It's no secret that the London Mulligan is one of the hottest topics in Magic right now. In a world where people want cleaner games featuring more interactive gameplay, as well as the introduction of an algorithm that helps ensure better starting hands in best-of-one play on Magic Arena, it's no surprise that Wizards of the Coast has been experimenting with a way to make all of that come true.
My biggest fear is that this new mulligan rule will greatly impact the older formats. WotC has stated in the past that they don't want any new change to mulligans to influence deckbuilding or deck selection for tournaments. If you're talking about Standard or Draft, I think there's a good chance the London Mulligan will be a great thing for Magic. And as far as I'm concerned, banning a few cards in older formats to have Standard and Draft be a significantly more enjoyable experience is a sacrifice I'd be willing to make.
But before we get too deep, what is the London Mulligan, exactly?
"When you mulligan for the Nth time, you draw seven cards, then put N cards on the bottom of your library in any order."
This week on VS Live! Ross Merriam and I will be testing it out to see just how busted (or reasonable) it actually is. After playing with the rule for a few matches, as well as talking about it at length with Ross, I've come to a few conclusions. And while I'm sure my opinion on the subject will change slightly over the next few weeks, I thought it best to get my thoughts down on paper as I experience how the London Mulligan feels, as well as what I've observed in our initial experimentation.
Linear strategies focus on a singular gameplan, executing with very little interaction with the opponent. Linear strategies are very common in Modern because the card pool is vast enough to support doing just about whatever you want. And when that thing is powerful, and is fast enough to ignore the opponent, there's very little reason to go about interacting.