For new players, Magic: The Gathering can be an intimidating prospect. I mean, just look behind the counter at your FLGS and you will see dozens of different expansion boxes, each with a crazy, esoteric name, and dozens more starter sets to help cement that feeling of being overwhelmed. What exactly do black & green dots on the boxes mean?
Thankfully, Wizards of the Coast is here to help with the Magic Open House. This event is designed specifically for new players, old players who haven’t played in a really long time, or even for existing players trying to introduce their friends to the world of Magic.
Everyone attending a Magic Open House will get a free welcome deck and a foil full-art Amonkhet basic land. The Magic Open House page has a store finder to help you find your nearest FLGS that is hosting the event. In order to help you enjoy this open house, here are a few tips you can take with you.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT MAKING MISTAKES
The key to having a good time is to not be intimidated. This event is designed for new players or those with very little experience with Magic. So don’t worry about not knowing the rules, or what each colour of deck means (more on that later). Each store running a Magic Open House event is going to have someone there to run it. They will teach you how to play, give you recommendations on what colour of deck is best for you, and answer your questions.
I want to let you in on a little secret: I’ve played about 100 games of Magic in the last couple of years and I STILL make mistakes. My opponent usually catches them, I apologize, correct it and move on. So don’t worry if you forget something, the community is incredibly generous and the person running your Magic Open House will be there to help you out.
PICK THE RIGHT KIND OF DECK (FOR YOU)
Remember how I talked about the colours earlier? Magic has 5 different colours of decks, each of which has their own unique play style. Here’s a super quick, high-level breakdown of each of the colours and how they will play. If you want more detailed information, this breakdown from Wizards of the Coast will more than prepare you.
- White – These decks focus on healing and restoration, with the ability to utilize many smaller creatures quickly. White decks typically have ways to make their smaller, weaker creatures better or even to keep them healed and on the table.
- Blue – Blue is all about not letting your opponent make his moves, and ensuring your own. This means that blue decks focus denying your opponent to ensure you are able to do what you need to do.
- Red – Red has the ability to burn through your opponent’s Life quickly, and mercilessly. Red decks tend to focus on aggressive, offensive spells, more so than other colours. This lets them do big amounts of damage but it can sometimes come at the cost of having a solid stable of creatures to defend yourself with.
- Green – The power of nature and growth, green focuses on sheer brute force, and power-ups, with the drawback that some of their large creatures are very expensive to buy. Having played green decks quite a bit, it’s not unusual to draw a very powerful beast early in the game and have it just sit in your hand while you try to get enough land cards out to summon it.
- Black – Black is the colour of undeath and all things evil in the Magic universe. What this means in a game of Magic is that black decks tend to trade things, such as your life or your own creatures, in order to trigger effects. The best way to approach a black deck is to consider all of your creatures, and even your own life, as a means to an end.
FOCUS ON THE FUN
When you are just starting out in Magic, it’s important to focus on your game and just have fun. Don’t get too caught up in the rabbit hole that are expansion packs yet. Show up to the Magic Open House and explore a vast, incredible game with an equally vast, incredible community. Magic can be as involved or immersive as you choose it to be. Do you want to commit and try to qualify for Nationals? How about have a casual game on hand for those lazy Sunday mornings? This is a game that can deliver fun and enjoyment based on your own personal desires.
On April 15, 2017, do yourself a favour and check out a Magic Open House near you. At worst, you get to spend an afternoon out of the house and learning a new game. At best, you can discover a new passion.
What deck colour represents the way you like to play games? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: Wizards of the Coast