I have been playing Magic the Gathering for more than 15 years, probably closer to 20, and I have always had a horrible time with getting mana into play. I am trying this varient to see if it changes the game much or if it actually allows for more simple streamlined play.
Remove all mana from play decks. Use counters for the types of mana you want to use. Each player then has the option of each turn to lay out one mana chip or using his cards in his hands, or play a mana chip and pay 1 life to play cards. Essentially you are removing the need to place mana from your hand and then sacrificing a life to play cards on the turn you add mana to the game.
A very simple rule change, but it has grand effects on the play of the game. Place mana and end turn, or don’t place mana and play cards, or place mana and pay 1 life and play cards. It is a subtle tweak that allows for mana to be quickly infused into the game.
I will tell you how it fairs soon. We are playing the variant this week.