Has everyone checked out that super sweet video of all the MTG celebrities drafting and playing conspiracy? Looks like a total blast right? All these wacky game mechanics, four player chaos games, it’s got all the great things that you’d want at casual gathering of friends. So why stop after you cracked the box? Sleeve those puppies up and save them for another time when you and some buds are hanging out.

Ok, heres the thing. I like to teach friends new games. I have a board game night with my non gamer friends every now and then. One of the things I really want to do is play magic with these folks. Problem is in my MTG life I’m a total spike. I can’t even be bothered to try to build casual decks. It never works out and the power levels are all over the place. I know that Conspiracy isn’t the best place to start teaching people to play Magic. That much is obvious. What it does is it makes me want to be better at teaching these friends the game so they can enjoy what looks like a super social game disguised as a magic draft.

I’m gonna pick on someone really quick. Matt Jones please forgive me. You’re the kind of Magic player I am as well. Not really interested in EDH or Casual type magic events, BUT (and this is huge) Matt likes to play other game for fun, Pathfinder in particular. Thats how I think we should be approaching Conspiracy. As a fun game to play that happens to have a familiar rules set. It’s Magic sure, but it’s also something thanks likely a lot of fun when you remove your attachment to the normal modes we set for ourselves when playing Magic. We have to approach this not like Magic at all.

If the goal is to win, then likely this would be a total trainwreck. Look at that video though. Clearly the goal is to laugh and hang out with friends, do things that you’d never ever try in a tournament match of Magic. I’m guessing that not a single person there walked away thinking. “GAH! Manascrew!” or “Nice Topdeck!” The sort of thing that sours an average Magic tourney just isn’t really present here. You get to do weird things at the start of the draft, and then once you square off, its as interesting watching your opponents turns unfold as it is taking your own turn.

THIS IN PARTICULAR is the opposite of how I perceive Commander. Where I’m basically just waiting for my opponent to finish their thing so I can do my thing.

I don’t feel that way about normal constructed. It’s like a dance, I need to care what you’re doing so I can deal with it and make my moves. Commander feels like a moshpit in a family vacation drive for 12 hours. “Can I go? Are we there yet? Let’s Pullover. IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP I’M GONNA TURN THIS CAR AROUND!” Conspiracy is more like watching House of Cards or Game of Thrones. We all want to see what the heck is going on and when something important happens we say, “SHIT JUST GOT REAL!” It’s certainly not conpetitive Magic, but it’s not the same Casual Magic many of us want nothing to do with.

I’m hopeful for Conspiracy. and I plan on buying a box and turning it into a cube so that I can play it with folks I like for good times. Let’s face it you can only play so much Storm and RUG until you need a fun break. The hope here though it that after showing enough friends that video some of them will want to try something a little silly and a lot fun.

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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