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CardShark Content - Blake Edlund (7/19/2006)

Ahhh, luck. The thing that people invoke when they feel like fate has cheated them. In a small amount of cases, people cite luck when it was actually lucky (topdecking a burn spell for the win, especially when you were on the brink of losing). But a good percentage of the time, at least on MTGO, people use it as an excuse for quitting a game. Yes, there are times when forces beyond your control cost you a game. You only draw 3 land for 8 turns, and every spell in your hand costs four. You even have 6 mana fetch spells! But those are few and far between, unless you are REALLY unlucky. This reason I am spouting off about all this? A recent game in Extendend on MTGO...

I was using a UB Underworld Dreams
Underworld Dreams
Underworld DreamsSet: Legends
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Julie Baroh
Text:
Underworld Dreams does one damage to opponent for each card he or she draws.
/Puzzle Box/Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
deck. I draw my hand and I have an Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
, a Watery Grave
Watery Grave
Watery GraveSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Island Swamp
Rarity:
R
Number:
286
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add U or B to your mana pool.) As Watery Grave comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Watery Grave comes into play tapped instead.
, an Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.
, a Vision Skeins
Vision Skeins
Vision SkeinsSet: Dissension
Color:
Blue
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
, a Clutch of the Undercity
Clutch of the Undercity
Clutch of the UndercitySet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
197
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Return target permanent to its owner’s hand. Its controller loses 3 life. Transmute 1UB (1UB, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with the same converted mana cost as this card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)
, and two Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
s. I only keep the hand on the idea that Skeins could possibly draw some good stuff for me. All in all, probably a bad idea to keep this hand.

My opponent was using a GR Beatdown deck, lots of fast creatures and some burn. Keep in mind; I had no idea about this when I kept my hand.

We pass a few turns, and I'm not really drawing anything important, I end up playing two Howling Mine
Howling Mine
Howling MineSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Each player must draw one extra card during the draw phase of each of his or her turns.
s. All I really accomplish is bouncing his Fangren Firstborn
Fangren Firstborn
Fangren FirstbornSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Fangren Firstborn attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature. In the Tangle bad is often followed by worse.
with the Clutch I started with. But on turn 6, my Mines draw a Wheel and Deal
Wheel and Deal
Wheel and DealSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Any number of target opponents each discards his or her hand and draws seven cards. Draw a card.
and a Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
for me. The life totals look like this: Me - 12, Him - 17

He taps out to play some creatures, and then I cast Evac right before his attack phase, my plan being on my next turn to drop the Megrim
Megrim
MegrimSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
12
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Whenever any opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to him or her.
, and after he draws his cards from the Mines, cast the Wheel and Deal
Wheel and Deal
Wheel and DealSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Text:
Any number of target opponents each discards his or her hand and draws seven cards. Draw a card.
for the win. It never got that far. He says ''You got very lucky, good bye.´´ and concedes. It didn't bother me that much, but then he messages me. He tells me that my deck would never work against a creatureless deck (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that statement, he never saw anything but bounce and card draws). I explain to him that he would have died next turn due to Meg and Wheel, but to no response.

The whole point of this? Let's see what points in time I was ´´lucky´´.

Was it lucky that I got an Evacuation
Evacuation
EvacuationSet: Stronghold
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Return all creatures to owners' hands.
? No, I run 3 copies in the deck. And even if it wasn't in my opening hand, by my third turn we were both drawing 3 cards a turn, so it was highly likely that I would draw one.

Was it lucky that he was playing a creature based deck? Slightly. The Evacs are in there for that reason. Just in case I need to dig myself out of a hole filled with Fangrens. I have lost to creature decks quite a bit with that deck, so it's not a blanket ´´Creature decks always lose to mine´´ thing. It's not like my deck is entirely bounce. That's just a backup.

And you see this kind of thing very frequently. People don't want to admit that they lost. They were simply ´´unlucky´´. It all comes down to sportsmanship. If you lose, just say ´´Good Game´´. Concede if you must. Most of us don't want to hear you wax poetic about how lucky we were. There are people (I know I am one of them) who play Magic solely for fun. Sorry
Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
27
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
you lost, but I'm sure you win your fair share of ´´lucky´´ games too.

Yes, Magic involves luck. But it involves skill far more. You have to make decks capable of dealing with most threats that come your way. That is what good deckbuilding is. It's not luck. It's planning ahead. I guess I'm just lucky I had the foresight to learn how to make a deck with a plan B.


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