Why play Magic the Gathering online

I am a Magic the Gathering tournament player. What that means is that I put in a lot of effort when I hear of an upcoming big tournament. I will spend hours of gaming trying out the deck I want to play. I’ll worry about which sideboard cards will be the most effective. I’ll try to anticipate what other people will play and change my deck accordingly. I spent a lot of time testing online and when I meet new people it always seems strange to me that they spend many hours testing the game or even gold fishing their decks for hours to see what starting hands they will get but they don’t. Never use online MTG as a tool. I always here the same excuses. Why should I play Magic the Gathering Online when I already have the cards? Playing online is too expensive. With this article I would like to show you how easy and effective it is to play MTG Online.

I know what you’re thinking. Why does this guy want me to play online so badly? No, I don’t work for Wizards of the Coast. I have no shares in the Hasbro company. I just know for myself, that I wouldn’t have the gaming ability that I have now, without the opportunity to play Magic the Gathering Online. I think it is a very beneficial tool for any fan of the game and especially for tournament players. One of the reasons I created this website is for everyone to have as much fun playing Magic as possible because I love this game. I know that I have more fun when I win, so to win more I need to improve. Magic Online offers another avenue to improve.

In the rest of the article I will talk about some of the advantages of playing online and what it can offer magic players.

Weather

My entire adult life I’ve had a job, and while I was always lucky enough to be able to work in a hobby shop, it took away from playing Magic. I worked Friday night and Saturday afternoon, because that’s when the store was busiest. If you’re a tournament player, you know that these are the two times when magical tournaments usually happen. FNM is on Friday night and many bigger tournaments like PTQ and Open are held on Saturdays. More recently, I also have a 9 to 5 job that almost always turns into a 9 to 7 job depending on the projects going on. No, I’m not saying this to make you feel bad for me, I’m saying this because I want to illustrate that not everyone can go to tournaments all the time. Magic Online gives us a way to keep playing even when our hours don’t coincide with those of our local game store.

Now I try to get over to RIW Hobbies to play FNM whenever I can, but I also love getting home at 7:30pm, pulling out my laptop, turning on my standard deck, and just playing a few rounds with it. This keeps me updated on the current decks in the format while building my skill with the deck I’m playing. It also allows me to eat a bowl of cereal while attacking you with 5/5 wurms and populating. (I’m currently a big fan of an aggressive G/W deck with Advent of the Wurm and Scion of Vitu-Ghazi).

Another problem is that you don’t always have the ability to go to all the PTQ’s or other big ones in your area. Maybe you went last week and don’t want to drive another two hours to get finished off by that player from Jund, in the last round, who knocked you out of contention in the top eight. Just me? Perhaps the cost is an issue. Driving to events not only takes time to get there and costs the entrance fee, but gas is expensive and the wear and tear on your vehicle adds up. With online magic there is a daily event every few hours for each format. PTQs are also online and now in your basement. If you lose, you don’t need to drive another two hours home. You can even start another game right there.

Drafting

Another awesome reason why you should play Magic the Gathering Online is because you love drafting. I know you love to write, you know you love to write, so let’s stop kidding ourselves. Where in the world can you get a draft in less than a minute? If you go to your local game store, they probably have a draft in the works, an “A” draft. You want to play two drafts, maybe even three, because you love making drafts. Let’s not forget that we can enjoy our cereal, in our pajamas, while we draw, from our comfortable sofa.

So now that you’ve spent all this money drafting, now what? You didn’t win anything, or maybe a few packs, I can’t assume how good you are. That is not true. You have a great collection to start playing standard or block. You also learned a lot about magic and I hope you have improved on it. Writing is one of the most skill-intensive formats out there. You have to build your deck on the fly, using an unknown pool of cards. You need to learn how to evaluate cards that you normally wouldn’t. You have to play with a lot of dark cards and combat tricks. All of these things make you a better magic player overall.

cost

Many people always use cost as an excuse not to play online. Cost is definitely a factor, but you have to understand that playing online is not as expensive as you think. Sure there are expensive cards online. Yes, Sphinx’s Revelation and Voice of Resurgence are going to cost a lot, just like they do in real life. My point is that you already spend a lot of money on Magic, so why not spend a little more and play online? Online cards generally hold their value just as well as cards in real life. And often, you can use your knowledge of the price of spell cards and your card evaluation skills, which you gained from drafting, to choose when a card’s price will go up. Buy low and sell high and you can make as much money online as anywhere else.

There are expensive decks online and cheap decks online. If you’re serious about being a better player, you can jump online for less than fifty dollars. Take a look at this list:

18 mountain

3 Mutavail

4 Burning Tree Emissary

4 Phoenix of Chandra

4 Fire Fist Striker

4 Cackling Rakdos

4 Stromkirk Noble

4 Young Pyromancer

2 sulfur volley

4 Flame Pillar

4 searing spears

4 shock

1 crack

Sideboard

4 burning ground

3 electric

1 torch flames

3 Mizzium Mortars

1 mountain

3 cracking

But I don’t want to play Mono Red. Stop crying, here’s your beloved UB Control deck:

1 Dimir Guild Gate

4 drowned catacomb

8 islands

3 Nefalia Cemetery

6 swamp

4 watery tombs

3 Omen of Balls

2 snapcaster wizards

2 Curse of Death’s Hold

3 dispel

3 fatal blade

1 Essence Scatter

3 Forbidden Alchemy

2 chance

2 ratchet pumps

1 rewind

2 syncopated

3 Think Twice

2 tragic slips

3 Tribute to the Hunger

2 warped physics

Sideboard

1 cremate

2 Devour Flesh

2 duress

1 Jace, Memory Adept

2 deny

1 Nefalia Cemetery

2 coring needles

1 psychic coil

1 Nin’s Staff

2 Vampire Nighthawk

Both covers can be purchased online for less than fifty dollars. Both decks also went 4-0 in a daily event. And yes, that’s three Snapcaster Mages in the UB deck. Rare items online are generally much cheaper than in real life. Take, for example, our friend Snapcaster Mage.

Online, the card only costs you about six dollars. In real life, the cost of Snapcaster Mage is closer to twenty-two dollars. That makes accessing certain cards much easier online. And just so you know, the reason they’re so cheap is because drafters, like you, are always drafting, so packs are always being opened, so there’s a constant influx of new cards.

Competition

When you play online, you will be playing against an opponent of a higher skill level on average. I mean, hey, this guy went to the trouble of paying for cards online just to play and get better. He’s not looking for the social aspect of magic, a problem with playing online. He loves magic and wants to improve. In general, from what I’ve found, people who play daily events are going to be on par with people who play PTQ and better than people who play FNM. This is great for you, because you want to get better, and the best way to get better is to play against people who are better than you. You learn a lot more from losses than wins and when you play against someone better than you, you can watch how they play and understand why they make certain plays. Maybe he doesn’t need to play Wrath of God against your only creature because he’s using his life as a resource and you don’t push him hard enough. Maybe he’s not overdoing it by playing too many creatures in your Wrath of God. These are tactics you can learn by playing against better people. You may remember that you once won a game even though you made a bad play. I guarantee you will remember the match when you made a bad move and your opponent punished you for it.

This article ended up being much longer than I expected and I still have other good reasons why you should join and play Magic the Gathering Online. Maybe I’ll do another article. If you have other reasons why you like to play Magic Online, feel free to leave them in the comments. Remember that the goal is to have more fun and be a better magic player, so use all the tools you can. Playing online was one of the best and fastest ways to improve my skill.

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