25, Oct, 21

How Many Decks Is Too Many?

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How many decks do you own, and do you ever think that there's a few too many of them?
Article at a Glance

Having recently started playing paper MTG again, it means I’ve started accruing more decks. It’s an odd thing that happens whenever I play Magic, because I really adore building decks. In fact, I often find I enjoy building decks almost as much as I enjoy playing the game. Almost.

It got me thinking about how many I have though, and whether or not there should be a hard limit to the number of decks in one’s collection. I figure there isn’t, but it’s an interesting thing to ponder upon.

How many decks is too many?

As it stands, I have 12 Commander decks. It’s my favorite format by a long margin, and there’s far more flexibility in the deck building process due to the sheer volume of cards you have to choose from. Plus, you can choose to build around weird commanders, or ones that are generally considered bad too. You can make unusual strategies, and make cards that are normally terrible absurdly overpowered. So, yeah, lots of EDH decks.

Along with that, I also have a Modern folder. It’s filled with, well, basically all of my Modern cards. If I had to estimate the number of potential decks in there it’d be around twenty, but not all of them are competitive, and I don’t have enough cards to build them all at the same time, because boy oh boy would that be wasteful.

So, let’s assume I currently have in the region of 30 decks, is that too many? I’d say probably. Not because there is a hard limit as such, but because I don’t really play Modern anymore. It’s a format I love a lot, but not one I get a chance to play very often, so it feels as though keeping those cards is a bit of a waste.

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It’s about what you use

I’m in no way dictating how many decks anyone should have, obviously, but I do think the most important thing to consider when doing so is whether or not you play them. I have two basic rules for whether or not I’m going to keep a deck I own.

The first is simple enough; do I enjoy playing it? This mostly applies to EDH, for me anyway, as it’s about whether or not the deck brings me joy. Sometimes you can build an almighty deck that’ll crush everyone else in four turns, but if it’s not fun to play, then it’s not good. Sometimes you’ll build a deck that never wins, but you’ll manage to pull off at least one incredibly silly interaction every time you bring it out, and that’s worth keeping it for.

The other thing is whether or not you’re attached to it. I know not everyone gets sentimentally attached to specific cards or decks, but there are a couple of my EDH decks, and the same is true of my Modern folder, that I keep around because I have fond memories of playing them. For example, I have a Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck that can kill people in around three turns, it’s a blast to play, but one I rarely use as it’s a little higher on the power scale than anything my friends build. I’m still keeping it, because I love it, even though I don’t often get to use it. Does that make sense?

Anyway, how many decks do you have, and do you think there’s such a thing as too many decks?

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