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MTG Slang

Timmy likes 'em big, Johnny likes 'em cool, and Spike doesn't care what it is as long as he takes the prize.

The phrase was coined by Wizards' R&D department in order to define the types of players and the cards they like.

Player Types

A style of player who wants to win via the coolest way possible, preferably with cards that nobody else has seen before; it has been said that Johnny doesn't mind losing nine games in a row as long as his five-card combo comes together in the tenth. Johhny likes to find interesting combinations of cards that can win the game or give him an advantage. Johnny may be a player who seeks niche cards, or cards widely reputed as bad, and tries to "break" them, exploiting them in ways to give abnormal power and win the game.

A style of player who enjoys winning, and nothing else. Spike's cards are effective, designed to secure a fast and effective victory over opponents. If spike plays several games and loses only one, but feels he should have won it, he may be less than pleased.

A style of player who enjoys beating down with BIG creatures - the bigger, the better. Timmy is most associated with playing for fun, and all kinds of huge creatures, fantastic spells, and mythical enchantments.

As we are now firmly on the path of Magic the Gathering Slang, let's have a look at some other popular terms you may have heard at FNM but were too shy to ask. (For a great slang list, check out resource over at the MTG Sally Wiki)

A spell that returns a card to your hand, like Boomerang, Repulse, Unsummon, Wash Out and a thousand other annoying blue spells. Incidentally, if a token is returned to your hand, it disappears forever, removed from the game; tokens cease to exist when they're not in play.

Broken, or"Buh-ROKEN!"
A card that's overly powerful - usually a card that you can't afford to play without if you're playing in those colors.

Any red spell that does direct damage: Urza's Rage, Lightning Bolt, Shock, Fireblast, and so on.

Chump, Chump-Block
To block a large creature with a smaller one, generally to buy time. A hallmark of a good player is Alpha Striking back when someone's attacking with a large creature, leaving only a chump blocker or two back on D.

Short for "comes into play", used to refer to a variety of abilities which trigger when a creature comes into play.

A creatureless deck that kills in a single turn, generally with a set number of cards that work together. Note that a deck that kills you over several turns is not a combo deck; combo decks generally"go off" in a single turn, usually between turn 3 and 5. Also note that combo decks are extremely rare in today's environments, since Wizards of the Coast has determined that combo decks don't encourage interactive play

A style of deck that relies heavily on dealing with threats, generally by countering them, and then dropping a creature backed with some sort of protection to win. New players and casual players alike hate control: Pros love it.

To Deck
To run someone out of cards. To 'deck' someone is to run their library out of cards, thus causing them to lose the game for being unable to draw cards when required to do so

End of turn. Good players always wait until the last minute to play instants, especially card drawing ones, in order to maximize their options; the last moment that they can possibly do so is at the end of your turn.

Large creatures, generally 5/5 and over. Using a lot of fatties in a deck is considered a Timmy-like quality. The opposite of a Fatty is a Wennie and if you are playing standard, would often refer to a Kithkin deck.

Mana Burn
Mana Burn is when a player loses a certain amount of life equal to the amount of unused mana in their mana pool at the end of a phase.

Mana Curve
A concept that all beginners must master: A good deck has a number of low cc cards that ramp up to a very few number of higher-priced cards. A common newbie error is to create a deck with all high-cc creatures and few lands, thus guaranteeing you that you'll never be able to do anything in the early game.

Mana Screw
Mana screw refers to when a player doesn't draw enough land cards and/or acceleration for his or her deck to work effectively.

Understanding the number of specific decks that will show up at a given tournament. The metagame is difficult to describe, and even harder to predict properly, but it involves knowing what decks are likely to appear at a tournament on a given day, then choosing a deck that is likely to beat those decks.

A style of deck that is heavy on counterspells and control. So called because you have to ask when you cast anything:"Mother, may I?"

To sacrifice.

Sideboard, either as a noun or as a verb.

A mono-green deck consisting of outrageously-cheap fatties, generally with a mana curve topping off at two. Several Stompy decks run only nine lands total.

One of the first modern tournament decks, Sligh is a mono-red deck with a low mana-curve, a boatload of threats, and the ability to burn a player out quickly. Sligh shows up in every format sooner or later, even block formats, and always has some success, though it hasn't been a top-tier deck in years.

Prodigal Sorcerer. So named because he looks like the wizard from the Holy Grail; well, no he doesn't, but he's been called that anyway."You may call me... Tim." Sometimes this may also refer to any card which may tap for a point of damage.

To draw the card you absolutely needed at that time. Used as a noun or verb, depending on how you feel at the time.

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