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  • posted a message on Looking for a versatile, resilient deck that wins without combat
    Yeah, after coming up with a new WIP build of Nekusar again, I don't like it anyway. Sure, it's offensively strong, filled with synergies, but not much else going for it. Would expectedly lose easily to a tiny bit of pressure. In order for it to have a chance at winning, it needs to have so many ways to damage people it can't be shut down, but then that leaves no room for control or ways to protect itself, and trying to do any sort of control when I'm giving everyone tempo through cards is kind of backwards. Bleh. I might just have to wait to see what Commander 2019 brings and hope something really catches my eye. I can't seem to find that political/offensive/defensive balance I want.

    As for wheeling @Zordrath, the plan, ideally, would be to do some upkeep/end step damage with regular card draw, and save the wheels for the turn where I kill everyone at once, but not before.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Looking for a versatile, resilient deck that wins without combat
    Thank you for all the suggestions. At this time, I am thinking I might actually rebuild Nekusar. For one, because it would be really funny to play a game with two Nekusar decks, if my friend obliges to that silliness at least once, and because I can feasibly see building it significantly different (and better in a strategic sense) from what I did the first time, now having much more experience with the game than I did when I first built it. Not only that but it would create a nice environment for the newer players in my group because the card advantage could actually give them a better chance to beat the rest of us experienced players, so it's a socially positive deck to play. The risk is over-enabling the other experienced players, but I think I know what tools to pack to keep them under control.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Going Infinite and "I Win" Combos Outside cEDH.


    Man replies like these make me think that EDH is the most miserable format ever. A constant stalemate that last 3-4 hours, everyone want it to stop, but no one can stop it unless there is a combo.
    Thank god my games are really different!


    My playgroup is fine and I would certainly not call our games miserable, but it is a bit mixed up. We've got one player besides myself who consistently makes very tuned, threatening (but not cEDH) decks, and the others are usually suboptimal but seem to do just fine. Though, unfortunately, the newest players rarely have any luck, basically having to rely on the experienced players leaving them alone by focusing on the real threats and getting lucky when we all eliminate each other and accidentally hand the game to them. Regardless, it's always interesting, and our games usually last 30 minutes - 2 hours. I actually like the long games, as long as they're not stalemates.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Combatting Ramp
    My group is mixed on mass land destruction. They're generally fine with it if you're going to win within the next 5 minutes after doing it, but hate it otherwise. Most decks in my playgroup can't recover from it. Surprisingly, my rampiest deck has actually recovered swiftly from it more than once before thanks to also having artifact ramp. Few players in my group are much of a threat even at 8+ mana because of not having lots of tutors or combos, while others are, so it's kind of up in the air whether it's justified for me to bring it.

    There were days when I tried cards like Jokulhaups and Sunder, but they were in most cases met with bad feelings because half of the decks in my group were kind of battlecruiser-ish at the time (and still are) so they just can't handle having it happen in the middle of the game. The social contract seems to dictate that MLD is a hairy thing to consider at best.

    That said, some players in my group are bringing back land-destruction anyway so the question may quickly become 'how do I consistently recover from or avoid this' as opposed to 'how do I combat ramp?'
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Looking for a versatile, resilient deck that wins without combat
    I suppose I might also consider Esper colors, WUB. I'm not sure what I'm going to settle on. Kess, Dissident Mage and Muldrotha, the Gravetide are arguably pretty good, but I rather expect that the problem I'm going to have with them is they get wiped and then they're not worth it to recast, or otherwise cost way too much to recur whatever it is in my graveyard I want to recur, since I expect when I cast either, I'm going to want to cast something from my graveyard sometime before my next turn or else lose the general immediately as a casualty of boardwipes. What I really need to figure out is what to do to enable things in these colors if it means casting big expensive spells to manage. I'm probably going to need ways to stall until I have mana and do it in such a way as that my opponents' decks don't immediately recover the next turn, or make my spells free in various ways, or generate infinite mana. Otherwise I'm just going to die to the aggro decks before I've even begun to get set up.

    Regarding boardwipes: I have and intend to use the good ones, which are usually 3-5 mana and not often 6, few others worth it higher than 7 with the exception of cards like Cyclonic Rift and Blasphemous Act.

    Zedruu - not a chance in my meta, not efficient enough and will die before I ever get cards. Fun in theory, though.
    Tsaigur - I'm not sure I understand why he's good. He exiles cards from your graveyard that you might actually want if you want to cast him for a low cost, and his activated ability gives opponents a choice, which obviously will never be the best one for me if they can pick the worst card to give me from my graveyard for the current situation.
    Damia - Tried it once, built it really solid, always ate removal before I ever got card advantage off of it, no luck.
    Inalla - Seems strong, but I don't really want to build wizard tribal. Too linear and limiting.
    Mairsil - Maybe. I'm not sure what to make of this commander, in the slightest.
    Jeleva - I could consider it. It scales up as I chuck it at the aggro decks and they kill it. Seems potentially mana hungry, and limits me to a heavily non-permanent deck. Tricky, not sure if this is viable, as opposed to Narset, but Narset is something another one of my friends already built and it's too linear and boring to me to want to build. The problem is, when it dies, everything I exiled goes away, and while my deck might have ideal cards to cast for free, my opponent's decks are no guarantee for anything helpful and it makes everyone want to target me even if I don't exile anything they care about that much.
    Dralnu - I don't really understand how to build this commander ideally. The first ability always worried me, is there something advantageous about it? The second ability seems good, except the deck needs a haste enabler.
    Mizzix - Considered building it once but I decided it was too fragile as a deck.

    Others I've considered and my thoughts:
    Sharuum the Hegemon - Tried it once, but it was too boring.
    The Mimeoplasm - someone in my group already built it. Don't want to be a copycat. Also a bit too linear for me.
    The Locust God - Doesn't do anything special my Maelstrom Wanderer deck doesn't already do better because it has green.
    Nekusar, the Mindrazer - built it once, too boring, and someone in my group already has it built at the moment anyway
    Thraximundar - combat oriented and mana hungry, also kind of just demands zombie tribal to be at its best, so I decided against it
    Sedris, the Traitor King - maybe, but it is mana hungry and I'd be better off playing Muldrotha
    Dragonlord Silumgar - Been considering it, but I don't feel like it's that great to build under even if the rest of the deck has nothing to do with what the general does.
    Phenax, God of Deception - Interesting possibilities, but I just wish it could use green.
    Oona, Queen of the Fae - Really interesting general that I could build in numerous ways, but man is it mana hungry and does it draw attention due to exiling cards.
    Vela the Night-Clad - Built it once, meta changed, no longer remotely viable.
    Jhoira of the Ghitu - There is no way this would work in my meta because people do assess threats properly, never going to try it even though I like the possibilities.

    I am just really indecisive, I guess. Can't seem to narrow down what it is I'm looking for, but I'd like to hope maybe I'm just overlooking the viability and possibilities with various commanders in these colors.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on If you were to house ban the best tutors, which would you ban?
    I'm not for banning tutors at all, but Tooth and Nail is basically a tutor that says 'I win' for 9 mana.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Looking for a versatile, resilient deck that wins without combat
    It's another one of those threads! But I do have something specific I'm looking for, so here are my criteria:

    1. I'd like to build a new deck or two from among these few color combinations: URW, BGU, UBR, UB, or UR. I really like decks with definitely Blue, but I want a deck with black alongside the blue in it in particular since I have no decks with that color in it right now.

    2. I'm wanting to build a deck that doesn't use combat to win. Infinite combos are fine, but I'd prefer if it doesn't *have* to use them, and that the cards involved in said combos can be used for other purposes in a game - versatility. If it works out, a deck that doesn't go infinite but just generates tons of value or advantage until it wins would be great too. I don't want to have to win with 'win more' type cards, though, as I consider them generally mana innefficient and too easily disrupted. The deck needs to be able to scale to handle multiplayer games of up to 6 people.

    3. Things I like to and want to be doing: Stealing/copying opponent's cards, self-mill/graveyard strategy, life gain/life drain subtheme would be neat, playing spells for free and recurring things would be great too. I'm thinking cards like Torrential Gearhulk and Baral's Expertise, among others.

    4. I don't want to absolutely rely on my commander. If it gets countered or dies, I'd like to be able to recur it from the graveyard instead of paying commander tax. It needs to be a helpful commander that doesn't force me to spend way too much mana to do something some other more efficient card could do on its own, or force me into a single straight-forward strategy. I want to be able to play the deck differently (asymetrically) depending on the state of the game and not have to go very heavy into any particular theme, so I don't get bored with it.

    5. I like synergy a lot. I want to avoid antisynergy. Say my deck ends up highly reliant on artifacts or enchantments - I don't want to cast something like Bane of Progress and destroy my own growth, unless if somehow it's really to my advantage and I can get back my own permanents I just destroyed with ease. In general, strong and immediate 'put into play' recursion would be great.

    6. Efficiency. I don't want to win fast, but I need to be able to get ahead - no slow or overcosted ramp, and I'd prefer ramp that survives or can come back easily after being removed and immediately help me cast other spells before my next turn after being recurred. I would like to draw out the game a bit. Of principle concern, I need to contend with a few pretty fast decks, and aggro is very popular in my playgroup right now. There's elf/druid tribal slamming down craterhoof behemoth and killing everyone on turn 4-5, an Elzrazi deck, a few other highly consistent and threatening aggro decks, and a couple chaotic crazy decks that warp the entire game. The board is likely to get wiped more than once by other players and graveyard hate is being used too. I need a control-based strategy that feels comfortable in that kind of environment.

    All those criteria considered, does anyone have any suggestions?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Most fun commander?
    Maelstrom Wanderer. I've rebuilt mine from scratch 3 times over the years and I've probably played with over 200 different cards in the 99 swapping out and trying different things in it during that time. There are so many possibilities with it, and it's just a really good commander!
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Going Infinite and "I Win" Combos Outside cEDH.
    Infinite combos just get us to the next game quicker, which is good for the people who are having bad luck in a game, they get another chance sooner in the next one. It also gets us out of a long slog of unending attrition and scales well when you sometimes have as many as 6 people playing in one game, which happens sometimes. My playgroup doesn't have any issue with them (and I'm not the only one who runs them), as long as it doesn't involve 30 minutes of looping extra turns or something annoying like that.

    I tried to build a Maelstrom Wanderer deck that didn't do infinite combos, and by sheer luck in the majority of games I ever win with it, it was because it accidentally went infinite somehow anyway. I actually tried to leave out infinite combos, and discovered it had others in it I didn't even know about. Since then I just decided since it is so determined to go infinite anyway, I'll build it to be able to do it both intentionally and accidentally instead of fighting what these colors want to do. XD
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Can EDH be 'Almost (or somewhat, even minimally) solved'?
    For the record, I'm not concerned about winning myself. I play for the social aspect as well. I just thought the notion of 'solving' a format like EDH was an intriguing one and it contributes to how I plan my decks, given my meta plays all sorts of different variants of commander with different numbers of players and decks each time. I thereby seek for myself well-rounded, capable, flexible, and interactive decks.

    Funnily enough, my choices don't tend to prefer that which is 'highly likely to win' because my primary preference isn't about winning, but not getting bored. I *hate* straightforward decks that have only one plan and just work in one single direction. I like a deck that I can choose to play in about 3 different ways or more every game to equal effective odds at success, so that rules out a lot of commanders for me. Narset? Powerful but boring. Prossh? Yawwwwn. Anything voltron? - how about never! Laughing

    That's why I like Maelstrom Wanderer so much - I took it apart and rebuilt it 3 times over the years. It's not very consistent (by design, it has few tutors, doesn't even run Tooth and Nail for example), it doesn't necessarily run all of the same cards the most competitively oriented ones do (No Sunder or Jokulhaups, no extra turn cards), but it's flexible and 'just seems to work or otherwise make a good attempt' every game. It doesn't bother my friends at all, seems like I found just the right balance for my meta at least with that one. I like decks like that and want to find more commanders this flexible.

    In addition, one of my other weird goals is playgroup-considerate for both friendly and roundabout-competitive purposes. I don't want to play decks that win more than 50% of the games I play them in. I have a deck that does, and I play it the least of all my decks because of it. I don't want to draw too much attention to myself by winning too much, so while I like to optimize my decks very heavily, I actually aim for making decks only capable of winning games 1/3rd-1/4th of the time even as I play them as well as I can. This means everyone else can get their wins and be happy about it, and if I'm not winning too much, I'm not high profile to be focused out in multiplayer games. This, in an unintuitive way, I think increases my odds at the times when I really am intending to win a game, particularly when an opponent brings out one of the decks that has been giving the whole playgroup a lot of trouble and I want to overcome it.

    Does anyone else do anything similar to that or something different?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Can EDH be 'Almost (or somewhat, even minimally) solved'?
    A precipitous notion of a topic, I am curious of everyone's input on what they think about 'solving' EDH as a game. The factors of randomness, politics, the sheer possibilities of near-incalculably many interactions that can occur in a game, how the game changes depending of how many players are involved, if planechase is being played, or if some variant like kingdoms, archenemy, or two-headed giant is being played, and the fact that new sets and product releases introduce format-altering possibilities in new cards several times a year make this a very difficult question.

    There are a number of ideas that exist trying to approach this, suggested deckbuilding strategies and gameplay techniques that help increase the odds of a deck, but for everything, there's an exception. Blue, black, and green may be the deciding colors of the format in that order, and some color combinations, such as R/W, just don't seem to compare in aggregate to most decks of other combinations.

    So, I'll frame the question like this: Say you took every commander (or partnered pair) that can be legally used in commander, and subjected them all to the best-played games against each other you could, maybe 10x per single combination of identical factors. The criteria these decks would be subject to are as follows: No sideboards, and played in all non-rarity/card-restricted-based commander variants (from 1v1 up to including, say, 6 players at once playing free for all or some form of team-up variant) an equal number of times each, in every combination of opposing decks. These many, many decks would be built accordingly to be as flexible and consistent as they can manage to rack up wins against all the other decks.

    Which decks do you think would have the highest percentages of wins, and why? I wouldn't take the numbers of what decks exist of each commander on EDHREC or elsewhere as much indication of what is best, because those decks are partly being chosen in the vacuum of popularity and other factors not controlled for.

    Moreover, what is the closest you think you can get to a deck that adapts to and overcomes the majority of matchups and conditions it finds itself in, and how would you do it?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What SCG Con Taught Sheldon About Commander And Its Players
    95% seems like a vast overestimation to me. Even the best cards in their colors, I figure *might* make it into 50% of decks in their colors, if that. Now, if all cards costed a penny each to get, maybe we'd really see how cards are preferenced, but otherwise I tend to see people build decks more often along the lines of a certain thing they're trying to do and with much less concern of 'having this particular piece of goodstuff' unless if it explicitly helps them in what they're trying to do.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Crazy Plays in EDH.
    Recent games:

    A couple weeks ago: Dealt infinite damage to everyone with my Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius deck with only 1 life left. By all rights I should have been dead already.
    Also played a game where I was playing Maelstrom Wanderer, had out Furnace of Rath, and stole among other things a copy of Exquisite Blood with Blatant Thievery off of a cascade. Still lost, but that was pretty nuts.

    ---

    Last night I won a game with my Maelstrom Wanderer deck without playing MW once. Playing against Licia and Gishath.

    Start of the game, had Zealous Conscripts in hand. Slow game, played my lands and rocks, disrupted a couple little things, played some inconsequential cards, nothing all that crazy other than slapping down a Furnace of Rath (I love this card) turn 4 just for the fun of it that got destroyed quickly after.

    At some point, I got to Recurring Insight for 7 cards targeting the opponent with the largest hand. I had 9 mana on board at this point, passed around until it came to my turn again. Targeted the same person with the rebound copy and drew 6 cards, one of which was Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Played my land for turn, tapped all out, went infinite with KJM and ZC, nobody had disruption to stop it at that moment and I didn't expect it either. That's the second time this has happened. I never even tutor for this combo because it's not intentional - both cards are in the deck just for value with everything else.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What Card Do You Wish You Owned for a Deck?
    Mana Crypt, a set of fetchlands, a set of Moxen, and Timetwister

    I know that's more than one, sorry! They're just too expensive, or else I'd be using them. Well, the moxen and the crypt I'd probably only put in one deck, and that deck would be reserved only for certain agreed-upon games because it would be too powerful to be fair against most decks.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What SCG Con Taught Sheldon About Commander And Its Players
    I think the format needs its share of near-broken and 'unfun' (though I wouldn't call them such) cards. Why? Because they, like everything else, incentivize building decks that are prepared to deal with them. Those cards of the format, in my view, overall promote deeper thought in deck construction and strategy, which results in those decks being more prepared for other similar game states that those power cards might not necessarily produce, but may be reached by other means. Aside from sol ring, nothing in the format is really an 'instant slot' in any deck that shares its color, and sol ring is a card that helps push many decks that otherwise wouldn't be all that good into having some form of a chance against decks that are naturally much stronger. Some are too strong, sure, and I'm pretty satisfied with the current banlist anyway aside from maybe 2 or 3 cards that I don't think should be on it. Furthermore, because it seems commander is a growing format, I think wizards needs to keep reprinting staples and many other various but otherwise expensive but good commander-worthy cards frequently, in order to promote accessibility across the playerbase and make it easier for people to close the power gaps in their playgroups.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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