The following articles take a deep dive into how to use the Melee platform.

Account Creation and Profiles

Creating an Account

Click Here to create an account. You will receive a verification email once you’ve finished filling out the necessary information.

Once your user account is created, you are able to join tournaments or create organizations.

  • A full list of tournaments can be found by clicking the Tournaments tab on the top navigation bar.
  • You can create an organization under the “Organizers drop down on the top navigation bar.

Below you will find resources for players, judges, and organizers. Be sure to check them out if you want to utilize Melee to its fullest potential.

Creating an Account

Navigating Melee

Melee is designed for players, judges, and organizers to use and navigate. To make this as simple as possible, we’ve added specific pages to your profile settings page to help find what you’re looking for. You can find your user settings in your profile dropdown.

Your Melee Profile

Your profile settings page, or “Melee Profile”, has settings that can be filled out. It also has “Associations” which make it easy to find what you’re looking for:

  • Decklists: Add or view decklists previous used in tournaments you’ve played in
  • Tournaments: See all the tournaments you’re registered for or staffed on as a judge or organizer
  • Organizations: Access all the Organization Dashboards of your organizations or those you’re staffed on.

Access to these pages are also found on the profile dropdown.

Becoming an Organizer

There is no application process for becoming an Organizer to run tournaments on Any user can create an organization and start running tournaments by clicking here. Once a new organization is created, you’ll be able to access its Organization Dashboard and start running tournaments under the organization.

Before you start running tournaments, be sure to read and follow our Terms of Service and Entry Fee and Payment Policies.

Becoming an Organizer

Player Resources

Registering for a Tournament

Player's may register for a tournament before it starts. If a tournament has already started, late enrollment is possible through the organizer.

Some tournaments are "Invite Only". Organizers use Melee's "preregistration process" to verify which players are able to sign up. On the registration page the registration requirements may show a red x by preregistered. This either means the organizer has not preregistered you yet, or that the information they've submitted does not match your account's information. You can edit your account information in your profile settings page.


Players will automatically trigger a refund when they unenroll or drop from a tournament that has not started yet. Players will need to speak to their organizer if they need a refund once a tournament has started.

Playing in a Tournament

Melee offer's two ways for players to receive pairings and record match results. The Player Controller is home to a more robust suite of tools and features while the Player Portal is more mobile-friendly with only the necessities in mind. Links to these tools will appear on the same page as any tournament you've registered for and both can be used for receiving pairings and submitting results.

Actions both tools can do:

  • Receive seatings for player’s meetings, draft pods, and build tables
  • Receive pairings
  • Submit match results
  • Drop from tournaments

Things you can do on the Player Controller:

  • Unenroll from a tournament that hasn’t started yet.
  • Submit decklists.
  • View opponent decklists in open decklist tournaments.
  • View Standings.
  • View tournament match pairings.
  • Upload files to the organizer.

Texted Pairings

Melee will text players their pairings if they've added their phone number to their profile. To enable texted pairings, go to your profile settings and add your phone number under the "Account" tab.

Decklist Database

All decklists from tournaments hosted on Melee can be found in the Deck Database. You can find this under the "Decklists" tab at the top of the page.

Navigating The Tournaments Page
Your Tournaments

Deckstop: On the top very left side of the screen you'll find a list of upcomming tournaments you're registered for or currently participating in.

Mobile: You'll find the tournaments you're registered for under the black "hamburger" dropdown.

Browse Tournaments

Found at the top of the page, the "Browse Tournaments" sections allows you to filter by:

  • Upcoming, In-Progress, or Finished (Results) tournaments.
  • Format
  • Entry Fee or no Entry Fee
  • and more
Visual View and Table View

In the top right corner of the screen is a toggle for how the table information is displayed.

Tournament Organizer Resources

Organization Dashboard

The Organization Dashboard is a centralized home for all the tools and resources available for each Organization. Organization Dashboards can be found under the “Organizations” tab in your profile settings by clicking on the dashboard button associated with the Organization. Organization Dashboards is where you can:

  • Edit the Organization
  • Staff your Organization
  • Create Tournaments & Tournament Hubs
  • Financials

Edit your Organization

The Organization Edit page is where you’ll be able to change your organization’s name, contact email, support ticketing email, and add any social media links associated with your organization. It’s also where you’ll be able to enable entry fees.

Enabling Entry Fees

Organizers are not given the option to take Entry Fees until they have linked a PayPal account. You will find this option available in the “Edit Organization” page found in your Organization’s Dashboard. Once a PayPal account has been linked, you will have the option to take entry fees on the Tournament Edit page.

Be sure to read our Entry Fee and Payment Policies before running tournaments with entry fees that are being taken on or off the Melee platform.

Staffing your Organization & Tournaments

Found on the Organization Dashboard is an “Organization Staff” tab. Here you will be able to staff your organization. Once an account has been added to your staff, they will gain access to all of your tournament’s Tournament Controllers. Each tournament can also be staffed individually which can be managed from the “Staff” tab on that tournament’s Tournament Controller.

You can learn more about which permissions are granted to each role in the “Staff Permissions” tab in the Organization Dashboard.

Creating a Tournament

You can start the tournament creation process from within your Organization Dashboard, or under the “Organizers” dropdown menu on the navigation bar. Each tournament consists of three unique pages:

  • The Tournament Edit page
  • The Tournament Controller
  • The Tournament View page
  • Tournament Edit Page

The Tournament Edit Page is where you will begin the tournament creation process. This will allow you to choose and edit the framework of your tournament.

Note: Melee has the option to run test tournaments which are not visible to the public. Be sure to try it out before running your first tournament on Melee!

Tournament View Page

Once you’ve created the tournament on the Edit page you’ll be navigated to the View page. This is where players will sign up for your tournament once it has been published. To publish your tournament you will need to navigate to the “Tournament Controller”.

Tournament Controller

The Tournament Controller is your home for all actions before and during the tournament including publishing the tournament for players to start registering. You will first need to visit the “Phases” tab to create phases, select the format, choose the matching method and number of rounds for your tournament.

Once a phase is created you can publish the tournament and start allowing players to register.

Tournament Registration Options

There are many ways for players to register themselves into tournaments or be registered by the organizer. For starters, there are two forms of “Registration Types”; Invite Only and Open Registration.

Open Registration

The most commonly used is Open Registration. Once a tournament is published, players will be able to register themselves on the tournament’s view page.

Invite Only

Invite Only will not allow the public to register for the tournament. There’s two ways to allow invited players to register themselves. Under “Entry Type” you can select “Code Only” and fill in a code for players to use to register. The other process is by using the “Preregistration” tab found on the Tournament Controller.


The Preregistration tab features an 'Import Players' button. This allows you to paste a list of player PII, enabling users to register for the tournament if their account information matches the selected Data Type. Importing players neither enrolls them into the tournament nor sends them an email. It only grants access to register for "Invite Only" tournaments.

Note: Melee detects duplicates automatically, allowing you to import the entire list of registrations for the tournament without issues.

Manual Enrollment

You may enroll players into tournaments even if they don’t already have a Melee account. To do so, go to the Players tab and under the “Actions” dropdown you will find “Enroll a player”. This will open up a table to enroll players. On the left you can search for existing player accounts and on the right you can fill in the information for a player to enroll them and create a new account for them.

When you enroll a new-to-Melee user, they will receive an email allowing them to finalize account setup as well as access to their Player Portal. Players don’t need to be logged in to access their Player Portal so new users can immediately gain access to receiving pairings and submitting results!

Running a Tournament

You can start the tournament under the “Tournament Actions” dropdown in the upper right corner of the Tournament Controller. Once a tournament is started:

  • Players will no longer be able to submit or edit decklists.
  • Depending on your settings in the Edit Page, players may be dropped, and others added from the waitlist.
  • You will be able to pair Round 1.
Pairing the Round

To pair Round 1, go to the “Pairings” tab. Under the matches section you will find buttons for each round of your tournament. Click on the round you wish to pair then on the “Actions” dropdown to the right and click “Match Players/Teams”.

Once a match is paired, players will be able to see the pairings in their Player Controller or Player Portal. You may also edit the pairings by opening up the “Edit Match-ups” window found in the “Actions” dropdown.

Once all the results are in you can select the next round to be paired and repeat the process.

Test Tournaments

Test tournaments are a great way to learn how to use Melee without the pressure of doing so in a live tournament. By checking the “This tournament is for testing” checkbox:

  • You will be able to enroll fake players into the tournament
  • You will be able to submit fake results for those players when paired
  • The test tournament will not be visible to the public

The Player Card

The Player Card will appear when you click on any player’s name on any tab in the Tournament Controller. The Player Card is home to all information you will need on that player and is where you can:

  • Assign seating
  • Change tournament status
  • Issue penalties and refunds

Creating Hubs

Found on the Organization Dashboard is the option to create Tournament Hubs, an organizer defined list of tournaments. Tournament Hubs are a great way to house all of your tournaments for a given weekend or series under one weblink.

Note: Tournaments added to a Tournament Hub will not be visible on the hub’s view page until they are published.


Found in the Organization Dashboard are the “Payouts” tab and the “Tournament Entries” tab. The Payouts tab will document every tournament entry reimbursement Melee has sent your organization. The Tournament Entries tab is a detailed list of every registration made into tournaments with entry fees. You may also generate CSV reports from the Tournament Entries tabs to monitor your accounting on a granular level.

Tournament Procedure and Guides

Late Enrollment

Players won’t be able to register themselves once a tournament has started. Here are steps to resolve any late enrollment situations:

  1. Manually enroll the player.
  2. Open their Player Card by clicking on their name and change their status to “Active”.
  3. Click the “Edit Pairings” button in the “Pairings” tab.
  4. Choose to either pair them, issue a bye, or loss.

Team Trios Setup

Melee currently does not technically support* team tournaments such as 2HG (Two-headed Giant) or Team Trios, but that has not stopped organizers from working around certain limitations. Here is a step-by-step guide for how organizers use Melee to run team tournaments:

  • Have only one player register for the entire team.
  • Use Metadata to collect player information for their teammates.
  • Have each phase of the tournament be one of the three formats so the team captain can submit a decklist for each player. If the tournament calls for less than three phases, add an extra “fake phase” after the final real one. Delete this phase once the tournament is concluded.
  • Only the captain will receive pairings and submit results for the team.

*Team support is on the roadmap.

Judge Resources

Section Overview

Judges play an integral part in the success of tournaments, and often each judge will have a unique separate to the rest of their team. This section of the documentation breaks down different aspects of Melee to highlight certain tools and aspects of the platform for each role a judge may have.

Tournament Format Configs

Tournament Format Configs

Melee uses format configuration files to control card legality, decklist size, and other decklist validation rules. Files managed by Melee are called “evergreen format configs” and include configs for official tournament formats like Standard, Legacy, etc. Organizers can create their own format configs to run tournaments with custom formats.

The legality of cards in each evergreen format supported on Melee are updated on the official release date of Magic: The Gathering Sets. This creates a one week window with each set release where the legality of formats on Magic Online and Magic Arena will not reflect the legality of formats on Melee.

Organizers can create these custom configs in their organization dashboard.

In their dashboard, organizers can see and clone evergreen configs. Also, it’s possible to create new configs from scratch.

Creating Custom Formats

Format configurations can be complicated or simple. We've designed a web form to help you build yours. Clicking on "New Config" in your organization dashboard opens a page with a blank form.

You must name your custom format. This name must be unique for your organization. This name will be shown to players whenever they go to register so they know the format of the tournament. Hovering over the name of the format on the tournament pages will show the format’s rules.

Config Sections

The rules section contains fields that represent general rules about deck construction including deck size restrictions and Commander validation.

Allow Lists

The allow list section contains lists of allowed sets, cards, card types, etc. By default, all sets and cards are legal. Setting an allow list will make it so only those values are allowed. An allow list of a given type overrides the deny list of the same type.

Deny Lists

The allow list section contains lists of denied (or banned) sets, cards, card types, etc. By default, all sets and cards are legal. Setting a deny list will make it so those values are not allowed or banned. An deny list of a given type is overridden by the allow list of the same type.

Card Quantities

The card quantities section contains fields that control the minimum and maximum card quantities per deck. For example, the Commander format allows for a maximum and minimum of 1 for each card of a given name. The Standard format allows for a maximum of 4 cards and no minimum.

You can also assign custom card quantities for individual card names. For example, the Vintage format has several cards restricted to a maximum of 1.

Card Points

Some formats, like Canadian Highlander, use a points system to restrict the power level of cards in a player's deck. The card points section allows you to assign points to cards of a given name and limit the number of points per deck.

You must assign points to at least one card for this section to have an effect.

Format Explanation

On the form to create/edit format configs, there is an explanation tab. This tab shows a human readable explanation of the format’s rules. This explanation shows up whenever a player looks at the tournament details and hovers over the format of the tournament.

Format Testing

On the form to create/edit format configs, there is a testing tab. On this tab, you can copy/paste decklists and check them for parsing and validation against the custom format config you created. The parsed decklist and any errors appear below the copy/paste decklist box.

Additional Information

Player/Team Statuses

Each player or team has a status field that shows what their current status is in the tournament.

Definitions of Player/Team Statuses

The Preregistered status is used for enrollment. A team can be preregistered into the tournament by an organizer. This means that they are able to enroll into the tournament, if the tournament is an invite only tournament, but aren't considered active. Teams who are preregistered must enroll themselves before they are considered enrolled in the tournament. This status essentially saves a place for the team/player.


Teams with the enrolled status have registered in the tournament and will be converted to active whenever the tournament starts.


The team is active in the tournament and will be paired.


The team didn't make a cut requirement. Cuts happen at the beginning of phases, such as a cut to day two or a cut for Top 8.


A team will be eliminated from a tournament whenever they lose in a single elimination or double elimination round.


Teams have the Dropped status if the team dropped themselves from the tournament.


Teams will have the Deleted status if they unenrolled themselves from the tournament. This is different from dropping from a tournament and signifies that the team did not play in the tournament.


Teams with the Disqualified status were disqualified from the tournament.


Teams gain the Qualified status whenever they mean the 'Play Until X Wins' threshold. I.e.; If the tournament is set to 'Play Until 2 Wins', when a team hits 2 wins they will gain the Qualified status. This makes it so they are not paired for the subsequent rounds.

Supported Formats

Magic: The Gathering formats are various ways in which the game can be played. Each format provides rules for deck construction and gameplay, with many confining the pool of permitted cards to those released in a specified group of Magic card sets.

Descriptions Of Supported Formats

Cards from core set Eighth edition and Mirrodin through today are legal. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Standard is a dynamic format where you build decks and play using cards in your collection from recently released Magic sets. Evolving gameplay and fresh strategies make it one of the most fun and popular ways to play Magic.


Pioneer is a new nonrotating format featuring cards from Return to Ravnica and forward. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Each player chooses a legendary creature as their "Commander" of their deck. It is played with a 99-card deck that contains only cards of their commander's colors. Other than basic lands, each deck can only use one copy of any card.


Historic is MTG Arena’s largest Constructed format, filled with both old and new Magic cards. Digital-only cards are legal in this format, including rebalanced versions of existing cards. Play unique strategies, wild synergies, and construct unique decks! Historic never rotates and is curated as a digital-first format.


Decks may consist of cards from all Magic card sets. Even cards from expansions and special sets are legal in the Legacy format. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Players play with decks constructed at the tournament from a limited and usually randomized pool of cards, rather than constructing decks ahead of time


Restricts decks to only cards with the common rarity. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules. Vintage- The most powerful of constructed formats is Vintage as decks may consist of cards from all Magic card sets. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Alchemy is a digital-only rotating format and play mode for Magic: The Gathering Arena that was introduced in December, 2021 as a fast and ever-evolving experience. It intentionally diverges from the metagame of Standard and other formats to provide an alternative experience to play.


Explorer is a new digital experience on MTG Arena – a true-to-paper, non-rotating format featuring all cards legal in the Pioneer format that appear on Arena.


It is a little like Standard, a little like Commander, and a uniquely exciting deck-brewing challenge. Build a deck around a specific legendary creature or planeswalker from the Standard card pool. Choose Your Champion!

Historic Brawl

Historic Brawl is a variant of Brawl format that is played with a deck of 60 cards. Basically, Historic Brawl is just what you would expect; the Brawl format (which otherwise uses only Standard-legal sets) with the added Historic card pool. It was introduced to MTG Arena in December 2020.


Gladiator is a 100 card singleton format, intended to be played primarily on MTG Arena. Many of the rules of the format are shared among other singleton variants, while also providing a unique experience.


Is a very casual Magic format rather relaxed. Play with any set or card, no cards are banned, build your deck with as many copies as you’d like and msure you have at least 40 cards.

Old School

A casual constructed format using an older or limited card pool, or older rule sets. There are many different variations, often with different rules set regionally by a play group or a local tournament organizer.

Additional information

Please note these are generalized overviews and not full descriptions or rules. For questions about the rules please contact your tournament organizer for your tournaments specific rules or For a complete list of formats, visit Wizards of the Coast's website.