Find them on YouTube here: https://t.co/uX78hrzgVn. You can also find them on Twitter @Haus_of_Magic.
ElspethFTW: Hi Erik and Cassie! There have been some MtG couples on YouTube, but you guys always do videos together, which is really cool. That isn’t always the case. As someone who knows quite a few couples that have bonded over Magic, it’s really cool to see you guys actually doing videos together all the time.
Q1: How did Haus of Magic come to be?
Cassie: I had wanted to start a YouTube Channel for a while, since I was always get a lot of interesting comments for being a female Magic player. I also had been bugging Erik for a while about keeping a camera on us more often for Instagram Videos, because we have a lot of funny moments that just happen. We spend a lot of time together just laughing at stupid things we say and do.
Erik: She forced me into it. [laughs]. We had talked about it for a while and then she finally said “We’re doing it” and I said “OK”
Cassie: Well.. sorta. We went to a SCG Open together after having started getting back into Magic during Ixalan Prerelease (We had to take a year and a half break because weddings are expensive). We decided to draft and noticed a lot of people commented on how cool it was I played with my husband and that they wished their S.O. did the same. For us, Magic had ALWAYS been a part of our relationship, it’s probably the main reason Erik wanted to date me, so it was normal. We had a discussion on the way home about why couples don’t play Magic together and I remember ERIK suggesting we record that night. I remember because it was a huge shock to me, but I wasn’t going to say no.
ElspethFTW: So it's definitely a relationship that came out of Magic. It's always awesome to see mtg bring people together! Seems like the videos are working out well!
Q2: What’s your favorite part of doing these videos?
Cassie: I think these videos have really helped us both in a lot of ways. For one, I feel our marriage has been strengthened from them because it’s something we do together and we really focus on betting ourselves as a team. I also found myself without a lack of purpose at times after getting married, being done with school, and finding a job that really suits my needs. You spend your whole time planning for the future and then when you get there, you can feel a little lost. These videos have definitely given me something to focus on as a hobby that I enjoy, and they’ve also forced me into the Magic Community on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram so I feel I’m making friends from them! I also REALLY love researching, and I’m always trying to keep up on the latest MtG news to use on our channel. Basically, I think starting this channel has made me a better person overall.
Erik: Huh… I guess, I mean, We’re still pretty young and stuff, but just expressing our ideas and thoughts and getting feedback from different people in different walks of life and stuff. And, it’s just fun! Even if we get no likes or a million likes, I still think we’re going to do it no matter what.
ElspethFTW: I think community is the best part about content creation. I mean, at the end of the day, content is all about connecting with people. The research is probably my favorite part, too. And yeah, you gotta do it because you love it, because a lot of days you’ll get no likes and feel like the world is coming to an end. And hey, you at least have each other :) And the Magic community.
Q3: What do you enjoy most about Magic? Is there any way that Wizards could improve that aspect of the game?
Erik: So I love Tribals and I think they’re fun and great and I wish they would print more sets that are focused on some of the old and new Tribals, like they’ve done in Ixalan with the Pirates and Dinos. For me, it adds a little bit more thrill to the game. I also like what they’re doing with Slivers and Merfolk. I’m not a big fan of the decks that are no creatures and all spells. I like seeing creatures and battling, not a bunch of mana and spells. I don’t like counters, counters, counters and then play this card twice and I win (i.e. Approach of the Second Sun). To me, that’s not Magic, that’s playing a spell.
ElspethFTW: Tribal decks are awesome and Wizards is consistently making sure that popular tribes get more support. I know what you mean about creatures - I’m partial to creature-heavy decks myself. But there are times I enjoy some good ole spellslinging, too. In the early days of Magic, combos and slinging instants and sorceries at each other was really commonplace. Wizards has definitely shifted the game’s focus towards creatures, and I think it’s a good way to go. There’s still a little something for everyone, though.
Cassie: I think Erik and I both agree that Magic is a game, and we play it because it’s fun for us. I really enjoy limited formats and creating my own deck. I know that Wizards will never get rid of Net Decking, but I definitely wish it was less advertised. I feel that, for me, a big part of playing the game is making your own deck and learning the aspects of those cards. When you just take a deck that a pro made and then use that in games, to me it’s like taking out half of the game. It’s not just about battling, it’s about creating the army you’re battling with. Like I said, I know Net Decking will never go away, but maybe could we quit making articles about specific decks over and over and over again?
ElspethFTW: Deck building your way is really what Magic was always about. There’s both good and bad to net decking. The information is very useful, but it’s definitely true that people home-brew less than they used to. This leads to a lot of really cool cards not really getting their due in Standard. That’s why Magic calls the deck the “library” because it really is meant to be a collection of spells that you chose to do battle with, so I agree that the over-dependence on net decking has definitely taken away that part of the game for a lot of people. But Wizards still allows for plenty of deck-building options in each set. Still, formats get “figured out” pretty quickly, which is sort of annoying when you just want to build with the cards you have and be able to compete at a relatively decent level.
Q4: You guys stream on Twitch.tv, too. How has your experience been there and how does it compare to YouTube?
Cassie: Haha, I'll take this one. I basically forced Erik into trying twitch and the one Livestream we tried failed HORRIBLY because of our internet. We did try to do it on YouTube Live, but our speed wasn't fast enough, so we switched to Twitch. It was a massive failure, but we are hoping to buy an Ethernet Cable and try again before Christmas, so keep an eye out.
Because neither of us plays MTGOnline, it will always be us playing our decks with our webcam. Maybe we'll pop on the PS4 and kill some zombies together, but we aren't quite high-tech enough to have our faces in the bottom corner or whatever, but we're really good at dieing... So there's that.
ElspethFTW: Nothing wrong with playing paper decks on webcam, in my opinion. Streaming does take a ton of computer and bandwidth resources. I've never been able to do it effectively even with decent internet, myself. It's something I always wanted to do, though, and people love the live stuff. So it's always worth trying again.
Q5: If there’s one thing you could change about Magic, what would it be?
Erik: When they do the modern masters and specialty sets, I feel they should have cards that have not been reprinted a million times and cards that players actually want. I understand that they are trying to maintain the investment value of the original cards, but I feel in doing this they are doing a disservice to new players who never got to play with those original sets.
Cassie:I wish Magic Online was a better format. I don't like the idea of paying an identical price for an online set of cards. If I could convert my physical cards to Magic Online, or if I could get a physical copy of the cards that I buy there, I would be much happier. Like how Pokemon TCG has the ability to buy a pack, put in a code, and get those cards on their online version.
ElspethFTW: Great answers!
I do feel like they should reprint some different cards and not print some into dust. I completely agree with that, Erik.
MTGO is generally a lot cheaper than paper Magic, especially if you use one of the really good botchains like GoatBots (my personal favorite). But I do like how Pokemon TCG uses code cards. I think a lot of people have suggested that Wizards do something similar with Arena that allows people buying packs extra value, which I think is a great idea.
Thanks so much for the interview guys! Anything you'd like to say before we wrap up?
Erik & Cassie: We are just so grateful for the interview and hope we can help bring magic to new players. We love playing together and think it's a great bonding time for couples and even families. We're not a perfect couple... But we're entertaining.
ElspethFTW: Is anyone perfect? XD
Thanks so much guys. And good luck with your channel!
** Disclaimer: I was compensated in absolutely no form for this interview. It was done purely for the good of the Magic the Gathering community and the goodness of my own heart ;)