We’ll explain everything you need to know about MTG deck size. How many cards are in a Magic the Gathering deck? Should you play more than 60 cards? All this and more follows.
Different Format, Different Deck Size
How many cards you can play in Magic deck depends on the format. There are many different Magic formats, but mostly the rule is 40 for Limited (Draft and Sealed) and 60 for Constructed. You can find the rules for specific formats in the table bellow.
|Format||Minimum Deck Size||Maximum Deck Size|
Let’s quickly mention Two-Headed Giant, a format where 2 players play against other two players. The deck size is the same as in their respective format. So in Two-Headed Giant Sealed, you’ll both have at least 40 cards in your deck.
Should You Play More Than 60* Cards in Your Deck?
*or 100 in Commander, 40 in Limited
In short – NO. A bit longer explanation is – no, unless you’re playing Battle of Wits in your deck.
Okay, let’s get to the real explanation. It’s is quite simple, really. Some cards in your deck are just better than others. Let’s say that the best card in your deck is a powerful planeswalker like Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis. You play four copies of her and you really want to play her on turn 4.
By the fourth turn you usually draw 10-11 cards. For our calculation, we’ll propose you drew 10 of them, but the same principle applies for any other number. If you’re playing 60 cards, you have 52,8% of drawing Elspeth on turn 4.
Now if you have only one extra card and you’re playing 61-card deck, your chances fall down to 52,1%. Yeah, it’s only 0,7%, but it is worse. You shouldn’t make your deck worse, just because you don’t know which card to remove. Take a look at how your chances of drawing your best card go down when you add more cards to your deck:
|Cards in deck||Probability of Elspeth on turn 4|
Now if the question is – can I play more than 60 cards – the answer would be: Yes, but you shouldn’t do it if you really want to win. If you just want to have fun and don’t care about losing, feel free to play as many as you like. Just not in Commander and Brawl, since those formats require an exact number of cards.
Learn More, Win More
If you’re looking for more information about Magic, so you’ll get better and win more, we have some good reads for you:
- Tips for Building Better Decks – learn how to make your Magic deck better
- Buyer’s Guide for MTG Beginner – best products for new players and how to get free Sample Decks
- MTG Arena Codes – Free Packs Magic’s digital client
That’s all about MTG deck size. Until next time, have fun and don’t play too many cards in your decks.