Friday, February 25, 2011

It's the Magic: Stacked

This Week’s Best Thing Ever
I don't know if it was Warp bouncing a Terastodon and bouncing three 3/3 Elephant creature tokens to death...

Destroy 3 of your lands for 3/3 elephants. What could go wrong?

...Platoon's 21 to -11 takedown of Kor Avalance for KA's only loss of the bracket, Warp's opening hand of Island, Island, Swamp, Traumatize, Traumatize, Mind Funeral, Evacuation(and the subsequent win)...

/2/2-12-all your creatures

...Swing In's theft of a 6/6 Apocalypse Hydra to burn Land's defenders before swinging in before the now 4/4 Hydra struck back to clear the enemy board and win the game, Double Down's emergency dig for a Contagion Engine at 1 life which shut down Platoon and won DD the game, Warp's Fade Away versus a tapped out Swing In...

There should be a name for cards that are fun to play, but shit to play against.

...Swing In's perfect, merciless beat-down of Land with waves of 3/3 and 5/5 creatures for 4 mana or less...


...or the multiple Blitz Hellion wins.

Ball Lightning? That's so cute.

Of all the crazy shit that went down this week, I'm actually going to opt for the simple, rapid deployment of Wild Nacatls, Blastoderms, and Wild Leotaus that swung for the face as this week's best thing ever. It was pure Red/Green aggression that just doesn't happen enough in my book.

Huh, That’s Funny
So I've realized lately that a lot of people don't know about the stack and how it works. While I'm still in the midst of a Magic-buying ban, I'm putting some thought into making some decks that strongly rely on turn-based timing and the stack to teach players the intricacies of the stack. My objective is clear: teach players how the stack works and how the phases and steps work utilizing two identical decks. However, I'm torn on the best way to do this.Lightning Bolt/Giant Growth: A classic introduction that's the go-to example for how the stack works. They're both great spells to boot, so going red/green would be great.

Last one to resolve is a Chimney Imp.

I also like Unsummon and counterspells for this though. I'd be loathe to cut out Red or Green, but I also don't want to run Red, Green, and Blue. I might drop Green for Blue. Blue has abilities like Ninjitsu* and Flash, but Green has a bit of Flash, and seems to have more triggered abilities on creatures than Blue. Are the abilities of Blue good enough to drop Green?

Choosing between Ninja and green guys. You never had to do this in the 80's.

I'm also torn between pump creatures with abilities like firebreathing and creatures that sacrifice themselves to do stuff. On the one hand, repeatable abilities can teach a player a lot about timing and the best way to use those abilities, but on the other hand, creatures that sacrifice themselves to do things give a physical object to go on the stack to help illustrate the stack.

The magestic dragon or the sack of crap. Hamlet had it easy.

Tap down abilities speak about the attack phase and attack declaration. Some triggered attack abilities (like Battle Cry) would also be nice. Something like Battle-Rattle Shaman would also be cool. I'd like to avoid evasion abilities though; unblockable creatures don't use the stack that much or worry about combat phases. I'm kind of stuck for more ideas though.

Wait. This stupid. Goblins aren't educational.

*Not that I have any creatures with Ninjitsu left, but that's a whole other story.


Trentski said...

Nice article. But what are these names you mention?

VanVelding said...

They're deck names. Warp uses Warped Devotion with bounce spells to stall an opponent until it can mill them. Platoon tries to put out 1/1s with Sigil Captain. Swing In just plays straightforward beaters with support.

I don't like decklists, so I try to keep the names evocative.