Now, I’ve had my embarrassing moments in the past, I’ll admit. One time I was walking along the street with my girlfriend and I saw a hot babe who had apparently chosen the”paint your body with latex” kit that morning… And I actually stopped, turned around in the street, and – audibly – said,”Whoah!“
That wasn’t the embarrassing part.
The embarrassing part was when my girlfriend punched me in the stomach. Everyone around laughed. Including the hot girl.
That was bad. But even worse recently was when I took my daughter to the theater – a matinee showing for eight bucks – and had three credit cards rejected before I found the one that had mercy on me.
I would have paid cash, except that I didn’t have any.
Yeah, I’m broke. The life of a freelance writer is not an easy one, and right now I have about three grand in cold cash waiting for me that has yet to arrive… But it’s been waiting for about two months. I’m running on fumes, baby.
Which explains why my Magic strategical writings are mighty slim.
You see, these Friday Night Tournaments cost money – a commodity I do not have. Multiplayer’s free, but I still haven’t been able to hook up with anyone who’s willing to play for fun in Cleveland… At least with me. (I’m thinking of taking out a personal ad*:”32 YO man seeks Magic Moments in group play! Prefer control and white weenie.” But somehow, I think this might lead to another Highly Embarrassing Moment and me requiring Ye Olde Prison Maxipads.)
Magic Online is free – for now – but MOL seems to have this uncanny algorithm built in:
If FERRETT < OPPONENT, then KEEP CONNECTION ALIVE until HEAD BASHED IN
If FERRETT > OPPONENT, DISCONNECT IMMEDIATELY
I’ve begun to keep a journal to verify my hatred, and the results are in: Out of ten games, I’ve had six disconnects. The six were when I was winning.
I have ceased to know it as Magic Online and have since come to think of it as the”Your connection to the server has been lost!” game. It’s a sort of puzzle game, where you try to figure out how in hell your connection has been lost when your DSL connection is streaming porn at full megabyte per minute and the server is UP.
I haven’t won yet.
(Incidentally, if you want funny at high speeds, try this link – but don’t click it if you’re under eighteen!)
So I’m broke, Magicless, and hang around the house all day watching porno and writing – in other words, a loser. In an attempt to make myself less of a loser, I decided to finally cut my long hair after all these years.
Embarrassing moment: I walk into the barber, say,”I want it normal,” and vowmp – a fist-sized clump of my hair lands on my lap as the guy wields his electric clippers so gleefully I almost lose an ear. Realizing that I’m on the rollercoaster now and there’s no going back, I sit there in horror as he scalps me.
The most hair I have now is an inch on top. Really. The picture you see above is now outdated – as am I, apparently.
In an attempt to lift my spirits, I went to my favorite bookshop – Joseph-Beth – to flirt with the hot Goth chick there with short black hair and a pierced nose. She always made me feel better, especially when she coquettishly asked,”So you’re back, huh?”
Without the hair, she didn’t even recognize me and wouldn’t even talk to me.
Now I know how Sol Malka feels.
Nobody wants to play with a loser old guy with no hair. How can I make myself cool?
I know – I’ll PIERCE MY NIPPLE! Maybe the hot Goth chick would go for a saggy man-tit with a ring through it.
And so I did. Thirty bucks. I didn’t have money for FNM, but I did have the money to have some half-cyborg weirdo punch a spike through a vital nerve cluster in my chest.
I thought it would be kinda erotic, y’know… But bee stings on the inside of your nipple generally aren’t erotic. My wife hasn’t been able to touch me on my left side, and I ain’t been gettin’ strange much, either. Hard to get strange when the slightest brush on the wrong portion of your chest leads to a pained shriek of”DON’T TOUCH ME!”
I’m led to believe that the strange should recommence in a week or so. Grr.
So no job, a loser, broke, Magicless, and an absence of strange. This is rock-bottom, my friends.
I’d kill myself except that it’s really embarrassing to go to your grave with a half-healed nipple.
So I have no strategy. I have nothing to say. I’m done.
No, wait. I can offer one thing.
I my article Dealing With Incombotent Players, I asked people for their multiplayer archetypes. I got some interesting responses:
Chris Drozdowski suggested one that I’ve seen many times:
This player starts out the night playing well, but after a few beers things change. His initial strategy quickly degenerates into just attacking at random and pissing everyone off.
Unfortunately, Chris didn’t give a method of dealing with the Drunk, which is to give him more beer. The sooner he passes out, the sooner you’re safe.
He also suggested…
The diplomat likes to shift everyone’s focus on somebody other than himself. Whenever someone puts a threat one the board he will sigh and say,”Holy crap! If we don’t all gang up on this guy, he is going to win the game.” He will hold back and pretend to be everyone’s ally while the group deals with the most aggressive players, and then from out of nowhere he will stab everyone in the back.
Which is, of course, a stupid archetype. We all know there’s no diplomacy in multiplayer – Anthony Alongi told us so! But if they existed, of course, the way to deal with a Diplomat would be to fly to Cleveland and invite them to a multiplayer game to put them out of their whining stupid misery.
Anyway, the great Bennie Smith admitted to being a”Long Combo” player and bitched about how nobody let him keep an Elvish Farmer on the table any more. Serves you right, buddy. I hate you combo people. It’s beatdown that wins! Beatdown, I tell you!
Shane Gustin (mah man from Anchorage) suggested Monolith Man – the guy who is kind of like the Utility Muffin Kitchen man, except that he can’t trim his deck down. Monolith Man always shows up with a thousand-card deck with, and I quote:
“A hundred basic lands, just in case there is land destruction. Fifteen big fat creatures, usually flying (Baron Sengir is a good example) or an annoying ability (Pit Spawn is a good example), and he has four copies of Animate Dead, Necromancy, Zombify… Well you get the point. Forty dual lands – and don’t forget about those four Cities of Brass, Gaea’s Cradles, and Tolarian Academies. Then they just pack every utility card and some miscellaneous creatures to allow their big fatties space.
“This is the guy that after you killed his creatures and all his utility is gone he is left at the table with a Worn Powerstone and twenty land in play… And draws a Harrow. (I might add that they actually do when the game sometimes when they accidentally draw a Fireball – ugh!)”
David Semonchik came up with a good defensive deck for the Laylow player:
Mana Producers: 27
3 Rocky Tar Pit
4 Dark Ritual
4 Fog of Gnats
3 Lim-Dul’s Paladin
3 Adarkar Sentinel
4 Wall of Souls
4 Wall of Spears
3 Wall of Bone
4 Drain Life
3 Pit Trap
62 cards total
“Play walls,” David advises.”Lots of walls. And Gnats. Add Pit Traps as needed. Seeing your massive impenetrable defenses, opponents will start to attack each other and leave you alone. For a long time. You are generally forgotten about as a player – and as the only creatures you should have out for a fairly long time either can’t attack or are Gnats, which are pretty much disregarded as a threat. And life is good and stuff. Eventually, once some of the others have died out, more threatening stuff gets played. The Paladins and Necrosavant pick up their mallets of curmudgeonliness (after all, they’re just a bunch of old, surly, ill-bred men that like to hit things) and squash the remaining opponents fairly quickly. And you win and get the money and the girls and the fame and stuff like that.”
I wouldn’t say that – it has no way of dealing with crippling enchantments or combo – but it’s definitely a nice little take that could work in the right metagame.
PJ Sines suggested:
This guy’s decks are designed to steal everybody’s stuff from all of the play zones – Bribery, Treachery, Control Magic, Lobotomy, Haunting Echoes, Steal Enchantment/Artifact, even the Dominating Licid makes an appearance.
Which is a valid archetype, but he can’t change his decks that much. Eventually, he switches or everyone just pounds his bacon. I much like his other archetype**:
The First Guy Out
Not really a deck type so much as the guy who always gets targeted first no mattter what he does. It used to be a guy named Patrick who always bitched about being first one out, but usually is reserved for the guy that counters a key spell or drops the biggest threat or gains an insane amount of life early.
Which is extremely true. Some people just never learn that early aggressive plays are never the way to go – even Anthony Alongi, who lives in a world without diplomacy, realizes that you can’t go aggro before turn 5 or 6 at the earliest, because you have to be able to back up your aggro with some big D.
The First Guy Out has good decks based on one erroneous assumption – that the early disruption plays are key. Thus, he counters the third-turn Blastoderm because it might hit him, then gets pounded by everyone else who’s afraid that he might – just might – be able to stop them before they can set up their defenses. Likewise, First Guy out is the guy who starts Bolting everything early and attacks the defenseless player, then winds up with nothing for the late game when everyone else swarms him.
First Guy Out may learn, in which case he’ll switch archetypes. Or he won’t, in which case he’ll forever be losing and whining and bitching. The key is not to tell him what he’s doing wrong, so he can continue to whine and bitch.
Like me. I wanna play!
See you at this weekend’s PTQ,
The Here Edits This Here Site Here Guy
On A Day Low On Content Anyhow
* – I have answered a personal ad, incidentally. It was a psycho babe but some of the best strange I’ve ever gotten in my life. The only problem was that she kicked in my door to see me after a phone argument once.
** – What kind of stupid editor lets this crappy English slide by! FIRE THE EDITOR!
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