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Best Tabletop Gaming Accessories


Best Tabletop Gaming Accessories

The right gaming accessory can change the entire experience of the game itself - whether that's organizing the components of your favorite game, protecting character sheets and cards, or even just enhancing the ambience of your gaming table. Our APN Team rounded up some of their favorites to share with you this week!

Jayme B.

Ultimate Guard Digital Life Pad


Not every game has perfect player aids; and I learned early on that creating my own can foster a much better play experience for the other folks at the table. (Nobody needs to sit and watch me rifle through a manual when I forget my turn options or the sequence of play.) The new digital life pads from Ultimate Guard provide a clean, eco-friendly, digital solution to my desire to take notes or create cheat sheets for myself, all while leaving my cellphone OFF the table and therefore eliminating distractions. They come in 5” or 9” sizes, have a stylus that is comfortable to hold and write with, and are affordable enough that I think I might pick up a few extras just to have them on-hand for guests at game night!


Playmat of Choice

I still remember the first time I used a playmat. I was new to the World of Warcraft TCG, and had picked up a starter product that included several booster packs, a deck-box, and a playmat (the Scourgewar Epic Collection, for you old-timers out there). At first, gathering around the kitchen table, my friends and I thought, “cool art I guess, but gosh what a silly product, why would people spend money a giant mouse pad?”. Then I actually used it: wow, what a difference! The soft nature of a playmat makes picking up and manipulating cards during play so much easier and more natural. Ever try to pick up a card laying flat on your table, and end up just opting to slide it off the end to avoid constantly picking at the edges of the card? Never again once you use a playmat! Now I never head to my FLGS for TCG nights without a playmat in the car, and 9-times-out-of-10 will even opt for buying optional playmats for my board games when they’re available. And that cool art I mentioned before? That’s just a bonus. 😊


Matte Sleeves


This will come across as perhaps the most mundane of items to call “life changing”, but not unlike my take on playmats above, I wasn’t always a believer. As I explored the trading card game scene more many years ago I came to understand that card sleeves were so much more than what most see as a way to “protect your investment” (though they do that too). For me, I quickly realized what a difference sleeves made when shuffling a deck of cards, be it in TCG matches where it’s a constant element of the experience, or even in board games that are card-heavy (especially deck-building games!). From there, there were what felt like an overwhelming number of options: What do I buy? What brand? What size? What finish? Art, or non-art? All of these questions have answers (and some of them more important than you may realize!), but generally speaking I found that matte finish sleeves were the ones for me. Not only do they look super sleek on the table, they feel great and shuffle smoothly as well. I find myself often going back and forth between Dragon Shield’s matte line, or Ultra PRO’s Eclipse line. Can’t go wrong with either!

Jayme C.

Ultra PRO: Dungeons and Dragons Character Folio


Recently I’ve jumped into playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time, and I am super pleased with these character folios. Being able to organize my character sheet and spell cards all in one place at my fingertips is perfect. As well as having the ability to write on the sheet protectors and easily adjusting my stats makes learning the game a smoother experience. Having extra storage never hurts either for all the supplementary notes I keep accumulating.




Dragon Shield: Playmat – Limited Edition

Out of all the fantasy creatures, dragons are my absolute favorite. Arcane Tinmen knocks it out of the park with their limited edition playmats. The playmats have stitched, rounded edges and absolutely beautiful artwork. They come with a collectible coin, in either gold, silver, or bronze. With gold being the most rare and bronze the most common. A fun addition is that you can use the coin with the notches on the case to track your life total, and the coin itself is a very comfortable weight. With the huge range of colors available you can bet I have a nice hoard of these playmats! 


Board Games Sleeves by Arcane Tinmen


I am the crazy gamer that sleeves everything. The idea of a card game getting all bent up, chipped on the edges, and coated in snack dust is enough to give me nightmares. I used Dragon Shield sleeves for years (also awesome and made by Arcane Tinmen) but they were just a little too rigid for my liking. So I tried out the Board Game Sleeves and instantly fell in love. They are durable, non-glare and shuffle smooth all while being pliable and stackable how I want. They also come in every board game card size you can imagine. Definitely the best sleeves to get IMHO.


Dungeons & Dragons: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica


Dungeons & Dragons: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica

With Dungeons & Dragons' Dragon Heist adventure on the horizon in September, followed shortly by their November release of the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, it seems that adventuring parties from around the world will be leaving the far reaches of Faerun in favor of that good, good urban life!

While Dragon Heist is set to feature a deep dive into Waterdhavian society, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica ups the ante by crossing the streams with Wizards of the Coast legend Magic: The Gathering for the first time and allowing heroes to explore the fan favorite world spanning urban sprawl of Ravnica. 

With the huge surge in popularity of D&D and Magic’s commitment to bring the lore and storytelling to life, the timing seemed perfect. Ravnica is full of adventure possibilities and I can’t wait for fans to jump in to embody a member of one the iconic guilds. I will personally be making a new character for Rakdos.
— Nathan Stewart, director of D&D

In perfect synergy, Magic the Gathering is set to release the Guilds of Ravnica set for the TCG which promises to create a great bridge for fans of both games to deep dive into lore and experience new game play. Wizards of the Coast also teased that we may be visiting other Planes in 2019 so this is likely the first of many collaborations between these powerhouse design teams.

In addition, fans of the Eberron campaign setting will be delighted to note that the Wayfinders Guide to Eberron is available now via the Dungeon Master's Guild as it is updated by Keith Baker, the original writer, and the Dungeons & Dragons team. For those new to the Eberron setting, it features a magic-heavy, fantasy noir vibe with undertones of Steampunk. It boasts classes like the Artificer, best known for creating magical items and drafts as a control/support class, and races like Changelings - a player friendly version of the Doppleganger monster - and Warforged - large sentient constructs molded by magic. 

It’s been sixteen years since I planted the first seeds that would become Eberron, and watching it grow has been an amazing journey. So many good people have been involved in creating the world we see today, and it’s been wonderful to see it come to life. I can’t wait to see what people do with the world!
— Keith Baker, creator of the Eberron setting.

They will be adapting the setting for 5th edition with all sorts of "adjusted races, dragon marks, new backgrounds and more" according to D&D site. My guess would be that we are likely to see a hardcover book release in the future, but for now we'll have to be patient. 


Magic the Gathering: Guilds of Ravnica Events at Your FLGS!


Magic the Gathering: Guilds of Ravnica Events at Your FLGS!


Back in mid-May we got some exciting news about the next steps for Magic: the Gathering and yesterday, we learned that not only would we be throwing cards in the epic TCG, but we would be granted entrance to Ravnica through the new D&D title, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, marking the first collaboration between the two Wizards of the Coast powerhouse titles. 

We are super thirsty for this new set and all the FLGS events that will open the gateway to Ravnica and send us careening into new battles. Get ready to mark your calendars and let your shop know you're interested in playing during one of these events because they only have until August 13th to confirm that they'd like to host them. 



  • Prerelease Party: Guilds of Ravnica - 9/29/2018-9/30/2018

    • These events are great for new and beginner players or for veterans to bring new friends to. They feature Sealed Decks, Two-headed Giant Sealed Deck, no rounds, and two person or group play. 

  • Ravnica Weekend: Guilds of Ravnica - 11/9/2018-11/11/2018

    • This is a great mid season event for draft play and Guild Kit battles. It also features a coordinated Dungeons & Dragons event with a Ravnica setting adventure module. This is a great opportunity for new players, but is primarily a fantastic setting for engaged super fans to bring their best battle face to the table. 

  • Standard Showdown: Guilds of Ravnica 10/14/2018-12/29/2018
    • These weekends feature standard format and three round ranked games. These are typically the most competitive events and are typically well suited to experienced players. It's also your chance to acquire with rares, mythics, and foils from Guilds of Ravnica and other recent sets.

If you haven't found your favorite FLGS hang-out yet, find a shop near you so you can join in the fun!

If you're late to the game when it comes to Ravnica, have no fear! We've got you covered with more details for the season and the setting with this awesome announcement video from Wizards of the Coast.


Dragon Ball Super TCG: Draft Box 03


Dragon Ball Super TCG: Draft Box 03

Last week, we got hype for the Magic: the Gathering Core Set 2019 Draft Weekend and this week we are going ham for Dragon Ball Super TCG's Draft Box 03!

Why is drafting awesome?

There are two major challenges when it comes to TCG play. 

  1. Finding other players who are into the same game and have decks ready to go. 
  2. Making sure you have balanced decks at your table. When one player has been collecting for a while, they typically outmatch newer opponents regardless of skill level. 

The best thing about buying a Dragon Ball Super draft box is that you and three of your friends can pool your money for the purchase and dig in together to create four fairly balanced starter decks right away and Bandai provides rules for tournament play that either allow you to award cards as trophies in various ways at the end of your game or keep the decks you drafted. Each box contains 4 foil versions of the same Leader card, so if you don't get the one you want, unfortunately you can't trade with a friend for the one you, but you can, of course, try your luck again with another box. 


Aside from the four leader cards, each box includes 12 Colossal Warfare boosters, 12 Themed O2 boosters, a draft rules manual, and 1 sheet. For an example of how to draft cards, see Dragon Ball Super TCG's draft breakdown from Draft 01. Once you've opened all your booster packs and drafted your cards, you can run a 4 way round robin tournament right out of the box. 

Leader cards haven't been announced for this Draft Box yet and we are chomping at the bit to find out who could be lurking in these treasure chests! What leaders do you think we'll see in Draft Box 03!



Magic Core Set 2019 Draft Weekend: July 14th-15th 2018


Magic Core Set 2019 Draft Weekend: July 14th-15th 2018

Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast constructed play starts this Friday July 13th for Core Set 2019! We'll start seeing all sorts of new decks being played after that point featuring the cards for the season. Constructed decks take a lot of thought and typically require a larger monetary investment, so it can be an intimidating place to start for new players. Don't worry. We've got you covered with an event that's perfect to help you get started!

We are chomping at the bit for Draft Weekend which runs July 14th and 15th! One of the great things about a Draft is that everyone is on equal footing. You don't need to spend $1000 to build the perfect competition deck to enjoy the game at a draft. All you need to do is head to your local shop, pay a nominal fee for your draft entry (usually the cost of ~3 booster packs), and build decks from the ground up with other people at the table. Tables at a draft are typically made up of 8 players. You can see what they're building as they go and stick to a few colors yourself so you can fuel your spells with mana and counter the decks that others have built during the draft. 

You can expect your FLGS to be full to bursting with Magic players  this weekend so this should be a great event to jump into whether you're new to the game or a seasoned player who's chomping at the bit to get the new cards in hand. To find an FLGS near you that's running a Draft Weekend event, click here

If you've never been to a Draft Weekend and want to know what to expect, Wizards of the Coast released a great video that should get you up to speed.

Are you going to Draft Weekend? Have any advice for new players who might want to try Magic starting with Core Set 2019? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments!