Last updated on July 23, 2021

Rebuild - Illustration by Lindsey Look

Rebuild | Illustration by Lindsey Look

Deckbuilding is a very important aspect of Magic. It’s the backbone of each format, and you can’t really play the game without it. Even with netdecking, there’s a deckbuilding process somewhere along the way, so it’s truly one of the most crucial aspects of the game.

Building the deck of your dreams in the digital MTG realm requires an online deckbuilder. These websites and programs allow you to save and store your decks in readable formats and keep a database of your decks, as well as being able to export them to stores, games like MTG Online and Arena, and keep them in a unified format.

Today we’ll be looking at the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the ultimate deckbuilder. Join me on this adventure, this journey, this quest to find the one true deckbuilder.

The Best Overall

Onward // Victory - Illustration by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Onward // Victory | Illustration by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Now, right off of the bat, I’m going to tell you that Moxfield is the best deckbuilder. Why? I’ll go into it later, but for those of you who just want the juicy details, Moxfield has a ton of features and is a really well-designed site. It can also be used as a simplistic deck designer and an intricate database for a primer. So, if you need to use a deckbuilder (or a strange voice in the aether asks you for an answer to this question), this is the one I’d recommend.

On to the nitty gritty…

What We’re Looking For: The Criteria

When I was sent on this quest, I first decided to just use all of the deckbuilders I could find in my day-to-day Magic work. I put each one through the test of four formats: Modern, Draft, Commander, and Penny Dreadful, each format being different in its own way and having different requirements.

With these deckbuilders, I’m looking for a few different things.

  • Intuitiveness: The deckbuilder has to be easy to understand and simple to use at a base level while allowing more experienced users to take advantage of advanced features.
  • UI Design: The deckbuilder has to look appealing and be responsive and fast enough to not be a hindrance.
  • Free features: The more free features, the better!
  • Modernism: Things need to look modern, not like it’s from the last century. Sorry, TappedOut.
  • Bonus points for the visual appeal/aesthetic, prices, sorting options, and playtesting.

So, with all that being said, let’s take a look at all of the top deckbuilders I’ve shortlisted!

#5: TappedOut

  • Intuitiveness 3/5
  • UI Design 1/5
  • Free features 3/5
  • Modernism 1/5
  • Other features to note: Linked to forum.

Ahh… TappedOut. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I’ve been using TappedOut since I started playing Magic, but this builder’s UI is just lacking in the modern age.

TappedOut deckbuilder

What was once a site for primers and deck guides is now a shadow of its former self, fading into obscurity as other sites let their users do the same things that TappedOut was once famous for. It’s got some free features, which is nice, but there’s a lack of variety when compared to other sites.

With that being said, if you’re a fan of the early 2010s style forums that were dotted around the internet during the age of Minecraft, then this is a great pick! The layout is similar to a forum so you won’t struggle picking it up. But, for players that are new to this whole thing? It wouldn’t be my first pick, that’s for sure!

#4: ScryFall

  • Intuitiveness 4/5
  • UI Design 3/5
  • Free features 2/5
  • Modernism 4/5

I’m not going to knock ScryFall for being this low. Their site is amazing, and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone. But their deckbuilder isn’t their main focus, so it’s pretty lacking.

ScryFall deckbuilder

ScryFall’s deckbuilder is my least favorite to use. Not because it’s bad, but just because there’s no real reason to use it instead of any other deckbuilder. Other sites have more features, and the only real benefit of using ScryFall is the integration with its search engine (which other deckbuilders also have).

Their deckbuilder is incredibly easy to use, though. You just type the quantity and names of the cards you need in the bar provided and it adds them to your deck. Unfortunately it’s really basic and they have no statistics (which even TappedOut has), but the modern UI and simplicity makes it a better deckbuilder than TappedOut.

There’s one major flaw with their site, and that’s their login system. I understand they don’t really need a security system but you have to click a link in an email they send you in order to log in which is really inconvenient, especially for mobile users. It takes more time to work out how to do this when a simple password and 2FA code would have been enough.

#3: MTGgoldfish

  • Intuitiveness 3/5
  • UI Design 3/5
  • Free features 2/5
  • Modernism 2/5

MTGgoldfish’s deckbuilder is nothing special, and that’s okay. It does the job it needs to do and allows you to interact with decklists from tournaments, check prices while you’re building, and is overall just really easy to use. But it’s definitely a bit barebones.

It’s basically the same thing as the ScryFall deckbuilder with an older design. There are a couple things that push it ahead to the #3 spot for me, though.

MTGgoldfish deckbuilder

First, MTGgoldfish’s builder has much better options for players to buy and rent cards on services like MTG Online (with Cardhoarder) and CardKingdom/TCGPlayer. That’s a huge advantage for me as it makes life a lot easier in receiving the cards that I need.

Second, there are more features for creators on MTGgoldfish’s page. There’s Twitch integrations, a stream pop-out and visual view for easy ways to showcase your lists, and the ability to easily copy decklists from tournaments. This is my favorite deckbuilder, and that’s not just because I’ve worked for them. It’s just super easy to use and it’s what I’m used to, but I’ll get into that later!

MTGgoldfish deck manager

There are a few paid features like collection management and more quality-of-life changes which makes it the only site here with true premium features. But I’ve never actually had an issue with the free deckbuilder, and I have a ton of decks on there.

#2: Archidekt

  • Intuitiveness 4/5
  • UI Design 5/5
  • Free features 3/5
  • Modernism 4/5

For a deckbuilder that’s still in beta, Archidekt is truly amazing. It allows you to physically build a deck by dragging cards into piles and does an amazing job.

I feel like this is the best deckbuilder you can have for casual Commander so it depends on what you prefer, but building singleton decks on this site is extremely fun. It has statistics, built in ScryFall syntax search, and even EDHRec integrations.

Archidekt deckbuilder

The novelty wears off when you get into competitive Magic. The deckbuilder doesn’t have much when it comes to sharing and showcasing and it can get really finicky when trying to add multiples of cards. But the site itself looks really clean, is very easy to use, and is my top pick for casual players, especially if Commander is your format of choice. It also has a playtest feature but it’s nowhere near as robust as my first pick.

Archidekt deckbuilder stats

The site is built around its core feature (the visual deckbuilder), so it’s best to try it for yourself. I’d definitely recommend playing around with it as it has so many features with the ability to make category names, change printings with ease, etc.

#1: Moxfield

  • Intuitiveness 5/5
  • UI Design 5/5
  • Free features 4/5
  • Modernism 5/5

Moxfield is the best deckbuilder you can get for Magic. It’s unmatched in how easy it is to use, how clean it is, and the ease in which you can use it to truly make your deck the best it can be before playing.

There’s a built-in playtesting function that works incredibly well and tons of small quality-of-life things for each format; even formats like Canadian Highlander and Seven-Point Highlander have their points systems built into the site for ease-of-use!

Moxfield deckbuilder

This deckbuilder easy to use on all devices, has an abundance of user submitted decks to browse, and lets you build decks for every format under the sun. The ability to comment on decks and easily change between a really good visual view and a list view really outclasses the majority of builders out there. There’s a metric ton of stats for your deck including starting hand probabilities, mana cost calculators, and a UI that really stands out.

Moxfield deck stats

Honestly, Moxfield has almost everything you need. The only thing it’s missing is the social feature of MTGgoldfish, but other than that, the site is truly packed.

Which Deckbuilder To Use

I tend to switch between my top three picks for different things. I gravitate towards MTGgoldfish since that’s the deckbuilder that I’m used to and have the most experience with.

Moxfield is the builder I use for competitive formats like Penny Dreadful or Highlander so I have the ability to brew and build with the tools that I need, and I use Archidekt for EDH. The best deckbuilder is the one that suits your needs the most or that you’re used to. So try them all out! Use them interchangeably! They’re all there for your use.

Bonus: The #1 Limited Deckbuilder

So, we’ve looked at the best deckbuilders for Constructed formats. What about the best Sealed and Draft deckbuilders? Well, there’s no other place than our very own deckbuilder!

Draftsim Sealed deckbuilder upload

I’m going to be honest, Draftsim is a great starting point if you’re inexperienced with Limited. It works extremely well with Arena and is a good way to learn how building affects gameplay in the format since you can see the deck during the game.

For example, there is a feature to “autobuild” your deck by clicking on the magic wand. It suggests the best 40 card deck for you based on Draftsim’s card ratings. These same features also exist inside Draftsim’s free MTGA deck tracker, Arena Tutor.

I do think this is a tool that more experienced Limited players can omit from their inventory. The same goes if you’re familiar with how to build a Constructed deck.

That said, the building interface itself is still way better than what exists on MTGA and allows you to do a lot more sorting into piles than the native program does.

Draftsim Sealed deckbuilder

If you’re feeling a bit intimidated and don’t know where to start, not to worry: we’ve got you covered!

Wrap Up

Angel of Finality - Illustration by Howard Lyon

Angel of Finality | Illustration by Howard Lyon

And that’s it! Thank you for joining me on this quest to find the best deckbuilder.

What do you think? Is Moxfield all that I’ve made it out to be? Do you really like TappedOut in 2021? Did you too receive spam emails about “Pro Tour Invites” that are obviously not real because Wizards has killed Pro Tours? Let me know down in the comments, or by tweeting us with your hot takes and iced… beverages?

Doctor Who goodbye

BBC Doctor Who

That’s all from me today. I really hope you enjoyed the ride and, as always, have a good one!

3 Comments

  • tiera3 July 27, 2021 7:58 pm

    What about sealeddecktech.com ? This seems to be the method of choice for streamers tinkering with submitted limited decks for instructional purposes.

    • Dan Troha July 28, 2021 7:59 am

      Well this is Draftsim.com that you’re commenting on after all – and do I honestly believe our tool is better (and certainly more attractive).

  • Simuhlacrum August 17, 2021 9:24 am

    I’ve always heard good things about Moxfield, but I think literally every time I’ve tried to follow a deck list link to their site it says it’s broken. Is there something I’m missing? Is it just known that it doesn’t work on mobile devices or something like that?

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