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In this instructable I'll teach you the basics of M:tG, including: how to build a deck, using mana, card types and more. Magic is just as much a trading card collection as it is a strategy game.

Cards are classed in rarity,from least rare to most rare cards come in; common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare, you can also get a foil version of every card that makes the card slightly more valuable.

You can't play magic without having the cards so obviously the first step into magic, is to buy some cards. You can obtain cards in a number of different ways.

A booster pack contains 10 commons, 3 uncommon, and 1 rare or mythic rare card. An intro pack contains a 60 card deck i'll explain why 60 later on 2 booster packs, and an instructions manual which you won't need after this instructable.

A clash pack contains two 60 card decks so you can play with your friends if they don't have a deck,there is also a guide on how to combine the two decks to make a single more powerful deck.

A fat pack contains; nine booster packs, 80 basic lands, and 2 deck boxes, along with a couple of other trinkets. Finally, a booster box is pretty much when you buy the entire box of booster packs from a store, it contains 36 booster packs.

If you are just getting started with Magic, i suggest buying an intro pack. An intro pack is exactly what it sounds like, its a deck made for beginners like you and it comes at a fairly cheap price.

You can pick these up at your local comic or card store, or even at a department store. I've found though that it is cheaper to buy cards at a comic store.

There are a few different ways to play Magic the Gathering, but for this Instructable we will be focusing on Standard constructed play.

Constructed means that you have made a deck before hand and brought it to wherever your playing.

The deck must have a minimum of 60 cards and there is no upper limit although most players prefer to stick to 60 cards. Standard is a bit confusing at first, especially because Magic is undergoing a change.

In Magic, cards are released in blocks, each block has a story behind it and the cards usually fit that story.

Blocks rotate in and out of standard play, meaning that once a block has been out for a certain amount of time, you can no longer play with the cards from that block in standard.

This may seem like a waste of money, but it keeps the game fresh and you can still use those old cards in different styles of the game.

The block rotation fight now the old way is that 3 sets come out in a year, all three combined are referred to as the block, and one core set comes out in the summer.

The core set is just a one off thing that has nothing to do with the blocks. The rotation goes like this, 3 sets come out to make block-A, then core-A set comes out.

Next, Block-B comes out, and core-B set comes out. Now 2 Blocks and 2 Core sets are standard legal. Now, if that wasn't confusing enough, The rotation and blocks are being changed.

Beginning in , Blocks will be only 2 sets, one big one, and one little one. Also, there will be three Blocks that are standard legal at a time.

Also there will no longer be core sets. Mana is used to cast spells, enchantments and creatures that will fight for you and defend you against your opponent.

Each of these cards requires a certain number of mana to cast. How do you get mana you ask? Mana is obtained by casting cards called lands.

There are 5 types of lands, one for each mana colour, Mountain red , Swamp black , Island blue , Forest green , and Plains white.

During the game, you will be able put one land onto the board every time its your turn and each of these land can yield one mana a turn, so you will need alot of lands.

It is up to you which colours you like, and which ones you want to make a deck with. Some colors go better with some than others, often it depends on the block that your playing with.

To keep it simple in the beginning, you might choose to have only one colour in your deck, although most intro packs start you off with 2.

If you notice the picture of 'blood-fire colossus' you can see whats circled. There's a 6, and 2 red mana symbols, this is the casting cost of that creature.

This means it will cost you 2 red mana, and 6 mana of any colour to cast. Land- As you learned in the Mana section, land are what gives you mana to cast spells and creatures.

Land cards do not cost any mana to cast. Lands are permanent meaning they stay on the battlefield unless removed or destroyed and can only be used on your turn.

One land card can be placed down every turn. To use a land card and get mana, you need to Tap the card. This means you turn the card sideways, it remains sideways until your next turn where you Untap all of your cards if they where tapped last turn.

Tapping a land gives you one mana. Creature- Next card type are the foundations of your deck. Creatures are what you will primarily use to attack your opponent and defend yourself.

Each creature has a certain mana cost that you must use land cards to pay for, creatures are also permanent. Upon casting a creature onto the battlefield you must tap them for that turn, this is called summoning sickness.

Some creatures have abilities that override summoning sickness, but most do not. On the bottom right of a creature card, there are two numbers divided by a slash.

When you block an attack with your creature on your opponents turn, you do not tap that creature. Artifacts- Artifacts permanent cards that act as magical items and equipment.

Artifacts require that you pay to cast them onto the battlefield, than you must pay to use one of their abilities, you can use their abilities as many times as you want.

A type of artifact called equipment has an ability that lets you attach it to a creature, usually giving that creature a boost of some kind.

Tapping a card means that you cannot use certain abilities for one turn. If, for example, you tap a card in order to use its ability, it stays tapped until the beginning of your next turn.

You can't use its tapping ability again until it is untapped. In order to attack, you need to tap your creature. A creature expends its energy going into battle, causing it to be tapped.

You do this unless the card specifically says you should not tap it. Some cards do not tap when they attack. You cannot block with a creature that is tapped.

When a creature is tapped, it is ineligible to block. Know what power and defense stand for. Creatures have one number for power and another number for defense.

The following creature, Phyrexian Broodlings, has a power of 2 and a defense of 2. Power is the number of points a creature can deal in combat.

If a creature has a power of 5, it deals 5 damage to any creature who chooses to block it in combat. If that creature goes unblocked in combat, it deals 5 damage directly to the opponent, who subtracts that number from his or her total life.

Defense is the number of points a creature can withstand in combat before it dies and is sent to the graveyard. A creature with a defense of 4 can withstand 3 points of damage in combat without dying.

Once it is dealt 4 points of damage, it goes into that player's graveyard at the end of combat. Understand how damage is assigned in combat.

When a player chooses to attack another player in combat, attackers and blockers are declared. Attacking creatures are declared first.

Let's say that Anathemancer is attacking and Magus of the Moat is blocking. Anathemancer has a power of 2 and a defense of 2.

Magus of the Moat has a power of 0 and a defense of 3. What happens when they square up for battle? The Anathemancer deals 2 damage to the Magus, while the Magus deals 0 damage to the Anathemancer.

The 2 damage that the Anathemancer deals to the Magus isn't enough to kill it. The Magus can withstand 3 damage before it gets put in the graveyard.

On the flip side, the 0 damage the Magus deals to the Anathemancer isn't enough to kill it. The Anathemancer can withstand 2 before it gets put in the graveyard.

Both creatures survive. Understand how to activate certain abilities that creatures, enchantments, and artifacts have. Much of the time, creatures come with abilities that players get to activate.

Using these abilities is much like summoning the creature, in that you need to pay a "cost," in mana, to use them. Look at the following example.

That's the mana cost it takes in order to activate this ability. In order to activate this ability, tap one basic land of any color that's for the 1 colorless mana , as well as one Plains that's for the one white mana.

Now tap the card itself, Ictian Crier — that's for the "tap" sign after the mana requirements. Finally, discard a card from your hand — any one will do, but you probably want to discard your least valuable card.

Part 4 of Understand the different phases of a turn. Each player's turn has five phases, or steps. Understanding what these five phases are and how they work is an essential part of understanding gameplay.

In order, the five phases are:. Beginning phase. The beginning phase has three different steps: Untap step: the player untaps all his cards unless that card stays tapped during Untap.

Upkeep step: not usually used, but sometimes a player has to pay mana — i. Draw step: the player draws one card.

First main phase. During this phase, a player may put down one land from his or her hand. Also during this phase, a player may choose to play a card from his or her hand by tapping lands to produce mana.

Combat phase. This phase is split into five steps. Declare attack: this is where the player first declares attack.

The defender may play spells after the attack has been declared. Declare attackers: after attack has been declared, the attacking player chooses which creatures he wishes to attack with.

Attacking player cannot choose which defending creatures he wishes to attack. Multiple blockers can be assigned to a single attacker.

Assign damage: creatures deal damage to one another during this step. Attacking creatures with equal or higher power compared the blocking creature's defense destroy that blocking creature.

Blocking creatures with equal or higher power compared the attacking creature's defense destroy that attacking creature. It is possible for both creatures to destroy each other.

End of combat: nothing much happens during this phase; both players are given the opportunity to cast instants.

Second main phase. After combat, there is a second main phase, identical to the first, in which the player can cast spells and summon creatures.

Ending phase, or cleanup. During this phase, any abilities or spells that "trigger" take place. This is a player's last chance to cast instants.

Part 5 of Understand what "flying" is. Creatures with flying cannot be blocked by creatures without flying.

In other words, if a creature has flying, it can only be blocked by another creature with flying or a creature that can explicitly block creatures with flying, such as a creature with reach.

Creatures with flying, however, can block creatures without flying. Understand what "first strike" is. First strike is a concept in attacking.

When one creature is attacking and a player chooses to defend that attack with a blocker, you measure their strengths and toughness against one another.

The strength of one is measured against the toughness of the other, and vice versa. Usually, damage is assigned at the same time; if the attacking creature's strength overpowers the defending creature's toughness, and the defending creature's strength overpowers the attacking creature's toughness, both creatures die.

If neither creature's strength is higher than the opponent's toughness, both creatures stay alive. If, however, one creature has first strike, that creature is given a "first chance shot" at knocking the other creature out with impunity: if the creature with first strike can kill the defending creature, the defending creature dies immediately, even if the defending creature would otherwise kill the attacking creature.

The attacking creature stays alive. For example. Understand what "vigilance" is. Vigilance is the ability to attack without tapping.

If a creature has vigilance, it can attack without tapping. Normally, attacking means that you need to tap your creature.

Vigilance means that a creature can attack and block in successive turns. Normally, if a creature attacks, it cannot block the next turn.

With vigilance, a creature can attack and then block the next turn because it isn't tapped. Know what "haste" is. Haste is the ability to tap and attack the very same turn a creature gets into play.

Normally, creatures must wait a turn to tap and attack; this is called "summoning sickness. Understand what "trample" is.

Trample is an ability creatures have to deal damage to opponents even if that creature is being blocked by an opponent's creature.

Normally, if a creature is blocked, the attacking creature only deals damage to that blocking creature. With trample, the difference between the trampling creature's strength and the blocking creature's toughness is dealt to the opponent.

For example, let's say that Kavu Mauler is attacking and Bonethorn Valesk decides to block it. The Mauler deals 4 damage to the Valesk, while the Valesk deals 4 damage back to the Mauler.

Both creatures die, but the Mauler manages to sneak in 2 damage to the opponent. Because the Valesk's toughness is only 2, and the Mauler has trample, which means 2 of its 4 damage gets dealt to the Valesk, and 2 gets dealt to the opponent.

Understand what "deathtouch" is. A creature dealt damage by a creature with deathtouch dies, no matter how much damage that is.

The Rats will also die. Understand "double strike". Double strike is like first strike, in that the creature with double strike deals damage first.

Then it attacks again Then, the turn proceeds as usual, where the second strike's attack damage is resolved at the same time as the defender's damage as in normal combat.

I know what you're thinking. The short answer is yes and the long answer is also yes. Once you use a mat especially with all that tapping , you'll never look back.

It's a big old school, but this abacus life counter helps you keep track of your 20 hit points because if you're in an intense game of Magic: The Gathering, you probably already have enough to keep track of.

The Core Set helps you collect powerful cards while also helping explain some of the rules with further instructions printed on the card.

Once you've got some cards, the next step is walking through a simple Magic card and learning what everything means.

In the example above, the Shivan Dragon is a creature card of the Dragon type. This tells a player how much mana or land you need to play this card.

The two red symbols mean you need to have at least two mountain mana in addition to four mana of any color to play this card.

If you have enough mana to pay this cost, you can spend the required mana and place it on the battlefield. This means when you attack, the Shivan Dragon deals 5 damage and it also takes 5 damage to knock its toughness to 0 thus killing Shivan Dragon and removing it from the game.

You also benefit from all abilities listed in the card ability section. While other creatures and card types have different effects once played, they all follow this same basic mana purchase system.

The only difference being that creatures, enchantments, and artifacts stay on the playing field whereas sorceries and instants are placed in your discard pile, also known as your graveyard , after casting their one-time effect.

The only cards that work slightly different are Planeswalkers. However, a Planeswalker essentially acts as another player, so when an opponent attacks you, he or she must specify if they are attacking you or your summoned Planeswalker.

Once you pay the mana cost, Domri your Planeswalker enters the battlefield with four tokens or loyalty counters bottom right.

While the first ability grants you more counters, the second and third abilities take away counters but are more powerful effects. In order to use these abilities, you need to spend turns adding counters to Domri, so you can use the card to its full potential.

This adds a dimension of strategy to the game where your creatures and spells need to protect you and your Planeswalker.

Walking through an average game of Magic would be a lesson in futility. With so many different cards, spells, and strategies, Magic is a game best taught through watching and playing than careful and complicated explanation.

This mechanic is how players determine in what order spells trigger if multiple cards are cast at the same time.

So if you play a creature, and your opponent casts a spell that kills it, but you counter that spell, but your opponent counters that counter, the Stack helps you figure out what exactly happened amidst the chaos of all that spell-slinging.

You'll also need to learn how a normal turn works. The general breakdown, listed on a helpful card left you'll find in Magic's starter bundles , breaks down everything so you can see at a glance how your average turn plays out.

Several helpful YouTube videos also break down turn phases even further. Remember these phases only refer to your turn.

You can still play instants and creature abilities on your opponent's turn. For really getting the most out of Magic, it's worth spending some time learning its lore.

Wizards of the Coast doesn't create cards out of nowhere. For most of Magic's history, each s et is one part of what is called a block.

A block usually contains three sets and tells a cohesive story across those sets. So you don't have to read 25 years of lore in order to understand the story behind the cards you're playing right now.

We have a concept artist work for weeks on concept art. We have writers write a bunch of stuff about the world, and we end up with a whole world guide…we can build an entire world around it.

Each new world comes with all its own themes, strife, magic, and complications.

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Know what power and defense stand for. Creatures have one number for power and another number for defense.

The following creature, Phyrexian Broodlings, has a power of 2 and a defense of 2. Power is the number of points a creature can deal in combat.

If a creature has a power of 5, it deals 5 damage to any creature who chooses to block it in combat. If that creature goes unblocked in combat, it deals 5 damage directly to the opponent, who subtracts that number from his or her total life.

Defense is the number of points a creature can withstand in combat before it dies and is sent to the graveyard. A creature with a defense of 4 can withstand 3 points of damage in combat without dying.

Once it is dealt 4 points of damage, it goes into that player's graveyard at the end of combat. Understand how damage is assigned in combat. When a player chooses to attack another player in combat, attackers and blockers are declared.

Attacking creatures are declared first. Let's say that Anathemancer is attacking and Magus of the Moat is blocking. Anathemancer has a power of 2 and a defense of 2.

Magus of the Moat has a power of 0 and a defense of 3. What happens when they square up for battle?

The Anathemancer deals 2 damage to the Magus, while the Magus deals 0 damage to the Anathemancer.

The 2 damage that the Anathemancer deals to the Magus isn't enough to kill it. The Magus can withstand 3 damage before it gets put in the graveyard.

On the flip side, the 0 damage the Magus deals to the Anathemancer isn't enough to kill it. The Anathemancer can withstand 2 before it gets put in the graveyard.

Both creatures survive. Understand how to activate certain abilities that creatures, enchantments, and artifacts have. Much of the time, creatures come with abilities that players get to activate.

Using these abilities is much like summoning the creature, in that you need to pay a "cost," in mana, to use them.

Look at the following example. That's the mana cost it takes in order to activate this ability. In order to activate this ability, tap one basic land of any color that's for the 1 colorless mana , as well as one Plains that's for the one white mana.

Now tap the card itself, Ictian Crier — that's for the "tap" sign after the mana requirements. Finally, discard a card from your hand — any one will do, but you probably want to discard your least valuable card.

Part 4 of Understand the different phases of a turn. Each player's turn has five phases, or steps.

Understanding what these five phases are and how they work is an essential part of understanding gameplay.

In order, the five phases are:. Beginning phase. The beginning phase has three different steps: Untap step: the player untaps all his cards unless that card stays tapped during Untap.

Upkeep step: not usually used, but sometimes a player has to pay mana — i. Draw step: the player draws one card. First main phase. During this phase, a player may put down one land from his or her hand.

Also during this phase, a player may choose to play a card from his or her hand by tapping lands to produce mana.

Combat phase. This phase is split into five steps. Declare attack: this is where the player first declares attack. The defender may play spells after the attack has been declared.

Declare attackers: after attack has been declared, the attacking player chooses which creatures he wishes to attack with.

Attacking player cannot choose which defending creatures he wishes to attack. Multiple blockers can be assigned to a single attacker.

Assign damage: creatures deal damage to one another during this step. Attacking creatures with equal or higher power compared the blocking creature's defense destroy that blocking creature.

Blocking creatures with equal or higher power compared the attacking creature's defense destroy that attacking creature. It is possible for both creatures to destroy each other.

End of combat: nothing much happens during this phase; both players are given the opportunity to cast instants.

Second main phase. After combat, there is a second main phase, identical to the first, in which the player can cast spells and summon creatures.

Ending phase, or cleanup. During this phase, any abilities or spells that "trigger" take place. This is a player's last chance to cast instants.

Part 5 of Understand what "flying" is. Creatures with flying cannot be blocked by creatures without flying. In other words, if a creature has flying, it can only be blocked by another creature with flying or a creature that can explicitly block creatures with flying, such as a creature with reach.

Creatures with flying, however, can block creatures without flying. Understand what "first strike" is. First strike is a concept in attacking.

When one creature is attacking and a player chooses to defend that attack with a blocker, you measure their strengths and toughness against one another.

The strength of one is measured against the toughness of the other, and vice versa. Usually, damage is assigned at the same time; if the attacking creature's strength overpowers the defending creature's toughness, and the defending creature's strength overpowers the attacking creature's toughness, both creatures die.

If neither creature's strength is higher than the opponent's toughness, both creatures stay alive. If, however, one creature has first strike, that creature is given a "first chance shot" at knocking the other creature out with impunity: if the creature with first strike can kill the defending creature, the defending creature dies immediately, even if the defending creature would otherwise kill the attacking creature.

The attacking creature stays alive. For example. Understand what "vigilance" is. Vigilance is the ability to attack without tapping. If a creature has vigilance, it can attack without tapping.

Normally, attacking means that you need to tap your creature. Vigilance means that a creature can attack and block in successive turns.

Normally, if a creature attacks, it cannot block the next turn. With vigilance, a creature can attack and then block the next turn because it isn't tapped.

Know what "haste" is. Haste is the ability to tap and attack the very same turn a creature gets into play. Normally, creatures must wait a turn to tap and attack; this is called "summoning sickness.

Understand what "trample" is. Trample is an ability creatures have to deal damage to opponents even if that creature is being blocked by an opponent's creature.

Normally, if a creature is blocked, the attacking creature only deals damage to that blocking creature. With trample, the difference between the trampling creature's strength and the blocking creature's toughness is dealt to the opponent.

For example, let's say that Kavu Mauler is attacking and Bonethorn Valesk decides to block it. The Mauler deals 4 damage to the Valesk, while the Valesk deals 4 damage back to the Mauler.

Both creatures die, but the Mauler manages to sneak in 2 damage to the opponent. Because the Valesk's toughness is only 2, and the Mauler has trample, which means 2 of its 4 damage gets dealt to the Valesk, and 2 gets dealt to the opponent.

Understand what "deathtouch" is. A creature dealt damage by a creature with deathtouch dies, no matter how much damage that is.

The Rats will also die. Understand "double strike". Double strike is like first strike, in that the creature with double strike deals damage first.

Then it attacks again Then, the turn proceeds as usual, where the second strike's attack damage is resolved at the same time as the defender's damage as in normal combat.

Not always. Many cards, such as artifacts and creatures, can tap for mana just as a land can. In addition, some cards may give you mana for the short time of one use.

Not Helpful 5 Helpful After a creature battles but survives, does the life of the creature reset on the next turn?

Yes, the life of the surviving creature heals at the end of the turn. So if your blocking creature survives an attack from your opponent, it will be at full health when you attack your opponent during your turn.

Not Helpful 9 Helpful Each basic land card produces one mana of its color every time that land is tapped.

New expansions and revisions of the base game "Core Sets" have since been released on a regular basis, amounting to four releases a year. By the end of , the game had printed over a billion cards.

Beginning in one revision of the core set and a set of three related expansions called a "block" were released every year.

This system was revised in , with the Core Set being eliminated and blocks now consisting of two sets, released biannually.

A further revision occurred in , reversing the elimination of the core sets and no longer constraining sets to blocks. While the essence of the game has always stayed the same, the rules of Magic have undergone three major revisions with the release of the Revised Edition in , Classic Edition in , and Magic in July In , Wizards of the Coast established the " Pro Tour ", [43] a circuit of tournaments where players can compete for sizeable cash prizes over the course of a single weekend-long tournament.

For a brief period of time, ESPN2 televised the tournaments. By April , 2 billion cards had been sold. A patent was granted to Wizards of the Coast in for "a novel method of game play and game components that in one embodiment are in the form of trading cards" that includes claims covering games whose rules include many of Magic' s elements in combination, including concepts such as changing orientation of a game component to indicate use referred to in the rules of Magic and later of Garfield's games such as Vampire: The Eternal Struggle as "tapping" and constructing a deck by selecting cards from a larger pool.

The legal action was settled out of court, and its terms were not disclosed. While unofficial methods of online play existed previously, [note 1] Magic Online often shortened to "MTGO" or "Modo" , an official online version of the game, was released in A new, updated version of Magic Online was released in April In February , Wizards noted that between the years of and they had printed over 20 billion Magic: the Gathering cards.

Magic: The Gathering cards are produced in much the same way as normal playing cards. The overwhelming majority of Magic cards are issued and marketed in the form of sets.

For the majority of its history there were two types: the Core Set and the themed expansion sets. Under Wizards of the Coast's current production and marketing scheme, a new set is released quarterly.

Various products are released with each set to appeal to different segments of the Magic playing community:. Shards of Alara also debuted mythic rares red-orange , which replace one in eight rare cards on average.

There are also premium versions of every card with holographic foil, randomly inserted into some boosters in place of a common, which replace about one in seventy cards.

As of , the number of consecutive sets set on the same world varies. For example, although Dominaria takes place in one set, the Guilds of Ravnica block will take place over three sets.

In addition, small sets have been removed due to developmental problems and all sets are now large. Prior to this change, sets were put into two-set blocks, starting with a large set and ending with a smaller one three months later.

These sets consist almost exclusively of newly designed cards. Contrasting with the wide-ranging Core Set, each expansion is focused around a subset of mechanics and ties into a set storyline.

Expansions also dedicate several cards to a handful of particular, often newly introduced, game mechanics. The Core Sets began to be released annually previously biennially in July coinciding with the name change from 10th Edition to Magic This shift also introduced new, never before printed cards into the core set, something that previously had never been done.

In addition to the quarterly set releases, Magic cards are released in other products as well, such as the Planechase and Archenemy spin-off games.

These combine reprinted Magic cards with new, oversized cards with new functionality. Magic cards are also printed specifically for collectors, such as the From the Vault and Premium Deck Series sets, which contain exclusively premium foil cards.

In , starting with the Eighth Edition Core Set, the game went through its biggest visual change since its creation—a new card frame layout was developed to allow more rules text and larger art on the cards, while reducing the thick, colored border to a minimum.

The card frame was changed once again in Core Set , which maintained the same templating, but made the card sleeker and added a holo-foil stamp to every rare and mythic card to curtail counterfeiting.

For the first few years of its production, Magic: The Gathering featured a small number of cards with names or artwork with demonic or occultist themes, in the company elected to remove such references from the game.

In , believing that the depiction of demons was becoming less controversial and that the game had established itself sufficiently, Wizards of the Coast reversed this policy and resumed printing cards with "demon" in their names.

In , starting with Throne of Eldraine , booster packs have a chance of containing an alternate art "showcase card".

This is to increase the reward of buying boosters and making it more exciting. A new format, "Jumpstart", was introduced in July alongside the Core set.

These are special themed card booster packs, based on nearly cards, several being reprints of cards from previous sets, with possible packs available.

Each is a curated set rather than random selection of cards, built around a theme, such as "Pirates" or "Unicorns". Each theme has a small number of possible card sets on that threme, distributed on a rarity basis, such that the specific booster that a player purchases will still be a random selection.

Because many are reprints, not all Jumpstart cards are available to be used in the various Constructed formats but can be used in other modes of play.

A special Jumpstart format was introduced for these boosters, where players select two desired themes, and are given a random booster from those themes and sufficient land cards to make a card deck.

Garfield had established that Magic: The Gathering took place in a Multiverse with countless possible worlds planes , the game's primary events taking place on the plane of Dominaria, and unique and rare beings called Planeswalkers are capable of traversing the Multiverse.

This allows the game to frequently change worlds so as to renew its mechanical inspiration, while maintaining planeswalkers as recurrent, common elements across worlds.

Players represent planeswalkers able to draw on the magics and entities of these planes to do battle with others. Story elements were told through the cards' flavor text , but otherwise without any driving narrative.

Early expansions were designed separately, each with their own internal narrative to establish concepts, keywords, and flavoring. Wizards, which had regained the license from Harper Prism and Armada an imprint of Acclaim Entertainment to write novels for Magic: The Gathering , still worked to integrate the novel writing staff with the game designers so that there was some cohesion between the game and books, but did not seek to make this a key priority as the Weatherlight goal had been.

Kelman became responsible for crafting the Magic: The Gathering story bible from all established lore as reference for further expansions and for the external media.

Each card has an illustration to represent the flavor of the card, often reflecting the setting of the expansion for which it was designed.

Much of Magic 's early artwork was commissioned with little specific direction or concern for visual cohesion.

Each block of cards now has its own style guide with sketches and descriptions of the various races and places featured in the setting.

A few early sets experimented with alternate art for cards. However, Wizards came to believe that this impeded easy recognition of a card and that having multiple versions caused confusion when identifying a card at a glance.

As Magic has expanded across the globe, its artwork has had to change for its international audience. Artwork has been edited or given alternate art to comply with the governmental standards.

For example, the portrayal of skeletons and most undead in artwork was prohibited by the Chinese government until Wizards of the Coast has introduces specials cards and sets that include cross-promotional elements with other brands typically as promotional cards, not legal for Standard play and may be unplayable even in eternal formats.

The rulebook was published also in to correspond with the newer expansion's release. A article in USA Today suggested that playing Magic might help improve the social and mental skills of some of the players.

The article interviewed players' parents who believe that the game, similar to sports, teaches children how to more gracefully win and lose.

Magic also contains a great amount of strategy and vocabulary that children may not be exposed to on a regular basis.

Parents also claimed that playing Magic helped keep their children out of trouble, such as using illegal drugs or joining criminal gangs.

On the other hand, the article also briefly mentions that Magic can be highly addictive, leading to parents worried about their children's Magic obsession.

Jordan Weisman , an American game designer and entrepreneur, commented,. By combining the collecting and trading elements of baseball cards with the fantasy play dynamics of role-playing games, Magic created a whole new genre of product that changed our industry forever.

In , The Guardian reported that an estimated 20 million people played Magic around the world and that the game had a thriving tournament scene, a professional league and a weekly organized game program called Friday Night Magic.

Of the franchise brands, only Magic and Monopoly logged revenue gains last year". Already, according to Hasbro, a billion games have been played online".

In addition, several individuals including Richard Garfield and Donato Giancola won personal awards for their contributions to Magic.

The success of Magic: The Gathering led to the creation of similar games by other companies as well as Wizards of the Coast themselves. Companion Games produced the Galactic Empires CCG the first science fiction trading card game , which allowed players to pay for and design their own promotional cards, while TSR created the Spellfire game, which eventually included five editions in six languages, plus twelve expansion sets.

Other similar games included trading card games based on Star Trek and Star Wars. There is an active secondary market in individual cards among players and game shops.

This market arose from two different facets: players seeking specific cards to help complete or enhance their existing decks and thus were less concerned on the value of the cards themselves, and from collectors seeking the rarer cards for their monetary value to complete collections.

Common cards rarely sell for more than a few cents and are usually sold in bulk. Foil versions of rare and mythic rare cards are typically priced at about twice as much as the regular versions.

Some of the more sought-after rare and mythic rare cards can have foil versions that cost up to three or four times more than the non-foil versions.

A few of the oldest cards, due to smaller printings and limited distribution, are highly valued and rare. This is partly due to the Reserved List, a list of cards from the sets Alpha to Urza's Destiny — that Wizards has promised never to reprint.

The most expensive card that was in regular print as opposed to being a promotional or special printing is the Black Lotus , copies of which are worth thousands of dollars at minimum.

In , a "Pristine 9. The secondary market started with comic book stores, and hobby shops displaying and selling cards, with the cards' values determined somewhat arbitrarily by the employees of the store.

Hobbyist magazines, already tracking prices of sports trading cards , engaged with the Magic secondary market by surveying the stores to inquire on current prices to cards, which they then published.

If a card was played in a tournament more frequently, the cost of the card would be higher in addition to the market availability of the card.

TCGPlayer developed a metric called the TCG Market Price for each card that was based on the most recent sales, allowing for near real-time valuation of a card in the same manner as a stock market.

Today, the secondary market is so large and complex, it has become an area of study for consumer research called Magic: The Gathering finance.

Active Magic financial traders have gained a sour reputation with more casual Magic players due to the lack of regulations, and that the market manipulations makes it costly for casual players to buy single cards simply for purposes for improving decks.

As of late , Wizards of the Coast has expressed concern over the increasing number of counterfeit cards in the secondary market.

There are several examples of academic, peer-reviewed research concerning different aspects of Magic: The Gathering.

One study examined how players use their imaginations when playing. This research studied hobby players and showed how players sought to create and participate in an epic fantasy narrative.

Magic: The Gathering video games, comics, and books have been produced under licensing or directly by Wizards of the Coast.

Arena of the Planeswalkers is a tactical boardgame where the players maneuver miniatures over a customizable board game, and the ruleset and terrain is based on Heroscape , but with an addition of spell cards and summoning.

The original master set includes miniatures that represent the five Planeswalkers Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and Nissa as well as select creatures from the Magic: The Gathering universe.

There are currently two official video game adaptions of Magic: The Gathering for online play. Magic: The Gathering Online , first introduced in , allows for players to buy cards and boosters and play against others including in officially-sanctioned tournaments for prize money.

Magic: The Gathering Arena , introduced in , is fashioned after the free-to-play Hearthstone , with players able to acquire new cards for free or through spending real-world funds.

Arena currently limited online events with in-game prizes, but is currently being positioned by Wizards of the Coast to also serve as a means for official tournament play, particularly after the COVID pandemic.

Both Online and Arena are regularly updated with new Core and Expansion cards as well as all rule changes made by Wizards. In addition, Wizards of the Coast has worked with other developers for various iterations of Magic: The Gathering as a card game in a single-player game format.

Microprose developed Magic: The Gathering and its expansions, which had the player travel the world of Shandalar to challenge computer opponents, earn cards to customize their decks, improve their own Planeswalker attributes and ultimately defeat a powerful Planeswalker.

Stainless Games developed a series of titles starting with 's Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers and culminating with 's Magic Duels , a free-to-play title.

The Duels series did not feature full sets of Magic cards but selected subsets, and were initially designed around a challenging single-player experience coupled with an advanced artificial-intelligence computer opponent.

Later games in the series added in more deck-building options and multiplayer support. Additional games have tried other variations of the Magic: The Gathering gameplay in other genres.

Acclaim developed a real-time strategy game Magic: The Gathering: BattleMage in , in which the player's abilities were inspired by the various cards.

This was released in December as a freemium game and continues to be updated with new card sets from the physical game. In addition to official programs, a number of unofficial programs were developed to help user to track their Magic: The Gathering library and allow for rudimentary play between online players.

These programs are not endorsed by Wizards of the Coast. Harper Prism originally had an exclusive license to produce novels for Magic: The Gathering , and published ten books between and Around , the license reverted to Wizards, and the company published its own novels to better tie these works to the expansion sets from to about The series started in February In January , 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to produce a Magic: The Gathering film with Simon Kinberg as producer and TSG Entertainment its co-financing partner , and Allspark Pictures as co-financers, after Universal Pictures allegedly dropped the film from their schedule both Universal and Hasbro had been developing the original Magic: The Gathering film since Wizards of the Coast, which owned the rights to Magic: The Gathering , took active steps to hinder the distribution of the game and successfully shut out PGI Limited from attending GenCon in July Patent No.

Four official parody expansions of Magic exist: Unglued , Unhinged , Unstable , and Unsanctioned [] Most of the cards in these sets feature silver borders and humorous themes.

The silver-bordered cards are not legal for play in DCI-sanctioned tournaments. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Collectible card game. The back face of a Magic card, showing the "Color Wheel" central to the game's mechanics.

Play media. Main article: Magic: The Gathering rules. See also: List of Magic: The Gathering sets. Main article: Multiverse Magic: The Gathering.

See also: List of Magic: The Gathering artists. See also: Magic: The Gathering video games. See also: List of Magic: The Gathering novels.

See Magic: The Gathering video games. See Purple Reign for more information. Retrieved May 27, Retrieved July 14, The original card game has 20 million players worldwide [ Wizards of the Coast.

Retrieved July 25, The DCI. July 11, Islands: This blue mana is often associated with knowledge and foresight, casting spells that interrupt the other player or help you draw cards faster.

Creatures are often wizards, merfolk, or spirits. Mountains: This red mana casts aggressive spells and creatures meant to beat your opponent by the quickest means necessary.

Red spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt along with creature types like goblins and warriors make for fast games. Swamps: Black mana is the most sinister of the bunch.

Plains: On the opposite side of the spectrum, white mana represents civilization. Many of its creatures are soldiers, clerics, and knights, and its spells focus on increasing the health and the attack of your minions also known as buffs or healing them or yourself instead.

Forests: Like the topography of its namesake, this green mana exudes raw natural energy, relying on aggressive buffs and all manner of beasts, elves, and druids of the wood to bring you victory.

While most creatures and spells will sport one of these colors, there are some exceptions. Colorless cards have no assigned color, meaning any type of land can be played to summon these types of creature spells, which are often golems, constructs, and various automata.

While there are various types of card colors , there are also various types of card types , each with their own mechanics and rules about how they work:.

Creature: Your most basic attacker and defender, a creature spell can be anything from a demonic imp to the most pious angel. Each creature comes with an attack and defense rating in the bottom right corner, which signals how powerful the creature is, along with additional abilities listed on the card.

Sorcery : Simply put, a sorcery is a spell you cast directly from your hand with a one-time effect that is then discarded. You may only play sorceries on your turn.

Instant: Much like a sorcery, an instant is also played from your hand for a one-time effect. Enchantment: An enchantment also works like a spell or sorcery, but instead stays in play indefinitely until your opponent can find a way to dispel it.

Other enchantments can also include creature enchantments which continually buff or de-buff a card until its dispelled or the creature is destroyed.

Artifact: An artifact works in much the same way as an enchantment, but is instead a card that usually represents a physical object rather than a magical spell.

Other artifacts can also include equipment , which can make your creatures even stronger. Unlike creature enchantments, equipment stays in play even if the creature is destroyed.

Planeswalker: Sometimes you need some help from your friends. These ultra-powerful cards represent other Planeswalkers like you who have come to help you win your battle.

These cards come with tokens and work much differently than your more traditional Magic card. This brings up another important question, what cards should you get?

With 84 expansion sets of Magic at your disposal, the sheer volume of cards can be mind-boggling. Luckily, as Magic has expanded, so have its efforts to make newcomers feel welcome.

Currently in open beta, MTG Arena is perfect for players who are more comfortable playing online rather than investing in the physical game itself.

The game is also free to play though monetary investments certainly help and there are thorough tutorials and A. But the traditional way of experiencing Magic is through good, old-fashioned paper stock, and Wizard offers many ways to dip your toe into card collecting without spending too much.

Magic: The Gathering Arena starter kit lets you bridge the gap between digital and physical and provides great instruction on how to play the game.

It's the No. Once you've got the rules down, the next step is to play with a full card deck. This Core Set deck is designed for intro-ing players to the game and it also will introduce you to the flavor of each mana type so you can find your favorite play style.

Want to make your deck better? You're going to need more cards. The best way to do it is to buy a booster box to quickly add cards to your collection.

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