Magic the Gathering is a fun collectible card game. It’s been around since 1993 and it’s pretty much here to stay. I love Magic the gather, it is exciting, versatile, and has room for players with all levels of knowledge and commitment.

One of my favorite things about Magic is its expansive formats you can play. Magic the Gathering differs from other collectible card games, in the fact you can play the game in so many different ways.

Today I want to explain and discuss the formats of Modern and Vintage.


Modern is a form of magic where players follow specific guidelines to create a deck to compete against other players. It requires a minimum of a 60-card deck, but has no maximum, except for the rule you must shuffle your deck unassisted. It is a format that allows for a sideboard of 15 or fewer cards.

More guidelines include that a deck may not have more than 4 of the same card, with few exceptions, most of which are basic lands. Only certain sets are allowed to be played in modern, with a cut off on older expansions. There is also a ban list of cards that are not permitted in decks along with restrictions on certain cards for how many can be played in a deck.


Vintage is a magic format known for its competitiveness and price. Vintage is usually only played by serious magic players. It allows for cards from all past sets except for joke sets with silver borders. As in Modern it requires a 60+ card deck that you can shuffle without help. It also has an extensive restricted and banned list to keep the game from becoming troublesome in tournaments. Players are also restricted to a maximum of 4 copies of a card in their deck and may only have a maximum sideboard of 15 cards.

The format is loved by many because it allows players to play super-powered decks with very old, very expensive cards. this includes the cards belonging to the Power nine which are not sanctioned for legal play in any other format.


There are many different formats for Magic the Gathering, but Vintage and Modern are some of the most impressive and serious formats. Both formats are not for the faint of heart and require lots of research and practice to perfect. Players also have to keep up to date on bans and restrictions and keep their deck updated to be able to play in sanctioned events.

They are for more seasoned Magic the Gathering veterans but do not let that dissuaded you from learning and enjoying these formats. Casual leagues can often be found at shops if you wish to dip your toe in or practice for an upcoming tournament.

Amber Crook
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