"It Raised Our Prerelease to a Whole New Level"
The Dragon went into Khans of Tarkir Prerelease with a clear, achievable goal: hit fifty players and make Advanced Plus. Per their custom, they based the number of rounds on the number of players that turned out. And, per their custom, they focused prizes on the top 40% of finishers.
At 64 players, the event was rewarding. But at seven hours, it was fatiguing.
Six months later, Dragons of Tarkir delivered similar success with none of the downside. Owner Jennifer Haines took advice from a local L2 and trimmed the event to four rounds and gave prizes out based on match wins.
It was an incredibly simple change. But it made all the difference.
"It just fixed so many inefficiencies," says Jennifer.
1. "Nobody dropped from the tournament"
Because players were guaranteed prizes so long as they dug out two match wins, any player with at least one match win going into round four had incentive to stick around. Hence, they stuck around.
"Which is incredible. There are always drops."
2. "We could prize out as the event was going on"
Because standings were irrelevant, Jennifer started delivering prizes while people were still playing, which meant a lot less work at the end of the event.
"We actually started our second Prerelease of the day on time."
3. It sent a message: "This is an event to come have fun"
The low-pressure rewards system made it clear from the get-go that there was no reason to get worked up over losses.
"Flattening the prizing and setting the limits of rounds really sends that message."
4. "There was a lot more positive energy in the room"
With the pressure off, the atmosphere was light-hearted and fun.
"Losing two matches didn't mean the end of the world," says Jennifer. "You still had a good chance of going home with prizes."
5. "It set expectations"
Players didn't have to keep track of where they'd place; they knew where they stood, without knowing the standings. "Everyone knew right off the bat how many packs they were getting," Jennifer says.
Try It at Magic Origins Prerelease!
"Everyone loved it. They had a great time. We got so many compliments about it."
This could be what players are saying about your Prerelease too.
But first make sure you're prepped for a smooth-running event.
Watch our Magic Origins Event guide for event tips.
Get posters and flyers, table tents, and signup sheets in our marketing materials section.
Try The Dragon's method at Magic Origins Prerelease! And then tell us about it. Send your photos and stories to WPNStories@wizards.com, and you might be featured on the WPN and Magic sites!
By Matt Neubert