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Magic: The Gathering - Official Strategy Guide: The Color-Illustrated Guide to Winning Play Paperback – June, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560251492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560251491
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Only being a novice with only a few cards, I wanted to know how to best utilize my time and money to get better at Magic. This book takes you through all the steps necessary to bring your skills up to par. I enjoyed the section about deck building since I had no experience (and no cards). Probably the best part of the book is everything is explained visually. You can see and read each of the cards and how they interact. The only concern I had with the book is that it is set up for Release 5, not the current release. But that's not that big of a deal. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand this game.
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Format: Paperback
I can't think of any book that will teach you the finer details of the game better than this. As a beginner, photos of actual cards help immensely in learning the game. Only "Official" books show the actual cards. This book is great for a beginner who wants to advance to intermediate and tournament level play. The book is dedicated to teaching you all about the strategy of playing with the 5th edition cards. There is a fantastic attack sequence description in this book. The book also details banding, instants, and interrupts which can be very confusing to beginners. Good information is also included for creating and playing with the 5 basic decks: an inexpensive Weenie Deck; a Big Creature Deck; a Burn Deck; a Permission Deck; and a Land Destruction/Discard Deck.
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Format: Paperback
This book breaks it down into its simplest terms. I was able to understand and follow the directions easy. A definite need for those of us that are new to playing Magic the Gathering.
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Format: Paperback
Beth Moursund, bethmo, is simply the best writer there is on Magic: the Gathering. She has a simple style, but makes very deep points. Time and again I have read her discussion of a card or a strategy and been amazed at her insight.
This is a book for the beginning to intermediate player. Actually, it's a book for all but the expert. (And even an expert would appreciate her writing.) In this book, bethmo discusses both how to play the game and how to build winning decks. She illustrates her approach with plays and with decks, so that her theory and practice can be seen side-by-side. Most wonderful of all, the book has illustrations of all the cards she discusses, so you don't have to wonder what the heck some card says. It's right there for you to see. Also, don't worry that the decks will involve out-of-print cards that will cost you a small fortune to procure. bethmo deliberately uses only in-print cards from relatively recent (and still very available editions of the game). She's so good that she doesn't need to take refuge in a deck full of $20 to $200 cards.
By all means, by this book. Once you read it you'll be a bethmo addict, too. Then you can go out and buy other of her books, like her guide to Tempest, the single-card strategies (outdated unless you have the computer game or $1000s to spend), or one of the encyclopedia volumes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a fantastic read. Being someone who is very new to Magic: The Gathering, I found a lot of very useful information. Seeing as it was written a while ago there is obviously going to be some very dated material, some of which isn't even applicable anymore, but that really only applied to some of the examples given. The core of the book is still on the basics of the game which really haven't changed all that much and offers a lot of strategy options for a new player to learn. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to ANY newcomer to the game.
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Format: Paperback
I have found there are two major "humps" on the road to M:TG success: (1) figuring out the rules in the first place; and (2) actually becoming a skilled player. This book helps with both humps, although it will be of greatest value to the player who can play, but just not especially well. As I have played more and more Magic, I find I am constantly rereading sections of the book, often finding subtle points that went over my head a few weeks before but now are clear in the light of real play positions that have happened to me. The color illustrations are fantastic. Recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This book contains great advice for the beginning player, or someone who is considering getting into Magic the Gathering. I have been playing MTG for three years, and didn’t find much of the information particularly useful, but I can see the books value for someone who is still learning the game. Much of the information is still applicable to a certain extent (e.g. each of the game’s colours’ strengths and weaknesses, although this has changed somewhat since the book’s release in 1997).

There are good examples of basic card combinations to show the newer player the interaction between different types of cards. The book also does a good job at explaining the attacker-blocker interaction. Particularly useful for the newer player is the chapter on deck themes, which covers some of the basic deck types, suitable cards, and playing strategy of the deck. It is not a comprehensive list of deck types, as new deck types are created as new game mechanics are created and sets are released. However, I think the deck types the book does cover form the foundation of all deck types that came after.

The author does a great job at explaining the Banding mechanic, but I think that it is the one game mechanic that requires more examples and instruction to be fully understood. It is the complicated things like this than can make Magic the Gathering so rewarding sometimes.

Keep in mind that if you are interested in buying some of the cards listed in the book, there may be suitable alternatives available since the book was printed (e.g. instead of buying Wrath of God, you might be happy playing Day of Judgment instead).

Contents:
Introduction
Basic Deck Building
Creatures and Combat Strategy
Fast Effects in Attack
General Playing Strategy
Deck Themes
Tips n’ Tricks
Variations
Glossary of Magic Jargon
Fifth Edition Card List
Index
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