How to make a Magic deck | Magic Arcanum


Welcome to Magic Arcanum. I’m Ryan Gomez
and I’m so glad you’re here because it’s story time. Last week I gave you a
rundown on Ravnica and a couple people in the comments said that they were new
to the Magic story and that video really helped them. That makes me really happy.
I’m glad you liked it! I created Magic Arcanum to be a source
of great stories and usually that means covering the lore but sometimes it means
offering great tips that are gonna help you become a better player, and that is
what we’re doing today, but don’t worry! I will still work in some fun trivia and
world-building as we do it. This week I want to share the best deck building tip
I ever got as a player in the hopes that it helps you. Maybe you’re new at
Magic or you’ve been playing for a while and you’re just trying to teach your
friend… …either way the advice in this video is
gonna be a big help to you. It’s called the rule of 9 and it will help you with
any 60 card deck for formats like standard, modern, pauper and even Magic
Arena. Now maybe you’ve started your collection with something like the bulk
lots from TCGplayer which are a great way to get a lot of cards really cheap.
You’ve got this huge pile in front of you and you’re trying to figure out your
very first deck. It’s overwhelming. There are so many cards, so many choices, so
many different strategies – you’ve got to pick 60 cards to go into your deck. That
is so many! The rule of nine makes it way easier, okay, here’s how it works:
picture your 60 card deck or better yet grab 60 empty card sleeves and set aside
24 of those for your lands. Why 24 lands? Some smart people have done the math and
they’ve decided 24 is the best place to start. Yes some decks will need more
lands and some will need less but that is the last thing you want to tinker
with. Lands are like gas you put in your car. You usually get regular, sometimes
you just splurge for premium, but you don’t want to be throwing nitrous in
there if you don’t know what you’re doing, right? And even if you were trying
to get that last bit of performance there are other things that you could do
first before you start making adjustments there. So for now just trust
me and put those 24 aside, okay? Perfect. Thank you. Tada! We just turned 60 empty
slots into 36 by reserving 24 as lands. Take those remaining 36 sleeves and
divide them into nine piles – – hence the rule of nine. Each pile will
have four sleeves in it: math! And guess what? Your
deck can have up to four copies of a card aside from basic lands which we
already took out of the equation. So this means when you make your first deck you
don’t have to pick 60 cards. You just need to pick nine. Let me show you how it
works. I’m gonna start with The Eldest Reborn. It’s my favorite card in
standard right now. It’s a saga from Dominaria that tells the story of
Nicol Bolas using the Planeswalkers spark that he stole from Venser to
reclaim his form after being defeated by Tetsuo Umezawa. If you want to hear more
about that story let me know down in the comments and I will add it to the list.
It’s too much to cover here today. So in go four copies, taking up one of my nine
overall slots. Now I ask myself what works well with The Eldest Reborn?
It’s a permanent that’s gonna end up in my graveyard and if there’s a way I can
get it back to my hand I can cast it again. How about Golgari Findbroker?
These cards have great synergy. If there’s a Findebroker in my graveyard
when I reach the third verse of The Eldest Reborn, I can bring it back to
play and then I can use the Findbroker’s ability to get The Eldest Reborn back
from my graveyard into my hand, and then I can cast it again. So I want four
copies of Golgari Findbroker, absolutely. This elf is from Ravnica and
as part of the Golgari Swarm, works down in the sewers claiming
different treasures and trinkets amongst all the garbage that winds up down there.
So that’s two out of our nine slots filled up so far and our deck is turning
out to be black and green. Another way I can get more use out of The Eldest
Reborn is to cast it earlier than turn five: Llanowar Elves lets me do that
because I can tap them for mana along with my lands, so let’s add four of those.
Llanowar Elves come from Llanowar, a region on Dominaria. This card has been
a part of Magic for 25 years. It was even in the very first set! But for a while
they stopped reprinting it because they thought it was too confusing. You see the
original art shows one elf but the card is called Llanowar ELVES, so they thought
people wouldn’t understand. Then, in 7th edition,
they gave it new art that had two tough-looking elves in there but then
they decided that was also confusing because
people wouldn’t understand why two elves are only a 1/1 creature. So they decided
to scrap it and try again with Elvish Mystic in Magic 2014. This is what we
call a functional reprint. Magic does it quite a bit actually. With our return to
Dominaria, it seemed like a good time to bring back the famous Llanowar Elves.
This time the art has three of them, but they’re still just a 1/1…that’s none of
my business. All right so where can we go next?
How about Steel Leaf Champion? We can power them out as early as turn two if
we start with a Llanowar Elves and he’s a great target to bring back from
the graveyard with The Eldest Reborn if we don’t have a Golgari Findbroker already in there. Hey look at that! All our creatures so far are elves, and
that’s good because we can give them all a buff if we add Elvish Clancaller. She
has an ability that strengthens all of our elves and another ability that we
can use some of our extra mana on if the game starts to go long.
You might hear someone call this an elf lord. That’s a nickname from way back in
the early days of Magic: they’re referring to a card called the Lord of
Atlantis. He gave all his fellow merfolk plus one plus one and islandwalk, so to
this day any creature that gives that same creature type a plus one plus one
bonus we call a lord. So since our deck already has a squad of elves and a lord
in it we’re gonna look for more elves to add if we can find any. I like Thorn
Lieutenant. It’s got a built-in ability that discourages our opponent from
messing with it and another one of those useful abilities that we can spend mana
on to make it into a real threat. So with that we have six out of our nine slots
already filled. Our deck is looking really good! We’ve got a strong elf theme
going on. We can ramp up to play The Eldest Reborn and then we can buy it
back with Golgari Findbroker. The last three slots I’m going to give very
specific roles but I’m gonna leave the actual cards in them a little less
defined. First we need some sort of removal, some way to get our opponent’s
best creatures off the board. If you can afford it, Vraska’s Contempt is a good
choice here. It can deal with creatures and opposing Planeswalkers. Assassin’s
Trophy is another strong contender for this spot but I don’t love giving
my opponent a land so instead I’m gonna use Murder because it’s pretty
affordable and there’s lots of copies available out there, but if you want to
upgrade in this spot you’re certainly free to do that! So the next thing I want
to address is that our strategy is kind of weak to sweepers. Sweepers are cards
that sweep away a bunch of creatures off the board so if we run into something
like Golden Demise, Deafening Clarion, or Star of Extinction, that would be really
bad for us! One way to counter that strategy is to
make it painful for our opponent to try and kill all of our elves. Check out
Poison-Tip Archer. He’s an elf himself so he will benefit from our lord and also
punish our opponent if they try to sweep away all the other elves. He can also
block and kill just about anything, including angels, which are really
popular right now. Izoni, Thousand-Eyed would be another way we could stand up
to sweepers. All of our dead elves get a second chance at life as one-one bugs, or
if she’s already on the table we can activate her ability as many times as we
can afford in response to a sweeper being played. I’m gonna add the archer to
my list but if you’ve got some copies of Izoni
don’t be afraid to add her if you want to. For the last of our nine slots I want
a way to draw more cards. Most of our elves are pretty cheap so we’re gonna be
emptying out our hand pretty fast and having a way to refill means that we can
keep playing creatures and dig deeper into our deck to find The Eldest Reborn.
Beast Whisperer is a great option here. Most of our cards in our deck are
creatures so we’re gonna probably be able to chain a bunch of them together
just keep drawing more. He’s also an elf so he gets the buff from Clancaller as
well. Recover could also work, it’s a good budget option. We’re usually gonna have
something dead in the graveyard we want to bring back, so we can get that, like an
Elvish Clancaller or Thorn Lieutenant. We also get to draw another card as well
and the flavor text kind of works with Golgari Findbroker, so that’s like a
flavor win. I’m gonna put Beast Whisperer on my list but again these are just
suggestions and you’re free to do whatever you want so go nuts! Now we’ve
got four copies of our nine cards. That gives us 36 out of our 60 card deck.
We’re almost done! So now let’s talk about lands. We set aside 24 of them at
the start and since our deck wound up more
green than black, I’m gonna say 14 forests, 10 swamps. We won’t know exactly
what we need until we do a little bit of play testing. If you have lands that make
both colors you can feel free to swap those in too. Look for Golgari Guildgate,
Overgrown Tomb, or Woodland Cemetery. If you’ve got Memorial of Folly or
Memorial to Unity you could put those in, too. Now I can already hear some of you
like cracking your knuckles and getting ready to type a really strong opinion in
the comments, which is great, I’d love reading those, I really do, but before you
say anything just remember this is only a starting point for the deck, so be nice.
I never promised it was gonna win your FNM. The whole idea is to break the
creation part of the deck down into nine bite-sized pieces and after you do that,
you take your deck and you play games with it. Lots of games. Lots and LOTS of
games. Okay then you figure out what works and what doesn’t, and you make
changes. Don’t be in a rush to swap too many cards at once though: get a feel for
what’s causing your deck to lose games and then make tiny adjustments. If you
draw too many lands too many games in a row, take out just one or two and put in
one or two more cards that let you draw more cards. Does your opponent have a lot
of removal spells but not many creatures of their own? Take out a few of your
Murders and add in some more elves so you can overwhelm them. Making your first
deck doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The rule of nine makes it easy to get a good
baseline for your deck and from there you can begin to tinker and experiment
and find out exactly how many cards you need in each slot. So that is my tip for
you this week! I hope you guys find it useful and if you’ve got any of your own
advice on how to make better decks, make sure you leave it down in the comments
beneath this video, then like the video and subscribe to the channel so you
don’t miss the great stories and tips you’ll only find here on Magic Arcanum.
Make sure you get caught up on all the other videos we’ve done too and come
back next week because I have something extra special for you guys – you’re really
gonna love it! I’ll see you then.

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100 thoughts on “How to make a Magic deck | Magic Arcanum

  1. This was super cool bro. I love how you take time to tell some story or lore about each card as you were choosing them. I am going to recommend this video.

  2. This is exactly what I needed since I have restarted to play Magic and the problem I was facing is how to build a deck or make sure the cards I was getting were the right ones.

  3. Thanks, I got back into Magic recently (after missing six years) and there are so many new cards that I have trouble figuring out what works with what for flavor (Vorthos here) and price. This'll keep me focused!

  4. I'd love it if you did a follow up video on this specific deck, talking about the tweaking you would make, the importance of having a mana curve and the sacrifices you would make accordingly. Then coupled, the two vids would be an amazing intro series to get anyone started. This vid was super helpful.

  5. My decks have always tried to do more than they need to. I run 3 or two copies of a ton of cards but the deck isn't consistant. I didn't realize this until I took your advice on decimating and actually tried it out. Things feel SOO much smoother now.

  6. Been playing sence first mirrdon block and this is the first I have heard of this trick would have been nice to know when I started lol

  7. this was really helpful as I am just getting into magic but one thing. You forgot any sorceries, instants, artifacts, or enchantments

  8. thank you for the tutorial! I am new to the game but intuitively thought that it would be a good idea to duplicate cards up to the maximum if possible, as long as you thought they were a good fit for your deck. The rule of 9 gave me something great to consider!

  9. I tried this deck out in mtg arena and won most of the matches in ranked. Did not make mythic but still a pretty decent deck

  10. great video, dude. I build my decks quite differently, but your method is really cool, and your technique of explaination is great. love your tidbits of lore. even as an experienced player, you can learn something nrew from watching your videos, or you can reminisce 🙂 great content, and great voice. stay frosty 😀

  11. Is it me or this video is kinda of FAST… in 0.75 i hear his normal voice speed… odd… Great video!

  12. Great video, it helped me a lot! What do you do to get 4 copies of the desired card if you don't already have that? Is there and easier way to do that other than buying lots of packs?

  13. This is awesome and will be a great starting point for my girlfriend who I'm currently getting interested in magic 😁👍

  14. I legit said to myself, "Oh so she is an elf lord." (5:20) right before Ryan explained why older players (such as myself) might call her a "lord" almost died of laughter. lol

  15. I can't afford this video lmao. Buying 4 of every rare to build a specific deck requires knowing all the cards ahead of time and buying those specific ones. I'm more of a build-from-whatever-I-craked-at-prerelease kind of player.

  16. The number 1 tip I'd always give, is never choose the colors you WANT to play. Instead, pick a card or 2 that go together then in the process of looking at cards to go with it/them, let THOSE cards pick your deck colors for you.

  17. I have a question for everyone knowledgeable. I’m interested in playing this game only because I bought a 15-card booster pack a while ago. I bought it because it involved werewolves. (Shadows over Innistrad). I’d only be interested in playing if I could only collect similar cards? Is that doable/is it worth it or does having diverse cards higher your chances of being better?

  18. they didn't stop printing Llanowar Elves because it was confusing, it was because it was broken, but power creep finally caught up with it

  19. I’m new to MTG and this helped out tons! Thanks for the info. I’m going look at your other videos and see what else I can learn 😁

  20. This video was beautiful. Thank you. I've been brewing for a long time (about 15 years) but it still daunts me sometimes. I'll start doing this as the jumping off point I think.

  21. nice advice, but if i buy lots or a display i wont probably have 4 of the cards i like to use. same goes for arena sadly.

  22. So it says you can get an unlimited amount of cards in your deck unless it can be shuffled without assistance, You can bring those decks into tourneys and big events, right?

  23. Heck. I haven't played magic since '96. But then I met this chick and as a date we both bought boxes of MTG cards then got drunk n made decks. Watched this video before and I stomped her

  24. The issue I find a lot of people, including myself, have with magic deck building when coming from other TCG's, is the goal of the decks in the individual games. I personally started playing TCG's with yugioh, and i still play now semi-competitively, and the way deck building works in yugioh is vastly different. Instead of having multiple win conditions, it is usually multiple ways to get to the same win condition, so the goal with deck building in yugioh is to maximise the consistency of one specific line of play, or one specific combo starter, which you will almost always be able to use. Magic, on the other hand, requires a more varied amount of things to be thought about in order to play your deck, as you need to think about mana curve as well. The problem with this is, in my case, I literally ignored mana curve and didnt think about it. I just focused on what I wanted the deck to do and ignored how I was going to get to that point. This video really helps outline a lot of areas that need to be focused on, and is really well done

  25. how are magic the gavering and dungeons and dragons related?
    ravnica is a place in dnd which I know but am knew to magic the gathering

  26. This is a fantastic video – I really like the mix of lore and cards abilities explained, combined with strategy for using the cards in play.
    As a returning MtG player (I last played 25 years, with first edition… really regretting giving all those cards away when I stopped playing..!) videos like this are what I'm super interested in. Please keep them coming!

  27. Dont even think about getting the "best" deck.

    First of all, it doesnt exist.

    And second, even approaching the best costs more than your car and maybe even house.

  28. 1 Beginner:
    Buy preconstructed decks and play with friends.
    2 Rookie:
    Mash all the cards together that you like and play with friends. Maybe play some Boosterdraft.
    3 Pro:
    Get rich, look up and buy the current meta-deck with the highest win ratio and force yourself into nerdsweaty tournaments.

    Also get yourself sleeves to protect your cards. And never ever ever ever buy booster to get good cards. They're just lottery-tickets that are filled to the brim with shit. Just buy the cards you need directly from flea markets, friends or online.

  29. First time watching. I use to play back around M10. I made a mono red (firecracker deck) it started as goblins and dragons. Lots of tokens. It's was fun. But then i made it only goblins and tokens. That run about turn six win. Magic the spending we spent so much money. I have some many decks that can't be used. I have a $300au deck I used in comps. My friend had a set of cards that cost him $300au for exalted deck. I miss playing. We hated each other's cards with love. We did play closed pack comps and open pack comps. Chopped in for a box every release. But it got expensive. Really expensive. I think we stopped at m13. But I don't buy closed decks every now and then.

  30. Dude, thanks for these video's and the lore story time. I have been playing magic since the late 90's and at times I get into it and out of it again. Due to life issues, money, time, moving(so no friends around). Recently went to a Amptgaurd Clan Wars and played EDH(Commander) and I had to borrow a deck. It was fun to the point I was feeling the ADDICTION again and then so I thought to slowly get my self back into it. Found this channel and it is helping me understand the whole Nicole Bolas story and get caught up on the lore. I hope Throne of Eldrain(e) will be awesome with a whole new story set up that I can start fresh. Again, thank you!

  31. While i do like your approach, mostly. I find it odd that your " starter" deck consists mostly of rares, not to mention 4 copies of each. I have been playing mtg literally since day one and while i agree with your breakdown into nine, for a beginner i would only rely on 4 rare, one copy of each in the 9th slot. This allows for building using boosters; natural building. There is nothing more frustrating that playing against someone who just looked up a deck and bought all the cards, with none of the effort, or fun, of 'earning' he cards.

  32. This is awesome…I'm goin to use this to help my nephew learn how to play. He's just discovered magic and he loves it. I wish I had this advice when I first started…. subscribed-like…looking forward to the next video

  33. It's so simple just pick your color. Don't think about what the different qualities of the colors are, that's for nerds. Get 24 land of that color, then go down to your local mtg dealer and get 36 card of that color that suit you and tada you have your first deck

  34. This is my "strong opinion": I'm newish to Magic, and getting four copies of whatever card (even lands) is very expensive to me, since I get my cards from boosters. And each booster, here in Argentina at least, isn't cheap (one US dolar here costs, at the time of this post, 45 monetary units). I can buy one, maybe 2 boosters each month, and I'm very lucky if I get the same card twice.

  35. I have a mono black deck. Is it all right to just have kill spells, as oppose to spells that make my opponent discard? I have the creatures already figured out.

  36. for higher card amount formats/decks you will need more land, try to stay to where a third of your deck is land, and remember special lands should replace basics, not be put in the main deck, also my father told me to try to select a theme first rather then a color, make a bounce deck or a goblin deck and find what colors you'll need, rather then just saying it'll be a red/blue deck, when try to get synergies rather then just selecting cards you think are cool, it turns out better, but if your at the point in your collect where you can't do that yet, that's cool

  37. This is not an angry comment: you can put a lingering phantom in this deck it will keep on coming back due to all the eldest reborns

  38. Question, if you only have one copy of your win condition and no money to buy more, what would you suggest doing to your deck?

  39. Actualy "Lord" is an old, now removed from rules creature type, originaly used on Lord of Atlantis and Goblin King. It was made so they would not count as their respective types, and thus did not get boost from themselves… later, during restructurization of the creature types it was scrapped, both of these cards got errata to be in their actual tribes and work with "other" merfolks/goblins to avoid self-boosting but the term is still here.

  40. Hi I am new to magic and the chanel been playing the game for about 2 weeks now after I got a spell slinger 2 player set from 2020 . I then Downloaded [MTGArena ] and wanted to know more about these characters n " planes/ planeswalkers that were on these cards .. I found your channel and i wanted to say your content is great and very helpful to someone playing for the first time in 2019.

  41. A tip ive found to be useful has been my own spin on the rule of 9. Rather than 9 options with 4 cards in each, i make 4 "goals" of the deck and chose 9 cards that help me towards that goal.

  42. Out of all the deck building videos I've seen, this one is easily the most succinct and easy to understand.
    And you get some lore and card history in here too! Now this is a beginner's guide.

  43. Ooh. This is fascinating. I am new to Magic the Gathering. I am playing the arena computer game. I just gained all the starter decks. There are 5 mono colored decks. Then there are ten decks, one for each guild. I find the guilds very interesting. The one I can most relate to in terms of personality is the Izzit. The color I really enjoy playing is blue. I had trouble with red at first. However I find that I can make it work when paired with the right color. So I want to start with my own Izzit deck. I did play with the given Izzet deck, and got used to how it works. Your instruction helps me figure stuff out. There are 24 lands. I would like to start by balencing them. So there are 10 mountains for red and 10 islands for blue. There are 4 Izzit gates or the like, which can provide either kind. Then there is the rule of nine. I do have a cool card for the Izzit dragon leader. So I want to put that in. I don't know if I have four of them. I have an idea of what to do. I immobilize the enimy by blocking and damaging them. Then that gives me the freedom to attack the player directly. Blue is defensive, and red is offensive. Maybe I can find out a way to balence them. There are certain cards I like so I can add them. I have to stick with the color, or I wont use it. I do like Murder. However it is not going to work. I better use it for a black deck. Maybe a Golgari deck would work. I do like that black and green combo. You use this in your example, and that is cool. I should use rule of 9. There are two blue creatures I like. One is a wall, that blocks attacks. Another is a wandering guy, who summons bluebirds. There is a red creature I like. It is a lava monster. It gains power when I use spells. If I am going to add more creatures I would like to get some cheap creatures to play in the early game and big guns to play in the late game. There are spells. There are red spells I like. They deal damage. I find it useful for getting rid of the opponent's cards. There are blue spells I like. There are ones that let me draw cards. The really good Izzet ones can be used twice. There is also a good blue enchantment, that can be use over and over again. My nine can be wall, bluebird guy, lava monster, big gun monster, cheap monster, damage spell 1, damage spell 2, drawing card spell 1 and drawing spell 2. I may fit the enchantment and Izzit leader in somewhere. I could replace one of the four for them in the other groups. I am just brainstorming here. I am a noob. So please don't be too harsh. I wonder what the Izzit weakness is. I better get my heads up for that.

  44. Although I really like this fantastic video it has one huge flaw for me – these Bulk Lot's are quite cheap indeed but $100 for shipping really kills that:( I'm really sad because I just got into Magic: The Gathering and can't afford to buy a Bulk Lot for $169.
    I live in Germany and there is literally no comparable shop for M:TG anywhere so it kind of feels like my dream crumbles to dust more and more as I try to reach it…I cant do much else then hoping it'll change one fateful day!

  45. People when I ask for a welcome deck: you new here?
    Me: not exactly (previous experience in Pokemon TCG but that's dead now sooo)

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