Magic: the Gathering with normal playing cards


  1. Shuffle all 52 cards together and lay the deck face down.
  2. Players draw from this single deck.
  3. When the last card is drawn from the deck, shuffle all graveyards back into the deck.
  4. There is no mana burn.

Other than that, it’s just the same game.


All nonland cards have a casting cost derived from their rank, in colourless mana. Aces therefore cost 1 mana, and face cards cost 10. Where X is used in the card text below, it is equal to the card’s rank (again aces being 1 and face cards 10).

♠ Spades
Land. ⟳: Add X to your mana pool.
♣ Clubs
Creature. X/X.
♦ Diamonds
Instant. Deal X damage to target creature or player.
♥ Hearts
Instant. Choose one — Target player gains X life; or prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.


Mana flood and mana screw happen fairly often, and obviously there’s not much variety in the cards. But in desperate times, if you need your fix, it’ll tide you over.

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One Response to Magic: the Gathering with normal playing cards

  1. Karen Robinson says:

    Hi, Thom. This looks interesting. You might be interested in my attempt to do the same thing. I’ve never actually played it:

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