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Magic: The Gathering Prerelease events

“Prerelease is a very good starting point for new players,” one of the workers at Gaming Universe said. Photo attributions to Yealin Lee.
“Prerelease is a very good starting point for new players,” one of the workers at Gaming Universe said. Photo attributions to Yealin Lee.
“Prerelease is a very good starting point for new players,” one of the workers at Gaming Universe said. Photo attributions to Yealin Lee.
“Prerelease is a very good starting point for new players,” one of the workers at Gaming Universe said. Photo attributions to Yealin Lee.

by Michael Fiscaletti, fact checker

To preface the release of Magic: The Gathering’s new set, Battle for Zendikar, a prerelease event was held at many local card stores. On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, those interested could pay $25 dollars to participate in the event.

A prerelease is held in order to bring the community together, and offer players a chance to acquire new cards from a set before it’s official, public release and sale. Each participator gets six booster packs (from the new set), a promotional card, and a 20-sided die. Using these components, participators then construct their own forty card deck to use throughout the event, or edit as they desire with the cards they’ve obtained. This is known as a “sealed event,” in which the only decks used are “sealed,” or limited to, whatever is obtained in the package provided at the prerelease.

“Prerelease is a very good starting point for new players,” one of the workers at Gaming Universe said.

After cracking (opening) their packs and building their decks, players finally get paired against one another and get the chance to test their luck, knowledge, and skill, in four “best ⅔” matches. Depending on how many of those four competitions they win, players are awarded more booster packs to further their collection.

The events generally last about five hours each, but the duration and time held vary, depending on where people attend the events (which store they go to). Some start at midnight, 12am Saturday, continue into the morning, and following events persist throughout the day, and Sunday; while other stores hold events solely during the afternoons and evenings instead.

“Things are usually extremely busy to start,” a Gaming Universe employee said.

Wizards of the Coast allow for Magic: The Gathering prerelease events one week before the release of every new set. Those interested can go online and follow the official news to find out about when and where these events are happening.

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