Monday, July 6, 2020

Magic the Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Casual Game of Thrones

Well, this was supposed to be the week I went to Anthrocon. You might be surprised to know that there is some fierce competition in the intersection between furries and MTG players. I have a Kenrith and a Muldrotha deck that I've been prepared for the occasion, but obviously the quarantine rightfully cancelled those plans. Covid-19 just makes such travel unsafe.

But whenever one door closes, another one tends to open. One of the members of our playgroup has a friend that they've wanted to teach Magic to for a while, and so I joined the two of them for a more beginner-friendly, casual Commander match that we could use to teach the rules of the game.

This gave me an opportunity to play one of my more "for fun" decks, helmed by Queen Marchesa (long may she reign) because Monarchy is one of my favorite mechanics to introduce to a multiplayer game.

My play group member brought out their Sygg, River Cutthroat deck, and handed their friend a Gishath, Sun's Avatar deck because everyone loves big stompy dinosaurs!

Sygg managed to take the early lead with the always impressive play line of turn 1 Island, to Sol Ring, into a Dimir Signet. While both Gishath and I were still building up our resources they took a few early card draws by using a Faerie Conclave and Sygg to get a combined 3 damage in, triggering their commander's card draw ability.

They also managed to draw a ton of cards off their Coastal Piracy and Bident of Thassa, since they had a score of cards that couldn't be blocked like Invisible Stalker and Marang River Prowler. With their Reliquary Tower, they managed to maintain a huge grip of cards.

That's not to say that I wasn't also getting my own board established. Thanks to a Fellwar Stone, I was able to deploy Queen Marchesa (long may she reign) one turn early. Since I wasn't going to be able to keep the Monarch token, I just started swinging in for some quick licks before the other guys built up their board state.

Of course, losing Monarchy isn't the worst case scenario for Queen Marchesa (long may she reign). Thanks to the fact the crown was constantly changing hands, I was able to create quite a few Assassin tokens that would, later on, become significant to my strategy. Thanks to the combined might of small pings and a Dire Fleet Ravager from Sygg, my life total was getting pretty low.

So to get back into something resembling a strong position, I used Teysa Karlov to give my Assassins lifelink and vigilance on top of their innate deathtouch and haste. By adding a Sanguine Bond to the mix the following turn, I was able to increase the damage I was dishing out. Thanks to my Grand Abolisher, nobody could even respond.

Of course, that meant that once my turn was over, Gishath was prepared to Generous Gift my Sanguine Bond, so I left open exactly enough mana to play one of the most well-timed Teferi's Protections that I have ever played. Not only did it save my bond, but also my face. Sygg had attached a Quietus Spike to the River Prowler, and since I wasn't a valid target they chose to swing at Gishath, who had been building up a board.

And since I wasn't a valid target, their small army of dinosaurs, including Ripjaw Raptor and a Sun-Crowned Hunters, only had one valid target. Though they were blocked, the Sun-Crowned Hunters were able to get it for just a little more damage due to their Enrage ability.

When I phased back in for my turn, I took a moment to look at my board. That's when I saw that Bolas's Citadel, which I had played a few turns ago, had a second ability. By sacrificing ten permanents to it, I could hit all of my opponents for ten life, which was just enough to finish them off. Grand Abolisher still on board, so nobody was able to respond to the move either, netting me the win from out of nowhere.

It was a solid match, and everyone was taking and dishing out damage and the board state got scary more than once. Our new player also had a great time. Hopefully, we can get them playing additional matches with us in the future.

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