Places to Know: Magic Events

I’ve been playing Magic on the East Coast for years. But when you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to determine what kind of events are aimed for you and which are aimed for the more experienced players. Typically, the types of events I compete in fall into five categories. I’ve listed each below along with the benefits a player can expect from participating. Hopefully seeing the types of events and where to find them will help a player who was like me in the past, just on the hunt for more and more tournaments, but not knowing the best places to look.

Local Events – Local events are the bread and butter of Magic. When I say local events, I am referring to Modern on Monday night, Wednesday night drafts, and Friday Night Magic. Local events come in many forms and are often times are the lifeblood of your local store. These events are great for building a local community, getting repetitions in with your deck before a big event, and meeting local players. Building relationships with local players is vital to meeting players stronger than you to help you grow, travel to larger events with, and create a pool of players to share ideas or borrow cards.

MTG Arena – MTGA is the newest form of online play. It’s geared towards standard and casual play and a great way for players to learn the game and hone their skills. I honestly can’t do MTGA justice and recommend anyone who loves Magic or looking to start playing Magic to just download it and give it a try. It’s smooth, fun, and has me coming back for more.

SCG Tour – The SCG Tour has many different events, but the SCG Tour as a whole has a much more regional feel than a PPTQ. The meat of the SCG Tour is the Open Weekend. Opens are constructed tournaments with a $20,000 prize purse up for grabs. Many of the best players on the East Coast compete. SCG Open events also have a huge number of side events.f things don’t go well in the main event for players, there are also events on the second day of competition. There is honestly too much to go into detail about when it comes to SCG Tour events, so suffice it to say that I would check them out if you’re looking for larger scale events with more lucrative prizes to participate in.

Grand Prix  – Grand Prixs are the largest Magic events in the world. These tournaments are backed by Wizards and feed directly into the Pro Tour. Grand Prixs have evolved from “just” a tournament with over $50,000 in prizes to large scale events with cosplay, unique side-events, and lots of different ways players celebrate Magic. While Grand Prixs are hard to attend regularly because they appear all over the world, it is more than worthwhile to go to a Grand Prix when one is hosted within a few hours of you. By showing up to these events, you’ll have the ability to watch some of the best in the world battle as well as personalities from Wizards of the Coast to commentate on the tournament with live video coverage available on Twitch.

Playing a game of Magic isn’t just about looking at the cards on the battlefield and in your hand in order to decide the best possible line on each turn. In a game of unknown information, you must realize that the person sitting across from you is trying their best to win as well. Asking why your opponent would make the decision they did can help you derive what might be in their hand. If you cast a spell that is okay, but not amazing and they did not choose to use a counterspell, it might mean that they don’t have one, but it could also mean they only have access to exactly one.  Assume your opponent is a rational person and will know your deck has scarier things to offer. Having their vital counterspell is more important than trying to stop your second best spell.

Magic Online – Magic Online is the greatest tool when it comes to the quantity and availability of Magic gaming. Magic Online is not a singular event, but a program structured with many on-demand events as well as weekly PTQs (Pro Tour Qualifiers) for players to earn a ticket directly to the Pro Tour from the comfort of their own home. When I’m asked by players the best way to improve, this is my number one answer. Play Magic Online. Even if you’re not looking to sharpen your game, Magic Online has the number of players required to get you a match at any time, day or night.

Until next time,

Daryl Ayers

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