A Brief Overview of Current Trading Card Games


I used to play YGO back in the day but the game just became way too fast for my liking. I stopped playing shortly after XYZ summoning was introduced but recently got the bug to start playing again. After looking into the game, everything now seems so cheap and unsatisfying. All the videos and games that I watched seemed to be either an FTK, OTK or something that just stopped your opponent from playing altogether.

After reading this thread I think I’m leaning towards picking up MTG. Where would be the best place to learn the game and practise?

(DayC) #11

Hey Kiel the best place to pick up magic is by finding your local game store and attending Friday Night Magic and weekend events. If you let me know where you’d like to play I can recommend a store and some product to get you going!


Thanks man! I’m based in Birmingham, about 5 miles from the city centre.

I know there used to be a guy that dealt with TCG’s, video games etc. in the Oasis market but I haven’t been there for so long I don’t know if he’s still around :sweat_smile: If local stores are my best bet, I might head up there the weekend to see if he’s still about.

(Gavin Rainey) #13

there are good places in birmingham


Manaleak.com Birmingham Tabletop Gaming Centre

(DayC) #14


Take a look at this link and see if you can find one you like, of course, ignore the NEC.

@Easy is correct in suggesting Manaleak though, so unless any others are more convenient I’d also recommend them. They’re one of the most popular stores in the UK and run not only a great online store but a fantastic Facebook page that lists their events and will allow them to alert you of upcoming releases and events etc.

It looks like they run a “fun” FNM which will be suitable for yourself after you have some product to go and attend. Some of their FNM events cost money to enter and some are free. Your best bet is to drop them a dm explaining that you’re new and they should give you some advice. If Tu replies he will help you to no end, he’s been an outstanding community member of british magic for a while.

To start learning the basic mechanics of the game you can download Magic Duels for free. The cards wont be up to date but you need a way to learn the game before you sink too much cash into it and this is the best way.

When you’re done with Duels you need to decide how much cash you want to sink into it. You’ll want to buy 3 things:

  1. Cards - probably a deck
  2. Sleeves - to protect your cards
  3. Deckbox - to hold your deck
  4. Some dice - to record various things inc your life.

Some quick simple rules to this. Start with a pre-constructed deck and build it up by winning booster packs or buying individual cards. Do not buy booster packs, boxes or cases unless it’s just for fun, it’s too cost inefficient as they’re designed for drafting which is a sealed format. We’re looking to put you in standard constructed here.

Depending your budget you can get a starter deck or a challenger deck. The first will give you a cheap starting point and the latter gives you a route into the meta but is sold out in many places.

These protect your investment. Ideally you’d get a play mat and sleeves but this will do to start. I’d start with a 100 pack of Dragonshield that will last a while. You can pick between classic (glossy back) or matte (textured back).

Ultimate Guard make the best deck boxes. Even their cheap plastic 80+ ones are better than some companies premium efforts. Will hold 60 card deck + 15 card sideboard and comes with a divider, sorted.

D6’s are best for using as counters on cards and a D20 is perfect for counting your life, Magic has special “spin down” D20’s that sits all the numbers sequentially next to each other on the die. You can just pick these things up anywhere, if you get a few then pick up a dice bag to put them in.

Any other questions mate?

(DayC) #15

@Kiel one more thing. A new set called Dominaria releases next weekend with a pre-release this weekend. It’s looking to be a bit of a game changer for standard so get researching it.

You can see what sets are in standard here. Look at a list of up to date meta decks here. Finally, keep up to date with card “stock” prices here.


@Easy, @DayC : thanks for your replies.

I’ll definitely check out Manaleak and drop those guys a message. Your posts have answered a lot of my questions already and have given me stuff to get my teeth into. I think I’ve got all of the accessories you mentioned already thanks to playing YGO and D&D - though I think my sleeves may be too small for MTG cards.

If I have anymore questions I’ll probably drop you a PM on here or Discord to save cluttering up the thread.

(DayC) #17

@Kiel No worries at all! Feel free to keep posting here mate that’s what the thread is for and I don’t check discord too often.

Yugioh is a small card size so you’ll need to buy some new sleeves for that. Same goes for deck boxes, if you bought a smaller sized deckbox it’ll need replacing.


I’ve been playing Magic Duels for about 4 hours and I think I’m hooked :sweat_smile: I’m not entirely sure I understand attacking and blocking at the minute though. I don’t quite understand when I should and shouldn’t attack/block or why my creatures die when I don’t think they should :thinking: I’m going to have a look at that part of the rule book when I get home to try and understand it properly.

I also checked out the Manaleak Facebook page and their website last night. I’m off work next week so I’m probably going to head up there one day during the week and see what’s what :3

(DayC) #19

Glad you’re enjoying it mate! Really good to see someone else pick it up.

Knowing when to attack and block is one of the most important core skills in Magic and it depends on both your deck’s playstyle and your current board presence inc. hand options. It’s a bit like macro and micro gameplay, what is my deck’s long term goal and what can I do right now?

You’ll likely know the basics of the mechanic so far, attacking player chooses attackers that always hit face (or a planeswalker) and an opponent can choose to block in any which way they see fit.

Blocks can be stacked, so I can use 2 blockers to kill your 1 attacker. In this case, should the blocking creatures have more health than the attacking creature, the attacking player gets to choose where their attacking creature’s damage is assigned.

Always read card text and learn ‘evergreen’ abilities like trample and deathtouch as they can alter your choices some what.

Everything else beyond that is a choice! If you have screenshots of a specific situation that you want looking at or any rules clarifying please let me know as the rulebook for Magic can be a slog.

(Van Slab) #20

Going to visit @Retroid tomorrow to play some MTG :broccoli:

(DayC) #21

Enjoy @Rod let me know how you find it!


I spoke to the guys at Manaleak and joined their players group. They’ve told me to go up there next week and they’ll give me a free intro deck and run me through the important parts of the game and answer any questions etc.

Not long until I’m a fully fledged neckbeard with unsavoury qualities :sweat_smile:


I was seeing how far I could go when the AI rekt me :joy:

(DayC) #24

Awesome! Always fun to push the boundaries of what your deck can do. If you’re making plays like this though then you’re more than ready to play against real people in Friday Night Magic. It’s just a case of acquiring cards from this point on.

Update us when you’ve visited manaleak and let me know how it goes!

(Gavin Rainey) #25

@Kiel we’re going to the pokemon regionals in sheffield in june its gonna be lit dude.

so good to see so many people playing cards now, all thanks to DayC

(DayC) #26

You’re welcome for the cardboard crack addiction!


Just got back from Manaleak. Everyone down there is super friendly, helpful and willing to answer my stupid newb questions :sweat_smile: I can definitely see myself returning for their events and buying any products from them. I ended up buying the Jace vs Vraska duel decks because a friend is looking to start playing too - The addiction is spreading!


@DayC is Magic Online worth playing? I haven’t played Magic for about 6 or 7 weeks due to starting a new job. Now everything’s settled back down I want to start going to Manaleak’s FNM regularly and want to at least look like I have an idea of what I’m doing :sweat_smile:

Is there also anything I should do or know about before going to FNM?

(DayC) #29

Magic Online is only worth playing if you absolutely cannot play the physical format for whatever reason. It’s an old game released a long time ago with the latest version being about 5 years old if I remember rightly. It uses real money and has a trading market run by bots who keep the cost of cards in check.

Gameplay is essentially a top down 2D version of the game with an integrated “automatic” stack (the order in which cards resolve) which usually needs manual interference anyway. Mouse clicks and menu options are nowhere near as smooth as interacting with a human being using your voice and hand gestures though and games can become quite cumbersome in comparison.

Some things Magic online does very well is its release of online only sets, a lot of which contain cards from sets before its release like the Vintage Masters set containing the original power 9 including Black Lotus. It also promotes some popular draft formats such as cube, one of its most popular being Vintage Cube which gets lots of attention.

As you can tell accessing old sets for a fraction of the paper price is one of those cases in which you absolutely could not play the physical card game.

If you need a fix while at home MTGArena is currently in closed beta and is Wizard’s answer to Hearthstone. I trimmed version of magic but still allowing access to a lot of the complexities that come with the game. I think I have another code left so I’ll send you one so you can try it.

Absolutely get yourself to FNM, reintroduce yourself and just tell them you’ve not had the chance to continue since your last visit. They’ll hopefully guide you through the night again and then the addiction kicks in! :sweat_smile:

Before FNM make sure you have sleeved up your deck. Take a variety of dice with you. Take a playmat if you have one. A pen and pad if you lack dice. Make sure you build and understand your deck before hand, nothing worse than having to learn your opponent’s deck and your own at the same time. If you have a folder to display trades in get your rares in there and take them with you or just scout cards you like the look of while you’re there.

Lots of stuff I mentioned in my post to you back in April so have a re-read further up ^ if you need. Sleeves are the most important thing as they are the barrier between your expensive cardboard and the dorito dust layered tables of the FNM dungeon.

As it’s near enough thursday now it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy singles but for the next couple of weeks once you’ve seen cards you want to buy then check out Magic Card Market EU.