Magic: the Gathering

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Magic: the Gathering is a card game created by Richard Garfield for Wizards of the Coast. It was first released at Gen Con in the summer of 1993. It started a new segment of the game market: trading card games, in which players must collect the cards used in the game instead of having all the cards available for play in a single package. In the original mythos, the players represent "planeswalkers" (archwizards with reality-traveling powers) who are battling each other by using the power of lands to create mana, which empowers their spells, although this mythos has largely been ignored in recent years. Every 3-4 months, a new expansion of Magic is released, creating more cards to be used. To date, almost 10,000 unique cards are available for play.

Types of Cards

The majority of cards have at least one of five colors, each of which has its own style of play and flavor.

  • White: magic gained from Plains, representing Good and Order, specializing in combat-oriented creatures and defensive cards.
  • Blue: magic gained from Islands, representing Air/Water and Illusion, specializing in card drawing, combos, countering opposing spells, but it is the weakest in terms of the strength of its creatures. It has traditionally been the strongest of colors, due to its abilities being naturally strong in a card game.
  • Black: magic gained from Swamps, representing Evil and Death, specializing in discard, creature-destruction, and cards in which hurt the player but hurt the opponent even more.
  • Red: magic gained from Mountains, representing Earth/Fire and Chaos, specializing in fast creatures, direct damage, and cards which sacrifice long-term advantage for speed.
  • Green: magic gained from Forests, representing Nature and Life, specializing in mana-producing and large creatures. It has traditionally been the weakest color, although presently it produces cards that combo well with other colors' cards to make top-tier decks.
  • Gold: cards that are two or more colors
  • Artifacts: cards which cost mana to play, but have no distinct color (colorless). By having no color, they are generally more expensive than a colored card with similar abilities.
  • Lands: cards which cost nothing to play, which provide mana to cast other spells.

Colored cards have a further cardtype; besides artifacts and lands:

  • Creature: representing a being, animal, humanoid, or otherwise, that can be used to attack an opponent every turn. Several creatures are artifacts as well, and are without color.
  • Instants: cards with one-time effects, that can be cast during upkeep, main phase, and end of turn phase
  • Sorceries: similar to instants, but can only be played during one's main phase outside of combat.
  • Enchantments: Like Creatures, Enchantments are permanently in play unless destroyed in some manner, but they are incapable of attack.
  • Planeswalker: Planeswalker are also in play till they are destroyed. The controller can use one of the ability's of the Planeswalker at every of his turns. Planeswalkers can be attacked by creatures of the opponent.