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March 2, 2015

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Why Should I Play in a PreRelease?

I’m here today to let you know why you should play in your local gaming store’s next prerelease!

Dragons of Tarkir is coming out on March 27th, but the weekend before that, on March 21st-22nd, is what we all as Magic players look forward to – Prerelease Weekend!

A lot of new players might be asking, “What’s a prerelease weekend?” — The weekend before each major set release, your local gaming store runs anywhere from 1 to 6 prerelease tournaments. This is an opportunity to collect and play with cards from the next Magic set before they come out! Each tournament consists of new players and veteran pros just excited to play with cards they haven’t played with before!

Here are some questions that you might be asking about the tournaments:

“I’ve never played in a prerelease tournament before, what kind of format is it?”

Well, your local gaming store has the option of running two different tournament formats during prerelease weekend.

Sealed – Each player will be able to choose from 5 different prerelease kits containing 6 booster packs in which to make a minimum 40-card deck to play with in the tournament. Most of the time it will contain 4 booster packs of the preview set (Dragons of Tarkir), 1 pack from another set in the current block (Fate Reforged), and 1 Seeded Booster Pack which contains 1 promo card corresponding to the colors of the prerelease kit they chose and an assortment of cards from the current block associated with the colors they chose for their prerelease kit. After you’ve opened all of the booster packs, you mix in the basic lands you need for your deck, and now you’ve created your minimum 40-card deck!

Two-Headed Giant Sealed – In this format, you team up with a friend, or a local player at your store. You each get to choose one of the prerelease kits offered, and you than open up all of the packs. Then using your combined card pool, you make 2 different, minimum 40-card decks for each of you to use. Then you play together against other teams. You can see full Two-Headed Giant Rules here: http://www.wizards.com/ContentResources/Wizards/WPN/Main/Documents/Magic_The_Gathering_TwoHeaded_Giant_Tournament_FAQ_PDF1.pdf

Is it a single elimination tournament, I don’t want to go all this way to play one game of Magic?

The great thing about prerelease tournaments, is that no matter how you do in previous rounds, you still get to play in every round! Each round you’ll always be paired with someone who has an identical or close record to what you have. This allows a greater chance for everyone to win a game during the tournament.

I’ve never played in a tournament, before, will I be intimidated to play against players who have played a long time?

Prerelease tournaments are a great opportunity to get into your first Magic tournament. Not only do you get to play every round, prerelease tournaments are casual tournaments focused around fun and the excitement of seeing the new cards coming out. There are always newer players at every event, and players often help each other out, as everyone is playing with the new cards for the first time.

How many of the new cards will I get?

Well, in each prerelease kit you will get four packs of the new set as well as a special foil promotional card from the new set as well! You also get a 20-sided spindown die. Not only that, you have a chance to win booster prize packs from the new set as well. In addition, each prerelease tournament always has a special promotion attached to it! Check out the one for Dragons of Tarkir out right here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/tarkir-dragonfury-explanation-2015-02-24

So Just remember, that if you want to come out and have a lot of fun, check out your local gaming store for the Dragons of Tarkir Prerelease Weekend on Mar 21st-22nd.