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Magic the Gathering Variants

Magic the Gathering Variants

Magic the Gathering is a game by Wizards of the Coast



Infinity Cube is a set of Magic cards utilizing all colors designed to be used for a myriad of Magic game playing formats, such as Random, Highlander, Emperor, Star Coalition, Two-Headed Giant, Cube Draft, etc.

1. Construction

Create 6 Spell Libraries and 5 Basic Land Libraries: 1 for each color type; 1 for Artifacts and multi-color Spells (optional: special lands non-color specific).  Suggestion: Spell Libraries = 60 cards each; dependent upon color, consider some reasonable balance between Summon and other Spells.  Land Libraries = 40 Basic Lands each.

Consideration should also be given to the type of game format for which the ∞Cube will be used.  For example, some card effects might work better in some game formats than others.  A very well thought out ∞Cube will work excellent with a variety of game formats.

2. Implementation

Use an ∞Cube for a host of Magic multi-player game formats.  It was originally created for Random Magic, so consider giving it a go first, then trying it with other game formats.


Random Magic

Random Magic is an Infinity Games original created long before terms such as "Cube" and "Land Stacks" existed.  Playable from duals to various multi-player formats, Random Magic allows players to play all five colors, artifacts, and multi-color cards on an equal playing field, drawing randomly from the same shared spell libraries.

1. Setup — Needed: Infinity Cube & 6-sided dice

Arrange the 5 color libraries face down in one row and the 5 basic land libraries face up in a second row, corresponding the land colors with each spell library accordingly.

Set the 6th library (Artifacts, multi-color Spells, and special lands) at one end of the two rows (and slightly offset for clarity).

2. The Draw

Designate an enumeration for the 6 Spell libraries, 1 through 6.  Each player then draws 7 cards from the Spell libraries by rolling 7d6, using the results to correspond to the 6 decks.

From then on, whenever a player draws a card, roll 1d6 for a random Spell library draw, OR choose to draw any land of their choosing.  Instants can be played in response to rolling the draw die before the draw is made.

3. The Play

The play runs in accordance with whatever game format is being played.


Dice Magic 

Dice Magic is another unique variation for the popular game Magic the Gathering™ by Wizard's of the Coast.  Dice Magic is a way to play without the cards!  Dice Magic is playable for duals or multi-player and allows players to play all five colors and artifacts.

The only catch is that each player must have each card memorized, or be able to somehow reference each card, perhaps via the internet.

1. Setup — Needed: Pencils/pens, paper, and two dice: (1d10 plus either 1d6, 1d8, 1d10).

Players decide on their specific library size and create a grid on one side of a piece of paper which will act as a library.  The grid should be made up of 10 rows (labeled numerically 1-10) and either 6, 8, or 10 columns (labeled numerically accordingly); therefore, libraries would consist of 60, 80, or 100 card decks.  Players then must write on each grid space the name of a card to be included in their library.

2. The Draw

To create a hand, players draw cards by rolling the appropriate dice according to their library size and cross reference the result to determine the card drawn, designated by circling the card.

3. The Play

When a card is played from the hand, it is designated by a single slash.  If the card played is a permanent, it is then recorded on the other side of the paper, or on a separate piece of paper for easier viewing for other players.  If the card played is a non-permanent, it is then considered to reside in the player's graveyard.  If a card is removed from the game, it is designated by an "X".


Misc Magic House Rules

1. Simple Mulligan

In multi-player games, at the start of the game, when a player gets ≤ 1 land in his 7 card draw, he has the opportunity to shuffle his library and redraw 7 new cards.  If he does, all players also receive the same opportunity.

2. Land Mulligan

In multi-player games, at any time a player feels as though they are getting "land hosed", before the player draws a card they can call "Land" and draw until they draw a land, then reshuffle any other drawn cards back into their library.

3. Continuous Global Effect

Created primarily for multiplayer games, one variant for Magic is to have certain global spell effects come into play for the rest of the game at a predetermined game round, or randomized every X turn(s).


1. Howling Mine - Draw an additional card during draw phase.

2. Mana Flare - Tapping a land for mana produces 1 extra mana of the appropriate type.

4. Chivalry

Although Multi-Headed Giant seems to be more fun than Team formats, Chivalry is a noteworthy option for the latter.

3-Player Cutthroat, 5/7-Player Star & 4/6/8-Player Team Games:  No player can be attacked with creatures or targeted by spells/effects by two or more opponents consecutively.

Example:  If Player A attacks/targets Opponent X, then Player B cannot also attack/target Opponent X.  If Player A attacks/targets both Opponents X & Y, then Player B cannot attack/target either Opponent X nor Y.

5. Team Creature Marching

As in "Emperor Magic" [], players can march 'un-summon sickened' creatures to their teammates by tapping them, and giving their team mate control over them, remaining tapped.  All Aura (local) enchantments and equipment also revert to new owner's control.

©2009 ∞ infinity games

bernard b carman,
Mar 11, 2013, 8:22 PM