Why Play Magic the Gathering Online

Why Play Magic the Gathering Online

I am a Magic the Gathering tournament player. What that method is that I put in a lot of effort when I hear of an upcoming large tournament. I will use hour’s play testing the deck I want to play. I will pine over which sideboard cards will be the most effective. I will try to anticipate what other people will play and change my deck consequently. I put in a lot of time testing online and when I meet new people I always find it strange that they will put in a lot of hours playtesting or already goldfishing their decks for hours to see what starting hands they’ll get but they don’t ever use MTG online as a tool. I always here the same excuses. Why should I play Magic the Gathering Online when I already own 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 your thinking. Why does this guy want me to play online so bad? No, I don’t work for Wizards of the Coast. I don’t have stock in the company Hasbro. I just know for me, that I would not have the play skill that I have now, without the opportunity for me to play Magic the Gathering Online. I think it’s a very advantageous tool to use for any fan of the game and especially the tournament player. One of the reasons I produced this web site is so that everyone has as much fun playing Magic as possible because I love this game so much. I know I have the most fun when I’m winning so in order to win more I need to get better. Magic Online offers another method for you to get better.

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


For my complete adult life I have had a job, and while I was always fortunate to be able to work at a hobby store, it did eat into my Magic playing time. I worked Friday night and Saturday afternoon, because that was when the store was most busy. If you’re a tournament player you know these are the two times that magic tournaments generally happen. FNM is Friday night and a lot of bigger tournaments like PTQs and Opens happen on Saturdays. More recently, I also work a 9-5 job that almost always becomes a 9-7 job depending on what projects are going. No I’m not telling you this so you feel bad for me, I’m saying this because I want to illustrate that not all of us can go to tournaments all the time. Magic online gives us a way to keep playing already when our schedules don’t match that of our local game store’s.

Now I try to make it out to RIW Hobbies to play FNM whenever I can, but I also love to come home, at 7:30pm, pull out my laptop, fire up my standard deck, and just play a few rounds with it. This keeps me up to date on the current decks in the format while strengthening my skill with the deck I’m playing. It also lets me eat a bowl of cereal all while attacking you with 5/5 wurms and populating. (Currently I’m a big fan of a G/W aggro deck featuring arrival of the Wurm and Scion of Vitu-Ghazi).

Another issue is you don’t always have the ability to go to every PTQ or other large in your area. Maybe you went last week and you don’t want to excursion another two hours to get out top decked by that Jund player, in the last round, knocking you out of top eight contention. Just me? Maybe cost is an issue. Driving to events not only takes time to get there and entry fee costs, but gas is expensive and use and tear on your means adds up. With magic online there is a daily event every few hours for each format. PTQs are also online, and now right in your basement. If you lose, you don’t need to excursion another two hours home. You can already start another game right there.


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

So now you spent all this money drafting, now what? You earned nothing, or maybe some packs, I can’t assume how good you are. That’s not true. You have a great collection to start playing standard or block. You also learned a lot about magic and hopefully got better at it. Drafting is one of the most skill intensive formats out there. You have to build your deck on the fly, using an unknown card pool. You need to learn to estimate cards that you wouldn’t typically. You have to play around lots of conceal cards and combat tricks. All these things make you an overall better magic player.


A lot of people always use cost as an excuse to not play online. Cost is definitely a factor but you should understand that playing online is not as expensive as you think. Sure there are the 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 you already use a lot of money on Magic so why not use a little more and play online. The cards online keep up their value generally in addition as cards in real life do. And offen times you can use your knowledge of magic card pricing and your card evaluation skills, that you got from drafting, to pick when a cards price will go up. Buy low and sell high and you can make a lot of money online just like everywhere else.

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

18 Mountain

3 Mutavault

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

4 Chandra’s Phoenix

4 Firefist Striker

4 Rakdos Cackler

4 Stromkirk Noble

4 Young Pyromancer

2 Brimstone Volley

4 Pillar of Flame

4 Searing Spear

4 Shock

1 Skullcrack


4 Burning Earth

3 Electrickery

1 Flames of the Firebrand

3 Mizzium Mortars

1 Mountain

3 Skullcrack

But I don’t want to play Mono Red. Quit crying, I’ve got your beloved UB Control deck right here:

1 Dimir Guildgate

4 Drowned Catacomb

8 Island

3 Nephalia Drownyard

6 Swamp

4 Watery Grave

3 Augur of Bolas

2 Snapcaster Mage

2 Curse of Death’s keep up

3 Dissipate

3 Doom Blade

1 Essence Scatter

3 banned Alchemy

2 Opportunity

2 Ratchet Bomb

1 Rewind

2 Syncopate

3 Think Twice

2 Tragic Slip

3 Tribute to Hunger

2 Warped Physique


1 Cremate

2 Devour Flesh

2 Duress

1 Jace, Memory Adept

2 Negate

1 Nephalia Drownyard

2 Pithing Needle

1 Psychic Spiral

1 Staff of Nin

2 Vampire Nighthawk

Both of these decks can be bought online for less than fifty dollars. Both of these decks also went 4-0 in a daily event. And yes, that is three Snapcaster Mages in the UB deck. Generally, rares online are much cheaper than they are in real life. Lets 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 are so cheap is because drafters, like you, are always drafting, so packs are always being opened so there is a continued arrival of new cards.


When you play online you are going to be playing against a higher skill level opponent on average. I average hey this guy went by the trouble of paying for cards online just to play to get better. He’s not looking for the social aspect of magic, a problem with playing online. He loves Magic and wants to get better. Generally from what I’ve found, people who play in daily events are going to be on par with people who play in PTQs and better than people who play at 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 playing against someone better than you, you are able to watch how they play and understand why they make certain plays. Maybe he doesn’t need to play Wrath of God against your one creature because he is using his life as a resource and your not pressuring him enough. Maybe he isn’t overextending by playing a lot of creatures into your Wrath of God. These are tactics you can learn just from playing against better people. You may remember that one time you won a match already though you made a bad play. I guarantee you will remember the match the time you made a bad play and your opponent punished you for it.

This article ended up being a lot longer than I expected it to and I nevertheless have other great reasons why you should join up and play Magic the Gathering Online. Maybe I’ll make another article. If you have other reasons why you enjoy playing Magic Online feel free to leave them in the comments. Remember the goal is to have more fun and be a better magic player, so you should be using all the tools that you can. Playing online was one of the best and fastest ways for me to enhance my skill.

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