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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fun with Multiplayer Magic

I haven't blogged about magic: the gathering so far, because I haven't
had a good way of referencing the cards. Now that the excellent Magic Cards info site has appeared, I can start.

Magic is most often played as a 'duel' with one player striving to
overcome another. Most magic cards are written with the duel in mind.
However there are other ways to play, and the clues are in cards that
reference "each other player" or "each opponent" in their text.

I play in large multilayer games, featuring 6-10 players. This changes
the game quite substantially, as cards which are useless in duel become
valuable in multiplayer, and previously valued cards can lose their
shine. Some good cards just get better; there are so many players to
annoy with your Wrath of God.

Players sit in a circle and can only attack the player immediately to
their left. So you attack left and defend to the right. Also, spells and
effects have a "range" of two players either side of you. For example,
your Wrath of God will destroy all creatures of yours, and those two
players to your left and right, but someone sitting three places away
will be unaffected. Game-changing shocks are thus localised.

I won the last game, against 8 players, with the help of one simple
creature card. Kavu Predator. Irrelevant in a duel, this card becomes
gold in a multiplayer format where almost everyone runs some kind of
life gain. I used Spirit Loop to keep myself in there too, and it proved
a lifesaver later on.

There wasn't a lot of life gain around the table, or so it seemed. After
three turns, the Kavu Predator was a healthy 22/22 and the first player
to my left was dead. The next player tried to protect himself by gaining life. Cute.

To my right Eddie was playing some kind of artefact deck, but I was
playing green/white, so no threats there. To Eddie's right, Ado sat
nibbling his life total away with Mourning Thrull.

Jason stopped me for a while once the table was reduced to five players,
and we were all in each other's range. Reiver Demon killed all
non-black creatures (just mine). By this stage I had another Kavu
Predator and another Spirit Loop in hand. Before long it was just me and
Ado left. You may remember Ado from the Warhammer battle reports. My
Kavu was a 42/42 and my life total was 116 thanks to Spirit Loop. I
needed it too.

Ado cast Boros Fury Shield twice in a row to pull my life total right
back. Luckily for me I could kill him with Mystic Enforcer, so I did to
win the match and four boosters. Yay me! My green/white deck powered
through the table, dominated as it was by Black decks. Mystic Enforcer
was a great back up for the Kavu, especially once I hit Threshold.

The best part is that this is a league, where the player on the most
points at the end wins. I was the winner last time, which has made me a
bit of a target, or at least someone to watch closely. I played two
innocuous decks that didn't perform in the first two rounds, but after
killing four players and winning the match I am second in the rankings.
You get one point per player killed, and one point for winning the

There will be another multiplayer game on 20 May. I have resolved to
bring a different deck each time, since that get me using more of my
5000+ magic cards, and also removes the temptation to bring the same
deck match after match, which would get stale for me and for everyone

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