Magic 101 – Learn to play Magic the Gathering


Introducing Magic 101!

We get asked all of the time if we every teach people how to play Magic, and we have been working on it a solution for a long time.  Magic the Gathering is one of the most popular tabletop games every, and is a very fun game, but with 23 years of history, it can be overwhelming for new players to join in and get up to speed.

Never fear -we found the solution!  Red Raccoon Games has teamed up with Pete Brabant to help us out.  Pete is a grad student and teaching assistant and ISU, a Magic judge for the store, and one of the most respected players in the Bloomington-Normal area.  Pete has been helping and teaching new players for years, and now we’re going to turn what Pete knows into a semi-formal series of Magic 101 classes.

These classes are designed to take a player that has never touched the game before and teach them everything from basic rules of the game up to how to play in some of our local favorite versions of the game, and what some of the trickier rules bits mean.  If you are a brand-new player it is suggested that you start at the beginning and attend as many of the classes as you can.  If you have a basic understanding of the game, you might decide to pick and choose some of the our Magic 101 classes in areas where you feel you need more help.

On average, the classes will cost $5.00 each week.  This is because we are planning on sending you home with cards to play and practice with each time you come down to the shop!

Here is a basic out line of what we are currently expecting to happen each week.  (Please note that Pete reserves the right to adjust this outline depending on the needs of the people in the classes.)

Week 1 – March 15 – The Basics

  • Colors of Magic – explain the differences between each color of Magic.
  • Types of Cards – explain the differences between lands, instants, sorcery, enchantments, and creatures.
  • Phases – explain the turn phase essentials.
  • Practice!

Week 2 – March 22 – The Basics Revisited!

  • Week 2 will essentially be a repeat of Week 1 Basics, but with some rules clarifications for different situations, and a lot more practice!

Week 3 – March 15th – Building Your Own Deck in a Sealed Pool

  • Students will learn techniques for building a deck from a sealed pool, just in time for Red Raccoon Games’ Shadows Over Innastrad pre-release events!
  • Review of the colors of Magic, and how they affect your deck building.
  • Using these color preferences, students will pick a Magic Starter Deck to use as the base of their pool, and we’ll mix it up with some Repacks!
  • Practice!

Week 4 – March 29 – Two-player vs Multiplayer Magic

  • This week we are going to be discussing some of the various multiplayer versions of Magic the Gathering.
  • Two-Headed Giant
  • EDH / Commander
  • Practice!

Week 5 – April 5 – Building Your Own Deck (Casual)

  • Students should bring some of their own cards, or grab some repacks.
  • Colors of magic – once again the colors will be explained, now more focused on the type of decks you want to build
  • Discuss archetypes – what is the difference between agro and control?
  • Discuss the basics of construction of a deck
    • show how the curve affects your land count
    • how many spells should you have vs. land?
    • how many instants and sorceries should you have vs. creatures?
  • Play with your new decks!
    • Play will take place in 4 player pods to help with the flow of a typical casual game
    • Explain how casual can have any number of players in the game, and how Magic the Gathering is open ended in that respect


Future classes details will be posted as we get closer!