I've recently started playing MTG. It's me and a friend of mine. We play casually, we don't care if cards are old or rare, we are just looking to purchase some cards to build a few decks (ideally 4-6) that make at least a bit of sense, meaning containing some 4 to 5 rare in each. Something like starter deck kit, that we already bought (2017 and 2020). I was thinking to buy in Cardmarket, either lots of common/uncommon/rares and out together whatever we get or by singles, but I don't know which list to use. The lists I found are too expensive for me. Ideally each deck should costs around 5-6 bucks. What do you suggest? What do you think about buying a couple of jumpstart booster packs each?

  • 1
    Go to your local games store and ask for their "bulk commons". Going rate is a few bucks for 1000 cards. Sep 22, 2023 at 15:15
  • I think that jumpstart boosters are actually a good option if you don't care about what colors/mechanics you are using. I've played with jumpstart a lot and still really like the idea and execution.
    – fxm
    Sep 22, 2023 at 15:26
  • WOTC sells pre-constructed standard format decks.
    – CWallach
    Sep 23, 2023 at 5:00
  • You could play online on Magic Arena (which is free), but it loses the social effect.
    – Allure
    Sep 23, 2023 at 15:09
  • @CWallach those decks cost a whole load more than $6 though. Sep 23, 2023 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


Approach 1: Buy cards for cheap, for example from eBay or whatever the most popular used items market is nowadays. You will always find someone giving up their hobby and selling their collection in bulk. Ask in your local game store if they offer cards in bulk. In either case, while the used card collections usually contain rares, don't expect high-value cards to show up, so optimise for price per card.

Approach 2: To start with, play Pauper or Artisan in which the maximum legal rarity of cards is common or uncommon, respectively. This allows you to focus on your existing card pool; you don't have to focus building around probably sub-optimal rares and saves you from having to hunt for stronger and thus more expensive rares until you know that Magic is the game for you.

  • This is the answer. My son was fortunate to receive a few hundred old cards from a family friend when he first picked up the game almost twenty years ago now. That was quite adequate to start playing with his friends (and me, of course) as he slowly extended with more recent cards. Sep 22, 2023 at 21:09
  • I didn't know about these formats, that's definitely a good starting point Sep 24, 2023 at 13:06
  • If you're just playing against each other then as long as your cards come from the same pool it doesn't really matter the specific format anyway.
    – ConMan
    Sep 24, 2023 at 23:48

I can recommend Card Kingdom's Rookie decks.

Also, you can find top list for the pauper format here. It is a eternal format that does not rotate and is unaffected by the reserve list. It has been compared to a legacy light format.


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