Once the novice planeswalker has learned the first things to know about Magic, they may be
positively itching to begin playing. Truly, once a player has a deck, an opponent, and a way to
track life totals, they have all that they need to conduct magical warfare.

However, once the fledgling begins to feel confident enough to challenge stronger opponents,
they will learn that competitive Magic: The Gathering is a new world with a culture of its


A player that wants to build strong decks must first begin a healthy card collection. Wizards
of the Coast publishes some products that are suitable for beginning players who are eager to
begin collecting ・

Planeswalker Decks】 are ready-to-play Magic decks, the new successors to the Intro Packs of
the past・ A player who acquires a Planeswalker Deck will receive an entry-level two-color
deck complete with a planeswalker spell and some other rare cards ・ Planeswalker Decks are
meant to give the player a grip on the latest game mechanics and story details and to
encourage further collecting・

When beginning a personal collection of cards, one can do no better than to start with a
DeckbuildeFs Toolkit?. These regularly released packages contain a semi-random assortment
of new cards, a bundle of basic lands, and a few, fresh booster packs within a box adorned
with Magic: The Gathering art.

These packages are sold for just twenty dollars, making them an affordable way to obtain
cards and lands of each color, perfect for those who want to try playing all sorts of styles・

For the players who are serious about building the perfect deck, Gatherer is there・ Gatherer is
the official database of all the cards in the game and includes an advanced search tool to help
users navigate the system・

A user can search for cards by mana cost, card type, keywords, format legality, and even the
artist, among other parameters ・ A player who learns to use this tool to their advantage will
learn the names of the cards that would perfectly build their deck concepts ・

Finally, a player's headquarters for all things Magic is their Local Game Store (LGS). A player  that wants to purchase specific cards, meet and trade with other players, and register for local tournaments must first get to know their own LGS ・ At the LGS? a player can begin to cultivate relationships with the employees, the players, and the judges that moderate Magic: The Gathering tournaments. A player can also obtain the cards that they need through online marketplaces, but there is nothing like bumping elbows with the local competition. Accessories A player's LGS will also stock a beautiful collection of Magic: The Gathering gaming accessories that will add convenience and style to one's game・ By acquiring and using these accessories, a player will be able to protect their precious cards and clearly communicate the game state as competitive play demands ・ The most important accessories that a player will require are their counters, tokens, and life counters. A player may use anything to represent imgame counters such as gaming stones or coins, but the most popular tools for this job are dice・ Dice may also stand on the battlefield to represent token creatures, though Wizards of the Coast prints official token cards that can be collected for in-game use・ 20-sided dice³ make for great life counters, and Wizards of the Coast has produced their own dice for this very purpose・ Known as spindowns because of the way that the numbers are arranged, Magic: The Gathering spindowns are easy to find and more convenient than a paper and pen for this purpose・ When one is serious about the condition of their collectible cards, they can pick up card sleeves and deck boxes to protect their investments・ Card sleeves are plastic pockets with just enough room for Magic: The Gathering playing cards・ They come in all colors, have all sorts of graphics, and can be purchased with matte or glossy finishes. A player may also purchase slim, cellophane sleeves^ that wrap tightly around a card for the purpose of double-sleeving. Deck boxes⁵, too, come in a great variety・ The standard deck box has enough room for about 75 sleeved cards and comes in all colors. Deck boxes are created for many different styles of play, however. One can find a heavy-duty deck box to sturdily protect their cards・ They may also seek an extra-large deck box with enough room for a fully-sleeved Commander deck・ The flashiest layer of protection for Magic: The Gathering cards is the playmatQ Even when  sleeved, playing cards will become grungy after being played on a bare table ・ Official gaming playmats are made out of a soft foam, similar to a typical mousepad but sized for card gaming. Playmats can be found in all different colors, but the most beautiful are those with printed graphics. Playmats can wear official Magic: The Gathering art or illustrations by other talented artists and some include designated zones for your cards ・ Finally, a simple notepad is an important tool for those who want to engage in tournament play・ It is very important to keep track of life totals and other game events with a notepad. In a competitive match, a knocked life counter can disrupt the game and even result in a loss. Etiquette In addition to keeping a notepad, there are other helpful behaviors that a player should adopt so that they can play like a professional・ When playing a game with anyone, especially a new opponent, one must always offer their deck to be cut by their opponent after a shuffle. This rule goes without exception; refusal to offer the deck to be cut can be interpreted as an attempt to stack the deck・ During gameplay, it is honest and fair to fully read the text on any card that has just been played ・ In two player games, the information on the card is more easily accessible to the opponent once on the battlefield, though some oversights may still be made・ However, when a game expands to three, four, or more players, it becomes harder for each opponent to always know which creatures have abilities, the contents of a graveyard, and hand sizes. A player should be sure to openly communicate that which is visible to all players so that no one is suspected of withholding information. Just as well, it is imperative that one plays with patience during a competitive game. Rankings are on the line, so the game must be taken seriously・ Actions must be carried out one at a time, and it is fair to wait or ask for an opponent's response after each action. Magic: The Gathering is a game of careful consideration and strategy・ It is disruptive and unprofessional to act so quickly that one's opponent can not properly respond・ A player who behaves this way may also unnecessarily reveal cards from their hand, clueing their opponent in and giving them an advantage. A match can only be played to its greatest potential when each opponent is able to use the full power of their deck・ Efforts to stifle an opponent through cheap tricks will defeat the purpose of the game・ 
Finally, a player must always be sure to use a sporting and friendly attitude. At the beginning of every game, players should wish their opponents luck. This will establish a goodatured environment for the game in which no hard feelings will arise. In addition, players should always finish a match by saying, “Good game.w Combined with an optional handshake, this simple message will continue the good nature even outside of the game, leading to more matches and new friends. 

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