So, you play Magic the Gathering, and maybe even make it to FNM. Wizards have recently changed the ratings system from the old ELO system to Planeswalker points. I’m not here to discuss those changes, (see this article by Daniel Harborne for that information) but instead look at a knock-on effect.
The new system actively encourages you to play more Magic :)
This is a good thing! — However, while it no longer punishes you for losing matches, that doesn’t mean you want to lose. Between Competitive Points and FNM Points, you probably want to win as much as possible, especially if you are playing more. No-one wants to start playing more Magic, only to find more opponents to lose to :(
Now, obviously you have some form of Internet access. Otherwise you probably aren’t reading this. Unless someone has gone to the trouble of printing it out for you (thanks for spreading the word). So where do you go to get the best information to help improve your game?
The site kindly hosting this article. Built on an initiative to make the UK Magic community collectively better at Magic, it’s featured writers include British PTQ/GP grinders and Pros. Their articles will give advice and tips on getting better at the game; the site also features a Chat Room, allowing you to talk Magic and anything else with writers and other players. Feeling a bit of information overload? Then check out Griffin Guides, where you can see some sweet altered cards, and Sparks, an MTG inspired web comic. Hopefully, the site can fulfill it’s aim and we can see more British players on the Pro Tour making a name for themselves.
Not an obvious place to look, but a valuable one. Built to allow people to socialize, it features one important fact. Magic players are people too ;) Many of the internationally famous Magic pros are on there and are happy to accept friend requests from other Magic players. They often discuss Magic issues and strategy on status updates and in notes. You can chat with them to make friends and connections if they have the time. Just try not to pester them. Facebook also has social resources you can use, set up a Group for your local play group and advertise events. Use it to bring people together and find more people to play with, the more people you can play against, the more practice you get and the better you become.
While Facebook allows plenty of room for discussion, Twitter gives you instant access to what people are thinking. Not only do Magic players use it, but so do many of the Wizards staff. Get on there, start following them, join tweet conversations, see the event coverage tweets during the major events, so you can keep up to the minute with news while waiting for the coverage articles to update.
Stuck for deck ideas? Here is a valuable place to go. They collect deck lists from a variety of events worldwide and post them on an easy to search site. It’s useful for deck building as you can see what ideas are doing well in your chosen deck archetype. Also, if there is a card you really want to try building around, type it in and see if anyone else has had success with it. Finally, if you’ve got an upcoming tournament, it’s a great site for getting deck lists to build a gauntlet for testing purposes. Looking at a variety of lists for a deck can show you what common cards are used in it and what the common cards you need to beat are.
The main site. MTG’s own home page is updated daily with articles written by Wizards staff, it’s the source of official spoilers, banning announcements and information on upcoming products. An important site to try and check daily, it will help keep you up to date on news. An obvious one, but still one to visit.
A site that hosts a wide variety of Podcasts on everything from the latest news, Commander, Cube drafting, better limited play and more. Example Podcasts are â€œSo Many Insane Playsâ€ with Stephen Menendian talking about Vintage, and the flagship â€œMonday Night Magicâ€ which often has guests such as Adam Styborski, Gavin Verhey and Conley Woods. They are always willing to host more Podcasts, so maybe some British talent could give it a go.
I’m not going to link the various websites here that sell magic, but in a similar vein to mtgUK, many of them also host articles written by various pros. So, if there is a pro you admire, check to see if they write articles for places such as Star City Games or Channel Fireball. It’s often useful to get multiple perspectives on matters, such as set reviews, and the best ways of building the top decks.
Those are the major ones I visit on a weekly, if not daily basis. You can find where all these shops and events are in your area by simply using the UK Magic Calendar. At the end of the day, research is one of the greatest tools we have for getting better at this game and the Internet is the largest resources for this research. You can get in touch with far more Magic players through something like Facebook than you would have time to speak to at a large Grand Prix.
As mtgUK says, together we are better. Lets continue to pool our resources through this website and raise the standard of play in the UK.
Until next time, thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.