Format Idea (Smackdown)

edited January 5 in MTG Gameplay Chat
Fast paced games are a lot more fun, especially when it's a close game and you don't die to something disgusting. That's why, impromptu, I decided to make a somewhat random format. Here's how it works!

- 40 Card Decks excluding Sideboard
- Sideboard of 10 Cards (required)
- Starting life total of 25
- For nonland cards, you can have up to 8 6 of each common and up to 4 of each uncommon, but only up to 2 of each rare and 1 of each mythic.
- - For lands, same rules apply to rares and mythics.
- Certain cards may also be restricted similarly.
- A proper banlist will be made, but "powerful tutors and fetches" like Demonic Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, and the fetchland cycle, as well as instant win/instant loss cards, extra turn cards, and the like, are banned.
- Notoriously powerful cards, like the "Power 9" are also banned.

- You can only lose by having your life total reduced to 0 or...
- ...If you have no cards in your library and your sideboard, and control no creatures.

- If you have no cards in your library, shuffle your sideboard into your library, then continue as normal.

As the name implies, this is a more combat oriented format, with matches being more competitive.

Current Ban List:
Current Restricted List:
Current Watchlist (Cards that may be banned or restricted):

Discord Link for format discussion and suggestions:


  • I'm always interested in this sort of thing, so here are my main questions, observations and random things I can write down that I can't really think of good descriptors for:

    - If the rules dictate that you can only lose by life or sort-of-super-mill, what do people do about cards like Phyrexian Unlife? Forcing people to run silver bullets maindeck sounds like a bad call.

    - Elaborating on this thought, the no-fancy-win-cons restriction seems questionable in general. I can't think of a single vaguely-on-meta deck at the moment that uses alternate win-cons other than infect, and the removal of that just brings up the Phyrexian Unlife problem.

    - If this is a format aimed at supporting fast-paced gameplay, why 25 life? I can see that injuring aggro-ish decks while making relatively little different to the slower-paced grind machines.

    - I'd recommend that the base logistics of the ban list or whatever try to skew the format to being more like legacy than vintage.

    - The sideboard-into-library thing (presumably to lessen the hold of mill upon the format) seems strange but functional. I do wonder whether it could be exploited with Inverter of Truth in order to set up a basis of lands or whatever, then exile your library and grab yourself a sideboard with some special purpose in mind.

    - A few things about the modification of playset quantities. You haven't mentioned uncommon, presumably because you can run normal (4-of) playsets of them. You should probably say that because I can see some people getting confused. Another is "Is the rarity of a card that's been rarity-shifted at some point throughout its existence counted by its lowest-rarity printing akin to pauper?"

    That's all my brain can think of for now. I leave you with the consideration of a format where UR Delver could have a fifth of the deck be its namesake. I'm not sure it'd actually want all eight, but I can see that being extremely good.
  • edited January 4
    @MemoryHead - Cards like Phyrexian Unlife will be looked through, and Phyrexian Unlife is on the banlist right now. Looking through cards like that atm

    - The sideboard thing is how it's gonna start, but I'll certainly rethink it if people break it.
    - Same thing for life. If it goes even remotely too slow I'll set it back to 20.

    - The card will go by its most recent printing, sets like Vintage Masters included (for example, you can run 8 copies of murder [uncommon to common] but only one copy of Bazaar of Baghdad [Rare to Mythic])

    - In terms of the banlist, it will bend a lot less towards Vintage's style, and I'm referencing the Legacy banlist in a lot of the early bans. I will do quantity restrictions though (Sol Ring is restricted XD)

    - You can bet cards like Treasure Cruise are already on the table for restrictions and bans XD
  • Version 0 of the banlist, restricted list, and watchlist are up. They are in no way final, and I know I probably missed something.
  • edited January 5
    Common Cap lowered to 6.

    Also, made a discord for this:
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