Solo Magic: the Gathering

Survival format

gaming tip

Can you play Magic: the Gathering by yourself? Is there such a thing as solo magic?

Well, now you can!

Single-player Magic: the Survival format

Single-player Hagic: the Gathering is a survival-mode game. You (the human) are pitted against on onslaught of brute force mechanics by two decks of Common and Uncommon cards. The goal isn't to win in the way you normally win in MTG, but to survive for as many rounds as you can.

Setup

Human: Build your deck as you normally would for Standard, Modern, Pauper, Cheapskate, or similar (60 cards, maximum of 4 duplicates).

Opponent: Now build a deck for your automated opponent.

  • No lands of any type.

  • 2 creatures and 2 non-creatures at a converted mana of 1

  • 4 creatures and 2 non-creatures at a converted mana of 2

  • 5 creatures and 3 non-creatures at a converted mana of 3

  • 6 creatures and 2 non-creatures at a converted mana of 4

  • 4 creatures and 2 non-creatures at a converted mana of 5

  • 3 creatures and 1 non-creatures at a converted mana of 6

  • No Planeswalker.

Non-creatures can be an Instant, Sorcery, or Enchantment.

Creatures can be a Creature or Artifact Creature.

Dice trackers

Human: Use a d20 or 4d6 to track your life.

Opponent: Use a d6 to track rounds. Your opponent has no life, only creatures.

Rounds

The solo game is played in rounds, tracked with a d6. On the first round, set the rounds d6 to 1.

Unlike you, your opponent requires no mana to cast. It mindlessly draws cards from its decks and attacks. It's not a free-for-all, though. Here's how the odd and even rounds play out.

Odd rounds

Opponent:

  1. Draws 1 card from the creature deck.

  2. Attacks with any and all creatures able to attack.

Summoning sickness applies, so there's no attack on the initial round of the game.

Human:

  1. Play a turn as in any normal game of MTG.

  2. Advance the rounds d6 by 1.

Even rounds

Opponent:

  1. Draws 1 card from the spells deck and applies it, as possible. Some spells don&39;t translate to a single-player game (a card that effects creatures that aren't in play, for example). In that case, either approximate the card's intent, or consider yourself lucky that a spell did not resolve.

  2. If you're playing in hard mode: attacks with any and all creatures able to attack.

    If you're playing in normal mode: no attack this round.

Human:

  1. Play a turn as in any normal game of MTG.

  2. Advance the rounds d6 by 1.

When the rounds d6 reaches 6, set it aside and add a new rounds d6 at 1. See how many rounds you can last!

Dealing with a mindless horde

Your opponent is incapable of making intelligent or strategic plays or decisions. This is offset by its ability to cast without mana, so when there's a question about how a card translates to single-player mode, then you may safely consider the spell countered. When this happens, though, do not put the deck back into the opponent's deck. Instead, set it aside and add it to your own Survival Mode ban list.

Have fun, planeswalker!

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