Some Fun Casual Formats

After like four years of playing Magic the Gathering, I have found that many of the formats that Wizards of the Coast Promotes aren’t as creative as they can be. For one, most decks have to be 60 cards with no more than 4 copies of any one card. Generally, these are the standard deck construction types. However, why not try something new? How about trying out a new format where you have to build a new type of deck? Here I have compiled a list of formats which are generally unsupported by Wizards of the Coast, but are fun to play at your kitchen table.

Special Deck Formats

Pentagram- Ever wondered what it would look like if hqdefaultthe five colors of Magic went to war against each other? If so, Pentagram may be right for you. In this variant, five players play a game of Magic the Gathering against each other, but are only allowed to use cards of their assigned color. For example, the player representing white is only allowed to use white cards, and so on and so forth for the other colors. play begins with the white player, then goes clockwise. The winner is the last person left in the game.

Prismatic- If you think a commander deck is too small, try this fun format. Here, each player needs a 250 card deck with at least 20 cards of each color. The game then plays like a normal game of Magic the Gathering, except for the minor difference that the big deck mulligan rule is added. The rule states that if the first player’s initial hand has 0, 1, 6, or 7 lands in it, that player can mulligan and draw a new hand of 7 cards (rather than the usual 6).

Tribal Wars-magic_expansion_elvesvsgoblins_other2pic_en In the tribal wars format, two players will each choose a creature type such as elves, goblins, merfolk, etc. and will need to put at least 20 of that creature type into his or her deck. The game plays like a normal game of Magic. However, some playgroups will add a twist and say that you can’t use some of the more popular creature types such as humans, goblins, elves, or merfolk, and instead use some tribe that doesn’t have as much depth to it such as gremlins, cephalids, or cats. Other groups will play with only standard or modern legal cards.

Draft Formats

Cube (Cube Draft)- Do you love drafting and being able to do it whenever you want but not have to pay $12 every time you want to draft? If so, you should build a cube. A cube is a set of around 360 cards that are built to make a fun draft environment. Players will begin the draft by shuffling the cards together, and dealing out three fifteen card “packs” to each player. The draft continues like a normal draft, and once the event is over, all players will remove all basic land cards that they added to their decks, and shuffle them back to draft again and again. Some players like to add really good and competitive cards to their cube, while others will only add in bulk cards that they have lying around in their collection that they have no other use for.

Reject Rares Draft- Some people have way too many cards that they don’t use. A lot of them have the rare rarity, yet they don’t have any function or value. Sometimes called bulk rares, these cards generally are good, but have some reason for not being played such as a different card doing its job better. A Reject Rares draft is a draft format where each participant donate 45 of these bulk rares to be shuffled together, then drafted. The cards drafted by each player are kept, or can be donated to a group pile to make a bulk rare cube.

I personally feel like these formats are fun to play, but what do you think? Have you tried any of these formats, or feel like trying them? What should I talk about next time? Let me know in the comment section down below.


Building A Kiln Fiend Pauper Deck

kiln20fiendA few weeks ago around the new year, I was looking through some older cards of mine hoping for an inspiration for a deck. That’s when I came across my old pair of Kiln Fiends that I had drafted in a Conspiracy: Take the Crown draft over the summer. I wanted to make them great and a spotlight of a deck. So I threw in cards that would make it bigger and unblockable. Confidently, I took it to my play group, and attempted to win with it.

Well, forgetting that four of any card isn’t enough to guarantee it pops up in a game, I  found a flaw in the early version of the deck. However, since Kiln Fiend’s conditional +3/+0 ability is so vital and necessary for the deck to win, I had no idea where to go with this deck. I thought for sure that I would have to scrap this deck. 7780ed720c18e7be343e587123966c71It was after my dedicated “last game of the deck” that I was given the suggestion to add in some Nivix Cyclops. After all, the cyclops has the exact same +3/+0 boost in the same circumstances. I also was advised to play a play set of dispel, and a playset of apostle’s blessing so that I could protect the one thing that could win me the game.

I tried it out, and the deck worked phenomenally. Each game I played after making the change, I was able to draw either the Cyclops or the Kiln Fiend. The once scrappy deck became a powerhouse, and it was able to beat some of my actually good decks that I had put a lot of effort into. As a result of all the effort that we had put into a weird deck idea, we had built a deck that has consistently held its own against real, non-pauper decks.

Our Local Family-Owned Game Store: literofcola86 ©2017

To truly see what monster of a deck we had built, a couple of the friends who helped me build it came to cheer me on, as I participated at a random little tournament at my local game store. Although I did not win first, I was able to win fifth place, and a few booster packs. Although winning some games was fun, what was better was the experience building it. I had the support of all my friends (those who play Magic at least) as they told me some cards I should or should take out. Now I have a deck that wins a lot and that is also fun to play even when it doesn’t work.

In case you actually want to see this deck list, follow this link to my account where I posted the deck list, and also a little bit on how to play it. Thank you for reading my story about building a cool deck. Which deck would you like to see me cover sometime in the future? Your feedback would help me to produce the posts that you would like to see.