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    posted a message on Ruination / Back to Basics / nonbasic hate in the age of 4 color commanders
    Quote from MikePemulis »
    I do think getting stuck not playing your cards is part of the game. The mana system is at the heart of Magic. Lots of people don't like it, and those people now have plenty of similar games to play where screw or flood isn't a threat.


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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




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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Quote from Phone »

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

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


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

    Quote from Phone »
    Quote from Jusstice »

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


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


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

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

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

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


    Am I the only dissenting voice here?

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Quote from Onering »


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


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

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

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


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    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)
  • 2

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

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

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

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    An apologist js someone who offers an argument in defense of something misunderstood or controversial. It's not someone who apologizes, or whatever people find objectionable about the term. It's not negative at all.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Practicality of calling a racist a racist in a debate
    Quote from gumOnShoe »
    I guess what I'm saying is that I think there are racists who have contributed to creating a system that discriminates against blacks and that while (until recently) there had not been a lot of intention behind keeping that system in place or fortifying it, it didn't need someone at the helm for it to continue functioning. The racist actions of our civilization's past echo into today.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 0

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

    <snip>


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

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

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

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


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

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


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

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

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

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

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

    I’ve tried enchantress before and it was always terrible, but there is some consistency here with the cmc you’re going to Cascade into that it ended up better than expected.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    I have been noticing with my 2cmc driven build that it’s pretty automatic to get everything from out of the deck that is 1cmc and below. The consistency of doing this by Turn 5-6 or so is pretty solid. I’ve got a few ideas to take some niche cards a 1cmc and ride with them as far as possible. The cards I’ve been considering are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Casuals and Control.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

    The Stax build would be brutal. Stuff like Thoughts of Ruin, Tectonic Break, Sunder, Boom//Bust, Jin-Jin, Sire of Insanity would tend to put the game away very reliably in that setup.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder - Storm! When resolving one turn takes an eternity. (Building - cutting down from 105x cards)
    Quote from Macabre »


    Until I get a chance to actually sit down and play the deck, there are a few routes that may work better. For example the deck runs 6x signets, but no rituals, and grim monolith is currently in the maybe board. If Yidris just dies every time he sees play, then the more typical storm mana (rituals/monolith) may be better than 6x signets. Similarly, the mana-base is set up for high tide, but there are numerous filter lands that could be used along side non-signet 2-drop ramps that could aid in pushing Yidris out on turn-3.

    This will need some extensive testing Smile


    My testing has raised this question also. Even when Yidris doesn’t die, the goal of playing him Turn 3 often has him triggering when I have a hand that I know I’m just going to be wasting spells if I try to go off. I have seen it go off Turn 4-5 before when somebody else was playing the deck, but not without rituals, and hitting both Mana Crypt and Wheel of Fate. Maybe it is closer to reliable with more 1cmc material in the deck to hit Wheel of Fate, but still extremely risky.

    I can see going one of two routes to get around this:

    First, just using the Yidris trigger to build up a good mana count, with a lot of 3cmc draw spells and 2cmc ramp. The general just gives your opponents something to get rid of while upping your mana count. This route though, I would tend to lean toward a more compact win condition. Maybe something like a Polymorph package into Palinchron, or Reset-Reiterate, each powered out by either High Tide or Mana Flare/Heartbeat of Spring. Those combo’s each give you more flexibility in reward for reaching higher mana counts. Trying to pull off a Storm turn without the benefit of a Doomsday pile as a fall-back seems like a risky idea.

    Second, a Flash enabling package – Yeva, Nature’s Herald/Winding Canyons/Alchemist’s Refuge, then some land tutors. That way, you basically just play hand sculpting spells and draw until you’ve got D-tutor, Merchant Scroll or Dark Petition in hand for the Intuition/Past in Flames pile. Then you play down Yidris with Flash and go off with a full untap. Might still eat removal, but oh well.


    Quote from FiftyRings »
    Strionic Resonator would be pretty good here. It can copy Yidris' cascade trigger, and more importantly it can copy your storm or aetherflux triggers.

    Double storm count or an extra instance of your largest life gain seems pretty good.


    While enabling a second (or more) instance of cascade for Yidris is really powerful, I'm fairly certain that in my meta, Yidris is removal bate. My design is set to function without Yidris, so it isn't using any of the combat tricks. I've even had to push sword of feast and famine/bear umbra out while cutting down to 99.

    If this were more like a good-stuff maelstrom wanderer deck, then the cascade tricks would be very good.


    I agree with FiftyRings. The double-strike antics seem to have a tendency to be quite dead quite often, but Strionic Resonator is worthwhile in any Storm deck, imo. Even for just copying the Storm trigger itself, it’s quite worthwhile.

    Quote from Khal_Daeroth »
    Have you considered going with Oath of Druids ? Im currently building on a creatureless Yidris Storm list that is based on oath filling up your graveyard, then finishing off with Mizzix's Mastery . Also with Yawgmoth's Will combined with rituals like Seething Song , Cabal Ritual it would be possible to go off when Oath of Druids triggers.


    I love oath of druids but the reliance of creating that much mana to get mastery off, while having an opponent with a creature, it a bit odd. There is also the issue of mastery being sorcery, so I wouldn't be able to up-keep win w/o having some sort of instant-enabler before I draw-death myself. I do really like this idea. How are you stopping the draw/death / do you have a list I can check out?


    The death-avoidance is Krosan Reclamation or Memory’s Journey. You basically just get a ritual every time with it on upkeep, then use the ritual to Flashback Past In Flames, use Regrowths to get all your rituals back, last regrowth for YagWin, then Yagwin your artifacts and all your rituals back one last time. Don’t forget Noxious Revival and things with flashback cantrips like Manamorphose. Once you get it down, all you need is about 2RBGG to go off. Although it’s possible that there’s a sequence that just takes 2BG for YagWin right away, I just haven’t worked it out to get the Storm count high enough to Tendrils out 3 palyers at full life.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    So, you are basically saying that public games are fine, because all of the people you run into actually do like the same type of game. Little bit circular, no?
    No. I am saying a lot of people, including me, have run into a majority of these players based on personal discussion and relations on these boards. I dont think the majority of people having a good time is a circular logic to the game being setup well for the majority of people.


    Well, it may be that the game works. But this is the thread about the Official Multiplayer Ban List. If the game works because people actually do have expectations outside the ban list for what they expect to see, then it’s not the ban list that leads the game to be working well for the majority.

    That’s my point. The ban list ought to do that. It doesn’t. Instead, something else does it, which isn’t designed for doing that and isn’t as good at doing it. That’s the problem.

    I’m not going to say that you’re going to definitely see Turn 5 graveyard combo when you walk into any local LGS. That’s probably not going to be the case. It’s more to do with the fact that getting better and improving your playstyle in EDH, the way the card pool is set up now, will lead you into abuse of overpowered Vintage cards. Not as a function of anything to do with multiplayer Magic, much the opposite, that it’s a function of the card pool.
    These are not facts, yet you assume them to be true. You dismiss people who don't want to do that, when thats a skill too. Playing into a group to have fun and getting the same back can be just as likely, it seems moreso for some.


    Not wanting to build your deck in a way that better achieves the game objectives is a skill? If that’s a skill, then I’m going to be the best at it. I’ll sleeve up Nicol Bolas with 99 Mountains in the deck.

    If what you mean by that is that building decks to have fun is a skill, then again, it’s not the ban list that does that. It’s something else. Because what the ban list does is put busted Vintage enablers into people’s decks to Storm off with Yagwin. And this is the thread to discuss the ban list, after all.

    Quote from MRHblue »

    I do not deny people play like that, I deny it is the majority or that it can be addressed with bans alone. And I dont think you can do it without a huge fun suck for me, and others like me. And no one supporting your position has been able to show my why thats a desirable, or achievable, goal.


    Quote from cryogen »
    That's a loaded statement and you know it. Elixir of Immortality isn't a fun card. Doom Blade isn't a fun card. Forest isn't a fun card. Should we ban these? (Fun is also entirely subjective unless we approach it from larger trends.)

    "Fun" doesn't become an issue until there is a massive outcry that it's NOT fun. Turn that question around and ask yourself which cards on that list have caused a large number of players to complain about them. Five? Ten?



    The “fun” concept I see more as a burden of proof issue, like osieorb18 is saying. To a certain player set, a card is fun unless it’s on the ban list for Vintage (ante, manual dexterity, etc). To another player set, any card on the Legacy ban list is proven unfun. Those two sides are what the debate is about. No one is arguing that fun is not subjective, or that a ban list is entirely sufficient to remove unfun scenarios from the game. Both solutions are probably imperfect, and to say that one is better because it reflects the status quo is completely circular (It’s better because it’s what we have). The argument is actually about whether the current Vintage baseline is more or less fun than a hypothetical Legacy baseline.

    And like oseorb18 is saying above, it is really hard to point to any of the cards on that list and say that the amount of fun it creates is greater than the likelihood of unfun. And, there’s abundant evidence for that conclusion within EDH itself. The players who consider themselves the best at creating fun games are exactly the players who have voluntarily dropped most of these cards from their decks.

    What you are looking for in an “outcry of unfun” has really only happened for cards that are nowhere on the radar of unfun, or have been printed recently, since that track record creates a presumption of fun. When that presumption doesn’t hold for EDH (PoK, PT, SP), then you get this outcry because people on the other side will continue to play them.

    Not so for these Vintage cards. In my eye, the majority of the player base considers them unfun. A good section of players voluntarily stop playing them. Lots of people seem to be taking refusal to play them as evidence that the “format is working”. That may be so, but that’s no evidence that the ban list is working. Players at large taking historically unwholesome cards and neglecting to play them, even absent a ban. You can’t get stronger evidence than that on whether the community would like a ban.


    Quote from cryogen »
    Let's take the most objective data point we currently have: the ban list polls. "Massive outcry" cards like Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, and Iona sharply drop off from there. I get that there is a vocal minority who think a great number of legal cards are detrimental to the format. I'm not going to try to pretend that I have a good idea as to the scope of their numbers because I only frequent two forums regularly enough to have a pulse on the moods of certain cards.


    There is a set of variables in polling data that make them unwieldy vehicles for teasing out unpopular opinions. There are people who answer against their actual conscious beliefs just to meddle with the results, people who subconsciously believe something different than what they consciously state in a poll, and people who consciously believe something but fail to respond to an outgroup's label of that thing. Those constants somewhere around 20-40% of a polling body, depending on the issue. It is similar to a rating scale of 1-5 stars, where the result of 3 is a legitimately unsatisfied person, and 1-2 stars is someone consciously trying to send a message, and most results are 4 or 5. Point is, you would very, very rarely expect to see a strict majority come out in support of a viewpoint that is un-popularized, or would have the tendency to hurt feelings, etc.

    The case here, we have an official multiplayer ban list that is routinely defended by the creators of the format. That’s the status quo. Polling which players don’t agree with that is like polling a bunch of sick, poor people in the US on whether public health care is a good idea. A huge constant of people will say no, despite needing health care, simply because of the fact that there is no public health care in the US. Some of them have also formed conscious beliefs that it’s a bad idea, but still might be objectively happier if there were public health care.

    So to look at any result north of 40-50% in favor of banning a card that is not currently banned, that is actually a huge, huge outcry. That would actually be well over the required amount to get a policy approved in a real world democratic system. Even polling results north of 20% or so would be a huge source of concern, and probably encompasses the majority, once you take out those constants that are always polling status quo. One thing’s certain, if you take any result less than 50% as wholehearted majority support of the ban list, the issue really will get nowhere.


    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    There is the skill of playing, the skill of deck building, and the skill of knowing a deck intimately (the amalgam of the two). They are three different skills, but related to one another.

    If you’re talking about running Pod and G-wave being more skill testing than Survival and T&N, then you’re talking about play skill. Running worse cards is not testing your skill of deck building. It’s smothering it with a pillow as it screams for help.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Crashing00 »
    This is the only postmortem I've found anywhere that's been worth reading. Nothing I haven't said a thousand times before, but ad hominem thinkers might be more inclined to believe it if Scott Alexander says it:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/


    Yeah, I can see where he’s coming from. A few months before the election in the Trump thread, the question was floated what basis people have to actually believe that Trump has that kind of nativist agenda. And still, I’ve always thought it was a mistake to focus on things that Trump has recanted, or don’t form his actual position on issues. But, the answer was still that there were many legitimate items of concern about constitutional protections, such as listed then:

    Quote from Jusstice »
    1) Denying right of entry into the US for all Muslims - This is the biggest concern, because it was actually a policy proposal coming from his campaign.
    2) The suggestion that he would find a way to deprive education to, or even deport, the US-born children of illegal immigrants
    3) The idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico
    4) His expressed approval for the way the Japanese Internment camps were set up during WWII
    5) His claim that he would target and kill the families of terrorists
    6) The government claiming the power to close mosques
    7) Expanded censorship of the internet
    8) Expansion of the laws against libel to include prior restraint


    The above doesn’t amount to ‘overt white supremacy’ in my mind, but it does amount to something. Exactly what that is might be sufficient to dissuade someone from voting for him, it might not be enough for someone else, and for a third person, it might be enough to get them to come out of their shell and raise an alarm against racism, in general. But, it doesn’t amount to ‘overt white supremacy’, no.

    Was it a mistake for the left-leaning media to make the election about identity politics instead of the fact that Trump is incompetent? Yeah, probably. But from everything written to generate clicks, to all the talk about the “glass-ceiling”, to what the media lazily writes out of habit, there’s not much left that isn’t identity politics. I still think it’s what the whole issue of the election represented to most Democrats, in fact. I think that point of his can be agreed upon.


    But another thing he seems to be admitting himself, ‘white supremacy’ isn’t literally about white supremacy. There is a near-zero number of people who believe that policy should be based on some notion that the Northern European ethnicity is genetically superior to other groups. So when people respond to the same rhetoric, they are actually responding to something else. They’re expressing their emotions rather than making a statement of their beliefs on reality. They’re cheering for the group that they see themselves as part of, and against the people they perceive as threats to that group. It’s not about the literal contents of any belief system.

    This happens all the time. For example, the Nazi’s are most known today for the mass murders of the Holocaust. But, most members of the Nazi party did not know about the holocaust as it was happening. What they did do was respond to rhetoric about the “others” of society taking their jobs, so forth. And today, there are still people who identify as “neo-Nazi” as a matter of self-expression, despite the fact that most actual Nazi’s would disavow what their government did.

    The same thing also with the US confederacy. Those states would not have seceded from the US, if not for slavery. But much has been made of the fact that the majority of people in the South did not own slaves at that time. What they did respond to was nativist rhetoric about how an outside group from Washington was taking away their way of life. And to this day, there are many, many people who hoist the confederate flag, nearly zero of who would implement slavery.

    Those are the facts of history, and if those fearful of Trump have one thing in common, it’s the apprehension that he sounds eerily like those figures of history who have ushered in human rights atrocities. It’s not literally about ‘white supremacy’. It’s about something ephemeral, but is nevertheless highly dangerous no matter how you quantify it. A lot of evil has been done in the name of following orders, paying the bills, so on. And this sounds too much like a prelude to that.

    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    What actually happens with public play of Commander is that players carry assumptions about what kind of games they think *everyone* likes. They don't think any discussion needs to be had, because if you don't play that way, it must be because you're a jerk and love kicking puppies.
    Even for you that seems hyperbolic. I play in plenty of public games, and most work just fine. Sure people make a complaint now and then, but no one gets actually mad. And most people I run into DO like the same types of games, so its rarely a bad assumption. It is however why a short discussion can be useful with brand new people.


    So, you are basically saying that public games are fine, because all of the people you run into actually do like the same type of game. Little bit circular, no?

    I’m not going to say that you’re going to definitely see Turn 5 graveyard combo when you walk into any local LGS. That’s probably not going to be the case. It’s more to do with the fact that getting better and improving your playstyle in EDH, the way the card pool is set up now, will lead you into abuse of overpowered Vintage cards. Not as a function of anything to do with multiplayer Magic, much the opposite, that it’s a function of the card pool.

    And until you see that arms race, it’s premature to say how the public player base reacts to it. If you’re on MODO, look for Moxnix. Plays a lot of Storm. The first time I’d heard the term “hate wait”, it was from one of those games. And no, Storm doesn’t work very well once you take out all the Legacy banned stuff like tutors and YagWin.

    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Sum total, we are being told by players that don't play those cards that those cards are fine, and if there are any issues with the cards, it must be the players causing the problems, not the cards, because people who don't play those cards are just fine with the format having those cards.
    Thats demonstrably false. We have access to decklists and we know they run Sol Ring, and Birthing Pod and Genesis wave (just grabbed one from his last article), cards that can be used miserably but aren't. So ya, sometimes its the people.

    Adding a bunch of cards to the list is just, as you alluded to earlier, someone elses ideal version of fun. And yet no one will ever agree on that, so why not stay minimalist?


    If Pod and Genesis Wave are someone’s idea of miserable cards, that is really not reflected in the ban list. Only a matter of time before someone using those cards “miserably” learns how to use them miserably better, off of the back of the same old culprits, or substitutes Survival for Pod, so on.

    Can you point to a decklist posted by one of the RC that has any of the Legacy banned cards discussed on the last page (excluding Wheel, Sol Ring, Windfall, etc)? I don’t think I have ever seen a list of theirs posted with Necropotence, maybe one sample list with Hermit Druid, mostly in proof that it can be used fairly, and I don’t recall ever seeing SurvivalAd Naus, YagWin, Mana Crypt, Mana Drain, so on.


    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    I mocked up a Storm list for a few goes around, and I actually found it a little clunky in a few ways. Mostly, Yidris and the Storm playstyle each pull you in different directions. Yidris wants you to take the most advantage of any turn where you have his effect post-combat, and Storm wants you to hold cards in hand and pass until you have a “critical mass”. So although I’ve seen Yidris played out T3 and that player Storm off on their next T4, it wasn’t consistent for me when I mocked it up.

    What Yidris ended up contributing (and reading other posts I think is agreed) is just a bit of additional cards and mana build-up until he got killed. The combo turn always came later. And a decent portion of the time he would Cascade into stuff that I really didn’t want to use at the time (Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Manamorphose, High Tide), but which are the grease that holds together decks running Past in Flames , Yawgmoth’s Will, Mizzix’s Mastery, etc.

    From a quick glance at Macabre’s build, all of the rituals except High Tide actually got cut for about 20 slots of 2cmc ramp. That might be the more sensible thing to do with Yidris. But, it is really disappointing to lose rituals, and if the goal is building to a high static mana count anyway, a more compact combo like Reset-Reiterate might be just as easy to stick as a huge Tendrils turn.

    Another solution might be getting Yidris in with Flash. Using something like Leyline of Anticipation or Winding Canyons, and you don’t have to try for Yidris until you’ve got the cards in hand to try to go off. Of course, relying on specific cards from your deck is not great. But otherwise, seems that Yidris doesn’t really add that much over Jeleva, unless you are either using Green to get a higher land count or using Yidris himself.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Thoughts on mass land destruction
    You can always just ramp harder. Interactive, no, but people also play craps and cat's cradle.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Show some love for Yidris
    If you are late enough in the game with a deck that would have its yard full if creatures, you might as well just Cabal Ritual/Seething Song/Lotus Bloom into a big Rise of the Dark Realms.

    The Yidris trigger makes mana rituals totally worth it for the free card.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Building a 4 color mana base
    It amazes me some people’s ratio of how often shock lands come in tapped. Essentially the only time I play them tapped is on Turn 1, and only then maybe 60%-70% or so of the time that I don’t have a Turn 1 play. I can’t imagine having that consistent of an opportunity to tax myself 1 mana. Mid game, having a curve that sits between 2-4 mana means that you’re rarely wasting mana. Late game, I will just shock myself automatically because there are activated abilities, and draw spells might give me more cards of different costs.

    Also, the most important thing when using Shadowmoor filters is not to sleeve up the full set of 6. If you are judicious with which you use, these are phenomenal lands. What you need to keep in mind with these is to avoid the one with 3rd and 4the most common color, then count if you have any double colors or 1cmc cards for the 3rd and 4th color also. They are close to mathematically inferior, middle game at least, if you never use double off-color or 1cmc colored cards. Just getting any dual with that same off color is better, in that case.

    Odyssey filters can be good too, but in the same way, they only really make sense if you have 1cmc cards of those colors or that exact color combination in enough multicolor cards. Of course, count the general in that. If you really just want to play a 4-color general consistently, then Odyssey filters are good, even better than Shadowmoor lands for that purpose. If your main two colors are allied though, like a UWgr deck, you won't need the filter of two primaries, only the WG filter. If you are bUWg though, you'll want both filters.

    Check lands are obviously solid also, but not the full set of 6. The principle with Check Lands (and Pain Lands, Future Sight lands, etc) is that you want to make your 3rd and 4th colors as painlessly as possible (pun intended). They’re basically the opposite of Shadowmoor lands that way. Imagine you are playing a UBgr deck and you put in Sulfur Falls instead of Island. It is an Island that 70%-80% of the time you need Blue. So, avoid the check land with colors 3 and 4 on it, then pair the two off colors among the two main colors according to color weights of the multicolor cards, and overall color weights.


    The real key though are the Signets and other 2cmc ramp that you use. If you are in Green, great. Breya decks, you probably want to run all 6 Signets. Worst case, you are feeding unneeded Signet mana into your filter lands, or into a second Signet. If in Green, you will probably never need the double off-color signet, since of course, you’ve got Nature’s Lore, Farseek, and maybe 1-2 Rampant Growths. The principle above holds that searching for a Basic is better than a Signet of your 4th color, and possibly of your 3rd color. Making your 1st or 2nd color with that slot is more important.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Another route I was thinking about are rattlesnake cards like Executioner's Capsule and Caustic Caterpillar that Cascade when they come in, but don’t lock you into tapout Sorcery mode. Spellbombs are pretty good too. The 0cmc cards in the deck would be the insane premium type (Wheel of Fate, Ancestral Vison, Mana Crypt, Lotus Bloom, etc). Getting all of those from out of your deck for free is crazy.

    Also, the “counterspells” that work similarly, like Mausoleum Wanderer and Glen Elendra Archmage. They cascade when they come in, then wait for the right time to do their thing.

    Also, Momir Vig, Simic Visionary seems to be really good for a more creature-oriented version of the deck. Cast Wood Elves with Cascade, tutor for Coiling Oracle and find it with the Cascade, cast it and get both Momir triggers. Seems really strong to set up what you Cascade into, and then trigger Momir again from casting from Cascade.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    I don’t think any analysis around the question “Why didn’t more R’s vote Hillary” will get anywhere. They’re Republican. The real questions are:

    1) Did those comments alienate any likely voters, and if so, why? If Trump’s campaign is any indication, then disparaging your opponent and his/her voters actually gets your base to respond.

    2) What was the actual turnout for each party?

    3) Assuming equal percentages of turnout, is the Democrat voter base still large enough to carry an election, or is it shrinking? In short, is there any actual dependency on undecided/unaffiliated voters for Dems to win a national election?

    4) If so, what issues did those voters turn on?


    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Dem Proxies
    I like the sentiment above from DirkGently that winning via the wallet is not satisfying. For me, that’s probably the number one concern regarding proxies. In theory, players are supposed to grow at a roughly equal rate as their collection. It’s like that for most games. But, it hasn’t been that way in Magic for a long time. Every time I see a CIPT land, I want to ask that player whether they would’ve had a play that turn with a regular land, then let them make it anyway if they did. Main reason I don’t do that is because I get that some people want to keep a sense of progress with their collection. But for me, the game is about the game.

    That said, seeing some proxies is really irritating. Any non-land card over $200 I’ve ended up internally denying that it exists, and I’m jarred a little by seeing Imperial Recruiter, Temporal Manipulation, Mana Drain, etc. The thing is though, I am still irritated by seeing a legitimate copy of the card. I remember a game where The Tabernacle of Pendrell Vale was played against me, and I basically just went through the motions until the game was over. Virtually speaking, it doesn’t exist to me.

    The main cards that I with people would proxy more are ABUR duals and fetch lands. They are by far the most expensive cards in an EDH collection. Comparing the value of a card like Survival or Sneak attack to Scalding Tarn is absolutely ridiculous in terms of their in-game impact, but people still invest in Scalding Tarns for their Commander collection. Much less Underground Sea. I mean, I’ve heard it said that they’re not essential to playing Commander. But, they are. And no card for this format should carry a price of over $200. Just print it off at Kinko’s.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from Ljoss »
    Quote from Hackworth »
    So Kris Kobach has been named to Trump's transition team.

    He created the "Papers Please" law, SB 1070. This law allows police to detain people on suspicion of them not being US citizens, and it's been called the most racist law in the modern USA. He's also got a history of trying to disenfranchise non-white and non-male voters, and worked for an anti-immigrant hate group before becoming secretary of state. [link]

    For those of you keeping score, Trump's council now contains at least one open White Nationalist and two people who previously were members of hate groups.


    Who is this alleged 'open white nationalist'? Please don't tell me you're talking about Stephen Bannon.


    Yeah, I agree. These constant attempts at character assassination by HuffPost are almost as irritating as their persistence on the idea of “breaking the glass ceiling”. Which is to say, really irritating.

    Are we to believe that the executive chairman of Breitbart is and has always been a neo-Nazi, but we are only finding out about it now that he’s taking government office? It seems to me that a major news organization being led by White Supremacists would have been newsworthy before now.

    I mean, think for a few minutes, and I’m sure that camp can come up with some non-policy related objections to the appointment that are legitimate. How about the fact that he’s moving from chairing a news organization to white house strategist? Does that kind of move have any precedent at all? Anything other than the direction of his opinions that suggest he’s not qualified? I’ll bet there is, if the establishment R’s have all distanced themselves from Trump and he’s not doling out any forgiveness for that, as we’re told to believe.

    Just really lazy, identity-based journalism, more of the same that led us to this point.




    Posted in: Debate
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    posted a message on Why is Grave Titan so highly regarded?
    Players in EDH just love tokens. That’s the main thing. A couple reasons for that.

    One, if you have tokens, people won’t attack you. Sometimes they should, but they just don’t want to compile the information. I have seen players with something like Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas out, where the weakest player has maybe 2 2/2 zombies or a Wood Elves, and it’s literally a cost-free proposition to attack them. They still don’t attack. Failing to play any evasion then not attacking is the pinnacle of lazy EDH. If you play evasion, everyone’s deck has Maze. If you play evasion and hexproof, you are a jerk (see every Sigarda gripe thread ever).

    Lazy EDH is also about accumulating a massive board of nothing, then waiting for someone to top deck one of the same old game winners – Craterhoof Behemoth, Rite of Replication, Insurrection, so on. Then pat each other on the back about what a great time was had by all, for the nineteenth time the game ends this way. One thing about Grave Titan, it plays pretty nicely with that set of half a dozen or so cards that end up consistently winning in lazy EDH. Must be a great card.

    People also love their Grave Pact effects. Most people’s decks can’t win against the card, because removal for non-creatures is mean. Pact is probably the single non-land permanent that spends the most time on the battlefield in EDH, at least behind Sol Ring. Grave Pact games tend to devolve into players who can make tokens and players who can’t. See every game with Meren, ever. And most all of the cards that are as good as Titan at generating an ongoing supply of tokens are multicolor – Assemble the Legion, Dragon Broodmother, etc.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Quote from Krimsonmask »
    I think you're on to something with your low cmc theory. It should be be better to cascade 3 times and get six 1-3 cmc cards than cast one 6 cmc and risk cascading into a 1 cmc card. Of course you can avoid this with top deck manipulation but you will need to dedicate a decent portion of your deck to that strategy. What would the win condition be if we are going the low cmc route? I'd be afraid of just durdling a bunch and not actually winning the game.


    Well if you’re not opposed to it, a “spellslinger” combo win condition is a pretty natural fit. Something like Jeleva storm with a few Green cards like Regrowth. The challenge would be playing it right. Storm requires a “critical mass” to go off, and can blank otherwise, meanwhile Yidris wants you to start casting stuff whenever you get a trigger. Maybe built correctly, the chance of blanking after cascading 2-3 rituals in a turn is low, but Storm seems like it will always blank in EDH whenever you don’t get the critical cards (Intuition, YagWin, Past in Flames, etc). One possible solution to that would be giving Yidris Flash, since you wouldn’t have to cast him until you were ready to go off.

    A combat related win condition might work too. There’s access to good post-combat cards like Wood Elves, and then Craterhoof Behemoth. The only concerns with going Voltron is the space dedicated just to working against Maze of Ith and blockers, and then being stranded with a single creature against Grave Pact and Fleshbag Marauder effects. TBH, White is the best support color for Voltron, with lots of weenies like Stoneforge Mystic, Puresteel Paladin and Selfless Spirit supporting the general. The only time I’ve ever done a Voltron build without White was with Mimeo, and Mimeo is Mimeo.

    Another possible wincon is Palinchron. There’s a lot of reason to be casting 2cmc ramp cards post-combat, and with them replacing themselves, that gets your land count pretty high pretty quickly. And Tooth and Nail is possible here.

    Point is, Cascade only directly contributes to the win condition if you are playing Storm. Other more traditional win cons, you can probably derive most of the value just from casting low cmc cards, and you get tons of ramp and draw for free.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from magickware99 »
    I just noticed that most of the arguments against Trump in the past few pages are mostly just Republican platforms that people don't like and very few, if any, Trump being Trump.

    I actually find that more troubling than people scared that Trump is Trump.

    I mean... push-back against abortion/gay rights/environmental issues/immigration/Obamacare/etc are all things to be expected under a Republican Presidency.

    This makes me wonder if the liberal response to, say, Cruz winning would be roughly the same as the response to a Trump victory.


    I would be crying doom a lot more, but there is no internet in my steel bunker.

    Honestly though, I find that super troubling too. There were so many people I spoke to after the election that said this felt *exactly like* the 2000 election where Gore lost. I mean, really? Wake up. This guy said that he would torture suspected “terrorists”, jail political opponents, restrict press access, target people for deportation based on their race, not to mention his chief campaign promise – building a wall with our 3rd biggest trade partner based on the idea that everyone crossing the border is a rapist.

    I mean, what did Bush say at this point that was even remotely similar?

    Tough reality, I’ve had to conclude that to a lot of people honestly do think that issues like bathroom equality are of exactly the same importance as torture and internment camps. Evidently to them, the Republican party is as bad as the Nazi party.

    And as it’s been mentioned here before to some amount of resistance, this kind of intransigence does contribute to a feeling of desperation on the part of anyone judged to be on the wrong side of the issue, to the point where they feel they don’t have any remaining obligation to reject the worst parts of their constituency.

    Quote from MrM0nd4y »
    Quote from Highroller »
    Indeed, we have an apathetic electorate, and it is a big problem.

    Hopefully a Trump presidency will galvanize the populace into becoming active participants. Not to mention this is a tangible demonstration of just what a vocal minority that votes as a unified force can actually accomplish, for better or for worse or for much worse or for a whole lot worse than we could have ever imagined, time will tell.


    This is what I'm hoping. The response from my friends (especially from those who didn't vote) has been unprecedented. Many of them are in the middle of a very rude awakening.


    I’d say that in the case of a lot of people, it’s the electoral college. Those areas where Trump’s proposals are anathema to the social culture (West Coast, New England, etc) are exactly those areas that were always going Democrat, regardless of who showed up. Take someone who didn’t vote in CA, for example, and dollars to donuts they would have showed up to the polls if they were still back home in Wisconsin. Those states that have the best voter turnouts are exactly those battleground states, while those that are historically decided one way or the other have the worst turnouts.

    I mean, Clinton already won the popular vote by several million. Having more people turn out in the states she already won would have just racked up a higher popular vote, to exactly zero effect on the outcome.

    Put simply, this is on the “rust belt” states and Florida. Something going on over there made them tip over to Trump. For those of us outside those areas, not to mention the New York/Washington/California based media, trying to understand it is based on speculation.


    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Quote from desofight »
    To make sure I understand what you are saying about the counterspells, you're saying that they would be your top end stuff and almost everything else would cost 3 or less?


    Yeah, if you rarely cast anything over 3cmc during second main, then you will rarely blank a Cascade into a counterspell that is >3 cmc.

    With Maelstrom Wanderer, Dream Fracture would blank every time you found it at the top of your deck. But with Yidris, you have more flexibility. And I doubt you will miss a 6cmc card cascading when your deck is 2cmc average. Half the time a 3cmc card would have hit the same spell, anyway.

    Beaides, 1cmc cards give you the best selection on cascades in the first place. Put in Ancestral Vision, Mana Crypt, Lotus Bloom, and Wheel of Fate, and stock your deck with the 1cmc cantrips. Doing just thqt and you have most all the mana and cards you need for the typical game, just by spending 1 mana post-combat over a couple turns. No other cascade tricks needed.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 4

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Case in point for what I envision as the prototypical experience for a new player. I walked into an LGS this week and bought a precon, where plenty of players were playing EDH. I didn’t know any of them, and they didn’t know each other either except for two playing in separate games, but sat down for a game with the new deck. Not one single player asked another for anything like an agreement on which cards would be played.
    So why didnt you? I am not laying any sort of blame, thats exactly how I see it go 99% of the time. I am honestly curious why someone who thinks that should be done, does not.


    I'm not saying it *should* be done. The post above mine mentioned that it was unrealistic hand-waving to expect players to do that, and I agree. When sitting down at a public game like that, players want to play, not give discourses on what style of game they like.

    What actually happens with public play of Commander is that players carry assumptions about what kind of games they think *everyone* likes. They don't think any discussion needs to be had, because if you don't play that way, it must be because you're a jerk and love kicking puppies.

    I don't have as much issue with the above type of public play, in itself, as much as it just gives needless rise to disputes. One, that style of play doesn't require cards like D-tutor, Sol Ring, etc, at all. Two, it falls prey to strategies that would be many turns slower or possibly unplayable if the format didn't include those cards. And to top it off, three, you would probably get booed and asked to play a different deck if actually you did show up with the commonly seen UGx Vintage staple good stuff at a table with the RC, the players who are actually regulating the list.

    Sum total, we are being told by players that don't play those cards that those cards are fine, and if there are any issues with the cards, it must be the players causing the problems, not the cards, because people who don't play those cards are just fine with the format having those cards.

    Real head-scratcher.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 0

    posted a message on Lets build with Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder
    Quote from cyberium_neo »
    I now see an irony with Yidris. As we put effort into making this 5/4 trample general hitting our opponent, either by Swords or other kind of spells, he'd end the game within a few turns with general damage, he's very much a voltron general with benefits, is this who Yidris essentially is?

    One a similar note, Yidris wants to cast expensive spell after combat to trigger the biggest possible cascade, Intet, the Dreamer on the other hand casts any spell for 2U. While she costs 6 cmc, she benefits more from good library manipulation, can cast Time Stretch more readily than Yidris, for one


    I think just the opposite of this. Yidris wants you to cast as many spells in a turn as possible. Each trigger is a new card from your deck. If you compare the results of casting one 6cmc spell post-combat and 3x 2cmc spells that replace themselves, results from the 3x small spells will be better every time. That’s a Sol Ring, Ancestral Vision, Mana Crypt, etc all in one turn. Whereas the 6cmc card might only give you one small spell. Even if it gives you a big one, it’s only one card.

    Now, 6cmc cards that refund cards and/or mana (like Time Spiral) are another story. In fact, any spell that refunds its mana Manamorphose, Frantic Search etc, would be a no-brainer.


    Also on the topic of Voltron, I’m not sure Yidris is that great at it. Granted, there are fun times to be had with Civic Saber. Psychotic Fury and Might of the Nephilim, but Voltron decks typically cast most of their spells in the pre-combat main or on other players’ turns. Obviously, you wouldn’t get Cascade at either of those times. Tapping out post-combat seems really hard to do when you have a high-threat general that you want to last multiple orbits. You’d probably be limiting the Cascade material in the deck to a few 1cmc spells and 2cmc mana rocks. Plenty of value for your rocks and cantrips, but Voltron really doesn’t want to be a tap out deck.

    While on the topic of counterspells too, come to think of that kind of a setup, I don’t think it would be an impossible endeavor at all to include some. Say that you had a lot of spells at 1-3cmc and never really planned on casting anything else on your post-combat main, you wouldn’t ever waste a Cascade on a counterspell costed 3cmc or greater (read, most of the good double-Blue ones). You could even run cards as expensive as Swords, and if all your counters are 3cmc and up, then they would never interfere with each other. On what little 4cmc+ you had, like Blood Mist, you could probably live with missing once in a while. Now, I’m not sure why you’d ever cast that particular card post-combat, but you get the idea.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from osieorb18 »

    These cards (and others like them) should not be played without prior agreement from the other players in the game.


    This statement and others about house rules, especially "(and others like them)," opens up a can of worms of player judgment that most playgroups at best ignore. I mean, for Pete's sake, "(and others like them)" means that in discussion before sitting down to play a game with a group of people, you should explicitly discuss whether it's okay to play Sol Ring. And NOONE DOES THIS. And on the flip side, playgroups get extremely frustrated when someone even suggests that they might play with a banned card. And playgroups get into large arguments about house rules that ruin any pretense of enjoyable games, let alone attempting to play by a social contract. I like this format a lot, but blind idealism backed up by handwaving is disturbing.


    +1

    And I thought I’d add also, the handwaving completely disregards the fact that the format is gaining traction for public games.

    Case in point for what I envision as the prototypical experience for a new player. I walked into an LGS this week and bought a precon, where plenty of players were playing EDH. I didn’t know any of them, and they didn’t know each other either except for two playing in separate games, but sat down for a game with the new deck. Not one single player asked another for anything like an agreement on which cards would be played.

    And, I saw Mana Crypts from two of the three players in my pod, Necropotence from one, D-tutor from the third, and Survival from the last one. I was drawing to a Green source to be able to play my general and the last card in my hand. By turn 4-5, every opponent had enough cards and mana to last them the rest of the game. Nobody combo’d off or locked anyone else out, but the Necropotence player had 6-7 mana and Capsize in hand, when a Seedborn Muse from him was countered. Game ended when the Meren player powered out a Primordial over and over with Survival.

    Maybe some players would look at that as an example of how “good” Primordials and Seedborn Muse are. Neither get argued for bans. But decks fleshed out with cards that solve any and all issues with variance and inconsistency by granting busted amounts card draw, deck search, and mana can do literally anything they want, and they will win just because they have those cards.

    Me putting myself in the shoes of a new player, I’m stuck with a regular hand of 7 cards trying to play 5 drops and up, within a game that starts you off with about a 3 mana average in hand. It’s just such a different level between public EDH and RC-brand EDH.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • 0

    posted a message on Yidris, Maelstrom Weilder (Which direction to go?)
    I think “midrange value” most closely describes the approach I would take. The ogre mage is insane value.

    To hear a lot of comments on this guy and on the precon, I think it’s still not well understood how Cascade works. Speaking strategically, of course, not mechanically. I think if it were an on-hit effect that said “Whenever you cast a spell, draw a card” the builds we’d see would be totally different. The Cascade effect of draw a card, cast it for free though looks like it’s confusing peole.

    What you want then is to cast as many spells per turn as possible. There is a reason that WOTC didn’t print any Cascade spells at 1cmc. Cascade at 1cmc is busted. Much more so spells that actually net you mana - rituals, busted mana rocks, tutors thereof, etc. Now, I’ll give everyone one guess at what deck type uses rituals and tutors on the point of casting as many spells as possible in a single turn.

    You don’t need to play that deck, but you also won’t be disappointed with casting Dark Ritual in any build of Yidris (Ancestral Vision and Mana Crypt at minimum). Get one of the best cards in your deck, add 3 mana. Whatever you end up doing (Voltron probably works well, etc), you can borrow a few lessons from Storm and run a bunch of cheap spells and ways to generate more mana. End up burying the game in CA from one or two swings.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 2

    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    Quote from NoNoPlease »
    Quote from NoNoPlease »
    So, you are saying the institution is in the same, or better shape?
    I'm saying: Look at Bill's presidency. Even if every single criminal or unethical thing of which he has been accused is completely true, it is a manifest fact that he did not wreck the country.


    I'm not sure you can use Bill's time in office as a barometer. If anything, it's led to the decisions Hillary made after he left office. I want to distinguish between "wrecking the country" and "wrecking the institution of the presidency". I'm not sure how anyone can not have serious concerns with a H. Clinton presidency, considering she could not tell the truth about one of the worst decisions she ever made, never mind the motivations behind that decision. My point is, some people think Clinton distinguishes herself from Trump by a large margin, particularly from a moral/ethical stance, and I think a significant percentage of people disagree with that. There is something fundamentally broken about H. Clinton's character. Again, I do not think someone can make the argument that someone should not vote for Trump due to his immoral behavior, and vote for Clinton in the same breath with out looking like a hypocrite. This is the argument Clinton tried to make.


    Careful, or the only person qualified to be president will be a perfect saint (i.e. no one).

    I think most all people will agree with a few ideas about “morality”:

    1) A breach of “morality” is a breach of some principle or duty. Principles and duties are owed as a result of a relationship or state of being. It is wrong for me to not take my child to school, because I have a duty as his father. It is not wrong for a complete stranger to neglect to do so, because there is no relationship or duty. Now, there are certain breaches of ethics that have nothing to do with the office of the Presidency, and those that do. Specifically, the President is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, breaches of duty that violate the Constitution are those central to the question of a president’s ethics. Those questions of morality unrelated to the Constitution are ancillary.

    2) In speaking of “character”, there are those things that directly impact one’s moral duties, and those things that have an indirect effect. I fail to take my son to school, that is a direct moral failing. I drink too much at night, and my ability to take my son to school on time is indirectly impacted. I might be able to fulfill my duty, I might not, but it is more difficult for me to do so. On point of Clinton v Trump, questions of general character (two-faced Hillary, sleazy Trump) are of indirect impact to the office of presidency. Of direct impact though are specific policy proposals that violate the Constitution, or international law.

    3) Two things that are both considered “immoral” can each have different degrees of severity. The severity is measured by the impact of the consequences, and their foreseeability. I fail to take my son to school, he misses out on an education. I fail to feed my son, he dies of starvation. Starving to death being worse than going without education, it’s worse not to provide my son food. So if given the choice, I would provide food and delegate responsibilities for education to someone else, like the bus driver.

    Trump has said that he would target the families of terrorists and use torture (worse than waterboarding). That’s in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, a breach of the office of the presidency, and extremely severe in consequence.

    Trump has promised to block all Muslims from entering the country, on the basis of their religion, and target Latinos for deportation based on their race/national origin. That’s in direct violation of the 1st amendment of the Constitution, in direct violation of the President’s responsibility to uphold it, and highly severe.

    Trump has promised to restrict freedom of the press, expand libel laws, etc, in what amounts to prior restraint. Again, a direct violation of the 1st amendment, violation of the duties of the President, and would have dire consequences on our freedoms.


    Whatever people have/had against Hillary, it doesn’t amount to this. Her judgment has been far from perfect. But it’s a far cry from someone who has won the office of President openly intending to trample over the Constitution that he will swear to defend on taking office. How this continues to escape people, I have no idea. What Trump has threatened to do is severe enough on its own to justify pursuit of any other available course.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on Democratic Crack Up
    Interesting quote from Clinton from before the election:

    Quote from Hillary Clinton »
    We have been fighting out elections in general on a lot of noneconomic issues over the past 30 years. (social issues, welfare, crime, war). Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but we haven't had a coherent, compelling economic case that needs to be made in order to lay down a foundation on which to both conduct politics and do policy.


    TLDR; It's the Economy, Stupid.

    Those on the left without a message related to the economy will have to give way to those that have one.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    It all starts with people born in the USA calling themselves "America". You are Americans but you are not "America". America is a continent not a country.



    Yeah, as bad as it gets in the US, it is at least refreshing to remember that our education system isn’t the unchecked, populist propaganda machine that the education systems are in Latin America.

    Really like Blinking Spirit said, that issue is about as simple as potato/potatoe. The name of our country is “The United States of America”. That’s why we’re called “Americans”. It’s not that we think that we own the American continent. If your country thinks we should call ourselves something different, then by all means, export us some movies where people are talking differently. You’ll have to contend with the overwhelming worldwide appeal of the US film industry and our way of speaking, but you’re welcome to try.

    Until then, we’re going to call ourselves “Americans”. Nothing you can do about it. We will also probably continue to score higher on actual geography tests as a country, because you know, our education system is about something other than parroting Che Guevara and the rest of the alt-left.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 2

    posted a message on Democratic Crack Up
    I was listening to Hillary’s concession speech just now, maybe the first time I’ve listened to her platform on any basis other than it being inevitable. What it did was remind me of what I’d forgotten this election, which are all those occasions where I just couldn’t bring myself to vote Democrat.

    It was like a speech from Martin Luther King, or like Obama’s 2004 DNC keynote address. She couldn’t stop talking about the “glass ceiling” of a woman president. Particularly the line about how the “American dream” is big enough for everyone – immigrants, genders, races. Not that any of that is wrong, of course. It just really wasn’t the central issue of the election. People are wondering whether the “American Dream” can be salvaged, and believe it or not, lots of people hear talk about equality as if it’s expanding it. For White men, the message invariably strikes us as at least off point, but also somewhat exclusionary at its worst. Tell a White rural rancher who's been out of work since 2008 about "white privilege", and you just lost a voter permanently.

    The central issue of the election was the fact that 50-60M Americans are in poverty, home ownership is at an all time low since the 70’s, record numbers of people under 35 are still living with their parents. If you are a single mom working 60hrs/wk at $15/hr, I’d wager that you care more about a plan to fix it than you do whether your candidate has the same chromosomes as you. The things that Hillary has actually stood for, and continued to stand for out of habit, just didn’t fit. More people voted for her because she wasn’t Trump and seemed to actually respect the government and the people. Not a good spot to be in. And at the end of the day, Trump ended up getting more of the Latino vote and Black vote than Romney did.

    Put simply, it’s a transition between a post-Civil Rights America to a post-Recession America.

    That’s not to say that we are actually done with progress on civil rights, as this election has made clear we are definitely not in a “post-racial” America. But, that platform is not sufficient to carry an election. It’s not even sufficient when your opponent is the embodiment of prejudice and social intolerance, and your candidate is one of the most storied minority politicians ever. Those just aren’t the issues anymore. Plenty of more to be done, but just nowhere to go without the rural, White vote.

    Bernie, at least, his message was extremely current and poignant. One criticism against him was even that his perspectives were “too current”. You never heard from him what a glass ceiling would be shattered if we voted in a Jewish president, whatever. You were on notice to bring a good online economics dictionary when you went to his rallies.

    Even if all Trump did was flame people about how everything the government has done has been a failure, at least that was on point. It may have been totally false, inflammatory, and disrespectful, but it was at least on point.

    Democrats will have to pivot onto that same point if they’re to salvage their party. And we are in for at least 2 long years of Republican control of Executive, House and Senate for them to think about it.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on US Election Day and results thread 2016
    The thing about Bush was that his natural state of being was inaction, but when provoked to action, he thought with his crotch. It doesn't seem to me that Trump is as inclined to inaction. He basically ran his own campaign. So, he will probably bungle around, probably really bungle a thing or two, but generally be up to something.
    Posted in: Debate
  • 0

    posted a message on Which do you dislike less?
    In seriousness, though, I've won, and seen won, plenty of games not by one overwhelming unanswered threat, but just by simply being alive through all the other shenanigans and having enough answers to handle the remaining player's threats.


    Sounds like my #9 above. Blowing everything up and recurring it enough times until Phyrexian Reclamation gets there. Decks like Anafenza, Karador, Meren, Alesha, with or without hatebears. If that's your cup of tea, fine, but ultimately just as samey as the rest. Actually, probably more likely to lead at some point to gripes, because you are essentially relying on other players to play a certain, board-oriented style, then exploit the fact that they're playing that style. The minute someone pulls out a Storm deck, T&N wincons, or something like a Reset combo, the recursion players are the first ones to grip about it being "unfair", seems to me.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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