Friday, September 02, 2016

So, you want to go to FNM...

Look, they even have snacks.
Hey little gooblers, it's Dan. Sorry I haven't typed words in a hot second; I recently made a new character in Old School Runescape, so I don't do much besides eat trout and kill barbarians these days. But I still dabble in some good old fashion wizard duelin', and have attended several FNMs, which is what I'd like to briefly talk about today.

Ah, FNM, the pinnacle of casual, fun MTG. A low-cost low-pressure mini tournament right in your hometown once or twice a week. If you've been playing for any appreciable amount of time, you've probably heard people talk about FNM and know about it, even if you haven't personally went. FNM - Friday Night Magic - can be a variety of different formats, such as Standard, Draft, or Modern, and usually lasts for four or five hours on a Friday night. Most places charge $5 or so for entry, or $15 for draft, and it's a good way to spend the night so us lonely nerds are less lonely.

"But I've only played casually with my friends! I dunno if I'm ready. Plus Friday is my 'eat a tub of ice cream alone in my bathtub as I listen to Dido' day." First off, you should see a therapist. Secondly, you're totes ready. Everyone is ready for FNM. Will you win? Maybe not. Will you learn a lot about how to play Magic, meet some cool peeps, and earn a crippling addiction to competitive Magic? More than likely. So how do you get ready for FNM?

Don't worry, I'll be back for you, my love.


Draft is one of the preferred FNM formats for newer players. Why? Well, with draft, you sort of level out the playing field by making everyone draw from the same pool of cards. If your collection isn't so big, and your standard deck isn't up to par, Draft is a good way to build your collection and get practice at Magic and have funsies.

I'm not going to go over the rules and such for Draft, or how to draft (there are tons of articles and stuff everywhere on this), but I would like to give you some tips to prepare for FNM. So you're going to draft. Besides skittles and mountain dew, you need need a few things. A life counter die, or a pad or paper to keep track of life on, is necessary. You may also want to bring some sleeves just in case you open up a valuable card you want to play with. Sleeves will also be available at the game store, along with dice, so you can always pick all of that up when you show up.

Although the purpose of this article is to encourage you to go to FNM, Draft is also a great format to do at home with your friends, and there are tons of variations of it, such as our personal favorite, the Mulligan Draft.


Step 1: Get used to seeing this card.
Standard is naturally one of the first draws for players starting to get into constructed. The card pool is much smaller than a format like Modern, so it's a lot easier to become familiar with the format. Standard only consists of recent sets as well, and if you just started playing, you probably only know the newest cards, so why not start here?

Standard isn't an event that you can just show up for without any preparation like Draft is. You need a pre-constructed 60 card deck, something to keep track of life with, and maybe some cheetos. I wouldn't expect to win much, if at all, at your first Standard event. I definitely didn't. I mean, I still don't, but whatever. You'll probably play against people with well-honed decks who are familiar with the format.

BUT, there are plenty of people who bring janky fun decks (like us), so you'll still have a chance for some good Magic even if your deck isn't perfect. Besides, how are you going to get better without getting your ass kicked a bunch first? If you're looking for ideas of what to play, check around the different articles on our blog! We're always posting deck techs of our fun Standard decks, and a ton of them can be put together on a budget.


I dunno much about Modern, but I feel like this card is important.
I dunno, I've never played Modern at a FNM. Or anywhere, for that matter, though I do plan on trying it out sometime in the near future. It's a constructed format like Standard, but boasts a much bigger card pool. I would get more familiar with the game before trying to hop into Modern events.

Ok, so that was brief. The point is, go to FNM. You will get a ton of experience playing, and meet more people to play with. When I traveled all the time for work, I'd just pop into whatever LGS was closest to my hotel on Friday, and I'd always have a great time. That's even how we met a lot of our friends, including the people at the dopest game store alive, Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge, Ontario. (Psst if you're ever near there, go there, and tell Jeremy that the dirty Americans Dan and Gaige sent you)

Go to FNM, become a part of the community, and play on, nerds.

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