Newbie questions, real beginner's stuff but we can't find the answers!

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Hi. My girlfriend and I have just started playing Magic and are absolutely loving it, but there are a few things we haven't been able to figure out yet. I'm sure the information is out there but we've googled it to death and can't find it! :-)

So, really basic stuff I'm sure, but could someone please explain...

1. In a lot of the Gatherer discussion pages, people refer to "cheating" a card in to play. I assume this doesn't mean cheating as in breaking the rules, it's some sort of clever strategy, but what exactly does the term mean?

2. We're a bit confused about using cards from different editions of the game and expansion packs. For example, to help build my deck, I've ordered some good cards from eBay sellers, including Psychosis Crawler (Mirrodin Besieged), Terra Stomper (Zendikar), Day of Judgment (M12), Worldspine Wurm (Return to Ravnica), and Darksteel Colossus (M10). Am I allowed to build a deck that includes all of those cards? Or do you decide which pack you're playing and then both players must build a deck using cards from only that pack?

There's a local Magic club that we'll be going to, next meeting about 10 days from now, and I'm sure there will be people there who can explain these things to us, but we're already playing a few games every day, just the two of us, so it would be great to start getting a better grasp of the rules! :-)

Thanks in advance for any help!
I'm guessing 'cheating' would imply playing a card without the usual casting cost. First one that springs to mind is rise from the grave but there are tonnes more that can play from the graveyard, or even just straight from your hand.

As for playing with cards from different sets, it depends on who / where your playing.
Me and my mates play with whatever we can get our hands on, but i do have a couple of decks set up to be Standard or Extended format and occasionally we might have a game with just those cards.
Basically decide with whoever you are playing with what cards from what sets you want to play with.

If you go to a local club, they may have nights where you can play with anything, and they may have nights where you have to only play with Standard etc
1. In a lot of the Gatherer discussion pages, people refer to "cheating" a card in to play. I assume this doesn't mean cheating as in breaking the rules, it's some sort of clever strategy, but what exactly does the term mean?



Usually it means finding a way to get a card into play without paying its mana cost or any comes-into-play penalties.  Like activating an Elvish Piper to get a Progenitus into play, or like playing a Phyrexian Dreadnought then activating your Sundial of the Infinite to end your turn while its comes-into-play trigger is still on the stack.

2. We're a bit confused about using cards from different editions of the game and expansion packs. For example, to help build my deck, I've ordered some good cards from eBay sellers, including Psychosis Crawler (Mirrodin Besieged), Terra Stomper (Zendikar), Day of Judgment (M12), Worldspine Wurm (Return to Ravnica), and Darksteel Colossus (M10). Am I allowed to build a deck that includes all of those cards? Or do you decide which pack you're playing and then both players must build a deck using cards from only that pack?



When playing with your girlfriend, anything you both agree on is fair game.

When playing at organized events, there may be specific rules on what tournament rule set is in effect, that detail which card sets are legal, which individual cards are specifically restricted or banned, and if there are any additional deck construction requirements for that format.  Standard, Modern, Vintage, Legacy, and Commander are common constructed formats.  Read on: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/resources/formats-sanctioned
Thank you TimmyBee and thatmarkguy, your help is appreciated :-)
There are some really great videos on you tube as well, I used them a lot when getting started. Wizards has a series.

Here is the first one:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GadqHggATe8

The others will show up when you watch this one. I think they are really well done.

Please check out my Blog:

Magic the Gathering Adventures Blog

http://mtgadventures.blogspot.com/

Please check out my YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/rubiera22/featured

 

There's different formats ;

Standard : last 2 block and the core set in between, right now that means Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn restored, m13 and Return to ravnica (and eventually gatecrash and Dragon's Maze). So it's pretty much 2 years of cards and each time a new block comes out, like what happen when return to ravnica came out, the oldest block rotate. When RtR came out, scars of mirrodin, mirrodin besieged, new phyrexia and M12 rotated out. It happen in october

Modern : This is where your current deck fall into and it's "any" card since Mirrodin, the original Mirrodin, not the one from 2 years ago, so pretty much 10-11 years worth of cards, there's a banned list.

Legacy : Any card ever printed, but there's a banned list to keep the insanely retarded combo at bay

Vintage : Any card ever printed, but there's a restricted/banned list to allow some of the insanely retarded combo, but still keep the undesirable cards out of the game, like ante cards (pretty much betting 1 card of your deck and whoever wins, win the cards)

Also cheating into play, there's about 1000 ways to do it, but it usually mean you'll pay a lot less than you are supposed to do. One of the fastest/strongest way to do it right now is Show and tell into Emrakul, the aeons torn. Usually you pull that off at turn 1 and unless they can win during their own turn 1, you win the game.
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1. "Cheating" refers to playing a card without paying the mana cost. Usually this is from the hand or from the graveyard. You'll also let you find cards that let you cheat from the library occasionally, but it's really not done much. Mostly these let you let you play lands.
2. The only real difficulty is that older cards should refer to Oracle (which can be found on Gatherer or magiccards.info) for proper ruling. However, Standard is only the last two years of randomized product: That is, Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored, M13, and Return to Ravnica. (Everything before Return to Ravnica rotates out when "Friends" rotates in next fall.) Note that any card with the same English name as a legal card is legal. Modern uses every randomized product from Eighth Edition and Mirrodin (the original) to today and doesn't rotate. Note that some cards are also banned for balance concerns.
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1. In a lot of the Gatherer discussion pages, people refer to "cheating" a card in to play. I assume this doesn't mean cheating as in breaking the rules, it's some sort of clever strategy, but what exactly does the term mean?




In gatherer they talk about cheating cards into play that are otherwise nearly unplayable. Usually they are talking about a card that is hardly playable (example gleemax) and then they talk about cheating it into play with some broken card (example tinker or show and tell) to justify giving the card a high rating that it doesn't deserve.
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If you go to a local club, they may have nights where you can play with anything, and they may have nights where you have to only play with Standard etc

I just wanted to emphasize this: At home you can play anything you want, but if you play at a sanctioned event (like Friday Night Magic), or pretty much any store or club event, the first thing you should find out is what format they are playing. That will then tell you what expansion sets you are legal in that format (and if there are any banned or restricted cards).

Someone already posted the link to the definition of the formats, but here it is again: www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx.... I would say the most commonly played format is Standard.

When you use the Gatherer database, you can filter the cards by the format, which is very useful in researching cards. Also, note that if the format is Standard, and you have a card from Zendikar, which is obviously no longer in Standard, you can still play it as long as the card itself is in one of the expansion sets currently in Standard. In other words, all that matters is that the card name is allowable in the format: The edition it is printed in does not matter.