Monday, June 8, 2009

How to Play Magic the Gathering

Here are some very basic tips on how to play a Magic the Gathering card game. This is a guide for all beginners who are just starting to get into Magic the Gathering. It is a very strategic and rewarding game if played correctly.

Setup of Magic the Gathering

Each player has their respective Magic the Gathering decks.
Each player begins with 20 lives. Make sure you have a counter or piece of paper to keep track of your lives.
Choose who goes first. You can do this by rock, paper, scissors. Or rolling dice. Whoever goes first skips their draw phase.
Each player will draw seven cards in the beginning of the Magic the Gathering game.

How to Play Magic the Gathering

The first player begins with the untap phase. Since you don't have anything at the moment, there is nothing to untap. The untap phase is when you untap any lands, creatures, or artifacts that was tapped the turn before. Untapping means you can use them again. This will be further explained later on.

Also during the untap phase if you brought out a creature the turn before, the creature will be healed of summoning sickness. (Summoning sickness is when a creature is first brought into play and cannot attack or use its activated abilities if it has a tap symbol).

The next phase is the draw phase. You draw one card.

The following phase is the main phase. In the main phase of Magic the Gathering you can do several things. You can skip this phase if you can't do anything. The following things you can do in any order.

Play a land card. This will be your main source of bringing out creatures, artifacts, enchantments, instants, or sorceries (you can only put down one land per turn).

Play a creature card. You can play a creature card if you have enough mana. Mana can be obtained through other creatures, enchantments, or artifacts. Although it is obtained mostly through lands. The more lands you have the bigger creatures you can summon. Remember the creature has summoning sickness so you won't be able to attack or use its activated abilities this turn.

Play enchantments, artifacts, sorceries, and/or instants. You can play these in any order and if you have enough lands or mana sources.

Remember to tap the appropriate lands and mana sources to summon anything. Tapping means to turn the card sideways. This signifies the card is being used. Untapping mean to turn the card back to normal. This signifies the card has not been used.

The next phase is the combat phase. Declare your attackers, creatures you choose to attack that don't have summoning sickness. Your opponent decides on his/her blockers. And then you assign combat damage (this will be explained more in depth later on).

After the combat phase, is another main phase. It is exactly like the first main phase, except if you put a land card down on your first main phase you cannot put a land card down in your second main phase.

The last phase in Magic the Gathering is the end phase. All creatures that were damaged this turn are healed.

Your opponent begins his/or her phases and it continues on until someone loses. You lose by your life points going down to zero or you can't draw any more cards.

I will go more in depth on how to play Magic the Gathering later on. In the mean time I hope these basic steps guide you into playing a good competitive Magic the Gathering game.