The bane of Hamletback Goliath

copyright: Wizards of the Coast

Something interesting happened while playing Magic: The Gathering with my wife: I won. The win itself was uncommon, but even more so was the way in which I won. I had dealt a terrible hand, all of my spells had high mana costs and I was continuing to draw little of use while being taken down a little each turn by my wife’s decisive maneuvers.

The thing I love most about playing this game with my wife is that she isn’t a gloater. She plays the game for the joy of playing it and she gives it her all, making her a perfect opponent to play against. She is also good sport enough to not blatantly plot my destruction by knowing most of my hand (as I often need to rely on her longer experience of the game to ask what a particular effect does or means before I can play the card).

The match was beginning to wind down, I was nearing death and I couldn’t draw enough land to cast my big damage card: the Hamletback Goliath. Just as I thought I was doomed to fail, I finally added enough mana to cast my favorite card… but I opted for a bit of caution.

My reticence in casting said card was that my wife has a nasty habit of planning far ahead of me and always seems to have just the right card to crush any particularly exciting cards I cast. So, for the first time in my brief and illustrious Magic career, I opted for caution. I first cast another creature card, a Minotaur with Haste and First Strike, in the hope that might draw her evil destroy cards out to be wasted on my horned sacrificial pawn. When that didn’t happen, I had a worthwhile attacker to protect me in the next turn, when I could cast Hamletback Goliath.

The wife’s turn came and went without much incident. Either she didn’t have the right card or she wasn’t ready to play it, and I was assuming the former. This meant that I was able to cast my card of doom, the Hamletback Goliath. The match ended with my first win in MANY games and I was elated, despite the fact that I still didn’t really understand the card and had played it with the intention of casting another small creature to buff up the big guy.

I didn’t realize that any creature cast by another player would buff this creature, but my wife conceded the duel based on her knowledge of the card and that she didn’t have enough in her hand to do much more than hold it off for a while. I am afraid, however, that my joy in casting said card will be fleeting. Now my deck has been refined enough for her to potentially face this card again, she has vowed to hold back any cards she draws that will stop it in its tracks the instant it is cast… which is exactly what happened yesterday. But either way, I was finally able to get a win and I am much closer to having the refined red deck that I have been working on. Here is to hoping that the wife has more shuffles that leave her with very little to play, so that I may gain more advantages.


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