Hey everyone! This is similar to the 18.104.22.168 format thread, but a distinct format with a different set of design requirements that I wanted to share and solicit feedback for. I think one of the things I see around is that people are sometimes not satisfied with the one true format and would like some alternatives that, while not balanced for, may prove to be fun thought experiments.
The format’s name is up in the air although I like something like Ultramodernism to evoke the idea that this is about the latest and greatest cards. We want people to play with the newest cards in a format that encourages you to look at those cards first. To that end the card pool is as follows:
- Core Set
- Deluxe Expansions
- Twelve (12) latest datapacks
Additionally there is a deck building requirement that only one deluxe can be used while building for both sides. The idea is to encourage the deck builders to look at the cycle cards first and then find what kind of gaps can be alleviated by the introduction of a single deluxe.
We actually devised this to run our tournament specifically and at the time had no MWL and only one cycle. I’ve since dropped those from what I envision future attempts to be but here are a few questions I have for the community:
1) Do you think the MWL is appropriate here?
My first impression was that the MWL is intended to solve problems for the larger card pool so its inclusion would only serve to stifle creativity. Most of the offending archetypes have a lot of key components missing from this format and only the core cards remain. The challenge, however, is that the decks you end up with are not actually legal and it makes it a bummer to try and test it out online. It also ignores that several of the cards have been rebalanced a bit by their inclusion on the MWL.
2) Do you think the deluxes used by each side should be decoupled?
I made this choice because I wanted to make sure people looked for card variety in the cycle and not the deluxes. This also was intended to nerf NBN as a side effect (this was all pre-Astro). In the new meta where Astro is a one of I think it may be worth revisiting this.
3) Should specific cards be added as exceptions?
The Plascrete Howard question. During our Mumbad cycle we saw Disposable HQ and Sports Hopper get included a lot in addition to the old stalwarts I’ve Had Worse and Crash Space. Is Plascrete a necessity? Ditto for Jackson Howard. There are replacements slowly cropping up for different effects - looking at you Disposable HQ, Shannon Claire, etc - but is that enough to patch the agenda flood problem?
4) Should this be a format that is specifically tailored to run at the end of a cycle?
When I initially floated the idea to our local playgroup the point was to celebrate Mumbad (as best we could) by elevating the cards in this ultra-restricted format. Afterward we agreed that it may make sense to expand to two cycles to ensure you have enough flavor to skew from mostly being core-only and core-deluxe decks with some splashes of new cards. Would it be interesting to run this today where you’d have a cardpool of: Blood Money, 23 Seconds, Fear The Masses, The Liberated Mind, Salsette Island, Democracy and Dogma, Business First, Khala Ghoda, The Universe of Tomorrow, Old Hollywood, The Underway, and Chrome City? Or would it make the most sense to avoid including half cycles?
We saw such cool games at our tournament thanks to this experiment. I’m excited to hear what people think of the format and if it has legs.