Introduce yourself for us, give us a little bit about yourself for the reader
My names Thomas, I have been playing Magic: The Gathering (MTG) since Born of the Gods way back in February 2014. This has been one of my biggest pass-times now for a couple of years and I love the game and play in most formats. I have a big collection of cards so I am able to play plenty of different decks and I’m always learning more about the game; either the rules themselves or older cards before I started. I've played completively now for about 2 years, which may seem a while but that's nothing compared to a few other players I have met on my travels.
What made you first get into card games?
I first got into Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokemon when I was a little kid and played the card games. When I started in my twenties I revisited the Yu-Gi-Oh card game as my friend showed me his old cards (I had and to this day still hold onto my old Dark Magician deck) so we started to play at home. We then later learned of a local game store who held competitions and we thought we should enter. After being destroyed by everyone (who were not polite or welcoming if I'm completely honest) we decided not to go back and try again. We saw another person playing another card game though and started to become interested. Of course it was MTG and from then I was hooked on the game.
What drew you to them over some of the other hobbies out there like wargaming?
I have always been into gaming in general, either video games, wargaming or card games. I will play all sorts but the main game I will focus on is MTG as there are plenty of things I love about the game.
What is it that you love about Magic: The Gathering?
MTG is the one game that I can play for hours and not be bored because of all the different formats and different decks you can play. I also love the community, its very welcoming. The community will always help out a new player, whether teaching them the rules, or even giving cards that they need to build a deck. Most players will even work on ways to improve their deck or show them different decks they maybe interested in and I've made loads of new friends because of this game.
What’s been your most memorable experiences/ top finishes with the game
My top finish was only last weekend at GP Copenhagen; I went 11 wins to 4 losses putting me to 95th out of 1,815 players, which has given me 2 pro points. To do so well at such a large tournament was one of the achievements I've wanted for some time now. Another memorable experience was winning the Wigan PPTQ which qualifies me to take part in the RPTQ this weekend coming. It felt amazing and took me beating a very good and local player John Brogan (Sorry John :-D) in the finals.
Tom (right) in the game he mentioned vs John
Was there a particular deck, playset, or game that stood out?
I was playing in GP Copenhagen Eldrazi Tron, which has a few bad match ups against certain decks. I remember second round of day two and sitting down against Merfolk (which is a terrible match up for me), it was a very hard three matches and I had to play every step correctly to even have a chance to win, or else face being knocked out and missing out on pro points. I was able to win the match which made me believe that I could reach my goal.
Of all the cards you’ve collected are there any that have a special place in your heart?
Karn, Liberated without a doubt. This card was what got me into Modern, being able to bring this out turn 3 and watch people drop their faces is amazing.
An insane combo card, reliable tech or just a piece of cut art?
Reliable tech although I do love a good combo.
What’s it’s like being part of the Liverpool MTG community?
It’s great, I feel like everyone is like one big, weird family. Because of the community I have been able to grow as a player and also make new friends. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am to the game and the community. If anyone wants to get into this game I know everyone will welcome you with open arms.
Do you ever compete at events? If so what draws you to them?
I’m always competing at events, mainly PPTQ’s. The main reason like most people is to get onto the Pro tour (a distant Pipe Dream) but another thing I love is travelling with my friends to new places, meeting new people or even seeing the same faces event after event as a lot of people go to the same events as myself.
Tom basking in the Glory of his Game Day win!
If you had any advice for people looking to get into MTG, What would you tell them?
My advice would depend on what they want; if it’s just for fun then come down to JustPlay and if you want to learn the game I know a lot of people be happy to teach you. Even just to try a new deck or format, there is always something on in the community group. If you want to be completive, I will admit it costs a lot and you will not win a lot (I know better players than myself who don't win tournaments) but the only way to test yourself and improve is to keep trying and if you have a group of friends going with you then you can still have fun. I will always try to help anyone with anything in MTG and even if I don’t know I’ll point you in the right direction to speak to someone or find out myself. As I said earlier I am always learning more about the game and will do hopefully for a long time. I hope to see you soon at either Tuesday Night Magic (TNM) or Friday Night Magic (FNM).
Thanks to Tom for taking the time to introduce himself and tell us about why he likes taking part in events for Team JustPlay.
And most of all thanks to Tom and the rest of the team for spreading the word and wearing our colors up and down the country.
Ian & Ritchie