Magic: The Gathering
|Publisher||Wizards of the Coast|
|Release date||August 5, 1993|
|Players||2 or more|
|Chance||Some (order of cards drawn, varying card abilities)|
Magic: The Gathering (colloquially known as Magic or MTG) is a tabletop and digital collectable card game created by Richard Garfield. Released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast (now a subsidiary of Hasbro), Magic was the first trading card game and had approximately thirty-five million players as of December 2018[update], and over twenty billion Magic cards were produced in the period from 2008 to 2016, during which time it grew in popularity.
A player in Magic takes the role of a Planeswalker, a powerful wizard who can travel ("walk") between dimensions ("planes") of the Multiverse, doing battle with other players as Planeswalkers by casting spells, using artifacts, and summoning creatures as depicted on individual cards drawn from their individual decks. A player defeats their opponent typically (but not always) by casting spells and attacking with creatures to deal damage to the opponent's "life total", with the objective being to reduce it from 20 to 0, or 40 to 0 in some group formats. Although the original concept of the game drew heavily from the motifs of traditional fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, the gameplay bears little similarity to paper-and-pencil games, while simultaneously having substantially more cards and more complex rules than many other card games.
Magic can be played by two or more players, either in person with printed cards or on a computer, smartphone or tablet with virtual cards through the Internet-based software Magic: The Gathering Online or other video games such as Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic Duels. It can be played in various rule formats, which fall into two categories: constructed and limited. Limited formats involve players building a deck spontaneously out of a pool of random cards with a minimum deck size of 40 cards; in constructed formats, players create decks from cards they own, usually with a minimum of 60 cards per deck.
New cards are released on a regular basis through expansion sets. Further developments include the Wizards Play Network played at the international level and the worldwide community Players Tour, as well as a substantial resale market for Magic cards. Certain cards can be valuable due to their rarity in production and utility in gameplay, with prices ranging from a few cents to tens of thousands of dollars.
Cards in Magic: The Gathering have a consistent format, with half of the face of the card showing the card's art, and the other half listing the card's mechanics, often relying on commonly-reused keywords to simplify the card's text. Cards fall into generally two classes: lands and spells. Lands produce mana, or magical energy. Players usually can only play one land card per turn, with most land providing a specific color of mana when they are "tapped" (usually by rotating the card 90 degrees to show it has been used that turn); each land can be tapped for mana only once per turn. Meanwhile, spells consume mana, typically requiring at least one mana of a specific color. More powerful spells cost more, and more specifically colored, mana, so as the game progresses, more land will be in play, more mana will be available, and the quantity and relative power of the spells played tends to increase. Spells come in several varieties: non-permanents like "sorceries" and "instants" have a single, one-time effect before they go to the "graveyard" (discard pile); "enchantments" and "artifacts" that remain in play after being cast to provide a lasting magical effect; and "creature" spells summon creatures that can attack and damage an opponent as well as used to defend from the opponent's creature attacks; "planeswalker" spells that summon powerful allies that act similarly to other players. Land, enchantments, artifacts, and creature cards are considered "permanents" as they remain in play until removed by other spells, ability, or combat effects.
Players begin the game by shuffling their decks and then drawing seven cards. On each player's turn, following a set phase order, they draw a card, tap their lands and other permanents as necessary to gain mana as to cast spells, engage their creatures in a single attack round against their opponent who may use their own creatures to block the attack, and then complete other actions with any remaining mana. Most actions that a player can perform enter the "Stack", a concept similar to the stack in computer programming, as either player can react to these actions with other actions, such as counter-spells; the stack provides a method of resolving complex interactions that may result in certain scenarios.
Most sanctioned games for Magic: The Gathering under the Wizards Play Network (WPN) use the based Constructed format that require players to build their decks from their own library of cards. In general, this requires a minimum of sixty cards in the deck, and, except for basic land cards, no more than four cards of the same named card.  The pool of cards is also typically limited to the Standard rotation, which consists of only recently-released cards. The Standard format helps to prevent "power creep" that can be difficult to predict with the size of the Magic card library and help give newer players a fair advantage with long-term players. Other Constructed formats exist that allow for use of older expansions to give more variety for decks. A large variety of formats have been defined by the WPN which allows different pools of expansions to be used or alter deck construction rules for special events.
Commander (Magic: The Gathering) is a one hundred card constructed format that makes many changes to typical deck building rules. In Commander, each of the one hundred cards must be uniquely named, excluding lands and cards that have text that supersede that rule. Additionally, Commander is also a historic format, denoting that any cards from any set release can be used, excluding any specific cards that have been banned from play. Commander as a format has a separate ban list than other Constructed formats.
In the Limited format, a small number of cards are opened for play from booster packs or tournament packs, and a minimum deck size of forty cards is enforced. One of the most popular limited formats is Booster Draft, in which players open a booster pack, choose a card from it, and pass it to the player seated next to them. This continues until all the cards have been picked, and then a new pack is opened. Three packs are opened in total, and the direction of passing alternates left-right-left. Once the draft is done, players create 40-card decks out of the cards they picked, basic land cards being provided for free, and play games with the players they drafted with.
Individual cards may be listed as "restricted", where only one copy can be included in a deck, or simply "banned", at the WPN's discretion. These limitations are usually for balance of power reasons, but have been occasionally made because of gameplay mechanics. For example, with the elimination of the "play for ante" mechanic in all formal formats, all such cards with this feature are banned. During the COVID-19 pandemic which drew more players to the online Magic games and generated volumes of data of popular deck constructions, Wizards was able to track popular combinations more quickly than in a purely paper game, and in mid-2020, banned additional cards that in specific combinations could draw out games far longer than desired.Older cards have also been banned from all formal play by Wizards due to inappropriate racial or cultural depictions in their text or illustrations in the wake of the George Floyd protests, and their images have been blocked or removed from online Magic databases. This included a card called "Invoke Prejudice", which was displayed on the official card index site Gatherer "at a web URL ending in '1488', numbers that are synonymous with white supremacy."
Colors of Magic
Most cards in Magic are based on one of five colors that make up the game's "Color Wheel" or "Color Pie", shown on the back of each card, and each representing a school or realm of magic: white, blue, black, red, and green. The arrangement of these colors on the wheel describes relationships between the schools, which can broadly affect deck construction and game execution. For a given color such as white, the two colors immediately adjacent to it, green and blue, are considered complementary, while the two colors on the opposite side, black and red, are its opposing schools. The Research and Development (R&D) team at Wizards of the Coast aimed to balance power and abilities among the five colors by using the Color Pie to differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of each. This guideline lays out the capabilities, themes, and mechanics of each color and allows for every color to have its own distinct attributes and gameplay. The Color Pie is used to ensure new cards are thematically in the correct color and do not infringe on the territory of other colors.
The concepts behind each of the colors on the Color Wheel, based on a series of articles written by Mark Rosewater, are as follows:
- White represents order, peace, and light, and draws mana from plains. White planeswalkers can summon individually weak creatures that are collectively strong as a group such as soldiers, as well as powerful creatures and leaders that can strengthen all of the player's creatures with additional abilities or strength. Their spells tend to focus on healing or preventing damage, protecting their allies, and neutralizing an opponent's advantages on the battlefield.
- Blue represents intellect, logic, manipulation, and trickery, and pulls its mana from islands. Its magic is typically associated with the classical elements of air and water. Many of Blue's spells can interact or interfere with the opponent's spells as well as with the general flow of the game. Blue's magic is also associated with control, allowing the player to gain temporary or full control of the opponent's creatures. Blue creatures often tend to be weak but evasive and difficult to target.
- Black represents power, death, corruption, and sacrifice, drawing mana from swamps. Many of Black's creatures are undead, and several can be sacrificed to make other creatures more powerful, destroy opponent's creatures or permanents, or other effects. Black creatures may be able to draw the life taken in an attack back to their caster, or may even be able to kill creatures through a deathtouch effect. Black's spells similarly coerce sacrifice by the player or their opponent through cards or life.
- Red represents freedom, chaos, fury, and warfare, pulling its power from mountains. Its powers are associated with the classical fire and earth elements, and tends to have the strongest spells such as fireballs that can be powered-up by tapping additional mana when cast. Red is an offense-oriented class: in addition to powerful creatures like dragons, red planeswalkers can summon weak creatures that can strike quickly to gain the short-term edge.
- Green is the color of life, nature, evolution, and indulgence, drawing mana from forests. Green has the widest array of creatures to draw upon, ranging across all power levels, and generally is able to dominate the battlefield with many creatures in play at once. Green creatures and spells can generate life points and mana, and can also gain massive strength through spells.
Most cards in Magic: The Gathering are based on a single color, shown along the card's border. The cost to play them requires some mana of that color and potentially any amount of mana from any other color. Multicolored cards were introduced in the Legends expansion and typically use a gold border. Their casting cost includes mana from at least two colors plus additional mana from any color. Hybrid cards, included with Ravnica, use a two-color gradient border. These cards can be cast using mana from either color shown, in addition to other mana costs. Finally, colorless cards, such as some artifacts, do not have any colored mana requirements but still require a general amount of mana to be spent to play.
The color wheel can influence deck construction choices. Cards from colors that are aligned such as red and green often provide synergistic effects, either due to the core nature of the schools or through designs of cards, but may leave the deck vulnerable to the magic of the common color in conflict, blue in the case of red and green. Alternatively, decks constructed with opposing colors like green and blue may not have many favorable combinations but will be capable of dealing with decks based on any other colors. There are no limits to how many colors can be in a deck, but the more colors in a deck, the more difficult it may be to provide mana of the right color.
Luck vs. skill
Magic, like many other games, combines chance and skill. One frequent complaint about the game involves the notion that there is too much luck involved, especially concerning drawing too many or too few lands. Early in the game especially, too many or too few lands could ruin a player's chance at victory without the player having made a mistake. This in-game statistical variance can be minimized by proper deck construction, as an appropriate land count can reduce mana problems. In Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, the land count is automatically adjusted to 40% of the total deck size.
A "mulligan" rule was introduced into the game, first informally in casual play and then in the official game rules. In multiplayer, a player may take one mulligan without penalty, while subsequent mulligans will cost one card (a rule known as "Partial Paris mulligan"). The original mulligan allowed a player a single redraw of seven new cards if that player's initial hand contained seven or zero lands. A variation of this rule called a "forced mulligan" is still used in some casual play circles and in multiplayer formats on Magic Online, and allows a single "free" redraw of seven new cards if a player's initial hand contains seven, six, one or zero lands. With the release of the Core Set 2020, a new mulligan system was introduced for competitive play known as the London Mulligan. Under this rule, after taking a mulligan, the player redraws 7 new cards, and then chooses 1 card to place on the bottom of their library for each mulligan they have taken (or chooses to mulligan again, drawing another 7 cards.) This mulligan rule is generally considered less punishing to mulligans than the prior mulligan rule, in which a player would simply draw one less card each time they mulliganed, rather than drawing 7 new cards after each mulligan, and subsequently choosing to “bottom” one card per mulligan taken.
Confessing his love for games combining both luck and skill, Magic creator Richard Garfield admitted its influence in his design of Magic. In addressing the complaint about luck influencing a game, Garfield states that new and casual players tend to appreciate luck as a leveling effect, since randomness can increase their chances of winning against a more skilled player. Meanwhile, a player with higher skills appreciates a game with less chance, as the higher degree of control increases their chances of winning. According to Garfield, Magic has and would likely continue decreasing its degree of luck as the game matured. The "Mulligan rule", as well as card design, past vs. present, are good examples of this trend. He feels that this is a universal trend for maturing games. Garfield explained using chess as an example, that unlike modern chess, in predecessors, players would use dice to determine which chess piece to move.
The original set of rules prescribed that all games were to be played for ante. Garfield was partly inspired by the game of marbles and added this rule because he wanted the players to play with the cards rather than simply collect them. The ante rule stated that each player must remove a card at random from the deck they wished to play with before the game began, and the two cards would be set aside together as the ante. At the end of the match, the winner would take and keep both cards. Early sets included a few cards with rules designed to interact with this gambling aspect, allowing replacements of cards up for ante, adding more cards to the ante, or even permanently trading ownership of cards in play. The ante concept became controversial because many regions had restrictions on games of chance. The ante rule was soon made optional because of these restrictions and because of players' reluctance to possibly lose a card that they owned. The gambling rule was also forbidden at sanctioned events. The last card to mention ante was printed in the 1995 expansion set Homelands.
The Wizards Play Network (WPN), formerly the Duelists' Convocation International (DCI), is the organizing body for sanctioned Magic events; it is owned and operated by Wizards of the Coast. The WPN establishes the set allowances and card restrictions for the Constructed and Limited formats for regulation play for tournaments as well as for other events.
"Thousands of games shops" participate in Friday Night Magic (FNM), an event sponsored by the WPN; it is advertised as "the event where new players can approach the game, and start building their community". FNM offers both sanctioned tournament formats and all casual formats. In 2018, The New Yorker reported that "even as it has grown in popularity and size, Magic flies low to the ground. It thrives on the people who gather at lunch tables, in apartments, or in one of the six thousand stores worldwide that Wizards has licensed to put on weekly tournaments dubbed Friday Night Magic". FNM tournaments can act as a stepping-stone to more competitive play.
Magic tournaments regularly occur in gaming stores and other venues. Larger tournaments with hundreds of competitors from around the globe sponsored by Wizards of the Coast are arranged many times every year, with substantial cash prizes for the top finishers. A number of websites report on tournament news, give complete lists for the most currently popular decks, and feature articles on current issues of debate about the game. Additionally, the WPN maintains a set of rules for being able to sanction tournaments, as well as runs its own circuit.
The Pro Tour and Pro Club (2005-2019)
The WPN ran the Pro Tour as a series of major tournaments to attract interest. The right to compete in a Pro Tour had to be earned by either winning a Pro Tour Qualifier Tournament or being successful in a previous tournament on a similar level. The Pro Tour would take place over the course of three days. The first two days were usually structured in a Swiss format. On the final day, the top eight players would compete with each other in a single-elimination format to select the winner. At the end of the competition in a Pro Tour, players were awarded Pro Points depending on their finishing place. If the player finished high enough, they would also be awarded prize money. Frequent winners of these events made names for themselves in the Magic community, such as Luis Scott-Vargas, Gabriel Nassif, Kai Budde and Jon Finkel. As a promotional tool, the DCI launched the Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor selected players.
At the end of the year the Magic World Championship would be held. The World Championship functioned like a Pro Tour, except that competitors had to present their skill in three different formats (usually Standard, booster draft, and a second constructed format) rather than one. Another difference was that invitations to the World Championship could not be gained through Pro Tour Qualifiers. They could only be earned via the national championship of a country. Most countries sent their top four players of the tournament as representatives, though nations with minor Magic playing communities would sometimes only send one player. The World Championship also has a team-based competition, where the national teams compete with each other.
At the beginning of the World Championship, new members were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The tournament also concluded the current season of tournament play and at the end of the event, the player who earned the most Pro Points during the year was awarded the title "Pro Player of the Year". The player who earned the most Pro Points and did not compete in any previous season was awarded the title "Rookie of the Year".
Invitation to a Pro Tour, Pro Points, and prize money could also be earned in lesser tournaments called Grand Prix that were open to the general public and held more frequently throughout the year. Grand Prix events were usually the largest Magic tournaments, sometimes drawing more than 2,000 players. The largest Magic tournament ever held was Grand Prix: Las Vegas in June 2013 with a total of 4,500 players.
In 2018, Wizards of the Coast announced that 2019 would be the last season for The Pro Tour and the Pro Club.  With these changes, the system eliminated Nationals, the World Magic Cup, and the Team Series.
The Magic Pro League and the Player's Tour (2019-2022)
Starting with a partial season in 2019, the new organized play structure for Magic: The Gathering split into digital and tabletop play with separate Mythic Championships for Magic: The Gathering Arena and tabletop play. The Magic Pro League (MPL) included the top 32 players from the previous season, although two players turned down their spots. The players were notably given a $75,000/year salary and the opportunity to win much more money in exclusive, tournaments. The new system consisted of several interconnected circuits: The Player's Tour, The Magic Pro League, Challengers/Rivals, Tabletop Mythic Championships, and Arena Mythic Championships. The new organized play system did maintain the yearly World Championship, but it was made a more exclusive 16 player tournament. In order to compete in the World Championship in this structure you must have placed top four in MPL, placed top four in the Challengers/Rivals League, won one of the seven tabletop or arena Mythic Championships, or won of the previous year's World Championship.
While the Mythic Championships and Magic Pro League catered to the highest level of competitive play, the Player's Tour system was meant to give a path for average players to go from their local game store to the World Championship.  There were three regional Player's Tours for Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas. There were several ways to qualify for a reginal Player's Tour, including local store events, accumulating points at Gran Prix/MagicFests, and winning on Magic: The Gathering Online.
In 2021, it was announced that the competitive play system would undergo another shift. Wizards of the Coast stressed a return to in-person play and the disbandment of The Magic Pro League after the 2021-2022 season. According to several players from the MPL, the messaging they received was that competitive Magic would no longer be supported as a full-time, high-paid esports profession.
The Return of The Pro Tour
After announcing that The Magic Pro League would no longer be supported, Wizards of the Coast announced a return to the branding of The Pro Tour. With a simplified structure, the new Pro Tour system kept some of the original aspects from the system introduced in 2005, like a point system and the World Championship tournament each year. The new system starts players at Regional Championship qualifiers, which are exclusively held by local game shops. Winners of local qualifiers advance to Regional Championships which would be comparable to a Grand Prix in the previous systems. If a player performs well enough at their Regional Championship, they can qualify for a Pro Tour tournament. Players who earned 10 wins in the previous pro tour or have enough Adjusted Match Win (AMW) points from the previous season also earn a Pro Tour Qualification. The World Championship under the new system will have around 128 players who will compete for a $1,000,000 prize pool.
Richard Garfield had an early attachment to games during his youth: before settling down in Oregon, his father, an architect, had brought his family to Bangladesh and Nepal during his work projects. Garfield did not speak the native languages, but was able to make friends with the local youth through playing cards or marbles. Once back in the United States, he had heard of Dungeons & Dragons but neither his local game store nor his friends had a copy, so he developed his own version of what he thought the game would be based on the descriptions he had read, which considered closer to Clue, with players moving from room to room fighting monsters with a fixed end-goal. When Garfield eventually got copies of the Dungeons & Dragons rulesets, he was surprised that it was a more open-ended game but was "dreadfully written". Dungeons & Dragons's open-endedness inspired him, like many others, to develop their own game ideas from it. For Garfield, this was a game he called Five Magics, based on five elemental magics that were drawn from geographically-diverse areas. While this remained the core concept of Five Magics, Garfield continued to refine the game while growing up, often drastically changing the base type of game, though never planned to publish this game.
In 1991, Garfield was a doctoral candidate in combinatorial mathematics at University of Pennsylvania and had been brought on as an adjunct professor at Whitman College. During his candidacy, he developed his ideas and had playtested RoboRally, a board game based on moving robots through a factory filled with hazards. Garfield had been seeking publishers for the title, and his colleague, Mike Davis, suggested the newly formed Wizards of the Coast, a small outfit established by Peter Adkison, a systems analyst for Boeing in Seattle. In mid-1991, the three arranged to meet in Oregon near Garfield's parents' home. Adkison was impressed by RoboRally but considered that it had too many logistics and would be too risky for him to publish. He told Garfield and Davis that he liked Garfield's ideas and that he was looking for a portable game that could be played in the downtime that frequently occurs at gaming conventions.
After the meeting, Garfield remained in Oregon to contemplate Adkison's advice. While hiking near Multnomah Falls, he was inspired to take his Five Magics concept but apply it to collectible color-themed cards, so that each player could make a customizable deck, something each player could consider part of their identity. Garfield arranged to meet with Adkison back in Seattle within the week, and when Adkison heard the idea, he recognized the potential that this would be a game that could be expanded on indefinitely with new cards in contrast to most typical tabletop games; Adkison later wrote on the idea on a USENET post "If executed properly, [the cards] would make us millions." Adkison immediately agreed to produce it.
Garfield returned to Pennsylvania and set off designing the game's core rules and initial cards, with about 150 completed in the few months after his return. The type of gameplay centered on each color remained consistent with how Five Magics had been and with how Magic: The Gathering would stay in the future, such as red representing aggressive attacks. Other games also influenced the design at this point, with Garfield citing games like Cosmic Encounter and Strat-o-matic Baseball as games that differ each time they are played because of different sets of cards being in play. Initial "cards" were based on using available copyrighted art, and copied to paper to be tested by groups of volunteers at the university. About six months after the meeting with Adkison, Garfield had refined the first complete version of his game. Garfield also began to set the narrative of the game in "Dominia", a multiverse of infinite "planes" from which players, as wizards, can draw power from, which would allow for the vast array of creatures and magics that he was planning for the cards.
Garfield has stated that two major influences in his creation of Magic: the Gathering were the games Cosmic Encounter, which first used the concept that normal rules could sometimes be overridden, and Dungeons & Dragons. One of the "Magic Golden Rules" states that "Whenever a card's text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence." The Comprehensive Rules, a detailed rulebook, exists to clarify conflicts.
Simultaneously, Adkison sought investment into Wizards of the Coast to prepare to publish the game. The company had already committed to completing The Primal Order rulebook, aimed to be compatible with most other role-playing systems on the market, which most investment was drawn to. He had to bring in a number of local Cornish artists to create the fantasy art for Garfield's cards, offering them shares in Wizards of the Coast in payment. After The Primal Order was published in 1992, Wizards of the Coast was sued by Palladium for copyright infringement, a case that was settled out of court and with the result that a second printing of The Primal Order removed the rules relevant to Palladium's system, but this case also financially harmed Wizards of the Coast. Adkison decided to create a separate company, Garfield Games, for publishing the card game.
While the game was simply called Magic through most of playtesting, when the game had to be officially named a lawyer informed them that the name Magic was too generic to be trademarked. Mana Clash was instead chosen to be the name used in the first solicitation of the game. However, everybody involved with the game continued to refer to it simply as Magic. After further legal consultation, it was decided to rename the game Magic: The Gathering, thus enabling the name to be trademarked.
By 1993, Garfield and Adkison had gotten everything ready to premiere Magic: The Gathering at that year's Gen Con in Milwaukee that August, but did not have the funds for a production run to have shipped to game stores in time. Adkison took a single box of cards with a handful of complete decks to the Wizards booth at Origins Game Fair hoping to secure the funds by demonstrating the game. Among those he demonstrated to were representatives of Wargames West, manufacturers of historical tactics games; the representatives eventually brought their CEO over, and after seeing the game, took Adkison to dinner and negotiated funding terms. Adkison returned with US$40,000, enough to make the necessary orders.
Magic: The Gathering underwent a general release on August 5, 1993. After shipping the orders, Adkison and his wife drove towards Milwaukee while making stops at game stores and demonstrate the game to drum up support for Gen Con. Their initial stops were quiet, but word of mouth from previous stops spread, and as they traveled south and west, they found larger and larger crowds anxiously awaiting their arrival. Garfield met up with Adkison at Gen Con, where their shipment of 2.5 million cards had been delayed a day. Despite this, by the end of the convention, they had completely sold out.
Magic was an immediate success for Wizards of the Coast. By October 1993, they had sold out their supply of 10 million cards. Wizards was even reluctant to advertise the game because they were unable to keep pace with existing demand. Initially Magic attracted many Dungeons & Dragons players, but the following included all types of other people as well.
The success of the initial edition prompted a reissue later in 1993, along with expansions to the game. Arabian Nights was released as the first expansion in December 1993. New expansions and revisions of the base game ("Core Sets") have since been released on a regular basis, amounting to four releases a year. By the end of 1994, the game had printed over a billion cards. Until the release of Mirage in 1996, expansions were released on an irregular basis. Beginning in 2009 one revision of the core set and a set of three related expansions called a "block" were released every year. This system was revised in 2015, with the Core Set being eliminated and blocks now consisting of two sets, released semiannually. A further revision occurred in 2018, reversing the elimination of the core sets and no longer constraining sets to blocks. While the essence of the game has always stayed the same, the rules of Magic have undergone three major revisions with the release of the Revised Edition in 1994, Classic Edition in 1999, and Magic 2010 in July 2009. With the release of the Eighth Edition in 2003, Magic also received a major visual redesign.
In 1996, Wizards of the Coast established the "Pro Tour", a circuit of tournaments where players can compete for sizeable cash prizes over the course of a single weekend-long tournament. In 2009 the top prize at a single tournament was US$40,000. Sanctioned through the DCI, the tournaments added an element of prestige to the game by virtue of the cash payouts and media coverage from within the community. For a brief period of time, ESPN2 televised the tournaments.
By April 1997, 2 billion cards had been sold. In 1999, Wizards of The Coast was acquired by Hasbro for $325 million, making Magic a Hasbro game.
A patent was granted to Wizards of the Coast in 1997 for "a novel method of game play and game components that in one embodiment are in the form of trading cards" that includes claims covering games whose rules include many of Magic's elements in combination, including concepts such as changing orientation of a game component to indicate use (referred to in the rules of Magic and later of Garfield's games such as Vampire: The Eternal Struggle as "tapping") and constructing a deck by selecting cards from a larger pool. The patent has aroused criticism from some observers, who believe some of its claims to be invalid. In 2003, the patent was an element of a larger legal dispute between Wizards of the Coast and Nintendo, regarding trade secrets related to Nintendo's Pokémon Trading Card Game. The legal action was settled out of court, and its terms were not disclosed.
While unofficial methods of online play existed previously,[note 1] Magic Online (often shortened to "MTGO" or "Modo"), an official online version of the game, was released in 2002. A new, updated version of Magic Online was released in April 2008.
In February 2018, Wizards noted that between the years of 2008 and 2016 they had printed over 20 billion Magic: the Gathering cards. In 2022, CBR reported that "over 20,000 unique MTG cards have been created" since the game's release.
Production and marketing
Magic: The Gathering cards are produced in much the same way as normal playing cards. Each Magic card, approximately 63 × 88 mm in size (2.5 by 3.5 inches), has a face which displays the card's name and rules text as well as an illustration appropriate to the card's concept. 23,318 unique cards have been produced for the game as of September 2016[update], many of them with variant editions, artwork, or layouts, and 600–1000 new ones are added each year. The first Magic cards were printed exclusively in English, but current sets are also printed in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
The overwhelming majority of Magic cards are issued and marketed in the form of sets. For the majority of its history there were two types: the Core Set and the themed expansion sets. Under Wizards of the Coast's current production and marketing scheme, a new set is released quarterly. Various products are released with each set to appeal to different segments of the Magic playing community:
- The majority of cards are sold in booster packs, which contain fifteen cards normally divided into four rarities, which can be differentiated by the color of the expansion symbol.[note 2] A fifteen-card Booster Pack will typically contain one rare (gold), three uncommons (silver), ten commons (black), and one basic land (colored black, as commons). Sets prior to Shards of Alara contained eleven commons instead of a basic land.
Shards of Alara also debuted mythic rares (red-orange), which replace one in eight rare cards on average. There are also premium versions of every card with holographic foil, randomly inserted into some boosters in place of a common, which replace about one in seventy cards.
- Each set since Kaladesh features two Planeswalker decks, which are meant to help new players learn the game. They contain a 60-card pre-constructed deck with an exclusive Planeswalker, as well as several exclusive cards, two booster packs from the set they accompany, as well as a rule guide and a card board box with an image of the included Planeswalker.
- Each set from Shards of Alara to Eldritch Moon featured five Intro Packs, which fulfilled the same function as planeswalker decks. They contained a 60-card pre-constructed deck, as well as two booster packs from the set they accompany and a rule guide.
- Each set from Mirrodin Besieged to Gatecrash featured two Event Decks, which were pre-constructed decks designed as an introduction to tournament play. Beginning with Dragon's Maze, each set featured only one Event Deck. However, event decks were discontinued after the set "Battle for Zendikar".
- Previously, cards were also sold in Tournament Packs typically containing three rares, ten uncommons, thirty-two commons, and thirty basic lands.[note 3] Tournament Packs were discontinued after Shards of Alara.
As of 2018, the number of consecutive sets set on the same world varies. For example, although Dominaria takes place in one set, the Guilds of Ravnica block takes place over three sets. In addition, small sets have been removed due to developmental problems and all sets are now large. Prior to this change, sets were put into two-set blocks, starting with a large set and ending with a smaller one three months later. Prior to 2016, expansion sets were released in a three-set block (again, beginning with a larger set followed by two smaller sets). These sets consist almost exclusively of newly designed cards. In contrast with the wide-ranging Core Set, each expansion focuses on a subset of mechanics and ties into a set storyline. Expansions also dedicate several cards to a handful of particular, often newly introduced, game mechanics.
The Core Sets began to be released annually (previously biennially) in July 2009 coinciding with the name change from 10th Edition to Magic 2010. This shift also introduced new, never before printed cards into the core set, something that previously had never been done. However, core sets were discontinued following the release of Magic Origins, on July 17, 2015, at the same time that two-set blocks were introduced. Wizards of Coast announced on June 12, 2017 that they plan on revamping and reintroducing a revamped core set, and Core Set 2019 was released on July 13, 2018.
In addition to the quarterly set releases, Magic cards are released in other products as well, such as the Planechase and Archenemy spin-off games. These combine reprinted Magic cards with new, oversized cards with new functionality. Magic cards are also printed specifically for collectors, such as the From the Vault and Premium Deck Series sets, which contain exclusively premium foil cards.
In 2003, starting with the Eighth Edition Core Set, the game went through its biggest visual change since its creation—a new card frame layout was developed to allow more rules text and larger art on the cards, while reducing the thick, colored border to a minimum. The new frame design aimed to improve contrast and readability using black type instead of the previous white, a new font, and partitioned areas for the name, card type, and power and toughness. The card frame was changed once again in Core Set 2015, which maintained the same templating, but made the card sleeker and added a holo-foil stamp to every rare and mythic card to curtail counterfeiting.
For the first few years of its production, Magic: The Gathering featured a small number of cards with names or artwork with demonic or occultist themes, in 1995 the company elected to remove such references from the game. In 2002, believing that the depiction of demons was becoming less controversial and that the game had established itself sufficiently, Wizards of the Coast reversed this policy and resumed printing cards with "demon" in their names.
In 2019, starting with Throne of Eldraine, booster packs have a chance of containing an alternate art "showcase card". This is to increase the reward of buying boosters and making it more exciting.
A new format, "Jumpstart", was introduced in July 2020 alongside the Core 2021 set. These are special themed 20-card booster packs, based on nearly 500 cards, several being reprints of cards from previous sets, with 121 possible packs available. Each is a curated set rather than random selection of cards, built around a theme, such as "Pirates" or "Unicorns". Each theme has a small number of possible card sets on that theme, distributed on a rarity basis, such that the specific booster that a player purchases will still be a random selection. Because many are reprints, not all Jumpstart cards are available to be used in the various Constructed formats but can be used in other modes of play. Jumpstart was designed to make it much easier to get into Magic by eliminating the deck-building but still providing some customization and randomness that comes with card acquisition and deck building. A special Jumpstart format was introduced for these boosters, where players select two desired themes, and are given a random booster from those themes and sufficient land cards to make a 60-card deck.
Writing and storyline
Garfield had established that Magic: The Gathering took place in a Multiverse with countless possible worlds (planes), the game's primary events taking place on the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica, Zendikar, and Innistrad. Only extremely rare beings called Planeswalkers are capable of traversing the Multiverse. This allows the game to frequently change worlds so as to renew its mechanical inspiration, while maintaining planeswalkers as recurrent, common elements across worlds. Players represent planeswalkers able to draw on the magics and entities of these planes to do battle with others. Story elements were told through the cards' flavor text, and a driving narrative. The first expansion Arabian Nights designed by Garfield was based on One Thousand and One Nights folklore and include figures from that like Aladdin.
Early expansions were designed separately, each with their own internal narrative to establish concepts, keywords, and flavoring. With Weatherlight, the team wanted to start a longer arc that would cover multiple expansions over five years that would also extend into comics, magazines, and other media. However, with a change in oversight of the Magic: The Gathering team, player fatigue, and a disconnect between the novels and cards, this plan was scrapped. returning to the general approach of designing a narrative specific to one expansion.
Wizards, which had regained the license from Harper Prism and Armada (an imprint of Acclaim Entertainment) to write novels for Magic: The Gathering, still worked to integrate the novel writing staff with the game designers so that there was some cohesion between the game and books, but did not seek to make this a key priority as the Weatherlight goal had been. Novels soon gave way to eBooks and later to shorter stories posted on the Wizards' website which fared better in terms of popularity.
In 2017, Wizards hired novelist and scriptwriter Nic Kelman as their Head of Story and Entertainment. Kelman became responsible for crafting the Magic: The Gathering story bible from all established lore as reference for further expansions and for the external media. This task helped Kelmen to prepare the novel War of the Spark: Ravnica that was published just prior to the new set War of the Spark, with cards retaining continuity with the novel and past events.
Each card has an illustration to represent the flavor of the card, often reflecting the setting of the expansion for which it was designed. Much of Magic's early artwork was commissioned with little specific direction or concern for visual cohesion. One infamous example was the printing of the creature Whippoorwill without the "flying" ability even though its art showed a bird in flight. The art direction team later decided to impose a few constraints so that the artistic vision more closely aligned with the design and development of the cards. Each block of cards now has its own style guide with sketches and descriptions of the various races and places featured in the setting.
A few early sets experimented with alternate art for cards. However, Wizards came to believe that this impeded easy recognition of a card and that having multiple versions caused confusion when identifying a card at a glance. Consequently, alternate art is now only used sparingly and mostly for promotional cards.[note 4] When older cards are reprinted in new sets, however, Wizards of the Coast usually prints them with new art to make the older cards more collectible, though they sometimes reuse well-received artwork if it makes sense thematically.
At the back of each card, at the end of the word "Deckmaster", a pen stroke is visible. According to Wizards of the Coast, this is a printing error which was never corrected, as all card backs have to look the same.
As Magic has expanded across the globe, its artwork has had to change for its international audience. Artwork has been edited or given alternate art to comply with the governmental standards. For example, the portrayal of skeletons and most undead in artwork was prohibited by the Chinese government until 2008.
Wizards of the Coast has introduced specials cards and sets that include cross-promotional elements with other brands typically as promotional cards, not legal for Standard play and may not be playable even in eternal formats. Four promotional cards were sold at HasCon 2017, featuring three other Hasbro brands, Transformers, Nerf, and Dungeons & Dragons. A special three-card set based on characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (another Hasbro brand) was sold as both physical product and digital items within MTG Arena to support the Extra Life charity. The "Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths" set released in April 2020 included 16 kaiju monsters from Toho as promotional cards, such as Godzilla. The new Universes Beyond series will bring other crossover properties into Magic such as Warhammer 40,000 and The Lord of the Rings. Polygon reported that the Lord of the Rings themed set, planned for 2023, "will be a complete, Modern-legal set of cards" and "it will be a full product line. That means players will be able to draft cards for pick-up play, and compete in multiplayer games with one of four preconstructed Commander decks".
The Secret Lair promotional series has also been used to introduce crossover cards from other brands. As part of the Secret Lair set in 2020, a number of cards were made that featured crossovers with AMC's television show The Walking Dead, which the development team felt was a natural fit since zombies were already part of the Magic game. A limited set of land cards in the Secret Lair featured paintings from Bob Ross, licensed through his estate. In June 2021, Wizards of the Coast announced a Secret Lair based on Dungeons and Dragon cartoon. A planned 2021 Secret Lair drop will feature cards based on Stranger Things, while Fortnite and Street Fighter will be featured in the Secret Lair drop in 2022.
Additionally, Wizards has continued to develop a strong connection between the Magic and the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) universes. Greg Tito, Wizards of the Coast Senior Communications Manager, said that "there is a huge crossover between Magic players and D&D players". In July 2021, a D&D themed set expansion, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, was released; it is based on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Separately, elements of Magic have been brought into the role-playing game. The first such official crossover was a D&D campaign setting book for the plane of Ravnica, a Magic expansion introduced in 2005 and 2006 and later revisited in the 2018 expansion Guilds of Ravnica. Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica was also published in 2018 to correspond with the newer Magic expansion's release. A second campaign setting book, Mythic Odysseys of Theros (2020), introduced the plane of Theros to D&D and corresponded with the 2020 Theros Beyond Death expansion. Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos (2021) introduces the 2021 Magic expansion as a D&D campaign setting; it was released in December 2021.
Scott Haring reviewed Magic: The Gathering in Pyramid #4 (Nov./Dec., 1993), and stated that "Not only is Magic the best gaming bargain to come down the pike in memory; not only is it the most original idea in years; it's also a delightfully addictive game that you and your friends will find impossible to put down." Marcelo A. Figueroa reviewed the game in a 1993 issue of Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer, noting both positives and negatives, stating that, "despite all of its flaws, it's as endearing as Star Fleet Battles". Overall, Figueroa rated the game a 7 out of 10.
A 2004 article in USA Today suggested that playing Magic might help improve the social and mental skills of some of the players. The article interviewed players' parents who believe that the game, similar to sports, teaches children how to more gracefully win and lose. Magic also contains a great amount of strategy and vocabulary that children may not be exposed to on a regular basis. Parents also claimed that playing Magic helped keep their children out of trouble, such as using illegal drugs or joining criminal gangs. On the other hand, the article also briefly mentions that Magic can be highly addictive, leading to parents worried about their children's Magic obsession. In addition, until 2007, some of the better players had opportunities to compete for a small number of scholarships.
Jordan Weisman, an American game designer and entrepreneur, commented
I love games that challenge and change our definition of adventure gaming, and Magic: The Gathering is definitely one of a very short list of titles that has accomplished that elusive goal. By combining the collecting and trading elements of baseball cards with the fantasy play dynamics of role-playing games, Magic created a whole new genre of product that changed our industry forever."
In 2015, The Guardian reported that an estimated 20 million people played Magic around the world and that the game had a thriving tournament scene, a professional league and a weekly organized game program called Friday Night Magic.
A July 2019 article in Bloomberg reported that "Magic is part of the [Hasbro’s] 'franchise brands,' a segment that accounted for $2.45 billion in net revenue for the company last year, bigger than its emerging, partner and gaming brand units combined. [Chris] Cocks said Magic accounts for a 'meaningful portion' of that, with KeyBanc estimating the game’s contribution is already more than $500 million—including both the physical cards and the nascent digital version. Of the franchise brands, only Magic and Monopoly logged revenue gains last year". Magic: The Gathering Arena, in open beta testing since September 2018, is a free-to-play digital collectible card game with microtransaction purchases based on Magic. Brett Andress, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, predicts Magic: The Gathering Arena adding as much as 98 cents a share in incremental earnings to results by 2021 (which is at least a 20% boost). Joe Deaux, for Bloomberg, wrote that "nearly 3 million active users will be playing Arena by the end of this year, KeyBanc estimates, and that could swell to nearly 11 million by 2021 according to its bull case scenario—especially if it expands from PCs to mobile. That’s just active users, and registered users could be higher by the millions. Already, according to Hasbro, a billion games have been played online".
- 1994: Mensa Select Award winner
- 1994: Origins Awards for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Board game of 1993 and Best Graphic Presentation of a Board game of 1993
- 1994: Origins Award for the Legends expansion as Best Game Accessory
- 1995: Deutscher Spiele Preis special award for new game mechanics
- 1995: Italian Gaming Society Gioco dell'Anno award winner
- 1996: Super As d'Or award for "Best New Game Concept and Genre Introduced in France"
- 1997: InQuest Fan Award for Best CCG Expansion for the Weatherlight expansion
- 1998: Origins Award for the Urza's Saga expansion as Collectible Card Game Expansion of the Year
- 1999: Inducted alongside Richard Garfield into the Origins Hall of Fame
- 2003: Games Magazine selected Magic for its Games Hall of Fame
- 2005: Origins Award for the Ravnica: City of Guilds expansion as Collectible Card Game Expansion of the Year
- 2009: Origins Award for the Shards of Alara expansion as Collectible Card Game Expansion of the Year
- 2012: Origins Award for the Innistrad expansion as Collectible Card Game Expansion of the Year
- 2015: Origins Award for the Khans of Tarkir expansion as Best Collectible Card Game of the Year
- 2019: Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame
In addition, several individuals including Richard Garfield and Donato Giancola won personal awards for their contributions to Magic.
The success of Magic: The Gathering led to the creation of similar games by other companies as well as Wizards of the Coast themselves. Companion Games produced the Galactic Empires CCG (the first science fiction trading card game), which allowed players to pay for and design their own promotional cards, while TSR created the Spellfire game, which eventually included five editions in six languages, plus twelve expansion sets. Wizards of the Coast produced Jyhad (now called Vampire: The Eternal Struggle), a game about modern-day vampires. Other similar games included trading card games based on Star Trek and Star Wars. Magic is often cited as an example of a 1990s collecting fad, though the game's makers were able to overcome the bubble traditionally associated with collecting fads. Its popularity often was associated with addictive behavior similar to gambling through the allure of gaining new cards in booster packs and expansions, and due to this, Magic: The Gathering has been sometimes called "cardboard crack" by both fans and critics.
There was a brief resurgence of a satanic panic over Magic: The Gathering in the mid-1990s, following a similar panic over Dungeons and Dragons, though did not persist for long.
There is an active secondary market in individual cards among players and game shops. This market arose from two different facets: players seeking specific cards to help complete or enhance their existing decks and thus were less concerned on the value of the cards themselves, and from collectors seeking the rarer cards for their monetary value to complete collections. Many physical and online stores sell single cards or "playsets" of four of a card. Common cards rarely sell for more than a few cents and are usually sold in bulk. Uncommon cards and weak rare cards typically sell from 10¢ up to US$1. The more expensive cards in Standard tournament play—a rotating format featuring the newest cards designed to be fairer and more accessible to newer players—are typically priced between $1 and $25. A second format, Modern, comprising an intermediate level of power and allowing most cards released since roughly 2003, has staple cards that often value between $5 and $100, with higher rarity and demand but reprints every few years intended to keep the format affordable. Foil versions of rare and mythic rare cards are typically priced at about twice as much as the regular versions. Some of the more sought-after rare and mythic rare cards can have foil versions that cost up to three or four times more than the non-foil versions.
A few of the oldest cards, due to smaller printings and limited distribution, are highly valued and rare. This is partly due to the Reserved List, a list of cards from the sets Alpha to Urza's Destiny (1994–1999) that Wizards has promised never to reprint. Legacy-only cards on the Reserved List, which are barred from reprint under a voluntary but genuine legal obligation, are in short supply due to smaller print runs of the game in its oldest days, and may be worth $200 to $1,000 or higher. And certain Vintage cards—the oldest cards in Magic, with most on the Reserved List, such as the so-called "Power Nine"—can easily cost more than $1,000 apiece. The most expensive card that was in regular print (versus a promotional or special printing) is the Black Lotus, which are currently worth thousands of dollars. In 2019, an anonymous buyer purchased an unsigned "Pristine 9.5 grade" Beckett Grading Services-graded Alpha Black Lotus for a record $166,100. A PSA "Gem Mint 10" graded Alpha Black Lotus, framed in a case signed by its artist Christopher Rush, sold at auction for $511,100 in January 2021, while a similar Black Lotus of the same quality sold for $540,000 in March 2023.
The secondary market started with comic book stores, and hobby shops displaying and selling cards, with the cards' values determined somewhat arbitrarily by the employees of the store. Hobbyist magazines, already tracking prices of sports trading cards, engaged with the Magic secondary market by surveying the stores to inquire on current prices to cards, which they then published. With the expansion of the Internet, prices of cards were determined by the number of tournament deck lists a given card would appear in. If a card was played in a tournament more frequently, the cost of the card would be higher (in addition to the market availability of the card). When eBay, Amazon, and other large online markets started to gain popularity, the Magic secondary market evolved substantially, with the site TCGPlayer.com launched in 2008 being the first that not only compiled the pricing data but allowed for players to buy and sell cards for Magic and other CCGs directly via the site. TCGPlayer developed a metric called the TCG Market Price for each card that was based on the most recent sales, allowing for near real-time valuation of a card in the same manner as a stock market. Buying and selling Magic cards online became a source of income for people who learned how to manipulate the market.
Today, the secondary market is so large and complex, it has become an area of study for consumer research called Magic: The Gathering finance. Some people make a career out of market manipulation, creating mathematical models to analyze the growth of cards' worth, and predict the market value of both individual cards, and entire sets of cards. Magic's economy has also been tied to the introduction of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as Magic cards represent a physical asset that can be converted back and forth into the virtual currency. Nearly all of Magic's trading market is unregulated, and issues related to insider trading based on planned changes to the game have occurred. Active Magic financial traders have gained a sour reputation with more casual Magic players due to the lack of regulations, and that the market manipulations makes it costly for casual players to buy single cards simply for purposes for improving decks.
As of late 2013, Wizards of the Coast has expressed concern over the increasing number of counterfeit cards in the secondary market. Wizards of the Coast has since made an effort to counteract the rise of counterfeits by introducing a new holofoil stamp on all rare and mythic rare cards as of Magic 2015.
There are several examples of academic, peer-reviewed research concerning different aspects of Magic: The Gathering. One study examined how players use their imaginations when playing. This research studied hobby players and showed how players sought to create and participate in an epic fantasy narrative. Another example used online auctions for Magic cards to test revenue outcomes for various auction types. A third example uses probability to examine Magic card-collecting strategies. Using a specific set of cards in a specialized manner has shown Magic: The Gathering to be Turing complete.[further explanation needed] Further, by proving this, the researchers assert that Magic: The Gathering is so complex as to be Turing complete and capable of being "programmed" to perform any task, that in terms of playing an actual game of Magic, "the winning strategy is non-computable", making it an improbable challenge to devise computer opponents that can play Magic in a mathematically optimal manner.
Magic: The Gathering video games, comics, and books have been produced under licensing or directly by Wizards of the Coast.
Other traditional games
In 2015 Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro published Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers. Arena of the Planeswalkers is a tactical boardgame where the players maneuver miniatures over a customizable board game, and the ruleset and terrain is based on Heroscape, but with an addition of spell cards and summoning. The original master set includes miniatures that represent the five Planeswalkers Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and Nissa as well as select creatures from the Magic: The Gathering universe. They later released an expansion Battle for Zendikar featuring multi-color Planeswalkers Kiora and Ob Nixilis and a colorless Eldrazi Ruiner, and a second master set Shadows Over Innistrad which has 4 new Planeswalkers and also includes the addition of cryptoliths.
There are currently two official video game adaptions of Magic: The Gathering for online play. Magic: The Gathering Online, first introduced in 2002, allows for players to buy cards and boosters and play against others including in officially-sanctioned tournaments for prize money. Magic: The Gathering Arena, introduced in 2019, is fashioned after the free-to-play Hearthstone, with players able to acquire new cards for free or through spending real-world funds. Arena currently limited online events with in-game prizes, but is currently being positioned by Wizards of the Coast to also serve as a means for official tournament play, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Online and Arena are regularly updated with new Core and Expansion cards as well as all rule changes made by Wizards.
In addition, Wizards of the Coast has worked with other developers for various iterations of Magic: The Gathering as a card game in a single-player game format. Microprose developed 1997 Magic: The Gathering and its expansions, which had the player travel the world of Shandalar to challenge computer opponents, earn cards to customize their decks, improve their own Planeswalker attributes and ultimately defeat a powerful Planeswalker. Stainless Games developed a series of titles starting with 2009's Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers and culminating with 2015's Magic Duels, a free-to-play title. The Duels series did not feature full sets of Magic cards but selected subsets, and were initially designed to couple a challenging single-player experience with an advanced artificial-intelligence computer opponent. Later games in the series added in more deck-building options and multiplayer support.
Additional games have tried other variations of the Magic: The Gathering gameplay in other genres. Acclaim developed a real-time strategy game Magic: The Gathering: BattleMage in 2003, in which the player's abilities were inspired by the various cards. Acclaim also had made a 1997 arcade game Magic: The Gathering – Armageddon, a Breakout-style trackball-based game, but only as many as six cabinets were known to have been made. Hiberium and D3 Publisher developed Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest, combining deck building with match-3-style casual gaming. This was released in December 2015 as a freemium game and continues to be updated with new card sets from the physical game. Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have started beta tests for Magic: Legends, a massively multiplayer online action role-playing game for personal computers and consoles. The title was cancelled ahead of its full release in 2021; executive producer Stephen Ricossa explained that the game's creative vision had "missed the mark".
In addition to official programs, a number of unofficial programs were developed to help user to track their Magic: The Gathering library and allow for rudimentary play between online players. Examples of such programs included Apprentice, Magic Workstation, XMage, and Cockatrice. These programs are not endorsed by Wizards of the Coast.
Harper Prism originally had an exclusive license to produce novels for Magic: The Gathering, and published ten books between 1994 and 1996. Around 1997, the license reverted to Wizards, and the company published its own novels to better tie these works to the expansion sets from 1998 to about 2011.
In 1994, Wizards of the Coast gave an exclusive license to Armada Comics, an imprint of Acclaim Entertainment, to publish comic books. The comics were not developed in concert with the game and were created with divergent ideas to the game. However, "much of the lore established" by Armada Comics was "the foundation from which the rest of continuity was built. [...] Some of the details changed (or were 'retconned', in popular fan speak), but for the most part the core of these stories stayed the same". The comics came to a sudden end in 1996 when Acclaim started to run into financial trouble. In 1998, a new four-issue limited comic series was published by Dark Horse.
In September 2011, Hasbro and IDW Publishing accorded to make a four-issue mini-series about Magic: The Gathering with a new story but heavily based on MTG elements and with a new Planeswalker called Dack Fayden, the story of which mainly developed in the planes of Ravnica and Innistrad. The series started in February 2012. In 2018, a four-issue mini-series on the Planeswalker Chandra Nalaar was released. A sequel mini-series was announced in 2019, however, it was cancelled before publication.
In January 2021, Boom! Studios acquired the comic license of Magic: The Gathering and announced for a new Magic series for April 2021.
In January 2014, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to produce a Magic: The Gathering film with Simon Kinberg as producer and TSG Entertainment (its co-financing partner), and Allspark Pictures as co-financers, after Universal Pictures allegedly dropped the film from their schedule (both Universal and Hasbro had been developing the original Magic: The Gathering film since 2009). In June 2014, Fox hired screenwriter Bryan Cogman to write the script for the film. In 2019 following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets, the film along with numerous other properties in development at Fox were cancelled.
In April 2016, Enter the Battlefield, a documentary about life on the Magic Pro Tour was released. The film was written by Greg Collins, Nathan Holt, and Shawn Kornhauser.
The production team behind The Toys That Made Us will produce a documentary Igniting the Spark, The Story of Magic: The Gathering.
In June 2019, Variety reported that Joe and Anthony Russo, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro's Entertainment One have teamed with Netflix for an animated Magic: The Gathering television series. In July 2019 at the San Diego Comic-Con, the Russos revealed the logo of the animated series and spoke about doing a live-action series. During the Magic Showcase virtual event in August 2021, they revealed that Brandon Routh would be the voice of Gideon Jura, and that the series will premiere sometime in 2023. The Russo brothers, along with Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina, have since separated from the project, and production has been entrusted to Jeff Kline.
In 1998, PGI Limited created Havic: The Bothering, which was a parody of Magic: The Gathering. Wizards of the Coast, which owned the rights to Magic: The Gathering, took active steps to hinder the distribution of the game and successfully shut out PGI Limited from attending GenCon in July 1998. In an attempt to avoid breaching copyright and Richard Garfield's patent, each starter deck of Havic had printed on the back side, "This is a Parody", and on the bottom of the rule card was printed, "Do not have each player: construct their own library of predetermined number of game components by examining and selecting [the] game components from [a] reservoir of game components or you may infringe on U.S. Patent No. 5,662,332 to Garfield."
Five official parody expansions of Magic exist: Unglued, Unhinged, Unstable, Unsanctioned, and Unfinity. Most of the cards in these sets feature silver borders and humorous themes. The silver-bordered cards are not legal for play in WPN-sanctioned tournaments.
- ^ Notably, the Apprentice program. See Magic: The Gathering video games.
- ^ For cards released prior to Exodus, rarities must be checked against an external cardlist or database, as all expansion symbols were black.
- ^ "Purple Reign". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
- ^ A notable exception are Basic Land cards, but those are easily identifiable due to the oversized mana symbol in their text boxes.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering Online Review". Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- ^ Kotha, Suresh (October 19, 1998). "Wizards of the Coast" (PDF). University of Washington School of Public Health. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 1, 2006. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- ^ Lang, Eric (January 27, 2008). "Design Decisions and Concepts in Licensed Collectible Card Games". Electronic Book Review. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
- ^ Duffy, Owen (July 10, 2015). "How Magic: the Gathering became a pop-culture hit – and where it goes next". The Guardian. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
The original card game has 20 million players worldwide.
- ^ "Magic: the Gathering anniversary Facts & Figures". Wizards of the Coast. 2017. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- ^ Webb, Kevin (December 8, 2018). "With more than 35 million players worldwide, Magic the Gathering is giving back to its community with a brand new game and $10 million in esports prize money". Business Insider. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ "Formats". Magic: The Gathering. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
- ^ "Magic for the Masses: So You Want to Play Magic: The Gathering?". Paste. February 27, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ a b c "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules" (PDF). November 18, 2022. pp. 6–11. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
- ^ "How to play Magic: The Gathering: A beginner's guide". Dicebreaker. November 21, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ Kaufeld, John; Smith, Jeremy (2006). Trading Card Games For Dummies. For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0470044071.
- ^ Lancaster, Luke (January 26, 2017). "'Mix and match' makes many kinds of Magic: The Gathering". CNET. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- ^ "How to play Magic the Gathering Arena: getting started in MTG". PCGamesN. October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ a b c d e f Orf, Darren (August 11, 2020). "So You Want to Play 'Magic: The Gathering'". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- ^ a b Mitchell, Ferguson (July 15, 2019). "MTG basics: Introduction to Magic: The Gathering". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules" (PDF). July 8, 2022. p. 7. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
- ^ Basil, Matt (May 26, 2022). "How to play Magic: The Gathering – your beginner's guide to mana, cards, and combat". Wargamer.
- ^ Verhey, Gavin (November 30, 2017). "The Stack and Its Tricks". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ Coles, Jason (January 14, 2022). "MTG: The Stack – what is it, and how does it work?". Wargamer.
- ^ "A Beginners Guide to Magic the Gathering". Kim E Lumbard. 2003. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- ^ a b "Magic for the Masses: Standard Deck Construction on a Budget". Paste. March 23, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ "Magic The Gathering Tips". oshkoshmagic. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- ^ Carrillo, Jaime (June 13, 2019). "Magic: The Gathering: A definitive guide to MtG for beginners". The Daily Dot. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- ^ Parlock, Joe (September 27, 2021). "Magic The Gathering Booster Packs Guide: Draft, Set, Theme And Collector's Booster Packs Explained". TheGamer.
- ^ Wilson, Nicholas (December 1, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering card rarities explained". Gamepur.
- ^ Micell, Max (May 4, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering card rarities explained". Dot Esports.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules" (PDF). July 8, 2022. p. 5. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
- ^ "Standard Format Deck Construction". mtgoacademy. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- ^ a b c Mitchell, Ferguson (October 17, 2019). "MTG Basics: Competitive formats". Dot Esports.
- ^ Stoddard, Sam (August 9, 2013). "Dealing with Power Creep". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ "MTG Commander Format". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
- ^ "Booster Draft". Magic: The Gathering. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- ^ "Magic: the Gathering® Tournament Rules" (PDF). Wizards Play Network. November 14, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- ^ a b "Magic: The Gathering - Early on, the Game Was Just Plain WEIRD". CBR. December 5, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering - Making Sense of the Legend Rule". CBR. December 12, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- ^ LaPille, Tom (July 26, 2009). "Crafting a Vintage". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering's Worst Mechanic Was Banned to Avoid Gambling Accusations". CBR. December 19, 2021. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
- ^ Gault, Matthew (August 5, 2020). "COVID-19 Is Making 'Magic: The Gathering' Change the Game". Vice. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
- ^ Parrish, Ash (June 10, 2020). "Wizards of the Coast Bans 7 Racist Magic: The Gathering Cards". Kotaku. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
- ^ a b Hall, Charlie (June 10, 2020). "Racist Magic: The Gathering cards banned, removed from database by publisher". Polygon. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
- ^ Mark Rosewater (August 18, 2003). "The Value of Pie". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on March 4, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2006.
- ^ a b Rosewater, Mark (November 14, 2016). "Pie Fights". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ As part of the Making Magic (2003-2005) article series on the game's official site, Mark Rosewater described each color in depth (as well as multicolor cards, artifact or colorless cards, and color-hybrid cards). The Great White Way, True Blue, In the Black, Seeing Red, It's Not Easy Being Green, Just the Artifacts, Ma'am, and Midas Touch. These articles were updated and republished in 2015: The Great White Way Revisited, True Blue Revisited, In the Black Revisited, Seeing Red Revisited, It's Not Easy Being Green Revisited.
- ^ a b c d e "What do the different Magic: The Gathering mana colours mean?". Dicebreaker. March 2, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- ^ a b c d e "Getting into Magic: The Gathering – Color Profiles and Archetypes". Nerdist. June 6, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- ^ Knutson, Ted (September 9, 2006). "Magic Jargon". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- ^ Moldenhauer-Salazar, Jay (March 23, 2000). "Mmmmmmmmmana...Five Rules For Avoiding Mana-Screw". starcitygames.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
- ^ Forsythe, Aaron (August 20, 2015). "New Mulligan Rule Starting from Battle for Zendikar Prereleases". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- ^ Rosewater, Mark (February 23, 2004). "Starting Over". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
- ^ Smith, Bennie (April 27, 2006). "Nephilim Are Prismatastic!". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2007. This article explains this mulligan rule in the Prismatic format, where it is called a "big deck" mulligan. The rule was added to all multiplayer Magic Online later.
- ^ "The London Mulligan". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering - When & Why to Mulligan Your Hand". CBR. July 10, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ Forster, Danny (June 3, 2019). "Magic: The Gathering will implement London Mulligan rule across all formats". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ a b Garfield, Richard (2012). Magic TV: Extra – Dr. Richard Garfield on "Luck Versus Skill" (Magic Cruise 2012) (Video) (Lecture). Seattle to Alaska cruise: channelfireball.com. Event occurs at July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- ^ Owens, Thomas S.; Star, Diana (1996), "What did you eat for breakfast", Inside Collectible Card Games: 142
- ^ "Ante? You Can Bet on It! | Cardmarket Insight". www.cardmarket.com. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering - Early on, the Game Was Just Plain WEIRD". CBR. December 5, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ Symon, Evan. "Magic Untapped - Upping the Ante: Remembering when your opponent's Magic cards were the prize". magicuntapped.com. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
- ^ a b Rosenberg, Mike. "Friday Night Magic changes". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- ^ a b Duffy, Owen (July 10, 2015). "How Magic: the Gathering became a pop-culture hit – and where it goes next". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- ^ Troilo, Gabriele (2015). Marketing In Creative Industries : Value, Experience and Creativity. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 110–112. ISBN 978-0-230-38023-3. OCLC 966560595.
- ^ Smith, Kendra (May 1, 2019). "It's Time to Sanction Pauper". www.coolstuffinc.com. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- ^ a b c d e f g Jahromi, Neima (August 28, 2018). "The Twenty-five-year Journey Of Magic: The Gathering". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ a b "Friday Night Magic". Wizards of the Coast. June 2009. Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- ^ a b "2009 Pro Tour Prize Structures". The DCI. 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ Davis, Noah (September 20, 2012). "Do you believe in Magic... the Gathering?". The Verge. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- ^ a b "Pro Tour". Wizards of the Coast. 2009. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- ^ a b Galvin, Chris (June 6, 2005). "The Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved September 30, 2006.
- ^ a b "2009 Magic: The Gathering Worlds Championships". Wizards of the Coast. 2009. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- ^ "Grand Prix". Wizards of the Coast. 2009. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- ^ "Oliver is the Modern Master in Las Vegas". Wizards of the Coast. June 23, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- ^ a b "The Next Chapter for Magic: Esports". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ a b c d e f "The Future of Magic Esports". MAGIC: THE GATHERING | ESPORT. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ a b "Magic Pro League aims to establish MTG: Arena as the premier digital card game". ESPN.com. December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ "Esports: Transitions and Getting Back to Gathering". MAGIC: THE GATHERING | ESPORT. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ Miller, Nick (May 13, 2021). "2021-2022 Will Be Last Season For Pro Magic Play". Star City Games. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ a b c d e "Return of the Pro Tour: Your Path to Playing Magic at the Highest Level". MAGIC: THE GATHERING | ESPORT. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Davis, Darrin (December 18, 2017). "Spell Casters, a 'Magic: The Gathering' Origin Story". Seattle Metropolitan. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ Tumbusch, T. M. (1995). Tomart's Photo Checklist & Price Guide to Collectible Card Games, Volume One. p. 88.
- ^ Adkison, Peter (June 1, 2009). "In The Beginning". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
- ^ a b Garfield, Richard (March 12, 2013). "The Creation Of Magic: The Gathering". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ Fullerton, Tracy (February 8, 2008). Game design workshop: a playcentric approach to creating innovative games. ISBN 9780240809748. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules" (PDF). July 8, 2022. pp. 6–10. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering Rules". Retrieved August 22, 2022. This website contains a link to the most up-to-date version of the Comprehensive Rules.
- ^ Rosewater, Mark (February 16, 2009). "25 Random Things about Magic". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- ^ "Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited Editions". Wizards of the Coast. 2008. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ Zane, J. Pederb (August 14, 1994). "Trumps, Shmumps: I'll Play My Unicorn". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^ Eng, Lily (November 18, 1993). "Professor's Game Casts Magic Spell On Players". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ a b Hannagan, Charley (March 31, 1994). "Magic Playing Cards Conjure Up Big Business – The Cards Turn Player Into Sorcerers Who Cast Spells And Control Creatures". The Post-Standard (Syracuse). p. A1.
- ^ a b Gaslin, Glenn (October 23, 1994). "Magic: The Gathering". Newport News. p. G1.
- ^ Chalk, Titus (July 31, 2013), 20 Years Of Magic: The Gathering, A Game That Changed The World, archived from the original on May 22, 2014, retrieved August 11, 2013
- ^ "Magic 2010 Rules Changes". Wizards of the Coast. June 10, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
- ^ "Neglect and Reversion". The Hardball Times. 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- ^ "Disaffected Fans Cheer D&D Buyout". Wired. April 10, 1997.
- ^ US 5662332, Richard Garfield, "Trading Card Game Method Of Play", issued September 2, 1997, assigned to Wizards of the Coast
- ^ Varney, Allen (January 9, 1998). "The Year in Gaming". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- ^ "Pokemon USA, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Resolve Dispute". Businesswire. December 29, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
- ^ "Magic Online III Launch Blog". Wizards of the Coast. April 16, 2008. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- ^ "Magic: the Gathering 25th anniversary Facts & Figures". Magic.Wizards.com. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- ^ Pilon, Zachary (June 30, 2022). "Wizards Is Releasing More Magic: The Gathering Sets Than Players Can Keep Up With". CBR. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
- ^ "Gatherer". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved January 22, 2019., the official Magic card database.
- ^ "Magic in Korean". Wizards of the Coast. July 23, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011. shows the return to 11 languages as of the late release of Magic 2011 in Korean.
- ^ a b "Magic: The Gathering - Why Block Design Is COMPLETELY Different Now". CBR. January 26, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
- ^ a b Mark Rosewater (August 25, 2014). "Metamorphosis". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- ^ Aaron Forsythe (February 23, 2009). "Recapturing the Magic with Magic 2010". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- ^ Mark Rosewater. "Metamorphosis 2.0 Decks". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- ^ "Card Face Redesign FAQ". Wizards of the Coast. January 20, 2003. Retrieved September 30, 2006.
- ^ Rosewater, Mark (July 5, 2004). "Where Have All The Demons Gone Today". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ "Project Booster Fun". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (February 21, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering introduces a new format with its own 20-card booster packs". Polygon. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
- ^ Carpenter, Nicole (July 17, 2020). "A new format of Magic launches online, with hundreds of new cards". Polygon. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
- ^ a b c d e Dommermuth, Brady (May 27, 2003). "The Story of the Story". Archived from the original on November 27, 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- ^ a b Prosser, Jerry (September 1996). Urza-Mishra War. Vol. 1. Armada.
- ^ Ryan, Michael G. (December 3, 2007). "Fortune Favors The Bold". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ Mark Rosewater (March 3, 2007). "Weather(light) Report". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- ^ Dommermuth, Brady (July 1, 2005). "July 01, 2005". Ask Wizards. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- ^ Beyer, Doug (October 8, 2014). "eBooks And The Accessibility Of Magic's Story". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ Rogers, Adam (July 21, 2019). "The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding". Wired. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (April 18, 2019). "Magic: The Gathering kills off a major character, creates a new Signature Spellbook". Polygon. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- ^ Jarvis, Jeremy (January 1, 2007). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved April 21, 2007.
In the 'old days', art descriptions were vague suggestions of images... Neither continuity nor the idea of worldbuilding (creating distinctive and unique worlds and settings) would become issues until some time later.
- ^ Buehler, Randy (November 21, 2003). "Flight of Fancy". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved April 21, 2007.
- ^ Cavotta, Matt (September 7, 2005). "The Magic Style Guide". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved April 21, 2007.
- ^ Chase, Elaine (June 17, 2002). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
While we don't like to completely rule anything out, there currently are not any plans to repeat the alternate art within a set model. The main reason is that most players recognize cards through the artwork.
- ^ Rosewater, Mark (April 26, 2004). "Collecting My Thoughts". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 30, 2006.
- ^ "Ask Wizards - May, 2004". Wizards of the Coast. May 22, 2004. Archived from the original on April 29, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
- ^ "Chinese Skeleton". Wizards of the Coast. March 13, 2002. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ "Alternate Chinese Art in Ravnica Part 1". Wizards of the Coast. November 14, 2005. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ Whitbrook, James (July 28, 2017). "Hasbro's Own Convention Will Sell You a Giant Transformer That Actually Charges Your Phone". Gizmodo. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- ^ Webster, Andrew (October 3, 2019). "My Little Pony invades the world of Magic: The Gathering". The Verge. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (April 2, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering's next set includes a Godzilla crossover, check out the first card". Polygon. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
- ^ Carter, Chris (April 2, 2020). "Oh my Godzilla...the King of Monsters is invading Magic: The Gathering". Destructoid. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
- ^ Clayton, Natalie (February 25, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering is adding Warhammer 40K and The Lord Of The Rings to its deck". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (August 24, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering's Lord of the Rings crossover will be a complete, draftable set". Polygon. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
- ^ Elfring, Mat (September 28, 2020). "Magic The Gathering: The Walking Dead's Negan Is Now A Magic Card". GameSpot. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
- ^ Gault, Matthew (November 24, 2020). "Bob Ross Is Coming to Magic: The Gathering". Vice. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Resurrected as Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair Cards". GAMING. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
- ^ Webster, Andrew (June 9, 2021). "Stranger Things is getting a companion podcast and Magic: The Gathering cards". The Verge. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
- ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (August 24, 2021). "Magic the Gathering gets Fortnite and Street Fighter cards in 2022". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (August 24, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering is doing Fortnite and Street Fighter crossover sets". Polygon. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
- ^ Baird, Scott (June 8, 2020). "D&D Live Is Combining Reality TV & Mafia/Werewolf In Reality RP [EXCLUSIVE]". ScreenRant. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- ^ Skrebels, Joe (September 1, 2020). "Dungeons & Dragons Becoming a Magic: The Gathering Set Next Year". IGN. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (May 7, 2021). "Your first look at the Dungeons & Dragons Magic: The Gathering crossover set". Polygon. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
- ^ "Dungeons and Dragons is Set to Crossover with Magic the Gathering". ScreenRant. February 28, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- ^ a b Hall, Charlie (July 23, 2018). "Dungeons & Dragons gets a major crossover with Magic: The Gathering this fall". Polygon. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
- ^ Baird, Scott (July 28, 2020). "James Wyatt & F. Wesley Schneider Interview: D&D's Mythic Odysseys Of Theros". ScreenRant. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (June 7, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering's Strixhaven setting comes to D&D in a new campaign book". Polygon. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
- ^ Nelson, Samantha (December 6, 2021). "D&D's Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos understands what makes college memorable". Polygon. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
- ^ "Pyramid: Pyramid Pick: Magic: The Gathering".
- ^ a b Figueroa, Marcelo A. (1993). "Magic: The Gathering". Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer. No. 7. p. 5.
- ^ Slavin, Barbara (June 20, 2004). "Magic the Gathering casts its spell". USA Today. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
- ^ "Magic Scholarship Series : Daily MTG : Magic: The Gathering". Wizards.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- ^ Weisman, Jordan (2007). "Magic: The Gathering". In Lowder, James (ed.). Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 192–195. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0.
- ^ a b c Deaux, Joe (July 7, 2019). "Move Over Monopoly: Hasbro's Next Big Growth Engine Is Magic". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering — Arena launches open beta test September 27". VentureBeat. September 19, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- ^ "Magic: Arena adds a battle/season pass, gets it all wrong with daily XP caps". Destructoid. July 6, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- ^ a b c d e f "Awards". Wizards of the Coast. 2006. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- ^ "Origins Award Winners (1993)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on May 7, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- ^ "Preisträger" (in German). Friedhelm Merz Verlag. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- ^ a b "Origins Award Winners (1998)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- ^ "GAMES Hall of Fame". GAMES Magazine. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
- ^ "Origins Award Winners (2005)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- ^ Chalker, Dave (June 27, 2009). "Origins Awards 2009". critical-hits.com. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- ^ "The 38th Annual Origins Awards Winners". The Game Manufacturers Association. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- ^ "Origins Award Winners 2015". The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. 2015. Archived from the original on February 21, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- ^ Hooper, Ben (November 8, 2019). "Matchbox Cars, Magic: The Gathering, coloring books make Toy Hall of Fame". United Press International. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- ^ "Episode 609: The Curse Of The Black Lotus". Planet Money. NPR. March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- ^ Stuart, Keith (June 25, 2015). "Hearthstone: how a game developer turned 30m people into card geeks". The Guardian. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
- ^ Lancaster, Luke (April 12, 2016). "How to design the most popular card game in the world". CNet. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
- ^ Lombardi, Kate Stone (May 7, 1995). "Fantasy Game Tangles With Reality". The New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- ^ Varney, Allen (April 29, 2010). "Days of High Adventure: Satanic Panic". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
- ^ "Most Expensive Magic: The Gathering Card". Most Expensive Journal. March 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
- ^ a b c d e f D'Anastasio, Cecilia (April 23, 2020). "The Stockbrokers Of Magic: The Gathering Play for Keeps". Wired. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- ^ "Price Change List - Recent Magic The Gathering / MTG Card Price Changes". MTG PeerTrader. Archived from the original on February 11, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
- ^ "Official Reprint Policy". Wizards of the Coast. 2016. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- ^ Charlie Hall. "Magic: The Gathering's Black Lotus sells for $166K at auction, doubling its value". Polygon. MSN. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- ^ Hall, Charlie (January 27, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus card sells for $511,100 at auction". Polygon. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- ^ Welsh, Oli (March 17, 2023). "Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus card sells for a record $540,000". Polygon. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
- ^ Bajari, Patrick; Hortaçsu, Ali (January 1, 2004). "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions". Journal of Economic Literature. 42 (2): 457–486. doi:10.1257/0022051041409075. JSTOR 3217179.
- ^ Bosch, R. A. (2000). "Optimal Card-Collecting Strategies for Magic: The Gathering". The College Mathematics Journal. 31 (1): 15–21. doi:10.2307/2687095. JSTOR 2687095.
- ^ David Lucking-Reiley (September 2000). "Auctions on the Internet: What's Being Auctioned, and How?" [January 1, 2017]. The Journal of Industrial Economics. 48 (3): 227–252. doi:10.1111/1467-6451.00122. JSTOR 117554.
- ^ Patrick Bajari; Ali Hortaçsu (June 2004). "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions" [January 1, 2017]. Journal of Economic Literature. 42 (2): 457–486. doi:10.1257/0022051041409075. JSTOR 3217179.
- ^ Martin, B. A. S. (2004). "Using the Imagination: Consumer Evoking and Thematizing of the Fantastic Imaginary". Journal of Consumer Research. 31: 136–149. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.583.8014. doi:10.1086/383430.
- ^ "StarCityGames.com - Counterfeit Cards". StarCityGames.com. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering | Official site for MTG news, sets, and events". MAGIC: THE GATHERING.
- ^ Martin, Brett A. S. (2004), "Using the Imagination: Consumer Evoking and Thematizing of the Fantastic Imaginary", Archived September 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Journal of Consumer Research, 31 (June), 136-149.
- ^ Lucking-Reiley, D (1999). "Using Field Experiments to Test Equivalence between Auction Formats: Magic on the Internet" (PDF). American Economic Review. 89 (5): 1063–1080. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.8.8301. doi:10.1257/aer.89.5.1063. JSTOR 117047. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 24, 2003.
- ^ Bosch, R.A. (2000). "Optimal Card-Collecting Strategies for Magic: The Gathering". College Mathematics Journal. 31 (1): 15–21. doi:10.2307/2687095. JSTOR 2687095.
- ^ Churchill, Alex; Biderman, Stella; Herrick, Austin (March 24, 2019). "Magic: The Gathering is Turing Complete". arXiv:1904.09828.
- ^ Ouellette, Jennifer (June 23, 2019). "It's possible to build a Turing machine within Magic: The Gathering". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers". boardgamegeek. 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- ^ a b c d e Moher, Aidan (June 28, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering's digital history, from first build to end step". Venture Beat. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- ^ Langley, Ryan (July 23, 2009). "XBLA: Magic: The Gathering Sells 170,000 in 5 Weeks". Gamer Bytes. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
- ^ Lynch, Dennis (March 20, 1997). "Two companies offer The Gathering, but only one is spellbinding". Chicago Tribune. p. 8.
- ^ Fahey, Mike (December 15, 2015). "Magic: The Gathering And Puzzle Quest Go Great Together". Kotaku. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- ^ Minotti, Mike (June 7, 2017). "Magic: The Gathering is becoming an MMO". Venture Beat. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
- ^ Carpenter, Nicole (June 29, 2021). "Magic: Legends will shut down in October, before game's full release". Polygon. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
- ^ a b Annelli, Jay (July 24, 2018). "Magic Story 100: Where to Start". CoolStuffInc.com. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ a b Wilde, Thomas (August 10, 2018). "'Magic: The Gathering' returns with a new comic book in celebration of 25th anniversary". GeekWire. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ "Magic: The Gathering: Gerrard's Quest (Volume)". Comic Vine. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ "Hasbro, Inc., and IDW Publishing to launch Magic: The Gathering Comic Books". IDW Publishing. September 1, 2011. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- ^ "Preview: Magic: The Gathering #1". Comic Book Resources. February 1, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
- ^ Spry, Jeff (November 30, 2018). "IDW casts a potent spell in our exclusive look at new Magic: The Gathering comic series". SYFY WIRE. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ Arrant, Chris (May 22, 2019). "MAGIC: THE GATHERING Summoned Back to Comic Books with TRIALS OF ALARA". gamesradar.com. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ Johnston, Rich (September 21, 2019). "IDW Cancels "Magic The Gathering: Chandra: The Trials Of Alara" Comic Before Publication". bleedingcool.com. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- ^ Magic: The Gathering Returns to Comics in April 2021 - IGN, January 21, 2021, retrieved January 23, 2021
- ^ Spry, Jeff (March 12, 2021). "Assassins target mystical Planeswalkers in Boom's new Magic: the Gathering comic series". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
- ^ Kit, Borys (January 13, 2014). "Fox to Bring 'Magic: The Gathering' to the Big Screen (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- ^ "'Game Of Thrones' Scribe Bryan Cogman Takes On 'Magic The Gathering' For Fox". Deadline Hollywood. June 12, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- ^ Switzer, Eric (August 8, 2019). "Disney Just Scrapped Mega Man, Magic: The Gathering, And Sims Movies".
- ^ "Enter the Battlefield: Life on the Magic - The Gathering Pro Tour (2016)". IMDb. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- ^ Lee, Julia (February 14, 2020). "Magic: The Gathering documentary on the way from the team behind The Toys That Made Us". Polygon. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
- ^ Otterson, Joe (June 3, 2019). "Magic: The Gathering Animated Series From Russo Brothers Set at Netflix". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- ^ "Netflix is making an animated series based on Magic: The Gathering – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (July 19, 2019). "Russo Brothers Say Animated 'Magic: The Gathering' Might Spinoff Into Live Action Series – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
- ^ "Battle of the Planets, Magic: The Gathering, and Grimjack Updates from Joe Russo". YouTube.
- ^ Maas, Jennifer (August 24, 2021). "Netflix's 'Magic: The Gathering' Series to Launch in 2022, Brandon Routh to Voice Gideon (Photo)". The Wrap. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
- ^ "'Magic the Gathering': Jeff Kline Leads Creative Team Of Netflix Animated Series After Russo Brothers Depart". August 20, 2021.
- ^ "Home - company.wizards.com". Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- ^ Havic: The Bothering Skool Daze by Peter L. Gray, Sist-Airs, Vinyl Vineshtein Cards, 60 Pages, Published 1998, 1st Edition, starter decks rule card printed by PGI Limited, 30 Shorhaven Rd., Norwalk, CT 06855, ISBN 0966700503
- ^ "Unsanctioned – An Unruly Head-to-Head Fight Club". Wizards of the Coast.
- ^ Rosewater, Mark (November 29, 2021). "To Unfinity and Beyond". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
- Flores, Michael J. (2006). Deckade: 10 Years of Decks, Thoughts and Theory. New York: top8magic.com. ISBN 978-0-9778395-0-6.
- Moursund, Beth (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 978-1-56025-443-0.
- Waters, Anthony (1998). The Art of Magic: A Fantasy of World Building and the Art of the Rath Cycle. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-1178-3.
- Adkinson, Peter D. "How Magic was born". The Duelist. No. 6. Wizards of the Coast. p. 8–9.
- Editor (May–June 1994). "Magic: The Fix; A Compilation of Articles and Collector's Checklists for Magic: The Gathering Addicts". Shadis. No. 13. The Alderac Group. pp. 33–38.
- Emrich, Alan (November–December 1993). "Magic: The Gathering, From Game to Obsession in 0.4 Hours, A Review & Compendium". Shadis. No. 10. The Alderac Group. pp. 12–21.
- Garfield, Richard. "The expanding worlds of magic". The Duelist. No. 4. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 15–17.
- "Five years". The Duelist. No. 33. Wizards of the Coast. January 1999. pp. 56–71.