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Magic: The Gathering

Constructed

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Constructed is an overlying category that groups all the formats that require you to bring your own premade decks. This is considered the most popular format for larger scale tournaments like the bulk of the World Tour and pro tours, the Grand Prix, and many National level tournaments.

Sanction tournaments

The sanctioned tournaments are tournaments that are counted by DCI as part of the player rankings. There are five main Sanctioned Constructed tournament formats. All of them follow the Legendary rule, 4 of a kind card limit (except Basic Lands) and a 60 main deck minimum. In addition, players may keep a sideboard of either 15 or 0 cards.

Block Constructed

This format gives players the least options. Players may only use cards from a previously determined Block or cycle of packs. This gives players only around 650 cards to choose from. Only cards that were printed in one of the sets in the appropriate block can be used in these formats. Many cards like Birds of Paradise are used in many different blocks because they are constantly reprinted and therefore legal for use in these formats.

Standard format

This format is more commonly referred to as T2 or Type 2. This is the most common constructed format.

Extended format

Extended format is a wider range of sets than standard but still a limited selection. All cards contained in sets printed in the last 7 years are legal in this format.

Vintage & Legacy

These are considered the ‘’’Eternal formats’’’ because all sets are legal in them. Although all sets are legal, Vintage has a restricted and banned list, where as Legacy has no Restricted cards but many more banned cards. Notes:

  • Legacy format has the Power Nine on the Banned list.
  • Vintage tournament are many times held as unsanctioned to allow the use of Proxy cards

Unsanctioned tournaments

These tournament are organized mostly for fun and the sake of meeting other people. They do not count towards player rankings.

Skittles

Skittles format is a format that contains a small official banned list. A skittles format deck must contain an even amount of cards from each color (including Artifact/colorless) and may only contain one of each card (excluding basic lands). Also you may not use any cards that have been printed as a rare in any set. For example, Urza's Armor is an Uncommon in Urza's Saga, but is rare in 8th Edition, and so cannot be played.

EDH

This format is called Elder Dragon Highlander. It originated in Alaska and has become very popular. EDH is played with vintage legal cards with a few extra cards banned, and an extra twist: you play a game based around a General. The rules are extensive so see: EDH for official rules.

Free play

This is the most common format by far as this is what playing at home or with friends would be considered. It is always for fun or testing decks or both.

Formats
Constructed StandardModern
LegacyVintage
EDH (Commander)
Block Constructed
Extended
Limited DraftSealed
Other Highlander
Two-Headed Giant

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