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Tips for cutting cards from decks

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Morganator and ApothecaryGeist already mentioned important points. I want to add some.

For me, it helped ALOT to categorisize the cards. Ramp, Card draw, Removal, etc. if you have got important subthemes, add them. I've got a deck a while ago, that wasnt consistent. sometimes it worked like a charm and sometimes it was barely playable. After I've sorted the cards, i've noticed that there was only 1 card for draw and only 3 for ramp. with those categories its way easier to notice weakspots like this.

Another important point, especially if you want to ask for help: add comments. Not every synergy/combo is obvious, not everyone always see the reason in every added card.
A little example for this: Harmless Offering. Usually you think "wtf is this card doing here", but included in a Xantcha, Sleeper Agent EDH Deck this makes sense, because you want to avoid the case, that you get Xantcha back after a player died and the others hurt you while drawing cards.

Here an example, with comments and some extra categories fitting to the deck.

Think about what do you want to do with your deck. What is the Goal/Gameplan? Which mechanics/themes you want to use? What is the main strategy? With a clear picture in mind, its easier to cut some cards, that may seem nice but doesn't support your idea.
An example for this: I've got a Memnarch deck. In a old version I included Metalwork Colossus.
An interesting pick for an artifact deck? Some might disagree but I think yes, at least for the kitchen table.
But does it support the Idea of Memnarch: Stealing every thread (and then everything else on the table)? Hmm.. not really, BUT hes fat and usually very cheap to play and he got his own recursion. With this one I can kill my opponents if nobody plays stuff worthy of stealing.
As you notice, if you want to keep a card in, you will usually find a way to justify the pick. But be honest to yourself. If you have to justify a pick, its usually something that doesn't fit. Cut/replace it.

/edit: i got another point.

Mana Base
If you try to cut your deck down, an obvious target is the mana base. Thougts like "Hmm.. what about just cutting 2 basics to get the necessary slots?" might come up. Don't do this, unless its really necessary, or your mana base has really grown to high. I've got this problem myself sereval times, and the common result was a inconsistent deck.
Sure, it may be hard to cut some "important" or "good" cards, but even the best card is useless, if you dont get enough mana to play it. Nothing harms more than turns you have to skip, because you can play nothing. If that happends sometimes, it may be bad luck, a bad shuffled deck, greed at the opening hand, or maybe the stars are just in a bad constellation. But if this happen more often, its a clear indicator that you have cut it down to harsh.
Your Mana base is like the foundation of a house. You dont need a foundation that could hold a skyscraper if you just want to build a cabin. But if the foundation isn't strong enough, you will sooner or later run into trouble.

One other key is that cards that overlap in what they do (Austere Command for instance could count as both creature removal & artifact removal) can fill two slots, freeing up a slot for another ramp card, or another card draw, etc.

Or more removal. Why have 5 cards for artifact destruction and 5 cards for creature removal when you can have 6 of each but only take up 1 card slot? (Abrade). Sure it's not a lot, but it adds up and eventually you have twice the removal while remaining flexible.

Very true, and cards that have multiple options are good for just that.

Cards that have flexibility like this are very good in commander.

Could we maybe get this topic pinned? I think it's very useful, especially to new/unexperienced EDH players.


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