One of my main hobbies when I am not tied up with work, school, and other responsibilities is playing Magic: The Gathering. Magic is a trading card game that has existed for 25 years. I was introduced to the game in 1995 when a neighborhood friend brought over a starter deck they had purchased to show my brother and I. We barely understood the rules of the game at that time. Slowly, we build a card collection and decks to play against each other at home and with friends. I have played off and on over the years taking a large hiatus from 2005 to 2013. I entered back into the game with the release of the Theros set and never looked back.
One of the fun ways to customize a card game experience is to use a playmat. While not required, playmats help keep surface areas clean and come with many different illustrations and colors. Players like to use mats with popular Magic card artwork or ones that they received at a tournament. My favorite playmat is the one shown above that was illustrated by John Avon. The image is of dragon flying around the Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan. I acquired the playmat because of my love for Kyoto, Japan. John has done commissions for large Japanese tournaments incorporating various Japanese landscapes and locations. The created artwork is used for playmats, deck boxes, mouse pads, and other giveaways at the tournaments.
One of the required supplies for players to have is game dice. Players use dice to keep track of various game states and actions that occur. My dice are carried in a drawstring bag depicting sumo wrestlers. My fiance's mother gave me the bag as a gift after she attended a sumo wrestling event in Japan last year. It works perfectly for carrying dice and goes well with my Japanese playmat.
The most important supplies that players use for trading card games is deck sleeves. Different people have their own personal tastes, but I enjoy using the Japanese KMC Hyper Matte Black sleeves. They have held up well over time and I use them with all of my competitive decks. Having the same sleeve across multiple decks makes it easier to share and swap cards among them. The cards pictured above are park of my Standard format deck that I have played with since the release of the Dominaria set. The green and black cards have treated me well with great finishes in multiple tournaments and weekly events. The company that manages the Magic card game releases new card sets every three to four months. With the next set release in October, the Standard format will change again keeping the game fun and interesting.
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