A rift over a card game pitting imaginary wizards in a death match prompted one central Minnesota man to repeatedly stab another in the neck and hit him with a mallet, police said.

The violence, ignited during the playing of "Magic: The Gathering," occurred about 12:05 a.m. Friday in an apartment in the 1200 block of St. Germain Street E. in St. Cloud and sent the 20-year-old victim to a hospital with "substantial injuries" that are survivable, police said.

Police arrested a 31-year-old St. Cloud man in connection with the attack, and he remained in the Benton County jail Sunday pending charges of first- and second-degree assault. The victim's identity had not been released.

According to police:

The suspect called 911 and said he feared his card-playing rival was going to die from seven stab wounds inflicted all around the victim's neck and to one cheek and wounds from the rubber mallet blow inflicted to the younger man's head.

Investigators confirmed the two argued while playing the trading card game.

Debuting in 1993 and played by millions of people around the world in-person and online, "Magic: The Gathering" draws substantially on the scheme of "Dungeons and Dragons" and other role-playing trading card games.

Also known as "MTG" or "Magic," this game has wizards in battle until one loses all "life points." Tournaments are played around the world, and cards are sold for above retail price on the secondary market.

Before searching the suspect's apartment, investigators had the Fire Department check the air quality for potentially harmful chemicals. This cautionary move was because the suspect has on his criminal record a 2013 conviction for possessing an explosive with criminal intent. The tests came back negative.

Also, investigators seized several pieces of evidence in connection with the assault case.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482