How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering.

Image: Fiverr/Reproduction

The most popular card game in the world, Magic: The Gathering is also considered one of the most complex games out there, something that justifies the difficulty many players have when building a deck.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

So, we’ve separated some tips for those who want to create a winning deck. These instructions can be applied in the physical card version and in the Magic: The Gathering Arena online game.

Starting a deck requires knowing the available cards well.Source: Sarah Jarvis/Reproduction

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

Determine the format

Magic has several game formats and allows you to build decks with different amounts of cards. For example, the prerelease decks use 40 cards, while the casual game mode — which we’ll use as a reference in this guide — requires 60 cards.

With this structure, the suggestion is that a third of the deck is made up of lands (energy), so about 20 cards should fulfill this function. This helps to decide the number of creatures, spells, artifacts and enchantments that will be used.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

It is worth noting that in this format, the rules determine that the player uses up to four copies of a single card in the deck. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to basic lands.

Another tip is to choose 15 additional cards to compose the sideboard, as a “reserve bank” that can replace other deck items, especially in Standard and Modern competitions.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

Having a strategy is critical when building a Magic deck.Source: Gordon Chibroski/Reproduction

have a strategic plan

Building a good Magic: The Gathering deck requires a strategic plan. The player must answer the question: “How is my deck trying to win?” There are people who use several smaller creatures to defeat opponents before they get the strongest cards while others choose to use more resistant creatures to form combos and beat the opponent after several turns.

When defining a plan, the player must research cards that act in synergy to achieve the goal. It doesn’t matter if the deck follows a theme or sub-themes, it’s critical that the cards act together during games.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

Choosing deck colors is another part of the strategy.Source: Michael Stillwell/ Wizards of the Coast

choose mana colors

The Magic universe is composed of five colors of mana: blue, white, black, green and red, which represent different styles of strategy and mechanics applied during the game. For those who are starting to create their own decks, the suggestion is to work with two colors. Mixing the characteristics, the player can choose a mana for attack and another for defense.

Because it is easier to command, green is the color most used by beginning players. In general, it is applied to simple strategies, such as putting creatures on the field to attack and achieve victory in “brute force”.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

Next, red and white are considered direct mana that can be aggressive and dynamic. Meanwhile, blue and black are suitable for players with more knowledge of Magic rules and theories.

Chart to convert mana cost.Source: Wizards of the Coast/Disclosure

Attention to the “mana curve”

“Mana curve” is a term that refers to the total energy cost of using cards. In addition to understanding how it works, it is important that players know how to use it to their advantage when creating a deck. If a deck has a lot of cards that cost six or seven mana, that indicates a high curve; if the deck is composed entirely of cards that cost two energy, the mana curve will be low.

It is possible to say that the more cards with a high energy cost you have, the more turns the player will take to cast a spell. On the other hand, he will have more time to create powerful combos when all the cards are in play. Therefore, the player must always consider the mana curve, which needs to be well aligned with the initial strategy, creating a synergy between the cards.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

With the deck ready, the player must perform tests to assess the strategy.Source: Kyle Geese/Reproduction

test your deck

After building a deck with physical cards or in Magic: The Gathering Arena, it is essential to test it. The suggestion is to participate in several matches against different opponents — whether real players or artificial intelligence.

With this, the player will be able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy itself and will be able to discover new tactics that were not part of the initial plan, being prepared for the different scenarios in the “battlefield”.

How to build the best deck in Magic: The Gathering

Remember, it’s not always possible to build a perfect deck from scratch. Furthermore, even the best Magic deck can be enhanced with new cards and the player’s experience level.