Type 4 Introduction and Eternal Central Stack Update February 2013
It’s been a long time coming, but we have finally released our updated #TYPE4 stack for public consumption! The link below is a GoogleDoc that is free for everyone to access, and is downloadable. It is fully sortable with built-in filters at the top of each column, so you can narrow down the view by different card types (removal, counters, etc.), set, color, and more.
If you’re not already familiar with the awesomeness that is Type 4, it is a casual format where the basic rules are that you infinite mana, but may only cast one spell per turn (unless a card specifically says you may play another card this turn). There is generally only one of each individual card in the stack, and the only other defining rule is that “the defensive ability wins.” So, for example, if one player controls Masticore (which can shoot everything indefinitely), and another play controls something that regenerates or has damage redirection (like Glarecaster), the “defensive ability” will win out every time.
You don’t have to build individual decks to play against your friends, either. Someone can just make a big stack of 200+ powerful cards and sleeve them up, including all of the overcosted stuff that you never get to play in normal constructed formats (think Thraximundar, Nicol Bolas, Spelljack, Promise of Power, etc.). You can either just shuffle them up in a big shared pile, split them up randomly by player into smaller stacks, or draft decks from the shared pool (this is the most fun method, and something we’ll go into much more detail on in an upcoming article next week).
Each builder’s Type 4 stack will be different, with a balance of creatures, tutors, removal, counterspells, and everything else shaped by the owner’s hand. They will dictate the power level by what spells are deemed acceptable or too powerful, and what flavor they want. In my personal stack, which I consider relatively balanced stack, I don’t consider X spells like Fireball (deal X damage, or unlimited) very entertaining, so you’ll notice we exclude those and anything with firebreathing (ie. infinite pump abilities), as I want more interactive games, and generally only the most efficient or powerful spells are going to make it in the stack when facing so much stiff competition from nearly 20 years of Magic sets.
The official Eternal Central Type 4 stack is currently around 500 cards. Mine is slightly different in that I have numerous copies of the cards Quicken and Scout’s Warning (the only such cards in the stack that there are more than 1 copy of). This is a bit more advanced, but basically we have a house rule that allows you to play an additional card on a turn if another card says you may, such as Quicken or Scout’s Warning. This is just a fun variant that makes for more crazy turns where people end up playing stuff like Tooth and Nail or Myojin of Night’s Reach at instant speed. Generally you will want to keep your Type 4 stack anywhere from 200-500 cards (on the more svelte side), and not let it get too bloated, because you always want the option of drafting the stack without the actual draft having to take 2 hours to complete.
You may also note that there are two tabs at the bottom left corner, including one called ‘Type 4 Chaos Stack.’ The Type 4 Chaos Stack is something that can be used in mid-sized or larger games, where upon a certain number of spells played in a turn (say 3+) it may trigger an automatic random flip from the Chaos Stack. If X or more spells have been cast in a single turn (where X is an amount agreed to by the players beforehand), all spells on the stack are paused and the top card from the Chaos Stack is immediately flipped up and resolved, and then the stack and rest of the game is unpaused and continues as normal. Spells in the Chaos Stack will usually affect everybody (such as Eureka, Timetwister, Sway of the Stars, Time Stop, Howling Mine, etc.). Cards from the Chaos Stack do not use the stack, and the effect is played immediately before all other spells or abilities on the stack resolve. Usually an effect like an enchantment or artifact from the Chaos Stack will only be removed once the next card is revealed from the Chaos Stack, but other people may play that a permanent-based effect may be destroyed like any other. That is up to you and your playgroup. Like the main Type 4 stack, tweak this deck to suit what you enjoy playing and think is fun.
All throughout February we will be delving deeper into Type 4 here on Eternal Central, discussing game variants, strategies, and different drafting styles. Please be sure to stay tuned for more sweet Type 4 content here on EC!
Appendix and Reference
Type 4 Articles on Eternal Central
Type 4/Limited Infinity Introduction
The Fourth Type
Type 4: A Way to Enjoy Magic Again Part 1
Type 4: A Way to Enjoy Magic Again Part 2
Type 4: A Way to Enjoy Magic Again Part 3