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Getting Started With Magic: The Gathering

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In the last two decades, Magic: The Gathering has become one of the most popular games ever invented. The reason for this is relatively simple–not only is Magic: The Gathering a great strategy game, but it’s also a collectible trading card game. While most games pit competitors on a stagnant and equal playing surface, Magic: The Gathering allows people to slowly build their decks as they accumulate new cards, either by purchase or trading. Players can buy packs of cards, and they don’t know exactly what they’ll get, which adds suspense, intrigue, and just the right dash of luck. It also rewards veteran players who have been collecting cards longer, and establishes a natural hierarchy among players.

Furthermore, this approach has allowed Magic: The Gathering to stay relevant for so long because, unlike other games, Magic: The Gathering is constantly releasing new sets, booster packs, and cards. It just continues to grow. Magic: The Gathering is a truly great game, but can feel a little daunting for new people. To make it easier, here are some of the things you need to know.

The premise

In Magic: The Gathering, each player takes on the role of a powerful wizard called a planeswalker. Your ultimate goal is to be the last planeswalker standing. Through purchasing cards and decks (and trading with people), each player builds a specific deck, and the cards in their deck – spells, weapons, creatures etc. – are special to them. Players then use those cards – and the directions on them – to defeat their opponents

There are five manna colors in the card decks, which each represent a different facet: black (ambition), red (chaos), green (nature), blue (wisdom), and white (justice). When you build a deck, you usually choose two or three colors to build around (you use your manna cards to play spells or creatures of that color). As such, you may have a blue and white deck, and play another player who has a black and red deck, which is a fun clash of philosophies and strategies.

What to know before getting started

Since Magic: The Gathering is a collector game, many people will have a distinct advantage over you when you begin. This is because they have been collecting cards for a longer period of time, and likely have a much better deck than you. As such, it’s important to find players that have a similar experience level as you (or borrow a friend’s more advanced deck when you play veteran players).

You should also know that people take Magic: The Gathering very seriously. You can find players who don’t, but be prepared that if you seek out people to play with, or enter tournaments, you will be getting thoroughly dedicated players.

How to find people to play with

Even though people don’t always advertise it, there are a lot of Magic: The Gathering players in the world; it is an extremely popular game. Chances are you have some friends who play, and you can begin playing with them. Otherwise, you can go online to one of the numerous websites that handles Magic: The Gathering games, tournaments, meet-ups, and functions. There are always people ready to play Magic: The Gathering and they’re not that difficult to find.

This should be all you need to know to get started in the wonderful and mystical world of Magic: The Gathering.

This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong, a techie who loves playing Magic: The Gathering. He recommends checking out Card Kingdom for great MTG cards such as those from MTG Theros.

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