Here’s the “sitch.” I’m playing my Animar/Slivers deck. This deck relies almost completely on it’s creatures, particularly for a win. I have six mana on board. Opponent 1 is playing Sol’kanar the Swamp King. He also has only mana on board. Opponent 2 is playing Maralen of the Mornsong and has her, a Platinum Angel equipped with a Darksteel Plate, a Xathrid Gorgon, and a Sheoldred, Whispering One. Opponent 3 is playing Ezuri, Renegade Leader with guess what? A bunch of elves on the board. But, he’s sacking elves every turn to Sheoldred. I know that Opponent 2 is going after Opponent 3, so I’m not worried about it, and am willing to let things play out for a bit. Plus he and I have an “agreement” in place. He also has an agreement with Opponent 1. I spend a turn to tutor for, and cast a Lurking Predators. I figure maybe if I get a few creatures on board before my turn, then the sac to Sheoldred won’t hurt as much. Opponent 1 decides to bounce my enchantment and then proceeds to cast Wheel of Fortune. With Maralen on the board this equates to “all players discard their hand.” In my opinion Opponent 3 had a much more defined and able to win board presence than me. Why did Opponent 1 go after my fairly inconsequential enchantment when there were more prevalent threats on the board… not only that, but he cast two cards and had to discard a hand of something like 5 cards to get rid of my one enchantment, maybe 3 cards in my hand, and a few cards in each of the other opponents’ hands. Not much “value” there.
Sitch number two. I’m now playing my Cromat/Planeswalker deck. Opponent 1 is playing The “Mother-Fucking” Mimeoplasm with Opponent 2 playing Progenitus and Opponent 3 still playing Ezuri. I cast Demonic Tutor on turn 2 (yes, I know, big red target!) and get a Bloom Tender because I know I have some issues with the mana on-board and in my hand. I cast the Tender on turn 3 and the immediate response is for Opponent 1 to cast a board wipe. This kills my Bloom Tender, it kills nothing for Opponents 1 or 2, and it kills a Viridian Emissary for Opponent 3. So, just to deny me mana, he gives Opponent 3 an extra land. Reminder that Opponent 3 is playing an elf deck that really wants to ramp.
Opponent 2 won both of those games by the way, and that somewhat negates his attacks on me. At least he didn’t go after me at the cost of kinging one of the other players. But this also isn’t the only instance of this happening. This is an ongoing thing between him and I.
Here’s how it all started. Back when I first started playing Commander (EDH then) my second deck was a Sharuum the Hegemon deck. I built the deck and then did some online research only to find that there was an infinite combo win possible. I threw it in to the deck. But the deck was NOT optimized to take advantage of it. I only had something like two tutors in the deck. The first time that I won with the deck I was “on the radar” of Opponent 1. After that I was always target number one to him. He really didn’t like that I could win with a combo out of nowhere. That deck was taken apart after a three hour game at the end of which I had cast my general something like seven times, and finally, finally, pulled off the combo win. I was sad to find out that my opponents that night were still mad that they lost to a combo despite the fact that I NEVER tutored to get it, and I fought against insane odds to finally eek out that win. It was well deserved in my opinion, but I took the deck apart.
After that I have built several decks, and I am always true to my styles and such. I love tokens so I built a Ghave, Guru of Spores deck with Doubling Season. I want to try Esper again, but I go another route and make it a Dakkon Blackblade voltron deck. I love planeswalkers, so I build a five-color Cromat deck with 18 Planeswalkers in it (and Doubling Season of course!) These decks are fun, the let me do things that I enjoy doing, and yes, they are capable of winning fairly consistently. But not when I am target number one to one particular opponent. And no matter if my deck is creature based, combo based, or something all-together different, I am always target number one.
I’m sick of it. After last nights session and the situations described above I’ve made a decision. I’m rebuilding Sharuum. And I’m optimizing the hell out of it. If I am going to be target number one I’m damn-well going to deserve it! Look out Opponent 1, I’m gunning for the table.