ll right, the Reader Challenge for "Most Powerful Multiplayer Card in Lorwyn" is finally over. (And hey! No laptop crash! Am I charmed or what?)
As usual, I'm sure you're abuzz with the usual question: how did y'all vote? So here we go:
A few surprises there; I thought for sure that Wild Ricochet would score higher, since the power of it is pretty obvious, as Phaseshifter notes here:
I believe the most powerful card for multiplayer in Lorwyn is Wild Ricochet. I'm actually having a hard time finding things that it can't help you with.
The best thing you can use it for is of course, to win. If someone points a game winning burn or drain spell at you, you get to send it back to their face, AND damage or get rid of another opponent.
The best thing is that a player trying to drain you with black spells wouldn't usually worry too much about about a redirection effect, since on resolution, their life total would be the same. But wild ricochet lets you deal double, so they're not safe anymore. You could even take 1 of the copies to remove an annoying creature from play while you're at it. It wouldn't be hard to copy and redirect an X spell at 2 players, and then attack the 3rd one for the win, even while you were seemingly losing.
2. Wild Ricochet can also be used for card advantage or tempo. Whenever someone uses a card drawing spell that targets, you can draw DOUBLE that amount (and of course deny them to whoever wanted them). If someone searches target player's deck for something, you can search for up to 2 of them from the deck of any player you want. Plus, your copy resolves first, so if they're the only copies of those cards left, all the original caster gets to do is look at a deck.
3. Life insurance. Many games are lost and won because someone screwed the math. You attack someone thinking that your other opponent can't kill you in 1 turn, then a Giant Growth or Lightning Helix shows up and adds lethal to your equation. Wild Ricochet protects you from that. Suddenly, all that spell now does is make your blocker bigger, or lower someone else's life total. Of course you can use it to make someone else's attack become lethal too, just to make sure an annoying opponent's turn never comes.
4. Diplomacy. Wild Ricochet can have effects beyond board position. Imagine a player plays a draw spell at the end of someone's turn, and another of your opponents takes the opportunity to use Willbender and get those cards. You can use Wild Ricochet to change the target back to the original caster, then copy it and get some cards back for your troubles. Not only did you make yourself some cards, but you probably made a friend too in the process since he owes his drawn cards to you. Plus, you probably would have discarded half of them had you taken both.
5. Rattlesnake. Once you've played one Ricochet, people will think twice before targeting something at you when you have 4 lands untapped, since they run the risk of seeing it sent back to them with interest.
6. Good in all multiplayer formats. Wild Ricochet is good no matter which MP format you play in. In 2vs2 or 3vs3 you can either piggyback on your partner's spells, or use it to cover them. In Emperor, you can double and reuse a spell cast by your emperor, which are usually support spells to begin with. In attack left/right, you can do what you always dream of doing in this format, screw both sides at the same time.
7. Yourself. Of course, you can always use it to simply double one of your own spell. And if that wasn't bad enough, you can get it back on track if someone else wants to use redirection
8. Make up for your weaknesses. When playing mono-red, its no secret that the sight of an enchantment can often be a nightmare. Because they're usually there to stay. Wild Ricochet gives you a little help there. If ANY player plays a spell that can destroy an enchantment, you can jack it and get rid of whatever's bothering you. And if there's only one of it, you let the player destroy the original target so as not to draw attention to yourself.
Finally, Wild Ricochet is great because it's good at pretty much all times, and deals with almost every kind of threat. You can deal with combat tricks, steal end-of-turn utility spells, draw cards in mono-red, and steal a win away from THREE players.
I don't think we can ask from much more in multiplayer from a single card.
...And I agree. Admittedly, a four-mana trick is pretty difficult to hold in reserve, but the effect is clearly worth it. And yet it only got five votes! And Jace Beleren got a lot more of the love than I thought he would, since frankly I wrote him off as a duelists-only card. (You give the love to others to deplete a third of one player's library? Not so much for me, folks.)
Interestingly, Guile got a meager two votes. Honestly, I'd like to think that Guile's the kind of card that can make Mono-Blue Counterspell decks a little more viable in multiplayer, allowing you to counter something with Pact of Negation and then use it to horrid effect. But I have to work with what I got here.
(Note that Mono-Blue Counterspell is an entirely different archetype from Mono-Blue Steal Everything with Vedalken Shackles, Control Magic Effects [Treachery is the best], and Bribery—an archetype that does work quite well without help.)
Add in the tragically low rankings for Shapesharer, and I'm beginning to think you folks hate blue.
And dudes—Arbiter of Knollridge is a cool effect. But practically nobody told me how you win with it, aside from assuming a tideswell of gratitude from other players that I doubt will ever arrive. ("Um, so if I get this guy down to five, you'll bring him back up to nineteen? Yeah, I'd probably better kill you first.")
But what other posts were noteworthy?
Well, for Dread, Yaniv G. had this interesting concept:
The idea is that Fumiko the Lowblood forces others to attack (while Forbidden Orchard and Hunted Dragon give them creatures to do it with), while Dread and Hissing Miasma encourage them to look elsewhere. A neat idea, truly it is, but a) you have three Dreads and no tutoring to get them, and b) if the Dread goes away, then ugly things happen. So I like the idea, but the execution needs a little work in some focus (though mega-points for using one of my favorite cards of all time, Sun Droplet).
Robin H. gets kudos for turning all sorts of ugly drawbacks into benefits when Purity is on the board:
Unfortunately, Purity—while a great card—is a late-game emerger, and you can't hold your spells until it arrives. I love the concept here, and it's about as well-executed as you could hope for, but considering this deck only comes online at five mana, you can get swarmed in the early game while waiting for enough land (only 23?). A great try, but not quite.
Nick A. has a neat Garruk deck:
Nick A.'s Garruk Wildspeaker
There's a lot of cool synergies here—Ravenous Baloth can turn all of Garruk's Beast tokens into life, all the two-mana accelerants help you hit your four-mana gas a turn early (of which Mr. Planeswalker is probably the best to see), and it even has a small Loam engine to boot. Speaking of Mr. Planeswalker, though, Garruk does a lot for a deck like this—his first ability makes it easier to ramp up to fatty-mana (or ensure you have mana open for Tangle the turn you drop him), his second ability applies pressure and helps you recover quickly from mass removal, and his third ability will let you alpha strike at your leisure... a pretty saucy pack of abilities if you ask me. If you're able to hold off pressure long enough with your walls and fogs, it should be pretty easy to lay down Garruk and get a couple of 3/3s going, allowing you to conserve your resources for much longer as your giant smashy planeswalker does your dirty work for you.
And really, conserving your resources is the key to winning multiplayer... if one of your cards can deal with a whole bunch of your opponent's stuff, you're all of a sudden a long way towards winning the game. Garruk is one of the best cards for doing so that I've seen in a long time... his constant stream of Beasts makes people scramble for removal, and the threat of a game-ending Overrun puts them on a short clock to do so.
Let's not forget the true key point, though: smashing face is pure, unadulterated fun.
So, if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the store to pick up a bag of small plastic dinosaurs...I get the feeling I'll be making a lot of beast tokens in the future, and I think Wakefield would want them to be properly represented.
Daniel W brings up a good point about Captivating Glance:
The Glance's true worth lies in its political power. Imagine the following:
Player A: I drop my Darksteel Colossus! Take that, world!
You: Captivating Glance on it. So, who wants the chance to win a Darksteel Colossus?
Yes, the key point is that you don't have to clash with the creature's controller. So for three mana, whoever owns the DC or whatever is definitely going to lose it; and you've either just got one for yourself, or made a new friend! (And probably really annoyed its former master, but you can't have everything... Maybe he can win it back when your next turn comes around. If you feel kind.)
If you do happen to win the clash, then it's also fun to bounce the Captivating Glance back to your hand. Since it's the triggered ability that swaps controllers, and not the enchantment itself, you'll retain control of the creature and be free to entice another creature away from its owner.
While we're talking politics, Doc Brown gives a good point: Oblivion Ring's a very political card. Which is to say, "Yes, I currently have a Darksteel Colossus, a Liliana Vess, and an Akroma bound up in my Rings. If you kill me, then that player will get them all back." Which is a disincentive for the other players, but a severe incentive for the player with all of the stolen stuff, so I don't know how that balances out.
I thought we'd get a lot more votes for Deathrender, but here's a neat little combo deck for you from David that goes infinite by going into an loop with a Deathrender that cycles between any of Mausoleum Turnkey, Gravedigger, and Warren Pilferers, sacrificing to do damage with Blasting Station, gain life with Life Chisel, or Millstone someone with the classic Altar of Dementia:
David's Demented, Chiseled and Blasted Deathrender
Mikko R. tries an interesting combo with Nath of the Gilt-Leaf and discard effects:
Mikko R.'s Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
You don't need to be genius to get the main idea of the deck: Opponents discard cards --> You get Elves. Your Elves die --> opponent's creatures die. What happens if you have Nath and Grave Pact in the game and you use Smallpox? Everyone loses 1 life, discards a card (giving you Elf tokens), everyone sacrifices a creature (you sacrifice one of your tokens) and because of Grave Pact your opponents sacrifice another creature. Then everyone sacrifices a land. No worry. You have Nath and a couple of other Elves in play so you don't have to worry about sacrificing that land, but your opponents are in trouble... They have just lost two creatures, a card, and a more or less valuable land. It may not be so easy to play anything after one Smallpox, and if they do—you have Elves to defend you and Llanowar Augur to sacrifice for another kill.
I don't know how this would work in practice, but it sure looks neat. (Though there's another, more intriguing, use of Nath later in this article—read on.)
Glen P. mentioned that Doran, the Siege Tower would be good as the General in an Elder Dragon Highlander deck, a format I should mention more:
Glen P.'s Doran, the Siege Tower EDH
Oh, my! We're already at thirteen pages of Word document, and not even close to the top! So let's take a look at the Top Four Vote-Getters.
The best thing by far about Hostility in multiplayer? Its interaction with Browbeat. "Sure, take five damage! That'll put five tokens into play. Oh, wait, you wanted me to draw three cards?" A lot of people mentioned this incidentally. They also mentioned that a white-red burn deck could combine Purity with Hostility to make life gain for you while making everyone miserable... but stuffing two six-mana, three-colored-mana dudes in the same deck seems a bit greedy to me.
That said, Hostility's definitely up there. But is it the best? Well, take a look at this deck to see an interesting burn take:
As far as I see it, there are three different possibilities for Hostility in a multiplayer deck. The first is in a straight-up multiplayer burn deck, the second a combo-style variant, usually centred around Pandemonium, and the third is simply running it as a one-of in any deck with Earthquake. The first two are tailor-made to specifically abuse the card, where as the third one uses the card for simple 'Supplies!' value.
The following is the burn version.
Petr J.'s Extreme Hostility
I actually own this deck, and have been testing it a lot lately. It's undergone numerous builds, and this one is by far the best.
The biggest problem I found in initial testing is that once you drop Hostility, it instantly becomes the biggest target on the table—meaning unless you have a lot of mana, you won't ever get tokens as Hostility won't live to see your next turn. (R.I.P. Hostility)
The solution I came with is to use pitch spells to damage my opponents the same turn Hostility rears its ugly head/s, so I can easily beat at least one or two opponents in one game-swinging attack. Unless any surviving players have a miraculous answer up their sleeve (Wrath, Powerstone Minefield)—or happen to be cheating—they're dead the turn after. If they do, there's always a fist full of burn in your hand with their
name stamped all over it.
The deck packs a lot of burn and a lot of red card draw, and is capable of
some extremely explosive turns.
At heart, it is a burn deck packed for multiplayer, so the game plan really is simple—burn until you get Hostility, then burn some more! Call it Aggro-Combo if you like.
I've found the deck functions best in small to medium groups (three to six), as its late game is kinda weak when life gain effects start to show up and you fail to rip a Cave-In or Flame Rift.
At worst you will have the pleasure of knocking off several players by yourself and dropping everyone else perilously low before suiciding. This deck really, really speeds games up! We've had six-player games in the time it takes to boil a pot of water.
Cards that didn't quite make the cut were Acidic Soil (it's too liable to kill you, so I swapped it for Sizzle), Earthquake (too mana intensive—swapped for Breath of Darigaaz), Seething Song (Grinning Ignus chumps and pitches to Cave-In when needed) and Fury of the Horde (too narrow, not a source of burn).
Sun Droplet would be great, but there's really not much room in here for it—I just want to maul people, and need as many cards to do so.
The first time my playgroup saw this deck their jaws dropped to the floor after I'd wiped out all five of them by the sixth turn. I then managed to win the next three games by turn seven, before one of them made a noose out of his belt and casually pointed to the rafters.
They're kind of used to it by now, and know how to play around it, but I still win most of the games I play with it. It's reached the point where a Grinning Ignus is perceived as a bigger threat than an Akroma or Darksteel Colossus.
Hostility is definitely the most powerful card in multiplayer because of the sheer explosive power and damage it can generate from nowhere. You might as well shove everyone else in a sack, hit it with a big stick several times, then set it on fire.
Liliana had a lot of people excited, and why not? Her über-ability is something that will win you games... if it goes off. Unfortunately, she's also a large signal to your opponents about what's coming, and she takes time to build up to her big Living Death-for-you effect (unless, yes, you use Doubling Season to bring her into play with auto-revival). So in most games, bringing the Vess out means that everyone will turn to face you.
There is a way around it, though; she's an awesome finisher in a Mono-Black Deck, as many have noted:
Stephen B.'s Mono-Black Liliana Vess
Terry T.'s Mono-Black Liliana Vess
Scott D.'s Mono-Black Liliana Vess
Scott's deck is interesting because of the transmute ability of Brainspoil and the old-school loveliness of Abyssal Gatekeeper, but I'm not sold on the Zombie subtheme; it seems to interfere with the "destroy all critters" subtheme. Still, it's kind of neat.
Armon T., on the other hand, combined the blackness with the blueness to create an interesting hybrid. I'm not sure Clockspinning adds much here, since ideally you're in control anyway, but the Mulldrifters are quite nice. With a few more counterspells, this could be an interesting path to follow:
Armon T.'s Black-Blue Liliana Vess
The problem with the Big L is that she doesn't encourage a whole lot of creativity in deck design. Almost anyone piloting creatures will want to kill her, so you're almost stuck putting her in a deck with lots of Damnations, et cetera. That makes her powerful, but not very flexible.... and, arguably, not that much fun.
(See also: Bitter Ordeal. Regrettable winner of the last contest. Boo.)
I think Gene G. put it very well here, arguing for Austere Command
Austere Command arguably can be considered the best "answer" card ever printed for multiplayer. There is no other card in Lorwyn that will come close to having the impact Austere Command will have on multiplayer.
The Top 10 Reasons Austere Command is the best multiplayer card in Lorwyn:
1. Austere Command gets better the more players you add. You can't say that for any other Lorwyn cards.
2. You don't need to build a deck around it. Austere Command can be added to any multiplayer deck (that contains the proper mana), and arguably make it a better deck. You can't say that for most other Lorwyn cards.
3. The more copies the merrier. Once you have the mana, you would probably be happy to draw four copies of the Command in a row. You probably wouldn't be happy to draw four copies of a planeswalker in a row.
4. Austere Command allows you to play with effects you otherwise wouldn't. For instance, if your deck is based around artifacts, you probably wouldn't include Shatterstorm in your deck. You also wouldn't be interested in Wrath effects if you have a tribal deck. Austere Command gives you the flexibility to include effects you otherwise couldn't find the space for.
5. Austere Command can deal with untargetable permanents, with surgical precision. Sure, I'll destroy your Multani as well as your two Drill Skimmers, while keeping my Eladamri and company safe.
6. Austere Command isn't very vulnerable. Permanents get nailed in multiplayer. None of the powerful permanents in Lorwyn are indestructible or untargetable. Austere Command is basically only vulnerable to Counterspell effects. [or indestructible items, or regenerators – T.F.]
7. Austere Command is almost never a dead card. Vigor isn't very good if you control no other creatures.
8. Austere Command is fast! Planeswalkers take an eternity in multiplayer time to have a huge effect.
9. Austere Command enables you to unleash your creativity. You can build a plethora of decks around Austere Command; it isn't just an answer card in the strictest sense. Not only can you build lots of decks, the decks can be based around different card types.
10. Austere Command's raw power and flexibility allow you to fall in love again. Remember your Visions-era griffin deck that couldn't quite cut it? You can probably now take out eight cards, add the Commands and a few more Griffins, and let everyone hear you mimic Zuberi's screech anew!
But wait...you get more. Combos!
Destroy all enchantments and all creatures with CMC 4 and over:
Use a Soul Sculptor and turn an opponent's Mirror Entity into an enchantment in response! Also use Karn, Silver Golem to destroy CMC 4 and over artifacts after you animate them at a cost of one colorless mana per artifact. Karn will die...
Destroy all enchantments and all creatures with CMC 3 or less:
The token army is killing you. So is the Sliver Queen. Use a Soul Sculptor and turn that queen into an enchantment in response! The sculptor will also die, but what artist won't sacrifice for her art? Also use Karn, Silver Golem to destroy CMC 3 or less artifacts after you animate them at a cost of one colorless mana per artifact. Karn will live!
Destroy all artifacts and all creatures with CMC 4 and over:
Use a Soul Sculptor and turn your own Akroma, Angel of Wrath into an enchantment in response. The Sculptor lives and Akroma will be back! Also use a Neurok Transmuter. The Transmuter will live! At the cost of one blue mana per creature, your opponent's small fry won't.
Destroy all enchantments or artifacts, and all creatures with CMC of 4 or more:
All of your face down morph creatures will live. The next turn, unmorph that Akroma, Angel of Fury. You can then play Austere Command again and destroy all small creatures and whatever you didn't destroy with your first Command (artifacts or enchantments).
Destroy all enchantments or artifacts, and all creatures with CMC of 3 or less:
Do this the turn after you play Ixidron, and you will likely clear the board of all creatures (even Ixidron) and still get to choose enchantments or artifacts.
Okay, the situations he gives are a little iffy (and heavy on the usage of Soul Sculptor), but you get the idea. The only serious problem with Austere Command is that it doesn't hit planeswalkers, which could be a major loophole in today's environment. Then again, if you're looking to keep your own 'walkers safe, that could be a bonus.
And, of course, it has the usual drawback of potentially killing your own guys. Some folks tried to make decks with only creatures above or below a certain mana cost, but I think that's a mug's game; while weenies are nice, a weenie deck that can reliably get to six mana probably has too much land to lay down consistent threats, and a deck with all four-mana-plus guys has no early game.
(Though R.J.B. gets major points for reminding me of No Rest for the Wicked.)
The entries for Austere Command were interesting, since most of them didn't give decks, just descriptions of how awesome Austere Command is... and really, I can't blame them. A Wrath of God effect is old hat, and a powerful one like this can slot into any number of White decks. It's flexible, and you don't have to tip your hand until you cast it. That's good.
The downside is that barring that mild flexibility, you're left with an Akroma's Vengeance effect—which is very strong, but like Liliana Vess, it doesn't particularly encourage creative deckbuilding. Troublesome, to say the least.
But there was one deck that did some neat things with, of all things, Summoner's Egg:
The important thing about Forced Fruition is what it does not say: "When you play a spell." That's right; the FF only affects your opponents. This sounds like a drawback, but really when it's so easy to get decked by the Fruition (six or seven spells will do it for most people), hiding from its effect is a significant bonus. If your opponents aren't playing enchantment removal, this could get ugly.
Unfortunately, your opponents will be seeing all of their best spells if you're playing a Forced Fruition deck. So what's a man to do?
Let's just hear how others handled it—this next deck is a particularly interesting hybrid, so pay attention:
I have run this deck in Chaos Multiplayer with up to five players and it can get quite nasty, but I can see it working fairly well in Emperor and 2HG due to it working only when an opponent plays a spell.
Admittedly by itself it is not that powerful, but I had a G/B/u "Fruitful Nath" deck which ran almost all Lorwyn. It accelerated to Nath of the Gilt-Leaf turn 3, Forced Fruition turn 4, through the use of Llanowar Elves, Fertile Ground and Elvish Harbinger.
Benjamin S.'s Forced Fruition with Nath
Specific card comments:
4 Nath of the Gilt-Leaf – used for its second ability, first ability useless in multiplayer
4 Jagged-Scar Archers – to account for any pesky fliers :D
4 Imperious Perfect ¬– Elves get BIGGER!!
4 Liliana Vess – to make use of those overflowing graveyards, or to stop others from doing so
2 Coat of Arms – for a bit of fun, very hard to use properly in multiplayer
We are very strict, we play Standard Chaos Multiplayer so I have kept the Deck Standard legal. Although if you want to extend it, you can add 4 Breeding Pool, 4 Counterspell at the very least...
What happened the first couple of times I played this was that people didn't realise how potent it was for me that they drew cards, and declined to target the enchantment. Then they started having to discard down to seven at the end of every turn, and I got a flock of elves between passing the turn and my upkeep. I table the Jagged-Scar Archers, and now fliers won't come near me. Admittedly, this deck suffers to Wrath or Damnation, but its ability to just drop Elves on the table keeps that threat to a minimum.
Once people worked out the potency of the combo, they started running things like Austere Command and Spring Cleaning (probably the card this deck fears the most, because it can destroy all enchantments, including the mana-fixing Fertile Grounds, if it wins the clash). That's why I started to include a bunch of counter spells—but they only have a limited use in multiplayer, and have to be used on Spring Cleaning, even if it is targeting another player, which can be really annoying.
I once had over forty Elves in play, after the combo was left untouched for two complete rounds of a five-way Chaos, I dropped a Coat of Arms unmolested and swung at each of my opponents with 10 40+/40+s for the win in my sixth turn! We don't normally play that you can attack multiple people but we changed the rules this day and I used it to my advantage...
This play would have to be up there with the highest amount of damage dealt in a single turn, that I have heard of. It totals over 1600 damage!
That's my super damage story, and deck I used! Hope you like it!
Dustin C.'s Old-School Brokenness
The purpose of the deck is to drop out the Fruition out as soon as possible, usually via Flash & Academy Rector, jump-starting the game. Each spell puts the player on a timer. Stroke of Genius and Prosperity are in the deck as a way to both accelerate to a way of dropping the Fruition out, as well as taking cards off of the opponent's decks, with Brain Freeze as a finisher. If things become out of hand, it has the combination of Caltrops and Dovescape to stop most things that would ruin the gameplan.
For aggro, it fuels those decks into getting the creatures to beat down the rest of the board. While the opponent is seeing Kird Apes as a cantrip on steroids, you can watch their deck empty rather quickly as they flood the board at the other opponents, protecting their new "buddy." Of course, being the "buddy," you watch their deck dwindle to the point that a nice knife in the back finishes them off, that knife being a draw spell (i.e. Prosperity, Stroke of Genius, Braingeyser) or a milling spell (such as Brain Freeze or Glimpse the Unthinkable).
Combo really gets the hidden shaft of this card. Each spell played can be viewed as a way into accelerating into their own win, but a combo deck such as the age old Enduring Renewal and Goblin Bombardment decks find themselves in rough territory when each Phyrexian Walker / Ornithopter they play brings them seven cards closer to decking. Granted, this is where it could also backfire and make you the target of a nasty Kaervek's Torch for 8,432,965,903,247,239, but it is almost an equal trade-off for the amount of people you take by surprise.
Forced Fruition most puts the clamps on control, presenting the problem of now dealing with every deck accelerated on the board, putting it in a position it more than likely fears the most: being overwhelmed. As it has been said before, when you send a control deck back pedaling on your terms instead of its own, you are winning the battle. Not to mention, each spell that they do try and stop brings more cards off of two libraries.
This card kicks the game into hyper drive, but makes everything seem like you are simply helping others win the game. If there was ever truly a wolf in sheep's clothing, this thing is wearing a heavy wool coat and baahing until nightfall, awaiting a nightly plate of mutton chops.
STOP! HAMMER TIME.
No, wait—Ferrett time. Let's look at two excerpts here:
"While the opponent is seeing Kird Apes as a cantrip on steroids, you can watch their deck empty rather quickly as they flood the board at the other opponents, protecting their new 'buddy'...."
"What happened the first couple of times I played this was that people didn't realise how potent it was for me that they drew cards, and declined to target the enchantment..."
In other words, we had two tables full of people who didn't think that being decked in a few spells would be troublesome. Hmm. Which means that once they do realize, the power of Fruition is significantly lessened, hmm?
Michael T.'s Mono-Blue Fruitions
Remand, Delay, and the rarely used Spellshift force opponents to replay spells, but with Forced Fruition out, it's an additional seven cards for each spell and that is quite costly when the deck is depleting fast. Delay even forces opponents to play their spell, so they'll deck out faster even if they don't want to. Remand and Delay also help you stay alive earlier in the game. Evacuation is an instant speed field clearer. By bouncing every creature to players hands, life is safe and they'll have to spend many cards to cast them again. It is particularly useful is it's down to you and another player and you play this to start things off.
Copy Enchantment is included here because there are a whopping twelve other enchantments in the deck and all of them work equally well or even better in multiple copies. Propaganda is an early card to halt or discourage attacks and it incredibly effective in multiple copies. Sunken Hope is a fantastic card as it's continuous creature removal which is impossible to deal with if opponents just aren't packing enchantment removal.
Howling Mine decks opponents out while ensuring lands to play out Forced Fruition as soon as possible. Prismatic Lens accelerates into Forced Fruition and can be traded for a card when Forced Fruition gets played. Jace Beleren is an obvious inclusion here, being a powerful finisher.
Ross P. had, unfortunately, a spot-on parody of "Building on a Budget" entitled "Building on a Ferrett," but it was a little too long to keep here. Though it was awesome. Here's his decklist, though:
Ross P.'s Forced Fruition
Kelvin C. writes:
My pick for the most powerful multiplayer card in Lorwyn has to be FORCED FRUITION. Why? Because of the tension it causes, that's why. If there is only one copy of it, Forced Fruition poses as something beneficial for an opponent who wants to refill his hand, but once he does, he has to take care because he'll end up drawing too many cards!—what more if there are multiple copies of this wicked enchantment? Battles fraught with spell-flinging will end up looking like MAD (Mutually-Assured Destruction) for all of your opponents, except not for you because Forced Fruition only affects them.
Of course, certain problems arise when trying to use Forced Fruition:
1) Forced Fruition is expensive to cast;
2) It will draw heat from opponents.
Problem 1 necessitates that you survive till late in the game, which is likely insofar as multiplayer games get to be drawn out. However, defenses still to be set up; and some mana acceleration will be helpful. Problem 2 needs you to safeguard Forced Fruition from being destroyed.
These problems only make Forced Fruition a card that is even more fun because of how it challenges deck building skills. Below are my attempts at building around Forced Fruition:
Kelvin C.'s Overabundance, V. 1
Central to this deck is an old trick: get your enchantments into the graveyard via Lore Broker or Traumatize (or even Liliana Vess), then use Replenish to have them come into play. All the counterspells work best with Forced Fruition, since it forces players to play their spells twice, which will of course trigger Forced Fruition twice as well. It has amazing synergy with Dreamborn Muse, Underworld Dreams and Megrim as these cards provide two of the possible three conditions: decking and triggered damage (with the third being that of dead creature recursion care of Liliana Vess' ultimate ability). Last but not least, Propaganda and Evacuation are there to provide defense against death by attacking creatures.
Kelvin C.'s Overabundance, V. 2
With this version, the rabbit move is essential for survival. Build up your mana base and support innocently enough with Wanderer's Twig and Nightscape Familiar. Make the whole gang happy with Jace Beleren and Howling Mine. Then, you might raise some eyebrows with Rings of Brightearth and Megrim, but your opponents won't think of these as too big a deal since you aren't really doing anything with them yet. They'll be setting up their own board—most likely with creatures. Then, when you have either Forced Fruition or Seedborn Muse in your hand, play Evacuation just before your turn begins—or, to be more precise, just before the fun begins....
...And you know, I was honestly surprised it took people that long to pair Megrim with Forced Fruition. Depending on how many cards you have in hand, one spell can equal death with both enchantments on the board (assuming that spell isn't enchantment removal, natch). But there it is.
But look at those decks! Wow! There's an awful lot of variety in there. Given that FF is a pretty straightforward card, you'd think there'd be just one way to abuse it, but no! That's a lot of options.
That's a signal of a very powerful card. Options.
Yet that's not the one I chose.
Take a look at this argument:
If you came up to me a year ago and told me that, in Lorwyn, Wizards was going to print a card that, while in play, effectively made your Wraths cost 2W and your Swords to Plowshares cost nothing, and could hit the board reliably as early as turn one, and was uncounterable, I would say you were completely off your rocker. Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened my tournament pack at the Prerelease and found myself face-to-face with the multiplayer gem that is Plains.
There are a number of reasons why I believe that Plains is the best multiplayer card in Lorwyn, some of them more obvious than others. First and foremost, it is ridiculously cost-efficient for what it does. At zero mana, it can come out incredibly quickly with virtually no loss in tempo. What is more, once it hits play (very likely, given the added bonus that it can't be countered) its ability actually boosts your tempo at a rate of one mana per turn, meaning that in a longer game, a single plains can give you between 15-20 mana, for your initial investment of 0. (Compare this to the so-called "powerful" Darksteel Colossus, who requires an investment of 11 mana and gives you 0 in return.)
Even with all this in mind, what is probably the best and yet most overlooked single aspect of Plains in group play is this: it doesn't attract attention. I have been consistently running Plains in almost all of my multiplayer decks with white in them since Lorwyn was released, and I have yet to see anyone react to them in a negative manner. Even with a crazy awesome opener of turn 1 Plains, turn 2 Plains, turn 3 Plains (Yes, I've drawn it before!), the other players seem to think that their resources are better spent on the guy playing Islands (a significant part of the reason why Island didn't make the cut.)
I hope I've made my argument clear. If I win, that's awesome, and yes I would like my Plains signed. If not, that's great too. Perhaps it's best that the sleeper card of Lorwyn remains a sleeper.
Multiplayer Magic might not be ready for Plains.
Wow! I'd never considered the power of Plains before. In fact, looking at the list, every other person completely overlooked the potency of this card. What the heck is wrong with you?
He'd win in a heartbeat, except then my friends pointed out that Forests and Islands do nearly the same thing, but are in many ways better. No, the true winner is this:
The most powerful card in Lorwyn is obvious. There is no contest. This card wins all, hands down.
The card is BOGGART FORAGER!
Let us consider this monumental card.
Firstly, it is a 1/1 for R. This is awesome. For example, Detrivore costs 2RR, and to make it a 1/1 you have to put a nonbasic land into an opponent's graveyard. And who in their right mind would play with nonbasic land?
Not only does this mean that Boggart Forager is highly efficient, but with only one power, you will need to attack with it twenty times to win the game. In multiplayer that number only increases. Think of the fun you will have turning this little goblin sideways twenty times for each player on the board!
Now some of you might be thinking, "But my opponents will have hundreds of turns to come up with an answer for Boggart Forager!" And that brings me to my second point:
This creature will never be killed.
"Why?" I hear you all ask. It's simple. As long as you have a mountain open, you can sack him to make any player shuffle their library.
That's right. If someone messes with your guy, their library is going to be shuffled. No one in your group will be able to cope with the imminent threat of library shuffling. You will be amazed at how few players will be willing to risk their integrity of their library just to kill a 1/1.
This brings us to the last point on Boggart Foragers: The great flavor. It is a goblin who willingly dies to re-arrange the thoughts an almighty planeswalker is about to have. I mean, who doesn't think about dead goblins when they see someone shuffling a deck? I know I do.
All right, he didn't win, either. I'm stealing a page from Mark Rosewater and going for the double fake-out. But the truth is that both Glynn and Josh co-win the contest for "entry that amused me the most!" Josh will be getting a pile of foily, signed Plains, and Glynn? Glynn will get a signed Boggart Forager, along with some other library-shuffling cards.
The problem here is that there are actually three winners among the entries:
- For the card that's best in some quasi-combo deck, it's Forced Fruition by a landslide.
- For the card that's probably the most powerful yet the most boring, it'd have to be Austere Command, which is good but like any number of other good cards.
- For the card you'll probably see the most, I'd have to give it to Hostility.
But you know what? Though it could go either way (and certainly people have given me contest-worthy responses for all of them), I'm going to take a different tack:
Which card shakes things up the most?
Austere Command isn't going to surprise anyone. It's a Wrath. It'll go in white decks, but there's not much to it... and that leaves Forced Fruition facing down Hostility.
Fruition's good, and as noted, it has a lot of decks that it can go in. It'll certainly shake up a lot of tables.... until they realize what it will do. Then people will kill it on sight, and probably try to kill the wielder. But given that it almost single-handedly makes Millstone-style strategies near-viable again, that's a huge change, and a blue deck can usually stall or counter for a few turns.
But red burn? Red burn's almost never
been a good deck in multiplayer. But already my inbox is starting to bubble with stories of crazy Hostility
wins from red decks that would have never had a chance before! And that in turn speeds up the game in nice ways, providing a good kick in the butt to aggro.
So though my controllish heart tells me to go with the Fruition, I am going to make a controversial call: HOSTILITY. Why? Because it single-handedly enables a whole new deck archetype that's fast and furious, allowing—nay, encouraging—people to shake up old, sleepy metagames. (And keep in mind that this is something people have complained about in the past.)
So Petr J takes the prize!
Keep in mind that this could have gone any way. Unlike past contests, any of the Top Four could have been winners (and frankly, some stronger entries on other cards might have changed my mind). Oh, I'm sure some will shill for Forced Fruition or their favorite card, but me?
I'm hoping that we'll see a lot more fast burn in the near future. Blue mages, watch out.