Hand Size Limit

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Why is there a hand size limit?

Other than this, magic is nearly limitless

There is no life total limit, deck size limit, limit to the number of permanents you can control, limit to the damage you can deal

I just dont understand the need for a maximum hand size.

By the way, mark rosewater said a little blurb about the hand size rule back during the Great Designer Search 2. One of the questions that contestents had to answer was what rule they would remove, if forced to remove one. In that context, Maro said:
The top answer given was to remove the maximum hand size rule. Interestingly, that is the rule that R&D has spent the most time talking about removing. (We're still on the fence, by the way, so if you have any thoughts feel free to share them in the thread or in my email.)

It's basically there because grandfather clause. A new Magic-like game probably shouldn't have one, but it's mostly harmless and occasionally strategically relevant, and cards like Spellbook exist.
blah blah metal lyrics
and cards like Spellbook exist.

To be fair, cards like Upwelling didn't stop the M10 train.
and cards like Spellbook exist.

To be fair, cards like Upwelling didn't stop the M10 train.

On the other hand, Upwelling does a lot more than remove mana burn.

Anyway, the biggest issue would be figuring out how to deal with cards like Gnat Miser and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

IMAGE(http://steamsignature.com/status/default/76561197995631463.png) No longer a commander as of 7/29/13.

Anyway, the biggest issue would be figuring out how to deal with cards like Gnat Miser and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

Cards that set a hand limit to a specific number could have most of their functionality retained by errating them to say 'At the beginning of [player]'s end step, if [player] has more than N cards in hands, that player discards down to N cards'  or similar.  For cards like Gnat Miser you would probably have to just let them become useless.
Back in the day, I used to play an Upheaval deck that also ran a Spellbook. It is actually surprisingly difficult to play efficiently (or legally) with a large hand, because then your side of the board has two face-down piles of cards --- because you can't actually hold that many cards in your hands and still be able to play the game --- one of which you can look at and one of which you can't. They're similarly sized and if you pick up the wrong one, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to tell by looking at it. Looking back, I probably played at least one game with that deck where I accidentally swapped my hand and my library and nobody noticed. After enduring about two months of frustration, I changed the deck to something that drew my entire library and then replaced all my draws: that version was actually easier to play because I after comboing off, I could just leave my library where it was and look through it anytime I needed a card.

The point of my story is that there is value in not forcing players to manipulate unwieldy mitts unless they want to -- and if they do, Magic offers them plenty of ways to do so. That being said, I'm definitely not strongly attached to it and I fully acknowledge it's barely ever relevant. Tossing it out would most likely be a net positive.

"Proc" stands for "Programmed Random OCcurance". It does not even vaguely apply to anything Magic cards do. Don't use it.

Level 1 Judge as of 09/26/2013

Zammm = Batman

"Ability words are flavor text for Melvins." -- Fallingman

Yeah that is a relevant point as well. Playing Reliquary Tower in EDH decks that can draw tons of cards has given me experience with megahands and it probably is for the best that that doesn't come up much in normal games. It probably wouldn't in general, but some of those Sphinx's Revelation decks that are popular in Standard these days...
blah blah metal lyrics
I totally agree with Astarael7. It's a convenience rule. And it is a good guideline that even opens some design space.

Back in the days of "The Great Designer Search II", I voted that your mana pool don't empty at end of phases, but at the end of turns (a minor version of Upwelling if you want to). I voted for it, because I find it a bit sad that you can't use your mana during your upkeep and your main phase. I wanted more cards with a repetitive source of mana that can be used during the whole turn. An extended Eladamri's Vineyard. Another point: It's also cumbersome to create an ability that generates mana as a result of dealing combat damage.

But basically, it suffers from the same fact: It's simply a convenience rule that helps you not to be forced to keep track of your current mana pool.

I've designed cards that play around the maximum hand size.

But this was basically due to tow facts: a) a major color sjift happened in my "universe" with white getting bounce and card draw spells and b) all colors were focussed around two numbers [f.e. white = 3 & 7]. So in order to help me form a set around it, white creatures got boni if you had 3+ cards in hand, etc.. Black got a "target player suffers from a negative effect, unless he/she discards X cards" (not a forced discard). Red had creatures that reduced your hand size and for all players.

Right now, I would vote for the death of "end of turn" effects instead, replacing them with "end of phases" effects instead. If you have multiple combat phases per turn, it's much easier to keep track of temporary effects.... and you could rephrase things that ought to be limited to combat in a more elegant way.
Maximum hand size also effectively stops control players from hoarding cards.

And, if your'e going to get rid of "end of turn" clauses, make sure the Giant Growth doesn't wear off at a time that your creature falls over dead. Players hate that.
There's also some flavor justification given that photographic memory isn't ubiquitous, even amongst mages.
Sign In to post comments