I soon realized that he was right; playing a precon deck was fun. It was a break from playing normal tournament decks. So I started to buy some precons and challenge my friends with them. Soon, when anyone would see me at the shop they would think of the precons and want to play with them. It got to the point where we all stopped testing our tournament decks and all we did was play precons. We still played in tournaments but would spend every Saturday night playing “precons.” We would mix it up sometimes, we would use Vanguard cards, we would play teams, or big multiplayer games. My collection of precons got so big that I could not use a standard long box anymore. I had to get a bigger box to hold all my precons.
After about a month of this, a friend came up to me and asked to get a list of all the precons that I had bought. The following week he gave me a long box of magic cards. He said here are all the cards to build all the precon decks out that you do not have. I told him that must have taken a long time to get all of these. He said, “I enjoy playing these variant formats so much that I thought it would be nice if we had all the precons to play with.” I was blown away! Nobody had ever done anything like that for me before. I found out later that he had spent all week going to all the shops in town trading for old cards to get all of them.
After about a month of playing 20 man multiplayer games with all the precons, I began to notice that some of the cards were getting very dirty and hard to shuffle. I just cringed at the idea of having to collect and/or trade for replacements. That was 32 decks to rebuild! I approached the owner of the shop to see if he could sell me the cards to replace them at a cheap price. He explained to me that word had got around town about our big games and I was bringing a lot of people into his shop. He told me that any of the commons and uncommons that I need for the decks I could have and that if I wanted to sleeve the decks to prevent this from happening again that he would sell me all the sleeves that I needed at cost. Once again, I was blown away!
After a while of playing with the precons I wanted to move on to something else. People were starting to get bored with the precons. They wanted something new. So I started to look everywhere for the next “precon” replacement.
Well jump now to present day…I have collected just about every variant that I know and I want to share them with anybody who enjoys playing magic for fun. Don’t get me wrong; I like playing tournaments just as much as I enjoy playing with my old precons. There is just something about sitting down and playing magic, (in my humble opinion) the way it was intended, for fun. I hope that you enjoy these variants as much as I have.
Eric “Bob” Balis