L33T Unhinged Strategery Guide

Posted in Feature on November 18, 2004

By Alex Shvartsman

Remember Unglued? If you do, don't admit to it, you are showing your age.

The first funny Magic set was introduced at Gen Con gaming convention, where they hosted a pre-release tournament for it. It was one of the most fun experiences playing Magic one could ask for. Mark Rosewater was there, wearing a chicken suit. Players enjoyed hours of forcing each other to fetch drinks, doing the hokey-pokey, and occasionally removing their pants.

Yes, I did say removing their pants. One of the creatures in Unglued had the “denimwalk” ability – it was unblockable as long as your opponent was wearing any clothing made out of denim. It did not take players to figure out that they can take off their jeans, announce blocking, and put them back on. Perplexed judges ruled that it was okay, as long as a player was wearing a clean pair of boxers.

After many years of waiting, Unglued 2 is finally upon us. The new set is called Unhinged and R&D is showing off just how far they are willing to go. Penis jokes, shouting at the top of your lungs to save a creature and playing a game of Magic under the table – this set has it all. Most importantly, like Unglued this set has a Release Tournament – and you do not have to travel to Gen-Con this time. Most stores that host Friday Night Magic will get to run these tournaments next Saturday. Be among the first 32 players to register and you will earn yourself an exclusive promo card, too.

While many players will show up at this tournament in pursuit of so called “fun”, you and I both know that winning is fun and losing is not. Therefore I shall share my infinite wisdom and l33t strategies with you. Are you feeling special yet?

Carnivorous Death-Parrot
First thing to remember here is that Unhinged is not really meant as a tournament set. Because of this there are no Spikeshot Goblins or Kabuto Moths here. In fact, many of the commons are sub-par where competitive play is concerned, while some others are definitely overpowered. I will go over some of the better commons shortly.

Second thing to remember is that playing Unhinged will test your memory and ability to follow instructions as much as your “strategery”. Carnivorous Death-Parrot is one of the best commons in the set, but if you aren't good at remembering to pay upkeep costs, it won't work very well for you. Likely, the Goblin S.W.A.T. Team will suck if your opponent is paying attention. Not to mention all the cards with “Gotcha” ability. Remember that most of those are quite good in Limited play even if you never manage to get them back into your hand.

When it comes to quality Draft/Sealed Deck cards, Black is the new black of Unhinged. It is resplendent with very mana-efficient creatures, even if it lacks Black's traditional quality removal. The Fallen Apart is excellent as a 4/4 creature for four mana. It'd have to take damage four times before actually becoming useless, and twice before it loses either of its abilities. Chances are it will have either done its job by then or die in combat anyway. Bad Ass is another excellent four-drop that can dominate creature combat in this format.

Vile Bile
In early rounds of the pre-release, Vile Bile will be particularly good. Your opponent is likely to grab and read the card when you play it – and lose 2 life in the process. Meanwhile you can use your pen, a piece of paper, or – if you are in Alaska – your glove to tap and untap Vile Bile and get all of its benefits without the pain. Mother of Goons is yet another solid black creature with a very agreeable disability. Finally, Wet Willie of the Damned is an unspectacular but necessary removal spell in a set short on removal.

Speaking of removal, Saute is the best removal common in the set, but it also happens to be virtually the only exciting red common far as competitive play is concerned. Red-Hot Hottie and Goblin Mime are decent, but nothing to write home about.

Blue's strength is in its flyers. Carnivorous Death-Parrot is awesome, and Double Header's ability is useful more often than not in this format. Even if there is nothing for you to bounce, a 2/3 flying creature for five mana is reasonable in this format. Although it is not a common, I just have to mention one of my favorite cards in this set – Cheatyface is awesome, regardless of whether you manage to sneak it into play or just pay its very reasonable casting cost.

White has a few reasonable creatures and while they are not spectacular, enhancing one with Wordmail will help it dominate the board. Since there are few creature kill spells and only one enchantment removal card, Wordmail becomes very powerful. Circle of Protection: Art is a great answer to whichever bomb rare your opponent was lucky to open, and AWOL is among the more powerful removal spells in this set.

Supersize
Supersize is green's best card – there is nothing funny about Giant Growth. Nothing. There is however, something funny about “Our Market Research Shows That Players Like Really Long Card Names So We Made this Card to Have the Absolute Longest Card Name Ever Elemental”. While pretty good on its own, this Elemental combos with many other cards in the set, such as abovementioned Wordmail, to produce powerful results.

At the Release Tournament you will find many players using sub-par cards just because they are funny. And who can blame them – that is the whole idea behind Unhinged. If your foremost goal is to win, a deck that is a chock-full of solid creatures and a dash of whatever removal you can scrounge up should do very well. Unless your opponent opens a Curse of the Fire Penguin. That card is utterly broken. Just pray that does not happen. Thank God it is a rare, so it should not be too likely.

Good luck at the tournament!

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