MTG or Magic: The Gathering is a tabletop collectible card game that was first published in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. It has quickly become a fan favorite with over 20 years under its belt, and the popularity doesn’t seem to be waiting down any time soon. The game uses creatures, spells, artifacts, and other fantasy-themed cards to defeat its opponents in a fantasy world known as Dominia. As with most collectible card games, there are six tips and tricks every serious MTG player should try.
1. Protect Your Cards
If you’re an avid player, you know how quickly wear and tear can show on your cards. Though the card may still be able to function, you’ll notice a difference in its quality and performance as time goes on. To protect your cards against wear and tear, you can use card sleeves. Card sleeves are pockets that hold certain games’ cards inside of them to keep them from unnecessary dirt or damage. Moreover, you can even get customizable card sleeves that can make your collection even more unique! You can find card sleeves online, or maybe in some hobby stores – depending on where you live. While having a neat collection that always looks brand new is amazing, it’s especially important in case you want to sell, buy, or trade cards with other players.
2. Create A 75 Cards Deck
If you’re new to MTG, you might have read somewhere that the deck you play with needs to have 60 cards. This is both wrong and true at the same time. While you can actively use 60 cards as per the MTG rules, you’re also allowed to have a sideboard with up to 15 extra cards. This allows you to swap cards out in order to create a deck that’s more specific to your opponent’s playstyle and strategy.
Some players like their sideboard cards to be a bit generic, with a wide range of options. Others like to be more specific, with their sideboard usually consisting of cards that can work against specific decks/strategies. Once you get more comfortable with the game, you can create specialized decks to use when playing with different people.
Just like in almost any card game out there, bluffing is an important aspect. When you’re bluffing well in any card game, you deliberately make your opponent believe that your hand has a certain card – even though it doesn’t, that poses a threat to them. For example, if you draw a card that doesn’t really work for the game you’re currently playing – don’t let it show. Try improvising a tactic that will make it seem like you got just the card you were hoping for, and that you’re just waiting to use it at the perfect time to inflict the most damage. While creating the tactic may cost you some lesser cards, it might just deffer your opponent’s strongest attack if you make them believe you’re hiding something really powerful.
4. Know Relevant Decks
Of course, since you can personalize your deck and create something unique, so can the opponent. However, if you take the time to learn about different popular deck styles that are used, you may be able to predict what they might have in their deck as soon as the game starts. This way, you can start planning your strategy in anticipation of what they might have up their sleeve. If it’s someone you’re used to playing against, and they brought a different deck than you expected – now would be the perfect time to swap up cards from your sideboard, and bring out cards that can counter their strategy.
5. Backup Plan
Having a backup plan is essential, especially when you’re playing against experienced players. In the case that things start going really poorly for you, it may be time to reassess your next moves and try out a new strategy. When creating a deck, it’s important that you don’t just focus on one stat. While you do have to make one with the main strategy, it should provide you with enough options to be able to switch it up.
For example, if your opponent has a really good defense against burn damage, your next plan of attack could be a different magic school – or even combat damage. If you’re playing as the fire mage, and all of your magic cards don’t seem to work on their defense, then try switching it up with a nature or ice spell that would help you out in a new way.
A good tip is to bait out your opponent’s offensive cards before you play your best card in order to protect it from possible counterattacks. Again, this will mean that you’re sacrificing some cards – and they have to pose a real threat too, otherwise, your opponent will not only keep their best offense for a better time, but they might realize what you’re up to as well.
Similar to bluffing in the case of dead cards, you’ll have to be convincing that you’re trying your best to counter what they’re doing with their offensive cards. While your opponent is busy trying to take down your bait cards, they’ll be off-guard once you finally unleash the real damage on them with the card you’ve been holding onto all along.
MTG is always a lot of fun, but it does require a bit of know-how both when it comes to the different cards and strategies, as well as when it comes to reading people. Practicing online and playing with friends will help you get some experience and improve your skills, but the only way to become better is by trying!