I would be just the contrarian to jump in and say how great Wanderer is for Stax. Nothing like Cascading into Devastation and Land Equilibrium from a Brainstorm out of a Control Shell.
- 3/15/2014 1:02:39 AM Posted in: Commander (EDH)
3/14/2014 5:32:36 PM
Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from MRHblue
I notice you dodged my question, do you think most people that play EDH agree with you?Quote from JussticeI think is is another one of those RC-promulgated canards - Fun in this format is so wildly different that we don't know how to balance it.
My observation: What is or is not fun is obviously different just based on what people post on this thread, let alone any other forums. But yea besides that the RC is clearly making it up...
Power level is how you "balance" a competitive format, and I want no part of a format that is balanced around people trying to break cards, thanks. Plus there is no actual tournament data, so people are guessing at what does or does not "dominate", that seems like a sound ban policy to meRed herring. You balance a format around power level. Cards that win on too early of a turn, are too efficient, or allow for a strategy that's overly dominant across the field. Like every other banlist ever from the beginning of the game. If people shouldn't be playing a given card, there should be something that at least warns them about it.
I answered your question of how we should balance a format with the answer - balance around power level. And whether "competitive" or "casual" or whatever label you use, that's how you "balance" a format, because that's what "balance" is. Any strategy too dominant across too much of the field unbalances the format toward that deck. That's just what balance is. Think of it as a scale. The heaviest thing is what you put on the scale to determine how it balances against other heavy things. That would be the most powerful things in a format. It's not that people have to try to "break" cards. They're just finding the most powerful things, because that's what balances. Weak things to not enter into a balance discussion because they have no strategic weight. The fact that more powerful strategies exist will balance them.
On tournament data, just one more canard. Lots and lots of bans have happened before and shortly after a card was even released - Skullclamp, Tolarian Academy, etc. Some power-level concerns are just obvious. Besides even if it were a tough decision, which it wouldn't be, that doesn't support the idea that no ban is the best answer. Any effort at all made by players at the experience level of the RC would be better than the current policy that they want to avoid giving the impression that a card pool post-bans actually works for the format. So even giving the player community the benefit of the doubt on honesty, (a big stretch, I know) players are left in limbo trying to decide whether a deck that beats them is "breaking" the format or if it's them who just need to get better at the game.
3/14/2014 5:16:58 PM
You're not an idiot, you're just in the military. All things come to an end.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
You should do what Gals does and have hundreds of sleeves of the same color, sleeve up all your cards, keep a decklist, and just do a quick count before any given night.
3/14/2014 5:12:04 PM
Strange that this became a thread about Sylvan Safekeeper. To those who seem to think that Ollie is a bad card, I don't have the time to correct you.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
And the ultimate question has to be how much you're willing to pay for that effect. The list of cards it's good against, whether it's repeatable or static, etc, are concerns that change from game to game. Otherwise, you really just have an over-costed body on Archetype versus Safekeeper or Privileged Position.
Also, areas that are creature-heavy to begin with often have more sweeps than spot removal. So things like Spearbreaker Behemoth start to look better, and maybe the regen on Asceticism is good in a lot of places too. All these cards are probably higher priority playable than Archetype.
3/14/2014 4:34:03 PM
Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from XeroxedFoolIn my local group we laugh at all the stuff like this. We will home every now and again and say that anything and everything is against the spirit of the format. Total joke to us.
I know this is about where we are at too. Kind of makes me laugh.
Ultimately, this is a game. You either like this game, or you don't. And whether I like a game or not ultimately depends on the structure of the game, not necessarily the particulars. In fact, one of the things that's so great about this game is its simple structure, complemented by a very, very wide variety (15,000+) of particulars to use within that structure. So whatever particular cards are involved in a game, I generally have fun. Other players seem to as well. That's a testament to me that there really is no inherently fun-limiting aspect hidden within any one card.
But there are people who will die on their soapbox proclaiming the Spirit of EDH. These people not only believe that there do exist inherently fun-ruining cards, but that there are so many of them that they can't be regulated effectively and require a "gentleman's agreement" not to use. They will become religiously offended at any style of game that isn't similar to their own plan. And their monologues over the years suggest that it has nothing to do with fun, but rather it's a power-level issue. What's fun seems to extend to nothing beyond being able to win with any hodgepodge pile of 99.
On the contrary, repetitiveness is the only thing I've ever found limiting on fun. Sometimes that's related to power-level, for example, if every deck were allowed 4x Ancestral Recall, it would become repetitive to always have to put Blue in every 60-card deck to have a chance. Other times though, as in the case with Commander, repetitiveness seems inversely related to power. If it's a 7-drop creature strategy, they ultimately look all the same because each piece is the same in all colors - a big body, plus some marginal added value, all employed in a very inflexible way.
Certain things related to that will never, ever be un-fun to a certain crowd, while anything pre-empting on power-level is categorically taboo.
3/14/2014 2:30:41 PM
I read an interesting article on WOTC's Magic main page, link here:Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Essentially, the article starts out with the author asking for reader opinions on the following statement:
Monocolored commanders aren't as interesting, engaging, or strange as those with multiple colors.
Cards like Command Tower aren't advantageous. You forfeit every multicolor card ever made. The odds of choosing a commander that's already found success in other formats is good. What makes Commander different is everything attached to multicolor: Stranger spells, difficult mana costs, and unique effects mean using multicolor and means seeing more of the things that best represent the format.
Multicolor commanders represent all that is good with the format.
I found this article interesting because it cuts against the whole "spirit of the format" discussion in the opposite direction, relative to power level. People are usually arguing that cards that bring the game to an abrupt end or are otherwise very efficient at enabling a player to win should be frowned upon. But here, someone is arguing that going mono-color takes away from the format, regardless of the fact that in most cases, particularly in non-U, mono-color makes a deck less robust, more prone to running out of gas, and therefore less consistent. Essentially, avoiding all the complained-of problems due to LOW power level. It almost seems like a snarky statement to make light of the inconsistency that EDH is about flashy spells.
Of course as I expected, players came out in troves redefining the format's spirit as something other than the "stranger spells, difficult mana costs, and unique effects" common to multi-color. Just a sample of the comments that were very telling:
This is the essence of the game, and I believe it means that all players at the table have a chance to have their decks fairly compete. Destroying lands (Armageddon), destroying mana production (Blood Moon, Winter Orb), and preventing spells from being cast (Iona) (counterspells are fine) are all effects that are frowned upon. Any deck that "does what it does" while still allowing other decks to "do what they do" is living in the spirit of Commander. Mono- and multicolor decks alike can equally live up to this philosophy or ignore it.
So whatever colors you play, just make sure opponents haven't lost the ability to "do what they do", either from being locked out or losing the game before they wanted to.
Monocolored commanders push players to play cards they may have never seen before or never given a second glance because they are not good in normal tournament Constructed formats.
Everything is ok, because it's mostly about being able to play things that aren't good.
I say monocolored commanders are, if anything, more in line with the format's spirit. Color identity deck building restrictions are one of the defining aspects of Commander; unless you're building around Karn, Silver Golem or a non-banned Eldrazi legend, you can't get any more restrictive than limiting yourself to a single slice of the color pie... To me, Commander can be very political and it's a format where things happen that don't happen in other formats.
Tied in with the above then, the point of color identity is to present restrictions. And the point of restrictions? Ultimately, it's so that a deck can't consistently win the way wins are gained in other formats, and so that your decks performance has to be tied to the "political" aspect, essentially winning or losing at the behest of everyone else.
Interestingly also, several players decks were posted in the article, with the more powerful ones against creature-based strategies always given with the caveat "This is the reason why I don't usually play this Mono-Color deck". Ultimately then when people talk about the "Spirit of the Format", aren't they really just regulating for power-level?
3/14/2014 1:06:23 PM
Yeah, that book is terrible. It seems to take the idea that it doesn't want to inundate students at the remedial level with the dense, quantitative stuff, but to sell a big enough textbook it replaces that material instead with hokey, political stuff like global warming. And of course, that stuff becomes complicated when you really take a look at it, and so they just defeated the purpose. Thanks, that chapter on Ozone really helped my understanding of simple, entry-level covalent bonding by presenting a tri-atomic molecule in an excited state.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
The language stuff only really comes into play on the exams. Try to guess the exact work a native Chinese speaker would use to describe the greenhouse effect - insulate, absorb, reflect, etc. That was a real question.
3/14/2014 12:55:05 PM
Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from MRHblue
Is your claim that the "informed majority" would prefer a ban list that is "balanced"? If so, balanced around what?Quote from JussticeBecause even if you look at the issue from the other end, you'll see that any action is better than no action. And the RC has committed themselves to no action on regulating the format for balance. Maybe we don't agree on Insidious Dreams, but chances are we do agree on those things that are banned in Legacy. If the informed majority agrees on a point of balance and still no action, that's a policy of no action. And a strict policy of no action on the point of balance is an absurd policy.
I think is is another one of those RC-promulgated canards - Fun in this format is so wildly different that we don't know how to balance it.
Red herring. You balance a format around power level. Cards that win on too early of a turn, are too efficient, or allow for a strategy that's overly dominant across the field. Like every other banlist ever from the beginning of the game. If people shouldn't be playing a given card, there should be something that at least warns them about it.
3/14/2014 11:33:06 AM
Posted in: Commander (EDH)Quote from GalspanicJusstice, your wife says hi
Also, is the double s really better than the 1337 you had before?
Uh yeah it is. Nothing says 16 year old like a 1337 username.
When you said "processing" it made me think of Scientology, lol. That is creepy. Also, it's odd the my wife would tell you to tell me hi. She will call me right during business hours just to chat me. And it always seems to be when I'm on my office phone.
She mentioned your wife was really helpful on her Chemistry, so thanks for that.
3/13/2014 4:23:43 PM
I'm thinking of using a variant of this deck in a small paper playgroup, and I'm trying to determine the right configuration of a Red splash. The metagame is an Affinity deck, Infect, MBC and one Tron. My thinking is that Red's burn will give me some speed against Tron and MBC, while being good as cheap removal against Infect. And, I just really like how Red decks tend to be more even across the field, rather than dominating in any given matchup. This is the list I'm considering:Posted in: Established
I really like Curfew against this field, and it has some synergy maindeck that I think will be fun. Also, Mistblade Shinobi is kind of a campy card that can get really good in an aggro MU when removal compliments him. I also thought of Archeomancer along this vein, because it can be humorous with Curfew.
I am leaning toward a low Faerie count for Sprites because I think a bounce-able Mental Misstep is good enough on its own, but I suppose that puts me up to 8x Brainstorm/Ponder/Preordain to be able to support Ninjas well enough without bouncing Delvers. Cloud of Faeries is best I find when it never attacks. It does have Cycling though, so I might just get some. Essentially though, I am replacing the Spire Golem end game with slightly more aggression and reach.
Anyone else tried something like this?
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