Heard about Type Four? Great! What’s this Type Four thing all about anyway? Great question!
It’s a format where you can produce an unlimited type and amount of mana as you desire. However, as a brake to that, you are limited to just casting one spell per turn. That means you can cast one spell on your turn, and one spell on each of your opponent’s turns as well.
One side note, if you use the “alternate casting cost” part of a spell, then it does not count as your card for the turn. Thus, if you have Force of Will in your hand, you can cast it normally as your card, or exile a Blue card and lose some life and use it even if you cast your spell for the turn.
You typically draft a large stack of cards in a Cube-esque style, and then shuffle and play. It’s often played in multiplayer, but duels are common as well. Due to the nature of the format, you have all of the best cards available. It really combines the Left Hand of Spike and the Right Hand of Timmy/Tammy. In order to win, you are going to be casting the biggest creatures, burn spells, and game winning cards ever printed.
If you have ever said to yourself, “Self, I want a limited format where Impervious Greatwurm is a first pick!” then you are going to love Type 4.
I’ve written a number of articles recently about Type Four, from some of the best T4 cards from recent sets to other articles about it. I also have a Top Ten Type 4 Cards of All Time list as well as an upcoming Top Ten Overrated Cards List for the format you can check out this Friday.
Today, I want to look at the entire stack I play, and then talk about some of the cards and card choices and cool cards.
I really want to break down my article into a few sub features, like budget places to start your own T4 stack as well as some classics that I love and will never pull out, and many more!
Let’s begin with the Stack itself:
Here’s the visual spoiler of my T4 Stack!
I uploaded it to CubeTutor for you. Check it out! You can draft it if you like as well, to get a feel for the draft side of Type 4.
I’ll give you a few moments to revel in its glory. Should you want to do so.
What to Steer Clear Of
What stuff would I recommend that you aim far away from including? Great question!
Remember that you don’t have to have the perfect Type Four stack to get started! Just avoid any auto-kill cards like Fireball, creatures with firebreathing, and such. Akroma, Angel of Fury, will kill in one hit. Remove firebreathing from it, and it’s amazing. Similarly, Drana will kill in one-hit too, and she’ll kill any potential blockers. These are just not right for the format.
I run just one card that will auto kill someone - Door to Nothingness. It’s slow, giving people time to answer it, and in multiplayer, you just kill one person rather than everyone.
I don’t even run cards that can kill in one punch, like Colossus of Akros, which is a 20/20, indestructible, trampler. Ditto Josu Vess, Lich Knight who brings twenty power of stuff to the table (Although he’s easier to answer with mass removal, but harder to answer with targeted removal). See also - Army of the Damned or Blightsteel Colossus. I steer clear of these.
While there are some exceptions to the case, particularly with your first build, I’d want to steer clear of sorcery speed targeted removal or card drawing. I used to run Sever Soul because of the massive potential for life gaining, but I pulled it. It was too slow.
When you look at my stack, you will notice the occasional card like Nissa's Revelation. It’s a sorcery speed option, but the scry 5, the huge card drawing, and the life gain that can save you from a turn of beating is worth it. You can easily draw nine cards and gain nine life, which is worth taking a turn off.
And that’s it! Look through your stuff for fun cards in T4! Let’s turn to some cheap pick-ups.
Because of the Timmy nature of the format, these cards are easily findable. Some of the best cards for Type 4 are in one of three valuable categories that you can get easily:
Despite the fact that you are running the biggest effects in the game, there are many commons that make an appearance. In particular, look for commons that give you counters, removal or other trades.
Cards like Contradict are great counters that give you something else, as well as bounce or removal effects. Relic Crush can destroy two targets, Final Reward is great at exiling removal, and such. These are the foundation for a Cube.
Some great cards are here! And while uncommons that are regularly played in tournaments can have a pricey attachment to them (such as Path to Exile or Mishra's Bauble). Luckily, many of these cards suck in Type 4, and you won’t even want them a little.
The first place I’d look is at uncommon beaters that can be the start of your creature smashing fun times.
…I’d look at cards that flesh out your build. Much like commons, you have a number of powerful and cheap cards that make up the backbone of your deck, with many an answer in there. Here are more counters, removal, card drawing, bounce, and more effects.
There are loads of cheap bulk rares that you can pick up that are great for Type 4.
Big Beaters? Creatures with powerful effects? Yup!
We have great removal spells and recursion.
We even have some bulk rare mass removal spells!
There are many a cheap card to have to seek out for your Type Four stack!
Answers and Counter-Answers and Counter-Counter-Answers and Counter-Counter-Counter-Answers!
To my mind, Type 4 is best when you have a number of cards that are hard to answer, as well as those answers, and then answers to those answers.
Here are a few examples of fun cards that I am talking about:
Due to the nature of the format, counters are much more powerful here than elsewhere. Counterspells answer almost every single issue in the game. In order to alleviate the power of counters I included cards that cannot be countered.
Sphinx of the Final Word is great in Type Four! Can’t be countered. Has flying and hexproof. Makes your instants and sorceries also uncounterable too! It’s strong. Stopping a counter spell is so important that I even run Boseiju in my land count. It feels nice to use Boseiju or Sphinx to cast something like Tooth and Nail and know that can be countered!
Which is why I run cards that answer spells on the stack but don’t counter them.
Like Aethersnatch. It’s doesn’t counter your Sphinx of the Steel Wind or uncounterable Tooth and Nail. It just steals it on the stack. Aethersnatch is a valuable way to get around stuff being uncounterable. There are answers to your answers to your answers.
Another method in the deck to answer counters are cast triggers. You can counter the creature, but the effect will still fire. However, like above, there are also answers to cast triggers, such as effects that counter a triggering ability, or you can just end the turn.
The wheel turns!
Here’s another example!
There are a lot of big beaters in this format. Take a creature like Autochthon Wurm or Demon of Death's Gate. Big! Nasty! How do you deal with these sorts of dorks getting dropped on turn one? In a normal format, by the time they have dropped a big fattie like this, you have the mana needed to answer it. We have a lot of these problems running around. So how do you answer them? Great question!
Mass removal is the answer. You don’t have to target anything. You can take out dorks from multiple foes, or handle something like a spell that makes a bunch of token creatures. Tons of Wrath of Gods and similar effects are here, and they aren’t taking any prisoners! You typically play pretty much any sweeping effect that you have an extra copy of.
So how do you answer sweeping removal? Indestructible! You either run creatures with it, or effects that give it to your team. Spells like Heroic Intervention suggest themselves as surprise protection effects as well.
Seeing that your foes are running a number of indestructible effects, what do you do to answer them? You exile them! There are a number of removal effects, including sweeping ones, that exile en masse. You can also look to spells that remove creatures from the battlefield without killing them, like Terminus. Just as Aethersnatch gest around the inability to be countered, Terminus gets around indestructible.
If your foes are constantly exiling your stuff, what can you do? Bring them back! Torrent Elemental is happy to come on back from the exile zone any time you need. And it has a sick attack trigger than works nicely in Type4.
This is what I’m talking about. A big back-and-forth set of cards that answer your answers.
Everyone has some pet cards that they adore! I do as well, and I thought I’d share with you a triad of cards that I love, but you may not have had the same results with.
Rainbow Efreet - Once it resolves, this is an un-answerable creature. Any removal spell can be dodged by phasing out. You can block and phase. You can phase away from Terminus and being tapped. Exiling removal? Stealing it? Nope. Go away. Now, because this format is all about answers to answers, there are some cards that will answer a resolved Efreet - they have split second. Sudden Spoiling, Wipe Away, and my favorite, Take Possession. But it’s still strong and very hard to handle. I loves it!
Wild Ricochet - So much fun! Fork and redirection in one spell? That means you can get both from one effect. It’s an effect that I love to unfurl
Expensive Targets for Later
One of the key things I think you’ll want to do later as you play and love your Type 4 stack is you’ll want to look at securing some expensive powerhouses of the format. You can trade or purchase some great cards that will really make your stack sing.
Here are a few examples for you:
Force of Will - The obvious choice is Force of Will. Because of the alternate cost option, it’s one of the best counters in the format. You can play Type 4 without it, and it’s fine. But once you add it, you see the power it adds.
Illusionary Mask - I’m a little surprised when I don’t see Illusionary Mask in online (or other real life) stacks. This thing is amazing. It’s a strong option for everyone. You can drop every creature in your hand face down on your turn, and then flip them over when they are tapped, take damage, or deal damage. Or if it has morph you can flip it over to get that trigger normally. So you can dump your hand of dorks. That’s nice. And they are face down, so your foes won’t know what they are, and can’t respond with knowledge.
Volrath's Stronghold - Due to its presence on the Reserve List, this thing has rocketed up the price charts, and it’s good in our format, just like many others. It’s a fun target for acquisition for your stack.
The Eldrazi Titans - They may be expensive to pick up, but the various versions of the Eldrazi Titans are all great for Type 4. The only one I think is too much is Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. All of the other five add a lot to this format!
And there you are!
Did you enjoy this look at all things Type Four? You had a chance to check out my stack, so let me know what you think. Any cards I missed? Anything you saw that you want to try out? Any questions you have? Thanks for reading!
P.S. - I published a book!!!!!!!! Yup! A book! It’s called, “Love for One Another.” Now, to be fair, its genres are Christian and Auto-Biography. If that’s not your thing, that’s fine!
I use as the basis of my book the scripture passage in John where Jesus charges his disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
If you are interested in reading it, then here it is! https://www.amazon.com/Love-One-Another-Abe-Sargent/dp/1644162008 . Check it out and let me know what you thought! You can add me on Facebook (I’m Abe Sargent)!