Glimpse the Unthinkable

Tag: magic the gathering cards

The Basics: Part 5

by on Jul.02, 2010, under Magic: The Gathering, MTG Basics

I’m sorry for the delay in posting articles here. I have a day job and it’s the one that pays for this site, so… you know the drill. Moving forward, I’d like to discuss the last of the card types:

Instants

Instants are spells that have a one time effect that are cast like sorceries but can be done even during an opponent’s turn. Instants are particularly difficult to discuss especially when it comes down to discussing the Spell Stack and the LIFO order (Last In, First Out) principle in casting spells.

If you are a pure noob and you got questions on how this works, please feel free to visit our Forums page.

A few examples of Instants are shown below.

instants

Instants are very powerful spells because it can turn the tide in your favor at any given time and can also be used to surprise your opponent. Often, however, Instants are not as powerful as Sorceries but its true power comes from using it at the perfect instant. As they say, “Timing is everything”.

After this, I think it’s high time we moved on to discussing other aspects of the game such as deck construction, strategy, themes and whatever else.

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The Basics: Part 4

by on Jun.09, 2010, under Magic: The Gathering, MTG Basics

Sorcery

Sorcery are spells that have a one time effect that a player may cast only during one of his or her turn’s main phase.

For now, let me show you guys a few examples of sorcery:

Instants to come later.

If I may reiterate, the cards, images, rules, logos are all properties of the Wizards of the Coast.

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The Basics Part 3

by on Jun.05, 2010, under MTG Basics

Enchantments:

Enchantments are spells that remain in play after they are cast from the hand. There are varied effects, depending on the enchantment but we can break them down to three common types: Global, Local, and Aura.

I’ll show you first examples of each type of enchantment.

Firebreathing is an Aura. An Aura is a type of enchantment that only affects a specific permanent on the battlefield, like creatures (as in the case for “Firebreathing”), land (Convincing Mirage), or anything for that matter (Confiscate).

Levitation is an example of a Local Enchantment. It affects multiple permanents but only those under a specific player’s control, in this case the controller of the creatures.

Manabarbs, on the other hand is a Global Enchantment, it affects all players in the game.

You may notice a similarity between Enchantments and Artifacts from my last post, in the sense that both have types that can be attached to permanents, affect only a single player or affect everyone on the battlefield. The main difference is the color. Enchantments HAVE color. Artifacts don’t.

Next post, we’ll deal with Sorceries and Instants.

Until next time!

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Of elves, trample and shroud

by on Jun.05, 2010, under Magic: The Gathering

My first post. Hmm..I can’t think of anything intelligent to say as of the moment so let me do the unnecessary introduction. I’m Eladamri23 and I will be posting articles as well that would (hopefully) be of help to all MTG players that will be visiting this website. I am no expert on this game but I will share my knowledge based on years of playing.(I play casual legacy, if there is such a thing). As a big fan of elves and green magic, (duh! if you missed that, you’re not really a magic player at all) the majority of my articles will be focusing on deck building and strategies around Garruk’s and Nissa’s spark.

One last thing that I would like to mention (before going back to beating myself up because of a recent tourney loss) is that we would soon create a Rules Q&A tab where future forum members could post questions and have me or another member give an answer.

Until then…

Untap, Upkeep, Draw

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The Basics: Part 2

by on May.30, 2010, under MTG Basics

Welcome to the next part of Card Types. Now, we will be discussing Artifacts.

Typically, Artifacts are cards that only use generic mana to cast them. It means that it doesn’t matter whether you’re using White, Black, Blue, Red or Green. Any color of mana will do as long as you have enough to cast it. There have been colored artifacts, like the one from the Alara Block, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. (We’ll discuss the expansions another time.)

Here are a few Artifact cards:

Artifacts can be broken down into three sub-types.

The Alpha Myr, seen above is an Artifact Creature. It has all the properties of a creature, like Grizzly Bears (from the previous post), except that it does not require colored mana to play.

The Angel’s Feather is plainly called an Artifact. Note that it does NOT have any power/toughness but it generates an effect. Effects from plain artifacts vary from something like gaining life, drawing cards, killing creatures, destroying lands, etc. depending on what artifact you cast.

The Bone Splitter is another type of Artifact, an Equipment. You may think of an equipment as tools, weapons or armors that you place on your creature. In this case, you pay 1 mana of any color to cast the Bone Splitter to put it in play, then you pay 1 more mana to attach this to, let’s say, the Alpha Myr. The Alpha Myr has a power/toughness of 2/1. If you attach the Bone Splitter, giving it +2/+0, the Alpha Myr now becomes a feisty 4/1, meaning it can deal 4 points of damage to players or creatures, while still keeping the rather low toughness.

The beauty of artifacts is that it can be used on practically any deck since it does not require any specific color of mana to play or use. You can have a pure black deck and still use “Angel’s Feather” so that if your opponent plays a white spell, you still gain life. Or use Bone Splitter to augment any creature on any deck.

I’ll be discussing Enchantments and their similarities to Artifacts on my next installment. Til then, have fun!

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The Basics

by on May.27, 2010, under MTG Basics

My friend that helped me set up this site asked me if I could show her how MTG is played. I would have referred her to the rulebook from the official site, but I thought maybe I can show her the basics myself and teach her a thing or two.

So… where to begin? To say that Magic: the Gathering is complicated is an understatement. It has more rules than… I don’t know… a city has ordinances. Let’s break down the game into four sections: the cards, the board, the phases and the game dynamics. The cards and the board are easy enough to discuss and I should be able to cover them within two posts. I will have to ask for some help in discussing the phases as this is what makes Magic complicated.

THE CARDS:

There are 5 colors of Mana in MTG, namely White, Green, Red, Black and Blue, each driven by different values. Click here for more details on the colors.  Mana is the magical energy that powers spells. Mana comes from the land. Correspondingly, there are five basic land types, each producing a different color of Mana.

  • White — Plains
  • Blue — Islands
  • Black — Swamps
  • Red — Mountains
  • Green — Forests

I will discuss the values driving each color in the game dynamics section. For now, let’s just leave it at that and move on to the card types.

There are 7 basic card types in MTG. These are: Artifacts, Creatures, Lands, Enchantments, Sorceries, Instants and Planeswalkers. Everything else are variations of these basics. I’ve already started discussing about lands, so let’s begin with it.

Lands can be broken down into two different types, basic and non-basic. Basic lands are exactly that: basic. They have no other purpose than to provide colored mana to cast spells. Think of them as power sources.

White mana is produced by Plains.

Plains

Blue mana is produced by Islands.

Island

Black mana comes from Swamps.

Swamp

Red mana is from the mountain.

Mountain

And finally, Green mana comes from forest.

Forest

Now, you know what lands are and have an idea what mana is. This is the perfect time to jump to discussing the other card types. Let’s now deal with creatures, and what better example for a creature than… GRIZZLY BEARS!

Above is an example of a creature card. Note the following features:

Card Name – This is the name of the card. Well, duh!

Card Type – This shows what type, among the 7 basic card types , it is. In this case, this is a creature and it’s creature type is a “Bear”. Why is the term “Bear” important? It’s because certain spells affect only certain creature types.

Casting Cost – Ah, yes! As you can see here, it shows a numerical 1 and an icon that looks like a tree. If you would see the Forest card above, it shows the exact same symbol. It means that to play or put this creature from your hand to the board, it requires one green mana (symbolized by the tree) and one generic mana (meaning any color will do).

Power and Toughness – The numerator indicates the points of damage that it can deal to an opposing creature or player, while the denominator indicates the points of damage it can take before dying.

I think this post has gone quite long enough. I’ll continue discussing the other types on my next post.

By the way, as a disclaimer, all card images seen here are properties of the Wizards of the Coast. I express no rights or ownership over their intellectual properties, though I wish I worked for them. haha!

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