Monday, August 13, 2012

It's the Magic: Is it Monday Already

Whoops. I was working on this for a video, but Monday definitely snuck up on me this week. Enjoy. It's long and full of irony.

This place is packed and there are like, two seats free. One's by a bunch of kids and I'm like, "fuck that." So I go over to the other table and I ask that guy if he wants to play and he says, "No. I can't, I'm just sleeving this guy's cards." And sure e-fucking –nough he's just sleeving this other guy's deck, and all I can think of is "who does that?" "Ah, geez guys sometimes Monday's blue, or ahm, maybe Tuesday and Wednesday are grey,  and I don't give a shit about Thursday, but come Friday, my fin de semana comienzos with going to motherfucking Dragon's Lair to sleeve someone else's deck, something that anyone could have done at any point during the previous week and does not require that I leave his house.  Because I am a people person!"

So I sit at the kid's table and I play this guy with Strategema—

/Which one is that?/

White blue deck with Venser and Karn. It's built to stay alive until it restarts the game and then stay alive until I restarts the game and then stay alive...

/I get it/

So, I go up to a guy and we play. I asked his name twice. I forgot twice. I could not bring myself to care. His name was Kevin, or Kyle, or K-Pax. Some shit. We're playing and at one point, he's got two indestructible oozes and a pair of two-one deathtouch, flash asps in play and I play Divine Reckoning. Everyone chooses a dude they control and the rest die. I didn't have any dudes, so I considered myself ahead of the curve. He chooses—he fucking chooses so help me god, Terry—an indestructible ooze. I had to stop him. I had to say, "No. Stop it. I thought we could handle this quietly and with a bit of dignity, but I'm paying 2 and two white to kill a single asp. You choose the other one. You oozes will be fine. I'm just casting a fat, slow doom blade here." So he's a nice guy and he's sitting on front of me I squeak out a victory at 2 life from under two [Predator Oozes] and the spell with flashback that lets him get all his dudes in his graveyard back into his hand.

So he's here *motions in front of me* his friend, a slightly younger and less-attractive Jack Harkness is there *forward and right* wearing this douchey shirt with studded shoulder loops, and this fucking kid, this fucking kid, fucking braces everything is sitting directly to my left.   And some asshole some fucking asshole—the same asshole who always suggests it when I'm in a group of four or more Magic players—says "anyone wanna play two headed giant? I barely know the rules to Magic and I literally only know the first three things about Two-Headed Giant:
It's called Two-Headed Giant
It requires four players
If Kris seems slightly happy, you have to suggest it"

For my part, I'm "Jesus Christ. Okay, fuck it. I came here to play Magic. Whatever. Let's do it." So I pull out Royal Rush, it's my red blue goblin/BattleCry deck. It's an entertaining deck. If you're asleep, it'll kill you. If you have any early-game defenses, you...will...just murder it. It's a deck that makes. Things. Happen.

So I shuffle it up. I pile shuffle it. I regular shuffle it I cut it. I look at these other dicks and they're talking about trades. They're going through each other's decks. They're pulling out their motherfucking folders. It's unbelievable. What are you people talking about? I wouldn't leave my house to hear you people talk to each other. I wouldn't click on a link on the internet to hear you people speak. I don't want care about your bullshit in general, but I'm inimical to it whenever I'm waiting on you to play a game of Magic that you suggested to me. I'm not gettin' any at home! I need you whores to get in line so I can get my Magic rocks off here.

So I'm waiting there, and I'm like "fuck this. I'm going to pull out Strategema. They've earned it now. I don't know if it'll do well in multiplayer, but if it does. I will four-player Karn us until everyone fucking ragequits." So, eventually, I say something passive-aggressive and snippy and they tighten up and we begin shuffling.

So we play. Guy across from me is slinging Red/Black/White Vampires. Nighthawk, Sorin, the guy who poops vampires."

/Sorin poops vampires/

So does this other dude. He poops more different vampires. Bloodlineage guy or something. I—wait, I remember now "Exile Me Please Vampire." That's his name. The guy to his right, whose name I never learned or cared to—we'll call him "Jack"—was running white lifegain with the faithmender guy that doubles your lifegainy things. And he loves his deck. He's telling everyone about how he's played that game where he's taken 40 damage per turn and didn't even care because it's so good at taking damage. Of course, he goes into this whenever he's winning. He became mysteriously quiet once things swapped around.

My teammate was playing...something. I never cared. There were vampires and soulbond and exalted guys. I think his name was "No meatshield! Stick to the plan, Meatshield! Defend Karn, meatshield!"
And I had to remind him that he couldn't soulbond with my guy.

At one point, I had to point out to him that his doublestrike guy versus an enemy first strike deathtouch guy wouldn't survive. He's like "but my doublestrike deals double—" "No. You deal lethal damage to him. The deathtouch guy deals damage to you. Then...everyone dies. Fuck you. Graveyard." *Throws hands up.* Fuck you

So, we're losing and we get down to, like 11 life to 51. And I play Karn and I start Karning chumps like a Mofo. He's no Bolas, but he gets around to it; he's decimating their hands,  destroying their dudes, burninating all the villages. They keep trying to kill him. At one point Karn's at five and K-Pax topdecks the red miracle that burns for five and he's like "Yeah, Ka-Karn!" and I'm like "Yeah! Ka-Faith's Shield." At one point, Jack was looking through my graveyard, and he's like, "You only have two negates? It feels like more," and I'm just like "I have Faith's Shields in there. They feel pretty similar."

And I have to explain how I can use Karn's ability to exile cards from target player's hand, even when that player doesn't have any cards in their hand. they're like "But I don't have any cards." And i'm like "I'm not targeting your cards; I'm targeting you. Just exile whatever you got in there." "I don't have anything." Then everyone's happy. Especially me and especially Karn and especially Karn's four new counters." Augh! But they fought me on it until I brought up Mind Rot and then we could all finally get on with our lives.

So the game continues. I've got Karn and Venser out. The tide is turned. Slowly, inexorably. Too slowly for them to have noticed because they're still giving me advice. Jack's like "You know what would work great with that? Proliferate." and I simply—there's no reaction to someone being that...non-formative except the most obvious sarcasm of which I'm capable. "Oh, really? Proliferate, which puts counters on things, being good with planeswalkers, who are powered by counters? Good?" I mean, I hurt some part of my brain saying that. Somewhere, Chandler Bing and Rafael stopped their sweaty, passionate sarcastic babymaking, looked up into the heavens and just smiled at the new star of sarcasm that was born with that sentence.

*makes the motion* right over his head. Doesn't even flinch. I don't know if he was just that incapable of detecting human intonation or if he was the next step in troll evolution and just doubled down on "saying obvious shit to piss off people."  And he's like "Yeah, totally, it lets you-" and he starts explaining it—wrongly of course—and my only response now—I'm not even angry anymore; I'm curious. So I say, "If only there was a way to kill you aside from taking away your life. That would be something because you have so much life." Then he said, "Yeah, you can" and he goes into poison, which he explained accurately and you might count that to his credit, but poison is too simple to fuck up. And I'm stunned. My cards are from Scars of Mirrodin. Did he think I was in a coma? Was he constructing a narrative where I built my deck in a fugue state?

I love nerds because they play Magic with me Terry, but I hate nerds because they assume that both everyone around them doesn't know their stupid niche bullshit and that those same people want to know all of it.

/Fully aware of the irony?/

Fully aware! So I say, "What would really work with that is if you could pay 2 life instead of 1 mana of any color for some spells and abilities." And they can't even tell. It's not synergystic. It's telegraphing an exact mechanic that exists in scars of mirrodin. If they thought for one second I was capable of inventing block mechanics identical to those made by the magic guys, they should've been kneeling to me as a prophet of Magic The Gathering, not explaining to me. And I mean "they" because as soon as I start talking about Phyrexian mana, fucking K-Pax jumps in, as if the idea I just presented in its totality needed to be explained to me in stereo by douchebags.  There isn't--there's no concept on earth that two morons can explain better than one moron. That should be the definition of moron; when your expression of knowledge simply isn't additive with that of others. Regular people can pool their intelligence. Morons can only pool stupid.

The guy on my left is getting into it too and he's a fucking kid, so he's just adding to the pile of stupid. And they don't even know the name of the set it comes out in. Don't get me wrong; if you play magic, I don't expect you to give a damn about the names or the cards. I assume you're a mentally deficient person who uses Fridays to engender a false sense of accomplishment and worth by finding decks on the internet, buying them with money, and trying to beat beat teenagers at a card game on Friday Nights. I don't expect much. But motherfucker, if you're going to try to condescend to me, you better know that the fuck is going on. There are six fucking sets in standard at any one time. Max.

/plus core sets/

Fuck core sets. Six. It's New Phyrexia. Phyrexian Mana is from New Phyrexia and they don't even---it doesn't register. They just keep telling me about this set. It's unbelievable. I realized that they were just waiting for social cues to demonstrate knowledge. I'm trying to have a conversation with you—I'm not even trying to have a conversation with you—I'm-I'm trying to fucking kill you so I can get to the point where I can stop interacting with you on some level.

This whole time though, I have a viral drake in my deck. He has infect—he gives poison counters. He has three and a blue: proliferate. So I'm alluding to these things the whole time. I'm like, "Man, I wish I knew about these abilites and that there was a card with them in my fucking deck. " I tap my fucking deck, I'm like, "I wish it was in there. I wish I had a card that let me do that cool thing you just informed me of as many times a turn as I could pay for." And I only have one Viral Drake. Only one. And I'm tapping my deck like it's a fucking magic trick and the Drake Will be on top and like so many other things, if it doesn't happen, no one cares. Oh buddy, but if it does, it'll be awesome.

Next fucking turn, I draw it. I'm like "Fuck, we're doing this. " Other shit happens. I swing with him. Other shit happens. They're like "cards!" I'm like "blue cards!". Finally, they were at seven poison. During our upkeep, I just point to my three rows of four mana each and they start packing "No meatshield! Stick to the planmeatshield! Protect Karn, meatshield!" is trying to attack with his vampires and double strike dudes, and I'm all "it's over.  We don't even draw cards, buddy. All will be one."

I just wanted to restart the game. This guy was faffing about with vampires. There weren't enough vampire tokens printed by wizards of the coast to bring down the life total these guys had. Regular tactics had failed us. That's why god made Viral Drakes. But I should have just ticked Karn up to 14, waited for them to go around and just been like *makes arc with arm* Fuuuuuuuck you. We're doing it again. We're doing it again, except I'll start with two Rhox Faithmenders and guy who poops vampires. K-Pax played a vampire pooper and he's like, "I can't give meatshields any more vampire counters because I need them now."

*shrugs* "okay. Karn. Give him the counters. Fucking....why are you people talking so much? Karn."

But despite them being douches, I did—just by playing so long—bond with them and see them as real human beings, I couldn't.

/Stockholm syndrome/

Yeah. So that was over and I watched the first three turns of an EDH game, which are not the three most interesting turns of an EDH game, until my teammate asked if I wanted to play a game. So I played my green deck, which is not my best deck. It's a bad deck. It's terrible. And he's got these zero-two exalted guys that regenrate and I'm like "Oh, drudge skeletons. Whatever." And he's like "swinging for two on turn two" and I'm like "what?" He's says "they've got exalted" and it hits me. I am like "those are pretty good drudge skeletons." He beat me pretty quickly, and I played Royal Rush twice, which did not go well for me either. He was playing guys with first strike, and first strike trumps goblins.

/every time/

So I said, "Fuck this, I'm playing stratagema. Not because he was winning, because he was a being a bit of a jerk.

Y'know, however I need to justify it. And we play, and he's working, but he's having a hard time with it. So I—and stop me if you've heard this one before—play my Rhox, the one that keeps people from attacking me, on turn four and play Venser and bounce him on turn five. He plays Oblivion Ring and targets Venser and I am tapped out.  And he's like, "Guess Oblivion Ring is better than Venser." *pause*

You motherfucker.

Fast forward three turns. Phyrexian Ingestor has exiled the female who as pooping out one-one soldiers. Karn just hit the board and exiled his Oblivion Ring, so Venser's back, so the Rhino's back. And it's Wait-O'Clock. Viral Drake. I don't even swing with him; I just Proliferate. Two turns later, I get Venser's emblem and I'm like "There you go. Not bouncing the Rhino. On your next turn, you can come at me bro."

/Wait, what does Venser's Emblem do?/

He didn't know either. He's like "A planeswalker's ultimate. Okay. Cool. Whatever...what does it do?"

"Oh, every time I cast a spell, I can exile a permanent....casting Snapcaster Mage to give my Ponder flashback.*points to a guy* Casting that ponder *points to a guy and mimics pondering and drawing* "Casting ponder" *points to a guy*

He scooped before I could flashback after casting for the first time Lingering Souls.

Then my last game was against a very nice guy named Pedro. He kicked my ass with a Sun Titan, and he was...rather polite about it. I had a nice time.

/You make it sound like a date./

It almost was. We were playing and he played this angel and he *makes the motion* shoves it in my face and he's like "look: titties" and I'm like "Yeah, I have the internet. We playin'?" I mean, why you gotta stop the game to highlight that his angel has boobs? Get the internet. Spend 5 minutes looking around on there. Jesus. It's not novel. The only people who care are straight guys who've never seen them before. Fucking hell, get over it.

/Sounds like you had fun./

Yeah, it was great.

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