Welcome back to Playgroup Evolution! I’m writing from a new computer… which I would be excited about, but my laptop’s CPU died the other day. Not good. So, if this is formatted a little different, I blame Google docs.

This week I’m looking at lessons learned from my group. To understand how to work with your group best, you need to understand your group.

I know that sounds like some Zen-hippie garbage. But it matters. Knowing how people play and what they prefer can make a huge difference. Following the social contract and tweaking gameplay experience to ensure everyone can get what they want from the games is much easier. (Note to Cass and Dave, see I can reference the social contract too!)

And so without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give you the seeker of serenity, the protector of Italian virginity, the enforcer of our Lord God, the one , the only Sir Ullllrirrrich von Lichtenstein!!

Paul-Bettany

I watched A Knight’s Tale the other day, I’m not sorry for that quote. 🙂

Pete


What is your favorite card:
Dark Confidant
What is your favorite card for EDH: Bribery
What is your favorite EDH deck: Oloro
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: RTFC (Read the F-ing
Card). Many rules issues, questions people have, and things that slow down the game
can be prevented if people read the whole card.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Fast starts that dominate the game.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: Slow starts that get me crushed.

Adam

What is your favorite card: Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
What is your favorite card for EDH: Marath, Will of the Wild
What is your favorite EDH deck: Marath
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: Don’t take everything
so seriously. Just enjoy the game.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Understanding my opponents decks and their
game plan.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: Reading the table wrong (then getting
punished for it).

Spencer


What is your favorite card:
Bogardan Hellkite
What is your favorite card for EDH: Wheel of Fortune
What is your favorite EDH deck: Urabrask the Hidden
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: Your idea of fun isn’t
always everyone else’s. Be courteous to the table’s or group’s idea of fun and find a group that shares your idea fun.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Understanding how the stack resolves in multiplayer
best.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: I’d rather sacrifice consistency for power in all
decks.

Ryan

What is your favorite card: Warp World
What is your favorite card for EDH: Warp World
What is your favorite EDH deck: Kurkesh, Onnake Ancient
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: Start with a precon and
build from there. I started buying everything from scratch and wasted a lot of money on
Nekusar, the Mindrazer. It is a lot easier to build from a precon into something better.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Pissing people off.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: Pissing people off.

Aaron

What is your favorite card: Force of Nature
What is your favorite card for EDH: Chaos Warp
What is your favorite EDH deck: Zedruu the Greathearted
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: Having fun is the most
important thing. I never mind losing in a great game where I had a lot of fun.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Mastercard and the Internet.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: The Internet lies.

BJ

“I don’t want to be quote. I’m not even a good EDH player.”

What is your favorite card:
Pestilence
What is your favorite card for EDH: Warp World
What is your favorite EDH deck: Bruna, Light of Alabaster
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: When you come for 60 card
formats, you don’t want mana dorks. There are better things in those colors.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: I’m not usually the target.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: I’m a giant Timmy at heart.

Erik (not me)

What is your favorite card: Stuffy Doll
What is your favorite card for EDH: Greater Good
What is your favorite EDH deck: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
What is one lesson you would give to people getting into EDH: Play for the long game.
What is your biggest strength in EDH: Threat assessment.
What is your biggest weakness in EDH: Making good plays.

Identify Trends

The important parts of this for me as the lessons for EDH players and the strengths and weaknesses. The “Favorite X” questions are there because the answers are interesting and they help get people talking. Looking at this info from regulars, I can identify a few trends.

  1. My group is more interested in fun and interesting games than winning.
  2. My group likes big, splashy, random effects.
  3. My group likes the games to go long.

Finding these trends allows you to tweak your playgroup context based on this common ground. I’ve also used it as a target and sought a lot of feedback from my group regarding version 3.0 of the point system. The feedback this time was excellent. Rather than arguing for things that would assist their best decks, regulars gave constructive feedback on ways I can clarify things and the points that they think should be tweaked.

Go Savage on Them

If you are not using a point system you can informal interviews like these to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. My group has given me weaknesses to exploit. Fast, consistent starts will help against the slow players and those who dislike the mana dorks. Another way I could take advantage of my group’s tendencies is to find ways to abuse or stop chaos effects. The group loves Warp World and its ilk. I may loathe the card, but learning to take advantage can be more constructive than just building resentment.

1982, CONAN THE BARBARIAN

The other way I could turn these answers into an advantage is through threat assessment. Several mention being a Timmy, struggling to make good plays, or being hurt their inconsistent decks. I could capitalize on this by working to make my play consistent. I’ve already addressed threat assessment, but working to make my decks consistent and a little faster will help give me an edge.

But Seriously, Learnings

I can almost hear several of you thinking about how you already assess your group. You almost certainly do! Formalizing it with an exercise like this can provide insight you may not normally have. For instance, I knew about consistency being a bit of an issue with my group, but I wouldn’t have considered trying to speed up my decks. Instead, I would have worked to improve consistency and my decks’ ramp abilities. But seeing these answers, I know that I would be better served by dropping a deck’s curve and speeding up its game plan. This has been very successful in improving my Anax and Cymede deck. I need to adapt more of my decks using this philosophy.

So, wonderful readers, I challenge you to interview your group! As the regulars a set of questions, then use the answers to help everyone (or just yourself, deviously). I believe in you! Post up your response, thoughts, questions, and concerns. Basically I’m fishing for replies.

See you Write another post to you lovely people soon!

Erik