Crate is a social Magic the Gathering format all about nimble strategy and improvisation. Crate is for everyone, including beginners of Magic, open-minded experts, and former players (who may be wondering what to do with their collection of cards).


There is no building decks. Like a board game, the crate is provided by one player, who acts as the host/game master. To build a crate:

1. Gather at least 1,000 random cards, sorted by the five colors. Leave out multicolored and double-faced cards.

2. Remove planeswalker card types.

3. Remove all cards with these abilites and effect keywords: "planeswalker," "library," "deck," "scry," "mill," "cascade," "explore," "destroy all lands," "opening hand," "commander," "venture," and "monarch." Full ban list forthcoming.

4. Further remove card abilities and effects to shape the crate to your liking, including old ones ("banding"), set-specific one-offs ("monarch"), and ones you just don't care for ("regenerate").

5. Insert artifact creatures, vehicles, and non-basic lands randomly across the five colors.

6. Put all the cards in a storage box or container, the five colors separated and labeled.


1. Pass out seven random basic lands to each player. (General recommendation is passing from a deck of 50 basic lands, 10 of each type.) This is your opening hand, and the only basic lands you recieve for the game.

2. Everyone rolls a d20. Highest is starting player.

3. Play the game as normal, except each player draws 2 cards from anywhere in the crate during their draw phase.

4. For games with three players or more, you may only attack the opponent to your left during combat phase. When a player's life total reaches 0, the opponent to their right is declared winner.

5. After games conclude, it's recommended not to re-insert the cards back into the crate immediately. Instead, replenish the crate with cards that have never been played, or haven't been played in a while. This allows churn so games will never repeat.

Hey, I'm Alex, the creator of Crate. I started playing Magic in the late-1900s, from Fallen Empires to Mercadian Masques, and picked it up again with the Duel of the Planeswalkers video game. I was then compelled to find a way to return to paper Magic without the time and cost investment that comes with brewing and buying decks, with a focus on vintage-style gameplay. Of course, deck building is core to Magic's identity. So I consider Crate a comfortable kind of chaos, pushing players to be spontaneous as they execute strategies and pursue unpredicted card interactions.

Contact: Logo: Francis Navarro.