Sorry for being MIA this weekend, folks.  The Great Halloween Nor’Easter of ’11 has kept me off the power grid since Saturday.  New England weather FTW.  (Or is it FML?  I always get those mixed up…)

Anyway, this topic has generated a bit of a response, both here and on the official forums, as well as an excellent post by Viperion on his blog,  so I wanted to follow up on it.

One of the responses on my original post  got me thinking this morning.  From “Anonymous”

So you learned a valuable lesson: next time think twice about eliminating him. I think what he did was, while incorrectly motivated, perfectly acceptable.
Whenever you step blindly into a meta, assessing the players is also an important skill.

I actually agree on all fronts save the bolded one. (Well, not the ‘stepping blindly into a meta’ part either…it’s my regular meta, so I’m pretty familiar with it; only the offending player was new.  So two disagreements.  This is turning into a Monty Python skit…)  Typically, I would agree to that as well; I have a pretty strong opinion that EDH is more about the journey rather than the destination, and I’d rather lose the game  to keep it alive for everyone involved for a longer period of time.

What I didn’t really delve into is the circumstances in the *first* game that led to me taking out ‘Teysa Guy.’  I’m wondering how this should change perception of what went down on his part, or my own for that matter.

As I made a slight reference in the post, we use a ‘points’ system for determining prize structure in the first game of the night on Wednesdays.  Patrick and I have spent many hours crafting these points (based again on the excellent Armada Games system that Sheldon Menery has detailed in his Star City Games weekly article) to create an environment that prevents people from running infinite combos and ending games quickly.  To that end, there are point negations for things like eliminating a player with an infinite combo, taking more than two turns in a row, and eliminating a player before a certain number of turns has elapsed.  Again, after the first game is complete, we tally points, and everyone gets one booster and a promo, and those with the most points get either a second booster from what is left in the prize pool, or a better choice of promo.

The pertinent points in this case are the ones that pile up for eliminating players; specifically, the following:

+1: Eliminate a player from the game.
+1: Eliminate a player from the game with exact damage.

By the time the offending elimination had occurred, the first game had gone on for roughly ninety minutes.  It was a four-player game, and the lead had swung all over the place.  I had amassed two points: one for drawing ‘first blood’ (I was the first to deal combat damage to a player) and one for a ‘straight’. (five permanents in play with consecutive converted casting costs.)  I had dipped to twelve life, with Teysa at sixteen, and the other two players (Vhati il-Dal and…hrmm.  Patrick, what were you playing in game one?) both well over 30 life.  On my turn, I drew into Cauldron Dance.  I had a Dragon Tyrant in my graveyard and the ability to play the Cauldron Dance and pump the dragon twice for exact lethal damage to Teysa.  He had no flying blockers, and I was convinced that four points would be enough to take one of the top slots for the night, so I made the play, even apologizing for taking him out, while also explaining why, and noting that we’d have time to play another game as soon as this one was over. 

I ended with the four points, took the top slot for the night, and got the extra pack.  I was also immediately eliminated by the next player in line, who was then eliminated shortly thereafter, ending the game early enough to start a second ‘fun’ game.

I need to reiterate that this is not typically a play I would make.  I tend to prefer keeping other players alive, and I usually tend to try to get points like “+1: save another player from elimination.”  In this case, the writing was on the wall, I was nearly eliminated myself, and I was left with the late-game play that offered me the means to gain maximum points before I was taken out. 

So I throw myself before the mercy of the court.  Does this justify my case any further?  Did I break a part of the social contract?  Was Teysa Guy justified in what he did in retribution during a subsequent casual game?  Am I a condescending jerk?  Or was I within my means?  Should I plan to fight fire with fire and show up this week with the full intent of playing Kresh and Fling-ing a lethal Hamletback Goliath at his head as quickly as possible?  😉