Magic: The Gathering - Your Deck and You | Part 1: Colors

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The color wheel of Magic: the Gathering not only ties together the mechanical aspects of the game but it adds capacious flavor that makes Magic one of the most beloved fantasy worlds of all time.

The colors hold key concepts. They not only shape what kind of Magic player you become but are a reflection of your identity. When you step inside a game it’s not just about the rules, it’s about who you are when you play. Your Magic deck (and subsequently the colors you choose) is an extension of yourself; since it reflects your way of thinking.

Even though we are escaping into a make believe world when we play Magic, we take ourselves with us when we go.



White (Plains) is the color of order, law, healing, righteousness, community, absolutism and light.

Players who play with white are the same players who liked Zerg in StarCraft I; not just Zerg Rush either, but macro style Zerg with 50 bases around the map, and assaults on the ground and mutualists in the air (these are like the angels in Magic).

White players like their independence. They are willing to risk their nerd credentials playing white, because not only do they know it’s a strong color, and more about equality than being “good” but ultimately they don’t care what other people think.

White will listen and sympathize with people, but make their own decisions based on their core values and beliefs. White also attracts people who like to avoid confrontations, and who will go out of their way to smooth over other people’s disagreements. These players are the type to be found in triangulation (mediating between friends).



Blue (Island) is the color of reason, intellect, dreams, illusion, creativity, trickery, and manipulation.

Blue is...

Let’s just put it this way: other players hate you.

Have you ever been in a class where there is that one kid who sits in the front row? Everyday he sits in front. He shows up an hour before class. There’s another class in session when he gets there -- he doesn’t care -- he sits in the front row of that class just to make sure he gets to sit in the front row of your class. Then class starts and all this guy does is think up exceptions. The teacher will say, “Now we’re going to explore this algorithm that will sort a list of integers.” The kid raises his hand and says, “What if it’s a list of lists?” That kid plays blue!

If you play blue you’re the sort of person who gets excited because you feel like you are breaking the rules even though you totally are not breaking the rules. This is because you love demonstrating your “smarts.” You love the pursuit of knowledge, and can’t help if you are smarter than everyone around you.

Blue can be a very passive aggressive, and tricky way to play. But it is also a very strong and tactful way to play. If you like to have a lot of interesting decisions, long games, and drawing cards then blue is for you.



Black (Swamp) is the color of power, corruption, ambition, and amorality.

Black can be a lot of fun to play with not just because it has zombies, vampires and other dynamic characters but because of its immense variety in utilities. If you're playing black you're a serious player. You’re playing to win. All the formidable creatures are just an auspicious happenstance. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to disregard the fact that it’s cool, right? No, no you are not.

Black is suave and fashionable. Black is the guy that swankers into the party dressed in all black, and it’s clean and it’s sharp. This guy looks good and you know he dropped a lot of money to look this good. Black is cool.

Players who like black are more assertive than aggressive. Although they can definitely be both. If you play black you are probably success driven as well as a realist. You believe that if you have to live in this world, you are going to play by the rules that exist. And those rules are quite simply: do as you please until someone who has more power than you stops you.



Red (Mountain) is the color of freedom, passion, emotion, chaos, passion, impulse and fury.

If you incorporate some red into the deck, that is a terrific and respected strategy: you are being tactful. But if you only have red in your deck (mono-red) then all you’re trying to do is win fast.

If you play red you tend to be impatient. Red wants to see quick, physical results, and is a proponent of force to get said results. A red player is like the kid at Christmas that goes into the living room like the Tazmanian Devil, and tears the wrapping paper off all the presents before even looking at what they got. If you play red, you’re that kid.

Red players are pretty aggressive: aggressive aggressive. If you like turning the world into ruins, and destroying things, then the wrath of red is for you.

Ultimately, though, more than any other characteristic, people who play red are people who love games but don’t like making any decisions. You know it’s true red players!



Green (Forest): is the color of life, instinct, nature, evolution, ecology and interdependence.

The people that play green are the type of people that enjoyed “Clifford” as a child. When you play green you get huge creatures; in essence you get to be the Incredible Hulk.

If you play green, you are like the kid in chemistry class who keeps studying the wrong chapters before the test. You work really hard before every test but consistently fail. That is...until the final examine. Finally, after failing all the little tests, you are able to draw on all your knowledge as a whole, and you ace the final exam. Big time!

Playing green takes a person who is patience, and resilient. Green is someone who likes the brutal force of nature. Green players are both aggressive, and assertive. If you play green you are someone who believes that things that are bigger, faster, and stronger are better.

Check out part II, Your Deck and You | Part II: Timmy, Johnny and Spike.



Comments on "Magic: The Gathering - Your Deck and You | Part 1: Colors"

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Author: Digitalkg

Date: February 10, 2014


...and that is why I build red/green decks. That thing about the tests and green? Totally me all through college, though I usually relied on the essays more than the tests :)

Author: Gabriel Chase

Date: February 16, 2014


I think that in real life I am a red/blue type of person. I've always loved Dimir colours though (blue/black), but never enjoyed the mill mechanics — but spying, mind control, etc. is awesome. However, a few years ago I made a pretty successful Standard (at the time) B/G Infect deck, so ever since then I have loved Golgari colours.

I will, however, try out lots of different deck colours, so I’m always thrilled by all colours of card in new sets.

Author: PWLAdmin

Date: February 16, 2014


Some of us here also had some pretty powerful B/G infect decks back during the Scars block. That could be a very powerful mechanic when done right.

Part of the fun of playing magic is being able to experience each of the different colors' strengths and weaknesses and seeing how they interact with each other.