Quote from David Sirlin"s Playing to Win »
The great thing about competitive, zero-sum games is that they offer an objective measure of your progress. When you walk the path of continuous self-improvement that a champion must walk, you have a guide. If you are able to win more (that is, more consistently defeat highly skilled players), then you are improving. If not, then not. Imagine trying to measure your success in other forms of life such as your personal life or career. Are you improving or not? To answer that, you have to know exactly what is included within the scope of the “game” and what is not. What are all the factors that go into your professional life? It’s very hard to answer. Even if you did have an answer and created a measure of your progress, others would not agree on your standards. Not to say that the opinion of others is important in your measure of success, but the opinion of others does “keep you honest.” Left to your own definitions, you could (and perhaps subconsciously would) define the scope of your game in a contrived way so as to appear to be doing well at it (or poorly at it). It would just be an exercise in determining whether you are an optimistic or a pessimistic person.
Games are different. The very nature of a game is that it is a collection of rules agreed upon by all players. If players don’t agree on the rules, then they are not even playing the same game. The rules define exactly what is inside the game and what is outside. The rules define which moves are legal and which moves are not. The rules define what constitutes winning, what constitutes losing, and what constitutes a draw. There’s no weaseling out of defeat by redefining what the game is. The game should need no redefining, and a loss is a loss.
In pursing the path of winning, you are likely to learn that concentrating merely on beating the opponent is not enough. In the long run, you will have to improve yourself always, or you will be surpassed. The actual conflict appears to be between you and the opponents, but the best way to win is to bring to the table a mastery of playing to win and a mastery of the game at hand. These things are developed within you and are revealed to others only during conflict.
Quote from Hermes_ »Every card can be played fairly.....depending on how you define fairly
Quote from cryogen »I hope for a you ban.
Quote from Jivanmukta »However I disagree with the entire premise. Specifically the "If you don't like X then stop playing with them". I'd argue that is possibly the least competitive mindset you can bring to a table.
Quote from "http://mtgcommander.net/rules.php" »Commander is designed to promote social games of magic.
It is played in a variety of ways, depending on player preference, but a common vision ties together the global community to help them enjoy a different kind of magic. That vision is predicated on a social contract: a gentleman's agreement which goes beyond these rules to includes a degree of interactivity between players. Players should aim to interact both during the game and before it begins, discussing with other players what they expect/want from the game.
Quote from Jivanmukta »I'd like to say this is a fantastic write up and I appreciate the time you have put into this.
However I disagree with the entire premise. Specifically the "If you don't like X then stop playing with them". I'd argue that is possibly the least competitive mindset you can bring to a table.
In addition competition requires balance which I do not believe you have covered. The only banlist multiplayer has for "competitive" play is one specifically designed to not be competitive.
Quote from Underhill83 »Took me a while to read, but it was well worth it.
Any advice for finding said playgroup would be appreciated...
Quote from ajacobik »
I'd say politics is a useful, even necessary skill that must be honed like any other for this format, but its bearing on your success is ultimately less than other skills like deckbuilding, threat assessment, and tight play.
Quote from elfric »appreciate the write up.
i guess a section dividing commanders in groups of abilities can be helpfull to get an overview of edh's potential.
everything that grabs from the grave
-sharuum (will also be here but not xhd)
you get the picture. conclusion will be some commanders feature multiple categories - that can be attached with numbers
-Zur 3(tutortoolbox/manacheat/staying advantage)
-commander tax cheat
-ability = stax effect
-ability potential offseting stax effects
Quote from Jenesis »Great writeup. However, it seems regrettable that the "Playgroups" section is buried deep down past the strategy and deckbuilding section of the article, when I feel it belongs up front and center (mismatched power levels/expectations probably being the biggest originator of whine-threads on this forum) next to Sirlin's "Playing to Win" section. In particular, Sirlin had a lot of good things to say about when/why you should not play to win, and in what manners you might choose to interact with people who aren't playing to win and who you know never will.
Quote from Slarg232 »Loved reading this, with one minorish complaint;
While you say that the decks are by no means solved, I could see someone seeing your Decklist section and thinking that those are the only way to build those commander lists. My own Zur list, for instance, is more Control/Stax, and looks nothing like that list; as it uses Zur to pull out answers (in the form of O-Ring and similar) and stax elements (Contamination/Bitterblossom) while digging for combo pieces.
Fully understand that the combo list may be "better" (May not, I dunno; never tried Combo Zur, which means I hate this thread for giving me something else I need to do...), but I feel like the section may be unintentionally pigeon holing certain commanders into certain decks for becoming-more competitive players.
Quote from Moxnix »Awesome write up enjoyed the read though I can't agree with hermit Druid being tier 2 it still has the lowest mana barrier to win built into a single card and a wide open adaptable shell in my experbce it's simply boring to play I could agree with it not being the stand alone best deck but tier 2 "come on man" that to me smells like some bad people piloting the deck.
Quote from The Joker »Awww, none of my decks are on the list
Quote from jclaust »How do you feel about Ad Nauseam and Doomsday decks? My playgroup acknowledges the speed, but we unanimously agree that it is a glass cannon deck (Terribly built). If a player/playgroup is knowledgeable of the deck strategy, the deck is generally a non-factor.
Quote from mASTERsELF »I didn't know how to classify Azami, Lady of Scrolls (before I would has said something like control/combo), but tempo makes a lot of sense.
Quote from Underhill83 »I'm afraid, I still don't understand why Azami should be considered anything other than combo/control, or what an archetype "tempo" should be.
I used to have a deck with her (nothing great, but by far the most "competitive" deck I had) - similar to this http://deckstats.net/decks/4485/45153-azami-wizard-edh/de
The game play was basically: ramp into 1+2 Wizards, play Azami (protect her!) and generate so much CA that you will find a combo and win in the next few turns (while using Counterspells and Bounce effects to avoid loosing).
I would call that combo/control...
Quote from RivenVII »Where does Narset fall in here? (Not my list, obviously, but it isn't meant to be the most ruthless)
Quote from Swift2210 »I don't think tempo should be an archtype. Rather, I look at it as an integral part of a well-built, competitive deck.
Quote from papa_funk »Not running a card because you wouldn't have fun with it is the most important reason not to run a card.