Collectible Card Games Draw Unique Culture

By Kruse, John | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), September 10, 2017 | Go to article overview

Collectible Card Games Draw Unique Culture


Kruse, John, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


R

yan Ostwinkle, 24, and Kaden Wehrenberg, 14, sat across from each other, eyes glued to the collection of cards in their hands.

Scanning his choices, Wehrenberg finally selected and laid down his trump card, "Majestic Myriarch."

"I've won many games with this card," he said.

Without hesitation, Ostwinkle played "Flame Lash," immediately eliminating Wehrenberg's strategy.

"That was the exact card I needed," Ostwinkle said. "That is one of those moments that makes this game so great."

Every week, Ostwinkle, Wehrenberg and others gather at Comic World & Games in Dubuque to play Magic: The Gathering and several other collectible card games.

For Ostwinkle and Wehrenberg, every Friday night is dedicated to Magic: The Gathering, a game where cards represent spells, lands and creatures, among others. Each card has an elaborate illustration, but much of the game comes down to the mathematical numbers that each card represents and a players ability to output the most numerical damage from the cards they draw.

In the Magic: The Gathering community, the game often is referred to as the perfect mixture between chess and poker.

"There's a lot of skill involved, but there's just enough luck to still make for really surprising moments," Wehrenberg said. "There's nothing better than when you draw that last card to win and steal the game."

For many in the collectible card game community, their introduction to the games often stems from friends or intrigue in something else.

Dyersville (Iowa) Comics & Games is another local draw for players of the card games to gather.

Jacob Jenkins, 11, first started playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game due to his interest in the Pokemon video games. After competing in several local tournaments, his father, Jim Jenkins, 47, decided to try the game out.

"I was going with him to the tournaments, so I figured I should grab a deck and try it out," Jim said.

Now, the father and son head to Comic World every week to play Pokemon.

Jim said he has learned to enjoy the game and the strategy that comes with it.

"You opponent will always be different," he said. "There's a lot of balancing strengths and weaknesses of all the cards."

While the games can take some time to learn, many active players are more than willing to teach people who are interested.

Ostwinkle said he often keeps a spare Magic deck designed for teaching new players the intricacies of the game.

"We're all pretty welcoming to people who are new to the game," Ostwinkle said. …

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