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MtG Constructed (as opposed to Limited) is usually played Duel. However, there are [many interesting alternative formats], some of which have been tried at GamesEvening. These can, of course, lead to some interesting deck designs. Discussion below.


2 players.
Necessarily? You could play 3-player, around a triangle....
4-player might make more sense.  Something like a chessboard square, but you're not allowed to summon creatures directly into the corner squares (since that would allow attacking straight after that).  --AC
PeterTaylor has started thinking about a Star variant - the main problem is mana. If all lands untap at the start of each turn, things might get ever so slightly insane. If all lands untap at the start of the turn of the person who tapped them, there might not be enough mana to go round, and it's tricky keeping track of who tapped them.

Prepare for insane amounts of mana. Include some removal. (This follows a game between PeterTaylor and AlexChurchill which finished with Alex being decked after at least 3.5 hours of play, with neither player having dealt any damage to the other. Timberwatch, Centaur Glade and Voice of the Woods faced Catapult Squad and first-striking soldiers, and the result was not pretty. Unless you find Elemental blood pretty).

Removal and X spells work nicely. MTG: Nantuko Husk is even more insane than usual in this format. Especially when you have Fling and 17 Goblin tokens to sacrifice....MuHaHa.
Hmm.  51x Mountain, 3x MTG: Obstinate Familiar, 3x MTG: Chromatic Sphere, 1x MTG: Izzet Guildmage, 1x MTG: Lava Spike, 1x MTG: Desperate Ritual.  Good game. --Ultros


Anyone up for a game next GamesEvening? PeterWouldLikeToPlaySometime?.
StuartFraser likes this one.

Was played at GE last term.
I'd suggest redealing in the case of having a player targetting themselves - since it seemed a little unfair in that regard.  -- TI


Looks interesting. PeterWouldLikeToPlaySometime?.

Meh. Duel by any other name.
AC agrees with AnonymousPoster? here

[Chaos Magic]

AlexChurchill has played this with GreenOpal and friends. It's very wacky and quite cool, as long as you're prepared to occasionally concede some advantage to the whim of the dice.

[Don't Settle For Less]

Multiplayer.  One variant rule: cards in hand (not in play) may be traded... this includes land for nonland, multiple-for-one, etc... must all include the active player, but otherwise anything's fair game.  An extended version would allow players to give control of permanents as part of their trades.  (Things like life-points or mana could theoretically be added too, but probably best not...)
AlexChurchillLikes? the idea of playing this one.

PeterTaylor did wonder about an extended version - MagesOfCatan?, let's say - where mana is obtained by playing Settlers - ore -> R, sheep -> G, etc. Unfortunately, this doesn't fit too well with the differing availabilities of ore, sheep, etc.
AC has also thought about ways to crossover SettlersOfCatan with MagicTheGathering before.  See [these] [two] cards... (the latter is a CitiesAndKnightsOfCatan reference)
Easy enough to standardise the distributions, given a Seafarers set, say. -- TI

[Fish Fiddling]

Looks very wacky. PeterWouldLikeToPlaySometime?.
ChrisHowlettAgrees?, with the proviso that only the opening details are adjustable. The random stuff afterwards and the -1/-1 counters are just *weird*.

StuartFraser is of the opinion that penalising the ability to play extra colours is Heresy.
AC tends to agree. I'm not sure the opening details are very balanced, either.  Drawing more cards is just rather powerful.

[Five Player Collapse]

Next time we have 5 players wanting to play, and we can't meet the colour requirements for [Star], AC reckons we ought to try this.

Was played at GE last term; end result was MTG: Day of the Dragons is good, which most of us already knew.

[Kangaroo Court]

Thoroughly ought to be tried at some point!
ChrisHowlettAgrees?! Muchly! PoingPoingPoing!
StuartFraser likewise agrees. I suspect, however, that CH and SF will not both be present at a GE again this year...
Depends. I may or may not come for some time tomorrow (if I do, and bring Vitenka's cards, then since I want to leave sensibly early, can I request a lift on the Magic ban to redistribute the cards early?), and from next Tuesday onwards, there's very little stopping me. --CH.
Today is looking less likely. I could probably still profit from some last-minute looking at ordinals. --CH

Yes, we've played it. It's fun, it's silly, it makes ChrisHowlett produce bad puns.

[Musical Chairs]

Will not appeal to Spike. The GamesEvening regulars, on the other hand, may be interested... PeterWouldLikeToPlaySometime?.
ChrisHowlettAgrees?, very much.
StuartFraser agrees even more. He thinks we should generalise this format to other longish games played at games evening (FooOfCatan?, Munchkin, Citadels etc.)

StuartFraser, PeterTaylor and AlexChurchill played two games of 3-way chaos musical chairs - Peter won one with Stuart's deck, Stuart won one with Peter's deck. Amusing.

[Scavenger Hunt]

Requires pre-game preparation, building a deck to specific rules.  Some newer players are unlikely to be able to meet all the restrictions in the given Scavenger Hunt list, although we could create our own.
AlexChurchill would very much like to try this one.
Anyone want to try creating a /ScavengerHuntList, then? Worth a shot sometime you're really bored - add a card.
Keep this up, methinks... -- TI


One or two of the characters may be somewhat overpowered - Sliver Queen, for instance. However, it looks like there is much potential for experimentation here (especially if we try coming up with suitably balanced properties for Kamahl, Jeska, Phage, Akroma, Karona, Chainer, Loquatus, etc).
ChrisHowlett reckons worth a go.

MTGO Vanguard abilities (more recent than linked description)
|| Name || Hand size || Starting life || Abilities ||
|| Akroma, Angel of Wrath || 8 || 27 || When a creature comes into play under your control, it gains two of the following abilities at random: flying, first strike, trample, haste, protection from black, protection from red, or vigilance. ||
|| Arcbound Overseer || 6 || 23 || At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control. (Second ability) At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a charge counter on target permanent you control. ||
|| Birds of Paradise || 7 || 17 || Lands you control have 'T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.' ||
|| Bosh, Iron Golem || 7 || 18 || X, sacrifice an artifact of converted mana cost X: Deal X damage to target creature or player. ||
|| Eight-and-a-Half Tails || 9 || 17 || 1: Target permanent you control gains protection from a random color it doesn't already have protection from until end of turn. ||
|| Elvish Champion || 8 || 21 || You start the game with a 1/1 green Elf token that has 'Tap: Add G to your mana pool.' ||
|| Erhnam Djinn || 6 || 23 || Whenever you play a creature spell, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play. ||
|| Etched Oracle || 8 || 16 || You may pay WUBRG rather than play the mana cost for spells that you play. ||
|| Fallen Angel || 7 || 15 || Whenever a creature you control goes to a graveyard from play, target opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. ||
|| Flametongue Kavu || 7 || 14 || When a non-token creature comes into play under your control, it deals a random amount of damage between 0 and 4 to target creature. ||
|| Goblin Warchief || 7 || 17 || Attacking creatures you control get +1/+0. ||
|| Grinning Demon || 6 || 18 || Whenever a nontoken creature you control goes to a graveyard from play, target opponent discards a card. ||
|| Hell's Caretaker || 7 || 24 || 3, Sacrifice a creature: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play. ||
|| Higure, the Still Wind || 6 || 23 || Whenever a nontoken creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, take a random creature from your library, reveal it, and put it into your hand. ||
|| Ink-Eyes, Servant of the Oni || 6 || 13 || At the beginning of the game, look at target opponent's hand and choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. (Second ability) X, pay X life: Put target creature card with converted mana cost X in an opponent's graveyard into play under your control. ||
|| Karona, False God || 6 || 28 || At the beginning of your upkeep, exchange control of a random permanent you control and a random permanent target opponent controls. ||
|| Loxodon Hierarch || 7 || 21 || Sacrifice a permanent: Regenerate target creature you control. ||
|| Maro || 8 || 13 || Tap an untapped creature you control, Discard a card: Target creature you control gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your hand. ||
|| Phage the Untouchable || 7 || 15 || Pay 1 life: Until end of turn, whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, destroy that creature. (Second ability) Pay 1 life: Until end of turn, whenever target creature deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. ||
|| Platinum Angel || 6 || 11 || If you control an artifact, a creature, an enchantment, and a land, you can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game. ||
|| Prodigal Sorcerer || 8 || 22 || At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard. ||
|| Raksha, Golden Cub || 8 || 29 || Creatures you control get +0/+1. Equipped creatures you control get +1/+0 and have first strike. ||
|| Royal Assassin || 5 || 17 || At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life. ||
|| Serra Angel || 7 || 19 || Whenever you play a spell, you gain 2 life. ||
|| Seshiro the Anointed || 7 || 25 || At the beginning of the game, choose a creature type. Creatures you control, creature spells you control on the stack, and creature cards you own that aren't in play or on the stack have the chosen type in addition to their other types. ||
|| Sisters of Stone Death || 8 || 15 || Creatures you control must be blocked if able. (Second ability) 4: Remove from the game target creature blocking a creature you control. ||
|| Two-Headed Giant || 8 || 16 || Each creature you control may block 2 creatures each combat. Each creature you control can't be blocked except by 2 or more creatures. ||
|| Viridian Zealot || 7 || 22 || 2, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Search your library for a card with the same name as the creature you sacrificed, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. ||

Philosopher's Stone

(Anyone with alternative names, suggestions are welcomed).
Each player constructs 10 decks. It is recommended that this be played with proxies each card of which has a list of the 10 cards it can represent.

At regular intervals, details to be decided, a D10 is rolled, and all cards simultaneously become the card they represent from the corresponding deck. Usual state-based effects with respect to illegal positions etc. apply.
I prefer "Permanents which become instants may be played for their converted mana cost immeaditely after the dice roll resolves. Permanents which become sorceries are removed from the game until the end of the next main phase of the owner of the sorcery; then put in owners' graveyard. Whilst they are removed from the game by this effect that can be played for their converted mana cost." --SF

Permanents which remain permanents are not considered to have come into play afresh.
Feel free to shout me down for silliness, but... How about giving each deck 4 or 5 copies of a card which reads (in every deck) "Deck Swap - 0 - {Inst, Sorc, or Inst only playable on an empty stack in a main phase}. Change decks". Then players would change decks when they were in difficulties, with the effect of evening the game out away from the current leader. --CH
Hmm. I'm against any format which requires the addition of non-WotC cards to the card pool, on principle. You can consider this a variant but IMHO a bad one. I also dislike the ability being usable in the middle of turns, due to interaction with things like MTG: Astral Slide --SF
As noted below, the interaction with Astral Slide is not a problem, as the Slide places a delayed trigger which will resolve whether or not the Slide is still a Slide, or the RFG creature is still a creature. Of more chaotic interest (and personally, I see this as being very very silly, but also quite fun) is what happens to a large stack of spells if an Instant deck swap is played on the top... presumably they resolve as the new spell, keeping the same targets, as far as is possible (so an instant-speed creature could happen, but land spells would fizzle as they don't exist, and so would anything which was now targeted illegally). --CH

The roll of the D10 is not a dice roll the game knows about, so MTG: Goblin Bookie can't affect it.
The game can also be played with a D6. This requires less preparation.

What happens to counters? Among those who discussed it after GamesEvening, MTG: Giant Fan rules seemed preferred. The other obvious options are that counters remain as they are, that they all become +1/+1 counters, or that MTG: Power Conduit rules be applied.

If a card is imprinted on another card, what happens? Does the game remember that the card is imprinted even if we go through a stage where the permanent doesn't have imprint? Obviously the card is not imprinted at a time when it is of the wrong type.

Similar memory questions apply to things like MTG: Riptide Mangler (when it becomes a Mangler again, does the game remain its power?); MTG: Stalking Stones (does the game remember whether it's been activated?) etc.
AlexChurchill is inclined towards using rules based on CompRules 503.7 and 503.8.  So "colour choices" / "creature type choices" are remembered as such... "imprint" (and "what's equipping what", etc) would be remembered similarly.  This would mean that any card A imprinted on a card B remains "removed from the game due to the Imprint ability of card B" when things change... this could end up with a MTG: Vitalizing Wind imprinted and usable on an MTG: Isochron Scepter (due to earlier being, say, a MTG: Cromat and MTG: Chrome Mox respectively), but, well, so be it.  The imprint cards which play with other people's cards (MTG: Mourner's Shield, MTG: Thought Prison, MTG: Duplicant, MTG: Mirror Golem...) might be even more fun if creatively lined up.
Yes, this was the considered opinion of StuartFraser, AlanLawrence and PeterTaylor as well. It can make imprint very silly indeed, but is definitely the way to go.
WRT the other examples you mention, basically, the state-changing effects would persist (like any other effects).  So if MTG: Riptide Mangler sets up a non-expiring continuous effect setting its power to 7, and then transmutes into a MTG: Ridgetop Raptor, then the continuous effect still applies.  If it turns into an enchantment instead, then the effect still applies but does nothing, until it turns back into a creature (by some effect which doesn't specify P/T... like the D10 roll).  --AC
I disagree here. The mangler has been removed from the game, and the state-based effect goes with it. The D10 roll is the equivalent of someone MTG: Radiateing an MTG: Metamorphose.
Hmm, I'm not too fussed about the Mangler example in particular, but I strongly disagree with the analogy.  Creatures don't all become summoning sick when things change over, do they?  Counters etc remain, as does equipping/enchanting if relevant and legal.  It's much more like every card were a MTG: Vesuvan Doppelganger, or a MTG: Volrath's Shapeshifter, suddenly changing all at once.  --AC (And FWIW it's a continuous effect not a SBE)
Fair enough. The summoning sickness question doesn't arise, since the dice roll happens between turns.
Hmm... it's still relevant even if you only switch between turns, though, surely?  Suppose I have a non-sick MTG: Prodigal Sorcerer, and end of my turn we're going to roll.  If it turns into a MTG: Visara the Dreadful, I'm going to want to know whether I can tap it on your turn or not. And if not, probably ping you with it first.  --AC
CH is of the opinion that the permanents would not be RFG. They would simply have almost every aspect of their characteristics change. As such they would not become summoning sick, or lose counters, viable enchantments etc. We would have to make a ruling as to what happened to countinuous effects [I feel such a MathMo. I spelled that "cts"], but I would imagine that a MTG: Dominated card should not return to it's owner's control - in which case the Mangler's effect would still apply. Just my twopennorth.

Presumably a face-down card remains face-down, and if it doesn't have morph then tough luck.
The only problem with this is if MTG: Illusionary Mask appears on the board.
I think this isn't actually a problem - the Mask only lets you turn face-up cards that were put into play with the Mask itself.  Not that I'd imagine most of us will attempt to use a deck with Illusionary Mask... :)

Other mechanics with issues?
No, I think they all work - phasing and Slide both still get returned, so we should be fine.
Slid cards only get returned if continuous effects (and delayed triggers) are remembered after a shift.  Lots of things will only work if effects are remembered after a shift... --AC
Nothing here requires effects to be remembered, and it's frankly ludicrous that the continous effect caused by a permanent is remembered after a shift which removes the permanent from play. Yes, this presents you with a serious problem when the dice-roll removes your MTG: Upwelling from play. Deal with it. Slide on the other hand is a delayed trigger - the trigger remains if you were to MTG: Disenchant the Slide, so it makes sense to for it to remain if the Slide changes what it is...
Okay, I think I mostly agree.  MTG: Riptide Mangler is a confusing example, because it's not a continuous static ability like MTG: Crusade (which would stop the moment the enchantment changes identity), but an indefinite continuous effect caused by a one-shot effect.  It's like the reason MTG: Dominate is potentially so much more powerful than MTG: Control Magic: when it resolves it sets a permanent continuous effect which can't be stopped except by further control-changing effects, no matter what happens to the Dominate card afterwards.  The Mangler's ability is like Dominate, MTG: Artificial Evolution, etc, and is going to feel weird whatever we decide.  Suppose decks could switch in the middle of turns... would you expect a creature targeted by MTG: Timberwatch Elf to keep the +X/+X bonus after changing to a different creature?  If not, then how come local enchantments stay enchanting things... but if so, then Mangler's ability ought to hang around too.  --AC, realising just how confusing the rules for characteristic-changing can be
This is why decks can't switch in the middle of turns. MTG: Riptide Mangler's rules text says "Riptide Mangler's power is equal to that of target creature." I think that can be taken as implying that if the card isn't Riptide Mangler any more, the power effect doesn't apply. But effects that just say "target [permanent]" are fine, provided that [permanent] is still a legal target for them. --SF
Sorry, but no it can't be taken that way :) CompRules 503.11: If an effect refers to a permanent by name, the effect still tracks that permanent even if it changes names or becomes a copy of something else. Example: An MTG: Unstable Shapeshifter copies a MTG: Crazed Armodon. Crazed Armodon reads, "G: Crazed Armodon gets +3/+0 and gains trample until end of turn. Destroy Crazed Armodon at end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn." If this activated ability of the Shapeshifter is played, the Shapeshifter will be destroyed at end of turn, even if it's no longer a copy of Crazed Armodon at that time.  --AC (also note that because of 404.4c quoted below, the effect will still track the object even if it's no longer a legal target)
But it doesn't "change names or become a copy of something else". It becomes a different permanent, with a totally different set of characteristics. This isn't "every card in your deck is a shapeshifter, which changes on the roll of a dice", it's "You are playing with ten proxied decks. The deck your proxies represents changes every time a dice is rolled." --SF
I agree the distinction you point out is the key one.  Is it that on the die roll, every card changes its identity, or is it that they get removed from the game and a new set of cards put into (play, hand, graveyard etc)?  If it's the latter, though (like every card MTG: Flickers), then there's no reason for enchantments to stay where they are, counters to remain, track of imprint to be kept, control-change effects to persist, and so on.  What I said above is that I'm inclined to use rules based on CompRules 503.7 and 503.8 - in other words, making it such that every card changes its (printed) characteristics, but remains the same card.  I think we ought to agree on one or the other, though, and not try to have some halfway house. --AC, hoping he's not causing offence
StuartFraser will concede the point in order for there to be a chance at this ruleset getting finalised.

(PeterTaylor) Can the slide's delayed trigger find the card to return it to play? What if it's no longer a creature?
Yes it can.  CompRules 404.4c: A delayed triggered ability that refers to a particular object still affects it even if the object changes characteristics. Example: An ability reading, "At end of turn, destroy that creature" will destroy the permanent even if it's no longer a creature during the end of turn step. --AC

The delayed trigger is put on the card when it is removed from the game. Whilst in the removed-from-game zone, it is unaffected by global effects (like the dice roll) and so remains a creature until it returns to play, at which point the die-roll catches up to it and it's permanent type changes. --SF
I disagree that the RFG zone should be exempt from deck-shifts.  See the Imprint examples above, or MTG: Skyship Weatherlight, or any number of other cards which use "RFG" to mean "RFG but they still affect the game somehow".  --AC
This is because MTG: Astral Slide really says "you may phase out target permanent. When it phases in, apply CIP effects." Honest. Magic does actually need two RFG zones...
A number of people have said that some much refers to RFG these days, there should be a "really removed from the game" zone :) However, since in practice RFG is still in the game in any number of cases, the cards in RFG have to change with the rest of the decks... yes? --AC
Unfortunately, yes. This is horribly inconsistent and I hate it; but otherwise much of the game doesn't work.
I believe this is the 'torn into little pieces' zone, inhabited by MTG: Blacker Lotus  :)  --Vitenka (and MTG: Chaos Confetti)

ChrisHowlett wibbles, but in a good way, at the prospect of combining this with Musical Chairs...

It occurs to me that I could seriously break this format by having the starting deck (or if that is also randomised, a proportion of decks) being mostly lands, cheap permaments and means to search them into play or hand; and having the rest of the decks be stuffed chock full of really expensive Timmy style creatures. Having my 4 forests and 2 spellbombs change, on the dice roll, to each pit-fighter legend and Akroma might be a little disheartening.

Sure; but then the next time the dice is rolled you'll have a 50/50 chance that they'll change back. I don't think this is a serious problem, at least not before playtesting. I don't think you can reliably play "Stone-Reanimator" in this format.
I play (effectively) three decks - each is one third cheap-to-free stuff. Mana artifacts, lands, what have you. The other two thirds is massively powerful Reanimator fodder. At any given point, I'm swinging with 2/3 of the cards I have on the table, powering them with the mana from the other third, and dropping another two cards or so a turn (assuming changes on the order of once every couple of turns here, admittedly). I think something along those lines could be arranged. At any rate, breaking, rather than merely allowing for, the 'all change' seems the way 'forward'. -- TI
It also occurs that if the above problem could be sorted, it would be more fun to have each player have a seperate D6 to roll each time the decks change - that even prevents metagaming your decks against other peoples, should we play it more than once. --CH
*shrug* another variant. Reasonable --SF
M-A wonder why on each she is reading all the updates to this page, as she doesn't play magic, and has no idea what's going on...
*innocent whistle* Learning to play Magic can be arranged... MuHaHaHa...  --WikiCorrupterOfSouls (on behalf of the WikiMtGConspiracy)

We never managed to get this one going, did we? ChrisHowlett is now fairly certain he has sufficient decks to make at least D6 playable, he might even have D10 worth. If there wasn't already far too much happening at pre-releases he'd suggest people bring decks in time for Guildpact.


The term "insanity" springs to mind. I like that term.
Oooo. Like. :) --Requiem

[Pauper Magic]

PeterTaylor has built an MTGO-legal Pauper deck and invites other GamesEvening attendees to do likewise.

[Mental Magic]

Follow-up articles on [basic strategy], [card advantage] and [flashback]. The preview article for [Richard Garfield, PhD] is also relevant.

BTW, has anyone, other than Stephen, got a Philosopher's Stone deck? It is, perhaps, one of the wackiest formats we've ever seen, but I like it a lot and think we should play it sometime. I wouldn't mind trying the Musical Chairs either...
Not yet - but I have sufficient decks to make one, when they arrive... --CH

My brain hurts.  --Vitenka


SpoilerWarning for the AnthonyAlongi? article linked. It's fun to figure out for yourself, so try it.

...Back now? Discussion follows.

So it seems that everyone's library starts in their graveyard. Either
a) you can play lands from your graveyard, but otherwise you're stuck with the cards you started with, or
b) the word "draw" means "take at random from your graveyard to your hand".
But I can't quite figure out the life/combat/victory conditions, although there's something topsy-turvy going on. It seems that damage to a player affects the attacker's controller's life total. I can't tell if you win if your life gets to twenty (which is why MTG: Heroes' Reunion is good), or zero (which is where MTG: Hidetsugu's Second Rite comes in). I think he's proposing errata'ing MTG: Ravenous Baloth's sac ability so that it can target other players. What do others think? --AC

(PeterTaylor) I'm pretty certain that you start on 0 life and win when you hit 20. Attacking gains you life rather than causing your opponent to lose life, but cards which would gain you life instead cause your opponent to lose life (making MTG: Stream of Life rather too effective in multiplayer). OTOH it seems from the Second Rite that cards which would lose you life instead gain you life - seems inconsistent.
There's an explanation on the [third page] of the article's discussion thread. Very impressively, though, as another post on that page points out: in this format, both MTG: One with Nothing and MTG: Mudhole are broken!!! Truly a topsy-turvy format. :D --AC


A home-grown format by AnthonyAlongi?. First created [here], then followed up [here] with a brief addendum [here], a mention [here] and a revisitation [here]. An 8-player free-for-all format, although apparently it also works well with 7. Players start off effectively in the corners of a wireframe cube, and can affect only those players connected to them (a good 2-d diagram of a topologically identical arrangement is in the last link). If you kill a player, you may immediately expand into their territory or move wholesale, or stay put. Similarly, at EOT, you may expand or move into an adjacent empty territory, or retreat from a territory. It's apparently rather fun.

Three Card Blind

Players submit decks containing only three cards. Deck submissions are hidden until submissions close. Then all decks are revealed, and played against one another in pairs of duels. (Pairs so that the two decks each get one chance to play first.) You start off with all three cards in your hand, and don't lose for being unable to draw a card. The three cards you specify must include the sources of mana as well as the things to do with it.

A version of this format known as Vanishing Three Card Blind is being played on the CardmasterConflict forums, [here]. Here, each round, the cards from the winning decks are added to a Banned list, from which no cards may be used in future decks. Thus, the most powerful cards like MTG: Black Lotus, MTG: Mishra's Factory etc quickly get banned, and the power level stabilises. The only cards immune to banning are the five basic lands and the fifteen [storage counter lands] from Fallen Empires, Mercadian Masques and Time Spiral.

They're 28 rounds in so far, and AlexChurchill won his first round in Round 27, getting the first multicolour card banned (MTG: Thundersong Trumpeter). It's a fascinating format, because some cards escalate greatly in power (MTG: Blackmail is lethal, for example), while others drop greatly (MTG: Millstone and MTG: Glimpse the Unthinkable are useless). Recent winning decks have included:
Round 24: Swamp, MTG: Sarcomancy, MTG: Tel-Jilad Stylus
Round 25: MTG: Peat Bog, MTG: Ravenous Rats, MTG: Diabolic Edict
Round 26: MTG: Mercadian Bazaar, MTG: Ali from Cairo, MTG: Blast from the Past
Round 27: Mountain, MTG: Raze, MTG: Roc Hatchling
Round 28: MTG: Tinder Farm, MTG: Thallid, MTG: Thundersong Trumpeter
But the number of players seems to have declined for 2006. Do any ToothyWikizens fancy stepping up to the challenge? The current banned list (as of Round 28) can be seen [here].

I'm not gonna go near this, but I will suggest MTG: Force Spike as probably working very well.  Or MTG: Sinkhole since people already banned MTG: Strip Mine :)  --Vitenka

Thanks, Alex.  I'm the host of this game, and I'd love getting some more entrants.  Let me know if you have any questions, either here or on the CardmasterConflict forums. --Ultros

Hang on, unhinged is legal? --CH
Yes. Any random actions (coinflips etc) are assumed to come out with the worst possible outcome, though. But you're able to activate MTG: Urza's Contact Lenses as often as you like. And your opponent will never trigger Gotcha's or MTG: Bloodletter, for example. --AC
MTG: Bloodletter works (though it's probably not very useful) if you can satisfy its condition (likely by using token creatures).  If your opponent has that third 'W' creature that you need for the trigger, though, nothing says they have to play it.  Perfect play is assumed, and both players know what the other player has.  So if you're holding MTG: Control Magic with the mana to play it, and your opponent has a MTG: Grizzly Bears that they would lose to if you stole it, they simply keep it in hand and that matchup is a draw. --Ultros

The logical conclusion, of course, is GeneratorThreeCardBlind?. I might start that tomorrow. As if I don't have enough to do... --CH
I think that could work like this:  You secretly choose three numbers, everybody posts a seed number, and then you add your numbers to everybody's seed to generate their cards.  Or you choose one number and everyone else chooses three.  --Ultros
Actually, I was more thinking that you'd refresh as often as you liked until you got 3 cards you liked... But in retrospect, we're somewhat thwarted by a lack of mana cost. --CH
You could have everyone post a number, and then hit the ToothyWikiInternals/DiceRollServer to get a six-digit number to add to each of our numbers. That server has logging to prevent cheating. However, we might equally be thwarted by a lack of mana production. Not to mention that spotting the "perfect play" for both players is sometimes hard enough with only 6 normal Magic cards around - imagine if you got some of the Generator's behemoths... :-o --AC (who still wants to try it)

Just wondering if you guys are still interested in playing.  I'm hurting for entries right now. --Ultros

Spring 2011:
As a relatively new player, I was sad that the original Three Card Blind games stopped before I had a chance to join in. So I was wondering if we could start playing it again, maybe on the wiki (probably start a new page). Anyone interested?
AlexChurchill says he didn't have enough time to keep judging it every round - so maybe we could rotate who judges it.
To avoid uninteresting repetition (and to make it fairer for new players!) perhaps we should have a rule that each deck submitted must contain at least one card from after those games stopped happening (when was that? Alara? earlier?) --Rachael

I just found the most powerful deck for this format: [Ink-eyes(Vangard)] Lotus Laboratory Maniac. Turn zero, uncountable, discard followed by turn 2 win. -TiaC?

[Mission Magic]

Create a bunch of mission cards beforehand, saying things like "Deal twelve or more damage this turn", "Kill the first player to play a counterspell or multiple-destruction effect", "Prevent another player from taking lethal damage", etc. Players get several of these for each game, and get bonus points for achieving them. Either deal the missions out after choosing decks, let people choose decks after seeing the missions, or somewhere in-between (let each player choose, say, three decks, then get their mission cards, then choose out of the three candidate decks).

When you achieve a mission, turn the mission card face-up and receive a Mission Point. The aim as described in that article is to get to N mission points over several games; a quicker version that could also work that the first player to achieve all 3 of their missions (or, say, 4 of their 5 missions) wins the game.

[Elder Dragon Highlander]

Apparently played quite a bit by the judging community, usually Multiplayer. Basically, players reserve (in advance) a Legendary Creature to act as a General for their deck. No other player may put that card in their deck. A deck may not contain any cards with a mana-symbol not in the General's cost (should you somehow produce mana that doesn't match your general, you get colourless instead).
So, for example, if your General is MTG: Captain Sisay, your deck may only contain Green and/or White cards; MTG: Scathe Zombies is not allowed, nor are MTG: Thundersong Trumpeter, MTG: Azorius Guildmage, MTG: Mossfire Egg, or even MTG: Tundra since CompRules grafts the "T: Add W or U to your mana pool" onto it.

Decks are 100 cards exactly, and Highlander.

Life totals are >20 (30 or 40 is common). Taking 21 total points from any one general causes loss. Generals start RFG'd, and as long as they are RFG'd can be played as if in hand, for an additional cost of 2 mana times the number of times you've played the general from the RFG zone like this. If a general would be put into a graveyard for any reason, its owner may RFG it instead.

There's a forum on the format [here], which details a few strategies, and some rule discussions.

ChrisHowlett reckons it might be quite fun at the next Prerelease, but fears he may not have time to construct a deck.
If he does, ChrisHowlett may use MTG: Darigaaz, the Igniter
Would MTG: Sliver Overlord be too obvious? --AC (musing that this format is probably one of the better contexts in which one could play MTG: Atogatog...)
There are mutterings on the forum about how it's occasionally annoying that people take that kind of thing just for 5-colour-ness, but there's no rule against it, and I can't see it being an issue in a small group. TBH, most of the mutterings are that it's irritating to have to take a 5-colour General if all you want is a wedge. --CH, plotting some kind of Dredge engine

Put your reservations here:

SeeAlso: /LimitedFormats

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