Before Yu-Gi-Oh!, Duel Masters or even Pokemon became card-game staples in Japan, an American import cast a spell over fans here.

Magic: The Gathering, created by Richard Garfield and first published by Wizards of the Coast in 1993, is considered the gold standard of the collectable card game genre, having spawned countless imitators, tributes and spinoffs over its 29 years as a tabletop touchstone.

The fantasy game, in which two or more players take turns battling with cards that represent powerful spells and mythical creatures, expanded overseas in 1994 with German, French and Italian-language editions. It found an even more welcoming audience when Magic’s fourth edition reached Japan in 1995.