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Basic Rules. If you're looking for a basic introduction to the rules of Magic, download the Basic Rules PDF by clicking the link below. Download Basic Rules PDF. All wield terrifying magic and command armies of creatures torn from the endless . The Magic: The Gathering game is a strategy game played by two or more. This document is the ultimate authority for Magic: The Gathering® competitive These Magic rules apply to any Magic game with two or more.

Magic The Gathering Rules Pdf

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some creature abilities are described in the rulebook (see "Basic Creature Abilities"). .. included with the Magic: The Gathering—Classic™ game box. Magic: The Gathering is a game with detailed and, at times, complex rules. Knowledge of the game's rules is necessary to play the game. Magic: The Gathering is a CCG (Collectable Card Game). The game uses a fantasy . "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules" (PDF). The DCI. July 11 .

Starting the Game Ending the Game Colors Mana Numbers and Symbols Cards Objects Permanents Spells Abilities Emblems Targets Special Actions Timing and Priority Costs Life Damage Drawing a Card Name Mana Cost and Color Illustration Color Indicator Type Line Expansion Symbol Text Box Loyalty Hand Modifier Life Modifier Information Below the Text Box.

Artifacts Creatures Enchantments Instants Lands Planeswalkers Sorceries Tribals Planes Phenomena Vanguards Schemes Library Hand The price jump came after Wizards announced that Jace would now be legal in its Modern format for Magic. There are several different play formats of Magic, each with their own lists of banned and restricted cards, and some with alternate rules. In this case, Jace, which is a powerful card, had never been legal in the Modern format.

A whole new market of players now wanted the card to try in their Modern-legal decks. Magic players and enthusiasts know and expect this as well. What can we learn from this? Or, to put it better, what can we teach from this? First of all, economic value is subjective. It is entirely dependent upon supply and demand. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is made of cardboard and colored ink, printed on a machine somewhere.

The costs of production, including labor, are likely pennies. Because the labor theory of value is empirically false. Economic value is purely a matter of subjective preference. Second, regulation affects prices.

They can restrict the use of a card or remove a restriction, and doing so will affect card prices accordingly. Removing restrictions will cause prices to increase. Furthermore, they can print more of a card and increase supply, which predictably decreases the price as well. In fact, Wizards started their professional league in part to save Magic from succumbing to the typical boom-and-bust cycle of speculation bubbles, such as was the case with many other trendy toys in the s, e.

Pogs, Tamagotchis, and Beanie Babies. That story revolves around one card in particular: the Black Lotus.

So people are still willing to pay thousands of dollars for this little piece of printed cardboard. The demand for this card nearly killed Magic because it is supposed to be a fun card game, not a high-stakes commodity trade. Collectors would purchase cheap packs of cards and then resell the rarest and most sought-after cards from the pack, such as the Black Lotus, for much more than their original worth.

Elias and others at Wizards recognized that this trend was unhealthy for the longevity of the game, because no one was actually playing with the cards. Wizards does not just want to serve speculators; they want new consumers to enter the market for their cards. Instead, overpowered cards with gigantic price tags like Black Lotus created a huge barrier to entry that threatened to completely shut the game down to anyone but rich speculators, and sooner or later they worried that no one would be interested anymore.

The bubble would burst and Magic would go the way of the Ferbie. In response, Wizards tried just banning high-priced cards. But since people only played Magic among friends, no one cared.

However, this trick could not work for the older, more powerful cards. Because those cards were selling for so much, Wizards recognized they would be stealing from people who had spent lots of money on these cards—an interesting example of the ethical quandaries of inflationary monetary policy. To get around the problem they implemented a second strategy: They introduced different game formats. Up to that point a player could play any of the cards from the entire history of Magic in his or her decks.

Now, Wizards introduced the idea of a Standard format, where only cards printed within the last two years were legal to play. While there was still a place to play with cards like the Black Lotus, the new format gave new cards a chance to shine, and reduced the demand for the oldest cards.

To help promote this new format, Wizards introduced the official Magic Pro Tour.

Professional competitions have significant cash prize pools and, importantly, the tournament-legal formats all have set lists of format-legal cards. Because the Pro Tour was a success, players did not just want to make any deck, they now wanted to make a tournament legal deck, even if they would only ever play Magic on Friday nights at their local game stores. And when the game stores host their own competitions, they follow the Wizards format rules. For the speculators, Wizards of the Coast did make one format where all cards were legal Vintage , and they eventually placed certain high value cards, like Black Lotus, on an official reserved list, meaning that they promised never to print that exact card again.

Thus, the Black Lotus is literally like the gold standard! Its value is anchored, even today, by high demand and a fixed supply. And while it is true to say that Magic was, in a sense, saved through regulation, it was and is entirely a matter of private initiative.

Wizards may have a monopoly on Magic cards, but they do not have a monopoly over all trading card games. Demand for Magic cards is still fairly elastic. Thus, unlike the Federal Reserve, the company is still restrained by the need to compete and make a profit.

This company oversight has the additional benefit of providing a stable playing ground for players. Thus, Wizards serves some more traditional functions of a state by providing a basis for the rule of law among its consumers as well. Last, these examples point to the abundance of resources freely available to researchers who want to use Magic as a natural experiment to test all kinds of economic propositions.

The site tracks prices for every printing of every Magic card ever. Or, of course, simply due to relative scarcity. This same website has articles and videos about gameplay strategy, deck construction, and new and upcoming products, in addition to card prices and product news. And it is just one site! There are many others that provide similar data and analysis, as well as several YouTube channels and podcasts that focus on related topics. As the examples of Jace and the Black Lotus show, these natural experiments can involve a high level of nuance and show promise for teaching economic principles from the most basic level of supply and demand to more advanced topics like monetary policy and business cycles.

Social Contracts and Habits of Play Moving from the meta-game of card prices back to the gameplay of Magic itself, we also move from more positive analysis to issues of normative political-economic application.

In particular, we highlight in this section the use of the concept of the social contract among Magic players. The concept is most often invoked with reference to the Commander format of Magic. This format, designed specifically for multiplayer games rather than the typical one-on-one duels of other formats, has at its heart a desire to foster social interaction. This does not necessarily mean it is more casual—there are competitive Commander players—but it attracts players from a wide variety of skillsets and competitive levels.

As such, the degree to which any group of players takes the game casually vs. It is a realm of prudence that no amount of special card rulings from Wizards of the Coast can ever adequately adjudicate.

Some group members—or groups as a whole—may decide to place restrictions on the power of cards they include in their decks to accommodate more casual players.

Others might solve the problem of an imbalance of power by helping the player with a more casual deck at a competitive group improve his or her deck building, perhaps even by giving him or her better cards. Others are concerned not so much with the skill level as with the fun level of the group. Other groups might love that sort of thing. In this sense, social contracts are informally agreed upon, at the most local level, in order to promote an agreed-upon social good: whether it be the competitiveness of play, the accessibility of a group to newcomers, or just the level of fun involved.

Abilities with negative loyalty costs may only be activated if there are enough loyalty counters to remove. Regardless of the loyalty costs, a single planeswalker may only use one loyalty ability once per turn, and only on its controller's turn during his or her main phase. Note that planeswalkers are neither creatures nor players, so most spells and abilities cannot target them directly. There are, however, two ways to deal damage to a planeswalker. If a player uses any spell or ability that would deal damage to an opponent, the player may instead choose to deal the damage to one of that opponent's planeswalkers.

Additionally, if a player attacks an opponent who controls a planeswalker, the player may declare any or all of the attacking creatures to be attacking the planeswalker instead. Those creatures may be blocked normally, but if not blocked deal damage to the planeswalker instead of the player.

Whenever damage is dealt to a planeswalker, that many loyalty counters are removed from it. A planeswalker with no loyalty counters, either through use of its abilities or through damage, is put into the player's graveyard.

Sorceries and instants both represent one-shot or short-term magical spells. They never enter the battlefield. Instead, they take effect and then are immediately put into their owner's graveyard.

Sorceries and instants differ only in when they can be cast. Sorceries may only be cast during the player's own main phase, and only when the stack is empty. Instants, on the other hand, can be cast at any time, including during other players' turns and while another spell or ability is waiting to resolve see timing and the stack.

In sets released prior to , a third type of one-shot spell card existed called Interrupts. Interrupts functioned similar to instants but altered how the stack was resolved.

Interrupts received an errata which stated that, from that point forward, interrupts were treated exactly the same as instants. The beginning phase is composed of three parts, or "steps".

The first thing a player does is untap all cards he or she controls in the "untap step". Then, any abilities that trigger on the "upkeep step" happen, starting with the player of the current turn.

Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules

These often include cards that require mana payments every turn. Then the player draws a card in the "draw step". In two-player games, the player who takes the first turn does not draw a card for that turn.

No player receives priority during the untap step, meaning that no cards or abilities can be played at that time. During the upkeep and draw steps, however, players can cast instants and activate abilities as normal. The main phase occurs immediately after the draw phase. During the main phase, a player may play any card from his or her hand unless that card specifies otherwise, and as long as he or she has the mana to pay its casting cost.

This means creature, planeswalker, sorcery, instant, land, enchantment, and artifact cards are all acceptable to play. This is a player's chance to bring something onto the field.

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Usually, players will start their main phase by playing a land. Then, as long as they have the mana to pay the casting cost, they will play any number of cards from their hand, reading the card's name so that other players may hear.

Once a player is ready to attack, he or she may end their main phase by declaring that the combat phase has started, or by simply attacking with their creatures. The combat phase is split into four steps. It represents a point in the magical duel where the active player sends his or her creatures to attack the opposing player, in the hopes of doing damage to the player or the player's creatures. Aside from instants, activated abilities, and spells that are specifically noted as being able to be played at any time i.

Multiple creatures may attack at the same time, but the turn player may only declare their list of attackers once. No specific actions take place at the beginning of combat step.

This step mainly exists to allow players to cast spells and activate abilities that may alter how combat progresses. As the most common example, only untapped creatures may attack, so the defending player may cast instants or activate abilities that will tap a creature, preventing it from attacking.

The player whose turn it is declares which creatures he or she controls will attack. In most cases, creatures that are tapped, or that entered the battlefield this turn i. Attacking causes a creature to become tapped. Both players are given a chance to cast instants and activate abilities after attackers have been declared.

After the attacking player declares attackers, the defending player chooses which creatures he or she will block with. A creature must be untapped in order for it to block. Unlike attacking, the act of blocking does not cause the blocking creatures to tap, and creatures with summoning sickness can block. Each creature can only block a single attacker, but the defending player may choose to block an attacking creature with more than one creature.

Both players are given a chance to cast instants and activate abilities after blockers have been declared. If the blocker decides to combine defenses, the attacker gets to decide how attack points are distributed between the combined cards. After the combat phase there is another main phase. The second main phase is identical to the first, except a player can only put down a land if that player did not place a land in the first main phase, and the player can cast spells.

The ending phase has two steps: During the end step, abilities that trigger "at the beginning of the end step" go on the stack. This is the last chance players have to cast instants or activate abilities this turn. During the cleanup step, the active player discards down to his or her maximum hand size usually 7 seven , then simultaneously, all damage marked on permanents is removed and all "until end of turn" and "this turn" effects end.

The game then checks for any state based actions that need to be performed or if any triggered abilities are waiting to be put on to the stack, if there are, all state based actions are performed and then all triggered abilities are put on to the stack and the active player gets priority. If there are no triggered abilities put onto the stack during the cleanup step, no player receives priority during the cleanup step, so no spells can be cast and no activated abilities can be activated.

The most versatile aspect of Magic is that after most spells and abilities are cast or activated, but before they actually take effect "resolve" , all players get a chance to "respond" to them. This means they can cast a different spell or activate another ability that will resolve first, often either invalidating or reinforcing the effect of the first spell.

The mechanism that accomplishes this is called "the stack". It is where spells and abilities go to wait for any responses that may get played. Spells that are permanents that end up on the battlefield; sorcery spells; and abilities that say "activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery" cannot be cast or activated as responses.

They can only be cast or activated when the stack is empty, only on the turn of whoever casts or activates them, and only in a main phase. In contrast, activated abilities, instant spells, and spells that have the ability flash can be played on anybody's turn and in most steps of the game, go on the stack "on top of" anything that is already there, and will resolve first. Many players refer to this difference as "speed", but that is a misleading term, because neither is "faster" than the other; the only difference is when they can be played.

Playing lands, most abilities that produce mana, and certain other special actions do not use the stack; they bypass the rules below and take effect immediately.

When a player casts a spell or activates an ability, it does not immediately take effect. Instead, it is placed on the stack. That player then receives priority again, which gives him or her a chance to respond to it with spells or abilities. Each new spell or ability is put on top of the stack in turn, with the newest on top and the oldest at the bottom.

A player with priority can add as many spells or abilities to the stack as he or she can pay for, but is not required to; if a player declines to respond to the latest spell or ability, he or she "passes priority" to the next player in turn order.

When all players have passed priority in succession, the top-most spell or ability on the stack resolves. If it was a sorcery, instant, or ability, the player carries out the instructions; if it would create a permanent, it enters the battlefield. Every time a spell or ability finishes resolving, players starting with the player whose turn it is can once again add more to the stack; if they don't, the new top-most spell or ability will resolve.

When the stack is empty, the player whose turn it is gets priority first. If all players pass priority while the stack is empty, the game proceeds to the next step or phase of the turn. If nothing else happened, the Hill Giant would deal 3 damage to the Grizzly Bears and kill them, while the Bears would deal 2 damage to the Giant, making Hill Giant "the winner". He taps a Forest to pay for the spell, and puts Giant Growth on the stack. He taps one Mountain to pay for the spell, and puts Shock on the stack on top of Giant Growth.

If Norman had no other spells, then Tom's Shock would resolve first and deal 2 damage to the Grizzly Bears, killing them.


His Giant Growth would then go to the graveyard with no effect because the Bears would no longer be on the battlefield and would thus be an illegal target. Fortunately for Norman, he has another spell to cast. Since both players are out of spells to cast, the top spell on the stack resolves.

Mending Hands creates a "damage prevention shield" that will prevent up to 4 points of damage to Norman's Bears, and is put into Norman's graveyard after it resolves. Neither player chooses to cast anything else at this point, so Tom's Shock resolves. Giant Growth then goes to Norman's graveyard. Hill Giant attempts to deal 3 damage to the Grizzly Bears, but the remainder of Norman's damage prevention shield prevents a further 2 damage totaling 4 damage and Grizzly Bears only takes 1 damage.

When Tom's turn ends, the single point of damage is removed from the Grizzly Bears, and the Giant Growth effect wears off at the same time. Certain spells and abilities allow a player to counter other spells or abilities.

These spells must be cast while the spells they will affect are still on the stack. If a spell is countered, it is moved from the stack to its owner's graveyard when counterspell resolves. It does not resolve, and has no effect unless the card states otherwise.

If the spell would create a permanent, it never enters the battlefield. Some spells state that they cannot be countered.Later, Tribal Enchantments Enchantments with creature types were introduced, as were Curses, enchantments that targeted one player specifically. And when the game stores host their own competitions, they follow the Wizards format rules. The main phase occurs immediately after the draw phase. During the cleanup step, the active player discards down to his or her maximum hand size usually 7 seven , then simultaneously, all damage marked on permanents is removed and all "until end of turn" and "this turn" effects end.

Attacking causes a creature to become tapped. Starting with Ixalan ,all planeswalkers past, present, and future gained the supertype legendary and became subject to the "legend rule".

Keyword abilities are usually given reminder text in the set in which they are introduced.

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