Gathering the Magic: Board Game Madness

Magic The Gathering

Technically, card games are board games as well so here we are! Magic The Gathering is a card game in which the players are supposed to be magicians fighting in a duel. It has been around with quite a strong following and loyal fans around the world.

Gameplay

Each player starts with 20 health points. The objective is to make the opponent lose, either by reducing his hit points to 0, or by somehow depleting his deck of cards.
Each player starts with a drawing hand of seven, if you go first, and six, if you do not. The players have the option of choosing a "mulligan" which means they re-shuffle their hand and draw cards again, the penalty for that however is that you draw one card less every time you opt for one.

From then on, the rules are relatively simple. You have to use land cards, as "payment" to bring the other type of cards in the play. You have creatures, sorcery cards, instant cards and enchantments.
Creatures are there to both defend you, attack the enemy or offer utility.
Sorcery cards are your main "magic" cards. They are only activated on your round however.
Instant cards are like sorcery cards, but with less "impact", however they can be activated at any time
Enchantment cards are like Sorcery cards, but they effect creatures or players exclusively.

Finally the game has 5 "colors" to pick from to create decks, blue, red, white, black and green. Each color offers its own unique form of play style and combinations of two or more can be used to create your own unique style, not to mention the crazy good artwork the game has.

Artwork

With the game growing in popularity and scope, it comes to no surprise that the artwork started to get better and better. With each story (yes the game has a story behind it), taking the game in different various fantastical realms, the artwork always changes to match. I mean, take a look at the pictures for a moment and you will see, that if anything, Magic has fantastic art.

It comes to no surprise that many people simply collect magic the gathering cards. Naturally, the company making the game knows about this, and as such they often offer exclusive artwork for specific cards, collectors edition versions and for some reason shiny cards called "foils".

Thoughts and Summary

Well, here is the issue folks. Like most card games, Magic the gathering has a significant amount of luck that comes into play. In case you guys did not notice in the Monopoly article, I am -not- a fan of luck based games. Here is the thing however, MTG (as it is abbreviated) has strong elements of strategy and tactics into it, and unfortunately, whether people are willing to accept it or not, luck takes away from it.

A good starting hand can make or break your game and even if your entire deck is optimally built without a single flaw, luck can come in and make an entire game go to waste and that, no matter how you spin it hardcore fans. Is just plain bullshit.

Another gripe I have with the game is the fact that, as a trading card game, you have to spend a ridiculous amount of money into it, just to keep on playing the game. And yet, I still enjoy the game, especially now with the online free version of it.

In the end, no matter how you look at it, you either enjoy MTG, or you don't. Personally, whether you enjoy some good fantasy art, a nice fantasy story, or just trading card games, I would say at least give it a shot, it might be a game for you.

 

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