Tabletop Game: Magic: The Gathering

The standard Magic card back. Its design is meant to resemble the cover of a Spell Book.

You are a planeswalker...

Magic: The Gathering is a Collectible Card Game, produced in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast (eventually the owners of that other great geek game, Dungeons & Dragons). It was the first true Collectible Card Gamenote , the Genre Popularizer, and 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, creatures, artifacts, and enchantments (all represented by cards) as they vie to dominate entire realms ("planes")—or, if you prefer, to reduce the opponent's life total to zero. Notable gameplay elements include:

  • The "Color Pie": The game features Color Coded Magic in five different elements: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green. Each represents a different philosophy or ideology with their own strengths and weaknesses, and there are complex interrelations between them. (For more on the colors, see our Useful Notes and 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 brings the Awesome but Impractical and Limited Move Arsenal 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 any of their cards).
  • It's "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 Useful Notes page for your enjoyment.

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

The official Magic website can be found here.

Due to length, the trope list for this work has been split across several pages:

Alternative Title(s):

Magic The Gathering, Magic The Gathering Online, Duels Of The Planeswalkers