Sealed Tournaments: Why Use Six Packs?

17 posts / 0 new
scampjohnson
Joined Mar 2008
16 Posts
Is there a known rationale for using six packs instead of some other number?

I can certainly understand that decreasing from six would decrease deck quality, but what about increasing?

How is the 40 card minimum requirement tied to the number of packs per  person?
Enigma256
Joined Jul 2010
14845 Posts
it's twice as many as in draft

it's also a cost consideration, those packs have to be paid after all
proud member of the 2011 community team
scampjohnson
Joined Mar 2008
16 Posts
i feel like I just got flicked in the ear,

and then slapped over the back of the head
jeff-heikkinen
Joined Aug 2001
9624 Posts
i feel like I just got flicked in the ear,

and then slapped over the back of the head

I don't know what this bizarre post is even supposed to mean, but I don't see anything out of line about Enigma's answer.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Bowshewicz
Joined Apr 2012
2078 Posts
I take scampjohnson's meaning there to be "Wow, should have realized that."
scampjohnson
Joined Mar 2008
16 Posts
So, all three of you confirm that the sum of considerations that went into determining the selaed deck pack amount and card minimums are:

1) 3 * 2 = 6
2) Anything after 6 is just way too expensive

It may take me a while to accept it, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.  Thanks for your help guys!
Bowshewicz
Joined Apr 2012
2078 Posts
Oh, no. I actually have no clue at all what kind of thought went into this from Wizards' end. But I've thought about it a bit and had some time to digest ideas.

I will say that, in my experience, six boosters seems to almost always give you a workable card pool, without having to cut out too much. Any less and you'd be forced to play bad cards, more and it would be difficult to narrow down. The thought process may very well have been "Yo Mark, six seem good?" in it's entirety. I will say that, even if we accept such a ludicrous story as truth, it was at worst a happy accident.

Hopefully that reasoning is a bit more palatable.
Enigma256
Joined Jul 2010
14845 Posts
it has to be multiples of 3 because that's the number of sets in a block
6 already cost \$24, 9 would be \$36, 12 would be \$48
\$24 is already quite a bit for about 3 hours of entertainment if you compare it to the cinema or other activities

I'm sure Wizards also did some complicated math with probabilites and such

with that being said, on MTGO there is a 4 booster sealed with a 30 cards deck
I don't think that is offered in paper
proud member of the 2011 community team
PirateAmmo
Joined Jul 2010
2539 Posts
it has to be multiples of 3 because that's the number of sets in a block
6 already cost \$24, 9 would be \$36, 12 would be \$48
\$24 is already quite a bit for about 3 hours of entertainment if you compare it to the cinema or other activities

I'm sure Wizards also did some complicated math with probabilites and such

It does not have to be multiples of three. Two-Headed Giant Sealed uses eight boosters. For the Scars of Mirrodin block, the recommended booster mix is three Scars of Mirrodin, three Mirrodin Besieged, two New Phyrexia.

I doubt there were any calculations behind the decision. Much like the four-of rule, they just picked a number that seemed right, and it worked pretty well.

Sealed tournaments used to be played with one tournament pack of the large set, which is equivalent to three boosters, and two other boosters.
scampjohnson
Joined Mar 2008
16 Posts
This is more of what I was hoping for.  Is the recommended booster mix for RtR going to be 6 of RtR?

Enigma - I love the \$/hr line of thinking.  Also, have you played a mtgo 4 booster sealed?  If so, how does it compare to it's 6 booster sister?

PA - 5 Booster equivalent sealed?!  Was the minimum still 40?  Did you play any of those?  If so, do you prefer one over the other (all blocks aside)?

Bow - TRÜF

If you guys made the rules.  Would you stick with six?
Enigma256
Joined Jul 2010
14845 Posts
I played 4 booster sealed, mostly for budget reasons
it's strange, because it's only 30 cards in the deck, if there is a somewhat decent mill card in the block it will be very strong ;)
generally I don't have much limited experience because I prefer constructed

if I was able to rewrite the rules I'd stick with 6 for my initial reason, 3 sets per block, so it should be multiples of 3
and with 6 you can get a decent deck
proud member of the 2011 community team
PirateAmmo
Joined Jul 2010
2539 Posts
PA - 5 Booster equivalent sealed?! Was the minimum still 40? Did you play any of those? If so, do you prefer one over the other (all blocks aside)?

The minimum deck size was still forty. I played it only once a long time ago, so I do not know if I prefer one or the other.
Joined Sep 2008
375 Posts
If you guys made the rules.  Would you stick with six?

The rules currently allow the TO to use any number of packs that he wishes (except 0 I suppose - flipping a coin to determine the outcome of a match is NOT allowed). 6 packs is just the DCI's recommendation.

However, the minimum deck size for limited events is always 40.
WotC_dlaugel
Joined May 2002
392 Posts
When tournament packs were eliminated, the recommendation from R&D was that either five or six packs would result in a good play experience. Six packs won out in the end because the product mix for full-block events outside the Prerelease works out nicely (2/2/2).

Anything beyond six booster packs gets difficult to justify. Players don't want to spend the extra money, the tables aren't big enough, deck construction takes longer . . .

I've definitely heard about gaming groups using a larger sealed pool just for variety. Some of my coworkers did that a few years ago. Here's a link" www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.a...

Del Laugel

Editing manager, Magic TCG

niheloim
Joined Feb 2008
7907 Posts
How many packs per box? I recall it being a multiple of 6... 36 maybe. That works out nicely for 6 players using 6 packs.

3DH4LIF3

rudolf
Joined Sep 2005
16886 Posts
How many packs per box? I recall it being a multiple of 6... 36 maybe. That works out nicely for 6 players using 6 packs.

A booster box contains 36 packs.

EyeballFrog
Joined Mar 2012
1288 Posts
6 is divisible by both 2 and 3.  That means you can easily make the sealed pool half and half or thirds as needed.

That's my guess.