Understanding Magic: the Gathering (MTG), Its Origin and How to Play
What is Magic: The Gathering? How is it played, and why is it so popular? Discover the origin of the game, the most popular formats and platforms available!
Richard Garfieldas the first Trading Card Game, a new genre that combined the collectible aspect of trading cards, popular in the US, with a game itself, in which players could build their own decks and duel between them.
Magic Card Rarities
common, uncommon, rare, mythic rareand
basic land. A booster usually contains 10 common, 3 uncommon, 1 rare or mythic rare, and a basic land. There is a small chance that the rare card will be replaced by a mythic rare. Because of this, the price of each card is influenced by its rarity, and strong rare and mythic cards (and therefore in high demand) can reach relatively high values.
Magic: The Gathering's Colors
Magic: the Gathering is an expensive game?But then, does that mean it's expensive to play Magic and you can't have fun without spending thousands of dollars? Quite the contrary, and that's where the different formats and digital versions of the game come into play.
Knowing the Magic: the Gathering formats
Constructed FormatsIn the
Standardformat, for example, the cards must be from the sets of the last two years, and each year the oldest sets are no longer legal (what we call rotation). Other formats, however, are non-rotating and allow all cards released from a given set. In the format Pioneer, for example, starts from Return to Ravnica, from 2012; in Modern, starts from Eighth Edition, from 2003; and in
Vintage, every set is legal. There is also the most accessible of them, Pauper, which allows cards from all sets in the game but only from the common rarity, which makes the average price of cards relatively low.
Limited formatsIn addition to these so-called “constructed” formats (because you build your deck and play), there are also limited formats, such as Sealed and Draft, where boosters are opened at the beginning of the competition and the decks are assembled from the cards obtained from them.
CommanderAnother format loved by players is Commander, often played in groups of 4 or even more, where each person builds a deck of 100 different cards around a legendary creature in the game. Commander's difference is that the objective is not just to win the match, but to have fun, make small talk and spend time with friends. A Commander match can easily last for hours. In general, players look to build decks of similar level so that the environment is balanced and there is no one person who always wins the games.
Where to play Magic: The Gathering?
Magic: The Gathering's Digital Versions
Magic Online(MTGO) In addition to paper Magic, or IRL, in real life, there are also digital versions of the game, both for computer and mobile devices. The oldest of these versions is Magic: The Gathering Online (MTGO), which contains all the cards in the game and most of the constructed and limited formats. In it, an account costs US$ 5 and comes with some cards, but to play most formats competitively, it is necessary to buy cards in the game's internal market, which, like physical Magic, is composed of other players and specialized stores. Where MTGO excels, however, is on the possibility to rent cards on specialized stores.
Magic Arena(MTGA) However, if the idea is to play Magic without spending anything and with well-made graphics, the option is Magic Arena, available since 2017 and which was responsible for a significant increase in the number of Magic players. In Magic Arena, Standard, Historic (with all cards released in Arena) and limited formats are available, as well as a few others. On it, you can play for wins and boosters, which in turn are used to increase your collection and improve your decks.