Returning to Magic the Gathering

July 11, 2012 by dracs

During the early days of my high school years I was talked into picking up a White Magic the Gathering deck. At the time I didn’t really understand the rules. All I knew were the pictures were awesome. Eventually I drifted away from Magic… until now!

After seeing some games at my local gaming club I went scurrying back through the debris of history for those old cards. Now, with the release of Magic the Gathering 2013, it’s time to get myself back into this great game and set myself up with a deck to take on the world.

But where to start? Wizards of the Coast provide a wide variety of products to help the prospective gamer get started with MtG.

Magic the Gathering - 2013 Core Set Intro Packs

First up we have the standard intro decks. These generally provide you with 60 cards, one of which will be a foil. They are ready made decks to let you get out there and start dueling as soon as possible. Intro Decks are usually based around a single tactic and can help you get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. You can then work towards modifying the deck to make up for these short comings. For instance, you might find that your Green deck is weak against Flyers, so you might want to throw in a few spiders who’s Reach ability allows them to block such annoyances.

Magic the Gathering - Silklash Spider

Any of you who have played the 2013 Duels of the Planeswalkers computer game may be familiar with some of the intro decks which could be appearing.

However, while these decks are a good way to get to grips with the game right away, they can later prove to be a bit limited. A good way to expand out into MtG is of course the Deck Builder’s Toolkit.

Magic the Gathering - Deck Builder's Toolkit

This Magic 2012 Toolkit, comprising of 225 semi-randomised cards and 4 booster packs, is a great way to get started building your own deck and become the mightiest Planeswalker of your gaming group!

Magic the Gathering - Jace Memory Adept

It also comes with a strategy insert providing some tips on how to go about making your first deck out of the cards provided. The cards in the tool kit cover each of the different colours, allowing you to see which style of play you like the most and to try your hand at mixing various decks together.

Once you have got the hang of deck building it’s time to start expanding that collection and where better to start than with the Fat Pack?

Magic the Gathering - 2013 Core Set Fat Pack

The Fat Pack comes with a whole range of options to help you get building your own deck and modify existing ones. For example, in the 2013 Core Set Fat Pack shown above there is:

  • 9 Magic 2013 15-card booster packs
  • Player’s guide with complete visual encyclopedia
  • 1 Magic 2013 card box
  • 80-card basic land pack
  • Special edition Spindown life counter (from the image this looks suspiciously like a D20)
  • Two deck boxes

Boosters are of course where the real joy of Magic the Gathering comes in, for hidden inside these seemingly innocuous little packages may be that one card around which your whole play could revolve. It is in boosters that the true treasures lie, the mythic rares (rarity is shown by the colour of the card’s Expansion Symbol, in the case below this would be the M13 symbol).

Magic the Gathering - Vampire Nocturnus

The 80 basic land cards in the Fat Pack are also very useful, allowing you to build whatever deck you want out of the cards you find in the boosters. After all, a mythic rare isn’t much use if you haven’t got the mana to cast it.

Magic the Gathering - 2013 Core Set Mountain

After this it’s time to just go hunting through as many boosters as you can get your hands on.

Magic the Gathering - 2013 Core Set Booster Packs

I must admit that the boosters are one of my favourite parts of MtG. The thrill of not knowing whether you could be holding that mythic rare you’ve been needing or the fifth common Suntail Hawk you’ve found this month is one of the best bits. Sure you could just go and buy the mythic rare on its own, but where’s the fun in that? Unless of course it’s this guy.

Magic the Gathering - Elderscale Wurm

What’s that army of White flyers? You’re going to kill me this turn? Well now you can’t take my life below 7! Haha! Now its time for me to trample your feathered hides into the dust!

As you may have gathered I prefer Green decks myself. I love the way in which they can take something small and grow it up until it becomes a true monster. I have already pre-ordered some of the M13 booster packs, which will be released this week, in preparation. I already have a Green / Blue deck which I have modified from one of the intro packs. I really hope I can draw a Planeswalker, as I would be interested to see how different they make my games.

Magic the Gathering - Garruk Primal Hunter

Do you guys have any tips to help us in the office get started? What decks do you play? Are there any cards in the MtG 2013 Core Set which you think could be useful?