Now that I’ve been playing Magic the Gathering for about six months, I have a good understanding of what Magic is about. There are basically three venues where you can play magic:

  • Casually with Friends
  • Online with the World!
  • Organized play at “local” events, and occasionally larger regional gatherings i.e. FNM, Grand Prix’s etc.

This post is about the first way. I’ve tried the other two ways, which can be fun, but are $$$. My goal is to organize a weekly/bi-weekly event that is fun but doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Magic is an immense game, but is broken up into various formats. The flavor of the game varies greatly with the type of format, and most are pretty fun:

  • Constructed — 1:1 games / matches
  • Standard — only recent cards allowed
  • Pauper — only common cards allowed.
  • Extended — allow cards from the past few years
  • Modern — allow cards from ~8th edition on, typically if it has the “modern” looking border/text
  • Vintage / Legacy — Because $1500 decks are cool, amirite?

  • Multiplayer
  • Commander / EDH — 40 life, 100 card deck with no duplicates, legendary creature designated as the “general”. Basically @kydoon’s dream format
  • Free-for-All — Sit back and pretend like you have bad cards/hand, otherwise you will be dead in two turns.
  • Two headed Giant — 4 players, two on each time — shared 30 life total
  • Emperor — 6 players, 3 on each time, one person on each team is the “emperor”, and if dies the team loses

  • Limited
  • Booster Draft 4-10 players, each person has 3 packs. People sit around a table, open 1 pack, pick a card, then pass left or right. Everyone picks this way until all cards picked (you own what you pick, not what’s in the pack), then next pack is opened. Then, each players takes the 40+ cards they picked, and builds a 40 card deck with any number of basic lands (provided separate from the 3 packs). Then players play a 3-5 round tournament
  • Sealed Deck — each player opens 6 packs, and builds a 40 card deck, then starts a 3-5 round tournament. This is kind of fun with a new set, but it basically means that if you have a bad sealed pool you will be at a disadvantage.

I’d like to see four different events each month from the previous list. The formats I would like to see:

Week 1 — Booster Draft

This would require a minimum of 4 players, with the ideal number being 4,6, or 8 (odd numbers requires one person to sit out each round). The standard draft is about 20 minutes for picks, 10-20 for deck construction, than 40-50 minute match rounds (best 2/3).

This format would require people to pay or bring their own packs, but here’s the thing — most people buy their boosters at $4. I can buy a box at SCG for about $100 shipped for 36 packs — that’s 2.75 a pack — so a draft (which is 3 packs a person) would only cost about 9-10, and still have a prize booster or two. That’s a pretty good deal considering most FNM drafts cost about $15.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that booster packs are basically a rip-off… but they are really fun if you draft them! In fact, many of the cards in an expansion are specifically designed for drafting.

Week 2 — Multiplayer / Commander

I really want to get into Commander, especially now that you can buy a complete deck for $30. The thing is, this format really wants 3 or more people, and 2-3 hours for a single game!

Week 3 — Constructed Tournament

Needs a minimum of four people, with even number of players ideal. We can do 3 match rounds, and if people want to throw in a $1-$2 we can throw in some boosters. I’d say that if do prizes we should stick to standard.

Week 4 — FFA Multiplayer / Whatever

Could be something like Emperor or two-headed giant, another commander night, etc.

So here is what I would like to contribute to such an endeavor. Hosting 2 events a month at my house in OC. I’d probably do 4 if there was an interest, but it’s probably more convenient to do some events in O’Brien County…

I’d also be willing to purchase booster boxes from SCG, and provide basic lands If anyone wants to straight buy cards this way that would be cool too.

Also I think that Mon-Thu are the better times for scheduling — sometimes I might want to go to the FNM in Sioux City! I’m not suggesting that people to commit to every week, but if we can get 3-4 people a week somewhere playing magic it will be fun!