Gathering Magic is a little older than Magic itself. The first published version was released in 1994 for the Spectrum. In 2003, Wizards of the Coast released the original Core Set: Arabian Nights. The game and the game mechanic (card sleeves) were updated in 2005 when Arabian Nights: The Spiral Gateway came out.
There has been a release every other year since then, but all of them have either been limited formats or have been a reprint of previous releases.
The core set was last reprinted in 2009 as Journey into Nyx. The current core set remains unchanged, but the mechanics in it changed.
Many of the rules and cards that define the game today were either developed or developed by Wizards of the Coast. We have covered some of those rules and cards. Check out the rules, the card art, and the rules for the various sub-races in the rules appendix.
We also have links to the first version of a number of the current cards. Some of these are new cards that were not in the game when Magic was first released. Others were cards that were released in newer sets. We’ve also updated the art for a few newer cards.
Guilds and Decks
There are more than a few decks and guilds in Magic. Here is a summary of them. The guilds have one card per color for each. The guilds are based on the original five guilds of the original game.
R&D has included a deckbuilder called Cardhoarder in recent times. There is also a set of decks, including the deckbuilder, available on Amazon.
The current set has five guild cards.
Athra (R&D design): This card is an early version of a mana-gathering mechanic called the “Athra” effect that was later dropped from the game. Its ability used to cost three mana if it were in your hand, four if it were in your deck, and five if it were in your graveyard, meaning it could be passed from person to person when it was used in a combo with other abilities.
The card itself is a copy of one of the first sets of cards, and the text on it is very much in line with what we remember. It also has quite a lot of flavor: “Whenever you cast a spell, this card gets +1/+0 until end of turn.”
Aldra (R&D design):