Intro To: Magic Constructed Tournaments

At The Round Table, we believe that booster draft tournaments are one of the best ways to practice playing Magic the Gathering, and once you’ve really started to develop your skills, the next step is to start playing constructed formats. We have a dedicated player base that plays various constructed formats throughout the week, and we run constructed tournaments every Tuesday.

There are 4 types of constructed formats with their own rule sets, Block, Standard, Modern, and the most unique constructed format, Commander. In each of these formats, players build their decks before playing the game, and when we hold tournaments in these formats, we provide prize support instead of doing a rare-redraft like in our booster draft tournaments.


The first 3 types of constructed formats are very similar. In Block, Standard, and Modern, players are allowed to use decks with a minimum of 60 cards plus a 15 card side-board, and a maximum of 4 of each card other than basic lands. Where these formats differ is in the cards that are allowed to be played. The Block format, as the name implies, uses only cards from the most recently released block of booster packs. Going a little further back in time, the Standard format uses only cards from the 3 most recent blocks of booster packs. Finally, the Modern format allows cards from the Core Set Eighth Edition and Mirrodin and forward. In the Modern format, some specially released cards are not legal for use despite being released during the correct time period. For example, many cards released in Commander Decks are not legal in the Modern format.

The Commander format is very different than the other constructed formats, requiring a fixed-size 99 card deck with no side-board, a maximum of 1 of each card other than basic lands, and a Legendary Creature to act as each player’s Commander. In this format, players can summon their Commander to the field as soon as they have enough Mana, and can re-summon their Commander at a higher Mana cost later in the game if it is ever removed from the field. This format tends to require players to be more reactionary, and is a great casual format for testing out interesting card combos.


In general, constructed formats allow players to hone their deck building skills, and try to make the most consistent decks possible. Constructed formats tend to lend themselves to more advanced players that have already built up their collections of cards, and can be quite challenging for new players. If you’re getting into Magic, and you’re ready to start playing constructed formats, make sure to ask us about our Magic community next time you visit The Round Table, and if you’ve been playing for longer, check out one of our constructed format tournaments! Also, make sure to check out our rare cards binder, and search for that card that will take your deck to the next level!