This entry is part 15 of 23 in the series (Social) Contract form Below

By Nole Clauson AKA MtGNole

90x90 noleHello everyone and welcome back to another edition of (Social) Contract from Below. I’m finally ready to revisit how many wrath effects are “too many,” but before I get into that I have something I need to say.

I feel like I owe all of you an apology. Last week I had a bunch of “real life” smack me in the face and rather than just gracefully take the week off, I hurriedly threw something together. Last week’s article was “phoned in” and not something I’m very happy with. While I thought about taking it down, I’ve decided to leave it (bad as it was) as a reminder to myself that you guys (my seven loyal readers) deserve better. OK, enough apologizing, time to get back to work.

So a few weeks ago I asked all of you to tell me how many Wrath effects was socially acceptable. I got a number of answers from “I run x to x” (the lowest number I heard was 2 and the highest was 8) to “it depends on the deck” to “I don’t know, aren’t you the one with the weekly column.” (Ok so I didn’t actually get that last response but many of you were thinking it, don’t lie to me.)

So armed with that information (or complete lack thereof). I headed to my LGS with a couple of decks that I had tweaked just for this occasion. The first was my all creatures Momir Vig deck. This deck is naturally wrath light and this week only had one in Kederekt Leviathan. I hopped into a game with three other peeps (Playing Chorus of the Conclave, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, and Rhys the Redeemed). Of our four decks, only Teysa had a great deal of wrath effects. (His deck runs off of voltroning up Teysa and getting to 21 general damage.) Without going into play by play, in the end someone cast Rite of Replication on my Terastodon and we ended up bashing each other to death with 3/3 elephants. The only wrath in the game was my Leviathan bouncing all of the “land-ephants” and eventually giving me the win. When I asked my opponents about our lack of wraths their overall sentiment was that they wished we had had more and the one that we did put the game away.

The other game I jumped into was with my Oros, the Avenger “non-blue control” deck. Normally it runs 6 wraths but for today I came loaded for bear with 12 (We are gonna do this right if we do I at all). I hopped into a game with someone playing Captain Sisay, someone playing The Mimeoplasm and my buddy we’ll call “Ted.” Ted was also in on my little experiment and loaded up a Kaalia of the Vast deck that also was running 10+ wraths.

This game was miserable. It turned into all four of us watching each other try to struggle to do anything, knowing that come myself or Ted’s turn, it was going to be blown up. I finally started dropping card draw effects on myself to mill myself out of the game. This game lasted for over 6 hours (not in of itself a bad thing) but it was 6 hours of watching people flail rather that actually play a game. When I asked what went wrong in that game, all of my opponents (myself and Ted included) blamed the number of wraths.

So what do we take away from this? My conclusion is that, from a social contract standpoint, wrath effects are a lot like Garlic (hence the payoff on the joke in the title). Garlic is delicious, and used correctly will augment the spice of the game. However, use too much and it ruins the dish (and the game). Use your best judgment with when using wrath effects and remember that just because you have a card in your hand does not mean you have to cast it.

That does it for me this week. As always, sound off in the comments below, shoot me an email @ or follow me on twitter at @MtgNole. In case you were wonder the Ruric Thar Decklist is done and I will be bringing you a recap of the first round of testing next week. See you then.

Series Navigation<< (Social) Contract from Below 14- The Finishing Touch (get your mind out of the gutter)(Social) Contract from Below 16- The Final Countdown >>