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The Road to Tourneyland: Chaos Multiplayer
By Mark Ortego
May 31, 2005
The Road to Tourneyland: Chaos Multiplayer at Blue Star Games
By Mark Ortego

This week at Blue Star Games was “Chaos Multiplayer”, we use similar rules for it as we do for GASP’s Multiplayer Magic League; start at 30 life, turn 7 “Serum Visions” effect but instead of a recorded point system, the last player standing wins the entire registration fee ($2 per person) in store credit.

At our very first scheduled event back on April 29th we had Chaos Multiplayer and there were 9 participants (“The Road to Tourneyland: Legendary”). Since then we have had a less than optimal amount of folks wanting to come for the other scheduled events like; Draft (6) and Peasant Magic (5). So with the seemingly dwindling numbers I figured this Chaos Multiplayer would net a low turnout.

Twelve! 12 participants showed up to play. I couldn’t believe it. The prize was $24 in store credit, amazing. What was even more amazing was the “Battle” we had in-store for us.

We had a very dynamic range of characters participating starting off with “Mr. Legendary” himself; Kurtis, his sidekick Skater-Mike, Blaec & Alex from the first game, two brothers Tim-Tim & Jeryme (yes, that’s how he spells it), “Double-D”, a couple of newcomers; Alex with the Sombrero, “Timewalk Andy”, and Grant (Alex & Blaec’s friend), and GASP’s very own Jim Zombie aka “Greylensman” and of course yours truly, me.

Seats were rolled for, mulligans resolved, decks cut; we were ready to start by 6:15. Not bad considering that we’re usually very late to start most of our events. The following is how we were seated and a brief description of the decks (most of which are “ROGUE”):

Player 1 – Jeryme playing Big Green (unfocused)
Player 2 – Me playing my signature deck RGW “Seinfeld” (deck list at end)
Player 3 – Blaec playing a more focused Elves deck.
Player 4 – Kurtis playing a Panoptic-Mycosynth-Abunas deck????
Player 5 – Skater-Mike playing HIS signature deck; Elves (very focused)
Player 6 – Alex w/Sombrero playing a Pestilence deck (Extremely focused)
Player 7 – Jim playing his Zombie deck (a little Fat these days at 120 cards)
Player 8 – Grant playing Double-D’s White Weenie Samauri deck (sort of focused)
Player 9 – Alex Heart playing Blue something?????
Player 10 – Timewalk Andy playing a modified Rec-Sur deck.
Player 11 – Double-D playing this Infinite-Life artifact deck.
Player 12 – Tim-Tim playing a Blue Black deck.

Once again I have somehow managed to record the entire game (almost) on a spread sheet I developed for the MML. I record the time each turn starts and the life totals. What I really need is more room for tiny reminder comments about the game but I guess that’ll be on my list of things to do for the summer. This is going to be ugly.

Turn 1 – 6:15
Jim manages to get out a Sol Ring and plays Howling Mine. Andy plays a turn 1 Obstinate Familiar? Tim-Tim Unsummons it? I wasn’t paying attention and why should I it’s not like turns 1, 2 or 3 ever have anything exciting happen. But this game was going to be different.

Turn 2 – Time unrecorded.
Alex Sombrero plops down a Howling Mine making it the second one in play. Andy plays a Recurring Nightmare. Hmmm, he’s one to keep an eye on.

Turn 3 – Time unrecorded.
Even with the two Howling Mines in play Kurtis is clearly upset with his draws and must not be drawing his combo cards quickly enough. Double-D plays a Fastbond and plays an extra land and dinks himself for one.

Turn 4 – 6:45
I play Powerstone Minefield and the table groans. Jeryme had played a Snarling Mass and attacked Jim for three and targeted Grant with a Stormseeker for 7. Andy plays Vampiric Tutor and is down two points, Double-D plays an extra land and is down to 28 and Tim-Tim sends his Urborg Drake towards Alex Heart who took 2 damage and the Drake survives the Minefield because it’s a 2/3 but HAS to attack each turn.

Turn 5 – 7:03
I played another Powerstone Minefield and basically halt any kind of plan for creature attacks. Jim had played Grave Pact and we all took one point when he sac’d a creature to it. When it’s Grants turn he plays Armageddon, Double-D has a Zuran Orb in play and sacs his land for a life gain of 16. The rest of us mentally paint a target on Grant’s head. This one move did him in. Earlier Skater-Mike had tapped his Wellwisher and with 12 Elves on the board his life jumps up.

Turn 6 – 7:19
Skater-Mike has the Elf Avatar Heedless One in play since the last turn and there are 12 Elves in play and before he attacks he ramps up the avatar with Wirewood Pride (+X/+X for each elf in play) so now it’s a 24/24 with trample. He’s poised to attack, but who? No strategy here, he simply rolls a die and it’s a 3, so he attacks Grant. Hmmm, attacking Grant IS the right thing to do but is done for the wrong reason. In fact, some players point out to Mike that Grant has Worship in play and he STILL is going to attack Grant. Okay, Grant is at 1. Then Mike taps the Wellwisher and gains 12 life to make him at 53.

Life totals at the end of turn 6:
~29 Jeryme
~29 Me
~29 Blaec
~20 Kurtis (I think Jeryme keeps attacking Kurtis)
~53 Skater-Mike
~29 Alex
~26 Jim
~1 Grant
~27 Alex Heart
~27 Timewalk Andy
~43 Double-D
~29 Tim-Tim

Turn 7 – 7:44 (The Serum Visions Effect kicks-in)
We had to talk through the Serum Visions Effect to the folks who weren’t familiar with it, but things didn’t get real interesting until Alex Sombrero’s turn. Up to this point Kurtis & Double-D had been slowly putting together pieces of their combos and though Double-D didn’t look so threatening, Kurtis certainly did, especially with his sidekick Skater-Mike murmuring about how Kurtis is one turn away from winning and with the Serum Visions Effect and TWO Howling Mines in play, I, along with the others, certainly believed this to be true.

Here’s some of what Kurtis already had in play:
~Mycosynth Lattice
~3 Talisman’s
~Swamp
~Gilded Lotus
~Sculpting Steel copying the Gilded Lotus
~Leonine Abunas
~Panoptic Mirror

Alex draws his four cards & plays an artifact for 4 colorless. I can’t make it out right away & the players to his right and left start laughing and then everyone starts buzzing about and I still can’t see what it was he played until I heard him say he was paying four more to activate the ability with his 2 Thran Dynamos and starts to rip the card! Yup, he was playing Chaos Confetti:

Chaos Confetti {4}
Artifact
{4}, Tap: Tear Chaos Confetti into pieces. Throw the pieces onto the playing area from a distance of at least five feet. Destroy each card in play that a piece touches. Remove the pieces from the game afterwards.

He targeted Kurtis first, nearly everything he had got hit except the Mirror and Abunas, tough break. Next was Jim and he didn’t really have anything much in play but his Feldon’s Cane, top card of his library (Death Cloud) and a Charcoal Diamond. With the pieces that were left Alex walked over to where Dave was sitting, pulled out his tape measure again and stood five feet away and bye-bye goes Dave’s Chrome Mox, Top Card of library (???), Zuran Orb and Urza’s Armor which was helping him not take damage from the Fastbond.

Wow. Chaos Confetti…. “Some Good”

Btw, I think Jim played a loss of life spell for 1 and out went Grant. Worship could not save him from loss of life.

Turn 8 – 8:21
Well, that pretty much left Kurtis in a highly visible slump and he said if he didn’t draw something worthwhile he’d drop. On my turn I played a Cursed Totem that says activated abilities by creatures can’t be played. So Blaec, playing Elves dropped. He was just bored and thought this was probably the longest game ever in Magic (PFFT! Kids). Then Kurtis drew into not much of anything and dropped as promised.

When Alex Sombrero draws he grins. Again, he plays another Chaos Confetti. Here’s what was lost:

~Me: I loose both Powerstone Minefields, a Plateau, a Mountain and my Cursed Totem.

~Jim: Swamp, Grave Pact, Sol Ring (his second one), Jet Medallion, Howling Mine and a Zombie Infestation.

~Timewalk Andy: Mox Diamond & an Island.

When Dave’s turn came up he managed to work a strange combo of Crucible of Worlds, Fastbond & Storm Cauldron. And then cast a 10 point Hurricane (would’ve been more but without the Urza’s Armor it was painful). Lots of questions had been asked about how he did it but we got it resolved. Without the Urza’s Armor he was taking the point of damage by the Fastbond otherwise it was clear sailing.

Life totals at the end of turn 8:
~20 Jeryme
~16 Me
~0 Blaec
~0 Kurtis
~41 Skater-Mike
~18 Alex
~16 Jim
~0 Grant
~16 Alex Heart
~15 Timewalk Andy
~15 Double-D
~17 Tim-Tim

Turn 9 saw minimal action, in fact, life totals never changed but Tim-Tim dropped; he had a ‘date’ to go on.

Turn 10 – 9:35
Dave finally got his “combo” to work:
He would sacrifice a forest to Dark Heart of the Wood (a BG Gold Enchantment card that says, sacrifice a forest: gain 3 life), then use Crucible of the Worlds to play a land from his graveyard but also used Fastbond to play an additional land this turn for the cost of 1 point. He announced his life was at 100,000. Personally I would’ve chosen a higher number but 100,000 will do for now.

I think Dave thought he had the game in the bag but playing that Hurricane before must now seemed to him a bit premature. He passed his turn.

By this time Dave’s library was really low, maybe that’s why Alex didn’t look worried about him. All this time Jeryme, Skater-Mike, Jim, Alex Heart, Timewalk Andy & myself couldn’t muster much of anything, it was disheartening.

[Note: In THIS crowd almost everyone except for Jim had a 60 card deck and with two Howling Mines, The Serum Vision’s Effect and our regular draw card per turn had us all ripping through our decks quickly. On top of that Dave had blue in his deck for card drawing which he was doing a lot of during the game, a piece of Chaos Confetti was leaning on his library and we determined that five cards had to go and Dave also had an artifact that allowed him to place five cards from his library under the artifact or removed from the game and he could use one of them instead of drawing or something like that.]

During Alex’s turn (turn 11) he activated Pestilence (he also has Urza’s Armor in play). For mana he had several Thran Dynamos and some other artifact mana producers. He dumps enough (20) black mana into his pool via Initiates of the Ebon Hand (obviously before the activation of Pestilence).

[Note: Alex did manage to gain life via Consume Spirit targeting Jeryme for some small amount]

Life totals by the end of turn 11:
~0 Jeryme
~0 Me
~0 Blaec
~0 Kurtis
~17 Skater-Mike
~6 Alex Sombrero
~0 Jim
~0 Grant
~0 Alex Heart
~0 Timewalk Andy
~99, 980 Double-D
~0 Tim-Tim

Most of the last four to five turns there were 2 Howling Mines in play, our Serum Vision’s effect and the regular draw one card per turn. This finally put Dave at 2 or 3 cards and he scoops before he even draws.

Mike still had about 6 cards left in his library while Alex only had 4. Alex’s Howling Mine was still play while the other one went when Jim was eliminated. The Serums Visions Effect is a “MAY” not a “have to” but they still drew their cards (which didn’t rally matter at this point).

And so Skater-Mike wins $24 store credit via Alex being decked.

An exciting game ends like water slowly draining in a sink, hardly any of the other players were watching except for me. But Skater-Mike seemed happy enough and Alex left the store with a bitter taste in his mouth, a glorious effort on his part and he certainly would get the MVP if there was one. His deck was creative and unpredictable in way that makes playing Magic have that new and exciting feel to it like the first time you played your best game.

When asked by Rich, Blue Star’s owner, if he would return to play again, Alex looked at him and shrugged. None of us knew him and his appearance was that of a stranger what with his Sombrero and all, hmmm, did I forget to mention he wore it all night? It wasn’t one of the big ones, it was a small version of a sombrero but cool like the kind Clint Eastwood would wear. It was black like the rest of his clothes. I hope he reconsiders and comes back sometime.

In all, I thought the game went well. We had 12 players and that certainly says something about the Chaos Multiplayer game. I polled some of the players and found out that Chaos Multiplayer is the most preferred event of our Friday Magic Events (FME). Here’s what our numbers have looked like since the first FME:

~April 29 – Chaos Multiplayer (9 players)
~May 6 – Casual Draft (6 players)
~May 13 – Peasant Magic (5 players)
~May 20 – Casual Draft (3 players)
~May 27 – Chaos Multiplayer (12 players).

Most of the reason for liking Chaos Multiplayer is that some of the players don’t want to alter their decks for Peasant Magic and/or don’t want to spend $13 for the draft when they don’t know how to do it and/or don’t have the money. I guess most of the players haven’t played long enough to want to look for new and interesting ways to play the game. I know that I wanted to always play with my regular deck all the time, not much of a variety I know. It wasn’t until several years later that I thought it might be cool to try Magic in different ways. I shared this data with Rich and we’ll be changing the FME schedule to reflect more Chaos Multiplayer games.

You never really know who’s going to win in this kind of game and you certainly can’t tell during the game either. I mean, Timewalk Andy looked strong for a while, after Kurtis started to get his combo cards aligned then HE looked dangerous. Skater-Mike NEVER looked dangerous except for the time he pumped up his Elf Avatar “Heedless One” otherwise I never thought he’d win the game. Alex Sombrero looked strong throughout the whole game but he didn’t win. I think there are just too many variables to consider; the dynamic of the player’s personality, how players are perceived by other players and what kind of decks are brought to the table to name a few.

Personally, I could’ve done a better job following game play when it came to complex plays like the 10 point Hurricane Double-D cast and how he did it, when Alex Sombrero activated Pestilence and other key plays but when you DO have that many personalities at the table “Chit-Chat” can be your enemy whether it be idle or strategic. And I don’t want to be rude by telling folks to shut up because I’m the “Host” of these games and I don’t anyone to walk away with a bad experience, but I think I’ll mention it before the start of our next game. Talking about the game is fine and of course it’s about having fun but I gotta tell you that I was distracted a lot during the game due to idle “chit-chat”.

Maybe I’ll wear ear-plugs next time.

School is almost out for the summer and I hope all of you school folks take the time to find a play group near you and participate in your own multiplayer games and have fun doing it.

Later
~Mark

Here’s my deck list for that game:

RGW “Seinfeld” deck list:

~Land~
1 Ancient Den
1 Darksteel Citadel
4 Forest
2 Glimmervoid
4 Mountain
4 Plains
1 Plateau
1 Savannah
1 Shivan Gorge
1 Taiga
1 Tree of Tales

~Spells~
1 Abundance
1 Balance
1 Blood Clock* (From Saviors)
4 Burning Wish
1 Cursed Totem
1 Enlightened Tutor
3 Gaea’s Blessing
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Honden of Cleansing Fire
1 Honden of Infinite Rage
1 Honden of Life’s Web
1 Island Sanctuary
1 Ivory Mask
1 Ivory Tower
1 Juntu Stakes
2 Living Wish
1 Meekstone
1 Mesmeric Orb
1 Phyrexian Furnace
4 Powerstone Minefield
1 Regrowth
3 Seal of Cleansing
2 Sol Ring
1 Staff of Domination
1 Sylvan Library
3 Tangle

~Sideboard~
1 Decree of Justice
1 Desolation Giant
1 Earthquake
1 Eternal Dragon
1 Ghitu Fire
1 Hurricane
1 Kiyomaro** (From Saviors)
1 Mageta the Lion
1 Mystic Enforcer
1 Pyroclasm
1 Rout
1 Ryusei, the Falling Star
1 Splinter
1 Tsunami
1 Wildfire

* = Blood Clock {4} Artifact – At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player returns a permanent he or she controls to its owner’s hand unless he or she pay 2 life.

** = Kiyomaro, First to Stand {3WW} Legendary Creature – Spirit Kiyomara, First to Stand’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand. As long as you have four or more cards in hand, Kiyomaro has vigilance. Whenever Kiyomaro deals damage, if you have seven or more cards in hand, you gain life 7 life.

Read More Articles by Mark Ortego!

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