Skip to content

What Do I Need for MTG? Essential Supplies for Magic: The Gathering Players

What Do I Need for MTG? Essential Supplies for Magic: The Gathering Players

As a beginner in Magic: The Gathering (MTG), you may be wondering what you need to get started.

MTG is a collectible card game that has been around for decades, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Whether you’re new to the game or just getting back into it, this article will provide you with the essentials you need to start playing.

What Do I Need for MTG? Essential Supplies for Magic: The Gathering Players

Understanding the basics is the first step to playing MTG. You’ll need to know the rules of the game, the different card types, and how to build a deck.

Building your first deck can be a daunting task, but don’t worry, we’ll cover the basics of deck building and provide tips on how to improve your deck over time.

Once you have a basic understanding of the game mechanics, you’ll be ready to start playing and acquiring new cards.

Acquiring cards and sets is an essential part of playing MTG. There are different ways to acquire cards, including purchasing booster packs, buying singles, and trading with other players.

It’s important to know the different types of sets available and which ones are legal for play in different formats. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips on how to acquire cards and sets and how to protect your collection.

Key Takeaways – What Do I Need for MTG

  • Understanding the basics of MTG is crucial for new players.
  • Building a deck and acquiring cards and sets are essential to gameplay.
  • Protecting your collection and knowing which sets are legal for play are important for maintaining your MTG experience.

Understanding the Basics

Understanding the Basics

As a beginner, understanding the basics of Magic: The Gathering is crucial to your success in the game. In this section, I will explain the card types, game rules, and mana system in detail.

Card Types

Magic: The Gathering has several types of cards that you will encounter during gameplay. These include:

  • Creature cards: These are the most common type of cards in the game. They represent creatures that you can summon to fight for you.
  • Land cards: These cards represent the land that you use to cast spells and summon creatures.
  • Planeswalker cards: These cards represent powerful allies that can help you in battle.
  • Enchantment cards: These cards represent spells that can be cast on creatures or lands to give them special abilities.
  • Instant cards: These cards can be played at any time, even during your opponent’s turn.
  • Sorcery cards: These cards can only be played during your turn.
  • Artifact cards: These cards represent magical objects that can give you special abilities.

Game Rules

The game of Magic: The Gathering is played between two players. Each player starts with 20 life points, and the goal is to reduce your opponent’s life points to zero.

To do this, you must cast spells, summon creatures, and use special abilities.

During your turn, you can cast spells and summon creatures by spending mana. You can also use special abilities on your creatures or other cards.

Your opponent can respond to your actions by playing instant cards or using special abilities.

Mana System

Mana is the magical energy that you use to cast spells and summon creatures. Each land card that you play generates one mana of a specific color. You can also use other cards to generate mana.

There are five different colors of mana in Magic: The Gathering: white, blue, black, red, and green. Each color has its own strengths and weaknesses, and different cards require different amounts of mana to cast.

Building Your First Deck

Building Your First Deck

Building your first Magic: The Gathering deck can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Choosing a Format

Before you start building your deck, you need to choose a format. There are several formats to choose from, including Standard, Commander, and Constructed format.

Each format has its own rules and restrictions, so it’s important to choose one that suits your playstyle and budget.

Deck Composition

A typical Magic: The Gathering deck has 60 cards. When building your deck, you need to consider the mana colours you want to use, the number of land cards you need, and the types of creatures and spells you want to include.

To ensure that your deck is balanced and consistent, it’s important to have a good mix of creatures and spells.

You should also pay attention to the mana curve of your deck, which refers to the distribution of mana costs of your cards. A good mana curve will ensure that you have access to the right amount of mana at the right time.

Mana Curve

Your mana curve should be based on the type of deck you’re building. Aggro decks typically have a low mana curve, with a lot of low-cost creatures and spells.

Meanwhile, midrange decks have a mix of cheap and expensive cards, while control decks have more expensive spells and play more lands.

Gameplay Mechanics

Gameplay Mechanics

Playing Magic: The Gathering involves understanding various gameplay mechanics. In this section, I will explain some of the most important mechanics to help you get started.

The Stack

One of the most important mechanics in Magic: The Gathering is the stack. The stack is where spells and abilities go after they are played, but before they take effect.

This means that players can respond to each other’s spells and abilities with their own spells and abilities before they take effect.

This mechanic adds a lot of depth to the game, as players can use it to bluff, counter, and disrupt their opponents’ plans.

Attacking and Blocking

Attacking and blocking are the core mechanics of combat in Magic: The Gathering. During your turn, you can choose which of your creatures to attack with and which of your opponent’s creatures to block.

Combat can be a complex and strategic part of the game, as players must consider factors such as creature power and toughness, abilities, and the potential consequences of attacking or blocking.

Drawing Cards

Drawing cards is a fundamental part of Magic: The Gathering. At the beginning of your turn, you draw a card from your deck.

You can also draw cards through spells and abilities. Drawing cards is important because it gives you more options and resources to work with.

However, it is important to be careful not to run out of cards, as this can leave you vulnerable to your opponent’s attacks.

Acquiring Cards and Sets

Acquiring Cards and Sets

As a beginner in MTG, acquiring cards and sets can be overwhelming. There are several ways to collect cards and sets, including booster packs, trading and buying, and expansions and reprints.

Booster Packs

Booster packs are a great way to start collecting cards. They contain 15 random cards, including a rare or mythic rare card, and provide a good mix of cards to build your collection.

Booster packs can be purchased at gaming stores or online. Buying a booster box is a great way to get a lot of cards at once and save money in the long run.

Trading and Buying

Trading and buying cards is another way to acquire cards for your collection. You can trade with other players or purchase cards from gaming stores or online retailers.

When trading, make sure to value your cards appropriately and be aware of the current market prices.

When buying, be sure to purchase from reputable sources to avoid counterfeit cards.

Expansions and Reprints

Expansions and reprints are another way to acquire cards and sets. Expansions add new cards and mechanics to the game, while reprints bring back popular cards from previous sets.

Starter kits are a great way to start playing MTG and come with a pre-built deck and basic lands. Collector boosters contain special cards and can be a fun addition to your collection.

Playing Environments

Playing Environments

When it comes to playing Magic: The Gathering, there are two main playing environments: digital platforms and tabletop gaming.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and which one you choose will depend on your personal preferences and available resources.

Digital Platforms

Digital platforms, such as MTG Arena, offer a convenient and accessible way to play Magic: The Gathering. These platforms can be played on both mobile and desktop devices, making it easy to play on the go or from the comfort of your own home.

Additionally, digital platforms offer a wide range of game modes. You can play anything from 1v1 matches to group play with friends.

One of the biggest advantages of digital platforms is the ability to easily find opponents to play against. With matchmaking systems in place, you can quickly and easily find a game, without having to worry about finding a group of friends to play with.

Additionally, digital platforms often offer rewards and incentives for playing, such as daily quests and weekly events.

Tabletop Gaming

Tabletop gaming, on the other hand, offers a more social and tactile experience. Playing with physical cards and a group of friends can be a fun and engaging way to enjoy the game.

Additionally, tabletop gaming allows for more flexibility in terms of game rules and formats. With a group of friends, you can create your own custom rules and formats, making the game more personalized and enjoyable.

One of the biggest advantages of tabletop gaming is the ability to physically interact with the cards and game pieces. This can be a fun and engaging way to play, and can help to create a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

Additionally, tabletop gaming allows for more personalization and creativity in terms of deck building and strategy.

Advanced Strategies

Advanced Strategies

As a master of Magic: The Gathering, I always keep an eye on the metagame to stay ahead of the competition. Metagame analysis is a crucial part of competitive play, and it involves analyzing the most popular decks and strategies in the current environment.

By understanding the metagame, I can adjust my deck and sideboard to counter the most popular strategies.

Metagame Analysis

To analyze the metagame, I usually start with online resources such as MTG Goldfish and MTG Top 8. These websites provide up-to-date information on the most played decks in non-rotating formats like Pioneer and Modern.

By analyzing the data, I can identify the most played cards and strategies and adjust my deck accordingly.

Deck Techs

Deck techs are an essential part of competitive play. A deck tech is a detailed breakdown of a specific deck, including its strengths, weaknesses, and potential matchups.

By studying deck techs, I can gain a better understanding of how to play against specific decks and how to improve my own deck.


Sideboarding is a crucial part of competitive play. It involves swapping out cards in your deck between games to adjust to your opponent’s strategy.

When sideboarding, I always consider the most popular decks in the metagame and adjust my deck accordingly. I also pay attention to the cards my opponent plays and adjust my strategy accordingly.

Community and Events

Community and Events

As an avid Magic: The Gathering player, I know that community and events are an essential part of the game. There are many ways to get involved with the Magic community, both online and in-person. In this section, I will cover two of the most popular ways to engage with the Magic community: local tournaments and online communities.

Local Tournaments

Playing in local tournaments is a great way to meet other Magic players in your area and test your skills against a variety of opponents.

Many local game stores host Magic events, such as Friday Night Magic, which is a casual tournament where players can compete for prizes.

These events are a great way to get involved in the Magic community and meet new people who share your passion for the game.

To participate in a local tournament, you will need a deck of Magic cards and a basic understanding of the game’s rules.

It’s also a good idea to bring a pen and paper to keep track of your life total and any other important information during the game.

Online Communities

In addition to local tournaments, there are also many online communities where Magic players can connect and discuss the game.

One of the most popular online communities for Magic players is Reddit’s r/magicTCG. This forum is a great place to ask questions, share decklists, and discuss the latest Magic news.

Another popular online community for Magic players is the Wizards of the Coast forums. This forum is a great place to connect with other players and get updates on the latest Magic events and products.

To participate in online communities, all you need is an internet connection and a willingness to engage with other Magic players.

Whether you’re looking for advice on building a new deck or just want to discuss the latest Magic set, online communities are a great way to connect with other players and stay up-to-date on all things Magic.

Maintaining and Protecting Your Collection

Maintaining and Protecting Your Collection

As an avid Magic: The Gathering player, I understand the importance of maintaining and protecting my collection of cards. Here are some tips and tricks that I have found useful in keeping my collection in top condition.


The first step in protecting your collection is to store your cards properly. There are several options available, including binders, cardboard storage boxes, and deck boxes.

I personally use a combination of all three. I keep my most valuable cards in binders, my completed decks in deck boxes, and the rest of my collection in cardboard storage boxes.

When storing your cards, it is important to keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent warping and damage.

You should also use acid-free sleeves and storage boxes to protect them from moisture and wear.


Organizing your collection can be a daunting task, but it is essential for finding specific cards quickly and easily.

One method is to sort your cards by set or edition. This will help you keep track of which cards you have and which ones you need to complete your collection.

Another option is to sort your cards by color, card type, mana cost, or alphabetical order. This can be helpful when building decks or looking for specific cards to trade or sell.


Regular maintenance of your collection is important to keep your cards in top condition.

This includes cleaning your cards with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or grime.

You should also check your cards regularly for any signs of wear or damage, such as creases or bent corners.

In addition, it is important to keep your collection up to date with the latest releases and expansions.

This can be done by purchasing new cards, trading with other players, or using codes to unlock new cards in the digital version of the game.

Related Reading: What Do I Need for MTG

20 Essential Magic the Gathering Accessories for Every Player – Discover the ultimate toolkit for MTG enthusiasts, featuring everything from protective sleeves to expressive playmats and essential dice kits.

10 Essential Game Accessories & Supplies For Any MTG Player – Elevate your game with top-notch MTG accessories, including durable binders and innovative storage solutions for your growing collection.

What Should MTG Beginner Buy? – A beginner’s guide to navigating the vast world of MTG accessories, pinpointing the must-haves for new players embarking on their Magic journey.

Best Magic the Gathering Accessories (Updated 2023) – A curated list of the best MTG accessories for 2023, ensuring your gameplay is both stylish and efficient.

5 Best MTG Accessories Of 2023 – Explore the top picks for MTG accessories in 2023, from essential deck boxes to protective card sleeves designed for the serious player.

Best MTG Accessories – Find Products that Last Long – Recommendations for durable and long-lasting MTG accessories, including the highly praised Dragon Shield sleeves.

Frequently Asked Questions – What Do I Need for MTG

Frequently Asked Questions - What Do I Need for MTG

What are the essential components of a beginner’s Magic: The Gathering deck?

To build a beginner’s Magic: The Gathering deck, you will need at least 60 cards, including lands, creatures, and spells.

It’s important to choose cards that work well together and support your strategy. You can purchase pre-built beginner decks from game stores or online, or you can build your own deck using cards you acquire from booster packs or individual purchases.

How can a new player learn to play Magic: The Gathering effectively?

The best way for a new player to learn how to play Magic: The Gathering is to start with the basics.

Wizards of the Coast, the company that produces the game, provides a free online tutorial that covers the basic rules and gameplay mechanics.

Additionally, playing with friends or attending local game store events can help new players learn the game and improve their skills.

Which accessories are considered must-haves for playing MTG?

The essential accessories for playing Magic: The Gathering are a deck box to store your cards, sleeves to protect your cards from wear and tear, and a playmat to keep your cards clean and organized during gameplay.

While not essential, a life counter or dice to track your life total and other in-game counters can also be helpful.

What types of dice are necessary for a standard MTG game?

Standard MTG games require six-sided dice to track life totals and other in-game counters.

Players may also use 20-sided dice to represent larger life totals or to determine random effects.

How many cards are required to build a legal MTG deck?

A legal MTG deck must have a minimum of 60 cards. There is no maximum limit, but most decks contain between 60-75 cards to maintain consistency and effectiveness.

Where can I find a comprehensive guide or PDF for Magic: The Gathering beginners?

Wizards of the Coast provides a comprehensive beginner’s guide on their website that covers everything from the basic rules to advanced gameplay strategies.

Additionally, many online resources, such as forums and YouTube channels, offer tips and advice for new players.

Remember that the best way to learn is to play, so don’t be afraid to jump into the game and start learning as you go.

Discover more from MTGA Central

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading