READING THE CARDS
Your cards hold all the information you’ll need to use them in the game. Let’s take a look at how that information is laid out.
1. The name of the card can be found at the top of the card. Whenever you cast a spell, tell your opponent which card it is.
2. Next to the card’s name is its mana cost. This tells you how much mana it costs to cast that card.
3. In the middle, you’ll find the card type. When in doubt, take a look at the middle of the card to find out what type of card (creature, sorcery, enchantment, etc.) you’re dealing with.
4. That symbol on the right side of the middle bar is the card’s expansion symbol. Magic has released over 60 expansion sets in its 20-year history, and the expansion symbol tells you which set the card is from. The color of the expansion symbol tells you how rare the card is. Black expansion symbols are fairly common, while gold symbols are rare.
5. The box covering most of the bottom half of the card contains the card’s abilities. This is where you’ll learn what the card does in the game. Some cards have italicized flavor text, a look into the characters and worlds of Magic.
6. If the card is a creature, it will have two numbers near the bottom. The number before the slash is its power, or how much damage it deals in combat. The number after the slash is its toughness, how much damage must be dealt to it in a single turn to destroy it.
7. Finally, the very bottom of the card contains collector information. You’ll see the card’s collector number and illustration credit.
This tour of a Magic card concludes with a few examples.