Magic: The Gathering Arena Deck Building Guide - Prima Games

Magic: The Gathering Arena Deck Building Guide

by John Cooper

MtG Arena is one of the best ways to get into Magic: The Gathering. It has a nice clean interface, intuitive controls, some cool animations, and you don’t have to learn how to shuffle. Plus, you can play it from the comfort of your own home, meaning you can order pizza if you want to or play in your pyjamas. The dream. 

Once you’ve been playing for a while you’ll begin to have a feel for how decks work and how to make little tweaks to the pre-constructed decks. This is the point where you’ll be eyeing up the ranked constructed play and you’ll need to start crafting your own decks. Of course, you can always find a decklist online and go from there, but it’s a good idea to learn why the pro decks work. So, here are some tips to get you started. 

Have a Goal

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is what your aim is. How do you want to win? What is your strategy? 

If you can pick one idea and build around that then your deck will stand a much better chance of being competitive. It’s why decks tend to fall into one of the classic archetypes of combo, aggro, control, or mid-range. Having that singular focus will help you choose the cards you want. 

So, for example, if you want to build an aggro deck, then your aim is to reduce your opponent’s life total to nothing as quickly as possible. So, you want spells that remove threats or deal damage to your opponent. Your creatures should be cheap and have decent attack power. You don’t want a bunch of cards that don’t help you achieve this. Taking a turn off to draw cards is pointless because they might outlast you in a long game. It is all about building a cohesive deck. 

Put in More Mythics

Your aim doesn’t have to be just beating your opponent down quickly though. You can also build a deck with just bomb after bomb. If every single card is a game-winning threat then that is a strategy in and of itself. Sometimes just playing the best possible cards is a strategy. The difference is that while an aggro deck might have a more obvious goal, a deck full of good cards allows you to be flexible. Your end goal can still be to win via damage, but you have more options with how you achieve that. This is still a single goal, just a different approach. 

Give Me Land 

The last basic point is all about your Mana. If you can’t play your spells then it doesn’t matter how good they are. This is why it is important to have enough lands in your deck. If you are a low-cost aggro deck then between 20 and 23 is usually enough. If you’re a control deck you might want between 25 and 28, it all depends on how much the spells cost. Have a look at the average cost of your deck and try and keep that in mind, also keep in mind the colour of the cards too. Having a hand full of green creatures while only having mountains to tap is hell. Always keep the Mana Base in mind. 

A good basic rule is this, you want to be spending all of your Mana every turn. Build your deck to allow for that with a range of costs that reflect it or make sure they are all cheap enough to afford with very few lands in play. 

If you follow these tips you should start to find your way with deck construction. For any other tips on MtG Arena check out our Hub