(Metagame Archive) Place Your Bets

By Mike Hummel

In a department full of gamers, sometimes the best way to settle a dispute is with a friendly wager. A recent example was a bet made between Jeff Donais and Senior Product Manager Cory Jones. They had two very different opinions about when the World of Warcraft expansion would release. They made an agreement to buy an original piece of artwork from the upcoming WoW TCG and split the cost. Whoever won the bet would get to keep the piece and hang it in his office. Currently, signs are good that Cory is going to win.

Two years ago, right before the first PC, Jeff and I made the very first “pie” bet. At that time, Marvel Origins had been out for a while and DC Origins had just released. There was strong speculation at the event that a deck featuring a team or teams from the Marvel set would win the event. The night before the event, members of the R&D team were testing a number of competitive decks we had designed to get a feel for what we thought had the best chance of winning. I was testing an early Teen Titans build.

I forget the specifics of how the conversation started, but when Jeff saw that I was testing a DC deck, he joked that a Marvel deck was sure to win the event. I couldn’t resist the challenge, so I bet Jeff that a DC deck would win. Then we had to determine what would be won for winning the bet. Since the consensus at the time by the majority of people present was that a Marvel deck had the better chance of winning, Jeff agreed that I didn’t have to give up anything if I lost. I also think that Jeff secretly wanted a DC deck to win because Marvel was getting all the hype (as the game’s first release), so win or lose, Jeff was coming out ahead in his own mind.

We were testing right after dinner and there was talk of getting some dessert just before Jeff showed up. So, I challenged Jeff that if a DC deck (a deck in which the majority of characters came from DC Origins) won the PC, he would have to buy me a pie. I came so close to winning that pie when the Rigged Elections deck took second place that I could almost taste it.

When it came time for the second PC, I knew I had to try to win that elusive pie. We updated the winning parameters for the second bet. I could choose any deck to win (I wasn’t limited to a specific brand anymore), as long as I didn’t pick what was generally believed to be the best deck in the format. The best deck was determined from R&D testing results and opinions, previous tournament-winning decks, and input from pros and web postings.

Sadly, my current record is 0 for 6. I’ve come close so many times, it’s not even funny. For the first Marvel Modern Age tournament, I predicted that the winning deck would be a dual-team deck with one team from Marvel Knights and the other from the Spider-Man set. My downfall was that I also predicted that the team from Marvel Knights would be Marvel Knights. For the last PC, I predicted that the winning deck would feature the Avengers team. I was so pumped at the end of Day 1 when the only undefeated deck was an Avengers deck. But alas, at the end . . . still no pie for me. But at least I get a small amount of comfort knowing that the deck predicted by the majority to win only won twice.

This time, I really want that pie, and I’m turning to you for help. I’m going to let you pick which deck I’ll be choosing for the pie bet. I’ve set up an email address specifically for this bet: thepiebet@hotmail.com. If you want to help, I need you to include three things in your email. First, I need to know what you honestly believe will be the winning deck next week. I want karma on my side, so we have to stick to the spirit of the bet. That means that the pie bet, in your opinion, has to be what you think is the second best deck in the format. Since we’re betting on pies, also include your favorite type of pie. If I win, I’ll pick the pie from among everyone who submitted the winning pie bet.

You don’t need to include a full decklist when submitting your choices. I just need basic information like team(s), central deck theme (Avengers reservist, evasion Morlocks, Mental Mutant), any key focal cards, or a linked player name who used the deck in a previous event. So, the three things I need are the deck you think will win the event, the pie bet (the second-best deck in the format), and your favorite type of pie. I’ll post the results in my next article after the PC.

I can’t wait to read the recap of this piece in the weekly review article . . . “Senior Game Designer Mike Hummel teaches us the value of pies in the Vs. System.” Good luck to everyone attending the PC this week. As a new daddy, my daily 3 a.m. diaper changing duties are going to prevent me from attending this one, but I’ll be glued to the Metagame coverage. Have fun, and go out there and win me a pie!

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