A Cockatrice Overview – Let the Games Begin

I got a fun one of you guys today. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to download a program called Cockatrice right away.  Cockatrice is an open source platform like Magic Workstation that allows you to play any Magic: the Gathering constructed or limited format, including multi-player Commander for free! Cockatrice gives you the complete WOTC card library to create and test any deck imaginable. Cockatrice makes it incredibly easy to get online, create decks, and battle with buddies around the world.

Cockatrice Main Image

DISCLAIMER: So, I’m not sure what WOTC thinks about Cockatrice, or how it infringes on their copyrights.  All I know is that it makes me nervous to “promote” this software on TheCommandZone.com.  With that said, I do not condone the use of this awesomely free stuff.  I simply intend to inform you that Cockatrice exists and currently floats in tubes of space we call the Internet.

Back to my pseudo-promotion of Cockatrice! I’ve been using Cockatrice for about 2 years now, and it’s grown tremendously since I joined.  When I learned how to use the program, there were consistently 200-300 players online at a single time. Since then, the number of players online has jumped to over 1500! It’s really astonishing to think how far they’ve come in just a couple years.

Cockatrice makes it easy for players to build whatever decks they want. With Magic’s complete card history at your fingertips, it’s really simple to tweak and test your decks before buying the physical cards, or going online to shop at your favorite bot.

Cockatrice is also useful for the cheap bastard in all of us.   I can’t tell you how many cards I’ve bought over the years thinking they’d synergize in my Commander decks.  I must have wasted hundreds of dollars on cards that now reside at the bottom of a huge box in my closet.  Thanks Cockatrice, now I have more money for my other vices.

Getting Started with Cockatrice:

The first thing we need to do is download the program, so click here for a download.   To complete installation, follow my easy steps to setup Cockatrice.

Cockatrice Easy Setup

  1. Download Cockatrice, Click Here.
  2. Find the container folder for Cockatrice. Locate “Oracle” and open it.
  3. Once Oracle is opened, click on File – Download Sets Information.  A list of MTG sets will appear and simply click “Start Download” to get all the cards.
  4. After Sets Information Download is complete, open Cockatrice. Once Cockatrice opens, it should put you directly in Deck Builder.  Here you can build any deck and save them all to your computer.
  5. After you build a deck, create a local game and practice using the software.
 Cockatrice InstallationOracle Set DownloadDeck Editor

Creating a User Account

You don’t have to register to play on Cockatrice. But, I highly suggest you do.  There are many benefits to registering, too.

Register on Cockatrice

Now that we have an account, it’s time to play! I suggest that you first create a local game and play a few solitaire matches before you annoy the other players with your game speed. So, this is a great time to learn how to use the software. Check out my ‘Cockatrice Hot Keys’ below for a quick tutorial on the basics of the game.  This will make your life easier!

Cockatrice Game Play

Cockatrice Hot Keys

Turn Phases – Ctrl + Space
Rolling Dice  – Ctrl + I
Shuffle – Ctrl + S
Draw – Ctrl + D
Draw Opening Hand/Mulligan – Ctrl + M
Life total – Ctrl + L
Token – Ctrl + T
Copy a Token – Select Token, Ctrl + G
Untap All – Ctrl + U
Attach – Single-click card, Ctrl + A – an arrow appears, click on paired card
Power and Toughness, select card
Increase Power – Ctrl + +
Increase Toughness – Alt + +
Decrease Power – Ctrl + -
Decrease Toughness – Alt + -

Add Counters
– Right click on card, select desired counter
Pointing at Cards/Arrows – select card, drag while holding right click. Release on desired location (Can release on permanents, stack, and players life totals). To release arrow, select another permanent or Ctrl + R.

That’s it for the hot keys. I hope that wasn’t too overwhelming. Don’t worry though; it actually becomes natural pretty fast.  Once you’re about up to speed on your hot keys, enter the Game Room and play some real matches.

Cockatrice MTG room

Take advantage of this free tool, Cockatrice will help you become a better player and allow you test new cards online without spending money or making proxies for your decks.

If you don’t understand the hot keys, here are some links to Cockatrice documentation that may be helpful.  Have fun playing online. My handle is 1jzjalopi, and I’m always up for a game of Commander.  Challenge me, I Command-er you.

Cockatrice Resources
Cockatrice Wiki – Wiki for me, please.
Cockatrice Website – www.cockatrice.de
Cockatrice Learning to Play – Learning to Use Cockatrice 


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4 thoughts on “A Cockatrice Overview – Let the Games Begin

  1. Just a heads up that Cockatrice does not infringe on any copyrights. The card images are pulled from Gatherer, which is publicly available information. No card symbols are used, but instead an easily recognizable substitute is shown {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} instead. The only issue I’ve ever heard of are the MTGO moderators being (I think rightfully) quick to hush people over discussions of Cockatrice in the chat for their paid (and even more amazing) program.

    • Interesting! Usually WOTC is incredibly protective over there images and what not. Im happy to hear that no infringing is taking place. Yes, MTGO is definitely amazing also. I know of sunk lots of money into that program as well. Thanks for the reply.

    • Hey Jeff, thanks for the information. I just looked up the difference between freeware and open source and you’re completely right! I’m going to change that right away. I appreciate the feedback.

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