I haven't played Dungeons and Dragons in a while, so I figured I'd write something about my latest Magic: The Gathering session. Jason Scott invited me to play Magic with a group of guys he knew, and let me know that the group played a strange Spheres of Influence/Block Constructed mix. We weren't sure exactly which cards were legal in their format (he was certain that Core was fine, and that he'd seen some Ravnica Block stuff in the most recent games), so I built a U/G Pickles deck with some Ravnica duals and a couple of cards from core (Llanowar Elves and such). Turns out that they're playing straight Block Constructed, so my deck was technically illegal.
Spheres of Influence is a strange system. For those not in the know, you may only affect the two people sitting next to you. All of your global effects become local effects (you and the two guys next to you), and you may only declare an attack to your left or your right. This keeps you from beating down on the guy across the table. This gave me enough time to start putting together the pickles combo. I had Frozen Aether on the field, then Brine Elemental, and I just sat around waiting for a Vesuvan Shapeshifter to come my way. I only own the two of them, and none of the stores I frequent have any more copies. So I had to sit through half my deck waiting for it to show up, and when it did, the combo was taken apart by Mangara to my left; took out the shapeshifter and proceeded to slam on me with Ivory Giants. He got two in his opening hand. It was a rough game.
I'm thinking my next deck will include Pact of Negation, Pact of the Titan, Gibbering Descent and One with Nothing. Or just some Angel's Graces. Mmm.