What is the 8×8 Theory?
The 8×8 Theory is a mathematical approach to deck building. Designed for the Magic the Gathering format, EDH/Commander. For an a run down on what EDH/Commander is, check the official rules website: http://mtgcommander.net/rules.php
The Theory breaks deck building down into easy to digest chunks. In doing this, you don’t need to worry about over commitment, or under commitment to ideas. Each chunk has identical representation in the deck, as all efficient decks should strive to do. It does this by separating up all non-land, non-commander cards in your deck into 8 parts. These are your packages. A package will include 8 cards, that all follow a unified theme. These tallies 64 non-land cards. Throw in 35 lands, and your commander, and your deck is complete. It’s that simple.
The 8×8 Theory is not meant to be a set of rules each EDH decklist should follow. Instead, it’s a jumping-off point. The hardest part about building a deck, is the initial draft. By following the 8×8 Theory, a first draft can maintain consistency across cards, and themes. This won’t always make your deck a masterpiece right away. But it can help bring it closer, faster.
By default, we recommend 4 packages all decks should have: Spot Removal, Ramp/Acceleration, Card Draw and Personal ‘one off’ cards. The other 4 packages should fit thematically or mechanically to your commander. The default 4 fulfil a general theme, while the rest fulfil a specific theme.