Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Deficiency of Win Conditions

Recently, things on the Magic front got bizarre indeed. The weirdest game I have played…ever, perhaps? The combatants were a mismatch in every way possible.

Left Corner: Niv-Mizzet EDH Deck, Minus Niv-Mizzet. This was a headless 99 card singleton deck in red/blue. Most every card was meant to by synergistic with the General, Niv-Mizzet, who I took pleasure in removing before the game started. Since the other deck wasn't an EDH deck, it would have been unfair to play with him! I think.

Right Corner: Blue/Black Emperor Deck, played solo with no commanders. Built from the ground up to control the game from behind 2 commanders in a 6-person Emperor Game. In this case instead of a six man game it was facing off against the previously mentioned 99 card Singleton Deck.

The Emperor Deck, as expected, was packed with counterspells, removal and not a whole lot else. Removal mostly took the form of Damnation and an old friend called Pestilence.

After about 10 turns, Greg made this illuminated remark: "your deck doesn't seem to do much."


I think the largest frustration for him was probably a few early hits I got in to bring his life total below mine. Without this bit of advantage, he would have just Pestilenced me out and the game would have been over in half the time.

Instead, it went for at least an hour while he looked for things to KILL me with, and I looked for creatures that could get through Pestilence and Dismal Failure.

What I ended up doing was Take Possession on his Liliana Vess.

I used Vess to make him discard, and this caused a slight miscalculation on his part. He played Avatar of Woe to get it out of his hand, and next turn I used Vess's ultimate power to pull all the creatures out of the graveyard.

This was pretty hasty on my part, as I really should have just used her tutoring abilities and discard a bit longer (I don't think he had anything to get rid of planeswalkers). But it forced him to use a Damnation to clear the board, which killed his Avatar as well.

I would find out later he had only 2 Avatars (and the only creatures) in his deck when I used Telemin Performance to pull the last one out.

What lesson did we learn from this exercise…NOTHING! Absolutely nothing.

Okay, maybe I have learned a little something. This, combined with the match up against the Slivers earlier might make me put a few more direct threats into my deck. Maybe a nice Banefire, as I was wishing for one of those most of this ill-fated game. Another tutor might be good as well.

The greatest lesson I learned however, its that I am able to enjoy a great many Magic games. Even the ones that stall out for any hour. The beer might have helped. Running purposefully inept decks against each other is an exercise I encourage others to try for themselves.

Hopefully I can make some changes in time for the next matchup.

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