MTG Professionals Talk About Their Favourite Magic (The Gathering) Sets!

Greetings devoted readers, recently our unblockable writing staff were able to catch up with some of the biggest names (comparatively speaking) in the competitive Magical scene to take them on a trip down memory lane to discuss out of all the planes that we’ve visited, which ones they most thought ‘I visited there’.

First up the team at GAS(mtg) were lucky enough to talk to everyone’s favourite magical larrikin and philosopher Luis Scott-Vargas! When asked his favourite set he had this to say: “I’ve played a lot of gatherings and I have many worlds that I feel a strong affinity to but if I had to pick one I’d say that the spooky one is my favourite. That thing where you have eight players and pass cards was really fun with the scary cards and I recall playing games and thinking ‘I’m really playing these games’, whenever someone played a card I hadn’t seen I’d always remark “woah, eerie much?” “I know that a lot of people didn’t like the invisible man but my grandfather would always say that there’s so many spooky things that you can see, why worry about the ones you can’t? In fact that’s a philosophy I’ve applied to my life ever since and is the reason why I was able to stop worrying about ghosts and have a successful career.”

Next up we are lucky enough to talk to one of the all-time greats of the gathering scene Kai Budde. Before we even asked Kai his favourite set he was already telling us: “Oh it’s hammer set for sure, I love hammer set. As a kid I was more into screwdrivers and drills so when hammer set came out I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but there was just something about hammer set that really pulled me in, I think it was a safe move from R&D but I still hope that one day we can play screwdriver set just so I can finally say ‘sometimes you are the screw and sometimes you are the driver’. It was with this set that I won the big tournament, thanks largely to the Grim Monolith and every time I cast it I’d stop play, call a judge and then whisper to them ‘it’s hammer time’ before continuing play. It wasn’t until round five of the big tournament that I even really understood what Monolith really did, when I first saw the card I read ‘Grim Monolith doesn’t untap during your untap step’ and I was like ‘Yup, that’s enough, it’s going in my big tournament deck’ and the rest is history.”

It’s almost illegal to think of magic heroes without picturing the magical wunderkind Eric Froehlich and he had these well-chosen words for us: ‘I don’t actually ‘like’ any magical sets but I guess if I had to pick the one that I don’t like the smallest amount it would be the one with all of the animals. I liked how all of the animals liked it if you had other animals so you wanted to put as many of the similar animals in your deck as possible so that they’d all have friends to play with. This format lead to some of my biggest decks ever as I just kept putting more and more animal-friends into there so they could all hang out, I liked to imagine my deckbox was their house and I was their nice dad, sometimes I’d send them to their room after I lost, those were good days!”

Imagine our faces when we heard that Owen Turtenwald was willing to let us interview him (you have to imagine it, there are no pictures of the moment), on the topic of his bestest set this is what Owen had to say: “I’d heard people talking about cities and I just didn’t understand the concept, my friends described them as ‘lots of villages really close’ but I just couldn’t visualise that concept until Magic took me to city-world. Suddenly it all made sense, I’d been watching Lost in Translation four times a day to try and just comprehend exactly what a big village would feel like, but it was City-world that suddenly put the pieces into place and made me get it so much that I said ‘I get it’. I moved to a city to play with this world more and I think the thing that I, and other players, really grasped onto in this world was the clubs. I was in 23 clubs at the time so a set with the sub theme of clubs just made sense to me and I could see members of my clubs represented in the tropes used in the city-world clubs. I remember in my first ever card-pass-format game I played the guildmage from the plant club and I activated it’s ability to make a plant and I was stunned as I thought ‘wow this is exactly what Jerry from plant club does’ and that connection to reality just gave the set a special place in my heart.

Finally we were able to catch up with the literal ‘Figurative father of magic’ Marko Rosewater! We could barely contain ourselves as we opened the wax seal on his interview that he emailed us and we weren’t disappointed as we feast our eyes all over his wisdom: “All the sets that I didn’t design are a stupid joke and if my bill gets passed then mentioning them will be a federal offence.” Wow couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Thanks to all the lovely pros for their responses and insight!