The Let's Play Archive

Microprose's Magic: The Gathering

by Ultiville

Part 12

Update Incoming!

You may be at work, but I'm taking time while my students are on spring deliver you Magical updates to get you through the work day. Because that's just the kind of guy I am.


Ok, I don't know what came over me. Back to business. Where we left off my game had crashed halfway through assaulting the white castle. But I'm not about to let something like that stop me!

Elder Land Wurm is basically a meaningless "starts in play" card because it only holds off one card in my deck (the Two-Headed Giant), which is sometimes annoying, but not really anything I'm losing sleep over. But all the baddies also start with some creature or other, which is much more irksome.

It's generally fine so long as I have a starts-in play card:

Yeah, that game went pretty well, though I did end up getting impatient on the attacking and doing something pretty disgraceful...

On the other hand, starting without a defender went significantly worse for me.

Not pictured: me slapping my head when I realized that back in 1997 they were still printing true Islandhome. (Modern creatures like Pirate Ship that can't attack unless the opponent has an Island don't die if you don't have one yourself.) He hit me with Armageddon, and I didn't tap the Pirate Ship to kill the Wolves since I was going to block with it.

Over the next few turns he dumped enchantments all over the place and the Ivory Towers couldn't quite keep up. I was unceremoniously booted. Oops.

So I decided I wasn't quite ready for that. But like McArthur in the Phillipines, I swore to return one day!

Anyway, there was this nice dungeon right there, the Mound of Warrior Kings.

I've been happier about "starts in play" cards, I won't lie.

Annoyingly, if I walk over the dice in front of that guy I'll lose the Shivan.

So I go molest a Priestess instead.

She doesn't have a Swords, so it goes about as you'd expect.

Phantom Monster should be good enough to take down this guy and get me some loot.

Yes, that will do.

This would be a pretty tragic hand if I hadn't gotten the free Ivory Tower.


We kill each other's creatures for a while, but eventually it turns out ok for team me.

Back to the dungeon.

Upside: I know where I'm going.

Downside: Lots of guys to kill on the way.

It turns out that Crusade is annoying, but +1/+1 isn't actually enough to make Pikemen and their ilk good. (Note: I think Pikemen is actually worse in games on this level than Squire. That's just lame.)

I have a bunch of pictures of me killing these guys, but this about sums it up.

I get a card I really wanted, and one that's pretty damn nice to have:

The last card in the dungeon is some nonsense I don't want, maybe Regrowth. I don't feel any need to burn my way to it, so I just leave.

I'm getting close to critical mass of stuff now to change my deck. I think the next obvious direction for the u/r is to remove the creatures altogether and focus on playing fast mana and lighting people on fire. At this point I've pretty much owned all the dungeons, and the fights there weren't really very interesting, since they were just more Marsh Viper dungeons. I'm going to hit the highlights of silly things happening and loot, and then catch you up and take my second reader poll.

I have something like 7 dark rituals, a Contract, 4 Hypnotic Specters, some Pestelince, and the like. So why am I not playing black? I'd sort of like to go three color, but I haven't found a single Badlands or Underground Sea, and it has been forever since I got a "buy any card" event. Irksome.


I don't think I've introduced this gentleman. This is Prismat, the Green dragon. This really means green and the two allied colors, white/red. In this game, the dragons are the base color plus both allies, and the genies are the base plus both enemies.

In any case, this guy's deck is full of Hurricane, Earthquake, Wrath of God, Inferno and mana acceleration. It is really annoying if you play a creature deck because it sweeps like mad, but it isn't a big threat to my deck because if he Inferno or Hurricanes once or twice, to clear Shivans, he's in burn range. And his only creatures are four Onulets. As my deck gets better, I stop playing creatures against him at all. But if you play a creature deck, be aware of this guy if you get a "large green creatures" dungeon, and plan accordingly.

I always think this card sucks, include it anyway, and am pleasantly surprised. The game loves big creatures.

Another enemy I've never introduced. This is the Arch Angel, a real annoyance. She has the full stock of Swords and Wraths, and her deck is basically built around Wrath of God. Unlike Prismat, she has the sensible plan of actually having ways to do damage, and runs The Hive and Mishra's Factory as threats that are immune to Wrath. She is a legit threat against this version of the counterburn deck since I still can't kill all that quickly if I need to go pure burn. She still has issues actually finishing people if the factories die, though, so I won this game, eventually:

This is the beginning of the second version of the Counterburn deck. I got lucky and got a second Timetwister off of a spectral arena event, and I've got a lot of moxes, loti, mana vaults, etc. at this point. Many of my games let me play Timetwister or Wheel of Fortune turn 1 or 2 after droping a lot of fast mana stuff and burn, then drop more fast mana and damage off the new seven. It's pretty sexy.

Hint: it is always Ancestral Recall. That's my third.

And here's the kicker:

I also got Time Walk, but for some reason the screenshot didn't take.

So, here's the deck:

Now, poll time. I'm going to go try to take the white castle, and might get a few loots on the way, but for now I want to figure out what the thoughts are on this deck. There's still a lot of improvement that can be done for counterburn, and I'll post a detailed game review of the white wizard if I get there, since that will be a climactic fight. If I stick with this deck, I think the direction is to get Mana Flare and more draw cards for just turbo burn with a few counters to stop whatever nonsense they try in their few turns of life. I'll build that deck up disgustingly if that's what people want.

The other option is to embrace the dark side, and go either blue/black or red/blue/black. Let me know if you want me to switch over to that before doing any more castles.

Finally, let me know what you think about the level of match detail I've been giving. It is pretty sparse, but there are a ton of matches, and most are easy, so I tend to only show interesting things or the results at this point. Is that cool?

Catch y'all next update.