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    posted a message on Jolrael, Crashing Forests
    Quote from vandertroll »
    Good to hear that the deck is rolling!
    I think that Hall of Gemstone is critical because it hoses so many decks and strategies. Do you think City of Solitude could work as well?Cast it a couple of turns before you go in for massive damage.

    Edit: I just noticed Hunting Wilds. Isn't it too expensive? You play it without the kicker cost?

    Hall of Gemstones is really helpful. Even though I've pretty much removed the whole "slow down our opponents" part of the strategy, I still think effects like this are important for getting through counter spells and the like. I like City of Solitude as some redundancy with Dosan. If it does make it in, I feel like I'm getting to nearly enough enchantments to make an enchantress worth it for some card draw...

    You're right that I'll pretty much never kick Hunting Wilds. I wanted some more ramp effects that bring in more than one land, and I just happened to have a copy of Wilds on hand. It could just as easily be a Ranger's Path.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 1

    posted a message on Way of the Dragon - Dragonlord Ojutai Voltron
    Another good suggestion I hadn't thought of. I knew making a thread was a good idea, haha Smile
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Dralnu, Two Parts Control, One Part Reanimator
    I'm pretty sure I have a copy of Animate Dead. Eternal masters was good for that, was hoping to pick up entomb too but no such luck.

    I actually think Stitch Together is really solid tech for Dralnu. You'll almost always hit threshold so it's decent reanimation. Not instant, but you can't complain for BB.

    You make a good case for Stitch Together. The reason I don't see me adding it to my list is it only grabs things from my own graveyard, so I don't know what I'd replace for it. Zombify is also one sided, and costs 4, but I have a full-art version that I couldn't bring myself to cut...

    It's really too bad Entomb is >$10. It's just such a good card. It also allows for silly things like turn 2 Jin-Gitaxias. I guess that's why it's >$10...

    Quote from GloriousGoose »
    Why no Yawgmoth's Will? The card is absurdly powerful. Resolving it in the lategame practically guarantees a win, even without boatloads of mana. I'd cut Sword of War and Peace since it only seems there to protect Dralnu from Blasphemous Act. Similarly, I would think Rite of Replication would have a home here. Double kicked Rites on Kokusho, the Evening Star is a quick way to close out a game. Has Bloodchief Ascension been doing much work without being a combo piece? At any rate, this is a nice primer, so thanks!


    I can see Rite of Replication here. Yawgmoth's Will seems a little winmore here. Especially since there's recursion of spells and reanimation of creatures here anyway, it seems like cramming what Dralnu can do over a longer period into one turn. I guess it's good for taking the table by surprise, but I see it as being a little redundant here.

    My thoughts exactly on Yawgmoth's Will. I am excited about Rite of Replication. I had been looking for an end-game card to replace Army of the Damned and I have no idea why I haven't thought of Rite before. Even without considering the Kokusho synergy, there are just so many ways Rite can close out games. And sure, it can benefit from your opponents' creatures, but unlike what we were talking about with things like the primordials, it isn't dependent upon your opponents to be good. How about 5 Massacre Wurms? Sounds alright to me...
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Happy Atog, Sad Atog, Nice Atog, Mad Atog -- Atogatog Stax
    Quote from rogerandover »
    Like you said in the OP, I also think your deck is a little bit all over the place. I don't see a lot of synergy in the stax-peices you put in the deck. You play a decent amount of creatures and have Overburden. Your curve is pretty high, and that makes me think Winter Orb and Static Orb isn't all that good. Why do you even want to slow the game down?

    I would focus more the synergy with you sacrificing a lot of your stuff. You already have a few things, but Im sure more could be found. Mycosynth Wellspring could maybe do some work. Maybe even added a few ways to hit with those pumped atogs (Rogue's Passage).
    A lower curve with stuff that cantripped to your sac-effects, could maybe enable a combo faster (right now you got Grave/Ashnod/Nim - with Conspiracy atogatog is lethal).

    I think you're right about both the deck being all over the place, and needing to add more sacrifice synergy. I think when I first came up with the list I was just thinking "this is a dumb idea, I don't need to think about it, just throw in stax pieces!" And it hasn't really worked out. I think I'm going to revamp the stax package and add more sacrifice synergy. I'm not going to throw out stax all together, because I still think the deck can work like that, it just needs a lot of work. For example, in one test game Uba Mask ended up being really solid. I'll post an updated list when I've got it somewhere where I like it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Sydri Death Star Storm
    Thanks to getting some store credit from the EDH league at my LGS, I got some fetches to work on the mana base. I've also made a few other changes to the non-land cards in the deck:

    OUT
    - 2 Islands
    - 1 Swamp
    - 1 Plains
    - Sidisi, Undead Vizier
    - Blue Sun's Zenith
    - Hinder
    - Crush of Tentacles
    - Rupture Spire

    IN
    + Polluted Delta
    + Bloodstained Mire
    + Flooded Strand
    + Hallowed Fountain
    + Toxic Deluge
    + Stroke of Genius
    + Windfall
    + Enlightened Tutor
    + Mox Opal

    I'm not totally sure about the Sidisi -> Enlightened Tutor swap, but I think it's going to be worth it. Sure, Sidisi can tutor anything but there are a lot of good artifact and enchantment tutor targets. Also, 1 mana vs 5 and instant vs sorcery-speed are both big upsides. I felt I had plenty of counters and Hinder was the weakest, so it got cut for Windfall. Crush of Tentacles was a bit much at 6 mana, so Toxic Deluge felt better there. And Stroke of Genius is basically identical to Blue Sun's Zenith (the shuffle clause was rarely important) except that it is less color-intensive. I think the next pricier card on my list to grab is Mox Opal, probably to replace a land.

    EDIT: I got a Mox Opal soon after posting this update so, rather than waiting until I updated more cards, or posting a separate update for a single card, I just changed this list.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 1

    posted a message on Long Live Queen Marchesa!
    Hm...cuts are always tough. I know I'm terrible at cutting cards from my decks. I'd start by looking at redundant effects that aren't as good as similar cards. For example, I think Ragged Veins and Kor Chant are your weakest "Don't Attack" cards. I think Council Guardian is a bit too expensive for his effect. This has been mentioned earlier in this thread, but I don't think the Queen needs a ton of other "When ~ ETB, you become monarch" effects, so I'd cut the ones that don't do much beyond that, like Crown-Hunter Hireling, Palace Sentinels, and Thorn of the Black Rose. You've also got plenty of removal, so things like Spurnmage Advocate, Mirror Strike, and Murder can probably go. Finally, I don't think Syphon Soul is worth running in EDH.

    In general, just look for lower impact cards that serve a purpose that a lot of other cards also serve. Hope that helps! Smile
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Long Live Queen Marchesa!
    Theme decks are a lot of fun! When I first started putting together a list for the Queen, I was sort of headed in a similar direction, with knights and soldiers and other flavorful cards. Eventually though, my more competitive side took over (though this list is still far from top tier). Again, I think that's what's so great about more open commanders like this one: they allow for so many different types of builds.

    All of those cards look like they'd work quite well. I've actually been considering finding a spot for Skyline Despot. The big token production plus another way to get the crown back seems like it would work well in my list. I hadn't thought about Tyrant's Familiar or Bastion Protector, but I might try to test them at some point.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on cards that become insane with a specific commander
    Quote from 3drinks »


    As THE definitive pilot of both decks, I am well-aware. Grin

    Haha, yeah. You had Alesha in your sig, but didn't mention her. So I was like, "do...do they know?"
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ninja Tide: Mono-Blue Storm Control with Higure


    Introduction and History

    When it comes to choosing a favorite color to play on its own, for me the choice is easy. I am a blue player through and through. There's good reason why blue has always had a reputation for being the strongest color in magic: an unrivaled ability to interact with the stack, disruption in multiple forms, and even some big beaters, blue has it all. Funnily enough, my favorite guild (Golgari) doesn't have any blue in it, but when it comes to mono-color, I'm a blue girl.

    I've had a number of different versions of a mono-blue EDH deck over the years, but no deck really jived with me. Before Higure, my longest-lived blue deck was Braids, Conjurer Adept, but she felt like too much craziness without enough actual strength. Two aspects of my magic personality led me to Higure, the Still Wind: I like to build commanders and strategies that aren't commonly seen and I am a huge fan of the Kamigawa block. It's two parts passion for the art and flavor, and one part nostalgia because that was my first set, but I always try to include at least one card from the block in each deck I build. So one day I got the idea to build Higure, and this deck was born. At first, it was a pretty straight-forward mono-blue control deck: lots of counters and bounce spells, and no real win-con aside from making people frustrated and repeated attacks from my creatures. It wasn't until I started looking into the legacy deck High Tide and started watching Feline Longmore's matches that I got the idea to center this around High Tide. This is also the origin of the deck's name, Ninja Tide.

    There are two important things you need to know about this deck. First of all, there just isn't enough support for ninja tribal. This is not a ninja tribal deck. There are ninjas in the deck (including the commander, there are 5 ninjas in the deck, every mono-blue non-changeling ninja), but it's not really a tribal deck in any way. Second of all, by using Higure, this can probably never be the best it could be. Usually this deck wins through High Tide and Laboratory Maniac. This is neither the best High Tide deck (that would probably be Jace, Vryn's Prodigy) or the best lab maniac deck (Azami, Lady of Scrolls). But we're not here to be the best deck. We're here to be the best ninja.

    As far as the meta in which I've tested this deck, I play mostly multiplayer, and some 1v1 (not Duel Commander). I play at a weekly league at my LGS, so my meta is fairly diverse. Common decks I play against are: Krenko, Mob Boss, Marath, Will of the Wild, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Prime Speaker Zegana, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Ezuri, Claw of Progress and Dakkon Blackblade



    Why Higure?

    As I explained in the introduction, this deck could run someone other than Higure and would probably be more competitive. But if you wanted a cutthroat, competitive mono-blue list, you wouldn't be reading about Higure in the first place, would you? No, there aren't enough ninjas to support ninja tribal. And no, the Ninjitsu ability isn't even usable from the command zone. But a tutor on a commander, even if there are only a few targets, is always a plus. And, as I'll explain later, there's a lot more to Higure then just tutoring a few ninjas.

    I should also add that, when playing this deck, I often hear "oh, cool, by playing Higure, you slip under the radar, because people aren't expecting a combo deck." While this is a cute reason to play Higure, the problem is it only works once. So, while the first time you sit down at a table, people will be confused, I really don't think hiding behind an unassuming commander is a real strategy.

    You might like Higure if...
    • ...you like to play decks with a gimmick.
    • ...you want to play mono-blue control AND you want to turn creatures sideways.
    • ...you like to cast a lot of spells in one turn.
    • ...you like to shuffle your library.

    You might not like Higure if...
    • ...you play in a cutthroat meta.
    • ...you're opposed to countering spells.
    • ...you just want to play control and not worry about your own creatures.
    • ...you don't like to shuffle your library.

    The Blue Competition
    • Azami, Lady of Scrolls/Jace, Vryn's ProdigyArcanis the Omnipotent: These commanders all play very similar lists but, as I've already stated, while this deck is somewhat competitive and often does combo off, it does so with a theme and a gimmick, something that these three (aside from Azami Wizard Tribal) don't really give you. Personally, I also think there's an advantage to playing lesser-known commanders, because they don't paint as large of a target on your head.
    • Talrand, Sky Summoner: Another similar build to this list: lots of cantrips and control spells. Of course, Talrand usually runs few to no creatures, opting for more spells. I do like running Talrand in the 99 of this list, because his tokens have evasion and can help get ninjitsu through.
    • Arcum Daggson: Another competitive mono-U commander, but with artifacts. We aren't here to play artifacts, we're here to play ninjas. And High Tide.
    • Braids, Conjurer Adept: My commander before Higure. Another mono-U gimmick deck, but very different. Higure's creatures are small and sneaky. Braids's creatures are big.
    • Jalira, Master Polymorphist: I'd classify her as another gimmick/combo deck. Both decks can use Blightsteel Colossus to great success, but where Higure says "you can't beat my giant-metal-ninjitsu-monstrosity," Jalira says "oh look, this measly token turned into a giant metal monstrosity."
    • There are, of course, a lot of great mono-U commanders, but you've probably already noticed that none of them are ninjas.



    The List


    Card Selection Specifics


    • Counterspells: An important part of this deck. I play mostly multiplayer and I know that counterspells aren't as strong in multiplayer, but they are still important. Mostly, they are used to stop big plays before I've set up, or protect myself once I cast High Tide and start going off. Void Shatter is great against reanimation strategies, which is a big part of my meta. Rewind is sort of free, and can help out with High Tide storm shenanigans. I'm only running Disrupting Shoal as a budget Force of Will or Pact of Negation and because it's a pet card, as it's from Kamigawa.
    • Big Card Draw: Blue Sun's Zenith is one of my favorite cards, and I think it should be an auto-include in any blue deck. Recurring Insight draws a ton of cards, and is nice to use the turn before I can start storming off, because it's a free first cast that fills my hand. Dig Through Time should be self-explanatory: draw the best two cards from the top 7, what's not to love? Finally, Windfall can be pretty versatile: late game when I have a big hand, it helps get closer to a Laboratory Maniac win, it let's me mess with opponents if they tutor, and if I have a small and weak hand and someone else has a lot of cards, I can level the playing field.
    • Board Wipes: Cyclonic Rift is another auto-include in any blue deck: instant-speed, one-sided removal. Crush of Tentacles is a bit of a pet card. Sometimes you just need a hard reset and I like that it can leave me with an 8/8 beater. What's extra nice is something like: cast Archaeomancer, grab something from your yard, then surge cast CoT, reloading Archaeomancer. Curse of the Swine is exile removal, something every deck needs and blue doesn't have a lot of. And finally, Capsize isn't really a board wipe, but with a lot of mana and/or cost-reducing effects, repeatedly buyback-casting Capsize can really hinder your opponents from establishing any real board state.
    • "Cantrips," Storm, and High Tide: The deck runs a lot of small draw spells, like Brainstorm, Preordain, and Peer Through Depths. These cards work two fold: they help me set up in the early game, and/or they are easy spells to cast when I'm trying to get my storm count up for Brain Freeze or Mind's Desire. I'll go more into that combo in the strategy section, but these low-cost cards, as well as the untappers, like Frantic Search and Turnabout are critical when combined with High Tide.
    • Tutors and Others: It may be a combo deck with a gimmick, but this is still a combo deck, so tutors are important. Both Mystical Tutor and Merchant Scroll can grab critical pieces to combo out, such as High Tide or Turnabout. Pull from the Deep is there for some recursion, and Part the Waterveil was the extra turn card I happened to have when I built this deck. It will likely be replaced with something more efficient, such as Time Warp.


    • The Ninjas: Obviously, an important part of this deck. Mistblade Shinobi can be critical removal, bouncing problematic creatures back to their owner's hand. Ninja of the Deep Hours is a very useful card for generating card advantage during the combat step. Sakashima's Student is one of the best clones in the format: oh, you didn't block my small/unblockable creature? Now it's a copy of your Blightsteel Colossus/Ulamog/other giant creature on the board. Walker of Secret Ways is the only ninja on the cutting board right now. I've kept her in because she's a ninja and can help "reload" other ninjas (which is especially nice with Sakashima's Student) and sometimes take a peak at an opponent's hand, but I'm not convinced she's worth keeping.
    • ETB Effects: Only two, but they're both crucial. I really like Archaeomancer because sometimes you just need to get a card back from you graveyard. Scourge of Fleets, in my opinion, is an auto-include in any mono-blue deck. By the time I'm casting it, it usually bounces all of my opponents' creatures. Man-o'-War is a nice piece of pseudo-removal. Glen Elendra Archmage, though technically not an ETB creature, falls under this category, because its benefit in the deck is similar to the ETB creatures. The key thing about ninjitsu is it not only cheats someone into play, it also brings another creature back to your hand. This allows you to get repeated value from your ETB creatures, as well as allowing you to "reset" Glen Elendra when she already has a -1/-1 counter from persist.
    • Card Draw and Filter Creatures: Consecrated Sphinx should speak for itself, and gets even better when Kami of the Crescent Moon is out, meaning you draw 4 on your opponents' draw steps. As well as filtering cards with her upkeep trigger, Thassa, God of the Sea can make your non-ninjas unblockable. Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar is a bit of a pet card for me, but I can't emphasize his usefulness enough. Yes, the 6 CMC is a bit high, but having all of your draws turn into Anticipate helps you dig deep through your library, his toughness is high enough to block smaller creatures, and, if you have trouble with Nekusar, the Mindrazer in your meta, he prevents you from taking damage from his ability because he replaces your draw.
    • Win-Cons and Others: Laboratory Maniac is the deck's main win-con, so he's probably the most important non-ninja creature in the deck. Because there are a lot of instants and sorceries in the deck, Talrand, Sky Summoner can often produce a lot of tokens. The tokens also have flying, making them useful for sneaking in a ninja with ninjitsu. Finally, though expensive, Tidespout Tyrant makes a huge impact when it hits the board. The high number of low cost spells mean that the Tyrant is going to be bouncing a lot of your opponents' permanents. With the help of Helm of Awakening and/or Archaeomancer, he can also get the storm count very high.


    • Coastal Piracy and Bident of Thassa: I think one thing that makes this deck unique as a mono-U control deck is its use of the combat step. Cards such as these two help turn your small, unblockable creatures into card advantage. These, combined with other draw sources, mean that the deck can dig through your library quite quickly.
    • Other Sources of Card Draw: Rhystic Study is another auto-include in my blue decks: either you're making your opponents pay more mana, or you're drawing cards, win win. Sensei's Divining Top, Future Sight, and Scroll Rack allow you to manipulate the top of your library. Future Sight is another favorite card of mine that can help you dig very deep into your deck. Also, it goes infinite with Top and Helm of Awakening to draw your whole library. Scroll Rack is especially nice when you have a huge hand, because it means you can keep swapping large chunks of your hand for more card from you library. One of Higure's roles in this deck is the use of his combat trigger not to search for a ninja, but just to get value out of shuffling your library, whether that be shuffling away three useless cards you can see with Top, or to shuffle away cards you don't need set aside with the Rack.
    • Mana Rocks: Right now, I run Thought Vessel, Mind Stone, Sol Ring, and Gilded Lotus, all of which either produce more than one mana, or have an added benefit on top of mana. (No maximum hand size can be very important in this deck). I also run Caged Sun as a mana doubler, and Helm of Awakening and Sapphire Medallion as cost-reducers. Landing both of the reducers means you'll be slinging spells for days, getting your storm count higher. Finally, though not really a mana source, Sword of Feast and Famine's untap trigger is very important, especially when trying to go for a high storm count.
    • Miscellaneous: Isochron Scepter has a lot of great targets in this deck. Imprinting it with High Tide is very risky, as you might lose the card, but easily wins game if it sticks. Putting a counterspell on the scepter can be just mean. Copy Artifact is another blue staple and there really isn't one thing it usually copies. Sometimes it's a second Sol Ring early game. Sometimes it helps me get two activations/triggers off something like Scroll Rack or Sword of Feast and Famine. Sometimes it's a second Caged Sun for a huge mana burst.

    Not much to say here. Right now, this is really a budget mana base, hence the high number of Islands. Of the non-basics I currently have, Command Beacon and Reliquary Tower are the most crucial.

    Originally, I tried to have a higher Ninja count, mostly through the addition of Shapeshifters. Throughout the deck's history, I've tried:
    • Ego Erasure mostly as a psedu-fog and to hose other tribal decks in my meta. It was too niche of a use and got cut
    • Shapesharer: Every once and a while, he was clutch in copying a crucial creature. In the end, not worth it
    • Wings of Velis Vel either pumped one of my creatures, and made non-ninjas targetable by Higure's ability, or briefly hosed a giant opposing creature. A lackluster ability not worth the slot
    • Xenograft is a card I really wanted to work. It helps to make any creature unblockable by Higure. If this were Conspiracy, it would be an auto-include. But as is, just not worth the 5 mana.
    • Amoeboid Changeling and Blightsteel Colossus: Originally, this deck had this combo of making the Colossus an unblockable ninja as a secondary win-con. As I played the deck more, though, the storm win-con became very efficient, and these two were dropped for cards to help the main event. These are definitely worth including if you don't want to go all in on the storm angle.
    • Umezawa's Jitte: Seems like an easy pick for a control-y deck that uses the combat step. However, it never really felt like it had enough of an impact. The -1/-1 ability was overshadowed by bounce and other removal, the buff never won me games, and life gain is somewhat negligible in a 40 life format. It may still be worth considering if you're a fan of the card.
    • Proteus Staff: I really like the card. It's a fun piece of removal, and can help cheat big creatures into play. As I tweaked the list, though, it just didn't make the cut.
    • Deepfathom Skulker: I like that it's a third Coastal Piracy effect, and if you really want another, it might be worth running. 6 mana just felt too expensive, it's a creature, so it doesn't last as long in a format with lots of wipes, and its unblockable ability is overpriced.



    Strategy

    The key to this deck is balancing your control elements with use of your combat step. Higure's trigger and Coastal Piracy effects require you to attack, but you don't want to be too aggressive. Doing so will attract a lot of hate and you won't have the strongest creatures on the board. In other words, though the combat step is very important, you probably won't win during the combat step. Hard control also attracts a lot of hate, so you have to find a balance there, too. In an opening hand, look for mana rocks, a source of card draw or filtering, and one counterspell.

    In the early game, you want to be setting up. Drop some mana rocks, use Ninja of the Deep Hours or Coastal Piracy to help you stay ahead with card advantage. Counterspells are important, but you don't want to counter everything. This will require a little bit of meta knowledge, but counters should be saved for preventing your opponents from getting too far ahead themselves. Ninja of the Deep Hours is almost always the first ninja I grab with Higure. After that, it's either Sakashima's Student or Mistblade Shinobi, depending on what is happening on the board.

    Given the nature of how this deck wants to win, it really just has an early game and a later game. The key is to use your control elements to drag out the early game until you're set up to go off. Late game is often just one or two turns when you've assembled the necessary pieces and are ready to fire away. Something like a full hand of seven cards, High Tide, and Turnabout is the sort of thing you're looking for. With these two cards, used along side other untappers, such as Frantic Search, this deck's winning turn usually looks like generating a high storm count and then targeting yourself with Brain Freeze while Laboratory Maniac is on the board. This is another reason why you don't want to use too many counterspells in the early game. This win-con is quite fragile and can be easily ruined with well-timed removal. You want to hold onto some counters in order to protect yourself while getting your storm count up. This is one reason I run Forbid: when you have a huge hand, the buyback is negligible, and repeatable counters are important.As well as the usual untappers, like Turnabout another one to remember is Sword of Feast and Famine. A winning turn with this deck can look like this: start with a big hand, a Coastal Piracy effect and Sword of Feast and Famine on the board. Cast High Tide and get your storm count up in main phase one. Move to attacks, swing with a few creatures, draw some cards, and untap with the Sword, then repeat in main phase two, getting your storm count high enough for a game-winning Brain Freeze. Also, as well as helping to control your opponents' board, Tidespout Tyrant can be a strong storm enabler, through one of two main ways. With Helm of Awakening and Sensei's Divining Top or Sol Ring he goes infinite by repeatedly casting and bouncing one card. Also, you can get maximum value out of High Tide by repeatedly casting and bouncing Archaeomancer.



    Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!



    Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Blighted Cataract as possible non-basics. I'm also testing Crystal Shard in place of Isochron Scepter.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 3

    posted a message on Is This Common Behavior?
    I've seen sore players before, but this guy seems particularly bad. Unfortunately, you're just going to encounter immature people from time to time. Stan doesn't exactly seem like someone who would respond well to this, but have you tried explaining that plays like the ones you mentioned were just the best plays at the time? The way you tell it, it doesn't sound like Stan was being picked on. He was pushing ahead, so he was the rightful target. One would hope that he'd understand that that's just how the game works.

    As for the owner not wanting to talk to Stan, I have no advice there. That's a tough one. Though, I'd hope the owner recognizes that, as good as a customer as Stan might be, his actions are driving other players away.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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