Strictly Eternal 101 – The Balance

Howdy folks! It’s Joe again and we’re here to talk about Balancing Acts of the 1500’s! Well, actually, no we’re not. But that would be kind of cool, don’t you think?

No, this time we’re here to talk about the real balance between this silly little game and the dreaded notion of real life. Yes, I know this is not totally Eternal MTG related, but hey, it’s still important to talk about.

It can be very easy to be 100% invested in Magic at all times. There’s so much content out there to devour that it can be very simple to just let yourself be consumed by it all. Working on MTG content ramps this up by a large notch and sometimes it’s easy to let real life pass you by.

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One can imagine that this gets even worse once you start mixing immediate family into it. I am married and have a three and a half year old daughter. Keeping up with the ongoings of the MTG world while having to acquiesce to the demands of a fiercely independent toddler is hard, obviously. It makes traveling to events a big ordeal and requires a plan.

The key to it all is compromise, of course. There are numerous approaches to this. My wife and I often establish one night a week for FNM, to go out and play local Magic. Generally this works out in her favor because I frequently stop at a local late-night donut shop on the way home and pick up breakfast goodies for the next morning. I also seasonally participate in a work Magic league, so I generally get an additional day during these times to go play Magic.

For larger events, we talk things out and determine the best course of action. However, again because of real life, not every large event is within reach. I have missed large events before because of other real life things going on. For example, my wife and I own a horse, and the commitment to that is pretty hefty; we compromise on making it work out so that both can coexist. Ultimately,  this ends up being fine. I don’t necessarily need to participate in every large event to still be competitive enough to play to win at the events I do attend. 

Another great approach is the use of Magic Online. I’ve found often that MTGO helps scratch that itch more when real life gets heavily in the way and makes time difficult. Being able to play at your leisure is helpful at times.

A third approach is to try to involve. My wife does not really play the game, but she does understand why I enjoy it. Often times large events can coincide with real life by involving your family in the trip. I know several friends who make big trips out of large Grand Prix’s and take their families with them to enjoy the sights of a new town as well. This is a great way to involve your family while balancing it with Magic. Another is to branch out and try other games that might be fun!

Recently my wife and I made a trip down into Virginia for a horse/tack auction, one that involved driving a little bit further south to spend a night with friend and collaborator Dennis Gabriels and his wife. Dennis is a friend primarily through Magic, but when in company of spouses, we did spend a good amount of time just talking about real life stuff. Even when we did finally get to sit down and play, we ended up playing just one match before getting everyone else together to sit down for a rousing game of Ticket to Ride (which is amazing, highly recommended). Everyone had a great time, and it was enjoyable. Magic might have brought us together, but it was the balance of real life that makes us friends.

It can be very easy to dip off into the deep end; even I am sometimes guilty of this. You can very easily lose yourself in Magic, which is why it is ultimately important to compromise and keep yourself grounded.

Wrapping Up

That’s all the time we have this week folks! Next week, I’m going to be looking at another entry in our Budget Legacy series, a deck that’s stepped up a little bit from Burn and Dredge, but is still reasonably inexpensive. Monoblack Reanimator!

See you next time on Grizzlebees Strikes Back!

Joseph is an avid player of eternal Magic formats, including Vintage and Legacy.  As a Nic Fit player who will tell anyone who will listen about his deck, Joe spends his time analyzing and playing on Magic Online and various online platforms, while prepping for competitive events.  To follow more Joe, check out his Twitter!

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