Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Post Op (pt 2)

I started the next set of tests with Late for the Kill, feeling especially positive about it. After some playtests with Jason, I told him I just wasn't quite thrilled with it yet, specifically the Sovereigns of Lost Alara. He liked the concept, mixing Exalted with the controlling Dueling Grounds elements.

He suggested the obvious fix: Add in more Battlegrace Angel and another Rhox Charger. It was so simple I was a bit dumbstruck. It's always this kind of thing that I overlook. Jason also suggested Finest Hour, which, after a little rules verification, I discovered that you could attack twice in a turn with a single creature. I was surprised but apparently it's kosher.

I didn't like it for my deck but I think I'll see something Jason is using in the near future with Finest Hour.

After the changes, I took this up against a Blood Artist deck built by Fuz. Exquisite Blood, Sanguine Bond and zombies were involved, including Shepard of Rot.

I lost the first game due to mana issues but in game two I hit my creature drops, blew up the Exquisite Blood with a Qasali Pridemage and the Battlegrace Angel's lifelink kept me in the game and mopped up. Game three started a little rougher but I had Aven Squires on turns 2 and 3 so though my mana wasn't cooperating, I still had some action. Fuz wasn't as lucky, stalling out at two lands and not having much else. Eventually I found a Forest, brought a Rhox Charger up and I thought I had this wrapped up pretty nicely, until the Vampiric Tutor happened at the end of my turn. Turns out, it was just for a Doom Blade, which wasn't enough to stall my win.

He changed decks to a R/U deck with Cloudstone Curio and I got stormed out with him playing Kobolds until Grapeshot could kill me. This is also what happened in the second game.
Oh, Storm. You suck so bad. Despite what people say about the deck being interesting, like baseball or soccer, it really isn't unless you're playing it.

The problem is, while it's great at seeing the thought process of the combo player (illustrating the decisions needing to be made on his part) from the point of "Untap. Draw Grim Tutor. That's how we do it!" there are roughly 809 words and only two points of interaction: Cabal Therapy and Daze. Everything else is the storm player's internal monologue. There is no consideration of what's on the board, nor is there in the entire DECK an acknowledgement that one has to consider the other player's permanents.

You know what the other player is thinking: I'm watching you do mental gymnastics, which is boring and even worse; any spell I cast helps to pave your avenue to victory. All I can do is hope you whiff. 

Why? Because neither deck is attempting to interact with the other, they're merely racing. And you can have two decks working the spells angle, or two decks working the permanents angle but you can't have them ignore each other and still have a compelling experience for both players.That's just not how to build a fun game and I have yet to be convinced that watching someone go through this process is interesting.


  1. I played the deck, and I agree...Storm is not interesting.

    I mean, my storm version is not quite run of the mill, but still, it's boring.

    1. It's interesting to play but since the deck has no real counterpoint, no real foil, it's difficult for me to think of a matchup where it would be interesting to play against.