How to Play Magic: The Gathering

Greetings, gamers.How to Play Magic: The Gathering

This post will lead you to all the information you need to start playing Magic: The Gathering. I’m writing an article myself on how to play this amazing game, but it is still going to take a while before it’s done. So, what’s this all about? Well, yesterday, I was watching Boogie 2988[1] open some Return to Ravnica booster packs and came across an incredible video. Probably for being tired of people asking him to explain the game, he posted a link to a series of tutorial videos on how to play MTG. If you want to learn how to play the online version of the game, don’t worry, it has the exact same rules and cards. It’s the same game, except one is played with paper cards, while the other is played with digital ones.

The series is called Learn to Play Magic: The Gathering and is divided in several parts. A couple of nice fellas will explain to you the fundamental aspects of the game. After watching all the videos, you should be able to start playing this amazing TCG (Trading Card Game).

***IMPORTANT: I do not own these videos and had no participation in their making. These are official videos uploaded to YouTube by Wizards of The Coast.***

Part 1: Welcome to the Multiverse

Part 2: The Five Colors of Mana

Part 3: Game Zones and Parts of a Card

Part 4: Card Types

Part 5: Parts of a Turn

Part 6: The Next Step

On the description of every video, they tell you to visit for more information. There, you’ll find a demo version of the game, to practice what you’ve just learned. They have also a .PDF with the rules of the game available for downloading.

[1] Boogie2988 YouTube Channel

Booster Drafting Basics – MTGO

There are many ways you can play Magic: The Gathering. I’ve tried many, but the one that’s keeping me up untill 4am every other day is the Booster Draft. In this article, I’ll try to cover every basic aspect of this tournament. I’ll be refering, at most times, to the Online version of the game, but both are basically the same.

Introduction – Why I started playing MTG Booster Drafts

I have played MTG and MTGO many, many, many times. When younger, I played MTG with friends, in a very casual way. When playing with friends was no longer a possibility, I was forced into MTGO. As you should know, its basically the exact same game, one digital, one physical. Playing online, with digital cards, has advantages and disadvantages, which I’m not gonna go through right now, except for a specific one: When you start playing Magic: The Gathering Online, you’ll be playing against many players around the world, and will end up facing amazing expensive decks. No matter what your skill is, you won’t be able to beat those decks with your starting cards. Yes, maybe you can build a very neat, smart, dynamic deck with cheap cards, but it’s not gonna get you to the finals of a constructed championship.

So, when you start playing MTGO, you have to make a choice. You’re either going to have to sink deep into the game, and spend time andmoney to build yourself a deck worthy of being used in a tournament, or you’ll be forced to play completly casually. I’ve tried the later one, and was not satisfied with it. It’s nice for a while, but it’s not challenging at all, since you’ll be always playing different people, and it doesn’t really matter if you win or lose.

Still, I didn’t feel like jumping into the world of expensive decks and big-prize tournaments. Why? Not only because of time constraints, but also because it’s a commitment. You can sepend time and money building a strong deck, that will be useless in a year or so. So, if you want to get into that level and stay there, you’ll have to be up to date with every card being released and every build being used, and be willing to rebuild and recycle your decks every once in a while. And that’s a commitment I was not willing to make a year ago, what led me to giving up on MTGO (for a while).

Needless to say, MTG is not something that you can just give up. It stays with you. Probably because it’s (arguably) the best game ever made, and very likely the most addicting one. So, a few weeks ago I started watching people playing online – on streams and youtube. That’s when I stumbled across this guy, Peilla[1], who uploads, among other things, videos of himself playing MTGO Booster Drafts. It was not the first time I heard about this sort of tournament, but it was the first time I saw how it actually worked. I was thrilled. The result? I watched all of his MTGO M13 Booster Draft videos – which add up to about 10 hours of video – in a couple of days and, on the following weekend, I played and won my first Booster Draft championship =D. [2]

But what’s the difference between a Draft and a Constructed tournament? It’s simple: In a constructed tournament, the players use the decks they already own, with cards of their collections. In a draft, on the other hand, players have to “bring” sealed decks or boosters, and they’ll build the decks to be used in the tournament with the cards they choose during the drafting process. This means that, in a Draft tournament, you’ll be counting solely on your skills, and luck, of course. Every player in the tournament will have the same starting conditions. That’s what’s so attractive to players like me, who do not own a strong collection. It doesen’t matter if your opponent spent $500,00 building some overpowered planeswalker deck. He won’t be able to use it. Every player will build his deck when the tournament starts. Plus, you’ll play a different deck every tournament, what makes it even more exciting, at least in my opinion.

How Drafting works?

A Draft Tournament requires the players to bring or acquire sealed packs to be able to join. As the tournament starts, the players will open the packs and pick cards to build the decks they’ll be using for the rest of the tournament. More specifically, a Booster Draft requires a player to bring at least 3 sealed boosters. After drafting using those 3 boosters, each player will end up with 45 cards. A booster draft may have various numbers of players, but the online ones usually go with eight.

When the tournament starts, each player opens one of his 3 booster packs, choose a card, and pass the other cards to another player. On MTG, you pass the remaining 14 cards to the guy sitting on your left, on a circle of people. On MTGO, you don’t have to worry about that. Just pick your card and the program will pass the cards to the following player. As you pass your cards, some other player will pass the remaining 14 cards from his booster to you. You’ll pick another card, and pass the cards again. This process will repeat until every player has 15 cards. Then, you’ll all open another booster, and the process begins again. Same with the third booster.

In the end of the drafting process, every player will have 45 cards, which he’ll use to build his deck. Basic lands do not count. The game provides you with as many basic land cards as you want, to use in your deck. Player usually build 40 card decks, so he’ll have a higher chance of drawing the best cards. Usually, decks with 23 non-land cards and 17 land cards are built.

After every player has built and submitted his deck, the matches will start. The number of matches and the prizes differ in each kind of Booster Draft.

The Three Booster Draft Formats – 8-4, 4-3-2-2, Swiss

The name of the format is related to the prize. There are other formats, but these are the most played ones on the Online game. Each one requires 8 players, for the tournament to begin. The entry fee is usually one of the three following options:

  1. 14 tickets
  2. 3 booster packs + 2 tickets
  3. booster-drafting package (you can buy on the online store)


You should ALWAYS use the second option.
– Why?
Because both the 1st and the 3rd cost around $14,00, while the 2nd costs around $11,00.
– What do you mean?
On the online store, a ticket costs $1,00, the booster costs around $4,00 and the booster-drafting pack costs around $14,00.
– So what, the second option still costs $14,00.
True, IF you buy it all on the online store. You should buy 11 tickets on the store, go to the classifieds, and get 3 boosters for around 3 tickets each. Usually, you can easily find a booster that costs $3,99 on the online store, for about 2,9 tickets. (Also, you could save even more by buying tix directly from a dealer, like MTGO Traders [3]).
– Well, I don’t mind spending an extra $3,00, as long as I’m supporting WoTC.


This is a single-elimination tournament. Only the finalists get prizes. 1st place gets 8 boosters and 2nd place gets 4. All other players get nothing. This is the most risky but, at the same time, the most rewarding format.


Just like the 8-4 this is a single-elimination tournament. Unlike the former, this rewards anyone who gets past the 1st match. 1st player gets 4 boosters, 2nd gets 3, 3rd and 4th places get 2 boosters each. Compared to the 8-4, the 4-3-2-2 is less risky, but less rewarding.


Unlike the other two formats, the name of this one has nothing to do with the prize. Actually, I’m not sure why it’s called Swiss. Also unlike the other two formats, this one is not single elimination. Every player plays every match and gets 1 booster pack for each win. This is the format I would recommend to any beginners. Not only you’ll be able to play every match and get more used to drafting, but you’ll also find weaker players to compete against.

Also, opponents with equal results are matched against each other. So, if you lose the first match, you’ll face one of the other 3 players who also lost the 1st match. In the end, one player will always get 3 boosters, four players will get 2 boosters, one player will get 1 booster, and one unlucky dude will leave empty handed.

I haven’t played in a while / I’m a complete noob

If you’re either a noob in the game, or you’ve been away from MTG for a while, you shouldn’t jump into drafting right away. In both cases, I’d advise you to play casually until you get the hang of it. Of course, play standard, since most booster drafts happen in standard.

If you’re a complete newbie to MTG, it may take a longer time to be apt to start drafting. You should first learn the basics of the game. Then, after hundreds of matches, you should come back to this article to finally be able to start drafting.

If you’re getting started with the online version of MTG – MTGO – you should play at least fifty matches casually, so you’ll get used to the subtleties of the system. There are many matches you’ll lose because you didn’t know you had to configure the system not to skip a step, or something like that. Let it be a casual match.

If you’re used to MTGO, but not up to date with the new releases, then you should also play some standard casual matches, just to catch up with the new cards and combos.

In any case, newbie or rusty, it would be helpful to watch someone else drafting. I want to post some videos of myself drafting, but since I haven’t yet, I’d strongly recommend you watch the m13 booster drafts uploaded by Peilla [1]. You’ll learn and also have fun.

Basic Drafting Strategies

There are many important issues to consider, when picking cards. First of all, don’t feel tempted to pick cards that are good in constructed matches. Some of them may be good by themselves, but a lot of them are only good when used in combos with other cards that you’re probably not gonna have the chance to pick.

First of all, pick all the BOMBS you can. By bomb, I mean a card that by itself will be game ending in your favor. Maybe a very powerful but costy creature. You have to keep in mind that you won’t be facing the same decks you would if you were playing constructed. You’ll be facing weaker decks, so you’ll be more likely to be able to cast a high cost spell. Bombs could be any sorts of spell, actually. Maybe some X direct damage, maybe some OP enchantment that will severely limit your opponent. What matters is, if you see a card that, on battlefield, would be able to win you the game, you should probably pick it.

During the first pack, you usually should keep your options numerous. Don’t limit yourself to a single color or two, during the first pack, unless you have a really good reason to do so. On the other hand, you should, most of the times, keep your final deck at two colors at most. So, by the time you get to half of the second pack, you should have already made your color choice.

Think about easy combos to make. For example: you have already picked two Mark of The Vampire. You should be inclined to pick any Tormented Soul’s that pass by. At the same time, if you’re planning on building a black deck, it might be a good choice to pick Mark of The Vampire, because it’s very likely that someone will pass you a Tormented Soul or another card that would go well with Mark of The Vampire. And here’s another good point: There are cards that just go well in many situations. Others go well in very specific situations. So, when you’re still picking your first cards, you should give priority to those cards that go well with everything, because you don’t know what’s gonna come next.

Another fundamental element is means of elimination. In case your opponent casts that 10/10 flying creature with trample, you must have a way to deal with it. That’s why you should always have a few cards like Terror or any creature destroying card.

Direct damage can be a fine weapon. It is useful for both getting rid of those annoying little creatures with OverPowered abilities, and winning you the race – killing your opponent before he kills you. On draft matches, many times you’ll find yourself in a situation where you can’t deal with what your opponent has on the battlefield, so you have to find a way to kill him before he can stomp you with his almighty, untouchable creatures. Direct damage – always a fine choice.

Another thing you should pay attention to is mana cost. I like telling the game to sort the cards by mana cost, during the drafting stage. Try not to go with too many high cost cards. You should have 1 mana cards for a quick start, a few high cost bomb cards, that could be game deciding, and a good amount of 2-3-4 mana cards.

Also, try to get a good number of creatures. remember that you’re not playing standard, and you’ll probably not going to succeed in making some crazy combo that involves no creatures. Creatures are, most likely, the main source of damage and control in a Booster Draft match. And even if they are not your main source of damage, you still need them to defend from opponents creatures, because you can be sure they will have tons of them.

Finally, when building your deck, don’t try to get fancy with the lands. Don’t go with too few or too many. It’s very likely that you’ll not succeed. A standard choice would be 17 lands and 23 non-land cards. Anything distant from that should be dangerous.

Things to keep in mind

  • Always write down the number of the tournament you’re participating in. Right as you join. This makes it possible or easier to complain about any sort of issue you had during the tournament. I’ve never had any problems, though.
  • Pay atention to the CLOCK. I lost a won match last weekend because I did not pay atention to the clock. You have no idea of how frustrating that is. I have this dumb habit of dragging the exiled cards box over the clock. Don’t do that.
  • Don’t pick the cards for their value. Well, that’s not written in stone. Of course, if you get a $40,00 planeswalker on your third pack, PICK IT, even if you’re not going to use it on the tournament. What you don’t wanna do, though, is let temptation make you pick $2,00 – $3,00 cards instead of cards that would be really useful in the tournament. It’s tempting, of course. But if you think about it, you’re paying $11,00 to join the tournament. Unless your cards add up to that value, which rarely happens, it’s better just to let that $2,00 card go and pick a bomb that would get you to the finals.

FAQ – More like doubts I had when I first started

  • What’s the prize? Depends on the format. On MTGO, you can click the name of the tournament, and the game will open a browser with all the information you need.
  • Do I keep the cards I draft? In most cases, YES. Except for ghost tournaments. Those are cheaper to get in, but you don’t get to keep the cards. In 4-3-2-2, Swiss and 8-4 you do get to keep your cards.
  • What does “Last Game Length” mean, exactly? It shows the time that the player (with the lower clock) had left to play when the last game ended. It does not show the duration of the last game played.
  • I’m playing swiss. I’m done with my 3rd match and want to get my prize. Is there a way to get it before the other matches end? I don’t think so. If there is, please let me know. =P
  • Can I join many tournaments at once? It is possible. You shouldn’t, though.
  • If I join a tournament, and decide to leave before it starts, do I get my entry fee back? Yes.
  • Can I watch the other matches, while I’m waiting for the next round to begin? Nope.

[1] Peilla’s Youtube Channel
[2] Swiss Win Screenshot
[3] MTGO Traders Website

Swiss Booster Draft Champion!

Hello ladies,

So, I’ve just started playing Magic: The Gathering Online again, and this time I decided to go for some Booster Drafts. In case you don’t know what these are, just go away =P. In the future, I’ll post something explaining the game and the formats. But today I just wanted to annouce my victory in the third Booster Draft I participated in.

OK. Winning 1st place in a Swiss Booster Draft is not a big deal. I know it, you know it. But still, I started playing them yesterday, and got my first win. To be honest, it was pretty exciting. After that, I played an 8-4 and wasted all my profits. It was close, though hahahaha. From now on, I’ll be playing only 4-3-2-2 and 8-4. Not only because the prize is bigger, but also because they’re faster.

So, here’s the print of the win anyways XD:



Skyrim: 100 Smithing

In this post, I’ll tell you how to easily get to 100 skill points in smithing.

You’re going to start by collecting all the leather you can. Leather is very easy to find in Skyrim. Almost any animal you kill will drop some sort of pelt that you can turn into leather at tanning racks. You can also buy all the leather and leather strips from the NPCs, if you have extra money. At the tanning rack, convert leather into leather strips until you have 2 leather strips for each leather you have.

Then, go to a forge and forge a ton of leather bracers. Your skill will go up very fast, especially at lower levels. The reason this technique is so good, is that you earn the same skill experience no matter what item you craft (or almost the same), so why not forge the cheapest one? Some people say that this technique works better by forging iron daggers, because they only cost 2 ingredients: an iron ingot, and a leather strip. On the other hand, I assume leather is cheaper and easier to find. You can do it with iron daggers if you want, following the same principle.

This is not exactly a “cheat” but it will get you to a hundred points in smithing in no time! It will also help you level up at lower levels. Once you get to maximum smithing, you’ll be able to make and refine very powerful items.

Doom II Cheat Codes

These are the original cheat codes for Doom II – Hell on Earth. that will work in any engine, including the old MS-DOS executable.

To make these work, just type the desired codes while in-game, during the levels. They should also work with Final Doom and Freedoom‘s phase 2.

Remember, the original cheat codes do not work on Nightmare difficulty.

Code – Effect:

  • iddqd – God Mode.
  • idkfa – All weapons and ammo plus keys.
  • idfa – All weapons and ammo.
  • idclip – Can walk through stuff.
  • idclev[Number] – Moves to level [Number]. [Number] goes from 1-32. Maps 31 and 32 are secret maps, based on Wolfeinstein 3D, and you CAN get to them from other levels, without cheating.
  • idbeholdi – Invisibility.
  • fhshh – Invisible until you attack the enemies.
  • idbeholdl – Light Amp Goggles.
  • idchoppers – Chainsaw.
  • idmypos – Shows position in code.
  • iddt – Entire map.
  • idbeholds – Berzerk.
  • idbeholda – Computer area map.
  • idmus[Number] – Choose BGM. [Number] is in XX format.
  • idbeholdr – Radiation Suit.
  • idbeholdv – Invulnerability.


The video down below also has the cheat codes, and they are being demonstrated and stuff:

Skyrim Cheat Codes

These are the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim cheat codes. To activate the code, you must press [ ‘ ] to open the console, type the code, and press [Enter]. There’s a link at the end of the post, where you will find all skill, NPC and item codes you need.





Code – Effect:

  • tgm – God Mode.
  • player.modav burden [Number] – Increases your burden.
  • AdvancePCLevel – Increases your level.
  • player.setav speedmult [Number] – Increases speed limit. [Number] is a percentage.
  • Kill – Kill target enemy.
  • killall – Kill all hostile creatures in the area.
  • help – List of all commands.
  • qqq – Quits the game.
  • removeallitems – Removes all items from selected NPC.
  • markfordelete – Removes selected object from your game.
  • resetinventory – Resets selected NPC to his original items.
  • resethealth – Restores targeted NPC to full health.
  • player.resethealth – Restores full health.
  • Resurrect – Ressurects target dead.
  • savegame [name of file] – Saves the game with to a file with the chosen name.
  • help keyword [Number] – Search by the keyword, the number is what mode to search by. Modes are listed by help every time you use it.
  • player.modav carryweight [Number] – Choose carry weight.
  • setpcfame – Set your own fame.
  • setpcinfamy – Set your own infamy.
  • player.setav Health [Number] – Set health.
  • player.setcrimegold [Number] – High: Fight. 0: Free.
  • player.setav Magicka [Number] – Set Magicka.
  • player.setlevel [Number] – Choose level.
  • player.setav Stamina [Number] – Set stamina.
  • player.setav <skillname> [Number] – Set skill to chosen level, without leveling up the character.
  • setessential <ID> 1 – Sets NPC corresponding to ID to essential.
  • STR [Number] – Sets the refractive value of the target. 0.0= normal, 0.000001= invisible,1.0 = full refraction
  • showracemenu – Shows Race Menu.
  • tmm 1/0 – 1: Show all markers. 0: Hide all markers.
  • player.placeatme <ID> – Spawns an NPC.
  • saq – Starts all quests.
  • movetoqt – Teleports you to the quest’s next target.
  • coc qasmoke – Brings you to a testing hall with all items in the game.
  • enableplayercontrols – Enable controls when they’re disabled. (e.g. During Cinematics)
  • TDetect – Toggle AI Detection.
  • TAI – Toggle Artificial Intelligence.
  • tcl – Toggle Collision.
  • TCAI – Toggle Combat Artificial Intelligente.
  • tfow – Toggle FOW.
  • TG –  Toggle grass.
  • tm – Toggle menus.
  • unlock – Unlocks anything.
  • Player.IncPCS <Skill Name> – Increase the level of the skill by one.
  • lock <Difficulty Level> – Locks chests, doors or people by targeting them and typing the code.
  • playerenchantobject <object ID> <MGEF ID #1> <MGEF ID #2> – Enchants an item of your inventory with one or two enchantments of your choice. Magnitude is based on enchanting skill.
  • AdvancePCSkill <skillname> [Number] – Add levels to your skills.
  • player.addperk <PerkID> – Adds perk.
  • Player.modav Dragonsouls [Number] – Adds Dragon Souls.
  • fov [Number] – Adjusts field of view.
  • advskill <skill> [Number] – Advances target skill by chosen amount.
  • psb – All spells.
  • player.setscale [Number] – Change Scale of the player. 1 is normal.
  • Setownership – Changes ownership of the target.
  • SexChange – Changes the gender of your character.
  • caqs – Completes all quest stages.
  • duplicateallitems – Duplicates items from a chest or an NPC.
  • COC <location> – Fast travel to location.
  • tfc – Free flying camera.
  • player.additem <ItemNumber> [Number]- Gives player item.
  • help <NPC Name> 4 – Gives the ID from selected NPC.

You will find all the items, NPCs and skill codes in this page: GameFront – use Ctrl + F to find whatever you need.

Lost Viking Cheat Codes – SC2

These are the cheat codes for the Lost Viking mini-game – The arcade game you can play in the Cantina, during the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign.

During the game, you have to press [Enter], type the code in the console that appears, and press [Enter] again.

Code – Effect:

  • -score [number] – Adds [number] to the score.
  • -addlife – Adds an extra life.
  • -life – Adds 10 extra lives.
  • -pu – Spawn Power-up.
  • -levelclear – Skip level.
  • -bonus – Man ends.
  • -boss – Boss appears.
  • -behind – Enemies.
  • -mb – Change background.
  • -ss – Display “Boss Incoming” message.
  • -sine – sin(180), sin (90), sin(pi).
  • -end – Ending sequence.
  • -noquit – Hides the quit button.

If you know any code not listed above, please let us know!

If you were looking for Single-Player and Campaign cheat codes, you can find them here.

SC2 Cheat Codes

These are the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty cheat codes. To activate the code you must press ENTER, type the code, and press ENTER again. If you want to use the same code multiple times, you can just press ENTER, ‘=’, ENTER, after having used the code for a first time, of course.

Remember that they only work on single-player mode and, if you use them, you will not get any achievements.

Code – Result:

  • terribleterribledamage – God Mode
  • whorunbartertown – 5,000 Minerals & Vespene Gas
  • whysoserious – 5 Million Credits
  • spectraltiger – 5,000 Minerals
  • realmendrilldeep – 5,000 Gas
  • moredotsmoredots – Units do not Cost Resources
  • bunker55aliveinside – No supply caps
  • catfoodforprawnguns – Fast Build
  • imadoctornotaroachjim – Fast Heal
  • tyuhasleftthegame – Victory Conditions Disabled
  • jaynestown – Resources Granted
  • sosayweall – Disable Tech Requirements
  • overengineeredcodpiece – “Terran up the Night” Song
  • eyeofsauron – Cinematics Menu
  • iamironman – Upgrade Weapons, Armor and Shield by One
  • hanshotfirst – Disable Ability Cooldown
  • cadeeasygoin – Lose Game
  • basestarsprimative – Fast Build
  • fsbcomunicacion – Faster Medics
  • mintmansoperator – Disable Food and PSI Requirements
  • nevergiveupneversurrender – Defeat Conditions Disabled
  • dzmhairspring – Show Mission Progress
  • tooktheredpill – Disable Fog War
  • qrotero – Time of Day
  • whatisbestinlife – Instant Win
  • letsjustbugoutandcalliteven – Instant Loss
  • lyingpect – Mission Graph Dialog
  • stayclassymarsara – UNN TV News
  • leaveyoursleep – All Missions
  • horadriccube – All research options
  • wapboinkers – Research Points

If you know another cheat code that is not included in this list, please send it to us!

There are also cheat codes for Lost Viking (the arcade game playable during the campaign). You can find them here.

Note: If one of these codes do not work, it was probably disabled in one of the newer patches.