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Rated: ASR · Letter/Memo · How-To/Advice · #2274791
Hole of Mana is a standard 52-card game worth picking up if you love Magic: The Gathering!
Dear Joseph,

In this quick two-player game [Hole of Mana], players fought to deplete the opponent of cards in their hand, called Mana, while being the player with the most Mana at the end of the game. Sounded fun, so I joined in!

This game was played only between two people. A standard 52-card pack was used, or any other pack with four suits. It was only the suits of the cards that mattered: the numbers were irrelevant. It was interesting to say the least. So I was like, why not?

The players were dealt ten cards each, and looked at their cards. Why we couldn't have done 13 cards I don't know, but it made more sense later on.

The non-dealer played first, and the players took alternate turns. As expected from most 2-player games. And we were set to play!

At your turn you could play any of the cards in your hand. You opponent must discard all the cards of that suit that they had in their hand. If your opponent had no cards of that suit, you must discard all your cards of the suit you played. It was a tough game at times, full of variety to say the least! Much to my surprise, it had many more outcomes than you would've realized...

Each suit could only be played once. When it came to your turn, if all the suits you had in your hand had already been played, the game was over. The game also ended if one player had no cards at all. I could certainly see by now the influence Magic: The Gathering had on this game. That is a big reason, but not the only reason why I loved playing Hole of Mana!

The player who had the most cards (Mana) at the end of the game was the winner. A player with no cards at all automatically lost. Mana is like the colors you play in Magic and your hand is like the Life you keep up with. Nice! Ha ha.

When the game ended in a tie, the last person to play had to discard their last Mana, and lost. We had only a few, but whatever. It was still fun!

A game lasted for a maximum of four turns and was shorter when either player had a missing suit from the start. This is why it was such an addictive game! It is fast, fun and short. This is why the 10-card hand made sense, because everyone playing Magic starts with 20 Life and both hands added together were like Life! Also it gave us a good variety of hands compared to a 13-card hand.

There really was no best way to play. If you wanted to have the most cards in your hand, you might've risked playing a card of the suit that you had the most of, hoping that your opponent actually had a card of that suit; but if they didn't have any of that suit, then you lost all those cards. If you tried to get rid of your only card of a suit, your opponent might've caught you later on by playing the suit in which you had the most Mana! Who will win when you play?

Sincerely, a fan,

James G.H.


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