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We recently picked up MTG to try out. It is fun but the rules are quite vague. It is not clear whether a player can attack more than once (with different cards) in a turn. It isn't clear how tap abilities of cards related to attacking (if one attacks does one also get the tap ability - if so can it be used without attacking, and can it be used if not ones own turn). It isn't clear when a card says "for each creature under your control" whether that count includes creature tokens (which are "creatures" but are often treated separately in the text of cards). Does life link only count damage to the other player or all damage to any creature? The list goes on.

Is there a more precise version of the general rules for MTG?

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Which rules are you looking at right now? The Basic Rules? The one-page folding insert in the intro pack? –  Alex P Oct 20 '13 at 23:06
    
Also, did you in fact start with intro packs? If you dive straight into "expert" expansions you are indeed going to run into more things you need specific rules for. –  Jefromi Oct 24 '13 at 20:44

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It is fun but the rules are quite vague.

What have you been reading?

MTG has the most precise rules of any complex game. These are found in the Comprehensive Rules.

The Comprehensive Rules are far more detailed than what you need, though. You should stick to the Basic Rules. These are still far from vague.

It is not clear whether a player can attack more than once (with different cards) in a turn.

You only have one combat phase per turn, but you can declare any number of attackers.

Declare attackers step: You decide which, if any, of your untapped creatures will attack and which player or planeswalker they will attack. Then they do so. This taps the attacking creatures. Players can then cast instants and activate abilities.

It isn't clear how tap abilities of cards related to attacking (if one attacks does one also get the tap ability - if so can it be used without attacking, and can it be used if not ones own turn).

Attacking taps the creature.

Activating some abilities requires tapping the creature.

Unless there's an ability that says "Whenever [something] is tapped", tapping doesn't cause anything to happen.

An applicable metaphor is: You can't pay for two things using the same dollar.

It isn't clear when a card says "for each creature under your control" whether that count includes creature tokens (which are "creatures" but are often treated separately in the text of cards).

Creature tokens are creature.

("Creature" not followed by "spell" or "card" means "creature permanent". A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. So a creature is a creature card or token on the battlefield.)

An applicable metaphor is: A square building is square. A square building is a building.

Does life link only count damage to the other player or all damage to any creature?

It doesn't matter to what the damage is dealt.

Lifelink: A keyword ability seen on permanents. Damage dealt by a permanent with lifelink causes that permanent’s controller to gain that much life, in addition to behaving like normal damage.

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To clarify the attacking phase ("can a player attack more than once...") - you only get one attack phase, but you can attack with as many creatures as you wish and they can each target different opponents. Unless some other ability modifies this, those creatures remain tapped until the beginning of your next turn - they cannot take any further action. Obviously, you can reserve creatures to block attacks - if you have no untapped creatures when your opponent attacks, you can't block and you take the damage. –  GalacticCowboy Oct 22 '13 at 15:34
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@GalacticCowboy, Attacking creatures don't target. s/they can each target/they can each attack/ –  ikegami Oct 22 '13 at 15:42
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@GalacticCowboy, Tapped creatures can "take actions". Being tapped simply prevents that creature from attacking and it prevents its abilities with {T} in their cost from being activated. Abilities without {T} in their cost can still be activated, and static and triggered ability continue to function. –  ikegami Oct 22 '13 at 15:46
    
(Thanks, StackExchange, for the short edit window... :| ) Yeah, I should say, can't take any action that requires tapping, since it is already tapped. –  GalacticCowboy Oct 22 '13 at 15:58
    
+1 for MTG has the most precise rules of any complex game. that's definitely true. –  sloth Oct 23 '13 at 12:22

You'll want to look at the MTG rules page.

It includes the following resources:

  • The Basic Rules: the most important game rules laid out as an introductory test. This text will cover the kinds of situations you've mentioned in your question.
  • The Comprehensive Rules: the rules, in their most precise, complete, and authoritative expression. These are not designed to teach you the game; you will probably not be able to figure it out by sitting down and trying to read the comp rules straight through.
  • Gatherer: a database of cards, including clarifications and rulings for individual cards. If you can't understand how to do what's written on the card, looking up the rulings on Gatherer will often tell you the answer.
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As someone who only started recently: I strongly recommend only worrying about the Basic Rules, and reading them well. The Comprehensive Rules are far more than you need to worry about at the beginning (or possibly forever), and are for the most part just going to be very confusing. –  doppelgreener Oct 20 '13 at 23:29

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