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Playing the Second Main Phase

Whenever you see someone attack their opponent with their creatures and -then- put down a land and play a creature spell, you're looking at a smart, intelligent MTG player. This is an example of the second main phase being used properly and strategically. The second main phase occurs after the combat phase has ended, and you can play anything you want during it. Creature, Sorcery, Enchantment, even playing a land is possible.

The reason this is so important is because it misleads your opponent and can be used to draw out cards from their hands. A good example of this situation would be if you entered your attack step and attacked with a Silhana Starfletcher and an Aerial Caravan. Your opponent, with one card in hand, sees that he can block the Silhana Starfletcher but will suffer the 4 points of damage from the Aerial Caravan, so he taps his last Mountain and plays the last card in his hand, a Lightning Bolt, and kills the Aerial Caravan to save the four life.

Now, during your second main phase, after combat damage has finished and your opponent now has nothing to do, they can probably expect the turn to pass to them. But! You'rre playing smart, you've got this planned out, and you drop a Swamp from your hand, which leaves you just enough mana to play your Shadowmage Infiltrator, now safe from that Lightning Bolt, and only to be killed if your opponent top decks another one.

This is a good example of a situation in which it was beneficial to play your spells during your second main phase. Really, if you think about it, there are plenty of times when dropping a land and playing a creature before your combat phase does nothing for you, and holds no advantage over playing it after all is said and done. Why play them at that time then, when only bad things can result for your freshly dropped creature?

Maybe another situation comes up where you've got the game-winning creature in your hand and you see your opponent has a couple of Island's untapped, and you're scared that he might have the perfect counter waiting in his hand.. Well, easy, enter your attack phase and see what happens! Maybe he's afraid of you drawing another card with your Shadowmage Infiltrator, so he taps out and plays a Boomerang to send it back to your hand! Perfect! Now he's tapped out and can't counter the game-winning Sabertooth Nishoba!

See what benefits can come from playing your hand this way?

There are a lot more benefits that can come from utilizing your second main phase, but this is just a basic couple of examples to help improve your play style. Even if it's just going to result in some mind games for your opponent, it's still going to help you understand the game of Magic a little better and be able to help you start playing around your opponent, instead of just playing the cards in your hand.

Try it out, start playing your creatures during your second main phase, play lands then just for fun, go wild, see what it does for you.

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