Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Magic: The Gathering. It’s a beloved collectible card game that’s been around for nearly 30 years. Magic is a game that dares you to build a better deck than your friends and gives you thousands of tools to do it.
With five colors to choose from (or mix and match between), the possibilities are nearly endless. Read on to learn how to get into Magic: The Gathering as a beginner.
Local Game Store
The absolute best place to begin is your local board and card game store. Because Magic is such a big deal, they encounter beginners all the time, and they’ll know what to do. The company behind Magic has done its best to make the game beginner-friendly, sometimes offering free starter sets to game stores for them to give out to new players.
Some people prefer a world with less social interaction, and that’s OK, too. If you fall in that category, check out MTG Arena. It’s a free game you can download on your PC, Mac, or iOS device that comes with a surprisingly robust tutorial. You’ll learn everything you need to know quickly and find yourself with a bunch of decks to try out.
Learn the Vocabulary
Every card game has its own lingo that the community creates—it’s a kind of shorthand that helps facilitate smooth communication. Here are a few terms you’re likely to come across when learning the game or watching people play:
- Aggro: decks designed to win quickly with small, fast creatures
- Swinging all-in: attacking with all your creatures at once
- Control: decks designed to slow the game down long enough to allow you to cast powerful spells
- Stompy: decks designed to put out a few big creatures that are difficult to contain
There’s more, but you can either figure it out using context clues or ask someone familiar with the game to explain the more niche terms, like “shock lands” or “big butts” (we swear that’s a Magic thing).
Protect Your Cards
Finally, you’ll want to give some thought to card protection. While this isn’t a huge deal unless you’re planning to lock your cards away, you may want to have a few penny sleeves and top loaders on hand just in case you pull a high-value mythic rare. Even if you decide to keep the card for yourself, it’s never a bad idea to keep the good stuff in pristine condition.
Now that you know how to get into Magic: The Gathering as a beginner, build a deck and get ready to swing all-in!