[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MagicCardBack.jpg]]
[-[[caption-width-right:275:The standard ''Magic'' card back. Its design is meant to represent the cover of a SpellBook.]]-]

->''You are a planeswalker...''

''Magic: The Gathering'' is a CollectibleCardGame, produced in 1993 by WizardsOfTheCoast (eventually the owners of that other great geek game, ''DungeonsAndDragons''). It was the first true {{Collectible Card Game}}[[note]]previous attempts mostly involved baseball cards[[/note]], the GenrePopularizer, and [[LongRunner even today]] it is one of the most popular card games in the world.

At the core of each deck is a duel between god-like wizards - the players themselves, who are described in game parlance as "planeswalkers." These planeswalkers deploy a wide array of spells, creatures, artifacts, and enchantments (all represented by cards) as they vie to dominate [[TheMultiverse entire realms ("planes")]]--or, [[WatsonianVersusDoylist if you prefer]], to reduce the opponent's [[HitPoints life total]] to zero. Notable gameplay elements include:

* The "[[FactionCalculus Color Pie]]": The game features ColorCodedMagic in five different elements: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green. Each represents a different philosophy or ideology [[CompetitiveBalance with their own strengths and weaknesses]], and there are [[TacticalRockPaperScissors complex interrelations between them]]. (For more on the colors, see our [[UsefulNotes/MagicTheGathering Useful Notes]] and [[Analysis/MagicTheGathering Analysis]] pages.)
* The {{Mana}} system: To play their cards, players need the correct amount and color of mana, gained from land cards. At a stroke, this builds AwesomeButImpractical (more-powerful spells cost lots of mana) and LimitedMoveArsenal (decks with too many colors risk drawing the wrong lands and being unable to play any of their cards) straight into the game.
* It's "[[CollectibleCardGame collectible]]": You assemble decks out of your personal collection of cards. This gives you a chance to create a deck that no one else on earth has. (And of course, it encourages you to buy more cards.)

For a more complete analysis of gameplay (which is, of course, the heart of any game), we wrote a [[UsefulNotes/MagicTheGathering Useful Notes page]] for your enjoyment.

The game spawned several VideoGame adaptations. Some of the more prominent ones:

* ''VideoGame/MagicTheGathering'': A 1997 CardBattleGame by {{MicroProse}}. It contained both a free-dueling mode, allowing you to build decks and battle them against AI opponents, and a campaign mode, where you could travel across the land of Shandalar exploring, dueling enemies, collecting cards, and eventually battling a BigBad.
* ''VideoGame/DuelsOfThePlaneswalkers'': A more modern adaptation available on [[{{PS3}} The Playstation Store]], XBox Live Arcade and {{Steam}}, originally released in 2009. It has received {{Numbered Sequel}}s in summer of each succeeding year, coinciding with new Core Set releases, and Wizards are [[InvokedTrope deliberately]] positioning it as their GatewaySeries to new players.
* ''VideoGame/MagicTheGatheringTactics'': A 2011 TurnBasedStrategy for PC and PlayStation3 inspired by ''Magic''. The gameplay bears little to no resemblance to the original card game, but the flavor of it is retained.
* ''VideoGame/MagicTheGatheringOnline'': The official program for playing the game online.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gathering_video_games ...And more.]]

The official ''Magic'' website can be found [[http://www.dailymtg.com here]].
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!!Due to [[TropeOverdosed length]], the trope list for this work has been split across several pages:

[[index]]
* MagicTheGathering/GameplayTropes
* MagicTheGathering/FlavorAndStoryTropes
* MagicTheGathering/ColorTropes
* [[Characters/MagicTheGatheringFactions Factions]]
* [[Characters.MagicTheGathering Individual Character Tropes]]
* [[YMMV.MagicTheGathering Audience Reactions and YMMV]]
* Additionally, the pages for individual ''Magic'' novels and comics can be found [[Recap/MagicTheGathering here]].
[[/index]]
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