[[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 resemble 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, ''TabletopGame/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.

Each game is a duel between powerful mages (the players) known as "planeswalkers." Planeswalkers deploy a wide array of spells, SummonMagic, [[LostTechnology 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 cast spells, players need the correct amount and color of mana. Mana is gained from Land cards... but you can only play one Land per turn. At a stroke, this brings the AwesomeButImpractical and LimitedMoveArsenal tropes into the game (more powerful spells cost lots of mana, and decks with too many colors risk drawing the wrong lands and being unable to play their current hand of spells).
* It's "[[CollectibleCardGame collectible]]": Wizards of the Coast have released over 16,000 unique cards into the game, and add an average of 700 new ones every year. You probably don't own all 16,000, but of the ones you do have, you assemble 60-card decks. This gives you a chance to create a deck that no one else on earth has. (And of course, once you realize that one of the cards you ''don't'' own would fit perfectly into your deck, you want to [[RevenueEnhancingDevices 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. Notable in that when the game was in DevelopmentHell, Creator/SidMeier was brought in to give it more focus.
* ''Magic: The Gathering Online'': released in '02, it was the first official way to play the game over the Internet. It has garnered a fair bit of revenue over the years, especially since Wizards offer (very limited) ways to convert digital cards into physical ones and vice versa.
* ''VideoGame/DuelsOfThePlaneswalkers'': A more modern adaptation available on [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 The Playstation Store]], XBox Live Arcade and UsefulNotes/{{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.
** ''Magic Duels'': Wizards eventually stopped releasing yearly sequels, in favor of a single FreeToPlay game that receives regular updates, usually with new cards and story missions. Unlike a lot of other Free To Play card games, purchasing packs in ''Magic Duels'' will always give you new cards. Once you have four of a card (the max allowable in a deck), it is removed from the card pool. Otherwise it is very similar to the other ''Duels'' games.
** ''Magic: The Gathering Arena'': On July 2017, Wizards announced that they would no longer update ''Magic Duels'' in preparation for a new FreeToPlay game named ''Magic: The Gathering Arena''. It appears to take a lot of cues from ''VideoGame/HearthstoneHeroesOfWarcraft'' in terms of visual styling. Its announcement suggests that it is also being positioned to deprecate ''Magic Online'', causing some skepticism from the fandom.
* ''Magic The Gathering Tactics'': A 2011 TurnBasedStrategy for PC and UsefulNotes/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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