Casting Spells with Manhattan's Planeswalkers

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Casting Spells with Manhattan's Planeswalkers

Photographer Zak Krevitt hit the halls of Nebulous Gaming in the Lower East Side to capture some 'Magic' fans do their thing on Game Day.

Before Pokemon, before Yu-Gi-Oh, before Candy Crush, the one game to rule them all was Magic the Gathering. Created in 1993, it has stuck with us through the years. Nerds like me still wait expectantly for Wizards of the Coast, the company that puts out the cards, to release new expansions. After each release, stores across the nation hold tournaments that are called "Game Day." On one of the recent Game Days, we headed over to Nebulous Gaming in Manhattan's Lower East Side to hang with some MTG fans and talk about their favorite cards.

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Name: Ibby

MTG Origin: I've been playing since the last time the Eldrazi showed their face, so… 2010.

Favorite Card: Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury, it's a 5 drop 4/5 red/black, when it's on the battlefield. It gives all your dragon creatures +1/+0 whenever they attack, until the end of turn. If you play it for its dash cost it has haste and it returns itself into your hand during your end step.

Deck: Red/black Eldrazi… Red for haste and the black for mobil, combined you can rush your opponent before they get their footing. If they do get their footing and you need to fall back, the red/black lets you remove anything they have, except enchantments. I can't remove those.

Name: Ethan and Ethan's mom, Varda

Origin: We've been playing since Gatecrash, so three and half years. [Ethan] started playing at camp, and over spring break he needed someone to play against, so he taught me to play. I thought I'd be humoring him, but I turned out to be really into it. I played Bakugan and Pokemon with him since he was little. We had been playing less than a week when we went to a Friday Night Magic and drafted. We played together as one person. Our first pick was a 7/6 red/green worm.

Ethan's Deck: A weird red/white mid-range deck that didn't work out too well. I got pretty unlucky, I went against the Colossus and that was really hard.

Varda's Deck: A white weenie deck with a little black in it for control. I did OK, I got flooded a couple times, and mana screwed. The one time I didn't, I won! That match, I went up against a bunch of Planeswalkers, but I kept Stasis Snaring them and Anguished Unmaking them. I'm like, "goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye."

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Ethan's Favorite Card: Chandra Ablaze from Zendikar, I don't remember what it does, but I've always loved Chandra. My second favorite is Nihiri, the Habringer.

Varda's Favorite Card: I'm an EDH player, there's so many great cards, but I do love Azusa and good old Sensei's Divining Top.

Name: Russell Dubarry

Origin: Three years. I was competitive in a game called Yu Gi Oh, but Magic just seemed more stable and better for the players. I played YGO for over 10 years. It was very good to me. I did well at tournaments, so I thought it would be good if I converted to MTG.

Deck Type: Jund Planeswalkers, so Jund Superfriends. There was a deck last season green/white tokens. I played a deck that was Naya Superfriends, so I converted into a newer deck, but keep in Radiant Flames because it's really good against aggro decks and Planeswalkers are good against control decks. I thought this would be good for the meta thats not set yet.

Favorite Card: Blood Moon, it just says you can't play unless you play red cards.

Name: James Rosenblum

MTG Origin: Started when I was a kid in 1994, took about 10 years off, and came back in 2010. At that time, they were printing Magic 2010 which had a lot of my favorites like Royal Assassin and Ser Angle, these are the cards I remember from '94. I just thought, "I don't care if it's a game for children, I have fun playing it, I'm gonna come back and play it."

Deck Type: Blue Red Metalwork Colossus. Built around Metalwork Colossus it's a 10/10 11 drop, however the 11 mana cost is reduced by the mana costs of all the artifacts you have in play. It also runs a land called Sanctum of Ugin, which lets you play a second big colorless creature, when you play a big colorless creature, so you can get a bunch of non-creature artifacts and then just play the Colossus for free. If you have Sanctum of Ugin, you can search your library for another one and cast that for free. You can also search for Elder Deep-Fiend, which can tap down the opponent's resources and allow you to attack with these massive 10/10's.

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Favorite Card: All time favorite cards are the little white one drops like Thraben Inspector and Doomed Traveler. They're one mana, they have utility, and if you look at which decks actually win the pro-tour, cards like these are often in there.

Name: Sebastian Paz

MTG Origin: I've been playing about 15 years, I'm 26 and I started when I was like 11. It's always been there for me, I never sold my collection. I moved to New York two years ago and it was the best way for me to meet people. You instantly have something in common and can dive into the world with someone. There's so much creativity in deck building and that's so rewarding when you can kick ass with it. Magic isn't just for nerds, it's for everyone.

Deck Type: Blue black red, wanna mess up your opponent's plan, disrupt whatever they're doing. The evil mastermind strategy.

Favorite Card: In this deck, Jace is really good. He's weak on his own, but if you keep him long enough, you can really gain control of the game and force your opponent's hand.