The Let's Play Archive

Microprose's Magic: The Gathering

by Ultiville

Part 9

More Dungeon Delving

After last time's dungeon adventure I take a quick side-trip to grab a nice magic item:

This thing has been under discussion in the thread lately and is quite a nice little item. It increases the maximum copies of any one card in my deck from 3 to 4. If I get my deck up to 60 cards, it increases the maximum from 4 to unlimited. I can't really exploit it yet (except with copy 4 of Lightning Bolt), but it'll sure be nice in the future.

Then I decide to head off to camp some Mind Stealers (for duplicate cards) and Ivory Guardians (for Ivory Towers.) On my way, though, I see something interesting...

Another dungeon! Let's see what I've learned about this one.

Mox Ruby and Black Lotus! Sign me up! Let's just look at what's always in effect.


Oh. Power fucking Struggle. I hate that card so much. (If you don't know why...well, wait and see.)

Anyway, regardless of the presence of my arch-enemy, I decide to wander in in search of jewelry.

The layout sucks a lot, though, and I can only get a single pair of dice (for +3 life) before I have to face this enemy. I won't lie: if I were playing through for myself, I might just leave the dungeon at this point and hope for it to respawn with a better layout, because this is a recipe for having to face endless guys with Power Struggle. But I decided that in an LP I should continue for science

Fortunately Seers are pretty weak enemies overall. Here you can see why I hate Power Struggle:

First, it tends to steal whatever land type you're short of, leading to mana screw, perhaps the most frustrating thing that can happen in Magic. Second, it loves to trade around tapped lands, meaning it takes forever for either player to play anything.

Note that both the Mishra's Factory and the Volcanic Island were originally mine. I'm not sure if Power Struggle actually cheats in favor of the AI, but it sure often feels like it does.

This is going to hurt. Oh well, at least I get to Control Magic it on my next turn, right?


Yeah, you see where this is going.

"Seer selects" indeed.

Oh well, let's see what we can do to make a game of this. I take one more hit and draw Boomerang, but since the thing is down to 2/4 again I'm not sure I want to--

Oh God, Boomerang right now!

I get a pretty good counteroffensive going, and even the return of the Ghost Ship isn't enough to stop the Dragon and Disintigrate from taking it home.

I'm left with a dubious six life to explore the rest of this monstrosity. Oh well, I'm sure there can't be that many guys left, and if I kill this Merfolk Shaman, I can get those dice. Onwards!

My strategy of "play mountains early so as to mana screw the opponent" starts off well. Did I mention these games always take forever?

This one is uneventful. My opponent plays fewer creatures than I play Lightning Bolts, and Roc of Kher Ridges quickly brings him into Disintigrate range.

The dice are nice, given the circumstances.

And I get a few more life dice on my way through. Whew.

Now, Shandalar to my knowledge never puts passageways in half-steps, so any loot is bound to in the SE or SW. So begins a long, long process of grinding through stupid sea dragons and other assorted blue guys.

You really don't want me to show all the battle screens -- it'd be as boring to watch as it was to play. But there are a fuckton of guys in here.

The free life from the dice sustains me for a while, which helps a lot, but finally I start to get worn down, and still no sign of loot...

Oh God, with a start like that on his part, this could get extremely ugly.

Fortunately he has no real use for the Mana Vault. I manage to take two hits from my own Mishra's Factory courtesy of the wonders of Power Struggle, but the Shivan mounts a persuasive counterargument before he can finish me off. There had better be loot around that corner, because I'm not happy with my life total.

So close. Oh well, nothing for it.

I should just take Mishra's Factory out for these dungeons, seriously.

A red mana sure would be nice! The factory cuts me down to 2, making Psionic Blast look rather silly. Of course I couldn't psiblast the thing, because Power Struggle gave me a tapped fucking Island.

Have I mentioned I hate that card?

Power Struggle returns the Factory to me, to join one I just played. Still no Mountain, but at least I'm not getting killed by my own traitor card anymore.

From there the game gets rather insane, and I actually was concentrating too hard to screenshot for a moment, but the short version is that I Control Magic Wall of Air to get another blocker, Power Struggle trades it for Apprentice Wizard, I draw a Mountain and throw fire at him until he stops moving.

Whew. His delicious flower is mine!

I guess I could leave now, but 2 life is more than zero, and there's still a Mox in here for me, so whatever.

I take one damage from a turtle pretty quickly, then am forced to put an end to that nonsense.

His mana fails to cooperate, and I trounce him with a Charizard. Or local equivalent.

..or not. Instead my poor Dragon eats disintigrate and I have to kill him with his own guy. Sad. Giant goldfish < giant Dragon.

But victory is victory, and it appears Shivan will have his revenge!

Sigh. Not his day. Also note that I have drawn my one copy of Psionic Blast in every hand since I've hit 2 life. Just sayin'. At least the Shivan took off half his life before the untimely end.

He stalls at two lands, and the second treasure is mine!

Regrowth is a good card and all, but who am I kidding, I'm out of here. Fuck you Power Struggle, I've had enough of your shit.

The deck is looking pretty good!

No sooner have I put my shiny new treasures into the deck than I see another dungeon right nearby!

Ancestral Recall and Library of Alexandria, you say? In we go!


Oh my fucking God, you have to be kidding me.

Next update coming momentarily, breaking for length.