Why Constructed Players Should Play Limited: MTG Strategy Bite

There are a number of players out there who play exclusively Constructed Magic, and if you’re one of those players, this is the perfect article! I personally started playing Limited before learning Constructed, and that helped lay the groundwork for leveling up my Constructed game as I evolved as a Magic player. 

It’s natural that players gravitate towards formats and ways to play that they enjoy. Constructed players often care more about the collectability of their cards, because of the resources needed in order to get into playing Constructed at a high level. Well, you know what is a fun way to get cards and build a collection at the same time? The answer is clearly drafting. Online Limited is going to likely be more financially viable than simply loading up on booster packs from the MTGA store. I personally haven’t had to buy booster packs on Arena in over two years, though this is going to involve acquiring some skills at the draft tables. 



Moving beyond financial motivations, the intrinsic knowledge one can acquire from drafting is incredible. Want to know how to build your own Constructed decks? Drafting helps inspire confidence when it comes to deckbuilding, and will make you more comfortable brewing new decks. Even in the case of choices like ironing out the last couple of slots in your Constructed deck, or choosing the correct number of lands to play, there are clear correlations to the Limited deckbuilding process. 

Also, when drafting, it may help you think about cards in a draft way in terms of their Constructed applications. There are oftentimes cards that players initially write off when a new set is released, but then they overperform at the draft tables and make their way into Constructed decks. Do you want to be able to identify some of these cards that others might be missing? 

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These are just a few Standard-legal cards that come to mind based off my personal experience that have leapt off the draft tables and into Constructed decks, with some seeing more play than others. Finding an underutilized card in a format can be a great way to level up your deck. 

In terms of gameplay, the biggest part of my game that Limited has influenced is combat math. Decisions regarding when to attack and block are more prevalent in Limited, and I think Constructed players are more likely to make incorrect choices in this regard. Constructed players in fact often make deck choices to specifically avoid combat math as much as possible, like only choosing control and combo decks for example. However, by doing this, you may find yourself in some uncomfortable situations as combat decisions can come up when you least expect them to and have always been a key part of the game of Magic. 

Wait, you aren’t convinced yet? Trust me when I say this: Limited is fun. You don’t need to immediately start crushing every draft you do, especially for newer Limited players. Going to your local game store, playing some sealed deck, organizing a team draft with some friends (my personal favorite), doing a Rochester draft to get an idea of what old school drafting is like or even trying out a Winston draft (look it up!) if you and a friend are the only players are all great options. Contrary to popular belief, eight players are not needed in order to play Limited.

At the highest level of play (the Pro Tour and World Championships), draft is featured. For someone with a goal of playing more competitively, incorporating some type of Limited is going to be quite helpful. Perhaps you may choose to start with a Cube draft that utilizes many cards that see play in Constructed and transition into a traditional single-set draft format. Sets are designed in order to create unique draft experiences, and present opportunities to play archetypes that aren’t necessarily viable in Constructed. Limited decks are inevitably going to be lower powered when compared to Constructed, but winning with “bad” cards and finding a way to make them useful can be an incredibly rewarding experience. 


1 thought on “Why Constructed Players Should Play Limited: MTG Strategy Bite”

  1. Interesting topic. As a limited only player, I often think myself: want to up your limited game? Maybe play more constructed?!
    Could you see that one as well?

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