Friday, 28 June 2013

It That Betrays

Magic 2014: Duels of the Planewalkers came out on Wednesday.  As someone who likes Magic but doesn't want to own cards or spend a lot of money on it, this is a release I was looking forward to.

Basically you are playing Magic with fixed decks.  Each time you win a game you unlock a new card which is added to the deck.  Then you can take out whatever you want to bring your deck back down to 60 cards.  There are a few oddities about the deck building - you can't choose how many lands to play, for example - but since you are playing a deck someone else designed things generally work out.

I wouldn't recommend 2012 because you couldn't take the original cards out of your deck to add the news ones - your deck just got bigger as you unlocked more better cards.  2013 was a big improvement, and it seems like 2014 is even better.  One disappointment for 2014 is that the sealed deck feature wasn't that great - it seems you can only get two sealed decks and you have to buy more slots to get more.  I'm not really complaining, though, since ten dollars is more than fair for the amount of play I'm getting out of it and I don't really need to play sealed deck tournaments against a computer over and over.

But I'm not here to review the game, I'm here to tell a story about an incredible game of magic.  This is a mirror match with my partially unlocked version and the computer's fully unlocked version.  My opponent was at 82 and had the following:

2 Oracles of Mul Daya
2 Grazing Gladeharts, 1 enchanted with Eldrazi Conscription
Avenger of Zendikar
8 Plants with 3 +1/+1 counters on each
Khalni Heart Expedition with one counter
13 Forest

This monstrosity of a board is across from my 42 life and:

Oracle of Mul-Daya
Ulamog's Crusher
Grazing Gladehart
2 Artisans of Kozilek
It That Betrays
Eye of Ugin
18 Forest

My opponent plays a forest from the top of his deck, casts Primeval Titan for a forest and his own Eye of Ugin, plays another forest from the top, and activates Khalni Heart Expedition for two more forests.  That's six landfall triggers from the Avenger of Zendikar, making his plants 9/10's.  Naturally it then attacks with everything except for the freshly played titan.

That's 95 power worth of attackers into my 6 creatures.  I sacrifice two lands to the Gladehart annihilator trigger and block the big gladehart, four of the plants and the Avenger.  My artisans trade with plants, It That Betrays kills one and survives, and my Ulamog's Crusher kills the Avenger.  I take 39 and go to 3.

Now this would all seem pretty bad except for the fact that, thanks to the oracle that just valiantly blocked a 12/12, I know what the top card of my deck is: All is Dust.  Which sounds like a real lifesaver, but it's a little bit more than a lifesaver when you have It That Betrays in play.  If you aren't familiar with this interaction, read both the cards again.

Because I miss clicked the blocking that Avenger was dead so I sadly did not get my 17 5/6 plants.  My opponent had its own All is Dust so that didn't really matter anyway.  But with annihilator four on board and It That Betrays I very quickly expanded my land advantage and kept him from coming back into the game using his own Eye of Ugin.  Here's what the board looked like a few turns later:

That's a 43 sitting on top of my stack of Forests.  Now that's a game of Magic.

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