I’ve been playing Magic for a long time. I started when I was ten. That means seventeen years. Magic was around long before my first date, my first job and even my first detention. I mean damn, I’ve been playing Magic for almost two-thirds of my life.
And there are some moments that really stick out.
There was the time my Verdeloth and his twenty-point kicker flew right into a Gather Specimens. And the game where Cruel Ultimatum got cast seven times in one turn. And that awkward moment when a Time Stretch got Wild Ricocheted. Those were games.
But for as much fun as they were, they still aren’t what I remember most.
Below is my account of the most outrageous games and ludicrous kills I have ever witnessed, from close to twenty years of playing Magic. Strap yourself in.
The honourable mention for Most Outrageous Kill isn’t an actual kill, but might as well have been. It’s also the only incident from a competitive tournament match that cuts the list.
One of my Legacy decks is ‘Suicide Pox’, a homebrew of my own design and affectionately described as ‘the bastard lovechild of Pox and Suicide Black’. It’s actually the deck I wrote the original Nyxathid Goes to Town tournament report on.
Well in one particular tournament I went up against the 3rd highest ranking Legacy player in the Asia Pacific region. He was packing a vicious Ad-Nauseum/Tendrils combo deck that wiped me away on the second turn.
With only two actual win conditions in his deck he just sat there staring at the card with a look on his face that suggested John the Baptist had just leapt out of his deck box, before uttering the word ‘game’ and scooping his cards away.
I won the third game in similar style too.
The Third Place Prize for Most Outrageous Kill in a game isn’t really a single kill, but a longstanding series of kills. The credit goes to my mate Neil.
Shortly after we all started playing Magic together he discovered Repercussion, and instantly fell in love with the idea of turning the rest of us into crispy char-grilled piles of ash. Forbidden Orchards, Varchild’s War Riders and Hunted Dragons would poop out scores of token creatures for everyone, then Repercussion combined with Furnace of Rath would hit the table before a Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act or exploding Bloodfire Colossus mopped everyone up.
I have a theory that it’s Neil’s favourite deck, as it’s the only one he’s never dismantled at some point or another. Five years on he’s still tweaking and playing it, and he makes himself a big target when he does. However the deck is also remarkably fast and consistent. There have been quite a few games where Neil has managed to burn out every other player for upwards of 900 damage. Each.
Neil also claims credit for the Second Place prize. It was a huge game of EDH (sorry, Commander), and everyone’s life totals had been whittled down to somewhere between 15 and 30. But all seven of us were still in.
Neil was playing his Wort, the Raidmother deck. There were Phantom Nishobas and Plated Slagwurms trading blows all across the table, but everyone was keeping one eye on Neil. So far he hadn’t conspired anything greater than an Explosive Vegetation, but we knew a major blow-out could happen at any second. And then, it did.
‘Searing Wind!’ Neil jumped up jubilantly. No-one had a response, and so began that panicky political hubbub of finger-pointing, everyone frantically elaborating on why so-and-so should be shot instead of them.
‘…targeting myself’ Neil said over the din.
Silence descended over the table. ‘…wait…what!?’ Neil was actually Searing Winding himself.
A massive 20 damage shoots everyone and everything, with Neil at the epicentre only taking 10.
Neil actually took out three players right then and there, and dropped everyone else perilously low. Whilst he didn’t actually end up winning that game, that moment stays true as one of the most epic kills our playgroup had ever seen.
The award for Most Outrageous Kill goes to my mate Rony, who took advantage of a complete fluke in the game state and sealed a jaw dropping victory. And once again, it comes from an EDH (sorry, Commander) game.
Tony had been terrorizing everyone with a Nicol Bolas deck. He was sitting happily on a turdboat of life thanks to Rite of Replicating a Celestial Force earlier in the game, and had just dropped Nicol Bolas and an Urabrask simultaneously, which he used to completely rub Glenn out. Poor fool, he should’ve hit Rony.
On his turn, the first thing Rony does is drop Keiga– a nice chump vs. Nicol Bolas. The next thing Rony does is drop a Chancellor of the Spires, and immediately begins sifting through everyone’s graveyards. Sighing, I hand over the Decree of Pain I used to kill the Celestial Forces.
Rony is about to take it when he stumbles across the Rite of Replication.
He decides it’s a good idea to target his Keiga and steal everyone’s creatures instead of wiping them out. He has enough mana to activate the kicker (there were kind of like two Mana Flares on the table), but then an even better idea hits him… targeting the Chancellor.
As the Rite of Replication never actually leaves the graveyard, every individual Chancellor copy can target it, thus spawning an infinite tide of Chancellors.
After several trillion or so Chancellors hit the board, Rony uses the Rite from the last one to target his Keiga. The two Keiga’s kill each other, and he takes control of Tony’s Urabrask. And that infinite swarm of flying tanks now has haste.
No-one can deal with it and Rony wins the game in spectacular style.
Some of the craziest games I ever had revolved around one of Magic’s craziest cards: Eye of the Storm.
There was a particular deck I used to have that ramped into it relatively quickly, then just played all sorts of ‘group hug’ spells to keep the game going. Stuff like Vision Skeins and the like.
A single Rampant Growth or Doom Blade from then on would net someone an enormous amount of life and an armada of 1/1 pegasi. And the effects of these spells grew as the game went on. Once round the table and you’re already looking an unbelievable amount of tokens and lifegain. And that’s only with one Storm Herd and Congregate imprinted. When multiple Storm Herds or Congregates got imprinted things really got silly.
Games just ended up as crazy stalemates where everyone had seven or eight digit life totals, and so many tokens large numbers had to written on scraps of paper just to represent them all.
The only reason I don’t rank this higher up on this list is because this is exactly what this deck was designed to do. I have since dismantled it, but I still think about it sometimes.
But hey, it could’ve been crazier. I could’ve been imprinting Shahrazad.
There comes a time in almost every multiplayer game where somebody, anybody, desperately needs to Wrath.
And one of those particular times was when my mate’s girlfriend Ammy- who occasionally plays with us- managed to connect with a Liege of the Tangle. This left her with no less than twenty-three 8/8’s on the board. And as everyone else took their following turns it became clear no-one had anything remotely capable of dealing with that threat. So it was left up to me.
Ammy had a huge amount of life (gained via a 23/23 Loxodon Warhammer-equipped Uktabi Wildcats that was terrorizing us earlier), and there was no way I was killing her, so I aimed all my damage at someone else. I flew my dragons over for 12, activated Sarkhan’s ultimate for another 12, then popped my second Knollspine Dragon out from under the Spinerock Knoll, drawing twenty-four cards and hoping desperately to hit the one card I needed.
With my remaining six mana I dropped Malfegor, pitching twenty-three cards… exactly equal to the amount of animated lands Ammy controlled… and wiped her board away.
OK, this is cheating a little bit, but I do have a deck that’s designed to produce crazy, ridiculous games. I don’t pull it out any more often than once every six months (as I kind of value my friends).
It’s based around the combo of Confusion in the Ranks and Grip of Chaos, which is usually well and truly enough to mess anything up, but runs single copies of other cards that also dick up the game in other ways. You know, stuff like Shared Fate, Timesifter, and a few un-cards. And this one time I just managed to play them all out.
There were four of us in the game- Rony, Tony, Neil and me. Rony and Tony got irritated pretty quickly, but Neil- who is as mad as a March hare- was enjoying the chaos almost as much as I was. So together we bullied the other two into playing out the game for as long as possible.
Just to give you an idea of what a basic turn looked like it in the game, the turn order was being randomly determined by Timesifter to begin with. Then in the upkeep Gate to the AEther would trigger. A random permanent would hit the board, which in turn would swap for another random permanent, which could possibly swap for cards in other player’s libraries. You could only actually play cards from other people’s libraries– not your own- but no-one really could remember what colour of mana their land tapped for, and whenever you tapped something it donated itself to a random opponent anyway. Creatures that died would come back under the control of a random opponent, and thanks to cards like Genesis Chamber that automatically generated tokens (that sometimes inserted themselves into other people’s libraries), no-one really knew who owned or controlled anything at all. Cards like Risky Move added to this mess, and weird removal cards like Starke of Rath and Pointy Finger of Doom blew things up for no apparent reason. Oh, and not to forget each turn was played out in reverse order (end, main, draw, upkeep, untap) thanks to Topsy Turvy.
The final straw was Wild Evocation. It force-cast spells that even I had been holding back, for fear of making my brain leak. Into this mess came Strategy Schmategy, Enter the Dungeon, Warp World and finally Thieves Auction.
In the end we couldn’t play out the game. I had to scoop as even I didn’t know what was going on anymore.
(Rumour that needs confirming: apparently if you build this deck in Magic Online, the game crashes)
So what could possibly get sillier than that?
It was a six-player multiplayer game, and I had leant about four of the other players some of my decks (silly me, I make crazy decks). And then some idiot gets Jokulhaups imprinted on Eye of the Storm.
Of course that’s not all. I have a Protean Hulk in play, and figure I’m sweet. But in response to the Jokulhaups going off, the guy I’d leant my Ink-Treader Nephilim deck to goes and Cytoshapes every other creature on the board into a copy of Protean Hulk.
The board is now packed out with all sorts of business: legendary dragons, Veteran Explorers, and more damn Ink-Treaders. And an Eye of the Storm with a Jokulhaups on it.
But of course some other douche doesn’t like what everybody else has, drops and island and Brainstorms- setting that Eye of the Storm-imprinted Jokulhaups off again.
Luckily those Veteran Explorers fetch everyone a good set of lands to begin anew with, until someone else decides to Rampant Growth and blow it all up again, elevating douchebaggery to an art form in the process.
After some politicking an uneasy truce is settled, and everyone agrees to play ‘draw go’ style until some enchantment removal is draw. But no-one draws any and every three or four land drops someone decides it’s all crap and sets off the Jokulhaups again.
The game turns into the most intensely political match ever, where all the players end up allying together and begin a co-operative session of the players vs. the game (including the Eye of the Storm’s owner who can’t remove his own enchantment). I don’t know if anyone’s ever experienced a similar scenario, but a chaos multiplayer game where everyone is allied together feels very, very strange.
And in the end when someone finally draws some enchantment removal, no-one actually has enough land left in their deck to play it, and the whole game is loss for all the players.
But of course these are just the games and kills I myself have witnessed or been part of. Magic is a game of infinite complexity and variety, and there are plenty of other amazing moments that I have had no part in.
For example, in a Star City Games Legacy Open, Adam Crawford resolved a Show and Tell against Kenny Meyer and his clunky 240 card deck, dropping a Emrakul into play. Thinking victory was assured, his draw hit the floor when Kenny in turn dropped a Battle of Wits.
Really, how EPIC is that? You can watch the video here.
I’m sure each and every Magic player has at least one story of some outrageous game or ludicrous kill. So now it’s time to share your stories.
What is the most outrageous game or ludicrous kill you’ve ever been part of?
Post in the comments below!