MtG format for teaching limited information

Posted on May 23, 2015

Once the student is familiar enough with the core concepts of the game, thanks to the full information “Rochester Booster Wars” format, we can move on to play a small, limited information format.

Trick or Treat

Each player provides a booster pack and gets the set of “trick or treat” lands. If it is a 14-card booster, this set is the following:

6 Mountain (Keep)
5 Plains   (Swap)
2 Forest   (Swap!)
1 Swamp    (Keep!)
1 Island   (Peek)

If 15-card booster packs are used, one Plains (Swap) card is added.

Players open booster packs, but don’t go through the cards, instead, they set aside the first card face down (reading it) and may read the next card in the pack (but not the one after it).

Once that is done, players select a “trick or treat” land from their pool and put it on the table face down. After both players put their lands face down, the lands are turned face up and then the following happens:

If both lands are Plains (Swap), players swap the face down cards. If one of those is Plains and the other is Mountain (Keep), players don’t swap the cards, as at least one wants to keep the card.

However, if a player really wants to swap a card, he or she may use Forest (Swap!), which can only be trumped by a Swamp (Keep!).

If a player used an Island (Peek) card, he or she gets to see opponent’s “trick or treat” land and gets to then choose a land he or she wants to replace Island with, knowing opponent’s decision. If both lands are Islands, both players have to repeat choosing a land and putting it on the table face down.

“Deck building” is the same as in Rochester Booster Wars — you may replace up to one card of the ones you’ve drafted with an Utopia card (rainbow land) and add any number of basic land cards plus at most one additional Utopia card. Minimum deck size for 14-card booster packs is 25, for 15-card packs — 27.

Games are played with Land Elimination rule (all land cards have “Exile this card from your hand: search your library for a card with the same name and exile it, then shuffle your library. You may play it this turn. This ability can’t be countered.”).