Politics are getting old. (minor rant)

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So I'm sitting here at game night. Poking through the forums while everyone else plays a nice game of MTG. Why aren't I playing you ask? Well, I WAS...

Utopia Mycon. I drop this on turn 2, and I hear one of the guys mutter under his breath "Tossed Thallid with Bleu Cheese" (the name of my deck). By the end of round 4, I'm dead, and not a single other player, out of 6, has taken a point of damage or been hated on in any way. I hate crap like that. How do other ppl deal with it? I mean, I'd like to kick the guy in the teeth, but I can't, cause he's a friend...  
 
So I'm sitting here at game night. Poking through the forums while everyone else plays a nice game of MTG. Why aren't I playing you ask? Well, I WAS...

Utopia Mycon. I drop this on turn 2, and I hear one of the guys mutter under his breath "Tossed Thallid with Bleu Cheese" (the name of my deck). By the end of round 4, I'm dead, and not a single other player, out of 6, has taken a point of damage or been hated on in any way. I hate crap like that. How do other ppl deal with it? I mean, I'd like to kick the guy in the teeth, but I can't, cause he's a friend...  
 



Perhaps a less confrontational (than a kick in the teeth) but still pointed question might be in order. Like: Why me? You may not like the answer you get if your deck is known and it does unfair things quickly. I suspect that is what happened. If you want to play in a group setting you need to learn what works for the group. If everyone there is rabidly anti-combo then don't bring a combo deck and expect to win or even be a survivor.

I don't know your deck but I am guessing someone in that group had an issue with the type of deck they thought you were playing. If that is the case it would benefit everyone to know this. And if you AREN'T playing that deck then telling people is also beneficial. Cute name for a deck by the way.

Winter.Wolf

Oh, I know that's exactly what happened. He really didn't need to tell everyone what it was, they knew. They know it goes nuclear on turn 7-8ish. But there were other threats at the table just as "bomb happy" as my deck.

It's all good, I got an apology for it, and it looks like the game's gonna end here pretty quick anyway. Everyone's about to die to a Hurricane...

This is a very combo-happy group. People want to win, but they also want respect for how they win. 
I tend to take it as both a compliment and a reason to reevaluate the early game capabilities of the deck that got shot down. I'm not always the threat, but I do tend to be a threat, and the people I play with know from experience that letting certain decks establish themselves is bad news for everyone else. I've been on the recieving end of early game thrashings just as often as I've handed them out. Don't take it personally.
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Oh, I know that's exactly what happened. He really didn't need to tell everyone what it was, they knew. They know it goes nuclear on turn 7-8ish. But there were other threats at the table just as "bomb happy" as my deck.

It's all good, I got an apology for it, and it looks like the game's gonna end here pretty quick anyway. Everyone's about to die to a Hurricane...

This is a very combo-happy group. People want to win, but they also want respect for how they win. 




I sympathize. I used to play with my wife and she would always demonize me. Her win percentage in 4 player games where both of us were playing was like 30% while mine was like 20%. It's true that I was usually the best and/or most experienced player at the table. It's true that I was always planning and plotting. That's why I was never able to convince anyone that she was the bigger threat. I remember one time we were playing with another friend (3 players) and she won like 4-5 games in a row before I could convince him that she was the threat because I was testing out some wacky eye of the storm decklist and she was playing my finely tuned coalition victory decklist.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Wow, that all sounds familiar. Well, except the 2 decks at the end.
Well everyone has THAT deck that no one at the table wants to win, eather cause its faster than most or just WRONG for example.

1Name(2Association):3Deck name/Theam(4Wins by in 4-8 player game)Repeat 3&4
Don(Friend)ampire(4-8),Elfs(4-6),Dragons(6-8)
Rina(Friend):Jace mill(6-9),Wheel of sun and moon(10-14)
Lucas(Local competitive player):Zur EDH(3-?),Manaless dreage(2-6)
Kyle(Friend of a friend):Tinker(2-3)
ME(A Prime Target):Eye of the storm(5-12),Esper(~2-7),Allys(3 OR 4),

My point everyone has that deck that gets killed ASAP even if the deck isent that good just because of Posabilitys.
Winning games/contests http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29530975/Break_the_Card_:_Fiend_Hunter
In my old group, I was always the target too.
It was for a reason though, most of the decks I seem to like making have a way of winning games out of nowhere.....
But....
because I've been getting used to being the target, it means that decks I subsequently make have to be rock-solid not to just get blown to bits, by a whole table wary of anything I put into play.  In some games, I'd get everything countered and get bashed to 0-life before I'd even got a single non-land into play.  (I think they were trying to teach me something)
 
So now I say screw that, and just play a simple creature deck for a couple games and let someone else get all the attention. 
Whenever I play MP, I like to use a different deck for every game.
Do I really care who wins in multiplayer?!?
   
I find that decks that sit back and wait for somebody else to make the first move are better for MP. Consider a deck that uses cards like arcane melee and spell burst. It's kind of like a build-up deck, but while it builds up, you can constantly keep control of the game. That is unless everybody at the table knows what you're playing, then they just stomp you for being annoying. Which is questionable for them to do.

I don't know about you, but in my group, if somebody busts out a super fast deck, and beats everybody really quickly, then the next game turns into a retaliatory one, where that player is first out on general principle. Sometimes that player is me (okay, usually it's me. But I only try to do that because everybody else has decks like the one I mentioned above).
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Are you making a casual mill deck? Please read.
Control is the key of a mill deck. You should free up your mana as much as possible so that you can respond to whatever your opponent is doing. Having some way to remove threats, both real and percieved, is necessary to survival. Real threats are those that are already on the field, and are something a simple unsummon or doom blade can remove. Percieved threats are those that aren't on the field, something a simple duress or counterspell can deal with. Controlling the board will allow your mill deck to continuously perform, if you use permanent style mill, that is. One-Shot Mill spells are something you should avoid. You can toss tome scours at your opponent until your hand runs out, but that isn't going to be enough to mill them to death. With 1-shot mill spells, like tome scour, you have to treat them like burn spells. Therefore, the only "good" 1-shot mill spells are sanity grinding (in the right deck) and mind funeral. Try to find more permanent styles of milling, like memory erosion, hedron crab, and curse of the bloody tome, so that you don't have to waste your mana each turn doing something that those permanents can do with a single mana/turn investment. Keeping your mana open allows you to respond with control elements. ​Traumatize Rant​. Traumatize is a terrible card for a multitude of reasons. First, it costs 5 to cast, which is a large investment for a mill deck. Milling half a library sounds neat, but if you do the math, it really isn't that much. An average 60 card deck starts with drawing 7 cards. Then, barring any draw spells on their end, or ramp on yours, 5 turns will go by, where they draw 5 more cards, leaving 48 in the deck. Unless they had a deck with more than 60 cards, or you ramped it out, the most you'll ever mill with a single Traumatize on turn 5 is 24 cards. That's not too shabby, but hang on, there's more! If they drew any additional cards or if they were milled before turn 5, that number will be much lower. In addition, any more Traumatize's you draw will only mill less and less as the game goes on...which is the point of a mill deck. My whole point on Traumatize is the it is NOT worth the 5 mana investment, not even with haunting echoes. You can mill more than 24 before turn 5...which you can then cast the echoes. If you look at a mill deck like a burn deck, you'll notice that it takes longer to win with mill than with burn. For example, lightning bolt costs 1 and does 3 out of the 20 damage needed to win (barring any lifegain or damage prevention). For mill, that same investment of 1 would have to mill 9 cards out of an average 60 card deck to be the equivilent of lightning bolt. The problem is that there is no mill card that can do that...except hedron crab, over a period of time. The initial investment of 1 will pay off in 3 more land drops to make the crab equal to a bolt. However, the crab nets you more mill beyond those 3 land drops, making it better as the game draws on. Other cards, like curse of the bloody tome, are excellent ways of milling an opponent because the initial investment of is all you have to pay in order to put your opponent on a clock. All you have to do is stay alive, which is the true goal of a mill strategy. There are other ideas for mill decks that are specific to certain types of strategies. Combo mill decks can mill an entire player's library out from under them. Secondary mill strategies are usually tied to another strategy, like drowner of secrets in a merfolk deck, or halimar excavator in an ally deck. Milling can be done in certain decks that are able to ramp out enough mana to make use of the higher costing mill spells, like using 16 post to pay for X on sands of delirium or for ambassador laquatus. Multiplayer mill decks are even tougher to build, but can be done. Being a slower environment, it is easier to ramp in multiplayer, allowing for big X spells, like mind grind, to be useful. Consuming aberration is another star player. The more straightforward strategy is to use mesmeric orb and dreamborn muse while being the only deck at the table that can deal with it. There are always new strategies coming out with each set, so check gatherer for any new mill cards that you find to be the most fun for you! Now you can say that you haven't fallen into the trap that most new players fall into when they build their first mill deck!
I don't know about you, but in my group, if somebody busts out a super fast deck, and beats everybody really quickly, then the next game turns into a retaliatory one, where that player is first out on general principle.
Sometimes that player is me.
okay, usually it's me....



LOL.  Sounds familiar!
Last time I took my Legacy-style Manaless dredge deck to a night (a friend asked about it), I won on turn 4 against about 5 people. 
It just went ape**** on turn 2 and comboed off big time.  Griselbrand and Flayer of the Hatebound into play on turn 2 with Ichorid's and Nether Shadow's just burning everything via FLayer.  It was fun (for me). I was pretty new to the deck, so I ran it for the rest of the night, keen to see what it could do.
After that first game, I just got smashed as everyone banded together to show me how politics works.  LOL.  Served me right too!!  

My group has changed a bit these days though.  When we do catch up (not as often anymore) most of us have decks full of answers and sweepers aswell besides our main focus.  There are just too many decks capable of going stupid quickly, so with everyone packing hate the games are sometimes fairly balanced.
Happens a lot to me when I play my Hunting Grounds deck because people know by about turn 6-7 the deck will start dropping some crazy strong creatures into the game.  I play that deck when I'm looking for a challenge because the challenge is trying to stay alive.

I have a couple other decks that tend to draw some fire as well when I play them, but that's part of the fun of the game.
I can relate to the OP very well. Too well. I have a knack for oddball combos that take forever to build up, but when they go off, they tend to end games. So, the rest of the table has a tendency to destroy any non-basic land I put out, counter any card I try to play, or just buck me out first just so they don't have to worry about me. In team games, if anyone has a removal card ready for play, 90% of the time it's coming my way.

For example; this past weekend, while my teammates had 9/6 Unblockable Lifelinkers, a mess of 4/4 flyers, you can bet the other team thought my Nivix Guildmage(only creature I had in play, only had two lands left after they got done destroying the rest) was the obvious threat, and needed to be murdered NOW.  Nothing like spending a 90 minute 8-person game sitting with 2 lands and nothing under 4 mana being drawn.

I've dismantled several decks, decks I enjoyed playing, because the moment anyone recognized what deck it was, I had a HUGE bullseye painted on my forehead and could count on being taken out ASAP by the rest of the table.

But, everybody else says I should take it as a compliment.

I find signatures incredibly distracting. If you read this, then you too have found them distracting. 

The fix for the problem is to not play free-for-all. (sorry, I know that doesn't help)
There are six players? Try two-headed giant with 3 teams instead of 2. People are less likely to flail politics around if they already have a designated partner to focus on working with. Likewise, you will have another player whose job it is to watch your back.
Congratulations, Sacrifice: you, like me, are The Threat.

The article linked there pretty much covers your condition.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

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Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Yes, I remember reading that article. The only thing that differs is the other folks build good decks too and I don't win all the time. When you have a field of 6 or 7 players, and the average night is 4 or 5 games (when playing a big FFA format), you're lucky to be one of the 4 or 5 out of 7 ppl that win a game. I typically win 1 or 2. I guess that's enough to considered the "threat".

Last night was pretty cool. I walked in with 3 newish, largely untried decks, and made sure everyone knew I wasn't playing my typical decks. Much more fun. Problem is all 3 decks won, so I doubt I'm ever gonna get away with that again. I just honestly don't see my decks being that better than everyone else's. I guess when you get into big MP games, combo jank really is the way to go, cause that's what these were....
I used to always be the target in my playgroup, and would frequently experience 3 or 4v1's. What I started doing two years ago is making my decks as defensive and unappealing as possible to attack. It's worked pretty well for me, I've got a win percentage a bit above 50 while not being in the middle of the radar. The other strategy that worked for me is I threatened to annihilate the first one to damage me severely, and I'm always good for it. That discourages people long enough to build up some defenses.
I've got a win percentage a bit above 50....



And they let you get away with that?   Man... if I started winning like that I'd get alpha-struck by everyone and knocked out immediately every game. 
My group has a few overpowered decks for sure, but thankfully we don't play them too often.
The decks everyone hates top play against usually get struck hard though, think Grave Pact etc...

My group has tall poppy syndrome. ie. you win a few games on the trot = LOOK OUT! 
And fair enough too.Wink
I always used to think it funny when one person wins a few games in a row, and a mate of mine would bring out his competitive Burn deck, with eye's for one player only..... 

I always used to think it funny when one person wins a few games in a row, and a mate of mine would bring out his competitive Burn deck, with eye's for one player only..... 



One of the guys I play with does the same thing, except with a land destruction focused deck. It's even funnier when the person he's chosen to focus on is able to thrive despite the land d.

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I've got a win percentage a bit above 50....



And they let you get away with that?   Man... if I started winning like that I'd get alpha-struck by everyone and knocked out immediately every game. 
My group has a few overpowered decks for sure, but thankfully we don't play them too often.
The decks everyone hates top play against usually get struck hard though, think Grave Pact etc...

My group has tall poppy syndrome. ie. you win a few games on the trot = LOOK OUT! 
And fair enough too.Wink
I always used to think it funny when one person wins a few games in a row, and a mate of mine would bring out his competitive Burn deck, with eye's for one player only..... 



I only see them once every month or so, so it's like they forget ;)
There is definitely a fine line between political assassinations and accurate threat assessment.

Most of the politics in my playgroup revolve around people being absurd rather than just trying to outright win. "Oh hey Billy just played Ink-Treader Nephilimp! You should hit it with your Otherworldly Journey IT WILL BE AWESOME."  
I actually had a similar problem with my Fungus Amongus deck (Thallids), too, except my friends irrationally went after me when I wasn't being aggro.  Thallids?  Aggro?  Since when?  You can speed it up with Sporoloth Ancient and other cards, but thallids are not aggro.  Anyway, I had to nuke the whole deck because as soon as the guys saw a thallid, I was the 'biggest' threat on the table... ???

So I did what any vengeful person would do, and built a far more mechanically solid saproling deck with aggro hate galore.  I taught them a lesson and made sure they knew it, too.  But I also went back and upgraded most of my decks to survive similar knee-jerk reactions.  Now, I don't field decks unless they are sound, no matter how much I like the idea. I reject more deck ideas than I field, and I purpose-build decks for the type of format they'll run in. I also run more global hate and recovery in the decks.  My win % has gone up dramatically and I fully deserve the hate that comes my way, now!  I can live with that.
You could try to play things a little different with your friends, say two-headed dragon, or perhaps planechase, that way you might not be targeted as much. You could take a chance and make some new decks to throw people off. Maybe even have some red herring cards. What some of my friends do is play so you can only attack the person on your left and you defend from the person to the right, if you kill the person to the left you move on to the next one and so on. Yeah, sometimes free-for all has that problem. And it might be that your decks are particularly annoying to the other players. Does this mean you should never use them? No but swich it up. What might also work so that others can see what it feels like is suggest that for a match or two everybody plays with somebody elses deck. Whoever gets your deck will probably be targeted (and if they are not you can make it a point to the group that they are being jerks to you).