top of page

How does Magic The Gathering work?

How to play Magic: The Gathering

Imagine you’re the grand battle commander (stupid voice and hat optional), and your creatures are your frontline. Any monsters you have on the table can defend you, taking damage in your stead. As well as creature cards, you'll also have an array of spells, artefacts, enchantments and more. Everything is powered by land, a coloured energy, or mana, if you will.

The aim of the game is to kill the other player(s). You each start with 20 health points, which are typically tracked using a 20-sided dice, familiar to d20-wielding Dungeons and Dragons 5E players.

Planeswalker Ashiok from latest Magic: The Gathering expansion Theros: Beyond Death.

Mechanically speaking: you each have a 60 card deck (although the number of cards in a deck can change depending on what Magic: The Gathering format you're playing). This deck might be made up of one type of ‘land’ or colour theme - like Red, Black, White, Green and Blue. More advanced Magic: The Gathering decks can include any combination of colours, such as Red/Blue or Black/Green.

Both of you will draw a hand of random seven cards at the start. If your starting hand looks bad (for example, you’ve not drawn any ‘land’ cards), you can take a ‘Mulligan’, which lets you discard your hand and draw a new set of cards, but reduced down to six.

Once you’ve decided on your hand, you both then continue drawing cards with each round of play.

In its simplest iteration, MTG cards are split into three types: lands, spells and creatures. Just to emphasise, these are the most basic cards. More advanced decks include things like planeswalkers - mighty wizards with special abilities and their own health pool.

At the start of every turn, you’ll need to lay down land cards to power anything else you need. The more powerful the card, the more mana it’ll require to run. Some cards require more than one type of mana, often in specific colours.

A selection of 'land' cards from Magic: The Gathering, which will power all your units and spells.

As such, games usually start with small units like goblins or fire kitties and gradually progress onto players laying down gigantic dragons and mythical horrors.

The land cards are split into five different Magic: The Gathering mana colours: Red, Green, Blue, White and Black. Think of it as your juice; every unit in the game needs it.

Any monster or spell you want to ‘summon’, will ‘tap’ your mana. When a card is ‘tapped’ it is turned 90 degrees to the side, to make it clear that it’s in use. All cards can only be ‘tapped’ once per round. Creatures and spells also get ‘tapped’ in this fashion, but for different purposes. For example, a creature gets ‘tapped’ when it attacks, meaning it can’t block on the next round.

Beginner decks are built around one type of mana, but as you progress you can combine different mana to summon more unique units. Over time, players often opt learn how to build a Magic: The Gathering deck of their own - meaning a customised arsenal of units.

Imagine you’re the grand battle commander (stupid voice and hat optional), and your creatures are your frontline.

The creature cards are straightforward enough to read, displaying their defence and attack stats, what’s required to summon them and any special abilities they might have.

It’s similar with spell cards, except some of them are 'instants’, meaning they can be used anytime - such as in response to another player’s move. This is where the bluffing element of Magic: The Gathering comes to the fore, as you can use some spells to boost your battlefield control while you're being attacked.

In essence, you draw random cards from your deck, lay down mana and decide how to use that mana.

It’s a real mix of strategy with a dash of luck, although obviously the better built your deck the luckier you’re going to be.

2 weergaven0 opmerkingen

Recente blogposts

Alles weergeven

The debate about whether Pokemon or Digimon is better has no end. And it's not just a one-sided debate either. They're two popular anime franchises with a few key differences- and that's what makes th

We are proud to announce that we have just opened a new TCG market on our website! We are not going to leave the TCG players out in the cold, with empty wallets. With a variety of cool new cards and f

bottom of page