So. You are all probably asking,”Where the hell did you go? You were writing regularly, I was reading regularly… Then it all just stopped.”
Well, at least that’s what would have happened if anyone was reading before. The unfortunate part of all the changes at StarCity is now The Ferrett can actually see which articles get hits. I’m doomed!
Well, I’m back now, if only for what may be a short period of time. Since the last time I wrote, I have been accepted to law school at the University of Manitoba. This will bring an end to my involvement with my regular playgroup, and likely an end to even an attempt at regular writing. If anyone is out there playing in a regular multiplayer group in Winnipeg, let me know; I’m eager to continue with a brand-new group. Or if you want to play some casual multiplayer (hell, even one on one) and you live in Winnipeg, drop me a line and we’ll see if we can’t organize something.
For those of you who are clicking into the Casual Report for the first time, this is essentially an article laid out like a tournament report that describes my local multiplayer group. I was shocked to find that many casual players don’t have a regular multiplayer group, and that what I was writing about was a novelty for them.
Well, I’m a half a page in and I haven’t even tried to be funny. Hey, I can hear you cheering back there.
This is the part of the show where I give you a little setup to the evening’s festivities, to make you feel like you’re a part of the night; like a friend looking over my shoulder while we enjoy an evening of Magic. So…
I swung by and picked all of you up at your place. Plenty of room in my Ford Explorer for you, my cards, and me.”Yes, I know the”check engine” light is on. It is a Ford; of course the”check engine” light is on. A remote device, activated by the local Ford dealership the day after the warranty ran out, controls it. That sucker has been on for two years.
Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about the McCup on the floor; there is nothing in it. No, those papers aren’t important; you can stomp all over them. Yes, I know I’m late. Hey do you really want a ride? If you’re just going to bitch at me, then just get the hell out! I got rid of my ex-girlfriend for that, and you don’t offer any of the benefits she did, now do you? Yeah, shut up, you pig!
“Damn, I can’t believe you forgot your cards again! Fine, you can just sit and watch me play. No, you can’t borrow one of my decks. I can take a wild guess what you were doing before I got there, and I definitely don’t want any of that on my cards.
“Well we’re here. Yeah, it’s the third townhouse from the right. Good grief, don’t touch the Harley! Shane will pound on you for that. That thing is his pride and joy. No, no, don’t knock – just walk in. It’s Tuesday night, and everyone just walks in.
“No, we started playing downstairs when the weather just got too hot, and now we play down here all the time. Yeah, it is just a huge piece of plywood over a pool table, but it works on those nights when you have ten people. Yeah, that’s happened a couple of times now. Makes for slow games, but it is a lot of fun.
“Just a small crowd tonight with you and me, Darren, Dave, Shane and Scott. Well, what are we waiting for; let’s get started!
“Yes, we play attack left, since it seems to speed things up. Darren is the high roll, followed by me, Dave, Shane and finally Scott. Darren is a solid player, but if he is playing a combo-style deck, I should have a chance to at least prepare some kind of defense.
“Uh oh – this is Darren’s strange Dralnu’s Crusade deck. I know it is only two rounds in, but he played it last week and this is it. I mean look around the board; Dave is playing his cleric deck, I can’t tell what Shane is playing yet, but the Howling Mine is probably not good for me, with Zombie Goblins coming my way, and Scott is playing some kind of Type 2 black deck.
“Scott only plays Type 2 legal decks; that’s how I know. Helps to know the local metagame, huh? Too bad I didn’t take advantage of it.
“Hmm… No, I forgot that Darren had Trumpet Blast in that deck. I wasn’t going to be able to do anything about the goblin tokens anyway. Okay, how much? Huh?! Thirty-three points!? Well, I guess I’ll keep my regular ‘out first in the first game’ routine running. Anyone want something from the kitchen?
“Going out first in the first game has benefits. Shane and Darren always have a few drinks when we play, so by going out first, I can mix them a couple of stronger drinks. It makes it a little easier to win the later games.
“No no, just some Coke for me.
“So what happened while I was gone? Scott? Oh, Scuta with the kicker and Phyrexian Arena can sometimes backfire on you. The next game will be better. Did you want a Coke?
“Woah! Dave, how many clerics are out there? There must be ten or twelve of them!* Oh, and that @^$#ing Congregate of yours maxed out your life total to forty? I’m not really sure how you’re going to do any damage with that deck, although you may end up boring Shane and Darren to death with it.
“Oh, you give them shadow? That is just dirty pool!
“Ha ha! So, Dave, how does your deck deal with Darren’s freshly-cast Overseer? Hmm, not too well apparently.
“Shane, why did you Clone one of the clerics with shadow? Wouldn’t cloning the Overseer worked just as well? Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to rub it in. I thought you actually had a reason for not Cloning the Overseer.
“Well, it looks like things are starting to wind down. Dave, only two creatures left. Bad news for you huh? Darren, I guess your Goblin Zombies don’t handle fatties in the air. Better luck next time.
“Wow! Dave, have you been stocking up on clerics? Five in one turn? That should pretty much let you heal any damage that Shane can do in the air… Although I’m pretty sure Shane will have some direct damage in that deck. Hmm, yes I think Aegis of Honor will deal with that pretty well. Oh, a Crimson Acolyte? Gee Shane, at least I didn’t die because of a lowly Crimson Acolyte.
“I can’t believe I got low roll. When it is just Dave and I playing, I almost always get the high roll.
“Psst! Let me give you the lowdown on these decks real quietly. It looks like Dave has a new deck. Right now, everything looks like blue flyers to me. Darren is playing red, which means either Sneak Attack or a lot of burn. We’ll have to wait a few turns on the other guys, though.
“I’m hoping Darren’s deck is the Sneak Attack deck, since my deck can definitely handle that better than direct damage. My deck really isn’t about my creatures – it is about what I do to everyone else’s creatures. Backlash, Blood lust, Tsabo’s Decree, and Agonizing Demise are pretty much how I manage to get wins. I can usually draw out the counterspells and direct damage with the creatures in the deck. I’m running Specters and everyone hates a Specter, so they draw all the attention. Watch and you’ll see what I mean.
“Uh oh – Scott just played a Penumbra Wurm. I’ve seen this deck and been burned by it before. He will use them to hold his position, then cast Obliterate, leaving everyone with nothing, and Scott with a bunch of black 6/6 Wurms. I just hate that deck. No, there really isn’t a whole lot I can do to stop it, other than use my creature tricks… Which, unfortunately, don’t work real well without any land. Well, yeah, that’s why I’m not putting out any more land. My deck really needs eight land for the Blood Lust Agonizing Demise with the kicker trick, but there is just no way I’m going for that until he drops the Obliterate.
“Shane is playing an Academy Researcher with Serra’s Embrace and Spectral Shield? An untargetable Serra? That should be interesting? Oh, I guess Darren’s Shivan Hellkite will deal with that easy enough.. Wait a second! I don’t think Darren’s Two-Headed Dragon is staying back to block, too! I guess it is time to start doing something. I think the Cinder Shade will work out just fine.
“Darren, I’ll pump the Shade just enough and blow him for… wait no, I’ll just sac him to kill the Dragon. Go.
“Shane, you are going to need a little something more to stop Scott’s Penumbra Wurms. Better luck next game.
“I love doing that to Darren. He just happily tosses it in the graveyard, as though it doesn’t bother him, but you just know he is pissed. I just can’t believe that this deck isn’t a Sneak Attack deck.
“Darren, I can’t believe it! How many of those Hellkites do you have in that deck? Yeah, I know you want to have another creature to block the Wurms, but I said that you can’t have two of those things. I’ll Terminate that one, too.
“Well, finally! Scott, I was expecting you to play that damn thing at least five or six turns ago! What is your life total? Four? Hmm.
“Yeah, I know I could Bolt him for three and Dave could kill him off, but right now, but Scott can do all the damage to Darren a lot faster than Dave can, so we can wait a little while.
“Those Penumbra Wurms can sure do a lot of damage to someone with only one land out, hey Darren? You can get Scott back the next game. Scott, at the end of your turn I’ll Bolt you for three.
“I really need to keep the grin off my face at times like these.
“Scott, you still haven’t put any flyers in that deck huh? Well, I can’t think of any Penumbra flyers, but just about anything would be better than dying through the air.
“You’ve got… Five life, Dave? At the start of your turn I’ll Backlash your 2/2 flyer, and respond to that with Blood Lust on the flyer. Your cleric deck would be real useful now. Ahh, I’ll take that win.
Ten minutes later…
“Yeah, it seems to happen at least once every night now, when somebody pulls out the combo deck. We don’t complain too much about Scott’s Opposition combo, since it does take a few cards. I haven’t seen it go off that fast ever.
“Shane! Off to bed already? Well, I guess if you have to be up at 4:00. We’ll try to keep it down.
Ten minutes later…
“Hmm, Wildfire with a Chimeric Staff right after the combo deck? Seems a little cheesy, Scott. Yes, I suppose with three of us you’d think we would shut it down, but I don’t think any of us had any sort of artifact destruction.
“I have to try this deck out and see how it goes. I call it my ‘Soldier Trenches’ deck. It has Goblin Trenches and soldiers. Actually there are soldiers that fly, they just aren’t any good. Kjeldoran Skyknights, Helionauts, and a few archers have to do the trick. There is a Coat of Arms in here too, so perhaps that will see play.
“It looks like I’m not the only one playing a theme deck. Dave started with squirrels, and Darren has elves… And a Coat of Arms. How big are the elves now? Oh. 5/5s, huh?
“I know, I would like to get some soldiers out that weren’t shadow creatures too, but they just aren’t coming. Well, I’ll Congregate and max out at forty life.
“Okay, so you’re going to attack this time. Oh, Overrun first huh? Five 8/8 tramplers huh? Well, I’m done. I hope you guys have fun with those oversized elves.
“Nice, Scott – where was that Disenchant just a turn ago?
“In your hand?
“Well, gentlemen, I’m out of here. I too have to be at work tomorrow. I’ll see you next week.”
Well, I never did find out who won that game, sorry folks. Just for closure’s sake, lets say that Dave managed to go infinite with the squirrels, killing Darren, then gets hit with a Pyroclasm, losing them all and getting hammered by newly-created Goblins from Scott’s Goblin Trenches deck.
* – Remember, folks, this is deck was happening – and he is playing without Onslaught cards!