The first pre-con I ever bought was the five-color one from I believe planeshift. I liked that deck when I was learning the game, but it didn't hold up when I actually started going to tournaments, and learned more about the game (such as the fact that you had a maximum hand size). The first deck I made myself was a massive five-color deck made up of probably around 100 cards (everyone else had their decks in card sleeves, which made me think that they too were running far more than the minimum 60).

I didn't get to play during invasion block, when there were cards in type II that encouraged five-color decks. I always thought that there may have been one during tempest block due to sliver queen, but I don't know that for a fact. I did have a friend who played a five-color deck, but all I know of that he had in it was Cromat and worship. I have no idea if he had ever run the thing in tournaments though.

Has there ever been a five-color deck that could be played outside of casuals? Obviously, I don't expect such a thing to be the top deck, I'm just asking if there ever was one that didn't suck because of it running too many colors?

  • 4
    I don't follow the meta, but I think I once heard of 5-colour Slivers dominating a format. (Pauper?)
    – ikegami
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 4:05
  • 3
    Maybe a more precise definition of a "five-color deck" would help. Depending on sideboard choices, Affinity decklists can easily be five-colored, but I have a feeling that's not the kind of answer you're looking for. Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 11:39
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    Currently in standard there's a 5 color deck that mostly green base but is centered around Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Scapeshift, and Field of the Dead Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 18:50

7 Answers 7


Yes. Emphatically yes.

Some notable examples include:

"The Deck" by Brian Weissman – a classic five-color control deck focused on reactive play and denial with only Serra Angel and Braingeyser as finishers; arguably the prototype for all control decks, and the strongest Magic deck of its day.

Jakub Slemr's 5-Color Black Weenie deck — a black-based creature aggro deck using cards of all five colors for efficient answers and disruption (and sheer card value from running most of Visions' good "ETB" creatures); 1997 World Champshiop winner.

Many Llorwyn-era Cruel Control decks, like this one — these were not as absolutely dominant as the previous examples, but Vivid lands made it reasonable to play even absurdly "greedy" combinations like putting Cloudthresher in the same deck as Cryptic Command and Cruel Ultimatum.

There are also numerous four-color decks that could possibly be adapted to a fifth color but don't really benefit from it much, especially in the modern day, when the Legacy/Vintage card pool is a lot deeper and "color pie" design conventions have changed a bit to make it easier to access certain effects without having to go into one specific color.

The reason you're stumbling is that pre-assembled multi-color decks tend to have garbage mana bases, because part of the game's business model is to force good multi-color supporting lands (which are highly desirable for a range of competitive decks) into rare/mythic slots, and preconstructed decks are limited to only including a handful of rares. On top of that, some styles of cards (like Moxes and no-drawbacks ABU dual lands) are considered too powerful to print today.

This answer discusses some of the benefits of four- and five- color decks, as well as tricks to their mana base construction, in more detail.

  • the cruel control decks where mainly grixis colors though. It notably had very little actual green cards in it.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 10:29
  • Notable example of a 4 color deck that could be adapted to a 5C, Legacy Aluren decks are quite often BUGx, where x is the color of whichever one of Imperial Recruiter/Recruiter of the Guard the owner has copies of. If an Aluren player decided he/she wanted more than 4 Recruiters, the deck would go into 5 colors, although that seems to be very rare according to MTG Top 8.
    – DenisS
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 14:22
  • Cryptic Command link broken
    – Almo
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 18:13

5c Humans is currently one of the defining decks in Modern. It relies on Ancient Ziggurat, Unclaimed Territory and Cavern of Souls to generate its mana, failing which it still has Aether Vial to "cast" the creatures. Here's a list from the just-concluded Pro Tour.

This same manabase will also work for other tribal decks, most notably Slivers (example). Slivers is less competitive compared to Humans, but it's there.


There are also 5 colour decks in current standard although they aren't in the very top tier of decks, the main two are Rainbow Lich and 5C Black (with many versions of 5C Black).


There are a lot of formats which can be played competitively. If you look at slower formats like Highlander (100 card minimum, no card may occur more than once except basic lands) there's more time to build a complex manabase, and it's feasible to at least splash all five colours. Here's a breakdown of his KWrgu deck by the winner of the latest Metagame Masters Highlander tournament (#MGM15; where the second-placed deck was UKwrg); in MGM#14 there were two five-colour decks in the top four, in MGM#13 there was one, and in MGM#12 there were two.


It depends on what format your playing as well. In commander yes many decks that’s run 5 colors work well najeela the blade blossom is an excellent 5 color deck.

In standard and modern. The formats are so fast that it’s hard to get al the colors you need


Another deck I would add is the Survival of the Fittest/Recurring nightmare deck from the late 1990's.


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    This is a strategy that doesn't necessarily have to be 5-color, as the core is a Black/Green combo, but it was done in 5-color for the 1998 world champion Brian Selden mtggoldfish.com/deck/912090#paper
    – JamesFaix
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 10:10
  • That was the one I had in mind.
    – Nayrb
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 12:16

I can also remember that 5C won tournaments back in the Invasion block format. Cannot back this up with any decklists or links though.

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