Formats for the 2004 Magic Invitational

Posted in Feature on March 25, 2004

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

The preliminary rounds of the Magic Invitational will consist of fifteen matches (best two out of three) with each player facing off against every other player once. The two players with the best record at the end of the fifteen rounds will meet in the finals. The finals will consist of three matches (best two out of three games each) with the two finalists playing three of the five formats. The winner will be the first player to win matches in two formats. Order of these final matches will be predetermined but can be changed if agreed upon by the two finalists. All of the matches at this year’s Invitational will be played on Magic Online.

The fifteen preliminary rounds will consist of five different formats: three constructed and two limited. Each format will be used for three matches.

Constructed Formats

Competitors will need to construct the following decks for the Invitational:

1) Mirrdon Block Constructed – This format will be Mirrodin Block Constructed as it will appear on May 1, 2004. The legal expansions for this format are:

  • Mirrodin
  • Darksteel

2) Online Extended – This format will use all of the expansions available on Magic Online. The legal expansions for this format are:

  • 7th Edition
  • 8th Edition
  • Invasion
  • Planeshift
  • Apocalypse
  • Odyssey
  • Torment
  • Judgment
  • Onslaught
  • Legions
  • Scourge
  • Mirrodin
  • Darksteel

3) Auction of the People – This format is the same as last year’s Auction of the People. The only difference will be a new theme and a new set of seventeen decks built by the Magic public. For more on this format, see the deck challenge below.

The seventeen selected decks will be auctioned off. The person who successfully bids on a deck in the draft will play that deck for all three rounds of this format.

The auction will work as such: Players will be numbered one through sixteen based on their order of current standing in the tournament. The first player (number one) selects one of the seventeen decks. He must then place a bid on the nominated deck.

Bids must name a starting hand size and starting life total (seven cards, twenty life being the top bid). The next player must pass or declare a lower bid. If a player passes they are removed from the remainder of the bidding for the current deck.

Starting hand size is considered the primary bid with starting life total the secondary bid. This means that a bid of “five cards, twenty life” is considered lower than a bid of “six cards, one life”. The player with the lowest bid plays that deck in the tournament. Players may not underbid themselves.

After the bidding ends, the next player numerically (player number two if he did not take the first deck, for example) who has not yet nominated a deck, selects a new deck. If all players have nominated decks, the nomination returns to the player with the lowest number. After all sixteen players have drafted decks, the auction ends. Note this means that one deck will not be drafted.

Limited Formats

All limited events will have a forty card deck minimum size restriction. The following are the limited formats used at the 2004 Magic Invitational:

1) Eighth Edition Rochester Draft – This format will be a traditional Rochester draft. All three packs will be 8th Edition.

2) Pack Draft – This format is a draft where all sixteen players using Rochester drafting rules will takes turns drafting five booster packs with which to build decks. The booster packs for this draft will be:

  • 7th Edition (7 booster packs)
  • 8th Edition (7 booster packs)
  • Invasion (6 booster packs)
  • Planeshift (6 booster packs)
  • Apocalypse (6 booster packs)
  • Odyssey (6 booster packs)
  • Torment (6 booster packs)
  • Judgment (6 booster packs)
  • Onslaught (6 booster packs)
  • Legions (6 booster packs)
  • Scourge (6 booster packs)
  • Mirrodin (6 booster packs)
  • Darksteel (6 booster packs)

Auction of the People - 2004

For the third year in a row, the Magic Invitational will host an Auction of the People. (for full rules on the Auction, see above.) Of course, this year we have a brand new deck building twist. Two years ago was creature race decks. Last year was alphabet decks. And this year is… artist decks. Artist decks are decks in which all the cards in the deck (with the sole exception of basic land) are all illustrated by the same artist.

Here are this year’s rules:

  1. Decks are allowed to use any cards available in Magic Online at the time of this year’s Invitational. This includes Seventh Edition, Eighth Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, Torment, Judgment, Onslaught, Legions, Scourge, Mirrodin and Darksteel.
  2. All cards need to be listed by their English name.
  3. The judges will be looking for decks that are fun to play, are original and have a strong theme. They will not be judged on power level.
  4. We will only be choosing one deck per artist. The more obscure artist you use, the less competition you will have to get selected.
  5. Players may submit only one deck.
  6. All decks must be turned in by Monday, April 12th at 12:00 pm PST.
  7. Seventeen decks will be chosen. The designer of each deck will receive a special, secret prize.

The entry form is right here. So what are you waiting for? Become part of history.

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