WE PLAY TOO #11 – Points in Action
I found that I had some cool cards, but they weren't often enough "action" cards, so I made some replacements. I also found I had too many CIPT (Isn’t the new acronym ETBT? – LSV) lands, or the useless Kher Keep, so I put in some basics. Here's the list of changes (and, in order, the cards they were swapped for):
Sisters was just too mana intensive, and I figured I might occasionally get a machine gun out of Seedborn/Bloodshot Cyclops. Lurking Predators was a must-add, and the Rotwurm had never really lived up to what I wanted, which was another sac outlet. The Caryatid was there for early card draw, and Wall of Blossoms is earlier and cheaper. The power bump wasn't worth the mana. Mighty Emergence was fine for the Woodfall Primus combo with Goblin Bombardment, but I want to get away from combos.
I'm still trying to find room for Eternal Witness. I know that Sneak Attack and Madrush Cyclops made it in since the last time I played, but I don't rightly recall what they came in for. The Madrush is mostly to make a big Living Death more savage. I also managed to squeeze in a Red Elemental Blast. With all the Blue flying around our League, it seems like a no-brainer. If there was only room for a Pyroblast, I'd toss in one of them as well.
Out of curiosity, with the Straight as an award, I looked at the power spread of my creatures. I didn't change anything to make there a likelihood of getting the award, and it looks like a rare occurrence that I will:
I counted Kresh as a 3, but he'll obviously be different most of the time. There's also the Wilderness Elemental, Lord of Extinction and some Devour guys that are changeable, so we'll see what happens with that. For style points, I'd like to get the Flush or Straight Flush with five red/green guys, but that also seems a little outside the realm of possibilities (although, with Living Death, many things are possible).
Aaron came up with a modified list of awards. We're going to add new ones and rotate some out each week to keep things from getting too stale. Here's what we used:
Chasm: Destroy or Bounce all lands in play through spells or abilities.
Greedy McGreederson: Take an extra Turn.
Better Late Than Never: First player to resolve the second version of a creature already in play. It must be the exact same card as the first (copies and Clones don't count).
Blackjack: Control two creatures whose total power is exactly 21. May be awarded for a specific creature pair only once per pod (A creature that leaves play and comes back is a different creature).
Copycat: First player to have a spell or permanent copied by an opponent.
Cramped Quarters: Control at least 40 different non-token permanents at the same time.
Double Take: First player to control two functionally identical non-token creatures with different names. Creatures must have the same power, toughness, converted mana cost and all abilities (such as Grizzly Bears and Balduvian Bears), but not necessarily color (such as Prodigal Sorcerer and Prodigal Pryomancer). This will awarded only when the stack is empty. (Copies and Clones don't count).
Edge of Disaster: First player to have fewer than five cards in his or her library.
Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Cause a creature to be sent to the Graveyard by means of -1/-1 counters.
First Blood: First player to have a creature killed by an opponent. Kill includes destroy, exile, or cause a player to sacrifice the creature. Combat damage doesn't count.
Generalissimo: Kill a player with General damage.
Getting to Basics: Control at least 7 Basic Lands.
Good Samaritan: Intentionally cause an opponent to gain 10+ life in one shot (getting your Beacon of Immortality redirected doesn't count for you, but for the person who redirected it).
Guantanamo Bay: Pacify three of your opponents’ creatures (This can be done by using any means that makes your opponents creatures unable to attack or block.)
Hey, That's Mine: First player to have a permanent stolen (exchanges don't count).
I'm Cool Too: Second player to kill a creature he or she doesn't control. Kill includes destroy, exile, or cause a player to sacrifice the creature. Combat damage doesn't count.
I'm Probably Next: Have the lowest life total, which must be lower than 10 when the first player is killed.
Iraqi Freedom: Attack a player who hasn't dealt you any damage, destroyed or exiled any of your permanents, or countered any of your spells with at least one Creature (cannot be earned before turn 7.)
Just Enough: Deal exactly lethal non-General damage to a player who is at 7 or more life.
Let's Do That Again: Save an opponent from taking lethal damage. (This can be through prevention or redirection of damage, whether it be direct or from creatures, or through the use of life gaining spells or abilities.)
Look at Me: Last person standing in a pod.
Lucky 13: Have a creature deal exactly 13 combat damage to a player at once. May be awarded for an individual creature only once per pod. (A creature that leaves play and comes back is a different creature).
My Name is Tyler Durden: Force one of your opponents to destroy or exile their own General. (This can only be awarded to any single player once per turn.)
Overkill: Deal 40+ more damage to a player than is required to kill them.
Salsa Dancer: Cast the fifth spell on a single stack, cannot be awarded in the same stack as Flamenco Dancer.
Start with the Top: Destroy or Exile a Sensei's Divining Top you don't control. (This can only be awarded to any single player once per pod.)
Straight: Control at least one creature of five consecutive powers (for example, Mogg Fanatic, Jackal Pup, Mogg Flunkies, Ravenous Baloth, Shivan Dragon). This will be awarded only when the stack is empty. This may only be awarded to an individual player once per pod, although it may be awarded to multiple players.
That Was Rude: First player to have a spell countered.
Three's Not a Crowd: Resolve three different non-land permanents of three different types on the same turn. This may only be awarded to an individual player once per pod, although it may be awarded to multiple players. (Non-land permanent types are Artifact, Creature, Enchantment, and Planeswalker. Resolving a spell that is any combination of permanent types will count as one or the other, not both. Example: Enigma Sphinx is an Artifact Creature, you must choose whether it will count for your Artifact or your Creature for this award.)
What Goes Around: Take control of a permanent that an opponent took control of from another opponent.
Bases Loaded: Control a Land, Creature, Enchantment, Artifact, and Planeswalker, while having both a Sorcery and an Instant present on the stack.
Flamenco Dancer: Cast the eighth spell on a single stack, cannot be awarded in the same stack as Salsa Dancer.
You're Outta Here: Kill a player or being directly responsible for a player's death. There is the obvious – controlling the source of the damage (whether it's direct or creatures). This also includes, although is not limited to alternate methods, such as controlling the Howling Mine that makes the player deck himself, or redirecting lethal damage to someone. (Player A plays Fireball, Player B Swerves the Fireball to Player C.)
Flush: Control five non-token creatures of EXACTLY the same color (five green creatures, or green and red creatures, but not three green and 2 green and red). This will be awarded only when the stack is empty. This may only be awarded to an individual player once per pod, although it may be awarded to multiple players.
ABC's: Resolve the third spell that starts with a third consecutive letter, one additional point to a player who continues the chain. For example Player A plays Storm Herd, Player B casts Terminate then Unsummon. Player B gets 3 points. Player C then plays Venser and gets 1 Point. Player B then plays Withered Wretch and gets 1 point. Player D casts Wrath of God, therefore breaking the chain.
Straight Flush: Control five creatures of exactly the same color(s) in five consecutive powers. This will be awarded only when the stack is empty. This may only be awarded to an individual player once per pod, although it may be awarded to multiple players.
The cast of characters is becoming familiar. We have ten tonight, so we go with two tables of five. I'm seated with Ben ([card Sakashima the Imposter]Sakashima[/card]), Aaron (Ertai, the Corrupted), Dale (Thraximundar), and Anthony (Momir Vig). I ask Anthony how many infinite combos he has, and he says "about four." I win the roll and go first.
On the first two turns, Dale suspends Ancestral Visions and plays Abyssal Gatekeeper, and Aaron makes me sad by playing Tormod's Crypt. Just about everyone gets a Signet or Talisman, so things will ramp up a little faster, and one of my lands is Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, so everyone has plenty of black.
Turn 3, I drop Jens, Aaron casts another Signet, Ben plays Sculpting Steel copying Jens (I get a point for Copycat), Anthony plays Cloud of Faeries and Coalition Relic, and Dale lays Phyrexian Tower. Seems good with Thraximundar.
Me: Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Graveshell Scarab. I attack Dale with Jens, and he blocks with the Gatekeeper. Everyone who has a creature sacrifices one. Aaron say that the three players who do so get "First Blood" since they all went at the same time.
Anthony: Another Jens. Gets a point for Better Late Than Never.
Dale: Doesn't get a 4th land. Plays Chainer's Edict, targeting me. I sac the Scarab and draw a card.
Aaron: Jace, all of us draw, and he suspends Ancestral Vision.
Ben: Vesuva, copying Aaron's Island. He casts Bribery, targeting Dale, getting Prince of Thralls. This will become an important card. Being true to his membership on Team Lives in the Red Zone, he swings at Aaron with Eternal Witness, who blocks with Jens. Anthony and Aaron both decide to pay the 3 life.
Me: Shambling Shell and a Morph (XXX). I boots up the Shell and attack Jace (2), trying to keep Aaron in a position where he'll activate the All Draw ability instead of Just Aaron Draws.
Aaron: All draw, Darksteel Ingot.
Ben: Scroll Rack, which I would ban simply because it slows down the games so much. At least players have learned the tech of "I'm going to Top now, but reserve the right to switch the cards around if someone does something." Scroll Rack just takes too much time.
Anthony: Wickerbough Elder.
Dale: Makes a Goblin. Sacrifices it to Phyrexian Tower, and fixes some of his mana problems with Dimir Signet and Darksteel Ingot. At his EOT, I unmorph Vigilante, whacking Tormod's Crypt. Aaron surprises me by taking Ben's graveyard away.
Me: Suspend Greater Gargadon. Attack Anthony with Shambling Shell and Dale with the Vigilante. I get Iraqi Freedom, only because Dale didn't cause me to sacrifice a creature; I sacrificed the Scarab myself to draw a card. Anthony removes the counter from Wickerbough Elder to destroy Lightning Greaves. I shoot the dude at his head. I play Shriekmaw, hoping to get "I'm Cool, Too," but Anthony counters is with Hinder, so I get "That Was Rude" instead. At my EOT, Aaron casts Esper Charm.
Ben: Helm of Obedience, one of our favorites.
Anthony: Attacks Aaron, getting his own Iraqi Freedom. He then plays his own Jens, who has certainly become King of this Prom.
Dale: Repeats the 2 black mana trick, and plays Coalition Relic, then Grab the Reins Entwined, targeting the Elder to fling at my Vigilante (hoping to get I'm Cool, Too). I sacrifice the Vigilante to Gargadon, and Anthony flashes in Venser, bouncing his Elder. That didn't go well for Dale.
Me: Gargadon to 8 counters. Bone Shredder targeting Venser. Ben plays Cryptic Command, bouncing the Venser. I play Penumbra Wurm, which Aaron counters with Pact of Negation. I know that Wurm is big and nasty, but there are certainly better things to counter with a Pact than that.
Ben: Island, Jens, getting an Island, so he gets Getting to Basics with his 7th land. He plays Copy Artifact on his own Jens, then casts Sower of Temptation, stealing Anthony's Jens, which means he now controls three of them, and Anthony gets a point for "Hey That's Mine." Ben gets a big point turn by getting Double Take and Three's a Crowd. He attacks Anthony (35).
Anthony: Momir Vig, then Coiling Oracle, getting Trygon Predator and a land. He gives Aaron a token from Forbidden Orchard. At EOT, I kill Aaron's Orchard token with Goblin Bombardment to get "I'm Cool Too," assuming that if I don't, Dale will get the point.
Me: Gargdon to 7 counters. Akroma's Memorial. I nearly cut this card because it's a little passive if you don't have guys, but it definitely goes RAWR when you do (or when you Living Death).
Aaron: (A)ncestral Visions goes off and Arena to 34. Plays (B)eacon of Unrest, targeting Prince of Thralls. Casts (C)rucible of Worlds to complete his ABC's, and then (D)amnation and (E)ngineered Explosives for 0 to complete a 5-point play. Everyone pays life to the Prince, Ben going to 31 and Anthony to 29. We all draw from Jace.
Dale: Makes a token then casts Obliterate. Anthony fortunately has Venser (yay Ben for the odd bouncing earlier!) and flashes it in, telling Dale he can Obliterate next turn. Aaron mutters "We'll see." Fortunately for me, Anthony jumped the gun (since I was next after Dale in priority order), so I don't sacrifice anything to Gargadon. Dale attacks Anthony with the Goblin, which gets blocked by the Stomphowler. He makes Anthony discard to Liliana. Dale seems a little frustrated that his Obliterate doesn't go off, but you can never be upset at someone from keeping you from ending the game (which basically would have happened right there; there's no way we could have recovered fast enough to keep Liliana from wrecking us).
Me: Gargadon to 6. I Dredge back Graveshell Scarab so that I can attack into Liliana. I don't know what Aaron has in mind, but I can't take any chances of leaving her around. I Demonic Tutor and tell them that I'm passing the turn afterward. I get Lurking Predators, just because I want to play it.
Aaron: Arena to 33. He Mind Shatters Dale for 7, getting Obliterate, Insurrection, and Slave of Bolas. Dale gets really frustrated at this, since he feels picked on, but this is clearly the right play. Even with Liliana gone, letting someone keep an Obliterate if you can do something about it sees dumb, unless, of course, the Obliterate benefits you more. Dale needs to learn the subtle art of not being a GIANT OBVIOUS THREAT. Until then, it's unreasonable for him to get mad at getting picked on. Still, I feel bad, since he's such a good guy. I let that feeling go as fast as possible. Back to Aaron's turn, we all draw from Jace, and he shocks himself (33) with Watery Grave.
Ben: Mana Vault to 30. I swear between Mana Vault and Mana Crypt, Ben has done hundreds of damage to himself over the time we've been playing. He casts Mindslaver, which Aaron counters with Rewind. He attempts to summon Keiga, but Aaron has Draining Whelk waiting. After it resolves, he Disks in frustration.
Anthony: Masked Admirers.
Dale: Taps Forbidden Orchard for mana, giving Aaron a token. The flesh of his idea hits the bones when he casts his General, which Anthony doesn't care for, so he flashes in Mystic Snake. Dale throws up his hands in further frustration.
Aaron: Oblivion Stone shuts down discotheque, until the creature I reveal is Sapling of Colfenor.
Ben: Sensei's Divining Top (I get Lord of Extinction), Sakashim (I get Primordial Sage), and Eternal Dominion targeting Aaron. This time it's nothing but land for me. Ben loves Eternal Dominion and its associated hijinks, but confesses that he's sure he's never won a game that he's resolved one. He gets Aaron's Angel of Despair, targeting Lord of Extinction, which I sac to Gargadon.
Anthony: Man-o-War, targeting Sakashima. I get Hamletback Goliath.
Dale: Pays 9 for Thraximundar. I get Mycoloth but don't Devour anything. Hamletback is immediately immense. Dale forces the play by attacking Aaron with Thraximundar. Aaron blows the Oblivion Stone. I sacrifice stuff to Gargadon to take him to 1 counter, and keep the Sapling.
Ben: Targets Aaron with Dominion, getting his Mindslaver, and true to the rules of "steal something from someone, hit them with it") slaves him. I tell Aaron that's what he gets for playing Mindslaver.
Me: Aaron Capsizes the token (no Buyback) so that I can attack and kill the plansewalker. Dale again gets frustrated, but that guy active is such a wrecking ball that I'd throw stuff away just to kill it.
Ben: Dominions me, getting Dragon Broodmother.
Anthony: Jens, and Tops, once again giving Dale a token. He attacks Ben for 5 (23) and brings in Trygon Predator.
Dale: In topdeck mode, pulls a Signet, casts it, and is done.
Ben: Stacks Broodmother trigger first, then Epic, targeting me. Gets Vicious Shadows. Everyone winces. He Devours 3 guys, dealing 15 to Aaron for the kill. He thinks he also gets Just Enough, but he doesn't, since VShad deals five damage three times, not 15 at once. Still, it was a clever kill. He attacks me for 5 (35).
Anthony: On his upkeep, Ben Devours with the token coming in, dealing 4 to me (31). I resolve to get all the cards out of my hand ASAP. Anthony Briberies me for Karrthus. Ben sacs Broodmother to Miren (30), and I take more from VShad (27). Anthony summons Mirkfiend Liege and swings at Ben with his team for 20 (12), destroying Vicious Shadows with Trygon Predator's ability. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Dale: Tutors for Ritual of the Machine, confessing he has no board-clearers left. He sacrifices a token to the Ritual, stealing the Broodmother.
Me: The insanity has to end here. I've been holding Living Death since turn 1. I'm pretty sure I can kill Ben and probably Anthony, since I can sacrifice stuff and build up Deathbringer counters but I'm just going to get rolled by Dale. Further complicating matters, Dale has the pesky Prince of Thralls in the yard. I play the Madrush so that I can get it out on board. I sacrifice everything to the Angel, building up 8 counters on the Thoctar before shooting them at Ben's skull, taking him to 4, sacrificing the Angel last. (I'm looking at my notes here, and I can't see how Karrthus gets back into my graveyard, but it was definitely there, since it was part of the decision on whether I could kill Anthony. I emailed Ben the other day and he doesn't know either). Anyway, when Living Death resolves, there are triggers to deal with.
I target Ben's Sower of Temptation with Bone Shredder. Ben targets Lord of Extinction with Sower. Anthony targets what would have otherwise been a gigantic Hamletback Goliath and Madrush Cyclops with his two bouncers, Venser and Man-o-War, and targets me with his Vendilion Clique. I sacrifice Lord of Extinction to Fallen Angel, paying the 3 so Dale doesn't get it (24). Ben responds by activating Minamo. I respond by sacrificing Shambling Shell to put a counter on Mycoloth, because I see that I have green creatures in powers 2 (Spawnrithe), 3 (Nantuko Vigilante), 4 (Primordial Sage and Mycoloth), and 6 (Penumbra Wurm), but no 5–it works out in the end and I get the Straight Flush!!!). I sacrifice Bone Shredder to the Angel, also paying the 3 (18). I now have enough Thoctar counters to kill Ben with the Minamo ability still on the stack. I sacrifice Solemn Simulacrum to the Angel to get a counter to kill Anthony's Vendilion Clique, his only flyer. He's at 29, so I end up shooting him for 1 with the Thoctar, and attacking with the 7/7 Karrthus and 21 power Angel.
I'm weak enough at this point for Dale to run over me with his guys and a few of my own. Final point counts come in with me on a big 20, Ben at 9, Aaron at 5, Anthony at 4, and Dale at 2. Ben and I go to the top table, which will only have four, since Anthony had to leave after game 1.
Ben and I are joined by Keith, who piled up points at the other table with his Asmira, Holy Avenger fog deck, and Ryan, with Sygg, River Cutthroat. Keith wins the roll, which isn't terrible for me, since he's right before me.
There's a bit of ramping going on as I get Scrabbling Claws on turn 1, and turn 2 I get Prismatic Lens and Ben gets Mind Stone. Turn 3, Keith plays Mobilization, I bounce a land with Rakdos Carnarium, Ryan drops Sygg (early Generals!) and Ben plays Grim Monolith, Tezzeret, and fetches Sol Ring.
Keith: Asmira. Additional kudos for playing his General early.
Me: CIPT land (which I had 3 of in my hand) and Jens.
Ryan: Future Sight, attacks Tezzeret for 1.
Keith: Gorilla Chieftain
Me: Golgari Rot Farm and Shriekmaw, killing the Sphinx. It would have been cool to see him running the Epic and that, but it seemed like giving him too much too soon. Ben gets a point for "First Blood."
Ryan: Draws 5 cards from his Top/Future Sight. Sygg attacks Tezzeret down to 2, and he discards.
Ben: Dominions Ryan getting Mindslaver, and true to the rules, Slaves him.
Keith: Attacks Ryan with Asmira (38) and Tezzeret with Gorilla. Am I wrong here that Tezzeret doesn't seem as bad with Ben not being able to cast spells? Shrug.
Me: Attack Ryan with Shriekmaw (35) and Keith with Jens (38).
Ryan: Ben makes him take pain (34) and Mind Shatter himself for 5 cards, leaving him with just two.
Ben: Targets me, which I've been waiting for. I Wild Ricochet, copying it for myself and retargeting to Keith. Ryan wonders out loud if I've just screwed myself since I won't be able to play spells any more. Ben tells him that the copy each upkeep copies everything except the Epic ability. Ryan asks, kind of snidely, "How do you know that?" Ben and I respond at the same time "Because it says so on the card." Ben gets Keith's Defense of the Heart (seems very good) and I get Ben's Planar Portal. EOT, Keith makes a Soldier.
Keith: Plays his 7th basic land (seems like that's all he has), getting a point for Getting to Basics. Attacks with Asmira and the Gorilla (34) and Ryan with the token. Ryan blocks and at EOT draws a card from Sygg.
Me: Attack Ryan with Shriekmaw (31).
Ben: Dominions me, getting the Broodmother he knows is there. EOT Keith makes two tokens.
Keith: Makes another token. We see that he has Tempest of Light in his hand, but he sees that I have Vicious Shadows in mine. I make a deal with him that if plays Tempest of Light now, I won't play VShad until later down the road. He agrees and wipes out the Enchantments. He attacks Ryan with a 4/5 Asmira and a token. At EOT, I use Planar Portal to get Brooding Saurian.
Ryan: Attacks Ben with Finkel and we all draw.
Ben: Dominions Ryan, getting Duplicant to take out the Saurian. Attacks Keith with one token (39).
Keith: Attacks Ryan with Asmira and Ben with a token. Ben blocks with the Duplicant. Ryan plays Cryptic Command, bouncing Asmira (who was growing with all the tokens Keith was suiciding) and drawing a card. Keith replays Asmira and Sunweb, which we all have to read.
Me: It's time to get aggressive. I cast Stalking Vengeance and Kresh. I'm going to be able to do something savage with one or the other unless there's a Wrath effect. I attack Ben with Stalking Vengeance and the 3/3 dragon token and Jace with Broodmother and 3 1/1s. Ben double blocks Stalking Vengeance and goes to 30. Kresh goes to 13/13. At EOT, Ryan draws from Sygg.
Ben: Dominions out my Karrthus, getting all the tokens. Attacks Ryan with the team (16).
Keith: Albino Troll.
Ryan: Plays his 7th basic land (and a point for Getting to Basics). Casts Loxodon Warhammer and equips it to Kresh. Attacks Ben. Keith plays Holy Day to prevent Ryan's giant life gain. Ryan drops Vedalken Shackles.
Ben: Stacks the Broodmother trigger first then Dominion. Gets my Grave Pact, then Devours 6 tokens with the Broodmother. Since Kresh is going to the yard anyway, I unmorph the Vigilante to destroy Grave Pact. Ben attacks Ryan for 16 and me for 7. Keith plays Serene Sunset, leaving Ryan at 1 (and gets a point for the save).
Keith: Recasts Asmira and then Centaur Courser.
Me: Akroma's Memorial (I can't believe I was actually think about taking it out) and Golgari Grave Troll. Swing to kill Ryan. Keith apologies for not being able to save him again.
Ben: Dominions me for Deathbringer Thoctar. As much as I hate him pilfering my stuff, I know that I have the highest threat density, so it makes sense. He attacks Keith for 27. Keith spends his last two mana to play Constant Mists with Buyback, so it's obvious why he couldn't save Ryan.
Keith: Attacks me for 5 (28).
Me: I Portal for Living Death and play it. Ben shoots Keith for 2 with the Thoctar (36). Shriekmaw kills Sunweb and I get I'm Cool Too. I play Lord of Extinction. I attack Ben with Grave-Shell Scarab and Boom Tube. Keith casts Constant Mists and buys it back.
Ben: Dominions Keith for Glissa Sunseeker.
Me: I can get there this turn, or at least near enough. Keith only has one card, and I know it's Constant Mists. I can kill Ben and set up Keith to kill without combat damage. I sacrifice Grave-Shell Scarab to draw a card, dealing 4 damage to Ben with Stalking Vengeance (22). I finally play Vicious Shadows. I know it's not going to do much, but it will do enough. I Portal for Goblin Bombardment. I sacrifice Jens to Bombardment, dealing 10 more to Ben (12). I attack Keith with the team, so he has to Constant Mists. I sacrifice Vigilante hitting Ben for 11 more. I sacrifice Shriekmaw to do one last point, killing Ben and 4 more to Keith.
Keith: Draws and drops a land, so I know it's over.
I finish with 9 points, Ryan and Keith with 2, and Ben with 1. It was a big night point-wise, one that will surely paint a target on me in the league.
Next week, we'll be taking a small departure from the play reports, as I discuss my Hall of Fame 2009 picks on "We Play Too."