SRJC’s Magic the Gathering club

Magic the Gathering club hosts open games every Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. and Fridays from 2-6 p.m. in the Bertolini student success center at the Santa Rosa campus.
Magic the Gathering club hosts open games every Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. and Fridays from 2-6 p.m. in the Bertolini student success center at the Santa Rosa campus.
Jesus Lopez Cruz

Students packed into Santa Rosa Junior College’s Bertolini Hall dining room on a recent Wednesday afternoon, even though the cafeteria was closed. Some 20 students sat across from each other, the tables between them strewn with colorful cards. Players laughed as they duked it out with their creature, dungeon, tribal and sorcery cards; some played for hours, until day’s end.

The students were members of one of SRJC’s most popular clubs, Magic: The Gathering, which boasts 90 members on its Discord server and draws in dozens of students on in-person club days.

“If you’re interested at all in this game, come down! Like, see what’s going on!” said Maxmillian Murray, club president. “If you’ve never played at all, still, it’s a really fun time.”

The club meets from 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays and from 2-6 p.m. Fridays in SRJC’s Bertolini Hall.

The internationally famous card game Magic: The Gathering first entered the public sphere in 1993. Its creator, Richard Garfield, also worked on other games including King of Tokyo, Robo Rally and The Hunter.

Club members often carry extra card decks, which they make available to students who want to try the game. “The club is very newcomer friendly,” Murry said.

Club member Austin Fullmer, a dental hygiene major in his third year, enjoys attending the club, laughing and making lighthearted jokes with the members. “I’m really glad that there’s a place to play Magic here at the JC that’s not at the tournament setting where you have to pay to be there,” he said.

This club, which was founded by Maxmillian Murry in 2023, has built a community of students who share a common interest in this game of magic and skill.

Magic offers different game formats, the most-played of which is the Commander format. The game revolves around a single commander who leads a 100-card deck. The commander can be some kind of creature, a “planeswalker,” a tutor or a character represented by a variety of other cards. Cards are typically assigned to a category or categories that are recognized by colors: white, blue, black, red or green.

A match in this game format can involve as many players as a person wants. The duration of the game varies depending on how many people are playing. At the club meeting, a game with three players ran for about an hour and a half, while a game with four people took two-and-a-half hours.

Another member, history major Elijah Waters, is new to Magic, so he only recently ordered his own card deck for the club. While waiting for it to arrive, he played with one of the club’s extra decks. His only criticism? “Magic club could always be larger,” he said.

The president and members of the club are available for chats on the club’s Discord server, which students can reach using the app or online.