mtg tournament players using playmats

Best Playmats for MTG Magic: the Gathering 2024

Playing Magic: the Gathering for going on 30 years has taught me that having the right gaming accessories can make all the difference. The right sleeves make your deck more fun to play, and may even strike fear into your opponents’ hearts on sight. The right bag or case can mean the difference between having certain decks with you or leaving them home. One important accessory that can enhance your gameplay experience is a high-quality playmat. Not only do playmats protect your cards from damage, but they can also add a touch of personal style to your gaming setup.

We have scoured the internet and compiled a list of the most popular and highly-rated playmats on the market. Whether you are a seasoned Planeswalker or just starting out in the world of Magic, we are confident that you will find a playmat on this list that suits your needs and preferences. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of MTG playmats and see what’s currently available!

mtg eldrazi playmat with cards and life counter on top

Understanding the Importance of MTG Playmats

Having the right equipment will enhance your gameplay experience. One of the essential accessories for any MTG player is a playmat. A playmat is a specially designed mat that provides a smooth and consistent surface for playing MTG.

MTG playmats come in various sizes, designs, and materials, and choosing the right one can make a significant difference in your Magic: the Gathering adventures. Here are some reasons why MTG playmats are essential for any serious MTG player:

Protection

MTG playmats provide a protective layer between your cards and the playing surface. This layer protects your cards from scratches, spills, and other types of damage that can occur during gameplay. A playmat can also help prevent your cards from sticking to the playing surface, which can cause damage when you try to pick them up.

Improved Gameplay

MTG playmats provide a consistent and smooth surface for playing MTG. This consistent surface ensures that your cards lay flat and don’t move around during gameplay, which can be distracting and frustrating. A playmat also helps you keep your playing area organized and prevents cards from sliding out of the play area.

Comfort

MTG playmats provide a cushioned surface that can help reduce fatigue and discomfort during extended gameplay sessions. A playmat can also help reduce the impact of shuffling and card handling, which can be hard on your hands and wrists.

Style

MTG playmats come in various designs, and you can choose one that reflects your personality or your favorite MTG cards. A playmat can also be a conversation starter and help you connect with other MTG players.

MTG playmats are an essential accessory for Magic players. They provide protection, improved gameplay, comfort, and style. With so many options available, you can choose a playmat that suits your style and enhances your gameplay experience.

two mtg players using playmats

Top MTG Playmat Brands of 2023

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Which companies produce the highest quality MTG playmats?

When it comes to finding the best MTG playmat, it’s important to consider the brand. Some companies are known for producing high-quality playmats that are durable, comfortable, and visually appealing. Here are some of the top MTG playmat brands of 2023:

  • Dragon Shield: That’s right, one of the most trusted card sleeve brands also offers an array of playmats! And just like their sleeves, they don’t disappoint.
  • Ultra Pro: Ultra Pro has been a go-to brand for MTG players for years. Their playmats are known for their durability and high-quality printing. They offer a wide variety of designs, from classic MTG art to new and exciting designs. You can’t go wrong with an Ultra Pro playmat.
  • Inked Gaming: Inked Gaming is a newer company that has quickly gained popularity among MTG players. Their playmats are known for their high-quality printing and customization options. You can even create your own custom playmat with Inked Gaming.
  • Your Playmat: Your Playmat is another great option for MTG players. They offer a variety of designs, from classic MTG art to custom designs. Their playmats are known for their high-quality printing and comfortable feel.

What are the best MTG playmats of 2023?

Now that we’ve covered some of the top MTG playmat brands, let’s take a look at some of the best MTG playmats of 2023. Here are a few options to consider:

dragon shield oxbow playmat
  • Dragon Shield: the Oxbow Playmat: This playmat sets the perfect scene for a game of Magic. These fantastic playmats feature a majestic countryside with a winding river, and overhead flys a dragon.
  • Ultra Pro Magic: The Gathering Chandra Playmats: These playmats feature the stunning artwork of Chandra, one of the most popular characters in MTG. They’re made with high-quality materials and are perfect for both casual and competitive play.
  • Inked Gaming Custom Playmat: If you’re looking for a playmat that’s truly unique, consider creating your own custom playmat with Inked Gaming. You can upload your own design or choose from a variety of pre-made designs.
  • Your Playmat Custom Playmat: Your Playmat offers a variety of MTG playmats, but one of their most popular designs features a variation of the artwork from the classic card, Black Lotus. This playmat is made with high-quality materials and is perfect for any MTG player. They also offer custom mats similar to Inked Gaming.

When it comes to finding the best MTG playmat, it’s important to consider both the brand and the design. By choosing a playmat from one of the top brands and selecting a design that speaks to you, you’ll feel more at home wherever you pull out your cards for a game.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Playmat

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a playmat for your Magic: the Gathering games. Let’s discuss the most important factors to help you make an informed decision.

What size should an MTG playmat be?

The size of your playmat is an important factor to consider. Magic: the Gathering playmats come in different sizes, but the most common size is around 24 x 14 inches. However, some players prefer larger playmats, while others prefer smaller ones.

A larger playmat can provide more space for your cards and tokens, which can be helpful during gameplay. On the other hand, a smaller playmat can be more portable and easier to store. Ultimately, the size of your playmat will depend on your personal preference and playing style.

Playmats, especially for trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, typically come in a standard size. However, as the gaming and collectibles industry has evolved, different types of games and player preferences have necessitated various playmat sizes. Here are some of the common sizes and reasons for different dimensions:

2 players across from each other playing magic the gathering on playmats
  1. Standard Card Game Playmat (TCG Playmat):
    • Size: Approximately 24 inches by 13.5 inches.
    • Use: This size is primarily used for trading card games like Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon. It’s designed to provide space for a player’s deck, graveyard, battlefield, and other game zones.
  2. Oversized Playmat:
    • Size: Larger than the standard, sometimes 28 inches by 14 inches or even bigger.
    • Use: These are used for multiplayer card games or for Magic: the Gathering players who just prefer a little more space. They might also be used for other tabletop games that require space for multiple components.
  3. Multi-player Playmat:
    • 24×24, more common in Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! but there are 2 player MTG playmats (click for current price on Amazon) available
    • Wide enough to cross a table and give players opposite each other room to play on the same mat.
  4. Desk Mat or Keyboard Mat:
    • Size: Varies, but often around 35 inches by 16 inches.
    • Use: These are often used not just for gaming but also as general desk mats. They can accommodate a keyboard and mouse, serving as a large mouse pad. Some gamers and professionals prefer this setup as it offers a consistent surface feel under both hands. Not generally used for TCG games, but not completely unheard of either.
  5. Mini Playmat:
    • Size: The size of the playmat is smaller than the standard, sometimes around 10 inches by 8 inches.
    • Use: These are sometimes used for quicker card games, for taking notes during games, or for games that don’t require as much space.
  6. Travel Playmat:
    • Dragon Shield makes a unique playmat option called the Nomad which is specifically designed for the player on the go. It has pockets to put your cards in as you play them, so that they stay in place no matter what surface or angle you’re playing on. This is a great choice if you travel a lot or play on odd surfaces.

The reason for different playmat sizes boils down to functionality and player/game preferences:

  • Game Requirements: Different games have different space needs. A board game might require specific slots for cards, while a TCG player might need space for multiple deck piles.
  • Portability: Smaller playmats are easier to carry around, especially for casual games or for games on the go.
  • Aesthetic and Comfort: Some players prefer a larger playmat simply because they like the feel of it, the additional space, or the artwork.
  • Multipurpose Use: As mentioned with desk mats, some playmats are designed to serve more than just one purpose.

When considering a playmat, think about its intended use, whether for a specific game, general desk use, or something else entirely. Then, choose a size that best fits that purpose.

What are the different types of MTG playmats available?

Most playmats consist of a cloth surface over a non-slip rubber or neoprene base, stitched together at the edges. The base keeps the mat from sliding or skidding, and the surface feels better to the fingers and is easier on the cards.

The soft fabric top allows for the different prints and customizations on playmat surfaces that you may see some players unroll.

mtg tournament players using playmats

Other Factors to Consider

Aside from the size and type of playmat, there are other factors to consider when choosing the perfect MTG playmat. Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Quality: Look for playmats that are made from high-quality materials and have a durable construction. A high-quality playmat can last for years and provide a better gaming experience.
  • Surface: Consider the surface of the playmat and how it will affect your gameplay. A smooth surface can make it easier to slide your cards, while a textured surface can provide a better grip. Either may be a good choice!
  • Durable: Look for playmats that are resistant to wear and tear, spills, and stains. A playmat that is durable can withstand frequent use and provide a long-lasting gaming experience.
  • Price: Playmats can range in price from affordable to expensive. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a playmat.
  • Machine Washable: If you want a playmat that is easy to clean, look for one that is machine washable. This can save you time and effort when it comes to cleaning your playmat.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect MTG playmat that meets your needs and enhances your gaming experience.

The Role of Playmats in Different MTG Formats

Anyone who’s played MTG for a while knows that the game has different formats, each with its own rules and deck-building requirements. Playmats play a crucial role in enhancing the gameplay experience across all these formats.

Commander

In Commander, players build decks around a legendary creature, and the playmat can be used to showcase the commander’s art. Since the commander is the centerpiece of the deck, having a playmat that highlights its art can add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the game. Some playmats specifically made for commander (click for current price on Amazon) will also feature a “Command Zone” outline on the mat. Sure to take center stage at your next game of Commander!

Standard

Standard is a rotating format that only allows cards from recent sets. Playmats can be used to denote the current Standard season, with some featuring the art of the set’s marquee cards. This adds to the overall excitement of the season and can make for a more immersive gaming experience. Playmats specifically made for standard or other 60-card tournament formats may include an outlined area for your sideboard.

mtg character playmat

Legacy

Legacy is a non-rotating format that allows cards from all sets. Playmats in Legacy can be used to showcase iconic cards from the game’s history, such as Black Lotus, Moxen, and dual lands. This adds to the nostalgia factor and can make for a more engaging gaming experience.

Modern

Modern is a non-rotating format that allows cards from sets released in 8th Edition and onwards. Playmats in Modern can be used to showcase the art of popular Modern staples such as Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, and Snapcaster Mage. This adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the game and can make for a more enjoyable gaming experience.

Vintage

Vintage is a non-rotating format that allows cards from all sets. Playmats in Vintage can be used to showcase iconic Vintage staples such as Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, and the Power Nine. This adds to the overall prestige of the format and can make for a more exciting gaming experience.

Playmats play an essential role in enhancing the overall gaming experience across all MTG formats. Whether it’s showcasing the art of iconic cards or highlighting the current Standard season, playmats add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the game and make for a more immersive and enjoyable gaming session.

MTG Playmats and Card Protection

Protecting our cards is essential to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible. This is where MTG playmats and card protection come into play.

mtg deck boxes

How should you store MTG playmats?

Make sure to roll up your playmat instead of folding it. Folding can cause creases and damage to the material, which can lead to an uneven playing surface. Second, store your playmat in a dry and cool place to prevent damage from moisture or heat. Lastly, consider using a playmat tube or bag to protect your playmat from dust and other debris.

Card Protection

Protecting your MTG cards is crucial if you want to keep them in top condition. Here are a few tips on how to protect your cards:

  • Use card sleeves: Card sleeves are an easy and affordable way to protect your cards from scratches, dirt, and other damage. Make sure to choose sleeves that fit your cards snugly to prevent them from slipping out.
mtg card sleeves

  • Use a deck box: A deck box is a great way to keep your cards organized and protected. Look for a sturdy deck box that can hold your cards securely and protect them from damage. Bonus if it has a dice tray, or room for tokens!
  • Bulk storage boxes: You can use bulk card storage boxes for your unused common cards (or really any if you want.
  • Binders: You’ll usually see Magic players with a “rare binder” under their arm. Binders are a staple storage component for extra rares you may be willing to trade to other players when you get together.
mtg cards in binders

Protecting your MTG cards and playmats is essential if you want to keep them in top condition. By following these tips, you can ensure that your cards and playmats stay in great shape for years to come.

Where to Purchase the Best MTG Playmats

When it comes to purchasing MTG playmats, you have a few options. You can buy them from your local gaming store, online retailers, or directly from the manufacturer. Local gaming stores are a great option if you want to support small businesses and have the opportunity to see and feel the playmat in person before purchasing. However, they may have a limited selection and their prices may not be as competitive as online retailers.

Where can I buy and sell rare MTG playmats?

If you’re looking to buy or sell rare MTG playmats, there are several online marketplaces that you can use. One of the most popular is eBay, where you can find a wide variety of playmats, including rare and hard-to-find ones.

Another great option is TCGplayer, which is a popular platform for buying and selling MTG cards and playmats. TCGPlayer is a marketplace like ebay, but strictly for trading cards and accessories, meaning you may be able to find that rare playmat you’re looking for used or new!

If you’re looking for a more specialized marketplace, you can check out websites like Star City Games or Card Kingdom. These websites specialize in MTG products and have a wide selection of playmats available for purchase.

When buying or selling rare MTG playmats, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re getting a fair price. Be sure to check the condition of the playmat and read reviews from other buyers to ensure that you’re getting a high-quality product.

corner of an mtg playmat

Where can I order custom playmats?

If you’re looking for a more personalized touch, there are many online retailers that offer custom MTG playmats. Inked Gaming is a popular choice for custom playmats, allowing you to upload your own design or choose from their library of artwork. They offer a variety of sizes and materials to choose from, and their prices are competitive with other custom playmat retailers.

How Do You Store and Carry MTG Playmats?

Storing and carrying a playmat for Magic: The Gathering (or similar games) ensures that it remains clean and in good condition, which can prolong its life and maintain its visual appeal. Here are some methods and recommendations:

Playmat Tubes

These are cylindrical tubes, typically made of plastic or similar material, that are designed to snugly fit a rolled-up playmat. They often come with a screw-on cap to ensure the playmat stays inside. This is one of the most popular methods of carrying a playmat because it offers good protection against external elements and potential damage from bending or folding.

Playmat Bags

Some players prefer soft fabric bags with drawstrings (click for current price on Amazon) or zippers to carry their playmats. While these may not offer as much rigid protection as tubes, they can be more compact and easier to carry in a backpack or tote.

Gaming Backpacks

Some backpacks are made to hold a playmat either internally, or on the side in a long pocket or strap. This ENHANCE Designer Edition Trading Card Backpack on Amazon is an example.

mtg tournament players walking around with backpacks

Rolled with a Rubber Band

This is a more basic method. Simply roll up your playmat and secure it with a rubber band. This won’t offer the same level of protection as the above methods, but it’s quick and easy. It’s worth noting, however, that regular use of rubber bands can cause wear to the edges of the playmat over time.

Flat Storage

If you’re storing your playmat at home and not traveling with it often, you might consider storing it flat, perhaps under a bed or on a shelf. This prevents any potential creasing or curling from rolling.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping your playmat clean can also help in its storage and transportation. Most playmats are made of a rubber bottom with a cloth top. To clean them, you can usually gently scrub them with cold water and a bit of mild soap, then let them air dry completely before storing or rolling them up. Always consult any care instructions provided with the playmat.

It is worth noting that fraying is a common issue with playmats, and it is important to choose a product that is durable and can withstand frequent use. Additionally, tabletop playmats offer more flexibility and can be used for a variety of games, making them a versatile option for gamers.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

If you’re storing your playmat in a car, for example, be wary of extreme temperatures. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures could cause the rubber to degrade, or take on its current shape more permanently. The printed design may also fade in sunlight or from temperature.

extreme heat graphic

Multiple Playmats

If you own multiple playmats and plan to carry more than one at a time, some larger tubes or bags are designed to accommodate multiple rolled playmats.

When choosing a storage or transport solution, consider factors like the protection level, ease of transportation, how many you want to carry, and how often you’ll be moving the playmat. Different solutions might be ideal for different players depending on their needs.

storage tube

Finding the perfect playmat for your Magic: The Gathering games can make a significant difference in your overall gaming experience. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. We hope this guide to the best MTG playmats has provided you with valuable insights and information to help you make an informed decision.

From custom neoprene tabletop game mats to licensed playmats, we have covered a wide range of options that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you are a seasoned MTG player or just starting, having a high-quality playmat is an exceptional way to protect your cards and enhance your gameplay.

Overall, we recommend considering factors such as material, size, design, and price when choosing an MTG playmat. By doing so, you can find a product that meets your needs and brings out the oohs and aahs from your friends or local game store group.

What’s your favorite playmat and why? Let us know in the comments.

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Bryan - MCM
Author: Bryan - MCM

Magic player since Revised in 94. Still remember opening boosters of Revised, the Dark, and Arabian Nights as a kid. Watching it be a big deal (and then let down) when Fallen Empires dropped. Then Magic got it right again and really took off. While the current state of Wizards is debatable, I still enjoy playing with friends and my kids. I don't do tournaments much these days but I've played Draft, Sealed, Standard, Extended (not a thing anymore,) Pre-Release, Grand Prix, States Qualifiers, and Teams tournaments. Though I'm not a judge, I'm the one the friends turn to when there's a rules question, and if I don't know it, I find it. Please, ask me anything, comment on posts, and share Magic with your friends and family!

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