At the beginning of the game, each player has 20 life and is allowed to begin with 7 cards in hand. The deck that the player uses has to have a minimum of 60 cards. Players die or lose by losing all their life or when they have no cards left to draw. A player wins the game when he/she successfully kills all opponents and reduces their life total to 0.
Some cards exist (many, in fact) that are banned from legal play, or restricted (meaning only one of them is allowed in a deck). These are usually much older cards. Because Magic is a game of skill AND luck, a skilled player can win a match if he/she knows how a deck is constructed and which cards complement each other, etc.
Seeing how over 40 expansion sets have been released over the years, there are almost endless possibilities that a player can use to win.
Most cards come in one of five colours. These colours are depicted on the back of the cards, a design called the “Colour Wheel”. These colours are white, blue, black, red and green. To play most spells, mana of the same colour as the spell is needed. Mana is normally generated by a basic land card: plains for white, islands for blue, swamps for black, mountains for red and forests for green.
Each colour in Magic has certain weaknesses and strengths which represent the “style” of the colour. For example, white is the colour of purity, honour and balance and usually has smaller creatures which defend the player. Green on the other hand, has bigger creatures which are designed to trample over the enemy quickly, usually with brute force.
Maybe these guys can enlighten some more in this video…
…which is obviously scripted, so try to not scratch your own eyes out.
How much do the cards cost?
The rarity and cost of some cards: the industry of collectible cards is BOOMing!
This little beauty here is the Black Lotus, which is the most expensive card there is. Here it was signed by the artist Christopher Rush.
That is an artifact card – there are many more different types of cards. Like,for instance, creatures, sorcery, enchantments and instants to help you win a match.
The Black Lotus artifact is the most valuable card in the entire Magic: The Gathering history. It is not even legal anymore in the current standard set of games, and has never been reprinted. It was only printed between 1993 and 1994, and can today cost you up to $5000 to buy online or anywhere else. Pricey little fella, isn’t he? It is worth the price for many, as it can greatly increase a player’s chance of winning due to it being so powerful. It was part of a group of nine cards, called the Power 9. They were blatantly too good, and all of these are not legal in the standard game anymore.
There are 4 types of rarities with Magic – commons, uncommons, rares and mythic rares. Rares and mythic rares are worth much more than commons and uncommons and as the name suggests, are much more difficult to find.
Rarity is indicated on the card on the right hand side next to the card type – black for common, silver for uncommon, gold for rare and red for mythic rare.
Commons normally do not cost more than $0.50, while some mythic rares cost up to $50 a piece.
Some cards can even increase in value due to their popularity, like Rancor. When it was first printed, Rancor was featured as a common card, but is now printed as an uncommon.
Rancor – Common
Rancor – reprinted as an uncommon
Lastly, something to feast yerrr eyes on son! For your absolute viewing pleasure, the trailer for the latest set released, Return to Ravnica:
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