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  • posted a message on Yarok, Panharmonicon on a Stick (Let's Brew!)
    I played with Yarok, the Desecrated for the first time tonight.
    As a preliminary assessment, I will say that it is indeed a good Commander, and that Lotus Cobra, Woodland Bellower, & Ghostly Flicker are very likely the best cards in the deck.
    Keep in mind that all of them are support cards, largely unable to win the game. But the sheer value they gain with Yarok allows them to easily chain into a winning position or combo with most of whatever else you are playing.
    Also worth noting that Woodland Bellower can only find G creatures, so you need to pay attention during deck construction to utilize it effectively.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander Philosophy Document Discussion
    Okay, I thought perhaps I should go through the issues I have with this point by point. I will (try to remember to) post another reply later, when I have more time, discussing what I feel the philosophy should be, and why.

    • Cause severe resource imbalances

    Is Boundless Realms going to be banned? Consecrated Sphinx? Or Mind Twist?
    The first and foremost problem, and the start of a trend, is vagueness.
    What resource or resources are we talking about? What constitutes a severe imbalance? What about other restrictions on application, or timing?
    Is Ad Nauseam meeting this criteria? It has significant usage restraints, either limiting how much it can 'draw', and/or what can be included in a deck that plays it.

    • Allow players to win out of nowhere

    By far the biggest issue, as I described earlier, is their quoting of this criteria for banning a card that is literally unable to 'win out of nowhere', while ignoring cards that, upon resolution, effectively win the game regardless of the game state.
    Again, there is an issue of vagueness. Does this apply to two card combo's? Combo in general?
    What about the other resources required to make it work?
    If I spent the last three turns sculpting my hand and mana to allow me to win with a combo, it may look like I 'won out of nowhere' to new players, but anyone with experience in the game should know to look at what resources I have, not just what creatures I can attack with. Learning this is a fundamental process of getting better as you play.

    • Prevent players from contributing to the game in a meaningful way.

    Another point for vagueness.
    This seems to be targeted at Control as an archetype, and is the central aspect of my stance that this looks like them saying "Because *I* do not like this card, no one is permitted to use it". This could apply to anything from Doom Blade to Stasis.
    Just because you do not like something, does not make it inherently wrong or in need of regulation, and this game is built on strategy & interaction. Much of that interaction is in how you disrupt your opponents.

    • Cause other players to feel they must play certain cards, even though they are also problematic.

    This one I can agree to the general mindset of, but is yet again far too vague. More than that, I do not see why this needed to even be listed separately from other clauses.

    • Are very difficult for other players to interact with, especially if doing so requires dedicated, narrow responses when deck-building.

    Another one I do agree with, but is meaningless in isolation. Darksteel Ingot happens to be fairly difficult to interact with, but that difficulty is largely irrelevant if the card has no actual impact. This clause is only meaningful when used in conjunction with other aspects that could be problematic for the format.
    This, along with the following clause, apply to Iona, Shield of Emeria. But similar to the previous one, it should not be listed as a separate clause.

    • Interact poorly with the multiplayer nature of the format or the specific rules of Commander.

    No complaints here. This is also not an update to the previous philosophy. Though I would have liked clarification on exactly what the 'fundamental' rules for Commander are, and possibly a clarification that those rules are not necessarily immutable (revisions to improve Color Identity as a practical example).

    • Lead to repetitive game play.

    Repetitive actions in a single game? Repeating the same line of play across multiple games?
    Why exactly is this a problem. A deck that consists of lands and combat-oriented creatures is very repetitive; all it does is attack. That is boring and uninspired, but not a problem.
    This feels like something they added explicitly to give them something to point to for Recurring Nightmare.
    It is an unjustified and contrived inclusion that serves no actual purpose, other than again the "Because *I* do not like this card, no one is permitted to use it" aspect I have already taken issue with.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Commander Philosophy Document Discussion
    Wow, that update to the philosophy list is a ******* mistake. The entire thing essentially reads 'I do not like this card, and so no one is permitted to use it'.

    Discussing the 'wins out of nowhere' clause, their first invocation of it is in error. Not only does the card they have chosen to ban reportedly because of it not fit, they are ignoring the painfully obvious example of what does qualify.

    Not only does it provide easy wins seemingly out of nowhere, it has demonstrated the potential to unintentionally wreck games.

    Paradox Engine requires 1)a board state that actively benefits from untapping and 2) resources to cause the trigger. In addition to being a CMC 5 artifact that does literally nothing without those conditions.
    The card can be very strong, but that is the exception, seen in very specific types of decks. It is quite literally impossible for it to 'win out of nowhere', and I have seen it 'unintentionally wreck games' exclusively in groups who think Naturalize effects are 'wasted space' (ie abhor removal).

    Easily inserted into any deck, it combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play, generating a great deal of mana with virtually no deck building cost.

    Paradox Engine is an actively bad card in literally all but one deck I have ever built, and that one was built specifically in such a way to benefit from it. In most decks, it is worse than Gilded Lotus, which is in turn a card I advise most players against including without specific need, due to it's high cost.
    I personally play at multiple locations, each with multiple groups that occasionally intermix, of varying levels of play. Including occasionally in other states. I do not recall even seeing Paradox Engine in a game for well over a year. If it did indeed was 'easily inserted into any deck', I would expect to see it on a regular basis.

    Iona, Shield of Emeria is a card that has never been particularly strong in Commander, but has long needed to be banned because of the severe, negative warping it creates on any metagame it was seen in, due to the format specific Color Identity rules. This is not something that changed with this updated philosophy document, and so its banning cannot be attributed to the updated philosophy.

    Painter's Servant is a card that should never have been banned, regardless of the status of Iona's legality. It did not meet the qualifiers for banning previously, and so again cannot be attributed to the updated philosophy.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Ral, Storm Conduit, Storm, and Thousand-Year Storm.
    702.39a Storm is a triggered ability that functions on the stack. "Storm" means "When you cast this spell, copy it for each other spell that was cast before it this turn. If the spell has any targets, you may choose new targets for any of the copies."

    5/3/2019 If an effect copies a spell multiple times, as Finale of Promise may, Ral’s first ability triggers that many times.

    When the Storm trigger resolves, Ral's first ability will trigger for each copy made by the Storm trigger.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Is Yawgmoth Thran Physician competitive?
    Quote from GloriousGoose »

    I don't see Yawgie beating a random selection of tier 1 cEDH decks greater than 12.5% of the time. Therefore, I don't think Yagwmoth is cEDH viable. Of course, you're free to dispute that definition as well as Yawgmoth's ability to achieve that win percentage.

    I'm not sure Yawgmoth could reliably defeat my Gravetide deck (in signature) 12.5% of the time. And that is very much not a competitive deck.

    Quote from Tyler 7888 »
    First of all, I would like to thank you and goose for giving me all this info to ponder, I appreciate it. One question I still have is how exactly are the bloodghast(recurrable)/(undying) like effects inefficient? also, could I see your decklist for Yawgmoth?

    I do not have a list for Yawgmoth, but Gravecrawler & Nether Traitor are the only ones I would truly consider 'efficient', and they are conditional.
    I would still play Reassembling Skeleton personally, but it gets expensive fast. I would not play Bloodghast, as I consider land drops too unreliable after the first few turns. It is also strongly hampered by the 'once per turn' limiter on lands. Not truly repeatable in the sense we are looking at.
    Mikaeus, the Unhallowed allows you to loop two other creatures with Yawgmoth effectively, so should probably be included. I am uncertain what other Undying creatures would be worth playing. Maybe Geralf's Messenger.

    Nest of Scarabs, as mentioned previously, is probably the single most important card for a Yawgmoth deck. Archfiend of Ifnir is a bit more expensive, but is another that has particularly strong synergy with the Thran Physician.
    Blood Artist & Zulaport Cutthroat both offset the cost of Yawgmoth, and provide a means to simply win the game. I would not advise the other, more expensive versions of these.
    I am uncertain on the value of Alhammarret's Archive, but it is something I would certainly at least test with.

    Because Yawgmoth himself provides a means of discarding cards, I would strongly consider looking at what options you have for including a Reanimate shell.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on viability of 3 damage to each creature and all creatures get -3/-3
    The issue is not with '3 damage' effects. It is that the specific cards you are using for it are bad.

    Unless you are abusing the fact they are creatures, to such an extent you can justify overcosted, limited sweeper effects, just play Anger of the Gods or Toxic Deluge
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on 40 Life
    So I am going to reiterate the points I made three years ago (and nearly a decade ago on the official Commander site).

    Length of Game
    Commander games, on average, will last a long time. There are multiple factors that affect this, but the high starting life total is notable in that regard.
    The high length of games is both a common complaint, and restrictive on actually playing the game. On a near-weekly basis, I see or am part of a group that finishes a game with an hour left, and chooses not to play again because an hour is simply not enough time.
    While reducing the starting life total will not affect the length of all games of Commander, it will reduce the average, both increasing the larger appeal of playing Commander and lessening the restrictive nature of time limits.

    Aggro-Combo Imbalance
    Aggro style decks are heavily disadvantaged in Commander, due to both multiple opponents, and the high starting life total.
    Because of the high starting life total, combo decks are advantaged by virtue of simply being the most efficient way to win, and additionally from the increased buffer their own high life total allows.
    Regardless of if you think combo decks are an enjoyable experience or antithetical to the format, this imbalance is unhealthy to the game. You do not need to make aggro better than combo. You just need to make aggro better relative to combo to improve the metagame.
    This is not a competitive format, and most players are going to gravitate towards what they prefer over what is best. But with the current state of the format, this archetype imbalance is so significant that nearly every deck has some form of combo win condition, simply because it has become a necessity, and combo's dominance is not something that can be effectively addressed with card bannings. Reducing the starting life total will help to address this in a way any targeted ban cannot, while still remaining high enough to meet the other objectives / feeling of the format.

    Life Total Matters
    Another category of cards that is very commonly complained about are static life total effects, such as Serra Ascendant or Magister Sphinx. This is due to the disproportionately high starting life of the format interacting badly with these types of effects.
    Again, you do not need to 'fix' the discrepancy to improve it. A starting life total of 30 will dramatically affect the impact and perception of these cards in a positive manner.

    Life as a Resource
    Paying life for an effect, with the most notable examples being Ad Nauseam, Necropotence, & Sylvan Library, similarly to Life Total Matters, are cards that receive a dramatic and unnecessary benefit from the current starting life totals. These are again cards I see common complaints about.
    Reducing the starting life total will provide a significant benefit in addressing this format-rules discrepant interaction with these effects.

    Reducing the starting life total to 20 would be foolish; there is too much about the format that would be negatively impacted, both game play and conceptual. But a starting life of 40 is too high, causing multiple problems with no appreciable benefit.

    A starting life total of 30 is the correct balance between these two points, and would result in a considerable improvement to the format as a whole.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Top 5 favorite cards by color








    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Crazy Plays in EDH.
    Turn 4
    Flash Palinchron
    Response to trigger, float 2.
    Animate Dead Palinchron
    Response to trigger, float 4.
    Muldrotha, the Gravetide
    Pass turn.

    Turn 5
    Opponent A activates Parallax Wave on draw step, exiling Muldrotha, & on combat step targeting Palinchron.
    Second main, Seal of Primordium, activate targeting Parallax Wave.

    Turn 6
    Opponent A has returned Palinchron to hand.
    Draw Phyrexian Tower, sacrifice Baleful Strix to cast Palinchron. Cast Baleful Strix. Sacrifice Baleful Strix to Animate Dead Baleful Stryx.

    This continues for a few turns.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Top 5 favorite cards by color







    Edit: Fixed card images
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Splice and storm
    Quote from WizardMN »

    Really, this thread is kind of dissolving into a "but the rules don't support the right answer" which might be true (I am not convinced of that) but we aren't going to really get anywhere here.

    After reading through this and checking the CR, the conclusion I have reached is that the modified text box of a splice spell is not itself copied.
    However,that '[spell] was spliced onto' is copied, and the splice then independently modifies the text of the copies as appropriate.

    For all practical purposes, we can consider it to have copied the full modified text of the spliced spell, as that is what the end result is (albeit by different means).
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Gifts Ungiven
    Quote from Carthage »

    The most usual search pattern for gifts ungiven is to search for two cards you actually want, and two cards that recur the two cards you actually want, because your opponent will never give you the cards you actually want. So gifts ends up being one mana cheaper, but you have to spend time getting back the cards you actually want, with effects like academy ruins and noxious revival.

    Did you know Entomb is a good card? Gifts Ungiven finds four cards, unrestricted by card type. For four mana.

    Sometimes you will find two necessary cards, and two ways of recurring them. In my experience, that is not the norm. Even when it does happen, it is still far more flexible, and almost always cheaper, than finding an equivalent with Shared Summons.
    For example, Gifts for Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Triskelion, Reanimate, & Animate Dead is significantly cheaper than Summons for the creatures alone.
    The closest comparable function of Summons to finding Pact of Negation, Force of Will, Snapcaster Mage, Mission Briefing costs an additional 3 CMC, and 3 colored mana, with a requirement of at least two colors. It is incapable of matching many other reactive plays.

    Shared Summons will see plenty of play in low power, casual groups. It is simply too expensive to see real play in optimized lists (competitive or not), and too restrictive to be even remotely comparable to Gifts Ungivin.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Shameless Solicitation - Best Of List
    Let me preface this by saying there is a lot of nuance and circumstance that goes into what is the 'best' of something. To account for this, any such list needs to be excessively long, or provide caveats. The best option is likely to include 'sub-categories'.
    On the note of categories, I feel these categories do not adequately account for the variety of variable effects.
    Removal for example implies 'destroy' effects to remove a permanent, but does not clarify mass removal from targeted. Or what about counterspell effects, or proactive disruption, or discard?
    What about cards that apply to multiple categories? List them multiple times for each category, or create a joint category? Create a list of cards, and tag them with appropriate categories and include a filter option?

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Gifts Ungiven
    Quote from Carthage »
    Shared summons

    Can we finally get gifts off the damn banlist? It never should have been on there in the first place.

    This card is almost better than gifts because you don't need to do any setup or run any extra cards. It's just an instant search for your game winning creature combo for one more mana.

    So your argument to unban Gifts Ungiven is to compare it to a new card that is actually just bad?

    Gifts searches for twice the number of cards, without card type restrictions, and for less mana.
    I would play Gifts in every blue deck.
    I will never use Shared Summons
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Paradox Engine
    Quote from Pokken »

    Library where a very few people stand to make 7 or 8 figures I can understand. Prophet of kruphix was well on it's way to being a 20 dollar card and would have easily been had it been printed today. Finance on edh cards has evolved a lot since those days.

    As a side not I am sure my anecdote is not proof of anything. But I can say everyone groans when they see paradox engine and every single time i see it my opinion is reinforced. I really hope it finally gets banned because I've simply had enough.

    Prophet of Kruphix was ~$2.00 the day before it was banned. It's all time high was preorders before release, at ~$5.00
    Library of Alexandria is not banned for secondary market reasons.

    Paradox Engine is a 5 mana artifact that does literally nothing without both 1) an established board presence that benefits from untapping, and 2) spells to trigger it. It utilizes a triggered ability, and can be responded to.
    The card is a very strong enabler for a few, specific types of decks, and borderline unplayable everywhere else.

    If the card has been causing problems at your table, and you have still been unable to figure out how to deal with it, Paradox Engine is not the problem.
    You disliking a card is not valid grounds for banning.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
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