Playing paper Magic: The Gathering has become a struggle due to the various lockdowns and stay-at-home orders across the world. Sometimes you just want that social connection while you overload a Cyclonic Rift for the win. However, thanks to technology, you can continue to play games of Magic: The Gathering with few resources and a bit of creativity.
What Do I Need to Start Using SpellTable?
Signing up is completely free and extremely easy – just create a new Wizards account through SpellTable (if you play Magic the Gathering: Arena, you already have one of these), and you’re done. Simple!
In terms of hardware, here’s what you’ll need to use SpellTable comfortably:
- An Internet connection
- A webcam (or in a pinch, a phone camera) capable of streaming at a minimum of 1280×720 resolution
- A microphone (optional, but very strongly recommended)
- A recent version of the Google Chrome web browser
- Access to Discord (as recommended in SpellTable’s FAQ for a better voice experience)
Once you have your hardware assembled, you’ll also need a spot where your webcam can see 1 playmat’s worth of space (around 24 inches wide by 14 inches tall on average). This needs to be well lit with a minimal glare so you and your opponents are able to easily see your cards while you play. This means using a space where your lighting isn’t immediately over your play area, but off to one or more sides.
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It’s recommended to use light sources that give off enough light for you to read comfortably – if you have to squint or let your eyes adjust, you probably need to brighten things up a touch. This may take a little while to figure out, but once you have it sorted you’ll never have to tinker with it again.
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Is SpellTable Remote Play Right for You?
Nothing can beat shuffling a real deck of cards so if you are looking for a paper Magic: The Gathering experience you can enjoy remotely, then SpellTable is for you. While it’s not quite like the real thing, it offers an opportunity to play the game in a safe and fun environment. If you don’t mind committing a bit of time setting up and the work that comes with it, it’s absolutely worth the investment. Everyone’s situation is going to be a bit different, so mileage is going to vary from player to player.
Tips & Tricks For Spell Table Remote Play
Playing Magic: The Gathering on SpellTable is a little different compared to in-person. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while playing online with friends.
- Get yourself some tokens or paper so you can write on them to represent what they are. InfiniTokens are a great option if you want something more professional and can be re-used in every game you play.
- Avoid playing decks that use clone or card-stealing effects since this can be hard to track over webcam.
- Give your opponents a little more time to process and play the game, as it’s harder to understand board states through webcam.
With that, you should be good to start playing Magic: The Gathering over webcam with friends. This can extend to other formats outside of Commander– such as Standard, Modern, Pioneer and even Sealed. SpellTable has enabled players to keep playing through these unkind times.
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