Version 1.0 - (5-5-01)
Magic: the Gathering FAQ written by Semioldguy (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
System Console: PC
Game Title: Magic: the Gathering
No current revision updates for this FAQ
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
6. Deck building tips
7. Card Combos
8. Shandalar Walkthrough
Magic: the Gathering is a sophisticated CCG. If you are a person that loves
card games and enjoy expanding you mind, this game is for you. It is
relatively cheap to buy and is definitely worth its small price tag. Also a
giant sized Aswan Jaguar comes with the game. This card is a promotional card
made for specific use within this game and it is not for play use. I have
been playing Magic: the Gathering (M:tG) almost since it first started in
1993. The card game itself is very fun and challenging and this game is a
good representation of it.
There is not much of a story to this game but there is one. In shandalar you
are trying to prevent five great wizards from taking over Dominia. The
wizards each have a certain color of M:tG card that is their power. They also
have minions that they send out to try and take over cities to rule over the
Dominia. There is also a much more in-depth story on this game but it is
quite lengthy and if you want to know it read the first six pages of you
instruction manual. Also the card game itself has a story to it, but you'll
have to buy some cards for yourself to find out.
There is not much to the controls of this game, they are easy to figure out
but I will give a list of them anyway.
In shandalar use the arrow keys (up, down, left and right) to move your
character. Once on is pushed your character will forever go in that direction
until they run into something or can no longer move forward. You can activate
your world magics by using the hotkeys 1-5 on the keyboard. You will always
start off with one world magic each game. You can use the mouse to click on
different options throughout shandalar such as reading town info or viewing
maps. Within a dungeon or castle you will use the 7, 9, 1, and 3 on the
numeral pad of your keyboard to take one step in that direction. In towns use
the mouse to click on option and use the Y and N keys to accept of decline
options and offers as well.
In Deck Builder double click or drag to add and remove cards from you deck.
This also applies for modifying your deck in shandalar. Also you can click on
icon to filter out certain types of cards that you don't want to look
During a duel the control is very simple use the mouse to do everything. You
don't need any keys on the keyboard (there are a few rare exceptions when you
have to type in numbers and such, but not many). If you get confused hit
yourself in the head with a hammer and try again. If this doesn't help then
READ YOUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL and hit yourself in the head with that hammer
There is not much I the way of characters for this game, but I will do my
best to come up with ideas for this category. The character you chose in
shandalar does not affect you stats or anything like that so just some that
looks really cool. Each of the wizards has minions that roam around in
shandalar and hang around in the dungeons protecting treasure and even the
wizards themselves. Different characters have different life totals and
different decks. Also some may give you advantages and disadvantages in the
In M:tG there are five different colors as well as lands and artifacts
(colorless). There is also gold in the card game but this game does not have
such cards. At this point in the FAQ if you still don't know how to play the
game of Magic go learn it and then come back and finish reading. Also if you
know how to play Magic well or have for a while, skip this section as it is
mainly meant for beginners to get a feel for the game.
RED – This is my favorite color to use in this game (well, along with white).
I like it because it has lots of direct damage spells and things like that.
If you are looking to win quickly, use this color. Also many of red's good
spells are cheap as well, allowing you to gain control early in the game.
This is what makes red a strong color.
BLACK – The color of death and decay. This color has lots of graveyard
manipulation and many devastating spells. Black is also a very fast color and
arguably the fastest. Black can give you an overall sense of everything that
you can do in the game of magic. If you want speed and be able to toy with
your opponent I would suggest this color to be the one that you use.
BLUE – Ah, the counterspells and the permission deck. Blue is the color for
stopping your opponent dead in his tracks. Blue can refuse to let you
opponent play cards and can take control over that ones that he does. If you
like to win by running the opponent out of cards or annoying them to death
use blue. The only disadvantage to this is that the games last a longer
amount of time and if you don't get the right cards you are less likely to
win. There are other things to do with blue but this just gives you an idea
of its strongpoint.
GREEN – Another fast color, but not quite as fast as black can be. Green has
loads of creatures and creature enhancements at its disposal. If you are a
person who likes to beat down on people with lots of creatures while gaining
life and making those creatures bigger, use green. Green is a great color,
especially for beginning players as it teaches them the power that creature
can have over an opponent.
WHITE – White can be a fast color with all of its small creatures, but mainly
white can be used to gain loads of life. White is another of my favorite
colors to use and it is not that difficult to use, whereas blue can take a
while to learn its capabilities and to use it at its best. White is not at
all a bad color to use and can be very powerful in the right hands.
This concludes the portion of the FAQ about the different colors. You can
also combine colors in decks to use advantages of each. It is also possible
to use just artifacts or even just land! But leave that to the people who
know how to play magic well, as it does have its disadvantages. What color
you like to use can only be determined by you. This is just a general idea of
the capabilities the cards contain.
6. DECK BUILDING TIPS
There is not much I am going to tell you about building a good deck. I don't
want to spoil everything for you, you should try to find certain styles that
you like and feel most comfortable using. I will list several different theme
decks that are pretty successful. First things first, you always want your
deck to be as fast as possible. Those spells that cost lots of mana may seem
really great, but how often can you actually get them out before losing the
game? Not often enough. You do want to include a few spells like that, but
not very many. Base you decks around cheap spells that don't cost much more
than three mana. That gives you something to do earlier in the game and gives
you the chance to get a head start against your opponent.
STASIS DECK – This is a blue and white colored deck using Stasis (blue) and
Kismet (white) to prevent your opponent from using and of his cards. The key
to this deck is getting Stasis out along with Kismet while still being able
to pay Stasis' upkeep cost each turn so that you don't have to sacrifice it.
There are several ways to go about doing this. One is to throw some green
into the deck and include Birds of Paradise and Instill Energy. This allows
you to untap the birds each turn to pay for Stasis. Also you can use
Disenchant (white) to destroy Stasis during your opponent's turn thus
allowing you to untap before playing another Stasis. This deck can also put
good use to Time Elemental (blue) and always be sure to throw in some Howling
Mines (artifact). The Stasis Deck is a control deck that makes you opponent
run out of cards in his library (or possible go insane). Always be sure to
have as much cards in your deck as you can without having so many it becomes
hard to draw Stasis and other cards of this combo. You don't want to run out
of cards before your opponent does. There are many different versions of this
deck and you will have to find out what works best for you (as always). Also,
if you like the idea of running your opponent out of cards, you can also
build a deck around Millstone (artifact).
SPEED DECK – This can pretty much come in three different colors (for this
computer game anyway): Green, White and Black. For all of these you are going
to want as many cheap one and two mana creatures as you can fit in your deck.
Ones with special abilities at these low costs are probably better to chose
from, see what the special ability is and see if it fits your deck. Also, try
to keep the deck to one color, this maximizes your efficiency. With green add
lots of creature enhancement spells such as Giant Growth and Aspect of Wolf.
Make use of the Llanowar Elves and the Sylvan Library. With white you want
all those cheap creatures as well; especially the White Knights and Tundra
Wolves. Always use Crusades, and get as much into play as possible. Make use
of the ability to gain life and the glorious Disenchant. Last is black, and
probably the best as well (also mentioned earlier in the FAQ). Use the small
two mana creatures such as the Black Knight. Always put in Bad Moons and Dark
Rituals, they will help out a lot. Put things like Terror in to get rid of
opposing creatures and you will have a nearly unstoppable deck. With all
three of these decks you should be able to run over your opponent with masses
of creatures. Do not under estimate these decks, they may not seem to have
the most powerful spell but they work quickly to win the game.
BURN DECK – as you probably guessed this is a red deck. In this deck you can
win very quickly if the right cards are drawn. This deck should contain very
small amounts creatures. What you should include is lots of direct damage
spells such as Lightning Bolts and Fireballs. Include a few small creatures
so that you don't get overrun by that of your opponent's. Use all you direct
damage spells on your opponent, not his creatures. In no time you should be
able to win. This is a very simple deck and is fun to play. Don't be afraid
to use Earthquakes if they hurt your opponent more that they do you, it is
okay to damage yourself sometimes.
Other than that you will have to experiment with different combos (there are
more, but I'll let you find them on your own) and different deck styles.
Always remember that faster is usually better and can win you games before
your opponent sets up his defense. In Shandalar it is harder to develop a
deck style, as you do not chose which cards that you begin with. Later in the
game though it is possible to get your deck to a very high level and you can
pretty much get a good style going by that time.
7. CARD COMBOS
There are several card combos that I have noticed playing this game.
Sometimes when you run into one at a store a note will pop up telling you
what card the combo will work with, though it has to be a card that you have
or it won't tell you of its existence. I have mustered up a few combos of my
own that have proved to be very useful and make a good contribution to any
CHANNEL + FIREBALL – Probably one of the most famous and one of the first
real combos discovered in Magic. If your life total and mana total minus
three is more than your opponents you will win with these two cards,
providing you have the right mana to cast them. This combo should easily
prove its power to you and it is very possible to even win on the first turn!
THICKET BASILISK + LURE – Another popular combo. I even used this when I
first started playing. The lure makes it so that all of your opponents
creatures block the basilisk and then end up dying. If you add Gaseous Form
(blue) or Regeneration (green) then you basilisk should never die, killing
all of your opponent's creatures repeatedly. This all green combo is easy to
put in a deck and definitely had power when put together.
FLIGHT/JUMP + GRAPESHOT CATAPULT/HURRICANE – Ever have a small, pesky little
creature bothering you? With this simple little combo you can easily get rid
of those small bothersome creatures. This is not the most successful creature
remover, but it can't hurt to throw it into your deck. Sometimes it's the
simplest, overlooked card combos that work the most often.
RED/BLUE ELEMENTAL BLAST + CHAOSLACE/THOUGHTLACE – This is an extremely
effective way to use two seemingly useless cards. The lace will turn the card
into the desired color then the blast removes it. It can remove anything in
play or anything being cast. Definitely powerful for the two mana that you
need for it to work. This combo can help you take control over the board and
wipe out your opponent.
THE RACK + BLACK VISE – A combo that can fit into any deck, regardless of its
color. Both of the cards for this combo are artifacts and only cost one
generic mana each! This force your opponent to stay with either 3 or 4 cards
in his hand or he will take damage. You can also replace the Black Vise with
a Cursed Rack (artifact) but it is not as effective and takes more mana to
get out into play. If you are always just a couple damage short of defeating
an opponent this is a sure way to get that little extra damage done and claim
COLOSSUS OF SARDIA + INSTILL ENERGY – A decent creature combo for green
decks. This allows you to attack, and block, each turn with a 9/9 trampler.
The Instill Energy allows you to untap the Colossus of Sardia without having
to pay the steep price of nine generic mana. With this in play the game
should be over shortly.
FORCE OF NATURE + CIRCLE OF PROTECTION: GREEN – Did you ever get that giant
Force of Nature out and then find that the extra mana loss was doing you in?
You couldn't take the damage or you would surely lose and was wondering how
to get out of it. With this combo you can. Instead of paying four green mana
each turn you don't have to pay it. Take the 8 damage and then use the CoP:
Green to prevent the damage. This nets you three extra mana each turn and
before you know it you will have won the game.
GLOOM + SLEIGHT OF MIND – Gloom on its own is only good against a white based
deck and Sleight of Mind isn't much of a car on its own either. With the
Sleight of Mind played on your Gloom you can change the white to any other
color. This will make you opponent pay three more mana for each spell and
that is only if you have one of the Glooms in play. Lots of those good one
mana spells aren't so great if you have to pay four mana for them. Add this
to your already successful deck and see how powerful you can really be.
PESTILENCE + CIRCLE OF PROTECTION: BLACK – This combo is rather easy to see.
Pestilence does damage and the circle prevents it to the controller of
Pestilence. However, the drawback to Pestilence is that when there are no
longer any creatures in play it is buried. There are two ways to prevent this
from happening. One, use a creature that has the ability to regenerate so
that is always in play thus making so Pestilence never has to leave play.
Second, any creature with protection from black or enchanted with a Black
Ward. This will prevent it from ever dying as a result of Pestilence.
FIREBREATHING + DWARVEN WARRIORS – A very effective damage combo for red. The
Dwarven Warriors allow a creature to become unblockable and then after they
gain the ability pump some red mana into Firebreathing. This will make a
large creature get through your opponent's defense and do a lot of damage to
him or her. This trick is easy to get out into play and can be the deciding
factor of the game.
There is one combo I can think of that I left off this list and that is the
wonderful Stasis combo. To see an example of it look in my Deck Building Tips
section. The combo is powerful that decks have been designed around it to put
it to it best use. As you play you will also see how some cards can works
together and give you an advantage. One of these could be Phantasmal Terrain
and a landwalking creature. There are many possible combinations out there
waiting to be found. I purposely left a few really great ones off the list
that involve the use of restricted cards, maybe I will add them on in the
future. Until then good luck in finding some great combos.
8. SHANDALAR WALKTHROUGH
You can't produce much of a walkthrough for this game but I can get you
started on the right foot. The first thing that you should do is go to the
nearest town/village and look at your deck. It is always best to know what is
in your deck before having to play with it. Also check and see if there is a
quest that you are up to taking, usually the ones where you only have to
deliver a message are the best and easiest to do. The Next thing that you
want to do is get out and explore, find Lairs, accomplish quests, and battle
lots of people to win cards and dungeon clues.
When first starting out try to get as many dungeon clues as you can. The only
exception is when the cards that you would otherwise get are really good. It
is best to get lots of dungeon clues because the cards you find in dungeons
are usually really good. They also sell for a lot of money if they are of no
use to you.
Three other things that you should try to do are to get lots of mana stones,
as they help in getting rare cards without having to pay lots of gold.
Remember though, when you do buy, or look at the lust of cards, in a city for
mana stones you cannot come back and get cards, so make sure that you have
lots of mana stones so that you can buy everything that you want. Next try to
build a strong deck of around 60 cards. If you get to 60, keep going and
getting better cards to replace the not so useful ones. If you keep getting
stronger it will be harder for you to lose and you will win many cards and
dungeon clues. Third, always try to destroy the mana taps that the five
wizards place upon cities. Do this for two reasons. One, so you can buy and
do things again with that city. Second, you want to get rid of them early
because if you wait you may find out that it is a lot harder than you might
have thought. Try to but the item that makes it so the wizards need 5 taps
each rather than only having to gain control of three. If a wizard is getting
close to the goal and you aren't having any luck freeing the city, try going
for the castle of that wizard in stead. Sometimes that can be a lot easier
that trying to remove three or four cities from mana taps and it prevents
them from casting any more.
When your deck gets strong enough, you will eventually want to dual the
wizards at their own castle to defeat them. For each one you defeat their
minions will also disappear forever. To identify a wizard in his or her
castle you must first explore. A castle is a lot like a dungeon. The wizard
will usually be at the end of a path, rather than in the middle of it or
blocking your way, and will resemble a human with a staff. Each wizard has a
total of 30 life and specialize in their own color (obviously). After that
last castle is destroyed you better be prepared for a really big dual!
You then fight a monster of some kind, I forget its name, and he has a very
strong deck and 100 life! After winning or losing to him he will be cast away
for many years and the land is now safe from his evil, or something like
that. You will send him away more years for each life you take away from him.
The most I have ever gotten him down to is 16 life with my white deck. He is
tough, but don't worry you don't have to beat him to beat the game. If anyone
has defeat him perhaps you could e-mail me and tell me if there is anything
that is different about the ending. I will give proper recognition to that
person as well.
There is not much more you need to know about beating this game. No one place
is ever I the same position as last time, as the Shandalar is randomly
This concludes my FAQ for Magic: the Gathering. I hoped this helped you get
through the game in some way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns,
or contributions please send them to my e-mail address at
. Put 'Magic: the Gathering FAQ' as e-mail subject or
your mail will be ignored or deleted. If I feel that your contribution would
make a difference on this FAQ I will update it with proper recognition to the
person who provided it.
Myself, Kyle Dunne , wrote this FAQ. This FAQ is
Copyright © 2001 Kyle Dunne. This FAQ may not be used for any promotional or
profitable purposes. Only unchanged in its entirely, including this
disclaimer, may this FAQ be posted on a website or homepage and you first
must notify me (that means before doing it).