When was the last time you taught someone Magic? I’m told that introducing players to MTG is, like childbirth or tax evasion, an enriching, life-affirming experience. Unfortunately, I think the whole thing was a lost cause.

I’m not the kind of person that gives up easily. But if you’re having difficulty differentiating between lands and creatures after two hours of patient, kindly instruction, I should probably direct you to another game.

Here’s a roundup of common misconceptions people have about Magic and, God forbidding, what would happen if they came true.

1. Every Card Has Morph

No, you can’t play your Island in defense position.

No, that doesn’t make Magic biased against lands. I’m sure their feelings aren’t hurt—hey, what are you doing with that card?

Did you just flip your card face down again? Why would you do that?

Okay fine, but could you at least wait until after combat? You’re about to die to my Grizzy and—

What did I just tell you about trying to block with Mountains.

2. Pretty Cards Win Games

This one is a throwback to the pretty draft I did with my friend last February.

I, for one, would love to live in a world where draft decks were judged on their cohesive aesthetic value, and flavor judges reigned supreme. Magic games would evolve into passionate, well-reasoned arguments as players debated the merits of the classical beauty depicted in Burnished Hart.


I just realized that Burnished Hart had a face. Look at its dumb smirk. What the heck.

3. Land Can Be Destroyed Easily

With all the talk of global warming and climate change lately, Magic could be transformed into an incisive, politically relevant game.

Turn 1: Forest.

Turn 2: Forest. Sylvan Caryatid. Amazonian loggers set up base camp and prepare heavy machinery.

Turn 3: Forest. Polukranos enters the battlefield. Sylvan Caryatid, suffering from rising levels of air pollution, is unable to untap.

Turn 4: Nykthos. Polukranos swings for 5, but the damage is deflected by several tractor trailers and logging squads. Two forests are destroyed to make way for a housing development.

Turn 5: Nykthos has been found and demolished. Several of its nicer architectural features have been moved to Museum of Modern Art, where they sit alongside the Mutavault exhibit. Polukranos attempts to nurse Caryatid back to health, but eventually she succumbs. Stricken with grief, Polukranos goes Monstrous, but he eats a Hero’s Downfall in response to the trigger. All remaining forests are destroyed, and the Orzhov supremacy plants their flags and moves into the water kingdom.

4. Magic is a Satanist Cult Ritual

“Have you prepared the goat for sacrifice, Elder John?”

5. Magic is Scientology

“Have you prepared the John for sacrifice, Elder Goat?”

6. Magic is for Nerds

“I haven’t spoken to a girl in three years.”

In all seriousness though, I like to think I give a more realistic perspective of the Magic world to people interested in the game. Whenever I tell stories about the Hipsters or going to GP Philly or playing in Shanghai, people are always a bit impressed about how, well, normal everyone seems to be, and how inclusive our community is.

7. We All Play According to the Dungeon Master’s Handbook

“My Siege Rhino rolls for initiative.”

“Wait! I have Jace inspect the floor.”


“Jace finds an interesting bit of moss! He eats it.”

8. Rules? What Rules?

“Why would you do this to me?””

“Sorry Tony. The card clearly states—’Whenever Alabaster Kirin attacks, sacrifice target player. Now, hold still.”


What my friends see when I show them card effects more complicated than “Flying”.

Well, that’s my roundup. What kind of crazy things have your scrub friends believed? Damage on the stack? Playing lands in front of their creatures? Commiserate in the comments below.

Tony is the Hipsters’ resident scrub, and Scrub Report is about the weird, awesome world of Magic. 

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