The Emotional Phases Of Playing 'Magic: The Gathering' Commander
Warm and Fuzzy Hellos
“Hey great to see ya! This is going to be a blast. Oh, you brought beer that’s so nice. Come on in. What are you running tonight?” These cordial words may seem friendly, but they are the first attempts at two opponents sizing each other up.
You’re getting settled, making last minute tweaks because you realized that the landfall Omnath deck you ran last week didn’t have enough basic lands and you ran out of gas by turn 7. Grab a drink, unfurl your mat, and shuffle.
I Think I’ve Made A Huge Mistake
Looking at the opponents commanders… you realize how screwed you are. Because your opponent's deck is your commander's Achilles heel. Maybe you’ve got a deck that likes counters and your opponent’s running something that prevents counters. Maybe you’re playing Velomachus and your opponent is playing Marisi. (This last part is based on a true and terrible event.) Regardless, you’re already at a huge disadvantage.
The first turn. Oh good, your opponent cast a turn one Sol Ring into a turn one Arcane Signet. Awesome. This is the moment you realize that you should be running more artifact removal. And that you’re totally screwed.
Hoping Your Community Will Save You
Praise Oketra, it’s a multiplayer game. While you didn’t have any artifact removal, your buddy did. Now your strategy is just to lay low and hope that no one realizes you don’t have any blockers and that you missed your turn four land drop.
Huh, they did notice that you don’t have any blockers. And well how about that, you’re getting attacked for fifteen damage, also known as, getting your ass kicked.
Hope Springs Eternal
A ray of hope! Someone else at the table board wiped. All non-land permanents are destroyed. No one perceives you as a threat. You could actually pull this thing off!
The Brutality Of War
Everyone’s a couple drinks deep and dialed in. The banter is at a minimum and the Googling of card interaction on the stack is at a maximum. You’re fighting for every inch, but gaining ground.
Aaaaand… another board wipe.
The first death comes. The player who cast the turn one Sol Ring (even though it got destroyed) made themselves too big a threat and they paid for it. Everyone teamed up on them and now they’re dead.
Crushed Beneath The Wheel
Now that one player has been eliminated, it’s only a matter of time before someone combos off and hits everyone with something ridiculous like gaining infinite life and dealing infinite damage, or Scute Swarming everyone at the same time with fifty thousand million bugs. Yup, there it goes. Your life total flashes in front of your eyes, and the game is over. You never stood a chance.
The Cycle Continues
You started playing at 8pm and it’s 11:30 now… but maybe just one more quick game…