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Questions tagged [magic-the-gathering]

Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game for 2 or more players, set in a variety of fantastical realms. The cards represent the player's resources and available spells and their interactions lead to an often high paced battle of wits.

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7answers
648k views

What are the names for Magic's different colour combinations?

For example, Esper refers to decks made up of White, Blue and Black cards. What are the names of the other colour combinations? In particular, how do we refer to a Red-White-Black deck?
72
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11answers
70k views

Why would you want to play with a deck bigger than 60 cards in MTG?

In Magic the Gathering, the decks are required to be no less than 60 cards, but can be larger. Since you can only have 4 of each card (except for basic lands), it seems you would want the limit size ...
48
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3answers
21k views

In Magic, when can I tap my opponent's creatures to prevent them from attacking?

Whilst I haven't played Magic in a while, use of the stack was something that I always found a little confusing. When I first started out, our group could tap an opponents attacking creature after ...
48
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7answers
3k views

What happens if both players have the ability to pump their creature an unlimited number of times?

Say that both players each had 2 Leaden Myr, 2 Myr Galvanizer, and a Nantuko Shade. (Or any other way to get unlimited mana, and a Nantuko Shade). Player 1 attacks with his Nantuko Shade, and player ...
47
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2answers
45k views

In MTG, what happens when a player loses in multiplayer?

In Magic: The Gathering, the rules for a player losing in a multiplayer game are quite complex, so I'd like to try to understand them by example. I would be happy to ask each of these situations as a ...
47
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6answers
4k views

How can I improve my deck building skills?

I've been playing M:tG for nearly a decade now. I understand the rules very well, I've participated in a few draft tournaments, and I've built a few decks that I'm very proud of. Nonetheless, I seem ...
44
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15answers
109k views

How much would it cost to get started with Magic: The Gathering?

I've heard a lot (of good things) about this game and I'm interested in exploring it; however, I'm slightly worried about the initial cash investment involved. About how much would it cost to get ...
44
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3answers
86k views

How do you calculate the likelihood of drawing certain cards in your opening hand?

In Magic, at the start of the game, you draw 7 cards. How would you calculate the likelihood of drawing a specific card in your opening hand? For example, let's say I have a 60 card deck, and I'm ...
44
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1answer
154k views

How can I tell the difference between early Magic: The Gathering card editions?

I have a few Magic: The Gathering cards whose editions I'm having trouble identifying. They are obviously from either Alpha or Beta, since they have black borders and the same design as the Unlimited ...
41
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3answers
4k views

Does newer card text on a Magic: The Gathering card override the old wording?

While going through the Gatherer database I noticed that the Alpha version of Icy Manipulator says, {1}: You may tap any land, creature, or artifact in play on either side. whereas the Tenth ...
41
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2answers
9k views

In Magic: The Gathering, can I include a card in my deck that I can't play based on my land setup?

I have a plan to build a deck that can get Progenitus on to the battlefield on turn 3 (it's an ongoing joke between my friends and I on who could get Progenitus out quickest with the cards we ...
41
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2answers
7k views

Am I technically allowed to look up cards during a Magic tournament match?

Am I allowed to look up a card during a game, if it's being played with serious Rules Enforcement? Either to read the full card from the Gatherer, or to try to find the exact card I'm vaguely thinking ...
40
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7answers
30k views

What exactly was so broken about Urza's Block?

I've often heard it said that the Urza Block (Urza's Saga, Urza's Journey, Urza's Destiny) was the most powerful, broken block in Magic history, with decks able to win on turn 1 or 2. I also saw it ...
39
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4answers
29k views

Can I cast a spell after a certain part of the stack is resolved in MTG?

Let's say my opponent plays a spell like Fireball. It is put on the stack. I cast a Snapcaster Mage in response. My opponent does nothing in return. The Snapcaster Mage resolves first and it seems ...
39
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3answers
148k views

Land ratio vs mana curve

When choosing cards for a deck, one of the most important things to consider is the number of land you put in. The biggest issue is mana curve, of course. What shortcuts are best for determining the ...
36
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5answers
6k views

Why do some people use fetchlands in mono-colored decks?

This is a list of a competitive deck that uses fetchlands in a mono-colored deck: Goblin 8 Whackers. I don't see the reason someone might build something like this, aside from a slight bluffing that ...
36
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2answers
3k views

How is Test of Faith resolved?

This is the scenario: He attacks with a 4/4, and I block with a 1/1. I cast Test of Faith on my 1/1. I say his creature dies, because I block three damage and become a 4/4, killing him, but he says ...
36
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3answers
10k views

How can I tell when to take a mulligan in Magic?

Determining when to mulligan is a very important skill in magic. But how can I hone my abilities in that skill? Obviously if I had no/all land I'd probably want to mulligan as the opportunity to ...
36
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1answer
53k views

What's the deal with the new Wastes land and the diamond symbol on it?

One of the cards revealed for Oath of the Gatewatch is the basic land Wastes with a new diamond symbol instead of one of the existing mana symbols. We also saw Kozilek, the Great Distortion, which has ...
34
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2answers
4k views

Can infinite scry 1 be shortcut by searching through your deck?

One of my standard decks is a 4-Color Rites deck. It has a few combos where infinite "dies" triggers are used. One of them involves having a Catacomb Sifter in play with a Brood Monitor and an ...
34
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6answers
22k views

What happens if the legend rule doesn't apply to only one of a pair of legendary creatures with the same name?

Brothers Yamazaki has the ability If there are exactly two permanents named Brothers Yamazaki on the battlefield, the "legend rule" doesn't apply to them. So, say I control two Brothers Yamazaki (...
33
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5answers
76k views

Can instants be played after I decide not to block?

My friend has a green Infect deck. When he declares a creature to attack and I allow it to go through unblocked, he suddenly plays all these Instants that 'pump' the creature up, and because of Infect,...
33
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6answers
4k views

How should I approach teaching Magic:The Gathering to a new player?

I've been playing MtG since Ice Age (mostly with friends) so I'm now sitting on a massive duffle bag of cards, plenty of decks, and quite some experience of the game. I want to teach the game to ...
33
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3answers
61k views

Does an ability resolve if the source of the ability leaves the battlefield?

Player A taps Goblin Fireslinger targeting Player B; its "deals 1 damage to target player" ability is placed on the stack. Player B gets priority and responds with Snap, targeting Goblin Fireslinger. ...
30
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1answer
28k views

What is “summoning sickness” and how does it affect my creatures?

Note: this is intended to be a canonical question about summoning sickness. "Summoning sickness", broadly, is the rule that stops you from attacking or paying {T} costs with a creature that you just ...
30
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1answer
28k views

What order do triggered abilities happen in if multiple things trigger at the same time?

I had several humans on the battlefield. On turn three, I played Triumph of Ferocity. On turn four, I played Descendants' Path. On turn five, during my upkeep, this question came up. At this ...
30
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5answers
12k views

What brand of card sleeves are most reliable for Magic the Gathering?

I use Dragon Shield, KMC and Ultra-Pro. The reviews and forums don't seem to have a consensus on the question, "Which brand is the best?" But have there been any quality control tests that show ...
29
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4answers
5k views

Why do mana abilities not go on the stack?

Why this special treatment for mana-abilities? What are the design implications if they didn't go on the stack?
29
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3answers
61k views

Does a creature with Lifelink provide lifegain equal to its power, or the defender's toughness?

I have recently began playing a deck that has a number of creatures with lifelink in it. I want to be certain I understand the mechanic and the following question occurred to me. Which damage total ...
29
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1answer
4k views

Two players would gain control of a creature after it dies — who does?

I have an Affa Protector enchanted with Unhallowed Pact ... My opponent kills my Affa with Dread Slaver ... Who will take control of the creature at the end? This is taking into consideration that my ...
27
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5answers
19k views

Why is Homelands considered among the worst Magic expansions?

In various forums and articles, it is frequently mentioned that Homelands is one of the worst, if not the worst, Magic the Gathering expansions. Even on the main Wizards website, you will occasionally ...
27
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1answer
7k views

Why doesn't Undying trigger if a creature with +1/+1 counters dies from -1/-1 counters?

From the Dark Ascension FAQ: If a creature with undying that has a +1/+1 counter on it receives enough -1/-1 counters to cause it to be destroyed by lethal damage or put into its owner's graveyard ...
26
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11answers
7k views

Why Does Magic Use The “Paris Mulligan” Rule?

In the early days, Magic had crazy, subpar mulligan rules: you could shuffle up and draw a new 7 if your hand had no lands or all lands, otherwise you were out of luck. A long time ago the Paris ...
26
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2answers
24k views

Why do people refer to Blue color as “U” in Magic the Gathering?

I often see people referring to Blue color mana as U. What is the reason for that? I know that Black starts with B as well but this is somewhat confusing. My guess is that u is the first letter which ...
26
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2answers
4k views

Is untapping my permanents during the untap step optional?

I was reading the untap step rule and got confused a bit. It says: 502.2. Second, the active player determines which permanents he or she controls will untap. Then he or she untaps them all ...
26
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2answers
9k views

Can non-creature permanents have +1/+1 counters?

Say I have a Blinkmoth Nexus and Steel Overseer out. I tap the Steel Overseer for his ability to put +1/+1 counters while my Blinkmoth is a creature, and it gains a counter. After my Blinkmoth goes ...
26
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5answers
24k views

What are good strategies against counterspell decks?

I'm currently honing a white-green tokens deck for Standard tournament play. I feel like I have a good handle on my game-plan for most of the other common archetypes, but I'm really stymied playing ...
25
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9answers
4k views

Ways to handicap in Magic the Gathering?

I play Magic the Gathering with my kids a bit. But, the games are often very one sided (in my favor) as they haven't mastered all the rules, and intricacies of game play. For most board games, I can ...
25
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5answers
24k views

Why is Skullclamp banned?

The following card is banned in current tournament formats: Equipped creature gets +1/-1. When equipped creature is put into a graveyard, draw two cards. Cast 1, equip 1 (artifact). http://...
25
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4answers
22k views

Can someone explain the Damage on the Stack rule change?

I played Magic: The Gathering when Unlimited first came out, and quit shortly after Antiquities were released. About a month ago I started playing again. I was trying to find what the biggest ...
25
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3answers
53k views

What is the converted mana cost of a spell with {X} when cast with the Miracle mechanic?

Say I topdeck Entreat the Angels and cast it for its miracle cost of XWW. But my opponent wants to counter it with a CMC-based effect, such as Spellstutter Sprite or Spell Burst. 202.3. The ...
25
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5answers
5k views

If I can't “win the game” in multiplayer, do my opponents still lose?

Let's say I'm playing a multiplayer game, and I'm drawing from an empty deck with Laboratory Maniac out while an opponent has Platinum Angel. 104.3h In a multiplayer game, an effect that states ...
25
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1answer
41k views

How does the double strike mechanic interact with other mechanics like lifelink or trample?

I understand that the double strike mechanic allows a creature to attack in both a first strike combat damage step and a normal combat damage step. It's clear that when a creature with no other ...
24
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5answers
13k views

Why is Bazaar of Baghdad supposedly such a good card?

I've been looking at the card Bazaar of Baghdad: (Land) Tap: Draw two cards, then discard three cards. Almost everywhere I've seen has it as over 200$, and most of the Arabian Nights set is much ...
24
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3answers
10k views

What are good strategies for booster drafts?

I know that doing a booster draft can be somewhat complicated, because to really be good you need to know a lot about the set you're drafting (or be really good at evaluating cards quickly) and to pay ...
24
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1answer
2k views

Why can't Haphazard Bombardment randomly select a permanent with Indestructible?

While reading this question, I came across a ruling for Haphazard Bombardment that dosen't quite make sense to me. Haphazard Bombardment states: When Haphazard Bombardment enters the battlefield, ...
24
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2answers
97k views

How many lands do I need for a Commander deck?

A Commander deck consists of 100 unique cards, of which one is designated as the Commander and must be either a Legendary Creature or an allowed Planeswalker. I'm still very unfamiliar with this ...
24
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2answers
3k views

In Magic, can an ability target a permanent that is being sacrificed as part of that ability's activation cost?

Suppose my opponent has a Darksteel Colossus in play, and I have Attrition and no creatures. During my turn I cast Act of Treason to gain control of the Colossus and attack with it. So far I haven't ...
23
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4answers
7k views

Who are “Johnny”, “Timmy”, and “Spike” and what do they do?

Often times when browsing different Magic: The Gathering sites, I will come across certain decks or cards that are said to be favoured by a Johnny, a Timmy or a Spike. Also, sometimes certain people ...
23
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4answers
24k views

In plain English, how does casting spells and using creature abilities work with the stack and priority?

I'm a relatively new player to Magic: the Gathering. I was reading the expanded rules to try to understand exactly when it's okay to cast instants (e.g. Cancel) and use some abilities (e.g. Goblin ...