SevenByNine

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Numerical Deckbuilding Templates

7x9, 8x8, and 9x7 are flexible deckbuilding templates designed to assist in the creation of a brand new Commander deck. Each theory identifies a specific number of tactical components or categories, then asks the deckbuilder to add a corresponding number of cards into each of those categories. The remaining slots in the deck are then filled by lands, and of course, the commander card itself.
The goal is to provide a robust enough redundancy of similar effects for the deck to achieve its goals during gameplay, rather than leaving the deckbuilder with too few cards that serve a function the deck needs to thrive.
7x9 has the deckbuilder select 7 categories, then add 9 cards to each of those categories. 7 x 9 = 63, which leaves 1 commander card and 36 lands to reach 100 total cards. This option focuses on a higher density of effects by providing a slightly smaller number of categories.
8x8 has the deckbuilder select 8 categories, then add 8 cards to each of those categories. 8 x 8 = 64, which leaves 1 commander card and 35 lands to reach 100 total cards.
9x7 has the deckbuilder select 9 categories, then add 7 cards to each of those categories. 9 x 7 = 63, which leaves 1 commander card and 36 lands to reach 100 total cards. This option focuses on a higher diversity of effects by providing a slightly larger number of categories.
Importantly, these templates are intended as a tool for building a deck from scratch, especially for beginning players, and are not prescriptive or rigid. As deckbuilders play and learn about their decks, they may discover that they require a higher number of effects in one category than another, or may choose a different number of card categories altogether. These templates are a stepping stone to help players begin to identify the facets of their commander, and to determine the density of cards required for them to find a specific type of effect in their deck during gameplay.

Adjusting Category Size

Statistic in games of commander can vary wildly, based on your choice of commander and the commanders you play against in a specific game, as well as how much card draw your deck generates, but a useful rule of thumb to consider when increasing or decreasing the size of a category is:

10 cards will probably give you 2 cards in a given game from that category, and a good chance to start with 1 in your opening hand. Critical categories for your deck may require a similar or larger number than this, depending on expected levels of counterspells or removal.
5 cards will probably give you 1 card per game of that category. Cards you don't want to overload on but still want access to (board wipes in a tokens deck for instance) may want a similar figure to this... Going smaller than this number makes receiving a card of this category very unlikely without Tutors or some other Toolbox approach.

Types of Categories

Selecting categories is an entirely flexible process, and deckbuilders are free to choose any categories they would like. They are merely meant as groupings to help describe a group of cards that each serve a similar function. There are some general Deck Considerations, but see below for a non-comprehensive list of other categories to consider:
Categories are extremely flexible and will largely depend upon the deckbuilder's personal taste. Categories will be specific to each individual commander, and some will have more relevance or applicability for one commander than they do for another.


References