Skip to content
Home » Life » The 4 Most Popular Magic: the Gathering Play Formats

The 4 Most Popular Magic: the Gathering Play Formats

  • / Updated:
  • Digital Team 

Magic: the Gathering is the most popular tabletop card game internationally that got its start in 1993. With so many ways to play the game, you won’t ever get tired of it if you become a fan because of the variety of cards that can be in your decks and the thematic builds you can achieve along the way.

Let’s explore the 4 most popular formats of Magic: the Gathering so you can get started playing today. And if you already play, tell your friends about it to encourage them to play. After all, Magic is all about the gathering of players, and the more, the merrier!

Playing Magic is like playing in a any online casinos like When you play your deck, you never know which card you will draw just like you never know what will happen during a randomized casino game until it occurs.

1. Commander

Commander is by far the most popular format in Magic: the Gathering because of its many deck-building possibilities, the ability to play with 2-4 or more players, and it has the least amount of card restrictions. It’s a singleton format where you select one legendary creature to be your commander and choose 99 cards throughout Magic’s history to build a deck around that creature. You can only have 100 cards in your commander deck.

There are over 2,000 legendary creatures to choose from to act as your commander and count as more card sets debut. The main restrictions in building your deck are only including cards in your commander’s color identity and following the ban list for the format.

For example, if you are building a Rin and Seri, Inseparable deck, you can only include cards that are green, white, and red or any combination thereof. Blue and green cards would not be able to go in this deck because they are not within this commander’s color identity.

2. Limited

The limited format is most popularly enjoyed at prerelease events celebrating new sets debuting, which are held at local game stores. Participating players receive 6 booster packs and a promo card in a prerelease kit where they can build a 40-card deck utilizing the cards they pulled from said packs to play in a tournament.

The deck usually contains about 17 lands, which the local game store provides to you while deck building and 23 other spells. You can have up to four copies of each card in a limited deck contingent upon they are exclusively from your product’s booster packs.

3. Standard

The most recent 9 to 12 Magic sets that were last released are considered legal in the Standard format. This means you can only build 60-card decks (no maximum required, but this is the minimum) with up to four copies per card utilizing cards from any of the current Standard-legal sets.

As of February 25, 2024, these are the current Standard legal sets that will be rotating out of the format in September 2024:

  • Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.
  • Innistrad: Crimson Vow
  • Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
  • Streets of New Capenna
  • Dominaria United
  • The Brothers’ War
  • Phyrexia: All Will Be One
  • March of the Machine
  • March of the Machine: The Aftermath
  • Wilds of Eldraine
  • The Lost Caverns of Ixalan
  • Murders at Karlov Manor

4. Modern

The Modern format allows you to build a 60-card deck with cards of your choice starting from the 8th Edition onward. This is the set where modern frames started being printed on cards, which is the inspiration behind the format name.

Unlike the Standard format, there are no set rotations that occur every autumn for Modern. However, like Standard and Limited, you can feature up to four copies of any Modern legal card in your deck.

Which Format Will You Choose To Play?

Besides these most popular 4 Magic formats, there are many others like Legacy, Vintage, Pioneer, Explorer, and even the Magic: the Gathering Arena exclusive format, Alchemy. Trying a new format can open up new possibilities for your Magic gameplay.

Categories: Life