HOU: In Case You Missed It
With Amonkhet, we remodeled the Magic event calendar, with the goal of extending the set's lifespan and bringing new players into stores.
Naturally, there were a lot of questions. Some organizers even hesitated to commit to new events with unfamiliar requirements and obligations. But the good news is, the requirements are softer and the obligations less onerous than you may be imagining.
Here are a few misconceptions that have cropped up:
My calendar is full every night. I don't have time for Magic League.
Though a meetup night is required when you schedule in Wizards Event Reporter, it's meant more as a weekly appointment to pick up new packs, rather than a dedicated gaming night.
League play can happen all week long in your store.
Think of it this way: casual pickup games happen in your store every day. League can give some structure to that play, and some weight to the results—matches can happen at any time, between any players that have joined the league.
It requires minimal oversight, few resources, and includes virtually no risk.
For example, here's how our internal Wizards league works: after set launch, we start with three packs. Over the next three weeks, we flag each other down for quick, one-game matches. Once a week, we add a booster to our pools. At the end, there are rewards based on match wins.
If Magic Open House is new player-focused, why include a Standard event?
The purpose of Open House is to invite players to the Magic lifestyle by showcasing both the game and its social benefits in an open-play environment.
This means that, while the goal is acquiring new players, it relies on existing players—to help with tutorials, to invite interested friends, and to make sure the social pleasures of Magic are on view.
Standard is far and away the most popular way to play Magic, so, while it's not the best entry point for new players, it does cast the widest net for existing ones.
The attendance requirements for Draft Weekend make it tough to fire drafts.
The goal of Draft Weekend is a lot simpler: fire as many drafts as possible. But you won't always have eight players, and sometimes you'll have awkward numbers—too many for one pod, not enough for two, etc.
That's fine. Fire them anyway. You've got all the flexibility you need to help deal with those issues.
Most importantly: you do not need exactly eight players to draft. That's the ideal number, but it's not a requirement.
If you have fewer than eight, you can still draft. Just choose Magic Casual Event in WER.
If you have more than eight, that's perfectly okay. Fire away. Just keep in mind that the experience suffers for each player above or below eight, so try to split your groups to get as close to that number as possible.
Standard Showdown—a competitive Standard event each weekend is too time consuming!
Some organizers have interpreted Standard Showdown as, in effect, Game Day every weekend. But it's actually a notch down from Game Day on the competitive scale—you don't need a Top 8 playoff, and you don't need to determine a winner unequivocally.
It's meant as a weekly opportunity for players to hone, evaluate, and experiment with their decks and adapt them to the metagame, both within your store community and Magic as a whole.
Cap your event to three to four rounds. Just make sure to set your players’ expectations by informing them of the round limit.
The scheduling window is open until Sunday, May 21. Don’t miss out! Schedule the full complement of Hour of Devastation events right away!