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  • posted a message on $60 Deck Challenge - help brainstorm ideas.
    Patron of the Moon all the way.

    Combo's with Amulet of Vigor and anything that returns lands to give infinite mana, then the old Blue Sun's Zenith plan goes into effect. All the tutors for the pieces are things like Trinket Mage.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from BetweenWalls »
    It'd be better to have a single ban list that helped encourage play between strangers, since any group that doesn't have strangers can easily adjust the ban list to their liking. Strangers are stuck with whatever the official ban list is, and because that list caters only to casual players, more competitive players are screwed. Certainly, competitive multiplayer needs a better ban list; that much I agree with. Since the RC hasn't shown any interest in that however, someone else would have to manage it. There's been some discussion about that here in the past, and there is some consensus about which cards should be added/removed from the current multiplayer list to form it, but I don't think it's posted anywhere in concise terms.

    Yeah, that's exactly it. Casual players within an insular group, the way the RC suggests the format should be played, do not need a ban list. But still, there is one, and it's regulated according to how one insular group prefers to play, while completely unregulated for everyone else's needs.

    Take the Sylvan Primordial ban. Ok, so every casual UGx goodstuff player is sick of it. But in this hypothetical game that needs to be regulated with a ban list, the Sylvan Primordial Player is lucky not to lose to a 3-5 mana one-card combo for tapping out for 7 that late in the game. For every other game, people would be free to get sick of SP, Prime Time, etc at their own pace, and agree among themselves when the time is to stop playing it, if ever.

    And what you see in practice is casual groups who don't even know a ban list exists, or who've stopped playing with Vintage staples on their own. The people who are talking about the ban list are experienced players who are sick of public games being ruined by the same old culprits.

    The ban list seems to regulate this no-man's land of public casuals that doesn't actually exist. Because, god help the casual player who shows up with stompy deck to a public game, who doesn't know PT and SP are banned. You would think that's the enemy of the format, when in all likelihood, his deck is fine. And god help the experienced player in that public game who doesn't want to have to pack 15+ counterspells and spot removal cards <3 cmc just so he can play the game past Turn 5 the way he wants to do. Take out Moxes, Lotus, and all the $400+ cards that people hate, fine, that's perfectly sensible. But beyond that, who the ban list is helping, I have no idea.

    Whatever the powers that be claim to be the purpose of their ban list, the purpose of a ban list isn't something you get to decide. Ban lists, software patches, and any ongoing changes to a game are made with the purpose of fixing exploits. They're not made to "share a vision" of the format, and what not. The only people who need them are those who continuously run into existing exploits, and so deliberately leaving them unfixed as a trap for those who use exploits makes absolutely no sense.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from IMProgenitus »
    I know this is a tongue-in-cheek response, but my problem with the current banlist not including the broken mana rocks is that it's much easier to stop degenerate things happening on, say, Turn 5 or 6, than stopping degenerate things happening on T3 or 4.

    I agree with you, for the record.

    A long while back in this thread, I did a brief rundown about the availability of counterspells at 2 and less mana versus the ways to tutor up/lay down an irresistible win condition in a 3 turn window. The conclusion was that Control can't police Combo in this format. Both Legacy-banned tutors and Legacy-banned mana rocks are to blame for that, of course, combined with the counterspells like Force of Will that do police the eternal formats only being playable as singletons here.

    Which takes me back to Cryo's point, it's not just about getting together with people whose decks are at the same level as yours. It's the fact that pitfalls exist in this cardpool where, if you fall into them, the game becomes an unplayable dice roll in comparison to engaging combo MU's everywhere else. So the game is playable as a game only for people who aren't trying to win, as I originally stated.

    Quote from cryogen »
    The thing about the broken mana rocks is that where do you draw the line? Pick a random deck and it probably has Sol Ring in it. Did that fundamentally warp the deck? Now add Mana Crypt. Is it broken? Ok, let's add all the Signets. Broken yet? We'll add some Moxen and Worn Powerstone. Hmm... now we're getting somewhere.

    See what I'm getting at? I won't pretend that Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are broken mana rocks, or that adding a bunch of mana rocks will make a deck more powerful. But how do you decide which mana rocks are bad or in what conjunction?

    It is really not hard to draw the line, at all. In fact, I don't believe anyone, RC included, sincerely believes that it is.

    Signets never broke any formats, and they were only ever playable in Control decks of the formats they were legal in. But everyone to ever take a serious look at Sol Ring and Mana Crypt in any realistic context has come to the conclusion that they are unhealthy cards. Evidence being, they are banned or restricted in every WOTC supported format, the only formats with the resources and the motives to be kept healthy. And of all the volume of commentary about what cards would be safe to unban/unrestrict in Legacy/Vintage, and there is a lot, approximately 0% of all people discussing these formats think that those 2 or any of the ~2cmc tutors would be a good unban. Most of the long-time EDH'ers I know refuse to play these cards in constructed, except maybe Sol Ring because they throw them at new players via the precons. It's just not possible to take the line that these can be fair cards with any seriousness, anymore.

    The pitfall is there deliberately. If you don't want to play 6cmc creature-beats, this is designed to be a terrible format for you. If you rightly think that these cards are silly and broken, EDH will be a terrible format for you. If you have anything less than full on spite for combo as an archetype, or you have respect for the skill involved in combo matchups, EDH will be a terrible format for you. Powers that be hope you will leave the format. Players do leave it in droves.

    The lesson is the same, only Narset is teaching it to people who have somehow escaped it up to now. Interaction before Turn 4 can't happen efficiently in this format, and meanwhile, mounting a win before Turn 4 at oppressive levels of consistency has always been possible in this card pool. About "drawing the line", you would at least have to draw it more strictly than that, and I think most everybody knows that.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Yeah, the problem isn't Narset. Lots of Generals do the same thing, which boils down to winning the game, no matter how it happens.

    The issue is that you're not supposed to be trying to win the game in this game.

    Yes, you read that right.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Trinkets.deck
    Trinket Mage and Fabricate should probably get played in near 100% of all Blue decks because of Sol Ring/Mana Crypt. When you're looking at the same ramp as Skyshroud Claim with added flexibility for mana flood situations, it's hard to turn that down.

    Artificer's Intuition essentially turns itself and another artifact both into a colorless Nature's Lore, trading 2 cards for 2 mana of ramp at 2UU total. Only, you get to keep the enchantment for later shenanigans. I know those are obviously already listed, I just wanted to emphasize the fact that it's nearly every Blue deck that needs more than 3 mana to win that should be running these as ramp cards.

    The various threads discussing Salvaging Station have it as ranging from being worth the mana to being a game ender. One add to that, hilarity ensues with Lotus Bloom. Play a Wrath, stack a dozen Station triggers, loop Lotus Bloom that many times, then cast something like Exsanguinate. As mentioned, infinite mana with Auriok Salvagers. Also, Codex Shredder plays a really strong role in looping any silliness, as long as you have the mana for it, which you will.

    Overall, I find Aether Spellbomb and Pyrite Spellbomb to be worth it on their own. Then again, I am a guy who loves cycling and am even known to run Rescind or sub out a land for things as bad as Fiery Fall.

    I prefer Executioner's Capsule and Dispeller's Capsule to their spell-counterparts when I'm in Blue, just for the reason that I'm always running both Trinket Mage and Academy Ruins, probably with Artificer's Intuition as well, just because I'm in Blue.

    Tezzeret the Seeker is the best Planeswalker in the format.

    One new card I've been experimenting with is Scrap Mastery. It's been a clear blowout just about every time I've played it, even in the Daretti precon deck it came with. It's much more one-sided and easier to use than Living Death, because while close to 100% of people play creatures prepared for them to die and prepared to kill other people's, almost nobody is prepared for you to be filling your grave with fuel as you Vandalblast their manabase. It's very common to have the situation where all the artifacts you've drawn to that point are in the graveyard, everyone else's artifacts are in play, and you pull a complete reversal. Commander's Sphere and Mind Stone are great cards by themselves, much better with Scrap Mastery.

    All told, artifact engines are pretty good. I've used them a lot in a number of different Blue decks, not all having to do very much with Artifacts otherwise. Sol Ring is in the format, after all.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Cards that create value while you play more magic.
    I like Quiet Contemplation. I think I'll Brainstorm, and oh, your Zur can't attack for 2 turns. Recasting Top, and hey while I'm at it, I don't like your Wurmcoil gaining you life.

    Goblinslide is the same, but makes tokens. Like an expensive Young Pyromancer that doesn't die to wipes. My favorite with these is to recast Top.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Built from Scratch worth buying?
    The high price of the 2012 decks can't be entirely explained by the value of singles. Looking at Heavenly Inferno, the only value cards I see are Kaalia ($25) and Tariel ($10), not at all amounting to teh $150 price. The decks are commanding (u see wut I did thur?) a high price as collector's items in the original packaging (my guess). If you want to build your own Kaalia deck, I'd recommend buying the single and then building out your own Rune-Scarred, Rakdoes 1.0, and so on as singles as well. The 3-color legends will hold their value because, like the poster above said, they're very unlikely to ever get reprinted ever again.

    But, the same thing could be said about the 2013 and 2014 decks. By their command-zone rules, they'd be strictly impossible to reprint outside of Commander products. For a few of the cards like Goblin Welder also, it's unlikely they'd ever get reprinted in a Standard-legal set, or they'd screw with that format and possibly Modern, which WOTC wants to keep as midrange creature-beats for the foreseeable future.

    For purposes of building your collection as well, the amount of pure gold in the 2014 products is much higher than historically. Take the Red deck. Anyone with it in their mind to build any EDH deck with Wurmcoil, Solemn and Sol Ring in it, which would be a huge number of decks in all colors, would just be considering the difference in market rate of singles 10 + 5 + 5 with the $30 MSRP, available at a department store. That's not even considering the sticker of Dualcaster Mage, and then not having to buy any of the other EDH staples in that deck. If you can find it for MSRP over at a WalMart in West Pensyltucky, I'd say it's a great buy. I paid dealer markup for mine, and I'm still happy about it.

    The others are good value too, and I was able to find the Green and Blue one for MSRP over at the local department store.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Best colors for stax?
    Yeah, because of the way Death Cloud works it is hard to use as the kind of "reset" I am talking about.

    First, because you are only killing enough lands as you have Mana, minus 3. The best case would be to have a mana doubler out, then maybe float into Erebos, Greed, or have Necropotence. But if you have that kind of development, you're not in so much need of the kind of reset MLD provides elsewhere. So, it tends to work a lot like Wildfire in that it's great when you're ahead, and gets worse and worse the further behind you are. Meanwhile, Sunder, Armageddon, Jokulhaups almost reward you for being behind.

    Second, on Death Cloud specifically, I have found it really challenging to make the card one-sided. It's just always ended up hurting me a little too much to take full advantage in a lot of board states. It's obviously best while you have a Planeswalker or Enchantment out, but still early enough to take players out. Failing that though, how you'd usually behave with straight-up Armageddon on a trouble draw where you really need that reset, is hold on to a lot of resources in hand, which is hard to do with Death Cloud. I mean to really take advantage of the reset, you'd need to have each of three things - land recursion Life From the Loam/Crucible of Worlds, a powerful enchantment like Exploration, and enough space that you can do a lot with your 3 mana remaining even without a hand. Lots of pieces. Other MLD just forces people to play your game, no matter how bad you drew or how ahead they might be.

    Death Cloud has been a solid performer for me in a few multicolor decks, especially Green decks. And of course, it's an awesome card that provides you with X accelerated turns of Desolation and Necrogen Mists combined. An obvious include in any deck with both of those already. It just doesn't fulfill the same role as Armageddon and Sunder do, and in my experience, that's an important role.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Best Gruul Commander
    Xenagos is really high on power level. While I think it's true that he lends the most to a Goodstuff build, Goodstuff being big creatures at least, on the other hand having such a flexible general means that the trick is tweaking it. Just about every slot can be changed and subtly upgraded, and it's rewarding when you get it right for the group you play with.

    Radha is ok, but I think her being noticed is just because of how so many players punt their Turn 2's. Think of it as you getting a hand of 8 cards. She'll always get cast for 2, but pretty much never for 4.

    Stonebrow is decent for tokens, same with Thromok. Borborygmos never gets cast more than once either, generally, so he's either a beating when no one has an answer or a complete bore when they do. Fairly average on power-level, all around.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on How many enchanments are needeed to add an enchantress package?
    I tend to think that the idea that enchantresses are an "archetype" is somewhat overblown. Better to analyze each enchantress in isolation. If you are ok with a 2-3 drop that will only 90% of the time be an Elvish Visionary or better, 10% of the time blanking completely, then go ahead. You may be forced into bad timing for your spells just to get them to replace themselves, and it will rarely draw you 2 or more cards in an ordinary build that just happens to have a lot of enchantments.

    The ingredients that make it really worth it to run them are other cards that interact with repeated casts of enchantments, like the Auratog, Rancor/Glistening Oil type interactions, and so on. I have also found Molting Skin and Broken Fall to be fairly solid, if unspectacular cards, highly dependent on what kind of wipes your opponents run. If nothing along those lines interests you, then yeah, Enchantresses are going to be fairly bad in this format.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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