MTG Croatia - Guide: Where and How to Start with This Hobby

This is a guide about the basics of Magic, and how to approach it in Croatia. This is not a guide about the game mechanics, as there are many of them online. So, let us dive into it!

What is Magic the gathering (MTG)?

MTG is a trading card game made in 1993. We can imagine ourselves as a wizard battling another wizard. The cards in our hand and deck represent all the spells we cast. It is played one on one or in a 4 player free for all. 

Why is MTG so amazing? To win against your opponent, a lot of thinking and strategizing is needed. Because of that, it becomes very satisfying when you succeed in outsmarting the other player. While being a complex game, it is not as difficult and demanding as chess. Almost every other match opens up new and unseen card interactions. It is very good for practicing your quick problem solving skills. Of course it's not all brains, there is still luck involved to make the game more unpredictable and fun (it is still a card game). 

Magic the gathering card 

This is what an MTG card looks like

Take a look at various MTG products and pick the one you like.

Is MTG popular?

MTG is very popular, and it's audience is increasing even after almost 30 years. It has about 20 million players worldwide, and you can see how big it became in its profits. In 2020 , MTG had a profit of 581.2 million USD 


The MTG brand is owned by Wizards of the Coast and it's parent organization Hasbro. Among others, they also own Transformers and Monopoly.

Is Magic the gathering easy to learn?

Yes, MTG is easy to learn. Aside from having many online guides, it has plenty of starter decks and there is also an online version of MTG. Besides that, you can always visit your local game shop and find someone who can help you get started. That's a great way to approach it because MTG players are very passionate about their hobby, and they like to bring in new people to the party! At the bottom of this article you can find the list of all game shops where MTG is played in Croatia


How to play MTG and it's type of play

We can break down Magic in many ways. But to keep it simple we will classify  them in it's type of media, format and stage of competitiveness.

Type of Media

We can play with physical cards (paper, i.e. cardboard) , or digitally. The main difference is your preference. Some people love to play with cards. It's like comparing books to e-readers. Of course, some things are only possible in person. You can't do your best poker face and bluff in an online game. Things like bluffing make games more interesting. On the other hand, there are some digital versions of MTG that don't require you to spend money (unfortunately, some of them do), and that's a big deal. But don't let your guard down just yet! On some digital versions you can't sell cards you bought for real money. In paper Magic, everything you buy can always be sold.  

 Magic the gathering paper vs digital

Paper (physical) cards 

Paper Magic is our favorite way to experience the game. There is something special in playing Magic in person, meeting new people and making new friendships that way. 


We have few options :

  • MTGO (Magic the Gathering Online) - The older (original) form of Online MTG. The User Interface is a little bit "old school", and visually not very attractive, but it has its perks. You have the option to sell your cards, there are more advanced types of play, and all cards from the long history of MTG are available. The only downside is that it's not free. The price is almost equal to its paper counterpart.  

 Magic the Gathering Online

  • MTG Arena -  The newest online version of Magic the Gathering. It came out in 2019. and is free to play. Of course, if you don't plan on spending any real cash, it will take you more time to get the good cards for your deck. If you're in a hurry to get into more competitive play and are willing to spend some money, the cards you purchase can not be sold afterwards. Also it has the downside of having less card set editions than MTGO, therefore it's number of playable formats is more limited.  

Magic the Gathering Arena

  • Cockatrice - A free platform where you can play. The stakes are low so it doesn't make winning particularly exciting. Some people like it that way though. It does not have a big player base, but it's an ok option, especially if you are looking for a more budget friendly one. 

Magic the Gathering on Cockatrice

Format Classification

Here we have decks we bring from home (constructed) or decks we make on the spot ,as part of the tournament rules (limited or sealed).


In this format we arrive at the tournament (or in friendly match) with an already prepared deck. In this type of play we already know how to play our deck, but it's a good testing ground. With each new matchup you learn something new and try to adapt, while improving your deck and the way you play it. Building your deck that way (deckbuilding) can be very exciting and satisfying because it requires you to be creative. 


In this format, as the first phase of the tournament we construct our deck on the spot, before our first matchup starts. Each player gets a set number of booster packs (each containing 15 random cards) and tries to make the best of it. After about 30 minutes, everybody creates their own deck. This shows an even greater level of creativity. It is pretty challenging. In general, these kinds of decks are "weaker", but it's ok because every player participating has a deck that's similar in strength. This type of play is very popular among players.  

Stages of Competitiveness 

Magic can be played on three levels of play: casual, competitive and professional. The choice is yours. How deep down the rabbit hole you want to go? 

Casual play

Made for playing with your friends. There are no rules for that. Just try to make up some "house rules" in your group to make the game more balanced and therefore, much more enjoyable for everyone.  

If you still want to play something that is structured, but with minimal rules, we recommend EDH. EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) or Commander is a very popular way to play Magic the Gathering. You play with big 100-card decks in contrast to average 60 card ones. Also, it limits you to using only one copy of each card (regular decks can have 4), which makes deckbuilding even more interesting. Commander decks are very popular among beginners. For example, here are the commander decks from the MTG set Kaldheim: Phantom Premonition and Elven Empire,or take a look at EDH decks from the Strixhaven set. Everybody needs a deck to play. A cool thing about commander is that it's multiplayer format and is mostly played in groups of 4.(Everyone has to have their own deck)

Commander Kaldheim decks

Preconstructed Commander decks ready for play 

Competitive play

It refers to more serious (official) tournaments. Every now and then, everybody gets the itch to try something new and challenging. The competition is fierce, but the thrill is also considerably larger.  

Besides larger local tournaments that occur a few times a year in every country, there are also Magic Fests ( former MTG grand prix). They are huge tournaments, with about 1.500 - 2.000 people. 

Magic the Gathering grand prix

This is how Magic Fest looks like (former Grand Prix) {source: Bloomberg}

These kinds of tournaments are visited by the most competitive players (so called "grinders")  from all parts of the world. You can feel the thrill and tension the moment you enter. It's quite a sight to see. Every MTG player needs to experience it at least once. Locations are changed each year, but more than often the same ones get repeated. They are announced in advance. The ones that are closest to Croatia are held in Italy (Bologna or Torino), The Czech Republic (Prague), or Hungary (Budapest). The Locations in Spain or Denmark are also a good option if you are willing to travel by plane.

Professional play 

This level of play includes only the ones that live off of MTG. They are either extremely successful in tournaments (consistently each year), popular streamers (mostly on Twitch) or content creators (Youtube and articles). To make it all possible, it's all about consistency. Of course, winning a few tournaments certainly helps too.

A. Mengucci Winner of MTG Mythic invitational

Winner of MTG Mythic Invitational - A. Mengucci

MTG in Croatia - Where to play tournaments

Besides playing at home with your friends, in Croatia you can play tournaments at: 

On web pages, forums and groups below, you can see all the schedules, announcements, and tournament results. You can also find various "marketplaces" of people who wish to buy or sell cards.

MTG communities in Croatia - For organized tournaments and purchase of individual cards  

Pages listed below contain tournament schedules. And are good places to purchase cards, deck boxes, cards sleeves and other accessories. There, you will mostly find used goods.  If you want to purchase new products, best see our next subtitle "Where to buy Magic cards".

  • Magic Omens Community (for MTG tournaments in the most modern game store in Croatia)
  • MTG forum - A Forum where you can find information about MTG tournaments in Croatia (mainly outside of Zagreb), and buy or sell individual cards. It is not regularly updated. So it's probably better to follow tournament schedules on the FB group “Magic: The Gathering Carta Magica” listed below - HERE 
  • FB page “Magic Omens” - Our website where we offer all new products, and products on sale at affordable prices. ( it has 300+ members) - HERE 
  • FB group “Cromtg - Magic: the Gathering Hrvatska” - One of the two largest groups where you can buy and sell MTG cards, as well as some useful gear for players. (it has 900+ members) - HERE   
  • FB group “Magic: The Gathering Zagreb” -  The second largest where you can do everything mentioned in the previous group. It is also a nice place for chat and general news about MTG. (it has 800+ members) - HERE 
  • FB group “Magic: The Gathering Carta Magica” -  Here you can find tournament schedules for it's game shop in Zagreb, and buy or sell cards. (i has 500+ members) - HERE 
  • FB group “MTG Rijeka” - Group  for MTG players in Rijeka (250+ members) - HERE 
  • FB group “MTG Osijek" - Group for MTG players in Osijek (160+ members) - HERE 
  • FB group “MTG Split” - Group for  MTG players in Split (300+ members) - HERE
  • FB group “MTG Istra” - Group for MTG players in Istra (120+ members) - HERE
  • FB group “MTG Pula” - Group for MTG players in Pula (50+ members) - HERE
  • FB group “MTG Sisak” - Group for MTG players in Sisak (80+ članova) - HERE
  • FB group “MTG Buy/Sell/Trade - Balkan” -  Purchasing and Selling cards in the balkan region (150+ members) - HERE
  • Discord CroMtg - The croatian MTG community's Discord server (80+ members) - HERE

Where to buy Magic cards

You can order or purchase MTG cards from:

When playing any TCG, always keep your cards protected in card sleeves. They keep your cards in good condition, which makes them more valuable.  

In short

Magic: the Gathering is a game in which you could easily put all your free time. It can be a great exercise for your brain, while still being very fun. It also gives you a lot of options depending on the type of play that interests you. Be it casual play, or competitive, there is always something for everyone. Furthermore, it's very flexible in terms of budget. If you only want to play with your friends, it's very affordable. On the other hand, if you want to play competitively it can be pricey when playing constructed formats. 

MTG is a game that stood the test of time. Over 28 years it not only kept it's player base, but greatly expanded it. It's a game that is consistently improving it's mechanics and rules. Go get your friends and find out for yourself, what is it that makes Magic so magical.  


If you are interested in other TCG-s, read our guides:

Magic the gatheringMtg hrvatska

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