The Let's Play Archive

Microprose's Magic: The Gathering

by Ultiville

Part 8

The first dungeon!

Welcome to Arnjolt's Tomb! Home, we hope, of loot.

Also, apparently, home of snakes.

So, dungeons are kinda interesting. They're filled with creatures all of the same color, usually of around the same "difficulty" (basically hard or easy.) In addition, your life total persists throughout the dungeon, and each enemy starts with a certain card in play.

In this case, it is Marsh Viper. This is middling for a start card. On the one hand, it is annoying because I'm very likely to take at least one point of damage, and thus I can't just chain through encounters like I can in some dungeons. On the other hand, it isn't that likely to kill me on its own, or worst of all create a global situation that makes it hard for me to function right, like the Power Struggle that has already come up in the thread, which I hate forever. (Power Struggle is one of the eightish cards that exist only in this game, not in actual real life. It switches control of permanents randomly during each player's upkeep, which most often means land and can lead to really annoying mana screws as you end up with all of the AI's lands and vice versa.)

I slowly explore the Tomb. Generally I like to look down all the passages before I commit to facing any creature. In addition to the creatures, three other things spawn in dungeons. In the picture below you can see the ? parchment, which asks a question about a magic card (what is the power of Phantom Monster, what is the cost of Scryb Sprites, etc) and if you get it wrong, it spawns a monster. It says a lot about me that I never get these wrong.

And above is what the dungeon looks like after I check out all the side passages. You can see the other two special dungeon spawns there. The treasure is loot; either gold and jems or (more often) one of the cards that is hidden in the dungeon. You can't see the full sprite, but the other option is a pair of white dice, which gives you some benefit when you walk over it. Sometimes it is life, sometimes you get to start with a random card from your deck. The one on the map is obscured by the wall and the dragon in the lower left, but they're awesome. Up in my info panel you can see "Prodigal Sorcerer." This means I've already wandered over one and get to start with Tim in the next duel. One dungeon strategy is to build a slow deck where all your cheap things are spells rather than creatures, because then if you get to start with a card in play, it is likely to be awesomely large (though it sometimes starts you with moxes or the like -- not that this is a bad thing.)

Anyway, I decide that the assistance of Tim should be enough to get me through the Elvish Knight and get me the treasure. For some reason the Elf doesn't want to attack with the Viper into Tim (?) so I'm able to just sit back for the first few turns and build up mana. Eventually he comes to his senses and I bolt the thing.

He plays a giant elephant, which I decide is pretty so I convince it to join my winning team. The second eats hot lightning, and I seal the deal in true blue/red fashion.

I loot his Elfin booty.

Awesome. The Ivory Tower isn't the hardest thing to find ever (as End_User pointed out, you can camp Tusk Guardians for them, and several monsters have them in deck) but they are totally clutch for owning dungeons, and my plan at this point is basically to camp up 1-2 more of these things and start abusing dungeons hard.

This was basically the item I came for, but since I'm here and have one more dice to hit, I might as well see if I can find anything else.

This time I get a free Mox Pearl and march in to attack one of the dragons. (The one in the far lower left, since it will reveal a new passage.)

This one starts well.

He gets two hits in with the viper before the second Tim comes online and shuts it down. Look at me being all crafty with Tim's fast effect! This is why we attack before casting, kiddies.  You can see I used the Tims in response to him casting Untamed Wilds, but before it actually happened. This means he has no mana available, so he can't save the Viper with Giant Growth or the like. If he'd attacked with the viper first, I would have had to decide whether to take the damage from the viper when he had mana up, and I would have risked taking 4 if he'd had Giant Growth. 

He decides that Tim deserves to pay for his crimes against serpentkind.

And I decide to make him pay for his crimes against wizards. It is a testament to the tragic cycle of revenge.

Except it ends when he dies in a charred electrical mess. I broke the cycle!

I take one more guy down, but the Viper brings me down to 8. At this point the map looks like this:

I dunno why, in retrospect, I didn't go for the dragon in the hopes of getting those dice and continuing the rampage. But I left the dungeon instead to add the Tower to my deck.

When you leave a dungeon, it despawns and respawns in a random location. So I'll get the rest of the stuff from the tomb, but not until later.

Ok, that's it for now, time to go play in my campaign. I might have a short update tomorrow, but I will certainly have a big catch-up one on Wednesday.

Edit @Jorath: Done, good info.