Magic Online – Why It’s Great, and Why It’s Not!

Magic Online takes the Magic: The Gathering trading card game to a whole new level, in a virtual environment. There are some subtle nuances that differentiate Magic Online from its cardboard counterpart – some good, and some bad. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to journey into the world of Magic: The Gathering Online.

Why Magic Online Rocks

1. MTGO is Instant Gratification For Your Magic Fix

Looking for a game of Magic at 2 AM? Your chances are good that there’s someone, in some part of the world logged on to MTGO. Finding a game of Magic is practically instant, compared to finding someone to play with in real life. If your friends have all quit playing Magic, or simply aren’t interested in Magic, MTGO offers a great way to stay in the game.

2. MTGO Keeps Your Collection Organized

Magic Online makes it easy to sort your collection, and find what you need when building decks. Sorting cardboard Magic cards can often be a pain, and digital versions of Magic cards can never get damaged or bent! The sorting feature makes Magic Online a handy deck building tool, and makes it easy to maintain your collection.

3. MTGO Lets You Get More Play Testing In

If you’re a hardcore tournament player, MTGO is a great place to playtest your deck against the field. You have access to a wide variety of opponents with a multitude of decks. This gives you more time to practice playing your deck, and tweak it to perfection.

Why Magic Online Isn’t So Great

1. MTGO is Expensive!

Don’t be fooled – paper Magic cards are expensive, too. But with Magic Online, you cannot purchase them by the box at a discount. Each pack you open costs full retail price, which can get very expensive if you buy boosters. If you buy one booster box of each set when it comes out, that means you will be spending about $50 per month to play MTGO. This is over 3 times as much as World of Warcraft, and doesn’t even include event tickets for tournaments.

TIP: Instead of cracking booster packs, use them to enter booster draft tournaments where you can rare-draft and possibly win more boosters! This will help you get the most value for your money spent.

2. MTGO is More Impersonal

Along with the Internet comes its share of trolls. There will always be unpleasant opponents out there, and it can be aggravating at times. This can happen at real-life Magic tournaments, too, but seems to be a lot more common online because the face to face element is lost. Additionally, it’s harder to get a “read” on your opponent when playing online, just like with Internet poker.

TIP: Put any irritating people on your ignore list, and make sure to report them if they’re harassing you.

3. MTGO Enforces Rules Strictly and Impartially Overall, this is a good thing. However, if you’re not familiar with the intricacies of how priority works, you may find yourself missing out on opportunities to cast spells where you intended to. If you’re not careful, yielding to your opponent unintentionally could cost you a match.

TIP: Configure your stops, and make sure not to automatically yield priority during any phases of either player’s turn where you could potentially be casting a spell.