A few days ago, while adventuring for D&D books, I finally decided to enter a gaming store. Man did it feel like no time had past since I had been in a store. Although it was a different store than the one I was used to, this place had the same look and feel.

I had noticed a significant shift in the merchandise and whom they seen to cater to. This place was very focused on miniatures, which I had never been very focused or interested in. Although it didn’t have a great assortment of gaming books like I would have liked to see, they did have quite the impressive amount of binders full of Magic The Gathering cards. Now, my old friend James used to be quite the competitive MTG player back in the day and I remember the times where him and I would be out and have to stop to get new cards or look at a newly released set. Admittedly, I had a bad habit back in the day that when a new CCG would come out, whether it be mainstream or kinda lame, I would have to buy a couple of starters and boosters and him and I would have to try it out. Thankfully, most of those games have gone by the wayside and I can sidestep that little problem, except for a return to Magic.

So, I admit, I wasn’t the greatest player in the past and I would wager that my skills now would be quite poor. But when I looked up at those binders of cards, I scanned over them until I found the last set that I remember buying cards for and saw it on the very top shelf, about 50 binders away from the newest cards. Let’s just say that my last real set of cards had Ice Age in them! If that doesn’t say how long I’ve been out of the game, nothing will.

Since I was still in the store and felt my need to help with capitalism, I went ahead and bought the Eldritch Onslaught starter from Innistrad (I figure the best way back in is through the current set). When I opened that pack, rummaged through the cards, and then opened the booster pack, I felt that rush of excitement most people get when they open a pack. It had been so long ago but I got that rush for the discovery and wonder of figuring out exactly which cards I just got. I admit, I’m a sucker for wanting to get all of the rarest and most valuable cards, even if I’m not the best player with them. Now that I’ve had time away from the game, I think I’m starting to see the appeal again and want to actually pursue playing the game and being competitive, not just cannon fodder or a newbie.

I hope to throw my hat into the ring during GenCon and see if I have the chops to actually take some games and possible be seen as a threat. Only time (and maybe a few Creepy Dolls) will tell.