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Casual Chaos – Chaotic Fun

May 25, 2010

With archenemy offically revealed and the game mechanics fairly well explained I think it’s time to discuss my favorite format.   We call it Big Deck but some might call it chaos magic or maybe even ‘cube’.   In reality Big Deck is it’s own beast and great for groups who have friends that enjoy magic but may not spend any time or money on the game.  This format builds a lot of card evaluating, drafting, and play skill which is a bonus.   The main thing is that Big Deck is super fun.

What is it exactly?   Big Deck is a stack of about 750 cards which are mostly junk rares or Timmy creatures. Each player starts with 7 cards and play using normal multiplayer rules with a few exceptions.

#1 Each player shares one deck.  Generally we grab about 250 random cards for 4 players and that is usually enough.  If we run low on deck count we just add more cards to the bottom of the deck.  This makes fateseal effects that much more interesting.

#2 you can play any card in your hand facedown as a land. These count as every basic land type.  Yep, that means domain after 1 land drop.   There are still some special lands In the deck and you can play them as normal or you can drop them facedown.

#3 limited attack range.  Ground pounders, any creature without flying, can only attack either the players to your immediate left or right.  Creatures without flying can attack any player at the table.  This makes the “hidden” creature cycle from Ravnica very interesting in large games.

Optional #1  shared graveyard.   This gets out of control with to many players but can be insanely fun.   We’ve moved away from this as graveyard effects can really slow down the game.   We just do seperate graveyards and it’s nearly as fun.

Optional #2 use plane chase.  This is bigdeck so we do it’s big deck style. We have one of each plane in a stack and we each us the same plane deck stack. Otherwise, normal planechase rules apply.

I try to keep my big deck pretty even on colors but black is currently the most dense colr due to it’s excellent removal, graveyard recursion, and fair card draw.   Otherwise it’s about 35-40% creatures, 40% spells, 15-20% artifacts and enchantments, and 3-5% land.  Cards that are built in 2:1’s like hull breach are the building blocks of the deck.   Also since land drops and colors are non-factors given the facedown land rule you get to run awesome fatty multicolor cards like the actual elder dragon legends or even Sol’kanar Swamp King which is obviously awesome.

Recommended cards:
Every wrath effect you can find: DoJ, WoG, planar cleansing, oblivion stone, etc
Domain matters cards like tribal flames or wild nacatyl
Dragon legends from Legends, Invasion, and Planar Chaos
Regrowth effects: regrowth, all suns dawn, etc
Card draw, the best you got
Some counterspells, expecially the ones that have additional effects like rewind or lay bare
Reanimate effects
Big bad scary dudes like Hellkite Overlord

Don’t include:
Tutor effects, including land search effects.
Reset cards like Obliterate – Ignore this if you like 20 hour games.

Big Deck develops a lot of play skills such as complex card interactions due to the wacky nature of the format.   Normal constructed magic we have a lot of known information such as opposing game plan and our routes to victory.  There are so many bombtastic spells and most top decks will be an actual spell you have to quickly learn how to develop a game plan with the resources you currently have.  Card evaluation skills play a large part in this format just as they do in all limited formats.

I look forward to Archenemy Big Deck and if I’m feeling crazy I might even throw in the planechase.  Who knows, we might even record what happens when those powers combine.

Post any questions or complaints in the comments.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew from StL

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