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How to start playing Magic The Gathering

© Rob Boudon (Flickr) My Geek Cred Is Secure
© Rob Boudon (Flickr)
Basic Concept
In MTG, you take the role of a planes walker, a powerful wizard who casts spells using coloured mana cards. As such the cards you collect fall into five separate colours, white (plains), black (swamps), blue (islands), red (mountains) and green (forests).

A good MTG player will use a combination of these cards to create a deck that will defeat his or her opponent.
Choosing your first deck
Each colour of mana and its related spells have a specific characteristic that will suit different player’s styles. Red is fast and reckless, Green is strong, White represents healing, Black is suited towards destructive players and Blue cards are for the controlling player who wins by preventing the other player from making choices. No matter which route you choose the goal is the same, to reduce your opponent’s life total from twenty to zero.

Players have to construct a deck of around sixty cards. It can use a combination of any of these colours. Novice players will want to stick to a mono colour deck to start with. To get your collection going, try purchasing a "deck builders toolkit" which will give you a huge range of cards and instructions on how to play the game.
When you have mastered the basics of the game by playing with friends you may wish to join a competition. To succeed you will need to expand your collection by buying MTG booster packs. Competitions can be found by visiting your local independent gaming store. If you find you have a talent for the game, you may wish to enter regional or national competitions where you can win thousands of pounds.
If you live in an area where there aren’t many MTG players then you can get involved in the MTG hobby by playing online. Visit Wizards.com for more details.

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