Finding and Joining Games and Events

Magic Online offers a wide variety of play experiences, from casual games to large tournaments with awesome prizes, all found in the Play Lobby.

To jump in and play games in Magic Online, click the Play Lobby button in the navigation bar. The Filters pane on the left will help you find the kind of game you’re looking for.

If you want to practice for a tournament or play for fun, click the Constructed Open Play button. If you’re looking for an organized event experience, click the Constructed Tournaments or Limited Tournaments button.

Events require you provide an entry in exchange for a chance to earn prizes. The most common entry options are Event Tickets and Booster Packs (which can be purchased in the Store), as well as Play Points (which can be earned by doing well in events).

The Featured Tournaments pane at the top of the Play Lobby highlights upcoming tournaments as well.

For more information on events, click the Events and Formats page.

Constructed Open Play

If you are looking to get more familiar with Magic Online or your deck, you can use the Open Play area to battle your Constructed deck against other players as much as you like.

  • From within the Play Lobby, click the Constructed Open Play button near the top of the Filters pane on the left.
  • Click the button that represents your goal or skill level: Just Starting Out, Just For Fun, Getting Serious, Tournament Practice.
  • Select your deck from the Deck filter.
  • You can optionally filter your search in the following ways:
    • You can select your desired play format using the Format filter.
    • You can choose between Solitaire deck testing, a 1-on-1 match, or a multiplayer match with 3 to 4 players using the Players filter.
    • You can limit the players who you will play against to people on your Buddies List or prevent people from watching your match with the Buddies & Watchers filter.
    • You can choose the length of the Match Clock and the number of wins required to win the match with the Match Options filter. If you select 2 wins, then for games after the first, you will have the chance to move cards to and from your deck’s sideboard. Note that Commander matches and multiplayer matches do not support the 2-win option.
  • Tip: If you want to use a deck not on this list, you can import it from your computer with the Import a Decklist button. Once you have selected your deck, events that match your deck’s format are displayed in the Results area. Each row in that section represents a match that meets the filter requirements you have selected. Mouse over a match to highlight it, then click the Details button that appears (or double-click the match’s row) to open the Event Details window.
  • Click the Join Game button to open the Choose your Deck dialog, select the deck you want to play with, and get started!

Tip: You can instead click the Host a New Match button to start a new match for another player to join. This is useful if no other players are playing with the options you’d like to use. Once other player(s) join your game, and the game is ready, click the START GAME button to begin!

Challenge a Player

If you want to play against a specific friend, you can directly challenge that player to a game.

  • Right click a player’s user name wherever it’s displayed (your Buddies list, a chat window, and so on) to open a menu, then click Challenge Player to initiate the challenge.
  • Select your deck from the Deck filter.
  • Select any additional filters to apply to your game:
    • Format: You can choose a format for your game before selecting a deck. If you don’t, it will automatically select the deck’s format.
    • Skill Level: You can choose to define your game with this filter. It has no effect on game play. By default, this is set to Just for Fun, but you can change it if you like.
    • Watchers Allowed: You can choose to permit watchers for your game.
    • Comments can be entered in the comments box to further define your game.
  • Click the "OK" button to send the challenge.

The player you have challenged will receive a dialog box asking if they want to accept the challenge, which also displays the format, skill level and any comments you have entered. If they accept the challenge, they are asked to choose which deck they want to play and then the game starts. If they decline the challenge, you will receive a message stating that they have done so.

Start a Solitaire Game

You can test a deck without battling another player.

  • From within the Play Lobby, click the Constructed Open Play button near the top of the Filters pane on the left.
  • Select your deck from the Deck filter.
  • Select Solitaire from the Players filter.
  • You can optionally select No Watchers Allowed from the Buddies & Watchers filter. Other filters have no effect on solitaire games.
  • Click either the Play or Host a New Match button to begin your solitaire game.


Solitaire games let you learn the Magic Online interface or test out new deck strategies and combos before playing them with others. A solitaire game follows the normal rules for Magic Online, except that you are your own opponent.

Play in a Constructed or Limited Event

For more details on playing in tournaments or leagues, click here to see the Events & Formats page.

Playing the Game

This section will help explain some basic information about the Magic Online interface, not the rules of Magic. If you want to learn about the rules of Magic, please visit the How to Play page on the Magic: The Gathering website.

All of these procedures assume that you are already in a game. If you have questions that are not answered in this help, please use the Chat with Support option in the Topics pane of the Help scene to contact an ORC.

Play Lands

Click a land card in your hand to play it. Under normal circumstances, you can only play a single land each turn, and only during one of your main phases.

Activate Mana Abilities

If a permanent (such as a land) you control has a mana ability, you can click it to tap it for mana. If the land can produce more than one color of mana, a menu will open. Click the line with the mana ability you want to use.

Tip: If you have begun casting a spell, and are activating mana abilities to pay for it, you can hold the W key while clicking your land to bypass this menu and have the client auto-select the first option listed on the mana source for you.

Tip: Press Ctrl+Z to undo the activation of the most recent mana ability (such as tapping a land). You can repeat this command to undo multiple mana abilities, though you cannot undo if it would require reversing a spell or activated ability.

Unused mana in your pool is displayed in the lower-left corner of the battlefield.

Cast Spells

All cards that can be cast at the current moment of the game, whether they are in your hand or in another zone, will appear highlighted. Zones other than the hand with cards that can be cast will pop open.

  • Left-click a highlighted nonland card to cast it.
  • If the card you are casting requires mana to cast beyond what is already in your mana pool, you will receive a message stating how much mana is required and the opportunity to activate mana abilities to help pay for it.
  • Tip: Spells that cost no mana open a menu with a Cast option to prevent you from accidentally casting the spell at the wrong time with an errant mouse click.
  • Follow the instructions in any additional prompts, such as choosing targets.
  • Once you finish casting the spell, it will move to the stack. This is represented in Magic Online by a temporary window on the battlefield.

Paying Alternate and Additional Costs

If a spell or ability has alternate or optional additional costs, these will generally be indicated by a menu that opens when you click the card. Each option will appear on a separate line within that menu.

Resize the Battlefield

You can customize your Duel Scene layout by dragging the grid splitter along some boundaries.

Boundaries that can be adjusted are the following:

  • On the left, underneath the information box
  • On the left, between the player information and the battlefield
  • On the bottom between the battlefield and your hand
  • On the right, between the battlefield and the collapsible panes and options buttons

View and Interact with Collapsible Panes

The graveyard zone and three collapsible panes exist below your avatar to represent cards and effects in the game. Each has an icon that can collapse or expand that area, or zoom in on anything in the pane.

  • The headstone icon controls the Graveyard. A mini-graveyard is displayed when you have the main graveyard window collapsed.
  • The X icon is for the Exile Zone, which displays cards in exile not tied to specific abilities on the battlefield. Cards currently exiled via an ability on the battlefield (Banishing Light, Kitesail Freebooter, etc.) will appear underneath the permanent that exiled them.
  • The eye icon is for Revealed Cards, which displays cards that have been revealed from a search of a hidden zone. Cards can be removed from the Revealed Cards area by moving your mouse over them and clicking Dismiss.
  • The shield icon is the Effects area, which displays continuous effects that have been created and are waiting to apply (i.e. damage prevention and redirection shields, etc.).

Game Log

When a game starts, the game log will appear on the right side of the battlefield. This log shows important game information as it happens, including spells cast, abilities activated, and other game details and lets you review previous game actions.

Limited Event Play (Sealed Deck & Draft)

This section will explain how to select cards and prepare decks within a Sealed Deck or Draft event.

Drafting Window

The drafting window displays all the information you’ll need while drafting. The cards available to select from are in the top of the window, while the cards you’ve already selected will be in the bottom of the window (either in the main deck or sideboard), much like building a deck in the collection. The window also displays the players with whom you’re drafting, the order in which you’re drafting, how many cards each player has selected, and a timer with the time you have left to make your next selection.

Within a draft pod, the first booster pack of each draft is drafted clockwise (left), the second pack is counterclockwise (right) and the third pack is drafted clockwise (left). Which pack you’re currently drafting will be displayed enlarged under the player display.

When cards appear for selection, you can do the following:

  • Double-clicking a card moves it directly to your main deck.
  • A single left-click on a card will highlight and reserve it. If the pick timer runs out, the reserved card will be added to your main deck.
  • You can drag and drop a card into either your main deck or sideboard
  • Right-clicking a card presents similar options for moving a card to your deck or sideboard.
  • If no card is reserved when the pick timer expires, Magic Online will automatically add a card to your main deck.

Tip: The timer can stay at zero for a minute or more in between picks – this is quite normal. This occurs if you make your selections faster than the people drafting behind you.

After all the players in your draft pod have finished drafting, the game will transition to deckbuilding.

Sealed Deck and Draft Deckbuilding Window - Leagues

After completing the draft portion of a League or after joining a Sealed Deck League, your card pool appears in the top of the window and represents your full sideboard. The deck will be in the lower area, like in the draft window detailed above. Add cards from the top to your deck at the bottom by double-clicking, dragging, or using the right click context menu.

After completing and saving a Primary Deck, you can opt to create a second deck out of the same card pool. Click the Add Deck button in the bottom-left corner. You’ll choose a name for the deck, build and then Save the deck. You can also right click a deck and create a new copy to edit. This deck building is untimed, so you have time to build up to 20 league decks if you like.

Before joining a match, if you have more than one deck, you’ll want to click on your preferred main deck to select it for your next match. Once a League match completes, the deck with which you began the previous round will be loaded automatically – without any sideboarding adjustments from last round. You’ll need to return to the Edit Deck area of your League if you want to select a different deck as your default.

Deckbuilding Window – Scheduled Events & Queues

In a draft or sealed deck Scheduled Event or Queue, the deckbuilding period is similar to leagues with a couple important distinctions: there is a time limit in which to submit a deck, and you submit a single deck for the event.

The deck building timer can be found in the bottom right corner of the main cards area. After you submit a deck, you can continue to make changes. Every time you click Submit after a change, you’ll update the deck the event will use. If you fail to submit a deck before the timer runs out, Magic Online will submit your entire card pool as your deck so try to ensure you get a least one deck submitted. After the first round starts, the submitted deck will be the one used at the start of each match.

Note that deck building will immediately end after each player has submitted a deck – even if players would have time left on their deck building timers. This means if you submit one version of a deck, then want to make changes, your changes are not guaranteed to be submitted depending on when the deckbuilding period ended.

Opening New Product

Whether you purchase new product from the Magic Online Store or win it in a tournament, cards from sealed products are not automatically opened and added to your collection. To open booster packs or other sealed products, you’ll need to head back to your Collection.

  • Click the Collection scene button in the navigation bar.
  • In the Filters pane, click the Other Products tab.
  • You can optionally click the Sealed Product filter to show only the sealed product in your collection.
  • Right-click the product you want to open, then click Open 1 of These or Open All of These.

Tip: You can use booster packs as part of some tournament entry options or you can trade them to other players, so you may not want to immediately open booster packs.