Magic: The Gathering

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Magic: The Gathering
Game data
author Richard Garfield
publishing company Wizards of the Coast
Publishing year Since 1993
Art Trading card game
Teammates 2 and more
Duration variable, an average of 30 minutes
Age from 13 years

Magic player

Magic: The Gathering (short: Magic or MTG , initially in German as Magic: The Gathering distributed) is a 1993 Wizards of the Coast published collectible card game by Richard Garfield . It was the first game of its kind.

According to the official Gatherer database, there are over 20,000 different cards and, according to the manufacturer, over 35 million players and fans worldwide in 2018. By 2019, 120 sets had been released in several languages. While the first editions were only available in English, other languages ​​were added over time. Since 2011, the cards have been printed in eleven languages ​​(English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese ( Brazilian ), Japanese, Chinese ( abbreviated ), Chinese ( traditional ), Russian and Korean). Wizards of the Coast hosts tournaments around the world.


Magic: The Gathering was designed by Richard Garfield as a fast paced game for in between. He turned his attention to role-players and to students who are looking for a little distraction between lectures. That explains the game's fantasy background as well . When Garfield offered his game Robo Rally to Wizards of the Coast in 1992/93 , it was rejected because the production costs were too high. Wizards was in a crisis and urgently needed a game that was cheap to produce and had a high chance of success. Garfield offered Magic and Wizards loved it. Garfield is now a shareholder in Wizards, which were able to reorganize themselves due to their success with various trading card games and have since been bought up by the US game company Hasbro .

Magic was distributed in Germany for many years by Amigo and Pegasus Spiele , among others . From September 2006 to the end of 2010 Universal Cards then took over sales. From January 2011 to March 2012, Amigo was again responsible for sales. Since then, Pegasus Spiele has been responsible for exclusive sales in Germany and Austria again.

In March 2019, the scientists Alex Churchill, Stella Biedermann and Austin Herrick stated in an article that "The Gathering" is Turing-Complete , and thus the set of rules itself is a programming language.

The game mechanics

Note: This article is intended to give interested laypeople an overview of the game and not to interpret the complete set of rules. Therefore, the following sections can present some rules in a generalized or simplified manner.

In Magic: The Gathering two or more players take on the roles of dueling wizards , so-called planeswalkers (world wanderers). Planeswalkers have the ability to travel through the different worlds of the multiverse and thus learn the most diverse spells and meet beings from all other worlds.

As is usual in trading card games, each player initially plays with a deck made up of their own cards (although pre-made decks are now also available for purchase) that is not mixed with the opponent's. The deck represents the wizard's knowledge of what spells he can use against his opponents.

The players start the game with a predetermined number of life points, typically 20, and seven cards drawn at random from their deck. The aim of the game is to defeat your opponent by acting skillfully. The most common strategy is to reduce the opponent's health to zero or less by attacking them with creatures . However, there are alternative ways to win the game.

The management of resources is of central importance in Magic games. This is mainly done by selecting cards from a deck and making clever moves. The most important resources of a player are the cards in hand and the mana (magical energy), which is required to play these cards. In special deck types, creatures and life points can also be used as resources.

The five colors

The five colors arranged in a pentagon
Clans, guilds, and shards in Magic: The Gathering

The world of Magic: The Gathering is divided, similar to the medieval conception of the four-element theory, into elements, which in the case of Magic are represented as five colors. Every occurrence and every being in the Magic world can be characterized in connection with these colors. Each color symbolizes certain philosophies, ways of playing, approaches, but also ideas of how to solve a problem. The five colors are arranged in the so-called color pentagon, in which the colors are arranged in the order white-blue-black-red-green. Neighboring colors are "friends", which means that they follow related principles, whereas opposite colors are "enemies". In the game, these relationships are often represented by cards that specifically target an "enemy" color, for example by destroying all countries of the type assigned to it.

The color of a card is determined by the color of the mana required for it. In most decks only one or two colors are used (often actually "enemy colors" like black and white), less often three, four or all five.

Background: White stands for protection, peace, healing, white magic as well as state and military order .
How to play: Derived from the theme of military order, there are many cheap but efficient creatures with good value for money; In addition, numerous protection and healing spells that give additional life points or protect your own creatures. Enemy creatures are generally not destroyed, but are prevented from causing damage. When cards are removed from the game, this often happens “symmetrically”, ie all cards of a certain type are removed from all players. White mana is generated from layers by default . White is allied with the colors blue and green, enemies with the colors black and red.
Background: Blue stands for water, creatures living or flying in water, but also for science and sorcery and derived from this the ability to manipulate things as you see fit, for example through levitation or mind control.
How to play: Blue spells above all offer opportunities to control the opponent's game through your own spells, by preventing or reversing your actions, taking over your creatures or permanently incapacitating them, or the like. However, the success of these "control decks" depends very much on having a suitable answer to every opposing action. In addition, this color offers many opportunities to draw additional cards. The direct battle with creatures is less important than with other colors. Blue mana is generated from islands by default . Blue is allied with black and white, enemies with red and green.
Background: Black, as a counterpoint to white, stands for death, black magic , necromancy , egoism, corruption and limitless ambitions.
How to play: A specialty of Black are very strong and cheap cards, which however reduce their own life points or have other disadvantages. Cards from the discard pile ( cemetery ) can often be reused or additional cards can be drawn from the library for life points. Other possibilities for black cards are to let the opponent discard cards or to destroy creature cards that are already in play. Black mana is generated from swamps by default . Black is allied with red and blue, enemies with white and green.
Background: Red stands for fire, lightning, aggression, destruction, direct action and brute force, as well as for living beings in the mountains.
How to play: In general, red relies on inflicting damage on the opponent through quick attacks with relatively cheap creatures. Additional damage comes from so-called "burning spells" (with appropriate names such as fireball or lightning strike ), which damage the enemy or his creatures directly. Red mana is generated from mountains by default . Red is allied with black and green, enemies with blue and white.
Background: Green stands for growth, forest beings, closeness to nature, often with machine- storming tendencies and size.
How to play: The strength of green are "large" creatures with high values ​​for strength and toughness as well as spells that can further increase these values. Many cards also offer the option of producing additional mana or bringing more than one land into play per turn so that you can pay the necessary mana for large creatures more quickly. The theme of closeness to nature is reflected in the ability to destroy “artificial” things like artifacts or enchantments. By default, green mana is generated from forests . Green is allied with white and red, enemy with black and blue.

In addition to these five colors, there are also the following cards:

Colorless is not a color of its own, it rather means the absence of a color association. For a long time, colorless cards were limited to artifacts that generally do not have any of the specific strengths or weaknesses of the five colors. Since the Zendikar -Block, published in 2009, other types of cards can also be colorless: in this edition, the colorlessness represents a kind of cosmic horror, similar to that described by Lovecraft in the Cthulhu myth . Colorless cards can be played with any mana and with any cover color. Colorless cards were initially presented with a brown frame, but since the Eighth Edition, published in 2003, they have been shown with a gray frame. Countries are also considered colorless.
Multi-colored cards (also known as golden cards because of their card frame ) are cards that belong to several colors at the same time and can combine the advantages and disadvantages of the colors to which they belong. Basically, the more colors a card belongs to, the more difficult it is to integrate them sensibly into a deck, since the respective mana colors have to be produced. Often times, the capabilities of a multi-colored card can make up for this disadvantage.
In the 2005 edition of Ravnica: City of Guilds , so-called hybrid cards appeared for the first time. They are similar to the multi-colored cards. In contrast to normal multi-colored cards, every mana here can be paid for with one or the other color and is therefore easier to integrate into a deck. The card frame of these hybrid cards is also not golden, but is a smooth transition from one color to the other.

Card types

Each Magic card belongs to at least one of the following card types. Most card types also have sub-types, whereby a single card can belong to none, one or more sub-types.

Cards of the type witchcraft or spontaneous magic are cards with a one-time effect: after being played from your hand, the effect is implemented and the card is discarded (cemetery). All other cards are permanents that remain on the playing surface after being played from your hand and then have a permanent effect.

Lands are the game's basic resources as they can produce mana of different colors. There are five different standard lands ( plain, island, swamp, mountain, forest) corresponding to the five mana colors (white, blue, black, red, green ), each of which can produce one mana point of its assigned color per round. In addition to the basic lands, there are a number of other lands, some of which have the ability to produce mana of different colors or have other effects. There are currently a total of 13 sub-types of countries. Playing a basic land is free; each player may only play one country on his own turn. In contrast to all other card types, lands are not considered spells and therefore cannot be neutralized or modified while being played.
The most common card type in Magic are creatures. After being played from your hand, they remain on the field and can now "fight" and thus inflict damage to players, planeswalkers or other creatures. For this purpose, they have the value Strength , which indicates how much damage the creature can deal, and a value Resistance , which indicates how much damage it will die at. Creatures can attack an opposing player or planeswalker on their turn. If you or your own planeswalker are attacked on the opponent's turn, your own creatures can block an enemy attacker. In addition to their strength and resistance values, creatures can have additional abilities. There are many different subtypes of creatures.
Enchantments either have a permanent effect (example: “All white creatures get +1 strength”) or effects that can be activated if necessary (example: “Pay a red mana: a creature of your choice gets +1 strength until the end of the turn ") Or occur automatically in certain situations (example:" Whenever a creature attacks, the attacking player takes one point of damage "). In addition to these global enchantments, there is the subtype Aura , which enchants another card, i.e. only works on this card. If the enchanted card is destroyed, an associated aura is also destroyed. There are also the sub-types curse and shrine for enchantments .
Artifacts are similar to enchantments. They are also played as permanents. The main difference to the enchantments is that artifacts are generally colorless, so they can be played with mana of any color. Artifacts mostly represent inanimate objects, for example weapons, armor or talismans. A special subtype of artifacts are the equipment that can be put on creatures, similar to auras. Destroying the creature does not destroy the artifact; it can later be attached to another creature. Other sub-types are attachment and device .
Since the 2007 edition Lorwyn there is the map type Planeswalker (initially called Weltenwanderer in the German edition ). Like the players themselves, they are wanderers of the world who can be called into battle as allies. They provide a number of skills, each corresponding to the background of the world wanderer. Each planeswalker comes into play with a loyalty value. If this value drops to 0, the planeswalker leaves the game and is put on the discard pile (graveyard). Planeswalkers can be attacked and defended like normal players, but have no cards of their own. So far there are 20 different planeswalker types.
Witches have a unique effect when played out of hand and are thrown into the cemetery after they are cast.
Instant magic
Like sorcery, instant spells have a one-time effect and are discarded after being played. Unlike all other card types, which can only be played during a separate main phase, instant spells can be played at almost any time, especially when it is not a player's turn. They can be used in response to other spells, so that spells that have just been played can be neutralized or changed in their effects. In older editions you can still find the card types "interruption magic" and "mana source"; these types were no longer used with the 1997 revisions; cards of these types are played like instant spells.

There are also the card types conspiracy , phenomenon , tribal card , vanguard and world map . A card of the type tribal card still has another card type. The other card types are only used in special multiplayer variants. There are also cards that combine several types, such as artifact creatures.

Game flow

The players take turns taking turns (or in turn if there are several players). With the exception of the first turn in the game, the player whose turn it is draws a card from his library at the start of his turn. A player can play a maximum of one country on his turn. Lands are the standard source of mana, which you need to pay the cost of other cards such as sorcery, creatures, or artifacts.

During one turn, a player can attack other players or their planeswalkers with a selection of their creatures. The defending players can use their creatures to block the attacking creatures . The blocking and blocked creatures inflict damage to each other equal to their attack value, all unblocked attackers inflict damage to the defending player or his planeswalker. All creatures that have taken at least as much damage as their resistance value are destroyed. However, this damage is not carried over to the following turn.

With the exception of spontaneous spells, cards can only be played during your own turn, outside of combat. On the other hand, spontaneous spells and abilities from countries, creatures, enchantments and artifacts that are already in play can always be used - including on other players' turns. Exceptions to these two rules must be expressly noted in the text of the corresponding card.

Playing the cards

When a player casts a spell, the other players in turn have the opportunity to respond to it with spontaneous spells or abilities. The last spells and abilities that were cast are processed first according to the last-in-first-out principle. This can be used, for example, to neutralize spells or buff creatures before they take damage.


The golden rule

A special feature of Magic: The Gathering is the so-called Golden Rule (English: Golden Rule ). This rule states that every rule can be modified or overwritten by card texts. In this way, rigid rule mechanisms are broken and a multitude of possible strategies, moves and game sequences are created.

Errata and rule additions

The golden rule and the constant appearance of new Magic cards result in the situation that old rules are often no longer sufficient to ensure a balanced game. Therefore, not only the cards but also the rules are constantly being expanded. Often this happens together with new editions, whereby, among other things, new game mechanics are dealt with in terms of rules, as well as a few months after the appearance of new editions, if possible gaps in the rules become apparent. This can then, for example, lead to the ban of unbalanced cards, often also from older editions.

Occasionally old rules are also changed, often to make playing easier and clearer.

A change in the rules does not mean that the rules take precedence over the card texts, but rather defines the framework conditions under which the cards function. A rule change that changes the course of a turn can mean that existing cards no longer have the usual effects in the changed context. Various changes as part of the release of the Magic 2010 core set are examples.

Further rule extensions are the so-called errata , which are published for individual cards and explain uncertainties or changes to the rules specifically for this card.

The cards

Structure of the cards

Examples of cards in different designs.
Left: The design between 1993 and 2003
Middle: The design from the eighth edition (Modern) onwards, which appeared in 2003.
Right: The design of the "futureshifted" cards from the 2007 edition "Blick in die Zukunft"

The cards are about the size of conventional playing cards and are made of sturdy special cardboard.

The picture on the back has remained the same over the years so that you can also play with old cards. That is why a ballpoint pen line can still be seen there today, which was accidentally made on the artwork (through the 'T' and the 'R' of 'DECKMASTER').

The front of a card consists of a black or white border, a colored frame, the card name, the mana cost, an image, the card type , the edition symbol, the card text, the anecdotal text , the name of the artist, the copyright notice, the trading card number, as well as for creature cards the indication of the strength and resistance of the creature.

With the appearance of the Eighth Edition in July 2003, the layout of the front of the cards was replaced by a more modern-looking version. But this only affects the optical elements such as frames, fonts, etc .; the content of a card described above remained the same. Further design changes occurred in the 2007 editions “Weltenchaos” and “Blick in den Zukunft”, but they were only temporary. With the "Magic 2015" edition, the design has been slightly revised; Since then, rare cards have had a hologram in the lower center as an additional security feature.


Magic is sold in different editions that contain different, mostly new cards. Nowadays a so-called block is put out every year . Such a block usually consists of three related editions, with the first edition containing more cards. In addition, a so-called main set is published every year . In the past, main sets consisted entirely of reprints , i.e. maps published in previous editions; however, since the eleventh Magic 2010 core set, around half of them consist of new cards. In addition, the cards in the main sets are kept rather simple in terms of game effects in order to make them more attractive for beginners. There are over 50 editions so far.

The Power Nine

The most valuable cards in Magic: The Gathering are summarized under the term Power 9 ( P9 for short ). All P9 cards may only be played in Vintage format (except Timetwister, which may be played in Commander / EDH) and are also restricted there , i.e. they may only appear once in each deck. The cards come from the first editions and were only available in Alpha , Beta and Unlimited . Back then, the strength of cards was often misjudged and, above all, mana abilities, as most of the Power 9s have, greatly underestimated. In the later editions, attempts were made to balance the cards better, overpowering cards such as the Power 9 were no longer printed. The best known Power 9 card is the Black Lotus . It is considered the most valuable Magic card and, depending on the edition and condition, can be worth several thousand euros.

The Power 9 are the mana artifacts Black Lotus , Mox Sapphire , Mox Jet , Mox Ruby , Mox Pearl and Mox Emerald as well as Time Walk , Ancestral Recall and Timetwister , whose effects later reappeared on cards with significantly higher mana costs. Occasionally, the Library of Alexandria and Bazaar of Baghdad , two card-drawing countries, are referred to as so-called semi-power cards.

These cards are still played in tournaments where they are legal, the so-called vintage tournaments, and are not infrequently considered a condition for being successful, at least at larger tournaments. However, because of the high prices of the Power 9, among other things, Vintage is by far the most rarely played format at sanctioned tournaments.


Foil printed sheets from Magic cards. Tournament packs and a display for tournament packs were used to weigh down .


How much money you spend on the game is ultimately up to each player. Individual boosters are available from around 3 euros, while intro packs (contain 90 cards) cost around 10 euros and theme decks (contain 60 cards) cost 12.99 euros. However, many players also purposefully buy individual cards.

Welcome decks contain 2 decks with 60 cards each and are available free of charge in partner shops.

In so-called limited tournaments you only play with cards from unopened boosters that you only receive at the tournament, which means that the costs remain calculable. For so-called constructed tournaments and of course the private game (so-called casual play ), for which you bring your pre-constructed deck with you, the price fluctuates depending on the cost of the individual cards that you put together. Here the price is essentially dependent on the type of procurement of the cards (either you buy boosters and build your decks from the existing cards or you plan decks in advance and buy the necessary individual cards - a mixture of both variants is also quite common). In addition, there is always the greatest advantage of a trading card game: The players can swap cards with each other, which is what makes Magic and other trading card games so attractive for many players .

Since Magic is a trading card game and there are also one-time cards, nobody owns a full set of cards. The market value of a single card arises from the combination of play value and rarity, i.e. the number of copies. The currently most expensive tournament-legal Magic card is the Black Lotus , see The Power Nine .


To protect the cards from wear and tear during play, most players use clear card sleeves. Special folders are used to store cards. These folders were originally used for other trading card games (such as baseball cards). Whole decks are often stored in so-called deck boxes. These are boxes that are adapted to the format of the cards.

One or the other method of counting life points is also indispensable. This is done using regular dice (2D10, D20 or similar), spin-down dice (here the values ​​with the next lower value are arranged next to each other), counter apps , turntables, (digital) writing pads , abacuses , markers or mechanical life counters (especially with the so-called Commander Format popular).

The graded cards are specially designed for collectors . Agencies check the authenticity of the cards - and assess their condition. "Graded" is from 0 to 10 (= best condition). These cards, certified in this way, are put into a sturdy plastic sleeve by these commercial graders, from which they can only be forcibly removed. Graded cards cannot be added to a standard deck of cards.


A group of players competing in "Draft" mode in which they use new sleeves to improvise the decks before the game

The cards are sold in so-called booster packs ( booster for short ), which contain cards sorted at random. The cards are still distributed within the packs according to a fixed scheme. It is common among more experienced players to buy entire displays with 36 boosters each instead of individual boosters . Until the Edition Fragments of Alara , which appeared in 2008 , the cards in the first edition of a block were also sold in tournament packs of 45 cards and 30 basic countries each.

Each card is assigned to one of four rarity levels, which have been recognizable by the color of the edition symbol since the 1998 edition Exodus . Cards category rare (English: rarely ) have a golden, card category uncommon (English: unusually ) a silver and those of category common (English: often ) a black edition symbol. With Edition fragments of Alara the fourth rarity is mythic (English: amazing ) been introduced. This replaces the rare card in around every eighth booster.

There are usually 15 cards in a booster: one Rare or Mythic, three Uncommon and eleven Common cards. A tournament pack contained three rare, ten uncommon and 32 common cards as well as 30 basic lands (six of each type). In addition, there are ready-to-play, pre-constructed decks of 60 cards, so-called theme decks, which on the one hand introduce the new game mechanisms of the respective edition and on the other hand are especially intended for beginners. With the appearance of Fragments of Alara , the theme decks were replaced by intro packs. These packs currently contain sixty playing cards (one of which is a premium version) and two boosters of the respective edition. Like the theme decks before, they are pre-sorted and are intended to introduce the new edition.

In boosters and tournament packs, premium cards are mixed in at a ratio of 1:70, which have a reflection effect (English foil : (metal) foil ). These cards have a higher collector's value, but do not differ from other cards in terms of playing technology. Since the 2006 edition Zeitspirale ( Time Spiral ), foils no longer replace a card with the same rarity level in boosters, but a common card, so that a booster can also contain two rare cards.

Since the tenth edition, released in 2007, every booster has a sixteenth card. This card can be a token card (token figure card; it can be used as a token whose figure is generated from the cards included in the edition) or a “tips and tricks card” that provides basic rules knowledge.


Magic player at a tournament (2008 Frankfurt)

In addition to the opportunity to play Magic with friends ( casual play ), there are also a variety of different tournaments. These range from less serious tournaments like Prereleases (where new editions are introduced) and Friday Night Magic (which are held every Friday in a rather smaller round) to the Pro Tour or the World Championships, where larger amounts of money can be won.

In official tournaments, a distinction is made between so-called formats , i.e. different ways of putting the cards together. These formats are divided into the groups Constructed and Limited . In Constructed tournaments, players bring their own decks, which must consist of at least 60 cards and have been built according to certain rules. In limited tournaments, players are randomly given cards from unopened boosters and must use them to build decks of at least 40 cards. Often the cards are assigned by means of a so-called draft , in which the players compete with each other for certain cards.

Other products

Computer games

Magic was also released by MicroProse in 1997 as a computer game called Shandalar . At first it only allowed games against the computer, but with an expansion from 1998 online games were also possible. The program contains, including the expansions, 480 different cards from which the player can assemble his deck, including cards that have been specially developed for computer games. At the beginning of 1998 the supply of further cards was stopped.

In 2002 a new game with a completely different concept came onto the market: With Magic Online only games against other (human) players via an internet server are possible, but with the support of various well-known formats. What is also new is that although the software is free, you first have to buy the virtual maps and the paper version. These are - if at all - only slightly cheaper than real cards. It is also possible to exchange and sell cards - also via an internet server. All cards from the seventh edition, which appeared in 2001, and cards from the “Mirage” block (in German: “Trugbilder”) from 1996 to 1997 are supported. However, more and more older blocks will be added gradually. Magic Online is being expanded to be almost on an equal footing with the card game. There are also online sanctioned tournaments with booster prizes and, since 2006, participants in the world championships who qualify via online tournaments.

Both official games check all rules for compliance and thus make cheating significantly more difficult.

There is also free software to play Magic over the Internet or LAN . Above all, the Magic Workstation should be mentioned here . In theory, all maps of all editions are available here free of charge. With Magic Workstation, the map images can be subsequently integrated from the now very extensive image material via the Internet. However, the rules are not checked in any way - not even as part of a control, for example, of how many cards have been drawn or the like. Almost all actions and parameters can be varied manually, so that the game partners are dependent on mutual fairness and the technical mastery of the software. It is also almost impossible to get non-English maps. The Magic Workstation (MWS) can be obtained free of charge in a limited version, but the user has to wait a few seconds when starting the game and advertising banners are displayed during the game. The paid version (approx. 24 euros) does not have these disadvantages and additional advantages.

Also Apprentice allows online games.

Cockatrice has been available as a free online alternative since 2009 . This program has the advantage that its card database requires less storage space than the full MWS database and is also free of advertising.

In addition, there are now a number of freely available adaptations, mostly through private initiatives, including:

  • BotArena , Windows program in C ++, AI, also in the network, only up to two human players,> 10,500 cards
  • Forge , a Java-based variant with simple artificial intelligence (AI) and more than 13,000 supported cards
  • Incantus , Python-based, no AI, also in the network,> 2,500 cards
  • jMagic , Java-based, no AI
  • Magarena , Java-based, AI,> 3,000 cards
  • Mage , Java-based, almost no AI, also for multiplayer games, also in the network,> 6,000 cards
  • Magicgrove , Windows program in C # / Xaml, simple AI,> 400 cards
  • MagicWars , controlled compliance
  • Manalink , Windows program in C ++, simple AI,> 8,500 cards
  • Wagic , clients for various operating systems including iOS, Android and PSP, simple AI,> 9,000 cards

Another game is Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds , which appeared in November 2003 and was produced by Atari . However, the card game is not simulated, but characters from the Magic universe compete in a beat 'em up -like duel.

In June 2009 Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers was released as an XBLA title on Xbox 360 , in June 2010 for PC on Steam and in December 2010 for Playstation 3 . It simulates the card game, but the number of cards is very limited. There are now three DLCs for this title .

Since January 2011, Magic: The Gathering - Tactics has been a free-to-play game (round strategy) for the PC.

The successor to Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 has been available since June 2011 . For this title there is now an expansion pack and three decks as DLC.

At the end of June 2012, another Magic game was released for Xbox Live, Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 . This title includes new rules and cards introduced in Core Set 2013. Variants also exist for iOS and Android.

In July 2015, the free-to-play game Magic Duels was released, in which cards from all editions that were published regularly until April 2017 are available.

MTG Arena, which was released in September 2019, was announced as the successor to Duels.


The cycles

A multi-author book series expands Magic: The Gathering's product range . The books will be published promptly with new editions. In terms of content, the books revolve around fantasy worlds in which the protagonists have to resolve personal conflicts while at the same time their people or even the whole world is threatened with extinction. The stories are mainly inspired by Norwegian, Arabic or Japanese fairy tales. The team of developers and authors behind Magic also sees itself as part of science fiction. Therefore, one of the stories is set in a machine-dominated world. Pictures of places, inhabitants and objects of these worlds are printed on the playing cards. The anecdotal text often includes quotes from the residents. Objects and living beings that play a significant role in the books are often given the special card type Legendary . All in all, the books offer an artistic addition to the game. Reading the books does not require any knowledge of the rules of the game.

The first book in German from the Magic series was published in 1995 under the title Die Arena by Heyne Verlag . From the thirteenth book, “Bruderkrieg”, they appeared in cycles, matching the respective edition. Strom der Zeiten was the last German book for the time being in 1999. Between 2003 and 2009 Panini Verlag published all current German books and also wall calendars. In addition, there were always individual non-fiction books from other publishers.

year title Original title author
Odyssey cycle
2000 Odyssey Odyssey Vance Moore
2001 Torments Chainer's torment Scott McGough
2001 Billing Judgment Will McDermott
Parade cycle
2002 March Onslaught J. Robert King
2003 Legions Legions J. Robert King
2003 Plagues Scourge J. Robert King
Mirrodin cycle
2003 The moons of Mirrodin The Moons of Mirrodin Will McDermott
2004 The Night Steel Eye The Darksteel Eye Jess Lebow
2004 The fifth dawn The Fifth Dawn Cory J. Herndon
Kamigawa cycle
2004 Outlaw: Master of Kamigawa Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa Scott McGough
2005 The heretic: traitor to Kamigawa Heretic: Betrayers of Kamigawa Scott McGough
2005 The Guardian: Savior of Kamigawa Guardian: Saviors of Kamigawa Scott McGough
Ravnica cycle
2005 Ravnica: City of Guilds Ravnica: City of Guilds Cory J. Herndon
2006 Guild union Guildpact Cory J. Herndon
2006 discord Dissension Cory J. Herndon
Time spiral cycle
2006 Time spiral Time spiral Scott McGough
2007 World chaos Planar chaos Scott McGough, Timothy Sanders
2007 view in the future Future Sight Scott McGough, John Delaney
Lorwyn cycle
2007 Lorwyn Lorwyn Cory J. Herndon, Scott McGough
2008 Morning air Morningtide Cory J. Herndon, Scott McGough
2008 Evening cool Eventide Cory J. Herndon, Scott McGough

Books out of cycles

year title Original title author Page number ISBN
1994 The arena arena William R. Forstchen 297 ISBN 978-3-453-09521-2 .
1995 Whisper Forest Whispering Woods Clayton Emery 294 ISBN 978-3-453-09522-9 .
1995 Broken chains Shattered chains Clayton Emery 288 ISBN 978-3-453-09523-6 .
1995 The last sacrifice Final sacrifice Clayton Emery 312 ISBN 978-3-453-09524-3 .
1995 The enchanted land The Cursed Land Teri McLaren 290 ISBN 978-3-453-10955-1 .
1995 The tapestry Tapestries Kathy Ice 309 ISBN 978-3-453-10959-9 .
1996 The wasteful magician The Prodigal Sorcerer Mark Summer 304 ISBN 978-3-453-11937-6 .
1996 The ashes of the sun Ashes of the Sun Hanovi Braddock 362 ISBN 978-3-453-11949-9 .
1996 The song of time Song of Time Teri McLaren 330 ISBN 978-3-453-12682-4 .
1996 The dormant peace Peace Shall Sleep Sonia Orin Lyris 332 ISBN 978-3-453-12695-4 .
1996 Distant worlds Distant planes Kathy Ice 413 ISBN 978-3-453-13361-7 .
1996 Legacy of the Dark Dark Legacy Robert E. Vardeman 429 ISBN 978-3-453-14926-7 .


Web links

Commons : Magic: The Gathering  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Official sites

  • Official website with daily articles, map database and current reports from major events


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gatherer map database at Wizards of the Coast
  2. Kevin Webb: With more than 35 million players worldwide, ... In: Business Insider. December 8, 2018, accessed May 20, 2019.
  3. Alex Churchill, Stella Biedermann and Austin Herrick: Magic: The Gathering is Turing Complete. April 23, 2019, accessed June 15, 2019 .
  4. Manon Bischoff: The most complex game of all. June 11, 2019, accessed June 15, 2019 .
  5. Rule 205.3i in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  6. Rule 205.3m in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  7. Rule 205.3h in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  8. Rule 205.3g in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  9. Rule 205.3j in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  10. Rule 300.1 in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  11. Rule 300.2b in the detailed rules of Magic: The Gathering for recreational players , as of July 13, 2013.
  12. Magic 2010 rule changes as of September 7, 2015.
  13. Ask Wizards - May, 2004. May 3, 2004, accessed August 25, 2013 .
  14. From the Director's Chair: 2013 . In: MAGIC: THE GATHERING . ( [accessed May 24, 2018]).
  15. ^ Aaron Forsythe: Recapturing the Magic with Magic 2010 . Wizards of the Coast , February 23, 2009; accessed April 11, 2009 .
  16. Magic Welcome Decks. March 28, 2016, accessed December 25, 2019 .
  17. How do I Get a Welcome Deck? Retrieved December 25, 2019 (American English).
  18. Mark Rosewater: The year in which everything changed. Wizards of the Coast , June 2, 2008; accessed April 11, 2009 .