The Reimagined New Player Experience, From Start To Finish

June 10, 2020 | 1 min to read

Magic's depth is its strongest feature. It's that depth that lets Magic scale so beautifully for players of all experience levels and gives every kind of player something different to latch onto.

Some players like socializing with their friends over a fun multiplayer game. Others are drawn to competition. Still others love to collect the beautiful art—more interested in filling their binders than filling their decks.

There's no wrong way to engage with Magic. And we want the new player experience to demonstrate all the different ways to do so.

That’s why we’re discontinuing Welcome Decks and revamping the new player experience in stores, with new specialized tools, each designed to showcase the different parts of Magic, help players find their ideal experience, and keep them coming back.

We understand it's a strange time to think about bringing new players into your community. This new player experience was conceived in a pre-pandemic world, and we know it could be some time before you're able to use your kit as intended.

But we hope that receiving the kit now will help you be ready when the day comes. And when it does, the new player experience will look something like this.

1. Teach New Players How to Play with an Arena Starter Kit Demo Deck*

When a new player is interested in learning Magic, offer to teach them with an Arena Starter Kit. (*Some regions will receive different demo decks based on Arena availability.)

Arena Starter Kits have been carefully developed using up-to-date research about what aspects of Magic are most likely to appeal to a new player. They offer a more compelling first play experience than Welcome Decks while remaining simple enough for a new player to understand.

Where Welcome Decks focused on simplicity, Arena Starter Kits show off more of what makes Magic the deepest strategy card game there is—interesting synergies and juicy combos that are satisfying to pull off—and start diving into how customizable and complex your decks can become.

If someone brought the new player to your store, then they should play against each other with the Arena Starter Kit. Our research shows that 81% of Engaged Players started playing Magic with friends or family—it makes sense that new players should get started that way in your store, too.

2. Reward the New Player with a Welcome Booster and Their Friend with a Bring-a-Friend Promo Card

Once the new player has played their first game with the demo deck, reward them with a Welcome Booster.

Inside every Welcome Booster are ten cards, including powerful rares, beautiful art, and even a planeswalker. All five colors are represented as well as features associated with different formats, such as legendary creatures for Commander.

Here are the ten cards found in every Core Set 2021 Welcome Booster.

They also include informational cards that will guide the new player to potential next steps on their Magic journey. The ten cards found in Welcome Boosters are hand-selected by Magic's design studio, and they'll be refreshed with each new Standard set to keep the cards relevant.

In certain regions, they also include a code for Magic Arena that redeems for an introductory deck.

Next, provide the player who brought them with the Bring-a-Friend promo. Since so many Engaged Players start playing with friends and family, we want to encourage them to bring friends to their local game store for their first experience.

3. Guide the New Player Through Different Ways to Play and Recommend Products

After the new player understands how the game works, give them a walkthrough of the different ways to play Magic, using the Welcome Booster for context. Describe the basic thematic features of each color as well as popular ways to play, like Standard, Commander, and Booster Draft.

Learn what the player finds most compelling and recommend new player products that suit their interests.

  • Core Set 2021 Planeswalker Decks & the Arena Starter Kit are the most accessible to brand new players.

  • If the player is familiar with Magic and ready for something more competitive, recommend Challenger Decks.

  • If the player is more interested in casual or multiplayer play, recommend Commander Decks.

  • If the player is looking to collect the most beautiful cards, point them towards Collector Boosters.

4. Invite Them to an Event, In-Store or Digitally

Finally, invite your new player back to an appropriately skilled event, such as a casual FNM, Prerelease if they just learned to play, or Commander Nights if they want to try out a new format—as always, make recommendations based on how they're interested in playing.

If you're limiting or opting out of in-store play, this is an opportunity to introduce new players to your online community. Let them get to know the rest of your store's players online so they'll have a network to play with in-store when you're able to host.

For some regions, you can start testing the new player experience now. For others, it may be some time before you get started. We hope these tools will open your community to a wider variety of new players and fans whenever the time is right.

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