A strange psychosis begins to creep into every writer’s head when they become a feature columnist; I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
They begin to imagine that they have an audience.
Now let’s be honest: Do you really even care whether I write anything? Of course you don’t. Every couple of days — or maybe every day, if you’re really fanatic — you go to StarCityCCG.com to see what’s going on, you look for the weird headlines that attract you, and you read the articles. You don’t care WHO writes ‘em, as long as some are good. At best, you have a favorite writer, which is nice.
But none of you are out there, slavering fiendishly, saying,”Oh. My. God. Only six more days until Sky Winslow Roy writes his next column! Screw heroin, I NEED SKY! When, oh WHEN WILL HE WRITE NEXT? The veins in my eyeballs are collapsed from reading Sky too much….”
I don’t blame you. Heck, we’re maybe five minutes out of your week. It’s a shallow relationship.
But as the featured writers, we invest more. Every week we desperately try to find something to new to write about this game — and believe me, Magic’s fun to play but butt-boring to write about. There are only so many”Does Stompy Work In Type II anymore?” articles you can read before your brain starts to short-circuit. So we have to find some way to make really dry strategy interesting. We spend our idle hours wondering what the heck we’ll write about this week, and worry about what happens when we finally run out of ideas. And then, grasping an idea the same way Rutger Hauer desperately grasped that dove at the end of Blade Runner, we hunch over the keyboard and pound a couple of hundred words out to amuse you.
At the end of this page, you will have spent five minutes reading the article that I slaved hours to produce.
This is not a thought that sits well with me.
Or writers in general, for that matter.
So we start imagining that you people care about us as much as we care about you. We imagine an audience that remembers that little joke we threw in a month and a half ago, and of COURSE you’ll get the reference in today’s column. We make up recurring characters, and in our Grand Delusion, we think that they’re like family to you. We begin to imagine that there is a vast network of well-wishers out there, following our every move like the paparazzi followed Diana, and whatever happens to us is of great interest and grand importance to perhaps 90% of the internet.
Hey, are any of you still reading?
You ingrateful jerks.
So: You don’t care about me. But I care about you. Because originally I was going to write an article about how I had been writing for StarCity for three solid months now, and how I was glad to be here, and yadda yadda yadda freakin’ yadda, and you all would have been bored to tears. (Actually, you might have been bored beyond tears, straight into the”corneal hemorrhages and avulsion” area.) So be grateful that I saved you from some kind of misbegotten Sally Struthers”You like me! You really LIKE me!” article.
So let’s get down to brass tacks: Those of you who cared at all that my beloved pet died last week can read his eulogy, which is featured this week at my website (After you’re done, be sure to come back here and read the rest of StarCity, and if you’re at all easily offended PLEASE don’t read any other article.
And now it’s time for me to finally ante up: For the past three months, I’ve been talking MONSTROUS trash about my mad multiplayer skillz. I’ve been telling you to build sneaky decks, to be a weaselling jerk… And whilst wandering in my mirage, I have been secretly imagining that all of you have been waiting with baited breath, saying the same thing:
“When, oh WHEN, will that Ferrett reveal what decks he plays with?”
(For God’s sake, will you just play along?)
And NOW, O Great Readers, I will reveal to you The Secrets Of The Ferrett Card Case! And boy, am I glad you asked. Because they’re not tourney-worthy, but they ARE extremely multiplayer-worthy. None of them are going to kill anyone on turn four… but all of them feature extreme sneakiness.
DECK ONE: ANNOYING WHITE
Annoying White.dec serves two purposes:
- It gains an incredible amount of life, frequently getting you up to the high hundreds in a big free-for-all, which you can then use to fuel a gigantic Phyrexian Processor.
- It makes people quit the table in disgust because they’re going to get decked playing against you. Generally, you play this deck twice and then switch to something else, or people begin to burn effigies of you out in the parking lot.
The Humbles are the supersecret tech*, and should be a staple of any sneaky player’s deck. Note that there are few flyers or shadow creatures in here; this is a design decision. Because if you don’t have a flyer out, your opponents will happily attack you with frighteningly large things because they think you have no defense. They attack, you Humble and have them eaten by a hungry Soul Warden. They then become very wary of attacking again. This is what you want. The Mother Of Runes/Wall Of Glare”combo” works wonders, too, and the groans if you can get two of your Moms out for a turn are soul (warden) satisfying.
Also note that this is a gigantic eighty-card deck. While you can play with a sixty-card deck in a four-player free-for-all, you are just asking to get decked if there’s a big creature or enchantment stall — particularly if you have any card drawing ability. I’d say the minimum any serious MP player should deal out of his deck is seventy, and that’s pushing it.
And yes, I probably should put in some way of getting a Processor when I need one. Why do you ask?
4x Soul Warden
4x Mother Of Runes
4x Wall Of Glare
4x Phyrexian Processor (the kill card)
2x Angelic Chorus (the card that will autowin the game if you get this and a Processor out)
4x Congregate (the card that everyone will kill you after you play)
2x Scour (Surprisingly good against combos)
2x Wrath Of God (In seven years of collecting Magic, I’ve only gotten two — how pathetic is that?)
2x Pearl Medallion
2x Soltari Visionary (a.k.a,”The Walking Disenchant”)
2x Brilliant Halo
2x Paladin en-Vec (and I’d get more if I could)
2x Serra Angel
2x Sivvi’s Ruse
1x False Prophet (a pseudo-wrath)
1x Beast of Burden
1x Glorious Anthem (but God, I wish I had more)
1x Radiant, Archangel
1x Karmic Guide
DECK TWO: LIVINGWEASELS.dec
The second deck is my LivingWeasels.dec. This is not a deck for the neophyte, nor is it a deck that will necessarily work wonders in a new group. But it’s designed to kill slaphappy players.
Essentially, this is a deck designed around psychological strategy. You cast stuff and block zealously, cast stuff when the Blue player has those two untapped Islands, feign surprise at the Giant Growth, lose all of your creatures.
But you play carefully. Put out Hunted Wumpuses to draw out the big creatures while you plan your defense. Put out Engineered Plagues to preplan for any of the big creatures that hit the graveyard. Use Plague Witch whittle the rest down (and you ARE throwing away the big critters to the Plague Witches, aren’t you?). Use Eradicate to get rid of the real hosers when they’re out, even though Eradicate is a notoriously unfriendly spell.
2x Living Death (should be four, but dammit, these things cost money)
4x Engineered Plague
4x Plague Witch
4x Dark Ritual
4x Carrion Beetles
2x Sengir Vampire
2x Massacre (with two or more players, someone’s playing white – this is almost invariably a free casting)
2x Dread Of Night (Incidentally, I do feel ashamed about the two Dread Of Nights — I hate playing with color hosers — but so many of White’s staple creatures have incidental protection from black that it’s darn near a necessity.)
2x Will O’Wisp (regenerating cheap flyers — gotta love ‘em)
1x The Wretched
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Grandmother Sengir
1x Ascendant Evincar
1x Spike Cannibal (I love using these against Spike Weaver)
1x Phyrexian Plaguelord
4x Hunted Wumpus
4x Bird O’Paradise
2x Creeping Mold
1x Elves Of Deep Shadow (should be four, but there’s that money thing again….)
4x Tormod’s Crypt
1x Thran Golem
2x Thran Lens
1x Pine Barrens
DECK THREE: THE FERRETT’S SIGNATURE DECK,”BOUNCING WEASELS”
Note: There are no weasels in this deck. Originally I made the deck to celebrate Joven’s Ferrets and Repopulate — the ONLY two ferret-based cards, and Wizards should be ashamed of themselves that Ferret Decks aren’t as common as Goblin Decks and Merfolk Decks — but it turns out that they didn’t work. So I made this.
It’s basically a variant on one of the first Stompys, and it’s a card-drawing machine that works on two levels:
- If you can get the Stampeding Weaselbeasts/Wall Of Blossoms or Multani’s Acolyte engine out, you can draw as many cards as you want until someone kills them. And by then you’ve generally won.
- The surfeit of Elves in here provides psychotic amounts of mana, and I have been able to cast a Thorn Elemental on turn three.
This is the epitome of a very narrow, very quick kill deck. It can’t handle flyers. It’s crap at dealing with combos or permanents (aside from drawing into the Desert Twister). But it’s such an immediate threat that generally it will run over two opponents by turn six, if not disrupted. It brings out big creatures (and incidentally, it completely hoses Rebel decks, which is an added bonus since every idiot seems to think that Rebel decks work REALLY well in multiplayer).
It doesn’t care about protected creatures, it doesn’t care about walls (thanks to trample), and it rolls over everything.
4x Wall Of Blossoms
4x Multani’s Acolyte (an elf)
4x Llanowar Elf (an elf)
4x Priest Of Titania (add one mana to your pool for every elf in play – gee, do you think this works?)
4x Giant Growth
4x Rancor (a must for ANY green deck)
4x Stampeding Wildebeest
4x Thorn Elemental
4x Blass-To-Derm! (not as useful as it should be thanks to lack of trample and targetability… but it’s great against black)
2x Might Of Oaks (should be 4, but they’re expensive)
2x Creeping Mold
2x Desert Twister
2x Splinter (maindecking these things in MP is never a mistake)
2x Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
2x Defense Of The Heart (note: Someone always, ALWAYS has three creatures to pop this, and frequently — especially after they’ve seen the Thorn Elementals come out — players will begin killing their own creatures to avoid popping it)
1x Verdant Force
1x Sol Ring
NEXT ARTICLE: The Silence Of The Licids
* — Please realize how utterly ironic I’m being when I refer to anything in a deck as”tech”. What a stupid freakin’ word.