A night with Magic

Marie and I recently ordered all the starter core sets for Magic 2010 however while waiting we were also getting impatient. So finally today Marie broke and said lets go to Bluenose and see what they have. I must say they have a lot of cool stuff. It’s a highly unorganized store ran by old fashioned hippies I believe but they do have some interesting items.

After much looking around I saw some cool items like the Spycraft card game (only the expansion however) and they seem to have a GI Joe game. Not sure if it is ass though. But they had a Magic area. Honestly to the person just jumping into it without assistance, it’s confusing as hell. However since we had all our stuff ordered we just wanted a quick fix. So luckily they had a $10 set which has some planes cards as well as 2 small packs of 15 cards. Basically a nice teaser to get your sets going.

Opening the box you have a giant fold out instruction manual which explains the game and the rules. Essentially you play a Planeswalker who summons creatures, cast spells & enchantments. To start you sort your cards by color. Think of these as your specialty. Each color has a particular purpose and style of play. For instance White are more on protection and Blue are controlling hour opponent. You then can pick one color or you can pick two colors and mix them. Normally in tournament play you can have a mixed deck as well but they are tougher to play. For the purpose of this starter they recommended using two colors.

So with that I selected White which was protection and Black which was more chaotic, dealing quick damage however their defense was low. Marie has selected Blue and Green. Green is nature based. The rules itself were quite simple really. You start by shuffling your cards and then taking seven cards as your initial hand. Every turn you refresh your planes cards (these allow you to summon creatures, cast spells, etc). Think of it more like mana ressources. You then cast spells, summon creatures if you can or you can place down a planes card which will then be used as permanent ressources. The more planes cards you have in play the more things you can do and the more incredible creatures you can summon. You can then attack. With black I was doing smaller damages but the were cheaper to summon or activate so I typically had the early upper hand. However it doesn’t mean you kick your opponents ass. They can choose to block if they have a summoned creature or spell / enchantment that can be put in play. Depending on your creatures power and toughness you can kill that creature or in some cases eliminate each other. After your initial attack and opponent defense you can then play any other spells, etc you want.

At first your referencing the rules a bit to figure the gist of it all. But roughly by the third game we were on our own and just playing. I was very surprised at the ease of play and unpredictability of some hands. In all were pretty much loving the game and at further expanding our sets. I highly recommend people give it a try as it’s not a huge initial investment and it’s quite enjoyable.

I also bought Marie a WoW card game starter set so she it makes it her own and generally get into it more when it’s your own thing. So we will soon be trying that. I just have to read the rules up again as it’s a bit less intuitive from what I remember.

So yeah thats about it. In other new though I beat Fable and almost finished Crackdown. Fable is pretty awesome, I like the quest cards you get. Crackdown was not an intuitive game to start really but fun none the less.

4 thoughts on “A night with Magic”

  1. Welcome to the hobby! Deb introduced me to Magic a couple months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love it and have several decks going. I’ve got two Black/White, one Blue, and one Red/Black. I’m also thinking of making myself a Blue/White deck as well. They have pre-built theme decks you can buy for this that follow a specific colour theme and playing style. I’ve seen one pre-made theme deck that is a 5 colour elemental deck… insane.

    I highly recommend checking out the Wikipedia entry on the rules, it’s pretty clear on all fronts, though could be shortened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering_rules

    So for clarification’s sake I’ll simplify a few key points from the full rules you’ll find in the Wikipedia entry.

    The minimum size for a standard playable deck is 60 cards, so most theme decks that you buy will already be that size. 40% of the cards in your deck should be basic land cards (Plains for white, forests for green, islands for blue, mountains for red, and swamps for black), as Carl mentioned, you need these to get mana to cast spells. You can go more or less with the lands, but too many and you can end up lots of mana and no spells to play, or too little and you could end up with no mana to cast your spells or summon anything. I usually keep my decks to 80 cards, 32 of which are lands. The one big rule in deck building, you can have a maximum of 4 of a specific card in your deck, the only exception are basic land cards. non-basic lands are limited to the max of 4.

    The other point I’ll simplify is the basic gameplay. The game is essentially very easy, you simply have to read what’s on the cards you’re playing. You and your opponent start out with 20 HP, usually signified by a D20 set beside them with the 20 facing up. Each player’s turn has 5 phases: Beginning, First Main, Combat, Second Main, Ending. The wiki is pretty clear on these and aren’t too lengthy. You can only play a land card in one fo the main phases, and only one land per turn. Any “Instant” card can be played at any time, even during your opponent’s turn. Also, during the combat phase, your summoned creatures can only attack the other player and not another summoned creature.

    And the last but most important rule of Magic, this has even been officially stated by Wizards of the Coast: the card is ALWAYS right, even if it directly contradicts the rules and seems to break them. Even if it contradicts everything I’ve just stated. EVEN IF IT IS A MISPRINT, the card is ALWAYS right.

    It’s an awesome game, and is a lot of fun. Check out the rules in the wikipedia entry. Like Carl, I highly recommend the game.

  2. Well I find the pre printed instructions were vague. However it was an older edition cheap starting deck we had I believe. We just got our new core pre constructed decks for all colors. We also bought the big box fat pack.

    I really enjoying doing the white / black combo. I did use a green / black and it was insanely efficient as well. I find the black and white deck though really work well together offering destructive power and good protection.

    So right now we have tournament sized decks for each color. We will probably mix and better build our decks over time as we feel out what card works best.

    I have to say the game is really cool and not an insane investment either. For $100 I have every color and all tournament sized decks. So people can come over and play to try it out and whatnot.

  3. Yeah, I agree, we had some of the older rules sheets and the new ones are a lot clearer. And the Black/White combo for a deck is just awesome, that’s why I’ve got two using that combo. One is built using a “Code of the Orzhov” theme deck from the Guildpact run of cards. and the other is a Life Drain deck from the Eventide run of cards. There’s really cool stories behind each Magic release and you can build some really great and fun decks by reading up on the storylines and building a deck accordingly. My Life Drain deck can be awesome as almost every card in it does something gives you back life equal to the damage you deal to your opponent, hence it’s name. But I love my Orzhov deck and actually bought a bunch of single cards to really flesh it out and make it awesome.

    My favourite storylines are the Ravnica: City of Guilds set (Ravnica, Guildpact, and Dissension), and the Lorwyn/Shadowmoor set (Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, and Eventide).

    The Ravnica City of Guilds set is awesome and reminds me a lot of Planescape with all the factions, the Orzhov in particular are awesome, they are essentially a church, but are actually a cut-throat almost mafia-like organization using their religion as a front and shield to protect them from legal backlash within Ravnica. So you can see the Black/White aspect at play there.

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