Magic: The Gathering newbie help 


There are some kids at school that A) are pretty good kids (objectively better than the kids my oldest hangs out with there by default) and B) play a lot of Magic: The Gathering.

My oldest *does* want to hang out with them more but he doesn't know how to play MTG nor does he have any cards.

He has a decent collection of Pokemon cards and plays that very well.

Where do I start?

(boosts ok)

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg MTG Arena is free, runs on computers and mobile devices, and does a decent job of teaching the game, letting you practice, and figuring out what you do and don't like about the game. If he enjoys that, the next step is getting a preconstructed deck at a local game store (or sometimes places like Target have 'em).

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg There's MTG: Arena which you can download and play online (and a bunch of streamers on Twitch etc.).

The basics are relatively easy to get down, I think, and the card-specific effects are pretty well explained. Also, there are so many cards and effects that you can always ask about things you don't understand.

If he wants physical cards of his own, there's preconstructed decks to be had, or he could ask to borrow a deck from them, perhaps.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@pettter @BestGirlGrace replying to both here.

Thanks both!

Yeah, I think we can try the Arena option on his tablet (looks like tablet only at least) given we're a Linux house :)

And yeah, playing the physical card game is the end goal so he can play with those kids at school.

Are the preconstructed decks fairly standard in quality or do I need to know more before buying on?

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg @BestGirlGrace It's been a while since I bought a preconstructed deck, honestly, but when I did, they were definitely serviceable, depending a bit on the skill level (and funds) of your opponent.

Beware though, MTG can easily run away in terms of spending, to an even more ridiculous degree than Pokemon, as far as I understand things.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@pettter @Greg The precons are pretty good (though, yes, mtg is unfortunately a game that ultimately wants to sell you more cards). The things to know going in are:

- there's different formats with different rules and sets of legal cards. i imagine these folks play standard (60-card decks, typically one-on-one) or commander (100 card decks, usually in groups). The safest bet is probably one of the challenger decks they sell.
- a quick glance strikes me as about the same across the board- the more important question is getting a deck that you vibe with. Different decks play the game differently, and practicing online first can give you a sense of what you like before buying a deck.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg The _very_ brief explanation is that you have a deck of 60 cards, you have a hand of 7 cards, and each turn you:

1. untap ("unspend") any spent cards from the previous turn
2. draw a card from the top of your deck
3. tap("spend") land cards of five different colours to play spells and creatures, and
4. tap creatures to attack your enemy (though they then can't be used to defend against your enemies' attacks)

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg Ask to borrow someone else's deck to see what the playgroup is like, and go from there. Friendly nerds should jump at a chance to nerd out and teach someone new their favourite hobby/game. MTG is games within the game - different formats use different subsets of cards, sometimes different rules. Buying a bunch of cards doesn't guarantee you can play them with a given group of people.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg First find out what edition they're playing. For the newer editions, there are starter boxes that seem like a decent place.

But I'm not a big fan of the game, so in a sense I'm the worst person to ask :D

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg spend loads of money on cardboard, or just stick to the pokemon.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg There are prebuilt themed decks he can get, and he can start with those. There's a computer version that is great for learning how to strictly follow the rules, particularly with turn phases. Sometimes a group will have a draft tournament where n decks are bought and passed around, and those can be a good chance to talk shop. One thing he can do is find a build no one else is trying and make it work. Good luck to him, it can be a fun hobby.

Magic: The Gathering newbie help 

@Greg A budget.

This isn't a shitpost: It's seriously easy for some people (myself included) to accidentally get careless with spending on it or buy "just one more pack." Having a strict pre-selected spending limit from the start can make that easier to stick to so that you can sit back and enjoy the game.

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