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The Road to Tourneyland: Aug MML Report
By Mark Ortego
The Road to Tourneyland: The August Report for the MML
By Mark Ortego
August 13, 2007

This report is about the Multiplayer Magic League (MML), a Magic: The Gathering league that’s a multiplayer, year-long, point-based, non-sanctioned event that occurs during the GASP Game Days. GASP stands for Gaming Assoc. of Southwestern Pennsylvania and meets for an official Game-Day on the second Saturday of each month you can get more information at www.gaspgamer.com

The league has basically four rules: No use of “ante” cards, no proxy cards, no use of the Vanguard character cards and no silver-bordered cards. All normal deck building rules apply i.e. four of any one copy of a card except basic lands etc… & yes that means if you have four copies of Black Lotus, you’re allowed to use all four of them! We also have an automatic Howling Mine effect that kicks-in on turn seven but it's a "may" not a "have to" kind of thing.

We have a point-system that basically goes like this: you receive 1 “Kill Point” for each other player you eliminate from the game, you receive “Placement Points” based on when you were eliminated from the game i.e. if you’re the first person eliminated you receive 1 “Placement Point”, if you’re the second to be eliminated you receive 2 “Placement Points”, and so on… If you win the Game you receive an additional 1 point called a “Victory Point”.

In years past the league went on all 12 months and made for some exciting finishes come October to December however this year we sliced the league up into two sections, The Spring League (Feb. – Mar. – Apr. – May) and The Fall League (Aug. – Sep. – Oct. – Dec.). You’ll notice that January, June, & July are missing and we called those our “Recruiting” games where we played using the MML rules but did not record any points so as not to scare anyone off such as new comers and/or returning players. The November game was not included because that’s when GASP has its annual GASPcon. A two-day event where a ton of other games are played and most of our MML members are usually hooked playing in those games and feel penalized if forced to have to choose between those games and Magic.

How’s it working out so far? Eh, so-so. At the conclusion of the December game we have our yearly meeting where we make suggestions and comments about what has worked and what has not during the year. We have a lot of issues to work out due to our poor attendance with an average of 3.5 players per game since January. The MML rules state that in order for the game to officially count there must be at least three players and several times some folks who haven’t played in many years were asked (more like begged/bribed) to fill in a third spot just so the game could be recorded.

Anyway, that’s another article some other time.

I said all of that to prepare you for this: we had 9 players for Game 1 of the MML Fall League

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now for the report!

What a spectrum of players we had for this game, here’s their name (of course I never use real names just nicknames that may give you a glimpse as to how I view them):

~Player 1 (NecroKnight) – Our esteemed league chairperson for this year whose nickname really should be, “I can’t play a game of Magic with Killer Joe unless I constantly pick on him even if it means I leave myself totally exposed and get eliminated first”. Dang, maybe I ought to trim that nickname down a bit. “Killer Joe Hater”, there, that works. He’s playing a deck that can only be described as Big Red Burn, why? Because it was over a 100 cards big and had sleeves, it was mono-red w/ a splash of artifacts, and hasted creatures and burn spells.

~Player 2 (Dwang!) – This is NecroKnight’s side-kick and ride home, that’ll mean something later on….anyway, he’s playing Blue/Black creature control.

~Player 3 (Lady B) – That’s right, a woman. She’s playing…she’s playing a deck that has……I think she was playing the colors of……shoot, I really ought to write crap down more often.

~Player 4 (The Professor) – Why do I call him that? I don’t know I just do. He’s playing white/green.

~Player 5 (Dwayne) – He reminded me of Duane from the NBC sitcom “The Office” but in looks only not personality. This guy was kind of quiet and had a lot of skills and was playing a white/black weenie deck with Armageddon effects.

~Player 6 (AzureKnight) – This guy exudes the essence of a “Casual” magic player, he plays with older cards, is a fantastic player and has sportsmanship more than most folks I’ve seen. However, I can’t remember what he was playing except that he had Mishra’s Factory and was light on creatures. Maybe I saw white.

~Player 7 (Knight of Frost) – This guy is a classic magic player from way back and is usually indulged in playing D & D at GASP Game Days but not today, he’s playing a Black/White deck with cards like Akroma’s Angel and fat black flyers.

~Player 8 (Killer Joe/me) – I have worked on my deck for just over a year now and it’s called B/G/W Triad Control and has it’s roots from The Rock. Over the past year I have changed it around and I basically try to gain a lot of life early via Syphon Soul and Loxodon Hierarch and then slap down Kokusho and sac it to Miren, the Moaning Well or kill it with Wrath's or Vindicates and bring it back with Eternal Witness, Genesis or Volrath’s Stronghold. I use four copies of Demonic Tutor to get the pieces I need to take everyone down quick. Some of the regular players know it’s important to work together to get me out of the game before my deck sinks its teeth into everyone. They have to do a lot of politic-ing with each other to do this and that’s not so easy to do with many players. Also, they have to use propaganda to recruit new comers into thinking I’m the biggest threat on the table and NecroKnight is very generous with the propaganda against me, LOL!

~Player 9 (“The Goblin King”) – This guy has been around the MML and before that with The Rogue League when he was like in 8th grade. Now he’s back and older and not as sleepy today as he usually is. He was playing, get this, a creature-less GOBLIN deck. How cool is that? He has a bunch of goblin token spells with burn spell like Goblin Grenade and others.

We get started around 12:30 and it is HOT!!!! Not just the weather but the ensuing game as well. On the opening two rounds NecroKnight hits me with that 3/1 red guy that has haste and is sac’d at the end of the turn for 1 red and then hits me with a Lightning Bolt. I’m at 14 by turn three. JEEZSH!

Well, he was land screwed and I was with Vindicate and I hated to use it but I could tell that I was the only other player in the game besides him and that this game was a duel not a multiplayer game. So, I destroy his Mountain and tell him he’s got no right to complain. That move proved to be his bane because he didn’t play another land for many turns.

Nobody else wanted some burn from him and they killed him off first at 1:21 p.m.
The last blow belonged to The Goblin King who bolted him for his last three life. NecroKnight is awarded 1 Placement Point and The Goblin King is awarded 1 Kill Point.

Whew! The pressure is off just a little from me now.

Che-yeah, RIGHT!

There were so many things going on I can’t remember them all so I’ll just give you the kill scenes and their time, sorry.

Next to go was The Goblin King himself who was posing a threat to all with his BURN spells. Previously The Professor had plopped down a Hunted Wumpus, a big NO-NO in multiplayer games, and Knight of Frost plopped down his Akroma’s Angel. So he attacked the Goblin King. The King is awarded 2 Placement Points and Frosty gets 1 Kill Point at 1:31 pm

Okay, that Akroma was some big nasty for all of us and I had to do something about it. Earlier in the game I had played several Syphon Souls and so did Dwang! And due to other skirmishes between the factions Frosty was down to four life and so I took him down with a 4 point Death Grasp to his head. Frosty gets 3 Placement Points and I get 1 Kill Point.

Here’s all of what I said in Brief so far:

NecroKnight is killed by The Goblin King
The Goblin King is killed by Knight of Frost
The Knight of Frost is killed by me

Do you see the pattern here?

Yup, that's right, I get killed next,…..by The Professor with his little Hunted Wumpus!!!!!!

Oh, how did I get so low in life? Everybody was “picking” on me, that’s how. At one point I was at 57 life then they all sang Kum-By-Ya with each other and smashed me to bits. I get 4 Placement Points and The Professor gets 1 Kill Point. This all happened at 1:51 pm

As the un-official scribe for the game I stayed for the whole time.

So to continue with the kill pattern The Professor was the next to go by way of Dwayne’s Serra Angel. The Professor is awarded 5 Placement Points and Dwayne is awarded 1 Kill Point at 1:55 pm

AzureKnight has been hanging on for dear life for what seemed like an eternity at 2 life. Finally Dwang! Swings with his puny walking Syphon Soul called Urborg Syphon Mage and eliminates AzureKnight therefore breaking the Death-Kill pattern the game had set earlier. Dwang! Is awarded 1 Kill Point and AzureKnight is awarded 6 Placement Points at 2:07 pm

20 minutes later Dwang! Pulls out a real Syphon Soul and that put the very new and quiet Lady B out of the game. She’s awarded 7 Placement Points and Dwang! gets his second Kill Point for the game. This all happened around 2:30 pm

It’s now a duel between Dwayne and Dwang! and Dwayne plays Desolation Angel. Well, he might have played it earlier I can’t remember but it was close to the end and made it a reset for all. However, Dwang! responds to the angel’s triggered effect after it goes to the stack and before it resolves, He kills the angel but I can’t remember how but the angel goes away and so does Dwayne’s chances of winning the whole she-bang.

I don’t remember what time the game ended but I missed the fantastic end. But I think it was a weenie attack by Dwang!s Syphon Mages and kills off Dwayne at like 3:00 pm or so. Dwang is awarded his third Kill Point, 1 Victory point and 9 Placement Points while Dwayne receives 8 Placement Points.

The point results:
1st Place – Dwang! (9 PP + 3 KP + 1 VP = 13 Game Points)
2nd Place – Dwayne (8 PP + 1 KP = 9 Game Points)
3rd Place – Lady B (7 PP = 7 Game Points)
4th Place tie – AzureKnight (6 PP = 6 Game Points)
4th Place tie – The Professor (5 PP + 1 KP = 6 Game Points)
5th Place – Killer Joe (4 PP + 1 KP = 5 Game Points)
6th Place – Knight of Frost (3 PP + 1 KP = 4 Game Points)
7th Place – The Goblin King (1 PP + 1 KP = 2 Game Points)
8th Place – NecroKnight (1 PP = 1 Game Point)

I can’t complain, it was a good game and played mostly without malice except that it’s no fun when you’re a target and then expect no retaliation. Those who play with fire get burned quickly.

I thought the color wheel was fairly represented but a tad light on blue and big time heavy on black & white and it’s just because in multiplayer games those colors either separate or combined make for some Killer Decks.

I’ll be attending next month’s game or Game #2 for the MML Fall Season so until then, maybe I’ll see you somewhere on that long and dusty road…to Tourneyland.

***Fade in David Lee Roth’s cover of Happy Trails***

Read More Articles by Mark Ortego!

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