• posted a message on Commander Tuck Discussion
    Link for reference: http://mtgcommander.net/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17560

    I agree that these justifications are totally baseless. It's that the RC has painted themselves so far into a corner by refusing to confront how the format is actually played. Changes instead to how they think the format should be played causes collateral damage to the game everyone else is playing.

    On nothign feeling worse than getting your Commander tucked, how about the game ending before you have the mana to cast it the first time? Granted that's worst case, but the point (and others have been making it as well) is about the tempo and pacing of the game. Games most groups are playing probably don't last more than 10 turns, under which circumstances playing a single creature more than once is already prohibitive. And as many have said, now that a permanent answer to a general isn't possible, games can always accelerate to a point that Commanders aren't relevant at all unless they're combo'ing off. if you take a hypothetical player who really loves casting and attackign with their general, they are more put out by the fact that they're kept out of games generally by experienced players who've now adjusted to the fact that they can't deal with something like Nekusar unless they win quickly themselves. So when your win condition takes 10 turns of combat to get there and everyone else's takes one, maximum two turns, that's what's keeping you back. Weakening answers to strengthen threats just accelerates this arms race. To have a format where people love casting their General, you first need to regulate and preserve one where creatures are relevant to begin with. Fix what's broken first, then what's not second.

    On the RC wanting to discourage tutors, I don't know what planet it comes from that people are running Demonic to get a creature that costs 3 or more mana. Even if I am in mono-Black voltron like Skittles, who is decisively hurt by tuck, Demonic is way better getting Hatred or some other game ender than as a backup to tuck. The tutors are in 100% of all decks, nothing to do with tuck. Besides, if a rules body with power to define its card pool wants to discourage tutors, it can just ban the ones that everyone finds distasteful. Believe me, the RC isn't talking about discouraging cards like Primal Command here. The tutors they want to discourage are run because they are too powerful not to run. I can't understand why it's so difficult to ban the cards that every other legitimate format has also banned or restricted. See whether you still need to discourage tutors then.

    On Blue and White having an advantage from tuck, just look at what will be the more permanent solutions to Commanders. I think the best is probably theft. Now, that's almost exclusively Blue. A step backward for diversity. Not to mention the principle of fixing what's broken first. If you're in a group that doesn't slash each other's tires for playing the strategies that are effective in the format, then the majority of decks already run Blue to counterspell Combo, MLD, one-carders, and so on. And if you are in a group where you're not allowed, then you have to win through Prophet, Craterhoof and 7-drop density, so most people are already playing Green. The reason these areas have high turnover isn't because they can't play the colors they want. That's never stopped any other format where Blue was necessary. It's that people are encouraged to play a general strategy they find stale, precisely because answers, denial, and interaction are discouraged.

    On clearing up rules awkwardness, I can only read this as another case of an online software client not being able to handle the format well. Except, the format is already being held out as not playable outside a steady group. That means rules explanations are handled once, and no awkwardness ever persists. And if you try to play outside that context, the format spirit holds that no anonymous play one online servers is expected to be anything like sporting. The RC are spending a lot of energy trying to fix a problem that, at the same time, they're invested in continuing. They don't participate in online play, and they've expressed determination to leave the format unregulated to a point where it's not possible to have fair games outside of established groups.

    All in all, it's like polishing the seat of a toilet that doesn't flush. It only works if you don't crap in it. It wouldn't be that funny, but the RC mission statement for the format contains that precise idea. We left it broken so that people wouldn't get the idea that it was fixed. Well, taking away answers to conventional play tips the scale on people's incentives. If there's no answer to the problem-ridden but allegedly entertaining playstyle of running your general out over and over, then people will just play over the top of it more and more.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Which commanders were helped most by the new "no tucking" rule?
    It depends on what gets run as a replacement to tuck, if anything. I think more theft will get played, at least temporarily. Maze of Ith has always been a serious problem for attacking generals, and the paranoia might cause it to see even more play. White might look harder at Pacifism effects.

    That being the case, whatever Generals still work against that set of responses are helped out the most. That's all the generals that never needed an untap step or an attack phase to do their thing. The short list includes Teferi, Prossh, Purphoros, Azami, Sharuum, Animar, Maelstrom Wanderer, the Gods, the Planeswalkers, Edric, Derevi, Niv Mizzet. The strongest generals in the format get stronger. You still need a counterspell for them, but that counterspell is now weaker.

    If there are any attacking generals actually helped against the set of available answers, it's only those with Hexproof, Haste, Flash or something of that nature that makes them harder to steal with a Treachery. Sigarda, Uril, Narset, Aurelia, Skittles, and so on. Also any Flash enabled strategy with Blue in it probably gets better because timing and counters blank a greater portion of the new answers.

    The most conventional Timmy decks get zero help, and actually might be hurt. Say I'm a Skullbriar player. I'm currently used to having to give my General Hexproof in order to get the best effect, as well as navigating through players representing counterspells. My opponents who are now worried about the rules change take out Hinder, Spell Crumple, and Condemn and replace them with Prison Term, Treachery, Ixidron, as desired. When two widely played counters and a couple removal spells were the most I had to worry about, playing around counters and using boots went a long way. But now, I lose to the answer cards in all situations where I don't have Hexproof, and even some situations where I do.

    These decks had actually been helped by the fact that the comprehensive answer to both Voltroning and Combo'ing off with a Commander was Hinder, because a lot of the time they weren't the ones eating the Hinder. Now, they're the only ones the new set of answers are effective against. And if history holds its course, the things that keep people up at night sleeving Hinders into their decks are conventional things like this that aren't actually what's going to be killing them.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Counters in Narset
    Yeah, I think you should still be running whatever's standard for you in that type of Blue deck. My suggestion is at least 12 counters. I think you should also run at least Reiterate too, because Buyback is great with her and it's an out against other people's counterspells during your turn.

    It doesn't matter if Narset is flipping 2 cards average or 3 average. Optimal is to library manipulation to hit a specific card you loop into infinite turns. Short of that, enough free turns and combats to make sure you're burying people in advantage whenever Narset is online. Counterspells in your deck help you set that up, and they keep you from dying before then. As mentioned above, they're also not dead when flipped because you can counter people's interference during your turn.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The "New meta": commander shutdown cards
    Quote from Macabre »
    I like how most of the "answers" thus far in this thread are blue or white, and one of the four listed criteria for the rule change was that "tuck" effects were supposedly steering people to blue and white Wink


    I thought this also. Tuck was far from the only thing that dealt with Generals semi-permanently like that. Pacifism and Theft work basically the same, and since most of them are Blue and White, the change does nothing to promote color diversity. Other than those, Maze of Ith effects are also things that attacking Generals can't play around very well. So even as a basic point, removing tuck does little to keep Timmy's commander relevant. It just makes people run to the forums to discuss alternatives, as here, then sleeve them up instead.

    I have no idea what format the RC is playing that they could've never played against Prison Term with a General they didn't want neutralized. Prison Term, the vows, theft, etc, were actually printed with past Commander products with a specific emphasis on format mechanics. The main reason people weren't running those as pervasively as tuck is because of Generals like Teferi, Sharuum, Arcum, Niv Mizzet, Azami, Edric, etc, who don't care if they ever attack. They're also the more degenerate combo generals. This change helps them out, while not helping out Timmy's aggro deck at all due to the availability of other answers.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Evolution of the Idea of God: A 'Direction' to human morals?
    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Meaning that if "God" makes the sun rise and set in your area of the universe, He also makes it rise and set in the same way in someone else's area of the universe. (Provided you are on the same planet, of course). Basically, that the things that people observe are not supernaturally localized.
    That doesn't make any sense. People believed that the sun rose because a deity made it happened believed this was the case for everyone. It's not like they believed, "Oh, this deity is the reason why the sun rises over us, and then when it gets to right about there in the sky, over those other people, a completely different reason why the sun rises happens." No, they believed that the deity in charge of the sun was responsible for it making it rise, and that was the case regardless of whether it was their sun god, or their One God, or their One God who happened to also be the personification of the sun.


    One hundred percent incorrect. I don't really know what else to say here. Ancient peoples didn't even have the prerequisite beliefs about the existence of people in other areas of the world, much less that the supernatural way they believed the world worked would apply consistently to people unknown to them. Or even that it would apply consistently to them over ensuing generations unless they fulfilled rituals/practices/etc that they believed their deity wanted.

    This is much popularized by how grade school teachers in the US tell the discovery story of Columbus, that the common person believed you would fall off the edge of the world, presumably ending up in a place where who knows what happens. The idea that the thinking of everyone was this backward isn't factually correct, just like a lot of myths told to grade schooler's, but the depiction of this unscientific view of the universe I find pretty illustrative.

    It's enough to say that universiality is not something mankind is born with or intuitively grasps as part of its survival makeup. It had to be developed.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    This is a pretty cursory point.
    No, it's not a cursory point. It's a pivotal point. You're talking about the magnitude of the impact of Judeo-Christian monotheism. That there were other monotheistic religions is a pivotal point. It's not like pagan Greeks didn't think of the concept of a One God long before Christianity ever existed.


    Once again, the impact or non-impact of belief systems not in question is... not in question.

    The argument is NOT that Judeo-Christianity had its impact as evidenced by it being the only known belief system that held to certain tenets. Whether it was or wasn't the only one doesn't matter. The evidence that the impact came from Judeo-Christianity is based in the fact that certain thinkers and peoples styled themselves as Judeo-Christian, and that the religious developments in that area of the world, such as Islam, made explicit reference to figures in Judaism and Christianity. So, the hypothesis that these belief systems had immense impact doesn't rely whatsoever on them being unique in any way. It's a fact of history that stands on its own.

    Whether the same sort of objective world view I'm talking about would've prevailed had people believed more in Zeus, or Ahura Mazda, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't matter at all, because people didn't. It seems completely arbitrary to me. The way I see it, the only perspective really interested in showing how unique and original Judeo-Christianity was would be the perspective trying to vindicate its theology or the divinity of its founding. What I said wasn't pointed at that at all. Showing its effects on historical thought shouldn't be taken as an intent to do that.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    The fact is, Judaism was different from contemporary religions in terms of a certain set of qualities that people can, and do, argue over endlessly. But the fact is Judaism had immense impact. It's pointless to say that it shouldn't have because X, Y and Z religions were similar, because the fact is that it did have that impact while others didn't.
    "Had an immense impact" HOW exactly? Judaism was around for a very, very long time. You're talking about this revolutionary impact of Judaic monotheism, and yet what is it exactly?


    What was Judaism's impact? That's what you're going to ask?

    You could get a doctorate in history studying that question alone, and you would still have to narrow it down to get anywhere.

    My point was the the world view existing in the areas of the world where it predominated lent value to the type of objective observation that forms the basis of science.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    It's disingenuous to hold that body of thought to a standard where it's not allowed to evolve without exposing itself to criticism as inauthentic.
    I have no idea what this even means.

    It's a fact that what we think of as monotheism, that only one God exists, is not what, say, the early Christ movement believed. Paul himself affirmed the existence of other deities besides God. This was just the given belief of the time regarding religion. The default position was that every god existed.

    So it's not like the Judeo-Christians of the Roman Empire rejected the existence of the other gods. Thus, they did not possess the very quality you are basing your argument around them possessing.


    I'm not going to list all of the aspects of Judaism (and its derivatives) that reveal belief in a singular, Pantheistic God, because they start from word one of the Torah in its creation story.

    But first, my point wasn't based on that theology rejecting the idea of other Gods, or really any specific tenet at all. Let me put it this way. Suppose for argument's sake that we pin down Judeo-Christianity as being polytheistic, to what I'm sure would be the disagreement of current and historical members of these religions. Them aside, we're supposing that they're polytheistic. So what? Now that they're polytheistic, that theology can't, as a rule, have the historical impact that the record shows it to have had? All the self-styled, Christians, Jews and Muslims writing with the express purpose of advancing their theology, all of those things about them are irrelevant? Best case, pinning these religions down as inauthentic or unoriginal (which they weren't), would only indirectly support the hypothesis that it was something about those religions other than their theology that resulted in their historical impact. So, what was it? Let's say it's because their ceremonies involve bread, and people going to church are just really hungry. But wait, that might explain their popularity, but how does that lead to the cultural zeitgeist of rationality and measured observation pervading in that area of the world, where in others it didn't? My point if very self-evident - that what people actually believed about the observable universe, i.e. their theology, is the most likely cause for how they went about actually observing that universe. I'm not concerned with exactly what theological tenet caused what aspect of their world view, just that those were the results.

    Second, trying to prove that these theologies were inconsistent, as well as unoriginal, does in no way mean either that those beliefs can't be credited with their historical effects. Put simply, what Paul said or didn't say doesn't matter. Paul isn't an authority on history. He's an authority to Christians on their theology inasmuch as they accept him as one. The question at issue is what the historical effects of those religions were on the philosophy of the time, not the merit, consistency, or uniqueness of those religions. So more broadly, whether one person or another believed in other Gods isn't relevant. What they believed about the nature of the universe is. Even some modern Christian sects, like Mormons, believe in other Gods, that people become Gods, and so on. They also believe that the universe is governed by a consistent set of observable principles, because it would be absurd not to at this point.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    Unless someone actually does believe that "God" gave Moses the "whole truth" on Mount Sinai, which is absurd in my opinion, it's incongruent to use the traits of the religion at its founding to support the idea that it didn't develop certain ideas. Because the fact is that these objective patterns of thought did emerge in that culture and that area of the world, where they did not elsewhere.
    I feel like you didn't read my post. You're talking about this pivotal impact Judeo-Christianity had on the world because of its monotheism. Except, what impact? Where? When? Why? And how could it have that impact if it wasn't actually monotheistic?


    How can a religion have impact if it's not Monotheistic? That's what you're asking?

    And if you're requesting that I exposit the particulars of all the historical effects of Judeo-Christianity, I'm going to have to decline for the sake of brevity.

    If you feel I didn't read your post, it seems to me that's because you think I'm supporting some argument that I'm not.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    It's also incongruent to show that other sects may have believed different things to refute the effects of what others did believe. Unless one believes that a group placing itself under the banner of "Christian" is the single act that made its patterns of thought important, which is also absurd in my opinion. It seems to me like only a prototypical follower of Christianity would believe anything like this, and you certainly don't have to be one in order to observe its effects on history.
    It is both absurd and factually false to state that there is one unified Christian belief or stance. Asserting this belies a lack of knowledge of Christian history. In the history of the Christ movement, there have been numerous positions and stances on a variety of topics, especially in the first and second centuries, but indeed throughout the entirety of Christian history. Writ simply, no Christian today would have a belief system recognizable to someone like Paul.


    Agreed. I have no idea in the world how you could draw the conclusion from what I said that I have the false belief in some unified body of Christian belief. Just the opposite. What I've been saying is that a body of thought doesn't have to be unified, consistent, or even factual on any level in order to have historical impact.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    Basically, the more you believe in a supernatural causality that is arbitrary, the less interested you are in fitting that causality into a pattern, because you don't believe there is one.
    Again, that doesn't make any sense. "God did it" is just as arbitrary as "one of the gods did it."


    If the only differentiating aspect between two theologies is how many Gods fit under it, then true. Nowhere did I argue that was the case. I even acknowledged that certain prior theologies were monotheist to point out that it was specifically the Judeo-Christian movement that had this impact. I pointed out that they believed in a pantheistic, supernatural causality, rather than an arbitrary supernatural causality, i.e. impassioned Gods, as I originally wrote. And it seems self-evident the next point about how a rational Deity would relate to a cultural value of rationality.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Second, the Greeks and the Romans made enormous advances in science. Indeed, rediscovering those advances, as well as exposure to the Islamic Golden Age, were what allowed for the Renaissance, the great awakening of Western European science, to happen.

    This is something you repeatedly ignore. Which was more monotheistic: Athens or Dark Ages Western Europe? I don't think I need to say who had more scientific discoveries. You cannot say that the polytheistic religion of Athens or Rome prevented them from ever making scientific advances when they made tons of them.


    First of all, you need to acknowledge Islam as influenced by Judeo-Christian theology, if not an outright derivative of it. Its canon makes specific mention of Judeo-Christian figures like Abraham. The absolute, pantheistic theology, external proselytizing, and a long list of other qualities happen to be traits in common with those movements, and the cultural contact between them was immense. So if your intent is to discredit Judeo-Christian theology of any cultural or scientific advancement, then you get exactly nowhere, as far as history is concerned, by crediting those advancements to Islam instead.

    Second point, I have no idea in the world how you could draw the conclusion that I think the advancements of one culture possessing one trait indicates that another culture not possessing that trait didn't make ANY advancements. That denies the antecedent. As to what I think you're trying to do, which is divorcing the Medieval period from Western cultural advancement, I'll continue here...

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    Again, I don't agree that attributing these cultural traits to the singular act of founding the religion is necessary to prove that they developed.
    What are you talking about?

    You argued that the past 3000 years of Western scientific advancement happened because of Judeo-Christian monotheism.

    Except that makes no sense because Christianity didn't exist 3000 years ago, therefore you cannot argue that Christianity was responsible for something that happened 3000 years ago. Right?

    And as for Judaism, really? Something's been around since before the Roman Empire ever happened, since before Alexander, and you're attributing the last 3000 years of Western European scientific advancement to its monotheism? Doesn't that signal a problem to you? Judaism was around a long time before that. It's not like people weren't exposed to this idea of a one god, and as I said before, Judaism wasn't even monotheistic as we think of that word now in the time of antiquity. So how could it be that the last 3000 years of scientific advancement were because of Judeo-Christian monotheism?


    You're doing the same thing in reverse here. Only here, it's so absurd that I'm thinking that you willfully misconstrued the idea. It's even worse to take you at your word that this is your line of thinking.

    Let me follow that line of thought a little bit. So, cultural ideas have either exactly one cause, or they are created in a bubble without influence from any others. They're the same at their inception as they are subsequently. Their impact, if any, must also be immediate and revolutionary as against other cultural influences. So that being the case, a sure way of discrediting the impact of a cultural idea is to show that it existed at some prior point and had little impact then.

    Just to be clear on my viewpoint, I believe the exact opposite of all those points. Cultural ideas are not created in a bubble. Previous ones influence subsequent ones, and they do so in way that all of them become part of an indistinguishable whole that represents a people's cultural viewpoint. And so previous cultural ideas can be credited with those effects on subsequent ones. Their ideas are neither "good" nor "bad". They are best judged and understood in terms of their effects. Cultural ideas are also not constant from beginning to end. They change over time. They are not constant in their impact, either. Ideas, and new forms of the same idea, can emerge and have influence where they didn't previously.

    Judaism influenced Christianity influenced Islam. When I'm saying Judeo-Christianity had an effect in causing the scientific advancement that preceded Christianity, I'm talking about the collection of traits in common among these sources and using the common label "Judeo-Christianity" for the cultural movement. That's what I mean by 3000 years of thought. I'm not saying either that Western science has a single cause, that being this religious movement. Science had many concurrent causes, as do all cultural beliefs.

    What I'm saying is the this theological movement influenced basically every cultural belief in the West as judged by the extensiveness of commentary on these three related religions. You can debate what those effects were. My assertion is that Western religion played a role in developing the rationality of Western thought. You can disagree. But to say that these religions didn't have that effect because they existed before these effects I'm claiming occurred, that one religion is unrelated to another, or that cultural ideas deserve no credit for the influence they have on others, that line of thought is just absurd.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    I also don't know what to make at all of the argument that advancement didn't come from Western Monotheism, because it was the Romans and the Islamic Golden Age. What??? Both the Roman Catholics and Islam were Monotheist.
    Actually, I said it was the Greeks, the Romans, and the Islamic Golden Age. It was exposure to the respective scientific advancements of these that allowed for Western European scientific revival. It wasn't Christian monotheism, because they had plenty of that in the Dark Ages, and despite that, still Dark Ages. Not to mention, oh right, all those Greek scientific advances were done in a time of polytheism. Woops.

    ...

    Furthermore, have you forgotten about the Dark Ages? Western scientific advancement went backward when knowledge was lost due to the Western Roman Empire's collapse.

    Quote from Justice »
    The idea that the Dark Ages were less advanced than the Classical Period, because oh look Rome had aqueducts, is poor history.
    If you think less people reading, less people having stone houses, less people eating meat, and less people making scientific advances is not less advanced, I don't really know what to tell you.

    Yes, there are historians who argue that there was no Dark Age. I do not agree with them. Neither does reality.


    If you're talking about the idea that culture and science were in prograde, rather than retrograde, during the Medieval period, that's not just an obscure minority viewpoint. That's an accepted historical fact. No respected historian has used the term "Dark Ages" without that caveat for almost a century. It's a cultural fable. Once modern historians started researching the Medieval period, they found abundant advancement, and the term "Dark Age" went on to be used only as a descriptor for periods lacking in source texts. But even then, most historians oppose using that term because of the possibility that the reader will still construe it in that pejorative context.

    Why all the cultural fable around it if the evidence doesn't support it? Maybe it's helpful to understand why it's been spread by the viewpoints that spread it. First, it supports the Anglo-centric and Protestant-centric bias prevailing during the height of the British Empire. Factually speaking, Britain was not advancing science or culture during the Medieval period and did not begin to do so until the Reformation and the Renaissance. So the idea that the rest of Europe was in a similar state seems to bolster its prestige.

    In a similar way, it makes sense that denouncing a Catholic Europe advances the American exceptionalism dogma also, both due to the Protestant heritage of the US and its claim to religious tolerance and secular government.

    Finally, you have the naturalists, self-styled "scientists", such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, who in Cosmos drew up Galileo's struggle with the Catholic church as emblematic of mankind's liberation from the unambiguously negative influence of religion. Evidently to him, that means that the sum total of human progress in the West during Catholicism's heyday is zero, along with the periods of pre-Christian religions. Because religion can do no good, all cultural progress must be credited to the more secular periods of history. The only route for mankind to arrive with telescope in hand to disprove God was to divorce history from religion.

    So, there are lots of things telling you to esteem a pre-Christian Rome and a post-Catholic Western Europe. Some esteem is warranted. But the fallacy is to take the extreme stance that the West was in retrograde during the intervening period. That's not factual.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    The anthropologist would conclude that the Hellenist culture was missing something based on nothing more than the bare fact that it didn't survive against other cultural influences.
    Seriously? That's your argument? Some other army conquered them, therefore not more advanced?

    So were the Huns, who did not even cook their food, more advanced than the armies they slaughtered? Or is that a ridiculous assertion?

    Hell, a lion could take out a human being pretty damn quickly even if that human being were armed with a firearm. It takes a particularly high-caliber hollow point to effectively stop a lion. Lion: more advanced?


    You'll have to forgive my brevity, I mistook most people as capable of distinguishing culture and conquest as separate things. I didn't say anything about conquest. If your belief is that the survival of a group's cultural beliefs depends on them preventing the conquest of their political systems, I disagree. History doesn't support the idea that political conquest must always be followed by the spread of the victor's cultural beliefs.

    I imagine that mistake must come from the muddling of conquest as a cultural ideal itself. In certain cultures of history, conquest produces enough shame to shake the belief systems of the conquered, particularly if that belief system is oriented around prestige and conquest itself, such as Nationalism or Tribalism, rather than something like Philosophy, Religion, etc. But the nature of beliefs being what they are, people don't believe things until they think they are true. The force of coercion might convince one group that they're more powerful than another, and if a culture relies on the opposite they're in trouble, but in any other area of belief that's not conquest itself, coercion can only go so far.

    A couple cultures that we've been talking about are a good case in point that conquest does not always precede cultural advancement. The Greeks were conquered by the Romans, after which point their culture went on to have immense influence on their conquerors. The Jews were conquered by the Romans over and over, and at times suffered attempts at genocide. They remained culturally distinct from their conquerors. Later on, their culture, specifically the Christian offshoot of their culture if you want to split hairs, had immense effect in Rome subsequent to those events. There are also conquests extremely minimal in military effect that did, in fact, cause a disproportionate amount of cultural upheaval, say as in the case of the European New World conquests.

    So when I'm talking about the Hellenic culture not surviving against other cultural influences, what I'm saying is that people of their own belief did not hold to the Hellenic world view anymore. So the rhetoric of a Dark Age in cultural retrograde after the Classical Period makes at least one mistake in that it assigns too much appeal to the Hellenic culture. If the Renaissance had resurrected Hellenic religion, government, or anything Hellenic aside from a few isolated secular thinkers, the case would be stronger. As the record stands, the fact of a Hellenic revival is mostly fable.

    Quote from Highroller »
    Quote from Justice »
    No, the argument is that a world view where observed phenomena are objective and repeatable is necessary in order for objective, repeatable observation (i.e. Science) to have any appeal.
    The scientific method? People were monotheistic Christians long before that came about.

    Quote from Justice »
    As to where I heard it, basically everywhere. The idea that Western Culture predominated because of what Western Culture is forms the traditional view that revisionist books like Guns, Germs and Steel argue against. But I don't know how we're going to debate individual sources if we can't even agree that Muslims were Monotheist.
    Of course the Muslims were monotheists. I never said the Muslims were not monotheists. Stop distorting my words.

    What I said was that in the Dark Ages, we had Judeo-Christian monotheism. We also had scientific regression, because, y'know, DARK AGE. It wasn't until people were exposed to the scientific advancements of the Greeks, Romans, and the Islamic Golden Age that the whole history of Western scientific advancement happened.

    So if you're saying that Judeo-Christian monotheism resulted in Western scientific advancement, that is evidently false by a basic understanding of history. Hell, the Dark Ages were a time when everyone was Christian, yet was much less advanced a society than the pagan Roman Empire that had preceded it.

    No, the reason that the Western scientific advancement happened was because they were exposed to - what you call it - science, not monotheism.


    I think I touched on most of this. Western Religion may be owed credit for advances made in the Muslim world, because you know, cultures affect one another. These cultures are derivatives of one another. The idea of scientific regression during the Medieval period is a fable. Science, as a cultural idea, didn't create itself in a bubble, because cultural ideas don't create themselves in a bubble. They're caused by the collection of preceding cultural ideas.

    And finally, a cultural idea existing for an extended period of time prior to another is NOT proof that the prior did not cause the subsequent one. Because the converse of that is that only contemporaneous ideas serve as causes, which is to argue that cultural ideas are caused by themselves. Cultures change, and that's exactly what happens when they do.

    You need more structured education in the field of history, and I'm not going to be able to give that in an online forum about a card game. Read the work of Edward Grant, and especially the anthologies by Ronald Numbers and David Lindberg. Better yet, take a course that sources their work. They have credentials in the field of history. That's something that these multi-disciplinary, pop-science authors like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Jared Diamond do not.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Do you find red and white to be fun colors in EDH?
    Quote from Carthage »
    I disagree very, very heavily with black in last place for multicolored decks( I personally have it roughly on par with green in first ).

    Factors I consider in my color strength determination:
    Card draw: Blue > Black > Green > Red > White
    Tutors: Black > Green > Blue > White > Red
    Ramp: Green > > > > Blue > Black > White > Red
    Single Target Removal: White > Black > Blue > Red > Green
    Mass Removal: White > Black > Blue > Red > Green

    Resulting in:
    Green( best ramp ) = Black( best tutors ) > Blue( Best draw ) > White( best removal ) > Red( best nothing )

    I will note I deliberately try and avoid unfair decks/strategies


    No, I think we more or less agree. Black's biggest strength is tutors. That's what happens when Demonic and Vampiric are legal. It depends on the player and the deck how crucial tutors are, but I don't have them as the second more important thing in EDH. Black is also middle of the ground in several important categories, like ramp and draw, which make it a very strong mono-color. There's just a few small differences in the way I view these categories, and I've also considered other categories not listed.

    On draw, it's true that Black has a few draw 3 for 4 mana, a few draw 2 for 2 mana, one or two draw one card per turn, and a couple of heavy hitters like Decree of Pain. That's in addition to the busted, never-run cards like Ad Nauseam and Necropotence. But in practicality, I find myself never running these cards outside of Orzhov, Rakdos and mono-Black. Even Mardu is deep enough that I've got more options. In Green, I'm nearly always running things like Greater Good, which are just better volume. So, I can't really put Black that high on draw when I'm going to the alternatives nearly all of the time.

    On ramp, I've got Black as second best when mono-color, last place when multi-color. All colors outside of Green rely on artifacts, and Black doesn't interact with artifacts at all the way Blue, Red and even White do. About the only thing that supports it is Guardian Beast, which I see nowhere. The other colors have artifact recursion, artifact tutors, and metalcraft here and there. The Swamp-matters stuff is better, but I haven't gotten it to work in any multicolor.

    Single-target removal, I've got Green and Blue ahead of Black. Possibly because I'm considering non-creatures too, while you might not be. Bounce has always performed solidly in the kind of EDH I play, and usually Beast Within and Song of the Dryads lead me to running those instead of any Black removal when in multi-color. Red and Black are basically in a toss-up for last, depending on whether you want to kill artifacts or creatures. More often, I consider killing artifacts to be more important because Sol Ring exists, and equipment strategies are very common. And as mentioned, Red's options there are one of a kind.

    Mass removal, I don't think Damnation, Toxic Deluge and a few creature-only wipes at 6+ cmc Sorcery gets you anywhere near the top. I understand that it's common wisdom that Black is supposed to be good at this, but I don't find myself playing any of the Black cards. I have honestly been fine even in Grixis to just Academy Ruins Oblivion Stone, along with Evacuation, Rift and Starstorm effects. Maybe I include Damnation, maybe not. Even in White, I often find myself with only Rout and Angel of the Dire Hour depending on the deck. I might even run fogs instead. Sorcery is just so passive.

    Categories you didn't include are: creature recursion (goes to White), spell recursion (goes to Green), stack interaction (goes to Blue, then Red), creature strength (White and Red), creature support (Green and White), combo potential (Blue and Red), land destruction (Red and White), and non-creature removal (White > Blue > Green). Maybe some of these are "unfair", but not all of them.

    But notice that Black isn't anywhere on the map in any of these categories. So, I think we're looking at the same cards, we just vary on what the importance of each role is. Black is a color with the very best tutors, average at best with everything else, with certain things that it just can't do. And I don't think two or three tutors is enough to put a color at the top. If I am considering Black for a deck, other than the general, it's because a combo deck could use two or three more tutors. There's nothing else forcing you into Black.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Do you find red and white to be fun colors in EDH?
    I always love these color debates.

    The way I look at it, comparing each color as mono-color is a completely different thing than comparing them as support colors. But first of all, by comparing them I look at the qualities of consistency, adaptability, and the the ability to win while ahead. On fun factor, it's whatever you like, of course.

    My mono-color ranking: 1) Blue, 2) Black, 3) Green, 4) Red, 5) White.

    My multi-color ranking: 1) Blue, 2) Green, 3) Red, 4) White, 5) Black

    Blue is Blue, and Green is Green. No surprises there. The biggest jumper from one to the other is Black. Sure, you can draw cards and generate mana as Black, but generating mana only comes easily to Mono-Black. Otherwise, it doesn't interact with artifacts like the other colors do in order to produce mana. Still, those qualities put it behind Blue only as a mono-color. But when you look at it along other colors, I'm starting to see that the main things it's good for is Demonic, Vampiric and Necropotence. Once out of mono-Black, I'm often not drawing into tutors to combo off anymore, because there are other other avenues now to win. What card advantage mechanisms it has are not very specifically tailored, so they often end up being left out in favor of Green's or Red's draw. And it falls seriously behind on creature strength, disruption, and so on. The only thing it really has left unique to it is discard, and that's not useful everywhere.

    That said, you start to see what you're using Red and White for. White does a lot of the things Black does in the area of creature destruction, only it does it better every time. Akroma's Vengeance over Life's Finale, and Swords to Plowshares over everything are a couple examples. Graveyard exile, essentially the same. White lacks unconditional draw, but has cards that search for lands in a similar way that some Black cards do. When you have access to both with limited slots in a deck, you end up using those White land search cards and leaving out Black draw because of mana costs. In other words, those White cards outcompete those Black cards. The only arguable point, besides tutors, is creature recursion. Black has more of it in terms of card quantity, but White's card quality happens to be as good or better, see Titan, Lark, etc as format staples. Oh, and White can also destroy non-creatures, destroy lands, run hate cards, and recur non-creatures, all things that Black can't.

    But the main differentiating quality for White is creature support. If you want to win in EDH by attacking with multiple, non-General creatures, then you need either White or Green. One odd thing I've noticed is that Cathars' Crusade and such Glorious Anthem-plus effects see tons and tons of actual play, but they get about zero respect when it comes to assessing color strength. While Green does it better, White gets games done and over with. Maybe only Red can compete with either via multiple combat steps at a reasonable cost. Black is not on the map.

    The reason I've got Red ahead of White even still as a multi-color is because of the things that no other color but Red can do. Let's set aside the truly game-changing, deck-defining cards like Jokulhaups. No one who's used them has Red as the worst color in the first place. But even aside from those, no other color can destroy Sol Ring's at anywhere near tempo parity. No other color has more than one or two cards that interact on the stack, except for Blue. And no other color has as much mass creature removal that's usable on the opponent's turn, such as Starstorm. Most people just see the nature of those cards being limited by creature toughness, and they don't believe that the Instant speed nature of them could outweigh that. It does. In some situations, it saves you from using the card as play goes around and attacks don't materialize. In other cases like when Deadeye Navigator, Prophet of Kruphix, Craterhoof, and all the usual culprits start to go off, it saves you the game. Outside of one or two cards in White and Blue, you can't get both a comprehensive answer and an Instant speed answer outside of Red. And as a final note, no color other than maybe Green has the kind of creature strength at 5cmc and below that Red and White do. There are just a bunch of utility creatures in Blue and Black.

    Black is for very slow, grindy, attrition strategies that are still left up in the air because Black isn't flexible. None of the three can unseat Green or Blue, but I definitely have Black as last place of the other three. And in my opinion, the worst 2-color combinations are actually Orzhov and Rakdos, not Boros.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander 2014 Cards: What is Seeing Play?
    I think what was shaken up the most is the mana rock power ranking. It probably goes any Legacy banned card > Thran Dynamo > Grim Monolith > Gilded Lotus > Coalition Relic > Signets > Worn Powerstone > Commander's Sphere > Darksteel Ingot > Unstable Obelisk > any of the 1 mana rocks for 2 > Keyrunes, Cluestones, Banners, etc. The two new ones are not at the top, but they do make appearances now at the expense of keyrunes and such.

    Containment Priest is getting played in Legacy, so in EDH there's no reason not to play it either.

    I have seen Dualcaster Mage once or twice, usually as a value card. I expect its non-oombo use to drop off. A 2/1 body is nothing, and the effect is too contingent to want to recur it to your hand over other options.

    I have seen Freyalise played a lot, with about the same impact as Acidic Slime.

    I keep seeing Infernal Offering, but maybe that is just me.

    I have seen both Daretti and Nihiri several times at the head of their own decks.

    I wish I would stop seeing Thunderfoot Baloth.

    Wake the Dead shows up a ton, and I'd think it would be the next "problem card" of the format, if I didn't know from experience already that players overlook reanimation as "cheaty" in the first place. Something about getting that many ETB effects, one of which possibly being an E-wit effect to get the card back.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander on MTGO
    1. The colors don't matter as long as you avoid Modern staples in all colors, which you should be able to

    2. Certain bombs are expensive if they are played in Legacy reanimator or NO decks, while other bombs are not. It's more practical to go card by card. Unfortunately, a couple of the cards that it's possible to win with in this format, such as Craterhoof, Iona and Avenger, are pretty expensive. Most value creatures and support cards are cheap, again, when they are not Modern/Legacy playables like Snapcaster, etc. Certain cards like Demonic though are a good buy because you'll use them in 100% of all decks of that color.

    3. Any archetype other than 3-color Goodstuff is budget friendly.

    4. Stay away from 3-color decks, unless you really want to try out a particular general. Two color and mono color decks come out at a fraction of the price. Also, don't pay more than 10 tickets for anything unless it's a Land.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on ways to trigger cards like gift of estates in Mono W
    Yeah, I run Gift of Estates, Land Tax and Tithe in nearly every non-G deck, and even some Green ones, and I've never had this issue more than once or twice. First, I'm not playing first around 75% of the time. Second, someone playing behind me always casts Kodama's Reach or something.

    And last, I am usually playing a deck whose mana budget is such that I'll naturally miss a land drop if these get stranded in my hand, and I won't be adversely affected by it that once. Then missing the drop automatically corrects that situation most of the time.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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