Evolving: a Full-Collection Format
Posted on Jan. 19, 2018, 8:15 a.m. by Thesage79
I've recently been trying to figure out a way for players to use their full collection in a game, and this version worked out the best. Each player starts with a deck of 10 cards: one of each basic land and a spell of each color. Each player's starting hand is 5 cards. Each draw step, instead of drawing, the current player chooses a card they own from outside the game and adds it to their hand. (You can't add a card, other than a basic land, that you already have a copy of.) Each end step each player shuffles their hand and graveyard into their library and draws a new hand of 5.
The big problem - this is impossible to sleeve and thus shuffling is an issue.
The second issue - most of your collection is useless. All the draft chaff I keep around, pieces of incomplete decks are all pretty moot and would never want to draw them.
Third - This provides 0 challenge and highly dependant on the opening hand and 5 cards chosen. Someone could very well combo you on t1 or 2.
4 - Even though you get to play with your collecton, how many cards do you actually see? You start with 5 and see maybe 5-10 more during the game. So, you are technically playing 15 cards from your collection.
Suggestion - simplify it even more. Have each player select and sleeve 15 cards from their collection. Each player separates those into 5 piles of 3 cards. You play best of 3 with 3-card hands, with infinite mana of any color. You cannot die from milling out and your graveyard is drawn back to hand EOT.
January 19, 2018 9:08 a.m.
It's still untested, but yeah, I thought about those problems. Those are good suggestions, but the idea is that you get whatever card is optimal for the turn. I'm going to be testing it later today, so I'll see how it ends up playing out. Comboing on turn 1 or 2 isn't really the point though, it's more about slowly building up a deck. A change I'm considering is having the deck keep cards between games in a match.
January 19, 2018 9:38 a.m.
Some decks will do things... scary things. You don't even need to make a format, just a few tricks...
Now, get Hive Mind out, with the infinite mana combo.
Control your opponents on their next turn.
At instant speed, use Death Wish/Mastermind's Acquisition on their turn so Hive Mind lets each player copy it. Have a way to recur the spells for repeat casts. You control each player when you get them to resolve copies of Death Wish/Mastermind's Acquisition on their turn, and have them bring in their entire collection.
Now everyone is playing with their entire collection. Let the madness ensue!
January 19, 2018 9:43 a.m.
Yeah, I suppose you're not actually using your full collection, it's more that you just have it available and usable. Really the point of the format is to build up your deck throughout the game and be able to draw whatever you need that turn.
January 19, 2018 9:51 a.m.
So if you have drafted 3-4 times and have bought a couple of premade decks, while trading a bit, ever draw step you are going through 500+ cards to find the right one, then sleeve it? How fun is spending 5 minutes on every draw step? In what conceivable situation would River Darter that you got at prerelease be the correct card to draw? How is this not "whoever has the better collection wins"?
January 19, 2018 9:58 a.m.
Yeah, it needs work. I'm going to test it later and see what I can do. Having to go through your collection every draw step might be a bit tedious though, yes. I actually had overlooked that. It's still a work in progress, and I'll admit it's rough so far. As for 'whoever has the better collection wins' my usual group has pretty similar power levels in their collections so I'm not worried too much about that.
January 19, 2018 10:07 a.m.
No time limit to search for cards, seems like it will cause problems. You could get a chess timer, maybe a phone app can do it. Its sorta like Mental Magic but with collections instead. Seems fun.
January 19, 2018 11:34 a.m.
After testing, I've found a few problems. Firstly, yes, it takes a long time each draw step, although not too long to be fun. Secondly, you end up drawing out your deck really quickly, so I added the rule that you can draw from collection if you have an empty deck (although right now this is just a patch) Lastly, the winner usually ends up being whoever ramped the fastest and grabbed a few strong creatures or planeswalkers and ran away with the game, or who ended up exiling a bunch of stuff and slowed everyone else down (as exiled cards aren't shuffled back in, but you can't collection-draw a card you've already added). So yeah, needs more work.