How to play

Learn the ins and outs of playing in Magic: the Gathering tournaments using



Magic: the Gathering Arena

Tournaments and leagues on MTG Melee use MTG Arena to play.

Learn more about MTG Arena



an MTG Melee account

You can create an account by clicking "Sign in" on the menu bar at the top and selecting "Register". To play in MTGA tournaments, you will need to enter your MTGA screen name into the account registration form.



a tournament to play in

Tournaments can be found on the home page and also on the tournament schedule.



into the tournament

Once you've found a tournament, you can register on that tournament's details page. Register by entering a code that the organizer provided ahead of time or by paying an entry fee. For charity tournaments you can even pay as much as you'd like to donate.



to your Player Controller

Decklist submission, result submission, pairings, standings, organizer chat, and tournament announcements can all be found on your Player Controller for the event. You can find links to your Player Controller on the home page and on the tournament details page.



The Player Controller

The Player Controller is where you perform ALL of your tournament operations as a player.

  • See details about the tournament and the current round
  • Edit and submit your decklist.
  • Find your current pairing, check-in, and submit the result
  • See tournament announcements, pairings, and standings
  • View opponents' decklists (if set to public)
  • Chat with the organizer and opponent
  • Drop from the tournament
An image of the Player Controller

Decklist naming and submission

Decklist naming: In order to name your decklist, you must select an archetype prior to submission. Your decklist's name will be the same as this archetype. If your desired archetype doesn't appear, you can create a new one by clicking the "New" archetype button. You can also select "Rogue" and your decklist may be classified at a later time.

There are three ways to submit your decklist:

Paste from MTGA

Using the "Paste" button, you can paste your decklist directly from the MTGA client.

Upload a text file

If you've made a text file of your decklist, you can upload it using the "Upload" button.

Enter each card individually

Enter a quantity and begin typing a card name. You can select a card name from the search that appears. Press the enter key to add the card.
An image of the decklist submission card
You can upload your decklist at anytime prior to the event and can edit it until the start of round one. Try to upload your decklist as soon as possible to give yourself time to resolve any issues that may arise.

Tournament announcements

The tournament organizer will send messages to all players as needed. Some messages may be, "Round one will start in 5 minutes." or "There is only one match outstanding." These announcements will appear in the upper right hand corner of the Player Controller. Dismiss them by clicking on them. All past announcements are found on the Player Controller in the Tournament Announcements section.
An image of tournament announcements

Organizer and Player Chat

Organizer and Player chat is built into the Player Controller. You can chat with the organizer of the tournament at all times using the popup at the bottom right of the Controller. Whenever you receive a pairing, you will also be able to chat with your opponent.
An image of tournament announcements


Pairings are automatically pushed to the Player Controller without needing to refresh the page. When pairings arrive you will receive a sound notification if you've allowed sound notifications in your browser.
Pairing Check-in: When you've received your pairings for each round, use the "Check-in" button to let your opponent know that you are ready to begin. If you opponent has not checked in after ten minutes into the round, contact your organizer. If you opponent hasn't checked in, its a good idea to send them a message.
An image of a pairing
Once you have your opponent, Direct Challenge them in MTG Arena using their Screen Name. You can click on your opponent's screen name to copy it to your clipboard. Make sure to select the appropriate options in MTG Arena, such as the deck type and format; i.e.; "Best of One" or "Best of Three".
After the match is over, submit your result using the Match Result form. We track wins by each game so we can provide robust play statistics like win percentages. Click to select the winner of each game and then click the "Submit result" button.
Result submission: It is the winner's responsibility to submit the match result.
An image of a pairing result
The next round will start after the last result is submitted. You can check pairings and standings under the Player Controller.