The January plague and the ensuing pondering on the future, cards and life in general…

Aaaaah, yes, I almost forget from year to year exactly how long January really is. Long. Really long! This year it is no different. And it never fails, each year right around January day 63 (would be around the 17th-20th had it been a normal month of around 30 days) I fall blameless victim to the dreaded January Plague.

Alas also this year.

I think I have mentioned it before, but I really think it is a strange coincidence that almost all the last 10-15 years my only yearly sick-days has been two-three days in mid-January (except for COVID blablabla). I have never made a statistics on it, whether a bad case of January Plague means a bad year, and a mild(er) case means a happy year. Or the other way around. Luckily most years around these parts are happy when all is said and done. But I really don’t hope a bad January Plague equals a bad year, because then I dread 2024!

I know this is also a man around 40 years writing, but DEI DAMN! I was struck down on Thursday. Went to lie on my couch with some amount of fever all the way through Friday and the first part of Saturday. Then the fever disappeared – only to be replaced by a nasty, very loud, hurting coughing. Yes, I am wining; yes I know a lot of people are way worse off; yes this is very much a white middle-aged privileged man burning issue, but I cannot explain… I cannot underline nor find the correct words to describe just how much I HATE BEING ILL!

I know the point of being ill is that you are miserable, but I know from colleagues and friends that when the absolute worst part of their suffering is wearing off, they can get some amount of enjoyment out of Netflix for example, for the rest of their recovery time. I cannot. I just hate the idleness of lying there. And I am also mortified by the fact that I, a 202 cm tall guy in an okay shape of 38 years can wake up one day almost incapable of leaving the bed. Just because of a fever. It scares me.

So why am I writing all of that pitiful whining here? Well, first of all because this is my channel. I have nowhere else to cry out my existential fear.

But it is also because all of these hours on my couch has made me think of Magic cards. I guess that is quite the surprise, but yes!

Since around Christmas I have been slowly assembling the cards I already have for a Vintage Cube. I will not be building an exact copy of the real Vintage Cube, but of course a lot of the cards will be the same. Maybe I will go some more in-depth about it at some point. But not here.

The point is that a Vintage Cube is yet another project. I am not entirely done assembling all I need for my Premodern Cube. And I also still have an Old School wants list worth several tens of thousands of euros. On top of that I try to build and keep a battle box of relevant Premodern decks, and then I also want to be able to play some interesting Canlander games once in a while.

Projects are good, I hear, but this may soon become a bit too much. Even though most of the Premodern shenanigans as well as Old School is rather stable and shouldn’t need too much attending to, once it is bought, it is still something. And the cards represent a value.

So this was what I was thinking about in my self-pity on my couch last week. What to do on the Magic playing and collecting front?

As you know, I have a plan for what I want to acquire throughout the year. This year I even think I am rather ambitious as those Beta Rares and Uncommons are not cheap in any way! But already now, only around 76 days into January, I am wondering if that list is completely unrealistic?

I only need around 100 cards for the Vintage Cube, but buying them will set me back around €1300. Which is basically what a set of worn Beta Ankhs of Mishra are at. Luckily most of them are also cards for a host of different Canlander decks I am building. But where to put the line?

I want to do it all. I really don’t have the money to do so.

So I ended up deciding on selling some of my Premodern reserve list staples. I don’t need four Intuition, nor will I ever play a Premodern deck where I will need a playset of Lion’s Eye Diamond. I even still have a set of Grim Monoliths that I have kept because I love the card and I think I have probably played that more than any other RL card in my Legacy days. But why keep a set? They are banned in Premodern, and I will never play Legacy again.

I have not sold them yet, but the decision is made. I have also figured I might as well see if my heaps of “playables” from different eras of Legacy is interesting for a store somewhere. But I found that this was a really tough decision.

And this may be what this post is about. It is not news to me, that a collection of cardboard also holds a lot of feelings, but it feels strange every time I encounter it.

Several of these are cards I have owned more than 20 years. They are legendary pieces of Magic history, and maybe the most important part: Once I rid myself of them, I will with a high certainty never be able to buy them back. I will keep at least one of each, probably two (cubing, you know), but still. If I find myself wanting to play some insane combo deck in legacy three years from now, my biggest hindrance will not be buying some new chase rare from a recent set, but rather to buy two Lion’s Eye Diamonds! I simply cannot see myself doing that.

So in a broader perspective, what is this?

Growing up, I am afraid. Not to a degree where I stop playing – that would be insane – but I think a trimming of my collection like this is a sign of me prioritizing and growing up. Was this a relevant or interesting point? I don’t know, probably not. But that is another thing about January. Because it has around 84 days in all, there is just way too much time to think about stuff that may not exactly be all that relevant to anyone…

He shouted out into the void of the interweb!

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