The Mystery Box side event at Worlds, in which a random card pool is determined and players had to construct their decks using only those packs, was great fun and sparked some inspiration in the Standard Balance Team. So under the roof of NISEI Organised Play we want to offer a similar, slightly adjusted format for the next few months: Random Access Memories. To inaugurate this new format, we’ll be holding a tournament in it on December 18, 2021!
Random Access Memories will be a recurring format with a two week rotation. At the beginning of each two week period, two large releases and 12 data packs will be randomly determined to form the card pool for the next two weeks. The current card pool will always be available to view on our Supported Formats page. There is no ban list. The two large releases are drawn randomly from this list:
- Original Core Set
- Creation and Control
- Honor and Profit
- Order and Chaos
- Data and Destiny
- Terminal Directive
- Revised Core Set
- Reign and Reverie
- System Gateway
Additionally, 12 data packs are randomly drawn from all the remaining releases. The following packs are excluded from the eligible card pool and can never be drawn:
- Democracy and Dogma (Mumbad cycle)
- Blood Money (Flashpoint cycle)
- Uprising Booster Pack
- Magnum Opus community cards (Hired Help and Watch the World Burn)
- System Core 2019
- System Update 2021
Democracy and Dogma and Blood Money have been proven to create very lopsided formats with little variety in the past. The Uprising Booster pack and the Magnum Opus community card pack are too small in size. And finally, the cards in the two big packs System Update 2021 and System Core 2019 are already included in the other releases. Furthermore, they are well-rounded releases, and part of the fun of this format is attempting to work around gaps in the card pool. Leaving those packs out creates more interesting challenges.
Note: Salvaged Memories, the Magnum Opus Champion cards, and both parts of Ashes (Downfall and Uprising) are included in the pool of eligible data packs as a single data pack each.
There will be a series of tournaments run in this format, with the first one on December 18th 2021 and subsequent ones every 2 weeks. These will be free for anyone to enter (as there are no prizes apart from bragging rights), and will create the opportunity for anyone inexperienced in this format to watch some of the best deckbuilders and players in our community solve its unique challenges.
The first tournament will take place on December 18th 2021, 4pm UTC. Subsequent tournaments will alternate between US/APAC and EU-friendly timezones so as to allow everyone in the community to take part in them.
The tournament will be preceded by a livestreamed draw in which the card pool for the event (and the following two week period) is determined. We will be drawing two large releases and 12 data packs, randomly determined from the entire set of releases.
This will be followed by a 2-hour period for deckbuilding. Registering and locking in decklists in under 45 minutes gives a bonus of 3 Swiss points before the first round of the tournament.
The tournament will consist of 3 or 4 rounds of double sided Swiss (depending on attendance), followed by a top 3 cut.
To join the tournament, log into the Project NISEI Discord server for further announcements on the day.
After the tournament, the packs drawn will be the legal Random Access Memories card pool for the next two weeks, and we invite you to explore it further on jinteki.net as well as your local meet-ups. You can always check which packs are legal in our Supported Formats page, and there is a legality checker tool at this site which you can check your decks with. Moreover, you can even draw your own cardpool and run an unofficial RAM tournament using the tools at this site!
If you have been playing our Startup format and have wanted to try out bigger formats, this might be the perfect opportunity to get to know some of the older cards in a never before seen context. With a size of around 350-400 cards, this format will be easier to grasp, yet fun to explore.
Once those two weeks are over, the cycle will start anew with another draw, another frantic deckbuilding session, another tournament, and another 2 weeks of less frantic exploration! We’re looking forward to seeing you in this fun format for the Winter season either playing in the tournaments or watching the stream.
If you want to get your feet wet, here’s an example draft to take a look at:
Note: This will not be the card pool for the first tournament on December 18th. This is only an example of what a randomly generated card pool might look like.