How To Start Playing Magic the Gathering
A Beginner’s Guide
The following is a six step guide to
starting Magic the Gathering from
This is not a video that teaches you how
to play the game,
but rather guides you in your purchases
and decision-making, so that you can go
from having never played magic
to being able to attend store events and
regularly play games.
Please note: as always this video is
only meant its guidance, not absolute
It is one path, one method of many, but it is only
It is designed with the goal of being
able to play regularly
at store events. But that may not be your
own personal goal when it comes to Magic.
Still, even if you are looking to achieve
different things from this game,
perhaps by seeing one path people can
you might discover new ideas that will
help you meet your needs.
If you’ll allow me one more preamble…
I’d like to stress the importance of
having a friend or partner to play with.
The most important thing you can do as a
new player is
to play. Practice, practice, practice!
And in order to do this it helps to have
a practice partner.
Going into this game with a friend or
lover is a huge advantage,
as you always have someone to play with
and learn with.
I’m a major advocate of couples getting
into magic together,
as it gives you both the fun and
engaging activity that you can share
with one another.
if you don’t know anyone who is
interested in learning with you
or who already plays, don’t despair! Magic
is a highly social game.
Hanging out at your local game store
isn’t just how you get
in games. It is also how you meet people
and make friends. So where do you begin
from absolute scratch?
Step 1: buy Duels of the Planeswalkers
Duels of the Planeswalkers is one of the
best starting points for brand new
players who have zero experience with
Magic: The Gathering.
Playing it teaches you the basic
concepts at the game,
casting spells, etc. It is an excellent
with the reputation as a gateway drug to
full-scale Magic the Gathering addiction.
Best of all, you can play it as much as you
want, when you want,
without needing a second player. This is
for early practice and training. Please
Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 is far,
far superior to Duels of the
While 2015 has its strengths, I would
strongly recommend that you look into
starting with Duels
2014. The fact that Duels 2014 is
available at an extreme discount due to
being the older versions is another
added plus. As of the filming of this video
it’s available on Steam for only $10.00 (USD).
Step 2: Get two Quick-Start Deck (Sample Decks)
Viewers of this channel know that I do
not recommend new players purchasing
Booster Boxes, or even a Deck Builder’s
What I do suggest is picking up two
Quick-Start Decks (Sample Decks)
What are Quick-Start Decks (Sample Decks)? These are
distributed to local game stores and
typically free for new players.
They don’t contain any cards of value, but
they are an
excellent basic deck for players to
start practicing with.
I say get two, preferably so you can play
yours against a friend.
The decks are well matched against each
other. They contain
basic cards, and basic mechanics, and best
of all are typically free.
Whenever I hear people suggesting new
players biy two Intro Packs to play
against one another,
I always suggest instead getting two of
At $10.00-15.00 for an Intro
Pack, you’re spending money that could be
put to better use later.
Alright so at this point in your
starting MTG journey,
your goal is to get comfortable with the
basics of the game.
Step 3: Join your store’s League
Once you’ve become relatively
comfortable with the basics of the game,
the next best step and use of your time
would be by joining your store’s League.
obviously, this is only possible if
your store has a league, and B: that League
has a healthy
active population, as well as C: you
have the ability and time to frequent
and play games. But assuming your store
does have an active
League, can you can go there often enough
this is the next best step. League games are
typically much more relaxed and casual
than even Friday Night Magic. People are
less likely to be
angry and aggressive towards you if you
stumble, or make an error.
Best of all, once you’ve bought your League
deck, which is typically about
you can play as often as you want,
without spending additional cash.
This, again, is why I urge players not to
just buy boosters for cracking.
The cost of League is typically the same
as buying those boosters individually,
but you get deck building and gameplay
With a little luck you might even win a
Cards that you don’t put in your League
deck can be played with
in your Quick-Start deck (Sample Deck). At the very
least, you’ve started your Magic
and in building your League deck, you’ve
created your first sealed constructed
Which is the type of deck building you
do at launch or pre-release events.
Your goal at this point is to not only
familiarize yourself with the cards,
but also to get very comfortable with
playing a game of Magic.
You want to no longer be hesitating
about the order of phases, or stumbling
through declaring attackers,
ect. A week or two of frequent League games,
combined with casual games with your
Quick-Start deck (Sample Deck),
and burning through Duels of the
Planeswalkers again should get you there.
And at this point you’ve only spent
about $34.00-35.00 (USD).
Next step? Step 4: Play a Draft
Draft is one of the most popular
The price can vary from store to store,
but on average it is on par with the cost
of buying your boosters individually.
I’ve seen a range of cost, from $9.00-15.00 drafts,
with the higher end having better prize
support in exchange for the higher
price of play.
But play is the key. Again, as opposed to
just buying the Boosters individually,
you are getting so much more training, practice,
and overall gameplay by actually
in a draft. Whenever a new player is asking
about which Booster Box to buy in order
to put a deck together,
I think of all the drafts that booster
box could have paid for,
all the experience lost, and relatively
the same number of cards obtained.
What’s more, drafting gives you a choice
in what you are walking away with.
If their are specific commons, uncommons,
or if you are very lucky, rares and mythics
that you are looking for
then you can opt to select them as you
draft your deck.
Either way, since drafting requires
nothing more than knowledge of
how to play the game, and the price of entry, I always suggest this as
a starting or early in-store event
for new players. Step 5: If a
Pre-release or Launch is upcoming,
attend. Again, make sure that you are
comfortable enough with the basics of
tapping, untapping, casting basic spells,
and blockers, etc., before you sign up
for a Pre-release,
but once you are, I always recommend
you’re getting cards and getting
If you’ve missed the last Pre-release
or Launch, don’t worry,
there are four per year, so one is always
going to be coming up soon.
Step 6: Put your first Standard deck
The best options for putting your first
Standard deck together
are to possibly start with an event deck
or look for a $20.00-30.00
In either case, take a look at the cards
you’ve already acquired through League,
drafting, and possibly a Pre-release. They
might influence which budget deck you
want to go for.
You can decide to buy into colors you
and even be able to use some of the
cards you may already have.
Now you are ready to attend a Friday
Night Magic or other Standard in-store
So where are you at the end of this
progression? You are comfortable enough
with the game that you can play in basic
You have a League deck to play with
anytime you go into the shop.
You have a basic Standard deck that you
can continue to upgrade and improve.
Your Magic card collection has been
started. You can draft
and regularly play in events like
Friday Night Magic or Pre-release.
You are now a beginning Magic player.
I hope this video has been helpful to
you. You can help me out by remembering
like, share, or just by leaving a
comment. And remember!
You can’t play Magic at Target or
Walmart! So whether buying cards or
accessories, try and spend that money at your local game store
whenever possible. You’re investing in
your Magic community.