Friday night was to be a new chapter in our card playing as we were all trying a new variant out – EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander). EDH differs greatly from traditional MTG games in that you choose a “Commander” that dictates what color of cards you can have in your deck. For instance, I had Doran the Siege Tower as my commander whose cost is BGW to cast so I could only have cards in my deck that were either black, green or white. Aside from that the deck is made up of exactly 100 cards with no duplicates except for basic lands. The quote from the classic 80’s movie Highlander movie, “There can be only one” is the premise of the deck in that only one unique card per deck.
I feel like a brought a rubber-band gun to a M1A1 Abrahams tank fight, as I spent about 2 hours picking cards sort of at random from my three colors to put in the deck without much cohesion. My commander was a treefolk and I had about a dozen treefolk in the deck but when you get only 1 card and your deck is 100 cards you quickly learn that 12 is a very small number. So I started throwing in elves and Myrs for mana acceleration, some regenerating walls for quick defense, I added some black flying critters like Willow-the-Wisp and Sengir Vampire for flying defense. I added some creature denial, life gain, enchantment/artifact destruction and some unique old rare lands like Island of Wak-Wak for flavor.
I ran up again three out of four other decks that were really well focused and came with their A-game. Ruben had lent Jim his white knight/soldier deck that represented well. Paul lent my brother Linus (Lenny) a green- stompy deck and Paul himself played with a another green deck that started off quickly enough but after the whole table laid the hammer down upon his tookus was reduced to playing a little “D” while Linus started taking over.
Ruben put together a deck that was red/blue with counter magic, direct damage, and card draw. This was perhaps the deck I feared most before we started playing because of the counter magic but learned that there was not a lot to worry about as seven cards in 100 aren’t great odds to draw counter magic and I was unnecessarily worried. Ruben was also disappointed because he found that his deck played MUCH slower than he thought it would and was really never a factor.
We conceded to Linus once his 3rd epic rare card hit the table and it would have been just a matter of time before he clobbered each of us in turn. With that game ended we turned to regular 60 card decks and played the rest of the evening that way until Linus and Jim had to bug out. With just Paul, Ruben and I we decided to give EDH another shot. Paul played his blue merfolk/wizards, Ruben played another white deck, Kithkin I believe, and I played my only deck. During the game we were all holding pretty even during the early rounds but slowly Paul got more (cheater) merfolk/wizards out and Ruben started to manipulate his own creature sitting at home to given bonuses to other creatures to determine the outcome of combat situations. It was at this point I think I started to get more frustrated at the play but really got steamed when Paul broke out an artifact that allowed us to not lay a creature, artifact or land if we had more than Paul. Ultimately Paul would bring in a (cheater/merfolk) that allowed him to grind cards for each (cheater) merfolk/wizard you had in play. After I had my 10th card ground including the much-needed, only one in the deck, , while Ruben had a like number of cards ground I lost my shit, pulled up my deck and forfeit the game saying it was complete Bullshit.
Now, I realized the moment or nearly the moment (about thirteen minutes later) after my tirade ended, that I had made a complete asshole out of myself and possibly had made Paul feel bad for putting together better decks than myself.
I ultimately cooled down and we all started talking about what each of us come to expect to from our games. I had to admit that my fun was supposed to be from seeing my friends and insulting them the way guys do but had to admit that I did have a little bit of a competitive streak and maybe ego in me that forced some concoction down my throat that turned me into Mr. Hide.
Fortunately Paul has a much greater threshold for listening to raving assholes and bore the brunt of my tirade like the rocks at the beach when the wave crashes against them, resolute and immovable.
Paul actually felt bad that his decks worked so well. It should be no wonder as he spent many hours putting them together to get proper synergy and maximum cohesion. I on the other hand did not spend the time that I could to do this and as a result my deck was not as strong and it showed.
Something worth noting is that Paul is an engineer and has an excellent mind for putting decks together. All that means really is that I have to step up my A-game and remember what is really important about getting together with friends to play a game – sitting around a table with friends and family, having a few beers, yucking it up with one another and forgetting about the serious side of life for a few hours.
From now on I will remember the importance of my friends and family before the necessity of winning a game that is meant to be fun before I run-a-muck and make an asshole out of myself.
Paul – as I mentioned before – you did not do anything wrong and should not alter your methods for deck construction, decks you play with when you play with this group of people or feel bad for opening the can of whoop-ass that you can do on us. This just means the rest of us need to step up our game if it means that much to us to be competitive and above all remember that this is just a fucking game and is secondary to maintaining friendships and enjoying a few hours away from reality.
More to come…