Are you interested in getting into Magic: The Gathering? If so, you’re certainly not alone, as there are a plethora of players all around the world. In fact, MTG is considered to be one of the most popular trading card games out there. To be more specific, it is estimated that around 20 million people are playing MTG around the globe.
What you might not know about MTG is the fact that this collectible card game was an inspiration for some of the most well-known trading card names out there. So, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! – both of these stem from inspiration gathered from what MTG has to offer.
Now, there are many reasons for this popularity, but to put it simply – this game is incredibly fun. If you want to learn more about the specifics, as well as about how you can join in on the fun – you have come to the right place.
In this article, you will be able to learn everything that you need to know in order to get started with MTG. Before getting into the rules, let’s start with the basics so that you can get more familiar with MTG.
First things first – the history and the overview
If you’re only familiar with the name MTG and not the entire concept – here’s what you need to know. This game was created and released in 1993, and ever since, it has been on the rise in popularity.
By many, it is considered the apex trading card game, as well as actually the first one out there. A new game idea was introduced to the world, and it goes as follows. Two players have their own decks of cards, and they compete with the goal to defeat the other one by utilizing mana. Mana can be spent to summon different creatures, but also spells, items, and abilities as well.
When it comes to decks and how they are constructed – there is a lot of freedom for you to be creative and strategic. Every player has the right to fully customize their deck before they enter a battle. The cards from which you can create your deck are plentiful.
There are a plethora of default decks, sets, and different expansions, as you can read about at the Amazing Game Room, with a lot of helpful guides on MTG. In fact, so far, over 20,000 cards exist that can be used for playing Magic: The Gathering.
Once your deck is created, it’s time to set the stage. You are the great battle commander, and your creatures from your deck are your warriors. What you do is utilize your creatures to help defend you, as well as to attack. By taking damage instead of you, they defend you, but they can also attack your opponent.
The way in which you make your attack more potent and elusive is by utilizing your spells, as well as many different items. Use your artifact, enchant your weapons – be creative! And when it comes to energy sources for all the actions – in all cases, the source is mana. Now, let’s proceed to how you should play in more detail.
Starting the game – what you need to know
This game is unlike any other traditional card game you’ve seen. How so?
As mentioned before, the way in which you win this game is by killing your opponents. Now, at the beginning of each battle, everyone starts with initial 20 health points. These health points are tracked with 20-sided dice.
What your deck must consist of are, in general, 60 playing cards. Many people opt for decks with a certain type of land. The type of land reflects the color theme of the card, but more importantly, the types of the creatures, spells, etc. In any case, you aren’t restricted by the colors when creating your deck. You can include cards of any possible land/color theme to your deck, and combine them as you please.
Drawing the first cards
So, when the match begins, all the players must draw cards first. More specifically, seven cards are drawn from the top of the deck randomly. Once you draw, take a look at your cards, are you satisfied with what you’ve got? If the answer is no, you have the ability to take a so-called Mulligan.
By doing so, you first discard all your cards, and then you draw again – but this time, you draw only six cards. With every new round, you draw a new card before you play.
What to play and how
The first thing that you need to do once the turn begins is to lay down land cards (mana cards). You must do this in order to power any other card that you might use afterward. In general, cards that are deemed more powerful require more mana, which is drawn from the land cards.
Of course, the more powerful the land card, the more mana you have, and hence – you can use more powerful cards. Now, there are some cards that can only be powered by more than one type of mana, meaning that you need different land cards.
As the game begins, you will only be able to use less powerful cards such as goblins, because you don’t have that much mana. After you build up your land, you can gradually start laying down more powerful creatures.
You’ve been able to read about the most important facts regarding land cards so far. All that’s left to get you started is the different types of mana that they provide. The types of mana are differentiated by the colors, them being black, blue, red, green, and white.
Any card that isn’t a land card will require you to tap into your mana. When you decide to do so, you lay down your card in a way that it is turned 90 degrees to its side. This way, you are making it clear that your card is summoned. Doing this has different consequences and actions depending on the type of card.
If you use your creature card in order to attack, for instance, you can’t use it for defense in the following round.
Creature and spell cards in more detail
Everything that you need to know about your creature cards is written on them. By reading them, you will learn about the stats regarding their defense and attack. You will also be able to see what you need in order to summon them. Finally, there are certain special abilities about which you can read as well.
When it comes to spell cards, there are different types out there, of course. For instance, some of them are called instants. This means you can use them at any given time, even in direct response to what the other player does. Other cards must be timed appropriately, and these factors ensure that there is a lot to think about when it comes to strategy.
Since you also draw randomly, there is, of course, the factor of luck. The way in which you make sure to have your deck working to your advantage is by building your deck carefully.
Finally, you can see that pretty much anyone can get the gist of MTG only after a couple of games. Naturally, if you want to get better at it, you have to continue doing your research. Luckily – there are a lot of resources out there in the form of guidelines and even books. Good luck!