MTG Challenger Decks arrive in April

Start playing tabletop Magic without spending a fortune.

Fires of Invention Art Magic Throne of Eldraine
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Four 2020 Challenger Decks designed for competitive Friday Night Magic play are set to release next spring. 

For decades, Magic: The Gathering has enticed new players, but getting started in either competitive or casual tabletop play can be overwhelming. Once a year, Wizards of the Coast removes some of that new player burden with the release of Challenger Decks.

These preconstructed decks aren’t like the ones that players get in MTG Arena. They’re crafted with an intent to provide a new player with a competitive edge when attending Friday Night Magic at a local game store. Each Challenger Deck contains 75 cards, 60 in the main deck and 15 for a sideboard. All of the cards are in the Standard format but are also legal to play in other Magic formats, too. 

Instead of being flooded with only two copies of a popular card or including a single powerful Rare/Mythic Rare card, these decks are crafted similar to how a Magic pro might build their deck for competitive play. Using the 2019 Challenger Decks as an example, the Lightning Aggro build was similar to top-level Mono-Red Aggro builds used in professional tournaments this past year. 

Prices for these preconstructed decks are reasonable and within a new player’s budget. A total of four Challenger Decks were released in 2019, each costing around $30. 

The 2020 Challenger Decks are being released on April 3. No names or decklists have been provided yet, but the decks will feature all legal 2020 Standard sets, including the upcoming Theros: Beyond Death set.