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Magic: The Gathering – A Noob’s perspective

Let me preface this article by saying I have never played a points-based card game before so the game and the gameplay was Magic: The Gathering (MTG) was completely new to me.

I got to experience MTG at OZ Comic-Con where the exhibitors had tables set up ready for noobs like myself or experienced players to battle it out. Before we could get down to spells and creatures we had to learn the five decks:  White, Red, Black, Blue and Green. Each of these colours represents certain abilities attributed to the card that can be played. Based on the description of the cards, I wanted to opt for Blue, the saboteur, something that sat well with me. I missed out though as one of my party had already chosen this class, so it was Red for me.

After having the rules quickly explained to us it was down to placing land and building some resources. To be honest it took me a while to understand the game and, to be even more honest, I still am not 100% sure of the cost of moves. I became more content with my understanding however once I came to realise that the colour also counted as a cost. For those playing at home, creatures and spells cost land to play. Even though your creature might need three to come out, you actually need four land; three for the creature and one for the colour. If you are scratching your head, good; we were too at first.

As I said at the start of this article, this gameplay was new to me and as a PS4/Nintendo gamer I wasn’t sure MTG was up my alley. The game started out like most games do, building an army and general politeness amongst friends. The occasional casual enquiry about “If I was to attack, what do I need to do?” type question, but of course since none of us knew the risks we went a few rounds still amassing land and creatures.

Suddenly, shots fired! One of the party decided to attack. It was great because it gave us all an opportunity to see how the attack/block system works. It took me a while to come to grips that you are not attacking a creature but rather the player. Whether the player chooses to use a creature instead of taking the hit is up to them. As the game progressed it became about building a creature army and buffing that army up ready for battle. I thought I was so clever sending one of my mate’s creatures to his graveyard, that was until he played a special ability card that allowed him to resurrect two creatures from the dead. There is a lesson to be learned here, don’t waste time killing of a necromancer’s creatures, just sayin’. Then eventually as amazing as I was playing I was first to depart this world. The saboteur, after placing a paralysis card over another player’s strongest card, used my own card against me, and left me vulnerable for the final blow.

My review on this game and gameplay is simple. I bought an introductory deck of cards at a cost of $20. Do I think it is a game I will play all the time? I don’t know. The rest of the D1DLC boys also bought a deck too, so time will tell if we get together and burn, paralyse, enchant, bombard and crush each other or whether we look at them from time to time and forever plan to play. For me I hope it is something we do play, because I had a lot of fun.

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