Ah, the joys of technology. Can’t get enough.

The short story is that I downloaded an image manipulation program last week to work on a new project (details to follow), and it came with a heck of a virus that killed off my laptop. I spent some time shopping on Saturday, ordered a laptop, then cancelled the order after sourcing an install disk for Windows XP. Tonight, things are getting back to normal, although the downside is that I’ve lost everything that was on it.

That was a lot of stuff. Pretty sure the last few years of decklists I’ve built we’re there and not backed up. Kind of a downer. Also gone are a few decent articles that I’ve been finishing up for here and for LegitMTG.com. Again, kind of a downer.

Anyway, I’m piecing things back together on my iPad, so bear with me.

Where were we? Right…complaints! Lets get to it.

Just When you Thought I Was Running Out Of Ways To Get Angry…

Last week at the regular Wednesday league, I had a game end in a way that elicited a stronger negative reaction from me that some of the games I’ve lost to combos or mass land and hand destruction. That’s saying a lot.

The blessing and the curse of the shop Mr P and I play at is that it’s a nice little game store that caters to people across the board. Board gamers, RPG-ers, card gamers…it’s a nice little location that welcomes everyone equally and peacefully.

There are, of course, a good number of fair-weather gamers at the shop. People who dabble a bit in just about everything, but probably don’t have a particular favorite game. They just want to play games with anyone who happens to be there.

Now, I may be unfairly characterizing the person who I’m about to tell this story about, but I found myself in a five player game that started at 9pm. The details aren’t incredibly important, but I was playing my Karador deck, Mr P was attempting to show me his mono-blue Talrand deck, and there was a Merieke Ri Berit player who was fairly new to the shop. Also of note was a player who is usually at the shop, but who I rarely see playing Magic.

(Maybe I’m just inattentive and he plays more Magic than I do. That’s entirely possible too.)

Now, apologies to those of you who are Merieke players, but in my experience, Merieke decks tend to be control decks that do a wonderful job of grinding games to a halt. No one particularly wants to play a creature for fear that it will simply get stolen, so there’s a lot of draw-go turns. A lot. Usually punctuated by a scramble for board wipes to level things out and find an opening. Rinse and repeat.

Anyway, not much was happening in this game. Everyone spent a good bit of time setting up. I had managed a Kokusho sacrifice or two to get up on life, but everyone was really at about equal ground. No one was particularly able to get out from under the Merieke threat.

I’m pretty sure Mr P was having the worst game of his life. He quite literally did next to nothing until the end, and when he finally cast Talrand and made two drakes, the fair weather player across from me suddenly targeted him with a Contagion Engine.

So there we sat. Eventually, the mono-green player proved to be too big of a threat and was taken out. Things persisted. Sudeenly, Mr. Contagion Engine decided to attack me with something that milled me for about twelve cards. The deck that wants creatures in the graveyard gets milled on the same turn that Mr P had finished with Extraplanar Lens, Leyline of All My Cards Have Flash, and had drawn seventeen cards off of a Blue Sun’s Zenith during the prior end-step. Okay.

Thanks for Yosei, I suppose.

Anyway, at this point, it’s past 11pm. I still have an hour to drive, and work in the morning, but I play once a week, and I’m here to get in everything I can. I’m sticking this out. Through some artful bounce work, Mr P clears an opening, and I’m able to aggro out the Merieke player. We’re getting down to the end of what is just starting to be an interesting game.

And then it happens.

The Merieke player makes some comment on the way out along the lines of, “that was a long game” or “man, it’s late”. Both valid points, to be fair. I’m looking at my second main phase at this point, trying to decide if I can recur Yosei and sacrifice it to lock down one player or the other while also getting Kokusho back to pad my life total. I’m just figuring out the math, when the guy across the table stands up, starts grabbing his cards, and suddenly says, “Yeah, I’ll just scoop.”

I’m getting heated very quickly. “Wait…what? Why?”

“This game is going on a little long.”

Seriously? It’s a freaking game of EDH. What the hell did you expect?

Mr P tries to talk him down, but the damage is done, and we scoop up our cards. Mr. Fair weather happily piles his deck into a box and wanders off to talk to someone.

I’m left to stew, and I hit the road before I get any angrier.

I’ve mentioned it before…since I only get to play one a week, I cherish the time. I travel a long way, and spend a chunk of money on gas and good. I want to get in some solid games for my time and effort. As a result, it drives me absolutely up the wall when someone does something like this to waste half my night.

However, it has been a while, and when we last left anger management, the new and improved Cass was trying to keep an even keel, no matter what goes wrong at these things. So I need to ask – is this an over-reaction? Was I within rights to be mad that the game fell to pieces after two hours of trying to make it a good game? Are fair weather players worse than Palinchron combo?

Or do I need to take up tai chi and relax a bit more?

Jury’s out.

Anyway, I’m off for tonight. I’ll be back on Thursday with my first breakdown of the Dragon’Maze spoilers. If you want a little taste of what’s to come, I see about two cards I can get excited about and a few that make me thing Wizards of the Coast is trying to kill EDH off.

See you in a few days!

—>Cass