Recently I played in a tournament. It got me thinking of strategy again. It also, accidentally, had me using strategy again. I thought I was just pissing off someone, but it help me win the match.

So, what thoughts have been running through my head? …on strategy of course. What has been coming to mind when I try to get all strategic? Well, strategies that have been used against me come to mind right away.

One guy, who is a regular for MTG in this area, has an intimidation strategy. He does it very well. He is good at the game, and great at making decks, but that’s not part of the strategy, or even relevent to his success. For him success is in intimidation. First he hangs out with the best players in the area, as much as possible, while talking about the more complicated aspects of the game (loudly so all can hear). Second he has one strategy for his turn and one for your turn. His turn he takes as absolutely long as possible and acts as indecisive as he can, while making annoying noises. Your turn he keeps impatiently sighing, insulting your play choices (like saying “well that card sucks”), questions every move you make and stops every play you do to thoroughly read the card, and all while saying things like “oh come on, you’re taking forever”, “Make up your mind already”, “you gonna play a card sometime today?” and impatiently flipping his cards against each other making a loud distracting noise.

What are his weaknesses? When he says “well that card sucks” it means you have thrown him off and he is trying to fluster you so he can plan a new strategy around the card you just played. If you can remain calm then you probably can guess what about that card has caused him fear and capitalize on it. He also doesn’t really know as much about the rules as it seems. He actually concentrates so much on the obscure aspects of the game (to intimidate you with his game knowledge), that you can easily catch him on simple things and surprise him, especially if its a new game mechanic/card ability. Finally he has a huge ego, you can play to it and get him to underestimate you or destroy it and smash him, ending in a rage quit.

Ran into a couple people at the tournament that know the rules inside and out. That’s fine I know th rules well enough that it wasn’t a problem. They saw this and then went to constant babbling so that I would make simple mistakes, like using the wrong card. Stuff so obvious that the average player would have seen it was an obvious distracted mistake and said “No prob sorry I was talking so much redo that”, they, in both cases, were counting on it and quickly said “Well that’s gonna cost you the game”. Had I kept my cool I could have won 2/1 on those matches instead of lost 2/1. Even with those mistakes I could have easily adjusted my strategy, but I opted for getting pissed of, gritting my teeth, and losing. Didn’t blow up or even make verbal my anger. I know these two and found what they did to me funny. The anger was at myself.

The one I angered… He was hungry and wanted the match over fast so he could eat. I just grinned and said “Well you better lose quick then cause I am gonna drag this out as long as I can. I even went as far to look through a magazine while playing. I didn’t seem like I was paying attention to the game, but I played each card carefully and reacted perfectly to each of his plays. At one point he grabbed the magazine from my hand and threw it across the store (it was the stores magazine anyway), I just laughed and said all sarcastically “hey I was looking at that”, no I wasn’t really, just flipping pages and talking like I was interested in what was on them, with comments like “ahh that’s nice” or “hey that’s cool”. Under my shades my eyes were on the table not the magazine. I went on to win that match and upon my victory said “You know you should have let me keep the magazine and you would have won that easily”. I should probably mention that I had seen this guy show up without food and made sure to keep eating in front of him all day until just before our match when I had finished off all of my food. He likes to eat and I knew that so I even kept on eating in front of him long after I had gotten full.

So what strategy has this all lead too? Well someone had seen a gag/practical joke/whatever on some website and told me about it. They thought the looks it would get from people would be funny. I immediately thought of how absolutely distracting something that disgusting could be.

The idea… empty a jar of mayonnaise. Fill it with vanilla pudding. Eat it in front of people.

Just imagine how difficult it would be to play magic against someone eating mayo like it was his last meal. Nothing but a jar of that lard and a spoon. Maybe even get sloppy and get some on my cheeks. Wipe it onto the back of my hand and lick it off. I might even pull out a straw and noisily use it on the fatty jar of gross.

Anyway, went and bought some mayonnaise and pudding today. Cleaned out the jar and letting it air out a bit. I am gonna love this.

If I had perfected my blue @$$hole deck more I would use it with this idea. See I had this deck perfected once, but it got destroyed. I almost have it recreated.

Half the cards undo everything your opponent does, sometimes requiring just one or two mana more. Always making them think they were so frustratingly close. ruth is that even if they had the extra mana I would just play another card to undo whatever they did. Even returns lands to their hand. Not just boomerang, no there are plenty of blue cards for this effect.

The remaining half of the deck plays things that include the ability to untap the exact amount of lands it took to play them. That’s right you play your cards for free. Suddenly your side of the table is running out of room and theirs is barren. Barren as ….I don’t know insert some famous womans name and make this comically insulting.

The strategy to the deck is to say “You didn’t ask my permission” every time you undo something that they did. Anytime they act anger or frustrated say “well the game is a lot funner if you play something” and finally when your side of the table is massively full of cards you played for free “wow are you gonna take a turn cause I am so many ahead I think I am just gonna go ahead and win if you don’t mind?.”

I might have to post that deck if I ever get it perfected again. They reprinted one of the cards in M13. It’s a blue counterspell called Rewind. It’s an instant and it costs 2 blue and 2 colorless and reads Counter target spell and untap up to four lands. So you get to undo something they did and it costs you nothing.

Sometime I should add more strategies onto this post…