Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making a Statement

Not long ago, I started a three player game with the play, Forest, Ancient Stirrings, find Emrakul, go. I didn't have to pull Emrakul but I chose to because I everything else looked good and I figured I'd get what I needed.

Know what else I did that game? Died horribly. I didn't draw any action and my opponents turned on me as one and destroyed me without hesitation.

Similarly, the person I had the 1v1 experience with Rhys also played Elesh in a 4 player chaos Commander game later that night. Since I had changed my Commander to Karn, my experience wasn't so bad but his: well, everyone turned on him and when he didn't hit his seventh plains on turn 7, blood was in the water.

When he did finally get Elesh cast, it was all but too little, too late and he didn't get to play the game from that point, yet he was still scary enough that one player went so far as to cast Iona naming white. Twice.

In both situations, we (the Elesh player and I) suffered from making a Statement: We are going to bring the ruckus. Ready?

Now, I have no problems with bringing the ruckus. Everyone should do it from time to time. Doing it all the time is another story, of course but every so often one should set out to kick ass. What you need to remember though is that when you bring it, you'd best be able to follow up on your threat because otherwise, opponents are going to do what people throughout time have done: Decided that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (at least for now) and gang up on you.

In the case of the Elesh player, he knew the commander was awesome, he just misjudged how people would react. As a new player, mistakes like that get made and if you don't plan for the early game you can't make it to the late one. In my case, a tablespoon of overconfidence was the culprit-well, that and a touch of the Danger of Cool Things (note, that article should be required reading for anyone who is starting off brewing decks.)

In both cases, we failed to load for bear and the results were less than awesome. Sometimes that happens because that's the nature of the game but good decks are built to help people recover from just this thing. But when you make a statement, you'd better be ready, one way or another..

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