CCGaDay Day 15: Favorite Convention Game

(again, having to cheat a bit on the term "convention" because I just don't get out much)

My favorite game in a large setting is probably a multiplayer game of Magic from my university days, because I won with a deck full of terrible commons.

I never really bought a lot of Magic cards, but in the student lounge next to the University Gamer's Association (or whatever the gamer club was called), Magic was the de facto game. So, I naturally ended up getting "donated" various lands and commons as folks tried to get me hooked. (Weirdly, Magic is a game I own a fair bit of, but it's almost entirely precon theme decks and Un-sets, so they succeeded and failed at the same time).

Anyway, while digging through commons, I discovered something that was weird to me - while Magic enforces a four-of rule for card copies, they subverted it in the early days by reprinting the same functional cards with different titles. For instance, Samite Healer is a staple creature that can prevent damage. You can four of them in your 60 card deck. But you can also have four copies of Clergy en-Vec, which has the same casting cost, same power and toughness, and same ability. The only difference is the card title and the art. And then you can add four copies of Femeref Healer, which is just another re-skin of the original Samite Healer, bringing my two-cost healer count to 12 copies of the same guy.

Meanwhile, you could do the same thing with versions of Prodigal Sorceror and it's "tap to do one damage" ability. There were fewer direct copies, but you could get three or four versions of that power as well.

So, my multi-player deck is a white-blue pile of Tims and Healers (12-16 of each), plus some general counterspells and removal. It's a completely terrible head-to-head deck, and not much better in multiplayer (because I can't afford any of the splashy power cards). Which also means that in a five or six player game, no-one really worries about me. I've got a bunch of 1/1 creatures, after all.

Game starts, I start slowly spooling out my guys. Make some friends by healing their guys (or pinging other guys) to keep things roughly even (although I do pick on the folks with mass removal). Every turn, another little dude. Once I have five lands, sometimes two dudes.

People start getting nervous when they realize that with four Sorcerors, I can do enough damage to kill large creatures (I think I shot a Serra Angel out of the air). So some attacks come my way, but I can let it through and just prevent the damage with the Healers. And since the Sorcerers can also directly zap players, folks realize a bit too late that I can kill off weak players with direct damage. But no-one really wants to commit to killing me, since they'd get stomped by the rest of the table. So I keep everyone else roughly equal as life totals drop (so no-one is brave enough to commit to an attack on me), and eventually win by firing off six-Sorceror salutes and people's heads.

And there was general shock that the crappy "Tims and Healers" deck won a game. :)

Somewhere in my gaming closet, I'm sure I still have that deck - but I haven't seen it in years. Some days I suspect my friends disappeared it for the good of all...

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