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The Magic Market Index Amonkhet Set Review
 
The Magic Market Index for April 21, 2017
 
The Magic Market Index for April 14, 2017
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    posted a message on Tolarian Winds
    Bear in mind, it is -1 card in hand, and other options like Cathartic Reunion and Forbidden Alchemy are at least card neutral. Also, true Wheels are 1 more mana, and things like Winds of Change and Molten Psyche don't fill the grave, but they do disrupt opposing hands.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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


    Not debating, more agreeing with you.

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

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

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

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

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


    Chess is a very poor analogy.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    There are basically two groups of people playing EDH:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    I think we agree on analysis then.

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

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

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

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

    Same argument, different day.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Sheldon »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    I don’t know what it is about the law that everyone believes that unqualified speculation counts for something.

    The key fact that has changed between pre-Commander EDH years and now is that WOTC is now deriving commercial benefit from goods sold under a registered Trademark. So even with no competing claims on the IP directly, there are all sorts of grounds for a possible injunction against someone co-opting that property – tortious interference, trademark tarnishment, various conversion theories, etc.

    Broadly speaking, the law is not favorable toward a third party deriving commercial benefit (direct or indirect) by telling everyone that the seller of the IP is doing it wrong, particularly when it’s to the detriment of the IP owner. Those are not very common grounds for suit, but it shouldn’t really be that hard of a call from gut-feeling standpoint. WOTC is highly interested in the safekeeping of the Commander format.


    Is anyone suggesting that they're not?


    Just saying that from the years of EDH to now, the thing that's changed is that WOTC is now financially interested in Commander. Which is to rebut Onering's statement above that if the RC and WOTC were ever to part ways, things would go back to the way they were, specifically EDH being an unsupported home brew outside WOTC radar, and Commander as separate from EDH going forward under WOTC ownership. I'm saying not so, WOTC has grounds to keep the whole format under their own safekeeping from now on.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    I don’t know what it is about the law that everyone believes that unqualified speculation counts for something.

    The key fact that has changed between pre-Commander EDH years and now is that WOTC is now deriving commercial benefit from goods sold under a registered Trademark. So even with no competing claims on the IP directly, there are all sorts of grounds for a possible injunction against someone co-opting that property – tortious interference, trademark tarnishment, various conversion theories, etc.

    Broadly speaking, the law is not favorable toward a third party deriving commercial benefit (direct or indirect) by telling everyone that the seller of the IP is doing it wrong, particularly when it’s to the detriment of the IP owner. Those are not very common grounds for suit, but it shouldn’t really be that hard of a call from gut-feeling standpoint. WOTC is highly interested in the safekeeping of the Commander format.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from cryogen »
    Out of curiosity Sheldon, hypothetically speaking if there was a falling out between the RC and Wizards, which parent would get control of the format?


    WOTC

    Per USPTO:


    Word Mark MAGIC THE GATHERING COMMANDER
    Goods and Services IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Card games, trading card games. FIRST USE: 20110601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20110601
    Standard Characters Claimed
    Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
    Serial Number 85155389
    Filing Date October 18, 2010
    Current Basis 1A
    Original Filing Basis 1B
    Published for Opposition March 22, 2011
    Registration Number 4347124
    Registration Date June 4, 2013
    Owner (REGISTRANT) WIZARDS OF THE COAST LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 1027 Newport Avenue Pawtucket RHODE ISLAND 02862
    Prior Registrations 1919923;2834808;3190575;AND OTHERS
    Type of Mark TRADEMARK
    Register PRINCIPAL
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE


    The only live trademark for "EDH" is "Exclusive Door Handles", and nothing for Elder Dragon Highlander.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    It’s amazing how many intellectual property attorneys we must have in here. Everyone so sure that EDH belongs to the Rules Committee.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Algebra in Commander?
    Quote from Lithl »
    I used to do 40, -1 for every 2 ramp cards. Now I lean more towards 8x8 builds (pick 8 effects, get 8 cards for that effect, add lands until you hit 100), with one of my 8 effects being ramp.


    There is something to be said for the "-1 for every 2 ramp cards", and that something is "Why are you playing ramp again?"

    When I played like that, I had a rule that it only applied if the ramp card cost 3 or less.

    It's very specific to ramp cards. I have very specific reasons for running mana dorks and mana rocks. (Armageddon insurance.)


    Yeah, playing a ramp card and missing your land drop is literally wasting the mana you spent on casting the mana rock. So basically the first time you miss a land drop, you may as well have played any card that let you grab another land from your deck instead of the ramp. Ofc, barring situations like wanting to cast a 4 mana general consistently on T3, or what have you.

    The problem with the question is that players feel that there is a magic number (38, 40, whatever) that guarantees that they will not get screwed. Or at least minimizes the chances that they will as much as mathematically possible, so as to reassure players when it does happen that it couldn’t have been avoided. The math that actually impacts this the most is that you have 7 cards in your opening hand, and the game makes you take 1 in 3 shots each turn at getting any more mana. Upgrading that chance from a strict 1 in 3 to a 2 in 5 is not a very big difference. Giving yourself more 1 in 3 chances is better.

    If you are waffling between running more lands, more ramp cards, or more draw (3cmc or less), then go with draw every single time. Once you have enough draw to consistently access enough mana for your big draw spells (Greed, Recurring Insight, Conc Sphinx, what have you), that’s when you start including ramp cards that are there just for the sake of ramp. Again, as opposed to making a certain mana count as early as possible, which is a separate goal.

    This is why you see a lot of decks with 34-36 land and huge mana budgets, where in a format like Standard, any deck with 6cmc cards in it would probably have 25 or more land. There are numerous cheap draw spells in EDH. Putting in 35 land to your deck, counting your rocks, then failing to run any of the cheap draw and cursing the gods when you hit screw, that’s a recipe for frustration.

    Btw, I love the Basic Landcycling cards from Commander 2016.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    posted a message on Tymna and Vial Smasher - Mardu Haymakers
    Quote from JDviant »
    I really like Drana, Liberator of Malakir with Tymna and tiny creatures/tokens. Had you considered running her, or is she just too narrowly dedicated to aggro for this deck?


    I like the kind of card that gets more mileage out of the small dudes, but ultimately I was rarely winning the game that way. With the prior lists more dedicated to combat, I was still just tutoring for Molten Psyche/Fiery Confluence/Acidic Soil + Increasing Vengeance with the extra draw power. If I took the deck more in that direction, it probably would end up with Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder as the second General, and there are a few decklists here with that partnership.

    Alesha has survived to this current list, though, so there's that. If there's a number two behind her, it's probably Necropolis Regent. I've played her before in similar decks with equips, and she was always really solid. Drana 2.0 seems like a lower mana cost version of her.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 1

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Every ban list is arbitrary, is the thing. Modern will ban Green Sun’s Zenith because it is in too many decks, but then everything runs DRS, Snappy, so on. They had Bitterblossom banned for no other reason than Faeries was a dominant deck in its Standard, but then Bloodbraid Elf is fine even though it ran Standard in its day. Until everyone that was sick of one thing is now sick of the other, and they switch places. There is no consistency.

    For people to be pleased with a ban list, the rules body just has to nail two things: 1) clarity of purpose, 2) cojones to implement that purpose.

    The Commander ban list struggles with the former more than most. For other forms of Magic, the rules bodies can just default to mathematical data on representations at tournaments. They don’t have to allege that enjoyment is the goal (even though it clearly is), if they can default to tournament data. Does everyone like playing against Legacy Storm one in every 3-4 games? Doesn’t matter because there are other decks that show up at Legacy events. If it’s diverse, it must be fun.

    Thing is, I think that the RC has done a phenomenal job at clarity of purpose, without the benefit of data. So many people who have no contact with one another are still close in their understanding of do’s and dont’s in the format.

    Where I think most people are frustrated with the RC is their willingness to implement that vision. We don’t like combo’s, ok. Except, do we do anything about it? Nope. Too hard. Would be too unpopular. So, we have to say that we don’t mind that some groups might be ok playing combo in the format. The actual card pool is just so far from the stated vision of the format, that there’s scarcely any real purpose for it. The purpose becomes expectation setting, in the most circular of ways. The Commander we all know doesn’t have painter’s servant, so commander players haven’t had to invest in the card, become aware of the interactions of the card, so on, and it’s our expectation that we’ll continue not having to do so. The RC won’t even ban cards that most people have stopped playing for power level reasons (e.g. Necropotence), for such fear of upsetting the long-standing status quo. So even when it’s stated that the purpose is a certain type of game, failure to take any action to implement that raises suspicion that the purpose is ultimately something else, and the house of cards collapses.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 1

    posted a message on Tymna and Vial Smasher - Mardu Haymakers
    Tymna the Weaver and Vial Smasher the Fierce - Mardu Haymakers




    1. Introduction

    Here is my Mardu Haymaker build, as it stands right now. I find it’s really fun deck both to play and to play against. This style of play is one that I’ve gravitated more as a player, since it that keeps me interested in the game no matter how it unfolds. It has the tools to stay relevant throughout the game even if it runs into tough situations, and also tends to end the game differently every time when it does win. It’s a deck that’s nuanced enough to require good decisions, while also remaining at the power level where your opponents can take advantage if you make the wrong ones.


    2. Why Play These Commanders?

    The Partner mechanic offers a strong complimentary role between these two – Vial Smasher the Fierce and Tymna the Weaver. First with Vial Smasher, she lends immediately to an attrition/bleed strategy by turning every one of your spells into a Burn X-spell pointed at a random player. There is a lot of flexibility after that in what is being cast, with really anything of high cost fitting the bill, but one common thread to most every Vial Smasher deck would be building up to a huge mana count. This particular deck focuses on big X-spells that align with the trigger, preferably copied as many times as possible with Fork effects to end the game.

    As for Tymna, she offers Vial Smasher the color of White. I find that possibly the best haymaker spells in the game find themselves in White (Debt to the Deathless, Entreat the Angels, so on), along with some great protection cards and removal of course. Most importantly though, she offers a source of card draw from the Command Zone. The main obstacle to landing a huge spell for lethal is that it requires many different cards that are reliant on one another to do their thing. It just takes a lot more cards than the typical 2-3 card combo. Also playing for the long game will demand some removal and reactive cards, and those have their own way of affecting the ratio of cards in hand to cards on board. Tymna shores up that hunger for cards with incredible consistency.

    Other options for Commanders in Mardu colors take the deck in a different direction. Probably the most similar in these colors would be the “akido” style, which also aims to control the game politically until a big finisher can be landed, typically in the form of a card like Delirium or Agonizing Demise. This style of deck is typically piloted by Queen Marchesa, Oros, the Avenger , or Tariel, Reckoner of Souls. Next most similar would probably be another Mardu deck with Vial Smasher, substituting Tymna for one of the Boros generals - Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder and Akiri, Line-Slinger. Another Tymna deck in Mardu would also use one of the Boros generals, and would be more combat oriented. Of course, there are also more attacking-oriented options in Mardu without using the Partner mechanic, as with Kaalia of the Vast, Zurgo Helmsmasher or Alesha, Who Smiles at Death. As none of these generals really relish a high mana-count, and in several instances the opposite, Vial Smasher really makes for a unique take on Mardu.


    3. Deck History

    I have been playing Mardu decks since Alesha, Who Smiles at Death was released, and endlessly tinkering with their variations. I started playing Mardu even more after Queen Marchesa was released, and the variations grew further. When the ability to draw cards consistently was added to the decks, a few things that Mardu had always struggled with became possible. When the Partner generals were released, particularly Tymna the Weaver, I knew that she would be at the helm of many a deck of mine in the future. Vial Smasher the Fierce also aligned perfectly to what I had been gravitating toward playing already.



    4. Deck List

    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commander (2)
    1x Vial Smasher the Fierce
    1x Tymna the Weaver

    Creature (20)
    1x Topplegeist (1)
    1x Weathered Wayfarer (1)
    1x Kari Zev, Skyship Raider (2)
    1x Cavalry Pegasus (2)
    1x Selfless Spirit (2)
    1x Suture Spirit (2)
    1x Pteron Ghost (2)
    1x Shinewend (2)
    1x Bearer of Silence (2)
    1x Vizkopa Guildmage (2)
    1x Walking Atlas (2)
    1x Stoneforge Mystic (2)
    1x Recruiter of the Guard (3)
    1x Alesha, Who Smiles at Death (3)
    1x Crypt Ghast (4)
    1x Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient (4)
    1x Olivia Voldaren (4)
    1x Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief (5)
    1x Thalia's Lancers (5)
    1x Gisela, Blade of Goldnight (7)

    Artifact (18)
    1x Everflowing Chalice (0)
    1x Sol Ring (1)
    1x Mana Vault (1)
    1x Voltaic Key (1)
    1x Sensei's Divining Top (1)
    1x Doubling Cube (2)
    1x Strionic Resonator (2)
    1x Scroll Rack (2)
    1x Basalt Monolith (3)
    1x Sword of Light and Shadow (3)
    1x Sword of Feast and Famine (3)
    1x Sword of Fire and Ice (3)
    1x Sunforger (3)
    1x Hedron Archive (4)
    1x Thran Dynamo (4)
    1x Clock of Omens (4)
    1x Gilded Lotus (5)
    1x Pyromancer's Goggles (5)

    Enchantment (3)
    1x Bitterblossom (2)
    1x Spirit Bonds (2)
    1x Wound Reflection (6)

    Instant (13)
    1x Vampiric Tutor (1)
    1x Enlightened Tutor (1)
    1x Increasing Vengeance (2)
    1x Rakdos Charm (2)
    1x Boros Charm (2)
    1x Reiterate (3)
    1x Lapse of Certainty (3)
    1x Anguished Unmaking (3)
    1x Patrician's Scorn (4)
    1x Comeuppance (4)
    1x Utter End (4)
    1x Benevolent Offering (4)
    1x White Sun's Zenith (3X)

    Sorcery (8)
    1x Steelshaper's Gift (1)
    1x Demonic Tutor (2)
    1x Molten Psyche (3)
    1x Beseech the Queen (3)
    1x Fiery Confluence (4)
    1x Rakdos' Return (2X)
    1x Entreat the Angels (3XX)
    1x Debt to the Deathless (4X)

    Planeswalker (1)
    1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis (6)

    Land (35)
    1x Arid Mesa
    1x Bloodstained Mire
    1x Marsh Flats
    1x Scalding Tarn
    1x Wooded Foothills
    1x Flooded Strand
    1x Polluted Delta
    1x Verdant Catacombs
    1x Windswept Heath
    1x Blood Crypt
    1x Godless Shrine
    1x Sacred Foundry
    1x Smoldering Marsh
    1x Tainted Peak
    1x Command Tower
    1x Reflecting Pool
    1x Nomad Outpost
    1x Graven Cairns
    1x Rugged Prairie
    1x Kor Haven
    1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1x Cabal Coffers
    1x Thespian's Stage
    1x Reliquary Tower
    1x Molten Slagheap
    1x Shizo, Death's Storehouse
    3x Swamp
    3x Plains
    3x Mountain



    5. Card Options

    A) Attackers for Tymna - This section is for cards that come down prior to Turn 3 that can ideally be played early to draw additional cards from Tymna’s ability. Particular focus here was on three aspects – CMC of 2 or less, Evasion, and some sort of defensive utility. I have tried creatures in here that are stronger with no evasion (e.g. Mother Of Runes), creatures with a more offensive sort of utility (e.g. Serra Ascendant), and those with more reliable evasion (e.g. Nether Traitor), and the remaining selections have been the most consistently well rounded. I would go no less than 12x or so slots for this in order to keep the deck running, since the land count for this build is fairly low.

    Bearer of Silence – Playable early as a looter, and a solid effect for later also.

    Bitterblossom – Won’t be able to attack with something Turn 3, but the best card of the list that can power out multiples.

    Cavalry Pegasus – Found this one by digging pretty deep. Has some utility with Tymna, and with a few other cards in the list that really want to be evasive (Alesha, Who Smiles at Death). Just about every critter in the list without some sort of evasion of its own benefits from this.

    Kari Zev, Skyship Raider – Really solid for Tymna. She will be unblockable herself against at least one player well into the middle game, and the Monkey can also find someone open early and create a bit of tension later on.

    Pteron Ghost – Another niche find, sort of a Guardian Beast that can get in early for a draw trigger.

    Selfless Spirit – Staple card in Tymna and elsewhere. Defensive MVP.

    ShinewendWar Priest of Thune is the better card, Ronom Unicorn types are solid too, but Flying is what justifies this in this slot. It continues to get in for damage on at least one player for a few more turns into the middle game.

    Suture Spirit – Another one you don’t see very often, it is better here than usual due to the deck often passing with spare mana open.

    Topplegeist – A card that’s worth it on its own in EDH, very strong here. The delirium ability keeps back pesky Eldrazi, and the ETB is also great for pushing an extra trigger through a blocker.

    Walking Atlas – Generating extra land drops is strong enough on its own for a deck that goes over hand size so often, much more so when it can get in for an attack early. Strong enough even without its own evasion.

    Weathered Wayfarer – This card is best since PrimeTime at double tutoring for a Cabal Coffers-Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth setup. Added perk for the possibility of getting in early game for a trigger.

    Stoneforge Mystic – Format staple, usually useless as an attacker but finds paydirt here when needed.

    Vizkopa Guildmage – When a card straddles the weenie and the haymaker category both, it’s a must-run. Certain cards in here like Debt to the Deathless are multiplied with the second ability, and don’t forget it can be activated multiple times. This ability is also one of the few in the deck that can take full advantage of a Sword of Feast and Famine untap, since the effect lasts until end of turn. Lifelink is very powerful also for Vial Smasher, and hilarity ensues when you use both abilities on her and cast a spell.

    Spirit Bonds – Another one that can’t attack right away, but makes up for it if another 2cmc creature is drawn. This Turn 2 and an evasive creature Turn 3 picks up the lost card with a Tymna on 4. Later game, the protection is highly valuable.

    Recruiter of the Guard – Solid card in singleton, picks up one of the above or Crypt Ghast. Will probably never get in for an attack on its own, but that’s what Swords are for.

    Alesha Who Smiles at Death - I couldn’t play this many evasive weenies without Alesha. A natural compliment to Tymna. I’m more than happy to tutor for her with a Recruiter, and then the deterrent of blocking something like a Recruiter or a Stoneforge forces some decisions than can lead to more cards.


    B) Mana Base - It’s go big or go home with this mana base. Since Turns 2-4 are ideally taken up with a flier, Tymna, and Vial Smasher, 4-5 mana cost is a sweet spot for mana rocks. They fit perfectly with ramping up to a huge mana count for a haymaker, anyway.

    Everflowing Chalice – Very flexible card, don’t be afraid to kick it 3x or more.

    Mana Vault – These rocks that don’t naturally untap are perfect for high output and the Voltaic Key package, and this one is the best of the bunch.

    Sol Ring – Yeah, Sol Ring.

    Voltaic Key – When it’s good it’s amazing, when it’s bad it does nothing. But all of the mana rocks in the deck untap for 2 or more (or are Pyromancer’s Goggles), and the deck is drawing a lot, so patience is a virtue. I wouldn’t go without it.

    Doubling Cube – Obviously it does what it does and gets better the more mana you have, but also not to be forgotten, it fixes the color of mana on those haymaker turns. Perfect because the deck tends to be very R intensive on those turns with multiple Fork castings on burn spells, but tends not to need a lot of R otherwise.

    Basalt Monolith – Big single-shot ramp card, fits in line just perfect with the strategy.

    Clock of Omens – More untap, more big plays. Good to use with the equipment lying around, and there usually will be one or two.

    Crypt Ghast – Good for at least 2-3 more mana per turn, but sometimes a lot more via Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. I opt for it over Caged Sun in this deck because de jure Swamps need to continue to make R/W mana. Nirkana Revenant is good here also.

    Hedron Archive – Solid card at 4 that can be exchanged for cards if a wipe hits, or game is stalled.

    Thran Dynamo – Staple card for big mana, no other card at 4 gives 3 mana.

    Gilded Lotus – Ever popular card that comes in untapped and refunds 3 mana of color on same turn.

    Pyromancer's Goggles – A really sweet card that multiplies off of several cards on the list. Yes, untapping this with Voltaic Key or Clock of Omens and using the RR to cast a spell will multiply it twice, not just once. Also, the trigger can be copied with Strionic Resonator.


    C) Haymakers - – The main win conditions of the deck. They play well with each other and with Vial Smasher, and it’s fun to see exactly what the deck will give you in a particular game.

    Increasing Vengeance – Possibly my favorite card in all of EDH. Casting it twice in the same turn is fun, flashing it back with Pyromancer’s Goggles is the dream.

    Strionic Resonator – Very nice with both Tymna and Vial Smasher to begin with, but also comes into play during the haymaker turns with Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient , Pyromancer’s Goggles, Voltaic Key, so on.

    Molten Psyche – This card is a deceptively effective burn card because it contains its own multiplier when copied. A flashback Increasing Vengeance against it on its own will deal 6 damage to a player for each card in hand (1 + 2 + 3). It is also not a bad card sifting spell for this deck, where there are a lot of reactive cards and it’s common to be sitting on max hand size the whole game. This helps turn those reactive cards in for more mana and board presence.

    Reiterate – The deck wants a second fork, and this one is in here now due to the upside. It will rarely be bought back on a big turn, but you probably won’t need it there besides.

    Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient – This guy is really fun to play. He chips in with Sensei’s Divining Top and Sunforger during the course of the game, and also copies some great activations in Voltaic Key , Strionic Resonator, and Basalt Monolith for big haymakers.

    Fiery Confluence – The 6 damage to opponents option is a lot of burn in this format for a small package. There are a lot of other things to like about this card for the mid early game also.

    Gisela, Blade of Goldnight – Super busted, must-kill creature. If it lives an orbit, opponents start to drop. I wish it worked with Debt to the Deathless, but the rest aren’t bad.

    Wound Reflection – Another super busted, opponent only multiplier. Don’t forget that the ability is an actual trigger for Strionic Resonator. The Vial Smasher trigger against it, plus attacker damage, plus a copy (or two) of this trigger is usually enough to drop a player.

    White Sun's Zenith – This card has always performed well for me in this setup, despite being weak to Propaganda and assorted tricks that disrupt combat. It’s a natural Instant, so it’s not very prone to being wiped. It also really doesn’t mind being cast for 4-5 or so, particularly considering the access to Tymna and being able to draw off the tokens. It has happened more than once that I redrew it on the subsequent turn via the next Tymna trigger.

    Entreat the Angels – This one is similarly great as an Instant when played off of Sensei’s Divining Top or Hedron Archive set up by Scroll Rack. It was even better when there was more draw in the deck like Greed, but still great on a draw step miracle, or just a natural cast. I can see something else in this slot, but the potential for huge upside is to be valued here.

    Debt to the Deathless – The best X spell in the game. The Richard Sherman of MTG haymakers, and one of the main reasons behind Tymna to be in White.

    Rakdos' Return – What I wanted in this slot was a finisher that was not reliant on combat like the others, and wasn’t prone to sitting in my hand during the middle game like Comet Storm. Casting this for X = 4-5 in the middle game usually takes one player out, and is worth spending a Fork spell on it if the opportunity is there.


    D) Equipments - – I’ve waffled between using more equipments and just more creatures to make use of Tymna, but finally settled on some equips. The reason is that two creatures I will for sure be able to cast each game are each Commander, and they have no natural evasion. Of course of all the equips that grant some form of evasion, the Swords are consistently top tier on value added.

    Sword of Feast and Famine – Great mana production, great evasion and spell protection.

    Sword of Fire and Ice – The evasion is not as consistent as FaF, but the card draw is nice. Most importantly though, small creatures like Sisay, Mizzix, etc, need to get zapped.

    Sword of Light and Shadow – Good with all the small creatures in the deck. It can be a judgment call whether to tutor this first with Stoneforge Mystic, since with it in hand people will usually not want to block and kill it.

    Sunforger – What would Mardu be without Sunforger? A super fun card that grants consistent access to answer spells when you need them.


    E) Sunforger Package - The Sunforger game is alive and well, even more so in a deck that likes its mana. The package is actually pretty minimal here, but has all the staple tricks, removal cards and defensive spells.

    Boros Charm – The quintessential Sunforger card. Forger uses your mana, and this protects your mana (and incidentally the rest of your board).

    Rakdos Charm – A combo-breaker in all modes, and this deck will use it quite often as a burn spell copied as many times as permits.

    Anguished Unmaking – The king of removal cards, when you need something gone and gone for good.

    Utter End – The second copy, without the life loss.

    Lapse of Certainty – It never gets old casting this. Protects you from the Instants, Sorceries, and ETB’s that would otherwise be difficult to deal with. There is no shuffle effect for now in the deck, but having one in would be a solution to the top of library aspect.

    Benevolent Offering – A card for when creatures get wiped and the rebuild with Tymna begins. That is the main purpose of the card, with the accessibility with Sunforger and the lifegain being perks. It is also not bad when Vizkopa Guildmage is out.

    Comeuppance – A personal favorite of mine from Sunforger. It leaves a little bit to be desired in stopping incremental damage from activations, such as via the notorious Vicious Shadows, but it’s been important because the deck is largely lacking in creature sweeps.

    Patrician's Scorn – Another favorite of mine for Sunforger, particularly for this deck that really doesn’t want to deal with Propaganda effects at any point of the game, middle or end. And, a lot of players still build as if Enchantments are a completely safe permanent type to overextend onto the board. Punish.

    F) Draw Tools - I’ve made a lot of space in the deck by relying on Tymna to draw for me. These are just the essentials to make sure the deck doesn’t give cards that are unneeded. Between the Sunforger package and so many conditional offensive cards, the deck really needs a way to filter draws. It’s also necessary to find cards that add to your options without going into your hand size, since it frequently runs at 7 cards.

    Sensei's Divining Top – Amazing card with fetch lands to filter draws, and great to find Entreat the Angels in the library with it.

    Scroll Rack – Since the deck runs at maximum hand size most of the time, this card works out great. There are plenty of shuffle effects in here too to make use of it.


    G) Tutor Package - Mostly what mitigates the interdependencies of the deck is an abundance of tutors. Thankfully, it’s easy to run a lot in these colors. There are even some good ones that are missing from this list.

    Enlightened Tutor – Hits most everything needed – Pyromancer’s Goggles, Pyromancer’s GogglesVoltaic Key for more goggles.

    Vampiric Tutor – Grabs all of the above, plus Entreat the Angels for miracles, and the missing piece of Urborg-Coffers.

    Demonic Tutor – Best tutor in the game, nuff said.

    Beseech the Queen – Nice to do what Demonic does, and trigger Vial Smasher for 6.

    Thalia's Lancers – Used to be Rune-Scarred Demon, but found myself always fetching goggles, Urborg, Kurkesh, or Gisela nearly every time.

    Steelshaper's Gift – Can’t beat the cost, and I like Sunforger


    H) Miscellaneous - A few high mileage cards that really fit the theme of the deck. Killing creatures is a good thing for the deck to do in order to go late, and the deck can bear the weight of a few more mana-intensive cards for that. These are good for pushing damage too, so they fit well here.

    Olivia Voldaren – Good at neutralizing threats of all sizes, and at using mana to grow big. One of my favorite cards for EDH.

    Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief – Similar to Olivia, not as swingy, hits harder.

    Sorin, Grim Nemesis Has what he needs in the deck and the strategy to work well, and the minus ability also comes in handy.


    6. Strategies

    Early – Draw cards with small creatures and Tymna.
    Middle – Play out mana base, run out Vial Smasher when appropriate, get Sunforger going if possible.
    End – Finish with big mana haymakers.




    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 0

    posted a message on "Draw-Go doesn't work in multiplayer EDH..." Why?
    It is hard to discuss what’s “possible” in EDH, when the format itself is not widely played anywhere near the actual limitations of the card pool. People would find that a lot of things are possible when actually trying to find the most efficient ways of ending a game against 3 other players sitting at 40 life.

    With the concept of “draw-go”, it’s a little bit of a mismatch to what the deck actually needs to do to win. Sure, you counter and remove enough things in order to keep afloat, and then build advantage with EOT draw spells. But historically, you also cast creatures like Serra Angel, Sphinx of Jwar Isle and Dragonlord Dromoka. It’s those cards that just aren’t good enough to get there in EDH. But cards like Mind Over Matter, Reiterate, etc, sure are. Then though, you’re not perceived as “Draw-Go” anymore, you’re perceived as a “Combo deck” that just sat around durdling for 6-7 turns until it went off. Because again, the EDH experience is defined by norms and decks that break those norms. Effective playing a deck that is extremely answer-heavy requires you to break those norms, because no other win condition is compact enough within the space you have left in your deck.

    Viewed another way, it’s a tempo thing. In a duel, tempo is relative. If you spend enough resources slowing the game down for your opponent (removing and countering active plays), then you begin to pull ahead on tempo. Your opponent is bled of resources and can’t make use of all their mana, while you have more mana-intensive cards and pull ahead. But in FFA, tempo is more absolute (or at least relative between 4 players). You can slow the game down for the other three, but you can’t pull ahead by tempo that way without some extremely efficient way to use your resources better. Those means exist within combo’s of all types, but then you are just a meanie and not a “control” deck.

    The closest I have ever come to a similar draw-go style, at least without breaking the combo barrier, is with a Bruna, Light of Alabaster deck. The idea is to have 2-3 auras that are needed to 1-shot with her, add Vanishing for resilience, then the rest of the deck is answer cards. Bruna herself gets flashed in so as to not be disrupted. A win condition needs to be similarly abrupt and resilient to win against 3 other players, and even then, Bruna just tended to be slower and more disruptable than actual combo’s that could’ve been used.

    Now, the most effective deck I’ve made in the draw-go Control archetype, norms against combo or not, was a Keranos, God of Storms deck that used Reiterate combos. There are certainly better decks with more active gameplans for their combo, but this one was extremely answer heavy and played well against better decks.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

    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)
  • 0

    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)
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