Draw a Few Format?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on June 2, 2024, 8 a.m. by Niko9

So, this might be a bad idea, but has anyone ever tried commander games where each player draws 2 or 3 at draw step? I've been thinking about this because there is so much card draw in decks and in most colors now, and I was wondering if each player was drawing more naturally if it would open up more space in decks for interaction and gas and lead to faster, more back and forth games.

I feel like there could be really big ways to exploit the system, but there things like Rhystic Study to exploit the game already, so not too sure if it would be crazy.

Either way, I think my group may try a few and see how it goes, but I was just wondering if anyone has tried it. We are always trying to find ways to have more going on in the first turns of the EDH game, and I played an old card game where you draw 3 per turn, and it used to add a ton of fun to a game because every turn you'd get a brand new game plan.

Might be a crazy idea, but my thought is just to make more going on in EDH rather than ramp-draw-eventually something big happens. 60 card has so much interaction on every turn and I think I miss that a bit in commander.

Abaques says... #2

I've never seen that tried, but I will caution that I don't know that it would necessarily lead to quicker games. I could see everyone drawing 2-3 cards instead of 1 making games more event (because mana flood/screw would be less common), but from my experience with decks that make everyone at the table draw more cards (I have both a The Council of Four deck and a Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis deck) it often extends games because everyone gets to play all their stuff and there can end up being board stalls. More cards in hand also makes for more decisions for everyone to make, so more time in each turn for analysis. Personally I enjoy it when everyone at the table gets to do their thing, so I'm happy with those types of games, but that not everyone is.

Of course if you're playing in a higher powered meta with combo decks games will be quicker because somebody will combo off even quicker than before.

Honestly I think you should give it a shot and see how it goes for a few games. And let us know!

June 2, 2024 9:37 a.m. Edited.

plakjekaas says... #3

I've played games in between rounds of FNM, and to speed it up because we're in a timed round, we all get an emblem of Rites of Flourishing. So everyone draws an additional card and may play an additional land each turn, every deck gets to express itself just a bit faster, and the answers will still pop up at equally faster rates.

But we've never considered to call it a separate format, just a shortcut to faster games :P

June 2, 2024 11:33 a.m.

I do like the idea of making, for lack of a better term, mods for magic generally. Something short of card draw could be splitting your deck into land and non-land decks. While that doesn’t get you MORE cards it gives you a little more flexibility. This does NOT work with things like Grindstone, but we did this back before that card came out so good luck on solving that issue ;p Another fun mod, though, is “Four Seasons” where you pick four different things (we did artifacts, but enchantments would be great) to cycle in and out of play as everyone gets a turn. We had done it (as you will have guessed) in a season theme with Winter Orb for winter and Manaflare for summer. Unfortunately all we had for spring and autumn were Wooden Sphere and Iron Star so that wasn’t very cool, but TODAY I bet there are a lot of good things to pick from!! Whatever changes you make, though, there will be a way to maximize your decks for it... as that is at M:tG’s core... so be ready.

June 2, 2024 2:25 p.m.

MyFETTish says... #5

Nekusar, the Mindrazer likes this idea.

June 2, 2024 11:02 p.m.

SteelSentry says... #6

On the topic of game mutators or cards as global emblems, Split Screen was by far my favorite card in Unstable draft. It might be a bit much to have four people with four decks, but I'll take any excuse to play that card again.

June 3, 2024 7:41 a.m.

000CBomb000 says... #7

I play Old School and in casual games we have a house rule that we draw two each turn, with no discarding required in the first turn only. It has several advantages:

  • dramatically reduces the likelihood of mana flood/screw.
  • it speeds up games, since you generally play a land and cast at least one spell per turn. Otherwise, with typical draw one, players tend to empty their hands quickly and the game slows down dramatically.
  • it decreases the effectiveness of control decks like The Deck, which aren't fun to play against anyway. It increases the effectiveness of Aggro styles, which are more fun. Creatures are really janky in Old School and they need as much help as they can get.
  • it reduces the advantage of Library of Alexandria, Braingeyser, and Jayemdae Tome, and reduces the disadvantage of Mind Twist, any of which can be nearly fatal in Old School matches.

There is even an Old School variant called "Gentleman's Rules" that bans Library and Mind Twist because they are so powerful in single-draw. In double draw, they are not a problem.

The only downsides:

  • cards that punish card draw get much stronger. Chains of Mephistopheles and Underworld Dreams become very strong, almost problematic. If enacted in a tournament, it would definitely change the meta (maybe that's good!). We would likely have to restrict these.
  • Sylvan Library becomes very strong, and may need to be restricted.

Some of those factors may be relevant to Commander. Definitely try it out!

June 7, 2024 1:38 a.m. Edited.

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