One day, while working in the Pit (our affectionate name for the R&D area) I overheard someone say, "Have you played Tom LaPille's Cube? It's awesome!" Cube is a Magic Draft format in which a player constructs a pool of cards and then makes boosters to accommodate an eight-person draft.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea of making a Magic game experience that my friends and I could play through. It sparked the old game master itch, and I knew I wanted to try out something like that.
It turns out that as awesome as Cube is, it requires a ton of time, knowledge, and cards to pull off successfully. Of course, I have access to lots of cards, but time and knowledge—both of those are in short supply! So how could I get this encapsulated experience without the large upfront investment?
The answer: booster packs!
Ah, booster packs, is there anything you can't do? Is there any Magic night you can't improve somehow? And now you come along and save my wacky format idea? LET MY MUSCLES HUG YOU.
They were there, all along, in the fat packs I had stacked up on my desk: nine boosters and eighty lands. When shuffled together, you end up with a 215-card deck with about 41% land, which is the ratio someone would need if he or she wanted to build some sort of monster deck! Did we plan it this way all along?
Uh, yeah, that's it. We planned it from the start...
And thus, Wizard's Tower was born. It's a game format in which all players draw from the same, massive deck—hence the "Tower." Each turn, you draft a card from a common pool in the middle of the table, then draw the top card of the tower.
We played it, and lo, it was good. We played it again, and it held up. We started playing during lunch hours, which for Wizards R&D is really saying something. We started experimenting with different mixes of packs—I even made an Innistrad-block tower, sleeving it up because of the double-faced cards! And yes, there have been multiple Dragon's Maze towers...
So here it is, straight from our laboratory to your game table. It's a really fun way to play with some booster packs right away, with no pre-drafting or deck building needed. It's also my favorite way to play a new set. "So how do you play?" I can hear your shouts through the interwebs. Read on, intrepid, um, reader—read on:
One of the fun parts of Wizard's Tower is coming up with your own towers. You could try doing a block tower using three packs from each set of a block, or you could do an all–Magic 2014 tower. Mix up the boosters and see what happens!