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Threat Assessment...Or How I Painted a Target on My Face - Evan Pringle (6/26/2014)

Wizards of the Coast recently released Conspiracy
Conspiracy
ConspiracySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
As Conspiracy comes into play, choose a creature type.Creatures you control and creature cards in your graveyard, hand, and library are of the chosen type.
, a new set specially designed to be drafted. It's full of cards that can affect how the draft itself functions, as well as game mechanics that are intended specifically for multiplayer games. The combination creates a brand new play experience.

The very day Conspiracy
Conspiracy
ConspiracySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
As Conspiracy comes into play, choose a creature type.Creatures you control and creature cards in your graveyard, hand, and library are of the chosen type.
was released, my local game store, The Gamers Grotto, held a draft that turned into two draft pods. I heeded the siren song and took part myself.

In My Past
I don't have an abundance of experience with multiplayer games of Magic. My first-ever game was a three-way brawl. I was in a partial game of Archenemy. I played one full game of Commander with two other people.

Every other game I've ever played was a duel. The strategy of making myself the most effective threat was always a good one for those.

Thus, the finer points of Magic politics have not entered my personal skillset. So when I played Conspiracy
Conspiracy
ConspiracySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
As Conspiracy comes into play, choose a creature type.Creatures you control and creature cards in your graveyard, hand, and library are of the chosen type.
for the first time, I accidentally became the biggest threat at the table and was soon eliminated. Don't get me wrong; the draft was a blast and the game itself was super fun, even after I was out. But mine is a cautionary tale that can maybe teach you what not to do.

The Draft
I arrived just barely in time to join a draft pod that already comprised eight players, so I right away became the odd man out. They sat me at the head of the table and I suspect that me being there may have screwed up some higher-level mental math.

I remember my first pick. I wish I could remember what the rare was in the pack, because I picked an uncommon over it: Sky Spirit
Sky Spirit
Sky SpiritSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying, first strike
. I knew that Flying is really good in limited, and First Strike is, too. The two together seemed like a windmill slam, so I took it.

My second pick allowed things to get crazy. I entered the draft with the intention of taking this card if I saw it. I still thought it over, but the lure was just too much. I said, “Okay, let's do this!” and slapped it onto the table face up. “Lore Seeker
Lore Seeker
Lore SeekerSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Jason Felix
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Reveal Lore Seeker as you draft it. After you draft Lore Seeker, you may add a booster pack to the draft. (Your next pick is from that booster pack. Pass it to the next player and it's drafted this draft round.)
!” While a few of the other players were suggesting what pack to buy from the store, I rummaged into my bag. I said, “No, no. I've got something,” and tossed a pack of Modern Masters onto the table. The exultant sounds from our table drew many onlookers. I cracked open the pack and took Doubling Season
Doubling Season
Doubling SeasonSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
158
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
If an effect would put one or more tokens into play under your control, it puts twice that many of those tokens into play instead. If an effect would place one or more counters on a permanent you control, it places twice that many of those counters on that permanent instead.
. When it later came back around to me, I got the foil Blightspeaker
Blightspeaker
BlightspeakerSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rebel Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
64
Artist:
Ron Spears
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T Target player loses 1 life. 4, T Search your library for a Rebel card with converted mana cost 3 or less and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
.

Still, I had little direction going into pack two because I didn't yet know what I wanted to be doing. To emphasize the point, during pack two I grabbed both an Advantageous Proclamation and a Worldknit. But I also started drafting cards with Will of the Council on it, plus some cards that worked well with the mechanic, like Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)
. I once tried to let a Grudge Keeper
Grudge Keeper
Grudge KeeperSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Wizard
Rarity:
C
Number:
28
Artist:
Ryan Barger
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever players finish voting, each opponent who voted for a choice you didn't vote for loses 2 life.
wheel, but it never came back. Still, Magister of Worth
Magister of Worth
Magister of WorthSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
48
Artist:
John Stanko
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Will of the council — When Magister of Worth enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for grace or condemnation. If grace gets more votes, each player returns each creature card from his or her graveyard to the battlefield. If condemnation gets more votes or the vote is tied, destroy all creatures other than Magister of Worth.
was the better pick.

At one point I took a Squirrel Nest
Squirrel Nest
Squirrel NestSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
274
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Card Text: Enchanted land has ``Tap: Put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token into play.``
, which would work so well with Doubling Season
Doubling Season
Doubling SeasonSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
158
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
If an effect would put one or more tokens into play under your control, it puts twice that many of those tokens into play instead. If an effect would place one or more counters on a permanent you control, it places twice that many of those counters on that permanent instead.
. For the majority of the draft, though, I stuck with black and white, particularly voting-oriented cards.

During the draft, other players occasionally displayed how much of a threat they would be in the game. For instance, one guy grabbed an Agent of Acquisitions
Agent of Acquisitions
Agent of AcquisitionsSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Eytan Zana
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Draft Agent of Acquisitions face up. Instead of drafting a card from a booster pack, you may draft each card in that booster pack, one at a time. If you do, turn Agent of Acquisitions face down and you can't draft cards for the rest of this draft round. (You may look at booster packs passed to you.)
, then used it to draft an entire pack with Lurking Automaton
Lurking Automaton
Lurking AutomatonSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Reveal Lurking Automaton as you draft it and note how many cards you've drafted this draft round, including Lurking Automaton. Lurking Automaton enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the highest number you noted for cards named Lurking Automaton.
in it, ensuring it would be a 15/15 creature. When two different players opened packs with Dack Fayden
Dack Fayden
Dack FaydenSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Dack
Rarity:
M
Number:
42
Artist:
Eric Deschamps
Text:
+1: Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards. -2: Gain control of target artifact. -6: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a spell that targets one or more permanents, gain control of those permanents."
in them, neither of them hid the fact that they took him.

Overall, though, the entire table had a lot of fun during the draft, which is very much a new experience. I've always felt a little stressed out during drafts, trying to balance between picking the best cards and creating a card pool that can actually do something. This was much more enjoyable.

Building the Deck
My biggest deck-building decision had to do with my conspiracies. Should I run Worldknit or just Advantageous Proclamation?

On the one hand, Advantageous Proclamation would help me tune the deck to run more consistently. Even in just a 40-card deck, there's chaff in with the wheat. This conspiracy could help me get rid of that.

On the other hand, Worldknit would let me run all sorts of janky stuff, like Doubling Season
Doubling Season
Doubling SeasonSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
158
Artist:
Wayne Reynolds
Text:
If an effect would put one or more tokens into play under your control, it puts twice that many of those tokens into play instead. If an effect would place one or more counters on a permanent you control, it places twice that many of those counters on that permanent instead.
with cards like Grenzo's Cutthroat
Grenzo's Cutthroat
Grenzo's CutthroatSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin Rogue
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike Dethrone (Whenever this creature attacks the player with the most life or tied for most life, put a +1/+1 counter on it.)
(the Dethrone mechanic would effectively be doubled) and Rousing of Souls
Rousing of Souls
Rousing of SoulsSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
19
Artist:
Jeff Simpson
Text:
Parley — Each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, you put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Then each player draws a card.
(creating twice the normal amount of Spirit
Spirit
SpiritSet: Duel Decks Divine vs. Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
tokens). And if you've read any of my other articles here you'll know that I really like dumb janky things. [Editor's note: No really, go read them. It's the good kind of dumb janky stuff, and they're all good reads! - Chewie]

I knew that whichever way I went, I would regret not going the other way, so I stopped worrying about that and decided to try to make an effective deck without Worldknit. This is what I eventually pieced together:


Instant (4)
1x Kor Chant
Kor Chant
Kor ChantSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Redirect to target creature all damage dealt to any one creature you control from any one source.

2x Stave Off
Stave Off
Stave OffSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
Target creature gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. (It can't be blocked, targeted, dealt damage, or enchanted by anything of that color.)

1x Valor Made Real
Valor Made Real
Valor Made RealSet: Dissension
Color:
White
Rarity:
C
Number:
20
Artist:
Jeff Miracola


Sorcery (5)
1x Bite of the Black Rose
Bite of the Black Rose
Bite of the Black RoseSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
26
Artist:
Franz Vohwinkel
Text:
Will of the council — Starting with you, each player votes for sickness or psychosis. If sickness gets more votes, creatures your opponents control get -2/-2 until end of turn. If psychosis gets more votes or the vote is tied, each opponent discards two cards.

1x Council's Judgment
Council's Judgment
Council's JudgmentSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
16
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Will of the council — Starting with you, each player votes for a nonland permanent you don't control. Exile each permanent with the most votes or tied for most votes.

1x Rousing of Souls
Rousing of Souls
Rousing of SoulsSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
19
Artist:
Jeff Simpson
Text:
Parley — Each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, you put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Then each player draws a card.

2x Tyrant's Choice
Tyrant's Choice
Tyrant's ChoiceSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Daarken
Text:
Will of the council — Starting with you, each player votes for death or torture. If death gets more votes, each opponent sacrifices a creature. If torture gets more votes or the vote is tied, each opponent loses 4 life.


Creature (12)
1x Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's SunstrikerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)

1x Apex Hawks
Apex Hawks
Apex HawksSet: Worldwake
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Multikicker {1}{W} (You may pay an additional {1}{W} any number of times as you cast this spell.) Flying Apex Hawks enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.

2x Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)

1x Council Guardian
Council Guardian
Council GuardianSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
15
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Will of the council — When Council Guardian enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for blue, black, red, or green. Council Guardian gains protection from each color with the most votes or tied for most votes.

1x Courier Hawk
Courier Hawk
Courier HawkSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Mark Poole
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying, vigilance

1x Custodi Soulbinders
Custodi Soulbinders
Custodi SoulbindersSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
17
Artist:
Karla Ortiz
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Custodi Soulbinders enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the number of other creatures on the battlefield. {2}{W}, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Custodi Soulbinders: Put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

1x Custodi Squire
Custodi Squire
Custodi SquireSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Alex Horley-Orlandelli
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Will of the council — When Custodi Squire enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for an artifact, creature, or enchantment card in your graveyard. Return each card with the most votes or tied for most votes to your hand.

1x Doomed Traveler
Doomed Traveler
Doomed TravelerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

1x Magister of Worth
Magister of Worth
Magister of WorthSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
6
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
R
Number:
48
Artist:
John Stanko
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying Will of the council — When Magister of Worth enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for grace or condemnation. If grace gets more votes, each player returns each creature card from his or her graveyard to the battlefield. If condemnation gets more votes or the vote is tied, destroy all creatures other than Magister of Worth.

1x Pride Guardian
Pride Guardian
Pride GuardianSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Monk
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Whenever Pride Guardian blocks, you gain 3 life.

1x Typhoid Rats
Typhoid Rats
Typhoid RatsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
120
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Deathtouch (Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)


Land (14)
9x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

5x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.


Conspiracy
Conspiracy
ConspiracySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
As Conspiracy comes into play, choose a creature type.Creatures you control and creature cards in your graveyard, hand, and library are of the chosen type.
(3)

1x Advantageous Proclamation
1x Muzzio's Preparations
1x Power Play


I wrote “Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's SunstrikerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
” on a piece of paper and tucked it into the sleeve along with Muzzio's Preparations, effectively naming the card for the Hidden Agenda.

We were then randomly split into our gaming pods (which involved only two people exchanging positions), and we set up to play with four players in one pod and five in mine.

The Early Game
My opening seven cards were Doomed Traveler
Doomed Traveler
Doomed TravelerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
, Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's SunstrikerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
, Rousing of Souls
Rousing of Souls
Rousing of SoulsSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
19
Artist:
Jeff Simpson
Text:
Parley — Each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, you put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Then each player draws a card.
, Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)
, two Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.
and a Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
. I had the first four turns ready with stuff to do. Plus, Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's SunstrikerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
was going to come in with a +1/+1 counter on it. I actually said, “Snap
Snap
SnapSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
43
Artist:
Mike Raabe
Text:
Return target creature to owner's hand. Untap up to two lands.
keep!”

I had the only Power Play at the table, so I went first. My first draw was another Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.
. I played a Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.
, cast Doomed Traveler
Doomed Traveler
Doomed TravelerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
and passed the turn, feeling that things were starting out really well for me.

Just before it was my turn again, first blood had already happened, though not to me. Our table's self-admitted aggro deck player hit the player to my left with a direct damage spell, just to get things rolling.

My second turn, I played a Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.
, almost cast Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's Sunstriker
Ajani's SunstrikerSet: Magic 2013
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
2
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
, then remembered to flip over Muzzio's Preparations first. Then I cast the Sunstriker. I also attacked a helpless opponent with the Doomed Traveler
Doomed Traveler
Doomed TravelerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
, the one to the left of the first player who took damage, just to try to keep things even.

In my next turn I attacked the next opponent in clockwise order with both the Traveler and the Sunstriker. I then cast Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)
because a turn-three 4-toughness creature is a good defense.

Oh, and you know what? A 3/3 Lifelink
Lifelink
LifelinkSet: Magic 2010
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Text:
Enchant creatureEnchanted creature has lifelink. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.)
creature is good in limited. Really good. Embarrassingly good.

Highlights
I drew into and played a few other things like Pride Guardian
Pride Guardian
Pride GuardianSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Monk
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Whenever Pride Guardian blocks, you gain 3 life.
and my second Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)
. I also played Rousing of Souls
Rousing of Souls
Rousing of SoulsSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
19
Artist:
Jeff Simpson
Text:
Parley — Each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, you put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield. Then each player draws a card.
and got three spirit tokens.

I lost my Sunstriker to a burn spell, but not before it got me to 29 life.

I blocked a 5/5 Lurking Automaton
Lurking Automaton
Lurking AutomatonSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
5
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Construct
Rarity:
C
Number:
63
Artist:
Yeong-Hao Han
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Reveal Lurking Automaton as you draft it and note how many cards you've drafted this draft round, including Lurking Automaton. Lurking Automaton enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the highest number you noted for cards named Lurking Automaton.
with Doomed Traveler
Doomed Traveler
Doomed TravelerSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Soldier
Rarity:
C
Number:
11
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Doomed Traveler dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
, then cast Kor Chant
Kor Chant
Kor ChantSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
9
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Redirect to target creature all damage dealt to any one creature you control from any one source.
to bounce the damage back onto the Automaton. Not long afterward, though, I traded my Traveler for a spirit token. I also blocked a 6/6 Selvala's Enforcer
Selvala's Enforcer
Selvala's EnforcerSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
40
Artist:
Jesper Ejsing
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Parley — When Selvala's Enforcer enters the battlefield, each player reveals the top card of his or her library. For each nonland card revealed this way, put a +1/+1 counter on Selvala's Enforcer. Then each player draws a card.
with my Pride Guardian
Pride Guardian
Pride GuardianSet: Magic 2012
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat Monk
Rarity:
C
Number:
31
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
0
Toughness:
3
Text:
Defender (This creature can't attack.) Whenever Pride Guardian blocks, you gain 3 life.
and reached 32 life.

What really drew ire, however, was casting Custodi Soulbinders
Custodi Soulbinders
Custodi SoulbindersSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
17
Artist:
Karla Ortiz
Power:
0
Toughness:
0
Text:
Custodi Soulbinders enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the number of other creatures on the battlefield. {2}{W}, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Custodi Soulbinders: Put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
without really examining the board. I just played it, then we counted up all the creatures. The Soulbinders entered with 21 +1/+1 counters on it.

The End
By now, the rest of the table was openly talking about eliminating me. Their conspiring rendered my Will of the Council cards less helpful and, once, outright useless: I cast Council Guardian
Council Guardian
Council GuardianSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
6
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Giant Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
15
Artist:
Volkan Baga
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Will of the council — When Council Guardian enters the battlefield, starting with you, each player votes for blue, black, red, or green. Council Guardian gains protection from each color with the most votes or tied for most votes.
and voted three times for green (two Brago's Representative
Brago's Representative
Brago's RepresentativeSet: Conspiracy
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor
Rarity:
C
Number:
14
Artist:
Anthony Palumbo
Power:
1
Toughness:
4
Text:
While voting, you get an additional vote. (The votes can be for different choices or for the same choice.)
s, remember). My four opponents looked at their colors and all voted black, as I was the only one using black at all.

So, I had accidentally become the biggest threat at the table and I knew the other players were trying to kill me. This is where I should have played defensively. But I wanted to swing with my 21/21 and start eating creatures. I didn't even leave enough mana open to create spirit tokens with the Soulbinders. It took two opponents to do so, but I got killed on the back-swing.

The Lesson
What helpful information can you take away from what happened to me? Ultimately I am better off leaving that to you, as various parts of this story shall resonate with different people.

As I look back on it, I ask myself where I went wrong and, depending on how you want to look at it, there are a few places I can pinpoint.

First of all, using Advantageous Proclamation allowed me a 35-card deck. It doesn't sound like much, but it definitely contributed to me having what is quite possibly the most efficient opening I've ever had in a game of Magic. It was definitely more efficient than anyone else's at the table. It got the other players groaning immediately.

Then, I began attacking right away. Hitting someone for four points, while gaining three, all on turn three? Yeah, that was pretty good. Perhaps too good. But my question here is how do I balance attacking like a jerk with allowing my opponents to build a defensive board state? I suppose the answer to that is situational.

Beyond that, my major mistake was trying to be aggressive. I should have held back and used my 21/21 creature as a deterrent rather than a beater. I may have undervalued the creature's ability to create spirit tokens.

Final Word
Like I said, the event in its entirety was a lot of fun and I would definitely encourage any Magic player of at least middling skill to partake in a draft of Conspiracy
Conspiracy
ConspiracySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
127
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Text:
As Conspiracy comes into play, choose a creature type.Creatures you control and creature cards in your graveyard, hand, and library are of the chosen type.
. There is a lot of opportunity for really crazy things to happen, this time during the draft as well as during the game.

And whatever you do, whichever colors and mechanics you draft, don't be like me, drawing all the negative attention at the table. Save that for anyone that plays Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric Vortex
Sulfuric VortexSet: Scourge
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
106
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, Sulfuric Vortex deals two damage to that player.
Whever a player would gain life, that player gains no life instead.
.


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