In order to be competitive in Magic: The Gathering, you will need to learn the basic rules for deck building. These are not rules that you have to follow to play the game, but they are generally accepted practice, if you wish to be good at Magic: The Gathering. Building your Magic: The Gathering decks is time consuming, but worth every second!
Always address your weaknesses! In Magic: The Gathering, your opponent will find your weakness and exploit it, much to your ruin. This is why it is vital to shore up these weaknesses. The best method for doing this is to combine card colors. Black decks have very little protection from creatures and spells; so, you could insert a few white protection cards (their specialty), and maybe a wall or two from another color, to give yourself more defense!
Try to balance the mana cost of your cards! In Magic: The Gathering, hugely powerful cards don't always win! If you have this giant beast that takes nine mana to play, you are going to have to wait a long time to play it. During that time, your opponent's one mana cost cards are going to destroy you! Balance is the key to winning the game!
Make sure you maintain a balance between creatures, lands, and spells. If you have too many lands you will have plenty of mana, but very few creatures. If you have too many creatures, you will not have enough mana to play them. Balancing your Magic: The Gathering deck in this manner ensures you will always get a good draw, so you can start playing right away, instead of taking damage while you wait for a playable card.
These are only a few of the basic concepts to deck building for Magic: The Gathering. Feel free to experiment and play with your friends, as this is the best way to build better Magic: The Gathering decks. Find out what works and what does not, and don't be afraid to mix things up from time to time. Magic: The Gathering is all about strategy and deck building, so learn fast!
For the beginer I would recommend buying the pre-constructed decks and then play around with substituting cards to your liking. The biggest concept in deck building is the mana curve. We all like to beat down with big creatures but high mana cost baddies are hard to cast without the mana base to support it. When I first learned to play, my friend taught me to lay out the entire deck in columns according to mana cost. This way you can visually determine where your mana spike is and see how much land you need to support it.Of course the very basic generic build would be to have 20 lands, 20 spells and 20 creatures for a 60 card deck. Personally, I love U/B for combining the mana acceleration and control (ah my WonderWurms). But I agree that every player has to get over their initial 'Timmy' phase and realize that big creatures need ways to get them into play (mana acceleration, more land, or sneak them into play). Although as a side note, land destruction in the early game is almost the same advantage as mana acceleration...you are slowing down your opponent from establishing their mana base.
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