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  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Marshal's Anthem
    This is a card I have considered often, but I don't recall ever actually running it in a deck. It's potentially good, despite the somewhat awkward mana requirements, so I expect I will get around to trying it out sometime.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    You can be irritated all you want, but in the context of this format, the social aspect of the game and whether everyone is having a good time are just as important a component of game play as are strategic aspects. Stating this fact isn't muddying the thread at all. The social contract and politics are factors which were intentionally designed into this format. Also, as Buffsam89 notes, and as I and others have noted repeatedly throughout this thread, MLD does not actually do a good job of combatting ramp, and to the (poor) extent to which it does so, it does so in a manner which is indiscriminate, negatively impacting all of the opponents' ability to make meaningful decisions within the game, not just the player who is heavily ramping. This makes for a poor social play experience in addition to not generally working well against dedicated land ramp players. So, this makes your point doubly wrong.

    At its core, MLD is a control strategy focusing on eliminating as much of each opponent's resources at possible. It is actually much more effective in controlling the table in a multiplayer game than are more conventional control strategies such as counterspells, bouncing permanents and hand destruction. As such, considered from purely a strategic point of view, MLD is a strong option to consider, especially in certain colors, if all you care about is winning the game. And if competition is the primary focus of whomever you are playing with, that's fine. But since that isn't what the majority of Commander players are looking for, pursuing that strategy is largely going to be an asocial (if not antisocial) route to go. MLD is not unique in this regard. Most of the people playing in this format are also not interested in playing against hard stax/lockdown decks, either.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    Quote from An"she »
    Quote from JWK »
    Quote from An"she »
    Quote from JWK »
    In a social game, people want to be able to play.

    Vandalblast to blow up everyone's rocks? They use their lands to cast more rocks and other stuff and keep playing.
    Assuming they have more in hand, actively tutor them, recover their prior rocks, or luckily draw into them. Can result in "draw-go" if it stops a deck from progressing further as the pilot hopes to find more to put them back into the game. Which can result in the game stalling out based on the impact except for the person who did it.

    Wrath effects to zap all the creatures? Players use lands to cast more creatures and other stuff, the game moves on.
    See points on rocks.

    Blow up all the lands? Most of the players, save those (including, non-coincidentally, the one who played the MLD) who are prepared for this, draw cards hoping to draw into something that might put them back into the game. Most of the time they draw and go. Even if they draw a land, they mostly draw and go until they do that a couple of times. The game crawls to the stall, unless the MLD guy can pull off a win pretty much immediately.
    See points on rocks.

    People who don't see the difference in these conditions either should play only with people who like the same thing, or maybe just stick to playing competitive formats. Or playing with themselves, I suppose.
    Same could be same about basic destruction/disruption.


    You are clearly one of the guys the lost point was aimed at.

    The point is, if you still have your lands, unless you have built your deck really badly (or strangely, reflecting a few fringe cases), you can rebuild a lot more easily than is usually the case when you don't have lands. Even if you are a dedicated rock-user, you will probably not have the as your only mana sources; you will initially use lands to fuel your playing rocks. If you still have lands after your rocks go kablooie, you can draw into more rocks and cast them, or do something else (presumably your deck has more in it than just rocks). Same with creatures. Blow up someone's critters, they're still behind, but they can cast something else with that land (and maybe other mana) they have available. Everyone being able to do something, even if some of their stuff is blown up, lets people play and maybe continue to have a good time. Blow up the lands, this slows things down a lot more. This is important if your primary goal is to win. If your goal is for everyone to have an enjoyable, social game, not so much, especially if your win doesn't come immediately after (or perhaps as a result of) the MLD.
    I think you missed my point actually. I personally believe you are misrepresenting land destruction VS other forms of disruption which can stall out a player.

    Also social aspect is already inherent within MTG, its called interacting with the person or people who are your opponent(s) with words, emotions, body language, facial expressions, and physical contact (Example: Handshake for a good game).

    You are also doing that thing I personally despise about these types of arguments: You are conflating different aspects of the game as if they meant the same thing. These aspects in this case are: social interaction, personal enjoyment, and gameplay. These aspects can be in conjunction but are also are distinct from each other and are never always all together.


    Yeah, no. Giving someone the finger is a social interaction. Calling someone an ******** and pissing on their cards is also a social interaction, albeit not a very appropriate one. The social aspect of EDH is about more than socially interacting, which is indeed inherent to the game. EDH/Commander was designed as a social format, with "social" in this context referring to "creating a mutually enjoyable social experience." If everyone in a play group enjoys MLD, then cool, but the majority of players of this format are not cool with that, and for good reason: Because it is much harder to recover from MLD than from other, more acceptable forms of disruption. Other forms of disruption will rarely, if ever, disrupt the whole game the way MLD will, and if it does, people will almost always recover more slowly.

    You can despise that reasoning all you want, but that reaction on your part doesn't change the facts about the social contract and its place in the format, or make your insistence that the game should be played a certain way regardless of whether people are having a good time any less wrong-headed when applied to this specific format of Magic.

    If you just care about winning, play with other competitive players, or at least ones who are cool with the same thing, or play other competitive formats. This one was designed to be different, in that it specifically takes things like everyone's enjoyment into account (something that is irrelevant to, say, Legacy or Modern), and is about more than winning. People can choose to play it with the primary concern being competition, and that is cool, but that is not the default, and certainly not the one right way to play it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What Card Do You Wish You Owned for a Deck?
    Quote from Lithl »
    Quote from zdtsd »
    I really need a Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

    It's just such a good control card.
    Speaking as someone who has played Mind Sculptor in EDH in the past: It's a lot worse in multiplayer than in 1v1 where it can easily dominate games. Its reputation from 1v1 also carries over, so people tend to be overly-scared of it and will try to kill it often with even more prejudice than most planeswalkers.


    This one kind of interests me, because people have all sorts of opinions, with some people going so far as to say JtMS is an actively bad card in Commander. He clearly is not as strong as he was at the time in Standard or as he is in Modern, Vintage or Legacy, but his functionality as a control piece is very limited in a multiplayer format. I would even go so far as to say that he is probably not the right card for the majority of EDH decks that might run him. His impact to cost ratio just isn't high enough in a multiplayer game. With this in mind, I recently traded away one of my two copies, picking up a literal stack of other cards which I think will serve much better across a much wider range of decks.

    This is not to say jdtsd is wrong. First off, he wants what he wands. Second, his might be one of the decks where JtMS has strong enough synergy with the deck's goals and the other cards in the deck that it is a very good card there. The one deck where I currently play it, I don't see anything else likely to replace it any time soon, even though it's not one of the most key cards in the deck.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    Quote from An"she »
    Quote from JWK »
    In a social game, people want to be able to play.

    Vandalblast to blow up everyone's rocks? They use their lands to cast more rocks and other stuff and keep playing.
    Assuming they have more in hand, actively tutor them, recover their prior rocks, or luckily draw into them. Can result in "draw-go" if it stops a deck from progressing further as the pilot hopes to find more to put them back into the game. Which can result in the game stalling out based on the impact except for the person who did it.

    Wrath effects to zap all the creatures? Players use lands to cast more creatures and other stuff, the game moves on.
    See points on rocks.

    Blow up all the lands? Most of the players, save those (including, non-coincidentally, the one who played the MLD) who are prepared for this, draw cards hoping to draw into something that might put them back into the game. Most of the time they draw and go. Even if they draw a land, they mostly draw and go until they do that a couple of times. The game crawls to the stall, unless the MLD guy can pull off a win pretty much immediately.
    See points on rocks.

    People who don't see the difference in these conditions either should play only with people who like the same thing, or maybe just stick to playing competitive formats. Or playing with themselves, I suppose.
    Same could be same about basic destruction/disruption.


    You are clearly one of the guys the lost point was aimed at.

    The point is, if you still have your lands, unless you have built your deck really badly (or strangely, reflecting a few fringe cases), you can rebuild a lot more easily than is usually the case when you don't have lands. Even if you are a dedicated rock-user, you will probably not have the as your only mana sources; you will initially use lands to fuel your playing rocks. If you still have lands after your rocks go kablooie, you can draw into more rocks and cast them, or do something else (presumably your deck has more in it than just rocks). Same with creatures. Blow up someone's critters, they're still behind, but they can cast something else with that land (and maybe other mana) they have available. Everyone being able to do something, even if some of their stuff is blown up, lets people play and maybe continue to have a good time. Blow up the lands, this slows things down a lot more. This is important if your primary goal is to win. If your goal is for everyone to have an enjoyable, social game, not so much, especially if your win doesn't come immediately after (or perhaps as a result of) the MLD.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on commander damage

    I agree, current commander damage rules aren't optimal, but changing them could end up being a major clusterf*ck.
    Especially accumulated commander damage from different commanders... Person A hits Person B for 15-commander damage with Person C swinging in for a tiny sum still killing? Getting close with Rafiq of the Many just to see something like Sir Shandlar of Eberyn (i'm exagerating, i now) finishing the job by pure happenstance would be a huge feel bad.


    I would personally laugh my ass off to see Sir Shandlar kill anyone ever. Not exactly relevant to your point, but still.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    In a social game, people want to be able to play.

    Vandalblast to blow up everyone's rocks? They use their lands to cast more rocks and other stuff and keep playing.

    Wrath effects to zap all the creatures? Players use lands to cast more creatures and other stuff, the game moves on.

    Blow up all the lands? Most of the players, save those (including, non-coincidentally, the one who played the MLD) who are prepared for this, draw cards hoping to draw into something that might put them back into the game. Most of the time they draw and go. Even if they draw a land, they mostly draw and go until they do that a couple of times. The game crawls to the stall, unless the MLD guy can pull off a win pretty much immediately.

    People who don't see the difference in these conditions either should play only with people who like the same thing, or maybe just stick to playing competitive formats. Or playing with themselves, I suppose.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] The Top 50 List (Week Two: Voting on Cards to Remove)
    My votes:

    Restoration Angel: There are almost always better choices for the same effect. The fact that it's all but unusable with its own tribe is also a vote against.

    Disciple of Bolas: Good card in the right deck, but kind of clunky cost.
    Fleshbag Marauder/Merciless Executioner: Plaguecrafter is simply better most of the time. I will be switching this in for one of the others next time I do a large-scale upgrade of my decks.
    Graveborn Muse: Very powerful in the right deck, but much too narrow and unreliable compared to any number of better draw effects in B.
    Nirkana Revenant: Casting cost is just too high. Doesn't even make the cut in vampire tribal decks.

    Burgeoning: So good when you get it in your opening hand, but almost always lame when you draw it turn 5 or later.

    Umezawa's Jitte: This was the hardest choice. The Jitte is a very good card, but probably more narrow than most of the others. I still go back and forth on this one, though.

    Some comments on some others' votes: Grave Titan, I see fairly frequently. Still a very solid card. Massacre Wurm just plain wins games a lot of the time, at least in the metas I typically play in. Probably worse as the metagames get more competitive.Garruk Wildspeaker is one of the most generally "good value" planeswalkers without having to be built around, in my opinion. Thran Dynamo is costly for a rock, but coming in untapped and immediately providing 3 mana is still very strong, especially in decks that need to ramp past 6 or so. Dark Confidant, I think others are right on this one, but I don't own one and so can't directly comment from experience. Still, B has so much strong card draw I haven't really felt I was missing much. Chromatic Lantern, I generally have strong mana bases, but even with ABUR duals and fetches it is still very strong in 3+ color decks, making my manabase even more flexible and also serving as a rock itself.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    I see Paradox Engine often in the local metagame, though not quite as much as was the case a few months ago. Some of the more spikey players have moved on to other busted decks, and some of the more casual players have taken PE out of some of their decks (as I have also done), or possibly even all of them. That said, most players I know who have one or more copies of PE and who keep more than one or two decks built at a time seem to have at least one deck that runs PE and can go nuts with it, so, again, I see it on a pretty regular basis. Like, at least once every time I play, which is a lot more than I see Rings of Brighthearth, for example. I see PE show up in a fairly wide range of decks that can just use it for a fair amount of value, but most often you see it in the sorts of decks which are themselves perfectly fine decks but which can easily break PE, things like artifact decks or token decks which also run mana dorks and Cryptolith Rite. And that is my continued problem with the card. You really don't have to build around it much at all to make it entirely broken. You just have to run things which are already good in your deck. This makes it different from most other combo pieces. Green or G/X creature or token-based decks often run mana elves and land untappers and Cryptolith Rite, and lots of decks run a lot of mana rocks. Kozilek decks and Sisay decks (which can fetch PE) become even more insane just by adding this card to their existing build.

    On the positive side, pretty much everyone in the local meta who has been playing for more than a few months now also recognizes Paradox Engine as a "kill on sight" card.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    Quote from 3drinks »
    @JWK, you know I respect your philosophies, but respectfully I disagree here. The topic in this thread is "how to combat ramp", and by taking away the weakness ramp has (over committing lands into a sweeper), you instead twist the very game you've socially agreed upon to be one of "play ramp or lose". All archetypes need their checks lest the game as a whole become entirely unbalanced. Might as well get everyone playing Maelstrom Wanderer, or 3 Wanderers and 1 Thrassios/Tymna flash-hulk (because there's always that one guy at a table, esp at the LGS) because doing something not-Wanderer (big dumb ramp things) is inherently inferior.

    This thread should be titled "ways to combat ramp that don't involve blowing up the world" to which is a much different conversation. As it is, however, this discussion is solved and now we're arguing semantics in what makes a "game to remember" rather than a "game to forget".


    Somehow I overlooked this earlier.

    I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Putting the whole "what sort of game do we want" stuff aside, I don't think MLD, generally speaking, is a very good way to answer ramp. I have explained why, based on both experience and on basic deck math. Others have made similar points.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    I think answers are great so long as a) they are actually answers (and MLD generally speaking is a poor answer to ramp), and b) they don't make the game more miserable for everyone along the way. I personally care more about having an interesting, fairly relaxed and social game than I do about winning, but all things being equal, I would still also rather win than lose. Just not at the expense of the interesting, relaxed social stuff. I also think everyone playing together should have some input into what kind of games they want, and what they don't really want to play against. If I want to play my one Stax deck and nobody really wants to play against that at the moment, I play something else. Similarly, some people just don't want to play against fast combo or MLD, and they aren't wrong to feel that way.

    MLD isn't really the answer to ramp, though a certain degree of MLD can sometimes be part of that answer, so long as it's acceptable to the rest of the people in the game. It certainly isn't the only answer, and I would argue it isn't even close to the best one most of the time. That's why, for general EDH, I think it best to go with other routes that are more generally acceptable, which I and several others on this thread have suggested.

    Whether MLD has a place in general EDH at all is a whole different thread than "how do you fight ramp?" The two have sort of gotten mixed in here.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    Quote from Buffsam89 »
    "play ramp or lose".


    Where the actual f*** does this even come from? Do you really believe that? I see your Alesha deck in your signature, and I had one myself. I had an incredibly low curve with some high-cost targets that probably would never be hard cast. I had Sol Ring and the corresponding signets, that’s it. The deck functioned really well. Won way more games than lost, that’s for sure. I played in a no-LD group, and I can safely say that ramp players didn’t run away with games. Likewise, I played hundreds of games with Big Green decks and lost plenty, without LD.

    Again, MLD does nothing to Ramp. It’s a way to protect boardstates. Saying otherwise is flat out wrong. Fast combo also punishes Ramp decks, so why not just suggest that?


    Why not suggest fast combo? Would it surprise you that no small amount of Commander players complain about that too? And fast aggro taking out one player first? They complain about that. What we actually have is a house ban on losing.


    There is a subset of EDH who likes the stuff you talk about. It's called cEDH. It isn't the majority of EDH players, and isn't going to be. Your posts pretty much just suggest everyone should play cEDH or they're a bunch of wimps, which is frankly condescending and insulting, not to mention completely contrary to the default philosophy of the format. That attitude is part of why some mainstream EDH players really dislike cEDH and those who play that way. At very least, the attitude really does not do much for the argument that the RC should pay more attention to the interests and perceptions of the cEDH segment of the community.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    Quote from Buffsam89 »
    Players should expect to be punished in Magic. The whole idea that we're entitled to keep our resources is ludicrous at best.


    Uh, no. That’s not the type of game everybody enjoys. That’s also not the type of game the RC of the format encourages. I don’t care about Wrath of God or whatever kind of sweeper is needed. Targeted LD is also fair game. I don’t really see the need for MLD, specifically if it’s just employed to “slow the ramp player”, or worse, that “players should expect to be punished”.


    In competitive Magic, the Baron would be correct. In default EDH, not so much. He's not wrong for liking what he likes, but the idea that players should "expect to be punished" is not really consistent with what the majority of EDH players want.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    The pro-MLD folk here seem to be very much ignoring the social contract aspect of the game. If MLD is cool in the group you are playing with, good. But it is also okay if they are not okay with MLD. Insisting that people should be okay with MLD is essentially saying everyone should want to play the game the way you want to play it, and that is about as asocial a stance as one can take.

    People who don't want MLD in their EDH games are not bad players or wrong or whatever. They just want a different sort of game than you would prefer, and that is okay.

    People who like MLD are also not bad players or wrong or whatever. They just want a different sort of game than the majority of EDH players want - and yes, like it or not, MLD guys, most EDH players are not big on MLD. That's just a fact. But you aren't wrong for wanting what you want, either. NEITHER side is wrong, they just prefer different sorts of games, which is completely okay. That's part of the whole "social contract" thing. Same with people who prefer a more cEDH vs. those who prefer things to be much less competitive. Some people just want to win. Other care less about winning than they do about having a fun, social game where everyone has a good time. Nether is wrong, they are just different.

    The solution is for people who like MLD to play with other people who are cool with MLD, or to play a range of decks and not play your MLD decks with people who aren't cool with MLD.

    And again, to get back to the original question of this thread, MLD is actually not a very reliable way to deal with ramp decks. MLD is a control strategy akin to stax. Claiming otherwise is at best erroneous, at worst dishonest. 3Drinks is honest about it... it is a strategy he uses to win games. That's a more competitive approach to the game than a lot of EDH players prefer (and most pro-MLD people do fall further to the competitive end of the casual/competitive continuum), but he isn't wrong for liking that, so long as he doesn't insist on bringing that to the table when playing with people who want a less competitive game.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »

    Quote from JWK »
    Personally, I still think Metalworker should have stayed banned. Just too darn good, really.

    How much do you actually see it?


    About as often as I see Tabernacle or Chains of Mephistopheles or Moat or The Abyss or Gaea's Workshop or Nether Void or any number of other really old, powerful cards which are on the Banned list. Somewhat less frequently than I see Gaea's Cradle, wihch doesn't have to be built around as much to still be very good. So, not very often, but that isn't really the point.

    Metalworker is an old and rare enough card that I don't view it as a threat to the format or anything, but I don't think it brings anything good to the format either, and if it was more accessible, I do think it would be actively bad for the format. Whenever I do see it, it always has a huge impact on the game, and not in a positive way. I believe it produces too much mana too early, which is after all one of the banned list criteria.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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