3 Card Magic

3 Card Magic is a Magic: The Gathering format with decks that consist of only three cards. Sometimes it is referred to as "3 Card Blind".

I've found various forms of 3 Card Magic since the mid 2000s. For more information, see A history of 3 Card Magic.

Detailed Rules


Each player creates a deck of three Magic: the Gathering cards, excluding cards on the banned list, and submits it anonymously to the admin.


After the round is closed, each deck plays against each other deck twice, once going first and once going second. Normal Magic rules apply to a game of 3CM, except for the following exceptions:

Games are played with the contents of both decks known to each player at all times. Players will always play optimally and to win.


When the round is closed, a table of all the decks and matchups is posted, to be filled in by the players. Players are encouraged to double-check the matchups graded by other players, since mistakes are often made when complicated decks are involved. A win is worth 3 points, a draw is 1 point, and a loss is 0 points.


The goal of the banned list will be to try and come up with a balanced format. I don't think that previous 3CM games have been able to do this. After many, many games of 3CM, I am of the (admittedly not universally shared) opinion that Black Lotus warps the for opinion that should be banned. The banned list will evolve over time to try and come up with a balanced format. I'm not aware of any attempts before at discovering what a "balanced" 3cm format is, ie, one that allows for a wide diversity of decks and innovation. We will start with a small, "obvious" banned list targeting strategies well-known to be degenerate.

Current Banned List (Updated 2023-05-28)

All cards banned in Vintage Any deck that can win before a blank opponent can take a full turn. (A blank opponent is an opponent with three blank cards.) Any deck that can reduce the number of cards in your opponent's hand before that opponent can take a full turn. Black Lotus Blackmail Chancellor of the Annex Encroach Ghost Quarter Laboratory Maniac Leyline of Anticipation Strip Mine Thassa's Oracle Wasteland

Alternate Formats

I'm interested in alternate formats, but I think there is a lot of unexplored space in "vanilla" 3cm and I'm really only interested in alternative formats when that is exhausted.

How to play

There are two places to participate in the community:

To submit a deck, you can either discord DM hahaha or email me at 3cm@alexwennerberg.com. Feel free to use that email for any questions as well! Please send your submission in the following format:

Your Name / alias
For example:
John Smith
Storm Crow
Submissions are open for round 1! After we finish round 1, games will run weekly, and results will be posted here/discord/Atom Feed.

Round History