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    posted a message on Can somebody explain group hug to me?
    What I’ve come more and more to realize in EDH is that it’s important to avoid cards that make bad topdecks. Say your average game goes 16-20 or so cards deep naturally after your opening 7 + 1, that means any individual card at 1-3 cmc is drawn roughly 2/3 of the time after you are at a mana count higher than what’s required to cast it. So, two thirds of your decision should be based on how it plays in those situations.

    That’s what’s really important to understand when weighing a card like Kodama’s Reach v Nature’s Lore (or Night’s Whisper v. Phyrexian Arena for that matter). Say you are hitting that while you already have a mana count of 6. The slower cards are terrible. To play Kodama’s, you are exchanging a 6 mana turn for a 3 mana turn, with the upside that you will have 8 mana next turn. With Nature’s Lore, you’re only trading a 6 mana turn for a 5 mana turn. And, I would wager that most EDH decks do not do very much with a 3 mana turn except develop, much less on turn 6, but can do plenty still with a 5 mana turn.

    IMO, too much thought is put into how awesome a card is when it’s drawn on time. That leads to comparisons of Nature’s Lore Turn 2 with nothing to spend the extra mana on, against a Turn 3 Cultivate with nothing better to do Turn 3. Problem is, most of the time you don’t draw the cards on time. It’s theoretically possible to put together 10-14 1cmc or 2cmc accelerators in order to be consistent early, but in my experience, most decks don’t do that.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Token-Based Gahiji, Honored One (Multiplayer)
    Beastmaster Ascension is a really solid card for this kind of setup. It will probably go active in no more than 2 turns, then it buffs your creatures on that same attack. It's the best effect of its kind.

    Otherwise, cards like Jazal Goldmane, Kamahl Fist of Krosa and Marton Stromgald are solid.

    And I know you mentioned no tutora, but Skullclamp wasn't a card that you mentioned as not wanting to see every game. It would be very solid draw, and tutorable by Stoneforge Mystic, Steelshaper's Gift, etc.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Can somebody explain group hug to me?
    The direction that I thought of for a while, if it helps, was Reiterate-Reset with help from Sunforger. It's a very strong combo win that can't be stopped outside of stack interaction, and is very tutorable with certain cards. The main thing that holds it back is getting your land count to 7+ (or hitting high tide), but then having Green assists that immensely.

    I mean, this general's effect isn't strictly symmetrical, and card draw as a general is an unparalleled kind of consistency. After that, it's not hard to make a strong shell in the colors. I think a lot of the lack of direction you're feeling is just from the fact that this general gives cards and mana, which every deck ends up needing. So unlike say, Mizzix and the others you listed, it is very do-whatever. Those other decks care about card type (instant/sorcery, artifact) or creature types in Kaalia's case.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Bruse Tarl & Tymna - Mardu "Skies"
    An idea roughly resembling this deck was floating around in my head also. I wanted to do something around “Knight tribal”, with a bunch of 2cmc knights with protection, since they likely have evasion in at least one spot early game. There were unexpected anti-synergies with Bruse, lol. Same thing with all the Swords, excluding FaF. But Haakon Stromgald Scourge with Crib Swap is something that I continue to try to get right. The Knights that did work surprisingly well in my test runs though were Hero of Bladehold and Hero of Oxid Ridge. Bladehold was awesome in putting non-evasive pressure on the second and third opponent, the teamwide evasion on Oxid Ridge actually worked well, and battlecry on both were actually decent. Also ofc, Puresteel Paladin, Thalia’s Lancers, and a few others. Almost enough for a deck there, not sure if it will become one of mine.

    Also another idea was to just try to get the most creatures per card as possible. Things like Spirit Bonds, Bitterblossom, Entreat the Angels, Lingering Souls, Spectral Procession, Emeria Angel. The idea was that one card would set you up potentially in multiple places, then just pace yourself through. The ones I listed were those I remember because they did well, but they were just grease for the rest of the deck which was highly control heavy. Bitterblossom though is one that I can’t imagine ever leaving out of any Tymna deck.

    If you wouldn’t mind me suggesting some cuts, I would consider dropping Dark Tutelage and Pyrexian Arena. I have thought for a while now that Arena even is just too slow for EDH now, and only ever good on Turn 3. This deck seems to be wanting to do something else on Turn 3, definitely. Turn 3 and earlier, a creature is just better. And after Turn 3, these are terrible. Something like Ancient Craving, or alternatively Wretched Confluence or Bituminous Blast gives you a good amount impact along with extra fuel.

    Also some ideas that have lingered around from those revisions was the use of manlands, keyrunes, and myrs. Blinkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus are cheap at 2 mana an activation to assist a Tymna recovery. Rakdos and Boros Keyrunes are some of the better ones also. And, whether to run Myr or Signets I think comes down to what kind of wipes you’re running. I wouldn’t suggest them for your deck with all of Vandalblast, Wrath of God, Damnation, Blasphemous Act, and Toxic Deluge, but they are there, and they tend to get in for at least a card before the board clogs up.

    I think you will like Necropolis Regent a bunch. Take it from someone who tries the small weenies approach over and over every release, that one is a beast. It goes in every deck of mine with equipments. Insane, as expected, with Double Strike. I imagine that Archangel of Thune has been doing really well for you in here, though I haven’t tried it. Unlike Bruse, it doesn’t care about protections or shroud. Gotta love just beating in for value.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Can somebody explain group hug to me?
    Quote from Drain Life »

    Quote from Dunharrow »
    Group hug to me can have two end-goals:

    2. Keep everyone alive until you can blow them all out.


    In response to number 2, and a few people here wrote the same, it sounds to me like building a bad combo deck. Take a perfectly good combo deck, then dilute it with a bunch of group hug garbage that doesn't really help you. If you want an infinite turns deck, just build an infinite turns deck. If you want a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo, just build a Kiki-Jiki based deck. Group Hug does nothing to help that kind of deck win more, or get out of a tough game state.


    It is easy to paint yourself into a corner here. Question is, what kind of win conditions are not combo? I sympathize with you that the deck is really light on win-cons (all of the precons are, really), but the discussion goes to including more win cons and your stance is that doing so changes the deck too much. What I can say is that if any win condition that is outside what you’d call Combo involves combat damage, then it’s a poor fit for the general. These “group hug” mechanisms are about changing the pace of the game away from combat.

    Here’s what I mean. Consider all the elements of the turn – untap, draw, land drop, main, combat. This general doubles two of those for you (draw, land drop), and either one of those for opponents. This dilutes combat by comparison, also main phase, but mostly combat. Creatures will spend more time, relatively speaking, either summoning sick or stuck in hand.

    By contrast, combat oriented decks are often seen to alter the pace of the game in the opposite way. More commonly, they will deny mana, the ability to untap mana, stop drawing, so on, which has the effect of giving more combats per unit of other aspects of the turn. But that’s observed because there are just more cards that deny than grant extra stuff. If there were a general that doubled combats, even doubled them for everyone, that would definitely be considered an aggressive general. The closest I can think of is Karona, False God and Avatar of Slaughter. Those don’t seem to be considered “group hug” cards, but they do give extra stuff.

    Bottom line, you will want to focus on some non-combat win condition. If playing big creatures, Eldrazi, etc, in greater number than opponents is how you’re used to winning, it takes some adjustment. Certain decks win with creatures on tempo, which most everyone considers “aggro”. But there are also decks that win with creatures on resources (cards, mana) rather than on tempo. Lots of players identify that as “Goodstuff” or even “Control” instead. The “group hug” mechanic is not a good fit for either of those.

    Taking a few ideas from cards in the deck, maybe some of them offer some more win potential:


    Akroan Horse – Give your opponents more creatures, then abuse that with stuff like Dingus Staff or Repercussion, or Suture Priest. Or just make the creatures more impactful with stuff like Gahiji, Honored One, similar. Maybe hold out for a big Insurrection.

    Wave of Reckoning and Blasphemous Act – Will do nicely with the above if you include the Repercussion, Dingus Staff effects. Also consider Incite Rebellion

    Reverse the Sands – Include one or two cards with a lot of self-pain, Volcano Hellion or similar, and then lean on more life distribution cards.

    Treacherous Terrain – Solid win-con in the deck, with a lot of support in these colors. Similar are Acidic Soil, Price of Progress, Manabarbs, Primal Order, Overabundance, Citadel of Pain, Power Surge.

    Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa – He gives your opponents’ creatures evasion against each other also, for what it matters. More ways for the pain to start mounting on their end.

    What I will say also is that just about every Zedruu or similar deck I have seen wins most of its games from one card – Vicious Shadows. It makes sense in this setup to give players more creatures and cards in hand. The card will win the game on its own in this kind of play environment. A distant second is Insurrection.


    As far as the general goes, I really like it because there are certain effects that just need failsafe consistency to work anywhere near correctly, and group hug is one of them. Rites of Flourishing is one of my favorite tutor targets with this strategy, and having a better version of it in the command zone is enough to set the game up on its own. You wouldn’t need much more effects of that type in the deck to function well, and you could fill the rest of it with some counterspells, instant speed removal, or anything else more appropriate for more advanced games. You still want to keep pace with your draw and put some permanents down so you don’t have to discard though, which is why you still will see a lot of enchantments.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Underrated and Underplayed Board Wipes
    For me, all of the red wipes come to mind. Fiery Confluence, Starstorm, Fault Line, Mizzium Mortars. They all have their perks for me over the standard 4cmc destroy all effects, such as being instant speed, only killing certain creatures, not killing your own, etc. I think the reason that they’re not run more often is because they don’t kill Rampaging Baloths (or insert your own green fatty here). But then shuffle up, and all you see is Oracle of Mul Daya, Rafiq of the Many, and Thada Adel, Acquisitor for 8-10 turns, because same people seem to think that their Baloths are guaranteed to hit a wipe the turn after they are played.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on which two are the best partner commander 2016???
    I’m finding this in Vial Smasher the Fierce and Tymna the Weaver also. The deck can afford to run a very low creature count and still not lack for a proactive play, as well as being able to run things like Swords.

    Also, Opal Palace is great in partner decks. A 5/7 Thrasios, a 4/7 Akri for 7, or a 5/5 Tymna the Weaver for 8 is actually relevant, and really lets you stretch that general slot. Add some method for stupid-level mana production and you are set.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Aikido as an archetype
    Quote from Roelio »
    You guys make great points, thanks for the great discussion. I will definitely take another look at my deck, but am tempted to try marchesa.
    Definitely stuff like kazuul is attractive.

    Is there more stuff like duelist's heritage? This is a great aikido card I think.


    The Red and White stuff is all available for Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, of course. Actually, a lot of people saw them as a somewhat silly group hug general, but I never really agreed with that. I have played Rites of Flourishing, Mana Flare, so on, in certain non-group hug decks because the cards fit the strategy of escalating the game. If you take all of the components of a turn (untap, upkeep, draw, land drop, main, combat), doubling draw and land drop, or something like mana, reduces the effect of the rest, like combat. It is the aggressive decks that do things like double combats and limiting untaps or lands, and so doubling the other components of the turn makes aggro work twice as hard. It’s perfect for a non-creature oriented finish. Much less this general which actually gives you a full Rites of Flourishing and everyone else only half of one.

    For similar cards like Duelist’s Heritage, one that I have always liked is Avatar of Slaughter. It’s big enough that you are probably not the most vulnerable person on the ground after sticking him, and synergizes well with other cards that deter attacks.

    For that matter, regarding Adamaro, First to Desire, the general that I would put at the top of mono-R for this is Fumiko the Lowblood. Lots of attacks going around when she’s down, and none of them at you.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Queen Marchesa Rattlesnakes
    I really like the theme of giving tokens for the other players to beat each other with, then punishing them with cards like Rakdos Charm and Massacre Wurm. A few cards in a similar vein that you may have missed:

    Tempt with Vengeance – The more tokens, the better.
    Repercussion – Effectively gives everyone’s creatures unblockability for the pain, and also turns a card like Fiery Confluence or Arcbond into a ton of damage.
    Dingus Staff – The same damage on death ability, on more cards. Also stops recursion combos.


    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Aikido as an archetype
    If I understand the problem with Sunforger, it’s that it’s perceived as value, and value is perceived as a threat. So even if all you have in the deck are reactive cards, players will want to deal with a card that in their perception will be able to Chaos Warp everything that they do until it’s killed.

    Also, it depends highly on the phase of the game, as in the original Tariel primer. During the middle game is when errant attacks are made for chip damage, and spot removal gets pointed around the table. For that reason, it’s not the right time to play Sunforger in this deck. It will either draw removal or increase your threat level for attacks. The time to play that card is in anticipation of someone being ready to close out the game. At that point, your threat level is less relevant, because some guy has resolved a Rite of Replication or something.

    I’m in agreement with precociousapprentice that the middle game is the time for defensive cards that present the opportunity for opponents to play around. The trick is finding the right ones that further the game by prompting your opponents to further their board state and commit resources. I think they serve their place, but I am not a fan of cards like Norn’s Annex and Hissing Miasma that I see in some lists. I would rather run a card like Baneslayer Angel that plays a flexible role between offense and defense. A card like that is highly likely to protect you from attacks in most places during the course of an orbit, and it escalates the deployment of resources (creatures, wipes, etc). Other cards would be something like Custodi Lich, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, or Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs. Rather than preventing people from attacking you, they offer value in exchange for being attacked. It prompts the response to escalate on board, and in the meantime go elsewhere rather than kill your stuff.

    For that reason, I really like Queen Marchesa as an improvement for this style. The monarch mechanic can either be played like an extra draw if you pillow fort, or it can be played in a way that turns opponents into pinatas (and gives you tokens). I have really been liking Custodi Lich in other decks for this effect also. You get rid of something, absorb an attack, then watch people fight over the emblem and escalate on board. If you need to kill something and Lich is still out, you can pick up the emblem again for another trigger.

    If you had not already checked it out, I reference your table position primer in the Influences section of my deck writeup. I really enjoy the non-card aspects of multiplayer MTG, and you did a really good job of highlighting some of these. If you have any further writings in a similar vein that would contribute to political, aikido, and non-cards aspects of the game, I would be interested in reading them.


    Thanks! I am glad that you got something out of it. Position does play really well with a reactive style, definitely.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Aikido as an archetype
    I agree on Sunforger being an all-star. The cards that are at their best are all pretty conditional, like the charms and Deflecting Palm, while Sunforger helps you out in giving you consistent access to them and not costing you anything if you don't need them. Cards I really like with Sunforger here:

    Rakdos Charm - Will often burn for 5-6+, on top of what it does as a combo breaker.
    Boros Charm - Just as good at defending your board as elsewhere, but you remember here it can also burn for 4.
    Comeuppance - A very nice fog, and really on theme.
    Price of Progress - Probably the most damage you'll get out of a single card.
    Increasing Vengeance - I find you want it in the graveyard more than in the library. Once you Sunforger it out, the next thing you sunforger out can be devastating.
    Hide // Seek It's a strong combo-breaker for being tutorable, provided you know what's in the targeted deck. Also can be used with a Vizkopa Guildmage activation to burn for a huge amount, seeing as how things like Blasphemous Act are run even in tighter groups.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Aikido as an archetype
    I am finding a similar thing regarding the big creature decks. I am looking for cards that function in the same way as my current Aikido cards, but that work against combo. My current meta mostly frowns on infinite combos, Stax, or land destruction. I think that land destruction would be less of a problem for my current Aikido deck than most, given it's low average CMC an multiple Land Tax effects and moderate suite of rocks, but I combo and Stax may prove to be a problem. I want to understand the Aikido archetype, see examples of interesting Aikido decks, hear stories of Aikido decks in other metas, and hopefully expand the understanding of the Aikido archetype so that I can move from meta to meta and adjust my deck to compensate. The Aikido archetype as I have it tuned in my deck is very fun to play, takes a lot of very subtle skill and understanding of MTG, table play and meta, and even the psychology behind the play of MTG. jsNZ, that is exactly the type of comment I am searching for. Can you comment on how your deck was evolved to compensate for combo? Could other styles of Aikido have compensated better? If you abandoned your Aikido deck, do you ever bring it out as a surprise alternative, and if so, how has it done when it made it's return? Thanks for the contribution.


    I understand from the term of “aikido” to be cards like Deflecting Palm, Boros Fury-Shield, and Reflect Damage, etc. Breaking that down, you really have two separate effects: 1) damage prevention, 2) damage dealing. Expanding the list of considerations, you will probably want to focus more on the damage dealing aspect. And, there is plenty of this sort of indirect damage that is helpful against combo.

    Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Eidolon of the Great Revel, Scab-Clan Berserker, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed and Pyrostatic Pillar – These essentially shut down Storm decks while they are out, and go a long way against Omniscience combo’s and infinite turn Eternal Witness setups. I actually started running these more and more as Reiterate combo’s started showing up, because there are so few things that interact with those otherwise.

    Manabarbs, Burning Earth and Spellshock – These do what the above accomplishes, but also shut off Palinchron shenanigans.

    Underworld Dreams, Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Spiteful Visions, and Kederekt Parasite – Most setups based off Laboratory Maniac will involve some sort of infinite mana dump into Stroke of Genius or a Mind Over Matter interaction. Pain on drawing cards will shut that down.

    Dingus Staff, Massacre Wurm, Suture Priest, Blood Artist, Deathbringer Thoctar, Vicious Shadows, and Bloodchief Ascension – Things that care about cards dying on your opponent’s side will shut down Reveillark, Fiend Hunter and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed combos. Things that look at what enters the battlefield will also shut down Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combos, at least most of the time.

    The only other type of combo’s I can think of are based off activated abilities like Necrotic Ooze, so on. Burning-Tree Shaman and Linvala, Keeper of Silence are both good against that. Otherwise, just abrupt kills that aren’t really combo’s, such as Craterhoof Behemoth and Rite of Replication cheese.

    If you think about it, there are a lot of things of the “aikido” style that work similar to the classic White hate cards like Rule of Law, Spirit of the Labyrinth and Rest in Peace, but do so on the basis of damage rather than just shutting it down. That might be what you’re looking for in taking that style of deck to another meta.


    Overall in playing this style, I’ve found it really challenging, but that it’s consistently improving as more options for generals are added. What is really the challenge, in one word, is consistency. There are so many cards that you have to run that are either conditional (like Deflecting Palm) or have little on-board impact (like the various enchantments). And once you fall behind on board, any two-sided effect that you have out (such as Spiteful Visions and Manabarbs), are worse for you than they are for opponents. So, you have to invest in board presence on top of everything you are doing.

    What I’ve found effective is relying as much as I can on the general to bridge these gaps. Generals that kill creatures, gain life, or draw cards I have found the best, like Nesuksar, Queen Marchesa, etc. I have been interested in trying Breya for this, but haven’t put together a list yet, and also Tymna, the Weaver with Vial Smasher the Fierce.

    I see that a lot of the cards I go back to with this setup are also making other people’s lists. Rakdos Charm, Boros Charm, Deflecting Palm, Comeuppance. I have also found really strong any damage-based creature kill like Aether Flash, Fiery Confluence, Pyrohemia, with or without Repercussion.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on In your opinion, what aggro commanders would be the best if life totals were changed to 30? (18 for comander damage)
    I don't think that change would be enough to make Aurelia T1. EDH is still about taking a game that was based on parity between two players and 1 to 1 trades. So, playi g crom the less vulnerable zones like hand and library (combo) is better in an ffa than playing from more vulnerable zones like graveyard and battlefield (aggro). Until Sadistic Sacrament and the like is just as common as Swords to Plowshares. But, that wasn't the question.

    Best aggro generals would probably be Blue-based, highly consistent. Edric, GAAIV, Zur. Or a partner combo, Yidris, or some other recently released. Maybe Atraxa infect, but still to early to tell.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on America, The Polarized Society
    Quote from Highroller »
    Jusstice: I'm going to need another day at least to figure out how to even begin to respond to your post, because I legitimately have no idea what to do about this:

    But what’s more likely to be called out as “racist” is if I put forward the question where the person came from, then maybe share stories of when I visited there, what food I ate, so on. Because how could I have concluded that the person is from somewhere else unless, god forbid, I notice that they are a different race. It’s as if acknowledging the existence of Chicken and Waffles is “racist”.


    So, if I understand this correctly, your go-to conversation strategy when talking to a black person who is a complete stranger is to open with how you think he doesn’t belong here on account of his skin color, and then work chicken and waffles into the conversation?

    And somehow he's the one who's being the problem?

    Yeah, let me get back to you.


    You’re muddling the issue with the words you’ve chosen to use. First, not "belonging" somewhere is completely different than not being originally from somewhere. Fact, Vermont is 96% White according to the census. Another fact, other states especially those in the South have a much, much higher percent of Black populations. Given those two facts, forming a preliminary conclusion that a Black person you meet in Vermont is likely from another state is completely warranted. As Mad Max has said, people draw conclusions, and we do so because it is superior from an evolutionary standpoint to not doing so. Thank goodness we don’t have to shut down the inductive reasoning part of our brain to stop being racist. But nowhere in forming the conclusion that being Black in Vermont is not typical do I see discrimination, or the insinuation that someone doesn’t “belong”. Fact is, US citizens have a constitutional right of travel freely within the states, and in that sense at least, they “belong” everywhere.

    Also, who are you saying that I consider “the problem”. It’s not a Black person who might not be comfortable talking about their background. It’s when one White person talks to a Black person about their background in a way that’s perfectly acceptable to both of them, then a third White person isn’t comfortable with them doing it. That White person will raise the eyebrow at the other White person, as if to say, “How could you openly discuss differences like that? That’s racist!”.

    In my experience in the US also, having a conversation about the place someone grew up is presumptively not unwelcome. But generally anyway, people are very good at having a sense of when another person is being genuine and is comfortable with them. If you are, it’s pretty unlikely that someone will perceive an honest question as needling you. And if you aren’t comfortable with that person, avoiding the acknowledgment of their race and background isn’t enough to get you an “I’m not racist” pass. To the contrary, they will probably see right through to the fact that your outlook is whitewashed.

    Don’t want to take my word for it, go read what Black people in that kind of setting are saying about talking race with White people (http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/why-i-dont-talk-about-race-white-people). Basically, people are tired of White people approaching the issue with the exclusive goal of establishing that they aren’t racist. The White person who refuses to acquaint themselves with somebody of another race due to not wanting to possibly discover uncomfortable differences, that person is out to reinforce their private, individual sense of non-racism. And even if they aren’t racist, seems like Black people feel that them keeping quiet to justify to themselves that they’re race-blind supports a racist system with these silent biases. Better to realize you are a different race than somebody and go on trying to find common ground with that person than just trying to ignore it. If they’ve been tiptoed around or similar by other people of your race, yeah that’s too bad, people should be less uncomfortable with races different than theirs.

    Quote from Highroller »

    An argument does not magically become correct just because you hate black people. Emotion does not dictate what is factual and what is not.

    Incidentally, I love how you're simultaneously arguing that there is reasoning and statistical basis behind racism to osiorb, but then you make statements about how you never said that you never said racism was rational and how it is purely based on emotion, but somehow that's ok because of you don't think the burden of proof should apply to you.

    These are, of course, completely contradictory statements - something cannot have both rational basis and have no basis in rationality - but you're arguing them anyway. Either you have no argument or you do not yourself know what it is.


    This idea is really misplaced that you can prove/disprove a political opinion if you can find an invalid logical construction for it. Again, grey areas. Inductive reasoning is about likelihoods and probabilities, not scientific falsification and air-tight logic.

    Certain people also seem to confuse when someone is mentioning the fact that people have a certain rationale with that person actually advancing that rationale as argument. Mad Mat should be able to say that some people think X about Black people based on Y, without being understood that he believes that himself. After all, we are talking as the topic of the thread why opinions are polarized, which would probably necessitate raising the fact of there being a polarized opinion toward one side. But as soon as he raises that viewpoint for the sake of the fact that it exists, he’s bombarded with questions about how he could possible believe such a thing himself. Racist! Come on, people.

    Quote from Pouncing Kavu »
    At least in this case, I really think it comes down to one issue: the definition of racism. The definition I use (and I think that Mad Mat uses) is: believing that one race is inherently superior to another. And I think Highroller's definition (which, to avoid confusion, I call racial prejudice) is: incorporating information about a person's race into your treatment of them.


    This is the crux of it, really. And to borrow the prior analogy by osieorb with apples, pineapples, and pens, you certainly can have strong opinions on something without believing that thing is superior or inferior. Let’s say I have a pet that eats apples, and is poisoned by pineapples. Maybe a former pet of mine of the same species died of pineapple poisoning. My friend though has a pet that’s poisoned by apples, and eats pineapples. So, I don’t want pineapples in my house, but I would certainly not vote for laws prohibiting pineapples. And there is plenty of room for pens to be in my house, either way.


    Odd that someone would bring up who is fit to be a judge and who isn’t, also. As I said before, confusion seems to be stemming from this precept that people ought to think like judges in their everyday lives, or that approaching issues of race, etc, with anything less than a judge’s impartiality is unfair. Fact is, the only real time where people are held to a standard of being blind to another person’s status is exactly that, a judge or jury in a court room. Sit down with drinks at party with someone and start talking about where their accent comes from, see how far it gets you to say something like, “Sorry, I’m not allowed to consider the fact of your national origin in my judgment of whether I enjoy this conversation, so I would prefer if we kept those facts out of it.” How absurd is that? And in the end, where is the benefit of diversity there? If people can’t hear the experiences of someone different without feeling uncomfortable that those differences might be influencing their opinion of that person, who benefits there? Way off base.


    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Burnished Hart
    It never makes the cut for me. My reasoning used to be that Farhaven Elf is good, and so 2x Farhaven Elf on one card must be great. Not so much. Turns out that I want to spend 3 mana on that no more than one time per game, just on concerns of tempo. It doesn’t really matter how card efficient it is.

    There are about 6-8 artifacts at >3cmc that make the cut before it, and about 20 or so non-artifact cards if I am in Green. The only reason I’d run it is if I really wanted it to be an artifact that gets sacrificed, such as for Daretti or something like that.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on America, The Polarized Society
    I’m leaning more toward Mad Mat’s take on this. I don’t think that just any preconceived judgment made along the lines of race is what is widely intended by the term “racism”. I think that a crucial element in the term is the belief that one’s own race is superior to others. Definitions from the interwebs:

    Google – A) “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. B) the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

    Webster’s A) a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

    Anti-Defamation League: “Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another.


    So to borrow the example, if you are a woman in Cologne and you feel apprehensive about a group of North African men, it’s not conclusively racist. If you believe based on their perceived traits that they are more likely to commit a crime, also not necessarily racist, although probably unfair. But if you believe that their race is the primary determinant of those negative traits that cause you apprehension, and that those racial traits as a whole make their race inferior, it’s only then that’s it’s conclusively “racism”.

    But, it seems like drawing any conclusions whatsoever based on race is identified by a certain segment as “racist”. In fact, I find that refusing to draw certain, obvious conclusions based on race is a pretty sure sign that a person is not comfortable with other races, and is likely to offend people of a different race. For example if I am in Vermont, it is a fairly safe assumption that the only Black person in the office did not grow up there. If I treat them as if they did, that’s insensitive. Worse, if I act out in supposed shock on discovering that they grew up in the South, very insincere and insensitive. But what’s more likely to be called out as “racist” is if I put forward the question where the person came from, then maybe share stories of when I visited there, what food I ate, so on. Because how could I have concluded that the person is from somewhere else unless, god forbid, I notice that they are a different race. It’s as if acknowledging the existence of Chicken and Waffles is “racist”.


    I think also people confuse the standards that ought to be expected of them with the standard of equal protection that we consider fair under the law. Justice is blind, so they say. And of course if someone’s race is considered as “evidence” that they committed a crime, that’s illegal discrimination. It’s also wrong for a jury to consider as evidence anything that isn’t admitted as evidence, or for the government to enact law without what’s been defined as a “rational basis”. But holding people privately to a standard of race-blindness is a creation of politics.

    Relating to politics as the topic, I personally don’t think Trump is any more racist than the average person of his demographics. I don’t find him as culturally sensitive as a president should be. I think a lot of his policy proposals would violate the Equal Protections and substantive Due Process clauses, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. I'm not thrilled to have him as POTUS. But, I don’t believe that he thinks the White race is superior to other races. And, I think a solid majority of the times that people have called him “racist”, they are being lazy with the term and actually mean something different.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Right-wing Politics in European Countries and the Concept of Immigration in general
    I like this question. I agree with the response from BS that culture could be based on any number of things (city, origin, ideology), not just ethnicity. Given that, you can create a multi-ethnic society by just including protections related to ethnicity, but to create a multi-cultural society it’s impossible to focus policy on just one attribute for inclusion.

    I think that the answer is one that progressives might not like. The only thing that objectively differentiates the culture being accepted from the culture doing the accepting seems to be the number of members in each group. The numerical majority is the accepting group and the numerical minority is the accepted. And so to create a multi-cultural society, you need to include mechanisms that empower minorities against the majority.

    What progressives might not like is that the American form of Republic was designed with this very thing in mind (ref James Madison), while “social progress” has been slowly eating away at it. Each state gets two senators regardless of population, presidents are elected by an electoral college, federal branches have limited powers, and a bill of rights sets limits on government power at every level. But since the founding, we have seen the senators come to be elected by popular vote rather than by state legislatures, progressives calling for the abolishment of the electoral system, and civil liberties passed into federal statute instead of amendments. The more “progressive” states like California have also expanded ballot initiatives, the most majoritarian form of policy that there is.

    Political reality, the “progressive” element who has always stood out as the champion of minorities now finds itself in the numerical majority. And, each side just wants to win. They want to use the power of the majority to win. On reflection, it should not be such a great surprise that the “traditional” cultural segment who now finds itself in the minority (US and EU) is now using the language of the minority. In the US, the right lost the popular vote for president and only won in the electoral system, the system that was designed specifically to protect minority interests. Only in the minds of the founders, the minority interests they mainly envisioned as needing protection were those rural groups, smaller states, religious colonies, etc, that are now identified with ethnicity and other group traits that are seen as privileged by the urban majority.

    These mechanisms that make a multi-cultural society don’t discriminate based on how long a culture has been indigenous to the nation. They only work on the numbers.


    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Sanctum Prelate
    People reanimate Void Winnower really often, and it still ends up doing nothing half the time. Easier to use this, but there are so many better options for hate that it's hard to imagine running this. There are about a dozen similar cards (across all colors at least) that I would run ahead of this, and there's rarely enough space for those to begin with.

    Nice concept, but I'll pass.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What cards are you tired of seeing in Commander?
    The problem is that there are 3-4x “why would you ever not run this” type cards in each color. So with a 3-color deck, you’ve already got about 10x cards decided. I really wish it was actually a decision whether to run D-tutor, so on, but it’s not.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Natural order vs. Pattern of Rebirth
    Natural Order is the better card in a bubble. It’s not vulnerable to spot removal (other than counters), and doesn’t require a sacrifice outlet.

    That said, Pattern of Rebirth has its perks, which often lead me to playing it without even considering NO in its place. If you do have a sac outlet, it can work at Instant speed, which is extremely critical in multiplayer. It’s wrath protection if you want to use it like that, but more importantly, it synergizes with your own Wraths. Playing it with Obliterate can win the game on the spot. Also, there are just more things that have synergy with permanents and enchantments than with spells. Could be something like Emeria Shepherd , Twilight Shepherd, Caller of the Claw, so on, or something full on combo like Boonweaver Giant.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Sram, Senior Edificer
    I like him as a general, or as one of the 99 also. Half Kor Spirit Dancer and half Puresteel Paladin, and the card draw is arguably the more important half of both. It might make the cut in some enchantress builds that are on the fence about Spirit Dancer, and will also find itself on the maybe list of decks that like Puresteel.

    As his own deck though, definitely a great addition to Mono-White. The first Mono-White I can think of, other than maybe Kytheon, that I’ve been excited about. It might do for Mono-White what Daretti did for Mono-Red. Here’s hoping.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    I don’t like the word “healthy” either, for lots of reasons. Its connotation is mostly within the tournament context, which is a subset even of the “competitive” context. It’s defined in the negative rather than the affirmative, e.g. format is 60% Caw Blade, not healthy. On top of that, it’s always relative. Last year’s Modern/Standard/Legacy tournaments had more attendees, etc, not healthy.

    Obviously, none of those measuring sticks will apply to EDH. There are games being played, and people having fun. If that is the touchstone for “healthy”, then EDH is going to be healthy all of the time, as a rule, unless Magic itself somehow becomes unpopular.

    I find it a lot better to measure net effects, i.e., whether the format is better with such and such change. If games are unambiguously better without Sol Ring, for example, let’s ban it. The “healthy” word is highly euphemistic of the status quo.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Is the future of the Democratic party purely cosmopolitan, being represented mostly by minorities and the professional class?
    I think urbanization and voting Democrat are all wrapped up in a common third cause, which is intertwined and indistinguishable from the rest. Like one blogger called it - “Blue Tribe”. It tends to affect everything, from what we eat to what lies we believe, and accordingly, how we vote. If you are inclined to that you will get an education, move to an urban area where there is employment for people of education, so on. If you are not, you find yourself around the “Red Tribe”.

    If the election has shown one thing, it’s that the Blue and the Red have become increasingly able to look past one another. So, they don’t feel accountable to one another at all. The Blue will only get more Blue, more anti-White, more anti-corporate nonsense such as Food Babe, more anti-nationalist. Because, the Blue is only accountable to the rest of the Blue. They’ve lost sight of anything else.

    But, all of that is evidently true of the Red also. The only way to reconcile the apparent contradiction within a statement like “Keep your government hands off my Medicare”, is to examine the class of the recipients. The Medicare and VA benefits are awesome, because the old, the White and the veterans have “earned” them, while “Obamacare” is anathema because all the uninsured must be immigrants. The first candidate to come along that actually gave voice to what that really is had all the support from the base, and similarly, absolutely no check whatsoever from the other party’s base who thought he was unelectable because of it.

    Just each side in its own echo chamber, talking where the other one can’t hear. I'd wager it will continue to get worse until one or the other either dies off, or is otherwise replaced and drops below the numbers necessary for the plurality it takes to win a Presidential bid.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Russia, the possibility they hacked the DNC, and the possibility they're next for an Iraq WMD situation
    It’s very telling that the truth revealed by the hacks is speaking louder than the fact of the hack itself. That’s the public opinion touchstone, really. The crappy things that the DNC did are more important to people than how we found out. If they weren’t, then there’s no way that the US electorate finding out would have been of any sway on the election. People would just be upset that one of our political parties was hacked.

    Think about it this way. Let’s say that a country like Ukraine is having an election being driven by a firmly entrenched political machine. A few ex-NSA/CIA/whatever type people in the US suspect that the entrenched politics don’t reflect the will of the people, and they hack servers to find out. They come upon something juicy and reveal it to the world, tipping the election.

    How would we react to that as Americans? Would we consider that disruption of the political process of a sovereign state, or freedom fighting? I doubt that there would be a huge outcry for the government to track them down and bring them to court to make Ukraine happy.

    What I think is also telling is your statistic above, that 50% of Hillary voters believe that Russia hacked the vote tallies. Just absurd that we still have media outlets that fail to report with any kind of temperance, and people are consistently misled into drawing the most extreme conclusion reflected by their side. I mean, they have to honestly believe that the US as run by the other party would do nothing, and not even ask for a recount if our vote tallies were tampered with. They have to honestly believe that the other side is so evil just for being part of the other side that they would look at something like that and shrug their shoulders.

    And truth be told, the US has been meddling in the political process of other countries for decades, at every level short of vote tampering. The US is widely known to fund foreign candidates against other candidates that it doesn’t like. The US Green Berets have trained guerrillas against the wishes of the foreign states they came from. The freaking motto of the Special Forces is “free the oppressed”, and they have a very developed information operations branch that is different from NSA/CIA in that it’s authorized to train foreign nationals on those methods. The only thing to my knowledge that they haven’t done is directly tamper with voting, as everyone should be clear that Russia has not done either. So as the old adage goes, when you point a finger at someone, you’ve got four fingers pointing back at you.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from YamahaR1 »


    I believe social media, mainstream media, television and the internet do a very good job of silencing opinions they don't like. This leads people to believe that everyone (the overwhelming majority) thinks the same - that everyone is on the same page. On the night of the election, you could see just how shocked every news anchor (and comedians like Trevor Noah) were. I think the same of this forum - if you drive out everyone potentially guilty of wrongthink, you've only tricked yourself. I also believe (per another thread) that hitting people with the racist or bigot stick on every topic or repeatedly demonizing white people simply shuts down the conversation. In this very thread alone there's many negative comments demonizing white people - that's acceptable racism.


    Yeah, I read about 2 years ago about Facebook selecting out your news feed based on its algorithm’s perception of your opinion. I recall feeling disillusioned at the time that companies would rather sell you a sense of reinforcement of your own beliefs than do their jobs as media outlets of exposing you to news. But, I wasn’t really sure at the time how that danger would manifest itself, exactly.

    Now, 2016 has happened, and all the HuffPost readers are facepalming. Bright side, I know a lot of people who have stopped going to those outlets that had everything so incredibly wrong. But, the underlying issue still is that the internet makes it too easy to ignore people you don’t agree with.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from MikePemulis »
    Quote from Igzex »
    Not really. If I want to take up space in my deck with hate it's going to be hate that's always useful in EDH like Relic of Progenitus, and City of Solitude. Not "Oh you want to try the new thing you just bought for EDH well FORGET YOU ".


    Was it wrong to play Relic when Meren got super popular? Was it wrong to play City of Solitude when Mizzix came out? Is it wrong to play Leyline of the Void in a graveyard-heavy meta?


    All of that hate is more open to interaction. It might hurt some at first to get your graveyard exiled, but then you can either move on with the game after relic or wait for Leyline to get answered. You can try to deal with City of Solitude on your turn. Getting all of your lands blown up by Ruination when the rest of the table sees no effect, the game is over. Also with something like Back to Basics or Blood Moon, often the only players who can do something about it are those not affected by it, and so they will make sure it stays put. Not as bad as Ruination because you can look for a basic and kill it, though.

    It's about line-drawing, really. I think everyone would agree that a 1 mana Instant spell that says "target opponent loses the game" would not be good for the game. On the other end, people expect very conventional disruption like Chaos Warp. So, we can all agree that a certain spectrum exists between acceptable disruption and unacceptable. And, I can agree that this spectrum changes depending on the setting, with more effective decks asking for better disruption against them. I just don't think that any 4-color deck is at the same spot of that spectrum as cards that disrupt you as badly as NBL hate does.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Muspellsheimr »

    As you have been repeatedly told, that is not the case, and blatantly and severely incorrect
    It is trivially easy to construct a four or five color mana base that is both incredibly consistent, and does not simply lose to nonbasic hate. I play a four color deck, and actively encourage those around me to play Back to Basics and Ruination effects.


    All you’ve done is state a counter-claim. And used boldface. And boldface italics. Not persuasive.

    Post a 4-color decklist with this incredibly consistent, Ruination-resilient manabase. Then tell us how often it fails to allow the general to be cast on time, probabilities at each turn window of failing to make a 4th color, and chances of being simultaneously stuck with cards in hand of the 4th color. Then, I can tell you exactly why I’m not ok with an internal fail rate that high as a matter of what I do with an hour or more of my time, why it’s a strategically better choice to go 2-color or 3-color in all situations, and why therefore I’d reasonably expect opponents to understand those things and build accordingly if they have any interest at all in seeing what their opponents 4-color decks do.


    Quote from Muspellsheimr »

    Quote from Jusstice »

    If you actually run the math though, having 34 land versus 40 land reduces the chance of having 0 land in your opener by less than 2%.

    You yet again have no apparent understanding of what you are talking about.
    Reducing a 04.68% probability of zero lands to a 02.29% probability is a 51.06% reduction. You will literally have fewer than half as many opening hands with 0 lands. Nearly a 40% reduction in the number of opening hands with fewer than two lands. The difference is considerably more significant once you factor Mulligan's as well.
    Even if you only look at the percentage points, rather than the actual percentage reduction, it is still greater than your claimed "less than 2%"

    You spew bull*****, with the only support being your assertion that they are true. When you finally try to provide actual supporting evidence, you get it wrong.
    You very clearly have no idea how four color mana bases or decks work, and you very clearly have little to no idea how probabilities actually work.

    I am done with you, and would encourage everyone else to ignore you as well.


    All you’ve done here is deflect what I intended the probability to express to what you’d rather it express.

    I understand that something happening a miniscule amount of the time to something happening a miniscule x .5 amount of the time is roughly 50%. But, no one is concerned with what happens relative to that miniscule percent of the time. When it happens, that is a mulligan. What people are concerned with is their overall chance in any given instance to shuffle up and draw a dud. So, going from 2’ish to 4’ish percent of that happening being a difference of 2%, relative to the entire set of outcomes, is what that probability expresses. It’s what people are really concerned with.

    My point was that the difference is small relative to the entire set of possible outcomes from your deck. Overarching point being, there are certain things in deck construction that are widely accepted rules, but have a smaller effect than people realize. And, there are those aspects that have an immense impact, to the degree that they are intractable.

    Specifically, the difference between a realistic upper bound of land count and a realistic lower bound is one of those smaller ones. The overall quantity of cards producing a given color of mana is bigger than that, but it is still on the smaller side of factors, because there is a realistic upper and lower bound. Small draw spells have a bigger impact than either of those. But by far the greatest factor leading to screw with 4-color and 5-color decks is the number of colors you are running. That’s because relative to a 3-color model, you are going from having dual lands that get you 2/3 of your colors to only getting you 2/4 or 2/5 of your colors, and the game of Magic happens to be full of lands that tap for 2-colors (aside from the few 5-color lands and CIPT tri-lands).

    So, anything you could possibly do with a 4-color manabase is worse than what you could’ve done just by dropping the 4th color. Playing a 4-color deck is knowingly suboptimal. And playing hate of the magnitude of Ruination against players you know are already deciding to play suboptimally because they want to is, in my opinion, punching down. Your opinion might be different. But, don’t expect it to be shared among very many people, because by the facts, the decision to play 4-color is incompatible with the anticipation of having a sporting back and forth with Ruination effects. The "correct" thing to do when you anticipate Ruination is not play any more than 3 colors.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from MikePemulis »
    I do think getting stuck not playing your cards is part of the game. The mana system is at the heart of Magic. Lots of people don't like it, and those people now have plenty of similar games to play where screw or flood isn't a threat.


    Yes, it’s part of the game, as in cards were printed that say “Destroy All Lands”, so on. Also true, lots of people don’t like it. In fact, most people don’t like it. Just about every TCG created over the past 10 years does not have a mana system like this where you are just staring at your cards a certain percentage of the time. And, that includes TCG’s that were made by developers who originally developed Magic. Magic is the game that has to justify itself for why screw is a good thing in certain ways, see Maro, and most people don’t buy the arguments.

    But, there’re more here. It’s not just that some people don’t like it, some people are ok with it. Because truth be told, I find myself much more often in the camp of people who are ok with it. It’s that people playing 4-color decks, by the very act of doing so, are sending a clear signal that they’re not ok with it. They are not intending to play around mana screw and LD, because otherwise, they’d play a deck that doesn’t have such a high internal fail rate, much less such a high fail rate when facing cards designed to exploit that weakness.

    They just want to play the new product, not be taught a lesson about the stability of mana bases. Because if you recall, most people were not thrilled about the announcement of 4-color generals, because we all knew that more than 3 colors is highly risky deck design. But, now we have them. No reason to prove everyone right and just ignore that the new cards exist.


    Quote from MikePemulis »
    I was playing against a monored player the other day who I watched not be able to cast his spells for two games. Between those two games, over probably 20 total turns, I saw him play about 11 lands. And 4 of them died to a Wildfire. 'Way she goes,' he said. We asked how many lands in his deck. He had 34. That's equivalent to 20.4 lands in a 60 card deck. You can do that in Legacy and Vintage and even some Modern decks, where you can run 10 fetches to make sure you get the 2 mana you need to make your deck go. But in EDH? That's absurd.

    I mean, this guy was playing mono Mountains, playing Blood Moon, etc, and he still got mana screwed. Should I feel bad about that, especially when his deck construction was so bad? I don't. And I feel exactly the same about nuking peoples' duals and shocks.


    If you actually run the math though, having 34 land versus 40 land reduces the chance of having 0 land in your opener by less than 2%. With 34 land of 99, upping your count to 40 only increases the chances of a given card being land by 7%, while drawing one more card increases your chances of a land by 15%. Point being, screw has much more to do with the fact of this game having you draw mana from you deck and an opener of 7 cards than does any of these axioms about good deck construction.

    In fact, if he’s playing Goblin Pope or something similar, 34 land might not be far off. There are cards in Red like Faithless Looting, Wild Guess, etc, where you’re actually better off in terms of land by casting them rather than passing and waiting on your deck, provided you can do something with your graveyard.

    Even so, convention will tell you that running 34 land is “bad”. How much or why, let’s just take that aside. It’s just “bad”, ok. Well, the same conventions will tell you that running more than 3 colors is “bad”. Same with every format. Temur Delver is fine, for example, but Temur plus Black for the DRS activation better not be more than one Bayou, and even then most Legacy players opt against it.

    The difference is, you can run more land. You can run better fixing, more artifacts, more tutors. What you can’t do is cast a 4-color general with a 3-color mana base. You’re sending the message that you will either have a bad mana base, run a different deck, or get hosed. A player running 4-colors is already breaking a long-standing axiom not to do that. So, hose people for playing the new cards? Doesn't seem fun.




    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Onering »


    So, to sum up your post, a 20% difference in the number of mana sources doesn't effect the math, followed by a baseless assertion (that 34 lands is the norm) followed by false assumption (that only tier 1 competitive decks run non basic hate), followed by a strawman argument (nobody said that 4 color should be able to laugh off ruination et la, just that if you build well you shouldn't roll over to it. It's still going to hurt, just like a creature deck getting hit with wrath or storm getting hit with rule of law, but that is a fundamental part of magic, that your opponents will do things that hurt you). Oh, and you are simultaneously trying to argue that nbl hate shouldn't be run against 4 color because 4 color is non competitive, then try to argue based off of a streamlined mana base for hyper efficient competitive decks, which is asinine. If the deck is built to be hyper efficient, then nbl hate isn't only acceptable, it's needed, and getting rolled by it is the risk they run. If it isn't built to be hyper efficient, then it's easy to build a manabase that doesn't get rolled by nbl hate. If someone pulls out a precon out of the box, then just don't play your nbl hate or ask if you can sub it out before the game. It's cute that you think you no more about decks you've never built than people that have built them. You should probably stop while you're behind.


    Once again, pick a number if you don't like 40. Run the math again. Then, tell me you're ok with building a deck with an internal fail rate that high, just because you think getting stuck not playing your cards and dodging NBL hate should be part of the game.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What Are Some Repeatable Pump Spells?
    Ones that I really like are:

    Forgotten Ancient – Can get out of hand really quickly, basically turns any Voltron into Taurean Mauler

    Primeval Bounty – Gets crazy if you are running a lot of non-creature spells, such as ramp, draw, so on. Making tokens and gaining life also tend to be useful.


    Otherwise yeah, the question is really broad. All equipments can be considered ‘reapeatable pumps’, and White interacts really well with equipments.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Onering »
    What kind of idiot runs 34 land and six artifact sources in anything but low curve 1 or 2 color decks? Leading with that proves, once again, you have no idea what you are talking about. You are the only dissenting voice because you are the only person who is speaking directly from their poop chute on the topic, Ace Ventura style.

    I typically run at least 37 land, plus 6-10 artifact sources. For 4 color, that means lantern, Sol ring, vault, crypt, and 6 signets. Early turns (1, 2, sometimes 3) you mostly throw down artifact ramp or support cards like top. The 4 color dudes can come down turn 3 fairly reliably due to signets, so of course you run all 6 that you can. Arguing that the math doesn't change and then proceeding to ignore artifact mana when doing your math is how idiots do statistics. You don't ignore 1/5 of the manabase of a deck when counting sources. You also ignore how fetches act like 5 color sources by letting you fetch duals and shocks. If I need black and draw scalding tarn, I just got black, and my decision is now whether I want red or blue to go with it. If you're running base green you just need to make sure that you can always hit green so you can hit your ramp. It's like you haven't spent any time building the decks and are trying to argue with people who have by using math that starts with bad assumptions to get the answer you want.


    Maybe reread what I said. In getting up to 40, I said pick a number. The 40 I was using is 34 land and 6 signets, which a lot of decks still run, even post mulligan change (SRMC, Vault, etc, obviously don’t help with color screw). Yes, these are low curve, highly efficient decks, as in, I’m considering the decks that people might consider running Back to Basics against.

    I was also counting fetches as 4-color sources, which is not quite their performance after the first few turns. I even mentioned that tutors for Lantern, etc, could be counted. As I said, pick your number.

    The math isn’t affected nearly as much by running more mana sources, given a realistic range for this like 40-50 mana sources, as it is by the simple fact that you have a 4th color you need to access, and most importantly, that the 2-color lands common to Magic only give you 2/4 of your needed colors, versus 2/3 of them, or 2/2 of them. So, you hit a wall where a dual land is only as good to a 4-color deck as a basic is to a 2-color, and a true Basic might as well be colorless.

    Yeah, artifacts and basics help out some. And, you can probably expect Blood Moon, etc, in competitive games (which is why I hold that competitive players don’t run 4-color). But if you’re trying to say that you can build a 4-color deck to laugh off Ruination, without being color screwed in half your games, you’re making water on my leg and telling me it’s raining.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Strong Voltron cards and decks?
    I’m a pretty frequent Voltron player, and I’ve had success with the below:

    Uril, the Miststalker – Easy mode. Run it with a ton of mana and Sunforger, throw in trample auras, and it is hard to lose.

    Aurelia, the Warleader – Similar setup, more vulnerable to artifact hate, but gaining haste can help a lot.

    Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon – Self-explanatory infect deck. Really lacks for inbuilt protection, but it’s the most persistent Voltron build.

    Bruna, Light of Alabaster – I’m not sure whether this is Voltron or Control, but she gets there. Probably the better deck if you are facing lots of combo. Vanishing is probably the best card in the format for Voltron, and it’s great with Bruna.

    Wydwen, the Biting Gale – I ran this for a long while when the format was still new to me, before Surrak Dragonclaw was released. I wanted to try Surrak in substitute, but I never got it put together. The Flash is something to value really highly in any Voltron general, especially Bruna, and it can be easier to just find it in the Command Zone to begin with.


    For your choices, I’d go with Kraum. Haste and Evasion are both highly valuable, especially if you are building the deck around Bruse to give him some Hexproof or other protection already. After making sure your general sticks, the priorities after that are making sure it doesn’t bounce off (evasion) and being able to pick up the attack quickly (Haste or Flash).


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Exile creep
    Well in building my own decks actually, just about every exile effect seems appropriately costed. Do I really need Final Judgment, for example, because what I really want to run is Akroma’s Vengeance. And the recent stuff like Sever the Bloodline, Anguished Unmaking, etc, I really want to run some Instant spells at 1-2cmc. Return to Dust or Nature’s Claim and all.

    There are a few exceptions that I can think of, specifically Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, and Bojuka Bog. But given the price to availability of these cards and the fact that they’re running everywhere, I think they’re understood as more powerful that what’s ideally desired, and that we can hardly expect anything as powerful as that in the future.

    So, there will probably be creep in terms of the number of total effects available, and a few might have perks that are worth running, but overall you will pay a premium in mana and flexibility to access exile versus destroy.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Phone »
    Quote from Jusstice »

    Fact, you can't cast Dismiss and Damnation from the same 4x Basic lands. Fact, if you have 15x sources of each color (about 20x duals out of 40 land), then you have about a 20% chance per color to not make that color in 10 cards. With the full 10x of each basic, your chance of not making a single color goes up to about 35%.


    Fact, you can run artifact mana fixing. Signets, Chromatic Lantern, Prismatic Omen, and others all help to keep decks running fine. Fact, fetchlands can fetch out dual lands. That means that your list is going to be much for consistent than what you're talking about. Also, you did nothing to show us that those numbers aren't pulled out of your ass.


    Take 40 total mana sources then if you run signets. 34 Land, 6 signets. Or however much of Chromatic Lantern, Relic, Darksteel Ingot, tutors thereof, etc, that you want. Really, pick a number. The math doesn’t change for as many mana sources that you have as much as it does for the fact that you are running 4-colors and have 4 concurrent changes to miss any of them.

    Here is the math though for 15 mana sources of a given color, algebra teacher style:

    85/99, 84/98, 83/97…75/89, so on, that is the descending chances for any given card to not be a mana source of the given color. Take the product for the sequence that includes a number of terms equal to the number of cards drawn. That’s the chance you’re not drawing a given color, X cards into your deck.

    Chances of not drawing any single one your colors (color screw) is the inverse of that result for each of your colors, all multiplied together. With 4-colors, you only get up to about 2/3 chance to not be color-screwed after 10 cards when you get up to about 20 sources of each color.

    And to even get that high, essentially all of your lands have to be 2 or more colors, assuming 36 land, because only about 3-4 playable lands in Magic are 5-color, 9 fetches, and the rest only have 2 color. So half of the remaining 24 or so land will always lack for one half of your colors. So, you have 5 slots for basics for each color to have 20 sources among your lands.

    TL;DR version, it might “work”, but it certainly does suck. You will either be blown out when nbl hate is played, or you will be dealing with early color screw during a huge portion of regular games. Pick your poison.

    Quote from Phone »

    Secondly, if you're in the type of meta where nothing happens till after turn 4 you're given the kind of time to set up these redundant mana fixing methods without getting killed.

    I play in the type of meta you just described. You have no idea what you're saying. Stop talking out your ass about this.


    Ok, I’ll take you at your word. So in your words, why are you playing stuff like Ruination then? Just trying to understand the mentality of people who play 4-color and don’t mind NBL hate.

    Quote from Phone »
    Quote from Jusstice »

    On that point too, lay down Ruination/Back to Basics, and most players will be wondering why you think you need to do that versus their Atraxa superfriends deck or their Saskia beatdown. If your answer is something like, hey, you named me with Askia, all is fair game, bro, then I suspect that you are cheating yourself and your group out of the kind of games you want to have.


    This statement assumes that you're not talking to the people in your playgroup before hand. That's not the fault of an inanimate piece of cardboard, it's your fault.


    Or, it’s because you’re playing a game in public and don’t have the wherewithal to clear every card in your deck with them before you sit down. In my experience, all kinds of people play the most recent product. Most people don’t like anything that disrupts their mana flow, and most people also don’t like hate cards that work because of the specific color or colors that their deck happens to be.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from MikePemulis »
    So it seems like the consensus might be this:

    1. If your group is generally okay with powerful-type plays, and if you're seeing lots of 4 color commanders, then cards like Ruination and Back to Basics might be a worthy include.
    2. If you're playing one of these commanders, and if you're getting blown out by these cards, then there are ways to build your manabase to mitigate the hate.
    3. If the 4 color players start changing their manabases to include more basics and fetch in a way that leaves them uncrippled after a Ruination, then maybe the Ruination is no longer the best use of a slot.

    So, just like anything else. If you never see any spot removal in your meta, then you can probably get away with not including as many hexproof and shroud effects in your voltron deck. Once you see the spot removal in people's decks, then it's time to counteract it.

    And generally, it seems like most groups are okay with the risk of nonbasic hate as a counterbalance to greedy manabases. That was what I was after more than anything.


    Am I the only dissenting voice here?

    Fact, you can't cast Dismiss and Damnation from the same 4x Basic lands. Fact, if you have 15x sources of each color (about 20x duals out of 40 land), then you have about a 20% chance per color to not make that color in 10 cards. With the full 10x of each basic, your chance of not making a single color goes up to about 35%. Sorry, the most anecdotal evidence I hear that this isn’t a problem as long as you run enough Rampant Growth, the more I will just categorize those statements as coming from the kind of group that does nothing before Turn 4. And as I said, this group has about zero overlap with the groups that are ok with disruption like this.

    On that point too, lay down Ruination/Back to Basics, and most players will be wondering why you think you need to do that versus their Atraxa superfriends deck or their Saskia beatdown. If your answer is something like, hey, you named me with Askia, all is fair game, bro, then I suspect that you are cheating yourself and your group out of the kind of games you want to have.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on libertarianism.
    Quote from MTGTCG »
    One way to explain it is that libertarians are opposed to the government being above the law in the following ways: taxation- if a business or an individual were to partake in the forceful redistribution of money to the cause the he thought was worthy of it, he would be considered a thief, war- war is mass murder and conscription is slavery, why do we tolerate the government doing this and are fine with the government being above the law? I don't know.


    Edit: an idea I recently came up with is that if we could get the government so small that its only purposes would be to provide a court system and national defense, couldn't it be funded voluntarily by the government starting a sort of lottery/online gambling business? I know I would buy lottery tickets if it meant supporting my military...


    What’s circular here is that there is no “law” without “government”. So if you start saying that the government should never be above the law, then you will unfailingly run into contradictions.

    Government derives its power from the consent of the governed. All governments, everywhere, in every age. Either the government coerces its people to consent, or it gains that consent as a matter of free will. So “law” then, is a matter of policy enacted by the government. Either it is policy that coerces you into your consent, or it’s a policy that provides benefits to you to the extent that you consent to it over your free will. But government the group association you consent to, and law is what the government does.

    But if you do not consent to it, you no longer make up the polity of “the governed”. And finding yourself outside that group of people, you will soon find yourself at the mercy of that group. If there is a law against murder (homicide), and you break that law, you will find yourself in jail under the power of that group. If there is a law in support of murder (war, as you say it), then you might be drafted, and if you refuse that order you will again find yourself at the mercy of the “governed”, with whatever they see fit in the form of law to punish you with.


    On the topic of whether “free education” is free, the same concept actually extends to money. Money is the sign of something, it’s not the thing itself. The strength of the sign is related to the government that mints it, both to its overall strength and its policy that either strengthens or weakens a currency. So if you say that nothing a government ever does is “free”, at least by monetary terms, you will run into the same contradiction.

    That is a very long-established principle of economics. The only thing that is not subject to government monetary policy are those things not subject to valuation in that currency. You raise beets on your property, they are worth to you what they are worth in your belly. You sell those beets on an exchange denominated in a governments currency, the value of your beets is now tied somewhat to the medium of currency that you use to value it.

    That’s where all this Lockean stuff comes from. There was an era, particularly strong in the US, where labor of that nature was worth something intrinsically. There was a lot of undeveloped land that offered benefits to those who labored to develop it. Their labor was theirs by nature, and the fruit of their labor was theirs as of natural right. Now, try applying that same concept to how a government administers wages and other expenses within its educational system, and you’ll find that the monetary expression of value is not nearly as closely tied to anything of natural value.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Onering »

    Except for the fact that five posters, including myself, have come in and told you that it does work because we've built the decks that way. Yes, nbl hate will set you back if you build right, but shouldn't lock you out without some bad luck. If you go greedy on nonbasic, or run the land package it comes with, you deserve getting hit by nbl for the former and it shouldn't be used against you for the latter.


    I’m not saying that it doesn’t “work” (whatever that means). I’m saying that it sucks. You can build a 4-color deck with 10x of each basic land, and it will “work”. It will also take you until the very late turns to get your 4th color in most of your games. But, it “works”.

    My point is that for this player segment that is ok with sucking to the degree that their 4-color decks aren’t out of the game after a resolved Ruination, there is a near zero overlap with the segment of players who take NBL hate like that in the spirit of sporting good fun.

    People running 4-color decks are doing so without much of a mind to optimization, as within the format taken as a whole, and so they are players who like to have the others at the table take turns with their lands still in play.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Are partners too overpowered? Did WotC mess up?
    Better than most people think is different from “overpowered”. I do think that the Partner commanders are better than people think, though.

    Like you said, it is like starting out with a hand of 9 cards. EDH already starts you out with a hand of 8, and over time that led people to discovering that overloading your deck with a lot more mana than a regular deck would have yields extremely good results in this format. Having a hand of 9, two of them creatures, and I’ve been able to experiment with a few builds like Bruse-Kraum Jeskai decks that have like 8-9 creatures, and are never at a lack for a body to tote equipment.

    That said, casting two creatures between Turns 3 and 5, spending average of 8 mana combined on both, will probably cause you to lose most games that I consider “competitive”.

    So in that way, it really is like giving the true target audience something that thrills them, that they’ve wanted for a while, and that will have a big impact on the format without tilting it in a direction that isn’t fun. So all considered, very well done.

    And yeah, like a lot have said, generals like Vial Smasher are a bit better than other current options like Kaervek and Mogis, Tymna is better than a few other options like Dark Sygg, and Bruse can be comparable to Rafiq with a wider spectrum of available color combinations, in the end. So, there are some applications of just getting some better cards with this set.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from rogerandover »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    The difference is that the “problem with your deck” in this instance is simply that it’s 4-colors. You need to do nothing other than to have the desire to cast the General Wizards gave you in the box to be grabbing your ankles after a Ruination.

    The problem with a GY deck that folds to GY hate can be solved by the player playing around it, not overextending, you know, skill. The resolution to the problem of the Boros deck being hosed by Ward of Bones is to either pack some artifact hate, or learn to anticipate it. You know, skill. The only decision involved in whether you’ll get blown out by nbl hate playing a 4-color deck is whether to run said 4-color deck in the first place, or some other deck.


    You don't contradict yourself by saying this? A 4-color deck can't learn to anticipate nbl-hate or play around it by adding more basics, counters, not over extending? You know, skill...


    The difference is that this doesn't work. Literally, the only decision to be made is whether to lose to NBL whenever it is played, or lose to the shuffler about 1 out of every 4 games. It might be a skill deciding between those two, as a false choice, but the real thing someone would do is drop the deck and play 3 or fewer colors.

    So you can presume pretty safely that if someone is playing a 4-color deck, then they are doing something other than making the best deck choices. They are exploring some fun factor. If they wanted to skillfully navigate between the advantages of playing more colors versus the advantages of playing around nbl hate, that would have just led them to playing a different deck. Four and five color are casual, at least in that respect, basically from inception onward.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    I think it is more that I tend to play on either end of the spectrum, or at least consider opponents that way.

    If it is on the more fun side, then I'm with you there. I just don't think it's in that group's idea of what it's ok to do at an EDH table, as you said it.

    And for the competitive side, yeah, none of the dozen or so decks you're pigeon-holed into running are 4-color.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Bruse Tarl & Tymna the Weaver - Smash & Grab
    Yeah, just getting more bodies on the field consistently should be great also. Like considering Gold Myr and Knight of the White Orchid instead of other rocks, etc. Having evasion is great to trigger off the player with blockers, but a lot of the time at least early on, there will also be somebody open.

    Also Bitterblossom and Nether Traitor seem solid. There are also those creatures that cause opponents' creatures to come into play tapped. The "monarch" mechanic also seems like it would blend well with the evasion creatures, and the Pariah one can work nicely with Swords for the protections.

    Also fyi, it is hard for Bruse to work with Swords. It looks like you'll have more creatures out to where that's not an issue, but there's that. One equip that'll probably be good with Tymna tho is Blade of Selves.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Yidris storm is worse than Grixis storm w Nicol Bolas, for the very reason that it's not bothered very much by non-basic hate. It doesn't need to run things like Sylvan Library and Carpet of Flowers. A lot of Grixis storm decks will have 7+ basic Island for High Tide, and then a bunch of Mountain and Swamp, because why not. It doesn't run utility lands like Academy Ruins, Tower, and Volrath's either, because you know, it's the fair decks that run that.

    I'm also fairly certain that any variant of Breya combo is worse than Sharuum, either in consistency or disruptibility. Who needs permanents to stay in play to combo off?

    But by all means, if people in your area are sleeving up 4-color decks with 3-color win conditions, go ahead and hate it out. I just highly doubt that the player segment who does this is the same player segment that is giddy to finally have 4-color generals. Players with these generals are much more likely than the mean to have decks that don't mind their opponents across the table playing things.

    And Atraxa stax? Super friends? If people think these decks can only be stopped by land denial, or are even more ambitious than average, then it seems like just making any alterations to the precon invites people to solitaire you out. It's probably from the same crowd that can't figure out how Nekusar can ever be beaten. Anything other than creature beats, just wipe lands evidently.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    I agree that it’s an issue of degree with the people playing. And, I’m usually on the one side of the argument myself. If someone is trying to beat me over the head with a 5-color combo deck, get ready to see some Ruination. If I am trying to compete at a Control/Combo table with a Boros deck, prepare to see Boil and Pyroblast from the Sunforger.

    But the segment of people who are trying to reach that level with a 4-color deck just seems non-existent to me. These new Commanders are enough toward the casual end that it’s pretty safe to assume from someone sleeving one up that they don’t want to spend the first few turns of the game counterspelling hate cards. Although from people mentioning Nekusar as in this realm, I’m not sure exactly what qualifies to some people. But from my eye on the EDH community as it exists for public games (LGS, online, what have you), I think it’s safe to assume that if you queue up against someone with Breya in the Command Zone (not to mention 40+ lands in their deck, as above), then you owe it to them to be a little bit more creative than just tutoring for one card that they have to answer on the spot or lose to, and writing it off as their problem when they don’t have the answer.

    I do have essentially the same view re Iona, it’s just that Mono-Blue is actually good, and you can bet that you will see the Arcane Lab’s, Teferi’s, Back to Basics, and so on, from a competitive Mono-U deck. Also, Iona is highly effective naming Blue, even against a Control deck of 2-3 colors.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from SnowBunny »
    [quote from="Jusstice »" url="http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/commander-edh/764029-ruination-back-to-basics-nonbasic-hate-in-the-age?comment=21"]

    And I really don't get your mentality. If you are playing 4/5 colors, THAT IS THE RISK YOU TAKE. If you get blown out by a single card, then that is a problem with your deck.

    Should we stop playing GY hate because it blows every GY deck out of the water? Should we just ban Eldrazi Titans since they make Mill completely useless? Should Ward of Bones not be played because the Boros dude who has 65 creature.dec will be crushed because he didn't pack artifact hate? This mentality makes no sense to me.


    The difference is that the “problem with your deck” in this instance is simply that it’s 4-colors. You need to do nothing other than to have the desire to cast the General Wizards gave you in the box to be grabbing your ankles after a Ruination.

    The problem with a GY deck that folds to GY hate can be solved by the player playing around it, not overextending, you know, skill. The resolution to the problem of the Boros deck being hosed by Ward of Bones is to either pack some artifact hate, or learn to anticipate it. You know, skill. The only decision involved in whether you’ll get blown out by nbl hate playing a 4-color deck is whether to run said 4-color deck in the first place, or some other deck.

    As before, no one who is really anticipating any nbl hate will play 4c or 5c decks, and their 3c decks will probably look much different than those that most players build too. In my view, if you are picking up a 4c or 5c deck, you’re already not competing with the general format (unless by playing 5-c you plan to go off Turn 4 or earlier, before a lot of the stuff hits). But in Commander 2016, Wizards printed 4 color commanders. Understandably, people want to be playing them. They’re not trying to make some strategic statement that 4-color is better because it has more options, or that any given deck shouldn’t have its relevant hate cards. They’re just trying to play their decks. Which they can’t do against nbl hate, either because all their lands are in the graveyard, or because they are color screwed the whole game with 5x of each basic in the deck.

    Quote from Onering »


    All but one of the 4 color decks runs green. That means that it should be able to run at least some basics. All but 1 also runs blue, which means it can run counter spells. 3 of them can run both. There is no excuse to being run over by nbl hate besides being greedy or running the precon straight. For the latter, just don't fire off the hate, because their running a precon. If its the former, that's what happens, suck it up. I have a few 3 color decks and a 5 color slivers deck with extremely greedy mana bases and I'm ok with the fact that nbl hate can ream me if I don't counter it, its the tradeoff I made. I also have 3 color decks that are easier on color intensity, and a couple of 5 color decks that are base green, that run enough basics to take it on the chin. You really just have to build right.


    The ability to evade nbl hate just by running Green is overrated when it comes to 4c and 5c decks. You can probably do that ok if you are running a 3-color Gxy deck. But if you are running more colors, you will start off with about 2 colors in hand, then possibly be able to access a third color with Sakura Tribe Elder, or whatever. You are then topdecking to your fourth and fifth color. All of the mana sources that the deck will run will have two colors (Signets, Farseek, etc). Otherwise, the math just leaves you screwed once out of every three games or so.

    Also on packing counterspells against nbl hate, not every one of the Commander 2016 generals is a “Control” general. Debatably, none of them are. None of them have Flash, or interact with Instants, or do anything that suggest you might want to or need to run them alongside a Blue-based Control package. So you are either dedicating 8-12 slots on an idea that you just don’t want to be sitting looking at your playmat all day after an nbl hate card, or you are counting on other players to let you run the kind of decks that a general like Atraxa tends toward, like Planeswalkers, Thallid tribal, or something like that.

    Again, I completely empathize with the competitive side of things, that there has to be an answer to every type of strategic overextension, whether in deck-building or in play. But in my mind, you’ve already ceded the willingness to do anything about nbl hate, just by sleeving up a deck that is 4 colors.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 2

    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from Biofeedback »
    If I'm playing Daretti and you are leaning hard on fancy lands, I will tip you over. It's part of the game. People should already know that playing 4-5 colors is risky that something will go wrong (don't draw in color on time, depend on rocks that get blown up, mono red hitting your land).


    I don't get this mentality. Basically, we should just consider this 2016 Commander product a wash then? Because you can't just learn your lesson and switch up your Askia deck so that it has something to do after Ruination resolves. You can either play a 4c deck and hope that people don't exploit you for it, or you run a different deck that can use more basics.

    There is no lesson about greed, or balance, or risk. There is just getting blown away by one card, or not.

    If you're ok being the guy to win with one card, you will probably be upset by other people doing the same thing (esp since you are mono-red). If you're the player that expects your opponents to do this, you will not play a 4c deck. So taking each side into account, there is no real reason to play these cards outside of a semi-competitive setting where you're ok with disabling no more than 1-3 lands or so from each player.

    If you are doing it in a mono-R planeswalker deck to prove a point, you should reevaluate what kind of point you're making. You're asking opponents to respond to that. It will be either storm, gy combo, or stax, and the Mono-R players of the world will not be happy with any of the results.

    Otherwise, just let people play what they want to play.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 4

    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Yeah, these "how do I win better" threads are real head-scratchers. Build a Storm deck that never taps its lands until the combo turn. If people run Arcane Lab effects, run a Survival based graveyard deck. That stops working, run Blue- based Stax decks. I don't know that there can be that many different answers to the question of what to run to win more games.

    Now if the question is what to run to exploit patently untenable mana bases because of the fact that Wizards printed 4 color precons, just so you can durdle around with a Sun Titan while everyone else looks at their playmat, I just can't absorb the premise of that question. Everyone knows 4c and 5c are not stable. That's why everything in EDH up to this point has been 3c or fewer, and those who were running 3c that wanted to tap down every turn were already getting exploited by Blood Moons. Everyone knkws that already. There is not some grand lesson to teach someone about the risks of playing a mana base that fails to work right on its own a good chunk of the time already.

    It's that Wizards released a product with 4 color cards. People want to play them. They don't want to sit there not playing them, at the expense of learning some lesson in consistency that they already learned in 2010, approximately 3 games into their EDH career when they figured out that land denial was going to be sure way to win an EDH game against Primeval Titan.

    Just really surprised that any group ok with that would be playing any 4c deck in the first place, or doing so wouldn't already know whether their deck will scoop to Blood Moon.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    All-star creatures for me have been Priest of Gix, Priest of Urabrask, Cloud of Faeries, Lotus Cobra, Burning-Tree Emissary, and Wall of Roots. Seriously, these creatures have been bonkers. As good as Coiling Oracle is, every creature is basically an Elvish Visionary in card terms as long as Cascade is active, so getting the mana refund on it for further plays is huge.

    Also, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is great. I don’t think I’ve failed to land a hit with Yidris during any game where Teferi saw play.


    On the topic of stuff like Possibility Storm though, I find that basically any discard is insane with Yidris. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be the fastest to recover while playing off the top. Sire of Insanity seems great, but also Notion Thief and Leovold, Emissary of Trest are the top-tier options that will reliably bury opponents once you can access Wheel of Fate.

    Another one on that, Bow of Nylea has been great for me. First of all for putting back Wheel of Fate into the deck to cascade again with small cards, but also because Deathtouch makes the best of friends with Trample for making sure Yidris gets in. Must be blocked by 5 or more creatures, yes please.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 2

    posted a message on New evidence uncovered by the Washington Post puts scary new spin on the "Fake News" Crisis -- It really was Russia all along
    Quote from Hackworth »
    Even if it doesn't turn out to be pushed by Russia, the fact that we're living in a society where people can make a living coming up with and selling completely fake news to the entire world is kind of worrying.


    Not the entire world as NPR interviewed one of the guys who trafficks in fake news said "We've tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You'll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out"


    Yeah, not so fast. There are basically two things that separate Facebook/Twitter groups from the Associated Press: 1) An obscure journalistic ethical creed (ha, ha), and 2) the legal liability of the profit-making news industry for libel, so on. And the second is easy enough to get around by making sure that no one has standing to sue (no names mentioned, limiting issues, so on).

    If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable that an organization like the Associated Press exists, whose basic function is to take one journalist’s word on it and circulate it to all participating news outlets, then your bias is showing. Remember, the AP has done things like eliminate use of the term “illegal immigrant” from its style guide, as if to falsely say that unlawful presence is not illegal.

    Also, let me just remind everyone of the anti-vaxers, food purists, people like the FoodBabe, so on, who have absolutely no claim on truth whatsoever, but go out in broad daylight pushing their views as scientific and fact-based. You mean to tell me that doesn’t catch on? How many subscribers does the Food Babe have on Facebook? It’s absolutely insane to believe that false news doesn’t sell to the left. Much more dangerous, falsehoods seem like they’re ultimately harder to challenge when they are under that tent, because the usual guardians of mainstream ideas just elect to let these individuals have a pass.


    Bottom line, bias kills truth. When people start to believe that bias from one side is needed to combat bias of the other side, fighting fire with fire so to speak, it gives rise to the exact cultural conditions of this election. The most vulnerable segments of society have stopped listening to the more vigilant segments, precisely because they’ve stopped their vigilance.

    Posted in: Debate
  • 1

    posted a message on Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    For anyone who is curious, Commander Vs. from Star City Games put out a video where John Suarez is playing the stock Leovold deck.


    John is slow in accessing any wheels/puzzle box effects, which leads two aggro players to developing boards, while being denied draws here and there. John uses a tutor on Damnation, then finds a wheel. The two aggro players have enough juice from the top of the deck anyway to finish him out.

    The Leovold player was the first one out, but all agree at the end of the game that the general had a huge impact in the game, if not on the outcome.
    .

    My opinion, it is much more like the interaction between Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Knowledge Pool or Maralen of the Mornsong and Teferi’s Puzzle Box than it is Erayo or Braids. The Teferi-Knowledge Pool deck can seem unbeatable against the right group. There is an extremely narrow interaction window due to the Flash and the self-protecting nature of Teferi. The downside though is that it’s slow-developing, the win condition doesn’t end the game in itself, and it doesn’t end up taking away play from the Command Zone. So the vulnerability is that the player won’t be able to outrace whatever board has developed before accessing a wipe, and that some utility general like Zur, creature killing generals like Thrax, or even aggressive generals will be able to outpace the actual win condition.

    It’s the same as with Leovold. Say you do get your wheel effect off Turn 5 or later. Lots of decks have 1 out of every 3 cards or so as some high-impact threat, and you’ll need to outrace them or out-control the topdecks plus generals of 3 other players. Not to mention Sylvan Library, Top, etc, that can improve the quality of topdecks, or heavy recursion decks with cards like Genesis and/or Oversold Cemetery.

    Basically, discard is much better against combo, storm, and other such decks than it is against the classic goodstuff, creature-grind. Take the classic BUG combo-control deck as Damia or Tasigur, with something like T&N-Palinchron-BSZ as a win condition. Maybe Leovold is an upgrade to the general there, and if so, it will definitely run wheels. But, it’s still tutoring for T&N to end the game. And in theory, the group that ban list actually serves (granting for the sake of argument that there is one) would be just as upset with any game ending to a T&N combo, at all, as one where their hands got stripped before then.

    So one more card that’s probably strong enough to be unpleasant, won’t measurably affect Competitive EDH, won’t be banned from casual, RC-style EDH because it’s not a Green Fattie, and will just be left to wreak havoc on public games whose players are hopelessly misidentified as one of the two above.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 1

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from cryogen »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    An apologist js someone who offers an argument in defense of something misunderstood or controversial. It's not someone who apologizes, or whatever people find objectionable about the term. It's not negative at all.

    That's true, but it's pretty common for the term to have a negative bias towards it since more often than not the description is used to dismiss someone or fault them.


    Care to provide support for that? I know plenty of people and organizations who voluntarily identify as apologists, etc.

    Regardless, take the term as you may. Someone arguing in support of the “only broken if you break it” rationale, that’s what they’ll say. If a legal card causes problems, it’s the player. If an illegal card causes problems, it’s the ban list. No True Scotsman.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 0

    posted a message on Monastery Siege as a Protection Spell
    I posted an SCD thread on it a while ago, and ended up trying it in a GAAIV tax deck. It was really good there, seldom cast it for the other mode. Most of the time the deck saw it, it was off of some mass draw effect like Time Spiral. The effect is very good in that stage of the game, because you don't mind going down the card, and very few things accomplish what it does. It is great to be able to resolve a high impact commander or a combo piece and be able to count on it not getting interfered with. And if you do get it in your opener instead, you're not too disappointed with it because it at least does the job of keeping your land drops going.

    I ended up putting away the deck for a bit, because it was another one of those that was not good enough against BGx graveyard combo, but too good against everything else. It didn't help that the tax effects tended to enable gy combo against other control. Maybe a version could be "competitive" with more draw and graveyard hate, but I got tired of pulling the deck in too many directions.

    So for games that tend to be very interactive and happen quickly at least, I can say the card is well worth the slot. For the BUG goodstuff games where people do nothing for 6 turns before resolving Boundless Realms though, I can't really give an opinion.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    An apologist js someone who offers an argument in defense of something misunderstood or controversial. It's not someone who apologizes, or whatever people find objectionable about the term. It's not negative at all.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 0

    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    I guess what I'm saying is that I think there are racists who have contributed to creating a system that discriminates against blacks and that while (until recently) there had not been a lot of intention behind keeping that system in place or fortifying it, it didn't need someone at the helm for it to continue functioning. The racist actions of our civilization's past echo into today.

    I also think that the recent studies into implicit bias imply that we can accidentally and subconsciously create a biased system which would discriminate against those we just don't have that much contact with or think about or misunderstand.

    Racism does often come with a belief structure, but racist the description also has a definition that just includes discrimination by race. A system which discriminates by race, even if it's just the collective result of a bunch of laws that don't appear to be explicitly discriminatory, can still be discriminatory as a whole regardless of the intent of the people who wrote those laws.


    I think it’s disingenuous to call “racism” any discrimination based on race, as measured by objective outcomes. I know that the intent of specific legislation (Civil Rights, etc) was to prohibit discrimination in certain contexts like the workplace, but I’d caution against looking at that like it’s racism. It’s not the dictionary definition, or the social definition.

    The old dictionary will say that racism is the perception of some trait specific to race, such that the race is either superior or inferior to another race. As much as separate but equal doesn’t fly in the policy sphere, it’s still possible to acknowledge race and differences between racial cultures without believing that those differences make one race better/worse than another. And to hear most people tell it, they prefer to have race acknowledged rather than ignored. The only people who seem to think that “race-blindness” is the solution are white apologists, and in my opinion, they are mostly from cultures that are not racially diverse at all.

    Also the social definition, the goal of the American Experiment, if I might offer an opinion, is to have a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural society. It’s not the goal to have a monolithic “American” ethnicity, irrespective of race. It’s the idea that there are benefits to diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect that are derived specifically from having multiple races and cultures. So, it’s ok for example to acknowledge that Vietnamese people eat more Pho soup, despite the fact that it will get you an accusation of racism from a White college sophomore nowadays. We all benefit because Pho is delicious, and we have better Pho restaurants when we include people from the Vietnamese culture in the US (among other innumberable benefits, of course).

    Now, ask why 1st generation immigrants from Vietnam like to spend time together, and blame it on historic White oppression that occurred centuries before they were even in the US, that’s a trap. It leads to some very passive disengagement around race issues. To my observation also, it’s the more passive cultures that have problems integrating racially. In the Pacific Northwest where I live now, for example, they all vote left, love self-guilt about being White, and think racism is anathema. But, it still sucks for non-white people here, because people are so passive about it that it’s uncomfortable. Lots of people would rather live somewhere like Chicago, NY, or Miami, because at least there you are comfortable in your own skin.


    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Maybe it’s my background (debate, etc), but I always believe I’m taking on someone’s position, rather than the person. If you are a person I admire and respect, but I think you’re using circular reasoning, I will still point that out to you in an online discussion on the merits of your reasoning. I won’t point that out to you at Thanksgiving dinner, or at a weekly EDH session, but I’ll point that out in a forum designated for doing so.

    Also, if I think you’re being obtuse, deliberately backpedaling on a position you recognize as untenable, or some such, I’ll challenge you on it. It might lead to some tension in the interim, might not. But, I guess I take it as something of a slight when people circumvent discussion. Just me, I guess.

    Having deference for a position you don’t agree with is a good skill to have with your boss. But being a consumer of a product, that’s a little bit of a different character when it comes to WOTC, and how they've delegate some product management responsibilities to the RC. Which is why I also understand that MTGO (including MODS) might have a different angle, since we’re also patrons of this site. The customer isn't always right, but he's always the customer.


    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Personalities in Commander
    My favorite strategy in Commander is Voltron. I have to admit that I’m a bit partial to my generals as characters, and so my favorite thing to do is make them stronger. Even making a deck like Damia stax or Dralnu, I can’t resist adding cards that just make my general a little bit cooler on the field, such as Viridian Longbow or Pemmin's Aura, as the case may be.

    My most played color is White, both because it offers some generals that are really good at attacking, and because it offers the best protection cards and equipment tutors. Blue is a close second because it has some really good protection cards also. It doesn’t quite fit that well though, because my favorite Legends as characters are usually Black, like Haakon, Dralnu, and Kresh. Their art tends to always have weapons, but they their colors are way worse than White at helping me with equipments. Too bad.

    Favorite legendary card all-time for flavor - Unscythe, Killer of Kings. Will run it in every Grixis deck I build.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Liberal Bias in the Media
    What’s being said is that a balanced view from the media (collectively, in the plural) comes from a viewer’s own sampling of diverse sources now, not a pretense to an unbiased viewpoint from any individual outlet. HuffPost, so on, know that they are left-leaning, make sure it’s plain in their editor’s notes, and all their readers know it’s a left-leaning outlet. Just like Fox News and its viewers know that the slogan “fair and balanced” just means that the outlet is not left-leaning.

    Specifically WikiLeaks, the founder came out declaring himself against the Hillary campaign and stating that the news was intended to be released at the optimal timing to hurt her campaign. That’s the definition of bias.

    So if you aim is to prove that the media (again, collectively) has liberal bias just by pointing to one outlet, you’re not really going anywhere. All that does is make a case for how that one outlet is biased. Just like what so and so said (Tim Allen, John Stewart, etc) said about someone being biased. All it does is make the case that the specific person and instance they were talking about expressed bias. It does not show that “Hollywood” or “the media” is a monolith of unified, left-leaning opinion, and conspire with one another on a daily basis to align their message.

    So in the end, big deal. People are biased. Show me someone who isn’t, and I’ll show you someone who’s been living in a bunker for the last 20 years.
    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Mana Curves in EDH
    The poll looks better than the first version. I agree with Dirk that there’s a pretty wide gap between 2 and 3. I don’t think even the slimmest deck I’ve ever build was <2cmc average, and I also doubt that most decks seen at cEDH tournaments have an average cmc that low. My favorite decks have a cmc in the mid 2's. The decks I like playing but I wish were more consistent probably have an average cmc in the low 3’s.


    Also, I think a modal analysis serves well on certain considerations for this game than the mean does. What I’d take it to indicate in practicality for EDH is that you are either a deck that wants to make a play 100% of the time by Turn 2, or a deck that wants to make its first play no later than Turn 3. From the curve of your Atraxa deck, you have more 3cmc than any other card, but between 12 1-drops and 16 2- drops, you are making a play nearly all the time by Turn 2.

    It’s the mathematics of the opening hand that dictate that, rather than the mean value in the deck. You start with 7 cards. You have something between 34 and 39 land. You have between 2 and 3 land in your opening hand, and will draw an average of 1 more in your first 3 turns. Your deck will fail you an uncomfortable amount of the time if you’re waiting to make a 4 drop, and basically all of the time if for some reason you drew up a deck that waits for a 5-drop. There are certainly advantages to making a Turn 2 play every game, but at the very latest it will be 3, or you will soon find yourself revising the deck. Reading play-by-plays from Sheldon and watching the Commander Vs. series from SCG, it seems players there rarely miss Turn 3, but do miss it once in a while. Those games are probably further down the casual spectrum than what you’ll typically run into in public (at least in the Northwest US).

    Particularly for this format too, your commander will dictate a lot of that, especially when it's 3cmc and under, but usually time more often than that due to ramp. It's obviously a card you have access to every game. So for a 3-drop general, you'll probably see more 1cmc ramp, even if it's bad. For a 4-drop general, 2cmc ramp is better. For a lot of generals, there might not be any effect on curve, or if it's an expensive general it might not be of concern. But, timing of the first play matters.

    For a recent Yidris deck I drew up, for example, I had 37 cards at 2cmc, only 4 cards at 1cmc. There is a specific reason related to Cascade for doing that. But, it’s correctly viewed as a deck that wants to put something on the board Turn 2.

    Another Sek’Kuar deck I had built, I put in as many 1-drop mana producers as I could cram into it. So consequently, I had a lot more 3-drops than 2-drops. It was very much about hitting a curve on time.

    Another example, a Xenagos deck I fool around with has only premium ramp cards at 1-2cmc, then a ton of cards at 3cmc. It had to land the general before it wanted to do anything else, and so there were certain curve-related reasons for that. It was a deck that usually made its first play on Turn 3. It worked ok for what it was designed for, but again, timing of the first play was the key consideration.

    If you think about it, you can rarely tell the story of what 4, 5 and 6+ drops you have in the deck without the context. A deck without much ramp could maybe afford to have its high impact plays mostly at 4, some at 5. A reanimator deck or hard ramping deck might have a bunch of 6-drops and up. It’s only part of the story.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Combos. Sin or legitimate?
    Quote from DirkGently »

    <snip>


    I think more of the problem is that it is the same story over and over again. As in, you have to pick one movie and just watch that one for the rest of your life. No matter what that is, it will get boring. But play even something like Hermit Druid one time, and it can be cool. I don’t recall anyone ever seeing it for the first time and griping about it that minute. Most players I know, their first reaction to a combo they’ve never seen before is something like, “Oh, Crypt Champion and Saffi Eriksdotter do make a really awesome pair. And you just happen to have one spare trigger left over for that Eternal Witness for Bitter Ordeal. Those cards just fit together like puzzle pieces.”

    I mean if you don’t have that mentality, I wonder why you’re playing this format.

    The problem is seeing it for the umpteenth time and not being able to do anything about it. But, that’s not a problem unique to combo. You can literally watch game after game end to Rite of Replication. To see a lot of decklists, that’s exactly what a lot of people seem to be doing. It is exactly like watching original Star Wars Episode IV another time instead of watching a new one. I mean the new one wasn’t groundbreaking, but at least it was new. Much less just watching a different genre of movie.

    So yeah, I would rather play a game where someone tries to assemble the Station combo than one where the same deck plays Oracle of Mul Daya, steady stream of ETB 6 drop creatures, until someone finds the same old “fair” culprits like Craterhoof, etc. At least the Station combo is quirky. Much less all of the other dozens and dozens of combos that exist in this game that people don’t know about, mostly because too many people for the mainstream “casual” format are not looking for them and would rather shame people who find them than run removal.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Combos. Sin or legitimate?
    Quote from DirkGently »
    [quote from="Drain Life »" url="http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/commander-edh/763364-combos-sin-or-legitimate?comment=39"]
    <snip>


    I think more of the problem is that it is the same story over and over again. As in, you have to pick one movie and just watch that one for the rest of your life. No matter what that is, it will get boring. But play even something like Hermit Druid one time, and it can be cool. I don’t recall anyone ever seeing it for the first time and griping about it that minute. Most players I know, their first reaction to a combo they’ve never seen before is something like, “Oh, Crypt Champion and Saffi Eriksdotter do make a really awesome pair. And you just happen to have one spare trigger left over for that Eternal Witness for Bitter Ordeal. Those cards just fit together like puzzle pieces.”

    I mean if you don’t have that mentality, I wonder why you’re playing this format.

    The problem is seeing it for the umpteenth time and not being able to do anything about it. But, that’s not a problem unique to combo. You can literally watch game after game end to Rite of Replication. To see a lot of decklists, that’s exactly what a lot of people seem to be doing. It is exactly like watching original Star Wars Episode IV another time instead of watching a new one. I mean the new one wasn’t groundbreaking, but at least it was new. Much less just watching a different genre of movie.

    So yeah, I would rather play a game where someone tries to assemble the Station combo than one where the same deck plays Oracle of Mul Daya, steady stream of ETB 6 drop creatures, until someone finds the same old “fair” culprits like Craterhoof, etc. At least the Station combo is quirky. Much less all of the other dozens and dozens of combos that exist in this game that people don’t know about, mostly because too many people for the mainstream “casual” format are not looking for them and would rather shame people who find them than run removal.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Another unrelated synergy that has to do with gaming the cmc’s, I tried out the enchantress cards, and they are actually quite good when you can cascade reliably into enchantments. I’ve had just Exploration and a few other enchantments in there at 1cmc, and really, drawing 2-3 extra cards without spending mana that turn is great when you’re trying to chain spells together.

    I’ve tried enchantress before and it was always terrible, but there is some consistency here with the cmc you’re going to Cascade into that it ended up better than expected.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    I have been noticing with my 2cmc driven build that it’s pretty automatic to get everything from out of the deck that is 1cmc and below. The consistency of doing this by Turn 5-6 or so is pretty solid. I’ve got a few ideas to take some niche cards a 1cmc and ride with them as far as possible. The cards I’ve been considering are:

    Training Grounds – All the expensive activated abilities in these colors – Memnarch, Olivia Voldaren, Thrasios, Triton Hero, so on.

    Vanishing – Sort of play it out like Bruna, where you just commit to one creature and protect with Vanishing. It’s kind of hard to play draw-go with the rest of the deck though, if you want value out of Cascades.

    Sensei’s Divining Top – The old Future-Top combo with Cloud Key, Etherium Sculptor… ? Top has been pretty necessary so far in all builds, since it’s the one thing that guarantees value from the 2cmc cascades after all the 1cmc and lower cards are out of the deck.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    I found a recent interview with John Stewart on topic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUkv_jPgTeg).

    He describes the nature of the American Experiment as the hypothesis of whether a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural nation state can work. The natural inclination of people would be toward “tribalism”, as in, a strong affinity with those perceived as similar and a strong antipathy with those considered others. The premise of the founding was joining a culturally diverse set of colonies from what was a very expansive geography for a single nation at the time. And the cultural, constitutional, and legal evolutions since then were aimed at integrating the society more fully.

    Stewart points out that the natural follow up to Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” would be to ask what makes it great in the first place, and that the above is the correct answer to that question.

    Remarkable though, he acknowledges the natural inclination to “tribalism” on the side of the left as well, at least those parts of it that insist on characterizing Trump’s supporters as “all racists”.

    I have to agree with him here, that there is more division in the use of the term now than there is any sincere attempt to persuade others to disabuse themselves of their preconceived notions about other groups. It’s become the calling card of the left against any position taken by the right on social issues, whether it has anything to do with race or not. It’s been misappropriated to do the very thing that it should caution against.

    Also important to recognize, most people are not conscious of their own inclination to “tribalism”, so if someone were to actually engage that in discourse, it would have to be with much more delicacy than any normal position in a discussion would require. You’re not going to both make someone aware of preconceived notions that they were unconscious of and persuade them to question them without a great deal of delicacy. That’s just the fact of the matter.

    To pretend that people are conceived in innocence, without this natural inclination to tribalism, and then acting appalled and with self-indignation whenever those sentiments arise, that’s doing a disservice to the magnitude of the undertaking of having a co-equal society. To look at some parts of society though, they just don’t care as much about the actual objective as much as they just care about virtue-signaling and self-identifying. Going through the motions is easy, actually understanding other people’s perspectives, that is hard.

    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on Casuals and Control.

    Quote from Kisoji »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    So an alternative approach would be to just coach players on building decks that are more resilient to disruption, and that have a bare minimum of answer cards themselves, regardless of what kind of deck they are. This is just responsible EDH goodstuff deckbuilding.

    I've been looking through a lot of decklists recently to find ideas for the Breya and Yidris decks I am working on, and I was appalled at the lack of answers that many decks were running. This was especially true in the Breya noncombo lists I was looking through. Decks jammed with (crappy) artifacts for Breya's abilities but they could only make room for one removal spell, one wrath, and a couple draw spells. I cant even imagine the type of EDH meta where this would be remotely enough answers in a four player game.

    One way I interpret the above quote is that any good deck should have some control elements in them. How else are we to protect and further our boardstate while denying our opponents' attempts to reach this same goal but through the control elements we place in our decks?


    Yeah, basically. The vulnerability of decks that are very answer-dense is that they are very threat-light. So, they don’t deal with having too much of their stuff killed. The way they usually deal with that is to have a very compact threat that is impossible to kill, such as T&N fetching a 2-carder from the library (i.e. combo). Except, lots of players will take issue with that. The other way to deal with that is to have something like Vicious Shadows that’s just harder to kill, or having a lot of recursion for their threats.

    So if every deck runs a few slots of spot removal, especially for non-creatures, then maybe some exile, no single card will usually be able to go the distance. The control deck will wipe 2-3 times, Rest in Peace everyone, then when it comes to playing their finishing material like Luminarch Ascension, what have you, it eats old Chaos Warp, and can find itself without anything left in the deck that can get there.

    If more players understood that about building Control in this format (and, no one was running combo), it would be really easy to deal with any overly answer-heavy deck just by running 2-3 slots of removal in every deck.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on The Search for the Omni-Deck
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Maybe I'm missing something from your post (there's a lot of ambiguity in your last paragraph about who's running/not running the combos/MLD) but it kinda just sounds like you're saying "you can't reliably beat a table of competitive decks with an omni-deck"...which I believe has already been said multiple times?

    I agree that most 75% decks are going to suck vs even one good combo deck, but that's why we're talking about an omni-deck, not a 75% deck.

    I almost don't want to comment on your last paragraph because it's so ambiguous, but it SEEMS like what you're saying is "without running MLD/combo the best you can expect to do is beat a table with one competitive deck" which I agree with, but then it sounds like you're saying "the only thing you're changing is removing the MLD/combo, without which you won't be able to do anything relevant in some games"...which makes no sense. Obviously I'm not just talking about taking a competitive deck and removing the combo/MLD, I'm building a deck from the ground up to work in a wide spectrum of metas. And even if an omni-deck probably can't reliably win in competitive metas, it can certainly do something relevant by blocking one or more players from comboing out. But more importantly than that, by taking out the MLD/combos we're able to play in lower-powered metas and still have a good game.


    What I mean is you have the apparent choice between building an omni-deck and building a deck designed specifically to hold its own as the primary concern. The difference between those two choices is that the omni-deck seems like it can’t run anything that irritates people or is too strong (combo, MLD), but the other deck can.

    If you’re ok having a game against one more competitive players without being able to rely on that, then sounds fine to me. You will probably want a bunch of spot removal and graveyard exile, would be my recommendation.

    Quote from DirkGently »
    That's sort of the point of this exercise. Anyone can make a competitive EDH deck that crushes lower-powered metas. The trick here is to find a deck that DOESN'T crush weaker metas, while still not getting completely wrecked in moderately-powerful ones. And ideally, if possible, having at least some small chance in competitive metas, and having some chance to lose in the weakest metas, but those are definitely the lowest priority matches as they're the rarest.


    It’s hard to build a deck that doesn’t crush people, since it depends on what they’re playing. Lots and lots of people get crushed by Hexproof, to read all the threads about Uril and Sigarda.

    You will probably want UWx or UBx, for the counters and graveyard exile. After that, maybe just find some threats that you think people would find fun to play against. And then if you still have people complain about it being too strong, you’ll know you probably just have some complainers on your hands.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Evolutionary Escalation. Is it good?
    I think the payoff is pretty high for the mana cost, just by itself. But where it would really start to pull its weight is with the right support. If you have any other buffs, the counters will scale pretty well, but the counters on their Wood Elves won’t do very much. Also you can use Persist or Marchesa, the Black Rose for some added utility. You can also put them on useless lands if you are running Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, or something else that turns non-creatures into creatures temporarily.

    Or as above, you can tamper with their creatures, or just steal them outright.

    Even if you fail to hit any of that, you can just kill them faster than they can kill you.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on The Search for the Omni-Deck
    I think that the gap between “top tier” and the “75%” decks is actually pretty wide.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “top tier” deck outside of Cockatrice, and maybe Moxnix. There are probably only half a dozen decks that would be categorized here (Storm, Ad Naus, etc). In fact, a good number of the decks I’ve seen in the cEDH subreddit are below the level of top tier (such as Ruric Thar, any sort of Stax deck, Blue-less GY combo, etc).

    Even taking that aside, there’s a pretty big gulf with “75% decks”. Most decks I’ve seen with the 75% label are unable to consistently have any disruption in hand by Turn 5, and take several turns of combat damage to actually win. People with 75% decks are about 0% against the top tier, because they just fail to run any sort of relevant disruption.

    The best you can do is probably a deck that is ok against a table with one deck that someone might run at a Competitive tournament, without running any combo’s. At that point though, you’re basically changing nothing other than cutting out the MLD and the combo. And without those two, there are going to be games where your deck just doesn’t have anything timely or relevant to do.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    You're right. It works better if you Cascade into your Top first. Also, I rarely find myself Cascading very much at the point of the game where I'm playing a 6cmc enchantment. Yidris rarely lives more than 1-2 swings.

    But as for the others, they work really well. I've been having good results with Ideas Unbound also in a specific build where the 2cmc slot is what I want to Cascade.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    I meant “RC apologists” to mean anyone who might hold the same position contained within the “not broken unless you break it” line. I believe that’s been put forward by the RC (cite needed). It’s not intended as derogatory.

    I understand that no one is 100% lockstep with the RC. But there are principles being argued as well, not just cards, and one of those principles is that one. And if someone does take that principle into their outlook, I don’t see how it won’t just result in the above “no true Scotsman” logic. If all the ground on principle is just given away, then the only real thing left to discuss are individual cards. Even then, it’s easy to sweep aside any anecdote that might be relevant to that discussion, just by invoking that principle again.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on The Search for the Omni-Deck
    Yeah, the problem is that beating a table with multiple strong decks is not possible without combo win-cons. If you are at a table with a BGx graveyard combo deck, Fungus Tribal, and 5c superfriends, you will probably be able to win by killing or countering the BGx player’s attempts to go off, exiling their graveyard, and then waiting around with one or two cards like Sepulchral Primordial or Vicious Shadows in your deck to beat the Timmies with. But against something like BGx grave combo, Zur Doomsday, and Narset, the best you can do is buy time to have a shot at being the first one to combo off.

    Also, just filling the deck with enough counterspells is not going to be enough to just put in a run of the mill wincon and ride it out. To stop most combo decks, you will need graveyard hate at some point. And then, it becomes a huge challenge to stay alive v any real beatdown when your deck is full of those kinds of cards that totally don’t affect the board.


    The closest I’ve ever come to this “omni-deck” was much more toward the competitive side, in the end, and actually had a few rl friends tired of it. It was a Keranos deck that ran everything at Instant speed, used Scrabbling Claws and things like that to fill in the gaps in grave hate for the colors, but ultimately what did it in was having the Reset-Reiterate combo in there. At its inception, it had Repercussion , Insurrection, and Rite of Replication in as win conditions, but a lot of that went out as cards like Meishin, the Mind Cage got added.

    I remember a game where one player was about to go off with Sword of Feast and Famine and Aggravated Assault, where I used Firemind’s Foresight to tutor a counter. Then, I grabbed combo pieces with the rest of the tutor, and went off. It wasn’t very well received by that player.

    I wish I had an opinion other than the one I do. I like the idea myself, and enjoy a Control a lot in EDH. But, I think you need to decide with a deck what kind of games you’re just going to forget about and stop preparing for.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Combos. Sin or legitimate?
    Quote from Drain Life »

    I try to stop the most common forms of combo as part of my deck building process. As has been said before, instant speed spot removal is undervalued. So is graveyard hate. I don't have the exact numbers, but something like 75% or more of the infinite combos you can play in commander involve reusing the graveyard at some point. Sure, graveyard hate and instant speed spot removal won't stop every combo, but it really limits which combos can actually go off.


    This. In fact, I can only think of 1-2 combos that can't be stopped either by a Chaos Warp or a Cremate. Right off hand, I can only think of Reset-Reiterate. And, I have only seen that combo maybe 1 time versus all the numerous times I have seen DEN, Palinchron, Mike-Trike, and all the really, really tired ones.

    The balance of gameplay in combo metas should go exactly like that. You see Mike-Trike go off one time, you kill Mike with the Undying trigger on the stack. Then, you let that player watch the rest of the game if they have no other win-cons. You see Karmic-Lark go off, you exile one with GY hate after the trigger targets it. Go on with the game.

    Some players don't ever want the burden to be on them to run any removal. Just not realistic.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Well, it may be that the game works. But this is the thread about the Official Multiplayer Ban List. If the game works because people actually do have expectations outside the ban list for what they expect to see, then it’s not the ban list that leads the game to be working well for the majority.
    That’s my point. The ban list ought to do that. It doesn’t. Instead, something else does it, which isn’t designed for doing that and isn’t as good at doing it. That’s the problem.


    There is no point in separating them like that except as an attack on the current list if you don't like it. They can work in concert despite your assertions, I think you actually know that and just want to poke holes because its not black and white. Your position works a lot better in black and white, like a tournament setting. But even then a bunch of the cards on the Vintage list have no business on the EDH list, so start over I guess?


    If you see no difference between what’s accomplished by the ban list and what’s accomplished by private agreement, you’re literally setting up a scenario where it’s impossible to consider the ban list insufficient as long as there is some group of people, somewhere, who are playing the format.

    Honestly if the only players expected to enjoy the format are people who come together and agree on everything, what else would you expect to see before you’d consider whether something about the official rules is off?

    It’s the ultimate “no true Scotsman” fallacy:

    RC apologists: “Everybody who really gets EDH loooves this ban list”
    Public Community: “But I like EDH, and I am tired of explaining myself over and over about these cards..."
    RC apologists: “Ah, well, everybody who reeallly gets EDH loves this ban list. You must be playing with people who don’t get it.”

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Casuals and Control.
    Seems like a lot of threads in general are about helping people not gripe, not just from SnowBunny, but in general. It shouldn’t be this hard not to gripe.

    The best way forward against control depends on what kind of “Control” is played. If someone is playing some sort of UBx build that plans on slowly bleeding players out with Whispering Madness, then you should just be getting your face beaten off before then. It is not hard for every creature-based deck to run either wipe protection, recursion, or both, and for counterspells, there are just not enough to go around for the table unless your own win condition is tempo-based (read, combo). As in, basically every time I’ve seen the stock Leovold, Emissary of Trest deck with wheels, the Gx fatty stomp and RWx aggro decks get their hands wiped, then just make a meal out of Leovold with 1-2 creatures before Leovold can actually get about the business of taking the game. At least (and this is the key), as long as the one thing actually threatening from Leovold such as Waste Not or Bloodchief Ascension eats a disenchant from the White or Green players. If opponents are too slow at developing or can’t deal with one card, then that is the problem, not that they’re playing against Control.

    If it’s a Stax style of “control” deck, then you are understandably going to deal with more upset players. Most EDH decks are built to use 100% of the resources they draw, and still don’t draw enough resources a good chunk of the time. But, this is what Stax does.

    If you’re playing Control with a combo win-con that only requires that you access certain cards with sufficient mana, then you are probably going to get more gripes about winning via infinite combo than you are about countering something, But imo, this happens to be just about the only way to play dedicated Control in this format in a way that isn’t just waiting to get your face bashed in by the first couple of creatures you can’t kill.


    So an alternative approach would be to just coach players on building decks that are more resilient to disruption, and that have a bare minimum of answer cards themselves, regardless of what kind of deck they are. This is just responsible EDH goodstuff deckbuilding. Try mentioning, hey, you probably would have won if you’d dealt with my Vicious Shadows, or had a wrath for after my Rite of Replication/Sepulchral Primordial. Honestly, it’s about 6-7 things that are actually capable of defeating a table of 3 other players at 40 life, so figure out what they are and plan on killing them.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    What do you people think of Recycle and Null Profusion? If you're looking to cast as much as possible in a turn, you probably won't run out of gas, especially with things like Mana Flare, Early Harvest, and Turnabout.


    I would try Future Sight and Magus of the Future before those. It is just easier to manage, less likely to backfire, and ends up being easier to play a bit of interaction. Other cards that are also good for the big Cascade turn are Memory Jar and Attunement. Some way to draw cards without the mana commitment. Also, just putting Wheel of Fate back into your deck with Memory's Journey and Krosan Reclamation has done well for me, and they hang around as rattlesnakes against players trying to use the graveyard or go off with Laboratory Maniac.

    TBH, draw is rarely the problem for me.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    The very real problem is that the word “racist” gets thrown around so much that it doesn’t mean anything anymore. So in a very real way, whether you consider something racist will depend on nothing more than to what group you belong.


    1) Conscious beliefs – People who harbor hostile feelings about races other than their own, know that they do, and will admit that they do. These are the only people who fit the literal definition of racist – “the belief that one or more races are inferior or superior to others”. These are the KKK groups of the world. Even they won’t use the term “racist” for themselves, but are mostly ambivalent about it inasmuch as they’ve reconciled themselves to that belief. You can call them racist, but then they will expect to have a debate on the actual merits/demerits of racism. Something tells me that this isn't what happens most of the time you call someone racist.

    2) Unconscious beliefs – People who have hostile feelings around race, but aren’t aware that it amounts to racism. These people are those who believe something along the lines that they and people like them are more worthy of jobs in the US than people that aren’t like them, and whose discontent about the economy can be directed at outgroups. Debatably just as racist in fact, but they don’t identify with the label “racist” because they reserve that for people above who are openly conscious of their racism, as above.

    3) Belief as statement of identity – People who don’t harbor any such feelings about race, but identify with one of the above groups on some other terms, e.g. political party. These are the people who resent the label “racist” the most, because they are literally not racist, and they’re unaware/unsure whether the rest of the group they’ve identified with is racist. So like anyone falsely accused of something, using that label against them is a non-starter.

    4) Belief as the actual opposition issues – The people who think that the #1 still poses a threat to society, and that #2 needs to be brought along. They are mostly reasonable people that generally don’t find themselves in the same room as racists, but also because of a set of further issues on top of just this one.

    5) Belief as a label used by the outgroup – The people who developed and use the term “racist” as a label for things that don’t fit the literal definition of racism. If you don’t like illegal immigration from Mexico, you are “racist” (even though Mexico is a country, not a race). If you think there should be a registry for Muslims, you’re “racist” (again, Islam is a religion, not a race). It has been really easy to spot the flimsiness of the label in the Trump campaign, because most of the abhorrent ideas that he’s put forward have been on the basis of some protected class other than race. But, the label has such wide appeal among this outgroup that a lot of media outlets have even used terms like “overtly racist” to describe Trump.


    The facts as I see them, the support Trump has gained from the abhorrent things he’s said come exclusively from the #2 group, those who are unwittingly using things like race (religion, national origin) as a stand-in for their actual fears about unquantified threats from the outside. They might be “racist”, but they don’t think so, and so using the label against them makes them feel like their legitimate concerns are being dismissed. It's not that you can't call a racist a racist, it's that you've taken a matter that was at issue in their mind, then turned it into the issue of racism instead.

    Note specifically, here the Republican base prior to this has been centered mostly around #3. Leaders like McCain and Romney were aware enough of the vulnerability of the #2 group, and were firmly set enough in their own position to know the pitfalls and perils of policy unconsciously directed by racism.

    But at no point has the #1 group ever been an actual voting bloc for the right. At no point either did Trump make any statements that seem like they could’ve come from that group, or openly courted that group. The only thing that he did regarding that group, in my memory, was tell the news anchor that he wasn’t sure who David Duke was. It’s demonstrably evident that he does know what David Duke was, so he ended up blaming it on a faulty earpiece (unlikely). He probably just wanted to assess whether it was politically prudent for him to disavow before he did so. Admittedly very troublesome, and probably evidence that he’s aware he’s courting the #2 group, but it doesn’t amount to “overt white supremacy”. What you actually have in Trump is someone with a very long track record of not wanting to be associated with David Duke, openly professes inclusion and tolerance, and who tweets how much he loves taco salad on Cinco de Mayo.

    The people who have utterly discredited themselves in this election cycle have been the #5 group, who use the label “racism” for any and all things not belonging to them. I’ve heard a lot of people say that to them, this feels exactly like the 2000 election that Gore lost. To me, that makes it pretty clear then that they’re so far out of touch that they literally see no difference between 1, 2 and 3, above. Bush, McCain, Romney, so forth, are on the same level as the KKK. That the only reason someone would have to be against unisex bathrooms, for example, is because have confederate flag placemats and would gladly own slaves if they had the opportunity. There are really an alarming number of people who think and act this way.

    Rightfully so, they’re not being listened to anymore. The Democrats have now failed specifically for their reliance on this group to mount a national election. A great number of them prefer candidates who actually hold positions on the left (such as Sanders with his economic policy), over candidates like Hillary who are hawkish on foreign policy and hold centrist economic views (Greenspan), but who happen to have learned the language of “racism” as a label (glass ceiling, so on). In the end, people just really didn’t care enough about what bathrooms people are using against the backdrop of a decade long economic recession.


    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Quote from Fzbear »
    So now the deck has been out for a few days, what does everyone have problems with in their yidris good stuff deck or yidris storm? I haven't fully committed to one or the either.


    Currently testing a “goodstuff” brew with as many free 2cmc spells as possible, with the goal of developing Sol Ring, Exploration, Top, and Wheel of Fate every game. As explained, hitting with Yidris tends to put you so far ahead that you might as well have won. I recall it’s the first time I’ve ever hard cast Jin-Gitaxias in an EDH game.

    All stars have been Lotus Cobra and Bloom Tender. The problem is occasionally running out of gas on the Cascade turn, and of course, getting Yidris killed. Trying to work out a decent Flash package.

    The Stax build would be brutal. Stuff like Thoughts of Ruin, Tectonic Break, Sunder, Boom//Bust, Jin-Jin, Sire of Insanity would tend to put the game away very reliably in that setup.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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