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Internet Resources for the Average Magic Player


Last Week’s Oops


I really need to let my wife proofread my articles before I send them out. She's not that amazing at editing, but she has an excellent ability to read them as if she were a normal web site reader, and not someone who knows me.


As she read my first week’s article, she mentioned that, in my history, I talk about "some guy named Scott" and how I became a Tournament Organizer. Now she knows who Scott is, and I know who Scott is, but you may not, and I'm writing for you, so it was "bad writing" for me to not describe who I was talking about.


So that everyone understands, Scott Larabee works for Wizards of the Coast, and was in charge of all of the North American Tournament Organizers, so it was he would ok my becoming of an Organizer. Scott is a great guy, and has recently moved to a different position within Wizards of the Coast, so now the person in that role is Laura Kilgore. Laura has worked for Scott for a long time now, and has been a liaison of sorts for us for a long time, and I am happy to see her take over this role, as I know we’ll remain in good hands.


Ok, now that I’ve admitted my mistake, I’d like to take this week to try to provide our readers with some Internet resources for the common Magic player. Obviously you know of some of the different Web sites available or you wouldn’t be here, but there’s plenty of other resources out there and I’d like to let you know about a couple of them.


News Groups


First, there is Usenet, a series of news groups available over the Internet. There are several different web sites that do news group access, or if your Internet service provider has a news server, you can use a news reader program to read through the news groups. I suggest Agent, an excellent program with freeware and commercial versions. You can get Agent at the following URL:


Once you have access to the news groups, there are a bunch of groups with the names “magic” or “cards” in them.  The following lists of groups are those with active messages in them that are not strictly spam:




The titles should be pretty self explanatory for what to expect from each news group. Keep in mind EVERYONE can access UseNet, and this is both good and bad. There is a large quantity of porn spam in news groups, so it’s not necessarily good for all ages. Also, large amounts of spam mailers troll the news groups for e-mail addresses to spam, so if you do post to UseNet, either use a fake e-mail address, or have a very good spam filter.


UseNet used to be THE place to discuss Magic, but its tapered off a lot with all of the other available mediums, such as websites, Magic Online, and IRC. Still, it remains highly active, especially in the “” subgroups, and is a great place to discuss Magic in a non-interactive, non-time critical way.




Also, as mentioned earlier, there is IRC, or Internet Relay Chat. IRC is used to discuss Magic in a live forum 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also the home of two Magic: the Gathering playing and tournament leagues. To get on IRC, you’ll want to download IRC software. I suggest MIRC, available at the following URL:


Once you have it installed, you’ll want to join an EFNet server. There are different IRC networks, and they all have their pluses and minuses, but right now EFNet is where most of the Magic related chat occurs. Several of the channels you can join are listed below, with a short explanation of each one.


#mtg – The oldest and first channel for Magic: The Gathering, it’s been around for ten years in one form or another. It’s a nice general open chat channel, and averages about sixty people from all over the world. Its good for normal chat and Magic specific chat, and is in general a nice place to start.  They have specific rules for the channel, and those can be found at


#mtgwacky – One of the largest chat channels on Magic: the Gathering alive today, #mtgwacky averages over one hundred people, from new players to top level pros. Be forewarned however, #mtgwacky is NOT a Magic strategy channel, but more of a place where friends get together and chat. The humor is biting, and often an attempt at a serious Magic conversation will be laughed out of the channel. Consider it a “community” channel, and you’ll get a good feel of what to expect when you are there.


#mtgjudge – This channel is one of the best resources on the Internet, containing an average of over fifty judges in the channel, and there are regularly level three and four judges in the channel available to answer questions. Often you can come in to the channel for lively debates over rulings, and the channel is excellent for discussions on theory as well. Keep one thing in mind here; all of these people are volunteers. Treat them with courtesy and respect, and they’ll be glad to help out where they can.


#o-gaming  - One of the two “IRC Leagues,” O-Gaming is still fairly new and averages about sixty people on a regular basis. It’s a good place to find a game, and play in a league or tournament. They use software called Magic Workstation for their gaming, and comparing Magic Online, Magic Workstation, and Apprentice is a whole different article I’ll try to tackle some other time.


#apprentice/#e-draft – The oldest, and largest “IRC League” channel, E-League has a channel for events/chatting, and a channel for drafting. They use Apprentice and Net Draft for their events, and with an average of over one hundred people, usually always have something going on.


#themanadrain – The Mana Drain averages about fifty people on a regular basis, and dedicates it self to Type One Magic, and in general older cards and play.


After that, there are a few regional IRC channels, mainly for Europe, and different countries in Europe. Those channels include #mtguk, #mtgfrance, #mtgireland, #nma (Germany), #svenskamagic, #mtgnorway, and #mtgeurope.  These channels are very oriented on their respective countries or regions, and are very friendly places to join.


Ready to go?


Well, now that you’ve got the resources, its up to you to use them. Just remember one thing, the Internet is a vast, nebulous, somewhat anonymous information resource, and needs to be treated at such. Be on the lookout for scammers and be very wary of who you trust on anything. Also, remember, no one on the Internet really owes you anything. They’re all people, just like you, spending some time trying to talk to others about their ideas and share them. Proper etiquette goes a long way on the Internet, and it’s a world where is often better to turn the other cheek. There’s a lot of people out there on the internet with nothing better to do than make your life miserable because you made a snide comment about their deck, and its always a delicate balancing act of enjoying yourself and watching out for the loonies.


But above all, have fun. That’s what this game is all about.








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Have a great week!

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