How to play Magic at Parties

If I could only eat all these cakes without people calling me Fleshbag Marauder for the rest of my life...
If I could only eat all these cakes without people calling me Fleshbag Marauder for the rest of my life…

If you’re like me, you want to play Magic all day, every day. Even at a party! Socializing and drinking are fine ways to spend the time, but why not do it WHILE playing the best game ever made? If you’re lucky enough to be at a party where a lot of the attendee’s play Magic, here are some ways to get your game on. 



1) Commander/EDH – this multiplayer format lends itself to party environments as there is an added layer of social politics on top of everything you are already keeping track of. If you are playing with your head down and only speaking when absolutely necessary, you’re probably doomed. Making sure you divert the most intoxicated player’s attention to YOUR biggest threat is one of the greatest plays you could make in Party Commander and sometimes all it takes is grabbing that player another drink from the fridge.

However, with groups of six or more it becomes a little awkward. Six players are too many for a single game of Commander, it will take forever. Even though excitement is on the stack, it might not resolve. Also, this format requires people to bring their own decks unless you’re some sort of Commander aficionado with a wide selection of completed decks, in which case you probably play Commander with your friends too often already. Which brings us to…


2) Cube Draft – This is the format of choice for many players to begin with and only one person needs to own cards to have a spontaneous night of Magic for several unsuspecting players. If you have a party where there are 1-9 other Magic players, you will have no difficulty getting a Cube going. I have never heard someone who loves Magic turn down the opportunity to Cube draft – it’s the Lays Potato Chips of Magic.

There are some issues with this as well. Cubes are GENERALLY made with 1v1 in mind and they are best played by players who keep their heads down and faces expressionless. This is not considered to be acceptable behavior in a party setting, no matter how much I wish it to be. What you need is a casual multiplayer format where people aren’t required to bring anything to play. That leaves us with one of the newest formats to date…

Conspiracy 03

3) Conspiracy Draft – Buy a box right now, you can find them relatively cheap at your local game store as this wasn’t a huge success. Since this set was over-printed and is not Standard legal, it is just sitting on the shelf at most stores. In Conspiracy Draft you can draft with up to ten players and then play a multiplayer game with 5 players or less. There is a lot of socializing during the match due to politics, but even BEFORE the game people are opening each other’s packs and looking at what other players are drafting because of the Cogs in the set.

Investing in a box right now might not seem like the smartest move as the cards are not worth the cost, but the beauty of the set is that there are a lot of cards that could possibly go up in price due to casual appeal. If you don’t want to keep the cards you could just sell the packs to the players and everyone can keep what they draft.

Did I miss a format? Do you play other formats when you go to a party? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and PARTY ON!

4 thoughts on “How to play Magic at Parties

      1. If you guys can find a space to do this some time in the summer, I’ve got a buddy who has a pimped-out booze cube.

        1. BOOZE-CUBE! I would really like to film people playing the booze cube, I think a lot of people want to see one in action.

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