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Magic The Gathering: How to Play

A "Getting Started" guide for Magic The Gathering
by

Eric Carlson

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of Magic The Gathering: How to Play

Magic The Gathering:
How To Play Board Layout Library Library/Deck 3 Major Types of Games:
Constructed
Draft
Sealed

Constructed games require a 60 card deck that is created in your own spare time. Constructed decks are usually better than the other two types because more time is spent designing them. They are designed out of the cards you own at home.

A Draft requires a deck that is created at an event in the store called a "Draft". Draft requires a minimum of 40 cards. Each player buys 3 booster packs (15 cards each). Each player who attends the event opens one pack, takes one card from that pack, and passes the rest to the left and that person then takes one from the pack (now 14 cards). This is done until the pack is gone and then repeated for the last two packs. When the draft is complete, each player has 45 cards to construct a 40 card deck from.

A Sealed game requires a 40 card deck that is also made on the spot in the store. In an event called a "Sealed Event", each player receives 6 booster packs. Everyone opens all their packs at once and keeps the cards in that pack. The players then construct a 40 card deck from those 90 cards.

The Rules and Phases of each Game Type are the same. The only thing that changes is the size of the deck and how it is constructed. A deck consists of a set of cards. Each card has a Card Type which defines how that card can be played. There are six Card Types:
Land
Creature
Instant
Sorcery
Artifact
Enchantments

(restructured sentence appositive) Except for artifacts, each card is associated with at least one color. Many cards are associated with more than one color. The color of a card determines what its general abilities will be.
The five colors include:
White
Black
Blue
Green
Red Land Cards There are 5 basic land cards.
Plains - White
Mountain - Red
Swamp - Black
Island - Blue
Forest - Green

The colors of these cards are closely
tied to the colors of other Card Types
because these cards are the currency of
the game. Only one land card may be
played on each player's turn. This is the
only Card Type that has a limit on how
many can be played in one turn Creature Card Type Card Name Power/Toughness Cost Name: This is the name of the card. Scion of Vitu-Ghazi in this case

Color: The color can be derived from the color of the background of the card. In this case white.

Card Type: This explains the Card Type. Scion of Vitu-Ghazi is a Creature type. Only Creature cards have power and toughness. When Scion of Vitu-Ghazi attacks, it deals 4 damage, power, and can take 4 damage, toughness. The creature type card can only be played on your turn. This type of card stays out on the field until its toughness reaches 0. The power and toughness of Creatures are reset at the beginning of each players turn. At the end of your turn, Scion of Vitu-Ghazi would become a 4/4 again unless his toughness reached zero during your turn. Creature cards come out with something called "Summoning Sickness". This means you can't attack with that creature until your next turn. You can however, block with that creature on your opponents turn.

Cost: The two white symbols are the same as the symbols for the Plains Basic Land card. The cost to play this card is two Plains cards and 3 land cards of any color.

Text: The text in the bottom box expresses if the card has any special abilities. If the card does not have any special abilities, a small blurb, that has no real meaning, may be added in italics. Card Type Instants Card Name Cost Cost: The cost of this card is one White Plains Basic Land card and one Green Forest Basic Land card.

Card Type: This card's Card Type is "Instant". These can be cast on both your turn and your opponent's turn and the effect is instantaneous, before any effect your opponent plans to give actually takes place. This type of card is usually used very defensively. For instance: If a 5/5 creature attacks you, you can use this cards second ability, exile target creature with power 5 or greater, before the damage makes it through to me.This type of card is discarded to the graveyard pile as soon as it is used.

This is an example of a multi-colored card. Multi-colored cards have a gold background, but the picture and text box are outlined in the two colors of the card. The two colors gradually meet towards the middle. There is never any more than two colors per card. White Outline Green Outline Meet in the Middle Sorcery Cost Card Type Card Name Cost: This card cost one Green Forest Basic Land and one White Plains Basic Land to play

Card Type: Sorcery cards can be played only on your turn. Each Sorcery card has the explanation of its ability in the text box. Once a Sorcery is used, it gets discarded to the graveyard pile. Enchantment Cost Card Type Card Name Cost: This card cost one Green Forest Basic Land card to play

Card Type: Enchantments remain on the field permanently and their effects are always in play. There are two exceptions, if the targeted card gets sent to the graveyard, so too does the Enchantment. Secondly, if your opponent plays a card that removes it from play. This card gives target creature, preferably yours, +2 to power and +0 to toughness. It also gives the target creature trample. Any leftover damage dealt by a creature with trample goes directly to your opponents health. Combat is explained later in the tutorial. Artifacts Cost: This card cost 3 Basic Land Cards of any color.

Card Type: All Artifacts are colorless, hence the grey background. Therefore, there is no specific Basic Land to play. Any land card can be used to play this card. Artifact cards vary in ability and provide good use in many different kinds of decks Cost Card Name Card Type Game Types As stated earlier, the Phases for one person's turn does not change based on the Game Type. They are the same for every game type. The Phases include:
Untap
Upkeep
Draw
1st Main Phase
Combat Phase
2nd Main Phase
End Turn
Each player starts the game with 7 cards in hand and a Life Total of 20. Untap Tapping: When Land and Creature cards come out on the field like this: When you want to use a Creature or Land card, you "Tap" them: "Tapping" signifies that that card is used up and you can't use it until it "Untaps". This is where cost(deleted the s) of cards come in. When you want to bring a card into play, excluding Land cards, you must Tap the required amount of land to bring that card into play. If you want to attack with one of your creatures, you must tap that creature card. At the beginning of your turn, all of your tapped cards Untap, renewing what you can use. Upkeep Some cards' effect require you to do something at Upkeep. This is the Phase in which you do what that card says. Draw Draw a card from your library 1st Main Phase This is the Phase where you play a Land card if you have one. You may also play cards if you have the required amount of land. Generally, it is not suggested to do the latter in this Phase because your opponent can see how much Land you have to use before you go into the Combat Phase. Combat Phase The Combat Phase itself has mini Phases:
Beginning of Combat: This Phase exist to allow players to play cards that may alter the way combat will take place.
Declare Attackers: In this Phase, you declare your attackers, Creature Cards, by tapping them. Your attackers attack the opponent directly.
Declare Blockers: In this Phase, your opponent decides whether or not he wants to block the damage caused by your attackers. He/She does so by choosing Creature Cards he controls to block your attackers. If he does not choose any creatures to block with, the damage dealt will be taken from his life total.
Combat Damage: This is where the combat damage actually takes place. All combat damage is dealt at the same time. 2nd Main Phase The 2nd Main Phase is the same as the 1st Main Phase Ending Phase This Phase is the last chance your opponent has to play any cards he is able to on your turn. The point being that he spends his Land and it then Untaps at the beginning of his turn.
At the end of this Phase, if you have more than 7 cards, you must discard the excess cards to the graveyard pile. Graveyard:
This is where cards go after
they have been used. The End
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