Magic: the Gathering is a game that essentially depends on two things. The first is having cards to play with. The second is having people to play with. We don't always know where to find these people.
Are you just starting to play, and would you like to have company? Or moved to a new city and don't know where to find these players? Having problems in your community and would you like new friends to play?
Regardless of the reason, we've separated a manual with several ways (besides the best known stores) to find players and have fun!
WPN Local Stores
The first and most popular way to find players is through the licensed Stores, the WPN (Wizards Play Network), where there are usually casual Magic events every week, and sometimes even larger events.
On the Wizards of the Coast website, the company responsible for the game, there is a application with this information, so you can locate yourself:
Generally, the store will be the easiest place to find other players. There you can also participate in a Friday Night Magic, an informal event that takes place every Friday around the world.
Stores not licensed by Wizards
There are other stores, other than those licensed by Wizards, that likely sell Magic: the Gathering merchandise. Maybe a store more focused on Board Games, a bigger supermarket or big mall stores and the like - there might be people playing there, and you might try to approach them.
Search online communities
On the internet, there are several options for communities and groups. In these “online places”, many people with common interests come together to discuss various topics — among them, Magic: the Gathering!
Just explore these groups, elaborate on the game, even ask questions about some interaction, create memes... in short, everything is possible on the internet, isn't it?
But be careful, many people are very nice and receptive, but there are also people who can sometimes be rude to you. Don't be shaken, and keep talking and interacting - you can almost always find friendly people in the process.
To find groups on Facebook, just open your social network and type the keywords in the search bar.
After typing, change the filter to “Groups”, so that only groups with the theme will appear. You can include the name of your city or region as well, for example, to see if any groups of people are close to you.
You can open the groups that interest you the most, take a look, and if you like it, ask for permission to join them!
The process on Reddit is very similar to that on Facebook, but with broader themes: you can join the Magic community in general, the Arena community, or a specific game format.
By searching topics and interacting with other people, you can find new communities or connect in other networks.
As for Discord, the process of joining a group is a little different. There are several websites, content creators or owners of Magic-themed projects that create their groups, and for you to have access to them, you will have to see where this community is in each place.
Here, at Cards Realm, we have our own Discord group so people can chat and even get organized in our Magic Online tournaments, and you're welcome to join us!
On Discord, you can chat or even chat in audio calls with people from the community you've joined.
Open / public spaces
A good tactic is also to go to a public place, like the mall, big squares or your university and play with a friend of yours (or organize your decks and fiddle with the cards yourself) — so, in public, for other people to see. Maybe other players will come and talk, and you can get to know each other better.
Also, other people might be curious about what you're doing, so you and your friend can chat and talk about the game, explain what it's about, and sometimes even teach them how to play and keep in touch.
These new people might not even be interested in learning the game, but maybe they know someone who plays and can introduce them. It doesn't hurt to try, right?
Follow similar media
You, as a good gamer, should probably play something other than Magic. It is very common for people to have these niches of interest in common.
For example, it is very likely that Magic players like RPGs (Wizards of the Coast itself is also responsible for Dungeons & Dragons)! So, you can frequent these spaces, make new friends and see if there are these common interests.
There may not be, in fact, in this group, any RPG player who plays Magic, for example — but it is likely that some of them are interested in the TCG, either because of Lore, or because of the wonderful illustrations on the cards, or even by the game's system.
Plan B: in case it's impossible to find players nearby
Play from a distance with real cards
If everything goes wrong, but you know people far away who want to play Magic, you can play tabletop Magic “from a distance”.
How, you ask me?
Especially with the pandemic, people started to use online calling platforms to play from a distance, such as Zoom and SpellTable.
Just have a good microphone and a decent camera to communicate with your colleagues online and show your table, so you can play without actually being present.
The most common platform for this ends up being SpellTable because of its technology that identifies cards after clicking, from its own database. There are also marked life totals or other types of damage, such as commander or infect. There is also a turn marker and clock.
There are other options for playing Magic online these days.
We have Magic: the Gathering Online (MTGO), the first virtual platform to play Magic, with its own currency system and in-game purchase as if they were real cards. It is only available for PC.
There is a tournament system divided by formats, Draft and Sealed events, as well as a casual area. The game is not so “visually pretty”, but it is also very useful to understand some concepts such as the stack and trigger resolution.
Through MTGO, it is possible to chat with players during the match, add friends and everything else. Of course, not everyone is friendly, but it can be very fruitful, and you can find some good players and nice people there.
There is also the Magic Arena, a free to play platform, with a card acquisition system similar to other online games, but through Boosters acquired by playing, buying or exchanging for coins. The good thing is that it's available for both PCs and Mobile, both being integrated — that is, you can play on the bus or anywhere if you have internet connection!
The formats in Magic Arena are more limited than in MTGO, which has more eternal formats, but the game is free and stunning. Many people play it, and you can also use it as a gateway to introduce the game to your friends.
The platform is prettier and eye-pleasing, but it's harder to have dialogue with the opponent — there are no chats, just pre-made lines. It's possible to add the players to a friends list, but again, without direct interaction.
Learn and teach your friends
It is always possible to learn about the game on the internet, use the online platforms, and teach your friends (or even learn together)!
It can be an arduous and challenging path, but ultimately, it is very rewarding. You can even purchase random cards, the so-called “bulks”, and start inventing decks, reading the cards and understanding their interactions — in short, discovering the game.
I recommend the possibility of purchasing a Commander Preconstructed Deck, which are decks that already have a theme or pre-defined interactions, so you can already learn a few things about synergy, in addition to being a relatively affordable product.
Here at Cards Realm, we also have plenty of articles on getting started with Magic, with handy tips and tutorials. Just click here and search for your favorite topic!
I hope I've helped you find a way to find new players! Join our community, and we can continue to help you!
Any questions, I'm available in the comments.
Until next time!