Improving Your Skills in MTG with Spellify

I pick up a surprising amount of MTG knowledge I never knew I had. No, I won’t explain banding to you.

I do know how it works though, promise. It feels like half of my day is wasted by catching up on all my silly little games: Wordle, Connections, Streaks, Guess the Game, Pokedoku.

If I lose my streak in any of them, I’d be devastated. With almost 30,000 individual cards in the game, you’d expect not to get it most of the time.

And yet, aside from one bad day, I’ve gone undefeated, and my confidence in my abilities has never been higher. Compared to my friends who are walking compendiums and know their layers from their APNAPs, I’m a simple guy who likes pretty pictures of dragons and drawing more cards than I’d ever be able to play.

I don’t need to know what a replacement effect is when my goal is to replace your life total with zero. Most of my games are laden with misplays.

Did I play a land this turn? Oops, I misread this card.

One time I totally forgot which way anti-clockwise was and took my turn ahead of two other players by mistake. I get anxious and confused and muck it up, and so it often feels like maybe I’m not cut out for managing an entire website’s worth of content about a game I seem to only just about know how to play.

I’m not a genius who’s getting everything without having to guess even a single letter, but I am working out what the cards are the vast majority of the time. But the more impressive days are when they’re cards I don’t play, but can piece together through context.

A big draw of Spellify is that you’re not just working out a card’s name, but also the ability text. The more you play Magic, the more you can speak Magic.

The game’s language is incredibly specific and precise, and once you start taking every single word literally, you’re able to piece together most of what a card does from only a few of them. Card templating becomes a second language, and being able to speak it well enough to fill out a blank card is a fantastic feeling for an insecure player like myself.

The only day I got wrong was on April 1, when the card was from one of the game’s parody Un-sets. It’s shocking just how much of Magic you pick up through osmosis.

I wasn’t around during the Khans of Tarkir Standard days, but I know a Siege Rhino straight away because of how popular it got during that time and the stories I’ve heard about its dominance. Spellify manages to capture all that history and background knowledge that comes with playing Magic, and turn it into a game of hangman.

Or, at least, the loudmouths who can blag it. It’s easy to compare yourself to someone who has memorised every single card printed since Alpha, and seems to have played them all in a deck over the last 30 years.

I think, in a pinch, I can explain rules pretty well, and I’ve had to do it multiple times in games where people get confused. I could even explain banding if you gave me enough time.

But, like lots of people, I just assume everyone else knows more. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ask me to explain banding.

A game like Spellify helps reinforce that, actually, your knowledge of Magic is deeper than you thought. Your understanding of how cards are templated, how they tie into their colours, and how much those effects would cost is better than you thought.

I may not be able to tell which way is anti-clockwise without imagining a clock, but by Urza I know a You Are Already Dead when I see it. Taking on the role of a Planeswalker, players build decks of cards and do battle with other players.

In excess of 100 additional sets have added new cards to the library, while the brand has expanded into video games, comics, and more.

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