Obviously, the point of the game is to score the most points possible. At the beginning of the game, before anyone has mulliganed, players start with a value of 1 point. Each mulligan that a player takes adds a point to their value and gives them an ability.
The list of abilities is as follows:
Yes, the mules ARE evil
Yes, the mules ARE evil
·1st Muilligan: No Ability
·2nd Mulligan: Gain five life
·3rd Mulligan: Gain an additional five life, put two 1/2 colorless Mule tokens into play
·4th Mulligan: Put a 1/1 colorless Farmer token into play with "Sacrifice two Mule tokens: Draw two cards and lose ten life"
·5th Mulligan: May play the ability "Target creature can't block this turn," at the beginning of their upkeep for the whole game
·6th Mulligan: Earns game-long ability "Spells and abilities you control can't be countered by spells or abilities. At the beginning of your upkeep, each opponent gains 1 life."
·7th (and Final) Mulligan: Earn game-long ability "Permanents you control are indestructible. At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose two life"
As the game progresses, people begin to die off. Whoever deals the last point of damage to a player gets the victim's points. If a player ends up “committing suicide,” no one gets their points. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. Other than that, it is a regular free-for-all game.
When I first suggested we play a game like this one day, everyone chickened out after the second mulligan, and I was lost. I did not really have a large advantage. The fun of the game starts when you get 5 people starting with few cards in their hand. In case you don’t want to figure it out for yourself, that would be like everyone playing like this:
· Start with 30 life.
· Start the game with two colorless 1/2 mule tokens, and a 1/1 colorless farmer with “Sacrifice two mule tokens: draw two cards and lose 10 life.”
· Each player at the beginning of their turn may play the ability “target creature can’t block this turn.”
· You gain 1 life during every player’s upkeep but your own.
· Spells and abilities may not be countered.
· All permanents are indestructible.
· During each player's upkeep, they lose two life.
This is why I love this variant. Can you really argue with a version of a game that encourages you to beat people with mules and farmers? Adding point values to players also increases strategy. There are really two ways you can play this game:
1)The Overseer - When you play as the Overseer, you stay back and watch people kill each other under you, but maintain enough power that no one will mess with you. Let them kill each other for a while, then sweep in, deal the final damage, and take the points. Unfortunatly, when you get to the last few people, they generally have an advantage over you, as they have been fighting for longer, and have more control over the game. Be prepared, as some people may slowly begin lurking, trying to take over your spot.
2)The Warrior - Playing as a Warrior could be one of the most fun options available. First, you have the opportunity to attack with 3 creatures on your first turn, which is ALWAYS good. A good way to save youself in the long run is to not go after the Overseer. Let other players go after him, and then have him spend his counters taking care of them. That way, once you've dealt with the other Warriors, you can battle him and know that he has very little to meet you with. Unfortunatly, if you can't maintain an edge on other people duking it out with you as Warriors, your hopes for the game are pretty much ruined.
I wouldn't have people start metagaming this, it simply isn't fun when everyone can play anti-Mule. If you really want to metagame this, and start playing Massacre, then by all means do it. If your friends form an angry mob and want to trample you, just remember: I told you so.
In case this variant alone is not enough to increase the fun factor of your casual games, I’ll leave you with a few more ideas.
· Make it mandatory that no one uses creatures in their deck. There is nothing like beating each other down with mules. Sometimes, I allow people to play with Donkeyfolk, but that’s just for fun.
· Assign each player random mulligan numbers, so that people have different point values.
· Finally, my Vermont special: Play with real mules! Okay, I haven’t done it yet, and it may not be the most practical of ideas, but someday I’ll get to it.
So if you're tired of playtesting, sick of browsing netdecks, or just plain bored out of your mind, you know what to do. Gather some friends, and prepare for some chaos.