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Playing Ogham Format
By Dan Freagarthach
When our casual game went stagnant after battles to see who could build the most effective control deck, we began to long for the times when decks were rainbow colored and it was a race to see whether flying or trample damage would win the day. In searching for a way to bring that early simplicity and excitement to a game that had evolved into focused disruption takes all, it was clear that simply throwing out the control elements would not be a satisfying solution. Highland format might have worked, yet we had already played it extensively back when our card collections did not allow for much else. On learning about Alphabet Magic, we came up with the following Ogham variation as a way to once again be surprised and excited by how our designs play out.

Ogham format is built on the rules of Alphabet Magic, meaning that decks consist of 40 cards. 26 of these are spells, with one spell for each letter of the English alphabet as the beginning letter in its name; the remaining 14 cards are lands. At this point Ogham makes four further distinctions: nonbasic lands must follow the same pattern as spells, with a limit of one nonbasic land for any particular name beginning letter; each basic land is limited to 4 per subtype, for example Forest or Plains; a spell that brings a card into the game from outside the game must replace itself with a card name beginning with the same letter, for instance Golden Wish fetching a Greater Good; the banned cards list for the Ogham format is the same as that for the Legacy format.

A sample Ogham format deck, Sterling Vision:

Spells:
1 Aluren
1 Brainstorm
1 Cloud Spirit
1 Disenchant
1 Equilibrium
1 Fleetfoot Panther
1 Glacial Wall
1 Horned Kavu
1 Intruder Alarm
1 Jackalope Herd
1 Knight of Valor
1 Liquify
1 Mana Leak
1 Naturalize
1 Overgrowth
1 Pandemonium
1 Quirion Sentinel
1 Rootwater Hunter
1 Sterling Grove
1 Tinder Wall
1 Undo
1 Vision Charm
1 Wall of Roots
1 Xenic Poltergeist
1 Youthful Knight
1 Zuran Spellcaster

Lands:

1 Adarkar Wastes
1 Brushland
1 City of Brass
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Undiscovered Paradise
4 Island
4 Forest

Read More Articles by Dan Freagarthach!

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