Gifts for Magic Players – Ultimate Guide
Magic: The Gathering (MTG) is an incredibly deep hobby. It’s so deep sometimes that some players, have to call over a certified judge to resolve complex rule situations. Nevertheless, people of all ages from all over the world love slinging spells and exploring everything MTG has to offer. And let me tell you, Magic has a LOT to offer. Finding gifts for Magic players is also complicated. Someone might think that they could just go to their local store and pick up a few booster packs. But anyone who tries that will likely be bombarded by different card versions, sets, and editions. If they aren’t overwhelmed already, they might end up buying something their recipient doesn’t want. That’s because Magic is played in “formats” which dictate what cards are allowed to be used.
But don’t worry! Let’s take a look at some great gift ideas for Magic players – for all formats and any price range. Rather than looking at only cards, we will talk about useful and fun accessories that also make great gifts for Magic players. Here are some of the most popular and highest rated MTG accessories.
Protective Card Sleeves
Let’s get right to the point: Magic cards can be very expensive. High-level tournament decks can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. It’s a no-brainier that these cards need to be protected. Card Sleeves offer ideal protection while often improving the look and feel of the cards themselves. Most, if not all, MTG players prefer playing with sleeves due to the improved feel when shuffling and handling the cards. There’s something therapeutic about shuffling a freshly sleeved Magic deck. While sleeves may break from time to time, these brands we suggest are the best of the best. Any of these would be ideal gifts for fellow Magic players.
Dragon Shield Matte
Dragon Shield Matte (100 Pack) – The classic, high quality sleeve. Dragon Shields are the original premium card sleeve. They are a bit more expensive, but are definitely worth it. You cannot go wrong with Dragon Shields. They also come in a 100-card pack, meaning it covers all possible Magic Formats. Comes in a variety of different colors.
Ultra Pro Eclipse
Ultra Pro Eclipse Sleeves (100 Pack) – The new contender. Ultra Pro Eclipse are a relatively new series of sleeves from Ultra Pro, but are competing against Dragon Shield to be the best premium sleeve. Like Dragon Shields, Ultra Pro Eclipse offer great protection in feel and have recently grown in popularity. Also comes in a variety of different colors of 100-count packs.
KMC Hyper Matte
KMC Hyper Matte (80 Pack) – Imported from Japan with a great reputation for quality and feel. Arguably equal to Dragon Shields or Ultra Pro Eclipse, but for a cheaper price. Great feel and a favorite of many. Comes in a number of different colors. Unfortunately, KMC Hyper Matte only comes in packs of 80, so if they play the Commander format they will need at least two packs.
KMC Perfect Size (Inner Sleeve)
KMC Perfect Size (300 Pack) – Unlike the three others listed above, “perfect fit” sleeves are used as an inner sleeve for double sleeving. When used in conjunction with any outer sleeve, perfect fit sleeves provide an unparalleled level of protection in card gaming. Double sleeved cards are so safe that some players have even submerged their cards in water without any damage. Just don’t forget that they will still need another set of outer sleeves (any of the three listed above) to correctly double sleeve.
Deck Boxes, like card sleeves, are a great way to protect Magic cards. They also provide easy transport, storage, and organization options to reduce clutter around your living space. Deck boxes make great gifts for Magic players because they come in a variety of different sizes, colors, and materials. Some deck boxes are very simple, while others have extra features like dividers or extra compartments for dice (or even multiple decks). Cheap deck boxes are okay, but are unremarkable and don’t make good presents in our opinion. Instead, we will look at some higher quality premium products that will definitely make an impact.
Ultimate Guard Basic Deck Boxes
Ultimate Guard makes lots of different gaming products including deck boxes, sleeves, and play mats. Their deck boxes specifically are awesome due to their sturdy and rigid design. They are surprisingly heavy, but this just ensures the cards inside are completely protected. Both the traditional flip top deck box and sidewinder versions use powerful magnets to keep the boxes closed during transport. You might be surprised how strong those magnets are – players have dropped full deck boxes from a table (or higher!) and the lid never came undone. Comes in a variety of colors.
The sidewinder deck box is similar to the basic flip top version in terms of features. The only major difference is that the sidewinder is a side loading box where cards are inserted horizontally instead of vertically. Some people prefer this design as it can sometimes be easier to remove the cards. But functionally they are completely the same. It’s just a matter of preference. Also comes in a variety of colors.
ChromiaSkin versions are also available. ChromiaSkin is Ultimate Guard’s unique material that changes temperature based on heat. It’s a bit weird to see and handle in person, but still looks and feels incredibly cool and unique compared to some other deck boxes. ChromiaSkin deck boxes only come in the sidewinder, horizontal side loading, design. But as mentioned previously, there isn’t really any difference in horizontal versus vertical loading deck boxes. A few different colors are available, including our personal favorite: Petrol Blue.
Ultimate Guard Flip n Tray
Flip n Tray is another series of deck boxes by Ultimate Guard. Similar to their basic line, these deck boxes have the same super-powerful magnets and sturdy build. The unique feature of the Flip n Tray series is that the box has multiple compartments: one compartment for the deck itself, and another compartment for small gaming accessories. These compartments are completely isolated with removable trays for each compartment. A lot of Magic cards use tokens, counters, or dice, so it is very convenient to have all of those accessories contained within the deck box. This series comes in multiple colors, 80 or 100 card single deck variants, and also 160 or 200 card double deck variants.
Play Mats also make great gifts for Magic players. What’s nice about choosing a play mat (over a sleeve or deck box) is that many of them have really unique designs on them. Like a piece of artwork, play mats are another way for a player to express him or herself while playing Magic. Of course, play mats also provide an improved playing experience. They provide the right amount of friction to keep cards in place when you want them to – but also slide when you need it. Play mats, due to their soft texture, also make picking up cards a breeze. I have never met a player who said they preferred a normal table over a gaming play mat.
Ultimate Guard Play Mats
Ultimate Guard produces some of the highest quality gaming products. And their play mats are no exception. They use strong, high quality materials that feel great to play on. Most of their play designs are simple or solid colors. Their basic play mat, simply named the Ultimate Guard Play Mat, comes in a variety of solid colors. Of course, their famous XenoSkin texture is available too for their playmats: Ultimate Guard XenoSkin Edition Play Mat.
Anyone looking for something a little more wild should consider the ChromiaSkin versions too (pictured above). It features a unique material which changes color based on temperature. Ultimate Guard does have a few graphic play mats though, such as the space, mountain, and plains, play mats.
Inked Gaming Play Mats
Inked Gaming has a crazy number of custom play mat designs ranging from beautiful, interesting, funny, and just plain weird. Seriously, go check out their designs here or here and you’re bound to find something you like. Of course, the mats themselves are high quality. They use top notch materials and will survive hundreds if not thousands of gaming hours.
While Magic is best when played with a player’s self-constructed deck, sometimes Wizards of the Coast releases supplementary products with other ways of playing. These products, like the ones listed below, still provide the full Magic: The Gathering experience, but in a one-box, self-contained kind of package. No need to build a deck or worry crafting the perfect strategy here, just grab a box, pick a deck, and play. These are also awesome gifts for Magic players since they are also collectors items. They contain special altered artwork or unique cards only contained within the box and unavailable elsewhere.
Duel Decks are a boxed set each containing two ready-to-play decks. They are great because they create fun, interesting, and quick games of Magic in a single self-contained package. Each Duel Deck has its own theme, like Blessed vs Cursed, Speed vs Cunning, or Merfolk vs Goblins. They are also a bit of a collectors item too, as Duel Decks are no longer in production as of 2018 (replaced by challenger decks). Some of our favorite Duel Decks are: Elves vs Inventors and Izzet vs Golgari.
Guild Kits (Individual, or Box Set)
Guild Kits are similar to Duel Decks in that they contain pre-built decks designed to be played together. Unlike Duel Decks, however, Guild Kits are individual decks for playing against other Guild Kits. These decks are all very unique and are great fun for beginner and experienced players alike. But the fun really starts when players get to choose their favorite deck and battle to see who is the strongest. Guild Kits came out in two sets of five, with ten total to choose from. We recommend getting at least two Guild Kits as a minimum. If you budget allows it, spring for a full set of five, or even the entire collection!
Magic: The Gathering Game Night
Magic: The Gathering Game Night is fun little product perfect for new and experienced players. In the box are five different decks designed to be played as a two, three, four, or five player game. Each of the decks have their own interesting strategy allowing players to experiment with the colors of MTG to find their favorite. Game Night also adds a ton of replay-ability through the different decks, and some unique cards which vary in power level depending on the number of players. The decks themselves are also very well balanced against each other. This is really a fun product, and comes with everything else needed to enjoy nice night of Magic, like tokens, counters, and dice. Players spanning different ages and skill levels, from beginner to professional, can all enjoy a game of MTG Game Night.
Other Useful Accessories
If any of the above don’t fit your fancy, here are a few more interesting products which make great gifts for Magic players.
Ultimate Guard Digital Life Pad
The Ultimate Guard Digital Life Pad is an eWriter, or electronic writing tablet. Similar to a traditional note pad, people can use a stylus to write messages and notes on them. The screen can be locked with a switch, and reset with a single button press. This is great for playing Magic, since tracking player life totals can sometimes be difficult. Also works great for competitive players to write down any other important notes like revealed cards. There is also a larger 9-inch version, and a generic non-branded 8.5-inch alternative.
Mojo Life Counter
The Mojo Life Counter is a neat little electronic device used for tracking life totals in Magic. One super unique feature of this is the flip button. Pressing it will flip the opponents life total 180 degrees so its easy for both players to track life. In addition to the primary life counter, it also has a secondary counter for each player. This secondary counter can used for many things in Magic, such as excessive floating mana, storm count, or for tracking poison damage. The Mojo Life Counter runs off a small coin battery. Save your phone battery for something else! It’s also the perfect size to fit in any standard deck box.
The Ultimate Top Deck
Finding the perfect gift for Magic players is hard – but we hope you found something great here. Sleeves and deck boxes, which protect their favorite cards, will be well received. A hand-picked play mat really adds a personal touch that they can show off to their friends (or enemies). Or perhaps choose a “game-in-a-box” type of product like Duel Decks or Guild Kits. Sometimes, the best gift for a Magic player is showing interest in their hobby and joining in on the action yourself. Who knows, maybe next year they will be the one buying something for you.
If you still haven’t found that perfect gift idea for your fellow Magic player, how about a great board game? Read about our Top 10 Gateway Games for Families and Friends. If they like Magic, they’ll surely like some of the games listed in there. Especially #1 and #9. Also check out our Top 5 Board Games for Couples to enjoy with your fellow Magic fan.