magic the gathering

5 Things You Should Know About Magic: The Gathering

It is easy for people to get hooked on anything geeky, be it Star Wars, Game of Thrones, or Doctor Who. But there is more to geekery than television shows and fandom shirts. Back in the 90s, there was a card game that players took a liking to, and eventually became a worldwide craze – Magic: The Gathering (MTG).

Since the game was invented in 1990, players have been collecting cards for various reasons: the art and the design, the satisfaction of completing decks, the tournaments, the championship, and the friendships formed thereafter. Unlike other card games that eventually lost their popularity, Magic: The Gathering has continued to delight players, especially in the Philippines. The mechanics may be a little complicated for a newbie, but they can be learned. I asked my friends to teach me how to play it, and here’s what I discovered:

1MTG has a complex universe of spells, creatures, and lore.

The Magic: The Gathering universe is a rich source of creatures and lore that Pinoy fans really love. Aside from the creatures and lands featured in each card, players get extra excitement from the stories created in MTG. There are even interesting quotes that seem like counsel for everyone.

2The rules can be long, and a newbie must get used to them.

The rules are pretty complicated, and took me a while to memorize. There’s the beginning phase, main phase, combat, back to the main phase, and cleanup. Daunting, if you ask me, so I had to play while repeatedly reading the mechanics. Yikes!

3Magic: The Gathering players play for different reasons.

I talked to three friends who have been playing MTG for years now, and from what I understood, they play mainly for fun. It’s nice to meet new people in tourneys and to just hone their skills in strategy. They also play for titles. There are major tournaments and they like the challenge of beating an opponent using their customized decks.

4The cards ARE indeed expensive collectibles.

In Cubao X, where these collectibles are for sale, I found a single card that costs PHP8000! Unbelievable. It’s even more expensive than a geeky boardgame or a Funkopop figure. My friends said such cards are rare, but they do buy them despite the skyrocketing price.

5MTG improves you.

It hones your skills in so many ways. Aside from tactics, you learn decision-making, fantasy elements, and people skills. The card game has been there for years, but I only appreciated it when I played it for the first time. Will I play it again? Maybe, if my friends would be patient enough to guide me again. It’s understandable why Filipinos got so hooked on this. The MTG community here is strong and encouraging. In spite of my newbie player status, I didn’t feel alienated or bored. It’s a good game to play with family members, too.

Rookie Contributor
Maria Criselda Santos loves books, lipstick, and cats. A member of Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting (KUTING), she has also written stories and comics for children, young adults, and the...
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