Why is the minimum library size 60 cards?

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(see thread title)

What if a player wanted to build a 40 card deck outside of limited? Or even smaller? Yes, it may be a tad unbalanced to do so, as you are more likely to draw the cards you need, but if a game gets long, the player with the larger deck has an advantage. Allowing players to shrink their libraries would diversify many constructed formats by opening up new strategies, from viable milling to multi-card combo decks.
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(see thread title)

don't do that
type the question in the thread as well
What if a player wanted to build a 40 card deck outside of limited? Or even smaller? Yes, it may be a tad unbalanced to do so, as you are more likely to draw the cards you need, but if a game gets long, the player with the larger deck has an advantage. Allowing players to shrink their libraries would diversify many constructed formats by opening up new strategies, from viable milling to multi-card combo decks.

because aggro decks would be too consistent

now, why is it actually 60 I'm not sure
60 is divisable by many numbers: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30
so that might be a reason
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Rulewise, the reason is rule 100.2 
WHY is a question for Rules Theory Forum, down below.

It's not Logic, it's Magic!

Richard Garfield is a doctor of mathematics. He probably figured that if you were allowed 4 of any card, a 60-card deck is the smallest (even number) that fits over a certain chance to draw a specific card or set of cards each game. In other words, it's big enough to prevent getting the same hand every game, and small enough to make it possible to get the same cards every game. (That's my guess anyway).

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you might be onto something
60 is 4*15 and 7 is roughly half of 15 (if you consider that one player draws and one does not the starting hand might as well be 7.5)
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Mark Rosewater thinks that 60 cards was chosen because that's how many cards were in a starter deck (source). Note that the original number (the number chosen by Richard Garfield) was 40, though this was soon upped to 60 when competitive play got underway.
As late as 4th edition(probably later, but that was the last rulebook I read thouroughly before m12), the rulebook still listed 40 as the minimum, but 60 was already the tournament minimum.
but if a game gets long, the player with the larger deck has an advantage.

Pretty sure this isn't true. There are essentially two numbers that matter when it comes to the library; Some and none. So while 60 may theoretically have an advantage over 40 if a player is running a dedicated mill deck, outside of that the 40 still has the advantage. Keep in mind that the 60 cards in your deck are the 60 best cards for what you're trying to do. So reducing the deck size to 40 would basically be saying "Get rid of your 20 worst cards."

Allowing players to shrink their libraries would diversify many constructed formats by opening up new strategies, from viable milling to multi-card combo decks.

I dunno, I think it would just make Combo the champ, considering that combo decks are already a thing. Or maybe aggro I guess, I remember one event my gaming club had where we built 40 card decks from the club's supply of Magic Cards. My deck involved something like 4 Surging Flame, 4 Emberwilde Augur and 4 Glacial Rays. It kinda sorta cleaned house, and only ran 13 lands to boot.

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56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
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195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
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198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
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And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
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I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
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It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
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.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
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I don't say this often, but ... LOL
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You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
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111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
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56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
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Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
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...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
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Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
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58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
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57718868 wrote:
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
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heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
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143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
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Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
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I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
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I <3 you loads
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56957928 wrote:
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Tell me if I'm wrong but at the beginning there wasn't the 4-of rule. It got introduced later.

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Tell me if I'm wrong but at the beginning there wasn't the 4-of rule. It got introduced later.

That's correct. The original game didn't have the 4-of rule, though competitive play adopted it very early on.
Rulewise, the reason is rule 100.2 
WHY is a question for Rules Theory Forum, down below.

Agreed. Moving to Rules Theory.

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There is no minimum library size. The minimum deck size is 60 more or less arbitrarily, but there absolutely does need to be a minimum size, else you'll get eight-card combo decks that win on the first turn every game.
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I don't think anyone was suggesting there should be no minimum size (or more accurately,a minimum size of 1).

There may be some room for discussion on this topic in Design & Development Theory forum. Like, how can cards and constructed formats be designed to support a minimum size of 40.
This discussion reminded me of a 15 (or so) card deck a friend of mine had way back in the day.  He called the deck "Demonic Law Firm".  I remember it included Demonic Attorney (of course), Jeweled Bird, Black Lotus, Time Walk, and some way to get cards out of his graveyard.  He could loop Demonic Attorney into Jeweled Bird over and over again, forcing you to ante your whole deck or concede!

I don't think he ever actually played it against anyone.  I just remember him demonstrating it once.