Making Your First Magic the Gathering Deck


Before we get into this, I just want to say that I am not a professional magic card player. I have never entered, let alone won a, Magic the Gathering Tournament and I don't have any particular interest in doing so. I have however been playing Magic Cards since 1998, and consider myself a proficient casual player. And one thing I have learned over the years was how to make a sweet magic card deck.


We have all been there. You just got into magic, and you are still buying booster packs in the hopes of getting the cards that you need. Maybe, you were brave enough to approach the counter and ask for one card that you thought was really amazing, but beyond that your deck is a mishmash of cards you really like, and filler to get your deck to 60 cards.

As a result, your combos rarely go off, and a bad hand is a common occurrence. Moving beyond this point can be difficult for a novice player, especially if you don't have some one more experienced to show you the ropes. So I would like to give you a few pointers to getting started, and well on your way to creating the amazing decks of your dreams.

Step 1 Starting Your Design

To begin, pick a card, creature type, ability, mechanic, etc. that you really like. This can be anything from the card (I am going to date myself here) Plague Spitter, to the Death Touch Ability or maybe you really like the Dredging mechanic.

It doesn't matter what you pick, but you need to give your deck a focus. Something that you will build the rest of your strategy around.

I love this card.

Step 2 Do The Research

Now that you have picked something to base your deck on, it is time to research it. You will want to look up all the rulings, and the various cards and strategies that work well with your design. There are couple of ways you can go about this. The most in depth way is to scour through the various card lists that you can find on stores like Star City Games and Card Kingdom. Using the advanced search parameters you can get really specific about the kind of cards you are looking for.

An easier method is to look to the magic forums (or just google search) your design choice. You will find dozen of conversations about different combos and strategies that will work with your design. Just pick and choose the cards you like, and bookmark those pages for later reference!

And clear your evening; this is gonna take a while.

Step 3 Constructing Your Deck

Now that you an idea for a strategy, and a ton of different cards to look into comboing with it, it is time to start building your deck. To help you do this, you can go old school and use a spread sheet or a note book, but I would recommend using some of the various online tools. Just google "magic deck builder" and you will be treated to dozens of online services. I personally use MTG Vault, but just pick one that you like the look of. From here you can start laying out your deck and getting sense of the card balance.

It is important when adding cards to your deck that you keep one thing in mind: Magic is a game of odds and statistics. You need to add enough cards that it will almost guarantee that your strategy will be go off during the game. So rather than putting in one of each card, put in three or four duplicates. This makes it so you have a higher probability of the getting the cards you need. The exact numbers of each card will depend on your deck and strategy, so do some experimenting.

Also remember that no card should be filler. Your deck should only contain cards that compliment each other as much as possible. This is going to take a lot of tinkering, play testing and rebalancing, but you will eventually get the hang it. Once perfected, it will be a rare instance for your deck to have a bad hand.

Not that kinda deck.

Step 4 Purchasing Your Deck

Stop buying boosters. It is not doing you any favours, and to make your new deck we need specific cards. So get your list with the cards you need and the sets they belong to and head over to your local game shop. They will have binders of individual cards, and most of the cards you are looking for. If you are a little shy, alternatively there are tons of online stores that will have just about every card you need.

The point here is that you are done buying random cards and hoping for the best. Sure buy a few boosters here and there for the sake of fun, but when you are building a deck you need to make sure you are getting the cards you need.

I would also recommend getting sleeves for your deck so that your newly acquired cards stay crisp, fresh and as valuable as possible.

And they come in so many pretty colours!

And that's it! think of a design, research your design, construct your deck with enough duplicates to ensure your strategy goes off, and then buy those cards specifically.

You should now be ready to start really exploring what magic can do, and the potentials your deck has... Not mention destroying your friends deck in your next game.

Written by: Andrew Gregory

Making Your First Magic the Gathering Deck Making Your First Magic the Gathering Deck Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 9/01/2015 11:13:00 am Rating: 5

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