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Samurai Jack

Magic: The Gathering?

Posted on 2010.04.18 at 23:27
Current Music: The Red Button - Cruel Girl

Does anyone know anything about this card game Magic: The Gathering? Meret has decided that she wants to play it, so we got some decks, and I am now confronted with a completely unfathomable mythos and complicated set of rules. Anyone know how to play and able to start me off in English? I mean, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons and it wasn’t this complex at all.


theonetruetiny at 2010-04-19 04:34 (UTC) (Link)
Well, there have been a lot of rule changes over the last ten years since I've been away from the game, but here goes the baseics:

Land: Land provides mana. Most land is a "basic land" That is island, forest, swamp, mountain, and plain.

Basic lands provide colored mana. forest=green, island=blue, swamp=black, mountain=red, plain=white

Mana is used to cast spells. Spells can either due direct damage which affects the opposing player directly, summon creatures to be used to attack the opposing player and defend against their creatures, or can be used to cast interrupts and instants. Instants are such things as counterspell, used to flat out disrupt a spell an opponent is casting or such things as fork, which doubles a cast direct damage spell. There are also enchantments. They are permanents, used to affect the game play. There are enchantments that cause creatures to not be able to attack, add health to a creature, make spells more expensive, or cheaper, etc.

Ok, creatures. Creatures have undergone the most changes since I last played. Basically, the goal behind summoning a critter is to use it to attack the opponent. Creatures are tapped "that's the universal word for using a creature or land card" and sent on the attack. The opponent can use his creatures to block your creatures. Unblocked creatures make it through and do damage to the opposing player. A creature that attacks is tapped and can not be used to block on the opponents turn (unless otherwise specified. There are a few creatures that do not tap when they attack. The most famous is the Serra Angel) Creatures have a numerical score of how much damage they can do/their hit points. a 1/1 creature does 1 point of damage and has 1 hit point. hit points for creatures regenerate to full after every turn. Thus a 4/7 creature that takes 6 points of damage from a blocking creature is fine next turn. If it takes 7 points in one turn, it's dead.

Flight has probably changed over the years, but basically flying creatures can only be blocked by other flyers and there are some instants and enchantments that do damage to flyers and can strip them of the ability.

Walls are basically summoned creatures that cannot attack. They only block. Most of them are crap, but there are a few fun ones out there.

First strike: first strikers are fun. Basically, when any two normal creatures meet, they do damage to each other simultaneously. It's entirely possible and actually quite common for two creatures to kill each other. First strikers do their damage first. If they kill their opponent, they take no damage.

Trample: Another fun one. When two normal creatures meet they do damage to each other and one, both, or neither die. When a trampler is blocked by something with fewer hit points than it can deal, the damage keeps right on going. It goes either to another critter blocking it (in the case of creatures with "binding" if I'm not mistaken) or it goes right on to the opposing player.

There are combinations of abilities out there. There are flying tramplers, flying first strikers, trampling first strikers, etc.

Ok, back to mana for a moment. Mana comes in colors. Most cards use a combination of colored mana and uncolored. Uncolored mana can be of any color, but there are a few specialty cards out there that produce uncolored mana. (It may be called clear... I'm just not sure anymore) Something with three fire symbols and a small circle with a 2 in it takes three red mana and two uncolored mana, etc.

Most cards will use only one color of mana and some noncolored. Some cards, starting with an old series called "Legends" started using some of more than one kind. These cards have, or at least had a cold border. Most cards will be only one color. Red, blue, green, white, etc.
theonetruetiny at 2010-04-19 04:34 (UTC) (Link)
The other type of cards out there are artifacts. Artifacts generally use noncolored mana to cast them and tend to either be power batteries, used to store up extra mana, or some kind of creature, or just some other cool item that affects the game. One of my favorites was the ornithoper. It was a 0/2 flyer that cost no mana to cast. It was basically something to throw in front of an attacking creature, although with all the enchatments out there that add a creatures attack score I was once killed off by a giant, unholy armored ornithopter. Not that I'm bitter.

Most people use a multi-colored deck. Each color lends itself to a certain kind of spell so you mix to create the kind of deck you want. Black is usually death magic. There are creatures that decay over time, but take others with them. They have an enchantment that gives creatures more damage dealing ability. Red is usually fire or direct damage. Green is creature heavy. White is life magic. Lots of healing spells and armor. Blue is a wierd one which is basically mental. We used to call blue decks "permission decks" or "mother may I" because a lot of the cards that prevented spells from being cast at all were blue. Blue is also the water color. Their creatures were usually sea themed.

To get some experience playing, I'd hit your local game store. Find out if they have any tournaments or, better yet, if there is just a group of players that meet. Someone will be glad to play a few hands with the kiddo to learn some basic skills. I'd advise against any real trading at first until you start to figure out what cards are valuable at this point. Just buy some packs, build some decks and get smoked for a while. Things will get better with experience and more cards.
theservant at 2010-04-20 00:05 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! This helps.
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