Raiding Kingdoms with Gisa

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I turned up really late for this Friday’s EDH games, about five hours late, meaning I was only able to get one game in. Since we were six, we decided to play Kindgoms, a variant of EDH where every person is assigned a role, usually distributed through basic lands. Otherwise the rules are the same. The special roles and rules are:

Plains: The King. This is the only publicly known role, other roles are secret. His mission is to kill everyone but the Knight. He starts at 50 life and always has the first turn. He wins if all players aside him and the Knight are dead, or all other players are dead.

Forest: The Knight. His mission is to protect the King. He wins together with the King. His allegiance is always with the King on the throne, so it might be the King or the Usurper.

Island: The Usurper. His mission is to overthrow the King and deal the last points of damage to him. If he does, the King is left with 1 life, the Usurper sets his life at 50 and assumes the role of new King.

2 Mountains: 2 Bandits. They win together when the King is dead.

Swamp: Assassin. Wins when everyone else is dead.

I chose to play Gisa for the night, I had only brought her and Thassa and felt that Thassa was too underdeveloped as a deck, if she is assigned anything but the Knight. The roles were randomised and I looked down on a Mountain, meaning I was Bandit. Around the table, we had:

hallofthebanditlord.hq

I had this in play all game. Flavourful!

Damia, Sage of Stone (Goodstuff Control)
Surrak Dragonclaw (Goodstuff Aggro)
Glissa, the Traitor (Artifact Value)
Ezuri, Renegade Leader (Elves!) – The King
Sigarda, Host of Herons (Voltron)
Ghoulcaller Gisa (MBC/Value) – Bandit

As stated, these roles were not public, aside the King. You were allowed to lie about your role as much as you wanted, but never reveal the card in question, not even if you were eliminated.

The game started off quickly by Surrak declaring himself Bandit and going after the King. He urged his fellow Bandit to follow suit, but I didn’t make a move. He was quite quickly eliminated by a combination of Sigarda and Damia.

The board was reset multiple times, and the King kept gaining life throughout the game, peaking at around 70 despite Surrak’s best efforts. After I had made an obscene amount of Zombies with Gisa, Damia reset the board with a Cyclonic Rift, and at that point it became quite clear to me that Damia was the Knight. For some reason, people had put Glissa as Bandit 2 and they went after him with all they had and only the scarce symbolic attack came my way. I gained some life through Extort and drew a bunch of cards with Necropotence and when the Cyclonic Rift hit I had enough big mana in lands to recover quite quickly.

emptythepits.fullWhen Glissa approached single-digit life, Sigarda started turning her attention towards me, meaning I was almost out of time. Sigarda is such a good Voltron Commander, and I have pretty few ways to deal with the threat of her. She hit me to 13 Commander damage on his last turn, but on the end of that I poured all of my mana and all of my graveyard into Empty the Pits for 15 Zombies, who completed my board of Gisa, another Zombie, a couple of tokens from Terastodon and a token from Pongify.

On my turn, I untapped, cast Profane Command for X=20, killing one of the King’s two blockers and removing most of his life. The final attack stepped killed him, and I flipped over my Mountain to some groans from Damia.

The roles, as it turned out, was that Surrak was indeed the other Bandit, Damia was the Knight, Glissa the Usurper and Sigarda the Assassin. I don’t know how we all didn’t just put Glissa, “the Traitor” as the Usurper, but oh well.

Since I had met my win conditions first, I was declared the winner. I’d like to think half the victory goes to Surrak Dragonclaw as well, his early sacrifice allowed me to sit in the back seat of the table for most of the game, and steal the win out of nowhere.

The format is awesome, and I encourage everyone who has large EDH groups to try it out. If the group is only five players, the format is supposed to work fine as well, but you play without the Usurper. I haven’t tried that, but the six-man version comes highly recommended. It did take us two and a half hours to finish a single game, but it was very enjoyable throughout.

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5 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  June 29, 2015

    I am glad that the king bit the dust in the end! I’ve played this mode three times now, and it’s a very fun way to play when five or six players turns up at the table. The only bad thing I can point out is that the games usually starts very slow, with no one making a move so they’ll not reveal their role to early. Something that Surrak in a brave, but ultimately futile move, tried to avert.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • And how. I’ve already jotted down some more thoughts of my own on the format, they’ll be posted here tomorrow. Really looking forward to the next time I get to play it, though the next time I’ll surely bring Tasigur. His activated ability + all the politics around the table = yummy!

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  2. Seems like a nice variant, never heard of it.

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  1. Expanded Thoughts: Kingdoms | Goyf Wars

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