Thursday, October 25, 2012

Really "Letting them Play"

I find the idea of a group-hug deck pretty uninteresting. The decks are so predictable that they can’t really be that fun - here’s my howling mine, here’s my arbiter of knollridge, here’s my prosperity... blah blah blah where is this going?

I’ve tried two previous twists on the “group hug” to make it more fun. Tresserhorn’s draw-fest basically played the general for the colours, and forced mass draw with cards like phyrexian tyranny and spiteful visions to make it a painful hug. The other was zedruu with a similar angle, playing out and donating stuff like ankh of mishra and spellshock.  

The tresserhorn deck was a fail for two reasons. First, giving everyone lots of cards creates a slow game where people have too many decisions and too many answers, and card advantage becomes meaningless. Second, if my plan was successful, everybody died but it wasn’t really very fun seeing them kill themselves off of a forced fruition + phyrexian tyranny. 

The zedruu deck was a fail mainly because of how fragile and mana hungry zedruu is, and how lousy the white-red-blue colour shard is in general. 

But the other day as I flipped through cards at the comic book shop looking for a copy of grand melee to add to my collection, I ran across this:

How wonderfully horrible. I briefly ran Iwamori of the Open Fist in my Stonebrow deck, although I don’t think I ever got to cast him to see whether someone would plop an akroma or karrthus into play. The wurm is iwamori on steroids.

The obvious play for the wurm is green/black discard or green/white wrath, or some combination therein in say a teneb the harvester deck. While tricking people into playing their huge guys and then casting final judgement is a little funny, I think its even funnier to just let them play their huge guys. “Let them play” is afterall, a key tenet of properly played EDH.

The little wurm that could has inspired a new sort of group-hug-all-hell-breaking-loose intet the dreamer deck for me. The one thing I won’t do is give people extra cards, as I feel that slows and ruins the game. But I’m all for seeing the giant monsters hit the table on turn 2 and watching the sparks fly! Maybe I’ll even live the dream someday and play t2 wurm and t3 puppets verdict nailing all the fatties.

Macaroni or Cheese
It depends a bit on how you play him, but in a properly designed deck that isn’t draw-heavy, cards like the wurm and hypergenesis or blue braids can all be awesome game accelerators. A nice dish of ravioli.

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