New Member
I'm posting my question here because I don't exactly know where to post the questions about the sets. So, if it has to be somewhere else, my apologies.

ok, let's go to the point. I'm wondering why nobodie likes Portal. And why it is forbidden in tournament play.
I know it is made for starters, with easy cards. But does the cards have to be difficult to be good?
I have some creatures from portal i like alot. (fe plated wurm, norwood ranger)
Am I the only one?


CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
I can't say for other people, but I never disliked Portal. I just thought that the "old way" of learning from a Starter deck, the way I learned, was sufficient enough. I'm still puzzled why WOTC felt they had to make a "separate" set just to have new people learn (and then not have their cards transfer over to the main set, which leads to your next question).

I'm not sure why Portal isn't legal. Because when it first came out, it had "Creature - XXX" instead of "Summon XXX"? Because the mana symbols were different? Beats me...

Killer Joe

Active Member
1.) Your first question is too generalized, it's like asking, "Why does everybody hate New Age elevator music?" Not everybody hates it, only some do.

2.) There are some under-powered portal cards that have been reprinted for play such as Volcanic Hammer & Sacred Nectar.

3.) Since the web-slinger and I do not dislike Portal (In fact, I liked it, alot!), I am convinced that many others liked it , too.

I used to like Portal drafts, now THAT, was cool.


New Member
maybe it's too generalized, but it's just that I don't understand that it is illegal. And here in my town, if I ask someone about Portal, they say that they don't like that set.
But it looks like it's just here in my town, 'cause you seems to like it.


CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
Well, I didn't exactly say I liked it either. I just don't have any feelings either way.

I wouldn't go out and buy them because I already know how to play and the cards aren't legal though.


New Member
Most Portal cards are underpowered. My play group uses them in casual play. Plus, nobody minds so long as you don't use them in a tourney.


Angel Boy
Portal was never intended for use in tournaments. This was the mistake that Wizards discovered. Since people don't buy cards that can't be used in tournaments Portal sales were low. This explains why the base set is now so bland. They wanted to create a set that people would be able to buy at the start of their playing. Since Portal didn't work they made changes to the base set removing abilities like protection that can be confusing. Never fear if Portal cards are reprinted(like sleight of hand) you can play them in a tournament.


CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
I think that's the question though: Why wasn't Portal intended for use in tourneys? 'Cause it was the "intro" set?


Composite: 1860
Portal used different rules.

Like intercepting, and nowhere does it say bury, or destroy. Nowhere in the Portal rules does it have the stack, or anything like that. If a Portal player came to a tournament they wouldnt know the rules to real magic.

A lot of it is terminology but the simple fact is that Portal ISNT Magic: The Gathering - its a similar game, but different.

Portal cards are compatible with Magic only if you rewrite them to read differently. Its just layers of complication that werent needed.

A Portal player coming to Magic tournament would not only have to learn about the stack, and first strike, and regeneration, and instants... but they`d have to remember that their cards dont actually say what it says on the card, but are worded differently.

Too complicated.


CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
Still kinda odd that WOTC would have thought that learning Portal that way would somehow be enough to prepare a person for Magic. You might as well just take out the instants or anything you can cast an an opponent's turn and just keep the enchantments and sorceries in to help a beginner learn Magic, if they didn't want the learning process to be too complicated yet still be able to make the jump <shrug>


Sucker MCs call me sire.
You forgot artifacts. Portal had no artifacts.

As I put it to people who asked why I didn't collect Portal when I was collecting all the Magic sets:

"If it doesn't have Instants...and it doesn't have Artifacts...it's NOT MAGIC."


Becoming a Lurker Again
I learned to play Magic using Portal, and it took me forever to figure out how to use artifacts when I got my first real cards...
ha who cares...type II hardly has any artifacts anyways.. :D hehe no just kidding. actually artifacts are my favorite type of card...just a little FYI!!! :p


Sucker MCs call me sire.
Hardly any artifacts?

Actually, Type II has more decent artifacts than people give it credit for.

Ensnaring Bridge
Legacy Weapon
Static Orb
Grafted Skullcap (don't laugh, I've made it work)
Odyssey eggs (again, don't laugh)
Howling Mine

And I know I'm forgetting some (not at home, so I can't look).
true...:p actually though i meant this most recent block. i havnt seen anything real good. dont really know about the rest of type II though...


The Wide-Awake Nightmare
Yeah, none of those are artifacts that you open out of a new block pack, see in your rare spot, and say "Yes! I can use this in my deck!" Bridge, Orb, Mine, and Millstone are oldschool, Skullcap and Weapon can work, but you have to build everything else around it.

Don't start with the Eggs. Easter is over. Put them away.

I miss good artifacts that didn't require total dedication. Hell, you could shove Bone Mask in 90% of decks and it wouldn't be specifically bad...and might even save your can once. Suboptimal, yes, but not bad. If an artifact is narrow enough to only work well in one or two decks, make it of the appropriate color. :p I used to open packs in this block only to get the most narrow useless artifacts since...well...I guess Alliances and/or Homelands. Sol Grail was pretty limited.

I want to see another Antiquities...lots of artifacts that work in many decks, that way when I buy a pack I get cards to play, rather than cards to sit on forever until I make the deck it was designed for.


CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
"good" being used to refer to a card that's then referred to as "suboptimal" in the next breath? How's that for a contradiction... :p



An Entire Marching Band
Wasnt there a Portal version of Wrath of God? or maybey Armageddon. One of the two I think. Oh ya, I usually buy portal boosters cuz they are cheap. Usually for weenie decks and land. Theres plenty, and I mean plenty of lil elfs and goblins and the like in portal. Oh ya, and there was a portal creature type which needs to be introduced to standard magic. The nightstalkers were originative in my opinion. Lets end these desperate attempts at creature types (cephalids, elephants, etc) And bring back goblin hordes, zombie legions, elven and dwarven armies, and merfolk battalions. Viva la T1