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Type III (tournament) deck format
By Ian Lucas
Magic the Gathering
Type III Tournament Deck Format.

Type III is not a recognised or sanctioned tournament deck format – Yet.
It was borne out of various recent thoughts as well as other things I have seen and read lately. I think it fills a void in the MTG universe. What do you think?

Type III format
1. Decks can be composed of any cards issued from 4th edition onwards including basic sets and expansions. Thus Alpha, Beta, Unlimited and Revised cards are implicitly not allowed unless reprinted in a later form. Certain cards are specifically banned though (see below).

2. Also disallowed are any promotional cards or ‘non-standard’ cards, or any which do not have the standard Magic the Gathering ‘Deckmaster’ card back. ‘Unglued’ & ‘Poker’ cards are not allowed.

3. Each Type III deck shall consist of a minimum of 45 cards and a maximum of 100.

4. An optional sideboard, if you have one, must be exactly 15 cards.

5. No more than 4 of any card which is not a basic land can be in the combination of deck and sideboard.

6. Each Type III deck can have a maximum of 12 ‘Uncommon’ or ‘Rare’ cards, plus the number of ‘Rare’ cards must not exceed 4.

7. Each Type III deck must have a minimum of 6 cards of one basic land type AND 6 cards of another basic land type.
Or the deck must have a minimum of 4 cards of three basic land types
Or the deck must have a minimum of 3 cards of four basic land types
Or the deck must have a minimum of 2 cards of all five basic land types.

8. The following cards are explicitly banned
Amulet of Quoz Hypnotic Specter Ivory Tower
Serendib Efreet Bronze Tablet Mind Twist
Jeweled Bird Balance Zuran Orb
Kird Ape Mana Crypt Strip Mine
Tempest Efreet Candelabra of Tawnos Timmerian Fiends
Channel Falling Star Divine Intervention

9. There are no ‘restricted’ cards.

Why should people play Type III decks ?

1. More variety: Unlike so called ‘Peasant’ decks, four ‘Rare’ and 8 ‘Uncommon’ cards are allowed thus allowing more variety in the decks that are created. It is a fact that many deck strategies revolve around their ‘Rare’ and ‘Uncommon’ cards. Because dual or multi-coloured decks are effectively forced there will also be more variety. There are 10 dual deck combinations alone ! The choice of cards is also vast, and again this should encourage variety.

2. Protected Investment: Apart from the early sets (and how many people have or can afford these anyway), all the cards people have collected over the years and all the ideas for decks will generally still be valid. True, single colour decks will no longer be valid, but this will just add interest as people have to think up new ways to re-create their favourite decks. New sets or expansions will add value to a collection not render cards redundant as they do today.

3. Level Playing Field: Because the number of ‘Rares’ and ‘Uncommons’ are limited and the expensive early ‘experimental’ cards are banned (implicitly or explicitly) almost anyone should be able to construct a top rate Type III deck that could rank alongside the best in the world. Anyone should be able to build and play the decks that win major tournaments and even improve on them.

4. “It will change the way Magic is played”: Not my quote but Wizards of the coast ! I guess they too realised that standard magic was becoming stale. They decided to try to get people using multi-colour decks by introducing more ‘Gold’ cards. Surely a better way is to introduce a tournament format that forces multi-colour decks.

5. What else is there ?: Looking at the ‘Standard’ tournament formats it is not difficult to see what the problems are and why more people don’t enter for them(apart from the points raised above).
Type 1 &1.5 - Surely the domain of the rich and extremely serious player.
Extended - As above if you want a competitive deck.
Type II - In some ways you also have to be rich to play Type II, certainly if you want to do it for any length of time. Keeping up with the Wizards as they release new basic sets and expansions is an expensive business!
Sealed deck - Probably the only format (before Type III) that the beginner or non-rich player can play. Quirky at best and relies more on luck than skill both with choice of pack and draw of the cards.
‘Peasant’ - An unofficial format created by Rob Baranowski, peasant can be played by beginners and non-rich but do you really want to? The same old common cards with the same old decks. Ok it has some merit but it just doesn’t fire my enthusiasm the way Type III does. Everybody has some Rares, seems a shame not to use them.

6. More people playing Magic: Can’t be bad for anyone! Many people I’m sure go through a certain ‘Magic’ cycle. A) Discovery – By whatever means you find out about it and learn to play, once you’re in, you’re generally hooked. B) Progression – You want to know more, want more cards, you start thinking up strategies and deck ideas. C) Aspiration – This is it, with this deck I’ll be the next world champion. Now how can I afford the cards I need? D) Disillusion – I will never get those cards and how can I keep up with Type II. Are you telling me none of my collection of cards can be used anymore!? And finally they give up.
I think Type III is exciting enough to bring back some of the disillusioned and will keep enough others from becoming disillusioned in the first place. Sure they will still aspire to play Type 1 and Type II and be world champion (which of course the majority won’t) but at least they will keep playing and buy the odd booster now and again. A lot more will also attend tournaments.

7. It’s what people do anyway: I’m sure that many people (like me) have played in mini tournaments or just against friends where they play a form of Type III anyway. Restricted amounts of rare cards, cards from any set, we’ve all done it. All we are doing here is formalising it and hopefully making it accessible to all.

© Ian M. Lucas – November 2001-10-31
This information may be used or copied freely as long as the author is credited.
Wizards of the Coast®, Deckmaster®, Magic: The Gathering®, Magic®, Revised®, Unlimited®, and 4th Edition®, are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast Inc.

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