Beginner Planeswalker Guide: Delicious Color PieJuly 26, 2018
This is part 1 of a series of Magic articles aimed at welcoming people into Magic: The Gathering! If you are an experienced Magic player, I hope you can use this article series to help your friends become Planeswalkers. If you are new to Magic, let me show you some things that will help you break into the game.
First of all, a Planeswalker is the role you take on when you play Magic: The Gathering. You are a powerful wizard, casting spells, fighting against an opponent Planeswalker for the greater good… or evil, or whatever motivates you to fling spells in battle. The goal of the game is to get your opponent’s life total down to 0 from 20 before you run out of life yourself.
One of the first decisions you must make as a Planeswalker is what color of the delicious Magic color pie you want to try playing first. I highly recommend starting with one color, even though Magic decks typically have multiple colors, two color decks being the most common. Starting with one keeps it much simpler and makes grasping the basic mechanics that much easier.
There are 5 color options, referred to in WUBRG order (pronounced Woo-Burg, this term describes the order in which colors appear on the Magic card back): White, Blue, Black, Red, Green. I like to view a player’s color choice as their character class. I recommend choosing to start with the one that speaks to you, either how you like to play RPGs, values that you relate to in your own life, or just something that sounds fun to play.
The nickname for mono-white decks is White Weenies. This is because a typical White deck is all about having an army of little creatures that all buff each other up to be more powerful in a group. White spells represent Lawful Good and value organization and peace within a community. White mechanics tend to be very defensive, such as Vigilance (making it easier to block damage after attacking) and Lifelink (gaining life points back during battles).
Blue specializes in manipulation and mind control. Blue spells represent the power of knowledge and curiosity. Blue believes in thinking through every option before making the best calculated decision. Common Blue mechanics include drawing cards (as an increase in knowledge), evasive creatures (such as creatures your opponent will not be able to block damage from), and counter spells (basically responding to an opponent’s cast spell by saying “NOPE!”).
Black values oneself above anything else. Black spells will take any route to success and doesn’t see right and wrong, just opportunity. Basically, they will do anything to win, no matter how great the sacrifice. Black decks have the most powerful destruction in the game (such as creature removal) and also has necromancy themes of bringing back zombies from the graveyard after they have died. Black tends to borrow mechanics from other colors too, and sometimes you might have to sacrifice something of your own to get ahead.
All Aggro All the Time! Red is the most aggressive color of Magic, valuing the power of emotions. Red believes that spontaneously following your passion and emotional impulses is the point of life and the only true route to adventure, but this often leads to chaos. Red mechanics include lots of fiery direct damage to your opponent and your opponent’s creatures, and abilities such as Haste (being able to attack faster than normal).
Green in my personal favorite! Green is all about being one with nature, not only coexisting with nature, but protecting it. Mechanically speaking, Green’s biggest strengths are 1) having the most powerful creatures on the battlefield that are hard for your opponents to deal with and 2) having more access to mana to cast spells (mana is the resource used for everything in the game, more on that later).
I hope this post has been helpful in deciding what Planeswalker you’d like to be. Join me next time to learn about card types and phases of the game!