Planeswalker Portal #1: The Journey Begins

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Welcome my fellow Planeswalkers!  My name is Justin Schuber. I will be your journeyman and guide to the awesome collectible card game Magic: The Gathering.  Of course, the pressing question I must answer first is, what is Magic: The Gathering?  Magic: The Gathering is a CCG (Collectible Card Game) by Wizards of the Coast and has been around since 1994.  The basic premise of Magic is the existence of the Mulitverse where powerful wielders of the five mana sources (blue, black, white, red and green) called Planeswalkers engage in duels for various reasons.  Whether it be for power, respect, greed, survival or honor, they all share one common goal - victory.  Victory by using fearsome creatures, powerful and ancient artifacts, archaic enchantments and spells of devastation and hope.

Yes, it sounds very grandiose and all and that is what I like about Magic; it gives you the chance to feel powerful.  Sure its only the form of paper cards with awesome art but it always brings me a smile if I can pound my opponent with a 15/15 creature with trample or a late instant burn spell to finish them off.  I just stated a few terms that some of you may not have understood.  My bad, I am putting the cart before the horse.  Let me start with the basics of the game itself.

The main goal in Magic: The Gathering is to defeat your opponent by reducing their health from 20 life to 0.  Of course there are other ways to defeat your opponent but I will cover that in more detail at another time.  No matter what the victory route you take however, you need one important thing … your deck! This is also known in Magic terms as the library.  The size of the library varies depending on which format of Magic you will be playing but again, for most part it will be at least 60 cards.  Each player starts the game with seven cards in their hand and then that is where the duel begins.

However, you cannot simply just cast these creatures and spells without a source of power to summon them.  That is where the source of power called mana comes in.  The primary source of mana will come from land cards in both basic and non-basic variety which I will explain in more detail in a future article.  You can also use non-land sources such as creatures and artifacts for supplementary sources for when you need that extra boost.  Which color of mana you choose will decide how your deck will be assembled and you may use as few, as many, or as few colors as you wish which can lead to pretty fun and interesting combinations.

So now you have a basic idea of how the game works and I would love to get into the more detail mechanics of the game and the multitude of strategies; but I only planned this as an introductory article and hoped it would piqué your interest in the world that is Magic: The Gathering.  And as with all my now and future articles, feel free to make any comments or leave suggestions and ideas; and I’ll be sure to listen.  In closing, get ready to cross into the Planeswalker Portal!

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About NeoJames82

Justin "NeoJames82" Schuber is lover of many things geeky and a follower of Magic: The Gathering for almost a decade. In his spare time he plays all sorts of PC and console games, tabletop RPGs and loves to write as well.