Magic Duels Articles RSS Feed | Magic Duels RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 9 Best Strategy Card Games on Steam that Aren't Krosmaga Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Glitchieetv

Krosmaga is a free to play strategy card game on Steam. Combing CCG and tower defense elements, its uniqueness makes it stand out in a fast-growing genre. It is not, however, the only game that stands out amongst other CCGs.

Surprisingly, Steam is full of CCGs. Some are free to play, like Krosmagawhile others require a bit of IRL buy-in. The following are 9 other games to shuffle through on Steam.


SolForge is created by the developers of Magic: The Gathering and Ascension. Focused on leveling, cards gain experience and transform as they are played. There are a variety of events throughout the week. These events vary from structured deck tournaments to draft tournaments. There are different play modes available as well.

Magic Duels

Magic Duels is a free to play platform for Magic: The Gathering. This makes it the perfect way for new players to play the high card game without investing a large amount of time to learn the game. Decks are usually comprised of 1-2 colors with each color corresponding to a type of deck. Lands, creatures, and spells are the types of cards used to build a deck.


Faeria is a combination board and card game available for free on Steam and iOS. Placing lands and using various types of elemental restrictions, along with various creature abilities, makes this game both unique and challenging.

Chronicle: RuneScape Legends

Chronicle: RuneScape Legends takes the traditional card game and fuses it with RPG elements. Focusing on customization through character leveling instead of just the variants in deck building, the focus is on sequences of cards versus board control.

HEX: Shards of Fate

Hex: Shards of Fate also combines card and RPG elements. However, the RPG elements come in the form of exploring dungeons. Decks can be augmented with items called socketing gems and different champions have disparate skills, making them unique. Tournaments occur daily, where players can win prizes, making it great for competitive gamers.


Yomi is a fighting game in card form. There are 10 characters to pick from with various moves and combos. Survival mode squares players off against AI opponents until they lose. Available for cross-platform play, players can face off against opponents from the iOS or web version when playing through Steam. 

Infinity Wars: Animated Trading Card Game

Infinity Wars has spiced up its gameplay by animating each of its cards in 3D. The grind for cards is also easier in this game. Players earn cards simply by logging in. Turns are taken simultaneously, which requires foresight and extensive strategy when playing.


Shardbound is an Early Access tactical card game that combines board and CCG mechanics. Use the terrain to gain advantages over the enemy to establish a Noble House. The game features integration, allowing players who are watching a Shardbound stream to have access to special Twitch objectives.

Ironclad Tactics

Ironclad Tactics is another game that needs money in order to play. Paying for the game up front, there are no microtransactions, meaning all players on are level playing field when it comes to earning cards. The interactive novel campaign portion is set in a steampunk Civil War and grants players cards as they play through the story.

Which CCG are you most intrigued by? Have you played any of them before? Tell us your thoughts below!

The 5 Best CCGs on PC Right Now That Aren't Hearthstone Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Magic Duels

Magic: The Gathering is probably the game that will draw the most comparisons to the Hearthstone, as it has been the most well known and dominant game in the CCG genre for over a decade.


Magic Duels is the newest iteration of the series and it expands on the strategy elements that the series has become known for.


Duels adds in a new story campaign, 126 new cards -- with over 1000 earnable total -- and players are able to take their card battles online, and are able to compete in a four-player Two-Headed Giant battle.


Get Magic Duels on Steam.


Are there any other CCG's that you love or prefer much more than the ones I've added here? Let us know in the comments below!


Duelyst is another great and addictive alternative to Hearthstone, and while it may not have the huge following of other games mentioned here, it is a worthy addition for anyone that enjoys the CCG genre and definitely deserves to be on this list.


The game boasts over 400 battle units -- offering variety and different strategies every match. The battles are fast paced, lasting between 5 and 10 minutes offering a faster way to get in and out of matches.


Duelyst offers up a nice visual art style and a good campaign mode, with a deep historical lore that spans over 30,000 years to help immerse you into the story.


Get Duelyst on Steam.


Solforge is a great alternative to games like Hearthstone, as it adds in some new game mechanics. Cards are played in lanes, rather than having the ability to attack any card in your opponent's deck. This brings in an extra level of strategy because you will need to make sure you choose the correct lanes to play a card in, in order to succeed.


A players cards also have the ability to upgrade, and evolve into stronger versions of themselves as the game progresses, plus gaining new abilities at the same time -- they level up like in an RPG.


Players in Solforge have an equal number of cards per turn instead of relying on resources.


There is a story campaign, an online versus mode with tournament and draft modes for players to get to grips with.


Get Solforge on Steam.

Pokemon TCG Online

Pokemon TCG Online is a game that brings the well known trading card game to both desktop PC's and mobile, allowing players the opportunity to compete with other opponents across the world.


The game provides you with a single player campaign called Trainer Challenge, where players can work through a number of 'cups' and battles with various decks, as the game gets more challenging at higher difficulties.


Online Versus, mode offers both practice and ranked card battles, and there are various options for tournament events that unlock Trainer Tokens for more card unlocks.


Get Pokemon TCG Online on the official website.


Spellstone which can played on both the PC and mobile devices, is a much simpler game than others mentioned here, but those looking for an easier, yet fast paced introduction to the CCG genre can't go wrong with this game.


The story for the game is set in a fantasy universe and it takes players through the mechanics of the game very quickly. The campaign will teach players to adapt by using varying strategies to defeat their opponents as well as battle defensively using armor sets to match up against other players' attacking cards.


Other features include the ability to join guilds and participate in events with other players from around the world.


Get Spellstone on Steam.


Many gamers are currently addicted to Blizzard's Hearthstone Computer Card Game (CCG), as for many players, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it more than excelled in the genre with addictive gameplay and fun mechanics.


Blizzard made the game inviting, easy to pick and play, but at the same time has a great deal of depth and strategy which will keep players returning for a long time to come.


Gamers who have played Hearthstone to death by now, or are just looking to expand their CCG library and with other good games in the genre, may find something new here in the four that I have listed here.

From screen to board and back again: 9 excellent "cross platform" games Sun, 03 Jul 2016 17:44:26 -0400 Ty Arthur


What did you think of our list of cross platform board and card games, and what should we have mentioned that didn't make our list? When Bloodborne and Gwent finally land, we suspect they'll make the top of lists like these across the web.


If you're looking for more digital card games, don't discount the mobile platform, as Android / iOS are chock full of titles gamers will love, from fantasy entries like Ascension and Deck Heroes (or the ever-reliable Hearthstone) to sci-fi entries like Star Realms.


Sadly there are some that should make the jump from digital to physical (or vice verse) that probably never actually will, like any number of Final Fantasy in-game CCGs. Final Fantasy 8's much-loved Triple Triad and Final Fantasy 9's Tetra Master did get a limited run of physical cards internationally, but good luck finding them anywhere in North America!


What's the mini-game you'd most like to see translated into a different medium for your weekly gaming sessions?


Space Hulk: Death Angel


Here we go with that recursion again! Space Hulk: Death Angel is a card game recreation that has a video game spinoff based on an old board game, which was itself based on the tabletop war game Warhammer 40,000K. Whew, that one got confused!


The idea in Space Hulk is to play as a powerful genetically modified space marine whose abilities are greatly reduced due to the cramped corridors of a giant hulking space wreck. While searching the derelict vessel for ancient technology and cleansing it of any suspected xenos taint, you will be under siege by terrible Tyranid creatures like genestealers.


Death Angel takes the original board game and turns it into a card experience instead, which can even be played solo. If you want to play this original board game version on PC instead, check out the Space Hulk computer game.



Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Colombia


Get It Here


A totally unexpected board game entry, obviously Siege Of Colombia doesn't quite match the time twisting storyline of the video game, but its still an interesting player-versus-player, area control game worth trying out.


Rather than gunning down enemies and sliding across rails as Booker, you take up the role of the Vox Populi or the Founders and attempt to gain as much control as possible of the city each turn, with fortunes quickly changing as cards are drawn.



Magic Duels


Get It Here


Here we're going the opposite direction – Magic Duels is a digital version of a physical card game. To be honest, I'm a little on the fence about this entry in the series, and I actually liked the numbered year entries (2013, 2014, etc.) a bit better as they stuck to the core rules more faithfully.


That being said, this entry in the series is free to play, so there's no reason not to try it out, even if it isn't strictly speaking the same experience as the real-world CCG. Its a great way to pass the evening, whether you love Magic or haven't ever tried the world famous card game before.



Resident Evil


Get It Here


The series may have degraded from atmospheric survival horror to action-focused shooter (with some entries even going fully on-rails), but there's another spin off you might not have seen coming: a deck building card game.


Although there are several large expansion sets, this isn't a collectible game like Magic: The Gathering, so you don't have to continuously put down new money on an endless stream of booster packs, and that's a very big plus.



World Of Warcraft


Get It Here


Alright, so while this is a very fun board game, there's a major caveat here (besides the high prices now that its out of print): there is a truly massive setup time involved.


Seriously give yourself two hours the first time before you even start playing, and definitely invest in some large ziploc bags to arrange out the huge number of minis included here.


Once you learn the rules and figure out how to put everything together though, this is easily one of the highest quality fantasy board games you'll ever have the pleasure of playing. While the mechanics are quite different from either the RTS games or the MMO, the feel of Azeroth is very much still on display.



Gears Of War


Get It Here


This franchise might seem like an odd choice – Gears is as action packed and visceral as you can get – but if you think about it, the cover mechanics and constant moving forward to new objectives actually works for a board game.


This one is a player versus board mechanics game, where all the players are cooperatively battling against the “A.I.” (enemies controlled by card text and changing scenario objectives based on what mission you select), so it's basically a physical rendition of online horde or co-op mode. Based on the quality of the video below, can you guess which company put the Gears Of War board game together?


Frankly I'm surprised there hasn't been a Gears spinoff that goes the RTS route or even ends up a fully turn based strategy game along the lines of X-COM or Heroes Of Might And Magic. Hey Microsoft Studios, are you reading this slide? Be sure to put my name in the credits when that game happens.



Warhammer Diskwars


The Diskwars version of Warhammer is recursive to a different degree: it's a board game spin off using a different rule set based on a video game that's based on the original tabletop war game.


This re-imagined version of the classic fantasy series is a fantastic option if you want to try out war gaming but don't have the time, patience, or skill to paint all those minis (not mention simply buying them with the outrageous prices Games Workshop charges).


The ever-awesome Fantasy Flight created this version, and that's a company that will be referenced more than once on this list. FF has been making top quality board, card, and roleplaying games for decades. If there was an excellent open game license universe that was released during the hay day of the d20 system, it's a good bet Fantasy Flight was responsible.



Pathfinder Adventures


Get It Here


The newly released Pathfinder Adventures is a mobile recreation of a card game, which is a card game recreation of a tabletop RPG, which is itself based on the earlier D&D 3.5 ruleset. How many levels deep did we just go there?


I was more than a little ticked off in my review at how buggy and unplayable this one was at launch. Frankly, I expect better from both Obsidian Entertainment and Paizo.


Thankfully several of those bugs have since been patched out, but there's still more in need of addressing. If you are one of those lucky few who hasn't experienced any crashes or problems, then Pathfinder Adventures is a very fun card version of the typical fantasy romp.



Witcher Adventure Game


Get It Here


A truly recursive entry, this is a PC digital recreation of a tabletop board game that is based on the Witcher video game (which is based on a series of books). When a movie gets made about it and then a book adaptation is spawned from that movie, the universe will probably implode.


This one's a fairly faithful adaptation of the board game, essentially transporting it to your computer screen and remembering all the rules for you. If you can't get enough of Geralt, there's some fun to be had here either against A.I. or even other players.



There has long been a crossover between the digital and tabletop mediums, even though the PC/console-focused sites tend not to mention it all that frequently. Even before there was a Final Fantasy, there were gaming enthusiasts gathered around tables rolling dice and moving miniatures across boards.


It's obvious why there's so much overlap between the two groups. Clearly the folks hanging out down at the local gaming / comics shop picking up anime and playing a few rounds of Magic: The Gathering are also going to be interested in games like Pillars Of Eternity or Witcher III (we're also those people filling your Facebook feed with Game Of Thrones memes and arguments from Sunday night through Monday morning).


There are plenty of instances where the two worlds collide and are in fact completely intertwined, like Pokemon in its digital and physical card game versions. The biggest news lately on that front is that Witcher III's in-game tabletop card experience Gwent getting its own standalone release.


There's plenty more beyond Gwent though, with even the Souls-style Bloodborne having a card game in the works (jokes abound across the net of every card reading “You Died” or “Prey Slaughtered”).


If you've missed the many excellent cross platform board / video games released in recent years, we've got you covered with a list of nine entries well worth checking out.

Magic Duels finally gets its new set, but there's a catch Sat, 21 Nov 2015 01:41:15 -0500 John Adamczyk

Long overdue, Magic Duels has received its first expansion update. The digital version of Magic: The Gathering was supposed to receive a digital translation of the physical set that released on October 2nd,"Battle for Zendikar," simultaneously, but there was a significant delay.

Well over a month later, PC users finally have access to the set.

Of note, "Battle for Zendikar" boasts 158 new cards, a hefty amount, but still a surprising step down from the 249 that released in the physical set. The core dynamic is still there, though: heroic allies versus the otherworldly eldrazi. A swarm of little, synergistic creatures against titanic, deadly ones.










If you've been playing the game through Xbox One or iOS, however, you're out of luck.

When Wizards of the Coast announced the release of the new set, they didn't just tell everyone to boot up the game and enjoy. If you aren't playing the game on Steam, the update isn't out yet, and might not be for a while, with the only time-frame being "in the coming weeks."

And, if you were hoping to play on the PS4 anytime soon, you might want to pick the game up on another system. That release has been delayed to sometime in 2016. 

While Wizards is clearly apologetic in this recent announcement, their future actions will be what will determine whether or not they can maintain a dedicated user base. With "Oath of the Gatewatch," the next Magic set, to be released January 2016, only two months away, many players are doubtful that Wizards will be able to keep up with their promises.

Magic Duels to (hopefully) get a new set soon Thu, 15 Oct 2015 02:51:52 -0400 John Adamczyk

Magic: The Gathering has been around for ages. If you play card games, you know about it. If you don't play card games, you've probably heard about it anyway. However, one of the biggest problems that Magic has had over the years is finding a way to translate well into the digital stage, where competitors like Hearthstone have been giving players simple rules and a refined user interface. 

Wizards of the Coast's attempt to answer Hearthstone seemed to be the release of a new, digital, free-to-play version of Magic back in July. It's called Magic Duels, and in case you hadn't heard, it's supposed to be getting a new set.



Wizards of the Coast's own Wizards_Chris posted recently on the Magic Duels subreddit that cards from the newest Magic: The Gathering set, Battle for Zendikar, should be out...eventually:

"We don't have any new details about the release window of the update yet, but I wanted to make sure you were kept up with the progress that's being made." 

In a game like Magic: The Gathering, where tens of thousands of cards can potentially be at a player's disposal, it's understandable that people might be a little antsy for some new cards in Magic Duels, which currently only offers players a few hundred cards, all from a single set. 

Battle for Zendikar features the alien Eldrazi: ancient, evil beings unleashed upon the residents of Zendikar, who are now fighting to keep their home from being devoured by the terrible, Lovecraftian monstrosities.

However, it's important to note that Magic Duels is intent on releasing new cards with every set released for Magic: The Gathering; that is to say, an update every three months or so. Battle for Zendikar was released as a physical product on October 2nd, and with no update in sight for Magic Duels, one wonders if Wizards will be able to live up to their promises of releasing new cards for this client every time a new batch comes up.

Color combination guide for MTG deck building in Magic Duels Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:56:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

So you read my tips for Magic Duels and want to know more about the awesome game of Magic: The Gathering, right? Well, you came to the right place! While the last guide concerned general tips for Duels and Magic, in general, this guide will concern color combination and deck building.

This guide will be a general overview of the main color combinations and what to expect when playing or building them.

Mono-colored Decks

Blue: Blue decks are usually about trickery and foiling everything your opponent tries to play. Counterspells are the hallmark of blue, which negate spells your enemy plays. Another hallmark of blue is drawing cards to gain an edge on your opponent. Some other tenants of the color are stealing creatures or other cards on the board from your foe, causing them to mill their deck into their graveyard, or controlling the board.

A blue deck usually has counterspells, some card draw, a few creatures (usually flying), and some form of creature control such as reducing the attack power of their foe’s creatures or tapping them so they cannot attack.

White: White decks are usually centered on life gain and board control. White generally has some of the best removal in the game, second only to black, allowing you to remove almost anything your opposition plays.

A white deck is focused around removal and board control with a splash of life gain to ensure you remain ahead of your adversary. You could also focus around token generation in order to get an army of creatures for relatively little mana.

Black: Black is all about death, whether it be destroying your foe’s board or sacrificing your creatures to gain an advantage, only to reanimate them later. White has powerful removal, but black’s is arguably more powerful, although the removal in black usually affects all creatures in play.

A good black deck has plenty of ways to destroy their opposition’s board while playing strong creatures which can either attack or be sacrificing for an even greater effect.

Red: If black is death, red is about chaotic destruction. Red generally has “burn” spells. Rather than simply destroying or removing creatures, red spells usually deal a set numerical amount of damage. On top of that, red also has plenty of ways to destroy your foe’s mana, enchantments, and anything else they play. It’s basically white’s chaotic younger brother. The creatures also reflect this mentality.

A red deck has plenty of burn and removal spells as well as plenty of creatures to pummel your foes with.

Green: Green is all about massive creatures and generating mana to play these creatures fast. Green also has a little life gain and some removal, usually an effect from a creature card played. Most of green is about the creatures, though, whether it be big ones or token creatures. Green has the biggest and meanest creatures in the game.

A green deck needs mana acceleration in order to access the bigger creatures before their enemy. Mana ramp + lots of creatures, and you can’t go wrong.

Dual-Colored Decks

Two color decks revolve around using the best of two colors and usually have cards specifically made for their combinations, although you can use general cards in these combinations as well. These combos’ names are derived from their corresponding guilds from the Ravnica block lore.

Selesnya - Green and White: One of my favorite combinations, Selesnya is a blast to play. This combination takes the token generation from both colors and uses the control from white with the mana acceleration of green. The idea is to quickly generate mana in order to flood the board with tokens and buffs for the tokens while controlling the board.

A good Selesnya deck has a lot of token generation with mana ramp. You also want to play cards that buff your tokens and big creatures to act as finishers.

Orzhov - White and Black: This combo is based on what are essentially vampires. Orzhov finds you using cards which steal life from your foes while increasing yours. You will also use the removal from both colors to keep your enemy’s creatures at bay to ensure you retain the advantage. Several Orzhov decks also use enchantment cards and token generation.

An Orzhov deck has plenty of life-stealing as well life gain. You will also want some creatures which synergize with the life steal as well as removal cards.

Boros - White and Red: Boros is all about aggression. Boros utilizes cards that allow your creatures to attack when played, increase the attack of your creatures, or other such benefits. On top of the aggressive creatures and enchantments, Boros has the removal of both red and white.

Boros decks are extremely aggressive. Boros decks are built to attack as soon and often as possible. You will want low mana cost creatures and buffs for your creatures. You will also want to add removal in order to slow your opponent down and prevent them to play blockers to block your aggressive attempts.

Azorius - Blue and White: These decks can be a major pain to play against. These decks have some serious control and will make your day miserable if you aren’t wise when playing against them. These decks usually revolve around controlling the board in nearly every facet and dominating the skies. These decks also have plenty of card draw in order to maintain a card advantage over their opponents.

You want to add plenty of cards to ensure you maintain control of the board, whether it is by tapping your foe’s creatures, reducing attacker’s damage done, or other sorts of trickery. Add some card draw and some flying creatures on top of the control and you have the basis for an Azorius deck.

Dimir - Black and Blue: Ah Dimir. The embodiment of trickery in Magic, Dimir is the ultimate foil deck. Dimir revolves around foiling anything your enemy plays while playing creatures of your own that are unblockable or other such tricks. Milling your opposition’s decks into their graveyard is another tenet of Dimir. Dimir is my personal favorite and once you play a game with a Dimir deck, you will see why.

A Dimir deck needs counterspells, trickery spells, or milling in order to be effective. You also want to add some creatures that have some special effects which will make them difficult for your foes to remove.

Rakdos - Black and Red: Rakdos is all about chaos and destruction. Rakdos usually employs aggressive creatures who might have some drawbacks but make up for it with ferocity. This combo also employs the removal and burn of black and red. Sacrificing your creatures or something of yours in order to damage your opponent is another key tenant of this combination. Also, some kickass demon and devil creatures!

Rakdos employs a lot of removal and punishment spells. Aggressive creatures are a key focus as well as the removal. There will also be enchantments which devastate their opposition.

Golgari - Green and Black: Death means nothing to the Golgari. The Golgari combination is about reanimation and utilizing your graveyard, as well your opponent’s, to your advantage. The creatures usually have an effect that triggers upon death or allows them to be beneficial after death. On top of the creatures and reanimation, Golgari utilizes removal in order fill graveyards with creatures to reanimate.

You want reanimation in your Golgari deck. There will also be creatures that are beneficial or have benefits upon their death. Removal is a necessity as well as the reanimation in order to make a strong Golgari deck.

Izzet - Red and Blue: Burn baby burn! Izzet is all about the burn spells. On top of burn spells, Izzet revolves around countering spells, card draw, and creatures to pick away at their foe’s health.

Besides the burns, you want to add card draw and counter spells to your Izzet deck. You will want some creatures in order to block or pick away at your enemy’s health. The burn is the foundation though.

Simic - Green and Blue: Simic usually revolves around making your creatures stronger in the form of counters, creating tokens, or swapping creatures in play with ones in your deck. Simic has some mana ramp, and the creatures sometimes have properties of blue such as countering spells and drawing cards.

A Simic deck needs ways to buff your creatures in order to thrive. Most Simic cards have ways to place counters on your creatures as well as increase the amount of mana you can utilize. Once a Simic deck gets rolling, it can be difficult to stop.

Gruul - Green and Red: Some of the biggest creatures in Magic are home to the Gruul guild. Besides gigantic creatures, Gruul also utilizes burn and destruction spells to slow their enemies down before unleashing hell. A well-built Gruul deck is a terrifying thing to behold.

Mana ramp is a must for a Gruul deck. In order to play the behemoth creatures, you must utilize mana acceleration in order to play your trump cards. Some burn spells as well as destruction of enemy enchantments and such is a must. Suppress their board, flood your field with mana, and unleash massive creatures. WIN! 

This list has covered all of the mono-colored and dual-colored deck combinations. While there are tri-colored deck combinations, those will be covered in another post. There you will meet my favorite, Kaalia. 

If you have any questions or tips to share, feel free to sound off in the comments! Until then, get to dueling. I’ll see you on the battlefield!

Magic Duels: Tips to Dominate the Battlefield Thu, 03 Sep 2015 20:11:44 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

So the newest digital incarnation of Magic: The Gathering has been released and unlike previous entries in the series, this one is free to play, encouraging newcomers to finally give the long-running card game a shot. If you are a newcomer, fret not. The game’s tutorial does a pretty good job in teaching you the basic mechanics of the game as well as some special abilities you will see in it as well. Since the tutorial does a decent job in explaining most things, this is more a general tips for newcomers from someone who has been playing the physical game for around four years now.

I am no expert, but I have seen some solid strategies in the time I have played. Dear reader, use this knowledge well to dominate your opposition! 

Get a solid hand

Your opening hand can make or break your chances of winning. While you can draw into cards you need later in the game, you need a solid opening hand to tide you over until your clench cards or to keep your opposition at bay. So what makes a solid hand?

I generally have three mana in my opening hand for any deck. If you have ways to mana ramp (get more mana quickly) in your deck, you could maybe start with only two in your opening hand. I urge to try for three though. This gives you option to play spells early and provided you draw into more mana, have access to the expensive spells later.

Watch the mana

Always keep an eye on your open mana, as well as your opponent’s. Why? Well depending upon the color your enemy is using, you can save yourself a lot of grief. If your enemy is playing with blue mana, it is generally a safe bet to assume they have some counter spells in their deck. In order to avoid getting your ace cards countered, know the cost of the counter spells. If your enemy doesn’t have any open mana or a way to produce mana, you can probably get away with that amazing card you want to play without having to worry about a counter spell. If your enemy has all of their mana untapped, you might want to hold onto it.

The same principle goes for the other colors too. The less mana your enemy has open, the less trickery and shenanigans they can perform. 

Know the colors

Each of the five colors in Magic has a central theme and spell uses. These are the general themes of each color. 

Blue is about countering spells, trickery, drawing cards, and milling (causing cards from the top of your foe’s deck to go to their graveyard) the opposition.

Black is using about sacrificing creatures in order to devastate opponents, kill spells (which instantly remove creatures or other permanents), and reanimating cards in the graveyard.

White usually revolves around life gain, controlling the enemy’s creatures, and enchantments.

Red is all about burn spells (similar to kill spells but usually do a set amount of damage rather than instantly removing a creature), land destruction, and destroying anything your opposition cares to play.

Green is about mana ramp, large scary creatures, and creating token creatures.

While there are some variations and exceptions, the colors generally fall into this pattern. Knowing what each of the colors does can allow you to somewhat expect what your opponent will be playing, especially when they play color combos which you can read about here. 

Study the board

Whenever your foe plays a card, read its effects and try to figure out their reason for playing the card. Are they setting up a combo? Is it just an awesome creature? Is it misdirection? If you can figure out what your adversary is up to or at least a general idea, you may be able to prevent them from further building up their forces necessary to win.

Keep up with all of the effects on the board as well. I have won plenty of games because my opponent forgot the effect one card had which swayed the tide of battle. When you play a card, you don’t want to be surprised by an effect triggering from a card which had already been played and you had knowledge of. Do your best to keep up with all that is going on with your board.

Know when to be aggressive and passive

One of the major keys to a successful Magic duel is using your creatures wisely. Sometimes it pays to go for blood and mercilessly swing away at your foe’s life. Other times till, you will be better off provoking an attack until you have a game plan or advantage. This especially applies when you are facing more than one adversary and aren’t sure what is being played. Bide your time, and do your best not to paint yourself as a target by plunging into combat. 

Try to build combos

Combos are the bread and butter of Magic. A well-constructed deck will have a theme and synergy between cards in order to play off of each other and set up combos to demolish your enemy. Not only do you want build combos in your deck, you want to build them on the field too. Is the card you are playing going to compliment another card you’ve played or further your combo? Building a combo on the field will make you the bane of the opposition, which brings us to one of the most important points I can share.

Pay attention to the order you play cards

The order in which you play cards can turn the tides of battle in an instant. Whenever a card is played, it goes on the stack. Each additional card played before the initial card comes into effect or abilities triggered will go into play first before the first card comes into play.

For instance: You play a creature spell.

Your enemy taps mana to activate an ability on his creature which counters a spell.

In response, you play a card which sends the card back to your opponent’s hand.

Your card will resolve first. Since the counter spell was played by a creature no longer on the battlefield, you get to play your initial card and mess up your opponent in one fell swoop!

By playing your cards correctly, you came out ahead in the situation. However, this tip also applies to playing cards to trigger a combo. For instance, look at this card.

Notice the ability? Whenever this card or a creature enters the battlefield under my control, I get to tap an enemy’s creature, effectively removing a blocker or attacker. In order to make the most of this ability, I would be wise to play this card first, followed by any other creatures to ensure I can tap as many of my enemy’s creatures as possible. As I mentioned earlier, knowing your board will assist with cards reaching their maximum potential 

Single out threats






I know this seems obvious, but people constantly glance over major threats without giving them a second thought. While a card may not be an initial threat, if there is the slightest potential for it to come back later and make you regret its existence, you want to remove that card as soon as you possibly can. Never allow a threat to linger unless you have a way to turn the tables or even steal the threat. 

Know when to play your “Ace” cards

You’re in a bit of a pinch, and you just drew an awesome card. The great question now is to play or save for later? While it may be tempting to play the ace you drew, you might be better off playing it later. For example, look at this card "Psychic Spiral" below.

Great card right! You get to mill your enemy for however many cards are in your graveyard at Instant speed! If played correctly, this card can win you the game. However when I drew this card, I only had two cards in my graveyard.

It wouldn’t be of much use to me at the time, and I would be better off saving it. Three turns later, my graveyard was overflowing with 24 cards, and I had only one card from my deck to draw. At the end of my turn, I played “Pyschic Spiral” and caused my foe to mill 24 cards from their deck, milling him out. When they went to draw a card at the beginning of their next turn, they could not, and I won the game.

Knowing when to play your best cards is the difference between victory and defeat.

Don’t get cocky

Never assume you have won the game. As soon as you do, you will let your guard down. In a game of Magic, tables turn with no warning and comebacks are a possibility. I myself have won more than a few games while only having one life remaining. Never relax until the game is completed.

Have fun!

This is by far the most important thing to know. If nothing else sticks with you, I hope this does. Magic is a fantastic game, and it can lead to many stories and even friendships. Remember it is only a game and enjoy yourself.

Now go have some fun and please learn to play Commander (EDH) next!