What do you consider casual vs. competitive?

  • #1
    When you play commander, how do you separate between casual and competitive commander decks? What's casual to you, and where do you draw the line into "competative?"

    I play with 3-6 people on OCTGN in FFA or 2-3HG, so we've got access to every card with decks being limited only by imagination, or by knowledge of obscure cards and sets (what's happening, Portal: The Three Kingdoms). I'm personally fine with infinite combos so long as they're not general related, i.e. Vish Khal the Blood Arbiter+lark/guide combo is generally not fine with me for casual play, having that in the deck is ok because it's harder to recur, more susceptible to graveyard hate, etc. A bunch of hosers and bombs are fine too. EDH is and always has been a fairly glacial format despite the possibility of massive bombs, that's fine, and part of its uniqueness.

    Another thing that not just me but my entire playgroup feels differentiates between casual and competative decks are the generals. Anything too good, like a Riku, will always draw the ire of the entire table so there's a lot of Hazezon Tamars, Zedruu the Greathearteds, and Teysa, Orzhov Scions running amok but rarely a Riku or something. When there is, everyone gangs up to kill that one player and then continue playing a relaxing game.

    So, again, what constitutes casual to you or to your playgroup? Where do you draw the line?
  • #2
    There have been a ton of topics on this (you could say it has been beat to death), I would suggest searching one up and taking a look.

    On the first page, the following all hit on this topic pretty hard.

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=337236

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=337619

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=337167
    Last edited by Tantarus: 7/9/2011 5:47:24 PM
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Boolean Lobster: "w/e is legal is fair" is probably the defining mantra of "non-casual"
  • #3
    There's no line, it's a grayscale spectrum =)
    Multi
    G Patron of the Orochi
    GU Vorel of the Hull Clade
    WBR Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
    R Fumiko the Lowblood
    GUR Maelstrom Wanderer
    GWUBR Sliver Overlord
    UBR Mishra, Artificer Prodigy
    R Joven
    WU Bruna, Light of Alabaster

    Theme
    GUWBR Reaper King - Scarecrows
    GW Krond the Dawn-Clad - Scales
    U Sakashima the Impostor - Masks
    WGURB Karona, False God - Beauties
    UB Ramirez DePietro - Pirates
    URG Riku of Two Reflections - Steampunk Amberground
  • #4
    I'll just copy-pasta part of a PM discussion Tantarus and I were having yesterday. I think it sums up my thoughts fairly well.

    Quote from d0su »
    Casual is entirely an attitude or mindset in which players approach the game; it has very little to do with the actual cards involved. If everyone's primary goal is victory, it isn't casual. Go to a Standard Sealed tournament -- everyone is playing to win, and even if most of the participants are bad players with bad decks, or good players with mediocre decks, you'd be hard pressed to call it a casual environment. However, watch a game of EDH between a group of friends where people use broken artifact mana/card draw and are laughing or trash talking the whole time -- that is definitely casual, because no one is playing like something important is on the line.

    I guess that's why a casual combo player doesn't seem unusual at all to me. My playgroup is more interested in the various interactions and puzzling game states that Magic has to offer than destroying the opposition at any cost. The casual player will compromise for the sake of keeping things friendly or interesting; Mana Crypt/Shahrazad/Obliterate are only pieces of cardboard and have nothing to do with it.


    That's reasonable, right? Just because someone doesn't want to play against Obliterate doesn't make the card not casual. Casual is the environment or mindset in which people wouldn't mind acquiescing to the requests of others and packing Obliterate away for a little while.

    Another example: Casual versus competitive chess. People sometimes play janky or risky openings like the Latvian Gambit in casual games, but still more people play proven openings like the Sicilian. If no one is playing for rating, or if players are simply doing it for fun and having a good chat over the board, it's casual and not competitive. Same pieces, same openings -- different approach.

    the only fair combo is my combo
  • #5
    I guess having drawcons like Divine Intervention or using Celestial Convergence makes me a casual player
    Have a problem with a card? Well according to MTGSal the answer is:
    Quote from Donald
    Just run more answers noob.

    Quote from theflow
    People are always told to pack more answers. He packed a fist punch, so what's the problem?
  • #6
    I used to play EDH with people on OCTGN, but no one will play with me since I use Winter Orb in my aggro deck.


    EDH may be a casual format sure, but if it's not on the banlist, I should be able to use winter orb without having people rage quit on me.

    Edit: Also, I play EDH the exact same way I would play at a world tour. I play to win games. People seem to think this means isn't casual, but I disagree.
    Originally Posted by Massive Marc
    You know back in the old days, when there wasn't EDH, these "griefer" cards in decks were the norm. If you played a Winter Orb when you're opponents were tapped out, it was a good play. Now, you get people tell you they wanna punch you ? It's really sad how carebare this format is, to the point that some loser has to rip up your cards.
  • #7
    Quote from TobyornotToby
    There's no line, it's a grayscale spectrum =)


    I actually think there is a perfectly clear line. Are you playing for Prizes?

    Yes = Competitive
    No = Casual


    I play nothing but Casual, but I like winning and build my decks with that in mind. The gray area is how "cutthroat" I want to play since maintaining the playgroup is more important than winning games.
  • #8
    Quote from Galspanic
    The gray area is how "cutthroat" I want to play since maintaining the playgroup is more important than winning games.



    During a game what is considered to be cutthroat? Playing an important spell at a much needed time. I can understand someone playing cutthroat while deck building, and I could care less, I do it too.

    So basically during a casual game, during the actually game itself, what would be considered cutthroat and not casual?
    Originally Posted by Massive Marc
    You know back in the old days, when there wasn't EDH, these "griefer" cards in decks were the norm. If you played a Winter Orb when you're opponents were tapped out, it was a good play. Now, you get people tell you they wanna punch you ? It's really sad how carebare this format is, to the point that some loser has to rip up your cards.
  • #9
    Quote from Napoleon
    During a game what is considered to be cutthroat? Playing an important spell at a much needed time. I can understand someone playing cutthroat while deck building, and I could care less, I do it too.

    So basically during a casual game, during the actually game itself, what would be considered cutthroat and not casual?


    An opponent has been mana short the entire game, like 4 land drops behind and no manastones showing up, then you start blowing up his land. That's cutthroat and leaves the realm of casual play. Three turns later the guy has a potential to win on his next turn and everyone knows it, stone rain away on his Cabal Coffers to slow him down.

    I see games as moving from casual to competitive when one person or more decides to just gang up on a player who's falling behind due to bad draws, board wipes, ect. It's one thing if you're dropping a Creeping Corrosion to clear off an Arcum Dagson who's about to go off, but if you have one guy who's got a land and 3 mana stones, and another with a single artifact threat on the board and drop it? Yeah you wasted your corrosion, and probably made another player just give up the game out of frustration. Competitive game? Go for it smash face win your prize. Casual game don't be a douche.

    But that's just my take on things.
    Through me the way to the suffering city; Through me the everlasting pain; Through me the way that runs among the Lost. Justice urged on my exalted Creator: Divine Power made me, The Supreme Wisdom and the Primal Love. Nothing was made before me but eternal things And I endure eternally. Abandon all hope - You Who Enter Here.
  • #10
    Quote from K405
    An opponent has been mana short the entire game, like 4 land drops behind and no manastones showing up, then you start blowing up his land. That's cutthroat and leaves the realm of casual play. Three turns later the guy has a potential to win on his next turn and everyone knows it, stone rain away on his Cabal Coffers to slow him down.

    I see games as moving from casual to competitive when one person or more decides to just gang up on a player who's falling behind due to bad draws, board wipes, ect. It's one thing if you're dropping a Creeping Corrosion to clear off an Arcum Dagson who's about to go off, but if you have one guy who's got a land and 3 mana stones, and another with a single artifact threat on the board and drop it? Yeah you wasted your corrosion, and probably made another player just give up the game out of frustration. Competitive game? Go for it smash face win your prize. Casual game don't be a douche.

    But that's just my take on things.



    So ya making douche moves I can understand IF they are also bad moves. But a lot of situations the douche move is the correct one. There was been lots of situation where I will crucible +wasteland lock someone, just because I know that if I don't, there is a high risk of them comboing off.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is that even in a casual game, someone shouldn't have to play worse, because it looks douchey. However if that douchey move is also a bad move, then ya hate away.
    Originally Posted by Massive Marc
    You know back in the old days, when there wasn't EDH, these "griefer" cards in decks were the norm. If you played a Winter Orb when you're opponents were tapped out, it was a good play. Now, you get people tell you they wanna punch you ? It's really sad how carebare this format is, to the point that some loser has to rip up your cards.
  • #11
    Quote from Galspanic
    I actually think there is a perfectly clear line. Are you playing for Prizes?

    Yes = Competitive
    No = Casual


    I play nothing but Casual, but I like winning and build my decks with that in mind. The gray area is how "cutthroat" I want to play since maintaining the playgroup is more important than winning games.


    Rubbish.

    It is a billion times more gray than this.

    There are far too many generalizations that go on with these threads.

    Competitive does not mean:
    • You are a bad person.
    • You don't know how to have fun.
    • You always play for prizes.
    • You only think of your self.
    • You are only allowed to use the BEST cards.
    • You are a poor sportsman.
    Casual does not mean:
    • You only build decks with fun in mind.
    • You are only allows to use terrible cards or junk cards.
    • You only play to see the game unfold.
    • You never care about losing.
    • You are a poor player.
    • You are good person.
    These are the generalization that get slung from both sides and frankly, I'm tired of it. I am casual player. I don't travel from shop to shop picking up events to better my dci rating. I play with my 4 friends locally and sit down at my local shop and play with other friendly players. I am considered among my peers as far as I know a very social person, a very fun person, and a very good sport. We play in events at our local game shop all the time. It might be edh, it might be with my cube, it might be a pre-release, it might be peasant or even tribal. I brought a reanimator eldrazi to a tribal tournament, it was 100% legal by the rules, others played a bit normal and yes I did steamroll them pretty hard. Even after wards though, they loved my deck and thought it was something else. They didn't storm off in a big rage and call me names or make me feel like I was a horrible person. However I am a competitive person. I like to win, but I don't mind losing if I knew I did my best. I would be infuriated if I stat down at a table with a general that has been considered to be un-fun by proxy/generalization and I was hated out of the game, and then the attitudes changed. I play to win, but I also enjoy the challenge of making sure my deck was created to the best of my abilities and what my wallet allows (which isnt much believe me). I'm a poor political player, but my deck is designed to deal with that. That doesn't mean I don't get social and speak up when something seems off. I'm more of a mediator in games rather than an antagonist.


    We all sit down, as Mature, kind, sportsman (and women sometimes) and we play the game. Sometimes people lose sometimes people win. That's life. The one thing we all agree on... this is still just a card game. What happens at the end doesn't really matter as long as the players make the game fun by their attitudes and their interactions.

    So the next time you want to try and put yourself on this Casual-Altar try condescending back to reality, take a look in the mirror, and realize you have become what you claim to hate.

  • #12
    Quote from Napoleon
    So ya making douche moves I can understand IF they are also bad moves. But a lot of situations the douche move is the correct one. There was been lots of situation where I will crucible +wasteland lock someone, just because I know that if I don't, there is a high risk of them comboing off.

    So I guess what I am trying to say is that even in a casual game, someone shouldn't have to play worse, because it looks douchey. However if that douchey move is also a bad move, then ya hate away.


    That's really where the line is. How you play. You can run a top tier competitive Zur deck, and still play it casually. If you're going for a, combo out and win turn 5-6, you really aren't playing casually. The crucible/wasteland lock can shut you down as well since you're still only able to play one land a turn, but on the same note doing something like that to anyone in my local group will get you branded and ganged up on every game until the combo is out of your deck just because of how unfun it makes a game. So it comes down to politics as well. LD has a place in a casual game, just not if it's to completely keep someone from playing is what I was getting at. They have the potential to win? So does every deck, and focusing on keeping one person from winning I've found is a great way to lose a game from not seeing the bigger threats looming elsewhere and letting them run rampant.

    That said, I'm not really trying to say be a worse player to play casual, there are some things that just don't work but are still amusing, like Shared Fate. I had someone complain my Blue/Black mill deck was to degenerate and unfun. This from a deck that's won all of 2 games out of 20 at the time. So for one game I took out all the cards he complained about and replaced them with cards that just make the game genuinely unfun. Opression, Painful Quandry, Underworld Dreams, ect and played as if I had a $20k prize on the line and knocked him out of the game turn 9, then next person turn 10, and the last person turn 12. Converted the deck to Blue/Black aggro control essentially. Asked which he'd prefer seeing and switched the deck back to how it was since, while not as good, I had more fun playing it. It gives other players a chance to play, it has good politic potential with recur decks, it can go off out of nowhere and mill your entire library in a turn or two, but there's still answers so you don't sit there for a few turns with nothing you can do but hope to god I misplay and blow up my own board position.

    I'd say the real difference between casual and competitive is really in how you play more so than what though over all. If you pick up an Arcum deck and decide instead of locking this game down with a disk/forge combo, I'm gonna use my parts to build up some grand Rube Goldberg style machine of doom and get an impressive win. You're playing casual. And you'll probably hear far less groans and annoyance from other players than if you just completely locked everyone out of the game 5 turns in and ask who scoops. On the other side it may seem like you're playing worse, but it doesn't really have to be. The option is still there if anything you can't deal with comes up, it lets the other people have some fun playing, and if nothing else you can see other things your deck can do in various situations. Same goes for taking excessively large numbers of extra turns. Sure its a valid way to win. But be prepared to be labeled "The guy who masturbates his deck all night" cause that's all you're doing is playing with yourself. Might as well be playing a Goldfish game at that point. Now if you know for a fact you'll win within a few those turns sure no problem still falls into the realm of casual. If you know you can't win and just want to stretch things out chances are you're moving more towards competitive play since the only reason to do it in that case is to push a match to time and get a win by default.
    Through me the way to the suffering city; Through me the everlasting pain; Through me the way that runs among the Lost. Justice urged on my exalted Creator: Divine Power made me, The Supreme Wisdom and the Primal Love. Nothing was made before me but eternal things And I endure eternally. Abandon all hope - You Who Enter Here.
  • #13
    Quote from killem2
    Rubbish.

    It is a billion times more gray than this.


    Believe it or not I pretty much agree with everything you said. For me, I have grown so tired of the debate that I have gone back to the Prizes Vs No Prizes classification. If I am competing for prizes it's "competitive" and if I am not competing for prizes it's "casual." Why? Pretty much what you said.

    Maybe the line I drew in MY sand isn't universal or particularly helpful, but it's how I categorize things.... and really, the debate has been going on for years with no conclusion. I see people on here adamantly arguing the exact same thing AGAINST each other and they don't even realize it. So, Prizes Vs No Prizes is the easiest and clearest crutch to lean on - even though it's made of pixie stix.
  • #14
    Quote from Napoleon
    So ya making douche moves I can understand IF they are also bad moves. But a lot of situations the douche move is the correct one. There was been lots of situation where I will crucible +wasteland lock someone, just because I know that if I don't, there is a high risk of them comboing off.


    And that's when it's cutthroat and not casual for some. When you always make the correct move with no regard to how fun/unfun it is.

    Also, if your decks combo out the moment they're not wastelocked they seem to be pretty cutthroat in the first place.

    Quote from Galspanic
    Maybe the line I drew in MY sand isn't universal or particularly helpful, but it's how I categorize things.... and really, the debate has been going on for years with no conclusion. I see people on here adamantly arguing the exact same thing AGAINST each other and they don't even realize it. So, Prizes Vs No Prizes is the easiest and clearest crutch to lean on - even though it's made of pixie stix.


    Hmm you're right in that it's neverending =p
    But that people keep making new threads shows that it's simply something they feel the need to talk about.

    If competitive means playing for prizes, how about casual versus cutthroat?
    Multi
    G Patron of the Orochi
    GU Vorel of the Hull Clade
    WBR Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
    R Fumiko the Lowblood
    GUR Maelstrom Wanderer
    GWUBR Sliver Overlord
    UBR Mishra, Artificer Prodigy
    R Joven
    WU Bruna, Light of Alabaster

    Theme
    GUWBR Reaper King - Scarecrows
    GW Krond the Dawn-Clad - Scales
    U Sakashima the Impostor - Masks
    WGURB Karona, False God - Beauties
    UB Ramirez DePietro - Pirates
    URG Riku of Two Reflections - Steampunk Amberground
  • #15
    The Comp/Casual Color Pie:

    Super/Hyper Competitive - Winning is most important to me, fun doesn't enter into it. I get my fun from winning (but that doesn't mean I'm a jerk).

    Competitive - Winning first, but everyone having fun is important. "Unfun" victories are hollow and unsatisfying.

    Semi-Competitive - Fun first, but I still want to win and strive to do so.

    Casual - Fun is more important than anything. Winning is fine, but if I never win a game I can still have lots of fun.

    Griefer/Idiot - I get my fun from ruining everyone elses fun. That's a win to me... because I'm an idiot.


    I'd put myself in the "competitive" group.
    Last edited by Blackjack68: 7/10/2011 4:30:33 AM
  • #16
    Unfortunately, I feel like casual is becoming more and more of a charged format, just because people are getting so up in arms about cards that are unfun. Last week, I got chewed out because my Mimeoplasm runs Skittles, for possible infect win. I didn't understand the grief I was getting, because for me, the way I made my decks, all of them, was to prevent stuff like Skittles happening every game or something similar. I tried to explain to them that this lack of consistency was what made my games fun, but they didn't get it, they were so upset that one player died 15 minutes before everyone else, even though he was in the best position to die anyway.

    So, anecdote aside, that's the line for me. When your deck becomes consistent to the point that you can get Jin-Gitaxias from a graveyard turn 5 every game, you've made a competitive deck. It may not fair well in competition against something faster, but in my mind, as soon as you dedicate your deck to a strategy that you ALWAYS run, you've entered a competitive mindset, and the deck isn't very fun to play. Now, to be fair, that last bit is a tad more grey. All of my decks try to have a theme, like tokens and tokens and tokens with Rhys, but it never happens the same way, I just don't see the fun or value in games of EDH where the same cards hit the table every single time.
    -This signature intentionally left blank to increase general intrigue and mystery-
  • #17
    Quote from Blackjack68
    The Comp/Casual Color Pie:

    Super/Hyper Competitive - Winning is most important to me, fun doesn't enter into it. I get my fun from winning (but that doesn't mean I'm a jerk).

    Competitive - Winning first, but everyone having fun is important. "Unfun" victories are hollow and unsatisfying.

    Semi-Competitive - Fun first, but I still want to win and strive to do so.

    Casual - Fun is more important than anything. Winning is fine, but if I never win a game I can still have lots of fun.

    Griefer/Idiot - I get my fun from ruining everyone elses fun. That's a win to me... because I'm an idiot.


    I'd put myself in the "competitive" group.


    More and more as i Read your posts and even your "Disclaimer" on your deck lists, I find that i'm more and more alike with you. I too find by your pie chart that i'm a "competitive" player. Winning is the goal of the game, but I hate those victories where it feels like i won a game of "stomp the kittens dead". Its because of this that i've removed alot of off the wall strategies from my decks. I would have a game where I would sadistic sacrament one opponent removing most if not all his win cons, then leave him floating in the water for the next hour as I try to wrap up the rest of the players, and I would just feel terrible as I won. Just as an example anyway.
  • #18
    Quote from Blackjack68
    The Comp/Casual Color Pie:

    Super/Hyper Competitive - Winning is most important to me, fun doesn't enter into it. I get my fun from winning (but that doesn't mean I'm a jerk).

    Competitive - Winning first, but everyone having fun is important. "Unfun" victories are hollow and unsatisfying.

    Semi-Competitive - Fun first, but I still want to win and strive to do so.

    Casual - Fun is more important than anything. Winning is fine, but if I never win a game I can still have lots of fun.

    Griefer/Idiot - I get my fun from ruining everyone elses fun. That's a win to me... because I'm an idiot.


    I'd put myself in the "competitive" group.


    I'd qualify as Semi-Competitive. My Commander Eesha deck is proof of that, ha.

    But most of the people I play with would count as Griefers, only one of them would qualify as Competitive with his Rafiq deck, he never wins either. I win occasionally, when I use my Oona deck and pull off infinite turns or infinite mana. But otherwise I'm just asking myself "what's the point?"

    At least the people on Cockatrice know how to build decks that are more for fun than winning.
  • #19
    Quote from bpfoley89
    \

    At least the people on Cockatrice know how to build decks that are more for fun than winning.


    I think u still get more try-hards on there than u would say at your local shop with your play group, but still u can fine people playing less try hard decks and such and have an amazing time.
    Quote from empathogen
    Indeed.
    Mono-colored Ravnica would be like Mirrodin with no Artifacts,
    or Ulragotha with constructed-viable cards...





  • #20
    I think I would put myself as a competitive/cutthroat casual player. I want to win, but no matter how I win I will have fun doing it. If i win by combo-ing out on turn 3, I will trash talk to my opponents about how fast my deck is and they wish they could build like me. If i win lose I'll tell everyone how the only way they can beat me is by ganging up on me that hard. No matter what card I play I'm going to have fun playing it, but play it in the way that will make me win. Casual environment and competitive play.
  • #21
    +1 to Galspanic. If there are prizes on the line, it's definitely not casual.

    Also, my meta makes me believe that also 1-on-1 is more competitive tham MP matches, but that depends... on one's meta ;-)
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