|There’s no easy way to define the intricacies of a Magic game, but I’ll give it to you in a nutshell:
In a Magic game, two players sit down with their own customized decks of cards and attempt to reduce their opponent to 0 life points. The cards represent an arsenal of spells, creatures, and the lands that provide energy to use them. With thousands of different Magic cards available to players, the combinations of cards in any deck are virtually limitless.
There’s a comprehensive set of rules that govern what players can do in a game. However, over and above all the technicalities is the Magic Golden Rule:
Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence.
In general, that means some of the best cards to have are the ones that break the rules in some way. There are cards that do everything from granting extra turns to creating alternate-win conditions.
Inevitably, some of these cards are more powerful than others. Players dream about getting these “chase” rares...and sometimes have nightmares. If you have all the copies you need for your deck, life is good. When you’re short a card or two, you have to either open a booster that has one in it (usually accompanied by much jumping and dancing about) or find someone willing to trade for it. And if you have an extra copy, you own the trading tables.
Over the years, the Magic game has developed a huge following—over 6 million players worldwide. Levels of play range from friendly tabletop games in peoples’ kitchens to huge tournaments where players duke it out for cash prizes and bragging rights.