How to build a Magic the Gathering Deck (for beginners)
Building a deck
Building a Magic the Gathering (MTG) deck is not an incredibly complicated process but it is in no way a simple one. Typically beginners will put together a deck by just throwing some cards together, adding a couple rares, putting in some land, and hoping for the best. This is, obviously, not the best way to go about this and if this hub does nothing else it will at least teach you about some structure to deck building in MTG. Before we get started I will warn you that this is not for pro MTG players. This is my technique, it has worked well for me, and I hope the same goes for you.
Also, you may notice the picture of a pre-built deck to the right, these are great for beginners but lack originality. For this How To you can start with a pre-built deck but you should have a pretty good amount of other cards that you can use to create a new deck.
Let's get started!
Okay, so the first thing you should do is pick something to base your deck around. This could be a certain ability (flying, shroud, first strike) a color (green, red) or a card type (goblin, wizard, beast). You can mix these together if you want (a green-red beast and goblin deck). When you are picking a base for your deck I do not recommend having a single card as the base. This is the downfall of many decks because having your entire deck revolve around one card will yield a weak deck. You may possibly be able to do this with a plainswalker but I would still not recommend it.
Next, arrange all the cards you have that are related to the base of your deck. What I typically do is lay out all my cards on a table so I can get a good visual of everything I have. Now we're ready to build a deck.
Building the deck
The first thing you should do once you have all your cards laid out is pick out your land. I recommend you build a 60 card deck with 20 land. If you are building a 45 card deck then use 15 land. Your land should make up 1/3 of your deck.
Picking land should be relatively simple, if you have a one color deck then all your land should be that color, if you have a two color deck then use 10 of one type of land and 10 of the other. This is your choice, your deck may rely heavily on a single color but does include other colors so you may want to have 15 of the type of land you will rely heavily on and 5 of the other. An example would be my sunburst deck, I have 10 forests, 3 islands, 3 mountains, 2 plains, and 2 islands. This may seem like an odd arrangement to you but it has worked really well for me. Picking what kinds of land you include is really up to you, this shouldn't be a complicated process.
Next is picking your creatures. I usually have around 20-25 creatures in each of my decks. Most decks rely more on creatures than on cards in the "other" category (instants, sorceries, enchantments, artifacts, etc.) so I would recommend have closer to 25 creatures unless your deck has a focus on a type of card in the "other" category. When picking creatures look through all the cards you have laid out and pick any card that you like and you think might work in your deck. Don't worry about how many cards you pick, you will narrow down your picks later on. Make sure to remember to pick a healthy mix of weak creatures, strong creatures, mythic rares, rares, uncommons, and commons.
Once you have done this then repeat the process for cards in the "other" category (instants, sorceries, enchantments, artifacts, etc.). Again, do not worry about how many cards you have picked, the next step will be to shrink your deck until it is 60 cards (or 45).
Refining your deck
Now that you have all the cards you would like to have in your deck go back and take a look at how many cards you need to get rid of. Hopefully this is around 0-15 cards, if it is anything more that is okay but it will mean more work for you. Get rid of cards you don't think you'll need until you have 60 or 45 cards in your deck, remember to include 20-25 monsters and 15-20 "others." If you are a little bit over or a little bit under 60 or 45 cards that is okay but you shouldn't be more than 5 cards off. For example, if you are building a 60 card deck then make sure you don't have more than 65 cards or less than 55.
Once you are done with this then CONGRATULATIONS, you have built a deck. This should be all you have to do but I would recommend looking at the next section before going to play.
Re-Refining your deck
You have a deck and you can't wait to play right? Well good, you have a right to be excited but keep something in mind when you are playing. Watch how your deck is performing as you play, do you need more creatures, is there a card that really doesn't need to be in your deck, is there a card you really need in your deck, does your deck perform well in the start of the match, can you finish the opponent? These are all questions you need to ask yourself as you are playing. After you've played with your deck a couple times go back to your cards and try to fix the problems you've had. This is an ongoing process but once you have re-refined your deck a couple times you should have a good deck on your hands!!!
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