, the ones who have more fun with the game. Next time you sit down to a friendly game of Magic I challenge you to remember more than the strategy and try to see the game as an exercise in the imagination as well.