One of my as-yet-unstated goals for 2015 is for everyone at GDC to step up their Social Contracting a few notches. Our opinions may change, but ultimately we all love this format, which means intrinsically we must love some element of the Social Contract. And that isht needs defenden’. Enter:

The Social Contract in Action – Ep 1: The Italian Job

in which a guy new to the playgroup mass land destructions some faces and half the table gets pissy.

(Side note: I’m hoping for this to be a larger-than-team-wide pseudo series. If you have an example and aren’t part of team GDC, write it up, put it on GDrive, and tweet me the link. We love guest content!).

So this guy, whose name sadly escapes me, was generally a totally awesome, admirable human being. It was his second month in New York, having recently moved from Roma for work. He was friendly and dove right in despite English being his second language, keeping up with the banter and making for a generally amiable EDH atmosphere.

He was playing [Card]Daretti, Scrap Savant[/Card].

The other three in the game were me, an all foil [Card]Gisela, Blade of Goldnight[/Card] player, and a fourth dude playing I don’t remember. Magical backs and forths happened. We were generally playing EDH.

Then he cast [Card]Jokelhaups[/Card].

ASIDE: Let it be known, I am an avid not-hater of mass land destruction. I can respect a [Card]Wave of Vitriol[/Card] or [Card]Nature’s Balance[/Card], or even a well-timed [Card]Armageddon[/Card]. I believe lands being sacred is stupid and lets people over-focus on land-searching ramp. So blow ’em up every once in a while. 

Nonetheless, ‘Haups.. And people got sad. And maybe I was one of them.

After everything got blowed up, he took a while to finish the game off – keeping Daretti in play helped. I got knocked out first and went to shuffle up with Jon Pflu of East Coast Commander and two others, and Daretti-haups came over after the game finished to talk to me about it and ask how people feel about the card, that game, and his play style.

The talk was awesome. Awesome as eff. And it was THE SOCIAL CONTRACT IN ACTION PUTAS!!!!! (Sorry pardon my Spanish swearing.)

The Talk

The conversation included three main points:

  1. Some people hate MLD, it’s true, and some people at the table that game may have been in the “don’t blow up lands” camp;
  2. I’m not one of them, but the game did realllllly drag on so it’s typically best to only use MLD to set up a relatively painless win;
  3. And most importantly, do your best to understand the tone of the table first before popping some LD off.

And that was about it. He said “Oh, OK. That’s a bit difference from my experience but I get it.” Nobody super pissed off, people learned and happy to play more, and general feather unruffledness.

That’s my Social Contract in Action moment.

And this is me, calling out all my fellow GDC writers to be the Social Contract and then come tell us about it. Everyone else, if you have good social contract stories, or wanna call this one out as bull pucky, or whatever. hit up the comments or Twitter.