Shamelessly stolen from the last OP(s).
Welcome to the CF Magic: the Gathering Thread!
SO M:TG this is what it is, from a reputable source of course.
Magic: The Gathering (colloquially "Magic", "MTG", or "Magic Cards") is a collectible card game created by mathematics professor Richard Garfield and introduced in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. Magic is the first example of the modern collectible card game genre and still thrives today, with an estimated six million players in over seventy countries. Magic can be played by two or more players each using a deck of printed cards or a deck of virtual cards through the Internet-based Magic: The Gathering Online or third-party programs.
Each game represents a battle between powerful wizards who use the magical spells, items, and fantastic creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, the gameplay of Magic bears little resemblance to pencil-and-paper adventure games, while having substantially more cards and more complex rules than many other card games. (Wikipedia)
That's Magic like most of us you are going to dump a good chunk of cash and time into this so get comfortable 8-)
A little run down on some FAQ:
Q: So I bought some of these here Magical Cards. They've got funny symbols on them and numbers and are different colors. Help!
A: Magic is a pretty complex game, but the basics are easy to get the hang of. Magic cards generally come in one of five colors that each specialize in different things. White, Blue, Black, Red, and finally Green. By laying down lands of appropriate colors you can add mana to your mana pool and 'cast' these cards into play, with the goal of driving your opponent's life total down from 20 to 0! For a more detailed explanation, see the resources at the end of the post.
Q: I keep hearing about 'Type 2' and 'Type 1.5' and 'Standard' and all sorts of crazy stuff. What the hell are those?
A: In sanctioned Magic (that's tourney play), there are what are called 'formats', that may have different rules and different legal card pools. Standard and Extended are the most common 'Constructed' (played using pre-built 60 card decks with 15 card sideboards) formats. Limited is a different animal altogether.
You can find a list of formats HERE.
Q: Okay, that makes sense. I think I get it. You mentioned Limited... what's that?
A: Limited formats are the other side of the Tournament Magic coin. When playing limited Magic, you usually have a restricted pool of cards, usually from freshly opened product, that you must build a 40 card deck from. Standard Magical rules apply otherwise. The two most common Limited formats are Sealed Deck and Draft.
Q: What do you do when you play Sealed Deck or Draft, then?
A: Sealed Deck is very simple: you take a Tournament Pack and two boosters (sanctioned formats tend to use the newest block, for us that's the newly released Shards of Alara), rip 'em open and build your deck. Draft works a little differently; everyone has three packs. Everyone opens one, takes a card they like, and passes it to the next person. When all the cards are 'drafted', you build 40 card decks and play. In both cases, basic lands are provided by the tournament organizer.
Here's some awesome places to visit if you're bored at work and wanna work on your game:
- This is the Magic mothership! You can find all sorts of goodies here, including article series that cover the many facets of magic from both a player and designer perspective. I'm pretty partial to Making Magic, Building on a Budget, and Limited Information!
Gatherer, the Magic Card Database
- This is Wizards' official database. You search for cards using some different parameters (color, cost, artist, to name a few)
- This is probably the next biggest Magic site next to the mothership; it has its own database alongside its own daily columns. As an added bonus, Starcity is a very reputable Magic retailer, and is a good place to look if you want a price reference for certain cards.
The Magic Academy
- This is a series at the magic web site that was written purely as a tool for new players to get themselves familiar with the game. While it doesn't talk about the BASIC BASICS, it does explain to beginner players the philosophies behind certain cards, when to play them, when to attack, how to block correctly, and other helpful topics.
- This is another very helpful magic site that allows you to construct decks and post them online for critique. It also has a comprehensive list of formats and what sets are legal in each of them.
Five Rules for Avoiding Manascrew
- This is an article I think is indispensable for any player as it teaches how to devise a solid mana base for any deck in a few easy steps.
Deckbuilding 101: Five Tips for Better Deckbuilding
- This is another article I consider to be a must-read for any Magic player. It doesn't really discuss specific strategy, but certain fundamentals that every Magic player should absorb right into his bone marrow. Yes it is that important.
The Magic Rules page
- This is where you can find the comprehensive rules alongside a list of every keyword in magic.
- This is another great website dedicated to Magic. Their forums are extremely helpful in terms of pretty much anything Magic related (trading, deckbuilding, spoiling cards, news, etc.).