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Paul’s Perspective
Ten Ways to Survive in Multiplayer
August 10th, 2010

 

This article is complied from various sources of knowledge, from my own play testing experiences to advice echoed from writers more talented and humorous then I, and some knowledge is elementary knowledge that many players already know. I hope at least one of these ten ways to survive can make a difference in your playgroup.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Paul Wessendorf, Johnny Combo Player

 

#10 Don’t Attack

Wait a minute you may be thinking to yourself, how can I win if I never attack? Relax young grasshopper number ten does not specifically mean to never attack just do not attack unless you must. Do not be Mr. Attack Happy; I have too often seen players rush in headfirst attacking a player only because they are open. Not only does this leave no defense to back you up but it also draws you into a give and take duel with a single player. Smart players avoid this pitfall and will not let themselves fall into a revenge or tit for tat scenario, although even more advanced players are known to let their emotions interfere with logic. Not only does attacking the open player show off your lack of strategy and planning it leaves you open to counterattacks and can expend your resources quickly, don’t do it.

 

#9 Use Walls

Relating to the previous strategy, utilizing creatures that can’t attack is an overlooked and key strategy in defending yourselves from multiple opponents. Anyone can see the value of Wall of Blossoms drawing a card and providing a ground blocker to deflect would be attacker’s interest from your position. Our previously mentioned Mr. Attack Happy player cannot do much with a 3/3 facing down a 0/4 or greater wall. Along the same train of thought cards like Fog Bank and Wall of Tears discourage attacks and provide a safe haven for you to gather your senses and build up resources to take out multiple opponents. Walls are solid creatures that can make the difference between being overwhelmed by players or being the last man standing.

 

 

 

#8 Mass Removal Is Your Friend

We all the see the value of Wrath of God and Damnation in multiplayer games, depending on the board state it can go from a 2 for 1 trade to a 20 to 1 trade. The slower decks need to utilize mass removal to keep all the creatures in check and believe me there will be plenty of creatures. Cards generally not considered in competitive formats are ripe to be abused in casual combine March of souls and Massacre for extra profit.

 

#7 Utilize Seal’s and Sacrifice Creatures

Artifact and enchantment destruction is not widely played in casual games, often times to your benefit. Sitting on an Ivory Mask and Story Circle can make things uncomfortable for other players. Utilizing cards such as Seal of Primordium and cards likes’ Elvish lyricist allow you to have a threat on the board that can deal with troublesome permanents later. I highly recommend running creatures that are capable of destroying artifacts and enchantments preferably catch all creatures such as Acidic Slime or cards like Creeping Mold. Other seals such as Seal of Fire and Seal of Doom can make opponents take their attacks elsewhere and can sit on the table waiting for the perfect time to unleash their power.

 

#6 Play Dead

Let out load groans, overreact to not drawing cards you may or may not have needed. People believe what they want to believe, if you act like your mana screwed even though you have 6 lands your opponents are more likely to believe you are, whether they take the chance to leave you alone or kill you is another question. Act mildly frustrated you don’t have a play, lie low and wait for other players to take each other out. While these strategies don’t work if everyone is gunning for you, or your playing with exceptional players you can often bluff and get away with it. Some may question the morality of it; this isn’t competitive Magic it’s supposed to be fun with friends, while that is true all is fair in love, and war, and Magic. Don’t overuse lies or tricks though it could ruin your image as a player and cause friction in your group, use with caution.

 

#5 Be A Politician

Politics is as synonymous with multiplayer Magic as is shuffling. Politics has crept into even the most rigorously controlled environments at one time or another. Bill has a swamp and a island out, the group thinks he is playing his famous Dream Hall's and Megrim combo deck, turns out he was blue/black ninjas whoops. Depending on their temperament various players at the table can be an asset or a liability to you, and like a true politician you need to convince them your their man. Convince them your the only deck running enchantment destruction and if Dale gets out a certain enchantment your the guy who can stop it. Play into peoples perceived fears, this relates heavily to playing dead as the tide may turn at any second, you need to think fast on your feet. Make promises and unlike politicians you should always keep your promises. Often times it can come down to you playing kingmaker do I want Dave's goblin deck to win or Paul's no fun Stasis deck, situations such as these require finesse and a silver tongue.

 

#4 Don' t be Afraid to Mulligan

There is nothing worse then having a small amount of cards in your hand when its you versus four or five other players. Unfortunately mulligan's are things that occur regularly in games of Magic and the decision to Mulligan can sometimes be a tough one.  Some helpful reminders, if you have a hand with only one mana source or no early game plays. Of course this ultimately depends on the deck and of course the playgroup. No one wants to be the player eliminated 10 minutes in the game, and few want to be the player eliminating a defenseless opponent.

 

# 3 Mix It Up

Often times groups stagnate, playing free for all every opportunity with your infinite damage to everyone at the table, maybe trying out different formats would be a refreshing change for the group. Elder Dragon Highlander, Arch Enemy, Planechase and home brew formats are all a refreshing break from the typical slug fest in chaos multiplayer. They allow absurd and themed decks to emerge and add a sense of fun and randomness as well as providing challenges and a change of pace to longtime players. Exploring new areas of Magic is what keeps it fresh and interesting and oh so magical.

 

 

#2 All for One and One For All

If your playgroup contains a fair share of new players it may be a good idea to start a common box or to simply give away cards, space is limited and a player can only have so Many Squires before he decides to start a gigantic bonfire. Not only does it get your excess unplayable cards away but it also gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, nothing is better then seeing a newbie's eyes light up as you hand them a play set of Chimney Imp's.

 

#1 Have Fun!

This should be a no brainer Magic is a game, its supposed to be fun, but between acquiring duel lands, net decking and infinite combo's sometimes we need a breather. Take out a Thallid deck, or your Squirrel deck or hell an Unhinged deck. Variety is the spice of life as well as Magic. Its a game have fun, enjoy the company of your friends and fellow players discuss strategy and most of all turn those creatures sideways and attack.

 

Hopefully you have found something amusing or helpful within this article stay tuned as I delve deeper into multiplayer Magic and how to renovate those Arch Enemy decks.

 

Send all hate/fan mail to PlatinumFUBU5@hotmail.com as well as any ideas suggestions or criticism.

 

 

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