Tapped out is Good database and useful insight for people with intermediate entry level information about the game, but should be in advanced understanding of rules. Great place to play test if you have all the cards remembered, but does take some time.
Magic the gathering is a complex game with tons of rules and rules that not only evolve over time, but new ones are introduced every new set/ block (or rather new card mechanics) which both makes the game infinitely changing but also always different and exciting. Wizards pays attention to the meta game and actually creates solutions for kinks people find in over powered cards, the universe of Magic is so big now that deck types and spells are more like Rock Paper Scissors with hundreds of combinations. There will always be a great skill in the game, but the best players know that it is knowing what's popular and finding the balence between the power and strategy of all the options. One that has been proven powerful is card advantage, and choice, not limiting your solutions against your opponent. A well rounded deck may fair well against all but loose to speed decks- and struggle to stop decks from "going off" and that's why games have side boards which can't be overlooked either while playing one on one.
Advice for newer players who really want to enjoy the game and up there ability with access to the Internet, simply read cards. Go to the gatherer and look up some of the cards you have seen. Go to discussion in all the interesting cards and see what people have to say. Look up simple search for a color type you like, or even a creature type. The more cards you know the more your mind will flood with possibilities, often placing doubt on methods you once thought were incredible combos. There is always a rock paper scissor effect with magic, a few decks are known for their ability to triumph over a bunch of decks and some require a higher knowledge of the game and how mechanics work.
If your friends are playing what sounds like tier one legacy decks and you are new it almost sounds unfair, I'm sure they would be open to ideas of pauper (a cheeper solution and favorite of mine) is a limited number on rarity symbols which will change game style drastically.
Download the apps on kindle and I phone I pad. The latest electronic versions of magic are impressive to say the least. The latest Apple version grows and expands just like the traditional meta game, however starts with magic Orgins.