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jb_5150
Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:35 pm
Joined: 03 Jan 2007 Posts: 8 Location:
--- description ---
Ok, now that Planar Chaos has been out a while, weíve had time to dissect the set and decide which cards will see play in Standard and which ones weíll be happy to add to our casual decks. But what about Chaos (a.k.a. Multiplayer Magic)?
--- end description ---
Well, Chaos has always been a personal favorite of mine, if only because that was about the only way we ever got to play in junior high. [Example game: "Whoa, youíre playing Magic? Sweet, can I join in? Iíll see if my 12 friends want to also!"] While I do like to keep the game to 5 players or less, we were always happy to include new blood.

There are two main types of Chaos-worthy cards, in my opinion: the game-breaking bombs and the ones that make the other players say "Ok, now what just happened?" We will be discussing both today, beginning with those that are in there just for laughs.

Just Plain Fun
First, weíll talk about those interesting cards that are worth adding to the game just for the fun factor.

Braids, Conjurer Adept: A fun card that has its uses for practical deckbuilding, but also for funís sake. Whatís not to like about throwing a permanent into play for free every turn? Itís a lot less likely to put a target on your back than the íotherí Braids -- itís actually quite the opposite. In a game that requires diplomacy as well as skill, this Braids goes a long way towards making some friends. Mix it up in a blue deck with a little control to keep things from getting too extreme, and youíve got a recipe for fun. Until the guy to your left drops a 4th turn Verdant Force for free, maybe. Wink

Heroes Remembered: Ahh, lifegain. The corniest of all multiplayer tricks. However, for such a low suspend cost and huge gain, we may have a potent combination. Ten turns is normally waaaaaay too long to wait for anything, but in a mass-destruction-filled game of Chaos Magic, 30-40 turn games are not all that rare. While suspending one of these turn 1 may attract a bit of a beatdown, during a late-game creature stall, or the first turn after a Armageddon or Wrath of God, dropping one of these is great. Many decks will take 10 turns to recover from an Armageddon if they arenít stocking land in hand, and 20 life extra may just well put your life total out of reach.

Life and Limb: Ok, so Pyroclasm, Wrath of God, and a host of other cards wipe you out completely. Thatís definitely true. But oh my, how many players can you wipe out with a single Overrun attack with 20 saprolings? This card can power a cheesy token deck to the top with some help from Sprout, Saproling Burst, and assorted other token cards. Remember, weíre talking about a one-dimensional, silly, fun Chaos deck. Whatís more fun than swarming somebody with tokens?

Oros, the Avenger: A 6-power flying fattie that smokes almost all non-white critters with a single attack. Pretty powerful for 6 mana. Takes care of any deck running the above card, eh? Itís invulnerable versus Terror, and remember -- you can attack one player to get rid of another playerís army. So, let an ally take 6 for the team to smoke a mutual enemyís hoard of elves/tokens/goblins. Diplomacy, again.

Teneb, the Harvester: Whatís more fun than reanimating one of your creatures? Reanimating someone elseís fatty! There will be a lot of nice critters that croak in a long multiplayer game, and you can fetch one out every turn with Teneb. All of the dragons are fun from this set, but these two are the best for Chaos.

Dichotomancy: Stealing stuff is always fun, but how about a whole slew of cards at once? Awesomely fun. Now, be careful suspending this card: you probably wonít get too many great cards that way. No, youíll want to hardcast this baby for all 9 mana worth. Itís a lot, I know, but think of the possiblities. Youíll get at least a couple free creatures, maybe a good artifact or two. Do it at the right time and itís a game-changer. Do it any other time, heck, itís still fun.

Essence Warden: Not usually worth it in a one-on-one game, but Chaos Magic usually means lots of critters. Even if she only lasts one time around the table, that could mean 7-8 life for one green. Not bad.

Treacherous Urge: By turn 5, youíll know whoís packing the deck with the fatties. Swipe one and smack him with it. This card seems to be a mana or two too expensive, but remember: this is basically a discard effect also. Now five mana seems like a deal: take the Elvish Piper-toting Timmy and slap him with his own Leviathan. Then it goes into his graveyard, just to add insult to injury.

Pongify: Multiplayer utility is so important, and this is a fun utility card. Turn that attacking Akroma into a little monkey, or block with your useless late-game 0/1 Birds of Paradise, then get a 3/3 Ape for a blue. Fun either way, and youíll get props for either move. Well, not from the guy who just lost his angel...but from the other players. Very Happy

Kavu Predator: This could actually go in the Spike section below, but I put it here because, well, life-gain is so fun! The Bizarro-World version of Ageless Entity, this guy will make your friend think twice about tapping that Wellwisher. This guy is actually a fantastic Bear though -- the trample makes sure that he loses some of that life right back next turn.

Frozen ∆ther: Ok, if youíve ever played against someone with Kismet in a multiplayer game, this needs no explanation. Short of playing Winter Orb, Multani, or Verdant Force, nothing puts a target on you like the ∆ther. Enjoy the feeling of mass-tapping, ícause youíll die pretty quick. Fun while it lasts, though.

Ok, Now Go for the Win

Now, letís talk about those cards that arenít there for the X-factor, but will actually win you games. The above dragons and the Kavu Predator fit into this category, but the cards below are on another level.

Damnation: Explanation - read what the card does. Ok, got it? Good. Now, play 4 of these in your black deck and thank me later. Replacing Mutilate in my black control deck as we speak...

Calciderm: While it may lack the explosiveness of good old Blastoderm with partner-in-crime Fires of Yavimaya, it rounds out the mana curve of an aggessive white deck nicely and serves as a strong finisher for white control. That said, itís not as good versus multiple opponents and will not win you many games single-handedly. Best used as a late game beater or a follow-up to a Wrath of God to finish off a certain player. Remember the old gating trick with Blastoderm / Horned Kavu? Well, its back, but in mono-white with Whitemane Lion. Bounce it back to reset the counters, but now during your opponentís turn! I really love this card, and even though itís not a Chaos powerhouse, I felt it deserved some mug time on this list for old timeís sake. I miss my old Fires deck. Crying or Very sad

Dawn Charm: Even though itís just a common, I love this card. Iíve won enough games by playing Fog after an all-out attack to appreciate that ability. Regenerating your beatstick after a surprise blocker untaps or a Fireball deals it lethal damage is great. The last choice is awesome, too. Being able to counter a big spell like the aforementioned lethal Fireball or devastating spells like a huge Stroke of Genius, nasty Traumatize, Glimpse the Unthinkable, Orimís Chant, or Cranial Extraction is great. While these types of spells may not show up in a Chaos game much, the first two ablities WILL be useful in nearly every game you play.

Wild Pair: Wow, just think of the interactions with this card. Every guy comes into play with a buddy of similar power/toughness. That alone puts this guy in the fun-factor category. However, how about pumping out a whole army with gating creatures like Whitemane Lion or Dust Elemental? Or, pulling out a Phantom Wurm by playing a seemingly worthless Llanowar Elf? Play a Primal Forcemage with a deck full of critters with haste and just go for the throat. Avalanche Riders are just stupid. Critters with flash bring out an additional surprise blocker. The list goes on and on. My choice for #2 best Chaos card in Planar Chaos.

Dust Elemental: Ok, a couple reasons I love this card for Chaos: (1) Lots of mass-kill spells will be fired off. Lots. Wanna save three of your favorite creatures from anything? Just keep 4 mana open and one of these in your hand. Or, save two and bounce Dust Elemental. Heck, once you hit the 8 mana mark destroy íem all yourself with a Wrath of God. (2) Commit all of your creatures to smashing someone, then if someone tries to hit you for 5 or 6, BAM drop Dusty and eat his favorite flyer. Utility is important for Chaos, as Iíve already said a half-dozen times, and this big fella is fantastic. My choice for #1 Chaos card in Planar Chaos.


Well, there you have it. While this list is not exhaustive, it should give you some ideas for some interesting builds. I think I might go try building a nasty Wild Pair deck. Iím thinking Green/Red, with some Avalanche Riders, Primal Forcemages, and maybe old Blastoderm...

Let me know if you try any of these ideas -- Iím interested in seeing any other combos with Dust Elemental, Wild Pair, or any other card from Planar Chaos. Hit me with any comments/suggestions too.

Until next time, keep playing Chaos, whether itís multiplayer or not. Wink

Josh
Last edited by jb_5150 on Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
Felipe Musco
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:39 am
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Well, first off, welcome to the Strategy Article Contest, always good to see a new writer for our Community! Iím in a bit of a rush now, so I canít analyze the article as Iíd like. For now, Iíd say it starts kind of abruptly, perhaps an introduction would be nice, and then you could shorten the description, itís looking too big. Iíll be back later for a more thorough analysis.
Yay for multiplayer! gp for you!
I don't like YOU.
jb_5150
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:19 pm
Joined: 03 Jan 2007 Posts: 8 Location:
Ok, gave the article a bit of an intro and fixed a couple typos. Should be a little nicer of a read. Sorry about the abrupt beginning -- I just assumed everyone read the entire description before starting the article. I know itís a long description, but I feel it gives a nice overview.

Josh
Felipe Musco
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:23 pm
Joined: 18 May 2006 Posts: 2434 Location: Florianůpolis, SC, Brasil
Dichotomancy... sucks... Hardcast, at least. Itís usually to just suspend it, and then Gigadrowse whatever you want end of turn beofre DIchotomancy resolves. You missed a nice multiplayer interaction of Wild Pair, you play Carven Caryatid and fecth Groundbreaker! Also, I think you should include some decklists for Multiplayer, like "for fun" and "for the throat", to help out newer players build their decks. Other than that, well, I canít say thereís a lot of meat in it, but the article is not bad. Perhaps the topic IS a bit "shallow"... Iíll think about it for a few days and get back.
I don't like YOU.
La_Sin_Grail
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:03 pm
Joined: 14 Aug 2005 Posts: 806 Location: Maryland
Hey, dude! Welcome to the forums!

Iím the mod whoís been conspicuously absent for a couple weeks... I was involved in a play and we were hitting 4 hours plus every day. Razz

Anyways, I like the article!

A few things to address, though...

1) You never mention that as soon as somebody plays damnation in their multiplayer game, everybody kills them immediately after. I find you really go into playing the best cards for the ideal multiplayer, but keep in mind that people donít like having their men get taken away!

2) You listed Dichotomancy as playable Razz Remember here that first off, itís 9 mana, but more importantly, youíre describing a relatively casual format, it seems like to me. They wonít necessarily have excess copies of bombs in their deck, perhaps not beyond one!

Iím actually thinking of a wild pair deck, maybe Iíll give you some ideas? I think I have an article worked up for next month anyway.
jb_5150
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:40 pm
Joined: 03 Jan 2007 Posts: 8 Location:
Ok, so Dichotomancy sucks. You donít think I realize that? I probably wouldnít play it, even in a casual game. However, I do think it bears mention simply because it is an interesting design, and is good for some lulz in a Chaos game. I do like the idea of comboing with Gigadrowse, that at least makes it more than a hope-I-get-lucky card.

As far as the lack of "meat" goes, Iíll try and work up a couple decklists using my faves of the fun section and killer section. I did, however, spend a couple hours on this article, so donít think I just threw this together in 15 minutes. It is a rather shallow topic, picking perhaps 12-18 cards out of a small set, but I thought it would be fun for players that just started out to see some interactions. I didnít really think any of you hardcore players would have an epiphany reading it, but hey: I play Magic for the fun of it. I donít claim to have ANY ideas for Standard -- I only bought 4 boosters out of both Kamigawa / Ravnica blocks so My knowledge of the last few blocks is limited. Just wanted to test the waters, get a little strategy out there. Hope you guys enjoy the read.

Josh
bandfreak9
Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:43 pm
Joined: 24 Jan 2007 Posts: 84 Location: Virginia
Hey multiplayer fun
Good article I liked it, however as Felipe said I would put some decklists in it. They donít have to be in depth but just some simple ones would be good

Good article gp for multiplayer and for popping your Strategy Article cherry
The First
Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:45 pm
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 Posts: 195 Location: Anderlecht, Belgium
First off, welcome to these boards Josh. It is always nice to salute new players with fresh ideas to broden the horizons.

At first sight, the article does not seem to be a bad idea. However, I found that it is not complete. For instance, I also like Braids but the real difficulty is to put it in a deck. Or to get more advantage out of it than disadvantage, even in multiplayer. Same goes for Heroes Remembered. Why would anyone play it over other life gain cards? Why would you need the life gain in the first place?

Anyway here are some remarks/ideas that sprang into my head when reading your article. Donít hesitate to use them to upgrade your article or to get some ideas out of them:

Braids, Conjurer Adept: I have a bad feeling about this (card). Especially in a "chaos" multiplayer deck. I will speed up every-one elses turn and it will end with you. The charm of multiplayer is that you have time to test certain cards and combos. The game goes slow - most often - and this card just accelerates and makes everything more difficult IMO. Put some control in it? In multiplayer? With 4+ persons? Now that will take some skill. I do like Braids. However, It could be worse (than you imagine). ** extra puzzle; which two lines did I just use from Star Wars... Wink It was all about fun right, so donít shoot me.

Heroes Remembered: It is actually playable in multiplayer. The real question is, what are you going to do with +20 life total? Iíd rather play with a set of Essence Wardens.

Life and Limb: This is a good card for casual multiplayer imo. Ghostway would be a good idea against Wrath of God or mass land destruction. You just need to make sure that you are the one playing forests or that your forests are taller than everyone elses Wink

Oros, the Avenger: A 6/6 flyer is good enough in my book. You need to be careful with his ability though. In multiplayer, you need to make sure that you donít draw too much attention.

Teneb, the Harvester: He will be more suitable for multiplayer than Oros imo.

Treacherous Urge: Cannot say that I donít like this card. It has potential. I just do not know that it belong in a multiplayer game though. Iíd rather discard the fatty on turn 2 or 3 and play a fatty that will stick around after turn 5. But in a Blue-and-Blackish deck, it could work. Bounce a creature, steal it and block or attack with it. A nice sac ability would probably be overkill.

Pongify: This card is the definition of multiplayer fun. Get rid of that ennoying critter and give an ape in return. Both parties are happy and you get a good laugh out of it as well.

Damnation: Yes... Damnation or Wrath of God. Good to clear the board every once and a while. Just make sure that you donít draw too much attention. Damnation does that to you from time to time. Not good.

Calciderm: I would not compare the Whitemane lion / Calciderm combo with the Blastoderm / Horned Kavu one. The latter is a lot more aggresive and got Fires to back it up and Skyshroud Ridgeback or even Kird Ape. That is a lot more aggresive and efficient than the first combo.

Dust Elemental: I really like this card. It is a nice surprise and it can save you creatures from being vanished or Damned.
Great minds bleed alike.
Do not copy media. Support creativity.
c3poquino
Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:20 am
Joined: 04 Sep 2006 Posts: 47 Location:
I liked the idea, and I wish I could add anything, but I read the article on magicthegathering.com on multiplayer and Planar Chaos, so I feel somewhat tainted, since they discussed a lot fo the same cards, and they thrashed some of them real badly. Congratulations on Pongify, though, Iíd never have seen it as that much fun, and it actually won the contest there. Perhaps some decklists?
jb_5150
Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:16 am
Joined: 03 Jan 2007 Posts: 8 Location:
Hey guys, sorry I never updated the article. Iíve been out of town for some time. I went with my fiance to see her grandfather who had pancreatic cancer and we stayed for a week, then two days after we got back he passed away and we returned to Ohio (12 hour drive, whew) for a few more days for the funeral and everything. So, needless to say, my article has been far from the mind. Iíll try and update it sometime soon -- this week has been killer with all the catching up and homework due. So, thanks for reading and hope you got something out of the article.

later,
-josh

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