Sunday, 24 January 2010

Silly combo in MTG

As mentioned in a previous post, I have started to play Magic The Gathering (MTG) - a game where you collect cards to essentially emulate a rock / paper / scissors game. If you've never played this game before, and have never heard about it, think of it like a game of chess where you put together the pieces on your side. You construct a deck of cards, and take turns attempting to eliminate your opponent. No deck is perfect - every deck can be beaten with another deck. Luck has a small component in the game - how well (or poorly) you shuffle your deck before the game and what you draw as your initial hand can determine the outcome. Games can last between 5 minutes to about 40 minutes (depending on which player is in control and what strategy is being played). Certain cards do certain things, and certain cards also trigger combos that allow for other things to happen. There are a basic set of rules as to how to play, but the "golden rule" of the game is that if a card allows you the break the rules of the game, then the card take precedence.

If you would like to watch some videos as to how the game works, youtube has a few tutorial videos for MTG. If you would like to play, to see how the game feels, you can download a java version of the physical card game from the mtgrares blog and play it on your computer. The guy running the blog is documenting his experiences writing the program for the computer game. It's still a work in progress, but still very playable.

As I'm always interested in interesting combinations in cards, I've had a look at my own collection and noticed this set:
5 card funny combo
To play it, you would do the following:
1. In your first turn, put out an Island.
2a. In your second turn, put out another Island. In that same turn, you also put out a Blacker Lotus.
2b. Now use the Blacker Lotus to generate 4 blue mana, and tap the islands for 2 more blue mana. This will give you 6 blue mana to use. I've used the word "use" in relation to how to utilise the Blacker Lotus. This is due to the fact that to use the card, you need to destroy it. I don't believe in ripping up limited cards, so I will usually substitute the card for another, and destroy that instead.
2c. With the 6 blue mana, use that to cast _____ and Now I Know My ABC's. You will now have 1 blue mana left over, where you can activate the ability on _____ - hence changing its name to ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. That's all the preparation you need to do. Now wait until the start of your next turn.
3. At the beginning of your upkeep stage of your next turn (ie. in the inital stages) you WIN the game - regardless of what life points you or your opponent have, and what else is in play.

Alternatives to playing this would be not getting the Blacker Lotus and having to pull out other mana sources to generate the 6 mana. Ways to combat this winning strategy is to slow down the production of mana (ie. get rid of Islands), destroy / counter the _____ creature, or remove the Now I know My ABC's enchantment.

Did I mention the game is simliar to rock / paper / scissors ?

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