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  • posted a message on Beating a dead horse: Tutors in commander
    I use quite a few tutors (up or down, whatever is available), but I do think they can be problematic. Here’s how I usually justify mine:

    -I vary the game by only playing each deck a few times before disassembly, so if the plan ends up excessively linear it won’t be true for long.

    -I’m oftentimes trying to accomplish something unusual, and not something that will immediately or easily win the game. To make weak strategies good, it can be necessary to remove variance.

    -I like working towards optimal decks within the narrow constraints I set for myself. Everyone except cEDH has constraints, and no tutors is a fine constraint if you’re otherwise pretty unconstrained in your approach. But given how specific my deck ideas tend to be, I think it’s not only unnecessary to omit tutors, but also limits my ability to see how functional a silly strategy could be, with all the stops pulled out, and thus how viable the strat is as a whole.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Atla, Palani Nest Tender EDH
    If you want competitive, might be better to go mirror entity combo.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Brawl finally getting support!?
    Separate banlists, no issue.

    The actual issue may be 1v1 vs multiplayer. Pws are mostly pretty weak in multiplayer but in 1v1 may dominate the format.
    Posted in: Brawl
  • posted a message on [640][Unpowered][EDH][Multiplayer] SCDL's Casual Commander Cube
    Not sure if OP is still following this, but I've been also working on a commander cube that focuses on synergies so we might be able to help each other out.

    One thing I think might become a bit tricky is having synergies that really pay off. For example, Kambal is an effective hate card on his own...but does he really motivate you to build around "hate" as an archetype? Does he make other hate cards better, or do other hate cards make him better? I think generally not. I think he's more likely to pay off in a lifegain synergy deck. Same kinda deal for politics, and some other individual commanders in other categories.

    I think I'd also avoid commanders like Emmara Tandris that are just kind of weak and probably won't get played.

    One thing I'm not sure about - for say "aristocrats" you've commanders that span all 5 colors, including quite a few that don't share any colors with each other. So are you going to need to sprinkle synergies for that archetype across every color, then? That might make it harder to get enough synergies, because if you've chosen, say, Brion as a commander, then you can't pick up any BUG synergies for your commander even if they fit your archetype.

    For my build, I decided to pick an archetype for each color pair, so that I only need to put synergies for that archetype within that color pair - which means I can run a lot fewer, and people will still be able to put synergies together, hopefully. If you're playing a sac (or aristocrats as you label it) themed commander, every sac-themed card you see will fit your color identity.

    The other thing is, I'm not sure how feasible it will actually to be play mono-color commander. I draft a lot - usually 1-3 times a week for the past 7 years. In all that time, I think I've played true mono-color....twice? And it's not just me, playing against it is extremely rare. There's definitely nothing wrong with having mono-colored legendaries in the pool, and maybe once in a blue moon someone will build a deck around them, but I wouldn't count them as commanders tbh. I'm only counting multicolor commanders for my cube.

    Here's my post (copied from nexus because apparently that's the world we live in now):

    Commander and draft are my two favorite formats, and I've always loved the idea of mixing multiplayer elements and building around a legend from commander, and the skill-first and build-as-you-go structure of draft. I've also conveniently got a collection of, as I always put it, "every card you could ever want to play in commander" - currently ~8,000 singleton sleeved cards, including everything from tabernacle to saltskitter. And I've got a group of people interested in drafting commander.

    So now it's time to use that collection for something beyond regularly crushing commander night - it's time to cuuuube!

    I've had some thoughts about how to do this.

    A lot of commander cubes seem to focus around fairly goodstuff lists, and the most popular commander cards, but I want to go in a somewhat different direction. One of the things I like about both commander and draft is being able to go deep on synergies, and when it comes together in draft it is oh-so-sweet. I want to enable synergy-heavy decks in a few ways:

    -Give every color pair an explicit synergy
    -Of the commander options available for each color pair, make the majority key into that synergy
    -For 3-color commanders, make the majority key into a synergy from one of their color pairs
    -Draft commanders first, so that players can start drafting towards those synergies ASAP
    -Dedicate the majority of cards in the cube towards those synergies
    The synergies I've chosen, based on the popularity of the archetype, number of commanders available to synergize with the archetype, and efficacy of drafting towards that archetype are:
    WU - blink
    UB - mill
    BR - sacrifice
    RG - land ramp
    GW - tokens
    WB - lifegain
    BG - dredge
    GU - counters (+1/+1 primarily)
    UR - artifacts
    RW - combat

    So far the commanders chosen to represent the archetypes (first the 2-color, then the 3-color) are:

    UW blink - Brago, King Eternal, Ephara, God of the Polis, Rasputin Dreamweaver, Aminatou, the Fateshifter, Pramikon, Sky Rampart, Roon of the Hidden Realm
    UB mill - Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, Phenax, God of Deception, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, Nekusar, the Mindrazer, The Mimeoplasm, Varina, Lich Queen (technically off-theme but best I could find)
    BR sac - Judith, the Scourge Diva, Garna, the Bloodflame, Greven, Predator Captain, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Marchesa, the Black Rose
    RG land ramp - Grand Warlord Radha, Nikya of the old Ways, Omnath, Locus of Rage, Hazezon Tamar, Maelstrom Wanderer, Lord Windgrace
    GW tokens - Rhys the Redeemed, Trostani, Selesnya's Voice, Trostani Discordant, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Ghave, Guru of Spores, Ghired, Conclave Exile
    WB lifegain - Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Vona, Butcher of Magan, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Licia, Sanguine Tribune, Doran, the Siege Tower (no good alternatives)
    BG dredge - Varolz, the Scar-Striped, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, Adun Oakenshield, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Muldrotha, the Gravetide
    GU counters - Vorel of the Hull Clade, Ezuri, Claw of Progress, Prime Speaker Zegana, Jenara, Asura of War, Volrath, the Shapestealer, Animar, Soul of Elements
    UR artifacts - Tawnos, Urza's Apprentice, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, Saheeli, the Gifted, Mairsil, the Pretender, Yasova Dragonclaw (big stretch but she is synergistic with equipment kinda), Elsha of the Infinite (also a stretch)
    RW combat - Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice, Adriana, Captain of the Guard, Aurelia, the Warleader, Marisi, Breaker of the Coil, Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest, Zurgo Helmsmasher

    My priorities for these commanders are (1) motivating synergy with the chosen archetypes or at least being a good home for them, (2) being good enough that people will actually want to play them, and (3) not being hugely annoying to play against (this may be more relevant later on down the line, but right now I'm mostly using it to exclude commanders like Anafenza, the Foremost who can create unfun situations for grave-based decks. Grave hate in the deck is fine, in the CZ gets a bit boring/frustrating).

    Beyond synergies, I also plan to sprinkle in some more generically useful commanders in case synergies fail to come together. For these I'm mostly looking for popular commanders that people enjoy playing, although in the future it'll probably be a good place to tune the cube to color-balance if certain colors aren't popular enough (cough boros cough). I'm also using some of these to enable synergies that might not be covered elsewhere but don't require specific cards to be effective - Baron von Count, for example, motivates certain picks but doesn't require throwing in specific tribal cards or anything like that, so it opens the door for interesting, off-the-wall decks without sacrificing cards in the cube. The ones I'm looking at for those are:

    UW - Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Dragonlord Ojutai
    UB - Lazav, the Multifarious, Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    BR - Baron von Count, Rakdos, Lord of Riots
    RG - Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
    GW - Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist, Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith
    WB - Athreos, God of Passage, Triad of Fates
    BG - Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord (you try finding a non-dredge BG commander that doesn't suck), Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
    GU - Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
    UR - Nin, the Pain Artist, Niv-Mizzet, Parun
    RW - Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
    WUB - Sen Triplets, Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign
    UBR - Gwendlyn Di Corci, Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
    BRG - Kresh, the Bloodbraided, Vaevictus Asmadi, the Dire
    RGW - Samut, Voice of Dissent, Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
    GWU - Phelddagrif, Rafiq of the Many
    WBG - Teneb, the Harvester, Kethis, the Hidden Hand
    BGU - Yarok, the Desecrated, Damia, Sage of Stone
    GUR - Riku of Two Reflections, Intet, the Dreamer
    URW - Kykar, Wind's Fury, Zedruu, the Greathearted
    RWB - Mathas, Fiend Seeker, Queen Marchesa
    WUBRG - Niv-Mizzet Reborn, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Morophon, the Boundless

    I'm considering cutting these down to 1-ofs instead of 2-ofs, or maybe even cutting them entirely, depending on how successful synergies are. On the other hand, I like having cards that create their own synergies like niv-mizzet reborn and kalemne.

    Planning to draft a commander pack of 5(?) from those commanders, followed by 5x 15-card packs. Decks will be 60 cards including the commander. There will be mono-colored legends in packs (which could theoretically be commanders though they won't be explicitly supported), but no multicolor ones. Ballpark I'm thinking 1000 cards to ensure variety. It'll probably be classic, 40-life, 4-player commander, but I might experiment with 30 as a way to empower boros and depower sultai.

    I'm currently on vacation (aren't I always?) so I don't have my cards to start actually building with, but this is what I'm thinking right now. I don't want to try to create the entire cube without having my cards in hand, since I find it a lot easier to build with physical cards instead of deck building apps.

    Balance-wise it'll be even color distribution, with roughly 3/5 of the cards of each color being dedicated to synergies (some will overlap of course). I'm hoping to get around 6-7% of the total cube dedicated to each synergy, so that each pack will have an average of one card per synergy. That should hopefully mean that, if you aren't getting cut, you could end up with a mostly-synergy deck, or at least a solid 50% synergy.

    Any thoughts on the premise? Synergies you'd pick instead of the ones I've chosen? Commanders you think I should include/avoid? Any feedback would be great - once I get home I'll only have a couple days to put this together before we start drafting it, so input at this stage would be a big time-saver once I sit down to build.
    Posted in: Cube Lists
  • posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    I had to laugh at every single token from mystic intellect being a human token on one side. There's only one card that makes human tokens - increasing devotion. And while sure, it makes a lot - if you have sevinne out, you still won't have enough, so what's even the point of making so many. Although really that's probably partly the fault of having an equal number of tokens in an explicitly token deck, as well as decks that only use tokens tangentially.

    Honestly weird about the rhino considering that's the main play pattern of the face commander. Bit of a dropped ball there.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on The Zirilan of the Claw Compendium
    I think honestly, with how strong some of the synergies that can be done with the deck can be, that the perming strategy is generally pretty subpar in general and the deck does better by just going for 1-hit KOs. Unless you're intentionally playing weaker dragons, you're probably only perming like one dragon before you kill everyone. So I guess in that regard, voyager staff does kinda make sense lol. But the perm strategy does make you more vulnerable to getting your threat removed.

    Similarly, while liquimetal is a cool idea, I think it's unrealistic to think you'll get enough value out of it to justify using it. If you're swinging with tyrant multiple times, you probably could have won if you swung with something else.

    I generally love mirage mirror. Not sure about it in this deck, but tbh it makes a lot of sense. I should probably stick it in Grin

    I probably should port this over to nexus at some point. Right now my life is a bit...up in the air though. So maybe when things are a bit less hectic.

    Azerbaijan was surprisingly cool. Food wasn't as good as Georgia, but Baku was a really nice city. I could almost see living there if it weren't for the lack of magic.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Marisi, Breaker of the Coil (Let's Brew!)
    Total war doesn’t really do anything if you’ve hit them with marisi from what I can tell. They already have to attack with everything anyway?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Question about priority
    I probably wouldn't bother reading this.

    As regards #1, there are a few tricks you can use to exploit the way people play the game without breaking the rules (which you did break the rules, as others have said). If you play a boardwipe, and you see someone else has something else they're very likely to do (for example - they have a skitheryx, the blight dragon sitting around and will probably choose to regenerate it). In that case, you can choose not to cast your indestructible spell. If they activate skittles, priority will come back around to you, but most likely if someone has a counterspell they're planning to use, they'll go ahead and use it rather than wait for skittles regenerate ability to resolve first. So you chance choose to wait until the last minute, once skittles regen ability has resolved and it's the very last time around the board before the boardwipe resolves, and THEN play your indestructible spell.

    You can also do this by putting some other, less critical spell/ability of your own on the stack above your board wipe. Like, cast the boardwipe, hold priority, cast heal or whatever. Priority passes for heal to resolve, and then you can cast the indestructible spell once heal resolves.

    Now, both of these tricks rely on your opponents not waiting until the last possible chance to cast their counterspells. But they could still theoretically do that. People just usually don't. In the first trick, your opponents could also be super savvy, realize what you're doing, and then choose not to use otherwise-obvious abilities like the skittles one in order to screw you over by not giving you priority back, and just let the board wipe resolve. Or maybe they actually have something else they need the mana for more - it is possible.

    Mind you, it's probably not worth it for your deck because you get back the indestructible spell anyway, unless feather's dead, they kill the target in response, or they outright counterspell the indestructible. In your case, it might be cleaner to just cast the indestructible spell BEFORE the board wipe - there's no a lot of reason not to. By putting both on the stack at once, you're just giving your opponents more information.

    There, more nitty-gritty than you ever wanted. I told you not to read it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    Quote from Carthage »
    They tried to cover too many bases and ended up alienating existing players.

    They had to add substantial madness and morph support to get people interested in those strategies, and they missed the mark completely. So no experienced player cares about the commanders anymore, no one wants to build a morph deck when there are no good morph creatures, same for madness.

    They could have salvaged this with valuable reprints or solid new playable cards, but they missed on this as well. I mostly don't care about the reprints, and I mostly don't care about the new cards. They aren't exciting.

    The product is definitely a bust.
    I've been playing magic for 17 years and commander for 10. I plan on building decks for Anje, Sevinne, Elsha, and Rayami - and maybe others as the urge strikes me. More than I can say for...actually any other commander release. And I know others in a similar boat.

    Unless you're playing cEDH, moderating power levels is always necessary. Sure, the madness pool is pretty weak, but that just means you can go more all-out in your build without overstepping any bounds. And it's worth pointing out - only 3 commanders are tied to narrow abilities (sevinne, anje, and kadena...and anje could be built as WGD combo tbh...). Elsha, Marisi, Ghired, Rayami, etc have plenty of flexibility in their builds.

    It's also worth pointing out that not THAT many cards are tied to the commanders - sure, the demon sucks outside of madness, thalia's geistcaller is pretty narrow, etc - but plenty of them are fine outside of synergy (curse of fool's wisdom fits into nekusar, anje's ravager could fit into aggro builds, ignite the future is fairly strong just generally, etc).

    If you've got some solid evidence that fewer people than usual are interested in building these commanders, then let's see it - otherwise I feel like I'm seeing the same thing I've seen every release - many folks pleased, some only interested in a few commanders, and some who don't personally like any of them - and for some reason assume that means no one could.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    I don't think it's an issue of strength. In most cases I think they're fine, strength-wise, they're just narrow because a lot of them are designed to fit with the commander of the deck they're placed in.

    I think that's more true this year than past years, mostly because the themes they went with have little enough support that they needed more cards to be feasible.

    It's a double-edged sword - there aren't many cards I'm considering for existing decks, that's true, but it does let them design commanders that are going to have a greater divergence of strategy from existing commanders than they usually do.

    I think their primary targets are new players, and existing players who want to build a deck around the commanders using the precon as a starting point - and for those players, I think the new singles do just fine. If you're only usually buying a half-dozen singles to bolster your existing decks, you're probably not making them much money anyway. We just had MH1 which had, at least for me, a TON of new stuff for my existing decks. My guess is that they figured enfranchised players already had plenty of new toys for the year.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    I'll agree that, reprint-value-wise, these are on the somewhat lower end than what we've seen from previous years, but I take big umbrage with this claim that they're going to play worse than previous years decks - ESPECIALLY 2011. Mimeo was the major exception - it had by far the most reprint value, as well as playing the best out of the box. But the other ones were hot trash.

    Kaalia was a joke out of the box - gwyllion hedge-mage? That's garbage AND makes no sense in kaalia. orzhov guildmage? razorjaw oni? dragon whelp? serra angel? oni of wild places? I mean, I'm just going down the list of creatures on the first deck, and most of them aren't just bad, they're completely unplayable in EDH. Need I go on?

    When I look at the decklists for 2019, the vast majority of cards are at least playable. There's a few real garbage cards (fervent denial? That's terrible AND makes no sense with sevinne!) but the majority of them seem like something you could happily play in a 75% version of the deck (minus the lands, I suppose, but that's always been true).

    So I call major bull***** on this "commander 2019 decklists will make new players quit because they'll lose too much" argument. 2011 decks were EASILY the worst in terms of playability - since then, I would say it's been pretty steady in terms of power level. 2019 looks pretty much on-par to me.

    You see me as a shill, but it's just that we have different priorities.

    At least imo, the precons have a few goals in this order of importance:
    1-get new players into the format with a playable deck for a reasonable cost
    2-print some new spiciness for existing players
    3-lower the cost of existing cards

    For 1, the decks look playable and decent out of the box, while still wanting upgrades for certain cards, as always. In terms of raw value, they're a lot cheaper than buying the whole thing as singles, so new players aren't getting ripped off. I'd say this is an easy check.

    For 2, I at least am very satisfied. Of course this is subjective. But there are a lot of commanders I'm very excited to build and relatively few duds. I personally find this an easy check, but I can't really argue if you just don't like the designs since it's a matter of opinion.

    For 3, I'll agree that these didn't really do much. But idgaf about that at all. So you can call me a shill for not caring about what you care about, but it doesn't come from me having an irrational love for WotC - it's just that I already have every existing card I want.

    Realize that wotc's goal is to get as many new players as possible, while keeping existing players for as long as possible. So unless you're going to up and quit over reprint value, they've done their job.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    I too find the sorin thing confusing - I guess it maybe has more to do with being overly harsh to a single player than it does being a powerful play? It’s definitely a weird thing to find particularly egregious.

    It does seem like a bad play to me. I’d wait until a threat had better been established, or better, wait until it’s 1:1.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Zirilan of the Claw Compendium
    With extraplanar lens I'd probably removal almost all the utility lands (leaving high market, miren, Myriad Landscape, Ancient Tomb, and inventor's fair).

    nim deathmantle seems like a good choice. Smileup

    cranial archive seems like a fair swap.

    So mtgsalvation WAS going to totally close, so a bunch of people set up nexus as the new mtgsalvation...then mtgsalvation DIDN'T close. So now there's just...2 mtgsalvations, basically. I just check both of them, personally, because I literally cannot spend enough time talking about magic. But it's a weird situation. Nexus is where I'm posting my new decklists, though. The decklists section here is pretty dead.

    Atla is not my cup of tea, personally, for a couple reasons.
    -I think the limitation of Zirilan is a benefit. Dragons are powerful but a single dragon can't generally end the game. So you have to use synergies and put a couple out at once and use them to control the board while you set up, etc. Just slamming down game-winning bombs was never the point, and it's a lot less fun to me. Plus exiling eot with Zirilan means you need to have a plan to make it worthwhile, you can't just start throwing things out willy-nilly like you can with Atla.
    -being random (usually) means you can't use Atla like a toolbox and respond accurately to things. I mean, as long as you're tutoring to put the creature on top, you may as well just tutor to hand and play it. And I can't think of that many topdeck tutors off the top of my head. Maybe...4? And one really sucks?
    -needing to die means you need a sac outlet...obviously zirilan often runs sac outlets too, but you don't NEED them necessarily, I've still happily grabbed hellkite tyrant for a big artifact theft even though it meant it would get exiled. Anyway, it just means more moving parts.
    -Naya is a lot stronger than mono-red. I think Zirilan is fun because he shores up a lot of mono-red's weaknesses; atla takes an already fine color combination and just adds extra juice where it wasn't necessary. Also I just dislike naya.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on The Zirilan of the Claw Compendium
    Hey there, thanks for stopping by! I'm honored you created an account to chat about one of my guides Grin

    I'd try to find something with a similar effect - nothing is really as good as mana crypt, but I'd pick the next best mana rock and slot that in. Gauntlet of might can be switched for gauntlet of power - it's a lot worse, though, because it's the same CMC as Zirilan. Lens might work but make sure you have a lot of basic mountains, and probably don't if you're in a meta with a lot of artifact destruction. Cavern of souls is totally optionally, just throw in a mountain. Tawnos' coffin is sort of a gimmick, replace it with whatever you like really. Maybe another sac outlet, or a perm effect like conjurer's closet.

    WGD is a great answer to lots of things...if it works. If someone kills it/bounces it/looks at it funny when the ability is on the stack, you are totally screwed (probably...if you can untap zirilan and if you have enough mana you could go grab changeling berserker (if it's still in the deck), exile WGD, then sac berserker (if you have a sac outlet) to return WGD and create the trigger again, without removal on the stack above it...but that's a lot of "if"s). Basically, it's an all-in trick that I probably wouldn't recommend unless it's a dire situation. It's insanely strong vs, say, jokulhaups but it's not worth it to protect your sol ring, is basically what i'm saying. And it's a lot, lot worse if your meta has a lot of instant-speed removal.

    I have a version of the recursion deck that I keep around, but truth be told I haven't played it for a while. I have a big collection (just passed 8000 cards) and I build new decks from it constantly, and then disassemble them when I'm bored. So I play a lot of new decks, and don't play my old favorites very often. For the past few years Phelddagrif has been my focus, whenever I do play an established deck, so Zirilan has kind of sat on the shelf mostly. The other problem is that, tbh, WotC hasn't printed an exciting card for Zirilan in a while...Drakuseth is a nice addition but he's not exactly a game-changer or anything, he kinda fits in somewhere next to bogardan hellkite and balefire dragon - bogardan gives us instant-speed damage, balefire gives us a sweeper...drakuseth has a bigger body and doesn't need to connect to deal damage, but like I said he's not really a new effect, just a slightly different delivery. So, no current testing at the moment, sorry =/ but I am testing Phelddagrif stuff (more details are on the primer on the nexus forums: https://www.mtgnexus.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=550).

    Also right now I'm in Azerbaijan where apparently magic doesn't exist. So for the week I'm just screeching about the 2019 commander release instead of actually playing any magic :p
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    Quote from illakunsaa »
    Why would you want to intruduce new players to commander? Edh is one of the most complex formats and people who are just starting with mtg shouldn't really play it first.
    That is also true...

    I think mtg still lacks a good intro format. Standard is easier to learn, but there's no "casual standard" really. Eternal formats have enormous card pools that are impossible to follow. Limited is probably the best option, but it has a lot of skills to master that don't exist in other formats, so it's kind of overkill if you're trying to graduate to standard or commander.

    I think that's what brawl is supposed to be - commander casualness but with a lower barrier to entry.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
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