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By: ricklongo, Rick Longo
Jun 20 2016 12:00pm
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Back when I was a regular at the MTG News (and later MTG Salvation) card creation forums, I had this idea for a custom block. Wizards had done a multicolor-themed block in Invasion, so I wondered: what if I went on the opposite direction? What if I created a block that rewarded monocolored play?

Even though I was (and still am!) proud of how that experiment turned out, I had to admit that pushing for monocolor has its problems. Firstly, this is something that the game's mana system already naturally does, meaning that a significant amount of tension in deckbuilding would be gone. Secondly - and this is an especially tough one to crack - you have to find a splashy way to make the drafting process itself fun and dynamic. Think of it like this: if you're hellbent on playing monocolor and get white cards for your first few picks, it becomes very hard (and potentially very frustrating) to try and change colors later on, when you start getting some clear signals that another color is open. Basically, you'll have to give up all of your previous picks if you want to embrace that second color - or give up on monocolor altogether, which is certainly not optimal when that's your main theme.

Of course, back then, hybrid cards weren't a thing. And they are just perfect to solve the aforementioned problems and make such a format tick. Now, if you switch from white to, say blue, that Curse of Chains you first-picked will still be an option for you. This is precisely what Wizards did with Shadowmoor, and it quickly became one of my favorite draft formats of all time.

Luckily, Shadowmoor draft was recently introduced as a flashback format on MTGO. So that's what I bring you today.

That's all I have for now. By the time you read this, I'll be already trying my luck on Eternal Masters, so hopefully things go well and I get to bring you some insights on that format soon.

Thanks for watching/reading, and see you next time!