Game Review: Magic the Gathering

This week in the game review, we take a look at another popular form of gaming out there, Trading Card Games. One of the oldest known out there is known as Magic the Gathering, or MTG for short. MTG was released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. Two or more players can battle by using a deck of printed cards. Each game of MTG represents a battle between mighty wizards, known in the MTG world as “planeswalkers”, who use spells, items and summoned creatures to fight each other. MTG’s original concept was based around fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, but the gameplay is far from pencil and paper games like that.

Cards are separated into two types: Spells and Lands. Land cards provide “mana” needed to fuel the spell cards to cause destruction. Spells that are more powerful usually have a higher mana cost and such that as a game progresses, more strategic and powerful spells appear to defeat your opponent. Players start a game with 20 health, which can increase or decrease throughout the game. Once a players health drops below 0, that player loses. Well, that’s not always true. In MTG, there is the “Golden Rule of Magic” which states that “Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts the rules, the card takes precedence.” This causes Wizards of the Coast to make new cards with flexible rules. For example, one card called Platinum Angel states that “You can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game.” This card will allow you to drop below 0 health and still be kicking and fighting.

Spells and Lands are also split up into five colors: Red, Green, Blue, White and Black. Each color has specific characteristics that makes each have its own strengths and weaknesses. Decks are based around these colors as well. Decks can be comprised of one or all the colors. The combinations are endless. Decks are usually based around themes or strategies.

Magic the Gathering is a great game. No matter if you have been playing since it’s release in 1993 or are just now picking it up, it is easy to get into it. Every year, more and more cards are released, making new strategies and decks to be created. The author would give it a 9 out of 10.

Currently, a new set of cards called “Dragon’s Maze” is having a pre-release on April 27. To pick up cards, check out the local card shops and see if they are hosting one of these events.

For more information, check out CSM’s Magic the Gathering club and learn how to play this fun card game.

Photo Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast

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