Magic: The Gathering (also known as Magic or MTG) is a fantasy based card game created by Richard Garfield way back in 1993. Magic’s company Wizards of the Coast is now a subsidiary of Hasbro.
Magic The Gathering Facts
Magic had approximately thirty-five million players as of December 2018
Over twenty billion Magic cards were produced in the period from 2008 to 2016
Magic, The Game
Magic is typically (though not always) a two player game. A player in Magic takes the role of a Planeswalker, doing battle with other players as Planeswalkers by casting spells, using artifacts, and summoning creatures as depicted on individual cards drawn from their individual decks. A player defeats their opponent typically (but not always) by casting spells and attacking with creatures to deal damage to the opponent’s “life total,” with the object being to reduce it from 20 to 0. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, the gameplay bears little similarity to pencil-and-paper adventure games, while simultaneously having substantially more cards and more complex rules than many other card games.
MTG can be played in various rule formats, for example constructed and limited. Limited formats involve players building a deck spontaneously out of a pool of random cards with a minimum deck size of 40 cards; in constructed formats, players create decks from cards they own, usually with a minimum of 60 cards per deck. Then there is Commander, ideal for much bigger games.
MTG – Commander Format
Commander is a format where players construct 100-card decks, with each card (except basic lands) appearing no more than once. The format is primarily played with four players, each with their own deck. Players also choose a legendary creature or Planeswalker to be their “Commander” or “General” (a Planeswalker must be designated as allowed to be used as a Commander), which begins the game in the “Command Zone”. Each player’s deck is based and built around their Commander’s colors. In addition to the same losing conditions that exist in a normal game of Magic, each player starts the game with 40 life points instead of 20, and a player may lose if he or she is dealt 21 or more total points of combat damage from a single Commander throughout the game. The format supports two to six players
Commander also has its own “banned list” of cards, separate from any other format which is controlled by the Commander Rules Committee. This committee also maintains the rules for the format. A list of the recommended banned cards in the format can also be found on the Wizards of the Coast official website.
New cards are released on a regular basis through expansion sets. An organized tournament system (the WPN) played at the international level and a worldwide community of professional Magic players has developed, as well as a substantial resale market for Magic cards. Certain cards can be valuable due to their rarity in production and utility in gameplay, with prices ranging from a few pence to thousands of pounds.