EDH: 100 cards vs 60 cards

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
I tried doing a couple of searches on this, thinking it would be a common question, but didn't see it!

My (very casual) playgroup consists of just 4-6 guys, one of which is pretty new to Magic, so his cardpool is about a fourth the size of the rest of the group's.  This, combined with some other factors, are leading us to explore making 60 card decks instead of 100, all other rules the same.

Statistically, it seems this wouldn't change the game much.  We don't play mill, so shouldn't be an issue there, though I do see the games being less random.

Is there something else we should be considering?  Is there a reason we should be sticking to the 100 card format over a 60 card singleton format? 
Well, my kneejerk reaction is you're not playing EDH.  But considering it's a runty mindchild format of a casual vision of MTG, I don't see why not.  Sadly, you won't however, be able to play with other 100 EDH gamers if they don't have similar deck sizes because of the following:

Because the card pool is squashed moreso than the 100 cards (which I find difficult to operate in sometimes, btw), the odds on drawing tutor / answers and general gas should be larger.  I view it as, in turn, not having to devote so much space to tutor as you can get a bit luckier with draws.  You will find that the games themselves tend to go a bit quicker and that you may not want to build around a general as much.

Now if you mean to discard the idea of generals and play pure 60 card singleton, it's different again.  You're not playing EDH at all, of any size and deck construction takes a new meaning.

Play as you want, though.  But it isn't "EDH"; it's just singleton.


I might have to agree with malph that you wouldn't really be playing EDH. Granted i do accept any and all odd variations to the format. For example my friends and i wanted to explore the possibilities of planeswalkers for generals, keeping in mind the low variety of planewalkers to legendary creatures.

This being said though, if you wish to stick to the true format of EDH, my advice to you, though it pains me to say this, is allow him to proxy cards until he can obtain the cards he wants or needs. This would be similar to my group, who doesn't necessarily have the income that i have, therefore i allow them to proxy what they need to compete with me.

Don't allow him to exceed any power levels that might completely squash you. It wouldn't be much fun for your friend to proxy up a few cards that are absolutely game breaking compared to the cards the others in the group may have.

Again, as painstaking as it was for me to say that you should allow proxies for him (i dislike to concept of proxies and prefer the real card out of pride), it becomes necessary to allow such things in the spirit of having fun with your friends, such as i did with my friends.
Thank you both for the input!  Proxies are a good idea in this case.  Also, the rest of us occasionally borrow cards to him as well.  

Do you find that a 100 card deck would be more random, and possibly longer?  Other than saying it's not really EDH (I agree), and understanding that we can't mix and match our other 100 card EDH decks with the new 60 card decks we made, do you see other downsides? 
Let him build a 60 card deck, then just take a random 59 card section out of your Commander deck and use that.  Saves you having to build new decks.  Sure, his deck will be built as a 60-card deck, making it a bit better, but he's also new, meaning he won't be as good as you guys.
Well dependent upon how you maintain ratios of land to actual cards, it could in theory be a similar amount of "randomness" in the sense that you would have a pretty slim chance of getting that card out of your 60 cards. Granted, adding back that 40 cards would increase, not necessarily randomness, but the probability that you don't draw a certain card.

Take for example my animar deck that i recently made. 4-6 of the games i play tested in a 100 card singleton deck, i got my Wurmcoil Engine. This is random chance, as well as redundancy in the form of Treasure Mage. Nonetheless, my Animar deck can consistently pull similar cards through draw and search each game.

Cutting down to 60 cards only increases the probability of a certain card, but that still isn't to say it decreases the randomness of the games played. You could go an entire game without seeing a specific card.

As far as the length of the games, do expect it to be more randomized by the 40 card difference in your decks specifically because the capability to have more "evenly matched hands" but still be varying in capability in general.
Other than saying it's not really EDH (I agree), and understanding that we can't mix and match our other 100 card EDH decks with the new 60 card decks we made, do you see other downsides? 

Not really, you're just going to have faster games.  And perhaps that actually may hurt the power level of some of your decks, but by making them more powerful and the learning curve for your new member a little bit steeper.  Not that a steeper curve is a bad thing, if you think he can handle it.

Perhaps the 60 card thing would be a passing interest until he really gets in to the game? 

Personally I would just encourage him to stick to a method of play (pauper et al) before moving him in to a better quality of cards.  Then he can ease in to it gradually, but 60 cards isn't the way to go as it forces the entire group to adjust.

Build on a budget may be his friend for a little bit.


I know I'm a little late to this conversation, but wanted to throw my $.02 in here.  I've been playing EDH60 for about 5 years now.  Love it and I won't even consider making a standard EDH deck.  We do modify some other rules a bit to help the game move along at a proportional rate as well (20 life, 11 damage from the general).  Basically, we keep everything like "normal" MTG, except add the singleton and general aspect.  

 - Games finish at a reasonable time.  This allows you play a different deck, or duel again (yes, dueling is a lot of fun with this format).  
 - The banned list of cards goes way down (to 0?).  Basically, because decks can have more reliable "answers", there's no need to ban.  
 - Cards like Serra Ascendant aren't broken (and many, many others)
 - Portability.  Your deck will fit into a standard deck box.  woot!
 - Mill concepts work again
 - Combos are more viable again
 - Cube drafts are a reality 
 - In specific relation to this thread: beginners do not have as great a barrier to entry!

Try it out and let me know what you think!
I don't see a problem with it. The difference in randomness isn't really relevant....you still put 40% land, 10% ramp, 10% card draw, 15% finishers or whatever ratios you like... and every topdeck still has roughly a 40% chance of being a land, 10% chance of being ramp, etc etc... Having 100 card slots to fill just forces players with really deep collections to dig a little deeper and use their top 10 ramps spells instead of just their top 6. It helps make people to flesh out decks with more 'fair' cards.

Given that the reason he's building 60 cards is that he has a smaller/weaker card pool, I'd have absolutely no issue with it.
Sign In to post comments