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  • posted a message on Best Mardu commander?
    Definitely avoid Kaalia, she gets expensive really quickly and lends herself to a lot of non-games. Edgar specifically has issues against wrath-heavy metagames, but can drop the table to the teens pretty quickly. Kaalia can too, but she's vulnerable to literally any removal spell, counterspell, most blockers, and your own manabase, while Edgar requires them to have wraths. The trick is finding the last few points of damage or protecting your board from wraths (cards like Blood Artist, Boros Charm, and the like are premium).

    You're going to have a bad time playing against top-tier decks with Thassa's Oracle regardless in these colors, so I would either not worry about it or go heavy stax/mass land destruction.

    YMMV but most people play 4-player EDH.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Holy hell that's an incredibly toxic way of looking at things, Dirk. The scawy cEDH people are definitely not out to get you, but those are some pretty ferocious straw men you've got there.

    I sincerely hope you're just trolling and I'm just not catching the sarcasm.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Here's the thing: stripping the banlist and then rebuilding it for the top end of the format would have little to no effect on casual games, since in reality the list would become much smaller and only really contain cards that casual players weren't playing much anyways. For every player who would hate to see a pet card go, there would be a player who is ecstatic to get a chance to play with a pet card currently on the banlist. I'm not even 100% convinced that Thrasios would be on that list, but if a card is broken it is broken, regardless of how fairly you play it.

    There's definitely no valid reason to otherize players who just want to see the banlist make sense. Casual EDH players, competitive EDH players, and everyone in between, we're all just EDH players.

    I agree that Rule Zero is stupid though and shouldn't be a hand-waving cure-all for problems with the format, but it is what it is.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Every logical bone in my body agrees with your premise that casual Commander should be just fine with a social contract and house rules, and that the banned list need only pluck a handful of utterly format-breaking cards. That said, sometimes life isn't logical, and I think things are better the way they are now than they would be if I were running the show and deregulated the format into a wild west 100 card vintage with additional deck construction rules, with the caveat that players would have my permission to agree with their friends on other changes if they're playing Commander in their homes.

    Hey, that's a better response than the spitting venom and ad hominem attacks I usually get for that suggestion, so I'll take it lol. Thanks for being reasonable on the internet, you're rare and appreciated.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    I definitely agree that in an inherently competitive game like Magic that it is inevitable that optimal strategy will approach perfect uniformity given enough time and lack of change. Fortunately WotC keeps injecting new cards at a breakneck pace so we don't have to worry about it becoming entirely stagnant.

    I'll push back a little on the partner thing, since it is really just Thrasios who is a problem. You can pair him with a ham sandwich and your deck will probably be pretty good as long as you have counterspells, ramp, and an infinite mana package. Beyond that, the rest of the mechanic is fair to middling. Given that the RC has said repeatedly that they don't care about balancing the format, I think it was necessary to downplay public enemy No.2 when entreating them to fix public enemy No.1 because they have very clearly stated that they think banning for cEDH is a slippery slope.

    Solving for that unfortunate misconception, I've come to the conclusion that there's no reason to even HAVE one for casual play, and the only cards that need to be banned are the ones breaking the top end of the format. Casual players are happy to play with house rules, or soft-ban cards that aren't fun, or just exert social pressure on people playing things they don't like, which solves for 99% of problems you'd likely see from a completely open format. Meanwhile competitive players are always looking to bring the biggest guns to pummel their buddies with, so taking the broken toys away is important. Looking at it from that perspective, I think the perfect banlist would probably be ~a dozen cards max. It should be entirely possible to provide for both casual and competitive players with an extremely light touch. For the most part cards that are broken aren't even fun in casual.

    Literally just unban everything, ban the small selection of cards ruining high-end games, and everyone wins including the RC, since both camps stop complaining and the criteria for banning becomes crystal clear, making their job easier at the end of the day.

    As for your last point, it is crazy to think about how far we've come isn't it? I remember how insurmountably broken Azami and Rofellos were considered back in the day, and while the average deck hasn't really gotten much better (I'd argue that it has in fact gotten worse), the top end of the format has absolutely left those old bogeymen in the dust.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    One of the reasons Commander is successful, is because an influential force pushes back against the natural trend towards cEDH, and that force is the RC. Commander is unique because competition naturally breeds improvement, which trends towards a singular endpoint, and the RC have accumulated the gravitas to tell people willing to listen, "not here". I don't know that cEDH wouldn't be the norm if not for a relentless PR effort to the contrary. Casuals are a large voice in MtG, but they're a quiet voice. I feel like the RC is their megaphone. By "staying in 2010", the RC prevents the so called Overton Window from constantly redefining what casual is, as what competitive is consistently pushes ever forward.

    My experience has been exactly the opposite, actually.

    Casual players are the largest, loudest voice in MtG, and generally have no trouble making sure that their voice is heard, especially whilst demonizing competitive players. What I've found is that the RC's relentless, dismissive rhetoric in regards to the natural progression of competition in this inherently competitive game has encouraged the average player (through modeling) to see anyone who doesn't play the same way as morally bankrupt, and to treat them accordingly.

    Anecdotally, all of the worst experiences I've ever had playing the game have been the result of self-professed casual players being viciously prejudiced against anything 'other.' One time I walked into one of my two main LGSs, after not showing up for a while, with my favorite new Vial Smasher/Kraum deck looking to cast Logic Knot for 50 and spin the wheel of fate. Nothing too strong, but not the casual 5/10. I sat down at a table of strangers, rolled out my deck, and during the process of introductions one of them started calling me an ******** and rifled around in his bag for a mono-blue deck that he said he only pulls out to focus down pricks with competitive decks, and slammed it on the table. He proceeded to stare at me across the table and windmill slam a counter or removal spell for everything I did, making everyone uncomfortable all game, frothing about 'the spirit of the format.' When he of course lost as a result of poor play and threat assessment, he stormed away from the table and started telling players in other parts of the store very loudly to watch out for me.

    This is an extreme example, but it is recurring behavior I've witnessed in the community, something I've never seen from cEDH players who have been nothing but chill and welcoming even when I bring suboptimal decks to the table. Casual players by no means whatsoever are any sort of oppressed or silent majority. The largest group with the loudest voice and the most privilege has no claim to needing any sort of advocacy from the RC. Meanwhile the poor neglected cEDH crowd literally had to beg the RC to fix their own mistake and ban Flash after unleashing Protean Hulk into the meta for no discernible reason.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Quote from JuiceBOX »
    To say that the RC is why Commander has exploded... is pretty naive.

    The reality is that Commander grew from the limitless application of the format and sure, that started before WOTC got involved. But the format really gained traction when people were given the opportunity to find more excitement in the format via things like spoiler seasons offering up new possibilities. This is a direct result of WOTC acknowledging the format and injecting cards that not only help bring modern design up to par with older and much more difficult cards to find, but also inject a ton of new possibility into the format which has greatly allowed for more customization.

    Ultimately, the format has seen a natural progression, and you can argue that the RC made if possible for WOTC to pick up the format, but that isn't the same as making the format explode.

    I also believe that the RC has reneged a lot of their traditional views on the format and as such, are kind of lost in their own format and how the format works these days.

    I liken it to the arc of GameStop. Someone had a good idea (a videogame store! where you can buy and sell used games!) and then slowly made every effort to drive it into the ground with a dumbfounding lack of management skill, but it was held up for many years as a shining paragon of everything right in the world by people who couldn't see past 'a video game store!' to all the *****ty practices the company engaged in from day one. Eventually the shine came off, and people started questioning whether the folks steering the ship had any idea what they were doing. Turns out, sometimes you get lucky and stumble across success, but if you don't have the wherewithal to manage that success then the gas from that initial luck runs out eventually.

    I fully expect that years from now, much like GameStop, we're going to see all of these blindly zealous RC supporters become their most vocal critics. All it takes is one big headliner mistake and they'll jump right past our gentle but fair criticism to frothing rage. And I'll honestly feel bad for the RC when that inevitably happens, because I don't think they're bad people, they're just in way over their heads.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Look, I feel like I've stated pretty clearly that the RC took the format from its originators, brought it to the masses, and it was popular. That can't be discounted and credit is given where it is due. You are however overestimating the importance of their continued involvement after that initial instance, given that the largest periods of growth have unequivocally been following WotC's involvement, specifically the release of preconstructed decks.

    As to your second point, I'm not sure why you're being so combative. People literally, demonstrably get hyped for the newest, coolest new cards, and literally, demonstrably lose interest in the old stuff as cool new cards and strategies come out. I mean, look at the top commanders on EDHRec, they're almost all cards designed by WotC for EDH. That paints a very clear picture of what people want out of the format.

    New players enjoy the RC's style of ramp+expropriate/big dragon/other bomb, and for the most part very quickly evolve their play into something more inherently interesting as they grow. Not everyone gets to the point where they find a cEDH level of interaction and complexity enjoyable, but I've been playing EDH for a decade and watched new players slowly lose interest in the stale ramp>dragon>swing format the RC advocates and move into more complicated, interactive decks with more engaging play patterns and knobs to turn.

    Hell, my first deck was Karrthus dragons built just the way the RC would build it with 4-cmc ramp spells and way too many bombs and no removal, and I had a blast, but that ***** gets old pretty fast. I thank the RC for their role in taking the format from its creators and showing it to the masses, but I'm enjoying the format more than ever right now, and there's more players in the format than ever right now, the impetus for both being very easy to point to: WotC's involvement in the format.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Deliberate— Noah Walker preview
    They could definitely stand to push the envelope on cantrips more. I know they're inordinately scared of preordain, which is inexplicable to me having played with it in standard, but this ain't it fam. At two mana this should have been scry 3 or 4. Omen of the Sea has TWO upsides over this card, and that's an embarrassing spot to be in.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Best Mardu commander?
    Edgar Markov not close.

    The 1&2-drop version specifically is ban-worthy in 1v1.

    My last version of the deck before I took it apart for reference, which is super cheap aside from the manabase for the most part:

    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1x Asylum Visitor
    1x Ayara, First of Locthwain
    1x Blood Artist
    1x Bloodcrazed Paladin
    1x Bloodghast
    1x Captivating Vampire
    1x Changeling Outcast
    1x Cordial Vampire
    1x Cruel Celebrant
    1x Dockside Extortionist
    1x Dusk Legion Zealot
    1x Forerunner of the Legion
    1x Gifted Aetherborn
    1x Guul Draz Assassin
    1x Guul Draz Vampire
    1x Indulgent Aristocrat
    1x Kalastria Highborn
    1x Knight of the Ebon Legion
    1x Legion Lieutenant
    1x Metallic Mimic
    1x Mirror Entity
    1x Olivia's Bloodsworn
    1x Pulse Tracker
    1x Purphoros, God of the Forge
    1x Quag Vampires
    1x Shadow Alley Denizen
    1x Stromkirk Captain
    1x Stromkirk Condemned
    1x Tithe Drinker
    1x Vampire Cutthroat
    1x Vampire Hexmage
    1x Vampire Interloper
    1x Vampire Lacerator
    1x Vampire of the Dire Moon
    1x Vicious Conquistador
    1x Viscera Seer

    1x Arid Mesa
    1x Badlands
    1x Blood Crypt
    1x Bloodstained Mire
    1x Command Tower
    1x Dragonskull Summit
    1x Flooded Strand
    1x Godless Shrine
    1x Isolated Chapel
    1x Marsh Flats
    1x Plateau
    1x Polluted Delta
    1x Scalding Tarn
    1x Scrubland
    1x Snow-Covered Mountain
    1x Snow-Covered Plains
    13x Snow-Covered Swamp
    1x Verdant Catacombs
    1x Windswept Heath
    1x Wooded Foothills

    1x Arcane Signet
    1x Arcum's Astrolabe
    1x Bolas's Citadel
    1x Obelisk of Urd
    1x Skullclamp
    1x Throne of the God-Pharaoh

    1x Impact Tremors
    1x Necropotence
    1x Phyrexian Arena
    1x Shared Animosity

    1x Boros Charm
    1x Cabal Ritual
    1x Culling the Weak
    1x Dark Ritual
    1x Defile
    1x Dismember
    1x Fire Covenant
    1x Flawless Maneuver
    1x Go for the Throat
    1x Nameless Inversion
    1x Path to Exile
    1x Swords to Plowshares
    1x Terminate
    1x Unbreakable Formation
    1x Vampiric Tutor

    1x Demonic Tutor
    1x Diabolic Intent
    1x Night's Whisper
    1x Sevinne's Reclamation
    1x Sign in Blood

    1x Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord

    Don't build Kaalia, she only does two things: 1) End the game immediately, 2) Absolutely nothing.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Here's the thing: EDH has become wildly more popular since WotC started paying attention to the format and it is intellectually dishonest to say otherwise. All of the sales data and even simple logic bears that out.

    With every Commander release EDH becomes more popular, meanwhile the RC lazes about and ignores obvious areas of improvement for the format. Occam's razor wants to have a word with you, and its not 'The RC is responsible for the format's popularity.' If people wanted to play the RC's way at first, we've collectively moved past that now, and the people are hungry for more and more new toys. On a personal level I know that I start losing interest in EDH when there's a long dry spell for interesting goodies, YMMV of course.

    This is purely speculation, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that if the Commander products hadn't been printed we'd have all lost interest by now because the format would've gotten stale. Cool new toys get us pumped!

    There's a lot of misinformed folks who claim that WotC is killing EDH when that couldn't be further from the truth. The precons bring more people in, more legends in each set bring more people in, more big splashy multiplayer cards bring more people in, and honestly the things breaking the format at any given point are usually older cards that either take waaaaayyyyy too long to get banned, never get banned, or in fact get unbanned inexplicably (coughProteanHulkcough).

    As to lists becoming more streamlined and less varied: that is a consequence of time and internet access, it was always going to happen. The hive mind weeds out what is good and what is bad at an exponentially accelerating rate, which is honestly fine since most people would agree that doing powerful things is fun. Slamming haymakers is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game (after interaction I'd say personally), its just that the collective definition of what constitutes a haymaker has... evolved.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Quote from Shadow345 »
    There's a few picks like Sylvan Primordial that I would like to see as playable but it's not a big enough issue to matter.

    I mean there were a few situations like when Flash was legal and Sylvan Primordial was banned which made no sense. People where scooping just when a Flash was played.

    Yeah we've moved pretty far past Sylvan Primordial as a format now. Sure, its a big powerful effect but we've got better things to do with our mana these days. Remember when Deadeye Navigator and Seedborn Muse were considered unstoppable, game-breaking cards? Man the format has evolved a lot lol.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Quote from Cranky »
    A lot of people conflate the format's success with the RC's involvement, which is an understandable logical leap, but there's really no evidence of such. If anything, the format is popular because of WotC's involvement, as there have been incredibly sharp jumps after every Commander set release.

    You think that wotc decided to get involved with a fanmade format for the first time ever just because, or because that format was really really popular?

    You thinking that designs like planeswalker and Oloro are good for the format because "they are not busted enough" shows how much you understand nothing of this format. If EDH started with this phylosophy, it would have become a forgettable format really fast.

    Format is created by fans (not the RC) > Format is co-opted by the RC which establishes initial ban list > Format gains a modest amount of popularity > WotC supports the format > The format explodes in popularity > People begin realizing that the RC is out of touch (which is what we're discussing here)

    Seems like a pretty clear progression to me.

    I don't understand why you have to be so combative and put up straw-men like you're doing, its not super productive. You doing alright bud?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    Quote from Melkor »
    I only follow Shivam on Twitter, i don't know how the rest of them feel about stuff, but I definitely don't think that the health of the format can be attributed to someone who given his own way would ban ALL planeswalkers and Sol Ring. A lot of the banned stuff would just naturally be discouraged, and he seems to have a lot of disdain for the Commander specific cards that do such a good job of getting new people to join. there could be some room in between, but I don't think the RC is any better for this format than the Pro Tour was for Modern as far as choices with them in mind.

    I can't even wrap my head around how terrible their meta must be that planeswalkers are more than a slight nuisance. Play creatures with CMC less than 7 ffs. I do agree that Sol Ring (and Crypt and probably Vault) would be banned in an ideal world, but they're not the worst offenders still legal.

    More than that though? For the life of me I can't understand how backwards people are about the Commander-specific cards. I've been playing EDH since it first started gaining traction among the general populace (~Shards I'd say) and the cards WotC has specifically designed for the format have been some of the coolest things to happen to it. Derevi would've been banned when the tuck rule got changed if the RC was competent, but other than that one slip I'm very happy with WotC's exploration of the design space.

    Then I remember that the average player thinks Oloro is busted beyond belief and sigh heavily.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rules committee narrow minded?
    A lot of people conflate the format's success with the RC's involvement, which is an understandable logical leap, but there's really no evidence of such. If anything, the format is popular because of WotC's involvement, as there have been incredibly sharp jumps after every Commander set release.

    Sheldon took the idea from Adam Staley who created the format up in Alaska, brought it to the rest of the US, and the populace took it and ran with it because it was a good idea. The RC's involvement since then has had a neutral to slightly negative effect on the format, while WotC has smartly thrown their weight behind it and exploded its popularity via constant support.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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