Mini-Master (also known as Pack Wars) is a casual limited Magic: The Gathering format that starts with a single booster pack and fifteen basic lands. The game was originally invented by Mark Rosewater and Henry Stern before they came to work for Wizards of the Coast.
Setting up for Mini-Master is very simple. Each player needs a single booster pack of Magic cards. Without looking at the contents, each player opens their pack and adds in three of each basic land (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain and Forest) (the random Basic land and the marketing card are removed). They then shuffle up and play a game of Magic just like normal. Because players don't know what cards are in their decks, Mini-Master offers up the same surprises players get when they open a fresh new pack of Magic cards. Is the rare you're hoping to open going to help you beat your opponent? Or will you lose the game but still walk away happy with the cards you managed to crack? Mini-Master is great for letting you play with new cards while still keeping the excitement of opening a new booster!
Each time a player wins a match, they get a new booster pack to add to their deck. Once they added their second booster pack, deck-construction rules reverted to the normal rules for Limited decks, which meant they can modify their deck contents and add more lands as desired, so long it contains at least forty cards.
Many Mini-Master variants exist. A different way to do it is for each player to open a booster and have that entire booster become their opening hand. During each player's turn, that player may choose a basic land from outside the game and put it into play. Players play without libraries; effects that say to draw a card have no effect, and there is no penalty for being unable to draw.
- Anthony Alongi (August 05, 2003). "Before You Bust Those Packs...". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Anthony Alongi (August 19, 2003). "Unlimited Limited". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Anthony Alongi (November 22, 2005). "Short Comings And Goings". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards of the Coast (August 11, 2008). "Casual Formats". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (November 6, 2016). "My wife and i have recently started playing...". Blogatog. Tumblr.