1. #1

    Trying to get into Magic: The Gathering TCG (Video Game?)

    Hey all,
    I figured this was as good a place as any to ask my question.
    Recently I've been wanting to get into Magic and I was wondering how I should do this. I don't have friends who play so I'm a little hesitant to go out and by the physical cards. I realize I could always look for a club or something at my university but I'm not sure about that.

    The other thing I was considering was playing one of the video games. I always see them floating around steam but I don't know which to start out with, because there are so many different versions.

    Can anyone help me find which game I should go for? Are the games even worth it or are they horrible?
    Also do you play Magic? How do you like it?
    THanks.

    EDIT: If it helps at all, the only TCG I've played is Yugioh (which I still think is a very well designed game), but I feel as if it has stigma to it now (being seen as immature)
    Last edited by blaqkmagick; 2011-11-30 at 05:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Love the game, but youre gonna want to look for an event called Friday Night Magic in your area to get you started. Google works. Meet some people there, and see where it goes.

    Some quick notes: RTFC - read the effin card. People will try to pull some complex BS on you dude, sometimes it'll be legit, othertimes they've made a small error or theres a point of weakness you can exploit to save youself the game. Either way, you'll have fun though, so long as its not one of those people who plays with $500 cards and either locks you down from turn 2 or wins on turn one after they take a 10 minute turn...
    Last edited by Supertao The Pro; 2011-11-30 at 04:55 PM. Reason: missed a word

  3. #3
    Been a long time since I played actively, so some of this may be changed, but here goes.

    Best way to get started is with sealed deck tournaments. Part of the admission cost pays for a starter deck and three boosters, all sealed. You then build a deck from those cards and compete. Don't expect to be good right away. It's like chess...it takes time and practice to learn how cards interact and how to build a deck effectively.

    As you play, pay careful attention to how your deck plays with other decks. Talk with your opponents. Watch what their decks do. Watch how they build them. Figure out who the friendly guys are and chat with 'em. My best general advice is to figure out a couple kill mechanics and build around those mechanics. Don't try to do too many things with a deck.

    Also, an addendum to RTFC: The card always supersedes all other rules.

  4. #4
    I just got the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 game from Steam for $3 (love their sales). It's pretty fun. It won't make you a pro Magic player by any means, but it'll certainly give you an idea of how the game goes, how cards interact, etc.. I'd suggest trying it first, and if you really enjoy it, get into the actual card game (which can get pretty expensive if you let it).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by speehs View Post
    I just got the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 game from Steam for $3 (love their sales). It's pretty fun. It won't make you a pro Magic player by any means, but it'll certainly give you an idea of how the game goes, how cards interact, etc.. I'd suggest trying it first, and if you really enjoy it, get into the actual card game (which can get pretty expensive if you let it).
    Absolutely. It gives you a nice visual of the different phases in each turn as well, and you can learn some pretty obscure rules about it. There is also an expansion available, but it's not necessary if you're just trying to learn about the game.

    There is also the older versions on the Xbox, but I haven't played any of them. I would assume they would not be a good learning tool, since rules change over time.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by speehs View Post
    I just got the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 game from Steam for $3 (love their sales). It's pretty fun. It won't make you a pro Magic player by any means, but it'll certainly give you an idea of how the game goes, how cards interact, etc.. I'd suggest trying it first, and if you really enjoy it, get into the actual card game (which can get pretty expensive if you let it).
    Thanks for the replies all.
    Is this what you were talking about?
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/49470/
    There are just so many packs and decks and stuff i dont really know what to do lol. For starting off do I only need what I linked?

  7. #7
    This TCG is fantastic, you will not be dissapointed OP. I'd get your friends on board if possible. I had a blast with this game in my childhood all because I could play it with them. I remember making a crazy Red White and Blue deck on the 4th of July once... good times

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by blaqkmagick View Post
    Is this what you were talking about?
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/49470/
    Yes, that's it. You can unlock a total of about 10 decks with the basic game plus extra cards for each one, so you really don't need any of the extra decks or the expansion if you're just wanting to learn how to play. I'd say it's worth $10, but if you can wait a few weeks to save a few bucks, there's a chance they could put it on sale again around the holidays.

  9. #9
    Dont listen to them there's a really old Magic Game called Shandralar, really easy to find, It will teach you the basics, and it's free. The game is really fun, I cant provide you with a link but it's quite easy to find. If you enjoy Shandralar then you can try to find some people and play. The steam version is alright, but it's nothing compared of the nights of drinking playing magic with 3 other dude. My proposition try to get one geek friend into it, it will be really fun. If you go to a club they will remove the fun out of it god I hated the people at my local magic club haha.

    So Yeah GET Shandralar. Some rules might have changed since the game, but I find the new magic quite overwhelming since there's so many new abilities and shit to look at.

  10. #10
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaqkmagick View Post
    Thanks for the replies all.
    Is this what you were talking about?
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/49470/
    There are just so many packs and decks and stuff i dont really know what to do lol. For starting off do I only need what I linked?
    Just buy the initial game. You earn the extra cards in the deck by winning games, which is terribly easy once you get the hang of it, because you can pick and choose your opponents once you've beaten them. the 99cent for each pack is useless, as is the foil cards. The expansion pack opens up three new opponents, three new decks, and a new gameplay style, which I'm not too fond of.

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  11. #11
    Actually, the MTG game on steam is a PoS. It isn't the real game, rather a stripped down version ported to consoles and PC. The REAL game involves over 10,000 unique cards and a constantly updating game.

    What you want to do is either find a local card shop that hosts magic events -OR- you want to download and install Magic Online. Both amount to the same thing, with the main difference being real life cards that depend on real live people people to play with -vs- digital cards that can be played with anyone who's online.

    I prefer real cards any day, but some people just don't have anyone to play with or any where to play. MTG is a very addictive game to get into and it can be very expensive.

    A good place to start if you want to get into it without a huge obligation is to buy one of the duel decks they have released. It's a set that includes two pre constructed decks that are designed to be an even match up for each other ($20 MSRP). So you buy them and you find a friend who's interested and you play against each other. Once you have a good grasp of the mechanics and rules, you can then branch out and start exploring the newest sets and what cards are offered.

    However, you most definitely do not want to play the video game Magic 2012.


    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jevlin
    Why? Because fuck you, that's why.

    Every time you have a question that begins with "Why?" that is about what other people prefer to do with their own goddamn time, come back here, and reread the first row of this post. That will ALWAYS be the answer to your question. Have a nice day.

  12. #12
    Magic is great. I haven't played it in 10 years so I couldn't tell you about the new rules. When I started playing I knew probably 5 or 6 kids who just had shit tons of cards. All going back to the first expansions after Beta. Ice Age and shit, the first few awesome ones. After about 10 years after launch the game started getting a bit more complicated with a bunch of new abilities.

    Personally, I think it will be hard to get into the game without actually knowing anyone who plays. I would start, as some others have said, by trying to get to a casual game night somewhere. Since you have no cards....you'll only want to play against someone with a deck if they have a good one for you too. There is a certain amount of getting used to your decks because any good deck has synergy between the cards. I would also stick with a green or a black deck to start. Then probably white or red and then blue. Green usually gets things rolling fast and will learn quickly. Black and white can be built the same way or built to be a slower deck. Red and Blue can be creature decks but usually rely on spellcasting. A pure blue deck I find to be the most complicated and potentially most rewarding. Multicolor decks are very viable but is considered a mid level tactic.

    The best way to get started is to buy a starter deck and a few booster packs. Packs cost $3 $4 these days probably...and a starter deck probably $15. So find someone else to buy a starter deck and maybe 3-5 packs. Then combine them to form a deck. You could even trade cards. This will provide you with an even playing field. Veteran Magic players will destroy you with a good old school deck.

    Personally, my favorite Magic experiences came from multi-party games. I prefer Star Magic. Star involves 5 players sitting in a circle. White-Green-Black-Red-Blue-White...etc....in that order. Your allies are next to you and you win when the two players across from you are defeated. White would need to beat black and red, while green and blue have no bearing on White's outcome. I find multi-player games of Magic in general to be more fun because it adds an extra element to the game.

    ---------- Post added 2011-12-03 at 04:08 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    Actually, the MTG game on steam is a PoS. It isn't the real game, rather a stripped down version ported to consoles and PC. The REAL game involves over 10,000 unique cards and a constantly updating game.

    What you want to do is either find a local card shop that hosts magic events -OR- you want to download and install Magic Online. Both amount to the same thing, with the main difference being real life cards that depend on real live people people to play with -vs- digital cards that can be played with anyone who's online.

    I prefer real cards any day, but some people just don't have anyone to play with or any where to play. MTG is a very addictive game to get into and it can be very expensive.

    A good place to start if you want to get into it without a huge obligation is to buy one of the duel decks they have released. It's a set that includes two pre constructed decks that are designed to be an even match up for each other ($20 MSRP). So you buy them and you find a friend who's interested and you play against each other. Once you have a good grasp of the mechanics and rules, you can then branch out and start exploring the newest sets and what cards are offered.

    However, you most definitely do not want to play the video game Magic 2012.


    Good luck.
    I agree 95% with this post. When I played the XBox version I enjoyed it. I was at a friend's house and after we finished the game I asked him if you could play again with customized decks. He tells me there are only a handful of ways to customize it, and it's not possible to build your own. In this regard the game was a total let down. As you'll come to find collecting and build a deck is 1/2 the fun. Since the game forces you to play with prebuilt decks it's a HUGE letdown.

    Now the 5%...the Xbox/PC game can teach you how to play and basic strategy. If you can download the game or get it on Xbox for cheap it would allow you to play by yourself....that's half the problem with Magic...you need someone to play with and reading the instruction manual will only do so much. If you already learn how to play and have people to play with, I would never buy the game. It could help you get started though.

  13. #13
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post
    Actually, the MTG game on steam is a PoS. It isn't the real game, rather a stripped down version ported to consoles and PC. The REAL game involves over 10,000 unique cards and a constantly updating game.

    What you want to do is either find a local card shop that hosts magic events -OR- you want to download and install Magic Online. Both amount to the same thing, with the main difference being real life cards that depend on real live people people to play with -vs- digital cards that can be played with anyone who's online.

    I prefer real cards any day, but some people just don't have anyone to play with or any where to play. MTG is a very addictive game to get into and it can be very expensive.

    A good place to start if you want to get into it without a huge obligation is to buy one of the duel decks they have released. It's a set that includes two pre constructed decks that are designed to be an even match up for each other ($20 MSRP). So you buy them and you find a friend who's interested and you play against each other. Once you have a good grasp of the mechanics and rules, you can then branch out and start exploring the newest sets and what cards are offered.

    However, you most definitely do not want to play the video game Magic 2012.


    Good luck.
    I disagree. Duels of the Planeswalker is a great way for people to learn the steps and the rules of the game. Playing it in virtual reality gives a great visual as to what is exactly going on. I cannot count the number of times my friends and I have been playing (the real game) and had a dispute about a rule, only to clarify by remembering how it worked in the video game.

    And yes, you're limited in the cards you can use. But the game offers many different styled decks, and can give you a nice idea of what kind of deck you might enjoy once you start playing the real game. It was worth it for $10, it's definitely worth it if you can get it on a deal.

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  14. #14
    Thanks for all the advice. You guys have given me a lot to think about. I appreciate all the replies.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendulous View Post
    I disagree. Duels of the Planeswalker is a great way for people to learn the steps and the rules of the game. Playing it in virtual reality gives a great visual as to what is exactly going on. I cannot count the number of times my friends and I have been playing (the real game) and had a dispute about a rule, only to clarify by remembering how it worked in the video game.

    And yes, you're limited in the cards you can use. But the game offers many different styled decks, and can give you a nice idea of what kind of deck you might enjoy once you start playing the real game. It was worth it for $10, it's definitely worth it if you can get it on a deal.
    If you go to WOTC's website you can download an updated version of the tutorial which is the same exact thing.... only free.

    http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/New...ic/learntoplay

    The main problem with Duals of the Plainswalkers is that you're only playing with cards from the 2012 core set. While the set features some great cards, both new and old, it does not contain any cards from the newest expansion sets and therefore is misleading in every way to a new player. You'll play the game, likely finish it, then go play for real and get completely overwhelmed by what's actually out there.

    Then you have to start all over with learning rules about keywords and mechanics that weren't in the game. If you want to start with the free demo, that's great. But afterward you should stop and go play for real.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jevlin
    Why? Because fuck you, that's why.

    Every time you have a question that begins with "Why?" that is about what other people prefer to do with their own goddamn time, come back here, and reread the first row of this post. That will ALWAYS be the answer to your question. Have a nice day.

  16. #16
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroginous View Post

    The main problem with Duals of the Plainswalkers is that you're only playing with cards from the 2012 core set.
    Incorrect.

    All the cards show M12 on their selves, but quite a bit of them are present elsewhere. A few from the expansion are even Innistrad cards. I just wish I could use Karn's deck

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  17. #17
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    First thing I'd recommend is don't bother getting into actual Magic if you don't have money but want to play competitively. Playing Standard, and god forbid Extended or Legacy, is a massively, massively expensive hobby. I played WoW for 6 years and spent less on that game and all the subscription time than i used to spend on single Magic expansions. You can certainly enjoy the casual experience though pretty cheaply, but it will still be a fair bit of investment if you want to compete at all, especially at events like FNM which others have mentioned.

    If you are only interested in the video game and not the actual TCG, Duals of the Planeswalkers is pretty great. You don't get nearly the customization options as you should have, as each deck has a pretty limited pool of cards to add or remove and afaik they haven't made it so you can make custom decks yet (or ever will as that eats MTGO money). You should definitely get the game off Steam or on XBL but I'd say try the free version on their website first.

    Another option to consider if you want to mix the two experiences is Magic the Gathering: Online. You get to spend all the money you would on real cards plus you get essentially an instant community without ever leaving home and sitting around a bunch of fat nerds. I haven't played it in years, but there are always tournament and drafts running 24/7. Was a ton of fun but it can get really expensive.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by blaqkmagick View Post
    Hey all,
    I figured this was as good a place as any to ask my question.
    Recently I've been wanting to get into Magic and I was wondering how I should do this. I don't have friends who play so I'm a little hesitant to go out and by the physical cards. I realize I could always look for a club or something at my university but I'm not sure about that.

    The other thing I was considering was playing one of the video games. I always see them floating around steam but I don't know which to start out with, because there are so many different versions.

    Can anyone help me find which game I should go for? Are the games even worth it or are they horrible?
    Also do you play Magic? How do you like it?
    THanks.

    EDIT: If it helps at all, the only TCG I've played is Yugioh (which I still think is a very well designed game), but I feel as if it has stigma to it now (being seen as immature)
    Dont play the steam games.

    1. Download magic online but only pay the initial fee of 10$, you get to play with a few free cards against real people where you might actually learn something.
    2. http://www.wizards.com/promo/hereirule/agecheck.aspx , Go to this website and register wizard will send you a free real life deck which is pretty awesome (not the deck but the fact they give you one) and check for stores in your vincinity that hold mtg tournaments.
    3. Read channelfireball, starcitygames tcgplayer and a few others to get a grasp whats currently happening, google terms you dont know. Especially read articles about drafting which is an awesome way to get into the game.
    4. Visit local drafts, dont expect to win much but you will quickly learn the current mechanics, whats good whats bad etc. dont be afraid to ask, mtg people love to hear themselves talk about the game. The best part about drafts is though, people treat leftover cards as trash even playable ones since the mechanics of a draft get you a bunch of excess cards every time. You can just ask to have them, dont be disconcerned that youll only be getting trash since alot of the time its not.
    5. ASK ASK ASK, its so important and as i said before most people LOVE to hear themselves spout magic knowledge.
    6. Know values or dont trade is a good rule of thumb.
    7. You will need money, drafting costs like 10$ per tournament (so 10-20$ a week) but considering you played ygo before thats like getting 1 tourguide every 4 months.

  19. #19
    I have this game on console, it's fun and all, but even here it's the same huge problem - BUY BUY BUY BUY NEW CARDS OR DIE.

    Yea, well, fuck you Wizards of the Coast.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CynicalOtaku View Post
    Been a long time since I played actively, so some of this may be changed, but here goes.

    Best way to get started is with sealed deck tournaments. Part of the admission cost pays for a starter deck and three boosters, all sealed. You then build a deck from those cards and compete. Don't expect to be good right away. It's like chess...it takes time and practice to learn how cards interact and how to build a deck effectively.

    As you play, pay careful attention to how your deck plays with other decks. Talk with your opponents. Watch what their decks do. Watch how they build them. Figure out who the friendly guys are and chat with 'em. My best general advice is to figure out a couple kill mechanics and build around those mechanics. Don't try to do too many things with a deck.

    Also, an addendum to RTFC: The card always supersedes all other rules.
    Booster drafts are also a good way to amass a wide selection of cards quickly. Eight players sit at a table, and each player brings three sealed booster packs from a given set - usually the most recent Core Set (Magic 2010, Magic 2011, Magic 2012, etc) or a recent block (Innistrad, etc.) Each player then opens their first booster pack, selects a single card from it, and I believe they then pass the remaining 14 cards to their right. Each player then selects a card, and passes the remaining 13 to the right. This continues until all cards are taken, and then each player opens a new booster pack, takes a card from it, and then passes to their left. Then they repeat the process one more time, this time passing the booster to their right.

    The hosts of the draft provide you with however many basic lands you'd like for your deck. I don't believe there's any limits to deck size, other than each deck must contain at least 45 cards (and, of course, no more than four of a specific card except basic lands.) It's a really great way to see a lot of cards and it gets you thinking about deck construction. Do you take a card that's great for your deck, or do you take a card that would be great for someone else's deck, to deny them the ability to have it?

    Like if you were doing a New Phyrexia draft and you were going for, say, a Green/Black Infect deck, you might want to take any cards that would impede your deck's progress if they popped up. Not because you need them, but because you don't want others to have them.
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