Attending Your First Magic Tournament
Whilst FNM and Casual Commander are a great way to get into Magic: The Gathering, for some, the real fun comes in the buzz when playing at the competitive level.
So, whether you're off to a PPTQ or Nationals, here's our guide to attending your first Magic: The Gathering tournament!
Clear Your Calendar
Before you book your tickets, make sure you're going to be available on the day of the competition, that you know where the competition is being held, and at what time you need to be there. Whilst many stores will hold competitions in their own premises, some may hold competitions in another venue.
At Elite, we're lucky enough to have The Gaming Room, which allows us to host events for 42 or so people in store.
Book Your Ticket
Booking your ticket in advance is the best way to know you'll definitely have a place at a table on the day. Spaces are events, such as PPTQs, are always limited, and whilst you could risk it on the day, it's much easier and less stressful if you book in advance.
Advance bookings can normally be done in store, but some stores, like ourselves, also offer online sales of tickets.
Join The Community
Most Events will have a Facebook Page or Group you can join to talk about the event before it happens. For example, we list all of our official Magic events on Facebook, so you can join in with the community before we get here. This is a great way to find out who's going on the day, and perhaps even find a travel buddy or swap some cards you need for the event.
Check The Rules
Make sure you know which format you're playing. Make sure you're up to date with the ban lists. Make sure your cards are sleeved in opaque sleeves. And make sure you're ready to register your deck on the day. Breaking the rules can lead to a warning or even disqualification, so if you have any questions before the event starts, ask a member of staff or the Judge for the event.
You can find out which cards are legal on the Wizards website:
And you can read about Rules Enforcement on the Wizards website, too.
Arrive On Time
Everyone hates it when the start of an event is held up. So, make sure you're there on time for the start of the event. Traffic and train issues can cause delays, but by making sure you leave with good time, you'll be at the event on time and ready to start when it starts.
Train times can always be checked with National Rail Enquiries. And Google Maps can give you a good indicator of traffic.
Most important of all, make sure you have fun! Magic: The Gathering is all about bringing players together to enjoy the game. Yes, competitive events like PPTQs have prizes, and everyone wants to get into the Top 8, but that's not excuse for bad sportsmanship.