Saturday, January 27, 2018

MTG Deck Stats Are Neato

I like making a new Magic The Gathering deck every once and a while - but it's often a hefty undertaking to create a deck I'm somewhat happy with. There are so many card choices and it often involves doing some research and exploring on the Gatherer site. Afterwards, I like to check the availability and pricing on the cards on sites like Magic Stronghold, Face to Face Games, and lastly Troll and Toad (I try to avoid the US sites ever since the loonie fell). I want to be able to get the cards I want at a reasonable price!

Depending on the type of deck I'm making there are all sorts of little guidelines to follow.
  • Balance the land - around 40 in an 100 card EDH deck and about 20 in a regular 60 card deck.
  • Check mana curve - you want a decent spread of 1 to 4 mana spells with select 5 and up spells.
  • Non-creature to creature ratio - this depends on your deck, but you always need some creatures.

EDH decks demand another way of thinking and the choice of a legendary commander. Currently I have Animar, Tymaret, Noyan Dar, Zada, Kemba, Doran, and Thelon EDH decks.

When I want to make a new deck I sometimes like to use the site DeckStats. You can create your decks by searching the database and dragging and dropping cards into your deck. Afterwards, you can see a nice little graph and pie chart showing things like Mana Curve, Card distribution, Mana distribution, and Mana Source distribution. Then, you can save your deck (just make sure to make a profile on the website).

For example, here's what my Tymaret deck looks like on DeckStats.

I can easily see that the majority of my spells are quite cheap with 3 mana spells being my most abundant. From this I can hope (getting mana-boned happens to the best of us) that I shouldn't have trouble getting most of my spells out.

Here you can see that I tried to balance my instants, sorceries, and enchantments while balancing the total non-creature spells with my total lands and total creatures. Creature (31%), Spells (31%) Land (37%). You can also take a look at a more detailed view showing artifacts etc.

With this pie chart I can easily tell that I have more black cards than red cards (shown on the left). This will inform my decision on how many swamps and mountains to put in the deck (shown on the right). Taking the information from the previous pie chart I made sure that my Swamps and Mountains were balanced to accommodate my deck being more black. I've made sure to add a few more swamps (20) than mountains (16) in this case.

There we go! There are others things to consider when making a deck of course. The specific abilities and effects the cards do are also incredibly important! However, I like to use DeckStats because it keeps me organized and lets me quickly see at a glance the other information to keep in mind when making a deck. Happy deck building!