So you’ve just learnt to play Magic: The Gathering, now what?

Magic: The Gathering can be overwhelming, but Jumpstart helps you jump in!

Thanks to our friends at Wizards of the Coast, we were able to get our hand on the new Dominaria United Jumpstart Boosters! A return of a brilliant Magic: The Gathering product.

For the last month and a bit, I’ve been helping run the beginner Magic: The Gathering events at Melbourne’s premiere gaming hotspot, Fortress. And one of the most common questions I get asked after completing a beginner workshop is: “So I’ve learnt the game, now what do I do?”. And that question is sometimes a bit tricky to answer. Now, I can’t stress this enough. I love Magic: The Gathering, I’ve been playing since 2008 and I was fortunate enough to have a large group of friends at school teach me how to play. And there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing my passion and getting new players involved with the game. However, not everyone is at high school and can just binge MTG on their lunch break. Most people have full time jobs and other commitments.

And therein lies the issue; Magic: The Gathering is a massive game. There is so much depth and so much to learn, it can be extremely overwhelming to a new player. Heck, even the 2022 starter kit has some pretty complex mechanics in it.

Learning Limited

After you’ve learnt how to play MTG there are a couple of different directions you can go in. Firstly, there’s something called “Limited”. “Limited” is where you sit at a table with a number of other players. You are all given a number of booster packs (3 or 6 depending on what you’re playing) and then build a deck from those cards.

The two “Limited” options you will hear about are “Draft” and “Sealed”. “Sealed” is the easier of the two. You’re given 6 booster packs and you make a 40 card deck from what you open. In this format you only have to think about the cards in front of you. Your first sealed event might be a bit tough as it’s still hard to know what to build, but usually at these events, the more experienced players are more than willing to help after they have built their decks.

As I mentioned, I’ve been playing since 2008. 14 years. And even after 14 years, I still suck at Drafting. Drafting is the most common limited format. It is generally played every Friday night at your local game store (or on Thursdays at Fortress). Sealed on the other hand only usually happens on new set pre-release/release weekends. With Drafting, the objective is the same as Sealed. Build a 40 card deck. Although this time you are given 3 booster packs and how you get the cards for you deck is a little bit different.

What’s Drafting?

Drafts are usually done in groups of 8. Everyone sits around a table. Opens up one of their booster packs. Looks through it. Picks a single card and sets it down in front of them. And then passes the rest of the cards to the person on their left. The person on your right has also done the same and hands you a stack of cards. You then repeat this process until no cards remain and then repeat the steps again with the other 2 packs. From this you’ll have about 45 cards in front of you and you need to make a 40 card deck.

As you can probably surmise, there is a lot to think about when drafting. You need a good understanding of how to build decks. Including knowing how to rate cards and pick the best one for you in a short amount of time. It can be pretty overwhelming for any new player. And due to the nature of drafting, you can’t really pause a draft to ask questions on what you should pick.

How about Commander?

So if Limited is out of the question, then what? Well prior to this weeks event, my go to answer is learn Commander. Commander is a brilliant casual format that caters to both competitive and casual players alike. It allows for nearly unlimited creativity and you get to play with nearly all cards across Magic‘s 30 year history. If you want to learn more about Commander, I highly recommend checking out this video:

The only problem with Commander is that again, it can be a little bit overwhelming with all of the card interactions and building a Commander deck can be a challenge in of itself. Thankfully there are pre-constructed decks to ease that burden. But what if there was a way where you could skip all this decision making and deck building and get right into the best part about Magic, playing the game!

Jumping into Jumpstart!

Introducing Jumpstart! Jumpstart is a brilliant product that has returned have a short hiatus. The premises is simple, you grab two Jumpstarter booster packs, open them up and shuffle them together and bam! You’ve now got a 40 card deck, complete with lands and you can immediately start playing. You literally jump to the best part of Magic.

How does this work? Well each Jumpstart booster pack has one half of a deck built around a specific theme. In the new Dominaria United Jumpstart boosters there are 10 different themes, two for each colour. Each booster also comes with a Jumpstart exclusive rare and an additional rare/mythic from the set the Jumpstart booster is from. You can find a list of all the cards included in each theme here. It’s as simple as that, there not much more to explain. So if you’re looking to jump into Magic some more after learning how to play the game, look no further than Jumpstart! If you’ve got any questions around Magic: The Gathering or anything popculture, feel free to reach out to us on our Twitter!


For more information on the latest Magic: The Gathering set, Dominaria United, check out the article below!

Returning to the legendary plane of Dominaria – Magic: the Gathering

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