Deck Construction & Rules


The 250 magic format is based on, and draws inspiration from the "5-color" magic format created by Kurt Hahn in the late nineties as a casual format that allowed players to play some of the most powerful spells in the games history while introducing variance and interesting deck construction rules.

The following rules will serve as a spiritual continuation which aims to maintain the feel of the original big deck format while updating the banned and restricted list and creating a lower barrier to entry for new and returning players.

These rules will borrow heavily from the aforementioned "5-color Rules" with modifications to recreate the original feel of the format, with the goal of creating a fun, diverse, and engaging environment where players can sling the craziest spells in Magic's history.

Deck Construction

All non-silver-bordered sets are legal on the day of their respective pre-release. In addition, all promotional and reprint sets are legal, including [but not limited to]:

  • Collector's Edition
  • International Edition
  • Pro Tour Collector Set
  • World Championships Decks

Alterations & Artist Proofs

Not only is it possible to play with Artist Proofs or Altered cards, it is encouraged; provided that the card in question is easily identifiable and otherwise legal.

Color and Size Requirements

Decks must contain a minimum of 250 cards with no maximum deck size. Sideboards are not allowed, however players can employ a "wish board" [see errata section for details].

With the exception of basic land cards (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest, Wastes), a player’s combined deck and wishboard may not contain more than 4 of any individual card, counted by its English card title.

In addition to the minimum deck size, decks must contain a minimum of 20 cards in each of the five colors. Multicolored cards only count as one of their colors.

Banned Cards
  • All cards with the type "Conspiracy"
  • Battle of Wits
  • Bringer of The Black Dawn
  • Darkpact
  • Holistic Wisdom
  • Insidious Dreams
  • Phyrexian Portal
  • Shahrazad
Restricted Cards
  • Academy Rector
  • All Suns' Dawn
  • Ancestral Recall
  • Arid Mesa
  • Balance
  • Black Lotus
  • Bloodstained Mire
  • Chaos Orb
  • Crop Rotation
  • Crucible of Worlds
  • Demonic Consultation
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Divining Witch
  • Enlightened Tutor
  • Eternal Witness
  • Fabricate
  • Fastbond
  • Flooded Strand
  • Gamble
  • Gifts Ungiven
  • Grim Tutor
  • Hermit Druid
  • Imperial Seal
  • Intuition
  • Isochron Scepter
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Mana Crypt
  • Mana Vault
  • Marsh Flats
  • Merchant Scroll
  • Misty Rainforest
  • Mox Crystal
  • Mox Emerald
  • Mox Jet
  • Mox Pearl
  • Mox Ruby
  • Mox Sapphire
  • Mystical Tutor
  • Oath of Druids
  • Panoptic Mirror
  • Parallel Thoughts
  • Personal Tutor
  • Polluted Delta
  • Primeval Titan
  • Recurring Nightmare
  • Regrowth
  • Scalding Tarn
  • Sol Ring
  • Strip Mine
  • Sundering Titan
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • Sylvan Scrying
  • Time Spiral
  • Time Vault
  • Time Walk
  • Timetwister
  • Tinker
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Transmute Artifact
  • Urza's Saga
  • Vampiric Tutor
  • Verdant Catacombs
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Windswept Heath
  • Wooded Foothills
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain
  • Yawgmoth's Will

Rule Changes


For the purposes of game rules, we will define "ante" as the following process:

  1. Reveal the top card of the anteing player's library.
  2. If the card is a non-land "premium¹" card or non-land rare², it is automatically accepted as ante.
  3. If the card is not automatically accepted, the opposing player has the option to accept the card as ante.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until a card is accepted as ante. All other cards are then shuffled back into the deck.

The chosen card is then moved to the ante zone, and can only be affected by cards that specifically refer to this zone. Cards in the ante zone are considered to be part of the game.

Cards in the ante zone that belong to the losing player are considered "lost" and can not be returned to the player's deck until the match is finished. Instead, they must be replaced with additional copies or basic lands.

¹ "Premium" cards can be any one of: promotional reprints, alternate artworks/frames, or foils.
² "Mythic Rare" and "Time-Shifted" cards are considered rare.

Determining Order of Play

Each player shuffles their deck, and presents it to their opponent for cutting. Once the decks are cut, each player antes a card. The player whose ante has the highest converted mana cost chooses to play or draw.


250 employs special "land" mulligans to lessen the burden of playing with 250+ cards. These are the "no land", "one land", and "all land" mulligan. They can each be used once and must be chosen before performing any standard mulligans. Each allows the player to present their hand containing the named number of lands, shuffle it into their library, and then draw a new starting hand of seven cards.

If a player elects to use a land mulligan, their opponent may "ride" that mulligan and draw a new starting hand as well.

Once both players have taken their land mulligans in turn order, they can begin taking regular mulligans [the "London" mulligan at the time of this writing].

Rulings & Errata

Contract from Below

Change the card text to the following:

Remove Contract from Below from your deck if you are not playing for ante.

Discard your hand. Ante. Draw 7 cards.

Jeweled Bird

Change the card text to the following:

Remove Jeweled Bird from your deck if you are not playing for ante.

{T}: Ante Jeweled Bird. If you do, put another card you own from the ante into your graveyard, then draw a card. Only the owner of Jeweled Bird may activate this ability.

Chaos Orb & Falling Star

If Chaos Orb/Falling Star would be put into play, cards already in play can not be moved. Treat these cards as though they have a central pin; upon which they can still tap, however they may not be rearranged or otherwise moved.

When Chaos Orb/Falling Star lands, count any sleeves as part of the card for purposes of determining if a card is touched. Additionally, if Chaos Orb/Falling Star lands on a stack of cards, any cards which the Orb/Star would touch if no other cards were above them are treated as having been touched.

Wishes [Ring of Ma'rûf, Judgement Wishes, etc...]

Cards which are chosen "from outside the game" can be any card which would not lead to an illegal deck list, including those in your trade binder, exile, or collection if you can reach them from your current location.