My playgroup has been using proxies and alternate arts for some time now, but it's beginning to get out of hand. When we first started down this road, it began as simply printing out alternate arts for cards that we liked and using those instead of the actual cards. It started off primarily being alternates for our commanders, but like everything in Magic, it started a slippery slope and now things are starting to get out of hand.
We started with a house rule of, "if you have a card that costs more than $15, you could proxy a card rather than buying it over and over for multiple decks." Unfortunately, this slowly turned into "I have multiple blue decks, so I might as well put Fierce Guardianship, Cyclonic Rift, Mana Drain, Force of Negation, etc. into every deck since it's within the house rules." This is happening with all good cards for each color, not exclusively blue.
This is creating an environment where some players are pushing to optimize their decks with strong, expensive spells that make it difficult for others (admittedly myself in this category) to enjoy the game and feel that they have a chance of winning. It is also beginning to limit the uniqueness of decks as more of them are beginning to put the same cards in all of their decks for the sake of being stronger. I myself try my best to avoid this. To me commander is meant to be casual and fun, not about having the best cards in each deck. That's what competitive EDH is for.
So how does your playgroup deal with proxying cards? Do you allow unlimited numbers of the good stuff, or have rules to keep it in check? What do you think of my situation?
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Nov 5, 2020Hello,Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I've been playing casual EDH for about 2 years now. I play in a play group with 8 people (we play with 2 four person pods) and we keep having the same problem: there's on person in our playgroup that wins an unlikely high amount of games he plays. Now before you think, "well maybe his decks are too powerful", "does he play control decks," I have to tell you that we trade and play with each others deck to change it up and to get a taste of our own medicine, which I am a fan of.
The problem is that no matter what deck he uses, whether his, mine or someone else's, and no matter what people or decks he plays against, he always wins. He consistently has the answer for everything, is always able to out grind and out value us into the late game, and we are starting to get fed up with always losing. Again you could say, "Well maybe he builds better decks that are more versatile and provide more value as the game continues," but again he's using our decks as well and constantly winning.
After the CommandZone released their statistics episode about a year ago, we decided to begin keeping track of our own games to see what decks perform best and keep track of our wins and loses (maybe a bad idea that influences some rivalry between us, but we've never gotten toxic about anything and that's a different question for a different time). Typically you'd expect people in 4 player games to win about 25% of the time, general statistics will tell you that. But this one player wins 50% of all games he plays, and has won 100% of the last 9 games hes played! 9! Statistically improbable but obviously not impossible.
What drove me to write this post is that of those last 9 games, I've been a losing member in 8 of them. So my post is coming from a frustrated perspective for sure. But I'm not one to complain, especially given that 2 or 3 of those loses came from my own deck and others from other friends decks, not solely his. And before you ask, "You have 8 people, why not just play in the opposite pod?" we each roll dice before we start playing and match evens and odds together in a pod, so I've also been "unlucky" enough to end up with him for 8 games in a row.
I want to make it clear that I don't go into every game expecting to win, and I don't even expect to win every week (we are able to play 2 days a week currently). But given the shear amount of games we play it would make sense that I or any of the other 6 players that play with him would win at least once rather than losing 9 games in a row. It's frustrating being on the receiving end of loses when your decks are performing well but no matter what you do it's always too little too late.
So after all the background, my question really boils down to this: how to do you handle long losing streaks? Even in my saltiest moments I bite my tongue and just wait for it to pass, I want nothing less to be a toxic salty magic player lol. Is there someone in your playgroup that constantly wins and gives everyone trouble? Am I overreacting? I don't think so, but again it's frustrating putting all this effort, time and money into decent decks only to lose very consistently.
Thanks for reading.
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