Welcome!

Whether you are completely new to the world of Collectible Card Games (CCG), or a returning player to the universe of Magic: the Gathering!, we’ve assembled an easy-to-read list of the top ten things you should keep in mind when you first start out.

Here we go!

1. Local Game Stores are the place to be

Every week, players all over the world meet to play at Local Game Stores (LGS), which are friendly stores that host Magic: The Gathering and tabletop events.

LGS are friendly and welcoming, and usually very keen on helping new folks starting out. Most LGS have Sample Decks (specifically designed to introduce new players to game) and you can get them for free.

We recommend you visit the nearest shop – you can find one here – and introduce yourself as a new player. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember everyone had to start somewhere, and most people love to help and give advice.

2. It’s less daunting than it seems

The game has an immense variety of formats, products, and it even comes packed with its own jargon! It can be quite intimidating at first, but once you get going, it gets easier and easier.

And it’s a wonderful journey: discovering and learning about the game is one of the most interesting things you’ll get to do, and the best part? This discovery is never really over! There’s something out there for every type of player, 25 years of cards to discover, stories and lessons to learn.

3. Magic Arena is a good place to start

© Cardboard Crack

For learning how to play, we recommend downloading the Magic Duels app, it has an excellent tutorial.

After that, you can start with Magic Arena, the newly released digital version of the game. It’s free-to-play, easy to learn, and convenient, and you can play against your friends.

4. Prerelease events are perfect for new players

A screenshot of an ongoing game in Magic Arena.

Every time a new expansion is released, LGS host a Prerelease event, where you get to crack some of the new packs, build a deck, and compete in a friendly tournament. You’ll often find inexperience players there, just like yourself. It’s one of the most relaxed and upbeat events Magic has to offer, we highly recommend it to everyone starting out.

5. Booster draft is great

Booster draft is an MTG format where players get to open three packs, pick and pass cards around, and build a deck to compete in a tournament.

Drafting is relatively cheap, there’s an even playing field, you get to keep your cards and might even win some sweet prizes! It’s a great and fun way to build up a collection.

If possible, do some research beforehand, lookup the cards you’ll be drafting with (look it up on the event announcement). Also, know that Drafting is quite involved, so read some drafting tips and guides, a good start is to google the awesomely named B.R.E.A.D theory.

EDH/Commander is another format you should check out sooner or later.

6. You should test the waters before diving in

Prerelease packs usually come with a D20 dice and a special promo card.

We previously talked about how there are many formats, many decks, and many shiny cards you’ll fall in love with. And that’s awesome. But it’s important to not get carried away and invest too much too soon.

It’s tempting to buy the first thing that looks cool; I know I did: the first deck I built was a beautifully janky Blue-White birds deck. Those were the days. But I also made some hasty decisions I came to regret.

Patience is precious. Play many games, read lots of articles, and find what you like the most before committing.

7. It’s more efficient to buy singles than sealed product

From a financial perspective, you will always be better off buying single cards than sealed product (by sealed product we mean mainly Sealed booster boxes and boosters).

If you really love cracking packs – if you find that fresh off-the-pack card perfume irresistible – than you’re better off drafting. If you still decide to buy a box, draft it with your friends, or do some sealed games, so you’ll get some additional value (and fun!) out of it.

8. Keeping organized will make your life easier in the long run

There’s no way around it: you’re going to have to buy sleeves, some deck boxes, and a binder. A playmat and some dice are handy to have too.

Also, consider a storage solution for your cards (shoeboxes are a popular solution!), and devise some organizational system.

We recommend you download the app we’ve built called MTG Manager. You’ll be able to organize your cards digitally, and track their value throughout time. We also made a trade feature to make sure you never make a bad deal.

Starting earlier, with a relatively small collection, will be much easier than having to go through the pain of doing it later, having to sort through a larger number of cards.

9. Expect to lose. A lot, at first

© Sarah Anderson

Unless you’ve played other Collectible Card Games before (and even if you did), chances are you’re going to be losing a lot at first. It’s natural, and it’s okay! Remember to go easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up. Before you know it, you’ll be amassing some juicy wins against more veteran players

10. Magic can be an expensive hobby

This chart might not be completely accurate.

How much you spend on Magic is entirely up to you, but you should be aware that this hobby can become quite expensive.

From $30 a month for a couple of drafts, up to hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars on Standard and Modern decks, the spectrum is quite large.

To give you a rough idea of the prices, Standard decks – where only the most recent cards are available – can go from anything between $50 to $500.

In Modern – that has a much larger card pool available – decks can go from $100 to over $1500. That’s a lot of money.

If your first starting out, we recommend you set a Monthly budget, and go from there.

Final Thoughts

So we’ve covered ten things you should know before getting into Magic, but we left one important aspect out: you should know that the game is incredibly fun and rewarding to play.

Magic is also responsible for countless stories and lifelong friendships. You’ll get to sit down and play with people from all ages and backgrounds, who share the same passion with you.

Playing Magic is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and have a great time.

Now that your spark’s ignited, you’re well equipped to start your journey. So go get them!

Black Lotus is one of the rarest, most iconic, and most expensive cards in the game.
Only 1,100 were printed for MTG’s alpha set from 1993.

Thank you for reading!

We want to hear your stories and advice of when you were starting out. How did it feel? What advice would you give to new players?