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?
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80 votes
12 answers
103k 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 ...
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56 votes
2 answers
72k 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 ...
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55 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
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53 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 ...
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52 votes
8 answers
39k 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
129k 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 ...
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52 votes
1 answer
228k 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 ...
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51 votes
6 answers
6k 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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44 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
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44 votes
15 answers
121k 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
176k 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 ...
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43 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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43 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
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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 ...
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41 votes
4 answers
40k 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 ...
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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 ...
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40 votes
1 answer
84k 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 ...
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38 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
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38 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
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38 votes
3 answers
93k 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 ...
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38 votes
1 answer
53k 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 ...
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37 votes
8 answers
23k 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 (...
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36 votes
5 answers
107k 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,...
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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 ...
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35 votes
3 answers
88k 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 ...
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34 votes
1 answer
41k 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,...
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33 votes
4 answers
6k 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?
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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 ...
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33 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 ...
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31 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 ...
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31 votes
3 answers
214k 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 ...
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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 ...
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30 votes
6 answers
33k 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://...
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30 votes
2 answers
49k 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 ...
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30 votes
5 answers
23k 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 ...
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30 votes
5 answers
22k 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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 663
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 ...
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29 votes
4 answers
26k 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 ...
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29 votes
3 answers
103k 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 ...
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29 votes
4 answers
40k 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 ...
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29 votes
1 answer
6k 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 on an Arena draft. It's supposed to "lose all abilities", but I could see that the Dryad was still allowing me to get mana from any color. Isn't ...
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28 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
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28 votes
3 answers
18k views

Are there any ways to lose in a "You can't lose the game" game?

Would cards like Lich's Mastery, and Door to Nothingness effect each other at all? Or Platinum Angel for that matter?
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28 votes
7 answers
31k 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 ...
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  • 6,229
27 votes
11 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 5,072
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 ...
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27 votes
3 answers
5k views

Does priority matter in Magic?

When does priority actually matter in magic? I have been playing Magic since Time Spiral and have never once seen the rules for priority matter. I've never heard a question from a player about a ...
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27 votes
6 answers
11k views

How should I ship cards?

Is there an agreed upon standard on how cards should be packaged and shipped when they're sold online on places like Cardmarket or similar websites? I have some valuable cards I'd like to sell, but ...
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