CCGs: Why can’t I quit you? (And a small contest!)

Just when I think I got out, they pull me back in.

A few of my friends have recently discovered the strategy and complexity of Magic: The Gathering. An addictive past-time I had all but quit. But when one of them realizes the amount of thought process involved, it requires me to haul my boxes out of the closet and revisit that old hobby of mine.

I had stopped purchasing new Magic cards years ago, content with the collection I had amassed and a couple decks to keep satiated in case the desire ever arose. But with a bunch of my friends jumping back into the game, the little wheels in my head started churning to put together new and exciting decks to play with.

Up until a month ago the only decks I had put together were an (Warning: If you don’t play Magic, the following sections might make little sense) old Tempest-block suicide black deck; a GWU Millstone Infinite Library deck that ran cards like Swords to Plowshares, Tithe, Force of Wills, etc; and some janky graveyard recursion deck which was admittedly terrible but had a great time abusing Savrah mechanics in combination with Grave-Shell Scarabs and Bloodbond March.

Well, that list of decks has expanded. And in a big way. I recently finished an Oath of Druids deck that takes advantage of the new ridiculous creatures, opting to run 1 Iona, 1 Progenitus, and 1 Darksteel Colossus. I also tossed together an old-school Underworld Dreams/Teferi’s Puzzle Box deck for group games, a turbo-stompy deck, classic land destruction, and some weird artifact deck with Master of Etherium and Vendalken Archmage just for the laughs behind it.

Curse this game. As addicting as WoW, but far more expensive.

But as in most games, I get drawn to the strategy. The theorycraft behind. While there is always a random factor to the game based off the cards you draw, taking a collection of cards, narrowing it down to 60, and putting together a plan with those 60 cards that will hopefully defeat your opponent. Whether it is a constructed format or drafting, it tests your skills and your analytical ability and how you adapt to an ever-changing situation. Even after some of the latest rule changes that have  “dumbed down” the game in some aspects.

Every time I get a new idea or want to help my friend’s with a concept they have but not the knowledge of the game to execute on their own, I’ve been tossing them together on a site I googled up, MTGVault. It’s been great to serve my purpose. Although their WoW-version of the site allows me to draw test hands, something they need to toss on to the Magic side.

I’ve considered my self to be a control-style player with a love for combos. But it seems most of my decks run black or blue for either creature removal or counterspells respectively. Two of my most successful decks back when I played competitively were my aforementioned Suicide Black and Millstone Infinite library. The first ran the expected card set of Dauthi Warlords, Dauthi Slayers, Carnophages, Sarcomancy, and a selection of removal such as Diabolic Edict as well as Snuff Out and Vendetta in later iterations in place of Terrors.

The Infinite Library was a great deck for annoying opponents and actually turned out to be a great counter to Stasis back in its format. Running 4 Wrath of Gods, Counterspells, Force of Wills, Swords to Plowshares, Kjeldoran Outposts worked great. And of course, just a splash of green for Gaea’s Blessing to keep the library going forever, especially with the comboliciousness of Fact or Fiction to guarantee that it went straight to the graveyard was awesome.

And even before that, my beloved Prosperous Bloom deck was great to drop on the unsuspecting opponent. At least until 6th edition hit. So here is a pop quiz. I have a scratch-code for “Tiny”, a small raptor mount from the card game that comes with 50 charges (x2) and a “Slashdance” scratch card if you can tell me the answer, in the comments or in an email, the answer to the following question.

What change in Magic: The Gathering’s 6th edition rule set would have caused a classic “Prosperous Bloom” deck to become  not viable after going into effect?

I look forward to your comments and emails with an answer. :)

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.