Choosing a Deck Type



10 May 2010


Edited by squire1

Whether you are throwing together a scrappy decklist, or forming a draft deck from the 42 picks, at some point you have had to ask yourself “What am I making here?” Your type of deck constitutes what your strategies may be, what cards you may choose, and even how many cards you will be taking. When you post the decklist here you want to make sure you are accurately choosing the deck type. This makes your deck easier to classify, compare, and find amongst other decks like it. So, without further ado, what are you making? What is your intended result of creating this deck?

There are six types of decks available here on Tappedout (excluding none of course). These consist of Newb, Tournament, Booster draft, Prototype, and Pro, and preconstructed. This article will explain each of these types and will help you decide where your deck belongs.

Newb Decks

We can start off with the first option we have, which is a Newb deck. These decks consist of 60 or more cards and can be from any format of play (Standard, Extended, Legacy, Vintage). The intention of the Newb classification is for newer players to get intelligent and productive feedback on a deck that they would like to improve. There is even a special section on Newb decks on the main page encouraging more experienced players to comment. If you are a newer, less experienced player, or just want feedback from those more knowledgeable than yourself, post your deck as this type.

Tournament Decks

The next available classification is a Tournament deck. These consist of 60 or more cards and can once again be for any format. The largest difference between the Newb and Tournament decks, is in the name. Tournament decks are created by more experienced players with the intention of playing in and winning tournaments such as Grand Prix or a Pro Tour. When posting your deck, consider your intention. If you want to take this deck to a tournament, or at least put some serious playtime into it for results, you most likely want to label it as this type.

Booster Draft Decks

This is one of the more confusing classifications for newer posters, or even older posters who simply do not know what a draft is. Draft decks are 40 or more card decks that have been created in a draft event. To clarify, in a booster draft, Eight players sit at a table with three unopened booster packs in front of them. To start the draft, each player opens one pack, takes out the land and any extra cards, then searches the pack for the card that they would like to pick. Once the card is picked, that pack is passed left, and the player receives a pack from the person to the right. This process repeats until the packs are all empty, then starts over with each new booster. The intention is to end up with a cohesive deck using only the cards available that you drafted. Knowing whether or not to choose this is simple. Did you draft? If yes, then choose this option, if no, then try something else.

Prototype Decks

This is another commonly confused option. This is for the innovators, idea men/women, and everything in between. The prototype deck option is for card lists that are attempts at new ideas, either to the particular player or the format. These decks are still under construction or are still being tested. While some may seem loose, that is simply because the cards are still being rotated in and out to see their strengths and weaknesses. If you are trying new things, and have no idea how the deck will play out, choose this option.

Pro Decks

This option is much easier than it would seem, considering how many examples of misplaced decks there are (see Fangs of the Bloodchief or goblins). These are any decks that were created, proposed, or speculated on by a professional Magic player, such as Patrick Chapin, Luis Scott-Vargas, or Gerry Thompson. If you see a decklist that you like, then by all means post it here, just make sure you know who made it. It helps to source the decklist in the description. Remember, if you didn’t make it don't say you did. Give credit where credit is due.

Preconstructed Decks

Preconstructed decks are those that are bought in total already built. These deck come packaged from Wizards and are usually released to showcase certain mechanics of e new envoronment/set. Few people post preconstructed decks as they are rarly competative or creative and the decklists for these are readily available na variety of places. That said, if there is a reason that you would like to post a preconstructed deck please list it as such.

Hopefully now you know how to classify your deck, and avoid future confusion over what your deck is. There are many misplaced decks, and by correctly sorting your deck you do your part in keeping the site organized. If after reading this article you still have no idea where your deck belongs, simply ask someone who would know. Many of the senior members will have no problem helping you.

(Editor's Note) Keep in mind that the accuracy of these labels is not just for you to find like decks. It helps to inform other players what you are shooting for. Comments that experienced players will post on a Newb deck will be very different from the comments that the same player may post on the same deck if it were labeled as a tournament deck. So labeling your deck accurately helps you to get the most helpful comments possible from fellow tappedouters.

yeaGO says... #1

Congrats on your first article!

May 10, 2010 9:57 p.m.

tapanmeister says... #2

Ahhh! if more players read this, perhaps the draft section won't be perpetually filled with clutter. Good job!

May 10, 2010 10:34 p.m.

TridenT says... #3

Quick question: I am a player who is by no means new to Magic (a player since Unlimited, give or take a few blocks my school forced me to skip) but I don't play in tournaments nor do I draft, nor am I a pro. I list just about all my decks as either prototypes or newb decks. I don't know which is the better option, especially when I'm often just putting in decks that I've owned and played as-is for several years and just want to see the stats on 'em and share them with the community. Listing them as newb makes me feel like I don't know what I'm doing, and listing them as prototype makes it seem like I just slapped it together. Which is the better option?

May 10, 2010 11:20 p.m.

MTGbowling says... #4

@Yeago: Thanks man :)

@TridenT That's actually a very good question. I understand your perspective. As a casual player, with no intention of playing in tourneys, what would you choose?

I would say that, until a "Casual" decktype is added, submit it according to what sorts of feedback you would like. If the deck does what you want, and you want experienced feedback on how to become more efficient, place it in Tournament. If you want more info on how to make your deck achieve a certain goal, such as your intended strategy, place it in Prototype.

I'm sure you know what you are doing most of the time, so Newb isn't for you.

Hope I've helped!

May 10, 2010 11:31 p.m.

MTGbowling says... #5

Also, by no means is "Prototype" a negative connotation. Prototype decks are where formats happen.

May 10, 2010 11:37 p.m.

yeaGO says... #6

Don't forget the option of No Type. You don't have to pick one!

May 11, 2010 1:54 a.m.

Zanven says... #7

I recommend that Booster Draft also be used if you built a sealed deck for a pre-release or event; it's still 40 cards but there's no option for sealed a the moment. Sealed is actually my favorite format, although a lot of people will argue that your sealed deck is only as good as your bombs and that it comes down to luck. But that's a different argument and potentially article entirely.

May 11, 2010 2:53 a.m.

mattlohkamp says... #8

ohhhh this article is important! if only there were a way to ensure that people read it before submitting a deck...

May 11, 2010 2:56 a.m.

@ mattlohkamp: Indeed that would be helpful. What i would suggest so that everyone can be informed if necassary is to add a "what's this?" link next to the Deck Type similar to the mana symbols and land mana etc. That way if unsure there will be a constant link to this article.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

May 11, 2010 5:38 a.m.

squire1 says... #10

Glad that everyone is liking this type of article. Way to go MTGbowling

May 11, 2010 9:14 a.m.

yeaGO says... #11

@Lumini - I dig that idea. Look for it soon.

May 11, 2010 10:04 a.m.

MTGbowling says... #12

Thanks Squire :)

May 11, 2010 10:30 a.m.

mattlohkamp says... #13

yeah, just a nice little link that'd be like "not sure which to pick? read MTGbowling's article on deck types."

same thing with the tagging, right? 'cause otherwise some people will read this and remember the right way to do things... but new people and people who don't read articles and forgetful people still won't get it right. :)

May 11, 2010 3:49 p.m.

yeaGO says... #14

This article has gone canonical!

May 14, 2010 1:56 p.m.

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