I’ve been searching for a few years now for ways to make EDH a tournament-viable format and keep its casual nature. Giant banned lists aren’t going to work. I’d much prefer to have a smaller list and let groups socially control how they’re going to play. The problem is as fellow EDH Rules Committee member Gavin Duggan refers to them “untrusted” games, where you’re playing with folks you don’t know. When two folks have a differing idea of how EDH should be played, and I’m certainly aware there’s more than just my way, then you can have unfun times–and this format is definitely about the fun.
A points award format idea has been tossed around before, so I sat down and tried to figure one out. I know there are probably as many possible variants on it as there are people who have ideas, but I went in with the idea of promoting a particular style of play. The overwhelming philosophy is “everyone wins when everyone has fun.”
The first thing you have to accept with a points award format is that you have to discard ideas about how you traditionally win. It’s intentionally possible that with the list below you can kill everyone at the table and still not win your table. Again, you have to accept that the definition of “winning” is different than you’ve previously experienced.
I sat down with Armada Games owner Aaron Fortino and discussed how we’d like to attack our Thursday night league. We agreed that pods would be no larger than 5 players, and to have a time limit of 30 minutes per player in the pod. When time is called, active player finishes the turn, and there’s a turn cycle. There was some confusion as to whether the active player actually gets the last turn or not. It was never relevant, but I think a great idea for the future would be for active player to finish his turn and then players get turns back around to the player that initially went last getting the final turn of the game. That way, barring extra turns, everyone gets exactly the same number of turns. We’ll talk about this one some more, and of course, your input is welcome.
We agreed on a $3 entry fee and two rounds. The winners of each table go to the “top” table, then that table is filled in with one or two wild cards, who are the players with the most points. If there are two tables, there are obviously two wild cards; if there are three tables, there is only one. We’ll work out what to do if there are ever six tables playing at once. Here’s hoping.
Everyone plays in both rounds if they want. The top table competes for a larger split of the prizes, but the round two winners of the bottom table(s) also get prizes. That means if you get totally savaged in round one, you still have a chance to take home a little something. Aaron already worked out the details on splits and numbers of players and tables.
We agreed that we would come up with new awards and rotate them in and out randomly on a weekly basis. I’ll leave that up to Aaron, since he’s running things. I trust that even though is one of the players, his inherent integrity and sense of fairness–not to mention the fact that he *gets* the format–will prevent him from engineering his deck week to week to match the awards list. Aaron even made up cool score sheets for each table, so he can record the results for the League.
I came up with this list, which we used:
Greedy McGreederson: Take an extra turn
Better Late Than Never: First player to cast 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.
Copycat: First player to have something copied by an opponent
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 Pyromancer). This will be awarded only when the stack is empty. Clones and copies don’t count (I sense a distinct anti-Clone bias among the EDH community – LSV).
Edge of Disaster: First player to have fewer than five cards in his or her library.
Generalissimo: Kill a player with General damage.
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).
I’m Probably Next: Have the lowest life total, which must be lower than 10, when the first player is killed.
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 lethal damage.
Look at Me: Last person standing in a pod.
Lucky 13: Have a single 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).
Overkill: Deal 40+ more damage to a player than required to kill them
Salsa Dancer: Cast the fifth spell on a single stack. Cannot be awarded in the same stack as Flamenco Dancer.
That Was Rude: First player to have a spell countered.
Three’s Not a Crowd: Cast 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.
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 controlling the Howling Mine that makes the player deck himself, or redirecting lethal damage to someone (regardless of who controls the original source). For example, Michael Fireballs Aaron for 40. Aaron Swerves it to Brian, killing him. Aaron, not Michael gets the points.
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.
Flush: Control five non-token creatures of EXACTLY the same color (five Green creatures, or five Green and Red creatures, but not three Green and two 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: Cast the third spell that starts with a third consecutive letter. One additional point to a player who continues the chain. For example, Brennan casts Storm Herd, Ben casts Terminate then Unsummon. Ben gets 3 points. Aaron casts Venser. He gets a point. Ben then plays Withered Wretch; he gets a point. Brennan plays Wrath of God, breaking the chain.
Straight Flush: Control five creatures of exactly the same color 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.
In retrospect, I’d drop Straight down to +2. We’re changing Better Late Than Never, Three’s Not a Crowd, and ABC’s from “cast” to “resolve.” Makes it a touch more difficult, which it should be for 3 points. Let’s Do That Again needs more detailed wording.
One of the new additional awards we’re thinking about is -2 or -3, Fart in an Elevator: Destroy or remove all lands from the battlefield. Requiring a player to think more seriously about the cost/value ratio of playing Armageddon seems like a good idea. Someone suggested –X, Loopdeeloop: “I repeat this combo X times.” I think that’s probably too harsh and unworkable, but I like the spirit of it. Again, we want to foster interactive, social play. I also thought of something like –X for each turn before turn 8 (maybe even 10) that you kill someone or somesuch. The minuses have to go through a great deal more vetting and thought than the plusses. There are things we’d like to discourage, but not completely hamstring.
I decide to play something different this week. I made Merieke a long time ago, and haven’t pulled it out recently. Before heading over the shop, I decide to give it the once-over. I take out some of the jankier things to try to tighten it up a little. One addition that I think long and hard about was Phage. There is a good deal of Telemin Performance and Helm of Obedience in our area. I figure that memory of someone turning up Phage with either will last a good long time after everyone stops laughing about it. Living Death might make my life miserable, or getting it stolen would suck (although you figure if someone steals your Phage, they’re not going to attack you with it until the end), but I figure the upside hilarity is worth downside pain.
The [card]Plague Sliver[/card] has been in the deck since day one. At the time, several Pro Tour EDH League folks were running Sliver combos. I figured that I’d get in on the action. Knowing that Michael plays Slivers certainly was a factor in keeping it in–but decks definitely should take your local environment into account. In the Anthem Games Sunday EDH League, where everyone and their brother is playing Blue and lots of counters, it’d be stupid of me to not put some uncounterable and Protection from Blue stuff in there. It might be a little over the top to play aggressive Blue hate (like Boil), but that threat should still be there. I’m a firm believer that you should never let the control player get too comfortable (or cocky). I always want him wondering if what’s in front of him is the worst threat or he should fear what’s down the road. And even though many players think that a deck full of counterspells is generally pretty bad in multiplayer, there are also those people who will still play 15 of them.
Uyo and [card]Sen Triplets[/card] were late additions. I thought about cutting [card]Yixlid Jailer[/card] because he’s never really been that good. I kept him this time, but I think he’s getting the axe for something else. I definitely thought twice about [card]Magister Sphinx[/card] because I know that [card]Bribery[/card] and [card]Acquire[/card] are really popular, but I decided to run it out there and see what happens. I’d have an easier time of taking it out if it wasn’t foily.
Pairings for round one are random, and I see that I’m seated with both other members Team Lives in the Red Zone, recently-promoted L2 Judge Ben McDole (Sakashima) and L1 Judge Brennan DeCandio (Vorosh), along with a good guy named Anthony (Crosis) who we’ve played with once or twice. Team Lives in the Red Zone has the decided that there are two additional rules (okay, guidelines, but they’re to be followed unless it’s patently dumb to do it). First, you have to live in the Red Zone, since that’s the team’s name. Team members are required to attack when able and not unreasonable. Second, if you steal a creature from someone, you must attack them with it. It sometimes makes for game actions that are more wacky than strategically sound, but EDH is all about the wackiness.
I win the roll, and since I’m taking notes for this report, Ben accepts the responsibility to be the scorekeeper.
The only plays of note through turn 3 are Anthony’s [card]Scroll Rack[/card], me getting the Obelisk and Anthony playing [card]Phyrexian Totem[/card]. Seems ballsy.
Me: [card]Ethersworn Adjudicator[/card]
Ben: [card]Maze of Ith[/card]
Anthony and Brennan: Land
Me: [card]Sword of Fire and Ice[/card], which Anthony counters with [card]Faerie Trickery[/card]. I get a point for “That Was Rude.” I attack Anthony with the Adjudicator (36), since I can’t kill anything with it.
Ben: [card]Temple of the False God[/card] and [card]Bribery[/card] targeting Brennan. He gets [card]Eternal Witness[/card] and gets back his [card]Bribery[/card].
Anthony: [card]Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/card]. Swings at me with the Totem (35). At EOT, Brennan flashes in [card]Vendilion Clique[/card] targeting himself and dumps [card]Trygon Predator[/card]. Sorry, LSV, but Faeries are already starting to annoy me (Not for much longer, at least not in Standard! – LSV).
Brennan: Attacks Anthony with the Clique (33), shocks himself with Watery Grave, and plays a Morph.
Me: All I have is [card]Reliquary Tower[/card]. I keep Adjudicator up to kill stuff.
Ben: [card]Helm of Obedience[/card]. He then violates team rules by attacking Anthony with Brennan’s [card]Eternal Witness[/card] (30). I dare Ben to Helm me. He does not bite.
Anthony: [card]Aethersnipe[/card], targeting Eternal Witness. Seems like he’s trying to make a friend. I kill it with Adjudicator. Ben gets a point for First Blood.
Brennan: Attacks Ben with Morph and Clique. Ben Mazes the Morph, and Helms Brennan for 1, getting [card]Solemn Simulacrum[/card]. He takes the 3 (37). Brennan then casts [card]Beacon of Unrest[/card], getting back his [card]Eternal Witness[/card], getting the Meloku that he had to earlier discard.
Me: [card]Nekretaal[/card] on the Morph, which is [card]Vesuvan Shapeshifter[/card]. I get a point for I’m Cool Too.
Ben: Swings at Brennan with Jens. There’s the team spirit. Brennan blocks with [card]Eternal Witness[/card], saying “He knew what this was.” Ben lays Tolaria West and is done.
Anthony: Swings at Brennan with [card]Aethersnipe[/card] (34).
Brennan: Attacks Anthony with Clique (27). Casts [card]Profane Command[/card] for 3, killing [card]Nekretaal[/card] and putting [card]Eternal Witness[/card] back into play, which gets Jens back to his hand. In the middle of that, Anthony [card]Brainstorms[/card]. If he has a counter, he doesn’t use it. At EOT, I kill [card]Aethersnipe[/card].
Me: [card]Blinding Angel[/card]
Ben: [card]Sol Ring[/card]. At his EOT, Anthony takes a pain (26) and casts [card]Fact or Fiction[/card], targeting me, revealing [card]Blind with Anger[/card], [card]Ray of Command[/card], and three lands. I put the Ray with two lands since he doesn’t have non-pain red at the moment, and that’s the pile he takes.
Anthony: Out of nowhere casts [card]Time Spiral[/card], which costs me the [card]Magister Sphinx[/card] I’ve been holding since turn 1. I kill the [card]Eternal Witness[/card] to stop Brennan’s recursion silliness. After untapping his lands, Anthony drops [card]Planar Portal[/card].
Brennan: [card]Sol Ring[/card], [card]Coalition Relic[/card], and [card]Viridian Shaman[/card], targeting Planar Portal. There was some discussion over whether he should hit the Adjudicator, but I think the Portal is definitely the right play. If it were a choice been Adjudicator and Scroll Rack, I would have understood, but PP is just WAY too good to let stay. True to the team, Brennan swings at Ben (34)
Me: [card]Terrarion[/card] and [card]Weathered Wayfarer[/card]. Suspend [card]Lotus Bloom[/card]. I think about setting up for Three’s a Crowd later on. I attack Brennan with the Angel (32) then bring in Merieke.
Ben: Plays [card]Mana Vault[/card], Keiga, and [card]Abduction[/card], targeting [card]Vendilion Clique[/card]. Brennan gets a point for Hey That’s Mine, and Ben gets one for Three’s Not a Crowd.
Anthony: Land, Signet, goes into combat with no creatures, but casts [card]Spinal Embrace[/card] (an old favorite of mine) targeting Adjudicator, which I use to kill itself.
Brennan: Suspends [card]Aeon Chronicler[/card] for 6.
Me: Attack Anthony with the Angel (24), drop [card]Yixlid Jailer[/card].
Ben: [card]Mana Vault[/card] to 33. Plays Miren, which I forget about minutes later even though I’ve just written it down. He swings at Brennan with Keiga and Clique (24).
Brennan: [card]Mulldrifter[/card] and [card]Deep Analysis[/card]. Attacks me with Viridian Shaman. I block with the Jailer for the trade. At EOT, I Merieke Keiga, which Ben sacrifices to Miren, stealing Merieke. D’oh!
Me: Attack Anthony with [card]Blinding Angel[/card]. He casts [card]Mystical Teachings[/card] to get [card]Grixis Charm[/card] and kills the Angel. I play Cairn Wanderer. At EOT, Ben uses Minamo to untap Merieke. I look at the Minamo in my hand and wonder if I should play it next turn to keep him from doing exactly what I wanted to do.
Ben: Mana Vault to 32. Steals [card]Mulldrifter[/card] with Merieke. Attacks Brennan with Clique (21).
Anthony: Nothing again. I’m getting suspicious.
Brennan: [card]Elvish Visionary[/card] and [card]Demonic Tutor[/card], getting [card]Indrik Stomphowler[/card], which targets [card]Abduction[/card] so he can have back his Clique. Finally, he drops Azami. I think that next time I’m playing and of my black/red/x decks so that I can play [card]Spiteful Visions[/card] just for Brennan. Or black/red/blue so I can kill him with [card]Cerebral Vortex[/card]. At EOT, I Wayfarer for Boseiju, since I know that there will eventually be something I want to force through.
Me: [card]Lotus Bloom[/card] comes in. I Nekretaal (which I got back courtesy of Time Spiral) Azami. I cast [card]Dimir Cutpurse[/card]. I attack Ben, who blocks with Mulldrifter. At EOT, Ben untaps Merieke, steals Stomphowler, and then sacs it to Miren (41).
Ben: [card]Mana Vault[/card] to 40. [card]Persuasion[/card] on my [card]Cairn Wanderer[/card].
Anthony: [card]Mirror Sheen[/card]. Now I really suspect shenanigans (a word I promise to use only once per report).
Brennan: (R)eanimates Stomphowler (16), destroying [card]Persuasion[/card]. (S)hadowmage Infiltrator, then (T)armogoyf, which is currently 5/6 getting ABC’s!!! He plays a Morph, giving him a Straight! A six point turn seems good, and we pronounce the points award system an immediate success. He attacks Ben with Visionary and Clique (36) and summons [card]Trygon Predator[/card]. At EOT, I [card]Peel from Reality[/card] Nekretaal and Merieke, the kind of play that I put the card in the deck for. Ben responds by untapping Merieke, stealing the Morph. Brennan responds by flipping it face up, and it’s [card]Willbender[/card]. He retargets the ability to Cairn Wanderer, which Ben sacrifices to Miren (40).
Me: [card]Enigma Sphinx[/card] into [card]Brine Elemental[/card]. Meh. I attack Anthony with Cutpurse. When he doesn’t do anything about it, I begin to suspect he has ugots in his hand. I recast Merieke for 5.
Ben: [card]Mana Vault[/card] to 39. Suspend [card]Riftwing Cloudskate[/card]. [card]Helm of Obedience[/card].
Brennan: Attack Anthony with all but the Clicque (8). Vorosh, which Anthony counters with Faerie Trickery. Seems like Time Spiral put several things back in peoples’ hands.
Me: I attack Anthony for 8, to get the kill plus a point for Just Enough. I Nekretaal the Goyf. At EOT, Ben [card]Dominate[/card]s Merieke, and I respond by stealing the Morph. Ben untaps Merieke after the control ability resolves, so I do the only thing reasonable–unmorph it. It’s Brine Elemental. Ben Helms Brennan for 1 with his last mana, milling a land.
Ben: Mana Vault to 38.
Brennan: [card]Control Magic[/card] Merieke. Ben responds by stealing my Sphinx. Brennan gets a point for What Goes Around.
Me: [card]Jushi Apprentice[/card]. Attack Brennan with Nekretaal (14) and Ben with [card]Brine Elemental[/card] (33).
Ben: [card]Mana Vault[/card] to 32. Attack me with Sphinx, which I [card]Maze of Ith[/card]. He casts [card]Vesuvan Doppleganger[/card], copying Stomphowler, blowing up [card]Control Magic[/card].
Brennan: [card]Aeon Chronicler[/card] comes in. Flashes back [card]Deep Analysis[/card] (11). Attacks me for 5 (35).
Me: Wayfarer on my own turn so that I have 8 cards in hand. Activate [card]Jushi Apprentice[/card], and flip it. Ben decides to untap Merieke. I decide to end the reign of terror and drop a Minamo of my own. I then cast Phage. At EOT Ben Helms Brennan, but gets nothing.
Ben: [card]Mana Vault[/card] to 31, changes Vesuvan to [card]Jushi Apprentice[/card] after thinking for a minute. After he draws, mentions he should have changed it to Phage. [card]Riftwing Cloudskate[/card] comes in off Suspend and bounces Phage. He steals Chronicler. Then comes the moment of truth: he casts [card]Eternal Dominion[/card], targeting me. He thinks about the [card]Magister Sphinx[/card], but then announces that it will be way crazier to get [card]Uyo, Silent Prophet[/card]. He attacks Brennan with Cloudskate (9). At EOT, Brennan Flashes in Teferi. After that resolves, he also flashes in [card]Lord of Extinction[/card] and [card]Psychatog[/card].
Brennan: [card]Cryptic Command[/card], choosing the modes of tap all guys and bouncing Ben’s [card]Maze of Ith[/card]. Ben copies it with Uyo. He can’t change modes, so he targets something to bounce, which I don’t have in my notes, but becomes irrelevant when he flashes in [card]Body Double[/card], copying Azami, draws off Azami and [card]Mystic Snake[/card]s the copy. He attacks Ben with [card]Lord of Extinction[/card], which is immense, and me with the rest of the team. I Maze the Lord to save Ben, getting a point for Let’s Do That Again. He pitches two cards to Dr. Teeth, so I take 16 (19).
Me: I wait. I see the inevitable conclusion here. I don’t really have anything that’s going to change the fact that Brennan is in the driver’s seat, so I wait to see what Ben will do.
Ben: Mana Vault to 30. After [card]Eternal Dominion[/card] goes on the stack, he copies it three times with Uyo, targeting each of us twice. He gets Brennan’s Venser, bouncing [card]Lord of Extinction[/card] and [card]Puppeteer Clique[/card], pulling [card]Blinding Angel[/card] out of my yard. He gets my [card]Angel of Despair[/card], killing my Maze and [card]Sen Triplets[/card], no doubt so that hijinx can ensue. He attacks me with [card]Blinding Angel[/card] (17) and Brennan with the rest (2).
Brennan: Jace, and we all draw. [card]Oblivion Stone[/card]. [card]Yavimaya Elder[/card], getting Three’s Not a Crowd. Draws Azami cards. Attacks me with [card]Psychatog[/card]. I block with [card]Brine Elemental[/card]. He eats enough cards to keep it alive and kill the Elemental. At EOT, I activate Tomoya and draw 10. I still don’t have lots of answers.
Me: I play Liliana. While I’m thinking about what to do, time is called. I know I don’t have anything crazy enough to overcome Brennan’s point lead, but I don’t want Ben to have the opportunity to catch me (which I don’t think he can, but I’d rather not take the chance), so I Liliana for [card]Decree of Pain[/card], draw it with Tomoya and play it. He copies it with Uyo and then Brennan blows the Ostone just to be safe. Since the other two tables are done, we decide to just call this one.
Brennan wins the table with 8 points (ABCs, Straight, Three’s Not a Crowd, What Goes Around). I finish with 5 (killing Anthony with Just Enough, That Was Rude, I’m Cool Too), which I find out kind of to my surprise makes me the wildcard. Apparently the other tables didn’t have the points success that we did.
In addition to Brennan, the other pod winners are Ryan (Child of Alara) and Todd, with Rith. I had played Todd some 1v1 earlier with his Rith and my Darigaaz decks, and I know that he can be explosive. I think he’s bucking for a spot on Team Lives in the Red Zone. I again win the roll and go first. I realize that I’ve had some good success with the rolls recently.
Through Turn 4, little happens besides Brennan playing Jace with All Draw and Todd swinging at Ryan with Anger. We’ll note that it’s quite a while before Todd actually gets a Mountain.
Me: Honden of the Blue. I realize that I actually don’t remember the real name of the card. I have to scroll up while I’m writing this to see that it’s [card]Honden of Seeing Winds[/card].
Brennan: Jaces himself. Suspend [card]Aeon Chronicler[/card] for 3.
Ryan: [card]Reborn Hope[/card], getting back the [card]Lorescale Coatl[/card] he earlier discarded.
Todd: [card]Glory of Warfare[/card], attacks Jace for 4, killing it.
Me: Shock myself with Godless Shrine so I can play [card]Blinding Angel[/card].
Brennan: [card]Demonic Tutor[/card], Stomphowler my Honden.
Todd: [card]Glorious Anthem[/card], attack Ryan with Anger (33). Pings himself with a fetchland.
Me: Temple of the False God, then forget to attack with Angel. I really feel like I need to keep Todd from not attacking because he’s got Hasty and nasty guys. It’s not terrible since I don’t draw his ire, but Team Lives in the Red Zone needs to swing!
Brennan: [card]Sol Ring[/card], [card]Shadowmage Infiltrator[/card]. Stomphowler attacks Todd (35).
Ryan: Nothing and discards. He has five mana, so I don’t know what’s up over there. I suspect that he’s packing a dozen counterspells in his deck and he has a load of them early.
Todd: [card]Symbiotic Wurm[/card], which Ryan indeed counters with [card]Dream Fracture[/card]. Todd gets a point for That Was Rude. He attacks me with Anger (35).
Me: Merieke, attack Todd with [card]Blinding Angel[/card]. Minamo. EOT, Brennan plays [card]Fact or Fiction[/card], getting [card]Mind Twist[/card], [card]Reanimate[/card], [card]Cryptic Command[/card], [card]Rude Awakening[/card], and [card]Control Magic[/card]. He takes the 3 pile with [card]Mind Twist[/card], [card]Reanimate[/card], and [card]Control Magic[/card].
Brennan: Chronicler comes in. Attacks Todd with team, and having 12 cards in hand, deals 16 (19). [card]Sakura-Tribe Elder[/card] and [card]Yavimaya Elder[/card].
Ryan: [card]Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/card] and [card]Harmonize[/card].
Todd: [card]Solar Tide[/card] for 3 or greater. Brennan [card]Mystic Snake[/card]s. EOT, I flash in Teferi, but Ryan has [card]Broken Ambitions[/card]. At least I win the Clash.
Me: Attack Brennan with Angel (38). Phage.
Brennan: [card]Lorescale Coatl[/card]. Sacrifices the Elder, gets a land, and plays [card]Control Magic[/card] on Phage. I respond by stealing Coatl, which prevents Brennan from getting three points for the Straight, but he gets a point for Hey That’s Mine. He then [card]Reanimate[/card]s my Teferi (35).
Ryan: [card]Vigor Mortis[/card], with green, bringing back an earlier-discarded Reya.
Todd: [card]Vengeful Rebirth[/card], targeting Solar Tide and Phage. Brennan gets point number two for First Blood. A creature not getting killed until turn 9 seems odd, but it happens. He plays [card]Skullclamp[/card], equips Anger, and swings with [card]Anger[/card] into Brennan, who blocks with the Chronicler for a trade. At EOT, I untap Merieke with Minamo, killing the Coatl. I steal Teferi.
Me: Attack Army of Brennan with [card]Blinding Angel[/card] (33).
Brennan: [card]Opportunity[/card], then [card]Mind Twist[/card] me for 4. I have Enigma Sphinx and Angel of Despair in my hand, and I debate on which to flash in. I think about the fact that I can kill a creature and get a point for I’m Cool Too, but I’m more worried about losing my hand. I try to mitigate it a bit by flashing in the Sphnix. Unfortunately, I Cascade into Angel’s Grace. Big frowns. Brennan then plays Wild Mongrel “just for old time’s sake.”
Ryan: Reya Brings back Coatl. Plays Child of Alara and attacks Brennan (28).
Todd: Casts [card]Solar Tide[/card] Entwined, getting a point for I’m Cool Too. Ryan lets Child go to the yard, blowing up the rest of the board save for lands.
Me: Face-down Exalted Angel, and pay 5 for Miereke.
Brennan: [card]Elvish Visionary[/card]. I’m really playing Spiteful Visions next time for this kid. Plays [card]Sower of Temptation[/card], which Ryan counters (and brings back Reya) with [card]Soul Manipulation[/card]. Suspends [card]Ancestral Vision[/card]. I think harder about also adding Underworld Dreams. Psychatog.
Ryan: Replays Reya.
Todd: Mountain, [card]Godsire[/card]. Attacks Ryan (25).
Me: [card]Sword of Fire and Ice[/card], unmorph Exalted, equip and attack Brennan (22). Kill [card]Eternal Witness[/card], and draw a card now that I’m in extreme topdeck mode. I go to 41.
Brennan: [card]Wickerbough Elder[/card]. Removes the counter, destroys the Sword. Suspends Chronicler. At his EOT, I steal Reya.
Ryan: Eyeblight on Merieke. I untap Merieke and steal Godsire, which dies when Merieke goes yard, but only after Todd has made a token.
Todd: [card]Siege-Gang Commander[/card]. Attack Brennan with 8/8 Godsire token (14) and me with the Siege-Gang team (36).
Me: I take a swig of water and eat a cold piece of my leftover pizza and do nothing else.
Brennan: [card]Oona, Queen of the Fae[/card]. Ryan counters with [card]Counterspell[/card]. Brennan casts [card]Lord of Extinction[/card], which is momentarily immense before Ryan [card]Putrefy[/card]s it.
Ryan: [card]Wall of Reverence[/card], EOT to 26.
Todd: Rith, which Ryan counters with [card]Faerie Trickery[/card]. [card]Darksteel Ingot[/card], justifiably attacks Ryan with the token (18).
Me: Another piece of cold pizza.
Brennan: Morph, which I suspect is [card]Willbender[/card]. Attacks me with Elder and [card]Psychatog[/card]. I figure that if he’s going to strip himself bare to try to kill me (he actually can’t), he can go ahead. I block the Elder with Exalted Angel. He Ninjitsus in [card Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni]Ink-Eyes[/card]. I [card]Mortify[/card] it (figuring to buy a turn), but that plan goes awry when he does indeed have Willbender, so he kills the Godsire token instead. Todd comes the rescue and Condemns Ink-Eyes. I gain 4 (40), killing the Elder. Brennan recasts [card]Psychatog[/card].
Ryan: Nothing, EOT goes to 19.
Todd: [card]Martial Coup[/card] for 9 tokens. Attacks Ryan with all of them (10). Getting attacked with 9 tokens is what you get for countering so much stuff.
Me: [card]Deathbringer Liege[/card]. Might be some help if this game goes 10 more turns.
Brennan: Ancestral resolves. [card]Civic Wayfinder[/card]. Draws with Cephalid Colisseum. Cycles Lonely Sandbar. [card]Profane Command[/card] for 5 kills my Liege and gets back [card]Lord of Extinction[/card]. It’s immense. He plays [card]Tarmogoyf[/card]. It’s 8/9.
Todd: Rith, attacks Ryan with team. Ryan prevents Rith with [card]Prahv, Spires of Order[/card] that Todd had neglected. Todd facepalms, since he gets no tokens.
Me: Morph (Bane of the Living). The two cards in my hand aren’t going to help much.
Brennan: Morph. Attacks Todd with [card]Lord of Extinction[/card] and Ryan with his other two guys, getting two kills. Aaron, who has finished his match and is watching, started counting the graveyards once Brennan attacked and tells us the Brennan also gets a point for Overkill.
Me: I draw nothing, bring in Merieke in desperation.
Brennan: [card]Harmonize[/card]. Attacks with the team. When I block the Boom Tube, he unmorphs [card]Vesuvan Shapeshifter[/card] to copy the obvious. Even without the other two in the game, it’s enough, since Brennan has nearly 40 cards in his own yard.
Super props to Brennan for winning in the Red Zone. His deck was extremely well-constructed, synergistic, and powerful without having to combo out. He’s still getting [card]Spiteful Visions[/card]. Boo-urns to him for only playing his General once.
Prizes were awarded to first and second at each table, so Todd got second place for his two points.
The points system was a success, and the League will really benefit from it. I did hear one player say “I don’t understand how you can win and not win” since he was last man standing at his table, but as I said earlier, this implementation of EDH requires changing the way you think about winning–just like the format originally changed the way you think about making a deck. I’d love to hear your ideas on different awards, especially those that fit the style of play we’re trying to promote.
The deck needs some rework. I’d like a little more tutoring and a few more answers (like a [card]Damnation[/card] in addition to Wrath), and the Tormod’s Crypt that didn’t make it in probably should. I’ll certainly take suggestions there as well.
Have fun with M10 being legal, and I’ll see you next time on “We Play Too.”