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  • posted a message on Melee - 6 Player EDH Format
    I would like to share a 6 player commander variant that I have been brainstorming for a while now. It was born out of the desire to play against more friends at the same time.

    Introducing MELEE! A commander variant for 6 people.

    1. Start in two pods of 3 people each.
    2. Life points start at 30 instead of 40.
    3. Both pods shuffle up, determine turn order and begin play at the same time.

    Both pods play as normal until the first player of their pod is eliminated OR a player wins their pod. In either case, both pods pause gameplay (finish out the turn currently underway for the non-elimination pod).

    The player eliminated (or the winner) from their pod picks up their board and relocates to the non-elimination pod where they will join in as last in turn order there. The non-elimination pod has to pick one player from their group at random to relocate from the current pod to the other one.

    RELOCATE. Relocate occurs in one of three circumstances. A player wins their pod, a player lost in their pod, or a player was chosen at random from a non-elimination pod.

    Pod Winner (one player eliminates both opponents in the same turn):

    • The player picks up their board as is, and joins the open spot in the other pod.
    • The player's life total is reset to their last starting total (reduced by 5 for each "Knocked Out" emblem they control).
    • Any lands they had in play stay in play.
    • A permanent controlled by another player in the previous pod is returned to play under its owner's control.
    • The player's hand and graveyard get shuffled into their library and they draw a new hand.
    - IF a player wins their pod with more than 5 triggers of the SAME permanent to facilitate their win (a.k.a. infinite or near infinite), they relocate with only lands in play and ONE nonland permanent of choice from the existing board state.

    - IF the player wins with a planeswalker emblem in play, that emblem goes away as they move to another pod.

    Relocating with a reduced board state makes it so that player cannot simply set up an insurmountable position and eliminate players from each pod over and over without strong opposition. Starting with all previous lands in play and a fresh hand make it feasible to establish a formidable position in the new pod without being far behind or extremely far ahead.

    Pod Loser (player was eliminated in a turn where no other opponent has also lost the game):

    • The player receives a "Knocked Out" emblem.
    • The player picks up their board as is, and joins the open spot in the other pod.
    • The player's life total is reset (reduced by 5 life for each "Knocked Out" emblem they control).
    • Any lands and nonland permanents they had in play stay in play.
    • A permanent controlled by another player in the previous pod is returned to play under its owner's control.
    • The player's hand and graveyard get shuffled into their library and they draw a new hand minus one card for each "Knocked Out" emblem they control using London Mulligan.
    - IF the player is eliminated with a planeswalker emblem in play, that emblem goes away as they move to another pod.

    - IF the player was eliminated by mill (library reduced to zero cards), then that player shuffles their graveyard into their library before drawing the new starting hand.

    An eliminated player gets to join the ongoing game with almost a fresh start. If they managed to keep permanents in play upon getting eliminated they can keep them in play while drawing a new hand to hopefully do better in an unknown situation.



    Random Relocate (player was not eliminated, but chosen at random from a non-elimation pod):

    • The player picks up their board as is, and joins the open spot in the other pod.
    • The player's life total remains the same as in the previous pod.
    • Any lands and nonland permanents they had in play stay in play.
    • A permanent controlled by another player in the previous pod is returned to play under its owner's control.
    • The player keeps their existing hand.

    A player selected for random relocation basically just picks up and continues play in the other pod as if they were there from the start. The biggest disadvantage is not knowing who will have to move and what kind of fight they will be dropped into.

    Once the rotation has been made, play continues with the next player's turn for each pod. The new players to the pod go last in turn order. Random relocation players may take their turn immediately upon joining if they were next to play.

    KNOCKED OUT EMBLEMS:
    When a player is eliminated from play they receive a Knocked Out emblem to signify the loss. Players can receive an emblem if they are the only player eliminated from a pod OR if they were eliminated during the same turn as another opponent (they each receive one).

    Any player who has a Knocked Out Emblem under their control may give their emblem to another player if they eliminate that player from the pod (a player can have multiple emblems). This makes it possible for a player to still win the game even if they have been previously eliminated.

    COMMANDER TAX:

    Any commander tax accrued moves with the player if/when they relocate.

    If a player won and elects to not keep their commander in play as their one permanent to keep, the commander goes back to the command zone, but no new tax is applied.

    TO WIN:

    Play continues in this fashion until there is only one player who has no "Knocked Out" emblems in their control. It is entirely possible for a player to receive an emblem, eliminate another player and give their emblem to that player, and then go on to win the game!

    This new format variant will make players not only think about how they are going to win their current pod, but how they are going to protect their resources in the event they are relocated to another pod for any reason. Play will ultimately be a bit faster overall because the group who does not eliminate a player first will end up losing someone in their group at random and that random person could end up being the person with the strongest board state at the time.

    Preserving the origination of this format idea. Created May 10, 2020 - Jeffrey L. Brooks

    My playgroup tested this new format idea recently and it was incredibly fun. The 3 pod and lower life total means the first person gets eliminated fairly quickly in terms of game time. As life totals get low or one player looks like they are winning soon, other players begin to worry and wonder about what happens when players trade places.

    • Am I going to be the one moving?
    • If I stay and someone new joins the pod, what are they bringing to the table?
    • Do I use resources now to try to win or stop a winner or let things progress in order to preserve the resources I have?
    • Do I risk going "infinite" to win and move to the other pod with only one permanent?

    We playtested a s;ightly different win condition at the time and modified it to what you see here immediately after. The game time ran for approximately 75 minutes for all six players to end up with one overall winner. In the group we had a nice mix of different decks to test out the outcome and gameplay with varying strengths and strategies. In the game there was: a planeswalker tribal deck, a combo deck with infnite mana/damage loops, a combat centric deck with infinite combat phases, a stompy deck, an aggressive group slug deck, and a discard/reanimator themed deck. Very different strategies all around and in each game that was played a different overall winner emerged.

    If you do end up trying this variant please post what your thoughts on it were. What could be tweaked to make it better?

    Original posting on Archidekt here https://archidekt.com/decks/549773#"Melee"_-_6_Player_EDH

    YouTube video talk thru: https://youtu.be/mFUBVnMirkQ

    Custom emblems: https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/knocked-out
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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