So I have only played a little 126.96.36.199, but I have noticed that there seem to be two main criticisms of it. First, that although it lowers the financial barrier to entry for new players, it's not super effective at lowering the card pool knowledge barrier, since your opponent could be using any card in the game. Second, that although it does provide a new deckbuilding challenge for existing players, the challenge doesn't stay especially interesting over the long term.
It seems to me like avoiding those problems while pursuing the same goals as 188.8.131.52 would require a format with a specific limited card pool that changes fairly frequently. Ideally the card pool would be small and static enough that new-ish players could learn most of the playable cards in it and keep up with buying cards that are added to it, but also large and dynamic enough to stay interesting for experienced players. Hopefully there's some overlap between those two goals.
It would be nice if it also largely used "good" packs, such that buying cards as they rotate in wouldn't be an unreasonable way for a new player to build a collection.
The rest of this post is my current thoughts on what the card pool for such a format might look. I am not really attached to any of the details below. Mostly I am looking for feedback on the general idea.
Hypothetical card pool:
- One core set
- One specific deluxe, selected as described below
- The three most recent data packs
- Three older data packs, selected as described below
Hypothetical card pool selection:
An online tool would exist that would randomly select the deluxe and the older data packs and publish the selections. Let's call it the card picker.
At regular intervals, such as every month or every time a pack is released, the card picker would make changes to the card pool.
For the deluxe, the card picker would randomly decide whether to change it or keep it for longer.
The decision would be weighted so that, for instance, it might always decide to change it if it had been the same for three months, but only have 25% odds of swapping it after one month.
If it decided to change it, it would randomly select one of the other deluxes to take its place. This would be weighted so that deluxes that had been out of the cardpool for longer would be more likely to be chosen.
For the older data packs, the card picker would always randomly select one to be rotated out and a different older data pack to be rotated in.
This would be weighted so that the data pack that had been in the longest would be the most likely to go out.
The card picker would use data from Know the Meta to weight the selection of a pack to rotate in, so that it would be more likely to choose a "good" data pack, for values of good involving stats with limited context.
Other restrictions might include: Always rotating out a pack that has been in the card pool for six months, if there is one; never selecting a pack that will rotate out in less than one full cycle; never having more than one pack in the card pool that will rotate out in less than two full cycles; never having more than two packs from the same cycle in the card pool; never selecting a pack that was in the selected card pool less than three months ago.