You know, I remember back in 8th grade, my father picked me up a pack of cards called “Magic: The Gathering.” I had no idea what it was. I flipped through the cards and the rule book and it made little to no sense to me. It appeared that it was LIKE a roleplaying game, but that you needed a lot more cards that this deck to play. There were different coloured cards and categories like land, monsters and spells. I invited my friend Travis over and we tried to figure out how to play, but it was no use. There wasn’t enough “mana” for the biggest creature in the deck (Force of Nature) and we could understand how this Ruby Mox thing worked. The rules were pretty unclear. This was the only deck we could find for miles around. My dad couldn’t remember where he got. I believe he purchased in of all places, Fargo, North Dakota. So we said screw it and moved on to Mayfair’s DC Super Heroes RPG, which was pretty freakin’ sweet.
This was my exposure to Magic’s very first set: Alpha. Little did I know that 15 years later, this card game with an awful rules guide (It got better!) would propel Wizards of the Coast into the most dominate table top RPG company in the world, even buying Dungeons and Dragons and all its properties from the late, great TSR. I’ll admit I never truly got into M:TG, preferring Illuminati and Mythos for my card game fixes. I can’t deny how this single game created an entire industry and even became a professional competition that one could watch late at night on ESPN2.
Although this is the 10th “Edition,” the are dozens of magic expansions and base sets beyond this one. Classic expansions include Fallen Empires, Ice Age, Weatherlight and more. However the “core” sets like Tenth Edition are geared more towards bringing in new players as well as capturing the interest of long time Magic fans by reprinting old classic cards, some with new art work.
Here’s a list of some features you’ll find in Tenth Edition
The set contains 383 cards (121 rare, 121 uncommon, 121 common, 20 basic lands). As there is only one rare to a pack, you’ll be needing to buy about two boxes to have a chance to complete the whole set.
All cards are black bordered. This is the first time this has happened since Beta in a core set.
Legendary creatures are included for the first time in a core set. (Back when I flittered with the idea of playing Magic, Legends were gold cards that required two colours of mana. I believe that has changed since then.
The set will debut Tips and Tricks cards, a 16th card in booster packs which will feature gameplay rules, card combos, organized play information and even creature tokens. (I love this idea as I remember Alpha-Unlimited had poorly done rule books)
Several aspects of 10th Edition were selected by players voting on magicthegathering.com including cards, art, flavor text and the expansion symbol.
Old favorites such as Incinerate, Lord of the Pit and Howling Mine will feature incredible new artwork from some of the best fantasy artists in the business.
Many other cards, such as Glorious Anthem, will also include updated flavor text.
The redesigned Two Player Starter featuring Tenth Edition booster packs was designed to introduce new players to Magic: the Gathering and includes previews of land cards from the upcoming Lorwyn set which releases in October. (Thank god for two player starters. Mythos was the first card game to do this, and it made things so much easier).
Saturday, July 14th also marks Nationwide “Magic Game Day.” Over 1,000 brick & mortar stores will be hosting 10th Edition release parties. You’ll be able to learn to play through demonstrations of the game, league play for long time players will be available in addition to other tournaments. Contests, prizes and promo cards will be available too. Nothing sucks you into something new like free stuff, eh? If you want to see where the closest Magic Game Day is, as well as get a sneak peak of the free foil promo card you’ll get just for showing up, click here.
Over the next few weeks, we at Not a True Ending will be taking a look at M:TG 10th Edition, and even running a contest or two in conjunction with WotC to get you guys some free stuff. Meanwhile, head on over to the forums and chat with other readers about your thoughts on Magic: The Gathering.