When I first designed Kitchen Table Hero, I viewed myself a casual player. Someone who was very comfortable in her chair at the kitchen table. In fact, it was like Cheers, everyone knew my name when I came ’round. But I began to come to a certain realization that I mentioned in last week’s article. I was not as casual as I thought. I had fallen into a trap.
Last year I met a girl that I like a whole lot. She showed up to my the gaming club, The Guild, at the college I TA at and I was stricken. She liked to try new board games, played Magic(!), and liked Anime and Manga(!!). I could not have been more excited. I decided to bring her along to FNM so she could meet the casual EDH crowd.
There was problem number 1. Not only had she never heard of EDH, most of my decks were way out of her league of understanding. Let’s skip past the fact that I tend to run quite a few foreign cards. The general concept of what to do each turn as well as following what everyone else was doing each turn seemed to be a bit much. What was going on? This was purely casual right? What could be so complicated? I then realized there was an error in my math.
Casual ≠ Simple
Casual = Not Competitive
Let that sink in for a little bit. I had always fallen under the pretext that because I was not playing in a tournament that I am playing casual Magic. And because I am playing casual Magic, it must be simple fun and easy. Wrong. I have a R/G deck that unless you know combos when you look through a deck will completely miss playing Wort, the Raid Mother to Conspire a Chord of Calling for CMC 5 to get Zealous Conscripts and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker for the win. Just read that sentence back to yourself. Not only does it sound foreign, imagine being a player who’s never even thought of that.
I shook my head in shame after I dropped her off home. The evening had been salvaged by the fact my LGS has cats and books and manga. Otherwise, I was afraid I ruined my chances with dating her. What was I going to do? Wait! She said she played 60 card. I thought long and hard. I just sold all my bulk. Did I even still have any 60 card left? Yes! I found this ancient gem from my early days as a Magic player.
Green Deck Smash
This deck is by no means anything fancy. In fact, despite being near and dear to my heart I am sometimes pretty embarrassed by it. Granted, it will just win games. But boy, have I come a long way from my Timmy days.
Check out the super sweet synergy between Gamekeeper and Metamorphosis! I was a Johnny in the making.
Now I was armed with a casual deck. We hung out in what my friends and I call Nerd Circle and played a game of 1v1 60 card Magic. This format had become pretty foreign to me. She was beating me but early on and boy was I frightened of her Beastmaster Ascension. How was I going to handle that when she keeps putting out weenies?! Oh, wait. I turn dinosaurs sideways. That’s how. Still, despite her smiling a whole more, I didn’t feel satisfied. The game never felt out of my hands. I wanted it to be more back and forth. Off to Flights of Fantasy it was!
Manda’s Casual Simic Party aka Every Day I’m Trollin’
Okay, now this is more I like it. I really thought outside the box. I knew from watching her deck and playing against it she had some Pacifism effects in the deck. Hence all the Hexproof. Since I didn’t want to go over board on it, I kept it relatively simple. The blue half of the deck is all utility and 2 flyers. I didn’t want counter magic, since I remember thinking it was lame when I was new to Magic. Green I get all my dudes and mana fixing and the ability to put the nail in the coffin. Artifacts was kind of rough. I didn’t like have all the ramp potential and nothing to do with it, hence the Jayemdae Tomb. That card won me one game. That and then drawing a Prophetic Prism. I like them over Shimmering Grove because they draw me a card; that simple. And for the final piece of mana fixing and beater, three Simic Keyrunes round out the list.
Our game was fun. She mulligan three times and still settled on a one lander. I decided to help her out with a Verdant Haven on the one land. Gave me life, fixed her land situation. Seemed good. Eventually though, her creatures began to overwhelm my small creature base. I played all three Claustrophobias to great effect and Jayemdae Tome kept me digging for answers. But it was looking grim. However, I realized the problem. I wasn’t attacking and boy did that solve some issues. Following that up, I bounced that early Verdant Haven and played it for some extra life. An alpha strike followed by two Frost Breaths and a Time Ebb clinched me a very tight game. My life pad read:
This was the type of game I was striving to have with her. She was nothing but smiles the whole way through and I couldn’t remember the last time Magic was so much fun. Just good times. I got bit by the deck building bug when I got home and built a second casual deck. Something tells me I missed the mark this time. But only time will tell. I’ll leave you all with the list for you to critique me over. By the way, please ship me your own casual kitchen table 60 card decks. Maybe there is a prize in someone’s future. Who knows?