"Traditional" Parents Raising Children To Play Magic With Ante

Jon Ruggiero • June 19, 2024

Procious, WV - Hunter and Willow Tillard, a couple who lives off-grid and is in favor of living a more "traditional" lifestyle, are teaching their children to play Magic: The Gathering with ante, a defunct gambling mechanic.

Like other "traditional" parents, the Tillards will home-school their children on off-the-grid farmland, raising them to believe in a Christian doctrine and the idea that true Magic is played by gambling with random cards in your deck and giving them up if you lose.

"We're a simple folk," explained Hunter while doing the back-breaking daily labor of organizing his draft chaff. "We believe that Jesus is the one true Lord, humans were meant to live off of the great bounty God has given us, and Cephalids sure as hell ain't octopuses. Me and the missus share these ideals so we went off-grid before we had kids, to get familiar with living off the land before we put our children onto the battlefield, not 'create' them like some rules committees would have you believe.

"We want to make sure our ideals spread to our kids. Also me and Willow are huge card game fans. So we're wanting to raise them right, and teach them the proper ways, like why Contract from Below and Bronze Tablet are important. Too many people are trying to erase history nowadays, and I'm sick of it. Whether you like it or not, ante is an important part of Magic you can't just ignore, and my wife agrees with me. If you disagree you'll have to pry my Arabian Nights Jeweled Bird from my cold, dead hands."

After the interview we received an e-mail from Willow Tillard, who said that while she loves her husband and lifestyle, she does not believe in some of the same rules he does.

"Look, Hunter has a good heart, and he loves his kids, but he's a bit backwards with some stuff," conceded Willow in an e-mail she sent discreetly from her local library. "When we met, he was full of life and energy; you should've seen how his eyes lit up whenever he had a game with his ol' Thraximundar EDH deck. We never even talked about ante. Now he insists it's a key component to the game, as opposed to a dumb old relic that probably led to way more upset players than it lead to fun gameplay. Can you imagine anteing a Mox Jet against someone's Forest? I love him, but that's nonsense."

During the interview, Hunter also insisted on showing off his Pauper deck hand-carved from reclaimed American beech wood he found on his property.

Escape room designer, comedy show host, satire writer; Jon Ruggiero never misses an opportunity to do weird things for money. He's written for Cracked, Hard Times and Hard Drive, and hopes you enjoy what he writes here.