Custom Formats?!?

This is just a post for any to comment if they play any custom formats with their friends.

I play one. I'm not sure what it's called, but here goes:

1) You pick an uncommon creature to be your 'commander'.
2) You build a deck around them, using only common cards, and only card in that creature's color identity.
3) Play a game! We usually play with 4 people, but it works with any number, really (not something like '90', of course, but it works two-player).
4) Have fun! :D

And then there's always commander but with planeswalkers.



  • 1): Everyone chooses a color, then picks 35 random cards from a bulk common bin of that color. Then, each player adds 25 lands of that color and plays a game. Nobody knows what cards they are playing with, and that is the fun part. You would be surprised by how many synergies me and my friends find while doing this. I guess I will call the format "The Incredible Bulk (commons)"
  • @Gelectrode That sounds quite fun! I might try that with my brother.
  • edited October 2016
    Here's a custom format being used for an upcoming custom set of mine:

    1) Four players each construct a deck with a large variety of cards from different sets, with one special "Superior" card to represent a plane in the multiverse, similar to a commander, except the card must have the subtype "God" or state it can be your leader, your deck isn't restricted to the colors of your leader, and your leader starts in your deck..

    2) There is an event deck with 60 random "event" cards. This can be replaced with a 60 card deck full of instants and sorceries, choosing the targets at random.

    3) Play commences as normal, except starting after the first turn of the last player in turn order, before each turn, the top card of the event deck is revealed and resolved.
  • There's always this format as well. Lots of people know it though:

    1) You and a friend crack-a-pack, take out the token and the basic land, then shuffle up.

    2) At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player casts the top card of their library without paying its mana cost.

    3) Play as normal, with as much life as you like, although I generally use 10, since, if the game goes on for too long, you generally mill yourself out.

    (Additional ruling: If a player would draw a card, instead that player casts that number of cards from the top of their library without paying their mana costs.)
  • @Biblio3 has an interesting play format!
  • I've actually played this format many times irl. And it's not a joke.

    1. Play normally.
    2. Steal their wallet and run away unless they allow you to gain control of their Emrakul.
    3. If your at a pretty low life, beat up your opponent until they concede.

    And it isn't a joke! My friends just call it "casual" gameplay.
  • I play a fun little format with friends sometimes. We called it 10 card magic. Guess why -.-

    -Each player constructs a deck with 10 cards in

    -You start on 10 life

    -You can't lose from having 0 cards in your library.

    -Initial hand size is 3, maximum hand size is still 7.
  • Came up with another weird format!

    Think of a 4-person Multiplayer game, except instead of drawing a card from your own deck, you choose an opponent who you didn't choose last turn, and draw a card from their deck. Everything else is the same.

    (Note: I highly highly highly HIGHLY recommend that you and others use distinctly different sleeves!)
  • General/Emperor. Three on three. Two players on each team face off against eah other, while the third, the "emperor" is building up their board state. Once one of the first two goes down, the winning player can start attacking the general. Late game, you'll likely get some general on general stuff going. Last team to have a surviving general wins.
  • 'Token Magic':

    Shuffle up a big pile of tokens, and then play. Instead of drawing cards, you play the top card of your library without paying its mana cost. Everything else is the same. I generally use emblems as well, to make the game a little funner.

    Other rules with certain cards are pretty relaxed, With Morphs, I generally use them as though they become a card with the same back in your deck, and oozes have P and T equal to the number of creatures you control.
    edited October 2016
    I once attempted to make a format (I say attempted because it was a huge failure). It was called "Spellbook".
    To play, each player has a normal deck and a specially constructed 20-card singleton deck that contains only instants, sorceries, and enchantments (the spellbook). When you start the game, each player puts the top 4 cards of his/her spellbook into their command zone face up, and may cast them as normal.

    1. When an instant/sorcery is cast from the command zone, it goes onto the bottom of the spellbook as it resolves. An enchantment cast this way goes onto the bottom of the spellbook when it would leave the battlefield. Then, the top card of the spellbook replaces the cast spell in the command zone. This ensures that there are always four cards that are castible from the spellbook.
    2. Whenever a player is dealt damage, that player exiles the top card of his/her spellbook. If a player's spellbook has no cards in it, that player loses the game. (Players can still lose normally).
    3. Players can pay {4} to "Cycle" a card in their spellbook.

    The format failed horribly. It turns out that having an additional 4 spells in your hand all the time does not work. As I am writing this, though, I have had multiple ideas about how to fix the format.
  • I'm actually designing a PvE co-op format for a custom set I'm working on. It's based on Archnemesis, replacing the Schemes with Disasters (a new type of card that cannot be destroyed, exiled or interacted with, as it is neither a spell nor a permanent).

    The basic idea is that the enemy deck is made up of creatures, sorceries, enchantments and disasters. The format pits a number of players (2 to 6) against it. The players share a life total, take their turns simultaneously, and win or lose together. When the enemy gets its turn, a number of cards are played from the enemy deck, in the order in which they are drawn. The enemy does not pay mana costs and does not have lands. If an enemy's card would be discarded, destroyed, exiled or otherwise removed from the battlefield, it goes back to the bottom of the enemy's deck instead.

    The enemy follows a simple AI (attacks with its creatures every time, spells are cast in a straightforward way, etc.), so what gives spice to the format are triggered abilities, since the deck does not have instants. Instead, the deck makes heavy use of triggered abilities that hamper the players' plans and slowly bleed them out. Disasters, in particular, are designed to be practically impossible to get rid of, and have devastating effects while they are in play (an example would be a disaster that automatically counters the first spell each player casts every turn).

    Each disaster would have a worsened effect upon meeting a condition (much like the Threshold mechanic), called Impending Doom. Impending Doom triggers after a certain amount of turns have passed (haven't decided on the amount yet, probably 10, 15 or 20 turns). So, a disaster that counters the first spell a player plays every turn instead counters every spell when Impending Doom triggers.

    I think MtG can do a "raid boss" type of co-op PvE experience. The ability for players to not only change their own decks but also fine-tune the enemy deck and adjust the rules of the format (like making Impending Doom trigger earlier, or having the enemy deck play more cards every turn, or simply adding more vicious cards to the deck) can give it a good amount of replayability, especially since the main enjoyment in the experience comes from synergy and teamwork.
  • bumpbumppmub
  • edited March 2017
    Giant Leaders (ORIGINALITY!)

    Tiny leaders except every card has to cost more then 4

    The counterspells are amazing and angels can realistically be played.

    You start with two basic lands on the field. (I can't remember if you do in tl so I mentioned it incase you don't.)
  • Honestly we like the format TrippleBoggey3 thought of for conspiracy. Really cool!
  • @Modnation675

    Thanks for the mention! Here is the link:

    I would really love some feedback.
  • Plane battle:
    This format is a variant of commander, where all the cards in the deck must be in the block of same plane as the commander was originally printed OR a core set as long as the card doesn't involve the flavor of another set. (e.g. a deck with Thalia, Heretic Cathar as the commander can only contain cards from the 2 Innistrad blocks or a core set. But cards like Soul of Theros or others who hint too similarly don't apply.)
    To compensate the decrease in card pool (that's a lot of cards), the cards in the deck only need to be overlapping with the commander's color identity. (e.g. a deck with Sigarda, Heron's Grace as the commander can have Lingering Souls even Lingering Souls is white and black.) Also, any basic lands can be put into the deck and multicolored lands can be put as well as long as they produce at least 1 color of the commander's identity.
    The legend rule is also more strict: if two creatures are legendary and contain the same name (e.g. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia, Heretic Cathar), then the legend rule still applies and the controller must sacrifice one of them. The legend rule also triggers if the creatures entered the battlefield under different player's control. The player who recently casted the copy gets to keep his/her permanent.
    The starting life total is still 40 and players can also lose to 21 commander damage.

    TL;DR: commander with only cards in the same block as commander (/core set), color identity overlaps with commander also allowed, same characters still have legend rule, recent player keeps copy.
  • We often play a 5-player variant of commander called 'usurper'. One player is the king, one is the guard, one is the traitor and two are assassins. Everyone knows who the king is but no one knows who the other roles are.

    The king wins if they are the last one alive, or just them and the guard. The guard wins if the king wins. The assassins win if either of them is alive when the king dies. The traitor wins if the assassins are dead and the king dies.

    Basically, you are all playing commander but you who attack and help is much more directly motivated. The assassins want to kill the king, the guard wants to help the king, the traitor wants to help the king by killing the assassins and the king needs to try to figure out who people are so they don't accidentally kill the guard or assassin.

    You can determine roles by handing out a plains (king), a forest (guard), a swamp (traitor) and two mountains (assassins) face down and randomly to the five players.
  • New formats I have created just recently:

    ALLIANCE - Basically Commander, but all cards must be from a single plane. The twist is that you can have up to two commanders like with the Partner mechanic, but they must be from the same plane as the one you chose. For example, you can have Lavinia of the Tenth and Krenko, Mob Boss working together. Great storytelling potential!

    NSP - Stands for 'No Stupid Politics.' Used for multiplayer. Players play as normal, but cannot speak in the game. Whoever speaks to another player or about the game loses 10 life. Shuts down those annoying politics and can devolve into pretty interesting Charades games.

    BERSERK - Want a quick game of Magic? In this format, each player draws five cards instead of one every turn and can play any number of land cards each turn. Games end in around 3-4 turns. Like Modern, but less expensive.

    CAT ON THE TABLE - Inspired by last game of Magic. Begin game with cat on table. Nobody can touch the cat. If the cat steps on a card, that card is destroyed. If the cat jumps off the table, the player closest to it must pick it up and place it in the middle of the table. If the cat attacks a player, that player loses the game. Otherwise, game proceeds as normal (as it possibly can with a cat.)
  • @Gelectrode
    I'd love to play the last one with our bearded dragon, Thanatos. He'd just be licking cards! XD
  • This is the only format I really play. (I don't live within 20 miles of an LGS)

    It's called brick.

    The rules are pretty much this:

    - 4 Players Free For All (with 30 life each instead of 20)
    - Deck must have a theme (Mine is Rakdos Aggro / Burn)
    - No more than 2 mythic rares and 5 regular rares.

    Deck must be exactly 64 cards, with no sideboard (why 64 you ask? It's because of that card from Planechase: Anthology that lets you roll the planar die, you must include 4 of them.

    I have the planar deck from Planechase: Anthology, and keep it in the middle of our table during play. At the beginning of your upkeep you roll the planar die.

    (Basically a budget planechase)
  • Un-Standard
    Basically Standard with all 2 (soon 3) Un-sets mixed in. _______ and Hurloon Wrangler are banned.
  • Fair Nostalgia
    Basically a format which is Legacy, but the banlist would be wharped around the fact that Force of Will are banned, meaning that it would need to be less blue dependent and you can have more fair decks without as many combos (though most current decks aren't the type to fold to FOW).
  • edited November 2017
    You start with a normal hand of 7 cards. (as many mulligans as normal)
    Choose 5 cards in your deck and exile the rest.
    You can't lose from mill.

    Based on the actual card, it makes for a really fun and fast game with lots of combos.
  • Glyph Master

    The contraptions from unstable got me thinking about having another stab at a custom format, so if you want to cast blame, WotC is to blame.

    Anyway, this is a supplemental format that introduces a new zone, the "Glyph Zone". If you aren't playing commander, you may use the command zone. If you are playing commander, squeeze this zone in somewhere. Whenever you cast a spell from somewhere other than this zone, you must search your library for a card with a lower CMC, (as of now, this includes lands), and put it face up in the Glyph Zone. If there is already a card there, put the new card on top, much like the stack. This forms the Glyph Deck.

    Now comes the tricky bit. Whenever a creature, spell, or ability harms you, a teammate, or a permanent you control in any way, you must cast the top card the Glyph Deck without paying its mana cost. What triggers this is up for debate, but it should convey the idea of a protective ward.

    Now, I want to test this and would love to test it myself before foisting it on you guys, but I don't have enough willing players in my group that are good enough at magic. What I can tell you is that the this format is miserable to play in a duel, and should have at least three players. If anyone has a rules suggestion or can think of any problematic combos (this is a worry), I would be honoured. The ideal is that this format can be played with any deck, so please don't make special decks.

This discussion has been closed.