Multiplayer Madness (Innistrad and Dark Ascension)
Multiplayer cards from the Innistrad block
Posted on: 2/17/2012 6:28 AM By shreds
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Magic can be played in a number of ways. Traditionally, we have the one-on-one Standard battle. Where players fling all their spells right at each other making sure one's resource is at an advantage level than the other and when its time for the finishing blow, BAM! In this battle, we see cards that got alot of tempo and speed. Games end quick and you will be punished if you made a mistep on your turn.
However in a menage a trois action or more, things are different. You get to have alot of interaction going, you can cast your fatties more often without pressure, more conversation and politics takes place, teamwork, and you want to be capable of dealing damage way above the usual 20! So everything you cast, counts.
Here I will be talking about the different strategies that arrised from the cards of Innistrad and Dark Ascension that are great for multiplayer games. I know the list is long, so I'll just compress it to the most notable cards from the set.
Increasing Devotion, Midnight Haunting, Lingering Souls, Keeper of Bloodline, Skirdag High Priest, heck even Doomed Traveler is a part of this fraternity. Tokens simply Rocks! And Innistrad is a home of "evasive" tokens that you can use to swoop in for small damage or chump block. And whats even better, they became even more effective with Intangible Virtue. Never will you fear attacking without leaving your board defenseless. It even pumps up your Germs! Didn't see a Mortarpod attacked now did ya?
I'll let myself sidetrack a little on what other ways to have fun with Intangible Virtue with the use of older cards.
Martial Coup - Your ever favorite token reseter.
Rise of the Hobgoblins - First Strike, Vigilance tokens? I'm in.
Bitterblossom - Aw hell no. Spitting out 2/2 flying, vigilance creature every turn? You Sir are evil.
Thopter Foundry - Artifacts too can generate deadly tokens. Sharding Sphinx and Pentavus are some examples.
Ant Queen - Nothing like ants in your pants.
Cenn's Enlistment - Ever pouring token when you have depleted your entire army.
Rite of Replication - Kicking it is so much better.
Mitotic Slime - Double, quadruple the mayhem.
Dovescape - My bird is bigger than yours.
Hour of Reckoning - I smell a creatureless token deck coming.
Garruk Wildspeaker - Yeah, I bet many have seen this miles away. Any Token generating planeswalker will do. Sorry Nissa, you don't work here.
All Undying creatures are great. The card that really stood out though is Vorapede. Delivering punishing 5 damage and yet gives you a solid defense. Notice that most undying cards are geared towards offense and not so on defence? Wotc made a clear decision here when they design Undying creatures, you want to attack with it and not block. Vorapede is both. Another card worth mentioning is Mikaeus, the dead. Lord of all but humans and as an added kick gives em undying. Combine with Lorwyn's Persist creatures you got yourself infinite lock, life, and damage. Think of it as the Archenemy, summoning his kill-all spell as he goes berzerk on his Fateful Hour.
Neverming seeing your humans transform to werewolves because that will never happen. Other transform cards however can work: Delver of Secrets, Ludevic's Test Subject and Daybreak Ranger.
This deck can really work in a multiplayer environment. It has a good balance of fatties (Ghoultree, Splinterfright, Boneyard Wurm) and smallies (Screeching Skaab, Stitched Drake, Deranged Assistant), lets you gain back your life (Gnaw to the Bone), creates multiple tokens (Spider Spawning, Kessig Cagebreakers) and can alternately win you the game (Lab Maniac).
Have you Cursed an Archenemy with a Cursed of Stalked Prey and let your companions come swinging with their best weenies? Or Curse of Echoes and let him cast his Think Twice then all of your companions including you gets a card as well? The feeling is simply awesome. Cursing a player not only brings him down but also gives bonus to all other players. You are the perfect Witch Doctor equivalent from the Diablo game. In other multiplayer modes though, this strategy doesn't work well unless you want to specifically annoy someone.
I'm not sure how to go about this. Sure you get an additional value out your spells by casting it twice but it doesn't have that lasting power to... last in a multiplayer game. Even Burning Vengeance can't deal enough damage to kill all the players and the creatures they command and you are pretty open from their attacks. Unless of course you have one target and I guess Archenemy game is a way to go. Snapcaster Mage is an exception. He has alot of flexibility and utility.. Imagine, you have to power to cast any spell in Magic history twice! Mind Funeral, Cruel Ultimatum, Pact of Negation, Time Stop, Swords to Plowshares, Extirpate, and Brain Freeze comes to mind.
Grimoire of the Dead - Liliana Vess' Ultimate in the shape of an artifact!
Invisible Stalker, Geist of Saint Traft, Drogskull Captain - Just any hexproof, evasive guys are a pain to deal it. You can simply drop one while reserving your other resources until somebody drops a DoJ.
Olivia Voldaren - She can Machine gun any threat, anytime. She can even gain control any of the board's most enticing creature.
Blasphemous Act - Red's best reset for multiplayer games evar.
Elbrus, the Binding - Proof that Wotc really do care for the multiplayer gamers.