Multiplayer Deck Essentials

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I've been observing many games lately that my playgroup has been involved in, and I'm starting to wonder a couple of things, the most important being, are there vital cards to multiplayer decks?  For example, should White decks always run Swords of Plowshares/Path to Exile?  Should decks that splash Red always run Lightning Bolt because it's one of the those Red cards that is essential to splash?

I'm hoping this question comes down more to the traditional "does this color deck always require certain cards?".  I'm not quite sure how to phrase it.  The thing that stood out most in my mind while playing games tonight were things like waiting for the White/Green player to throw down Disenchant/Naturalize on that annoying enchantment that I can't deal with.  Should I always be considering that?

The next step of this question/discussion then stems to, "Should one always put these 'essential' cards in one's deck?".  If I build a Green deck for multiplayer, should I always count on throwing in some form of artifact/enchantment hate?  My mono-green Squirrel deck runs Sundering Vitae, due to the fact that there are plenty of enchantments/artifacts that can ruin my day, but Convoke works well with tokens.  Yes, there are some times that it becomes a dead card, but when I have it, it is always great to have, especially in multiplayer when you can count on SOMEBODY to be running those kinds of cards.

If all 5 people were running the artifact/enchantment hate (for example), then the board wouldn't have the opportunity to get locked down by one player (as I've noticed) due to something they can't deal with, which ultimately leads to a long, un-fun game for everybody.  Is there a way to counter this in a playgroup, or should I just make sure my decks can handle these kinds of things?

Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me?  Or is it something that will improve as the skill of my playgroup improves?

Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
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I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
There are no straightforward answers to your questions. Personally, I think cards like Lightning Bolt and Swords to Plowshares are absolute crap in multiplayer. If you were to ask me what red and white MUST HAVES would be, I would say cards like Land Tax and Earthquake. The cards you listed are 1 for 1s. If you have to beat 6 opponents and their threats, that is usually a terrible use of resources. I'm a mono black player. Cards that I will ALWAYS USE NO MATTER WHAT are cards like Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor and Yawgmoth's Will. They are straight up whatever I need them to be, whenever I need it. That unmatchable utulity is what makes them "must haves" in my book. I would say that there are cards strong enough and flexible enough to be used in any deck, regardless of what it is trying to do, but I do not think it's cards like Lightning Bolt and Swords to Plowshares.

As far as your concern goes, the problem doesn't lie in your play group, it lies within you. If your decks rolls over the second someone plays an enchantment, then you're not building a solid deck. You need to think about what your deck's weaknesses are, and find a way to shore them up before you even sit down to play. There are enough artifact and colored answers to all permanent types that you really don't have any excuse to instantly lose to 1 card. Saying that your play group is inexperienced because they don't find answers for you is a little ironic in that respect. You are perfectly cabaple of running answers yourself :P.

What in particular is the problem you're facing? I think a better idea than coming here and asking us to speculate about your personal meta would be to provide us your deck and tell us what card(s) outright beat you? I'm sure you could get some advice on overcoming them yourself.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
You should never consider that you ^have to^ play some kind of cards, even if there are a lot of good cards of this type in your color. If you know your group run enough anti-artefact or enchantement, you can just decide to run none and try to influence them to use their cards to destroy what bother you.

Lately, I like to run Fracturing Gust because there's always some juicy targets around. It allows me to deal with all of them at once and gain some life since I'm alway the target early on.

And I don't think you should always run
cards that are good in dual but bad in multiplayer like Lightning Bolt.

Long games doesnt have to be boring... it all depends of what you plan. If you run mono-green, you should consider Heartwood Storyteller, it speed-up games.
If you know your group run enough anti-artefact or enchantement, you can just decide to run none and try to influence them to use their cards to destroy what bother you.



The problem with that advice is that 80% of the time people don't run nearly enough of it. One thing that's been a recurring truth in all my multiplayer experience is that people never have enough answers to enchantment and artifact based decks. That's what makes cards like Limited Resources so deadly, it's that 80%+ of the time (probably closer to 99% of the time for that particular card) you win the game. It doesn't matter if it's not the coolest or fastest win, you still win. If you had to pick between having fun losing and having fun winning, I'm sure almost everyone will pick having fun winning. When you're playing a deck and everything is going to plan and you're controlling the game, you're having fun.

That's why one of the first cards I ever bought was Nevy's Disk. It was a way for my black decks to beat decks that used Moat and Mask effects. I found that the green and white players could never remove them themselves, so I took the liberty of making my own arrangements. Now it's a card I use in most of my decks, and it usually works wonders. I'm doing my best to punish people who try and take advantage of the usual lack of enchantment hate, and it's just one of those things that each person will need to decide for themselves whether they're going to do it as well. I guarantee you that if that one person wins every time, people will start including hate to counter his deck. I see it happen all the time with newer players. They, like I did, just need to experience a NEED for enchantment hate before they'll use it.

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
Thanks for the responses so far.  I'll try and explain what I mean more clearly.

I don't want it to sound like my decks flop over at the first sign of trouble, because that is not it.  It's more like "if player A is running this enchantment, and player B is running this artifact, and they each have 4 copies of it in their deck, is there a way that I can deal with both multiple times without sacrificing my own build" kind of a thing.

In Ferret's articles, he talked a couple of times about if you sit back, other players will generally take care of the things that are bothering you.  Why waste your cards when somebody else will do it for you?  In my playgroup, I'm slowly turning into that guy, only because I'm the one trying to take care of these cards, and then everybody turns on me.  I'm not trying to whine, just trying to have a discussion about multiplayer and deckbuilding/politics.  I love multiplayer because of the interactions and stories to be told and things that happen.  For example, a very fast, aggressive Goblin deck that I have has won multiplayer games with 6 people simply because I played right and didn't make too many enemies and could back up my threats.

Another option I've started thinking about is finding cards that do multiple things.  For example, getting a creature that can destroy an artifact when it comes into play.  At worst, it's a creature, at best, it will destroy something when it comes into play.  The biggest issue I have is that sometimes, cards like that don't seem like they work well in my deck (Heartwood Storyteller being on of them in my Squirrel deck...I own one, but it just doesn't seem to fit the theme.  It's not a druid or a squirrel...though it is a treefolk, and squirrels live in trees...you get my point).  I have a hard time with things like that sometimes.

I hope this discussion has made some people think, and if you guys already know the answers, I appreciate the advice.
Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
Earlier when I talked about my must haves, you'll see that 2 of them are cheap tutors. Cheap tutors may as well be any card in your deck. You don't always need to have cards that do multiple things, as long as you can get the cards you need, when you need them. A lot of creatures that destroy enchantments are pretty weak. Having a bunch of weak, multi-use cards isn't necessarily a good thing. Again, if you need to beat 6 people, you need some power.

I think your best course of action would actually be to let those enchantments ruin games. It's like anything else in life. If someone is taking care of problem you're facing for free, then you're going to take advantage of it. No one is going to set up generators and light fixtures to light streets if there's already street lights lighting it for you. It's a waste of time, money and energy. If you want them to start including those cards in their decks, take away the street lights :P. The free rider problem won't exist if there are no free rides to take advantage of.

Like you said, multiplayer is about politics and mind games. Rather than being the aggressor, if you let the other players take all the heat for their enchantments, then maybe they'll be the targets. Play the politics game right back at them.
My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
While I wouldn't consider Lightning Bolt a staple in MP (Seal of Fire or Lava Dart work better in MP because of their rattlesnake effect), StP or PtE are good considerations for MP. It isn't that these cards gain anything in MP (they are likely worse), but good spot removal is important especially cheAp CMC ones. As for what to do when multiple opponents are playing ful sets of must deal with Art/Ench... You have several options.
Don't deal with it. If the rest of your group can stop depending on you and start running some Art/Ench control themselves. This strategy is playing to lose, so just make sure you take second place.
Play with defensive Art/Ench control cards. The best example of this is Aura of silence. This slows down your opponents cards, and allows you to wait to deal with your opponent when you want (your other opponents likely won't like the power that this grants you and might just attack you to try to force you to do something)
Pack more art/Ench in your own decks. Why you aren't using this weakness of your opponents is beyond me. If you start running lots of must answer cards that your opponents can't deal with, you are either going to win more... Or your opponents are going to start running answers.

just keep in mind, that spider cards that surprise your opponents get better as players are eliminated and Rattlesnake cards are better with more players and get worse as players are eliminated. Besides cards with buyback Shattering Pulse, Allay or cards that sit in play like The Seal of Cleansing or Flashback cards that you can warn away your opponents with... There are also cards that remove all copies of a card Extripate, Lobotomy, Thought Hemerage.

Budget EDH:EDH on $20 a Deck. Join the Group

I would not say that there is any card that is a "YOU MUST PUT THIS IN YOUR DECK!"
 Sol Ring, if your friends let you play 1 copy of it, is the only card that I have that I think 90 percent of the time that it will improve ANY deck that I have. 

There are some things that I consider to be "staples"

Artifact And/Or Enchantment hate on a stick
Multiplayer is THE place to be if you like absurd artifacts and enchantments. Nobody wants to dilute their deck with cards to deal with artifacts and enchantments. Its lame, its boring. It isn't supposedly fun. You know what I realized though? LOSING TO BROKEN ARTIFACTS AND ENCHANTMENTS ISN'T FUN! The first time Viashino Heretic takes down a Silent Arbiter or Mind's Eye that has been driving you crazy or an Nantuko Vigilante guns down that Quicksilver Goblet thats gained  some schmuck 30+ life because "Only chumps play artifact and enchantment removal!" you'll know exactly what I mean. 
The 5 Most Important Keywords a Creature Can Have In MP

5: Haste
4: Vigilance
3: Lifelink
2 Flying
1 Shroud

If a creature has more than two of those, its probably good, and the more of those the better. 
Always have ways to cast creatures with as many of those as possible/and or deal with as many of those as possible. 
You might be a little surprised at Haste charting over Trample and Regenerate but I have found Haste creatures to be totally underrated in Multiplayer. What good is a creature if you don't even get to attack with it? Keep your eyes opened for good Haste creatures. They're worth a thousand times their weight in Multiplayer wins.
 
I think any multiplayer deck should have a few answers to artifacts and enchantments. You can gain a lot of political power at the table if you are the only guy able to take out that Ensnaring Bridge- just make sure you find out first what it's worth to the other players. Sometimes, you get stuck being the only person hosed by a particular artifact or enchantment, and can't rely on other players to take out the card. Having the option to take out the offending permanent at your leisure is well worth the risks.

I think that it's worth running a few efficient but potentially dead/disadvantageous cards (art/ench removal, StP/PtE, ect.) just to always uphold a measure of defense. You lose a little CA on the deal, but a good multiplayer deck should be able to recoup that loss through a solid card advantage engine (be it actual or virtual).
The 5 Most Important Keywords a Creature Can Have In MP

5: Haste
4: Vigilance
3: Lifelink
2 Flying
1 Shroud

If a creature has more than two of those, its probably good, and the more of those the better. 
Always have ways to cast creatures with as many of those as possible/and or deal with as many of those as possible. 
You might be a little surprised at Haste charting over Trample and Regenerate but I have found Haste creatures to be totally underrated in Multiplayer. What good is a creature if you don't even get to attack with it? Keep your eyes opened for good Haste creatures. They're worth a thousand times their weight in Multiplayer wins.
 



Giant Solifuge beats players ingle handidly :P. Cairn Wanderer is usually overlooked despite being a powerhouse most of the time. Lightning Reaver is also tons of fun to use. Viashino Cutthroat is a real pain for MBC decks to fight.

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies

Thank you everybody for the great responses.  I am very appreciative of it all.  Please forgive me if I don't remember who made what comment when I'm discussing it (as the new forums won't let you scroll up and see the previous posts).

I believe in tutors a lot.  Getting that one-of spell that can change the game drastically works wonders.  The only thing is that not all colors have access to the tutors that let you search out any card.  Black is the best staple for that (obviously), so Demonic and Diabolic are able to grab one whatever one needs.

I realize that certain colors can only tutor for certain things (Green mostly gets creature tutors for example).  I guess the best way to take advantage of that is to put a creature with the ability that you want in your deck.  This might be an obvious statement, but I threw it out there just to show my train of thought.

I think my biggest issue is that most of my decks I build with a mindset for single play, yet when a multiplayer threat comes down, it becomes a lot bigger challenge for me to play.  I enjoy that though, as it forces me to be a better player and make better decisions.  Has anybody else encountered this problem, or does everybody typically build decks just for multiplayer?  Or do people just sideboard for multiplayer with their main decks?

Another statement that has been brought up multiple times is that Lightning Bolt is not an essential red card for multiplayer, and is usually not the best option there.  Besides Earthquake, could anybody give me any good Red options for burn (besides things like Pyroclasm, Volcanic Spray, ect).  I just want to see what everybody suggests/likes to run.

This discussion has really gone where I was hoping it would, as it has answered a lot of questions for me.  The question I have regards the whole "group" thing on the forums.  Has a Multiplayer Group been made yet? 

Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
For burn I think it should be massive or repeatable or serve more than one function.
I have recently fell in love with Banefire.
A bizarre spell I always liked was Flames of the Blood Hand.
Instant speed damage, cannot be prevented, but the real great thing is the  If that player would gain life this turn, that player gains no life instead. clause.

That will stop some pretty sick things. Massive Consume Spirit a guy was pinning recovery hopes on? Nope. 40 point Congregate? Nope. Life gain triggers off of things like Wall of Reverence? Nope. Stacking life gain triggers on a creature for massive gains? Nope. Its a pet card of mine but its never let my red deck down.

Lastly, I like to look to red creatures in the bargain rare bin that have repeatable sources of damage/damage exchanges.

Kumano, Master Yamabushi and Ryusei, The Falling Star have been money for me.
Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, with good enchantment and equipment choices can take over a whole board. 


I think my biggest issue is that most of my decks I build with a mindset for single play, yet when a multiplayer threat comes down, it becomes a lot bigger challenge for me to play.  I enjoy that though, as it forces me to be a better player and make better decisions.  Has anybody else encountered this problem, or does everybody typically build decks just for multiplayer?  Or do people just sideboard for multiplayer with their main decks?




I don't think nearly enough people design their decks for multiplayer, and rather play "duel" style decks like you do. I'm not implying that people don't make good decks and don't know what they're doing, but I don't think people are aware of all the great mutiplayer cards out there. They're normally so bad compared to other cards, and they wind up being forgotten. Some of the members of this forum, myself included, made some attempts at writing color guides for multiplayer. They can be found in the Multiplayer Forum Faqs link at the top of the forum. Sadly, the forum changes have made them nigh unreadable : /. You could try reading them over and maybe linking them to your friends, but I doubt it would help much now.

As far as red burn goes, get burn with reach. Don't use Pyroclasm, use Volcanic Fallout because it hits players as well as creatures. I think you'll find it's too hard to burn everyone down otherwise. Flame Rift, Sizzle, Shivan Gorge, look for these kinds of cards. Killing creatures only slows people down, and only people with aggro decks. Combo and control won't be phased at all, so you need to make sure you're putting pressure on them too.

My guide to Black multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18893722?sdb=1&post_num=1#322195706 My guide to Red multiplayer cards and strategies: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28999213/?sdb=1&post_num=1#517562879 My guide to White multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29011349/?sdb=1&pg=last#517773211 My guide to Green multiplayer cards and strategies http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29034323/Tichs_Guide_to_Green_Multiplayer_Cards_and_Strategies
With red decks you should be winning with creatures and strong game winning spells like Insurrection. Don't concern yourself overmuch with being a beatdown deck and slinging damage dealing spells at one player's head. Most of your burn will be going to creatures, NOT opponents. Burn is useful in that if it is multi purpose it can whack players. Also, if you do cast something like Earthquake people simply won't be as mad if you hit them for 4 damage or whatever because you are getting hit for 4 damage, and its not like you really want to hit people solely for the damage, you'd rather clear the board. Earthquake for 4 actually pisses people off less than a Sizzle for 3. Strange but true! Its happened to me a lot!

But if you show up with Acidic Soil, Sizzle, Flame Rift All Singing All Dancing burn to everybody at the table deck, expect everyone you're burning to (i.e., the entire table) to gang up on you. Straight red, unless played very aggressively won't be able to withstand that usually.  

From what I've noticed from playing, I can agree about burn to the face making people mad.  Unless somebody knows they've directly hit you, and you're seeking retribution, they will care.  The same goes for milling, pinging, and just about anything that makes other players think that you're singling them out.  If you have the defenses to stop them, it's not an issue.  However, most players don't always have that.

From these discussions, I've drawn the following conclusion: watch your meta, and plan accordingly.  I should've paid more attention to what shuts down my decks, and what is going to hose my plans.  You can be the best political player, yet if both players don't have the answers they need, that political alliance means nothing.  Such was what seemed to happen.

Since nobody in my playgroup plays Standard, I don't have to worry about us playing duels and having to face the dominant deck.  We stick with the banned/restricted Vintage list, and we haven't had many problems at all.  There is one guy with Gaea's Cradle, and another guy with Force of Will, but it's not as dominant as it would be in a duel because there are so many other players that will gang up on that player if they feel like they could become threatened.  Such is the point of multiplayer, and the most important lesson to grasp.  Right?

Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
I very rarely play a mono colored deck in Multiplayer. The penalty for being off color isn't that bad since the game is a little slower and mana fixing is leaps and bounds better than what it used to be.
 
I build most of my decks for multiplayer, though that hasn't always been the case.

A few years back, I was always lurking around at The Manadrain.com and reading all the latest game theory from online articles; I gained a fair knowledge of how to build a dueling deck. I played mostly one-on-one games, and while I didn't hate multiplayer, I didn't appreciate that it was it's own skill-testing format. When the dynamics of my living situation changed and I found myself playing 99% multiplayer, I thought my superior knowledge of building a mana curve and my pre-established opinion of "good" and "bad" cards would carry me to victory. I was wrong.

As time passed, I got my group hooked on EDH; we play it over half the time now. At first, my EDH decks would run cards like Llanowar Elves and Lightning Bolt. Though my decks had theme and synergy I just got smashed by someone running a Nicol Bolas deck that was a depository of random odds and ends. I eventuallylet myself learn the nature of EDH, started to build in accordance with the "rules", and win most games in that format. 

Now, I've started to take a little of what I learned from playing that extreme format and am putting it towards 'normal' multiplayer (EDH is just another step further away from duels). I'm doing quite a bit better for it. I can also say that when I play a deck for multiplayer, it's built now for multiplayer.

As for burn spells of use, I generally prefer them in the form of creatures (such as Flametongue Kavu and Jiwari, the Earth Aflame), or to have added effects (Wildfire, Devastating Dreams, Lavaball Trap). I have to say that I like Fault Line a little better than Earthquake, too.   
There are cards that just scream "multiplayer" like:

Awakening/Seedborn Muse
Insurrection
Lhurgoyf
Congregate
Subversion/Agent of Masks
Ancestral Mask
Angry Mob, etc.

These cards are comparatively weak in a dual, but can be awesome in a multiplayer game.






There are cards that just scream "multiplayer" like:

Awakening/Seedborn Muse
Insurrection
Lhurgoyf
Congregate
Subversion/Agent of Masks
Ancestral Mask
Angry Mob, etc.

These cards are comparatively weak in a dual, but can be awesome in a multiplayer game.


Of these cards, only the Muse, Congregate, Insurrection and maybe Subversion are playable. Lhurgoyf, while better in multiplayer than in duels, is still a bad creature. Lhurgoyf doesn't have any abilities, so it doesn't really have an impact. It is just an expensive Scute Mob (it might get huge, but it barely is worth it, because it doesn't have any combat abilities. A single Drudge Skeletons can stop it all day long).
Ancestral Mask still is an Aura, so it isn't that good.
Better examples of cards that get better the more players are in a game:
Multani, Maro-sorcerer,
Blood Tyrant
Sun Droplet
Sypon Soul/Syphon Mind
To get back to the original question: Yes there are ways to solve this but you won't like it. It will make all decks play exactly the same. If everybody wants to play sufficient answers to everything games will be a lot less varied.

Before everybody disagrees with me, let me state what would be included in all decks:
Single Target Instant speed Removal (creatures, enchantments and artifacts mainly)
Single Target Sorcery speed Removal (more often permanents)
Mass Creature Removal
Lifegain
Recursion (mainly reminisce-like effects)


The kill can be different in every deck but the number of cards that are good in multiplayer that deliver these effects is pretty limited. Most white decks will play Austere Command and black, blue, red, green decks will play Oblivion Stone because it is SO good.

Let me take a white deck as an example. If all of you have a white deck and all of you play different kills but all of you play Austere Command two times because it is an answer to anything you may encounter, I find that boring.

This has happened in my playgroup. all white playing decks starte playing the command because we could, because it was good but since then many of our decks have stopped playing it because it is no fun if everybody plays the same cards (even if it is just a few cards the same per deck, besides basic lands and stuff like that, some variation is appreciated).


The trick is knowing which cards your opponents play that annoy you/wreck your deck. Then decide if you need more answers to those cards. Then the hardest part is deciding how you will do that.

For example: Crovax, Ascendant Hero wrecks my black deck (I play playsets of Nether Traitor, Nether Spirit and Bloodghast). I do play sufficient creature kill and some bigger creatures and pumping artifacts but still I hate encountering him. Basically I have 3 options: Do nothing about it (don't change my deck), play a split second spell (Sudden Death or Sudden Spoiling) or something else that negates him (Bad Moon and friends).

At the moment I am going with option 1 (do nothing) because I love the deck how it plays right now and I don't encounter Crovax too often. If I were to encounter effects like that more often, I would reconsider this and probably take out my Sword of Fire and Ice playset and get 4 Bad Moon in the deck. I wouldn't play split second spells because too often I already encounter those.


To summarize: Yes, there is a solution and yes there are staples in all colors. However, the game remains more fun if you do not always play a solution to everything and if you do, try finding an answer outside of the staples, to keep the variation going.




On a totally different note:

The 5 Most Important Keywords a Creature Can Have In MP

5: Haste
4: Vigilance
3: Lifelink
2 Flying
1 Shroud
0 PROTECTION
 



Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)

To summarize: Yes, there is a solution and yes there are staples in all colors. However, the game remains more fun if you do not always play a solution to everything and if you do, try finding an answer outside of the staples, to keep the variation going.


Even with 7 players in my group, each owning multiple decks, there are no 2 decks the same. The only case where your example applies is 2 players owning an artifact deck, but even those are different. They both play 4x Fabricate, but still, the decks are so different from each other, that you don't really notice. And sure, maybe sometimes it is annoying that somebody else already has an Academy Ruins in play. But that is far less annoying than not be able to put it in your deck at all "because there are already people playing it". If I would build some kind of control deck, another player playing Nevinyrral's Disk wouldn't stop me from doing the same, even if it means that sometimes he will be in control of blowing it up, instead of me. It is just something I need to play in order to compete, and if it is the only choice I have, so be it. If I have an alternative, that suits my particular strategy better, I would play it for sure. But the fact that these cards cards are universally good, is the very fact that makes them staples.
You could also see it the other way around: When there are already 3 players playing Austere Command, do I really need to? If I know they are playing them, I could play around it by playing more conservative. This leaves me with some slots where you would have played (more) removal.
Even with 7 players in my group, each owning multiple decks, there are no 2 decks the same. The only case where your example applies is 2 players owning an artifact deck, but even those are different. They both play 4x Fabricate, but still, the decks are so different from each other, that you don't really notice. And sure, maybe sometimes it is annoying that somebody else already has an Academy Ruins in play. But that is far less annoying than not be able to put it in your deck at all "because there are already people playing it".



I play a mono black deck and many of my friends play either a mono black deck or a black/white deck. All of those decks play Unmake 4 times except 1 of those decks. So Unmake is a staple card in my playgroup for those colours. That I find a bit boring because the decks are totally different but those cards aren't.

The same goes for carddraw in mono black (Phyrexian Arena), Evacuation in a blue deck, path to exile or swords to plowshares in white decks etc etc.
(I am taking examples from my playgroups, it may be different in other playgroups)

I personally prefer NOT playing those cards to make the game more fun (that is mainly why I don't play Phyrexian Arena in the earlier mentoined mono black deck but I do play Sword of Fire and Ice).

You could also see it the other way around: When there are already 3 players playing Austere Command, do I really need to? If I know they are playing them, I could play around it by playing more conservative. This leaves me with some slots where you would have played (more) removal.


I also did this in that same deck, instead of playing disk or some other artifact that gets rid of things black can't get rid of I play Memory Plunder. Enough other people play enchantment removal that is an instant or sorcery. Sometimes I need enchantment or artifact removal and I have the Memory Plunder but no viable target for it but that is rarely the case.

Part of the problem for me is that I have a total of 3 different playgroups, containing a total of 15-20 people I regularly play with. Each of us have a great many decks and then it does often happen that decks play the same even if they are pretty different.

Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
One of my absolute favorite multiplayer cards to date is, ironically, an enchantment hate spell.  My primary colors of choice are Green (in almost every deck, I play a green style with a leaning toward the color) and Red.  That being said, I absolutely love Reverent Silence because of its incredible interraction with multiplayer powerhouse Kavu Predator.  I have a specific deck I've made that can actually survive a duel, yet thrives in multiplayer.

What makes the game so fun is that you can give answers to your problems without directly making enemies.  How is that?  You either get such a thick wall of protection up, there are only a few ways through (Defense of the Heart into a pair of Vigors anyone?.....Vigor being my favorite card in the entire game of Magic) or supply them with the necessary life gain with the aforementioned Silence and pairing it with Grove of Burnwillows so they never really gain that reason to get mad.  Frighteningly, all those cards I've mentioned are currently in my main deck.

This is just like my most recently discovered multiplayer baby, Luminarch Ascension.  Sure, it draws attention, but if you can protect yourself until it gets back to you, you should be able to protect yourself with tokens until someone else draws attention away from you.

I must agree with those above in that building a deck to protect itself against specific cards isn't nearly as fun as building a deck, protecting the weaknesses, but doing so with valuable cards.

In my opinion, one of the most underrated cards in multiplayer is Wild Ricochet (I started playing MtG with Lorwyn, can't ya tell yet?).  I only say this because while you may not run targeted removal, there is bound to be someone at the table who is, and imagine their face when they try and throw a Terminate at your creature, only to lose two of their own.

While I'm on red (and let's be honest, most of this has been meant to continue the conversation of the thread), another card that doesn't get a lot of attention in red for multiplayer is Taurean Mauler.  If not Lightning Bolted right away, it's very difficult for anything other than kill spells or bounce to properly deal with it.


I play a mono black deck and many of my friends play either a mono black deck or a black/white deck. All of those decks play Unmake 4 times except 1 of those decks. So Unmake is a staple card in my playgroup for those colours. That I find a bit boring because the decks are totally different but those cards aren't.

The same goes for carddraw in mono black (Phyrexian Arena), Evacuation in a blue deck, path to exile or swords to plowshares in white decks etc etc.
(I am taking examples from my playgroups, it may be different in other playgroups)

I personally prefer NOT playing those cards to make the game more fun (that is mainly why I don't play Phyrexian Arena in the earlier mentoined mono black deck but I do play Sword of Fire and Ice).


Alright, that is boring. But some of these cards surprise me. Evacuation? And Unmake isn't that good either in my experience (mainly because it's a 1 for 1, it's effect is pretty good). Maybe put some Odyssey Shrines in your decks, to teach them:D


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One of my absolute favorite multiplayer cards to date is, ironically, an enchantment hate spell.  My primary colors of choice are Green (in almost every deck, I play a green style with a leaning toward the color) and Red.  That being said, I absolutely love Reverent Silence because of its incredible interraction with multiplayer powerhouse Kavu Predator.  I have a specific deck I've made that can actually survive a duel, yet thrives in multiplayer.

What makes the game so fun is that you can give answers to your problems without directly making enemies.  How is that?  You either get such a thick wall of protection up, there are only a few ways through (Defense of the Heart into a pair of Vigors anyone?.....Vigor being my favorite card in the entire game of Magic) or supply them with the necessary life gain with the aforementioned Silence and pairing it with Grove of Burnwillows so they never really gain that reason to get mad.  Frighteningly, all those cards I've mentioned are currently in my main deck.

This is just like my most recently discovered multiplayer baby, Luminarch Ascension.  Sure, it draws attention, but if you can protect yourself until it gets back to you, you should be able to protect yourself with tokens until someone else draws attention away from you.

I must agree with those above in that building a deck to protect itself against specific cards isn't nearly as fun as building a deck, protecting the weaknesses, but doing so with valuable cards.

In my opinion, one of the most underrated cards in multiplayer is Wild Ricochet (I started playing MtG with Lorwyn, can't ya tell yet?).  I only say this because while you may not run targeted removal, there is bound to be someone at the table who is, and imagine their face when they try and throw a Terminate at your creature, only to lose two of their own.

While I'm on red (and let's be honest, most of this has been meant to continue the conversation of the thread), another card that doesn't get a lot of attention in red for multiplayer is Taurean Mauler.  If not Lightning Bolted right away, it's very difficult for anything other than kill spells or bounce to properly deal with it.


I think stuffing your deck with cards that give your opponents life, just so that 4 creatures in your deck will get stronger, is a weak strategy. Creatures are easily destroyed, and that leaves you with all of you opponents on higher life totals.
You're right about Wild Ricochet though. That truly is a great card, and it should be played more. I always love redirection effects, because it adds a little randomization to the game. When there are some people playing Misdirections, Wild Ricochets or Reiterates, it teaches everybody to play with care, without being a griefer playing counterspells (I found that people hate it less that their spells is redirected, even though the drawback is bigger).
Maybe put some Odyssey Shrines in your decks, to teach them:D



I didn't even know those cards existed. Thx for the tip, they are really cheap to come by so I am definetly going to build a deck around some of those punishing shrines.

My revenge will be sweet.

Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Even with 7 players in my group, each owning multiple decks, there are no 2 decks the same. The only case where your example applies is 2 players owning an artifact deck, but even those are different. They both play 4x Fabricate, but still, the decks are so different from each other, that you don't really notice. And sure, maybe sometimes it is annoying that somebody else already has an Academy Ruins in play. But that is far less annoying than not be able to put it in your deck at all "because there are already people playing it".



Sorry I haven't been around lately; there's been a lot going on in my personal life (all good stuff, in case anybody was wondering).

Anyway, I was shocked to find that there had been a lot more posts since I last looked at this, haha.  The following quote above made me feel like I had to respond to it.  My meta actually has some of the same kinds of decks running around it.  For some reason, everybody loves to play Vampires (I called one of the guys Edward, and he told me that I'm just jealous because I'm not Bella).  Mill is also another archetype that a lot of people seem to have.  I think I'm the only guy who sees a lot of Mill in his meta, because I'm always talking about it.  I think a lot of the players in my meta see somebody play something and they think they can mess around with it and get something better, hence all the copycats.  As of yet, my decks have yet to be copied, haha.

I also agree with the quote about not building your deck around every threat that can be played.  I think I might've just had a bad round on a particular night.  The discussion has gotten really interesting though, and I really like the smaller community that is the Multiplayers.


Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
I think stuffing your deck with cards that give your opponents life, just so that 4 creatures in your deck will get stronger, is a weak strategy. Creatures are easily destroyed, and that leaves you with all of you opponents on higher life totals.
You're right about Wild Ricochet though. That truly is a great card, and it should be played more. I always love redirection effects, because it adds a little randomization to the game. When there are some people playing Misdirections, Wild Ricochets or Reiterates, it teaches everybody to play with care, without being a griefer playing counterspells (I found that people hate it less that their spells is redirected, even though the drawback is bigger).


The funny thing I realized last night while thinking about the great plays that can be had with cards like Wild Ricochet and the other redirect spells are that most draw spells are targetted, stating something to the effect of "Target Player draws two cards", opening you up to redirect the draw to yourself.  It's absolutely hilarious and something I can't wait to try.
Deep-Sea Kraken - suspend it and watch the time counters just FLY off it.  Or hard cast it.  6/6 unblockable can change games pretty quickly.

Congregate - just play it.  in anything that supports White.

Board sweepers are always good.  Sweepers with options are even better.  I'm a HUGE fan of Austere Command.
Deep-Sea Kraken - suspend it and watch the time counters just FLY off it.  Or hard cast it.  6/6 unblockable can change games pretty quickly.

Congregate - just play it.  in anything that supports White.

Board sweepers are always good.  Sweepers with options are even better.  I'm a HUGE fan of Austere Command.


Deep-Sea Kraken has been the bane of my multiplayer existence since I first saw it played.  The card is clutch in any instance it sees play.  Easily one of the best blue multiplayer cards I've seen to date.

One card I run in my more creature-heavy decks is Thorn of Amethyst.  You want to see a collective groan from a table?  Play this bad boy with a group where most run at least half non-creatures.  I've won a number of games single-handedly because nobody could provide an answer to it.  My record most was getting three of them into play.  The hilarity that ensued can only be imagined!
Deep-Sea Kraken - suspend it and watch the time counters just FLY off it.  Or hard cast it.  6/6 unblockable can change games pretty quickly.

Congregate - just play it.  in anything that supports White.

Board sweepers are always good.  Sweepers with options are even better.  I'm a HUGE fan of Austere Command.


Deep-Sea Kraken has been the bane of my multiplayer existence since I first saw it played.  The card is clutch in any instance it sees play.  Easily one of the best blue multiplayer cards I've seen to date.

One card I run in my more creature-heavy decks is Thorn of Amethyst.  You want to see a collective groan from a table?  Play this bad boy with a group where most run at least half non-creatures.  I've won a number of games single-handedly because nobody could provide an answer to it.  My record most was getting three of them into play.  The hilarity that ensued can only be imagined!



I've had a lot of fun playing Burning-Tree Shaman.  I feel like it's been largely forgotten, but boy does it work.  People use activated abilities a lot.  Having multiples out is just good times, AND it dodges Bolt.
Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Constant Fear That Something's Always Near; Fear Of The Dark, Fear Of The Dark, I Have A Phobia That Someone's Always There- Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark shall be feared no longer! Let him be praised instead! (Many, many thanks for all your hard work!) - darkwarlock I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Check out my DnD blog! www.artificersintuition.blogspot.com
Deep-Sea Kraken - suspend it and watch the time counters just FLY off it.  Or hard cast it.  6/6 unblockable can change games pretty quickly.

Congregate - just play it.  in anything that supports White.

Board sweepers are always good.  Sweepers with options are even better.  I'm a HUGE fan of Austere Command.


I played a game some weeks ago, in which one of the players had a Blue-White Counter deck built for duels. The only reason he won was because he had 2 Krakens out, and used his counterspells to protect them:D

I've had a lot of fun playing Burning-Tree Shaman.  I feel like it's been largely forgotten, but boy does it work.  People use activated abilities a lot.  Having multiples out is just good times, AND it dodges Bolt.


I was searching through gatherer for some budget rare possibilities, when I came across this guy.  I had almost forgotten about him.  In Standard at the time, he was played heavily because he was very good body for his cost, plus a relevant abiilty.  Him and Rumbling Slum.  They made for a great aggro deck.

I had pidgeon-holed him into that aggro slot.  I like the idea of him in multiplayer now.  Good idea!
Multiplayer needs board sweepers.  (If your playgroup doesn't use sweepers, then start playing Slivers. )

Budget friendly sweepers include:
Final Judgement
Hallowed Burial
Austere Command
Akroma's Vengance
Catastrophe

Yes, they are all white.  The non-white options are just not very budget friendly.  Wildfire and now Lavaball Trap are halfway decent.  You might need to go all the way up to Inferno to ensure you kill off the big stuff.

Also, Hurricane and Earthquake are good to have in your aresenal.  Both are finishers that can take out multiple players at once while at the same time sweeping away the hoardes of little things as well as the big stuff.

Martial Coup is also relatively budget. And why didn't you mention Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone?


Martial Coup is also relatively budget. And why didn't you mention Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone?





Uh... None of those are budget. I think that's why he didn't mention them.  Sweepers are hard to do on a budget, but there are several cheap quasi-sweepers:

Fade Away
Pestilence
Spreading Plague
Radiate 

 
efficient sweepers are hard to do on a budget but sweepers in general are pretty easy on budget. Mass calcify, Hour of Reckoning, Myojin of Cleansing Fire, Savage Twister, plague wind.

The list goes on and on. Mostly in white, but some in black too and with dmg to creatures in red and just to flying critters in green.

and oblivion stone isn't very expensive in the Netherlands (where I live) and even if it is a little more expensive than some other cards it is a good investment for a budget player. It is an artifact so it can go in pretty much any deck you make. Making it a very versatile card and thus a good investment.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Grave Pact and Barter in Blood are great for multiplayer.

Martial Coup is also relatively budget. And why didn't you mention Nevinyrral's Disk and Oblivion Stone?


 


Uh... None of those are budget. I think that's why he didn't mention them. 
 


My definition of budget is "under 10 dollars for a playset". If you check ebay, Disk goes for about 2-2.5 dollar (according to magictraders.com, which uses actual averages of ebay). Stone goes for 0.7-1.0. The Coup is a little more expensive, but still only around 3-4 dollars. Strong things like colorless sweeping are worth enough to me to make that investment.
While still on the subject for budget cards: The Ferret wrote a 14 piece series about old cards, that are good for multiplayer, and pretty cheap to get. Here's the link. There are some pretty solid cards in there.

Winds of Rath with recursable enchantments like Rancor can be funny.

Wave of Reckoning can be pretty easily broke, too. Splashable and cheap moneywise. That card and Adarkar Valkyrie make sweet, sweet music together.

Counterspells are hard in multiplayer because of their 1-for-1 nature.  You stop one spell with one of yours, but that still leaves all the spells in every OTHER player's hand.  In a small 4-person table, you've just pissed off one player, and left two opponents who also don't want their stuff countered.  Unless you are drawing 4 cards per turn, you will run out of gas very quickly trying to deal 1-for-1.

This is why selective counterspells are important.  Use your counters to protect your board position, or protect something that is giving you more of an advantage.

When someone busts out that big board sweeper, a well timed counterspell might make you (and a couple others) really happy.

My favorite counterspells in multiplayer?
Dream Fracture - it replaces itself, plus it plays politics
Arcane Denial - is OK.
Remand - is also OK.  

I usually use these instead of hard counters.  Since politics is huge in multiplayer, these help soften the blow that traditional counterspells create.