My friends and I play a lot of Magic the Gathering but our two biggest difficulties are
- We don’t always get out the house
- And its dammed expensive
I’ve been looking into other ways to play, and despite having an official Magic Online client this only solves one of the issues (it’s just as dammed expensive). There’s a few good pieces of software I have found useful.
Deck Building : Magic Album
Download at http://ma.slightlymagic.net/Updater.exe and run it, it’ll put the files in the same folder. For card images there’s a torrent file to get them all, and in Tools > Preferences you can select the folder that they’re in. These do make a bit of a hefty download though so are as well being optional.
It can save in multiple formats, for our purposes pick Deck and Save As and use dec format
Deck Building : Decked Builder
This is in as an honourable mention since it’s what I use myself. Having it both on PC and my iDevices (or android if that’s your flavour) all sync’d via dropbox makes browsing on the fly an absolute breeze.
Playing : Virtual Playtable
Grab the installer and and the MtG installer, don’t worry about the card artwork as you can set it to download these as needed in the options (Tools > Options > Search card images from the internet).
Run it and load the MtG module then the Deck Editor and open the dec  file. You can then Test play it against another deck (or itself) or Online Play it against friends (or randoms). Matches can have passwords set if you want to keep them private, as I know I would.
For $20 you could buy a license of Virtual Playtable allowing you to use the full deck builder, this is probably simpler in interface that Magic Album albeit less comprehensive. Should do for about 90% of decks though.
-  One thing I have found, Decked Builder doesn’t seem to be a standard dec fotmat so when it loads into Virtual Playtable there’s lots of duplicate card comments that need cleaned up.