How to “Magic” without “The Gathering”

For fans of Magic: The Gathering (or any CCGs, really) these times of social distancing can have a large impact on our hobbies.  Events, tournaments and even games with friends are, at least in physical form, no longer available. So where does that leave us — and our collection — while we wait for things outside of our homes to improve?

Well, here’s a list of things you can do to still enjoy the game, the lore and your collection while at home.

Sort Your Collection

Yeah, it seems a bit silly but when was the last time you had an opportunity to sit and really go through your collection? What hidden gems might you find? What cards might you want to look to part ways with down the road? What inspiration can you find for new brews? Are there gaps in your collection you’d like to fill?

Sorting your collection can be a timely endeavor but also a very rewarding one.

Create and Share Your Brews

A sorted card collection makes it a lot easier to start crafting new brews — finding new cards that inspire you. You may find that legendary creature that you think would make a perfect new Brawl deck or a set of old commons that get you thinking about pauper.

Craft new decks and share them with the community for feedback and keep reworking them. That way, once you’re able to attend events again, you’ll have plenty of new decks to try.

Play Magic With Your Partner or Sibling

There’s never been a better time to sit down and introduce people in your house to your hobby. In some cases, there may be more than one magic player in your household already. If you have old duel decks or pre-constructed decks, the game night box set or even a bunch of booster packs you can have a fun time. Once events open up again, you can introduce your housemates to the larger world of Magic the Gathering as well.

Play Online

There are several different ways to enjoy Magic: The Gathering online. The two most popular currently are Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic: The Gathering Online. Arena provides faster, more action oriented games with a smaller set of cards with a focus on more recent sets. Magic: The Gathering Online provides a much greater variety of cards and game types but has a steeper learning curve and a less flashy, more technical interface.

Arena also host Friday Night Magic events now. Playing in an FNM event and posting a screenshot to Heroes’ Beacon’s Magic Facebook page — Heroes’ Beacon MTG — will net you a special code for Arena that you can use to earn new sleeves for your decks.

Arena also allows you to easily share friend codes for one-on-one games.

Play D&D

Seriously. If you like Magic: the Gathering, D&D — and in particular the D&D’s Magic: The Gathering themed settings — can be a great way to sling spells and kill creatures. Like Magic, it’s a game you can play at home with friends and family or online using various tools like Roll20.

Read Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering’s storyline is told through the cards but also through short stories published on the Wizards of the Coast website and through novels, such as War of the Spark: Forsaken. They make for great reading material so you can catch up on the characters and stories behind the cards themselves.

These are just a few of the ways you can still enjoy Magic: The Gathering while at home. Stay safe everyone!

Greg Grondin

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