What is a game day for Magic the Gathering?

This past weekend, on Saturday, there were 2 Game Day events scheduled. One was supposed to start at 12:00 and then next one at 18:00. Number of participants present: 4. I can not start any official event with less than 8 players. It just doesn’t work that way. Although I felt really bad for the players I also couldn’t just randomly give them these promos just because they attended:


It’s not like I didn’t want to. I have so many promos that I would love to get rid of, but I won’t give them out for free. There’s just one thing you have to do to get them: attend events. Nothing complicated. Or is it?

One of the battles that Ingolstadt has always had, when it comes to Magic, is the battle of Legacy vs Standard. This has always been the case. New players were beaten so badly by overly complicated Legacy decks that they simply stopped playing Magic all together. There were no Standard/Modern tournaments organized in shops. The community wasn’t there for those types of events. It’s happening now as well. There just isn’t interest in Standard, or people are still in the mindset that Standard is no different from Legacy and you need this 1000€ deck to even think of being able to compete. I built my Standard deck form 10€. Mono Red. Does it win? Yes. Does it win a Game Day tournament of 8 or more people? Probably not, but I do get to smash my way to a few victories even so. Standard is expensive if you want it to be expensive. So is Legacy. There are decks that cost so extremely much, yet you can also build something way cheaper if you choose to do so. But saying stuff like “I don’t want to invest in Standard because the cards rotate out” is pretty much BS. 10-20€ won’t burn a hole in your pocket. And you get to play that deck for 1 year or so. I think the pros outweigh the cons.

I do understand though how the community works. I have talked to Wizards about the dominance of Legacy in our little town. They keep saying to push Standard as much as possible, but I will be realistic here: I need to keep the shop alive. They told me that I shouldn’t make a Legacy FNM under any circumstances. Unfortunately Wizards aren’t paying for my rent. That means that every FNM will have a Legacy tournament. If by some miracle there will be more interest in Standard, there is enough place for 2 tournaments at the same time (in a parallel world the Arena has 3 events every FNM: Standard, Legacy, Booster Draft). I won’t go over the concept of why FNM is important to building the community right now. What I can say is that there are few and far between reasons why people don’t want to attend FNM. I have heard the “I am busy” excuse and I get it. Everyone has a life outside of Magic and that’s a very healthy thing 🙂 Not being able to attend any FNMs though…Really? Sure.

The worst part of all of this is that I get stuck with 2 of these bad boys:


That is, until Wizards messages me asking me why I canceled the 2 Game Day events. Then I will probably have to ship them back. Ah well. I wouldn’t have gotten any of them anyway. Too bad that now, nobody from Ingolstadt will get any either.

A small reminder that this weekend the 8th Peasant Grand Prix will be taking place in the Fronte ’79. I will also be there helping out with the Wizards event reporter and offering drafts for people who drop and also after the main event is over. Drop by and say hello or even better, to play in the tournament.


Until then, see you in the Arena! 🙂

5 Kommentare zu „What is a game day for Magic the Gathering?“

  1. I´m Sorry to hear that .. I never understood why there are only so few people attending the FNM tournaments, but i just cant imagine a reason, why people would not wanna play at the GameDay ? I´ts actually Promos for free, and a good Chance on a 20€+ Playmat.
    I´m sitting here in Neuendettelsau, getting bored and shit, because playing Magic is not that much fun if you´re the only one playing at your school and the next store is 30 minutes by train, and I´m really jealous about the people in Ingolstadt, that have this great opportunity to attend up to 5 different Magic tournaments a week. However, they still don´t seem to take that opportunity, which makes me feel really sad and sry about the shop ..

    1. Alessandro Di Marcantonio

      I exactly feel The same way like SBier. I would love to come more often but unfortunately i can’t afford (not because the store being expensive, no absolutely not, but because coming to IN costs me 17€ + somebody would have to come and pick me up, or another 5-10€ go away for bus…)
      I don’t understand people living in IN but don’t coming to the Arena, I mean if the Arena wouldn’t be there they would complain that they have no store but now there is a store and nobody is supporting it. I don’t understand this :/

      If there would be Legacy FNMs I would be willing to pay the money to come just because I love the format and i have nobody to play here!

  2. Hi,

    long ago, when I was a student, I was a TO (tournament organizer) and Lvl 1 Jugde for our local store. I started basically from scratch, meaning there was product, but no players.

    2 years later there was a thriving community. Booster Drafts fired every Friday with a convenient attendance of 20 people and growing . This was around 15 years ago, when Magic was actually was losing popularity instead of increasing it like nowadays.

    The secret was persistence.
    In the beginning I did start events with only 4 people present. You can’t send prospective customers away when they took the effort to visit your shop. Such a mistake you make once and then maybe twice and the customer will never show up again.
    Also in those days we had to have a minimum attendance of 8 players. Moreover I, as a TO, were not allowed to play even in a FNM. Hence I simply made every other shop assistant participate to get to 8 players. Naturally the prizes went to the 4 players which had shown up originally. Not randomly though, but according to their performance after they played basically a 4 player tournament.This made quite an impact. People understood that there is something happening every single time when they show up. Then word-of-mouth set in and the fact that Magic is a very well designed game did the rest.

    Later I even somewhat repeated this story with a system called Mage Knight, which unfortunately didn’t have the brilliance of Magic.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t have 4 people around who would just be willing to participate randomly. And who would actually pay for the 4 players who would draft? That’s 12 boosters + 4 more in the prize pool. This might sound cheap, but it is indeed the case when I have to pay the rent. I am still going to organize drafts, FNMs, etc., so persistence is not a problem. I offer Commander tournaments instead of drafts if only 4 people show up, but not everyone plays that. Some just came with sleeves for the draft and nothing else. I wish I could do more, but I can’t force people into coming here.

      1. Hi Adrian,

        I don’t think you understood my correctly when I said I made the shop assistants participate and organized basically a 4-person tournament.

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