After nearly two decades I’m getting back into Magic: The Gathering, and I’ve found that one of the best methods for acclimating back into the fray is getting in at the ground level. That’s basically what this weekend’s Core 2019 prerelease event is about.
The gist is that people will all buy the same sealed deck (part of the “limited” format), and all play at the same time, cracking open their boxes, choosing cards, and dueling it out. Sure people already know what most, if not all of the cards are^( , which showcase cards from marketing reveals and/or early player purchases — but for the most part the vast majority of the Magic community hasn’t played with these cards or synergies enough yet.
Playing sealed/limited can be a tough gig for brand new players, especially since you’ll have to decide how to build your given deck (and how many lands or what types of lands you’re putting in), but there’s ways to ease into it. Finding a local gaming store that you have a rapport with and can help teach you the ropes is a start, but given that prerelease events are supposed to be played in a more chill setting, you don’t need to be as stressed as a tournament or even Friday Night Magic skirmishes.
Wizards just put out a helpful blog post about everything that you get in a prerelease box, what you can expect from the contents, how many of each card you should put in a deck, and basics like how to build from scratch against the mana curve. It’s all basic stuff for veterans but there’s a lot of helpful literature in there — so if you’re thinking about pulling the trigger on your first prerelease you should be better prepared.
Or you can try the cards out when they hit the Magic Arena beta (if you’re a part of it), as you’ll net three free packs for Core 2019‘s launch event.