What is Pile of Cards?

Pile of Cards is a place dedicated to exploring the more unique, non-meta side of Magic: The Gathering Arena! At Pile of Cards I build decks based around strange, unique, or otherwise underused cards or combos and try them out on the MtG Arena ladder.

So how does it work?

I start by picking a card that interests me, or that I’ve never seen played, and I build a deck that puts that card in a starring role. Examples might include Curator’s Ward, Sunbird’s Invocation or Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth.

Card images courtesy of Gatherer

After I’ve picked a card, I create a decklist that tries to make powerful use of that card and win games with it. Then I take that deck onto the Magic: Arena Best-of-1 ladder and play 20 or so games with it. I’ll record the results, and use that information to write an in-depth deck tech about the list chosen.

Is it always Best-of-1?

No! If a deck does well enough on the Best-of-1 ladder I’ll start experimenting with it in other game types. Maybe I’ll take it into a Bo1 event, or maybe if the deck impresses me enough I’ll put together a sideboard and dip my toes into the Competitive queue with it!


Ultimately, because the competitive Standard metagame in Magic typically consists of somewhere between 5 and 10 tier 1 decks even at its most diverse and I think adding a little bit of variety to the ladder is a fun thing to do. Golgari Midrange and Jeskai Control are great for some players, but for me the heart of the Magic: The Gathering experience lies in winning in ways nobody – sometimes even I – never expected to be able to.

So that’s it. This is Pile of Cards: my home for the weirdest, jankiest, off-meta-est decks I can think of. Check back often for new decklists and performance reports!