Test the Gauntlet
This play testing phase is the discovery phase. How do the decks work? Do the cards go well together? Is this as efficient as the decks can be? What gives the deck trouble? I prefer to not use mulligans during this phase. If a deck would have to mulligan, I record the need for a mulligan in my notes, shuffle and draw a full 7. Notice that the gauntlet decks do not have sideboards. At this point I want to evaluate the deck’s strengths and weaknesses against all of the other decks. Cards that are not optimal can be culled in the main deck leaving valuable sideboard slots for true challenges that need to be fixed by sideboarding.
I want to play as many games as I can with each deck. 20 games against each other test deck will give me a total of 120 games with each deck. Obviously the more the better, but time is limited and there are other steps to get to. I won’t be playing any mirror matches at this stage, but after the decks are refined we’ll start looking at mirror matches and whether or not decks will want to devote sideboard slots to the mirror.
If you decide to test one of my decks, please post in the comments your experiences with the deck. I’ll be including a bracket system that gives the breakdowns of each matchup, the strenghts and weaknesses and notes about any changes I think would be beneficial as well as sideboard posibilties.