Magic Uno

A game based on UNO, played with Magic: The Gathering (MtG) cards, created by Enrique Medina

Basic UNO rules apply with some variations.

Object of the Game

To be the first player to accumulate a maximum of 500 "mana" points (or other total agreed upon before the start of the game). When a player wins a round, add up the mana points collected from the cards remaining in the opponents' hands at the end of the play. Continue the next round until sufficient total points are accumulated to win the game. The card values are as follows:

Cards......................................Mana Points
Land (color)50 pts each
Wild Gold Combos20 pts each
Wild Artifacts10 pts each
Regular (colored)1 per mana symbol on card

Rules and their Variants

At the start of the game, the dealer deals five cards to each player and places one card face up on the table with the rest of the deck as a drawing stock beside it.

Basic Rule: If you have a deck of MtG cards, you’ll notice that there are five (5) colors in the game (black, blue, green, red and white). Also some cards illustrate characters such as Elves, Warriors, Tree Folk, Goblins, Ogres, Giants, Wizards, etc. or, creatures such as Dragons, Serpents, Spiders, Tigers, Rats, Insects, Crabs, Bats, Scorpions, Beasts, etc. In Magic Uno there are no numbers to match. Instead you can match color with color, any character with any other character and any creature with any other creature.

For example you can match green with green, black with black, red with red, etc., or a Goblin with an Elf, an Ogre with a Wizard, a Tree Folk with a Giant, an Elf with Warrior, a Goblin with a Giant, etc., or match a creature with another creature, such as; a Spider with a Crab, a Tiger with a Dragon, a Scorpion with a Beast, a Rat with a Crab, a Serpent with a Beast, etc.

In this game, the Draw pile is called "The Magic Library", and the Discard pile is called "The Graveyard". Below are samples of some of the cards that I selected for my own "Magic UNO: The Gathering" deck. If you have MtG cards, you can pick the cards that you like best or that can make for a better attractive and interesting deck. It’s up to you.

Special Cards- Rules and their Abilities:

  1. Gold Combo Cards are Wild cards with more than one land symbol. These allow the player to change the color of the game for the next turn. Some of these might even have other special abilities such as "Jungle Barrier" or a "Wall of ..." card (see Reverse rule).
  2. Artifact Cards also Wild, and they are also "penalty" cards. The number (X) displayed at the top of the card are valid penalties with special abilities which command the opponent to draw X cards - as many cards as indicated by the number at the top. For Example:
    1. The Ivory Cup, Wooden Sphere, Iron Star and Crystal Rod (#1) cards cause the opponent to draw one (1) card, and allow the player of this card to see their opponent’s hand and swap one (1) bad card for one good card in the opponent's hand.
    2. Other artifacts I chose were: Pit Trap (#2), Wall of Junk (#2), Wall of Spears (#3) (these "wall" cards are Reverse cards - see Reverse rule), Rod of Ruin (#4), Coal Golem (#5), the powerful Rune Sword (#6), and finally the Book of Rass (#6), similar to Rune Sword, but in addition to giving the opponent the penalty of drawing six (6) cards, the player of this card is allowed to discard six (6) cards from his/her hand, as long as they had seven (7) or more cards in their hand for that turn.
  3. Wizard Cards can be matched and played with any Gold Combo card or a Land card of the same color of the Wizard card in order to "cast" an opponent of choice into the "Infinity Realm". Here the opponent must continually draw cards from the Library (draw pile) until they draw a card of the same color as the Wizard’s land. Once that card is drawn, the player stops drawing cards. If the Wizard was combined and played with a Gold Combo (Wild) card, the player of this card applies the Wild card rule for the game. Otherwise, the next player must play a card that matches the card at the top of the Grave yard (discard pile).
  4. Reverse Cards are those that have the words; "Wall ..." (representing a "dead-end"), "Circle of Protection ..." or "Protection from ..." on the cards. With these cards, players apply the UNO Reverse rule and the direction of the game is reversed. If these are combined or matched with a Wizard card of the same color as the reverse card, it is also able to stop and reverse the effects of any artifact / penalty card played against you. (The "Wall of Junk" artifact card, for example; is both a Reverse and a Wild card with a penalty, since the artifact rule applies).
  5. Skip Cards are any of the five (5) Land cards with only land illustrations on them (and / or any card of any color that has the word "flying"). When these cards are played, the player applies the Skip UNO rule, and the Land card played also allows the player to instantly discard all of his/her cards of the same color as the land card into the graveyard.
  6. Power Cards Besides the "Book of Rass", there are two other cards I chose that are also Wild / Artifact cards: the "Fountain of Youth", which allows the player of this card to "regenerate" ( meaning that they can swap/trade hands with another player of their choice, for example the player who has the least cards in hand); and the "Ancient Spring", with which the player causes all other players in the game to draw one (1) card from the Magic Library (draw pile) and the player of this card is allowed to discard a number of cards equal to the number of players in the game, including him/herself!

Deck Construction

For this game to work well, you need a good balance of cards. Enrique Medina recommends:

  • around 10 characters of each color
  • around 10 creatures of each color
  • 2 land cards of each color
  • 2 or more wizards of each color
  • at least 8-10 wild artifact cards
  • 8-10 wild combo cards, one or two of which are also wall cards

Be creative, and I hope you have fun with this weird, yet enchanting variation of UNO combined with Magic: the Gathering cards. It’s exciting, once you get the hang of it, and provides hours of fun for family and friends. Enjoy the Magic!

Last updated: 17th September 2007