Tournament-level Magic can be a very expensive hobby, with some decks costing hundreds of dollars to build. However, deck building doesn’t have to put you into financial ruin! Here are a few quick tips to help you build a cheap, effective Magic The Gathering deck.
Find a Deck That Doesn’t Require Expensive Cards
If a deck’s staple cards are pricey chase rares, substituting cheaper cards may risk diluting the deck’s theme and making it nonviable for tournament play. Instead of copying a high level tournament deck and stripping it of the expensive cards, find a deck theme where you can work with cards that you can afford.
Use Cheap, Powerful Cards To Destroy More Expensive Ones
Fill your deck with powerful common cards like Duress, Lightning Bolt, and Mana Leak. Some of the best removal cards in the game are commons and uncommons. These cards get the job done and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Besides, what’s better than negating a $30+ card with a cheap common card?
Play The Metagame, Frugally
If you know what kind of decks you’re going to be up against, figure out an effective strategy to beat those decks and employ this strategy as cheaply as possible. For example, if you are expecting to play against a lot of slow control decks, you might build a deck with lots of discard spells. If you’re anticipating burn decks, a deck with lots of life gaining and some creature removal would be helpful.
Use Proxy Cards
A proxy card is a placeholder for a card you don’t own, or don’t wish to damage by shuffling it in a deck. Using proxies is a great way to test out a deck’s effectiveness before putting down cold hard cash to buy those cards. This is great when playing with your friends, but keep in mind that a sanctioned Magic tournament will not allow the use of proxies.
Get The Best Price
If you absolutely need a power card to complete your deck, make sure you get the best price possible. Check your local hobby store, and compare it to the prices on eBay and online Magic stores. Often it’s cheaper even with the cost of shipping to buy Magic cards online!