- What sets are legal?
- 2004 Vintage Year in Review
- 2005 Vintage Year in Review Part 1 Part 2
- 2006 Vintage Year in Review Part 1 Part 2
- 2007 Vintage Year in Review
- 2008 Vintage Year in Review
- A History of the format by Mark Rosewater
The deck minimum was set at sixty cards. A card limit of four was instituted. And the first restricted list was announced. Nothing had been banned yet. Thus was born the first constructed format. (Sealed Deck and Draft had already been informally introduced by Wizards employees at various game conventions.) This format was not called Type 1 yet. It was called Magic Constructed. Or for short, just Magic. And for a year all was good.
But then in the winter of 1995, a very important event occurred. Wizards of the Coast introduced a new format they called Type 2 (now called Standard). Rather than using any cards you wanted, you were now restricted to a subset of printed cards. Retroactively, the existing format was called Type 1. Overnight Magic split in two. What was the initial reaction of the vast majority of the players? We hated it. Who was Wizards to tell us we couldn’t play with our cards? (It’s important to remember that back then I was just another player, not a member of R&D.)
But Wizards insisted, so we tried it. Okay, some of us tried it. Others just continued playing Type 1. And you know what, it wasn’t that bad. It was different, but it was fun. R&D had learned a bit about power levels so Type 2 was less swingy. To some of us, that was a good thing. To others, well, it just wasn’t the Magic they knew and loved. Thus began the first schism between the players.
As time went on, other formats popped into existence. Soon the gap between Type 1 and Type 2 grew wide enough that Type 1.5 was created. (Type 1.5 allows all the cards but bans anything restricted in Type 1.) Another schism. Eventually, the gap grew wide enough that a middle-ground format, Extended, was created. Another schism. Meanwhile, Limited (including Sealed and Draft), which had been around for a while, became elevated due to the existence of the new Pro Tour. More schisms. Pro Tour - Paris in 1997 introduced an entirely new format, Block Constructed. The Magic pie continued to splinter. What was once a single game was now sanctioned in eight different formats (Type 1, Type 1.5, Extended, Standard or Type 2, Block Constructed, Sealed Deck, Booster Draft, and Rochester Draft). And I haven’t even started on the team formats.
Cut to present day. The Type 1 format has persisted, but it is no longer the powerhouse it once had been. Once the format, Type 1 now has a small, but dedicated following."