Planeswalking – The Graeme, The Mike, and The Dan

According to Wizards of the Coast, there are three main types of Magic The Gathering player: the Timmy, the Johnny, and the Spike.

Timmy and Johnny.

As my second month getting back into the game comes to a close, I’d like to add three more names to that list: the Graeme, the Mike, and the Dan.

The Graeme

The Graeme is a brand new player to Magic. Having heard his pal the Mike rave about it, he decided to sit down and have a game with him to see what all the fuss is about. He listened to him describe the basic rules, the different types of cards and jumped into their first game. Playing with open hands, they discussed his options for each turn, thought about what to do and, with some coaching managed to win his first game.

By the third game, hands were closed and he began to fly solo. Having a better idea of how to read and predict his opponent’s next move, he played a land, a spell, and attacked. After a hard fought game, he managed to procure his next win…

With that he fell in love with the game. Since then, the Graeme has perfected his grasp of the rules and playing with his friend’s deck is no longer enough. He’s gotten the idea of a basic creature strategy down: now he needs more versatile decks. He has ventured into the world of collecting, obtaining booster packs, and deciding which cards to replace in his B/R Sacrifice and R/G Monstrosity starter decks.

Trading cards with the Mike to improve his libraries, the Graeme has started to bolster his collection and get a bigger collection of more versatile decks, even if he isn’t ready to play with people other than the Mike… yet.

Phrexian UnlifeThe Mike

The Mike is a still somewhat recent player, but absolutely bloody loves the game regardless. Having played briefly yonks ago, his card collection was pretty old and terrible, with white borders, terrible illustrations, and confusing wording everywhere.

Withthe Dan’s help, he made an initial red/green deck and relearned the basic rules. Getting to grips with them, he quickly cottoned on that the ground rules for Magic are easy: it only gets complicated because nearly every card breaks or bends them in some way.

Having bested the Dan once or twice, his thirst for the game grew. He purchased boosters, fat packs, and a Dragon’s Maze Selesnya Population deck, with the Dan inviting him to his local game shop, where he plays and trades regularly with many different players. Having made a few of his own decks – his Artifact and Orzhov decks being his pet projects – he’s made great new friends with whom he plays regularly and is always happy to teach the game to new players.

He’s more or less at tournament level, but for him, Magic is all about the fun. Playing unusual cards, utilising unorthodox deck methods and bending the rules in creative ways, to the Mike, Magic is about getting to know your opponent and ensuring that everyone that he plays is enjoying themselves as much as he is.

Card value doesn’t mean too much to him: he likes to utilise cards that are useful to him and will happily trade away ones that aren’t. He’s always on the lookout for new cards to add to his collection, especially older, more obscure ones. The fact that’s he’s also a sucker for spindown die means that that New Phyrexia fat pack is looking mighty appealing right now…

Banisher PriestThe Dan

The Dan is the member of the trio with the most in-depth knowledge of the game. If you’re unsure of the differences between the Haunt, Proliferate and Ninjitsu mechanics, or have any questions about the stack, resolutions and card rule phrasing, he’s the one to ask.

Whereas the Mike will look through his card collection, see cards he likes the look of and mashes them all into a deck to see if they’ll work, the Dan can look at a single card and build a deck around it in his head, immediately thinking of cards what will perfectly complement it. He’ll investigate and source other cards that would go well with it, tweak its mana curve to perfection and create a deck that will utterly devastate you. Games with him are quick yet sophisticated affairs, helping you highlight quickly the good and bad aspects of your decks and how to bolster and remedy them.

His are usually pretty devastating: the Mike is yet to beat that bloody blue/white Heroic deck of his.  He’s always happy, however, to impart his knowledge of deck-building on anyone that needs it. Watch out for this guy: one day you’ll no doubt see him patrolling the tables at a tourney near you.

So along with the Timmy, the Johnny and the Spike, you also have the Graeme, the Mike and the Dan. Which one are you? Do you know of any other kinds of players?


Leave a Reply