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Generational Magic: Tossing about with Old Friends

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A Flippin' Good Time

My youngest, Jarod has been playing Canadian Highlander for about a year now. This past spring, Mavericks had an April Fool's-themed event. They encouraged players to build goofy fun decks for it. Initially, Jarod had an idea for something else, but I mentioned a coin flip deck would be very thematic. He loved it.

We put it together, and he played and lost quickly. Unfortunately, everyone else either didn't get the memo or chose not to switch decks. He still had a good night overall, hanging around with everyone. This is one of the main reasons why Magic is a great game.

After he was finished with the deck, I saved it and converted it into a Commander deck for myself. I wanted to keep it blue, black, and red, but there isn't a good tri-color coin flip commander, so I threw Obeka, Brute Chronologist in and got busy flippin'!


Coin Flip Commander Deck

Contemplating Player Familiarity and Interaction

Jarod wanted to hang out with a few of his old high school friends last Friday, so he stayed at home instead of getting his card fix. There wasn't any good drafting going on since everyone is done with Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate and you can only play so many Double Masters 2022 drafts before you have to get a loan. I didn't have any non-Commander constructed decks put together, so this presented me with an opportunity to flip the coin!

On the way over to Mavericks, I thought about how people interact with each other. Can a game be better or worse depending on how well you know the people you play with? There are plenty of variables and opinions for this, but I wanted to make the effort to explore the question, and hopefully have some fun games in the process.

To test the theory a little and flip that coin, I figured I'd start with people I know well at a place I'm familiar with, and a little later, I'd stop over at Gaming Goat to see if I could join in a game there. Gaming Goat is maybe a few hundred yards from Mavericks, so it would be easy to get to both places. Can you have fun anywhere with anyone? Sure can!

Introducing the Familiar Faces

So, before we head into the gameplay highlights, I'd like to introduce my Magic-playing friends at the table. I've known Peter for a little more than a year, Dewey a couple of years, and I've battled with Clayton many times across the draft table. We all have an affinity for drafting, but we'll play just about anything that might interest us.

Dewey

How old are you?
Thirty-one.

How long have you played or what Magic set did you start with?
I first was introduced to the game back in 2013, but really started playing in 2019.

How did you start playing?
My cousin taught me. When I moved into the area, I wanted to meet people and I figured this was a fun way to do that.

What's one thing you enjoy about Magic?
The people. Meeting new people and observing everyone's personalities through what decks they play.

Who's your Commander for this game?
Wasitora, Nekoru Queen


What's one of your favorite memories of Magic?
I was playing a Commander game headlining Blim, Comedic Genius. I made a deal with my first opponent to not attack him with the creature of his I was in the process of stealing. I don't recall the details of the creature, but it was a 3/3 and had menace.

I attacked my second opponent with the creature, then proceeded to give the creature to them. My second opponent then attacked the first opponent with it. So, enjoyably, I was able to keep my promise to not attack the first opponent. It was definitely a 'Blim' moment.

That's awesome! What's one of your favorite Magic cards?
Blim, Comedic Genius.

Peter

How old are you?
Twenty-six.

How long have you played or what Magic set did you start with?
My first product was the Strixhaven Commander decks, so early 2021.

Pretty recent, then. How did you start playing?
I've always played various card games throughout my life and was attracted to the game through Magic: Arena. After playing that for a little bit, I picked up playing the real thing and have been enjoying it immensely.

What's one thing you enjoy about Magic?
Definitely the social aspect of the game. I love coming out and picking up a Commander game with multiple people.

Who's your Commander for this game?
With agreement from the table, I'm testing out a Dominaria United commander, Jasmine Boreal of the Seven.

What's one of your favorite memories of Magic?
Probably my first (or second) Game Day. I was losing horribly in the first round, but my opponent wanted to get into the Modern tournament that was about to start, so they conceded to me. I continued on, fought through, and ended up winning that Game Day event!

What's one of your favorite Magic cards?
Osgir, the Reconstructor. He was my first Commander.

Clayton

How old are you?
Twenty-eight.

How long have you played or what Magic set did you start with?
Return to Ravnica was technically when I started, but that was only with Duals of the Planeswalkers. My first paper sets were drafting Magic 2014 and Theros.

How did you start playing?
A buddy of mine shared it with me.

What's one thing you enjoy about Magic?
Drafting. Every player starts on a pretty even playing field. It takes skill to build a good deck on the fly. To me, drafting is a fundamental part of what makes Magic a great game!

Who's your Commander for this game?
Evelyn, the Covetous


What's one of your favorite memories of Magic?
I have a couple of them. One was the first time I cast a Gonti, Lord of Luxury. Not only did I steal my opponent's Dig Through Time and cast it, but I copied it with Mirrorpool. Yea, he wasn't too pleased.

The other one was a reminder to never give up. I was playing Pioneer and the deck I was playing had four Fatal Pushes. Generally a good thing, but for this game, they were ineffective against my opponent who was playing Esper Control, and I drew all four. I eventually won by running them out of win conditions. My opponent no longer had a way to win the game and decked out before me. I still had all four Fatal Pushes in hand at the end.

What's one of your favorite Magic cards?
Scholar of Athreos. For me, it was a memorable and fun way to win in that draft format.

Get Ready To Rumble!

So, how did the game progress? Did yours truly test fate and beat the odds or did my coin come up tails? Here's a look at the board while we were all still fighting the good fight, and yes, Planar Chaos is great fun! Well, at least for me it was.

Mini-Boss Level

Yep, I flipped tails one too many times calling out heads on Yusri, Fortune's Flame and with one final flip of Clayton's top card, due to Twilight Prophet's trigger, I was out.

Major Boss Level

Dewey was the next to fall to Pete's massive token army. Board wipes were never to be found in time.

Final Boss Level

Clayton put up an awesome fight and lasted quite a bit longer, but once Pete's Avenger of Zendikar hit the battlefield the writing was on the wall.

Game Over, Man...Game Over!

So, how did my follow-up game over at Gaming Goat go? Tune in next week for the details, and more thoughts on player familiarity and player interaction.

I want to thank the guys for taking the time to share about themselves and hope that you've enjoyed this trip. Feel free to share your fun Commander experience in the comments or on Twitter.

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