So i'm making a Red/Black deck using the gatherer database and i'm having issues with the fact that i want to use all of these interesting cards in my deck, but not have my deck be like 100+ cards big. My issue is that even though there aren't that many cards i want to use (Relatively speaking) the ones i do want to use i want to have 3 or 4 copies of, which throws off the decksize too much.
As i said above my deck is going to be a Red/Black deck. I'm aiming for a decksize of 75 to 80 cards, with 20ish of them being lands. My best deck is a Green/White deck with a focus on getting large, durable creatures on the field through a combination of mana ramping from weaker Greens and healing from the Whites, and it's 80ish cards large so i'm happy with using that same template.
So to help with the filtering process I'ma just ask a bunch of questions and hope i get good answers.
Would it be better to have a card with a CMC of 2, that's a 2/2, or to have a card with a CMC of 2, that's a 3/1? Is that 1 extra HP worth killing less creatures? Or is that 1 extra damage worth dying to even 1/1's?
What's a good balance of card types in a deck? Like, in a 60 card deck, how many should be lands, how many should be creatures, how many should be spells/enchantments/artifacts?
How many copies of a card should i play in a deck? Obviously this is highly variable, but is there a general "Rule" to follow or does it really change based on the deck?
In terms of lands, which is it better to go with? 6 Swamps, 6 Mountains, and 4 of Terramorphic Expanse and 4 Evolving Wilds. Or with lands that start tapped (Unless you pay a certain condition) but give 2 different mana colors like Akoum Refuge or Blackcleave Cliffs? (I'm sorry, but i don't know how to link to a page without it taking up a lot of space.)
For creatures, how many 1 drops should i run in comparison to 2 drops and 3 drops and so on and so forth? Having lots of 1/2/3 drops is great for swarming, but terrible in terms of staying power, while getting larger creatures costs more mana and is harder to get onto the field quickly.
That's all for now. Sorry if i seem incoherent, i'm pretty tired and i'm new to Magic, so i'm not used to explaining this stuff... I'm prolly forgetting more questions, but whatever, i can always ask em later.
Thanks a bunch for any answers i get, have a great day/night.
First off, a Magic deck should be 60 cards, period. Unless it's for some multiplayer variant or something, any deck should run the absolute minumum number of cards allowed to improve the chances of drawing the spells you want to play most often. Keep that it mind when designing decks, it will make everything else (like balancing your mana curve and color ratio) much easier.
Secondly, what you've basically done here is ask a bunch of specific questions that each ultimately amount to "How do I build a good deck?". There are no right or wrong answers to any question you asked, and no straight answer to my hyopthetical one. Deckbuilding is a skill that you develop as you continue to enjoy the game — as you build and play more, you'll begin to notice what works and what doesn't for your own decks and play style, and you'll be able to answer those questions for yourself.
As for now, it would be much easier for us to help you if you would simply post your decklist (and use autocard). Most people here can immediately tell you what to cut and what you'll want four of, as well as how to properly adjust your mana base to fit your color balance and cost curve. Without any decklist to work with, though, none of us can tell you any of those things.
So go ahead and give us a deck, and we'll be glad to help you on your way to better deckbuilding skills!
P.S. To use autocard, simply put the card's name (spelled correctly, obviously) in between HTML brackets like this:
However, use the regular brackets instead of the shifted ones. It will turn out like this:
By regular brackets he means these: [ ] so [c*]black lotus[/c*] becomes black lotus when you remove the asterisk (*). On CMC and mana curve: This depends on what the deck is supposed to do. Quick aggro decks trade long term staying power for short term gains. They want to dump their and and race you to the 20 life finish line, often disregarding their own life totals. The big CMC cards are often used in control decks, who use spells instead of creatures to keep the board clear while they build up the mana to cast a huge creature. Alternativly you can "ramp" into big creatures via cards like llanowar elves , which gain you additional mana. On 2/2 vs 3/1 creatures: If both are "vanilla" (ie no special abilities on the card), then it again depends on the deck. An aggro deck will take the 3/1 for increased damage, while the slower deck might take the 2/2 for the higher toughness.
For no reason, ever, at all, under any circumstances, EVER!!! Do you exceed 60 cards. DO. NOT. DO. IT. EVER. clear? K? K. Good. Ahem.
For land: this depends on your deck. A mono deck can play 24 mountains most likely. 24 is the number to start at, not 20. 20 was the "old" way of thinking, before Magic strategists came up with new formulas and better math. Now it's 24 land. This is not set in stone. If your highest CMC card is 3, then 20 land can be great. If its 12, you may want to run 27 or so. Once your deck is outlined, then your land can be decided upon. Back to the types of land: If your running a tricolor deck, you will probably want as many dual and tri-lands as you can stuff in there to increase your chances of having access to the right color mana at the right time. The more colors your deck is, the less basic land it will have. READ THIS: www.channelfireball.com/articles/in-deve...
This may be a little intense for a noob, but honestly everyone who plays this game needs to see this article. It's amazing.
I think it's silly to say "always 60", but outside of special formats, I would call 72 a soft-cap or a glass ceiling.
Experience has taught me that trying to build one perfect deck is frustrating, frivolous, and frankly- a trap. Don't be afraid to design several different drafts of deck concepts- think of them like gestures when drawing comic books. Most importantly, try to build your decks in a bare manner, just the necessities at first, because if a deck's "core" consumes the entire deck, it's too cumbersome. Then you find cards which make the deck better at doing what it does, add redundancy, or help it assist a gaping weakness until you reach a reliable deck size. Then you practice, practice, practice- Without blinders or performance delusions. Often players mistake a good deck for a deck that wins most of it's test matches, and a bad deck for one that fails miserably, because they fail to see the need for refining or reconstruction.
Deckbuilding is an art, not a skill, but requires knowledge of the game, and an eagerness to try new things while keeping reliable tools available. Don't be silly enough to play "good card bad card" with everything, but don't be naive enough to try and make EVERYTHING work, even if you think Siege Mastodon sounds like a cool win-con.
I have a bad habit of making many new decks. I guess I'm still at the point where I want to try many different things and see what works for me. I can get some great combos in my deck, but I struggle to get complete synergy. It doesn't really hurt that I pretty much only get to play magic against people once a week. Is there a decent way to practice against another deck of yours?
You can't reason someone out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into.
While deckbuilding certainly requires some degree of finesse, a lot of the skills are technical and learnable.
For starters, until you develop that knack for knowing when to go higher (or the sheer maths to indicate why), stick with 60/61 cards (its been shown that going 1 card higher doesn't drastically reduce your odds of drawing a card, while allowing for more fine tuning with a mana ratio). Typically though, as a new deck builder always go with 60.
24 lands as a base, which will suit most decks that don't go above 5 mana and has a smooth mana curve. Less if your deck has a lower average mana cost, more if your deck has a higher average mana cost or a way to filter out excess lands.
Mana curve should be smooth, with the majority of cards within the 2-4 range, as these are the cards you'll be able to consistently get out early before the risk of missing a land drop becomes higher.
Even if there's a lot of interesting cards you want to include, if you want your deck to be as 'competitive' as possible (even a casual deck can be competitive in a casual meta) you want to streamline your deck into only the best cards for your theme and gameplan. Typically a deck will have 10-15 different types of cards, with very few being only 1-ofs.
If you're going for a super-fast aggro strat, damage is your priority and you can give up card disadvantage for it. For normal aggro, efficiency is generally your best bet. For mid/late game decks, including control, you want to incorporate a fair amount of card advantage (CA is great in any deck, but it usually slows down decks a little - for example, Forked Bolt is obviously much easier to play than Electrolyze ). Combo decks want a lot of tutoring cards to get the pieces together, and protection for the combo, as well as enough defense to survive until it goes off (basically, a combo deck wants CA and survivability, but will gladly give up CA if it will yield the combo - so cards like Mystical Tutor , while technically being card disadvantage, are actually very good).
Without writing enough info to make a whole guide, these are the first points that come to mind.
I'm all about super-control in MTG. If you're able to stop my shenanigans, then there aren't enough shenanigans.
Trust me, do not "try for 65".... make it 60. The sooner you start thinking about deckbuilding in terms of numerical ratios, the sooner the activity will make sense to you. It's the first step in the process and time will reward you if you cement it in your brain right now. So repeat after me — Magic Decks Contain 60 Cards. Got it? Good.
And again, I promise you with enthusiasm that if you simply post a list of the cards you want to use, we can help you build a deck, and we can explain WHY you should choose A over B or whatnot, which will give you the lessons in deckbuilding you're looking for.
With specific cards and specific goals, we can give you specific advice on deckbuilding. Without any specifics, all we can do is give you very general tips (like "magic decks contain 60 cards" and "24 lands is the right number to start from"). You're asking us about synergy... well, "synergy" is a word used to describe powerful interactions between specific cards, not a word describing some basic idea that you incorporate into your deck.
Give us specifics, and we will give you the information you need.