Magic for 3 People

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I'm trying to figure out how to play Magic the Gathering with 3 people. If anyone can help it would be greatley appreciated. Thanks!
try Archenemy
proud member of the 2011 community team
Playing 3 people is no different from a simple 2 player game.  The game is designed so that you can have an infinite amount of people playing, considering you have an infinite amount of time to play.

In a 3 player game, rather than having one "player" as a target, you now have two.
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And 2 people targeting YOU too. Surprised Instantly makes for interesting game politics.

Decks don't NEED to be tweaked for MP games, but will perform better when designed knowing that you are now facing 2 or more players. Keep in mind you now have the same resources you do in a single player duel to deal with 2 players' turns. Things like taking more of a defensive stand, knowing that you're facing 2 attacks before you get to play again, and tailoring spells and whatnot to more of a group setting than single target play will go a long way to helping you stay alive and win. Make everything more efficient. Fast aggro can backfire on you, because games with more 1 opponent last longer, and your deck has to have some longevity and some punch to keep things going into a longer game. It's a whole new ballgame and art to design good MP decks.

Outside of that, it's just like a regular game of MTG. With politics. 3 players may be my favorite way to play the game.
Find yourself a 4th person or play one of the many side games like archenemy/edh, because frankly 3 players FFA are the worst. Your deck building skills and your playing skills got little to do with who will win, your mouth will, which completely defeat the purpose of build a deck and being good at playing said deck.

Dont get me wrong, when I play 3 player FFA, I win most of the time because I'm very good at politics, but I always feel dirty after because I decieved my friends into attacking each other while I knew I would win the game if they did.

Also the most passive player usually win... which can be fine, but it's usually bad because most decks are build offensively and thus the person is just waiting to pull off the perfect double kill, but if you are trying to pressure him, you just leave yourself exposed to the 3rd player.

So yeah, 3 players FFA, far from being the thing I like.
I love trolls Dont hate me because I'm blunt and you cannot handle it
I like "attack to the left" and "attack to the right". (you can alternate to spice things up without changing seating)

~ Tim  
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
From my experience 3 is probably the worst amount of people to play with, they tend to turn super political super fast and are just generally not all that fun. Once you get up to 4 you can play Archenemy, 2HG or even just 4 man FFA, which are all a lot more fun. If you can get 5 I'd recommend trying out star, it's a lot of fun and leads to some genuinely fun politics.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c1b8574f03c7cff35d72311f1208599a.jpg?v=90000)
I've played my share of 3 player games and I'll continue to play 3 player games but you can add my name to the list of people who thinks that 3 is a bad number. In general I'd prefer a 2 player game or a 4+ player game (until you get to numbers larger than 8 because the games take too long).

From best to worst here is how I would order the number of players
1.) 2 players (usually, although sometimes I prefer multiplayer games)
2.)4-8 players
7.) 3 players
8.) 9-16 players
16.) 0 players
17.) 1 player
18.) 17+ players
Don't be too smart to have fun
I play a lot of 3 player magic because my core group is 3 players and we usually get together 2x a week to play for an hour or so. Every so often we get a larger group of 4-6 for larger games, but 3 is our usual number. And it is tough. It often feels like we're playing Archenemy even though none of us owns the set.

You can play standard multiplayer. You just cut to the right, rotate to the left, and the active player declares all attacks at once. (And yes, having one attacker attack one player, another one attack another one, and a third attack a planeswalker triggers battalion.)

Note that in most multiplayer variants, the meta is slightly different. It's what's called a "political game", like reality TV, where being the one with the greatest chance of winning means that if you don't have immunity, you will be voted off the island soon enough.



  • Board wipes are more powerful. Removal, counters, and discard still leave you (and, fortunately, the controller of the card you just got rid of) minus one card relative to everyone else. Board wipes do better, usually.

  • Mana cost isn't so bad, relatively, because players . It still matters, but not in a "turn 2 Legacy win"-type way. Players take out players that are either obstructing their path to winning, the most obvious threat, or simply very obnoxious. See the next bullet point.

  • Don't be "that guy". Serra Angel doesn't mark you as a threat the way Baneslayer Angel does, and infect lets you kill one guy...before everyone else gangs up on you. (This is also situational; something like Karma will make enemies of every black player. An Oblivion Ring against a major threat makes everyone like you as long as its owner's still in the game; everyone but that threat's owner, that is.) However, Propaganda-type effects reduce motivation to attack you, and things like Edric, Spymaster of Trest and Curse of Stalked Prey, that reward players for attacking your opponents, can net you friends, and make one guy an instant pariah.

  • Red deck loses. Don't expect your aggro deck to have enough gas unless you have "draw a buttload of cards" cards.

  • Cards like Lhurgoyf, which get better if there are more players (more players = more creatures in all graveyards), are really good. Don't expect the same of Tarmogoyf, though; it's actually quite weak in multiplayer because it caps at 8/9.


Another type is teams, which admittedly requires an even number of players. Pretty much the same rules minus politics, and spell range rules (where North can affect East and West but not South until East or West is eliminated, in a four-player game) can affect boardwipes.


The other type is "team versus one" Achenemy. One player with twice as much life versus all the others, with pretty busted cards called schemes. Politics doesn't apply, and boardwipes are only good for the Archenemy, so a lot of the rules don't apply.

Look up multiplayer variants on the site.

139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Wow, does everyone really hate 3 player that much? Why do I always have to be odd man out in my opinions???
Wow, does everyone really hate 3 player that much? Why do I always have to be odd man out in my opinions???



It's politics more than anything.

You can also have an "attack clockwise" rule or something.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Wow, does everyone really hate 3 player that much? Why do I always have to be odd man out in my opinions???



Because influencing someone else into not attacking you and attacking the other player so you can win the next turn (deceiving) is not as much fun as building a deck and playing it properly (skills).

Also clockwise thing doesnt work.

Player 1 got a good board, Player 2 got a mediocre board, Player 3 got a good board. Player 3 wins.
I love trolls Dont hate me because I'm blunt and you cannot handle it
Personally Im a huge fan of multiplayer FFA.  It allows for an environment where stronger decks can play against weaker decks and still lose.  Its a great balancing factor if your playgroup arent all at an equal power level.

I've always disliked the variants that enforce any sort of combat or targeting restrictions.  First of all just because certain decks literally arent affected by those restrictions at all.  Global effects/damage get an even bigger advantage than in a regular multiplayer game.  But more importantly, it completely removes the ability of players to gang up on someone making a big power play.  Everyone has to sit there and watch me assemble my game winning combo with only one of them being able to try to stop me.

If people in a playgroup are raging over politics they need to calm down.  If you are playing FFA you arent in a competitive environment, its just casual, have fun playing a game.

Current decks
Comments or suggestions are always welcome

Modern
nothing at the moment

If the people you play against are that suceptible to influence through "politics", I'd say you're playing with people who don't really understand the game or just can't think for themselves. I've found that a new player will fall for someone's particular "political influence" 2, maybe 3 game sessions before they catch on and start ignoring, or even better, "I should attack the other guy, huh? Well, tell you what: no. YOU take it all."

Wow, does everyone really hate 3 player that much? Why do I always have to be odd man out in my opinions???



In many/most multiplayer games you END up with the situation where a losing player (in this example we'll say player C) has these options. Player A wins if I do this or Player B wins if I don't. In the player games you seem to START that way if you fall behind a little.

I would say that most frequently my multiplayer games involve 3 players simply because that is how many players we had. I wouldn't say that I hate it just that I prefer having more or less players than 3.
Don't be too smart to have fun
Yeah, I know that's the way it's supposed to work, logically, but in the games I play, I never really see it come down to that. You have to keep an eye on how much you can do to one player without getting smacked around by the other, but generally the ebb and flow of winner/middleman/loser changes an awful lot.

The one thing that does bug me about 3 player is that the only thing I see happening on a consistant basis is one player's ability to take another player out, but if they do, they risk getting taken out themselves by the 3rd guy.

I guess part of my attraction is that it allows you to play more aggressively than a regular 4+ MP Johnny deck, but makes you be more creative in deck building and manage resources ingame better than a 1-on-1 duel. When it comes down to it, I like all forms and combos of players, guess my deck building and play style preferences favor facing just 2 players. 
Yeah, I know that's the way it's supposed to work, logically, but in the games I play, I never really see it come down to that. You have to keep an eye on how much you can do to one player without getting smacked around by the other, but generally the ebb and flow of winner/middleman/loser changes an awful lot.

The one thing that does bug me about 3 player is that the only thing I see happening on a consistant basis is one player's ability to take another player out, but if they do, they risk getting taken out themselves by the 3rd guy.

I guess part of my attraction is that it allows you to play more aggressively than a regular 4+ MP Johnny deck, but makes you be more creative in deck building and manage resources ingame better than a 1-on-1 duel. When it comes down to it, I like all forms and combos of players, guess my deck building and play style preferences favor facing just 2 players. 



Things went pretty smoothly in the group I played most often with. We had a bunch of unwritten rules and protocool to make things smooth. For example if one player was dominating it was not uncommon for the other two players to "team up" in which case a win by either player was a "team win". It takes a long time (hundreds of games) to come up with how/when to implement these types of situations.
Don't be too smart to have fun
The real problem with 3-player is just the propensity for games to end up with 'kingmaker' situations as previously described, where one player can't win themselves but can decide which of the others does. It's a pretty unsatisfying conclusion. If not that, then one player dies early on and the game isn't much more than a duel with a speedbump. When a player only has two opponents to choose from, it's a little too punishing for whoever gets a bad start.

That said, there are a few ways to compensate for those problems. Planechase (or Chaos Deck, which is basically the same thing but with a deck of global effects rather than the planes) is one, playing two decks each is another (I like choosing decks, then randomising who gets which ones). The idea is to try and include some more variables, to have more opportunities for the flow of the game to change.

The advantage of three-player games is that most duel decks are still very much viable (something like Hatred obviously won't get you far, but most will be fine). With more than two opponents, the dynamic of the game changes enough that duel decks don't tend to work terribly well.
Personally I find politics to be half the fun in massive FFA games, but even I dislike three player FFA. There's just usually only three situations:
1. One of the players never gets going due to mana screw/mana flood/whatever and it's basically a two player game with speedbump. (As Infamado mentioned)
2. The kingmaking situation described above where the losingest player decides which player wins.
3. One player absolutely obliterates the other two even though they're working together. (I've done this with both combo decks and some control builds)

You can get a theoreticaly fourth situation where everybody is important to the game until the very end, but it rarely happens.

Honestly, I dislike FFA games with fewer than 6 players. With four I'd rather play 2HG, with five I'd rather play star, and with three I'd rather just alternate playing duels. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I once played some 3 player magic a long time ago, using modified Odyssey theme decks.  I used the Pressure Cooker theme decks, and my 2 opponents used the Liftoff theme deck and the Trounce-o-Matic theme deck.  I got creamed early, but that's how 3 player works.  The best thing about 3 player is knowing when to make an ally, and when to make an enemy, and when to go Benedict Arnold.

The best timmy experience is the Deluge + Overrun combo that my opponent used on me, well the timmy experience for my opponent anyway.

The best way to play 3, 4, or 5 players free-for-all is to play using the theme decks or intro packs from the same set, or maybe the same block.  That way, there is no imbalance between the decks of each player.  When there is an imbalance in decks, there is politics.  Isn't it usually the 2 weaker decks try to team up against the stronger deck, or the 2 strongest decks gets rid of the weaker deck, just so the 2 stronger decks can start playing 2 player Magic?
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I actually love 3 player magic, despite the fact that my opponents often team up on me by default.
Mainly because they know what I play
The best way to play 3, 4, or 5 players free-for-all is to play using the theme decks or intro packs from the same set, or maybe the same block. 



Rubbish. Man-up and build a better deck. Tongue Out