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What is Type 3? October 17, 2009

Posted by James in : all, random, rules variant , trackback

What is Type 3? Standard (Type 2) but without rares. That’s it. You can play the same cards that are allowed in Standard other than the rares.

Another name for Type 3 can be “Affordable Magic.”

Why Type 3 is Awesome

It will dramatically reduce the cost to play Magic and it could also make the game even more enjoyable. Powerful rares can to lead us to helplessness. If the opponent plays a Battlegrace Angel and you can’t kill it, you will probably lose. The situation “do something or lose” isn’t a fun situation. When I played Magic as a kid we would build up armies and it wouldn’t usually be easy to know who would win. We would try to get slight advantages until a victor would be chosen. Winning with one powerful card has overshadowed slight advantages. “Card advantage” in particular was a big deal, but now it can take a lot of card advantage to give you a chance against a powerful card.

A restatement: Type 3 will bring us back to a more manageable state where the power of individual cards is less important than creative thinking and strategy.

The Big Complaint

I have already discussed the fact that Magic is becoming more expensive, and I suggested that we need rules for Type 3, a cheaper way to play Magic. And now we have them.

The most legitimate complaint against Magic is that it’s too expensive. It’s the most expensive game I know of that doesn’t require electronics or mechanical parts. This complaint has never been more true than it is now with the limited print run and the huge demand for Zendikar.

It is possible to play Magic without pending hundreds of dollars. I mostly stick to limited tournament events (sealed deck and draft) because I can’t afford to get all the new dual lands, but cube is probably the best option. A cube a collection of 300 or more different cards. Basically you can get a bunch of your favorite cards and use them to make your own booster packs to play a draft. (You don’t need to actually make them look like real booster packs, you just pretend they are.) I have also made up my own Magic sets, printed out the cards, and used those to make my own cube.

Although limited events aren’t too expensive (draft or sealed deck), constructed is.

A long time ago Magic was way too expensive. Then Wizards decided to make Type 2 and Type 1 different rules you could play by. Type 1 used all the older cards, such as Moxes and Black Lotus. Type 2 just used the newest cards. The point was that not everyone could afford to get all the older cards. Moxes and Black Lotus were worth around $100 each at the time. These formats have evolved over the years and now Type 2 is called “standard” and Type 1 is called “vintage.”

The problem is that Standard was intended to be an affordable way to play in tournaments, but it now costs around $200 to make a competitive deck. The most powerful cards in standard tended to be commons and uncommons, such as Strip Mine, Hymn to Tourach, Dark Ritual, Lightning Bolt, Mishra’s Factory, Black Vise, Hypnotic Specter, and Swords to Plowshares. The best rares were Wrath of God and Birds of Paradise, but they were only worth around $3 each. Revised dual lands were worth around $5 each. Now everything is worth at least twice as much. Fetch lands were a kind of mana fixing replacement for the Revised dual lands. In Onslaught fetch lands were worth around $7, but the fetch lands in Zendikar are worth around $15. The price of Magic cards are soaring higher and higher.

Now we have a format that’s a lot like Type 1, but it doesn’t allow the most powerful cards. It’s called Legacy. Just about the most powerful decks you can imagine are in Legacy, but they can be a lot cheaper than Standard decks. Sure, the Revised dual lands are expensive if you play a multicolor deck, but it is quite possible to just stick to a mono color deck. Legacy hasn’t caught on and Standard has caught on simply because Wizards of the Coast has been pushing Standard. They have a lot of tournaments and prizes for Standard. Their assumption is that all the new players should prefer Standard since it only uses the new cards. This assumption might prove to be a huge mistake when thousands of Magic players realize they can’t afford to play the game anymore.

What about Pauper and Peasant Magic?

There’s already an unoffical formats that disallow rares called Pauper (commons only) and Peasant Magic. Pauper only allows commons, but there are different Pauper formats. Peasant magic allows 5 uncommons, but all other cards must be common.

Although I would like to see more Pauper and Peasant Magic around, they don’t live up to my ideals. In particular:

Now What?

If Type 3 is ever to become a reality, all you have to do is get your friends to play it. That’s it. If the format becomes popular enough, then it might become an official format. If we can get tournaments with prizes and sanctioned tournaments, that could also help quite a bit.


1. michael - October 17, 2009


Library is banned in Peasant.

2. alexgcuevas - October 17, 2009

This is a good idea. I’d be down if I was still at superstars :(

3. James - October 17, 2009

The official Peasant Magic site is on geocities, but all websites hosted on geocities will be taken offline.

The banned list for Peasant magic looks a little arbitrary, and it adds a complication to the format. (Not everyone will always have the list handy.) The problem that older commons and uncommons can be expensive or hard to get is still relevant to my point.

4. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Type 3: Five Color Control - October 22, 2009

[…] One great thing about Type 3 (Standard without rares) is that all our favorite deck types are still viable. Uncommons are pretty essential for making a good control deck in standard, so Pauper seems to go too far. The control decks you can make without rares aren’t too powerful, but they are powerful enough to be worth playing. […]

5. Luke - November 20, 2009

Hmm. Get a job people. Lol. Type 3 is never gonna happen.

6. James - November 20, 2009

Luke, even if I made a lot of money, I might not want to spend much more money on the game. There is something insane about how much money I spend on the game as it is. (In fact, this is probably the most expensive non-sports game in the world.) They are pieces of paper after all.

Not to mention type 2 isn’t always as fun as it should be. A lot of people I know don’t play type 2 competitively and the more expensive and/or un-fun it gets, the less likely they will give it much of a try.

7. Billy - June 21, 2010

Type 2 is still the least expensive official format in MTG. If you can’t afford to play Type 2, you certainly can’t afford Extended or Legacy. Either spend the money to be competitive, be good enough to win events and get store credit/packs to buy/trade for the cards you want, or stop whining and just play casual.

Also, there’s no way a competitive Legacy deck is cheaper than a competitive Standard deck.

Also, what about games like Warhammer 40k? I don’t think you can really argue that MTG is the most expensive game in the world.

Seriously…spend the money to get the good cards or shut up. It’s not a requirement for living that you play Magic.

8. James - June 21, 2010

Also, there’s no way a competitive Legacy deck is cheaper than a competitive Standard deck.

You spend the money on a legacy deck, which isn’t necessarily that expensive (e.g. Red Deck Wins), then you don’t have to keep buying a new deck every year.

Also, what about games like Warhammer 40k? I don’t think you can really argue that MTG is the most expensive game in the world.

Magic the Gathering requires you to spend outlandish amounts forever. Warhammer only requires a few hundred dollars investment then you’re done.

Seriously…spend the money to get the good cards or shut up. It’s not a requirement for living that you play Magic.

Seriously, telling me to shut up is utter nonsense. Why shouldn’t Magic be cheaper for people who want it to be? You have given no reason against Type 3 being real format. Money was not the only reason for it, and even if it was, you have nothing constructive to say about it. I personally don’t even like rares that much. I would rather not play with them. If other people feel the same way, why shouldn’t it become a competitive format?

So far I don’t quite understand what your argument is supposed to be. I suppose you could want to argue, “But spending hundreds of dollars is wonderful!” However, that argument is absurd.