Multiplayer Is An Art: Part 4: Blazing Effigy

Hey, no less a man than Anthony Alongi called Stijn”The
S**t.” With compliments like that, how can we NOT make him our latest Featured Writer?

I would like to start this article by sincerely apologizing for the gross injustice I did Salma Hayek. I told all you people it was someone else who played her role in "From Dusk ‘Til Dawn." But it wasn’t; it was her indeed. Luckily, she mailed me the other day to right this little wrong, and she also told me she liked all my articles. (Actually, it wasn’t her who mailed me. I was set right by Jeroen Remie, one of the Pro Tour regulars from our store. But the sole reason I confess this is that he wants to be mentioned so badly.) (Well, tell the guy to write for us, for Gosh sake! – The Ferrett)

Now that all is well again, let me commence this tale about the Blazing Effigy by telling you all about him. The little red guy is costed 1R and acts like a wall most of his time. He is forced to do so by his low power of zero and his mediocre toughness of three. But this is the fun part: Whenever the Effigy bites the dust, he ignites another creature, dealing it three damage. This isn’t quite thrilling on its own; there are more and better creatures that deal damage to other creatures when they die. There are even creatures that lick other creatures with a flaming tongue when they enter play. So why on God’s green earth would one ever use Blazing Effigy?

Because of its picture? To show off with owning an impressive amount of four copies of this common from legends? Or because of its last ability, which I haven’t told you about yet? Do NOT email me with your answers – this isn’t a competition. In fact, I am going to give you the answer myself right now.

It is indeed because of its last ability.

When an effigy burns another effigy to death, the other effigy on its turn will get to burn a creature. But not for only three damage, oh no. When an effigy is set ablaze by a relative of his, he deals to the other creature three damage plus the amount of damage he received from his dead kin. So, for example, if you control four Blazing Effigies and one of them gets Terminated, you can choose to have it destroy one of your other Effigies, who on turn destroys another one, and so forth. The last Effigy will now deal 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 damage to a target of your choice.

Now please spare me your stories about how that ability still doesn’t make the Effigy a good creature. Tell those stories to my team member Werner Kocken instead. He thought it would be great to let great amounts of Effigies kill each other in order to deal even greater amounts of damage to a soon-to-be-dead opponent. But he soon discovered that on his own he could only deal twelve damage with his Blazing Effigies. So he needed help. Therefore he decided our team, the Raad van wijze Mannen, or Counsel of Wise Men, needed a clan deck. (I tell ya, I love the international scene, but the words "Raad van wijze Mannen" give my spellchecker fits, and you don’t even wanna know what it suggests for "Dongen" – The Ferrett)

This deck was to be used whenever we would be in a large game together. They would be especially designed to work together – but actually, it was designed so he could have more Effigies at his disposal. For the three clan-decks would become identical, and they were surely going to contain four Blazing Effigies.

Now he proposed creating this deck when we all still had to struggle to survive in multiplayer. And because everybody likes winning, we decided to give this idea a try. We would design a deck together that the three of us (Richard Drijvers is the third member of the RVWM) would now use in large games where our chances to win would be even smaller when we wouldn’t cooperate. So one night we got together and started sharing thoughts. And here’s what we thought up:

The first speed bump on the highway of our deck’s creation is the fact that Blazing Effigy can only torch creatures, not players. So how are we going to kill our opponents with it? Well, You’ll never guess what I had in my Sligh deck’s sideboard at that time: Mogg Maniac.* When you have your Effigies targeting the Maniac, he can deal the same amount of damage he received to an opponent. So now we need only a Mogg Maniac and seven Blazing Effigies in total.

I just mentioned the second problem we encountered: It is the need for seven of those walking Lightning Bolts. Should we want to kill all of our opponents with Effigies and Maniacs and nothing BUT Effigies and Maniacs, it was going to take a lot of recursion. But we thought of another nasty trick involving a star from red’s multiplayer hall of fame: The Furnace of Rath.

Blazing Effigy states it will deal, when it dies by the hand of another Effigy, an amount of damage equal to the amount of damage received plus three. So when a Furnace of Rath is in play, the first Effigy will hit the second one for six, who, on his turn, will deal (6 + 3) x 2 is eighteen damage to the second target. This propagates very quickly. A Maniac hit by the second one of a chain of dying Effigies will deal thirty-six damage to an opponent – thus enswathing him in an inferno where even Virgil will avert his eyes.

Now that we are through with the dry mathematical part of this tale, let us digress.

Did I ever tell you why Anthony Alongi is such a great writer? I’ll quote a part from one of his casual Friday’s articles, which all of you should read each and every week. Here it is:

"No matter what kind of deck Stijn writes about, anyone interested in intelligent and fun musings on multiplayer should be reading him. Remember that as I continue, here. I like Stijn. Stijn is value added. Stijn is, to borrow an expression from my early Casual Fridays days, "The Sh*t". Goooo, Stijn!"

Now, is he right or is he right? He surely knows how to put it. Now if he only confessed about his secret addiction to playing mister politician in multiplayer he would be damn near perfect. (Or at least his writing would be, anyway.)

Onwards with our deck…

Burning opponents down with the Effigy and the Maniac in a Furnace is all nice and well, but it only works once because the two creatures involved both perish when they’re used. So how do we overcome this? In my remembrance, Remembrance helps us out here. This card, being one of the few cards in white that is not dull, boring, or Balance, allows you to search your library for a copy of a creature card that is put into your graveyard from play. So a demising Effigy will replace itself when this card is in play, as will a dying Maniac. This generates lots of card advantage, being good, and some opponents will even shun killing your creatures anyway, for they will return after each time they try and succeed… As long as the stock lasts, of course. But that’s what Gaea’s Blessing’s for. But Gaea’s Blessing is not a part of the deck’s core, so I will present to you the deck list so far before explaining the Blessing to you (as if Gaea’s Blessing needs an excuse to be in a multiplayer deck – Me). (Hey, I’M the interjection captain around here! – The Ferrett, humphing)

4x Blazing Effigy
4x Mogg Maniac
4x Furnace of Rath
3x Remembrance

Gaea’s Blessing: shuffles cards back into your library. Lets you draw cards. Prevents deck depletion. Can be played on turn two to draw a new card. Can be used to indirectly counter a Vampiric Tutor played by an opponent by forcing him to shuffle his deck. Counters Buried Alive as a cantrip. Allows you to use an Oath of Druids without a single worry. Renders you invulnerable against those boring Altar of Dementia decks. Is a card I could write actual poetry about. What more do I need to say to explain our choice of Gaea’s Blessing? Even if there was something more I needed to say, I wouldn’t do it. This card goes without words.

And now we’re in the theme of recursion and that kinds of stuff, I’ll inform you that we included Regrowth. This card I will not explain too. It’s just like that funny explanation of Forest in a Fires deck I read the other day:

"Forest: Needed to put out Birds of Paradise on turn one consistently."

Regrowth is just a staple in any deck that uses green, just like Demonic Tutor is in a black deck.

Or, in my case, like Dismiss is in a blue deck. I once even played four Dismiss in a blue deck that I had just built the day after the prerelease tournament of Urza’s Destiny (I still wear the shirt I won there). It included the new Thieving Magpie, some old Counterspells, some old enchantment from Ice Age, and a new (in those days) sorcery that gave away stuff. I still regard the people who play that deck in a version that’s contaminated by black and its Duresses and Demonic Consultations as sheep that have strayed from the flock – MY flock. A friend of mine took the deck to worlds, in Tokyo, and I didn’t even get credit when the "new combo" flooded the net… The reason I am bothering you with this? It is because I won almost all matches against blue control decks by the card advantage generated by Dismiss. I still remember hearing mister Bas "I got 27th at Worlds" Postema say: "Dismiss is such a bad card. And, by the way, you only won that game there because you were playing that weird counterspell, Dismiss." Is it just me or was he contradicting himself back then? But now that Necropotence is banned, go play the deck like I designed it: mono blue. And be sure you’re going to include at least four copies of Dismiss. Five may be fine, too, but be sure to pull one out quickly before you get deck checked.

Now that we are bringing all kinds of cards back from the junkyard, let us prevent our opponents from imitating us! That would be fun. And when we do it by using Phyrexian Furnace, it wouldn’t even cost us a card to boot.

This deck was built when Living Death ruled our multiplayer metagame. It was built when Regrowth ran rampant. And when you didn’t watch your back, a bunch of zombies, straight from the Tombstone Stairwell, would crack it open to suck the marrow from your spine. (People are saying I’m listening to too much Black Metal, but I just think this brings Magic to life: imagining what would happen in real life when a certain card would be "in play." Think of Levitation being in play at an NBA game; they can fly, all right.) But all this nonsense aside, the Furnace is just a good card, and when not needed it replaces itself. And you can always catch an unaware opponent off guard when he tries to Kindle your Sengir Vampire to death, only to find it biting his neck during your next turn – because the Furnace removed a Kindle from a graveyard before the one that was on the stack resolved, thus reducing its damage by one.

Now that we are doing fine on the Phyrexian Furnace front, let us try to abuse our Furnace of Rath even further. And how do we abuse such an enchantment? Certainly not by casting Opalescence and Rancor’ing it up. No, just by having a lot of cards that deal direct damage in our deck. Well, not exactly a lot, but at least a respectable amount.

Dealing damage is no problem for a red deck. Some guy once invented Lightning Bolt, and it has been used ever since. How does six damage for one measly red mana sound? Maybe you can even let the thunder clap for twelve damage when you’ve got two Furnaces out. I once even took out an opponent with a single lightning strike to his head, and he even had a Bottle Gnomes out. You’ve guessed it right: Three Furnaces in play. That is truly devastating. But even only three damage for a single R is cool.

And because damage can also be dealt by Stormbind, we chose to include some Hill Giants with said enchantment on their backs in our deck. Said Hill Giant is indeed the Ogre Shaman. It serves for three, blocks Bears, and incantates the winds to do your bidding. The last ability is certainly the best one. Paying two mana and a card at random is often a small price to pay for two damage to the target of your heart’s desire. And when things are cooking in the Furnace, the friendly Shaman halves his price and turns all cards in your hand into threatening Lightning Blasts instead of potential Shocks.

Lightning Bolt brought fire; the Ogre Shaman brought storm. This merges into Firestorm. That’s already a fun card as it is, but when it deals two times X damage to X targets, it escalates drastically. People already convinced of Firestorm’s power can skip ahead to the nifty anecdote that will follow; others ought to read on. Casting Firestorm with a Mogg Maniac, a Rathi Furnace, and some opponents in play can quickly turn the tide in your favor. Discarding four cards, targeting three of your opponents and your own Maniac, will result in each of your opponents taking eight to the head. One of them even goes home with the grand prize of twenty-four units of pain. Warning: this might intimidate opponents so much that they might fear to ever take up arms against you whenever you’ve got one untapped red mana source and some cards in your hand. This might result in you winning the game, and that would spoil some of the fun for some of your opponents. So use the Firestorm with care. In fact, even include it only once. When there are three of you playing a deck like this, there are probably at least two Furnaces in play – and that just breaks Firestorm, thus ruining it.

Now for the long-awaited anecdote, recounting of the nobility of an opponent I once had, while also underlining the power of Firestorm.

I was in a six-player game with a random deck I have yet to write about, and the guy next to the guy next to me (or something like that) was playing with a deck featuring Iron Maiden, lots of mana and Prosperity. At first we shrugged at the Maiden, all clearing our hands down to four or less cards. But at one point in the game he threw out this huge Prosperity, where x was 25 or something. We would all dwindle like foam on a beach during our upkeeps, for the Maiden is a jealous lover. But here he comes to save the day: The guy next to me. He untaps, puts the Maiden on the stack, and then cast two Firestorms, both with x = twelve. They both hit only our hated prosperous opponent and his creatures, thus removing him and his iron implement of torture from the game. And to find enough targets for his huge x, he also targeted himself and his creatures, leaving us unscathed by sacrificing his own life like a true martyr. Now was that guy noble, or did he just have to go home? It was the latter, but he only told us after we gave praise to him. Nonetheless, I was grateful. For he had just saved me from having to reveal a Shattering Pulse from my hand…

Little List to refresh your minds:

4x Blazing Effigy
4x Mogg Maniac
4x Furnace of Rath
3x Remembrance
2x Gaea’s Blessing
1x Regrowth
1x Phyrexian Furnace
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Ogre Shaman
1x Firestorm

The Lightning Bolt is included as many times as is allowed, and why there’s only one Firestorm attending has already been explained. So why only two Ogres? That is because we are going to be able to search for them… But more on that later.***

Now we are dealing lots of damage and we have a nice little trick. But it is not uncommon for opponents to be able to deal damage, too. Sometimes they play with creatures that are able to attack. In some rare occasions, they even play with spells or abilities that are able to deal damage to a target – this must be prevented, or at least be made less effective. So now we will make a start with the section of the deck that is dedicated to staying alive in the Furnace of Rath.

Ali from Cairo gives you almost eternal life, and that at a cost of 2RR. But he is a 0/1 creature, hence quite fragile. And when he dies, you’re all bare and vulnerable again. He is also very expensive to purchase. So instead of Ali, we chose to include Worship. There are enough creatures in the deck already, and more will follow. So the white enchantment will almost always keep us in the land of the living as long as it is in play… But apart from that, it doesn’t DO anything.

That’s why we also included Pariah; the creature enchantment that redirects damage dealt to you to the creature it enchants. This is quite funny, with Furnaces being in play and Mogg Maniacs being the targets for these Pariahs. Are you dealing three damage to me, you say? Well, that makes six to me, which transforms into twelve to my maniac. Please take twenty-four to your head in recompense.

But when Maniacs are lacking, one can also slap the Pariah on the most impressive creature on the board, or on a creature with protection from a color. It can even be slapped on a creature with regeneration owned by a friendly opponent. If you’re practicing your politics well, he might choose to regenerate "you" a couple of times. Or maybe he just chooses to regenerate you because you are able to do some dirty work for him. But no matter how, you most probably will always be the one that’s on the good side of the bargain. Pariah is good.

But sometimes an opponent is able to disenchant some of your carefully woven enchantments like Worship. Pariah sometimes disappears to a Terror or a Fissure. How do we stay alive then, when hordes of monsters are growling at our gates? Simple: As an instant, we boil some water, thus causing constant mists. Creatures will lose sight and decide to return to their masters with empty hands. And all it costs us is a single land. Constant Mists is good.

Some thoughts on these three lifesavers: With Worship in play, players tend to beat you down to one "since it doesn’t matter for you." But when Worship leaves play later in the game, you find yourself at one life. You are also vulnerable to spells or effects that cause you to lose life, like Subversion or Ebony Charm, for they pierce through your worship like a scimitar through a bean. But with Pariah or Constant Mists, people often give up pounding on you altogether, as they soon grasp the futility of their efforts against you. So Worship might seem more effective, more permanent or cheaper, since it doesn’t cost lands. But I’d go with four Pariahs over four Worships anytime. Casting Worship is such a provoking act. It says: "Look at me! Hit me! I’m Immortal!" Where the other two cards just whisper: "Teehee, you’re not achieving a thing…"

Now we chose to include one last lifesaver: It is a creature removal spell that is not red, which is necessary because all our other removal is red. It costs one white mana and removes target creature from the game, granting its controller life equal to the now-farming creature’s power. I guess I don’t need to explain this choice any further. Pros are playing it, so it must be good. Just be sure to include the Ice Age version of this card, since its art goes better with the rest of the deck than the original art.

Now, to thwart our opponent’s plans. We could actually use Thwart to do this, but we’re not playing blue here. And Thwart doesn’t have buyback, while Allay does. For 1W, this card destroys an enchantment, and for 4W it does so while returning to your hand afterwards. That’s good.

And for artifacts? We could use Shattering Pulse, Allay’s counterpart – but because Urza’s Legacy was freshly-minted when we built this deck, we chose to include a new creature that detonates artifacts: the Viashino Heretic. He is a 1/3 Viashino for 2R, and can tap for 1R to destroy target artifact. It then deals damage to the artifact’s controller equal to the shattered device’s casting cost. And we didn’t only choose this bad creature because it was new, also because its damage effect would often be doubly as good – literally – due to the Rathi Furnace.

It now seems like we have a good and solid deck. But we like our multiplayer decks to be a little bit thicker than our regular decks. I explained why thoroughly in my previous article: It causes more diverse games, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the deck becomes less consistent. For the adding of two Citanul Flutes won’t do any harm in an environment like multiplayer. They might even increase consistency, since they allow you to spend a creature’s converted mana cost to search your deck and put a copy of that creature into your hand. This allows us to find all the creatures we want to find. We now effectively have four Ogre Shamans in our deck and four Heretics. The chances of drawing an Effigy also increase by fifty percent. And once you’ve got your flute out, the pieces of the Effigy-Maniac chain come together in a very rapid fashion.

Another card that "Tutors" is Jester’s Mask. But it doesn’t tutor ourselves, it tutors one of our opponents, Now this is, in fact, very good instead of bad. For remember: We were playing as a team here, so we can fill one of our teammate’s hand with all the cards he desires minus one. And that one is HIS Mask, so he can do the same trick back to you. This is a very nasty trick and surely breaks the card. The Mask wasn’t ever designed to act like this… So we include only one copy of it.

And to keep the amount of Tutors in the deck on a reasonable level, we’re also including Enlightened Tutor. It searches for almost everything in the deck, for it can find a Citanul Flute to indirectly Tutor for a creature. That way we can find all non-land permanents our deck contains.

Now, for a 75-card deck, we have only four more spots open. Those are filled with Blossoms. Entire walls of them. It is a good two-drop, and blocks little creatures at the cost of only two mana, since it replaces itself when it comes into play. It is also easily searched for with Citanul Flute, thus making that card more useful too. It also fixes the creature-lightness of the deck, for we had relatively few creatures. Now, the last list before the final:

4x Blazing Effigy
4x Mogg Maniac
4x Furnace of Rath
3x Remembrance
2x Gaea’s Blessing
1x Regrowth
1x Phyrexian Furnace
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Ogre Shaman
1x Firestorm
2x Worship
2x Pariah
2x Constant Mists
2x Swords to Plowshares
2x Allay
2x Viashino Heretic
2x Citanul Flute
1x Jester’s Mask
1x Enlightened Tutor
4x Wall of Blossoms

Looks good. And for the lands? Well, the deck is still a little light on animals. And, again, Legacy was just out, so we included as many manlands as possible. Treetop Village was widely accepted as a good land. In multiplayer, Forbidding Watchtower was doing quite well too, since it blocked a lot of attackers. But Ghitu Encampment? It was regarded as the worst of the walking lands. But in our deck, it actually became the best. Think of how its first strike interacts with Furnace of Rath… That’s an even better blocker than Forbidding Watchtower, which doesn’t look so good in a furnace.

And to get to the right colors? I don’t even think about that anymore. When I need lands for in a deck I instinctively grab the right dual lands. But when two or more players are playing together, there is another land that is much better than dual lands. Therefore, we’re only going to include three of each of the appropriate duals: Taiga, Plateau and Savannah.

The aforementioned land that is better than dual land is – and you would never have guessed it (I guess) – Rainbow Vale. It can tap for any color of mana, but at end of turn, its control passes to an opponent. But that is not a drawback, it is an advantage. It gives significant mana acceleration to your friend to whom you are passing the Vale, and because he gives it back to you on his next turn, you won’t miss it during yours. The Vale can also be used to help a player out who is manascrewed. It won’t help him permanently, for the Vale most often returns to sender after use, but it does give him the chance to set up a little bit of defense. This improves the game.

The four spots that are left are given to Skyshroud Elf. He accelerates your mana and washes it to all colors you’re playing, save green, which he produces himself. He is included because of the acceleration he gives, but also because he can be looked for with Citanul Flute. And don’t forget, he causes all of your lands to be able to tap for White and Red mana. So, for example, your Plateau can now…. D’oh!

Hidden synergy between the land mix and the other cards in the deck: Remembrance works with your Animated lands, and so lets you search new cards to replace them with when you sacrifice your animated Treetop Village to Constant Mists. Now your permanent fog will never run out of gas (pun), provided you keep shuffling lands back into your deck with Gaea’s Blessing.

I now present to you the final decklist, which only lists the mana base of the deck. It is a waste of time to rewrite that entire decklist back up there somewhere.

4x Treetop Village
4x Ghitu Encampment
4x Forbidding Watchtower
4x Rainbow Vale
3x Taiga
3x Plateau
3x Savannah
4x Skyshroud Elf

And there we have another net deck. Remember: It is seriously outdated. Newer versions would include totally different cards, some of which I will tell you about as alternatives for cards. For I am now going to give you a list of viable alternatives. If you’re missing a card on this list, there is no alternative, no other way. Then you are eternally bound to that card, whether you like it or not. Or you could just choose not to play a deck like this, but that I have no influence on. Here goes:

Mogg Maniac: Mirrorwood Treefolk loves to redirect damage, especially when it gets doubled from time to time. It might be more costly, and its ability isn’t triggered but activated so it costs you mana…. But it is worth it because he is tougher and doesn’t die when he hits another target.

Remembrance: Can be replaced by Lifeline, but that’s risky business. I’d rather replace it with some card-drawing engine, like Urza’s Blueprints or maybe Fecundity. You could even give Foster a try, but I don’t believe it is as good as Remembrance.

Gaea’s Blessing: Soldevi Digger could be used, but only when you can’t find any Blessings anywhere in your country.

Regrowth: Can be replaced with Elven Cache, Reclaim, or Restock. The latter is the best. I think.

Phyrexian Furnace: This is not a compulsory card for the deck’s strategy. It is not even helping it like the Regrowth is. It is just a metagame card. Any other card could fit in this slot. Try a Searing Wind! It could deal twenty direct damage – that’s fun (for one time).

Lightning Bolt: Any damage spell suffices. Incinerate is almost as good. I’ve already told about Shock not being bad. But I think I would use Searing Touch, for it has buyback and with a Furnace in play it might not be as impressive as a Lightning Bolt, but two damage with buyback is very card-economic.

Ogre Shaman: Stormbind is the same, but without the Hill Giant carrying it around. This makes your deck a little more creatureless and causes your flute to decrease in versatility. So I think I’d still use a creature, like Arc Mage. Come to think of it, he might even be better than the Shaman, even though he doesn’t allow you to blast a rebelling opponent to death in one turn.

Firestorm: Any damage spell is fine, but to stay in the "massive amounts of damage" style, I’d go with Rolling Thunder if I hadn’t been blessed with four Korean Firestorms.

Worship, Pariah, Constant Mists: Any of these can replace any other of these. And if you then still can’t find enough cards to fill up these slots, pull Ali out of your Arabian Nights collection. Or add Congregate or other life gaining stuff to the deck. I, for one, would add Sustaining Spirits, four of them, four they retain into play for a very long while when you have a Remembrance in play.

Swords to Plowshares: Any non-red creature remover is cool here. Just make sure they can be cast at instant speed. Think of Reprisal.

Allay, Viashino Heretic: I bet you can think of something yourself here; it isn’t as if there aren’t enough cards that are able to destroy artifacts and enchantments. Try to use creatures, so you can look for them with your flute.

Citanul Flute, Jester’s Mask, Enlightened Tutor: Just use some random searching stuff or card drawing here. Try and keep in the Flute, though. He is not necessary, but is easily traded for and works wonders. The Tutor and the Mask can be replaced by Gamble or Wheel of Fortune. Don’t use the Mask when you’re not teaming with somebody!

Wall of Blossoms: Multani’s Acolyte nets a card, too, but he costs double green, which might pose a problem on turn two. He also has echo, tying your mana up for turn three. When you are looking for defense here, think about the Furnace: first strike rules the scene, so Wall of Razors can come out of his corner. And Wall of Essence gives you double as much life as normal. Even White Knights can hold the ground well enough in most situations.

The lands can be replaced to taste, but try and keep in some manlands – or add Mishra’s Factory. It really works well with the Remembrance and the Mists. And remember: Shivan Gorge becomes double as good with a Furnace of Rath on the board, as does Balduvian Trading Post.

Now, all done. Is it just me, or do my articles keep growing and growing? My first was only three and a half page long… How did I ever dare sending it in?

Next Time: I don’t know what I am going to write about next time, there are so many decks to choose from. I think it will be an old-school black and blue deck that has been dubbed the opposite of my UN deck. It will be a deck that totally negates politics, so some people might love it.

And come to talk about it: Maybe politics exist only if you believe they exist.

When I’m playing this deck, some people know they are not to ask me for any favors. They now they are not to turn their back at me, lest a Clone will snap it. But when I am playing another deck, one which uses politics as a tool, they know they can trust me. Trust me to give them some Phelddagrif tokens to block or attack with. To give them some life to neutralize an attack. Or to let them draw cards to replace a lost one. In such a situation, most people will do as I please. I’m pulling their strings, until I’m ready to twist their minds and smash their dreams. Blinded by me, they don’t see a thing.

Some of them because they don’t know better… But some of them because they know it is best for them. They might hear the clock ticking, but when they try to shut it off, they have to sacrifice a lot of their defenses, thus diminishing their chances of winning. Or maybe they don’t try to shut of the clock, because I will then try and convince a horde of "believers" that killing the rebel is best for me – um, US.

Sometimes it is just like in society: We live in our country, paying taxes. But we also receive social security and other kinds of benefits *** from it. And most governments thrive, don’t they? Because they use politics. So if you want to thrive too, use politics. But use them well; it is not only because of bad luck that some of the countries in the world are so poor. But unlike in Magic, in real life it is the people suffering from bad politics. When you use bad politics in Magic, it will be you who perishes. Not the people, being your opponents.

Mind you, I’m not saying that pour countries have crappy governments. I’m just saying some of them have.

When politics work in real life, why shouldn’t they do so in multiplayer?

But now I’m rambling, so I’ll leave you all in peace.

Emperial Regards,
Stijn van Dongen
team RVWM

* – Don’t laugh. It seemed good against other Sligh decks, and it was really fun versus those Wildfire decks.

** – I have already changed the proper order of deck construction by telling you about the Blessings and the Regrowth as second instead of last packet of cards. So when you are done with this article, read the part about the recursion again, just so it will seem to you like I actually wrote it last. That way you will all learn something about with which order of thinking you should try to build your decks.

*** – Like the Dutch soft-drug policy. Or like being allowed to buy alcohol when you’re sixteen. Or like all that financial aid we receive when we’re in need. Or like clean and safe cities. Maybe I only believe in politics in multiplayer because I live in Holland? (I grew up in New York, and I believe in it, too – The Ferrett)