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 Post subject: A "Raid Boss" format for MTG....Revisited
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-09 8:13 am 

Joined: 2018-Nov-26 12:19 am
Age: Hatchling
I posted my idea for a format I dubbed "Bolas" not too long ago. After playtesting with friends I've made some improvements and by suggestion from some very kind people here I've made the rules and set-up a bit more concise. Heavily inspired by EDH and Archenemy, ‘Bolas’ pits any commander deck against several standard decks. Requires six people to play as intended. The “Nicol Bolas” player is given extreme advantage over the other characters, like in Archenemy players must unite and work together to defeat the titular villain. This format encourages teamwork, cooperative strategy, and dynamic thinking.

Nicol Bolas: 1 player
- Always goes first
- Starting life total = 20 x number of opposing heroes
- Has a Commander card. Commanders begin the game in the Command Zone, which may be played whenever casting costs are met. Cards in the ‘Bolas’ player’s deck must match their commander’s color identity. Follows recasting rules. (Additional 1 colorless each time.)
- *Maximum hand size of 10
- Draws an additional card at the beginning of their draw step
- May play an additional land each turn (*One basic, one unique.)
- Deck size is minimum 100, obeys Highlander uniqueness rule
- Instead of drawing during their draw step, may instead discard their hand and draw that many cards minus one
-*Plays with top card of library exposed
-Unused mana does not empty from mana pool at the end of turn
-Win Condition: Defeat all the opposing hero players

Heroes: 2-5 players (Optimally.)
- Standard deckbuilding rules, life total, starting hand size
- *'Heroes' may tap their lands to help pay any amount of generic mana toward the total cost of the spell. (All cards in 'Hero' decks have Assist.)
- May not declare attacks on other heroes. Spells, enchantments, and abilities, however, may target other ‘Heroes’ or their creatures
-Independent turns, and life totals
-May choose to block for other 'Heroes' as long as they have an untapped creature
-Win Condition: Any of the Heroes must defeat the “Bolas” player

-Turns playout in their normal order (Untap, Draw, Land, Cast, Combat, Main 2, End.)
-*Turns do not alternate between Bolas and Heroes, unlike in Archenemy
-*Use the EDH Banlist for deckbuilding

*Work out more in playtesting

We used a 5-color Nicol bolas dragon commander deck, and a couple preconstructed standard decks. After playing a few games it seems like the "Bolas" player really doesn't have the extreme advantage until about 3 turns in, despite having so many buffs. A deck with more synergy may be able to do better though. I played a game where I could have knocked a player out turn 4 but chose to grief a counterspell deck. This same game a cheese deck hit me for 20 damage with Banefire. This led me to wonder if there should be a rule in commander if there should be a "21 points of damage" rule here as well. (Also if decks that utilize damage in the form of poison counters, how many exactly should kill the 'Bolas' player.) I'd love to hear any feedback about that as well. The results are sort of mixed. One game went for about an hour. Another for probably half that. "Bolas" won a few and the "Heroes" won some as well. So I think it's balanced? I guess now it needs more work and playtesting. I've left some ideas behind in favor of others. If anyone else wants to try it and post their results I'd love to hear them as well as idea or suggestions.

Note: Since it isn't "Done" per se I've been waiting to post it in the "Format Variations" forum. I just didn't want to put something incomplete up there.

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