Friday, June 1, 2012

Beer Before Liquor: The First Playtest

It was going to be an epic turn.  Mind Over Matter has nothing on Beer Before Liquor:

M's Lounge Guardian had a VIP counter on it, giving creatures -1/-1, preventing me from playing Horde of 80s Cartoons, so I stuck it under an O-Ring.  With the coast clear, I drank 9, untapped three lands with Beer Before Liquor, cast Horde of 80s Cartoons, and then immediately drank another 7 to have it copy Wife's Tequila Wurm.  Then I drank another 15 to untap five lands and cast Cocktail of the Gods.  Feeling invincible, I drank another 9 to untap three blue sources so that I could timewalk with Wasted Time, planning to reset my hand with It's 5:00 Somewhere on my extra turn.
Updated version

Unfortunately, I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to chug a beer immediately after drinking 2 1/2 bloody marys.  It's not that I can't chug beer -- I'm normally quite good at it -- but it was just too much fucking liquid for my stomach to handle on one turn.  Reluctantly, I had to let my stomach settle before casting a spell that would require me to finish my still-half-full bloody mary and passed on my extra turn after doing something spectacularly insignificant.

With Lounge Guardian out of the way, Wife was free to bring out Juan, the Mind Smasher. I've never seen a planeswalker gain 18 loyalty in two turns before, but Juan really lives up to his name.  Wife had weak board position, so she decided to make some worms.  And by "some," I mean "a fuckload."  Wife downed a full pint glass of rum and coke two turns in a row, generating nine 1/1 worm tokens each time.

Updated version
On the next go-around, M blasted me with a Keg Stand for lethal by paying the alternate drinking cost for X.  It seems that he had forgotten about the Curse of Echoes that I had enchanted him with earlier, so both Wife and I sent our copies of Keg Stand back at him for lethal. (M's wife J was already passed out by this point, so she missed the trigger.)
Original verison
M's original Keg Stand resolved, so I chugged a beer and exiled Cocktail of the Gods.  This turned out to be pointless, as I didn't draw my wrath and got overrun by Wife's worm tokens.

Things I learned:
  1. Using booze as mana is really, really powerful. As long as someone's willing to drink enough, the current version of Keg Stand is automatically lethal damage for just one red mana.   I think alternate drinking costs will work, but I definitely need to revisit the cards that use this mechanic. For Keg Stand, I can either significantly increase its drinks-to-damage ratio or limit valid targets to creatures and planeswalkers; the latter option seems better.  This also means I'm probably going to have to raise the drinks-to-mana ratio for Spring Break, Juan, and other similar cards.
  2. I'd much rather take shots than chug beers.  Now, I don't mind chugging a beer or two, but it was just too much liquid and foam for my stomach to handle after drinking a pint and a half worth of bloody marys.  I think I'm going to revise some cards to give players a choice between chugging beer and taking shots.
  3. I was worried that Beer Before Liquor would be too strong, but it turned out to be pretty well balanced.  Using a 3:1 drink-to-activation ratio on cards with abilities that you'd expect players to activate multiple times in a turn seems reasonable.  I had a huge turn when I used it to repeatedly untap my lands, but I basically had to drink two full bloody marys as the activation cost.  This, combined with activating Horde of 80s Cartoons and casting Wasted Time, left me unable to follow through on my plan of doing degenerate things after refilling my hand with It's 5:00 Somewhere.
  4. I probably need another board sweeper or two in the cube. Maybe Pyroclasm.
  5. The Booze Cube still needs work, but it's fucking awesome to play.  More testing?  Don't mind if I do...

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