Tabletop 101

How to Get Into Magic: The Gathering

by Serban, Quartermaster @ The Guild Hall

January 29, 2020

Do you smell that? It’s the smell of excitement. Why is that? It’s because, in just a few days, our shelves will be blessed with Magic: The Gathering’s newest expansion, Kaldheim! This brand new card set is unlike any other before, pulling us into a world of Vikings and creatures of the Nordic mythos. The theme is so cool (pun intended) that even I, a 3-year clean MTG addict, have gotten back on the hype train. And now, before it leaves the station, I’m gonna try and help you pack your luggage. All aboard! It’s time to learn how to get into Magic: The Gathering.

Um… What is Magic: The Gathering?

Funny you ask, magical reader! Magic: The Gathering is a Trading Card Game, also known as a TCG. You buy cards in boosters, packs, or individually, then you round up those cards into a deck, with which you face up against other players. Each deck can be of a single color or any combination of colors, with each color having a specific playstyle. Not just that, but cards also have their unique abilities and art, and just to keep it fresh, new cards come out in sets every 3 months. The newest set? Kaldheim.

Magic: The Gathering

Great! What do I need to play?

Buying Boosters until I find what I like seems like a chore. Can’t I just pick up and play something?

Zendikar Rising

I’ve picked up cards! Now I want to play, what do I do?

From here, things get a little more complicated. There are multiple game modes with multiple deck sizes and different allowed cards. As for the cards… there’s spells (both instant and sorceries), creatures, artifacts, lands and partridges in pear trees. There are actually no partridges, but you get the point. On a more straightforward note, the goal of the game is to reduce your opponent to 0 life points (the number with which they start is also different for each type of game). The game isn’t particularly easy. Instead of learning how to play Magic from a written article, we recommend you watch a video on it, as it’ll pass much quicker. The one we’ve posted below teaches the basics, but there is MUCH more to learn.

I’ve seen the video. What else should I know before I start?

MTG Colors

This seems a bit complicated. Is it worth it?

Listen, we know it isn’t effortless, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it is a surreal experience. Whether you make a deck of your own or pick up a ready-made deck from our store, the game has overwhelming possibility, paired with a mix of luck and strategy and a very passionate, very supportive community, not to mention the beautiful art and theme of the game. You take control of powerful creatures and perform reality-altering magics in a variety of different playstyles, provided by the different colors. Simply put, MTG is the king of all TCGs, testing your strategy with an element of luck in a fantasy world.

With that being said, we consider you just about ready to start your journey into the world of Magic: The Gathering. As we’ve previously said, we know there is quite a lot more to learn, but we are confident you can do it. Once the pandemic is over, you can even come along to The Guild Hall for advice from our team. But until then, you need to stock up on cards. And lastly, for all your card needs (and much more), be sure to check out our online shop.

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