Magic: The Gathering vs Yu-Gi-Oh!

Trading card games have been popular with children and adults alike ever since they were first created. The success and popularity of the genre can be attributed to the pioneering card game, Magic: The Gathering (MTG) which was first released in 1993.

Since then, a number of other individual games have been spawned but MTG still retains a soft spot in most people’s heart. Another popular game was Yu-Gi-Oh! which even had its own TV series – if you’re looking to buy or start playing a trading card game, hopefully this guide will help you decide which one to pick up.

Magic: The Gathering

The Magic game sees you playing as a powerful wizard known as a Planeswalker, fighting other wizards for glory and notoriety.

Each player is presented with a deck of cards which contains a number of powerful weapons including spells, special abilities and monsters which you can summon to fight on your behalf.

The cards available within a player’s deck are entirely up to them, with how effectively you build your deck being the key to winning. With over 17,000 cards available to choose from, no two duels are ever the same.

Each card is categorised as common, uncommon, rare and mythic rare which adds a level of collectability to the game. Magic the gathering cards are often traded between players, with some cards being so valuable they can be traded for multiple in return. It’s this ability that keeps players coming back for more.


Yu-Gi-Oh! was released a few years later and follows a similar tone to MTG. The leading character in the television series was Yugi Mutou, a young wizard who took on the alter ego of an Egyptian god for extra strength.

Whilst you don’t pick a character in the card game, most players will pretend to be their favourite character from the TV show.

Each card takes the form of a monster which has its own lifeforce and special abilities. More than one monster can be called into action at any one time with each card being able to interact with the others on the field (or game board). It is this feature which makes strategy an important aspect of the game as it is only by combining your powers that success is possible.


Whilst considered children’s games, each game has its own level of complexity. Some points for note include:

  • MTG is deemed to have a more complex rule system that can take a long time to understand.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! is considered to be a lot more straightforward and can be “picked up and played”.

  • Each Yu-Gi-Oh! card can be difficult to master as there are so many possibilities due to the effects of combining the powers of each card together.

  • Some of the newer Yu-Gi-Oh! cards have very small font and lots of text making them difficult to read.

We would suggest trying both and seeing which one you prefer. Both games are readily accessible with cards available for purchase online within Australia and at any good brick and mortar game store.