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The Magic Market Index for June 23, 2017
 
Treasure Cruisin' with Monogreen Stompy
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    posted a message on Tolarian Winds
    Bear in mind, it is -1 card in hand, and other options like Cathartic Reunion and Forbidden Alchemy are at least card neutral. Also, true Wheels are 1 more mana, and things like Winds of Change and Molten Psyche don't fill the grave, but they do disrupt opposing hands.

    There is just a lot of competition in the card pool for effects like this.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Sek'Kuar Lands
    Yeah actually, I build a Sek’Kuar deck very similar to this one and had a lot of fun with it online, circa 2011 when the first sets were released. A very strong concept. It eventually became a Kresh deck with Wildfire effects that I posted here, similarly brutal. But the fastest/most reliable version is probably with Sek and Obliterates.

    What I would advise is to just run all the 1cmc mana elves, then as much draw at 3-4cmc as available. Forget about cute stuff like Grim Haruspex, just power through the deck with Read the Bones. Put all Obliterate effects in the deck, including Death Cloud, access one by turn 6-7 or so, and blow the world up. Then, run the gamut with 3/1 graveborn tokens, 5/3 Titania tokens, and follow through with a quicker rebuild off of Exploration and Crucible of Worlds effects. Can be a really effective deck if you are looking for the “Stax” style.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from osieorb18 »
    I've seen people who ran banned cards because they weren't aware of what was on the banlist whatsoever. I've seen people who thought cards were banned because they're quite sensibly banned in other formats. I've seen people who ran banned cards because they stubbornly disagreed with the RC's banning of the card. I've seen people who thought commander tax was for each time a card left the battlefield. I've seen people who ran banned cards because they missed an update. I've seen people who...


    Not to separate this from the main point, but yeah, I have seen people misunderstand the ban list for a variety of reasons. I think it’s useful to separate them into two categories – mistakes because people didn’t read it, mistakes because the ban list itself is confusing.

    And of all the mistakes I’ve seen made due to the ban list itself, about 70%-80% of them have been players who thought cards were banned that actually are not. As in, the first time each new player sees Demonic Tutor played in an EDH game. And, I still continue to see people who thought that Necropotence, Survival of the Fittest, and Intuition are banned, when of course they are not.

    If the community valued “grokability” anywhere near the same as it does just being allowed to play whatever card they want, then the ban list would start at a point that is familiar with people who have played the game of Magic before. For the format where games are intended to be enjoyable, having cards that no one wants to play against ever again is the greatest dissonance there is. The rest is just details peripheral to that.


    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Jor Kadeen Voltron vs. Sydri, Galvanic Genius
    Quote from Tryno »
    Quote from Kedvesem »
    Thank you both for the suggestions!
    Well, she loves Voltron. So Voltron it has to stay. She never liked tokens all that much, but last night she wiped out someone by using seven Servo tokens that were 5/1s. Perhaps even a little in the direction of tokens would help.


    The thing about voltron, is that you need to count in turns. 'How many turns till they die from my commander'. Turning Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer 'on' makes him a 3 turn clock (assuming everything hits). This is honestly pretty decent on it's own. Him 'on' with a Sword that give evasion is 'still' a 3 turn clock (pesky off by ones). Pushing more tokens (ideally artifact tokens), is in a sense enabling voltron. While also, pushing for tons of damage everywhere.

    Aside from that, you need at least two other things: Steam and Evasion. Steam = Proactive plays (Cards, Haste, Etc.)

    Aside from all of this, make sure to have fun.


    This. I feel that getting it to work against Sydri specifically, you should also make inroads on getting the Voltron plan to work in general. Specifically for newcomers, they need to understand that it’s a very vulnerable strategy that needs a lot of different things to work.

    A) Protection from Stuff – Not only do you need protection from Sydri, you also need a solution to Maze of Ith, Tower of the Magistrate. Capsize, so on. I’m not going to go into solutions for everything, but just a few that come to mind.

    Grand Abolisher – Pretty sweet card that is painless to use. It’s fun for a lot of players too, because it can eliminate the “gotcha” moments in this game.
    Eight-and-a-Half-Tails – Saves your stuff from getting targeted by anything, but you can get into a mana-production contest with certain things like Sydri.

    B) Evasion – Past a certain turn, everyone is either dead or has blockers. Evasion of some form is a must. Understandable if you are having trouble with artifacts. They are not that good for evasion, anyway. I prefer auras for certain things, anyway.

    Flickering Ward – Staple card for Voltron, nice and repeatable and gets you evasion fairly reliably.
    Unquestioned Authority – Pretty solid, replaces itself. Doesn’t fall off with Sydri.
    Pentarch Ward – Similar to above, protection against less things.
    Spectra Ward – Doesn’t replace itself, but pretty solid for the value.
    Angelic Destiny – Flying is good, the pump is solid, and it’s nice to get it back after a wipe.

    C) Fast enough clock. Like Tryno says, it’s about how fast your clock is, not how many equipment you have. The problem is, I don’t see any of these equipments actually shortening the clock. That compounds the problem, because when you get in and nobody’s interfering with you, you can’t take advantage. So, focus on things that give +3 or more. And, there are plenty of them with costs cheap enough that you can weather the interference. Also, using the good auras and spells will help with Sydri.

    O-Naginata - Good buff, evasion, and cheap to cast and equip.
    Tenza, Godo's Maul – Basically the same effect, cheaper to reequip.
    Barbed Battlegear – A favorite of mine when Double Strike or First Strike is available, since you usually don’t mind the toughness loss.
    Sunforger Expensive certainly, but has other uses, so I thought I’d mention it. You already have the creatures in here that let you equip for free also.
    Glacial Plating – Since you’re in Snow already, I thought I’d mention it. It’s not very good at first, but I have seen it get out of control.
    Aurelia, the Warleader – Free combats for Jor, regardless of what Sydri has to say about it.
    Aggravated Assault – Same thing, costs mana.
    Waves of Aggression – Similar to above, again free combats.
    Wrecking Ogre – Single-use pumps are good. This one one-shots with an unblocked, Metalcraft Jor Kadeen. This and the rest of the Bloodrush also synergize better than the usual pumps, in that they can be retrieved by Sword of Light and Shadow, etc.
    Rush of Blood – This one has come in handy for me in the past. Multiplier for your multipliers.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Sheldon »
    Tin foil hats not required.

    If, however, I were to declare a war, it would be against the STAX and related resource denial because it's just miserable to play against. I hate the idea of games in which everyone just sits around watching one person play. If it happens as some sort of unusual side effect or combination of cards from multiple decks, then stuff happens, but dedicating a strategy to not allowing anyone into the game is contrary to the social principle.


    As one of those who've long suspected that this was the feeling with the RC, I really appreciate you putting your name on it.

    Maybe a similar article in the future addressing the issues with Combo also?

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Rashmi in the 99
    I suspect that you will not find a lot of bad things said about Rashmi. With no setup and no luck, she is a Phyrexian Arena. With more setup and luck, she’s more like Baleful Force that gives you extra mana. One of those cards that is beyond question.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Thalia's Lancers
    I would play it even if Gaea's Cradle were the only target. If I even had a Cradle, that is. As long as it never blanks, that's ok. And to accomplish that, you'd need no more than to add something like Kor Haven. There are more than enough legendaries in this list considering that the target will be Cradle at least half the time already.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What's the Point?/In It Just to Get A Win
    I don't think it's as much about how much you like to win or lose. If it were a game that was always won, it would not have the same kind of appeal. If D&D isn't a good example, mabye Pokemon Go. Everyone who logs in gets participation points. Go to a gym, and win if you have more participation points than the other person.

    They are way different games from Magic. In Magic, you decide how to build a deck from the ground up and play that deck. Players are engaged in measuring how well/poorly they are doing that. The measurement of that is your ability to reach the game objectives.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What's the Point?/In It Just to Get A Win
    Quote from Maelstrom »
    Quote from Jusstice »


    I heard a good comparison lately actually between Storm Herd and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur. Both are the same cost (forget that it’s easier generally to get Jin-Jin into play), and both tend to win the game in practicality unless they’re dealt with. But, they are both starkly different in the way that they go about winning the game. One gives you a decisive amount of stuff, the other takes away all your opponents stuff (and gives you more stuff to keep on taking away your opponents’ stuff).

    Now, I think it’s obvious that the community considers Jin-Jin the “better” card. That said, my own personal experience is that the person playing Storm Herd actually wins more often than the person playing Jin-Jin. There is something to be said in this format for being direct.

    I’d wager that a lot of the reason behind the perception of Jin-Jin being the better card though is related to the perception of how Magic games are won and lost, in theory. You get more stuff and take away your opponent’s stuff. You don’t stick something like Malignus or what not, then swing for the actual win, because you know, responses. Cards that respond are good, and cards that are defeated by responses are bad. So the rationale goes.

    So, this explains somewhat the existence of the groups that are, 1) trying to blow up lands, etc, to keep players out of the game, and 2) players looking for combo wins that are hard to interact with. It doesn’t matter to them that mana-denial doesn’t win as often as people believe, or that Hermit Druid/Necrotic Ooze are actually highly vulnerable to Purify the Grave. It’s just the perception that these strategies are good by this group in question.

    If your group’s perception is different, it should in my mind come down to a put up or shut up scenario. If GBx decks are combo’ing out, then run GY hate. If people are playing around with Armageddon and Winter Orb, then play decks that are more aggressive and less mana-dependent. I for one am somewhat tired of stories that claim MLD decks win because everyone scoops after the MLD. Play it out, then complain if it's warranted.

    But if your conclusion is that Ramirez DePietro Pirate tribal should take 1 out of every 4 games in EDH, then I’m afraid that conclusion is not at all supported in the card pool for this format. Basically, Storm Herd or Jin-Jin take your pick, but one of these two philosophies is what wins. Other ideas are just worse by nature, and plz don't expect other players to attend to complaints when they lose.




    You quoted me, but that might be a mistake? I don't get what you are debatting or if its even with me? (I'm not trying to provoke you, but I'm honestly very confused).

    All I said was that there a two groups. Which boils down to people who thinks TnN is OP and those who doesnt. Some people says winning with one card alone (TnN) makes it OP. I would argue that if you cant stop a spell being cast for 9 mana you deserve to lose. And what I said to that was that its pointless to try and make these two groups agree on the "spirit of EDH", because they are fundementally different by nature.


    Not debating, more agreeing with you.

    I agree there's these two groups you talk about. Just sharing another analogy I heard recently between Jin-Jin and Storm Herd, which seemed a pretty good analogy to me.

    That one sort of brought to light for me the second point, that these groups don't have as much to do with winning and losing as is generally thought. It's really most to do with what each group enjoys playing and believes is good. And for the one group, that's combo'ing and interfering with lands.

    And if you ask me, a decent aggressive strategy (read, something like Tymna and hatebears, not Storm Herd) will actually tend to run all over these MLD and combo decks. Ramirez will not.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What's the Point?/In It Just to Get A Win
    Quote from Mercury01 »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Say you are playing Chess and you opponent leaves themselves open to a 3-4 turn checkmate. Are both players supposed to talk about it, decide that early Queen development is “OP”, and then make another play? Or, are they supposed to learn, adapt, and play the game according to the rules? It seems like if you don’t like early wins, then Checkers is the better game for you.

    Conversely, have you ever heard someone proud of how bad their deck is? As in, hey, “I have never won a single game with this deck. It’s so bad!”

    I mean, I understand that there are certain do’s and don’t’s. But, people will try to get better at the game. So, better to focus on these do’s and dont’s and their reason for being rather than questioning why someone gets enjoyment from overpowering wins.


    Chess is a very poor analogy.

    Commander is a lot more like pen and paper gaming. If you bring a character that's completely optimized to win in combat and you find out that the game is set in a court full of subtle political intrigue, it's going to be a bad time. Conversely, if the party is kitted out for kick-down-the-door campaigning, your thoughtful scholar or silver-tongued rogue are going to find themselves frustratingly useless.

    It's the same thing with Commander. The game works best if everyone's on the same page and, as with pen and paper gaming, if you discuss with the other players what kind of character (or, as the case may be, deck) you're playing and what you hope to get out of the game. You can't do that with chess. It's too linear, all the information is known and there's too few interactions.


    Paper D&D is actually the poor analogy because, you know, it's not a game that has the objective of winning. The skill-based diplomacy Rogue can fail his attempt to sneak attack 50 hobgoblins, but no one is to say he is better or worse for it as long as his group survived the encounter.

    This "being on the same page" baloney is supposed to be accomplished by the rules set, including the ban list. Because the measure of whether you are making progress or not is measured by, you know, actually being able to reach the explicit objective of the game.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What's the Point?/In It Just to Get A Win
    Quote from Ashmit »

    Now, let's not think of what will happen after or the fact of a) He probably needs another play group and b) The rest of the group doesnt want to play with him anymore.
    I want to try and understand.. Why does that player like that? Just smashing and winning early.

    Ive heard it countless times. So many people bragging about how much their deck is hated or how good it is becuase they can win easily. I don't understand why that would bring you joy. Maybe it's just a "you dont need to understand, they just do" type of thing. I would really like to know though. No hate, no salt, I simply just am curious.


    I am not sure what your point of reference is. Have you ever played any game where you’re supposed to come to the brink of reaching the game’s objective, step back instead, and then try to find more fun somehow instead?

    Say you are playing Chess and you opponent leaves themselves open to a 3-4 turn checkmate. Are both players supposed to talk about it, decide that early Queen development is “OP”, and then make another play? Or, are they supposed to learn, adapt, and play the game according to the rules? It seems like if you don’t like early wins, then Checkers is the better game for you.

    Conversely, have you ever heard someone proud of how bad their deck is? As in, hey, “I have never won a single game with this deck. It’s so bad!”

    I mean, I understand that there are certain do’s and don’t’s. But, people will try to get better at the game. So, better to focus on these do’s and dont’s and their reason for being rather than questioning why someone gets enjoyment from overpowering wins.

    Quote from Maelstrom »
    After commenting on a "Tooth and Nail" post and a "Losing fun vs unfun" (or something) post I came to a conclusion.

    There are basically two groups of people playing EDH:

    1. The group where people thinks a Serra Angel is the BOMB to play (I am clearly exaggerating, dont take offence)
    2. The group where people thinks a Leovold + Timetwister effects and including a Doomsday + Lab Maniac are the BOMBS to play.

    I myself is part of group number 2. Which seems to be the least reprensented both in these forums and at my LGS. Which is fine. But I think it is pointless that these two groups tries to convince each other which is the best way to play EDH. Its pointless to say "you are not playing it the way its meant to be played".


    I heard a good comparison lately actually between Storm Herd and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur. Both are the same cost (forget that it’s easier generally to get Jin-Jin into play), and both tend to win the game in practicality unless they’re dealt with. But, they are both starkly different in the way that they go about winning the game. One gives you a decisive amount of stuff, the other takes away all your opponents stuff (and gives you more stuff to keep on taking away your opponents’ stuff).

    Now, I think it’s obvious that the community considers Jin-Jin the “better” card. That said, my own personal experience is that the person playing Storm Herd actually wins more often than the person playing Jin-Jin. There is something to be said in this format for being direct.

    I’d wager that a lot of the reason behind the perception of Jin-Jin being the better card though is related to the perception of how Magic games are won and lost, in theory. You get more stuff and take away your opponent’s stuff. You don’t stick something like Malignus or what not, then swing for the actual win, because you know, responses. Cards that respond are good, and cards that are defeated by responses are bad. So the rationale goes.

    So, this explains somewhat the existence of the groups that are, 1) trying to blow up lands, etc, to keep players out of the game, and 2) players looking for combo wins that are hard to interact with. It doesn’t matter to them that mana-denial doesn’t win as often as people believe, or that Hermit Druid/Necrotic Ooze are actually highly vulnerable to Purify the Grave. It’s just the perception that these strategies are good by this group in question.

    If your group’s perception is different, it should in my mind come down to a put up or shut up scenario. If GBx decks are combo’ing out, then run GY hate. If people are playing around with Armageddon and Winter Orb, then play decks that are more aggressive and less mana-dependent. I for one am somewhat tired of stories that claim MLD decks win because everyone scoops after the MLD. Play it out, then complain if it's warranted.

    But if your conclusion is that Ramirez DePietro Pirate tribal should take 1 out of every 4 games in EDH, then I’m afraid that conclusion is not at all supported in the card pool for this format. Basically, Storm Herd or Jin-Jin take your pick, but one of these two philosophies is what wins. Other ideas are just worse by nature, and plz don't expect other players to attend to complaints when they lose.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Dark Ritual and friends
    Quote from Lithl »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    I know that using Vintage staples makes you look like a pro, but honestly there are so many better cards than the rituals that already don’t see play as is. Quick list of them that you might want to look at:

    Soldevi Adnate – A repeatable Burnt Offering for Black/artifact creatures. Also can sacrifice itself for the refund.

    Priest of Yawgmoth – Same thing as above for artifacts and artifact creatures.

    Basal Thrull, Basal Sliver, Blood Vassal, etc – Better a lot of the time because they are easier to recur.
    I disagree strongly. Three of the five cards you've listed have to lose summoning sickness before you can get mana out of them, and the other two don't even refund their whole casting cost, much less produce more mana than they cost. The kind of decks that generally want rituals want the mana now, not next turn.


    I think we agree on analysis then.

    Dark Rit and friends are net positive on mana right away, while the others take more mana than they refund but get you to a higher count on the turn they're used. That's why in Constructed where the "critical turn" is a lot more important, Dark Rit and such are all-stars while Soldevi Adnate doesn't see play.

    So if in your assessment any and all decks that want Rituals all want the mana upfront and without paying extra on previous turns, then sure. It's just that in my mind, lots of more *traditional* decks want a boost in mana, and lots of them are ok with sacrificing immediacy in favor of reusability and other perks in return. Sort of how lots of decks in EDH will play stuff like Shriekmaw over Slaughter Pact for the same reasons. The Erebos deck mentioned in the OP seems more like one that values the long game than one that just wants to spend the cards in hand as soon as possible.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What's the Point?/In It Just to Get A Win
    The objective of a game of Commander is to reduce the life totals of other players to zero (or other alternative means). The things you name can be effective at either reaching that objective or curtailing opponents from reaching that objective. It’s not really any more complicated than that.

    The complication arises from the idea that players ought to be doing something other than reaching the game’s stated objective. This is complicated because this other thing that players ought to be doing is unstated. And if doing this thing leaves players less able to reach the game objectives, it’s unrealistic to expect players to do that thing in the course of the game. The rules should be changed in that case to produce the kind of play experience the designers intend.

    Same argument, different day.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Dark Ritual and friends
    I know that using Vintage staples makes you look like a pro, but honestly there are so many better cards than the rituals that already don’t see play as is. Quick list of them that you might want to look at:

    Soldevi Adnate – A repeatable Burnt Offering for Black/artifact creatures. Also can sacrifice itself for the refund.

    Priest of Yawgmoth – Same thing as above for artifacts and artifact creatures.

    Basal Thrull, Basal Sliver, Blood Vassal, etc – Better a lot of the time because they are easier to recur.


    The thing that distinguishes these from things like Ashnod’s Altar, Krark-Clan Ironworks, etc, that already get run in Black extensively is that they are self-contained and easily recurrable. Of course, the more commonly seen cards are more commonly seen because they have a high performance ceiling, but these are somewhat more reliable on their own and accessible earlier.

    The only real advantages to the Cabal Ritual set of cards are: 1) never unusable, i.e. high performance floor, 2) consistently mana-positive in terms of the flow of the entire game, not just a single turn ramp, and 3) synergy with Instants/Sorceries. So really, I would only consider them in decks where the tempo flow of the entire game is very fast, opening hand textures are important, and there is no special use for creatures as a card type. Understandably, most non-combo, non-Voltron EDH decks fail to meet these criteria. Exceptions are those decks that can translate early mana into cards or permanent mana production, like the stuff mentioned above like Liliana, Heretical Healer, Oloro, etc.

    For the typical Erebos deck, either traditional ramp like Wayfarer’s Bauble or the creatures above will just probably work better, or even something like Expedition Map that will help you tutor for Cabal Coffers and output mana over the long of the game. That’s because his ability, unlike Oloro or similar that tends to work a limited number of times per turn, will use whatever mana you can give him.

    Regarding Mana Vault and why it’s seen so often, it’s both about 50% better on the turn it's than Dark Rit (color of mana notwithstanding), and synergizes with artifacts (Voltaic Key,etc). Really, there are a ton of decks that care about artifacts.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Why not? The best things in life are free. Smile

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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