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Discovering Five Color Magic

4.09.02 I've been off for the past two months wrestling with my grades.  Semi-poor grades has kept me from really writing a lot, and the past week was spent writing a page on Magic, hating it, playing with it, turning it into an unbelievable mess with nothing remotely to do with Magic, and then trashing it in an angry fit of rage and frustration. Finally, on Sunday, I settled on this subject - Five Color Magic. It is something that I intend to push on the site, in my area to a certain extent, and quite possibly on the Message Board if I feel like it and ever get around to it.

5 Color Magic is a relatively new format to Magic, replacing Type I on the Pro Tour only last year. 5 Color, or often referred to as 250 Magic because of the number of cards you need to have in your deck to make it legal, has yet to receive a lot of attention from a lot of the Magic 
community for one reason or another. Five Color Magic, despite it's lack of hype from anywhere, is a remarkably easy format, and is the most fun playing Magic that I've had in a long time.

One of the reason's why Five Color Magic is so fun is because it is much like Type I in the fact that most things printed are fair game. Cards that have cycled out of both Type II and Extended are suddenly playable again, making cards such as Hymn of Tourach, Mind Twist, and Black Vise legal again in a format that's worth playing. Also, Five Color has a relatively light banned and restricted list as well, with only 10 banned cards all together, and 66 restricted cards out of the thousands of cards out there. Compare that to Type I, with almost 100 restricted cards, and many many banned cards, and Extended's almost equal numbers, and you actually have a fairly easy format when it comes to figuring out what's banned and what's not.

Another key element to Five Color is the deck set up. In Five Color, you are required to play at least 18 cards of every color, with any multi colored cards counting as only one of their colors instead of both. This adds an interesting element to building a deck, because you have to 
balance your deck, and have the mana ratio's right. If you don't, as I have found out on a few occasions, you could be screwed over for one type of mana because you put in more of a splash color than you needed, thus hogging spaces for mana that you really needed.

Five Color is also intended to be played for Ante. Which is why such cards as Jeweled Bird and Contract from Below are not banned. It really adds a new level to the game that has not been experienced in Magic: The Gathering for a long time, because the game was originally intended to be played for ante. The only ante card in the game that is banned is Bronze Tablet, which will not be missed all that much.

Unfortunately, opening up decks of 250 cards to almost everything had to come at a price. Most of the 66 restricted cards are universal search cards, such as Demonic Tutor or Diabolic Tutor, along with at least one of the banned cards being a search card as well (Wild Research). Various extremely wicked cards that were previously banned in extended, such as Tolarian Academy, Time Spiral, Windfall, Yawgmoth's Will, and Replenish, are also restricted. On the banned side, Survival of the Fittest is still banned, as is Holistic Wisdom, and Battle of Wits (an obvious pick).

I have to admit it, Five Color is perhaps the best constructed format out there right now, and has been some of the most fun I've had since I started playing the game. It's a very random format, because your deck is so large. You have no idea what is going to come up.

Are you going to draw any search?

Are you going to have that killer card in hand?

Are you going to draw nothing but land, and kill them with Rath's Edge?

It's all very random, and that's also what makes the format so much fun. Not to mention removing half your deck from the game with a Demonic Consultation just looking for a Cromat is pretty damn fun. Insane and stupid, but fun nonetheless.

Now, as I've noticed with this format, it can be the weird, or stupid things that win games. Cromat is an awesome card, as are the Apocalypse Volvers, and the Invasion Dragon Legends. Basically, any large beat stick type creature that doesn't cost more than two of one specific type of mana can be devastating, because many decks tend to run along the controlish, with a beat stick - type creature as well. Delraich and Cromat are my 2 personal favorites, but, and I've said this many times, is all a matter of style.

So, if you have any extra time, and want to have some fun, open up a box of random cards, build a Five Color deck, and have fun. That's all there is to it.

If I can do it, anyone can.

For more information on the rules, restricted and banned cards, you can go to www.5-color.com, the home of Five Color Magic.

-John "The Happy Heretic" Hornberg

If you wish to e-mail me, I can be reached now at HappyHeretic01@netscape.net . I am open to criticism since it helps to make my writing stronger, even though I don't like it all that much, and to complements, and comments. Just refrain from cursing, and I won't fill your inbox with SPAM every day for the next week.



Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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