Top 10 Celebrities You (Probably) Didn’t Know Play Magic: The Gathering by Joseph Dunlap
There have been many discussions on the internet over the years about how many persons of note, or “celebrities” are publicly known for playing Magic: The Gathering. Many claims are made about celebrities being seen at one store or another, or drafting with fans, or even attending a Grand Prix.
We like the idea that celebrities play our favourite games because there’s always the possibility that we’ll run into them someday and chat over a pick-up game. Magic: The Gathering is a game that brings people together, so why not? Because of this there are always rumours flying around about what celebrity plays which game, but many of these are hard to verify.
However, some rumours of celebrities playing Magic: The Gathering can and have been verified, so in no particular order, here is my list of the Top 10 Celebrities You (Probably) Didn’t Know Play Magic: The Gathering.
10. Alan Tudyk (and the rest of the Spellslingers guests)
By now, most Magic: The Gathering players have heard of Spellslingers, the YouTube series on the Geek & Sundry channel. Geek & Sundry was founded by internet personality and actress Felicia Day and features a roster of successful shows centered around gaming. Spellslingers, hosted by Sean Plott aka Day of StarCraft fame, is a show that brings celebrities in to play a friendly game of Magic. In some ways, the show is more about comradery than the actual game, which is pretty true to life for many Magic players.
During its current three season run, Spellslingers has hosted a myriad of guests, including: internet personalities Jesse Cox, Greg Miller, and Allie Brosh; MythBusters star Grant Imahara; MMA fighter Josh Barnett; and retired NFL punter Chris Kluwe (oh, and Luis Scott-Vargas).
Recently, though, Spellslingers brought in Alan Tudyk of Firefly fame to play a game of two-headed giant. Tudyk teamed up with Felicia Day and faced off with Plott and Felicia’s brother Ryon Day.
In the end, Tudyk and Felicia were victorious with a board full of elves and goblins. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Firefly‘s Wash in the spell-slinging world of Magic.
9. Nathan Fillion
Alan Tudyk’s appearance on Spellslingers was during Season 3 in July 2015, but there might have been another Firefly cast member preparing to be featured on the show.
A month after Season 1 of Spellslingers ended, Nathan Fillion tweeted that he was learning how to play Magic: The Gathering.
(Sean) @nathanfillion All you need to know is, someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back!
— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) January 30, 2014
We can only speculate as to whether Fillion began learning in preparation for a possible appearance on the show. In the meantime, let’s all think about how awesome it would be to see Fillion and Tudyk at the table together.
If not on Spellslingers, perhaps on an episode of Con Man?
8. Brandon Routh
Among the landslide of replies to Nathan Fillion’s Magic: The Gathering tweet, Brandon Routh of Superman Returns and Chuck welcomed Fillion to the Magic community.
— Brandon Routh (@BrandonJRouth) January 30, 2014
Routh has had several appearances on Geek & Sundry, but so far has not been on Spellslingers. What we do know is he prefers mono-green, which is weird because you’d think he’d be an Izzet player.
7. Wil Wheaton
This is my last reference to Geek & Sundry, I promise. Wil Wheaton, host of Geek & Sundry’s widely popular show Tabletop (oh, and he was on a TV show called Star Trek: The Next Generation), has played Magic: The Gathering on and off for years. He even co-hosted the Battle for Zendikar preview show at PAX Prime this year.
At the beginning of 2014, Wheaton wrote on his personal blog about reconnecting with his son through playing Magic: The Gathering. The heartwarming story was shared across social media, including a share from Wizards of the Coast.
6. Blake Anderson
Known as Blake Henderson in the TV show Workaholics, Blake Anderson is also a known Magic: The Gathering player.
Anybody wanna play Magic the Gathering? I gotta nasty Merfolk deck.
— Blake Anderson (@UncleBlazer) May 31, 2011
The tweet above was sent out just over a month after Workaholics premiered on Comedy Central. Today, Anderson has over 774k followers on Twitter, but there was a time he wanted nothing more than to show off his nasty Merfolk deck to the world.
Anderson’s character has also played Magic: The Gathering on Workaholics, although after his game was rudely interrupted he proclaimed he was not a “Thrull, born to be sacrificed,” but rather “a Force of Nature,” “an Avatar of Might“.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Since joining Reddit two years ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has done three AMAs (Ask Me Anything) – roughly once a year. In his first AMA, he revealed that he prefers Magic: The Gathering over Pokemon.
A few months after the AMA:
@AdamNightmare Does he still play? He played as a kid.
— Brian David-Marshall (@Top8Games) September 19, 2013
— Brian David-Marshall (@Top8Games) September 19, 2013
So Joseph Gordon-Levitt used to play with Brian David-Marshall? It doesn’t get much better than that.
4. The Acacia Strain
Founded in Massachusetts in 2001, The Acacia Strain is a popular American deathcore band. They have released seven studio albums and two collaborative albums, and their Facebook page has nearly 400k fans.
It’s no secret that several members of The Acacia Strain are avid Magic: The Gathering players, and they even received a package from Wizards of the Coast shortly after the release of Dragon’s Maze.
— The Acacia Strain (@theacaciastrain) June 10, 2013
@LivingBowie A few of us do
— The Acacia Strain (@theacaciastrain) June 17, 2013
A few months later the band purchased a booster box of Theors and posted an invitation for fans to play pick-up games with them before shows.
The Acacia Strain has even written a song named after a Magic card, called “Doomblade”:
With a song named after one of the most popular black removal spells, it seems this death metal band prefers the color of death and destruction – which is fitting.
3. Aaron Dismuke
Best known as Alphonse Elric from the hugely popular anime Fullmetal Alchemist, Aaron Dismuke has become known for talking about Magic: The Gathering at convention panels as well as participating in Magic events at conventions.
In this interview from Pariahcon 2011 in Lakeland, FL, Dismuke talks about learning Magic: The Gathering from friends in his high school theatre program, along with Yu-Gi-Oh!, poker, and other card games.
2. Seth Rogen
In 2007, while hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live, Seth Rogan referenced the fact that he used to play Magic: The Gathering (but let’s be honest, nobody truly quits).
In the opening monologue, Rogen talks about having started the script for Superbad when he was 13, and how much he had looked forward to hosting SNL after the movie was complete. He proceeded to read an SNL acceptance speech he had supposedly prepared as a teenager, making outdated references such as Knight Rider and the Wu-Tang Clan. As part of the acceptance speech, Rogen pitched some ideas for new Magic: The Gathering cards he had come up with.
— Monty Ashley (@monty_ashley) January 3, 2013
— Monty Ashley (@monty_ashley) January 4, 2013
1. Jerry Seinfeld
Seinfeld is a TV show infamous for its pop-culture references, the most notable being a reference to Superman in every episode.
Fans have often postulated what it would be like if the cast of Seinfeld played popular tabletop games, such as an online comic, “Fanboys”, that is spot on in its depiction of the Seinfeld cast playing Dungeons & Dragons.
But recently, an observant fan pointed out something unusual from the set, in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment:
To the untrained eye, this just seems like a random box, but a Magic: The Gathering player from the 90’s will be able to point out that Jerry Seinfeld has Magic product in his possession. And it’s not surprising at all, because the characters of the syndicated sitcom must have had creative outlets with which to pass the time.
By the way, there’s a Twitter account called @SeinfeldMagic, and it’s absolute comedy gold.
Jerry's claim that he "doesn't see color" is supported by Battle for Zendikar. Kramer wins a PPTQ without playing a match.
— Jerry (@SeinfeldMagic) October 19, 2015
George creates a meta-breaking deck that will take the Standard format by storm. Brian Kibler gets credit for it.
— Jerry (@SeinfeldMagic) March 21, 2013
George gets in a fist-fight with Sheldon Menery over the Extort mechanic's color identity. Kramer stocks up on checklist cards.
— Jerry (@SeinfeldMagic) March 21, 2013
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss anyone out? What other celebrities do you know of that plays Magic? Please let us know in the comments.
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