Pub Magic

The motivation to create this game was conjured whilst sat in the pub playing Magic: the Gathering. Not everyone in my circle of pub-going friends plays MTG, but is usually up for a game of something or other.
Since there’s always someone with a MTG deck at hand, I decided to write a quick set of rules for a multiplayer game that simply requires a deck of MTG cards.


The objective of the game is to acquire a number of lands. I’ve set this target at 10, but you can vary it depending on time and number of players. You simply need to own 10 lands on the table in front of you to be the winner.


Players start the game by being dealt 6 cards. They must then discard 3 cards face-down. Once everyone is happy with 3 cards in their hand, the game begins. If you have more than 10 players, you’re going to run out of cards, so better to limit the game to 8 players or a smaller starting hand.

All remaining cards are left in a single face-down pile called the deck. Discarded cards are placed in a separate pile next to the deck, face up.

Turn sequence

Each turn, except the first, players draw a card and place it in front of them. On turn one, players place their entire hand in front of them instead of drawing a card. Each card has different abilities depending on its card type.

Card types

The only part of an MTG card that is used in Pub Magic is the card’s type. Cards and their abilities are as follows:

Land cards contribute towards your winning points total. They do nothing else.

Creatures are used to attack other players. A creature can only attack if it was not placed in front of you this turn. You may attack a player adjacent to you with one or more creatures. That player defends with all their creatures. Each defending creature blocks an attacking creature. If one or more creatures are unblocked, you win the fight and steal one land from that player, of the defending player’s choice. Note: no damage is dealt, creatures neither die nor get ‘tapped’ in fights.

Instant cards can be discarded from play at any time to make a creature unblockable or to remove an enemy creature from combat (essentially making it count as blocked).

A sorcery may be discarded from play during a player’s own turn to kill an enemy creature. That creature is placed in the discard pile.

An enchantment card may be discarded from play during a player’s own turn to steal a creature from another player, of the active player’s choice.

Artifact cards count towards your land total, but are not considered lands. An artifact card may be discarded from play during a player’s own turn to draw a new card from the deck.

Planeswalkers have all the abilities of Artifact, Sorcery and Instant cards. They do not count as any of those card types.

Should a card have multiple card types, such as “Land Creature” (Dryad Arbor), or “Artifact Creature” (Leaden Myr), or “Enchantment Creature” (Lucent Liminid), then it counts as all types and has all abilities of those card types.