I’m taking a good deal of time to write up the next Hall of Fame series, so this and the next Casual Fridays may be short. But several readers have asked me to get back to my”game play” roots, so this one’s for them.
A while back, I hinted at a couple of Mirari decks Theo and I were working on. We thought it was funny that we went against type – he did a mono-black version, and I did a blue version (splashing red). Both are creatureless, and it’s not hard to guess at some of the cards: Vicious Hunger, Drain Life, Crippling Fatigue, Unnerve, and Chainer’s Edict in one; Jilt, Submerge, Capsize, Sizzle, and Prophetic Bolt in the other. His deck is superior at mana generation (his Cabal Coffers vs. my lone Tolarian Academy and artifact mana), mine at getting to the Mirari (via Impulse). We always joked that it would be cool to run them off against each other in an Emperor game, and last week we finally got that chance.
Actually, we got an even more unique chance – there were nine of us that night, and so we had a three-team Emperor game. Pete, Theo, and I were emperors; my lieutenant facing Theo’s team was Gary (red-black), and my lieutenant facing Pete’s team was Carl (monogreen).
The game did not start well. While I used Jilt and Misdirection to keep my lieutenants close to twenty life, the relentless red pinging of Pete and black removal of Theo kept us from getting close to anywhere. Meanwhile, the far frontier (the border between Theo and Pete’s team, where I had no impact whatsoever) was going fast and furious, and suggested that whichever team came out on top would have a strong army ready to go.
When Theo actually managed to get a Mirari down (round 8, well after my deck should have produced one), I was pretty sure we were finished.
But lo! Hope springs eternal. I drew Capsize, and was able to hang onto it for several turns (weathering a double-Unnerve – which, since it affects opponents only, is just card advantage in emperor like you would not believe), so when Gary finally punched through and eliminated his counterpart, I was able to bounce Theo’s Mirari.
And that’s where the mistake came in.
This was certainly fatal. I could have Capsized Theo’s Mirari a round earlier but missed it – so instead of Capsize, untap, Mirari, maybe even play a spell like Prophetic Bolt, I did untap, Capsize, Mirari, sit and do nothing with everything tapped. What the heck, I figure. It won’t come back to haunt me because Theo’s at sixteen life. We weren’t going to kill him this turn anyway, right?
On Gary’s turn, he plays two Shallow Graves – one on his Draco, and another on a random 3/3 beast that had died earlier. They come out of the graveyard, smack Theo for twelve, and leave the game. Theo is now at four life.
How much damage does Prophetic Bolt do again?
Never mind, I think. I’m at twelve life. He’s got exactly thirteen mana available. He’d need to draw a swamp right now, and have Drain Life, for this to make a difference.
Our headless team perishes, and then Pete’s team (whom we were stomping on) quickly vanished thereafter.
From first to third, in one stupid move.
My teammates were very understanding.
Fortunately, Carl was there to back me up.
Carl:”You’re %^*?ing right, Gary. Anthony’s the worst #[email protected] emperor this side of China. In fact, if he were a real emperor, historians would refer to his rule as the [email protected]!* Dynasty.
Anthony: I thought I did okay…
Gary and Carl together: Shut the #@&$ up.
And with that happy teammate moment, I bid you a fond weekend.
COMING SOON: The Hall will probably open in early October. Last chance for tweaks and thoughts!