My biggest gripe and frustration with Magic the Gathering is the mana system. Now, that's not to say that it's broken. In fact, there are solid arguments for why the shortcomings of the mana system are actually a design feature of the game. But let's set all that aside.
I often complain that I just want to play a game of Magic. I don't want one player or the other to win because the other player drew too many lands, or too few lands, or couldn't cast most of his or her spells, despite a reasonable mana base.
So if you wanted to "fix" this problem, what would be the simplest way to do so? I've heard a lot of different suggestions. Here's my favorite:
I would add a simple rule, broken down into two parts: At any time, you can play a non-land spell as a land. Play it face down and add a color counter that corresponds to each mana type it can tap for. Until the card leaves play, it remains a land, but not as a Basic-type land. So how do you determine which mana types it taps for?
- If the spell has only a single color in its mana cost, it taps for that color. As such, it comes into play untapped just like any other land.
- If the spell has multiple colors in its mana cost, it taps for any of those colors (but only one at a time). To compensate, it comes into play tapped.
For Magic Online, Wizards could even add a new Vanguard avatar that "turns on" this rule. I personally would love to see this.
So what do you think of that solution? How would it change the fundamentals of Magic? And would that change be positive or negative, and why? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.