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:

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:

  • Magic: The Gathering: A 1997 Card Battle Game 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 Big Bad.
  • Duels Of The Planeswalkers: A more modern adaptation available on The Playstation Store, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, originally released in 2009. It has received Numbered Sequels in summer of each succeeding year, coinciding with new Core Set releases, and Wizards are deliberately positioning it as their Gateway Series to new players.
    • Magic Duels: Wizards eventually stopped releasing yearly sequels, in favor of a single Free To Play 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 Tactics: A 2011 Turn-Based Strategy for PC and PlayStation 3 inspired by Magic. The gameplay bears little to no resemblance to the original card game, but the flavor of it is retained.
  • Magic The Gathering Online: The official program for playing the game online.
  • ...And more.

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