How not to be a Jerk whilst being a Wizard

There are two things that we all know about Magic:

  1. Magic sucks.
  2. The people we play with are jerks.

Today I wish to help each and every one of you become less of a jerk so your opponent can despise you slightly less. This article aims to highlight some of the negative behaviour in Magic, and offer methods you may use to make this game a less horrible experience for us all.
Note: I have probably been guilty of most/all of these infractions at one point or another.


Stores have it rough. They rely on a bunch of teens and jaded adults to purchase small bits of coloured cardboard and other knickknacks, and then try to keep their doors open by hosting tournaments. Although we all know that tournaments are the worst and the owners are all out to get us, we go to them anyway. Here’s how to help make them bearable.

Attend: no people, no tournament. This makes those who travelled to get there a little bitterer.

Arrive on time: This may be an Adelaide thing, but events that ‘start at 10’ often begin around 10:30 as the inevitable ‘I’ll be 5 mins late’ texts arrive 2 minutes before an event.
This can ruin people’s plans, or result in tournaments stretching so far into the night that people leave out of sheer frustration. Public or personal transport is something to be managed and not fallen victim to, seriously.

Thank the store/owner: they are doing their best, so show your appreciation, ingrate.


I get it. We have different standards and fashion tendencies. I’ll even accept that not everyone wears a three piece suit to an event. However, I offer some simple tips to help stop everyone else vomiting in repulsion during your presence.

The Minimum: sleeves, well fitting bottoms, footwear. No one needs to neither see nor smell your armpits, feet, or fox forbid, holy crack.

Vulgarity: offensive images and slogans can be just as easily worn in your own home. Please omit from your local or interstate store.

Hygiene: a sensitive issue, but senses are sensitive. Basic showering and deodorant. At least start the day on a high note before we all end up stinky sweaty messes before the top 8.


This topic has been well covered in a fantastic article by Canadian defector Nick Watson.
En brief, just think about what you say, and what that might mean to others.

Game Play

This is the big one, discussed feverishly by pros and pretenders alike.t’s difficult to critique everyone’s play style, but I’ll try to with a few key points.

Shuffling: Pile shuffle game 1 to count cards/check for marked cards. Keep honest, be honest. A quick riffle after that is good randomization. The only shuffle needed after sideboard is a riffle – otherwise, you’re just time-wasting. Also, don’t cheat.

Communication: No one likes to feel like they were cheated out of a game because they missed something. Communicate clearly and frequently with your opponent.You don’t need to discuss every play, but indicating things like change of phase is integral to your opponent disliking you less after you mercilessly crush them.

Post Game: Shake Hands, look them in the eye, and thank them for the game. This is super important, even if you lost. Don’t be a sore loser, jerk.


In the beginning, there were a bunch of people. These people played with the wood of a tree, coloured with artificial dye, and kind of tolerated each other.
And it was good.The people that make up your general magic experience are important. I am fortunate enough to have met a large number of lovely people from all around Australia. This has made magic less about the game we all dislike, and more about the people we get along with. To improve the company we keep, please observe the following:

Acceptance: #notallmagicplayers have high social skill, and that’s fine.They may have issues, hang-ups, or conditions that are out of their control. Often that’s why they’ve turned to a game like Magic. To be accepted. Be patient.


Tolerance: we should not tolerate poor behaviour that can be avoided. In fact, it should be actively discouraged. Try to educate those around you about form that is not considered good, in the appropriate manner. This way we can find each other’s company a little less repulsive.

Borrowing Cards: We all know that cry of “Does anyone have X, Y, and Z?” in the minutes before an event, and we loath it. But if everyone followed some key courtesies, we might part with our supposedly valuable paper more frequently.

  1. Write down who borrowed what, and make sure it is returned hastily.
  2. Thank the lender, either verbally or with a brief fist bump/hug. If you won with the cards, let them know.
  3. If you borrow cards frequently, recompense the lender, either with money, or some other thoughtful gift.
  4. If the cards are returned in a condition less than what they were received, prepare to pay the Piper; or more likely, the cost of the card.


Try to be excellent to those around us. We are a strange bunch of eclectic individuals brought together by a children’s card game. Respect and good fellowship is paramount.

Educate yourself, not only on strategy, but society.

Remember that it’s a game; a great garbage game that we spend our lives on. The players that we duel are each a unique part of this great journey of absurdity.