Last updated on March 16, 2021
Pippa, Duchess of Dice | Illustration by Simon Dominic
There are an absolute ton of different dice available on the market for all different purposes when it comes to Magic. Some are fantastic, some are expensive, and some are not so great. Do you absolutely need any to play the game? Not really. A simple piece of paper can do the job most of the time, but having something dedicated to the task just feels right.
Navigating this realm can be a bit difficult since playtesting dice before you buy them requires either a very understanding LGS or a friend who already owns the set in question. To help you with this problem, I’ve used, investigated, and asked around about the best dice available for MTG. I’ll be reviewing them for you based on their uses, quality, and price.
It’s difficult to determine a specific set of dice that meet all of these criteria so this is a fairly subjective look at Magic’s dice, but I think this’ll still give you a good starting point. We’ll also go over the best of the best for each different category. Let’s get started!
Kaya, Orzhov Usurper | Illustration by Yongjae Choi
A Small Suggestion
I’ve got a strong recommendation before we go any further: for basic dice that you’re not using for rolling, I strongly suggest going for the cheap stuff. If you don’t need randomness out of them, they don’t need to be properly balanced, which means you don’t need to sweat the price point too much.
Dice tend to have huge profit margins for your LGS and it’s hard to find something that they don’t get a great return on investment for, even if the total is pretty small. Plus, unless you always carry the same setup and are never in a rush to clean up, do you really want to worry about losing a die or two? It will probably happen at some point or another. Buying expensive, aesthetic dice means you now have something to keep an eye on.
The Making of a Good Die
Nadier’s Nightblade | Illustration by Randy Vargas
If you’ve ever played craps at a casino, you’ve felt what good quality dice feel like. On the flip side, if you’ve played an old board game that came with its own plastic dice, you know what bad quality feels like. On the plus side, it’s somewhat difficult to find bad dice in the world today, whether that be shopping online or going into your LGS.
Players have become more discerning over the years in what they’ll take as the bare minimum when it comes to a decent pair of dice. The grunt work has already been taken care of.
What makes a good die comes down to your needs and preferences more than anything else:
- What materials do you want them to be made out of?
- How heavy do you want your dice to be?
- Do you prefer pips (the dots on the die) or Arabic numerals?
- Do you want or need a specific color or treatment?
- How regularly do you use your dice?
- How many different uses do you have for dice in your play style?
When you’re looking through my recommendations, make sure to ask yourself these questions. Chances are the die you’re looking for is out there, even if I don’t call out a specific company that has what you want. I strongly suggest perusing the online marketplaces or your LGS (give them your money!) for what you might want.
If there are any dice that you’ll use often, it’s a d20. This will likely be the first die you use in Magic.
D20s are used to show your life total and are the main go-to when deciding who goes first. If you buy the set bundles (previously called fat packs) or attend pre-launch events, you’re probably already swimming in more d20s that you’ll ever need.
While the spindowns are of nice build quality and have the set symbol as the 20, the spindown aspect can be questionable in terms of an actual random roll. Many players prefer to use a traditionally designed d20 for that reason. These have all the numbers on it with their statistical partner (i.e., the exact opposite in terms of mathematical denunciation like 1 and 20, 2 and 19, etc.) on the opposite side of the die.
HD Dice is a Chinese company that creates some of the largest bulk dice available for purchase. They come in a wide range of colors and treatments and feel nice in terms of feel and weight. Are they cheap plastic? Yeah, but that cheap plastic only costs 1¢ or less to buy.
If your LGS has any dice for purchase in branded plastic containers or a tank completely filled with d20s, they’re most likely from HD Dice. They’re cheap, typically a dollar for two or more, but easily a product that your game store will let you do some playtesting with or just roll around.
The next most common dice you’ll use will be d6s. These are exceedingly useful for just about any purpose in the game: they can used as counters, tokens you don’t have the card for, you can use them to determine randomness (odds/evens for those duality choices), and they can even be used to show your life total in a pinch.
This is also probably one of the hardest sets of dice to find a “good” pair of. D6s are used in TCGs but also a lot of other tabletop games, board games, casino games, etc. Basically, if it isn’t digital, there’s a good chance you’ll use a d6. If you only need one or two and live near a casino, I’d just go grab a pair of played dice from there. They’re very cheap, are of good to great quality, and you won’t miss them if you lose them.
If you’re not near a casino, good quality may be a bit harder to find. I’ve got two options for you that are very different from on a very important front.
Brybelly, co-founded in 2004, is the main source for casino-quality precision dice. These dice are cut to flat sides and sharp corners to 0.05mm tolerances with pips drilled flush to identical depths and proportionately weighted to give no advantage to any single face.
You can get a pack of five for $15, so they’re definitely not super cheap but they’re also not nearly as expensive as they could be. For general play, I can’t recommend these enough. The only downside is that you’ll sorely miss rolling them the next time you play Monopoly.
Wiz Dice are my second choice for quality. They aren’t nearly as nice or precise as Brybelly, but they win out if a specific criterion needs to be met: pips. Brybelly, doesn’t make dice without pips. If you use dice for tokens a lot (finding and getting the number of tokens you might need ain’t easy all the time), then showing the tap status of a pipped dice is very difficult. It’s much simpler with numerical dice because you readily see the number the die is showing.
- 100 DICE: Traditional six-sided d6 dice arranged into sets of 5 dice in 20 classic, vintage hues
- UNIQUE COLORS: Classic muted vintage tones in solid and translucent treatments: dusky warm gray, dark teal, mustard yellow, burnt orange, brick red, even chartreuse!
- STANDARD SIZE: 16mm dice and classic pipped faces. Perfect for replacing board game dice or playing your own games
- THE MAGIC NUMBER: Each of the twenty colors are a set of 5 dice, great for classic games like liar’s dice, farkel, and yahtzee
- EXTENSION ACTIVITIES: Dice also make excellent teacher’s aids, supplementing math lessons and encouraging simple arithmetic with these manipulatives. They’re perfect for family game night!
I’m lumping the rest of the dice together as they tend to be used less but also come together in sets of dice for other tabletop games, like Dungeons & Dragons. These can be very nice to differentiate tokens, display different values on cards other than +1/+1, and even for loyalty counters on planeswalkers.
I’m going to recommend either Wiz Dice (again) or Haxtec for their very similar quality and color/treatment selections. If you find yourself needing something with more weight or that just looks less cheap, I suggest you look at a section a little further down.
- DnD Dice With Dice Bag 1xD20, 1xD12, 2xD10(one 00-90, one 0-9), 1xD8, 1xD6, 1xD4, 1XDice Bag
- Nebula Dice: Vivid scene of nebula. Multiple colors available.
- Easy Reading Dice: Gold numbers pop out easily for reading.
- Versatile Board Game Accessory: Perfect for tabletop RPG games as D&D(Dungeons and Dragons), Shadowrun, Pathfinder, Savage World, Warhammer, Yahtzee and many other RPG and card games.
- Replacement for any missing or defective dices with no question asked. Just contact us.
There are some very niche sets of dice that I wanna mention when it comes to MTG. While these are niche in their uses, they’re exceedingly useful if you need them.
Tarmogoyf from Future Sight is a very frustrating card to keep track of. These dice go from 1/2 up to 6/7 (the minimum and maximum for the creature beyond 0/1) and can be rolled up as new card types hit the graveyards. With this big boy coming back thanks to Time Spiral Remastered, this is a great time to talk about these.
The basic set comes with four for a playset of the creature. If you want to be fancy with it, there are several Etsy makers who provide other versions of these dice for a bit more.
- Counters keep track of the board state of collectible card games.
- No more trying to remember what your Goyfs stats are at.
- 4 Green Goyf Dice
- Great for Magic: The Gathering!
- Ultra fun and unique brand new item.
If you’re running a Super Friends deck or just prefer to have a better physical manifestation of your planeswalker’s loyalty, there are dice specifically made for this. There isn’t much to them, really, as you won’t be rolling them. They’re standard d6s with the loyalty logo them. Ultra Pro makes a set of four and quEmpire also has some that you can buy in greater quantities.
- 14 quEmpire dice to keep track of the board state of collectible card games.
- No more trying to remember what your cards stats are at.
- 6 +1/+1 Counters / 4 Loyalty 1-6 / 4 Loyalty 7-12
- Great for Magic: The Gathering
- Ultra fun and unique item.
D100 and D120
Not to be confused with a d00 which counts up in quantities of 10, a d100 has 100 independent faces for each value. Likewise, a d120 does the same up to 120. At this point, they look more like a sphere than a die and it mathematically presents some very questionable randomness:
I’m not going to lie to you: you don’t need these for any normal play. In fact, these would never make an appearance even in most tournament situations. There isn’t a single card that would need one of these dice, unless R&D suddenly adds a silver-border card that brings laser swords in as a meta-game.
I originally was only going to mention these dice to say that they exist but also that there’s a possibility that you either become a dice collector or you find an extremely niche need for a die this large. However, after seeing the madness that is lifegain decks in Standard, Modern, etc., I stand corrected.
Arena makes things like that easy, and these might be the only real way to represent those numbers on the tabletop. Use the d100 to show the first two decimal places and then other dice to show the greater decimal places. You may even need more than one d100!
- Unique 120-sided die (d120 dice)
- Fully-symmetrical shape with triangular faces
- Measures 2.0″ (50 mm) in diameter and weighs 0.2 lb. (0.1 kg)
- Blue dice with white numbers
- Includes velvet bag with embroidered Dice Lab logo
The Best of the Best
Die Young | Illustration by Ryan Yee
After going through each type of dice, let’s talk about them in terms of the best for different uses. These aren’t in any particular order. Consider this a kind of TL;DR.
Wizards of the Coast. Hard to beat the original.
DND Set (d3, d8, etc.)
Anything you can get in bulk. Beggars can’t be choosers if you need a ton of them.
If you have to use dice, any d6 should work. Partoy is another option. If you’d rather not, better representations exist by Citadel too.
Best Dice Bag
Crown Royal. I’m not kidding, the bags work wonderfully. Otherwise, any bag like that with strong stitching and a lacing that you can secure tightly like thick woven string or rough-hewn leather. Etsy is a great source for these, but Haxtec and Wiz Dice make great consumer products for them as well.
The Worst of the Worst
Feral Abomination | Illustration by Darek Zabrocki
Remember what I said about how finding a bad set of dice is getting harder today? That’s still true. I truly have not used a set of “bad” dice. They’ve all functioned and served their purpose one way or another, and that’s true for the brand I’m going to bring up now as well.
In fact, I have a set of these that I take with me whenever I play Magic. That being said, I don’t suggest you buy them as there are better options out there and they’re ultimately worse if you want to help out your LGS. I’m talking about Chessex.
I can hear you and before this even goes up: “If these are so bad, why are they in every LGS I walk into?” Because it’s a name that people know and will look for. Other than those of you who either have already used dice or played other tabletop games that use dice a lot, how many of you have heard of Brybelly or AUSTOR or even Citadel? Chessex is ingrained into our minds early on when it comes to dice for games. How did it start? I have no clue. Good PR and marketing, I suppose.
The dice themselves aren’t bad. They aren’t great either, but they do their job. They’re cheap and plentiful for how much you spend. I haven’t truly sat down and tested their statistical randomness, but I’d assume that it’s pretty good. Given everything I’ve said so far, it probably seems weird that I’d suggest you look elsewhere. And no, I don’t have a brand-deal with Brybelly (although if you’re reading, call me).
Chessex provides the worst return on investment for your LGS when it comes to dice. That pack of 36 mini-dice in a plastic container that will undoubtably break costs about $8 for a store to order and put on the shelves. The same amount of space could house HD Dice and have a larger return. Heck, HD Dice sells that plastic container for about 50¢! If it weren’t for the name recognition and people asking for them, I don’t think most LGSs would even sell Chessex dice. It’s just not worth it.
I did say that there is one criteria where Chessex may be a better option than other brands: space. I haven’t found another brand that sells dice this small (12mm) for this price. Period. And even the crappy plastic box is useful for containing them, even if it’s only temporarily. The same can’t be said for the full-sized dice or other variants.
I primarily play Limited, so I don’t bring a lot with me to the LGS every week. When I could go to one every week, anyway. Usually just a mat, sleeves, a spindown, and some dice. I was lucky enough to get in on a Kickstarter for Scrollplay a few years ago and got a 3D printed frame that can hold three decks or MTG paraphernalia plus a magnet-embedded play mat that secures it all in place. With the Chessex dice, it can all be contained in that carrier. And that carrier is probably the only reason my Chessex container hasn’t broken yet.
My little rant aside, there are better options within the price range, so Chessex doesn’t get my recommendation.
But I Want Some Bling! — Fancy Dice
I’ve talked about the best dice for general use, but I know that at a certain point you just want things to look nice. So here a few notable places I‘d recommend checking out.
Until you’ve held a set of metal dice, you don’t know how much better they are.
Metallic Dice Games’ dice are micro-masterpieces that allow your personality and discernment to shine through. They come in most metals and finishes including torched metal (that cool rainbow-like finish) and enamel trimmed. You can get a variety of metals, gemstones, and resins to create a look and feel that’s just amazing.
They recently completed a Kickstarter for their unicorn dice, a mixture of different resins and prismatic glitter that shines in the light. They’re still available for purchase on their website if they catch your eye, and they even do custom orders.
- Unicorn dice are infused with magical Unicorn dust that changes from beautiful blues to purples to greens as they hit the light.
Much like MDG’s dice, Norse Foundry makes beautiful pieces that you can customize to your liking. Their dice are beautifully made and show off their craftsmanship and attention to detail that really speaks to their brand. Their dice definitely make a statement.
All of their dice come emblazoned with Arabic numerals lettered with a custom Norse typeset, which can take some getting used to but it’s beautiful nonetheless. I particularly love the Obsidian set, both for the richness of the color and how well that typeset shows through. Custom orders are available!
- Officially Licensed
- 7-Piece Set (d20, d12, 2x d10 (00-90 and 0-9), d8, d6, and d4)
- Engraved Numbers
- Weighs up to 50% more than average cheap plastic
There isn’t really a right or wrong answer when it comes to dice. As long as you can read them, they feel good, and they do the job, any dice will work for Magic. ”The best” depends on what you value and what you’re looking for in your dice. I hope my rankings will help at the very least as an introduction.
As always, if you enjoy content like this, make sure to keep an eye on the blog for more, and maybe even consider becoming a Patron. If you’re an Arena player and looking for help in draft, give Arena Tutor a try. If you wanna share any other recommendations or what to avoid, we welcome them in our Discord or in the comments below!
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for your time, and have a good one.
Spire Garden | Illustration by Darek Zabrocki
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