So I play modified casual with my friends (you can use anything you own), but this presents more problems. My friends that play have an unlimited supply of money, so they can just purchase the best cards, and when they're done, trade them away for other amazing cards.
This puts me in an awkward situation: I cannot really compete with them, just because of the card advantage. I cannot afford to just buy what I need to make a good deck that could at least be on par with theirs for 1/3 of the time. I could open up booster packs, but if I draw a Garruk, Primal Hunter, I might have to purchase others to use it effectively in a deck. Or, I could trade it away, trading down for a playset of decent cards. Another option is saving all the good cards I get and then trading for a set of good cards so that I can use them. This is impractical as it will take many booster packs to get enough expensive cards. I might as well buy them individually.
This game makes me mad. In order to do well, one must sink a tremendous amount of money into it. Then, half a year later (with the release of the new block or core set), I must start all over again to make something that can compete with those with unlimited resources. Standard cycles out too frequently, legacy is too expensive, and no other format is really ever played. That leaves me with Commander, which is still under debate if you should try to win or have fun. Currently, my friends have decided that it's a good idea to make all sorts of instant-win combos, and all cards must be the silly cards (such as the $5 uncommons, $20 rares, the broken cards). While I might be able to purchase several of these cards, it's inconceivable for me to make a deck filled with them; one that can actually compete.
I guess what I am saying is that Magic is a game of money. The more you have, the better you can do. Unless you are some sort of super genius and see card's potential and make winning decks with undervalued cards (cards that will soon be priced their real level, with everyone making a deck copying the winning one), making a good deck is too expensive. Even the "budget" deck, RDW, wants two to three Koth, of the Hammers, currently priced at $15-$16 each. I feel that this is hurting Magic. Shouldn't it be accessible to people of all means, not just those that are willing to shell out whatever is necessary to stomp everyone else? I love this game, but I feel I am the wrong demographic for it.