You know that building the right MTG deck can win you games. Putting all your best rares and mythic rares together, adding a handful of big creatures to the mix, and then finishing up with some basic lands sounds good in theory… but it just doesn’t work.
The truth is, even expert deck builders rely on online resources to put together a 60-card (or 100-card) deck that actually works. But when it comes to Magic: The Gathering, there are so many MTG Deck building tools and sites to choose from – which ones are worth your time? Get ready to discover the ultimate deck-building resources that will help you craft unbeatable decks and dominate your opponents!
A Quick Overview
Most MTG sites can be broken down into categories based on the goal they’re trying to achieve and the audience they’re catering to. When it comes to deck building tools, these are the relevant categories to look out for.
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This is where you’ll find hundreds (if not thousands) of decks created by other people. Since there are so many decks to choose from, you can usually sort by format (I explain what formats are here), deck style, popularity, and performance (i.e. how well it did in a recent tournament).
Deck databases are great for knowing what the best players are up to. As a result, I would mostly recommend deck databases to more competitive players. If you’re about to enter a tournament, deck databases are a great way to know what kinds of decks you can expect to play against.
Deck builders let you build your own MTG deck online for free. If you’re more into experimenting with new combos you just discovered or fine-tuning a deck before you actually buy the cards, deck builders are where you want to be.
You can also choose to make your deck list public, that way others can view it. It also goes the other way around; you can browse the deck lists that other players have made public. Some dedicated players actually write up entire guides on their pages, making deck-building sites a great resource for discovering something new.
Card databases are useful if you’re looking for cards with certain abilities. Let’s say you want to build a Kraken deck. A good card database will let you search for all the Krakens in MTG, then let you refine your search further if there are too many results to choose from.
Card databases have access to all the cards in MTG’s history and will typically let you filter by name, card type (and subtype), rarity, color, mana cost, set, format legality, and so on. There are tens of thousands of MTG cards out there, and being able to narrow down your options is important.
MTGTop8 is great if you’re a competitive player, which I understand isn’t most people. As opposed to most deck building sites out there where anyone can submit a list, MTGTop8 only displays deck lists that have performed well in a tournament or in a high-level event. That’s what Top 8 refers to: decks that finished in the top 8 of a tournament.
Personally, I think it’s fun to check out what the best players in the world are up to, but when it comes to having fun with your friends, there are more casual sites out there that you can visit.
MTGGoldfish has all kinds of resources to look at, but my favorite part is its metagame page, which looks like this:
You can select which format of your choice, then you get to see which deck styles have been performing best. You can click on a deck style, which will then show you a sample list like this:
If you’re really into the fine details of the deck, you can scroll down and see which cards are the most popular and which ones are more subject to change. This will teach you which cards are crucial to the deck and which ones you can substitute based on personal preference.
MTG Arena Zone
The main problem with other deck databases like MTGTop8 and MTGGoldfish is that they don’t have a lot of data for MTG Arena decks. If you’re an online player who likes Arena-only formats like Historic and Alchemy, MTG Arena Zone is one of the few places you can go to find deck lists.
My main problem with MTG Arena Zone is that many of its deck lists are outdated in certain formats due to lack of user submissions. This leads me to the next deck database…
MTG decks (that’s the name of the site) offers the same benefits as MTG Arena Zone: a database of deck lists for MTG Arena formats. I prefer this site because it has more overall user submissions, ensuring that the entries are a little more up-to-date. This is especially important for more competitive players, as you want to know what other people are playing now, not what they were playing several months ago.
Many years ago, TappedOut might have been the best deck building tool on the internet. Unfortunately, it hasn’t had many updates in a long time, and competing sites have since proven to be better.
That being said, TappedOut still covers all your bases. Building your own deck isn’t as great as it is on some other sites, but it also isn’t too complicated. There are plenty of decks made by other players you can check out, and some players even write entire guides to explain how their deck works.
There’s also a playtesting option:
Like the playtesting options on other sites, the controls and commands will take some getting used to. The controls on TappedOut are especially awkward and are one of the main reasons why I choose other sites when playtesting a deck.
You can think of Archidekt as a more up-to-date version of TappedOut. It offers all the same features: the ability to easily create a deck for free, view others’ decks, and playtest any deck you want in order to see how it works in practice.
The reason why I would recommend Archidekt over TappedOut is because its user interface is more user-friendly and more aesthetically pleasing overall. Because Archidekt has more active users, you’ll also be able to view more decks created by other players.
Moxfield doesn’t bring anything new to the table (or at least not much). You can find all of its features on other sites (such as TappedOut and Archidekt), but in my opinion, Moxfield’s execution is better than anyone else’s. Building your own deck, finding other players’ decks, and playtesting your deck are all easier here than on competing sites.
Generally speaking, since Magic is a card game at heart, perfectly recreating that experience on a computer screen will be impossible. This is to say that Moxfield isn’t perfect, but I think it’s the best option out there.
If you’re building a Commander deck, my recommendation would be to visit EDHREC (which I’ll talk about later) to figure out which commander you want to run as well as which cards to include. Then, you can assemble your list on Moxfield and see if it works well by trying the playtest option.
Gatherer is the official MTG card database, so you know it’s going to be maintained and updated over time. If the simple search (above) doesn’t display enough options for you, then the advanced search (below) will surely cater to your needs:
Once you enter your search, you’ll be presented with a list of cards, which you can then sort based on name, color, and mana cost amongst other things:
Gatherer’s advanced search takes some getting used to, but don’t let all those parameters intimidate you! You only have to select the filters you want, and then you’ll get to scroll through a list of cards in no time.
If Gatherer has any competition, it would be Scryfall. Personally, I prefer Scryfall over Gatherer because it not only has more options to select from in its advanced search (such as your commander’s color identity if you’re building a Commander deck), but its overall interface is more user-friendly:
To be honest, both Gatherer and Scryfall are great card databases, so you can’t really go wrong with either one.
There’s no other site like EDHREC. Instead of showing you an exact deck list, EDHREC scours the internet for decks made by other players and breaks down the data in a super easy-to-read, beginner-friendly format. This is what it looks like:
This gives you plenty of ideas to choose from without imposing an exact deck list. You still get the freedom to pick and choose what cards work best for you and your collection while being shown what your options are.
Oh, and if you can’t decide which creature to play as your commander, EDHREC also has you covered. You can sort by color (or not) and be presented with a list of the most popular commanders:
My only complaint is that EDHREC works exclusively for the Commander format (you can click here if you aren’t familiar with Commander). It’s also best used in conjunction with at least one of the other sites on this list, and not as a standalone resource.
If there were ever a highly-specialized MTG card database, this would be it. Commander Spellbook is exclusively a database for combos (usually ones that can generate infinite mana or cards) in the Commander format. Now, if you’re neither a Commander player nor someone who likes to use infinite combos, you can skip this whole section.
But if you are interested in infinite combos for Commander, I can’t think of a better site to visit. Just type in the name of the card you want to use in your combo, and a bunch of options will pop up. Here’s what I found for The Chain Veil:
Of course, you can select the advanced option if you’re looking for a specific type of combo or you don’t know which cards you want to include. The advanced search is relatively straightforward and looks like this:
I should also mention that Commander Spellbook is associated with EDHREC, so a lot of useful information is shared between the two sites to make for an overall better experience. For example, a combo on Commander Spellbook will have a link to EDHREC so you can see which decks are most likely to run that combo.
Before you go…
If you’re a newer (or returning) player to the game, make sure to check out my guide on How to Build an MTG Deck! Using this guide along with some of the sites I just mentioned is one of the best ways to put together a deck that’s just right for you.
If you like trying out new ways to play and building decks, see my Fun MTG Ideas and Themes for some ideas!
More MTG articles for you
- How to Build an MTG Deck – Full Guide!
- How to Build an MTG Commander Deck Guide
- Sideboards in MTG – All You Need to Know!
- MTG Deck Types Explained + 20 Popular Deck Archetypes!
- Fun MTG Deck Ideas and Themes to Inspire You!
Hi, I’m Emily, the tabletop gamer behind My Kind of Meeple. If this article helped you, I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.