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  • posted a message on [Admin] bobthefunny's Strategic Chalkboard
    Hello Everyone,

    I am bobthefunny, and I am now an Admin of this site. I have been promoted from being a Moderator in the Commander forums, which I have maintained for almost seven years now.

    Feel free to discuss things with me here.

    Thanks,
    -bob
    Posted in: Staff Helpdesks
  • posted a message on modstaff goin nuts again?
    Hi Humphrey,

    You received an infraction due to the context in which you posted.

    First off: You did not post it in the thread due to it fitting the theme. Your post was "Northern Paladin Approves", and was used as a response to the conversation that was occurring. You posted this post in direct response to the conversation regarding Kenrith the Returned King (a white card), his wife, Linden, the Steadfast Queen (also a white card), and how Will and Rowan Kenrith were not Linden's biological children.

    Given the context of the discussion, your post was reported as inappropriate as the context of Northern Paladin seemed to be aimed at the character's race, rather than the color of Magic. In review of your posting history, in which you continued to post racist comments after receiving your infraction, as well as discovering posts which preceded this one as well - I am well confident in my assessment of your post and your intent. However, as discussed in reply to your PM, I await to hear an alternate explanation for your post, which I will the re-evaluate within the context of the conversation.

    Thank you,
    -bob


    PS: As this is the Staff Inbox area, I will be locking this thread, and creating a new Helpdesk for myself where these issues may be raised with me directly in the future.
    Posted in: Staff Helpdesks
  • posted a message on [ELD] Mothership spoilers 9/16— Queen Linden and her retinue
    Quote from H3RAC71TU5 »
    To be fair, it *is* pretty explicitly political, which makes it a culturally relevant artistic choice for the game. Hardly anything in the world related to human beings can be totally divorced from politics, which makes the forum policy against discussing it a little overweening imo.

    I would say that this issue shouldn't be *controversial*, but it evidently, sadly, is.

    There is no forum policy against discussion of themes and representation on cards or in art.

    There is a forum policy against racism, hate speech, flaming, personal attacks, etc.

    For some reason, so far, no conversation has managed to have the first, without the second.

    For example, a comment such as "I find it interesting that Wizards has chosen to have a much stronger abundance of female and minority characters this set's theming", and the following polite, on topic, discussion about the art and themes of spoiled cards would be acceptable.

    As a second example: "Women can't be knights, why are all the women taking men's roles? Why is Wizards making everything so gay? This isn't the Magic I signed up for. GG, this game suxks with these changes" - is not acceptable. Comments such as that will be infracted on sight.

    I agree with you that this topic should not be so controversial. And yet... it is.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Adventure and Haakon
    No, you cannot cast adventures with Haakon, Stromgald Scourge. However, this is because of the limitation of Haakon's ability. Other cards which would allow you to cast spells from the graveyard could potentially cast adventures. (Note that Karador, Ghost Chieftain and Muldrotha, the Gravetide will also fail.)

    Casting a spell is a fairly complex process, outlined by rules 601.2. In short, it involves the process of putting a card on the stack, choosing targets, paying costs, and once all steps are complete, the spell is cast.

    • Haakon, Stromgald Scourge could allow you to begin casting some adventures which are on creatures that have the Knight type, such as Murderous Rider. This is because Haakon lets you cast the Knight card, allowing you to place it on the stack (601.2a).
    • When the spell is placed on the stack, you then have to make a choice, of whether you are casting it as a Creature, or as an Adventure (likely to be included in 601.2b). At this point, you may choose to cast the card as an adventure.
    • However, once the process arrives at 601.2e, where the game checks for legality, we have a problem. Since you have chosen to cast the card as an Adventure, it only has the characteristics of the Adventure - notably, it is no longer a creature, and most problematically - not a Knight anymore. Haakon only lets you cast Knights from the graveyard, and now that this card is no longer a Knight card - we have a problem. This is an illegal move, and the game will rewind to the point right before you announced an attempt to cast this spell.

    601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell includes proposal of the spell (rules 601.2a–d) and determination and payment of costs (rules 601.2f–h). To cast a spell, a player follows the steps listed below, in order. A player must be legally allowed to cast the spell to begin this process (see rule 601.3). If a player is unable to comply with the requirements of a step listed below while performing that step, the casting of the spell is illegal ; the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed (see rule 721, “Handling Illegal Actions”).

    601.2a To propose the casting of a spell, a player first moves that card (or that copy of a card) from where it is to the stack. It becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has all the characteristics of the card (or the copy of a card) associated with it, and that player becomes its controller. The spell remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

    601.2b If the spell is modal, the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.46), they reveal those cards in their hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it’s being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 118.8 and 118.9), the player announces their intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2f). A player can’t apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. If the spell has a variable cost that will be paid as it’s being cast (such as an {X} in its mana cost; see rule 107.3), the player announces the value of that variable. If the value of that variable is defined in the text of the spell by a choice that player would make later in the announcement or resolution of the spell, that player makes that choice at this time instead of that later time. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes hybrid mana symbols, the player announces the nonhybrid equivalent cost they intend to pay. If a cost that will be paid as the spell is being cast includes Phyrexian mana symbols, the player announces whether they intend to pay 2 life or the corresponding colored mana cost for each of those symbols. Previously made choices (such as choosing to cast a spell with flashback from a graveyard or choosing to cast a creature with morph face down) may restrict the player’s options when making these choices.

    {... (rules for selecting targets) ...}

    601.2e The game checks to see if the proposed spell can legally be cast. If the proposed spell is illegal, the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed (see rule 721, “Handling Illegal Actions”).



    Note: Rules updates are typically included when a new set is released. As such, all pre-release cards and interactions can only be evaluated under how the current rules operate.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on [Offtopic] Community Thread
    Quote from cryogen »
    Hey bob, I see they made you an admin. Congrats. Any big plans brewing?
    Right now I'm getting used to the ropes. ShadowLancer also got made admin, so at some point we'll need to sit down and see what we need to do on the site.

    I think I may need to merge some sub-forums here in Commander, just due to the change in the quantity and type of traffic and whatnot.

    In the first day of being admin, I learned that I was exactly right in my wanting to not ever to go for this.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Ayara, First of Locthwain
    It appears that we can't discuss women in fantasy games without dredging up current politics. Locking this to cool off.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ayara, First of Locthwain
    Medieval fashion was quite a bit different from ours today. I see a lot of inspiration from various points of medieval fashion in the art style of this piece, from the large shoulders on the dress, the tight fitted top, a corset-looking addition, and a looser more flowing bottom part to the dress. Even the hat and veil fit in well. I think the artist did a pretty good job pulling together inspiration from various styles of courtly dress, and tying them together in a dark and sinister vibe that befits the card and colors.





    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ayara, First of Locthwain
    Enough. This is not the place.

    Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Sexist, Misogynistic, or other comments that insult or degrade a group of people will not be tolerated.

    From our Rules:

    Quote from Rules»
    Flaming is a hostile verbal attack directed at another person or group of people. Trolling is the act of deliberately provoking a hostile reaction from other users. These actions will not be tolerated. Additionally, harassing and flaming someone via PMs may trigger more severe offenses, up to and including a suspension.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ELD] Mystical Dispute
    Locking this thread. This isn't the place for this sort of political dispute.

    We'll be looking over the current thread, and we'll re-open after it's been given some time to cool off.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Sheldon's AMA
    So, a while ago, Sheldon did an AMA on reddit. While there's nothing really new for anyone who's even passively followed his past writings, it's still a good read through and through.

    Link:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/EDH/comments/cx7xbg/sheldon_menery_ama_responses_discussion_thread/?utm_content=title&utm_medium=post_embed&utm_name=4b142f571c714131982867caf0d611fe&utm_source=embedly&utm_term=cx7xbg




    Hey everyone,

    Sorry for being so slow to put this together - it was a massive undertaking for both Sheldon and the mod team. However, we're glad to finally be able to post it and we look forward to what you all have to say.

    Due to the high number of repeat questions, we chose to go with a slightly different format. Each question will be posted as a top-level comment that you'll be able to reply to. Top-level comments are for Q&A only - all top-level comments other than the AMA will be removed. Any comments you have about the way this was done can be asked in our follow-up thread next week. Most repeat questions were consolidated and we credited everyone who contributed to any particular question.

    Without any further ado, here's the finished AMA. Please be respectful in your comments - we'd like to do this again in the future.



    Can you tell us, in broad terms, approximately how many players and/or play groups the members of the RC and advisory committee have direct contact with? What are your plans to increase the transparency of the EDH RC?
    Quote from A »

    I polled the other members of the RC on this. Scott’s weekly Commander night at his LGS gets about 30.

    Ron Foster of the CAG regularly goes to that one as well, and I suspect now that Rachel works there, she’ll make appearances. Gavin goes to three different places (one of them being a night at his work) for a total of more than 30. Toby’s gets around 6-8. I don’t go to Armada as much as I used to but their Commander day gets 16-20 without the benefit of a league. The shop I go to more locally averages about the same number for their weekly league. I guess that between the ten of us, we could reasonably see in the neighborhood of 200 people in a week. That doesn’t count going to events, which most of us do with some regularity. Your second question doesn’t follow from the first, so I’m guessing you mean visibility. The CAG was the first step in increasing our reach and getting more people to see us and what we do. Most of them are content creators with wide followings. We have additional things planned to get the RC and CAG more visible. This very AMA is one of those things. If you did actually mean transparency, the CAG was also a step in the direction of helping people look behind the curtain. CAG members are free to discuss any part of their own involvement in the process. The RC decided a long time ago that we’d announce decisions as a group; the votes of individual members will still remain private, mostly for a measure of personal protection for each of us.



    EDH was supposedly born in Alaska. At least that’s what I hear and have read. But I’ve heard that it originated from both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Which is it?
    Quote from A »

    Anchorage, when I was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base. The basics of the format, which I eventually picked up and did something with, came from our friend Adam Staley (who may have been inspired by something in an old Duelist magazine). Adam showed it to our larger group that hung out at our other friend David Phifer’s apartment on Monday nights for all manner of gaming. David’s group were the first adopters of the proto-EDH format. There were some substantive changes by the time I had gotten to Virginia and infected my group there with it.



    Would the format benefit from eliminating color identity deckbuilding constraints?
    Quote from A »
    Absolutely not. Color identity is part of the format’s foundation, and eliminating it would take away one of the things that makes Commander special. We will not do anything that makes Commander into some form of alt-Vintage.



    Has your position on the rules committee ever hampered your ability to enjoy the game? Or do you think it has been a boon for your EDH experience?
    Quote from A »

    It’s been a great boon. Sometimes, I really have to watch what I say. Even if I preface it with “this is my opinion only, and not anything the RC is considering,” some folks don’t get that there can be separation.
    There’s way more good. I’ve gotten to enjoy playing the best format in Magic history all over the world with a broad range of people. WotC flew me out to PAX West last year and have treated me to multiple GenCons. I’ve been a guest at every SCGCon so far. It could pay better, but otherwise, this really is living the dream.



    How do you feel about the legendaries Wizards design for the format? Do things like Eminence, Experience counters and alternative casting costs go against the original intent of the format? How do you feel about WotC printing cards that specifically mention commanders, the command zone, etc? How do you feel about this year’s legendary creatures? Is there a type of commander you would like to see printed?
    Quote from A »

    I’m pretty happy with the Legendary Creatures that they’re putting out for Commander itself (although, again, K’rrik is pushing the envelope). I think all the additional things, like experience counters, that they’re doing are perfectly in the spirit of the format. Commander has always been about exploration and those things allow players to find compelling paths of play. I’m also happy with things mentioning the command zone and commanders themselves. It’s a validation of where the format is, and even if a few of them (like Derevi, Prossh, and Oloro) might cause some distress in the format, I’d much rather them to test the boundaries and occasionally go too far than play it safe and not push limits at all. My hope for the type of commander I’d like to see printed was answered with Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero—Boros that’s not just about attacking. I suppose now I’ll need a new hope.



    Nicol Bolas: Great Elder Dragon or Greatest Elder Dragon?
    Quote from A »

    If I say Greatest, will he attack someone else?



    You have expressed that aggro (and specifically Boros) is weak in commander. What types of cards would you make to help these colors and strategies get to a point of your liking? Do you think if land destruction wasn't so frowned upon, Boros wouldn't be perceived as being so weak in EDH?
    Quote from A »

    I don’t think that MLD being frowned upon his what makes Boros weak, it’s that Boros tends to need to spend its earlier turns being aggro as opposed to the setting up that other color combinations do. It also has fewer tools to do that setup with. That may change somewhat with Commander 2019’s option of Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero, giving Boros some control options—which is exactly what I would have suggested before I saw the card. I’d still like the colors to have something that catches it up at least partially to the colors that can ramp their brains off. It doesn’t have to be anything that currently exists; I don’t want a white or red Cultivate, but something that sacrifices one kind of resource (non-token creatures?) for another (land?) might be cool. Next-leveling Oreskos Explorer and friends might also be an answer—like abilities that help you catch up on a land imbalance instead of just putting them in your hand.



    What is your favourite pet card in commander and why? What is your favorite commander to play with? What's your favorite edh deck? What was the most memorable game you had recently? Favourite color combination?
    Quote from A »

    Although I’ve recently been told that I have an unnatural attachment to Coiling Oracle, the answer is Equal Treatment. In addition to being a great social message, the card never fails to do something cool, whether that’s save me (or someone else) from a big attack, or as I’ve used it more than once, to deal lethal damage, doubling up on some 1/1s. Plus, it’s a cantrip. Card is so good. My favorite commander to play changes on my mood, but all things being equal, I reach for Karador more often than anything else—and I almost count Muldrotha as Karador, because it basically does the same thing in a different wedge. I love me some graveyard recursion, but I’ve also built both decks so that they can function when my graveyard inevitably gets nuked. I do my best to not overcommit.
    My favorite deck is easily You Did This to Yourself. It’s the one that’s created the most lasting memories and epic plays. It really can’t do much of anything until someone else decides to try to do something broken. Then it punishes them. It started as an idea built around Parallectric Feedback and just blossomed from there.
    My favorite color combination is Temur, but Sultai is making a run. I keep building decks of both color combinations. I have to get out of the rut. Alternately, I have to build every Temur and Sultai commander. Currently it’s 11/10 and pick ‘em. Two games come to mind for my recent favorites. The first was at the game shop, the second at SCGCon. The first from a game in which a control player and somewhat low life (like 10 or so) cast a board wipe and looked like he was about to take complete control of the game, life total notwithstanding. One player had Blood Artist, but it wasn’t quite enough to kill the control player—until someone else cast Mirrorweave, turning everyone’s creatures into Blood Artist. I really don’t care that I wasn’t involved. It was epic to watch. The second was one of the first games in which I had ever played Aminatou. One of the alternate win conditions is with Liliana's Contract and Demons. At one point, I had the enchantment on the battlefield and four Demons, but one of them was Abyssal Persecutor. The other three players realized it, so they didn’t do anything about my board state. My upkeep came and Liliana's Contract triggered. I then cast Sudden Spoiling, targeting myself. Trigger resolved, game over. Only in Commander.



    The mtgcommander.net forum still uses a self-signed cert. Any chance that could be changed to an https://letsencrypt.org/ cert?
    Quote from A »

    The website is getting a major overhaul. I don’t really know much about the technical specifications, but we’d like it to be completely modernized by the first of the year.



    Can you tell my friend Lee to stop playing stax pieces at 11 at night? We're trying to wrap up here.
    Quote from A »

    Lee, we need to talk. Your friends—they care about you. They want you to consider what you’re doing to yourself. And them. Mostly them. It’s okay for you to like Winter Orb. It really is. That new piece of art is really awesome. Just look at the clock first. Your friends, the ones who care about you—they also have to work in the morning.



    Is there any chance that you and the RC are working together to get yourselves more "known" to the community, like the Command Zone in their video with the Professor suggested? I don't know how far working together goes, but it would be nice to see a direct link from the mothership to your site.
    Quote from A »

    I’ve already told Josh that any time they want to fly me out there, I’d be happy to be a guest on the Command Zone. Now that I’m done with getting my Master’s Degree and into a cancer treatment that doesn’t disable me like radiation did, I have more time to spend on actively managing the format and doing a bunch of legwork on behalf of the rest of the RC, who all have full-time careers. Being retired and a trophy husband has benefits, one of which is that I also have the time to go to more events and talk to more people.
    We plan on broadening our reach quite a bit. Getting the website into the 21st century is part of that effort.



    What is the most important lesson you've learned from this wonderful format and how did you learn it?
    Quote from A »

    I learned to never read the comments. I learned it by reading the comments.



    Any thoughts on possible adjustments to make the format faster from a time investment perspective?
    Quote from A »

    I assume you mean the amount of time it takes to play a game. When members of the RC get together to play and in my local group, we have some time-saving rules. For example, if you have Sensei’s Divining Top, you top immediately after passing your turn, reserving the right to change your mind if the board state changes. Obviously, you have to trust people to not be abusive. We search for our Land Tax or Burnished Hart lands in advance and say stuff like “If anyone attacks, I’ll block with my Sakura-Tribe Elder,” then got get the land. Searching and shuffling are the most time-consuming elements of the game, so heaven help you in my group if you cast Tooth and Nail or activate Birthing Pod without knowing exactly what you’re searching for.
    From a format level, other than outright banning tutors (which carries way more baggage than it would be worth), all we can do is encourage folks to adopt some of our and share some of their time-saving methods.



    Hi Sheldon, how are you doing? I heard that there was a lot of death threats and insults and I want to see if you're ok. How do you deal with the toxicity from players? I always pains me to see the community become hateful toward the RC and Sheldon in particular, in the form of insults and hateful comments. Does it ever discourage you? and what are you favorite type of comments that you guys like to see?
    Quote from A »

    I’m okay, and sincerely appreciate you asking. Questions and comments like this one go a long way to help dealing with any negativity. There are lots of great people who play Commander, and they far outnumber and outweigh the bad ones. I’ve had serious and credible threats to my life—and some troglodyte behind a keyboard is not one of them. What helps me, and I think anyone in any kind of public eye who hopes to stay emotionally healthy, is to realize that hateful and toxic comments aren’t about me, they’re about the person making them. Some people are unfortunately miserable in their lives, and one of the things they do is try to spread the misery. I won’t let their misery spread to me. I refuse to give anyone, especially a complete stranger, any kind of power over me to elicit negative emotions, whether that’s fear, self-doubt, or anger. Sure, it’s discouraging, but on a more macro level. It’s not saddening for me, it’s saddening for all of us.
    It’d be disingenuous to say that I don’t like positive comments. We all like positive reinforcement, and I’m still human, but blindly positive comments are the same kind of trap that blindly negative ones are. It’s best to make sure you don’t drink your own Kool-Aid. Criticism and disagreement are fine with me, so long as they come from the right direction (honestly wanting to make things better for the broader group) and in fashion that’s reasonable.


    " cards and reasonings so to deaden the blowback when a card does eventually get banned?">
    Has the rules committee considered publishing lists of "watch list" cards and reasonings so to deaden the blowback when a card does eventually get banned?
    Quote from A »

    We used to have a Watch List, and it created more problems than it solved. A Watch List creates an expectation as a kind of stepping stone to the banned list—nothing can get banned without first getting watched. The problem is that not every card that gets watched also gets banned, creating a messaging problem and confused expectations. If there is rampant speculation, all a Watch List does is move the speculation to a different time period. A watch list also becomes something that critics can nitpick—regardless of which direction a card moves on or off the list, someone isn’t going to be happy about it.
    Even if we don’t have a formal Watch List, we keep our eyes on cards. You know the card that people are talking about, and we’re talking about them to. And now with the CAG, we’re talking about them with more people.



    Is there a product you would like to see (if it does not exist), or see more of, as far as a way to introduce new cards or reprints for Commander? Would you make any changes to the current commander product?
    Quote from A »

    I’d like to see more foil versions of favorites, especially cards that have gotten expensive. I’d love for them to do another Commander’s Arsenal-style thing with foil and/or alternate art versions of cards like Oracle of Mul Daya, fetch lands, Cavern of Souls, and Damnation, so that the consumer prices come down some.
    I’d also like to balance that with protecting the interests of some of the folks whose livelihoods depend on the secondary market—at least those who in some additional fashion support Magic in general and Commander particularly. I don’t much care about protecting speculators, but TOs and shops that put themselves on the line for the game all the time—I want to make sure they’re looked after as much as possible.
    Before a few weeks ago, I would have said that the change I would have made to the Commander product would be improving the land bases. I think they’re headed in the right direction. Should we get OG duals? Of course not. Still, every little bit helps.



    What’s your personal opinion on lowering the life total to 30?
    Quote from A »

    I’m against it, but if the other three folks on the RC voted aggressively supported it (before anyone panics, there’s no indication that they would), I wouldn’t raise too much of an objection. I certainly get the arguments for it, but I don’t think it would do what some folks think it would—namely, make aggro strategies competitive with combo strategies. I think that to truly balance the two, life totals would have to be 20 or 25, and that’s definitely not someplace we want to go. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d be willing to test out 30 in my local group.



    Could you do this more often? The reddit community is really dedicated to your format. Thank you!
    Quote from A »

    You’re welcome. I’d be happy to. As I’ve mentioned already, we want to do more outreach to the community, to both be able to keep our fingers on the pulse of the format and make sure that what we’re thinking is getting heard by the greatest number of people. We have to go in understanding that I think the reddit community skews more toward the competitive end than the broader player base, but like with Rule 0, so long as we’re on the same page, we’ll be okay.



    In your opinion, What’s the biggest flaw in the Format right now that you wish to change?
    Quote from A »

    The biggest problem the format has right now are pub stompers—players who play highly-efficient decks in obviously low-powered environments, and are unwilling to adapt to meet the needs or desires of the group. Pub stompers are not cEDH players, they’re wanna-bes. True cEDH players (who also at times enjoy playing casually) want to play with others who are bringing similarly-powered decks.
    The answer is communication. Rule 0 is really the heart of the format, but there are some players who let their self-interest override the interests of the group as a whole. While self-interest is important in competitive formats, it’s not the primarily goal or draw of Commander. Obviously, no one is asking you to sacrifice everything so that the people you’re playing with have a good time, but considering their experience is the core of what we’ve been expressing since nearly the beginning. The problem here is that it’s probably an unfixable problem from where we sit. Different people are motivated differently, and despite some accusations to the contrary, we aren’t in the business of telling people how to have fun. We are in the business of telling you what we think is fun for the core demographic and how we’re going to guide the format, because that’s been our mission all along. If you want to play differently than we suggest, that’s okay with us. We just ask that you communicate that with the people you’re sitting down with.



    I’m sure you've noticed the slow power creep of the commander format as time has progressed. Do you feel this is healthy, or natural for a format as it gets more popular? And if not, how do we combat that as a community?
    Quote from A »

    It can be both natural and in the long run unhealthy, but we’re not there yet. The game has to stay fresh; if we were still playing Brian Weissman’s The Deck from 1996, Magic would have been dead a long time ago. If anything, I think the designers and developers have done a decent job of keeping what might be a natural level of power creep from taking over—and I think that has been healthy. They’ve done a nice job of lateral development in some cases. Have they made mistakes? Sure. Have they done so because they were trying cool stuff? Also yes, which makes them forgivable errors of commission instead of omission.
    The way for us as a community to do something is to not give into it. “Build casually, play competitively,” means imposing limits on ourselves in service to the greater good. As we say in the philosophy document, we know the format is broken. It’s more fun if you don’t give into the breakage.



    How do you feel about the use of online resources like EDHREC as a way of standardizing what is played and is popular? Do you or the RC pay attention to any trending or data on EDHREC when keeping any eye on format?
    Quote from A »

    Standardization limits creativity, but that doesn’t prevent things like EDHREC from being valuable. Picking through other players’ ideas can inspire creativity as well. And given that you can see the percentages of cards that are in decks gives you the option of choosing the path that everyone else has walked or the road not taken.
    We don’t have a formal process for looking at online data, although all of us have passed at least a cursory eye over multiple resources. The issue there is that data only tells us about what the people who are willing to make the effort of putting their decks online are playing. Trending numbers are only part of a story; trending feelings also matter, which is why I’d prefer to talk to people instead of look at spreadsheets.



    Are there any rule/ban changes you wish you'd made before the format took off and settled down? If you could go back in time to the early days of the Commander Format and warn/advise yourself and others about something, what would it be?
    Quote from A »

    I wouldn’t have minded coming to the Commander Tax idea right away. We tinkered with a few things, to include the ill-fated Rofellos Rule (all commanders cost at least six when you cast them, so Rofellos would cost 6-6-6-8-10). When we did hit on the Commander Tax idea, we settled on two pretty quickly; one wasn’t enough and three was obviously too much.
    It’s a little bit of a wild idea, but making the banned list larger to start might have saved everyone some heartache. While we had the “make sure everyone gets a chance to play” idea from the beginning, we didn’t articulate it until much later—mainly because we (perhaps somewhat naively) hoped that it didn’t need to be articulated. If Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Hokori, and other STAX elements had been banned at first, we’d have had way fewer feels-bad games. The same is to be said for some of the fast mana, like Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and Grim Monolith, and even Fastbond, which took us a while to get around to. Had we axed them back then, we wouldn’t have some of the same anxieties and difficulties we face today. Please don’t take this as an indication that there’s any move afoot to add any of those things to the banned list. Doing it then and doing it now are wildly different animals. Also please consider that’s just my answer; the rest of the RC might have different ideas.
    In fact, this leads me to the less wild idea that stronger articulation of our goals from the beginning (and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight) would have served us all better. We didn’t plan for Commander to get as big as it did, and at the time, we felt that just talking was enough. With its exploding popularity, it isn’t—we need more publication, engagement, and bit of a stronger hand, which is what we’re doing right now.


    " rule for the first turn of the game (where X is turn order)? This would help smooth out some of the advantages and disadvantages of going first to last.">
    Would you ever consider implementing a "Scry X-1" rule for the first turn of the game (where X is turn order)? This would help smooth out some of the advantages and disadvantages of going first to last.
    Quote from A »

    It’s certainly worth considering, as I mentioned in a recent SCG column on alternate rule ideas. One of the arguments against it is that it’s a departure from the way regular Magic starts the game—not that players won’t be able to understand it, but that we’d have to get the message out to everyone. Another argument is that it probably benefits combo decks more than any other, which is something we always want to be careful with.



    Has there been any discussion on whether the rules will be relaxed in regard to hybrid mana?
    Quote from A »

    Yes, there has been discussion, and the RC is unanimous that hybrid mana is going to stay exactly the way it is. I have tremendous respect for Mark Rosewater, and on this particular thing, he is wrong. I understand the design intent. Still, by all the rules of Magic, Kulrath Knight is both black and red. If I was to put it in my mono black deck and you countered it with Blue Elemental Blast, I couldn’t make the argument that it’s not red. To me, this is a relatively simple test.



    Looking at the Commander products that have been made over the past several years, what would you say are Wizards' biggest successes or just cards you felt were the best thing to come to commander?
    Quote from A »

    I know there’s some recency bias here, but Gerard, Weatherlight Hero is a great move for Boros. And who doesn’t love Arixmethes or Treasure Nabber? The success to me has been thinking about outside-the-box ways for Commander players to enjoy the format (while still given us stuff for the ways we already do). Even though they didn’t call the mechanic commanderstorm, that was pretty cool.



    No question. Just thank you for doing this.
    Quote from A »

    You’re quite welcome. Thanks for taking the time to say so. Thanks also to all of you who have done what you can to make this a less actively hostile space. I personally love engaging with people, I’m just more willing to do so in an open and reasonable environment.



    Hello Sheldon. My growing concern for this format has been the problem of maintaining an objective definition of power levels. I understand that the RC's way of managing this issue is all in Rule 0. Having a discussion with your playgroup.

    As many on here and other forums constantly mention that this is not a possibility for many players, because of irregular locations or groups of players to play with.

    Is the RC discussing the possibility of a centralized and officially recognized scale to combat this issue?
    Quote from A »

    We have not discussed any such thing. We call groups that you don’t know “untrusted,” not because we believe the people in them are inherently dishonest, but because you don’t know anything about them; you can’t trust your own judgment because you don’t have any impressions yet. While it would seem like a useful tool, a rating scale would be a layer of administration that doesn’t really do anything. We (or other people) can create all the guidelines we want, but there’d be no way to enforce those guidelines. Without any kind of enforcement, we’re right back to people voluntarily buying into or choosing to adopt agreements. Plus, you and I both know most people are going to undersell their deck’s power level, so without a hideously detailed verification method, you’re still left to the basic conversation. While I wouldn’t mind seeing a commonly-accepted power level scale (the commonly-accepted part being a huge hurdle), it doesn’t do much for those untrusted groups.
    I agree that power level disparity is one of the most divisive elements within the format’s social construct. Unenforceable guidelines aren’t the solution. We’re still on the search, though.



    Hi Sheldon! How does interacting with Wizards work when a new Commander product comes out? Are you asked to weigh in on new cards at all or given any insight into what's coming up?
    Quote from A »

    We are indeed asked to weigh in. The design and development process is long, and we’re involved in one form or another a few steps along the way. Scott has been on five Commander design teams, so the RC is quite literally frequently represented. In the past, we’ve had the opportunity to see the files with the new cards in them and even playtest early versions of the decks. The amount of involvement the RC has had has increased with each successive set, and I have every reason to believe that will continue.



    Which archetype do you wish was more well represented? And which less?
    Quote from A »

    Theme decks, and by theme I don’t mean tribal or a mechanic, I mean theme. Like the Dune deck someone did, or all the cards starting with the letters of the player’s name, or crazy stuff like that. Commander is the only format in which such a thing is viable. As for the second, I know that I’m as guilty as everyone else, I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer “good stuff” decks. And Atraxa Superfriends.



    What is the reason Coalition Victory remains banned?
    Quote from A »

    Historically, we’re not fans of “I win now” cards, especially ones that have conditions that are easily fulfilled, like Coalition Victory (the simplest version being your commander and three dual lands). It’s one of those that at least one of your opponents has to have interaction for immediately (most often a counterspell), as opposed to something like Felidar Sovereign, which gives them a turn cycle. We’re aware that the card is one of those that tops the “this should be unbanned” lists, and it’s one we’ll give due consideration to at the next meeting.



    Will any silver-bordered cards return to legality in the future? Would you consider doing more month-long tests like that one?
    Quote from A »

    It wasn’t really a test, but yeah, we’d consider doing something like that in the future. I’d like the challenge of doing something different each Christmas season. The more random the idea, the better. As far as silver bordered cards themselves, the probably not. There are too many that create problems. “These cards are legal, except like a third of them are banned,” creates messaging difficulties.



    Mark Rosewater has expressed in the past that he was unhappy with how design had really let Green "do everything". This seems to be especially apparent in Commander, where green is very often the core of "battlecruiser-style" decks. Do you feel like Green getting to "Do Everything" is a problem in Commander?
    Quote from A »

    To some extent, yes. I know some blue mages will disagree, but green is by far the best color in Commander. Is that intensely problematic? Only if players feel as though they need to play green in order to have impact on games. The genie is out of the bottle on green being the color of ramping, which is its major advantage (plus the saucy creatures). The way to even the field would be to provide something similar (maybe not quite as good) to other colors. This could take the avenue of more Wayfarer’s Baubles or maybe ways to punish ramp-heavy decks for having too many lands, whether that’s Acidic Soil-type cards, some sort of cards that bring back equilibrium to the number of lands each player has without the potential MLD effect of a card like Balance, or just make your stuff better for each land your opponents have on the battlefield. There’s lots of design space open for our friends in R&D, and they’re the ones who have well more opportunity than the RC to improve the lot in other colors, especially red and white.



    As I understand it, the price prohibitiveness of cards has been a factor in the past for inclusions on the banned list, is this still part of the discussion had around cards? Some prohibitively expensive cards like Tabernacle and Workshop would suggest otherwise. Should the RC be taking steps to try and keep the format accessible to players with a reasonable budget, or is that entirely on WotC's shoulders? How do you feel about the fact that cards in this format are becoming more expensive at alarming rates? What would your preferred way of reprinting Commander staples be? What are the thoughts on banning the Reserved List in its entirety?
    Quote from A »

    We removed Perceived Barrier to Entry as a criterion with the last update because it really no longer applies. There was a time when it was necessary, and it was more about iconic cards like Moxen and Black Lotus, and making sure that people didn’t think that the format was alt-Vintage (which we still want them to avoid thinking) or had a steep entry requirement. While there’s certainly no reason to unban those cards, adjusting the banned list now for price of cards would be a huge ongoing effort with very little reward. With the explosion of Magic and Commander in particular, basic economic rules come to the fore—small supply for high demand drives up prices. We’re not in much of a position to do anything about that. As I said above, there’s a delicate balance between making things affordable for the players and making sure the people who are supporting Magic aren’t negatively affected. The RC doesn’t really have much say in how that plays out beyond being sensitive to how our decisions might impact the secondary market. We can’t be a hostage to it, but we can’t ignore it, either. If you thought that folks were upset about Paradox Engine from a financial point of view (which we were aware of, but considered the health of the format the more important factor), imagine what would happen if the value of Gaea’s Cradle or Grim Monolith tanked simply due to a ban. We know that we have to tread quite carefully. In direct answer, WotC holds more power in their hands here than we do, and the RC really doesn’t have any way to make things more affordable to players. We don’t print cards.
    Banning the Reserved List in its entirety seems like overkill. I mean, what did Didgeridoo ever do that was so offensive?



    With legendary creatures printed specifically for Commander becoming more and more powerful, harder to deal with, and providing ever increasing value on cast or on ETB, such that regular removal struggles to handle them, are you finding yourself reconsidering the tuck rule as a pressure valve to deal with these?
    Quote from A »

    The tuck rule hasn’t come up in an internal RC discussion in a very long time. If my recollection is correct, we haven’t had a conversation about it since we changed the rule. No one on the CAG has mentioned it either. I’m not sure I agree with the assessment that commanders in general are harder to deal with, although there are certainly some exceptions—most of them some of the popular competitive commanders. I think R&D has learned some pretty good lessons about being very careful with cards that do stuff in or from the command zone. Still, a few exceptions isn’t the reason to change a rule. We like the idea of players always having access to their commanders, even if there are a few abusive possibilities.



    What is your favorite power level to play commander at and why?
    Quote from A »

    I’m a tried and true 75%er (maybe 80 or 85?). I like decks that do stuff, but take time to unfold. I run a limited number of tutors, and don’t have any intentional infinite combos in any of my decks. The reason I like it that way is that I like to solve the puzzle of the board state. I like interaction, but I like it to be situationally-dependent. For a combo deck, for example, that counterspell protecting your combo is situationally agnostic (for the most part; I’m sure there are justifiable emergency uses). It’s there for a singular purpose. Or maybe put another way, there’s an obvious and singular best use for it. In the game I’m most fond of, the counterspell that I’m running waits, not knowing what its best or intended application is.
    My preferred power level is also the one I believe leads to the epic plays this format is famous for, because you never know what’s going to happen. There’s a limited number of “best” cards and decks, so what’s possible exists in a narrower band than if the decks are running serious random jank. I’ve been in games when outside-the-box cards like Mirrorweave or Reflect Damage have created the games which everyone will remember.



    Would you ever hand the rules committee over to Wotc if they expressed interest in putting resources towards managing Commander? What are the benefits of keeping the RC for this format separate from wotc itself?
    Quote from A »

    If WotC ever expressed interest in putting resources towards managing the format, I would hope that they would offer to hire/contract me and the rest of the RC to do it. I can’t speak for the other three, but I’d feel pretty betrayed otherwise.
    There are two main benefits for keeping the RC independent, one for them, one for you. For them, they don’t have to expend resources for what would likely be a low-yield investment. Instead, they spend their resources (which, despite what some people think, are not infinite) on design and development and trust us to do the maintenance. The biggest part of that benefit is that you get to call me names instead of them. For the players, there’s value in our independence. You know that we’re not beholden to a corporate bottom line; the RC doesn’t have stock holders to answer to. We make the decisions we see as in the best interest of the format and its player base without being answerable to a mid-level manager or some fiscal necessity. You also get the benefit of our integrity, which I believe that we’ve demonstrated repeatedly over the years. You can count on the fact that none of us have ever profiteered from our RC decisions (as my stacks of foil Primeval Titans and Prophets of Kruphix will attest).
    Now to be fair, when people consider us separate from WotC, that idea only goes so far. While it’s true that only one of us is an employee, the other three of us have deep ties inside the building. Toby and I were Level 5 Judges; Gavin was a Regional Coordinator and a NetRep. We’ve all spent countless hours contracting for them in one fashion or another. We’re not employees, but it would be disingenuous to say that we’re not insiders. The relationship between WotC and the RC is strong without compromising either party.



    If Wizards prints more "You may choose a card from outside the game" cards, would that potentially cause you and the rest of the RC/CAH change their tune on Wishes being unusable?
    Quote from A »

    I’d listen to a reasonable argument, but unless there were a flood of cards (like dozens), I wouldn’t seriously consider changing the rule. I think that R&D is moving in the direction of making cards like new Karn that reference both outside the game and exile, which might make the point moot (especially if they errata the old cards to match, although I doubt they have any interest in doing so, and understandably).
    If you sat at a table with me and asked if you could use a Wish board, I’d snap call no—then I’d rethink it and ask to see what you intend to use. If it were just “answers,” I’d still say no. If it were cards that would undeniably cause some wildness in the game or something unusual, I’d likely give it a whirl.



    With the growing popularity of CEDH, how does the Rules Committee plan to handle the needs to the more competitive aspect within the format? Would you be willing to take on a cEDH content creator as a member of the CAG?
    Quote from A »

    We’ve already opened a dialogue with some cEDH folks, like Jim from The Spike Feeders, and will continue to be engaged. Jim and folks like Sigi, Lerker, and ShakeAndShimmy have already been pretty open, honest, understanding, and helpful in increasing understanding on both sides of the equation—part of which is getting to the point that there aren’t really two sides here; it’s more like we’re on different parts of a sliding scale.
    I’d be curious as to what you think those needs are that wouldn’t involve radically changing the format (and will be happy to discuss it during the live response to this AMA). The cEDH community is still an extremely small percentage of the Commander player base, albeit arguably the most vocal. If the heart of your question is “are you willing to give a disproportionate amount of influence to the competitive players?” or “are you willing to give additional weight to the competitive scene at the cost of other players?” the answer is no. That doesn’t mean we want to leave you twisting in the wind, we want just to make sure everyone understands who our target audience is. If we can help the competitive players without damaging anyone else, then it would seem reasonable for us to do so. If the help you’d like is to balance the banned list for competitive play, that’s not going to happen. We’re happy to listen to whatever other ideas you might have.
    As far as your second question goes, we believe we already have one, Rachel Agnes (and had one on the RC, Kevin Desprez), so the answer to your question is yes. If you’re imagining someone else, that person’s goals would have to align with the goals of the RC, even if they come at them in a different direction (which is basically the point of the CAG in the first place). If there’s a person whose insight and intelligence would be of great benefit to the broader format and they also happen to be a cEDHer, they’d be a viable candidate. The answer that you may not want to hear but I believe I have a responsibility to be clear about is that “being a cEDH expert” is not a primary attribute for inclusion on the CAG.



    How do you feel that the growing amount of excellent EDH content across different power levels has aligned, or not aligned, with your vision and goals for the format?
    Quote from A »

    It’s a two-edged sword, but mostly positive. There’s lots of content for all of us to enjoy, from the slickly-produced Command Zone, to my own podcast Elder Dragon Statesmen, to any number of folks who are just getting started. Even five years ago, there was comparatively little. That means there are more people evangelizing the format than ever, with broader reach. The kind of people who become successful content producers tend toward a more competitive mindset or at least a high-achievement one. The potential negative effect might be that many of them focus on optimization—which in the abstract seems good—but that leads to a kind of homogenization that doesn’t align with the format’s initial vision that different is better. Fortunately, there are still lots of folks that agree with the idea that there is more than one way to win a game of Commander, and that the bottom line of winning the game isn’t everything.



    There was one sentiment at the end of the philosophy document where You claim (in essence) that the RC fells that the experience of EDH is better when you don’t break the game. It may seem obvious what it means to “break the game”, however I feel that I’m not alone thinking that “broken/game breaking” qualities are somewhat subjective. What do you feel qualifies as broken? Do you have any concerns about WotC printing something, or a grouping of things, that matches your description?
    Quote from A »

    Broken to me always implies being able to do too much too fast. I’ve frequently said that whatever happens on Turn 10 is fine; the same thing happening Turn 3 on a regular basis becomes problematic because games devolve into either making it happen or stopping it from happening. Part of too much is locking other players out of the game before they have the opportunity to act, react, or interact. I know that the rest of the RC agrees with me that while we believe in running answers (no, really; pack some removal), there’s a tipping point where you’re running more answers than action, and the game suffers.
    I’m not currently worried about WotC printing stuff that breaks early game symmetry. K’rrik is somewhat close, but otherwise, I think it’s obvious that our friends in R&D like a Commander game that has some time to play out.



    How does the unbanning process work? Is there a playgroup(s) somewhere that tests things like [[coalition victory]] or [[painters servant]] to see how they play in an updated meta? Do you feel that the way you've tested cards in the past is sufficient or is there room for improvement? Which cards (however many you care to list, by your own standards) are real contenders for being unbanned?
    Quote from A »

    The end step of the process is that the RC votes on cards that we’ve determined are vote-worthy. Each of assign a +2 to -2 value of the card, and if it meets a certain threshold, we ban it (or unban, as the case may be). But that’s only the end step. Quite a bit more goes into it—but testing as I assume you mean it isn’t really part of it, and never has been. We gather quite a bit of information, but through our own observations and the Commander Advisory Group (CAG). One of the things that they do is forward us recommendations on cards to seriously consider, both for banning and unbanning. We’re interested in impressions from the folks who play the format, who comment on the format, and who design the format. I’ve said before that managing this particular format is more art than science, and we’re quite happy doing it that way (and we get that the idea simply doesn’t resonate for some folks). All processes could use improvement, so the answer to your question is yes—but that improvement would be to be able to gather and distill the impressions from even more voices, not foundation of a Commander RC Laboratory.
    We understand that our process isn’t the way that some folks think it should be done—they want more science and more data. We’re quite pleased with the more artistic approach of having a vision and sculpting the format toward that vision.
    Obviously, I’m not going to offer up insider information on any cards—but you can rest assured that the cards that lots of people are talking about are also the cards that we (both the RC and the CAG) will be talking about.



    Hey Sheldon, what are your thoughts on the banlist as a strict banlist vs the banlist as a list of suggestions? Could there be both i.e. an actual banlist that's kept small and a talk with your playgroup before using list that includes wider strategies and cards that are problematic mainly in casual groups? Does the general social contract ever prevent a card from getting banned? Have you ever considered doing a tiered Banlist? Have you considered using a point system in lieu of a formal banlist?
    Quote from A »

    Okay, there’s quite a bit to unpack here. Our intention has been that the banned list is strict AND serves as an exemplar for other cards that you might want to consider not playing. I’ve toyed with the idea of a secondary list, which has led to articles like the one on cards you shouldn’t be playing (which is confessedly an attention-grabbing lead-in, not an actual philosophical stance—but “Cards You Might Want to Consider Not Playing” is a terrible headline). For me, the hierarchy of needs is 1) this is the (strict) banned list, 2) think about cards that are similar and consider not playing them, and then 3) If this doesn’t work for you, change it to suit your group’s needs.
    The social contract helps in keeping the banned list small. If we couldn’t count on many situations in which people talk to each other before playing, it would necessitate making it much larger, which we really don’t want to do. I suppose that’s a roundabout way of saying yes, the social contract keeps lots of cards from getting banned.
    Gavin and I, as early at 2008 or so, talked about a point system. The argument against it is that it’s a great deal of work, both for us and for the player base. The Boolean of a banned list makes deck construction and verification easy. Points system mean you spend a great deal more time building the deck and it’s pretty hard for someone to figure out if another player has shaded the truth if you don’t see the entire deck. Point systems have value, but create an amount of administration that might not be commensurate with said value.



    Hello Sheldon, you’ve made it clear in articles in the past (Commander Cards you Shouldn’t Play) that you aren’t a very big fan of stax effects such as [[Winter Orb]]. With a lot of players’ metas becoming more and more high powered/combo centric more people have been slotting in stax pieces in an effort to halt fast combo strategies and force players to “play fair”. As such, both the popularity and viability of stax has increased in the last year or so. Has your opinion on things like [[Back to Basics]] and the orbs changed as a result of the meta shift or not? If not what is your preferred way to combat fast combo strategies?
    Quote from A »

    My preferred way to combat fast combo strategies is to have a conversation before the game begins. If you’re playing a deck that combos out on Turn 3, I’ll find a different game. Just so no one gets the wrong impression, fast combo strategies are a valid way to play so long as everyone is on the same page That’s just not the game I’m interested in. To be fair, it’s also not the game that the RC or our friends in R&D are interested in promoting, which I believe (perhaps with the exception of K’rrik) is clear from the most recent Commander products. What we’ll search to find is room for those games and the ones the core demographic are interested in to peacefully co-exist.
    I disagree that STAX strategies force anyone to “play fair.” They’re the opposite of playing fair—you get to play and no one else does. Sure, they might be effective at stopping those fast combo strategies, but if said strategies didn’t exist, then it seems as though we wouldn’t need STAX either.



    How do you feel about tutors being used to get around the singleton nature of the format? How do you feel about fast mana creating games that end early, going against the intended vision of the format having big swingy turns much later in the game?
    Quote from A »

    I’m not the biggest fan of tutors. Like you say, they circumvent the singleton nature of the format, but more critically, they lead to repetitive—which to me means boring—game play. In competitive Magic, you want that kind of repetition. I find Commander a better experience when the deck doesn’t do exactly the same thing every time. I understand that the mileage may vary for different people. I don’t think I’d want a Mindlock Orb version of Commander, but some limitation to tutoring probably makes games more enjoyable.
    As far as the fast mana, I’ll refer you first to my answer from earlier. Second, that same fast mana can be used to great those big, swingy plays that you’re talking about. The issue you mention comes when players choose to use it to end games early. It’s a question of how you’re going to build the deck. I’m a fan of not putting the easily-achieved early infinite combos into the deck; I’d rather have those epic turns a little later in the game and have to use both the cards and the game state instead of just the cards.



    At what level do you see most playgroups? Do you ban cards based on a majority or a minority?
    Quote from A »

    We see majority of play groups falling between the 75% and 100% range, leaning toward the lower end of that spectrum (so lots of 80-90%ers). I think the popularity of the format means that while the super casual kitchen table groups still exist, they’re a much smaller percentage of the player base than in years past.
    We ban cards based on what we think is best for the format and targets the greatest part of the Commander audience, so I suppose the answer is “majority.”



    In light of this, what are your thoughts on banned as commander, personally? Do you feel a card like rofellos can exist in the 99 while not being allowed at the helm? I realize it wasn’t the most popular thing to be polled but I liked the flexibility it gives you guys in controlling the format, so I wanted your opinion.
    Quote from A »

    When you make rule sets, you make them for the primary use case, not the exceptions. Banned as Commander would exist for three or four cards (although admittedly more if all planeswalkers were allowed as commanders). While invested Magic and Commander players don’t have any difficulty with the concepts of Banned and Banned As Commander, we also want to make sure that messaging is easy for the not-as-invested player.
    Could Banned as Commander work again? Sure. Is it worth the extra baggage it brings? No.



    Sheldon, how do you feel about the use of proxies? Would you support allowing gold-bordered cards as EDH legal?
    Quote from A »

    I suspect that this is going to be an unpopular answer; I just say no to proxies. There are too many people who support the format whose livelihoods depend on real cards (both at Wizards of the Coast and the secondary market) for me to think otherwise. Proxies aren’t the problem, though, it’s thinking that you need certain cards to play in the format. You don’t (which is why we had Perceived Barrier to Entry as a banning criterion in the first place).
    If your answer is that you need certain cards to play in a certain fashion, like in competitive events, I believe that it’s your responsibility to acquire the legal pieces to do so. I’m pretty firm on this stance, to the point of insisting that when someone offered to make me a foil Mana Drain (back in the days before foil ones existed), that I give them a real one to do it with.



    In the future, would it be possible for the RC to include data in the ban announcements?
    Quote from A »

    We don’t use hard data, so it’d be pretty difficult. As I’ve said before, what we do is more art than science. I understand that that’s anathema to hardcore tournament players, but we’re not focusing on a hardcore tournament audience.
    One of the things about the data we have is that we know it’s not necessarily representative of the entire data set. There are plenty of people who play Commander who don’t have a DCI number, never attend events, and don’t self-report. Data is a tricky thing. Not only do you have to use the data right, you have to use the right data, and the latter isn’t available.



    After hearing both the outcries and praises from both sides of the coin, have your thoughts on the Paradox Engine ban changed in any significant way?
    Quote from A »

    Honestly, what I’ve heard in the meantime has reinforced that it was the right call. A few dozen people came up to me at GenCon that said that they supported the ban. I understand that unlike online, where random people feel like that they can say anything to you regardless of how hateful, people don’t usually walk up to you and say negative things or disagree with you—but even when I asked folks what they thought, and even when we asked the crowd before the RC panel, the ban X-0’d the weekend.


    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    I am entirely too happy to see Witch's Cottage. Lands with basic types always make me happy.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on how to build Maralen of the mornsong EDH deck?
    I believe the OP got their answer long ago.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Best combos in rakdos colors?
    Typically a necro this old would get locked - but since this has seen quite a bit of interest and activity, (no doubt due to Anje), I'll leave this conversation to proceed naturally.

    Just be aware if quoting someone... they might not be looking for the same answer today... =p
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Coming back, out of nowhere
    Excellent, and good luck! Let us know how it goes!
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Coming back, out of nowhere
    Many established players will have extra decks with them, and some might even have some decks available to loan out. If you join a group and mention that you're looking to get in a game, but don't have a deck, some people will be happy to loan you one to get started.

    That might be a good way to get a feel for the playgroup's level and strategies, and also see the strategies you like to have a better grasp for what you should look for your own creations.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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