Getting Started on Magic-League


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Welcome to Magic-League! Magic-League is an online Magic: The Gathering community operated by a dedicated team of volunteers for the community. On Magic-League you can chat, play in tournaments and more!



With over 150 000 registered members, Magic-League is one of the largest independent tournament bodies for Magic: The Gathering tournaments worldwide. Starting as a branch of the website, Magic-League has always been a place where Magic players can play the game they love regardless of where they live or what language they speak. Since launching its own website in 2004, Magic-League has continued to grow and offer a variety of features to the community.

Some of the features we offer include:

  • Tournaments. Magic-League runs both scheduled and unscheduled tournaments through its dedicated team of independent volunteer judges. There is at least one scheduled event every day. More events fire ad-hoc.
  • Ratings System. Magic-League has its own independent ratings system. Tournaments and ranked matches on Magic-League are categorised into one of four rating categories: Constructed, Limited, Eternal and Other.
  • Rankings. Magic-League provides rankings for its rating system for players across each of four rating categories.
  • Social Community. Through the integrated chat feature within Cockatrice, members can interact with others and form teams through Magic-League.
  • Forums. For community members who wish to discuss a topic in-depth, Magic-League offers a comprehensive forum for discussion.
  • Articles and Coverage. Magic-League offers articles and tournament coverage for the community, by the community.

Magic-League is an independent website, and is not endorsed or affiliated with Wizards of the Coast or the DCI.

Get Started!

Getting started on Magic-League is simple: create an account, set up the program most used to play Magic known as Cockatrice, and away you go!

Your Checklist:

  1. Sign up for an account with Magic-League
  2. Download and set up Cockatrice
  3. Join a tournament

Sign up for an Account with Magic-League

The first step in getting started on Magic-League involves navigating to the Sign Up page on Magic-League and creating an account. You will be asked the enter a number of details including a username, password, and e-mail address. It is important to provide an e-mail address to an account you check regularly, as Magic-League uses your e-mail address to provide correspondence for league matters, such as notification of the outcome of a protested match result.

If you wish to update your details at any point, you can do so via the Update Profile link in your Control Panel. After you log in to Magic-League, your Control Panel is at the top right of your screen.

Download an Application for Playing Magic: The Gathering Over the Internet

At Magic-League, we allow players to use any application they wish when participating in tournaments or ranked matches with other players. However, the program used by the vast majority of users is Cockatrice. Cockatrice is an open-source client created to allow players to connect and play Magic (among other games) with other players.

To get started using Cockatrice, first install the client through the Woogerworks download page, or you can compile your own client through the Cockatrice GitHub page. Once done, you can either register an account to play on right away through the in-client registration feature and then connect and play, or you can start a local game to learn the keyboard shortcuts and how to easily navigate the games you play.

After you’ve become comfortable with playing games on Cockatrice, you can join the server and head into the Magic-League chat room via the Server tab. Here is where you can play practice games with other Magic-League players, join in on Mini tournaments hosted by judges, or play in one of our many scheduled tournaments throughout the week.

Note: Magic-League does not host or provide support for softwares and other possibly copyrighted external product.

Read Magic-League's Tournament Documents

Magic-League has published a set of documents regarding tournament play to reflect Magic-League's online nature. Magic-League endeavours to honour and uphold the rules and regulations the DCI sets.

There are two main documents published by Magic-League:

  • Penalty Guidelines. Equivalent to the DCI Infraction Procedure Guide, the Penalty Guidelines list infractions, the penalty associated with them, and any possible remedy to the situation.
  • Floor Rules. Equivalent to the DCI Magic Tournament Rules, the Floor Rules outline the regulations for playing in Magic-League tournaments.

It is important that new players become familiar with these documents so they understand the expectations of them within tournaments. For those familiar with DCI tournament play, there are differences in some areas of tournament rules to reflect the difference between playing in a DCI tournament and playing on Magic-League.


Magic-League hosts tournaments regularly. In addition to scheduled tournaments, judges can run regular 'mini' tournaments whenever they wish.

Registering for a Tournament

When registration is open for a tournament, there will be periodic announcements made in the Magic-League and Main chat rooms on Cockatrice. If there is an announcement for a tournament you wish to join, go to the home page. There will be a panel that appears in the centre of the page with information about the type of tournament, number of players currently registered, and a link to register for the tournament.

Clicking on the link to register will take you to a screen that asks you for your nickname on chat. It is very important to provide the same nickname you use on Cockatrice (and preferably use your account name on Cockatrice) so that players can find you throughout the duration of the tournament. Depending on the format of the tournament, you may be also asked to upload a decklist from your play application. Once you have completed registration, you will be redirected to a screen that contains your information for the tournament. If the tournament requires a decklist, your decklist will be displayed along with security codes for different play applications.

Note: It is important that if the play application you are using supports security codes that you check that the security code for your decklist in the play application matches the security code listed in the Magic-League website. If it doesn't, please contact the judge hosting the event so that our judges can help you solve the problem!

Start of Round

Once registration for a tournament has closed, the judge running the tournament will start the first round of the tournament. There will be an announcement posted in chat on Cockatrice, along with the pairings for the round on the Magic-League homepage. When this announcement is made, you should meet with your opponent to set up a room to play in. Either player can create the room, but it is preferred that you tick the options “Spectators can watch” and “Spectators can chat”, as this makes it easy for judges to keep an eye on your game and provide assistance if necessary.

Once Your Match is Complete

Once you have completed your match, refresh the home page. There will be a panel in the middle of the page where you can enter the results of your match between you and your opponent. There will also be a link for you to drop from the tournament if you wish.

Single Matches

Magic-League also allows players to play single 'ranked' matches with their opponents. These are informally referred to as 'league' matches.

A player may advertise in the Magic-League chat that they are looking for a league match of a certain format (for example, a 'modern league match'). If you wish to participate in a singles match with your opponent, first contact them via private message and mention that you are interested in playing. To challenge a player, click on the Single Matches link on the home page (which is in the top-right corner):

  • If you are challenging your opponent, enter their nickname, the appropriate rating category (if you are unsure, ask your opponent) and the type of match it is. Then click Submit.
  • If you are being challenged, you will see the details of your opponent's challenge. If you don't see any errors in what they have entered, click Accept.

Once the match has been accepted, both of you determine the method of connection and play application to use, much like the same method at the beginning of a round in a tournament. Once you have agreed, connect to your opponent and play!

More Questions?

If you have any further questions, check out the FAQ or ask in #magic-league. If people are around, they'll be more than happy to help!

All content on this page may not be reproduced without written consent of Magic-League Directors.
Magic the Gathering is TM and copyright Wizards of the Coast, Inc, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.

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