Well, the boys and I got together and jammed some very casual games of Magic this past week. It was glorious! We just sat around and slung card board around until it was far too late and enjoyed every moment of it. However, one problem with playing casual Magic is that it takes so darn long. Multiplayer games take ages because everyone is apprehensive about going out and attacking and leaving themselves vulnerable to some sort of counter attack by the rest of the table. The game turns into plenty of defensive posturing and very little else going on. In 5 hours of Magic we played 2 complete games. 2 Games! That just isn’t very much. There are lots of house rules that one can play, but I think I may have found something even easier to help bust up that board stall and speed up the game.
My solution is a maligned Mythic from Oath of the Gatewatch that seemed like it could almost make the grade in Constructed, but sadly has fallen by the wayside. I’m talking about Inverter of Truth which is a devastating 6/6 flier for 4 mana. With those sorts of stats you need to respect it, but there is a drawback. The drawback is that when Inverter of Truth enters the battlefield you must exile your library, and your Graveyard becomes your Library. In most situations this means that you lose a big portion of your deck, which can hurt. If this is done too early you can run yourself out of cards in a real hurry and basically forfeit yourself the game because you just don’t have the tools you need to get the win. However, if you use this judiciously, Inverter of Truth can be cast to great effect.
Imagine a situation where you have already cast a number of really good spells. Perhaps you cast some removal spells, a couple of really strong creatures, maybe a reanimation spell or two and some other goodness. What it means is that once you cast Inverter of Truth you get all those spells back and this time you won’t be drawing land in between good spells. That sounds actually really appealing. Who wouldn’t want to draw only spells that ensure you play action?
The other side effect that this card does is that it changes the mental position of the player who cast Inverter of Truth. We played two games and both times that Inverter was cast the player who cast it immediately adopted a more aggressive position because they no longer had the luxury of playing for the attrition based resource battle. The player who just cast Inverter needs to get down to business of using his Library (that yields only gas) and this efficient 6/6 flier to pressure the table and bust up the board stall that is so typical in multiplayer Magic. It is often this shift in just a single player that can push the whole table away from stalling out and reinforcing their position and then move everyone into a frantic race to not get run over. This single person shifting into an aggressive posture is all the game needs to pick up speed and to cause itself naturally, without the addition of house rules or other adjustments to the game itself, to come to a very rapid conclusion. It is a very effective trick to get a game kicked up into high speed.
In addition to the very intriguing and powerful card, Inverter of Truth gives us a very budget friendly creature to add to decks playing Black. At a mere $0.75 this is a bargain for a card that dramatically changes the face of the game. Some might argue that it doesn’t feel “Mythic” enough, but the effect on the game is immediate and profound suggesting that naysayers may be mistaken. The next time you sit down to ponder what changes to make to your deck, do not discount Inverter of Truth because it can provide a much needed infusion of something truly interesting into the game.
*Editor’s note: Prices are subject to change according to the whims of the multiverse.
There is no doubt that Kaladesh is a casual player’s paradise. The set just offers so much in the way of fun mechanics and innovative ways to get more out of your cards. However, to my eye the real element that has been built into Kaladesh that sets it apart from other sets is all the built in ways to “blink” your guys for value. Not since Avacyn Restored have we had so many ways to blink stuff and have draft chaff look so good.
Wispweaver Angel is the perfect example of a ridiculous limited card that has a huge payoff in casual games to allow you to blink all sorts of goofy things. It is a long way from being Restoration Angel, but the fact remains that using Wispweaver Angel is going to have some similar effects around the kitchen table. Pair the angel up with Panharmonicon and you have yourself some extremely powerful synergies to grab the attention of Casual players.
If blinking your stuff is proving an issue, or you’re looking for another way to get some value from your ETB triggers, Kaladesh has another totally innocuous card in the form of Aviary Mechanic that can now play alongside Kor Skyfisher and Emancipation Angel as some of the best ways to re-play your value creatures. Let me assure you, these are the sorts of commons casual players look for and love to abuse. Whether it is returning a Scry Land for the free Scry, or a Siege Rhino, or something slightly more degenerate, these simple but effective additions to casual decks can really help push them in the right direction. Look for them and see if you can squeeze them in because you might be pleasantly surprised.
Well, that’s what we’ve got for this week. Thanks for stopping in for a read and be sure to stop by next time for another Casual Encounter.