I am curious as to how people make their Magic deck and why. Do you choose a theme, like Dragons, Death, Angels, Vampires, Knights etc etc? Or do you choose on a colour? Do you pick all Silvers, (uncommons) or other types of rarity?
I just like to know how you guys and girls do it. I thought I would take Death and Dragons, but found out I had alot of Reds not much blacks and didn't take enough lands. So there is strategy in picking the 60 cards you want to use.
For now, I don't care about winning, but having fun. So being new, I am picking a theme. I just like to see what everyone else is doing, if for fun, or to win and why.
I deckbuild for two different reasons. One is to play to win, and for that I look for powerful cards that work well together, things like that. Ho, hum. The other way is I find a card that I want to build around or a genre of cards, such as reanimation. Then I look for cards that have cool and nifty interactions with those. Then i look for cards that interact well with the first and second sets, so on and so forth.
Hmmm, all uncommons you say? I have some work to do.
I've made decks for just about every reason. I enjoy building and playing with decks more than winning. I think it's more fun to make them for a variety of reasons. Certain combos, certain mechanics, or a style I hadn't tried in a while like discard, mill, weenie etc.
That's part of what I love about magic is there are so many different ways to build decks creatively.
Choose a theme. Stuff like mono red-control, EDH pingers, control red black blue tribal (goblins), aggro, artifact, green blue mill, Tombstone Stairwell, those all count as themes to me. A type of deck, color, format, subtype, gameplay, MOSTLY cards to build around are my themes. I've done all the above though.
Look though my binder for any card(s) that pop out to me at the moment then proceed to scour my entire collection for cards that work with it. Only to be left with a 60 or 100 card deck and a great many cards to put back in storage.
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Currently Playing 1994 Magic The Rack Type 1: B/W Zombies Modern: Kuldotha Red Legacy: Pox, Oath Vintag: 10 Proxy Merfolk Pauper: Pestilence, UG Threshold EDH: Karn, Roon, Sliver Queen, Xiahou Dun, Arcanus
I almost always build my decks around some kind of theme. Sometimes, the theme is something like dragons. Other times, it is a challenge, like making a landless deck or making Ashling, the Extinguisher effective as a general. I think my favorite deck theme so far was Boros guild. My friends and I all took a personality quiz to determine which Ravnica guild we fit best. Then we each built a deck around that guild. It was really fun!
I built my Tsabo Tavoc EDH deck by determining the colors first though. I had pulled a Chandra Ablaze and Sorin Markov from packs and was so excited I decided to build a RB deck. Once I started looking at strong RB cards, I decided on land destruction as a theme, but that was much later in deck construction than normal.
I have built all kinds of decks for all kinds of reasons.
1. I'll look for card combinations that work together such as Voltaic Key and Time Vault and build a deck around that.
2. I might build multiple combo decks such as including the above combo with March Of The Machines and build sub themes to the main theme.
3. I might choose any number of colors and build a deck around them, using the best cards from each color that have synergy with each other such as building a RW battle cry deck around Hero Of Oxid Ridge and Hero Of Bladehold
4. I might choose a tribe such as Elves, Vampires, Zombies, etc. and build a deck around them, using one or more colors.
5. I might build a "type" deck such as control, aggro, combo, etc. For each type, I might decide on one particular strategy such as, for control, using land destruction or card denial. Maybe even mill.
6. I might build a "set" deck such as all Innistrad or all Scars or whatever.
If I had to count all the decks I've put together in 17 years of playing this game, I couldn't.
To me, that's one of the most fun parts of this game...coming up with deck ideas.
Mostly I've just been building commander decks, so I usually choose colors I haven't built for recently and find a legend in those colors that would be fun to build around. Then I'll search through card databases for anything that might work in the deck and eventually I'll pound it out to the best 100 I can find. Usually, while I'm doing that some sort of theme will present itself and I'll focus on that.
After that I'll come on here, look at other decks people have posted using that commander and compare what I came up with myself with what others have. Then I steal the good ideas that I didn't find myself and mash it together until I have a workable deck.
If I like how it turned out, I search out the singles at local game stores. Traveling and sifting through boxes is part of the fun, so I never shop online.
I don't particularly care about resale value, I just like to have fun with the process.
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Rafiq of the Many - Voltron
Kresh the Bloodbraided - Elemental Tribal
Sen Triplets - 100 Permanent griefer combo
Mikaeus, the Lunarch - Tokens
Mikaeus Unhallowed - Big black and undying
Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer or Gisela, Blade of Goldknight - Metalcraft aggro
Zedruu, the Goat - Your stuff is better than mine. Lets trade
Riku of Two Reflections - Card advantage control
Talrand, Sky Summoner - badstuff.dec
Karador, sweeper recovery
Purphoros, creature combo
I'm primarily a budget Legacy player, so when I build a new deck I first pick an angle of attack or strategy that I like and ask myself "How can I do this for $200 or less?". At that point I look through the threads for whatever archetype I'm interested in playing to get ideas for potential card choices, reference them on Gatherer, and get a good idea of what has worked for other people. From there I can combine those references with my own personal experience to determine what might and might not work well and then I use magiccards.info to print out proxies to test out my deck ideas before I actually buy the cards to make sure their going to work.
A lot of times things don't work out quite as well as I expect at first so I try proxying up other potential card choices to see how they work instead. I usually spend a few weeks refining the deck concept and playtesting the proxied deck and my playgroup's competitive Legacy decks until I find what I feel to be the optimal build and then use TCG Player to make sure the whole thing is going to be within my budget. Most of the time I actually don't end up building these new decks I try out, I just like trying new things to see what kind of strategies I enjoy and to find out what will and won't work. But every now and then (1 out of every 5 or so decks I try maybe) I find a deck that I think is so much fun to play and is powerful enough to compete in a well developed legacy metagame that I just have to build it. I have a general policy of not actually going through with building a deck if after testing I don't think it can keep up with the rest of the Legacy metagame or can be too easily hated out, but for those rare ones that can and are also lots of fun to play I do invest the money to build them.
I've been playing long enough that it's become a pretty intuitive process. I know what types cards that I personally "like" to play around. When something new is released there is almost one or two cards that fit the bill... then I go from there. I'm always looking for ways to improve my decks and looking for new ideas!
I'm still kind of a novice myself when it comes to deck building. I think the first thing you should be concerned with though is budget. I got my deck (and a lot of extras) from a friend who at first was just loaning it to me but then suddenly offered to sell it to me uber cheap, for a limited-time offer. I didn't like how he just dropped the whole deal on me like that and sorta messed up my budgeting but it was my only chance so I caved.
Anyways, that's how I started determining a theme. I made use of the lemons life gave me as it were. I guess you could say it just sort of came to me as I started salvaging things that I could use. The only thing left to do is to smooth out the rough edges.
So yeah, that's how I ended up making my deck. I set a clear budget. I made do with what I could get my hands on, then started from there.
Oh I almost forgot. The deck I got was your average Black deck but I started focusing on zombies once Innistrad came out so I mixed it with Blue. To be honest though, what I really want is a dragon deck.
I'm mostly speaking on how I used to make Yugioh decks, but I imagine Magic is pretty similar.
So. I pick a theme first, like angels. Then I figure out what types of angels have the best synergy and with what color. Then I throw in a few of the current "staples" that have synergy with the deck. Then I play and play and play and tweak it as I go, and get a side deck in mind.
Sometimes I also like to do mechanic themes, like burn, or "only low stat monsters." I usually only make decks that culminate in some grand plan, I don't like fast decks. They're usually rather convoluted and I only win half the time, but it's fun.
I've never played tournaments, just against friends, so I usually proxy the expensive cards before I decide if I like how they play enough to buy them. I like proxy cards since they let people be completely creative.
When building a deck, I first look at what decks are being played/most successful in the current format.
After this, I look into what type of strategies are common among those decks (aggressive, ramp, combo, control).
When the general strategies are identified, I look towards weaknesses that are common among those types of decks.
After the weaknesses are identified, I look into an archetype that can attack those weaknesses (if trying to combat Aggro: either a removal heavy deck or faster Aggro deck, vs Ramp: disruptive aggressive deck or fast aggressive deck, vs control: resilient aggressive deck).
Next, I look at what the most powerful spells are I could be casting against those types of strategies or even in general (Dojo/Primeval Titan/Hero of Bladehold/etc)
Finally, I look at what cards are weak in certain matchups, and build my sideboard with as many cards that are good vs that matchup (5 cards bad vs that matchup = approximately 5 cards good for it in sideboard).
Well for EDH, I pick a general I want (typically from reading posts on the forum), get the general, then work from cards I already have + look at preexisting decklists to build it in a style that suits me. Typically I test it some on cockatrice, then start trading for the cards I don't have.