Friday Night Magic: The Primer

Friday Night Magic: The Primer

Attending your first Friday Night Magic (FNM) event at your local game store (LGS) is a bit first step for any player. It’s usually the first time you’re get to play sanctioned Magic against people you don’t know, and it can be a bit intimidating for some new players. Luckily, I’m here to help you get ready with this primer and show you that it’s nothing to be nervous about since they’re usually very casual.

I’m a bit nervous, how competitive is FNM?

To start off this section, I’m going to show you an excerpt from the judge’s guide to judging at your FNM.

[FNM] encourages a welcoming atmosphere and friendly competition. As judges, we should be friendly and involved, sometimes playing in events ourselves. Like players, we are encouraged to help at appropriate times, such as during deck construction or between matches.

Now having judges makes this sound official, but as this says they are just there to help you. They are not there to make sure everyone is playing perfectly and rule with an iron first, they are there to help you learn to play at an FNM and teach you about the rules of the game. If you watch Magic tournaments on Twitch or participate on forums, you’ll hear about people making a small play mistake then getting a game/match loss. No need to worry, this won’t happen to you at FNM! At FNM, unless you’re cheating the judges will help you solve those small mistakes without giving you a game/match loss. At this level, they understand that mistakes happen and just want to help you learn so they don’t keep happening.

Okay, then what do I need for FNM?

First, for FNM there are two common formats that you’ll stumble upon: Draft and Standard. So below we’ll go through what you need for both of these.

Draft
  1. A DCI Number: This is basically a unique number Wizards of the Coast (those guys that make Magic) give you so you can keep track of how you’re doing at tournaments. If this is your first FNM, don’t worry because you don’t have one yet. When you show up to your LGS and ask to play, they’ll ask for your DCI number and you can just say “I don’t have one.” Then, the judge or person running the event will give you one. Make sure to save a picture of this on your phone since you may want to use it next time you play, although if you lose it you can always just get a new one!
  2. Money: It ain’t free. Most drafts cost around $15.
  3. Knowlege: You should have a vague idea about what a draft is. It’s my absolute favorite format, but it helps to know what you’re doing. Here’s an article on how to draft and here’s a video on how to draft. If you read/watch either of those, you’re good to go, and when you get to FNM let the judge know you’ve never drafted before, and he or she will help you out. Also, be aware of what cards are expensive and pick those if you see them because it helps make each draft less expensive.
  4. Recommended: Sleeves! Your store will be selling sleeves, and you can get 100 “penny sleeves” for a dollar. These sleeves will help keep your cards from getting too damaged when you play with them, and you want this because you may open up a $20 card.
Standard
  1. A DCI Number: Same as above.
  2. Money: Once again, it’s usually not free. Price range is usually $5-$15 for this.
  3. A Deck: Unlike draft, standard is a “Constructed” format, which means that you bring your own deck. For standard, the cards in the deck have to follow a few rules so here is a brief overview of what standard is. Once again, if you ask a judge for help they’ll be more than happy to help!

Sounds fun! Where do I play?

Friday Night Magic happens at nearly every Local Game Store (LGS), and Wizards of the Coast has this handy store finder to help you find a place to play. If you’re fortunate enough to have a few stores within your area, I highly recommend trying different ones until you find the right fit. For example, I am lucky enough to have 4 LGSs within 20 minutes of my house. The first place I went to was large with a competitive crowd. The second was similar, although a bit smaller. The third was casual, although a lot of players were very young so it was not much of a challenge. A few months ago, a new place opened up that was also casual but with an older crowd. As a very casual player that’s been playing a while, I found the fourth was far more enjoyable for me since it’s a laid back crowd and I can have good conversations with the players.

Anything Else?

  • Bring a snack and water, but never put them on the table! These events can last for a few hours, and for most of the time you are going to be deep in thought trying to beat your opponent. Turns out this can get tiring quickly, but bringing a snack and some water can help keep you going at a high level of competence.
  • Don’t be discouraged! If you don’t do so well at your first FNM, don’t let it get to you! Your opponent have probably been playing for years, and this is your first time playing outside of your friend group. Just try to figure out how they beat you, and learn from their experience. If you’re looking for help to improve, there are plenty of resources out there if you google for them. I’d also recommend finding someone playing the format you like on Twitch, then watch them play and learn to think like they do.
  • If you run into any problems, ask a judge and they can help you out. If not a judge, you can always just ask me.

Now get out there and have fun!

DTK-FRF Draft Videos (4.13.15)

Today Matt punts his way through his first Dragons of Tarkir draft. Find out how it goes in the videos below, and let him know would you would have done differently!

Draft

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

DTK-FRF Draft Video (4.11.15)

Today’s draft was done by the new guest host Bryan, and this is his first go before his videos start going up on our Planestyling Youtube page with the rest. He takes on Dragons of Tarkir limited with the kind of “turn ‘em sideways” deck that I’ve learned to love. Enjoy!

Draft Video

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Jamie Park Soulflayer Summary

Jamie Park Soulflayer Summary

Since that video seems to have quality issues, here is a written summary of what you’re watching.

On the left, Seth Manfield’s Elspeth is at 7 loyalty and risking going ultimate, but he passes the turn knowing Jamie Park’s Silumgar will be able to deal with that and the 1/1 tokens. During his turn, Jamie Park’s already indestructible and hexproof (from earlier exiles while casting) Soulflayer get’s bestowed with a Chromanticore to make it insane. You thought the UW Heroic guys were hard to deal with? This Soulflayer is now an 8/8 with Hexproof, Indestructible, Flying, First Strike, Vigilance, Trample, Lifelink, and when this creature dies put a 4/4 with  Flying, First Strike, Vigilance, Trample, and Lifelink into play. Surprisingly, the game does not last long from there.

Guide to selling Magic Cards on TCGPlayer

In this article we are going to go over how to sell Magic Cards on TCGPlayer, which is one of the best places to sell Magic cards. TCG is very straightforward, so this guide is condensed. However, if you have any questions leave them in the comments here or send them to me at socialmtg. I will personally answer them and updated this guide with more details.

What It Takes

In order to sell on TCG, all you need is an account which you can create here. If you already have an account for buying with TCG, just sign in at that same link. TCG is fairly straight forward, so from there your account will just involve answering some informational questions so TCG can create your account.

Adding Cards

To add cards to your inventory, go to your Seller Portal (Login -> My Account -> Seller Portal). From there, click on the inventory tab and search for the card you want to add. If you need to, select the edition you want to sell and it will take you to a “Manage Product” page where you can edit inventory and prices. To add a card, change the quantity available to the amount you’re selling, and set your price. Be sure to pay attention to the lowest available price and the condition that you are putting the card in as.

Managing Orders

Someone bought one of your cards! Now to fill their order you go to your Seller Portal (Login -> My Account -> Seller Portal) and find the Orders Tab. In here you can print order invoices, mark an item as shipped, add a tracking number, etc. At the end of each day where you receive a message or order, TCG will send you an email with the total number of orders received and messages received so be on the lookout for those as reminders.

Nyx Coinsmiths: Week 3

Welcome back to my weekly finance article focused on the gods of Theros. Today we will be going over prices changes and a new brew with Purphoros, and then we will finish with some actionable tips.

What’s Changed

This week, Keranos continued his growth as he climbed another 17.5%. He hit a peak and went down slightly afterwards, but he seems to be holding $18 fairly well for the short term. Nylea also had a noteworthy increase of 14.1% up to $6.55. No foil gods went up more than 1% this past week, including Nylea, so her new foil multiplier is 1.95x. Also, this week I noticed that many of the casual gods stayed within 1% of their price last week. I looked into this further, and on MTG Stocks it looks like many of the gods have bottomed out and are leveling out at their current price. Kruphix, Ephara, Karametra, Iroas, Phenax, Pharika, Heliod, Xenagos, and Athreos are all within ~$0.50 of their price a month ago, and their graphs all resemble something like this.

All those numbers are pretty boring, but luckily a new brew showed up at the SCG Open this past weekend. Tyler Lytle showed up with his RUG Chord deck, featuring Keranos and Purphoros in the main. The deck runs 4 Rabblemasters, 4 Young Pyromancers, 3 Coursers and 8 singleton creatures in the main along with Chord to fetch up the pieces it needs. SCG featured the deck on camera twice, and it had some absolutely beautiful plays. At one point, Tyler had his opponent down to 11 life with a Purphoros on board, so he did what you would expect any standard deck to do: Chord for 10 to grab a Hornet Queen and drop his opponent to 1 with Purphoros’ triggers. It was one of the greatest plays I’ve seen (behind Notion Thief v JTMS), and I’m hoping we see a similar deck post rotation.

Actionables

As great as that RUG Chord deck is, it only placed in 35th so it likely won’t do much to the world of finance. However, the other observations we talked about do have some financial force:

  • Nylea’s foil multiplier continues to shrink, but expect that to change. She has a home in EDH (Omnath or Kruphix), and should demand at least an average foil multiplier. It may be hard to profit buying her foils and flipping them, but look to trade into them.
  • Kruphix, Ephara, Karametra, Iroas, Phenax, Pharika, and Heliod haven’t seen much play in constructed, nor are they expected to (Atheros and Xenagos may be expected to). Since they seemed to have bottomed out, now is the time to pick up any you may need for EDH and they are safe trade targets. If you have cards you are worried about dropping, consider these gods something like a mutual fund that will grow slowly over time. If I had to pick one god to trade in to, it would be Kruphix. He is a third set mythic that is very relevant in EDH and his non foil seems undervalued.

Thanks for reading! As always, leave any feedback in the comments and let me know what you’d like tracked in the future articles. See you next Monday.

Nyx Coinsmiths: Week 2

This past week has been huge for the world of Magic, thanks to a new block structure announcement and the return of fetches. What do these announcements mean for the gods on Nyx? Only time will tell, but for now there doesn’t seem like any huge new benefits to the gods. None of them interact too strongly with fetch lands, and the block structure change doesn’t come into effect until THS block leaves standard. So, let’s look into other changes this week among the gods.

What’s Changed?

The biggest change among the gods was the massive run on Keranos brought about by Quiet Speculation, a Brainstorm Brewery call, and a discussion on the Magic Finance subreddit. The general consensus is that he is a good card and if he sees play in post rotation standard he could become a $20+ card thanks to being in a small 3rd set. So of course there was a huge run on Keranos and he went from $8 to $15 in about 24 hours. Last week, we saw his Foil Multiplier was 7.88, so you could guess that he was bound to increase the non foil or decrease the foil to bring that closer to the 3-5 range most gods fall in. However, this change was clearly more dramatic than we would have expected thanks to hype through finance sites.

This past weekend, there were not any breakout decks at the SCG Open featuring gods so none of the others had much of a price change. Mono Black Devotion showed up with Erebos, Mono Blue with Thassa, and they both managed to Top 16. So the sky is still blue, MODO has memory leak issues, and standard is still standard.

Spoiler season has started as well! But so far, none seem to interact strongly with the gods. If Mono Green Devotion with Nylea happens to get top tier post rotation, Crackling Doom keeps it from going all in on one threat! But they can also just not go all in on one threat, so… Yeah not too much synergy or hate spoiled, although we are very early in spoiler season so odds are something shows up in the future.

Actionables

With Keranos we saw that foil multipliers can be somewhat indicative of which gods are destined to adjust. Although, expect longer term adjustment like weeks instead of 24 hours like Keranos.

  • Nylea is the god with the lowest foil multiplier (2.25), so she seems likely to either drop in non foil price or raise in foil price. Be on the lookout for movement here, likely not much room for gain/loss if the non foil moves but if the foil moves there could be opportunity.
  • Ephara has the highest foil multiplier (8.03), so be on the lookout for a non foil rise or foil drop.
  • Kruphix has the second highest multiplier (7.04), so be on the lookout for a non foil rise or foil drop. Since he is an all star in EDH, I would expect the non foil to rise instead of the foil to drop, so consider buying yours now if you need them.

If there is anything in particular you’d like to see me cover in the future, let me know! As always, thanks for reading and my data is viewable at this google doc. See you again next Monday!