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  • posted a message on Erebos, God of the Dead: Danse Macabre
    Officially got the primer tag. toot

    Unfortunately it looks like the forum is going to be split so I'll look into maintaining a thread on Nexus as well when I'm not working all the time.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    About 15. All my games are semi-competitive and above, because I play with the kind of people who would sooner get a cheap proxy of an original dual land than play a Tarkir triple land. The kind of people who spend hours calculating the chances of each possible hand. You know when people post in this forum lamenting that their LGS was taken over by insufferable tryhards who suck the fun out of the game? Yeah, that's the people I play with.
    And those people that spend hours calculating the chance of each possible hand consider 15 a reasonable sample size?

    You seem bent on winning this crusade about the evil ToT who dared to say that Yawgmoth is a great competitive commander... But I never said that. All I said is that he's stronger than his mono-black ilk and that he's very good in 75% environments while still being able to hold his own in more competitive environments. HOLD HIS OWN, not OMG THIS IS THE BEST COMMANDER EVER HE WINS EVERY GAME PLAY THIS DECK NEW META or whatever youtubers say in the titles of their videos.
    Keep your shirt on, pal. The argument you're making that I've misrepresented your argument is interesting when you're the one misrepresenting mine. I explicitly stated it twice in my previous post, so I'll try again, with some minor explanations added on: a) Yawgmoth is not cEDH viable and it is a disservice to readers to claim otherwise and b) he is not the clear cut best mono-black commander. I'm sorry I disagree with your assessment but there's no need to get upset.

    Imagine an italian guy ranking 47th in a chess world cup, with the other italian players being placed much lower: is that guy a world-class player and a tournament winner? Absolutely not. But he's still the best among the italian players. That's kind of my argument in regards to Yawgmoth: I never claimed that he was a top-tier competitive pick, but still it's a fact that, in an environment where all mono-black decks perform poorly, he performs a bit better than his ilk, which makes him the best of his ilk. If this offends you to the point of starting a crusade over it, it's frankly not my problem.
    It seems to me that the issue here is that you and I have a very different definition of the word "viable". I could write an entire essay on the topic of the "top tier fallacy" (long story short, the definition most people have of what constitutes a "top tier" is based on a textbook case of circular logic), but it seems to me that such a debate would derail this topic even more than it already has.

    Two uses of crusade. Just a few more and we'll get to my favorite.

    How is discussing the viability of Yawgmoth as a commander derailing a thread about the viability of Yagwmoth as a commander?

    I disagree with your "fact" that "all mono-black decks perform poorly" in a cEDH environment. So does the greater cEDH community, actually, since Sidisi is still listed at tier 2.

    Since in your estimation this is a semantic quibble over "viable" let's try to find a shared usage. To me, a commander is viable if it is able to win greater than 12.5% of the pods they're in with like-powered decks. How did I come to this number? If an obviously competitive deck wins 25% of the pods it's in, as is expected in a four player pod, then winning half of that still puts a given deck in reasonable contention. I don't see Yawgie beating a random selection of tier 1 cEDH decks greater than 12.5% of the time. Therefore, I don't think Yagwmoth is cEDH viable. Of course, you're free to dispute that definition as well as Yawgmoth's ability to achieve that win percentage.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    1) Depends on the situation. Unlike in cEDH (where the only creatures that matter are mana dorks and combo pieces), in 75% there are plenty of targets to take care of, depending on the kind of deck the opponent is using. And I specifically stated that line about killing creatures was only relevant for 75%, NOT for 100% cEDH.

    2) You answered your own question further down in your post. Black also has access to a plethora of other options for fueling Yawgmoth which are, however, quite inefficient. I did mention that being one of the main issues with mono black, but it is a problem that lies in the color identity, not in the abilities of the card.
    This is my point. Without lots of food to feed Yawgmoth, he isn't killing much besides utility dorks. Isn't this more efficiently accomplished by just blowing everything up? I would rather cast Damnation or some other board wipe than have to invest a ton of mana into taking out one or two creatures just because you get to draw some cards in the process. There are much more efficient ways to accomplish everything you want to do in this scenario. You are jumping through hoops to not do a whole hell of a lot; in other words, durdling.

    3) He's decent because he enables combos, meaning that combos involving him require one less tutor to be found, given that one of the pieces is in your command zone. And black is the best color for tutoring to begin with, so assembling one of those combos is going to be reasonably easy, albeit not as fast as the guys you mentioned for mono blue/green (simply because blue has better draw/utility, and green has faster mana ramp: that's just how the color pi works). As for the lack of meaningful interaction I'm sorry, I thought at some point a guy by the name of GloriousGoose had mentioned interaction not being as important when you're just trying to power out a combo as fast as possible? I was working under that same assumption. Besides, the lack of interaction beyond killing creatures is a problem shared by all black decks, so we're back to my original point: that Yawgmoth's weakness lies in his color identity, not in his ability.
    Let's revisit what I actually said:
    Saying that a deck lacks answers is kind of irrelevant if your opponents are already dead.

    If you're dead because your deck lacks the speed to kill other players before they win, which Yawgmoth does in a cEDH environment, then interaction becomes much more important. As you said, mono-black has serious limitations here (though people tend to overlook the power of Thoughtseize et al.) so that's a problem endemic to all mono-black decks. Since this question was in regards to Yawgmoth's cEDH capabilities, we're going to talk about that now since you failed to actually answer the question. Lots of commanders enable combos. The question then becomes: are those combos relevant in a competitive environment? I would argue that none of the combos Yawgmoth enables are particularly competitive. Even Nest of Scarabs has its own limitations since you could, again, just cast Sidisi, find Ad Nauseam, draw your whole deck, and win. Mike and Trike/Gary have too many weak points (counterspells, graveyard hate, creature removal, artifact removal for Trike) and are generally too mana intensive outside of reanimation. Two undying creatures with Blood Artist or something is too many cards to be efficient. The list goes on. Yawgmoth doesn't really bring much to the table.

    4) On Sidisi: again, she either faces the same issues as Yawgmoth, or she's literally a command zone tutor. Which don't get me wrong, is decently cool, but if all you want to do is tutor up Ad Nauseam then you might as well pay literally any other commander, put all existing tutors in your deck, and mulligan until you open with one in your hand. Many tutors available to black are actually cheaper than Sidisi, letting you go off one turn earlier.

    5) On Xiahou: does he really combo out "more efficiently" than Yawgmoth? The latter can actively contribute to your search for combo pieces by drawing you cards. Do not underestimate the ability to draw at instant speed for no mana cost. Xiahou cannot consistently give you that utility and combo potential unti his engine is online, while Yawgmoth can, in a pinch, help you draw into his own engine. The only counter-argument to this is pointing out, once again, that supplying fuel for Yawgmoth's ability to draw us cards is not that easy, and can in fact be as problematic as Xiahou's own need for an engine in order to function... And thus we're once again back to my original point: that what really holds back this card is its color identity, rather than its abilities.

    6) On Chainer: his loop-enabling activated ability costs mana, Yawgmoth's doesn't. Again, do not underestimate the power of an instant-speed sac outlet/draw engine with no mana cost.

    7) On Erebos: his activated ability also costs mana... And as you said, he's all about finding an use for "surplus" resources. I thought we had agreed that our goal in cEDH was to combo off BEFORE getting to the point where we'd even have "surplus" resources?

    Spoilers: none of them are really cEDH viable. If you take any of these decks to a fully powered cEDH pod, you're going to have a bad time. When you acknowledge that fact, and analyze them in their proper tier (75%, or whatever you want to call it) the hierarchy muddles a bit. I'm certainly not arguing that Yawgmoth is bad, because he's obviously a very powerful commander for his weight class. I simply disagree with the ideas that he's even remotely cEDH viable and that he's the best mono-black commander. I think it's fair to say that a reasonable metric for "best" is "what wins most," right? In cEDH, with an established hierarchy and metagame, that's much easier to analyze, but when you get into lower tiers and the number of decks vastly increases, then what is best becomes much more difficult to answer. I would say it's fair to place Yawgmoth in the pantheon of top tier mono-black commanders but flat out asserting that he's the best or that he's even remotely cEDH viable is wrong.

    But this doesn't change the fact that Yawgmoth's abilities as printed are in themselves more powerful than those seen on any other mono black commander so far: they draw you cards, enable infinite combos AND provide a potential alternate wincon. No other mono black commander can claim to have all three these aspects rolled into its abilities: Sidisi doesn't enable combos (she merely searches them), Xiahou doesn't draw cards, Chainer cannot actively set up his own combos and also costs mana to use, Erebos is not a combo piece, neither is Razaketh, the Foulblooded, Mikaeus doesn't contribute anything to the deck until it's time to come into play and get the combo going, Volrath and Drana are voltron finishers (which is arguably a lesser way of winning in cEDH), and so on so forth.
    Okay. And? You could put a thousand abilities in his rules text and if they're all terrible it doesn't matter. This is a superfluous argument. Just... focus on how his abilities translate directly into game wins, not how fancy they are. Drawing cards is obviously great, but if you're having to spend cards to draw cards you're arriving at card parity, not card advantage. Or, if you're relying on something like Reassembling Skeleton, it's inefficient. As you've admitted multiple times, it's difficult to feed him, so how many cards are you realistically drawing off of him? Infinite combos are good, and Proliferate is powerful in the right deck, but making the argument that because he has three abilities of various usability this makes him powerful is flawed.

    Theses 3 things Yawgmoth's abilities do cannot glue a deck together and get it to explode as quickly or as efficiently as the abilities of other commanders of other colors, simply because those other commanders are better supported by their respective color identities: this is also a fact, but the problem lies in the color identity, not in the abilities themselves.
    Saying he would be better with a different color identity is a hypothetical that has no bearing on the conversation of whether or not a) he's a competitive commander or b) the best mono-black commander.
    I therefore repeat: Yawgmoth is as competitive as a mono black deck is ever going to be. Which means decently competitive, but not as competitive as other, better, color identities.
    Assert whatever you want. That doesn't make it true. Who knows, though,B maybe someone will break Yawgmoth and this post will have aged like milk in the summer heat.

    How many games with Yawgmoth do you have under your belt in a semi-competitive and above EDH environment?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    So yeah, in a 75% environment where creatures are still relevant, Yawgmoth is exceptional on the account of being able to kill enemy creatures while drawing you cards to set up a combo like the one I mentioned above. And in a full 100% cEDH environment Yawgmoth is still decent, but he cannot match the speed and efficiency of those blue and green combo commanders you mentioned: given that his main gimmick cannot be fueled as efficiently in mono black, I dare say that's the most you can expect a mono black commander to do.
    Besides utility dorks, what creatures are you killing with Yawgmoth? How are you generating the creatures to fuel his ability? How do you define "decent" since the deck is glacially slow and lacks meaningful interaction in cEDH? How is Yawgmoth better than, say, Sidisi (who finds a one card combo), Xiahou-Dun (who more efficiently combos out and has greater utility), Chainer (who has more raw power for loops), or Erebos (who converts excess life and mana into cards)? Yawgmoth is an interesting and powerful 75% commander to be sure, but:

    Thus I repeat: Yawgmoth is the best mono black commander, and is as competitive as a mono black deck is going to be... Which, sadly, means not as much as other color identities are capable of Frown
    This is a bold claim for a new commander that's only been out a month. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you can rightly expect the old guard to be skeptical.

    Also, you seem to have overlooked Nest of Scarabs, which is his single strongest enabler. Yawgmoth's Bargain, indeed.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    Quote from Drain Life »
    I agree and have taken issue with how valid the data is, but it is also the only data we have for non-competitive commander.
    No, it's not.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    Urza, Yisan, Teferi and Selvala are all decks made great by the fact that their playstyle allows them to circumvent the inherent problem of their color identity. Like, they still suffer from lack of diverse answers to enemy strategies, but in their case it doesn't matter because they don't care about answering in the first place: they just want to power out a combo as quickly as possible. They all fall under what would be called a "turbo" deck in Yugioh jargon which, yes, makes them more competitive than Yawgmoth, but that doesn't change the fact that Yawgmoth is still as competitive as a mono black is going to be (I.E. not as much as those other guys you mentioned, but still decent).
    That's not what your claim was, though. Your claim was that he's as competitive as any mono-colored commander can be in the format, which is demonstrably false. As for those decks being combo decks, I mean, that's the name of the game, innit? Literally every top tier cEDH deck is a combo deck, be it breakneck fast like Yisan or slow and stax-y like Urza. Saying that a deck lacks answers is kind of irrelevant if your opponents are already dead.

    As for Sidisi, I frankly don't get why you included her: if you're going to amass recurring creatures for her to exploit, then she's just as clunky as Yawgmoth because, as others mentioned, black by itself is not the best color for consistently providing fodder. And if you're going to sac herself to her own ability, then she's literally a Razaketh's Rite in the command zone: if the goal is doubling up on tutors so as to bring out a combo as quickly as possible, then I'd rather have her in the 99 and a combo piece, such as Mikaeus, the Unhallowed or, yes, Yawgmoth himself as the commander.
    I mean, you just grab Ad Nauseam, which is a one card combo in the deck. I included her as an easter egg since she's not particularly competitive but is still probably more competitive than Yawgmoth despite being a glass cannon one-trick pony.

    How do you envision Yawgmoth winning?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    Quote from Tyler 7888 »
    I just want to know how competitive can Yawgmoth be?
    If we're talking true cEDH, my bet is on not really.

    He's as competitive as a monocolored deck can be in this format. I call him the best mono-black commander by a mile, but the lack of diverse answers to enemy strategies might hurt. But I really need to reiterate: what I feel holds him back is the color identity, NOT the abilities: those are perfectly viable in even 100% cEDH.
    Urza? Yisan? Teferi? Selvala? Sidisi? There are several mono-colored commanders that range from very competitive to somewhat competitive. Yawgmoth's problems are exacerbated by his color identity, but the fundamental issue is his clunkiness and speed.

    Quote from darrenhabib »
    I'd give him the perfect score of 5/7.
    I can think of another mono-black commander that is 5/7.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Let's speculate on Monday's announcement
    I've got a bad feeling about this.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Most degenerate deck possible
    Quote from Gashnaw II »
    Quote from GloriousGoose »
    I believe the current bogeyman of the format is Thrasios/Tymna Flash Hulk. I don't know much more than that since I think cEDH is asinine, but that's what I've read. It's basically Cephalid Breakfast with Laboratory Maniac.

    Sou d very dependent on tutors to make sure you get Flash and hulk in hand. And hope not draw a combo price.
    The deck runs multiple win conditions and is in the best colors for tutoring. It's resilient, fast, and a threat on multiple fronts. I'm not the best person to describe it but from my limited understanding it's pretty rigoddamndiculous.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Most degenerate deck possible
    I believe the current bogeyman of the format is Thrasios/Tymna Flash Hulk. I don't know much more than that since I think cEDH is asinine, but that's what I've read. It's basically Cephalid Breakfast with Laboratory Maniac.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Here's a post on Reddit that attempts to analyze the correlation between a t1 Sol Ring and winning the game. There's a lot of information the poster couldn't account for, but it does demonstrate that you are more likely to win if you open with Sol Ring. Not that that is news, or anything. However, banning for power reasons is decidedly against the philosophy of the format, though, so any data that suggests you are more likely to win with X card is completely irrelevant.

    But I seriously just don't see where all this discontent came from.
    To you, I'm discontent. To them, I'm the loyal opposition. If I didn't care about and love this format, I wouldn't be so critical.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Tymna and Ikra: Two Girls, One Rock (WIP)
    I woke up way too early and couldn't go back to sleep, so why not brew a deck?

    I've been trying for far too long to come up with an Abzan Rock deck I actually like, and I think I might be onto something here. The general premise is to eke value out of every play until you accrue enough resources to bury your opponents. As the thread prefix suggests, this is a casual deck designed to play with newer players and/or lower powered decks. I opted against including tutors, overpowered card draw, and infinite combos. This deck is designed to play fair and win through combat damage, which is pretty weird for me, so I'm positive I've made some missteps along the way.

    I chose Tymna the Weaver and Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper as my commanders because they most synergize with what the deck is trying to do. They're both effectively combat damage triggers, so you're going to want creatures getting through to fuel them. To that end I included a lot of evasive creatures to hopefully get as many Tymna trigger as possible. Ikra is definitely the runt of the litter here, but for more casual tables the life gain adds a lot of sustain to the deck and lessens the pain from my card draw. She's more useful than the other partner options, though Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa comes close.

    Anyway, here's the decklist:

    Two Girls, One RockMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commanders:
    1 Tymna the Weaver
    1 Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper

    Creatures: 30
    1 Angel of Finality
    1 Archon of Justice
    1 Aven Mindcensor
    1 Bane of Progress
    1 Doom Whisperer
    1 Dragonlord Dromoka
    1 Duskwatch Recruiter
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Emeria Angel
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Grave Titan
    1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
    1 Kalonian Hydra
    1 Kinjalli's Sunwing
    1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
    1 Noxious Gearhulk
    1 Oracle of Mul Daya
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Rampaging Baloths
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Restoration Angel
    1 Runic Armasaur
    1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Selfless Spirit
    1 Sepulchral Primordial
    1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
    1 Sun Titan
    1 Tendershoot Dryad
    1 Vizier of the Menagerie

    Instants: 10
    1 Abzan Charm
    1 Anguished Unmaking
    1 Assassin's Trophy
    1 Beast Within
    1 Generous Gift
    1 Heroic Intervention
    1 Moment's Peace
    1 Path to Exile
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Teferi's Protection

    Sorceries: 17
    1 Austere Command
    1 Command the Dreadhorde
    1 Cultivate
    1 Damnation
    1 Farseek
    1 Kodama's Reach
    1 Merciless Eviction
    1 Nature's Lore
    1 Night's Whisper
    1 Painful Truths
    1 Rampant Growth
    1 Read the Bones
    1 Reanimate
    1 Rishkar's Expertise
    1 Seasons Past
    1 Vindicate
    1 Wrath of God

    Enchantments: 4
    1 Holistic Wisdom
    1 Legion's Landing
    1 Pernicious Deed
    1 Phyrexian Reclamation

    Artifacts: 1
    1 Sol Ring

    Lands: 36
    1 Bojuka Bog
    1 Brushland
    1 Caves of Koilos
    1 City of Brass
    1 Command Tower
    7 Forest
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Hissing Quagmire
    1 Isolated Chapel
    1 Llanowar Wastes
    1 Mana Confluence
    1 Murmuring Bosk
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Path of Ancestry
    5 Plains
    1 Sandsteppe Citadel
    1 Shambling Vent
    1 Stirring Wildwood
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Sunpetal Grove
    4 Swamp
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Woodland Cemetery


    Here's a few thoughts.

    Creatures: This is not my area of expertise. I'm used to killing creatures, not playing them, so it took me a while combing through decklists here, my old depreciated Abzan decks, EDHREC, and Scryfall to assemble what I think are decent inclusions. I tried to go for either evasive creatures or efficient token produces to get as many combat damage triggers as possible. I also tried to stay away from generic bombs like Craterhoof Behemoth or Avenger of Zendikar to focus on more incremental advantage. That said, I kind of wonder how I'm realistically going to win if I don't use those bombs. In my head the deck works, but in practice I have no idea.

    Manlands: After a board wipe I can toss out Tymna and attack with one to start rebuilding my hand and board. In a pinch, they can serve as emergency blockers, too. I figure if they're good anywhere, they'd be good here. I also happen to be a big fan of them. Land is my favorite card type and Mishra's Factory is probably my favorite card.

    The card draw/removal packages: I think I may have gone overboard, here. Blowing stuff up is second only to drawing cards as far as my favorite things to do in Magic go, but all that 1 for 1 removal will add up if my draw package isn't up to snuff. I'm considering Tymna a pseudo-Painful Truths in the command zone, so I'll only be casting her when I know I can get hit at least 2 opponents. If she and my creatures happen to stick around, that's just gravy.

    Ramp: I'm running seven pieces of ramp and my curve excluding lands is 3.59. Each of them besides Sol Ring are simply +1 mana available. I have no idea what the right ratio here would be since I don't have any particular thing I want to ramp into, but coming from a very mana hungry deck it seems light.

    Any feedback or thoughts would be appreciated. I'm somewhat out of my element, here.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Anyway, just popped in to complain about people complaining, byeeee.
    Your comment about freedom is contradictory. If freedom is your guiding principle, the logical next step as to your opinion would be to unban everything, not support the status quo. Besides, the format can still be great and still have intrinsic problems, whether it's the philosophy, the banlist, or the starting life totals. They're not mutually exclusive. I do agree that the format should be as big tent as possible with as small a banlist as is reasonable. That said, if their goal is to create meaningful, memorable games, it's my opinion that the banlist as it currently exists doesn't reflect that very well.

    At the end of the day I understand it's not my format, so of course this thread is nothing but screaming into the void.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from cryogen »
    And? Then what happened? What exactly did they do with that mana? How long did it take them to win? In my experience, for every anecdotal game like this there are ones where the end is "and that player lost". Hell, one of my games against Sheldon at sgccon were a player opens with Sol ring into smothering tithe, and me sol ring into smothering tithe and exploding veggies. We both lost that game.
    Wanderer pooped out Tyrant's Familiar and something else irrelevant by a kicked Rite of Replication and no one had the answer. It happens.

    Yisan tutored up Quirion Ranger and just kinda went off from there. My removal.dec failed to draw into removal, but it happens.

    To me, the crux of the argument is that while I kept two average hands in games 1 and 2, the other players had exceptional hands fueled largely by fast mana. In the exceptional hand I had in game 3, I was able to establish dominance early on due to the fast mana accelerating me into an early Myojin of Night's Reach. This thread is littered with arguments for and against banning fast mana so I won't get too into it here, but for me, it's easy to see that the common thread between the games that I found unfun was fast mana.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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