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Breaking Down the Info on Magic: The Gathering Singles

Feb 1st 2018

Breaking Down the Info on Magic: The Gathering Singles

Confused at what you are seeing when you look at a MTG card? Once you learn what all of the symbols mean, it’s easy to understand a card at a glance. Until then, though, you might need to make use of guides like this one to break it all down for you. Get out a Magic: The Gathering card and follow along as we make it easy to understand what everything on that card means. By the way, if you are looking for great Magic: The Gathering cards to add to your collection, visit our shop! We sell booster packs and boxes online and singles in our store. We’re sure to have what you need and we’re able to buy the cards you don’t want anymore.

Breaking Down the Information on a MTG Card

At the Top

Let’s start at the top and work our way down the card. The band across the top of the card has the name at the left-hand side. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the names of your cards; it comes in handy when you are talking about your cards with fellow Magic players as well as when you are hunting down an elusive single. At the right-hand side of the band, you’ll find the mana cost. Mana are like fuel for your magic; the more mana a card costs, the more powerful it’s likely to be. Your mana cost will come in different colors, either red, white, blue, green, or black. If you see a number there, then that means you just need a number of mana points from any color combination. A combination of numbers and colors means you need a certain number of generic and specific-colored mana. Below this informative band is the artwork for the card. Oooh, pretty. Actually, there are some stunning cards out there and it’s worth getting to know more about the artists of your favorite cards. But moving on!

In the Middle

Below the artwork, you’ll see another band of text. This tells you what kind of card it is. It could be a: 

  • Creature 
  • Enchantment 
  • Sorceries 
  • Lands 
  • Artifacts 
  • Instants 

This information will be important when determining which cards are impacted by other cards. You’ll want to get familiar with the types in your deck. To the right of the card type, you’ll see a symbol which will either be: 

  • Black, meaning the card is common. 
  • Silver, meaning the card is uncommon. 
  • Gold, meaning the card is rare. 

The actual symbol will tell you what expansion set the card was a part of; there are many, many expansions out there, so if you are curious about which one your card came from and aren’t sure, you can search for the symbol online and check out extensive databases that are available. 

Below this band, you’ll come to a box of text. This is a very important part of the card, because it tells you what the card actually does for you. You might also see some text in this box that’s in italics; this text doesn’t actually affect the gameplay or rules at all. It’s just there for fun and to add “flavor” to the game. In fact, it’s referred to as flavor text.

At the Bottom

After the text box, you’ll come to our final band of text. This will include information about the artist of the card (a good way to get to know more about your new favorite artists). In the middle, you’ll see copyright information that Wizard of the Coast’s legal team made them include. Finally, in the lower left-hand corner of the card, you’ll see two numbers. The number on the left is the strength of the card, telling you how much damage it could potentially do to an opponent. The number on the right indicates how much damage the card will take before it’s out of the game.

Rare cases

The above information should guide you through the majority of the cards out there. But there are special exceptions that might not follow the rules above. For those cases, if you aren’t sure about the meaning behind the symbols on the card, take time to research it online or talk to a fellow Magic player to see if they can help. You don’t want to dismiss a card simply because you aren’t sure what it can and can’t do; you could end up bypassing some powerful cards that way.

Now Test Yourself

Now that you know what all of the information on the cards mean, take some time to go through your collection and read the information that you might have breezed over the in past. Check out some names of artists, see if you can get a handle on mana cost, and think about how the types of cards are going to chain together. You may discover some important insight that can help make you a better player! 

Have a card in your collection that’s left you stumped? Bring it into Dragon’s Lair. Our friendly and Magic-knowledgeable team will take a look at it and help you decipher the information that it holds. We may even be able to suggest some potential ways to incorporate it into your strategy. We’re open seven days a week and someone is always around who can help you brush up on your Magic skills. Come in to see us today!