Updated: Dec 9, 2022
How to choose to perfect gift for the cardboard spellslinger in your life
With the holidays right around the corner, you're probably trying to find a gift for the Magic: The Gathering (MTG) player in your life. If you don't play the game yourself, you're probably feeling like you entered a different world. With three decades of cards, MTG has a vast history that is difficult to unravel.
But what makes a good Christmas gift for an MTG player?
Fear not. Here at Bolt the Bird, we've got you covered. We are MTG fanatics and love everything about the game. In this article, we're here to help you find the best gift for the Magic player in your life.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We'll get a small commission that helps support the site if you click through and buy any of the products listed. Cheers!
Things to Look For
If there's one thing all Magic players love, it's playing cards. However, if you aren't familiar with the game or the formats they play, buying cards becomes much more challenging.
That said, there are a few things to look for when shopping for the perfect holiday gift for a Magic player.
For one, try to keep things original. There is a ton of cringy, generic stuff about MTG out there. Most of the puns you'll find on clothing or accessories are enough to make experienced players blush. There are also a lot of low-quality products out there that your player probably doesn't have a use for. If you can find something handmade, like a deck box or dice bag, it's sure to make their day.
The best advice is to try and get to know your player. If you can, find out what formats they play, what their favorite colors are (mana colors, of course), and if there are any certain decks they play.
One big aspect of the game is the art. For many players, it is one of their favorite things. You can't go wrong when shopping for an MTG gift with art at the center.
Things to Avoid
As mentioned, there are plenty of pitfalls when shopping for an MTG player's Christmas gift. Here are a few of the things you'll want to avoid:
Random booster packs (unless you're familiar with the formats they play)
Single cards (unless you're familiar with their decks or what cards they want)
Merch with jokes or puns
"Bulk" card listings
Proxy cards (unless you know your player enjoys them)
Best Holiday Gifts for MTG Players
With those basics out of the way, we can move on to our recommendations for the best holiday gifts to buy the Magic player in your life. Remember, these are just ideas to get you started. You know your player best, so feel free to tailor these ideas to their unique interests.
1. MTG Card Sleeves
In case you didn't know, most Magic decks cost upwards of $100. Modern, Legacy, and Commander decks can even range into $1,000+ territory. Those cards need some serious protection.
That's where card sleeves come in. You can get MTG card sleeves from a variety of companies. However, they aren't all created equal.
If you're looking for quality, you can't go wrong with Dragon Shield Dual Mattes. We have a full review of them here if you want more info. They are well-trusted by players, are great for shuffling, and have a dark interior that makes cards pop.
Dragon Shield's regular matte sleeves are another great option for a few dollars cheaper.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, TitanShield has a great lineup of sleeves that offer protection that doesn't break the bank. They are also very durable, so they get the Bolt the Bird seal of approval. Note that while the price per pack is similar, you get 1.5x more sleeves than a box of Dragon Shields.
Best Budget Card Sleeves: Dragon Shield Dual Matte (Get them here)
Best Middle Ground Sleeves: Dragon Shield Matte (Get them here)
Best High-End Sleeves: TitanShield (Get them here)
2. Inked Gaming Playmat
When you're playing a game of Magic, you never know where you'll be. You might be at your kitchen table, or you could be at the public tables of a local game store. To help keep your cards clean and safe, a soft playmat is essential.
You can get playmats from just about anywhere. However, few sellers offer the quality, artwork selection, and customization that Inked Gaming does.
They have countless playmats to choose from. Many feature art from famous fantasy artists, including Michael Whelan (Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive cover artist), Frank Frazetta, Clint Cearley, and many more.
You can even order a custom playmat with artwork or a photo you upload. Now that favorite photo or the sketch they've been working on can become their go-to playmat.
3. Brothers' War Gift Bundle
Each year, with the set that releases closest to the holiday season, Wizards of the Coast creates a unique "gift" bundle. This year, the set with that honor is The Brothers' War. It explores the decades-long tale of Urza and Mishra, two of the game's most famous characters, as they wage war across the plane of Dominaria.
The Brothers' War Gift Bundle is a good choice if you know your player enjoys Standard, Pioneer, or collecting the latest cards. It contains eight set boosters, a single collector's booster with fancy art treatments, a unique pack of lands, and a promotional card of Queen Kayla bin-Kroog. You'll also find a guaranteed foil Transformers card and a 20-sided Transformers dice.
All of this is a lot of value packed in one attractive box that can also double as extra card storage. It's a nice way to show your support for your player's hobby.
4. MTG Books and Art Collections
While Magic mostly focuses on cards, it also has a long history of producing rich books. The game's lore is now mainly collected online in web fiction series. However, there have been a few standout "coffee table" style books in recent years. One is coming out this December!
Magic: The Gathering The Visual Guide by Jay Annelli brings readers through the many planes of the multiverse to meet fan-favorite characters, locations, and enemies. This includes lore about the ongoing Phyrexian story arc, planes of years past, and newer settings like Kaldheim and Strixhaven. The 200-page hardcover is a perfect holiday gift for any MTG fan.
A slightly older, but just as impressive, book is Magic: The Gathering: Planes of the Multiverse: A Visual History, also by Jay Annelli. This 256-page hardcover shows original artwork with detailed descriptions of the many planes of the game. It also depicts a vivid visual history of some of Magic's most defining events, including the War of the Spark, the Phyrexian Invasion, and more.
If your player is a fan of spooky, gothic-inspired art, look no further than The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad. This book is packed with illustrations and artwork from one of the game's most popular planes. It certainly makes a great addition to any Magic player's collection.
5. A New Set of Dice
But, wait, isn't Magic a card game? It is. But players often need to keep track of temporary stats and abilities while they are in the midst of a game. Dice can be a great way to do just that.
Most players already have at least one set of dice. However, there's a good chance they've been using the same dice for years. Few players want to splurge on a new set of dice when they could just buy more cards. This means a new set of dice is the perfect holiday gift for the MTG player in your life.
We strongly recommend Chessex. These "dice blocks" come with a dozen 16mm d6 die that are perfect for MTG. They also come in a huge variety of colors and styles so you'll be able to pick something your player will love.
If you aren't sure where to start, these Nebula Nocturnal Blue dice are awesome.
If you want to take things a step further, you can get your player these +1/+1 counter dice. The black and white marble design is classic and features the counters granted by many abilities in the game rather than basic dots.
Finally, if you want to splurge, you can get them this set of awesome metallic dice. They feature gold-plated numbers with an intricate and hollowed-out dragon pattern. Your player will be the talk of their local shop if they walk in with these.
6. A Commander 'Precon' Deck
Commander is one of the most popular formats in Magic: The Gathering. There are endless ways to build a deck, all centered around one Legendary card using only its colors. This gives players lots of ways to build around their favorite themes and mechanics.
To help make getting into Commander a bit easier, Wizards sells preconstructed, or "precon" decks with 100 cards that all revolve around a certain theme. These contain everything you need to start playing a game of Commander right out of the box.
The latest round of Starter Commander decks is the perfect place for new players to get into the format.
If your MTG player has already been playing for a while, the new Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks are also a great choice. These are some of the best precons Wizards has ever made and are a blast to play with.
Get the Starter Commander decks here
7. MTG Comics
What could go better with a trading card game than an original series of comics? Last year, Magic was joined by Boom Studios for a five-issue series of comic books written by Jed MacKay.
The first few issues are already out and make the perfect MTG holiday gift. Whether your player is a casual fan or a hardcore gamer, these comics are a perfect and thoughtful collectible. They also have a great story featuring some of the game's most famous characters.
8. A New Deck Box
Once you've collected thousands of cards and a pile of different decks, you need somewhere to put them. A deck box is the best way to keep your cards safe while you're transporting them, whether you're heading to the local shop or flying across the country for a major tournament.
There are literally hundreds of options when looking for a deck box. That's why we've put together a guide to our favorites right here on Bolt the Bird.
If you want to spend a little extra, you can't go wrong with a Flip 'n' Tray from Ultimate Guard. These boxes feature the luxurious Xenoskin coating on the outside and a smooth velety material on the inside. They offer several sizes, but our favorite is the Flip 'n' Tray 80+, which holds a fully-sleeved deck and comes with an extra tray for dice.
If you need to save money, Ultra Pro has a great lineup of deck boxes. You can get a set of six for under $15. That's a great deal for players with a lot of decks to house.
If you want to go all-out, look no further than the Ultra Pro Magic: The Gathering Edition Mythic Premium Alcove Vault. This deck box holds two full decks and has room for dice. It is constructed with premium materials and features the MTG logo in stitched embroidery on the front.
Best Budget Deck Box: Ultra Pro Deck Box (Get it here)
Best Middle Ground Deck Box: Ultimate Guard Flip 'n' Tray 80+ (Get it here)
Best High-End Deck Box: Ultra Pro Magic: The Gathering Edition Mythic Premium Alcove Vault (Get it here)
9. Artwork from Their Favorite Artist
As we've mentioned, a big part of Magic: The Gathering is the art. Many famous artists sell the work they've created for cards in the form of prints or posters. If you know some of your player's favorite cards, getting them a print of the art is a meaningful and personal gift.
Original Magic Art offers prints from a huge lineup of MTG artists. It also shares profits with those artists so they can keep making the work we all love.
If you're looking for a print, poster, playmat, painting, sketch, or tokens, Original Magic Art is the place to go.
10. Card Kingdom / TCGPlayer Gift Card
Still not sure what holiday gift to get the MTG player in your life? Let them choose for themselves by getting them a gift card!
If you know which local game store they visit, stop in and see if they offer gift cards. Most stores do. This is a great way to support not only your player's hobby but also the place where they get to play it.
If you don't know what store they go to, or if you don't live in the same place, there are several online stores that specialize in selling MTG products.
🛍️You can also support us by shopping with our Amazon affiliate link next time you need Magic cards, accessories, or gear! Check it out here. 🛍️