The philosophies of the game Magic: the Gathering
We're not talking about life philosophy here, obviously, but about Magic's
flavor, conflicts, etc.
While you're at it, consider this an opportunity to talk about
color philosophy. In addition to the rules, I mean. It can help
many people to get engaged in the game.
harmony, order, protection, law, community, peace, structure, law, purity, religion, honor, politics, medicine...
intellect, knowledge, rationality, creativity, subtlety, artifice, illusion, trickery, control...
death, individualism, corruption, fear, amorality, execution, decay, deceit, manipulation..
emotions, impulse, chaos, violence, brutality, destruction, fire, military, randomness, short-term thinking...
life, nature, growth, reality, community, spiritualism, instinct, animals...
These colors are represented on the back of Magic cards. They are "allied" with their neighbors, and "ennemies" with the others. The relationships are the following.
- White and Blue: restraint, planning, discipline, rules.
- Blue and Black: see the reality for what it is, and not what they wish.
- Black and Red: not afraid to act for their own interest, and do what they want.
- Red and Green: driven by instinct, and destructive element.
- Green and White: like the group, love the life.
- White vs Black: morality vs amorality, individual vs group.
- Black vs Green: life vs death.
- Green vs Blue: nature vs technology, intellect vs instinct.
- Blue vs Red: rationality vs emotion, construction vs destruction.
- Red vs White: order vs chaos.
These philosophies translate into mechanical identities.
- White: life gain, damage prevention, two-sided "reset buttons", attackers removal, protection, enchantment removal, defensive enchantments, taxing (pay more to do what you want). White also cares about equipments (for its soldiers).
- Blue: counterspells, bounces, manipulation, mind control, invisibility, flying. Blue also has synergy with artifacts.
- Black: discard, life drain, creature destruction. Black can do almost anything at a price (often paying life or sacrificing creatures).
- Red: direct damange (fireballs), artifact and land destruction, quickness, fast mana, randomness, temporary manipulation... Red is the color that needs to win fast, or not at all.
- Green: growth in creatures and lands, big creatures, artifact destruction, life gain, creatures fight. Many of Green's effects come from its creatures.
Finally, the colors each have representative creatures.
- White: Cats and Dogs, Kors, Knights, Soldiers, Birds, most Humans, and Angels.
- Blue: Merfolks, Vedalken, Sea monsters, Faeries, Illusions, Shapeshifters, and Sphinxes.
- Black: Vampires, Zombies, Skeletons, Bats, Shades, Rats, Specters, and Demons.
- Red: Goblins, Elementals, Ogres, Giants, Phoenixes, and Dragons.
- Green: Elves, Insects, Centaurs, Spiders, Wild Beasts, Wurms, and Hydras.