This week in Magic: Prepping for the prerelease


It’s that time again. Time for another edition of This week in Magic. Well, if you couldn’t tell by all the hype in the air, the Battle For Zendikar prerelease is finally upon us. This is typically the time when players who have been away from the game or who are new come out and play with everyone else. So, if you’re one of those people then you’re in luck. This week’s article is dedicated to you. We’re going to go over things you should bring with you, items you may want to purchase when you get to the event, and the new mulligan rule that will go into affect this weekend for all formats.


What should you bring?

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you played a slightly competitive game of Magic: The Gathering? If you can’t remember or you’ve never played a competitive game, then this is the best section for you to start with. Otherwise, feel free to jump around.


One of the first things you may need is a bag. This seems obvious, but sometimes people don’t think of it because of how trivial it can be. However, you never really know what kinds of goodies you may pick up while you’re there. It’ll be nice to have everything all compartmentalized in one bag. Just remember to keep that bag close to you at all times. It’s an unfortunate piece of advice I have to give out, but one that seems to be necessary today.


Pen and paper is another great item to bring with you. Whether it be for notes, keeping your life score, or writing down someone’s phone number, having pen and paper has become essential. What about dice, you ask? Well, keeping your life total on dice is fine, but dice can be knocked over and easily turned. You’ll want to keep track of your life and your opponent’s. If you plan on becoming a more competitive player, then this will be excellent practice for future events. Get in the habit of writing things down. Even keeping notes of how damage was dealt can prove to be important.


Speaking of dice, bring some! There is nothing worse than someone going to a gaming store and not bringing dice. C’mon man! There is no excuse for this. Well, maybe, if you’re coming from somewhere and you didn’t have any on you to begin with. However, I carry dice on myself at all times just because. Also, you’re at a gaming store. If you don’t have any, then you could always buy some. That’s for another section, though. If you have dice, bring them.


Well, that’s it for this section. If you’ve been away from the game long enough, then you may not have the dice anymore, but pen, paper, and a bag you should have already.


Items you may want to buy

Here’s a small list of items you may want to get while you’re at the store. The first thing on this list has to be sleeves. Now, some people don’t like playing with sleeves and some people play with “penny” sleeves. Thanks to the “expeditions” that have been randomly inserted into packs, there is the potential to open a very pricey card. Even if you don’t open one of these  cards, you still may want to consider protecting you cards. Think of it more like an investment. You’re paying good money for these pieces of cardboard and the last thing you want is to ruin them because you didn’t want to spend the few extra dollars to protect them.


ultra pro sleeves

Another item you may want to get is a small box to keep your cards in. I would recommend an 800-count box. These are very cheap to buy and completely worth it. You’ll thank me especially if you play in more than one prerelease event in a day. Plus it makes for a great storage unit to keep everything separated from your different events.


bcw card box

Speaking of a small box, how about a deck box? I know the items are adding up, but these are only suggestions thus far. A deck box will run you about $4-$5. So that’s not bad. This way you can keep your deck apart from other cards you may have collected that day from either trading or playing in other prerelease events.


Other items to consider, but are not prioritized as high as the other items I previously mentioned are a playmat and some dice (if you don’t have any).


The new mulligan rule

So, you may have been hearing about this new mulligan rule, but what exactly is it? Well here it is, straight from DailyMTG’s website.


“103.4. Each player draws a number of cards equal to his or her starting hand size, which is normally seven. (Some effects can modify a player’s starting hand size.) A player who is dissatisfied with his or her initial hand may take a mulligan. First, the starting player declares whether or not he or she will take a mulligan. Then each other player in turn order does the same. Once each player has made a declaration, all players who decided to take mulligans do so at the same time. To take a mulligan, a player shuffles his or her hand back into his or her library, then draws a new hand of one fewer cards than he or she had before. If a player kept his or her hand of cards, those cards become the player’s opening hand, and that player may not take any further mulligans. This process is then repeated until no player takes a mulligan. (Note that if a player’s hand size reaches zero cards, that player must keep that hand.) Then, beginning with the starting player and proceeding in turn order, any player whose opening hand has fewer cards than his or her starting hand size may scry 1.”


Did you get all that? So once both you and your opponent have finished taking your mulligans, starting with the first player, you can scry one card. If you have any questions regarding the new rule, there should be someone on hand to answer any concerns you may have.


Well, that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed this week’s article. If you think I missed something or have something to say, then sound off in the comment section below.


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!


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