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  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    If the perceived problem is that people are actively trying to combo out every game... and not that they have combos in their deck that they sometimes draw into.... then the obvious answer is that low cmc tutors need to be banned.

    I have always said that I dislike tutors. This format is singleton, and there are enough tutors in a 3 colour deck to effectively play the same win condition in every game. Doesn't feel like singleton.

    Sure, some people tutor out their jank synergies. Those decks can settle for less aggressive tutors, especially if that also means that combo decks are much weaker.


    The issue isn't that people are playing scepter and reversal. It is that there are so many ways to tutor it that they may as well go for it every game.

    I treat Chord of Calling like a toolbox card. But I am not getting an Acidic Slime to blow up a Cradle if I can get a Protean Hulk and win the game right away. This is the issue. Once you have the tutors, it is usually correct to tutor the combo. So you either restrict yourself by not including tutors or not including combos or you end up comboing out consistently.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Nexus of Fate
    Nexus was definitely a mistake.

    However, being the last card of your library puts it in the same area as Laboratory Maniac, which I would say is far from banning.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    Could you imagine if Golos' ability read: WUBRG: Exile the top three cards of your library. You may cast a nonland card with the lowest converted mana cost without paying its cost.

    I think it would have been so easy to make Golos interesting.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    Quote from Hermes_ »
    Here's a comment that Sheldon agreed with on FB's thread on his page:

    T-"But what Sheldon's saying here, I believe, is that he takes issue with people moving more and more towards using those infinite combos as the primary way of ending games overall, and those combos happening a little sooner every time.
    A lot of my decks have an instant "I win" button for when the game's been going way too long and we need to wrap up, but nobody will concede, and that's fine- the issue is when people increasingly reach for that game-over button as the PRIMARY way to end every game, and reach for it sooner and sooner and sooner. Using a last-resort combo to end the game 2.5 hours in so you can all go eat something is way different than comboing off on turn 5 because you can"


    -Sheldon "Yeah, what T said"


    This makes no sense. The ethos of Commander is 'build casual, play competitive'. You don't put combos in your deck and not play them. It makes the game worthless.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    I have literally played shocklands untapped to bluff plays. It is meaningless in commander.

    We should keep in mind that we have access to commanders at all times and that we can win by dealing 21 damage with said commander. Life total of 20 seems low when you always have access to a legendary creature.

    I personally think aggro could use a little help. I recently had a 5 person game where Krenko killed everyone very quickly. Goblin War Strike took me out of that game. However, it was a very explosive start and nobody had a wrath. And while that was memorable I can also remember beating Krenko many times due to a crawlspace or a Ghostly Prison. It has weaknesses.

    I think aggro should be helped. I think 30-35 life would be the sweetspot. But it won't change much. The fact is that Aggro dealing 90 damage or 120 damage is still a tall order most of the time.

    I think the nature of multiplayer naturally pushes out aggro. It is not the life total, really.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Paradox Engine
    Quote from papa_funk »
    Quote from Dunharrow »

    By what metric do you say that PE hits the 'problematic casual omnipresence'? We have spent time trying to even come up with a way of evaluating this. Every meta is so different.


    I didn't say that (though when we collect data we do so from a bunch of different sources and try to get data about the big picture). I was not making a judgement one way or the other on Paradox Engine. I was merely pointing out that there wasn't necessarily a straight line from Paradox Engine to Doomsday, and it was possible for one to be an issue and not the other.


    I did not mean to imply that you made a judgement. I just want to know more about how you collect data.


    And fair enough, PE is played a lot more casually than the other cards listed. I was trying to separate 'casual omnipresence', which we cannot measure, from the discussion, and to discuss PE based on other terms. I felt that it was similar to the other cards listed in the way that they are exclusively used to 'combo off', and that these other cards were not banworthy.

    I can understand how any card can be considered for banning based on problematic casual omnipresence. It is just so hard to evaluate this. In this thread, we have people saying that they face PE all the time, and people saying that they rarely see PE. WE have people looking to EDHrec and combing through hundreds of decks.

    It is just so impossible to evaluate because anything published online skews towards competitive play.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Vilis, Broker of Blood (Or Griz-Daddy 2)
    Quote from Pokken »
    I think it would have been much more interesting with an upkeep or end step of the controller loses 2 life.

    Being able to machine gun the board with coffers is pretty boring.


    I mean, if you have 8 mana to cast villis and enough mana to machine gun the board then I feel like you could be winning with a lot of cards. The fact is that typically, when Villis hits, you may draw one or two cards. If you get to untap with him it could be an issue. I think that's okay considering it is an 8-mana general.

    I agree with the person above who said this will be a better card in the 99 than in the command zone. Reanimation is the way to go.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Paradox Engine
    Quote from papa_funk »
    Good analysis, but I do think one bit is off:

    Quote from Dunharrow »
    Thus far, the RC has not banned a card like PE that needs other pieces to work. If they banned PE, they would have to consider Food Chain, Doomsday, Protean Hulk and many other cards that require little extra effort to break, and which pretty well exclusively get played to win the game on the spot.


    Consider, maybe, but only in the sense that we consider everything. If PE were to be banned (and I have no comment on that one way or another), it would be because of the effect it was having on the casual community. Food Chain and Doomsday see almost zero play there, and Hulk is working out as we expected - occasional use as a value engine that's not all that problematic.

    As evidenced from the past few years "Problematic Casual Omnipresence" is the banlist criteria we lean on most heavily. Paradox Engine doesn't necessarily end up in the same space in that bucket as the other cited cards do.


    By what metric do you say that PE hits the 'problematic casual omnipresence'? We have spent time trying to even come up with a way of evaluating this. Every meta is so different.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Paradox Engine
    Quote from Pokken »
    Saying the RC doesn't care about combos is fairly, well, incorrect. It's literally in two of the banlist criteria.


    Problematic Casual Omnipresence. Some cards are so powerful that they become must-includes in decks that can run them and have a strongly negative impact on the games in which they appear, even when not built to optimize their effect. This does not include cards which are part of a specific two-card combination — there are too many of those available in the format to usefully preclude — but may include cards which have numerous combinations with other commonly-played cards.



    * Creates Undesirable Game States. Losing is not an undesirable game state. However, a game in which one or more players, playing comparable casual decks, have minimal participation in the game is something which players should be steered away from. Warning signs include massive overall resource imbalance, early-game cards that lock players out, and cards with limited function other than to win the game out of nowhere.


    The RC doesn't care to police two card combos but they do care to police things that combo with all kinds of other things. Which is the sweet spot for me that PE combos with practically every other artifact played in EDH and 20+ commanders with tap abilities many of which are very popular.




    These are two good arguments.
    However, for the first one - there are many cards that win out of nowhere and do nothing else. But you know this.
    For the second one - the only cards I see that match this criteria are Time Vault and maybe Panoptic Mirror. I would say that Time Vault's power level is so high that PE cannot be in the same conversation. Mirror, on the other hand, is a card people have often argued for unbanning. It is banned because it combos with time walks. Two card combos should not be a concern, in my opinion. Maybe the repetitive play is also an issue - easy to keep a wrath on it.
    However, I will acknowledge that this is a very real reason to consider PE for banning. Does it combo too easily and with too much? I think that is debatable. I think it is more on the Food Chain end of the spectrum. It combos with some specific generals very well, but less well than Food Chain with Prossh. It does crazy things with mana rocks, but doesn't combo out unless you have more dedicated cards to make the combo work.
    Good points, and we can discuss further, but ultimately I think PE is not close enough to the 'combo with everything' condition. It is closer than Food chain, but it is a long way to Time Vault.

    Quote from Pokken »
    Quote from Dunharrow »


    (1) (your argument has largely been to prove that it needs so little support that it effectively is broken by itself, which we have argued back and forth forever)

    Now I think your most pressing argument for changing my mind about this is the one I bolded above. PH needs a deck with sac outlets and a combo. Doomsday needs specific support. FC needs a creature that it can make infinite mana with. PE needs dorks or rocks and cards to cast. Now, I will give you that typically, people have cards in hand and a commander to cast. It is not a way to make infinite mana, but it generates a lot of value in the same way as PoK. The difference is PoK needed lands or dorks. Everyone plays lands. It is a given. Lands are also the hardest permanents to destroy, and mass land destruction is barely played in casual settings.
    PE relies on dorks or rocks to generate value. Creatures and artifacts are the two easiest permanents to destroy. So much so, that many people avoid dorks and mana rocks as they are often destroyed as collateral damage. Bolt the bird is not a think in commander. But wrath on turn 4 is something that happens very frequently.

    (2) I think this pushes PE into the same realm as Protean Hulk. If people want to combo with a card, and build their decks to combo off with that card, then they can do whatever they want, the RC doesn't care.
    PE is not a good card that wins the game by itself. PE is a deck archetype like Flash Hulk. PoK was not a deck archetype. It was just good in every UGx deck. Every single one of them.


    Regardless of how present it is, I do not think it will be banned. It will never be played in every deck. It will always be played and always hated, but it will never become so present it needs to be banned. That is not a thing. The RC just doesn't ban cards that are not present in any meta. Every card that is heavily played should be on the RC's radar. But heavy play cannot justify a banning.


    1) I will reiterate that I never said that it needs "so little support it is broken in itself" or any such thing. (I believe my statement was to the effect of - "People overstate how much support it requires.") But I do think it is:

    a) strong in three fairly strong deck styles (that have some overlap) - commanders with tap abilities, mana dorks, and artifacts. Artifacts in particular have gotten so many new commanders in the last few years I think everyone owns an artifact deck just about, and it's usually right to play PE in those decks even if you aren't doing it.

    It's possible in a meta with slower grindier games you don't see a ton of dorks/rocks but they are extremely strong and popular in my circles, as are a variety of tap commanders.

    b) prone to create combos with a large number of other cards, often by accident

    (2) I think Protean Hulk is a reasonable comparison to paradox engine, because they both have some similar characteristics - being weaker in casual decks than say, Prophet of Kruphix. However, I think the comparison is flawed in that Paradox Engine is significantly more powerful in medium and even medium-high power decks.

    (edit to rephrase my thoughts on hulk) Simply put I think Hulk requires more work to set up and requires a ton of focused, specific and often bad cards depending on what colors you're in. That's just my opinion but I would be happy to unpack that.

    A review of their prevalence is a pretty good start; Hulk sees a LOT less play, despite being an extremely strong CEDH option. Hulk is really trash in non-CEDH. I have seen it exactly once since it was unbanned and it did nothing (I swords'd it cos the guy dropped it without an outlet).


    PH is a card that was unbanned. Sure, the deck restrictions may be less so for PE, but it operates in a similar space of being a broken card that the RC is unlikely to want to police.

    That being said, if tomorrow they banned PE, I would expect them to say that it combos too easily with too many things. It is not a wrong justification. It is just not one they have used sine the format was made and I am not convinced PE meets this condition to the point of banning.

    PH, T&N and PE operate in this space of being cards that win out of nowhere in a million different ways. I am not sure which of the 3 is the most banworthy, but I do think that if any of them were banned it would be due to a re-evaluation of how they want to apply the banning criteria.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Even if we are not talking competitive or combo, Sol Ring usually turns the game into archenemy. What value does this bring? What value does fast mana bring?
    If we banned fast mana it would make for better games.

    What are the pros for keeping fast mana? I understand that the impetus is on finding cause to ban it... and I can acknowledge that it is not particularly bad for EDH... but I think it is reasonable to say that I also cannot think of any benefits to keeping fast mana.

    I dislike the way it warps games. Instead of everyone being on equal footing, someone is starting with a huge advantage. It is not insurmountable, but it is not exactly fun. It is like if you played Settlers of Catan and every game one person randomly got an extra settlement. Or Monopoly where one person gets an extra 1000$.

    Fast mana is typically not a synergistic inclusion, it is just the correct inclusion because it puts you so far ahead. It doesn't improve strategy or test people's skill... it just give them an advantage.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    I really think that magic players recognize the power of Sol Ring and not be bitter about it being banned. Fast mana is broken, and this is true at cEDH or at the kitchen table.

    I would support a banning. While Glorious Goose gave an example where each player drew fast mana and each player got to do their thing and everyone won a game, the problem is that those games were not fun because one person was so far ahead.

    People may be bitter about the devaluation of their Mana Crypts though. I have 3 of them. Probably should sell them.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    I would say that close to half of my 17 decks have infinite combos.

    But they came into being for the most part due to:

    1. highly synergistic cards that go infinite if I have 3-6 pieces in play at the same time. Decks were not made to combo, but sometimes when the right cards are in play it does go infinite.
    2. Deck was super grindy and people would not concede to soft locks... so instead of soft locking the table and attacking for 4 every turn, I put in an infinite combo to put an end to the game.


    The problem is not that combo exists. The problem is that one-card combos exist and that tutors exist to enable 2-card combos.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Paradox Engine
    So since we have no way to effectively determine how present PE is in casual metas, we have to flip the argument in a different light. Let's say that PoK was played less than PE (note that I believe most people agree it was more played).

    If you are the RC, and there is this card that is becoming the focus of casual games, that is winning casual games with no extra effort, that fits into arguably the best represented type of deck (UGx with creatures)... you don't need a threshold to figure out if it is present enough. It was noticed. It was a hot topic. And they decided to ban it because it was too much value by itself and it was warping games around it.

    You can say something similar about Leovold. Was it played a lot? Maybe. The issue was that everyone playing it was doing something broken, and it was not good for Commander for this reason. Even if it was 1% of decks, it didn't offer anything good. While Leovold did little by himself, being in the command zone pushed him over the line. He would be fine if Banned as a commander still existed... as a card in the 99.

    PE has been on the RC's radar. It has issues with long turns, with showing up in some large indeterminate amount of games. It is hard to play PE in a fair way. It either does very little or it does way too much. That being said, it does nothing by itself, and it this distinguishing feature that will stop the RC from banning it.

    It is not like Leovold, because it is not in the command zone. It is not like PoK because it doesn't do anything by itself (your argument has largely been to prove that it needs so little support that it effectively is broken by itself, which we have argued back and forth forever). Thus far, the RC has not banned a card like PE that needs other pieces to work. If they banned PE, they would have to consider Food Chain, Doomsday, Protean Hulk and many other cards that require little extra effort to break, and which pretty well exclusively get played to win the game on the spot.

    I maintain that the RC will not be banning PE. Not because it is not as present as PoK was. Not because you can disrupt it more easily than PoK. Not because it is less centralizing than PoK. It will not get banned because it is just another combo card, and the RC is not interested in policing combo.


    Now I think your most pressing argument for changing my mind about this is the one I bolded above. PH needs a deck with sac outlets and a combo. Doomsday needs specific support. FC needs a creature that it can make infinite mana with. PE needs dorks or rocks and cards to cast. Now, I will give you that typically, people have cards in hand and a commander to cast. It is not a way to make infinite mana, but it generates a lot of value in the same way as PoK. The difference is PoK needed lands or dorks. Everyone plays lands. It is a given. Lands are also the hardest permanents to destroy, and mass land destruction is barely played in casual settings.
    PE relies on dorks or rocks to generate value. Creatures and artifacts are the two easiest permanents to destroy. So much so, that many people avoid dorks and mana rocks as they are often destroyed as collateral damage. Bolt the bird is not a think in commander. But wrath on turn 4 is something that happens very frequently.

    I think this pushes PE into the same realm as Protean Hulk. If people want to combo with a card, and build their decks to combo off with that card, then they can do whatever they want, the RC doesn't care.
    PE is not a good card that wins the game by itself. PE is a deck archetype like Flash Hulk. PoK was not a deck archetype. It was just good in every UGx deck. Every single one of them.


    Regardless of how present it is, I do not think it will be banned. It will never be played in every deck. It will always be played and always hated, but it will never become so present it needs to be banned. That is not a thing. The RC just doesn't ban cards that are not present in any meta. Every card that is heavily played should be on the RC's radar. But heavy play cannot justify a banning.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Final Day: Maelstrom Nexus
    Quote from MRdown2urth »
    I thought this was a great cycle. I would appreciate if they did it again with the enemy colors.


    Agreed, it would be nice to have more of these. I found the cost on this one made it the least playable though. 6 mana could have been good.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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