I’ve yet to go out to an FNM yet. I think I’m still processing my concerns about everything here in the UK when it comes to the fallout of COVID. I imagine that first step is the trickiest, but I’ve yet to do it. However, I’m also in a weird position when it comes to my LGS, as the one I was going to actually closed a few months before this whole mess kicked off.
It means I’m a little bit of a vagrant now when it comes to where I should play MTG. I’m mostly playing at home, but this isn’t about playing at home, nor my lack of place to play, but about why you should make sure to support your LGS, if you still have one.
Your LGS is more than just a store
Your LGS isn’t just a place where you buy your cards, and in fact, you’re probably not actually buying cards from there because they’re not as cheap as online. Instead, it’s a place where you’ll meet new players who are into the same game as you. It’s a place you can forge new friendships, build new rivalries, and share nights where you end up cackling like a maniac after combo-ing off in whatever format your prefer.
It’s a place that serves as the heart of your local scene. Without your LGS, your Magic group will likely struggle to find somewhere to play. This is true even of the smallest game stores, but becomes increasingly the case the more ingrained your store is. If where you play regularly hosts competitive events, then losing it is going to sting that much more. Put simply, you need to try and protect these stores.
The last year and a half has been rough on all of us, however, small businesses are substantially more likely to close than anything else. You might know that, maybe you run one yourself and you’ve felt the uncomfortable pressure of trying to keep it alive when most people aren’t allowed outside. Magic isn’t a hugely profitable game for many stores anyway, so it’s really key to make sure you do what you can to help your LGS get back on its feet.
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How to support your LGS
With money. Look, that’s the most obvious way and you know it. It might cost more to buy cards from them than from online, but if you can afford it, you should really try to do so. It doesn’t just have to be singles though. You can buy packs with the aim of getting a small Draft to fire, or maybe buy a box to mess about with Pack Wars. If the latest Commander decks have caught your eye, buy them from your friendly neighborhood LGS employee.
It doesn’t have to be financial though. Singing the praises of your LGS online can help drum up new customers, or generate more interest. You can lead the charge when it comes to helping to teach new MTG players, or trying to get new events scheduled too.
You can become as much a part of the scene as your LGS is if you want to. You could look into becoming a judge to help with events, or just make sure you’re always polite and tidy up after yourself when you’re there. If they sell food, buy it. Just be their biggest cheerleader, and hopefully, your favorite place to play MTG will still be here as everything (hopefully) returns to normal.
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