Build Your Own Magic Deck – So you want to build an MTG deck. Maybe you’ve bought a pre-made deck or two in the past and now you want to build one yourself. For new and experienced players alike, building a Magic: The Gathering deck from scratch can be a daunting task.
There are so many tire options out there that the choice can be overwhelming. Good news, this article gives you a step-by-step method to build an MTG deck you’ll love playing!
Build Your Own Magic Deck
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For most formats, there is no upper limit to the number of cards you can have in your deck. But the more cards you have in your deck, the less likely you are to draw the best card. Try to keep your tire count to 60 if possible. To learn more about card counts in different formats, see How Many Cards Are in an MTG Deck? Tire size.
Commander decks are slightly different in that they require exactly 100 cards. Check out our How to Build a Commander Deck article for a complete guide on how to build one!
Before you start adding cards to your deck, you need to know your deck type. Most tires fit into one of these four categories:
Let’s take a look at each of these categories so you can understand which one is best for you.
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Aggro decks are decks that want to win the game as quickly as possible. They run a lot of low mana cost cards to achieve this. Almost every card in an aggro deck will help you deal damage to your opponent.
If you want to play fast Magic games and attack with your creatures every turn, then Aggro might be the deck type for you.
Control decks are the opposite of aggro decks. Instead of trying to end the game as quickly as possible, a controlling player will spend most of their time taking care of the opponent’s threats.
During the game, they will gain increasing advantages. Then, when the control player has complete control over the opponent, they start playing their own threats and thus win the game.
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If you want to outplay your opponent and win the game slowly but surely, you’ll want to consider playing a control game. See our complete guide to control decks for more.
Midrange decks play a mix of high impact creatures and effective spells. Your big creatures will outnumber your opponent’s smaller creatures, and you’ll always have a few spells ready if you need to get rid of one of your opponent’s creatures.
If you want to always have the best creatures on the table, you’ll love playing midrange decks.
Combo decks are all about putting two or three cards together that really work together. For example, Splinter Twin and Pestermite are a great combination. If you enchant your Pestermite with Splinter Twin, you can tap the Pestermite to make a copy of yourself, and each copy will remove the original Pestermite, and then you can repeat the process as many times as you want.
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Combo decks are usually pretty hard to play (and even harder to build), so we’ll focus on the other three decks for now.
Now that you’ve chosen a tire type, it’s time to choose your tire color. But before you do that, let’s consider how many suits you want to play.
If you play only one suit in your deck, you can only play cards of that suit. If you run too many colors, you’ll often have trouble finding the right lands to enchant Most decks consist of one, two or three suits.
Which colors you want to run is up to you, but some colors work better with some tires than others.
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Aggro decks usually consist of one or two colors. The most popular colors for this type of deck are white, red, and green, as they have the best aggressive creatures. Blue and black aggro decks have existed in the past, but are less common.
Control decks usually have at least two suits, sometimes three. Blue is the most popular control color because all contrasts are blue. Control decks also require spells to remove the opponent’s creatures, so white, black, and red are all great colors to go with blue.
Mid-range tires usually have two to three colors. Green and black are great mid-tone colors because this is where you’ll find some of the best creatures in the game. If you want to add a third color, consider red or white for a few more spells and a wider variety of animals.
In my experience, choosing a theme is the most fun aspect of building an MTG deck. This is where your creativity and imagination come into play in what cards you create in your deck!
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Many players like to build decks around creature types. Some familiar creature types are elves, goblins, merfolk, and zombies. There are many animal types out there, so feel free to do a lot of research before choosing a cabinet type!
Creature themes work best with aggro decks because aggro decks almost always have a lot of creatures. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to include creatures that cost one, two, or three mana, so you can start attacking with them early in the game.
An example of this would be a pixie tire. An ideal game plan would consist of playing a bunch of cheap goblins early in the game. Then, when you have a lot of goblins in your game, you want to play Goblin Chieftain to raise them all up and attack for the win.
For control decks, most of your cards will be spells. You may want to focus on removal spells (like Lucky Absence), counterspells (like Saw It Coming), and board clears (like Doomscar). Most control decks play all three combinations! Then you can get a few powerful threats like Emeria’s Call to end the game while you’re ahead.
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Last but not least, if you’re playing a midrange deck, focus on a few key cards like Goldspan and Wayne and Seven. These key cards need to be powerful enough to have a big impact on the game.
Then fill out the rest of your deck with some spells of your choice. Cheap cards that can destroy your opponent’s creatures are best. Dragon’s Fire and Infernal Grasp are a few good examples.
Many players put lands as an afterthought when building their decks, but a good set of lands will help you win games.
Now in their own countries. We like to consider your deck type and how many suits you play in our decisions. As a general rule, the more suits you play, the harder it is to pick your lands.
Building A Card
Monochrome decks often prefer to only use basic lands of that color, and that’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to run some non-basic lands with other abilities though. Landed creatures like Lair of the Hydra can tap for mana in the early game, then become creatures to attack and block later turns.
Bonus tip: If you’re playing an aggro deck, try to prioritize lands that enter the battlefield that tap. Remember, aggro decks want to win the game as quickly as possible, so it’s best if your lands can be used to mana right away.
For two-color decks, running a mix of basic lands is fine, but lands that push for two colors will go a long way toward improving consistency. Imagine you’re playing a blue-red deck and you have all red creatures in your hand, but you only draw blue lands! Having lots of countries that can produce two or more colors helps avoid this type of situation.
Finally, we have decks with three or more suits. Drawing lands consistently in three colors can be difficult, so most lands in a three-color deck will want to make up at least two colors. As a result, tricolor decks will run very few basic lands, sometimes none at all!
What Do I Need To Start Playing
Since aggro decks like to attack a lot, they will have a lot of creatures. Consider playing at least 30 creatures in your aggro deck, then fill out the rest of your deck with ways to increase your creatures’ power and toughness in combat. Skyclave’s Elemental and Snakeskin Veil are good examples of spells to put in an aggro deck.
As mentioned earlier, midrange decks like to run a lot of cheap removal spells. Finding the perfect balance of creatures and spells in a midrange deck can be difficult. In general, most midrange decks have around 20 to 25 creatures and 10 to 15 spells.
And if you’re planning to build a control deck, you might want to know that most control decks only run a few creatures. Think somewhere between the 4 and 8 range. That’s because most maps
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