Welcome to our Beginners’ Tutorial Center

Dear Magic Online beginner,

MTGO Academy aims to offer a fully interactive Magic tutorial experience to boost your playing skills and understanding of the program to a completely new level. If you are a beginner and have fretted about the best ways to improve your MTGO skills quickly and efficiently, then you will find the answer to your woes here. We also know that even masters have to stay in shape, so we will keep adding content for all levels of play!

If you watch or read our tutorials you will be able to:

  • prevent mistakes most beginners make when starting with Magic Online.
  • quickly learn all the important interface commands and tricks so that you can spend your time playing and trading, not fiddling with technical issues.
  • save a great deal of money because we show you how to get everything cheap, fast, and efficient.


IMPORTANT: Due to the recent transition to the new game client (V4), many of the user interface tutorials are not applicable anymore. MTGO Academy is working on updates for the new client and will post them as they become available. 

Please find our beginner tutorials below and let us know if you have any questions or ideas for more material. Now go ahead, apprentice, and take your first steps toward mastership!

Top Ten MTGO Beginner’s Mistakes

In this article you will learn which mistakes beginners tend to make and how to avoid them.

In the Beginning: Oh, So Many Choices
In this article Plejades describes what you should do after registering your first account. He not only explains what exactly is the best way to use the starter package you received but also how to move forward, what to do with your Event Tickets, and even how to get free cards!

In the Beginning: All About Planeswalker Packs
This tutorial introduces the Planeswalker format, discusses why the cards are gold-bordered, displays all six of the Planeswalker Deck Pack card lists and their unique offerings, touches on some notable themes present in the card pool and finally, discusses the benefits of acquiring more than the Planeswalker Pack that the initial account comes with. Special thanks to the inspiration for this tutorial, Magic Online forum user ZeroDivide.

In the Beginning: Cr@cking the Code
This article will show you how to use the MTGO interface and many shortcuts and tricks that will make navigating the program and the play interface much easier for you.

Beginner’s Tutorials Series: Paper Magic and Magic Online Information
This four part tutorial series looks at paper Magic information applicable to Magic Online, using the MTGO client, important sources of Magic Online information and trading on MTGO. Use the below table to navigate the different sections. (The headers link to the beginning of each tutorial.)

Pt. 1: Paper Info Pt. 2: Using MTGO Pt. 3: MTGO Info Pt. 4: MTGO Trading
Paper Products ToS & CoC Digital Products Collection Tab
Playing Magic Introductory Videos MTGO Events Trade Interface
Paper Websites Trading Areas MTGO Formats Bots
Playing Areas Human Traders
Help & Support MTGO Websites Important Info
Store & Misc WotC Pages Classifieds
Strategy Sites
Webstores & Bots

Back to Basics: The Chat Interface
Maximize the efficiency of your communicative experience online with this quick and informative tutorial.

Beginner’s Guide: How to Get Free Cards
If you are interested in free swag, then you should not miss this short video. It shows you how you can get hundreds of free cards without much effort!

Beginner’s Guide: How to Build your First Deck
So you have a bunch of cards and want to start playing, but you don’t have a deck? In this video you can learn how to build your deck, save it, and get ready to rumble!

Beginner’s Guide: Where to Trade Cards with Players

Trading is another important aspect of Magic: The Gathering. It will help you to get cards you need for your decks and save money. See here how you can trade in game.

Back to Basics: Buying and Selling
In this tutorial, we show you the optimal use of the Store and Classifieds. Learn to procure more digital ammunition and/or peddle your wares.

Beginner’s Guide: Bots on Magic Online
On Magic Online, bots are a common and useful way to acquire needed cards or to sell unneeded ones. In this tutorial, Marin showcases the different types of bots, explains how to use them, and advises what cautions to take when shopping with them.

Beginner’s Guide: The Tournament Rooms
If you feel the competitive itch and want to test your deck under tournament conditions you can learn more about MTGO‘s tournament structures in this video. ChrisKool explains the different tournament rooms and what you can expect there.

Back to Basics: Deckbuilding
In this tutorial, we show you how to build a deck and all of the little options and features the Magic Online interface gives us.

In the Beginning: MTGO Draft Guide
In this tutorial, we introduce the draft format – you will learn how it works and what you need to know to about the interface.

Back to Basics: Trading
In this tutorial, we show you how to properly search for cards in the trade window, along with the mechanics of the trade feature.

Back to Basics: Personal Preferences
In this tutorial, we show you the personal settings page, where you can edit many things that can impact your Magic Online experience.

Back to Basics: Buying and Selling
In this tutorial, we show you the optimal use of the Store and Classifieds. Learn to procure more digital ammunition and/or peddle your wares.

Back to Basics: The Auction Room!
In this tutorial, we show you how to and when to properly use the auction room to score those rare deals.

An Introduction to Competitive Pauper, 2nd Edition
In this comprehensive piece, JustSin details everything you need to know about competing in the affordable Magic Online constructed format called Pauper.

  1. Hello. I have been drafting for years now, but I was recently shown this site. I was wondering why you don’t have any draft primers here. It would be nice to see some explainations of B.R.E.A.D. and other evaluation picks. Also, I would suggest anybody who is new(er) to drafting to watch the videos on here. Win or lose, you can learn a lot by objectively viewing. When you are in the heat of a draft, it is difficult to keep an outside perspective. While many people will play vicariously through the videos, this is wrong. You can be sure that the people posting them notice that passing that bomb rare killed them game 2. They also have the ability to self evaluate every decision they make. Picking up FRAPs or another screen capture software can make a huge difference in your own drafting, as you will then scream at the screen “no! Don’t do that!!!!”

    All in all, I love this site and can’t stress how much better it has made me in the day or two that I have been reading articles. I considered myself good already (with a consistent score of 1675-1750). But this site has made me better. Thanks.

  2. Also the formatting of the messages could use a little polishing. It would be nice to see the newest comments first and replies as indented paragraphs. If this is the only complaint I have, then you guys are doing a stellar job, for I am an admitted troll.

  3. I want to thank you guys here at MTGO Academy. I first installed MTGO in September 2012 and was thoroughly overwhelmed by the client. I tried messing around with it for two or three days and never opened it again until this week when I did some googling, came across this site, and started reading and viewing the ‘Beginner Central’ topics. Though I would not say I have mastered the client yet, I have followed the suggestions, and the client with all of it’s functions, is not intimidating anymore. But what I did manage to do last night was get 68 free cards, purchase Event Tickets, wishlist decks, shop around using the various bots, and play about 35 rounds with the two standard decks I built.
    I will be directing my friends to this site and to your bots online as well; they have fair prices too. Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for the kind comments and helpful suggestions, systemic and wehrmonger. I’ll look into seeing if we can nest comments in that way.

  5. This site is the best i wish i had found it before i made all of those beginner mistakes. All well, live and learn.

  6. Feeling overwhelmed after coming back from a 10 year hiatus. So many formats. Like wth is modern masters limited or cube draft. Ugh feels like I need to spend about s week reading andcatching up on tterminology.

  7. Hi Damien,

    Modern Masters is a set with reprints of older powerful cards. It is limited release and each booster pack costs significantly more than a normal booster pack. Playing Draft/Sealed with it is important right now because a big tournament will be using that as the format of choice.

    Cube draft is when you draft with a collection of cards that you design specifically to be drafted with, almost like designing your own set. On Magic Online, Wizards of the Coast designs their own ‘Cubes’ (i.e., sets of cards to be drafted with) periodically and people draft it.

  8. My only problem with MTGO is that you can’t find PRE’s on the forums anymore because Wizards took them down. How can you find PRE’s without the community forum?

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