Last updated on April 28, 2022

Stoic Builder - Illustration by Howard Lyon

Stoic Builder | Illustration by Howard Lyon

Building an EDH deck used to be as simple as picking a theme and scouring Gatherer for cards that might work. I remember when I was putting together an elves deck nearly a decade ago and would just type in “MTG elf” and look for cards that seemed cool. The process has evolved quite a bit since then and now there are plenty of resources, websites, and communities that are so useful I don’t know how I ever built decks without them.

With a Magic world that’s increasingly going down a “more digitally prominent” route, these websites are basically necessary. So today I’m going to give you an overview of what we’re looking for in an EDH deckbuilding site and then list some of the best ones that you should take a look at.

By the time we’re done here you’ll be twice the deck builder you were before. So let’s get started!

The Best Overall

Collectigull - Illustration by Wylie Beckert

Collectigull (Only the Best) | Illustration by Wylie Beckert

I’m not here to waste your time so I’ll tell you right now that if you could only use on resource, I’d recommend EDHREC. It uses data-driven examples to help you find useful and commonly included cards for any commander, color combination, and theme.

Opening up EDHREC is always the first move I make when I’m starting to put together a new list, and I wouldn’t be nearly as successful in my deckbuilding quests without it. I do want to point out that EDHREC doesn’t actually build the deck for you, it just shows you hundreds of thousands of other decks and what cards are most included in specific types of decks. It’s more like a Wikipedia for EDH rather than a site that builds the deck with you.

If you’re just here to read what the best is, there you go! Otherwise keep on scrolling and I’ll get into just what I’m judging these resources by, and which ones are best.

Why Use a Deck Builder for EDH Anyway?            

Commander is a very complex format. You have access to just about every single card in Magic and on top of that your deck has 100 different cards. It can be really hard to keep track of, especially when you’re used to keeping track of seven to nine playsets of cards in your typical Standard deck. Where typical 60-card Constructed decks have one to three cards for turns 1 through 3, EDH has 10 to 12.

My point is that there’s a lot more variety in cards and things to keep track of. Combos here, unique interactions and synergies there, and keeping your decklists on a notepad file that just shows text can be hard to wrap your head around. A website that compiles it in a sensical way and displays the card itself and its mana cost plus price tag is almost needed to successfully build in Commander.

Criteria for Choosing the Best

Faerie Guidemother - Illustration by Mila Pesic

Faerie Guidemother | Illustration by Mila Pesic

Filtering through and judging deck builders and resources turned out to be a much trickier task than I originally thought. There’s more than just a flash UI or popularity among my Commander friends. With the sites and resources I’m looking at today, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Intuitiveness: The site or deck builder has to be easy to use and understand without looking to another resource for a tutorial. Some sites are much easier to understand right away while others (*cough* TappedOut *cough*) are a little messier in nature.
  • UI Visual Clarity: Visual clarity goes hand-in-hand with intuitiveness. If a website is messy and all over the place, it’s less clear how you make a new deck, view others, or do anything else.
  • Visual Appeal: The difference between this and visual clarity is that visual appeal is more opinion-based and less objective. Websites that are outdated and obviously haven’t been updated are just less attractive to the eye and put a grosser taste in my mouth.
  • Payment Model: Last is the payment model. We want sites that don’t charge us for core features. That’s a serious blow to its ranking if they do.

#6. TappedOut

  • Intuitiveness: 3/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 3/5
  • Visual Appeal: 2/5
  • Payment Model: 5/5

TappedOut is an all-time classic of Magic deckbuilding. It’s been around for forever and somehow still manages to cling onto relevancy despite an ever-decreasing visual appeal. The website has every feature available for free, but it’s hard to look past that once you’re distracted by the visual clutter and clearly older style.

TappedOut deck builder

The pricing for various cards and decks also doesn’t typically line up with where it should be on the screen, and it’s always been like this. The site just isn’t updated anymore, and that’s okay.

TappedOut deck builder

In terms of visual appeal, the site isn’t doing any better here. The brown background color clashes with the potent greens and reds and just kind of looks disgusting overall. This is purely opinionative, but I can’t help but think it and I know for a fact most of my EDH friends share the viewpoint. Being totally free isn’t something to call home about nowadays, so despite being a 5/5 for payment model, TappedOut falls short everywhere else.

#5. TopDecked

  • Intuitiveness: 4/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 3/5
  • Visual Appeal: 5/5
  • Payment Model: 1/5

I had big hopes for TopDecked, but I was immediately greeted with an attempt to get me to buy a membership for about $5 per month as soon as I made an account. With this subscription came better access to the simulator, unlimited deck storage, and some more customization options. This is a pretty mediocre deal and ultimately is sort of odd to see considering these options are for free by default on other sites. This is about as bad as it gets in terms of payment model, except for situations where you couldn’t do anything for free.

TopDecked deck builder

Visually this site is very clean, but it does have quite a bit going on. There’s a lot of clutter on the sides of the screen and the cards in the deck take up a significant portion compared to other deck builders. As far as intuitiveness goes it was pretty easy to navigate as a first-time user.

TopDecked deck builder

The various sub-pages were clearly labeled and I was easily able to find out how to create a deck and modify it as well as explore other player’s decks. From an appeal standpoint the site looks fantastic. The dark theme was easy on the eyes and the purple and white accents fit it perfectly.

#4. MTGgoldfish

  • Intuitiveness: 4/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 4/5
  • Visual Appeal: 4/5
  • Payment Model: 5/5

MTGGoldfish is a wildly popular site for pricing Magic cards and looking to see what other players are playing in various formats and tournaments. They also have a solid list of Commander decks and offer easy-to-use deckbuilding services for free. You just type in or paste the list of cards which is automatically formatted with mana colors, sorted by card types, and with the price next to each card and the total for the deck.

MTGgoldfish deck builder

The site has a simple layout with easy-to-navigate sections for each format and clearly displays decks by price and popularity. I had my non-Magic-playing friend attempt to find various formats I gave them the name of, and they were able to navigate the site easily and efficiently. In terms of visual appeal, MTGGoldfish is a very clean site with a pretty orange theme. The white background doesn’t clash with other colors and you’re not being distracted by anything on the screen.

The site also offers all their features for free and monetizes through written and video content as opposed to gatekeeping features behind paywalls. Unfortunately MTGGoldfish isn’t explicitly an EDH-based deckbuilding website like EDHREC or Moxfield, which means it doesn’t provide as many features as you might hope.

#3. Archidekt

  • Intuitiveness: 4/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 3/5
  • Visual Appeal: 5/5
  • Payment Model: 5/5
Archidekt deck builder

In third place for today is Archidekt, a site very similar to MTGgoldfish in terms of scope and what it does. But Archidekt is much less intuitive and has a lot more going on. It can be difficult get around and unfortunately requires you to sign up and confirm your email before you’re able to make a deck. This isn’t much of a barrier but is still kind of annoying when other sites don’t require it.

Nonetheless, all features are available for free and the site is completely supported by ads and Patreon supporters. On top of all that there’s a snappy and well-made playtest option that can be great for on-the-fly editing and deck building.

#2. Moxfield

  • Intuitiveness: 4/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 5/5
  • Visual Appeal: 5/5
  • Payment Model: 5/5

Moxfield is a classic, and quite frankly an amazing deckbuilding site and resource. It’s completely free to use, has a near-infinite database of decks to look through, and is excellent at organizing your collection and building new decks. On top of that the site is constantly updated, is extremely clear and minimalistic, and easy for first-time users to navigate.

Moxfield deck builder

Something that sets Moxfield apart from the rest of the crowd is the feature to analyze your list and make suggestions in conjunction with EDHREC. With the click of a button, the site automatically helps you complete your deck based off what you already have and the strategy you’re going for. This is an incredibly useful feature and is great for finding cards you’ve never seen before but are absolutely perfect for filling in a spot of your deck. I’ve found countless combos and cards that ended up making the deck through this feature, and it’s why I use Moxfield for storing my decklists.

#1. EDHREC

  • Intuitiveness: 5/5
  • UI Visual Clarity: 5/5
  • Visual Appeal: 5/5
  • Payment Model: 5/5

Finally, in the long-awaited first place, is EDHREC. This isn’t a website that actually holds your decklists and that you can build decks on, but it is the ultimate resource for building Commanders decks. It works as an ultra-database of just about every EDH deck posted online and compiles that data into easy-to-understand statistics you can actually use. The site is best used when you’ve already picked a commander or color combination and need to start brainstorming to find out what cards are “staples” in your new deck.

EDHREC deck builder

When you select a commander you’re automatically presented with a dozen or so clearly labeled sections on cards that go with your choice. These include categories like “New Cards,” “High Synergy Cards,” “Top Cards” (a.k.a., which cards are most commonly included), and the classic sections like “Creatures” and “Enchantments.” In terms of visual appeal, EDHREC has a very sleek and clean grey theme with white accents. There isn’t too much clutter or sections that you never use. All the features can also be used without ever even being logged in, which is something that we love to see.

EDHREC deck builder

EDHREC is an absolute must for anyone brewing a new Commander deck since it brings more tools and card suggestions than any other site. It cuts out the process of manually searching for cards on Gatherer and tremendously speeds up the process.

Honorable Mention

deckstats.net deck builder

The honorable mention today is deckstats.net which has been around since before I even started playing Magic. And it shows. It’s a very bare-bones website that instantly asks you to name your deck and get started building. The fat has been completely trimmed which makes it a very straightforward resource that still leaves you wanting.

The site is very plain and barren overall. It has a nice card database and auto-fill for when you’re typing in a card name, but that’s as far as it goes when it comes to features. In the end that’s really what holds this site back. There aren’t any big downsides or visual clutter that makes using the site a pain, but it’s just a glorified notepad and nothing more.

Do I recommend it? No, there are better options. But is there anything specifically bad about it? No. It’s just… fine.

Wrap Up

Patient Rebuilding - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Patient Rebuilding | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

And there you have it, the best EDH deckbuilding websites ranked, with one honorable mention. Commander is one of my favorite formats to play Magic, and I think I might just enjoy deckbuilding more than actually playing the game. Something about opening up EDHREC and Moxfield, brewing new ideas, and seeing what other players are up to is just a nice creative outlet.

What do you think? Which site has served you best over the course of your Magic career? Let me know down in the comments or over on the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

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