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DeQuan Watson’s Big Deck: A Magic Format April 11, 2011

Posted by James in : all, game rules , trackback

In 2005 DeQuan Watson discussed a Magic format he called “Big Deck.” I found out about this format because I know someone else thought of the exact same idea except he only used one of each card. The idea is basically just to play Magic with one big deck instead of requiring players to have their own decks. It’s a great way to play Magic “off the top” given a moment’s notice. I am a big fan of this format, but I prefer for players to split the big deck into pieces. One big deck of 160 cards can be turned into up to four 40 card decks. A 320 card deck can be used for up to eight 40 card decks.

I have a new idea for Watson’s Big Deck format. A big deck can be used as a “cube” — a collection of cards used to make random “booster packs” for draft and sealed events. A 180 card deck is enough for a four player draft and more than enough for winston draft. (And no, a cube need not be restricted to powerful cards nor one of each card. You can put any cards you want in a cube period.)

The inspiration for cube was originally to get to draft with the most powerful cards ever made. The inspiration for my own Big Deck is similar, and I decided to make an Affinity deck. It includes the most powerful cards ever made, except I include four of every card and it’s small enough to have a high chance of drawing a Black Lotus or whatever else you want to get your hands on. I have a huge pile of cards that can be added to the deck to make it larger, but that means there’ll be a lower chance of getting to play with Black Lotus. That’s why I keep that pile separate from the deck for the most part. I also don’t use real power 9 cards because I don’t want them to get stolen. You can use proxies as needed. Here’s my deck list:

4 Ancestral Recall
4 Time Walk
4 Time Twister
4 Master of Etherium
4 Tezzeret the Seeker
4 Yawgmoth’s Will
4 Contract from Below
4 Demonic Tutor
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Vampiric Tutor
4 Wheel of Fortune
4 Smash to Smitherines
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Goblin Welder
4 Atog
4 Black Lotus
4 Mox Emerald
4 Mox Sapphire
4 Mox Ruby
4 Mox Jet
4 Mox Pearl
4 Mox Diamond
4 Mox Opal
4 Mana Crypt
4 Sol Ring
4 Lotus Petal
4 Myr Enforcer
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Frogmite
4 Cranial Plating
4 Glimmervoid
4 City of Brass
4 Undiscovered Paradise
4 Tendo Ice Bridge
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Great Furnace
4 Seat of Synod
4 Vault of Whispers

That’s the pile of cards I usually use, but other cards that can be used include the following:

4 Regrowth
4 Hidden Guerrillas
4 Oxidize
4 Viridian Shaman
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Myrsmith
4 Balance
4 Disenchant
4 Ancient Den
4 Tree of Tales
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
4 Mishra’s Factory
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Academy Ruins
4 Exotic Orchard
4 Skullclamp
4 Engeneered Explosives
4 Fellwar Stone
4 Coldsteel Heart

Playing four of “restricted cards” is something that should be experienced first hand, and getting a first turn win is not unheard of with this deck. It really is an extremely powerful deck despite the fact that it is enormous. The main problem with playing Balance is that you can play your entire hand first turn along with Balance to completely ruin all other players. A first turn Timetwister can also be pretty devastating, but it’s not at all as horrible as a first turn Balance.

It is possible to make an extremely powerful deck without anything in the power 9, but using the power 9 certainly doesn’t hurt.


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