About Us

This website is dedicated to the Battle Box format, a casual Magic: the Gathering variant. The Battle Box format seeks to eliminate unfun variance from the game by eliminating the risk of both mana flood and mana screw. Because the power level is also fairly flat, Battle Box is a good format to play with newer players as well as a challenging format for even the most experienced players.

Before we dive into what the Battle Box format is, I need to acknowledge some people. Formats with separate piles for lands and spells have been around since the mid-90s, but unfortunately the original inventors are lost to the dark corners of the Internet. The direct inspiration for this website was an article by Brian DeMars, entitled The Danger Room. After reading his article, I decided to build a Battle Box of my own, and I have been hooked ever since. Many thanks to Brian and those unknown pioneers for their inspiration!

As Magic players, we’ve all experienced the displeasure of losing a game due to not drawing any lands or drawing far too many lands (popularly known as “mana screw” and “mana flood”). By separating the lands from the rest of the spells, the Battle Box format eliminates both annoyances from the game. Each player gets their own set of lands (the same set for each player) eliminating mana availability as a decisive factor in the game. The other defining characteristic of the Battle Box is that all the players draw their cards from one communal deck, eliminating the unbalance coming from one player playing a much stronger deck. The net result of all this is a format where the factor luck has been reduced, making it both more fair and more skill-testing. Because of this, the format is fun for beginners and experienced players alike, albeit for different reasons. And because the only thing required to play is opening the Battle Box and dealing out the cards, the format is easily accessible for everyone, whether they own their own cards or not.

On this website, you can find in-depth information about the Battle Box format, its rules and its variants. We’ll try out new variants from time to time, and analyse new mechanics and cards as new Magic sets come out. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to be alerted whenever a new article is published. If this is your first visit to our site, be sure to read this introductory article about how I designed my original Battle Box.