In a move forecast by Felicia Day at San Diego Comic-Con, the Geek and Sundry channel has begun hosting a web series based around Magic: The Gathering. It’s called Spellslingers, and it caters to new players and casual fans alike.
Spellslingers piggybacks off of the success of Geek and Sundry’s Tabletop series, which has proven to be one of the channel’s most durable hits. As with Wil Wheaton’s board game bonanza, Spellslingers features a snarky host in ex-professional gamer Sean “Day” Plott, a bevy of guest stars (future episodes will feature Day, Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara, and NASA ‘Mohawk Guy’ Bobak Ferdowski), and, most importantly, nonstop trash talk.
The series is created in partnership with Wizards, the company behind Magic, and it seems to be at least partially intended for new players. Helpful notes pop up during the episode to explain the game’s myriad rules, so that budding Magicians don’t get lost in a sea of unfamiliar keywords. Luckily for pre-existing Magic fans, these explanations are kept brief so that the unrelenting smack talk remains the main attraction.
Spellslingers’ first episode earns a passing grade, and it is a far cry from the incessantly boring, members-only Magic broadcasts ESPN aired back in the day (yes, ESPN used to cover Magic, and no, the network didn’t relegate it to The Ocho.) For those wishing to learn the game, Geek and Sundry has provided a fantastic opportunity. Spellslingers will open up Magic to a wider audience and will empty out wallets all over the world.