Magic too expensive? Not at all! Starting at a few bucks, you'll have a deck to compete in a real tournament. Since march 2008, we play Peasant Magic at the end of the month. What is Peasant Magic you ask? Good question, here are the rules we use in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Building your deck follows the normal deck construction rules (i.e. a minimum of 60 cards, exactly 15 sideboard card, no more than 4 of each card, except basic land, etc). There's a catch though, between your deck and your sideboard you are not allowed to play more than 5 uncommons and no rares! Rarity is based on Gatherer information, including the online-only Master's Edition sets. Lowest rarity counts, so if a card has been printed as a common and got reprinted as an uncommon, it still counts as a common for peasant. A few examples: Serendib Efreet is a rare, Mishra's Factory is an uncommon, and Exile is a common (because of Master's Edition I). Click here to open Gatherer.
You may play any card printed in a black or white border, as long as you adhere to the previous rules and the banned list below. This means, for example, that you may play with Portal Three Kingdoms cards or cards from the Planechase decks, but not with the special gold-bordered printings of the World Championship decks.
There are certain cards that you cannot play, these are the cards on the banned list. The cards are on this list for different reasons. Some of them are very expensive and don't fit with the spirit of peasant magic, others have proven to be too strong in the format, still others might be balanced, but not fun to play against.
Bazaar of Baghdad
Cranial Plating (banned as of 07/11/2011)
Demonic Consultation (banned as of 14/11/2009)
Empty the Warrens (banned as of 07/03/2011)
Frantic Search (banned as of 29/06/2008)
Invigorate (banned as of 02/06/2011)
Library of Alexandria
Sol Ring (banned as of 29/06/2008)
Strip Mine (banned as of 29/06/2008)
Tendrils of Agony (banned as of 29/06/2008)
Thopter Foundry (banned as of 07/11/2011)
All silver-bordered commons and uncommons from the Un-sets (so far Unglued and Unhinged).
There are currently no cards on the watchlist.
Skeletal Scrying (unbanned as of 01/02/2013)
Since Wizards of the Coast doesn't support this format the tournaments are not sanctioned, but that doesn't make them any less competitive. Since the bannings in June 2008 the format has shown a healthy variety of decks drifting to the top tables and it is very popular with close to 20 people participating in each event. The tournaments are held on the fourth Friday of the month at De Purperen draak, Nieuwe Ebbingestraat 83, Groningen. The site opens its doors at 18:30 and the entry fee is usually € 5,-. The tournament starts at 19:00 o'clock. Click here to to check the latest tournament information and to sign up for one of our Peasant tournaments on our magicgroningen forum (a Dutch site). Click here to check the Peasant (and Budget and Commander) subsection of our forum, where, amongst other things, the Peasant League standings are kept up to date.
As mentioned the rules presented here are the house rules we use in Groningen. In France, for example, most peasant tournaments use Crystal Keep to determine rarity, rather than Gatherer. Also, banned lists tend to vary from place to place, depending on which cards have been troublesome in the metagame.
Q: One of the four Mishra's Factory printings in Antiquities was printed at C1, shouldn't it be allowed as a common?
A: No. We use Gatherer to determine the rarity of cards, which shows three of the Antiquities printings at rare, and one at uncommon. Therefore, we treat Mishra's Factory as an uncommon.
Q: I have four Hurricanes from 10th edition, can I play them even though they're rares?
A: Yes. The lowest rarity of the card counts. According to Gatherer Hurricane has been printed at uncommon, so even though your copies of the card are rare, you are allowed to play them.
Q: Can I play Soul Snare from the Commander decks?
A: Yes. Soul Snare has a black border and is an uncommon according to Gatherer, so you are free to play it, even though it is from a special set.
Q: Can I play Exile? The card has only been printed as a rare in Alliances an Sixth Edition.
A: Yes. Exile is a common according to Gatherer. It doesn't matter that it was only printed as a common in an online-only set.
Q: I acquired a promo card, can I play it?
A: Check gatherer. The Kor Firewalker DCI promo has a gold expansion symbol, but is an uncommon according to gatherer, so you are allowed to play it as an uncommon. Nalathni Dragon has only been printed as a promo and has a special rarity according to Gatherer. Special is not the same as common or uncommon, so Nalathni Dragon is not allowed.
Q: Can I play the basic lands from Unglued?
A: Yes. Only the silver-bordered commons and uncommons from the Un-sets are banned, and the basic lands have a black border.
Q: I have a Rancor with a gold border, can I play it?
A: No. Only cards with a white or black border are allowed, so even though Rancor is allowed because it's a common in Urza's Legacy, your copy of the card is not allowed and you'll have to find a black-bordered copy to play with.