This year sees the much-anticipated launch of a brand-new set in Magic: The Gathering and a brand-new urban setting in the multiverse. Called Streets of New Capenna, visitors to this world will find themselves faced with a megalopolis ruled by five influential crime families – each centred around 3 colours of mana. Fans can expect a theme of glitz, glamour, gangsters and grime.
“The new set expresses an exciting new city that looms large and exudes power and luxury. Each of the five families contend for strength and profits and will take more than just one or two colours. Streets of New Capenna is about family, business, dealmakers and more. I think fans, old and new, will enjoy it,” says Philip Galliford, spokesperson for Solarpop.
For those who don’t know about Magic: The Gathering, below is a quick introduction.
Magic: The Gathering is a tabletop trading card game that has been around since 1993. Over the years it has grown in popularity with approximately thirty-five million players as of December 2018, and since then its audience has continued to expand.
The game was created by a mathematician called Richard Garfield. He had been dabbling in the creation of the game since his teens but it was only after meeting with Peter Adkison, founder and first CEO of Wizards of the Coast, that he had a lightning bolt moment. He was on a hike when the idea for the game struck him, bringing together ideas that he has been playing with over many years.
With the spread of the internet, the culture of fantasy and gameplay has become a lot more accessible and a bigger influence on popular culture to the extent that it informs movies, television, memes and how we communicate online.
Congruently, Magic: The Gathering (MtG) has grown in popularity and is no longer only present in the ambit of ‘geeks’, it appeals to a much wider audience. This is apparent by the fact that twenty billion cards were produced between 2008 and 2016.
What makes the trading cards and the game so appealing is that it reflects entire universes, which means that players can go deep into the story if they want, or simply enjoy a fun card game of strategy, calculation and self-expression.
MtG has been described as seminal, a cultural tour de force and the first collectible card game. It has been the inspiration behind many other trading card games, including Pokémon and Yu Gi oh. Its innovative collectible booster packs and gameplay that can range from straightforward to profound, make it captivating.
“Magic: The Gathering is an excellent game. It’s a combination of social gaming, the detailed art of a fantasy multiverse and tactics that require speculative ‘what-if’ thinking,” says Galliford. “It has lured millions of consumers into its world and as each new set is launched, it seems to appeal to an even wider audience.”
How to play
The objective of the game is to defeat your opponent. Two or more players select the cards they want to play with from their own collection and then cast spells, use artifacts and summon creatures as depicted on individual cards drawn from their individual decks. A player typically defeats their opponent by casting spells and attacking with creatures to allocate damage to the opponent’s “life total,” with the aim of reducing it from 20 to 0.
New cards are released on a regular basis through expansion sets, ensuring that there is always something new to look forward to and take gameplaying to a new level of battle. Due to the collectible nature of the cards, there is a trading and resale market where players purchase and trade specific cards for their rarity or their utility in gameplay.