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. Players take on the role of a powerful wizard and duel in a battle of wits, using cards that represent resources such as creatures, objects, spells and enchantments.

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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?
wesdfgfgd's user avatar
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85 votes
12 answers
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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 ...
C. Ross's user avatar
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58 votes
7 answers
5k 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 2 ...
GendoIkari's user avatar
57 votes
2 answers
80k 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 ...
WillfulWizard's user avatar
55 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
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54 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Albort's user avatar
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53 votes
8 answers
40k 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 ...
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52 votes
3 answers
140k 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 ...
DForck42's user avatar
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52 votes
1 answer
240k 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 ...
anon's user avatar
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48 votes
6 answers
12k 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 ...
Pacha's user avatar
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46 votes
16 answers
122k 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 ...
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44 votes
4 answers
180k 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 ...
Hyppy's user avatar
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43 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
Clean Belwas's user avatar
42 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
user avatar
42 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
Brondahl's user avatar
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41 votes
4 answers
44k 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 ...
Demento's user avatar
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41 votes
3 answers
103k 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 ...
MadLarkin's user avatar
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40 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does my opponent need to prove his creature has morph?

I'm playing against an opponent who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to give away more information than they have to. (Perhaps they're trying to limit what is known about their strategy, their ...
Aetherfox's user avatar
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40 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
bpeav's user avatar
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40 votes
1 answer
57k 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 ...
murgatroid99's user avatar
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40 votes
1 answer
89k 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 ...
murgatroid99's user avatar
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39 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
Gordon Gustafson's user avatar
39 votes
9 answers
24k 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 (...
murgatroid99's user avatar
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37 votes
5 answers
110k 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,...
neptec's user avatar
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36 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Skeith's user avatar
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36 votes
3 answers
98k 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 ...
Stephen's user avatar
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34 votes
5 answers
7k 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?
Andri's user avatar
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34 votes
5 answers
49k views

What is offensive about the card "Stone-Throwing Devils"?

In 2020 Magic: The Gathering banned seven cards due to racist or offensive content. But I don't understand the inclusion of the card Stone-Throwing Devils on that list. It just shows a bunch of demons ...
Purple P's user avatar
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34 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Gyom's user avatar
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34 votes
1 answer
44k 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 point,...
Brendon Cheves's user avatar
33 votes
1 answer
6k views

Can a player choose to not pay {0}?

I cast a spell, and then my opponent casts Thassa's Intervention targeting my spell, choosing 0 for X. Can I choose to have my spell countered? Or have I automatically paid {0}. It seems that ...
GendoIkari's user avatar
32 votes
3 answers
113k 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 converted ...
Alex P's user avatar
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32 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
Origami Robot's user avatar
31 votes
6 answers
35k 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://...
JSBձոգչ's user avatar
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31 votes
1 answer
8k views

Why does Dryad of the Ilysian Grove grant all basic land types even if it loses all abilities?

I got my Dryad of the Ilysian Grove turned into a fish (using Ichthyomorphosis) on an Arena draft. It's supposed to "lose all abilities", but I could see that the Dryad was still allowing me ...
liberforce's user avatar
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31 votes
3 answers
228k 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 ...
DForck42's user avatar
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31 votes
5 answers
12k views

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

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 ...
Atav32's user avatar
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30 votes
2 answers
58k 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 ...
Adam Arold's user avatar
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30 votes
5 answers
24k 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 ...
user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
Chris's user avatar
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29 votes
12 answers
9k 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 ...
thesunneversets's user avatar
29 votes
7 answers
32k 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 ...
JSBձոգչ's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
27k 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 ...
Jim McKeeth's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
42k 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 ...
doppelgreener's user avatar
28 votes
5 answers
19k 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 ...
Malco's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
Andre Cytryn's user avatar
28 votes
4 answers
6k views

Can I win with a "you lose" effect on the stack?

Follow on to this question - with a similar setup, but a slightly different aim. Setup: I have a Bazaar Trader in play and without summoning sickness and an Immortal Coil in hand. Neither I nor my ...
Jonny's user avatar
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28 votes
1 answer
4k 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, ...
Malco's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
Stuart Cook's user avatar
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27 votes
4 answers
12k 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 ...
DForck42's user avatar
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