8, Jun, 22

The Definitive Guide For the Competitive Traveling Magic Player

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With In-Person events making their return for Magic: the Gathering, one of the things that we don’t think about all the time is Travel. For many of us, we may have never travelled to a major Magic event before. There’s a lot of things that we need to think about as we are planning our trips, both for the Magic side of things, as well as the life side of things. Well, if you’re planning on going to an Magic event that requires some bigger travel plans, we have to guide to help you make that trip a success!

Pre-Event Planning

So we’ve decided, it’s time. We’ve picked out an event that we’re going to go to. We have the dates now what? Let’s first talk about tips for planning out your trip

Travel Tips

Marisi, Breaker of the Coil Goad

Tip #1! Travelling with Friends is better! Seems simple right? Well yeah. These events are meant to be a fun experience, so having your friends along for the ride is a great way to make the most of the event.

Ok, Real Tip #1. Book your actual travel as soon as possible. If you have to fly, make sure to buy your plane ticket as soon as you possibly can. This can help you save on airfare, as plane tickets often get more expensive the closer to the date it is. Tangential Tip #1.5, if you can, book your tickets to arrive 1 day before the event, and leave 1 day after. This will allow you time to get yourselves settled at your hotel, and stay for the entire duration of the event.

Tip #2. Book your lodging early as well! If you book your lodging early enough, you can get better rates and secure your room. Tangential tip #2.5! AirBnB can often be a better solution to lodging than a hotel, especially if you have friends to split the cost with you.

Tip #3. Before you book your lodging, research any public transit options available in the city you’ll be in. If booking a hotel or AirBnB within walking distance to the event is too expensive, public transit is a great way to go. If you can, booking lodging near a public transit station will save your legs in extra walking. This is also often MUCH cheaper than using Uber or Lyft to get around.

Tip #4. Make a running check list of all the things that you’ll need to pack at least a week before the event. This can include everything from various chargers for electronic devices, clothing, specific deck boxes, etc. Make sure that the list is solid, and check everything off the list as you pack the night before. Tangential Tip #4.5! Keep this list for your return trip, just to make sure you don’t forget anything!

Ok so now we’re through the trip planning, what about event planning itself?

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Event Planning

Now, we’ll talk through some things to think about as your prepare for your event.

Tip #1: Pack an event backpack. Packing a lighter weight bag to carry your belongings in while you’re at the event is huge. For one, this will let you travel much lighter during the event itself. This bag should have some of the following items:

  • Deck Box for your main deck (If you’re playing a Competitive event)
  • Spare Deck Box / Small binder for trades
  • Pen and Life Pad
  • Dice container
  • Playmat
  • Tight seal water bottle

Tip #2: If you’re playing a deck that requires you to submit a deck list, print it out ahead of time! There are numerous websites out there that will allow you to print a deck list ahead of time that can be submitted to the event staff. This will save you time when you get to the event so you don’t have to scramble to write it all down. Just make sure to check with the event staff to make sure that the printed version is ok with them.

Tip #3: Download Event Link or whatever app the event is using to post pairings. This will save you time with finding your tables and prevent any tardy game or match losses.

Tip #4: If you intend on buying anything from vendors, try and bring cash. Sometimes vendors will offer a slight discount if you pay with cash. They need a lot of cash on hand to be able to pay out players who trade in cards so helping them with that can help save you money.

Now it’s event day, there’s a few things to definitely think about here too.

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Event Day

Tip #1: Make sure that you eat breakfast. Often times your hotels will have free breakfast, but even if you have to buy breakfast, it’s incredibly important.

Tip #2: Arrive to the event hall early. Get yourself in there, your event paid for, and settled. This will allow you time to look around at vendors, or worst case, run back to your hotel if you forgot something. Tangential tip #2.5, use your time to locate any amenities at the event hall. Everything from Bathrooms, to Water stations, knowing where these are will help with time management between rounds.

Tip #3: Familiarize yourself with where table numbers are generally located, and roughly where paper pairings will be posted. When there’s hundreds of players trying to locate their tables, getting to yours quickly will help a ton.

Tip #4: If you’re not sure about something, Call a Judge! Judges are there to make sure that the game is being played properly. Your opponent’s don’t always have your best interest at heart, and they may even be mistaken. If something sounds wrong to you about the game, call for a judge and ask for clarification.

Tip #5: Have Fun! These events are meant to be fun, we’re playing a card game for Pete’s sake.

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These tips are very important to helping make your trips a success. Whether it’s a CommandFest, DreamHack, SCG Tour Event, these are all applicable! What are some travelling tips that you have? Let us know in the comments!

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