The Let's Play Archive

Microprose's Magic: The Gathering

by Ultiville

Part 4

Where we last left our heroine, she'd just gotten a sweet dragon card from a random ruin. Wandering the world continued until...

I managed to run into this ugly guy. Usually you can bribe your way out of random fights pretty cheap; it is usually 60ish gold for this guy, so I dunno why I didn't have the option. Sometimes they decide you just need to fight. Anyway, bring it on!

I stand to lose Primal Clay if I lose this fight. That'd be a pain, but not a disaster. Incidentally, this also means I can't use the clay in this game. Again, not a disaster, but it is infuriating once you start getting single copies of amazing cards (and before you are able to dupe them at will.) He stands to lose Benalish Hero, theoretically, but in fact enemies drop 3-4 spells if you kill them and the one from their deck (in this case the Hero) is usually the worst, so I've got no idea what I stand to win, just that he's missing a mediocre 1/1 this game.

Also worth noting is that this guy has a much more respectable 10 starting life, as opposed to the genie's 19 (14 if you count the 5 he cost himself via bad blocking )

I set up my Tortoise early on, but he sends it farming.  You'll notice Swords to Plowshares is another instant. In this case it really kills a creature dead. Removed from game is the game's way of saying you're never coming back -- creatures that are "destroyed" or "buried" go to the discard pile, or graveyard, which you can fetch them from in various ways. There are one or two ways to get things back if they are RFGed, but realistically the thing is gone forever. Swords is an amazing card because killing a creature for one white (W) is a great deal, but it is kind of wasted on the poor Tortoise. 

You'll notice he's played Meekstone here (the artifact next to his lands.) Meekstone, for those who don't remember, stops creatures with power 3 or more from untapping, so all the big guys in my hand are one shot attackers.  Artifacts are another type of card, like creatures and sorceries. Like creatures, artifacts stay in play once you cast them (the game's word for cards like this is "permanents") but unlike creatures they can't fight (though some artifacts are also creatures.) Artifacts are also unusual in that they cost only colorless mana to cast -- hence the brown border. 

He then deploys a random pegasus (a 1/1 flyer with banding.) I'm going to not spoil this: if you don't know what banding means, don't bother. It's worth learning if you're going to actually play the game, but it is so complicated compared to the dubious utility it has that it isn't even worth knowing. I'm ashamed I know it. They removed it from the game years ago, because it was too complicated and bad. That's right, they actually removed something from Magic for being too bad and too complicated. That should tell you all you need to know.

Anyway, this guy is a 1/1 flyer...

...or is he?!?

The AI loves doing this. I wish I had Terror or Unsummon to really punish it, but luckily the AI's own Meekstone stops it from ever untapping ( ), so after taking 4 to the chin I stop caring. The AI is often quite good at tactical play (though sometimes, as you've seen, it blocks with Time Elemental for no clear reason) but it is incapable of strategic thought, so it doesn't occur to it that Meekstone might not interact well with going all-in on one creature with enchantments.

 The cards stacked behind the Pegasus are Enchant Creature spells. They're permanents, so they stay in play, but they only exist attached to a creature, which they change in some way, either for good or for bad. In this case each Holy Strength gives +1/+2 and each Holy Armor gives +0/+2 and the ability to pump up the toughness even more by spending white mana. Enchantments can seem really good, especially in the hands of the AI which loves them and tends to draw them in huge numbers, like here, but they're very vulerable. If the creature they are attached to dies, they all die as well, which can lead to a staggering disadvantage -- if I'd killed the Pegasus here, it would be as if I'd played a spell that forced him to discard six cards! Luckily since creatures can only attack if they are untapped, and his own Meekstone artifact is preventing creatures with power 3 or more (like the Pegasus) from untapping, the kind AI has taken care of the problem for me. 

You see he's also dropped some random 1/1s, and I've hooked myself up with trumps in the form of Prodigal Sorcerer. Unfortunately I made a mistake in playing Mishra's War Machine and then attacking into a blocker -- it has an upkeep cost of discarding a card. If I fail it does 3 damage to me, so it has pretty well draw locked me, and unless I draw something really good that's worth the 3 damage, I'll have to kill with the Sorcerer.  Some cards, like Mishra's War Machine, have abilities that happen during your "upkeep step." This happens on each of your turns after you untap but before you draw your card for the turn. The War Machine gives me a choice of either discarding a card or tapping the War Machine and taking 3 damage. Since I only have 5 life, I can't really afford to take the 3, and since I'm down to one card in hand, I basically have to discard whatever I draw each turn. Luckily, the Sorcerer has an ability that lets me tap it to deal one damage to a creature or player, so I can use it to get damage through even if he has creatures to block. 

Fortunately, he doesn't draw any outs before the sorcerer kills him, and my embarrasing mistake doesn't cost me the game. (I blame thinking about what I'll write in the thread, really! It certainly isn't that Mishra's War Machine is so bad I forgot exactly what it did...) I have my first victory!

And to the victor go the spoils:

Ok, those spoils aren't going to revolutionize my deck. CoP:Blue will go in if I need it, ditto Divine Offering, but that's pretty weak overall. Ah well!

I got some stuff from various towns and things, so my current deck looks like this:

Erosion and Phantasmal Terrain need to leave the deck ASAP, and Divine Offering really belongs in the sideboard, but at least I am down to only one off-color land, and most of the things in my deck can attack, even if they are 1/1. This is shaping up.

At this point I can honestly go any way for my second color. Right now it is white, but those cards are a handful of questionable 1/1s that are basically there as retarded cousins we feel sorry for warm bodies. I'm tempted to try to scrounge red for the Shivan and some firey doom, but I'll go with the goon opinion.

There may or may not be one more update tonight. Expect a second one tomorrow night regardless. Feel free to offer second color suggestions (or any other kind, really) until then.