Thanks for stopping by! I was tasked to create a HTML website for my Web Development 1 college course and as MTG is a hobby of mine currently, I decided to use that as my subject. The intent is to give an intro to the game as well as the format I play, show and discuss the newest set that is coming out, and show off my current competitive decks prior to the new set.
Magic: The Gathering, is a collectible card game produced by Wizards of the Coast. First, a few quick housekeeping items:
Type of Cards:
A Deck: For most purposes, a deck must have a minimum of 60 cards (there are some exceptions like drafting) and will have a sideboard that has to be 15 cards. Additionally, you cannot have more than 4 copies of a card in your deck (unless the card states otherwise) While MTG does not put a limit on how many cards over 60 you have, the bigger the deck is, the more the odds are against getting the cards you want. You will notice any competitive deck will always be exactly 60 cards, are made up of 1-3 colors, and has 21-26 land.
Life: Both Players start the game with 20 life.
Permanents: Essentially anything in play on the battlefield are considered permanents (lands, enchantments, creatures, artifacts, or planeswalkers).
Battlefield: This is where anything actively in play gets put. When you cast a creature, enchantment, artifact, or planeswalker it enters the battlefield.
Graveyard: This is the final resting place of all your cards and dead creatures. Some creatures and spells can be played from the graveyard or retrieved in some way. Cards you discard are also placed here.
Exile: Like the graveyard, this is where spells and creatures can end up when they are "exiled" by other spells. Unlike the graveyard, creatures and spells generally can't come back from exile unless under special circumstances. A good example would be Conclave Tribunal, which is an enchantment that exiles a target nonland permanent (permanent is anything in play like a creature, artifact, enchantment). When the enchantment dies, it specifically states the exiled permanent returns to the battlefield.
Winning: The 2 general ways you can win the game are to either reduce the opponent's life to 0 or below or reduce the opponent's deck to where they run out of cards and can't draw anymore. Of course, throughout the life of MTG there have been several alternative win conditions introduced in various sets that take the form of counters (like poison counters) or enchantments that spell our specific win conditions (like Mechanized Production)
Summoning Sickness: Any creature that is just summoned into play has summoning sickness. What this means is that creature can't be tapped which can be a requirement for its abilities. Also, that creature can't attack while it has summoning sickness. This sickness will dissappear on your next turn. This only affects creatures, or spells / artifacts / planeswalkers that can turn into creatures (they only get affected by summoning sickness if they transform into the creature)
Abilities: This refers to any special ability on permanents (land, enchantments, creatures, artifacts). They fall into 3 categories:
Untapped / Tapped: Any permanent that are first put into play, come in untapped. This means they are put into play normally, top facing away from you, bottom facing you. When you tap a land for mana, or a permanent to activate an ability, or a creature to attack, you turn it 90 degrees to show it as tapped. Tapped permanents are untapped during the untap phase of a turn.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets dive into the basic turn
Identify who gets to go first. Generally, you and your opponent will roll 2 6-sided die and the one with the highest total gets to choose to go first or draw first (if this is not the first round of a best of 3 round, then the loser of the previous match chooses to go first or draw first).
Shuffle up your deck (remember that after any time you shuffle your deck the opponent gets to shuffle or cut after). Now draw seven cards and the rest of the cards are placed face-down and becomes your library. Look at your hand and decide on if you want to keep them. If you don't like your hand (not enough lands or cards you can play early), you can take a mulligan, which means you put your hand back into your deck and reshuffle it. After a mulligan, you always deal yourself one less card than last time. You can continue to do this until you are satisfied with your hand. If you have mulligan and are happy with your current hand, you can 'scry' one card. This means you look at the very top card of your library and decide on if you want to keep it on top of the library or put it on the bottom of the library. Now we begin the first turn and start the game.
Untap Phase: If it is the first round, skip this step: Untap all tapped permanents (creatures, land, etc.). No one casts spells or activates abilities.
Upkeep: Generally nothing happens here. Only if your card states that an ability will trigger “at the beginning of your upkeep” then you process those abilities. Players can cast instants and activate abilities.
The Draw Step: The player who goes first skips the draw step on his or her first turn (the downside of going first, hence why your other choice would be to draw first). Players can then cast instants and activate abilities.
The first main phase. The main phases are where you can play your land, but keep in mind you can only put down one land a turn. Cast any sorceries, instants, creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and planeswalkers; activate abilities. The opponent can activate abilities and instants at this time.
Beginning combat. Here you can also cast instant and sorceries. The opponent will generally cast spells or attempt to keep creatures from attacking them
Second Main Phase: Just like the first main phase, you can play any type of spell or activate any ability here. You can also play a land during this phase if you didn’t during your first main phase (remember only one land a turn normally).
Ending Phase: Abilities that trigger “at the beginning of your end step” go on the stack. Cleanup – The maximum hand size is 7 cards, so if for some reason you have more than seven, this is where the player discards down to 7 (The opponent doesn't have to until his turn's end step). Damage on creatures is healed and any effects that are specific to the turn end (like spell effects). Nothing can be cast unless it is triggered for the end phase.
Now it's the opponent's turn and you rinse and repeat until someone wins. Keep in mind that there are some spells out there that modify the basic way turns are done, for example nexus of fate that lets you take another turn right after your current one, or Response // Resurgence which gives you an additional combat and main phase
Standard is one of the main formats of MTG that has been around for a long time. It is a rotating format that only allows you to use the last couple sets of cards to build a deck with. At any given time, standard contains between five and eight sets.
The current sets that are legal in standard are:
I like to play standard is it does restrict what people can build a deck with, so the deck meta is always changing up. Additionally, in my opinion it is a bit cheaper to field a competitive deck, vs the other formats like legacy and modern. Of course, the downside is also that cards change. If you set up a solid deck that is very competitive, it will eventually phase out. Additionally, it means you are constantly funneling money in to keep on top of decks.
Another reason I chose this route is that the Standard format is dominant in the area and tends to have a lot more local support. Friday Night Magic (tournament held every Friday), standard showdown, and store championships are all events you will find at your local game stores that are generally standard formats with prize support that is supported by Wizards of the Coast. Lately the other formats have started showing up a bit more, especially at Discordia Games, or Dragon's Hoard, but the cost to get a competitive deck is still high.