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Official Magic: The Gathering Guide + Strategy

Magic: the Gathering (MTG) is a complex and ever-evolving strategy card game. Here's a breakdown of the core rules and some general strategies to get you started:

Objective

  • Reduce your opponent's life total from 20 to 0 before they do the same to you. You achieve this by summoning creatures, casting spells, and managing your resources.

The Basics

1. The Playing Field: The game takes place on a table with designated areas for your library (deck of cards), graveyard (discarded cards), hand (current cards), battlefield (creatures and permanents), and mana pool (resources to cast spells).


2. Card Types: There are various card types in MTG, each serving a specific purpose:Creatures: Units you can summon to attack your opponent. They have power (attack strength) and toughness (defense).

Lands: Provide the colored mana required to cast most spells.

Spells: One-time effects that can deal damage, draw cards, remove creatures, etc. They come in various colors with different effects.

Planeswalkers: Powerful cards that offer loyalty abilities activated by sacrificing loyalty counters.

Other Permanents: Cards like enchantments, artifacts, and sagas that stay on the battlefield and provide ongoing effects.

Gameplay

Playing a Turn: Each turn follows a structured sequence:

  • Untap Step: Untap all your tapped permanents.

  • Draw Step: Draw one card from your library.

  • Main Phase 1: You can play lands and cast spells.

  • Main Phase 2: You can play more lands and cast spells. Declare attackers if you wish.

  • Combat Phase: Creatures deal damage to each other and players if unblocked.

  • Main Phase 3: You can play more lands and cast spells.

  • End Step: Discard down to your maximum hand size (usually 7).


Mana System:

MTG utilizes a colored mana system. Lands tap (turn sideways) to produce colored mana, which you use to cast spells of the corresponding color.

Strategy

Strategies for Beginners:

  • Build a Balanced Deck: Include a variety of creatures, spells, and lands to ensure a smooth mana curve and have answers to different threats.

  • Mana Curve: Aim for a balanced distribution of land cards across different mana costs. You want enough lands to cast your spells on curve (when they come into play).

  • Creature Removal: Include spells or abilities that can destroy your opponent's creatures before they overwhelm you.

  • Card Advantage: Prioritize cards that allow you to draw more cards or gain an advantage in resources compared to your opponent.

  • Learn Your Colors: Each color in MTG (White, Blue, Black, Red, Green) has its own philosophy and strengths. Explore different colors to find a playstyle that suits you.

Notes/Variations

  • Official MTG website: https://magic.wizards.com/en offers a detailed rules guide and beginner resources.

  • YouTube channels: Many channels like "The Mana Screw" and "Tolarian Community College" offer excellent explanations of MTG rules, strategy, and gameplay.

Remember, MTG has a vast amount of complexity to explore. Don't be afraid to ask questions, watch gameplay videos, and experiment with different decks as you learn and grow as a Magic player!

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