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  • posted a message on Banning Criteria discussion: Allow players to win out of nowhere
    Quote from Daemion »
    Expropriate is so much better than most cards on the ban list. I can't take this ban list seriously and it's irony that they now offer these criteria - it all just looks even more random Grin


    Expropriate should typically be worse than Time Stretch. Blatant Thievery is a good card, but Time Warp is better, and I'd rather have 2 Time Warps than a Time Warp plus a Blatant Thievery most of the time, especially when the former comes at a lower cost. It's a great splashy card, but it only becomes a problem when someone other than the caster votes for time. That's a problem that you should head off before it resolves by explaining how stupid it is to vote for time. 3+ time walks is usually going to be insurmountable, but a timewalk plus a Blatant Thievery should not be (at least when Time Warp wouldn't win on its own).
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on New Website - MTGNexus
    If you already have an account here you just register there? There's nothing special you have to do to verify?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Final Day: Maelstrom Nexus
    Quote from MRdown2urth »
    Okay one-drop for your aggro Yuan Shao, the Indecisive deck.


    That's, actually interesting. Menace matters
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on 7/8 Banlist
    People need to stop acting like painter/grindstone being in the format changes anything outside of perhaps cEDH. The combo existed already with RiP/Void Helm. Sure, painter stone is faster and colorless, but it's not new, and unless I'm reading it wrong it can only take out one player per turn like RiP Helm. Blood Clock requires more setup but kills the table.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Banning Criteria discussion: Allow players to win out of nowhere
    Quote from Dunharrow »
    Quote from JqlGirl »
    Wins out of nowhere is why Biorhythm, Coalition Victory, and Worldfire are also banned, among other reasons.
    Remember, a card isn't banned just for falling into one of those categories. A card can fit a category and not be banworthy.

    What other reasons were Paradox Engine banned for? This was the only thing mentioned, and also that doesn't require very specific deckbuilding. Isn't Tooth and Nail in the same boat?
    Biorhythm, CV and Worldfire interact poorly with the rules of the format.

    Quote from papa_funk »
    The new philosophy document goes to great lengths to say "these are not a checklist," just some things we look for.

    Honestly, if you want the most important sentence in that paragraph, I would bold "it combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play,"
    That was not one of criteria on the list. I understand it is not a checklist, but that is also not a criteria for banning - it just tipped the scale.
    I would say that T&N also just has for incentive cards that you are already incentivized to play - mana and impactful creatures.


    If PE is banned then it seems to me that there are other cards that also seemingly win out of nowhere with minimal deckbuilding restraints. I think T&N is obvious. I think Expropriate is probably close.

    I understand that Doomsday is not played enough to be in the same conversation - that there is a consideration for how much a card is played - and I am not saying any of the cards I mentioned need to be banned. It just seems to me that PE is really the only card to be banned solely based on this one criteria, and that it ought to warrant discussion about other cards that play similarly to PE.



    T&N grabbing a couple swole bois to wreck face is fine, but the combo creatures that can win almost regardless of board state are not necessarily cards you'd normally play. Triskelion is only hitting decks that combo with it. Hoof/Avenger is a combo that involves two cards you are already incentivized to run in green, but it doesn't get the win off of an empty board unless you've already got a decent amount of lands (so ramping into T&N off of rocks isn't going to do it, turn 5 it'll kill 1 person).

    I'm all for a T&N banning though, it's as borderline as they come
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on July 2019 Ban List Update
    I'm surprised but not disappointed with the PE ban. I mentioned in the thread that I was beginning to feel as if a ban was inevitable as more cards that had broken interactions with it kept being printed (like Urza) but that I wasn't sure if it was there yet. Perhaps it was, or perhaps the inevitability of it getting there was enough.

    The Iona/Painter switch was one of the few things I've thought was clearly in need of a change, and it's nice to see it's been made.

    I'll be digging into the philosophy document later. While I'm sad to see the categories go, because I thought they provided some valuable insight into the thought process used when deciding whether cards where problematic enough to be banned, I agree that people sometimes missed the nuances, and missed the forest through the trees (that the categories meant nothing by themselves, but where ways that cards went against the RC's vision for what kind of experience people should have with EDH)
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Let's speculate on Monday's announcement
    I see a revamped philosophy document that more clearly defines what the CaG and RC see as the baseline for the format, including talking about discouraged strategies in broad strokes. Rather than "combos are bad" I expect something along the lines of "in a typical commander game, your deck shouldn't be tutoring up it's combo at the earliest possibility. While this is certainly something that some players like, it should be kept to playgroups and players that want a more competitive edge to their games." I also see adjustments to the banlist criteria to clarify a few points, and potentially break out some of the more expensive criteria into multiple criteria focusing on specific points, or using bullet points to draw focus to the individual points (problematic casual omnipresence comes to mind, as does undesirable game states).
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Finale of Devastation
    Yeah, its GSZ until you hit 12, and once you hit 12 you should be casting haymakers. I'm always miffed by single card wincons, but its 3 mana more than the alternatives, and I don't think being otherwise useful puts it over the top.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    Quote from Taleran »
    My problem with designating a card a card or cards into that is Commander and EDH is a place full of trickle down cards.

    If you are gonna tell me that Ad Nauseam is a card that only sees play within a competitive environment I am gonna call you a liar as one example. People see mechanics and decks and synergies that work well in all kinds of decks and the parts of them they like or are affordable are re-purposed into decks they have made that sacrifice the speed of being tuned for some good hay maker all in strategies.

    It is why it is dangerous to ascribe any card to any specific place alone because these formats are not vacuums.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I for one don't think that a change to a lower life total would impact the things you are talking about, because a balanced increase of aggro leads to people also running more responses to said aggro so the control decks and the combo decks both wanting to survive in early portions of the game becomes a real thing. This also allows for a meta that plays mostly in battlecruiser and similar configurations to play largely the same game sure the things that generally happened in those games would happen sooner but the amount of give and take would not be lessened I do not think.


    I was more wondering about reasons people like 40 life outside of those, because as it stands right now the reasons to keep the life total where it is seem minimal.


    Well, once again, I'm not designating them anything, I'm calling it as I see it, and I don't see Ad Nauseum being problematic in casual games. I almost never see it there, and when I do its not doing anything broken. I rarely hear it complained about outside of cEDH either, except for you, right now, as it suits your point. Even the point you try to make acknowledges that when these cards do get ran in more casual settings, its not in the same kind of all in way that would make them problematic. And calling me a liar is, as is so often your style, a baseless personal attack. I mean, maybe you've seen differently in your meta and that's why you are saying it, but if I wanted to be a jerk I could call you a liar and say you are making it up to suit your argument because I have not seen it. That would be asinine, because I have no proof that you have seen it, and that's a reasonable explanation for you insisting that its a problem. But unfortunately for your argument Ad Naus is not something that's running around ruining casual games of commander to any degree that would make it hit the banlist criteria, nor is Doomsday. They are cEDH cards simply because that is where they are ran. Should they actually spread out to casual and start making a splash in a problematic way, then they would cease to be cEDH cards. Then they would be relevant to the conversation on rules changes. And all this would be possible while still ignoring cEDH. We aren't ignoring the CARDS, we're ignoring the cEDH meta, and thus the impact that ANY card has in it. This also works for cards that are problematic in casual but bad in cEDH, as "it isn't in tier 1 decks" isn't an argument against banning.

    Saying its a cEDH card isn't ignoring the card, its ignoring its impact on cEDH. The impact of the card on casual is still considered (as I do in my posts) and I don't believe those cards to be problematic in casual, or even prolific there. In order to argue that Ad Naus and Doomsday are significant in the format, you need to bring in cEDH, and that is irrelevant to rules discussion.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    Quote from Taleran »
    I think quarantining certain cards in cEDH-ville while you are thinking about Commander can also be disastrous.

    I guess to go back to an older style of doing this so much of this post is people posting reasons why we should have life totals lower than 40 and why that would be good and people responding as to why those things are bad.

    What are the reasons other than it already being at 40 that it being at 40 is a good number?


    I'm not quarantining card to cEDH, I'm noting that if a card is really only seen in cEDH then it is not an issue because cEDH is irrelevant to the banlist and rules making. A big reason that certain cards get played a lot in cEDH but see little play in more casual settings is because they just aren't as good for casual. Doomsday is a classic example: if you are playing Doomsday you are trying to win on the spot, and you also have to both dedicate a few deckslots to the combo. It puts you on the path of aiming directly for that combo, but unlike other combo cards this is a turn off for more casual players, because it's also a high risk card that is also fairly skill intensive. The best Doomsday lists have a couple different packages they can grab in case one won't work because of the board state. Ad Nauseum meanwhile is awesome when you build your deck to win if it resolves, and super risky and not particularly great otherwise. Again, this makes it less of a fit in more causal decks where instead of a 5 Mana sorcery that wins the game it's a 5 Mana sorcery that draws 5-7 cards for a decent chunk of life, which starts competing with cards like promise of power, which is a 5 Mana draw five lose five life with flexibility (ok, even in casual decks Ad Naus can draw a lot more, but it's highly variable, sometimes you hit a couple six drops right away and you aren't going to be able to dig too deep without getting yourself in range of attacks).


    As for the "what's good about leaving it at 40" question, read the thread. It's disingenuous to dismiss the arguments as to why 30 life would be bad, as their mirror is often why 40 life is good. For instance, one complaint about 30 life is that it would push out battle cruiser decks, but the other way of looking at that argument is that it's saying that 40 life is good because it allows battle cruiser decks to happen. On the other side, you see people saying 30 life would be good because it would make aggro more viable, but that could also be rephrased as an argument saying that 40 life is bad because it makes aggro too weak. It doesn't take much thinking to figure that out.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    Quote from Taleran »
    There is more to life payment that Necro.

    Ad Naus, Citadel, Deluge and Fire Covenant are the first things that come to mind as absurd cards with 40 life that get reigned in with a change.


    And none of them need to be reigned in. Which is what I said. Is Fire Covenant a problem? Does Ad Naus see play outside of cEDH (remember, being good in cEDH is irrelevant to rules decisions)? Citadel has more life to work with than in other formats, but is also going to cause more life loss because its also going to be dealing with higher casting costs, especially in non cEDH metas, so it largely balances out (like Bob or similar cards).


    To Dirk: I never said it was your main argument, but I've already said what I would say to dispute your other arguments, so no sense rehashing it. In fact, you actually replied to those posts. I hadn't went to deep into the life payment and life matters cards so that's what I focused on.

    I also don't really agree that ignorance is what drives people to play suboptimal decks. Its actually probably quite low on the list of reasons because of how easy it is to net deck. No, I do really think that some people like a jankier environment, whether because they want slower games, or want to play with oddball cards, or want to play unique strategies, or want to play a vorthos deck, or even want to set up janky combos. This is going to be less evident in pick up games at events because the social contract is weaker and even many people who prefer weaker metas will build one or two "pimp" decks they can pull out when they sit down with try hards, but those situations aren't the norm. Even on mtgo, where cards are cheap and you play with strangers, I rarely see people plop down outright cEDH decks, because thats ******* boring when nobody else is playing at that level. So I think the number one reason you don't see everyone gravitate to the best strategies built optimally is because most people simply do not want that. After that, for paper magic I'd say price would be the next most important reason, precluding some who would want the most optimized decks from getting them because they don't want to pay that much. But ignorance? Only the spikiest noobs are held back from tier 1 play by ignorance.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Nexus of Fate
    Quote from Pokken »
    Good catch. Man, that replacement effect stuff is really sloppy. My quick reading of it was it was triggered like the Koz.

    regardless, i don't think this thread goes anywhere without a comparison to the banlist criteria. That's pretty much the baseline for every ban discussion.


    I actually had to look it up and check before I posted, its very confusing and counter-intuitive.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Quote from Gashnaw II »
    Well I actually play a cattlebruiser deck, and life totals diminish rather quickly. I would not have the chance to accumulate my board state with a lower life pool. I like my dragon deck and the only reason it works is because I have time to set up. If there was a way to make sure no one could attack for a few turns, sure 30 would be fine... But I need that extra ten.
    Have you considered that maybe you just have a badly-built deck?

    "If you lower life totals to 30 I can't totally ignore the early game!" seems like a really bad argument to me.

    Also: was cattlebruiser a typo, or is that a thing I haven't heard of?
    Quote from Onering »
    I really don't think any rule changes should be made to the format to shake up cEDH at all. Aggro isn't bad in more casual settings, neither is midrange. Earlier in the thread someone mentioned a lowering the life total as a way to solve certain problems with EDH, and named Ad Naus as one. I can't remember the last time I saw Ad Naus outside of cEDH, so it shouldn't be relevant at all to the conversation. Meanwhile, playing shocks untapped shouldn't be considered a problem either, being able to do so helps smooth play in a format that by design can be somewhat clunky (100 card singleton).

    Lowering the life total to 30 would certainly hurt Rube Goldberg machine combos and anything that relies on life payment (or high life totals), but it won't stop T&N from being a thing. 30 life in a multiplayer format is still a lot and T&N wins out of nowhere, so what is everyone gonna do, just swing out at the green player if they ramp at all? Because if you're splitting damage, he's still going to be able to survive until 9 mana, and if he has a bit of interaction he'll do so even if you target him. 30 life is not going to close out 4+ player games before someone hits 9 mana, when all these single card bombs that win the game hit at the latest. Its certainly not going to infringe on Hoof's place as a finisher, if anything Hoof gets even better because it needs even less of a board state to get you to swing for lethal, and by its very nature of wanting you to have creatures in play it means that you will have a built in defense against aggro just by playing into Hoof. As for the more competitive combos, the sort that try to get out their combo ASAP and aim to go off turns 3-5, which is going off fast enough that aggro isn't going to be able to reliably kill them before they go off, and those decks are already packing answers to deal with other combos and protect their own, so when they aren't going off that early they have ways to play control.

    30 life WOULD give aggro better positioning in 75% metas, which is where it currently struggles yet isn't a lost cause (its fine in more casual metas, which can't answer threats as reliably, and probably beyond hope in cEDH unless life totals go to 20). I'm not so sure its worth it though. Aggro is more difficult to play correctly in multiplayer than midrange, combo, or control, because of the importance of proper threat assessment before you have a lot of information means that the decisions you make early have a lot more weight in determining whether you win or hit a wall than with other archetypes. Its already pretty easy to kill one person with aggro and then get shut down by the other 2 or 3, and lowering the life totals to 30 won't really change that situation. Sure, its going to be more punishing to the person who spends their early turns ramping instead of holding up answers or establishing a board state, but that just means that person is going to have a bad night while the control players get to hold their answers for the aggro player once he's done doing their dirty work. Games play out better when threats are answered by answer cards rather than getting preemptively answered by taking a player out of the game. Sometimes that can be necessary, like when someone is showing a clearly OP commander or is known to be playing a deck you can't otherwise answer, but it sucks when someone just gets jumpy and decides to come for someone's throat because they played a nature's lore and a cultivate. What would really suffer are Battlecruiser decks, as they are the least able to deal with aggro (control is probably best positioned because shutting down aggro is what control is all about, combo can still outrace aggro at 30 life often enough, and midrange wins out by being a step slower and a head taller which is where you always want to be). Aggro has its place in a variety of formats, Battlecruiser only has EDH, so if it comes down to allowing Battlecruiser to exist or making aggro better I'll choose allowing Battlecruiser to exist every time. If you are determined to play aggro, you can make it work (except in cEDH, though hatebears use aggro as a backup to its main combo line), though it may look different than it does in other formats (a bit more evasive, a half step slower, prioritizing abilities more and raw stats a bit less, more fish less sligh).
    I see necro plenty outside of cEDH. Plus vilis I'm sure will see plenty of play. Serra Ascendant, aetherflux reservoir...there are a lot of cards that ought to get taken down a peg imo.

    Will combo still be a thing? Absolutely. Will people die before getting to T&N mana? Probably not, although maybe one person will if they're getting focused down. I think really the main reason to lower life totals, though, is that right now a LOT of people put combos in their decks as a "safety valve" for if the game is going too long. And I think this safety valve mentality is what's increased the prevalence of combos in otherwise noncompetitive metas, and made those combos faster and faster. With lower life totals, ending the game without an infinite combo becomes less difficult, and people are less likely to resort to infinite combos as their only reliable option.

    Right now EDH has a reputation for creating games so long that they wear out their welcome, and then keep going for another two hours. Cutting down the absurd starting life totals would at least help put a dent in that.
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Quote from Gashnaw II »
    Well I actually play a cattlebruiser deck, and life totals diminish rather quickly. I would not have the chance to accumulate my board state with a lower life pool. I like my dragon deck and the only reason it works is because I have time to set up. If there was a way to make sure no one could attack for a few turns, sure 30 would be fine... But I need that extra ten.
    Have you considered that maybe you just have a badly-built deck?

    "If you lower life totals to 30 I can't totally ignore the early game!" seems like a really bad argument to me.

    Also: was cattlebruiser a typo, or is that a thing I haven't heard of?
    Quote from Onering »
    I really don't think any rule changes should be made to the format to shake up cEDH at all. Aggro isn't bad in more casual settings, neither is midrange. Earlier in the thread someone mentioned a lowering the life total as a way to solve certain problems with EDH, and named Ad Naus as one. I can't remember the last time I saw Ad Naus outside of cEDH, so it shouldn't be relevant at all to the conversation. Meanwhile, playing shocks untapped shouldn't be considered a problem either, being able to do so helps smooth play in a format that by design can be somewhat clunky (100 card singleton).

    Lowering the life total to 30 would certainly hurt Rube Goldberg machine combos and anything that relies on life payment (or high life totals), but it won't stop T&N from being a thing. 30 life in a multiplayer format is still a lot and T&N wins out of nowhere, so what is everyone gonna do, just swing out at the green player if they ramp at all? Because if you're splitting damage, he's still going to be able to survive until 9 mana, and if he has a bit of interaction he'll do so even if you target him. 30 life is not going to close out 4+ player games before someone hits 9 mana, when all these single card bombs that win the game hit at the latest. Its certainly not going to infringe on Hoof's place as a finisher, if anything Hoof gets even better because it needs even less of a board state to get you to swing for lethal, and by its very nature of wanting you to have creatures in play it means that you will have a built in defense against aggro just by playing into Hoof. As for the more competitive combos, the sort that try to get out their combo ASAP and aim to go off turns 3-5, which is going off fast enough that aggro isn't going to be able to reliably kill them before they go off, and those decks are already packing answers to deal with other combos and protect their own, so when they aren't going off that early they have ways to play control.

    30 life WOULD give aggro better positioning in 75% metas, which is where it currently struggles yet isn't a lost cause (its fine in more casual metas, which can't answer threats as reliably, and probably beyond hope in cEDH unless life totals go to 20). I'm not so sure its worth it though. Aggro is more difficult to play correctly in multiplayer than midrange, combo, or control, because of the importance of proper threat assessment before you have a lot of information means that the decisions you make early have a lot more weight in determining whether you win or hit a wall than with other archetypes. Its already pretty easy to kill one person with aggro and then get shut down by the other 2 or 3, and lowering the life totals to 30 won't really change that situation. Sure, its going to be more punishing to the person who spends their early turns ramping instead of holding up answers or establishing a board state, but that just means that person is going to have a bad night while the control players get to hold their answers for the aggro player once he's done doing their dirty work. Games play out better when threats are answered by answer cards rather than getting preemptively answered by taking a player out of the game. Sometimes that can be necessary, like when someone is showing a clearly OP commander or is known to be playing a deck you can't otherwise answer, but it sucks when someone just gets jumpy and decides to come for someone's throat because they played a nature's lore and a cultivate. What would really suffer are Battlecruiser decks, as they are the least able to deal with aggro (control is probably best positioned because shutting down aggro is what control is all about, combo can still outrace aggro at 30 life often enough, and midrange wins out by being a step slower and a head taller which is where you always want to be). Aggro has its place in a variety of formats, Battlecruiser only has EDH, so if it comes down to allowing Battlecruiser to exist or making aggro better I'll choose allowing Battlecruiser to exist every time. If you are determined to play aggro, you can make it work (except in cEDH, though hatebears use aggro as a backup to its main combo line), though it may look different than it does in other formats (a bit more evasive, a half step slower, prioritizing abilities more and raw stats a bit less, more fish less sligh).
    I see necro plenty outside of cEDH. Plus vilis I'm sure will see plenty of play. Serra Ascendant, aetherflux reservoir...there are a lot of cards that ought to get taken down a peg imo.

    Will combo still be a thing? Absolutely. Will people die before getting to T&N mana? Probably not, although maybe one person will if they're getting focused down. I think really the main reason to lower life totals, though, is that right now a LOT of people put combos in their decks as a "safety valve" for if the game is going too long. And I think this safety valve mentality is what's increased the prevalence of combos in otherwise noncompetitive metas, and made those combos faster and faster. With lower life totals, ending the game without an infinite combo becomes less difficult, and people are less likely to resort to infinite combos as their only reliable option.

    Right now EDH has a reputation for creating games so long that they wear out their welcome, and then keep going for another two hours. Cutting down the absurd starting life totals would at least help put a dent in that.


    I reject the argument that life pay and life matters cards need to be nerfed by lowering the total from 40 to 30, with the exception of necro. Necro is absurdly good at 40 but at 30 you are looking at 10 fewer cards, and it's easy to get into situations where you must be judicious with you draws (it starts becoming a liability at 15 life because of how easy it is to deal big chunks of damage in this format). You tend to overdraw with Necro to ensure you get cards you can play, because you have to wait until end of turn to get them,which means that they both aren't immediately available AND you can't tell how many you'll need to draw to have things to play. That makes necro more vulnerable to lowering the starting life total. Other life pay cards are either not a problem, or less vulnerable for a variety of reasons. 30 life would not make unbanning Yawgs Bargain or Grislebrand ok for instance, as both get you cards immediately, while Grisle can gain you the life back and with Yawgs Bargain you never have to overdraw, and with both you can abuse spells that care about card draw (necro doesn't actually draw cards). Sylvan Library otoh will only draw 2.5 fewer cards with this change, a small difference that will only really matter in more competitive settings. Greed, Erebos etc are already restricted by having to pay Mana. These, as well as the vast majority of life payment spells, are also completely fine and not problematic in how they play. They get better because of the higher starting life total, but they are far from overpowered because of it and their core function is unchanged. Other than necro, only Aetherflux strikes me at first glance as needing a Nerf, but 30 life ain't gonna do it. Aetherflux gains you plenty of life on its own, so it's a triflingly small speed bump to start at 10 fewer life. It will make it a bit more difficult to use to take out the last opponent, but that's it.
    Meanwhile, the cards that care about life total aren't a problem. Felidar Sovereign is a trap card, if it has a chance at winning early it's getting killed. It's subpar card that may occasionally steal a win but really should not be ran outside of a dedicated lifegain control deck as an alt wincon. Serra Ascendant is by far the best of the lot and not a problem. It's a bit cheesy when someone drops it turn 1, and can get in lots of early damage, but usually eats removal as soon as it attacks anyone holding it. Late game it generally sucks outside of dedicated life gain. Even when it's a 6/6 late game it's still just ok because it's often outclassed by more expensive creatures. Dropping the starting total to 30 makes it easier to make it a 1/1 and harder to cast off of shocks and fetches, but it's still perfectly able to come down turn 1 as a 6/6 and then start swinging turn 2 and giving you enough extra life to play those shocks and fetches. Meanwhile, not it has a faster clock because everyone else starts at 10 less life.

    The only real benefit I'm seeing is that it weakens necro. If that is something that is so desperately needed, then the better answer is to ban necro. It scores high on an number of the ban criteria as it is, and banning a single, clearly bonkers card is a much more reasonable course of action than changing a fundamental rule of the format.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Nexus of Fate
    I mean, getting milles out but winning because of Nexus doesn't sound like all that much of a problem, its a step above an eldrazi Titan for sure because it doesn't just stop you from losing but actually helps you win. Mill is pretty rare though, so those random wins are going to be rare. And since a lot of the time you are going to see mill it's via combo (like RiP Helm or bloodcrank) you are doing the lulzworthy achievement of turning their combo win against them. Otherwise, milling yourself to get it is a combo, just like labman.

    As for fair play, I think it's one of the best extra turn spells for that. It's one extra turn and cannot be recurred so unlike time warp it doesn't push you to run more spell recursion to make it better. But it also does have the chance of coming back, so you can double dip if you get lucky. It does get better with tutors, but that's a lot of Mana to pull off.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    Quote from DirkGently »
    It's obviously going to be hard for aggro facing down multiple life totals. But combo has weaknesses in multiplayer too - it has to fight through 3 hands of potential answers. The problem is that, without the ability to pressure their life totals, they can sit on the combo until the optimal moment with relatively little concern that they'll get knocked out before they get the chance.

    Having lower life totals wouldn't necessarily make it easy for aggro to run away with the game - they still have 3 opponents, after all - but it could mean that they can actually kill someone sitting on a combo before they can comfortably wait to play it protected. Which could mean, in a competitive setting, that aggro might at least have some foothold, and that no longer is all competitive EDH combo EDH.

    Krenko is almost more of a combo deck (albeit not infinite combo). For krenko the difference between 60 and 120 life is like, one turn at most. While krenko obviously isn't top-tier competitive, he is the sort of aggro that "works" in commander, at least to a certain extent. But you're not going to see a lyzolda deck pulling any kind of weight in a competitive setting, for example, it just can't scale to those kinds of numbers.


    I really don't think any rule changes should be made to the format to shake up cEDH at all. Aggro isn't bad in more casual settings, neither is midrange. Earlier in the thread someone mentioned a lowering the life total as a way to solve certain problems with EDH, and named Ad Naus as one. I can't remember the last time I saw Ad Naus outside of cEDH, so it shouldn't be relevant at all to the conversation. Meanwhile, playing shocks untapped shouldn't be considered a problem either, being able to do so helps smooth play in a format that by design can be somewhat clunky (100 card singleton).

    Lowering the life total to 30 would certainly hurt Rube Goldberg machine combos and anything that relies on life payment (or high life totals), but it won't stop T&N from being a thing. 30 life in a multiplayer format is still a lot and T&N wins out of nowhere, so what is everyone gonna do, just swing out at the green player if they ramp at all? Because if you're splitting damage, he's still going to be able to survive until 9 mana, and if he has a bit of interaction he'll do so even if you target him. 30 life is not going to close out 4+ player games before someone hits 9 mana, when all these single card bombs that win the game hit at the latest. Its certainly not going to infringe on Hoof's place as a finisher, if anything Hoof gets even better because it needs even less of a board state to get you to swing for lethal, and by its very nature of wanting you to have creatures in play it means that you will have a built in defense against aggro just by playing into Hoof. As for the more competitive combos, the sort that try to get out their combo ASAP and aim to go off turns 3-5, which is going off fast enough that aggro isn't going to be able to reliably kill them before they go off, and those decks are already packing answers to deal with other combos and protect their own, so when they aren't going off that early they have ways to play control.

    30 life WOULD give aggro better positioning in 75% metas, which is where it currently struggles yet isn't a lost cause (its fine in more casual metas, which can't answer threats as reliably, and probably beyond hope in cEDH unless life totals go to 20). I'm not so sure its worth it though. Aggro is more difficult to play correctly in multiplayer than midrange, combo, or control, because of the importance of proper threat assessment before you have a lot of information means that the decisions you make early have a lot more weight in determining whether you win or hit a wall than with other archetypes. Its already pretty easy to kill one person with aggro and then get shut down by the other 2 or 3, and lowering the life totals to 30 won't really change that situation. Sure, its going to be more punishing to the person who spends their early turns ramping instead of holding up answers or establishing a board state, but that just means that person is going to have a bad night while the control players get to hold their answers for the aggro player once he's done doing their dirty work. Games play out better when threats are answered by answer cards rather than getting preemptively answered by taking a player out of the game. Sometimes that can be necessary, like when someone is showing a clearly OP commander or is known to be playing a deck you can't otherwise answer, but it sucks when someone just gets jumpy and decides to come for someone's throat because they played a nature's lore and a cultivate. What would really suffer are Battlecruiser decks, as they are the least able to deal with aggro (control is probably best positioned because shutting down aggro is what control is all about, combo can still outrace aggro at 30 life often enough, and midrange wins out by being a step slower and a head taller which is where you always want to be). Aggro has its place in a variety of formats, Battlecruiser only has EDH, so if it comes down to allowing Battlecruiser to exist or making aggro better I'll choose allowing Battlecruiser to exist every time. If you are determined to play aggro, you can make it work (except in cEDH, though hatebears use aggro as a backup to its main combo line), though it may look different than it does in other formats (a bit more evasive, a half step slower, prioritizing abilities more and raw stats a bit less, more fish less sligh).
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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