This Thanksgiving, Card Kingdom and its employees will be taking the day off. We appreciate those of you who want to spend the day with us, but this is an important holiday for connecting with friends and family. In a similar fashion, our usual Black Friday sale has actually become a Cyber Monday sale (running from 11/28 to 11/30) so everyone here can still relax without impacting when you get your important Magic cards!
However, just because we won’t be here for a couple of days doesn’t mean your Thanksgiving must be devoid of Magic. No, it just means you can play with family and friends instead!
“But what if they don’t know how (or simply don’t want) to play?” I hear you asking. Well, dear reader, let me tell you how to stuff your Thanksgiving full of Magic like it’s your turkey dinner.
Teaching Magic at Thanksgiving
So your family and friends don’t know how to play Magic. While some might say that’s a mark against them, this is a time for coming together — and they can always learn. To start, dig through your closet for that half used box of original Jumpstart you got from us a few years back. This is exactly why you’ve been saving it.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a set designed to introduce new players to the game, any sealed product will honestly work. The idea is simply to give your family and friends the joyful feeling of cracking packs while helping them put together a simple, functional deck.
As they look through their cards, take some time to explain how each of them work. Point out the mana value, power and toughness of creatures. Teach them about permanent types or a handful of keywords.
Then, shuffle up and walk through a tutorial game with your hands revealed. This is when you want to teach them about the phases of the game while pointing out the usual cadence of play. Be sure to explain why you’re making plays on your own turn to give them an idea of what they can do on theirs.
You should also let them try making their own decisions so they can get used to it. Don’t worry about whether they play optimally. Finally, cap off the lesson by showing them the cool combinations you can pull off in Magic to really entice them! They may not exactly get what happened 100%, but seeing the game’s potential is as good a hook as any.
Convincing people to try Magic at Thanksgiving
So your family and friends don’t want to play Magic. Well, that’s understandable, as not everyone can have impeccable taste. And before I get into how you might change their mind, try to recognize when not to push the subject with anyone too far.
There’s a lot to do on Thanksgiving, from watching football to catching up with people you haven’t seen all year. If folks would really rather do something else, it’s best to let them. Besides, you’ll have more fun the less your convincing looks like coercion.
Still, sometimes family and friends just need a little push! The best place to start is by telling them how much fun Magic can be. If they have a strategic mind, appeal to that. If they appreciate good art, show off a few cards from your collection. If they would appreciate the idea of winning a game on their first day against an expert, let them think it’s a possibility.
If all that isn’t enough, remind them that it won’t take long to learn and get in a game. Once they’re committed to going through the motions, you may be able to get in extra games if they have a good time.
But when all else fails, try a classic appeal to their emotions. Tell them how much it would mean to share this game you love so much with them. Explain how happy you would be to watch them slam down a big creature with glee. Offer to try a hobby of theirs in exchange. I have every confidence you can get creative enough to make this game happen.
Making the most of Magic at Thanksgiving
Once you have convinced and taught a few people at Thanksgiving how to play Magic, you can start the real fun. Break out your extra Commander decks (I know you have at least four) and explain the differences between this format and the one they learned.
The jump from 1v1 Magic to Commander is simple, and you can sell the social aspect big time. If people are free to enjoy a drink and chat with others at the table in between turns, that’s a plus on a holiday like Thanksgiving. Just don’t get annoyed if the pace of the game is a little slow or if your friends and family get a little distracted. The idea here is to have fun and share good times together (with Magic). They’ll get more invested once the game pops off!
Still, make sure they’re playing relatively straightforward decks if you can. Maybe you picked up the recent Warhammer 40k precons and can run a pod with them alone. Either way, the less your opponents have to worry about what to do on their turn or whether they can even keep up with their opponents, the better time everyone will have.
Then, once the first game is over, take a break and do something else (like eat food)! If there’s time an interest after dinner — and after offering to help do some dishes — you can try for game two. If you’re really lucky, your family and friends will have such a good time playing Magic that you can jam games until our Cyber Monday sale officially starts.
OK, that’s maybe a bit of a stretch. People have to sleep at some point. Still, a Commander player can dream…
Follow these steps and you’re sure to have a Magical Thanksgiving this year! Also, be sure to come back once you’re all rested up for our Cyber Monday sale. We’re offering 10% store credit back on orders of up to $1,000 made from Nov. 28-30. See our terms and conditions post for full details, and let us know on Twitter how your Magic Thanksgiving went!
Jason Krell is the content manager at Card Kingdom, meaning he helps make all of this possible. He is also an unabashed Esper control player, and he hopes the two things at least cancel each other out. He loves when everyone gets to do their thing in a game of Commander and spends way too much thinking about game design. Jason also comes from an esports journalism background, which probably explains a lot about his work.