15 December 2018
The Birth of Gloria
This is the tale of the birth of a format. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. This format was created of necessity, because even gamers need to sleep once in awhile. It all begins one Sunday evening in Winter circa 2012. It was our regular Sunday night game and it was after 9:00 pm when we finished a Grande Melee with 6 or 7 players. Someone said, "I think we have time for one more quick game," and we all agreed. Unknown to us until it was too late, our host pulled out his Stasis deck. It could have been as he said later simply a random thing, but most of us feel he did it with some sort of malevolence, whether consciously or subconsciously. Regardless of his motivation, the "...one more quick" game dragged on for three and a half hours before we killed the host and could go home. Yes, we were all tired, but this man needed to be punished for his misdeed, so we all chiseled away at him until we drove him to zero. I don't even remember who won the game. It wasn't important. The important thing was that our host lost.
So, enough of the preamble. Necessity demanded that we come up with a format that could be called upon when time grew short. We decided the easiest response was to have everyone play mono-red decks. It was great.... fun, fast, and furious. The stacks could get a little tall once the sparks began to fly around between 6 or 8 people, but we managed to get a handle on it. Someone at a game said we should play, "All red" instead of mono-red. I immediately thought of the scene in the movie Rat Race where Gloria Allred just appears out of nowhere when a woman slips and falls in the hotel lobby. So I thought, Allred... Allred..., and then I said aloud, "We'll call it GLORIA." So now, when the evening is dragging on and we are about to wrap playing for the day, we may play a few hands of GLORIA. Games last about 3 to 7 minutes, although occasionally they may drag on a bit when everyone is waiting to respond to the first aggressive action. When you get a game like that, once someone casts the first barrage, the stack begins and everyone starts burning up low hanging fruit.
Eventually, I began writing the rules for the format as codification was needed. We're playing mono-red with artifacts allowed. Some idgit (remember the Stasis guy?) decides to put Dragon's Claw ("Whenever a player casts a red spell, you may gain 1 life.") in his deck, and we decided that was a bit excessive, bordering on cheating, and definitely not in the spirit of the format. We are still discussing variations on the theme as some members feel Hybrid cards should be allowed, while I feel that is antithetical. When I set out to codify the rules for the format, I researched rulings for other formats. I always begin with Vintage rules as the basis, but for this format, I also resourced the Commander format which does not allow Hybrid cards to be used unless all colors in the hybrid are found in the Commander. Since this format is Red and Colorless only, it is logical to not allow Hybrid cards. It is still under discussion and we may create a GLORIA II format which would allow for Hybrid cards, and maybe some other variations.
The rules as they currently stand...
Codified rules on GLORIA.
01: ALL RED.
No other colors are allowed. This means no hybrid cards, and no cards that include a second (third, fourth, or fifth.) color (either for casting or activated abilities). Artifacts and Devoid cards following these rules only are acceptable.
02: NO EXCESSIVE LIFE GAIN.
While life gain is advantageous, and should not be ruled out completely as the nature of the format encourages finding an edge, continuous life gain is unbalanced and should not be part of any GLORIA deck. Excessive life gain also prolongs the game and defeats the whole purpose of the format.
BANNED LIFE GAIN CARDS:
Staff of the Flame Magus
RESTRICTED (Limited to 1 in any GLORIA deck) LIFE GAIN CARDS:
Elixir of Immortality
03: RATIO RED/COLORLESS
Red spells should make up at least 75% of the deck, with colorless spells (excluding land) no more than 25% of the deck.
Example: A 60 card deck with 20 land could have a maximum of 10 colorless spells and a minimum of 30 red spells.
Creatures with Protection are allowed. Creatures with landwalk abilities, or cards that give creatures landwalk abilities are allowed.
John Lee Hunter [for Team Dishman]