10 Feb 2016

Exploring the Formats - Emperor

Sickness be damned I'm putting this post out - Dozer

Now that Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch are done and gone I'm looking forward to seeing what and how else I can play Magic. I've always wanted to try out Archenemy but the decks are too expensive, and you need the special over-sized cards.
Looking for a new version of You!
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
by Wizards of the Coast

The second block in Zendikar is done, which has been an odd trip seeing as Zendikar is one two planes that holds a place in my heart due to connections to three of my favorite planeswalkers: Gideon Jura (my favorite White planeswalker), Ugin (favorite dragon in most fantasy), and my top planeswalker Sorin Markov. This is funny since we're going back to Sorin's plane in the next set Shadows over Innistrad, and I love the idea of a fourth Sorin Markov card showing up.

Now that we're all caught up - I started on this set of new posts I had a while back while I was looking at other formats for Magic the Gathering. Format is the term players use when describing the various ways you can play Magic the Gathering. You know I play Modern, with my Dream Eater deck (that one where I mill). I built it only for the Modern format. I am also a fan of the Commander format. There is also Standard, Limited, Draft, Sealed... the list is long. I've built decks for Pauper and Tiny Leaders.

Tiny Leaders has been a failure for me. It feels less casual and my experience is the tighter deck wins. Pauper has been fun but I've got my one place holder deck and only Pale Rider has a pauper deck. So the desire to play Pauper is low due to lack of players in my meta. So while looking for new formats I had them follow a simple criteria.

1. No special cards needed
2. Allows use of the decks my friends and I already have.
3. Requires little work on my part.

The results are a few formats that will allow my current group of players to try it out without mucking about with their current decks and still enjoy a good game of Magic the Gathering.

First up is Emperor -

Emperor is a six player format. This alone makes it a bit tricky to play but I have enough players to gather for those odd nights and I think I can pull this off more often than not. It's happened more than once where I'm sitting around the table and we have over five players.

General Tazri
by Wizards of the Coast
There are three other things to Emperor that you need to know: Roles, 'range of influence', and a special ability.

You have two players who take the roles of Emperor. From what I've read pick two decks of similar strength or else the game can feel unbalanced.  They are flanked on ether side by two other players who have the roles of Generals. Each team plays on the same turn, similar to Two-Headed Giant.

Next Emperors and Generals have different ROI or 'range of influence'. Emperors have an ROI of 2, while Generals have an ROI of 1. That means any global effects or valid targets can only be that many players from your left to right. Which means that unless a General falls, each Emperor cannot directly affect the other Emperor. Also Generals are independent of each other and are only able to support their Emperor and engage their opposite General.

Lastly each creature has a special ability to be transferred under the control of another player on your team by simply tapping that creature as you would cast a Sorcery. The creature taps, and the player passes it to their ally. Note that the creature will vanish if the player that owns, not controls, the creature is removed from the game.

I'm really excited about this format. Mainly because it's a multiplayer and co-operative format, both of which I'm a fan of. I own all three of the Theros Challenge Decks simply because it was co-operative. I play only the Two-Headed Giant pre-releases because of the co-operative feel. I love Commander which is a casual multiplayer and bombastic format. So Emperor is casual enough yet sets a cooperative challenge for each team.

I'm eager to play and try this format out. Next look I'll jabber about the Hordes.

- Cheers