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R.P.S. (Rock-Paper-Scissors Variant)

by NickFloyd

Format: Freeform
Latest Set: Eternal
Last Modified On: 9/26/2016
Market Median Low
$99.55 $59.29
Market Median Low




Average CMC: 3.25


This Magic: the Gathering variant is designed to play with three players, each using a deck containing Rock Lobster, Paper Tiger, and Scissors Lizard respectively and a mix of versatile white spells. In this game, Rock wants to kill Paper, Paper wants to kill Scissors, and Scissors wants to kill Rock, due to the latter decks’ creatures rendering the former’s creatures ineffectual. This sets up a unique situation where each player has one opponent he wants to eliminate, and another opponent that’s trying to eliminate him. A player must often protect the very enemy that is gunning for him, because if that player is eliminated, there is very little preventing a swift defeat with near useless creatures. The three decks in this variant are identical except where one has Rock Lobsters, one has Paper Tigers, and the third has Scissors Lizards. There are ten of that respective artifact creature (originally from the Unglued set) in each 40 card deck. The remainder of each deck is the same and made up of a single copy of versatile white cards from Magic’s long history. Each of the three players take one of the three decks and shuffle thoroughly. RULE CHANGES — R.P.S. is played like any multiplayer game of Magic except for the following rules changes. Players sit in rock, paper, scissors clockwise order around the table with their primary enemy (the enemy who's creatures lock down his creatures) to their left side. Turn order and priority passes in clockwise order and players should generally attack to their left (their primary enemy). With no land in the decks, players must collectively choose one of the modes of play below before beginning play. These game modes do not in any way benefit the player of the deck with the same name. If there is no consensus, the players play rock-paper-scissors (the classic game) to determine who chooses the mode used. Rock: The “hardest” mode, this method is slower and more like regular Magic than the Paper or Scissors rules below. Players may play any card in their hands face down as a basic plains, and tap them for mana as a normal land. Once a card is played as a land, its face can not be viewed and there is no way to get it back in one’s hand (other than the Narrow Escape card in each deck), so each land played should be considered on its merits as a spell and the necessity of mana. Paper: This mode causes cards (“paper”) to move to and from play throughout the game, and is faster than the Rock mode allowing immediate interaction, but is slower than the Scissors mode. During a player’s main phase, he may play a card from his hand face down as a basic plains, and tap it for mana as a normal land. Players may look at their own facedown cards at any time, and a player may tap an untapped facedown card to return it to his hand immediately, providing no mana. This ability does not use the stack. All “generic” mana costs are ignored allowing spells to be cast for 1 or 2 mana each and the essential artifact creatures to be played without mana at all. Scissors: This mode “cuts” out a major part of the Magic rules, but makes things move very quickly, jumping directly into the heat of the battle. Mana costs are ignored when playing spells and activating abilities. Players may play cards any time allowed by their spell type without paying a mana cost. If a deck runs out of cards, the player of that deck reshuffles his graveyard into his library the next time he would draw a card, and then draws. Players cannot lose by being forced to draw from an empty deck. Players will only gain and lose life in increments of four, and therefore a starting life total may be represented by five counters (5x4=20) or on a single six-sided die, though life totals may exceed 24 life on occasion. Make sure players give priority in turn order and give the players to their left a chance to play or decline before resolving a spell. Because players sit with their primary enemy to their left, this usually allows the player being attacked the opportunity to pass priority to his secondary opponent and sometimes force him or her to protect him with spells. Determine who goes first by actually playing rock-paper-scissors and have fun. For optional rules, strategy, customization options, and designer notes, see this Google Docs link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z2AEeOtbwzM_dplDE-60iUjH0_pbZXd8_-smYEATovc/edit?usp=sharing

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