I'm so confused by people that want to ban tabernacle. I HAVE a tabernacle, and I struggle to find places to play it where it's not mostly just a useless hate-magnet. I've used it in two decks out of about a hundred, and that's only because I'm dying for an excuse to show it off.
I mean I'm sure it's annoying but it basically never comes up and it's not that good when it does. It's only really good in a deck that's already running a ton of other stax pieces, and you aren't fixing that problem with one ban.
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Jul 15, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Control decks: How do you stay alive against the whole table attacking you early?Posted in: Commander (EDH)
this is true. If you want to win, the key is in convincing them not to be totally aggressive to you in the first place.Quote from Carthage »You don't.
If the whole table is trying to make one person lose, that person should lose. If they don't, the deck power gap is so great that you are no longer playing a real game.
Don't play scary things early.
Don't be too obviously sandbagging either. Playing minor threats early can alleviate this impression. Playing a weaker deck can also accomplish this.
Don't always answer enemy threats right away. The impression of invulnerability makes you a more desirable target. Take some hits, let others take the lead and be threatening to take pressure off you.
Threatening spot removal can be more effective than wiping the board. Convince them to send threats elsewhere and it's a double win for you.
I've got a bunch more in my phelddagrif primer, but those are the ones that spring to mind.
Jul 11, 2019Oh, you have no idea the pandora's box you've opened...Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Officially gold-bordered cards are not legal for sanctioned play. For unsanctioned play...well, it's whatever people are cool with.
In my personal opinion, they're equivalent to proxies, and iirc they're actually quite expensive considering (isn't cradle like $50?). So I'd just proxy it instead of buying a gold-bordered version. I am fine with people playing proxies, usually. But you should ask your group. If other people are playing with gold-bordered cards, but not printout proxies, then maybe that's the line they've drawn. In which case, maybe it's worth it to you to spend however much they cost.
Jul 11, 2019DirkGently posted a message on 98 land Thrasios + Bruse(?) - Stage 4 EDHD has set inPlayed again with it tonight, and it pulled off another win! I hit kessig relatively early, and was waiting for a good opening for a win - ideally by pumping something of theirs that was attacking, and then eliminating another player on my turn, but people were durdling for way too long, and eventually one guy played DEN. Didn't have any super scary combos (well, he sorta did, but arena took care of that) but I cannot suffer a DEN to live. So I killed him with thrasios, and then once the other players killed thrasios I killed them with bruse. I think I was up to 30+, maybe almost 40 lands on the table.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
some individual card thoughts:
most of the manlands have been...meh. Not terrible but I rarely activate them. To be fair, maybe i should be, but usually thrasios is so powerful that I don't like using mana on my turn unless I'm actually killing someone. so usually they aren't activated. I think a certain number is good, but i should maybe cut some of the less interesting ones, especially the colorless ones.
gavony township seems awesome, but it's slow enough and fights for mana with thrasios. kessig really shines by comparison since it only wants mana when somebody's gonna die. Still worth it, I guess, but honestly it's borderline. There's probably some cute strategy where I animate all my lands eot and then activate a couple times but...why do that crap when you can just go for kessig kills?
all the fog lands are awesome. wouldn't cut a single one.
desert package is neat. Don't activate them usually, but I don't see much harm in any of them, and the upside is real.
blast zone is one of the best. Having removal is extremely clutch.
arena is also pretty great. Works best if I can get something like opal palace.
bazaar is....not sure what I think. It did dig me into blast zone to save my ass when thrasios got imprisoned in the moon once. But usually I'd rather it tapped for mana. I guess that doesn't matter super often, but still...also i frequently have a hard time discarding after the first couple activations. Not sure if I'll keep it in. But it's nice to show off dat bling.
bruse is legitimately great. Majorly underestimated how useful he is. Being able to slam for massive damage, and recover my life which not many lands can do...very good option for the deck. Nobody else would have come close imo.
Not sure if I want to tinker with the deck, and see how I could make it a little more competitive. It's kind of tricky, though, since thrasios has a rep as being one of the best cEDH commanders, which I'm not interested in. Being able to say "well, sure, he's good, but the deck is 98 lands" kind of takes the edge off. 70 lands doesn't really have the same ring to it.
Jul 11, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Pang Tong, "Young Phoenix" - Worst. Commander. Ever.Played 3 more games - almost won the first one (died to exact damage on a khorvath's fury...and that raptor shutting down my lifegain, grr), got color screwed (!!!) in the second one and lost horribly, and then I did finally win the third. Victory for Pang Tong at last!Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
MVP was dawn of hope - along with an early "ulted" gideon for the emblem, and much later dictate of heliod, i must have lifelinked hundreds of damage, and eventually dug for second sun which won me the game, finally. It was at least turn 20 or so. Endgame was vs an athreos deck, so we were trading life for ages until i finally sealed the deal with second sun - although tbh, since i was making like 5+ 4/4 lifelink tokens every turn, it might have been able to win anyway.
LVP was pang tong. Sorry buddy. There are a few points I tried to cast him and get value, but that tap ability is so slow and the synergies aren't amazing to begin with. And once he dies once it's like....eugh. I don't wanna pay that much for a crappy 1/2. After dying to a couple board wipe, I finally just kept activating dawn of hope until i won, basically. But I recast pang for the big finale. So he finally got his chance to shine, before I pack this deck up and build something less...bad.
Jul 10, 2019There are 2 main things you missed:Posted in: Commander (EDH)
-because Iona can disproportionately effect one player more than another, it can lock one player out completely, while doing absolutely nothing to another player - thus providing an incentive for the unaffected player to keep it alive, up to countering removal aimed at it, even if they aren't the controller. Most stax cards effect all enemy players in at least reasonably equal ways, and so they don't generally create this dynamic.
-because Iona is a big dumb creature, she gets put into decks and metas that wouldn't consider playing something like, say, stasis. cEDH gonna cEDH, they can have their efficient stax pieces that only exist to do stax things. Iona isn't a cEDH stax card though - she looks like a casual card but plays like a stax card. So she inserts stax into metas that otherwise wouldn't be playing it.
That's why she's banned.
Jul 9, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Lots of people do like the Ur dragon as a commander. Pre-ur-dragon, at least in my estimation, dragon tribal was extremely bad. Now it's just...pretty bad. scion is a fine commander but tends to be more combo-y (usually in the fill the graveyard, then mass reanimate sense). Not so much of a dragon tribal commander, exactly.Quote from Drain Life »Throughout magic, there have been many mechanics which are either worthless or too powerful and no real middle ground. Storm, Phyrexian Mana, and Eminence among them.
My best freidn bought the Dragon's deck, my wife Wizards and Cats, and I took Edgar Markov's vampires. The Ur Dragon was quickly replaced with Scion of the Ur Dragon as the original commander was weaksauce. Edgar Markov is banned in duels and is quite strong as both a beat down deck and a combo deck because of the free tokens. Inalla has multiple combos built around her triggered ability. The cats deck s a pile of trash, and The Ur Drgaon is much better in the 99 of a Scion of the Ur Dragon deck rather than leading it.
Either the ability is super strong or total garbage. It does nothing good for the game. let the past die. Kill it if you have to.
ur dragon and the cat guy are both totally fine imo. edgar...well, I know he's supposed to be good but tbh I haven't played against a version of the deck I found particularly scary unless they have a great start with fast mana or something. Inalla I have a deep dislike for, but I haven't seen much of her around.
I think eminence can be...not problematic...probably. It is a tough needle to thread, perhaps, but I think ur dragon and arahbo show us that it can be done. Their abilities are strong, but because they're enabling a very bad deck, they can give that deck a big boost without being a problem. Now should they build more eminence commanders? I don't really want them to generally, but with the right design it could be cool. I don't really think I trust wizards enough to design something I'd personally like, though. Ur-dragon and arahbo are fine, safety-wise, but they don't interest me. And Inalla is kind of a cool ability, but she's too gross power-level-wise for me to want to touch her.
I think it's a threadable needle, but I don't trust wotc to thread it. So I'd rather they didn't try.
Jul 9, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Oh I haven't actually played against Iona recently. Maybe in years tbh. I don't think it was an emergency ban. But it's a card that only serves to make games suck, so it does deserve a ban imo.
So if someone has a stasis/orb lock online everything is okay because he wins the game and the other 3 player can give up because they can do nothing. But if a mono-color player get locked by an Iona than everything is miserable because he has to sit there and do nothing? Where is the different for you to be defeated early in the game or be locked?
And no you don't have to tailor your decks to 30-odd people but you can prepare yourself for the one hate card out there that seemly is destroying your day/fun.
But well this discussion won't change any opinions. She is banned now and will disappear in my binder.
The difference between Iona and, say, stasis, is that (1) iona needs no effort to break the symmetry, and more importantly (2) Iona is a big sweet-looking angel that casuals will actually want to put in their decks. Casuals aren't lining up to put winter orb in their decks because they'll have to build around it, and because it's not very "fun". Iona looks like she might be fun but is, in fact, not.
That's the argument the RC uses, as well as I can recite it. You're free to disagree with the way they ban cards, but that's how they go about doing it. By their criteria, Iona is definitely more deserving of banning that stasis.
Jul 9, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If other players aren't affected (or majorly affected) by iona, they may well get an advantage from her existing and want to protect her, so that the mono-colored player is locked out. So yes, Iona can survive for a long time and meanwhile you're stuck there doing nothing. Does it always play out that way? Well no. But the range of "how annoying is Iona" goes from "pretty annoying" to "incredibly annoying" with no real room for "actually pretty fun".
No not everyone has to play colorless removal because not everyone is playing mono color decks. You should know your game group and you can perfectly adjust your deck to your meta.
There are better ways to keep other players from playing magic. She is an iconic card for me. One of the first creature I got by trading with friends. I have good memories with her, like preventing some Bord wipes or protection from counters.
My meta is like 30 people. If you get knocked out early, you can find other people to play with. Not a big problem. But I'm supposed to tailor my decks to 30-odd people playing hundreds of different decks of wildly different power levels?
Jul 9, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Lazav, Dimir Mastermind / Wydwen, the Biting Gale - Dimir Voltron ControlHmm, good question.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
So I didn't actually have truth/justice when I last played the deck, but I knew going in that it was unlikely to be very good since I have very few cards to proliferate onto. So it's basically just a pseudo citadel siege that requires connecting. But I haven't actually played with it yet (I've since acquired one).
fire and ice is a classic. This deck is probably too light on CA, so fire and ice really shines.
war and peace I haven't drawn yet, but for an all-in voltron deck that doesn't plan to win except via commander damage it's obviously not very exciting. Pro white is nice, though, it blocks a lot of removal (for wydwen, obviously lazav doesn't care).
light and shadow was surprisingly relevant. I like the card generally, but with such a low percentage of creatures I didn't think it would work well. Turns out recurring tutor creatures like the mages is pretty sweet. Obviously it's better if you have more creatures in the deck. And the lifegain was nice - comparable to war/peace but with a more useful secondary effect, and a more useful set of protections (probably the 2 best protections, actually).
body/mind is pretty un-amazing for wydwen but obviously great for lazav specifically. Getting a token can be useful if you're worried your commander will die and you'll need someone else to pick up his weapons to get your value. Wydwen doesn't have this problem, usually, since she's not really killable. And Lazav is unlikely to die too often thanks to hexproof either, but he gets the value off the mill. But if I was voltron, say, rafiq of the many I can see it being important to generate some incidental tokens.
feast and famine is generally considered the best. It doesn't really shine here, imo, since we don't have THAT much stuff we want to play after untapping lands. Usually we want to play/equip our equipment in main 1, and then main 2...not much. nice to keep up answers, but you usually want to be prepared in case you don't connect with it, so you don't really want to tap out in main 1 anyway. Still good but not amazing here in particular.
and yeah, I really liked sinew and steel. It's between F&I and S&S for best in deck.
Probably the rankings for this deck are:
Given what the prices look like, I'd jump on S&S before it goes up!
Jul 8, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
-"being in the worst color" doesn't really mean anything as long as multicolor commanders exist (fun fact, there are a decent number of them).Triumph of the Hordes early in the game. MtG was really good at adding answers against her. But she was call out for years now, so I guess they wanted to throw the community a bone.
-being 9 mana doesn't mean much in a format with so many ways to cheat things into play
-colorless removal is rare and mostly very inefficient, do you seriously want every deck to run karn and tutor for it ASAP just in case iona gets played? How are you supposed to predict that?
-the problem with iona is NOT that she's too powerful. She's not. The problem is that she creates undesirable game states for a casual game, where someone is completely prevented from casting anything because they're playing a mono-color deck. It also creates a problem because mono-color is already a big disadvantage, and iona punishes players even more for playing it.
Triumph of the hordes ends the game if it works. You can go start another one, no problem. Iona keeps you in the game, but unable to do anything. Way less fun. Kill me and get it over with.
Jul 8, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Hard to say if 30 life would change much - likely it wouldn't imo - but it's not like changing life totals couldn't stop combo in principle. Change life totals to, say, 3, and combo is immediately dead (and burn is the new king).Quote from DigitalFire »The life total should not change, but even if it did, that won't stop combo;
Not only is there no way to stop combo from being the best way to kill a table...
Obviously that's an extreme example but there's presumably some happy medium for competitive play. A life total that low would likely drastically change casual play, though, probably more than is healthy.
Jul 8, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Banning Criteria discussion: Allow players to win out of nowherePersonally I think the #1 reason to ban it wasn't so much "wins out of nowhere" so much as "takes forever to win while everyone else sits there staring at their hands and longing for death".Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
Jul 8, 2019DirkGently posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer BanlistPosted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
Hoo boy was he right. Site is dooooown.Quote from Taleran »
Great news on all fronts - painter being banned was pretty silly, iona was only obnoxious, and paradox engine was cancer.
Would have preferred gifts to painter (or both), but I'll take it.
Dropped $10 to emergency-buy a painter on cardmarket. We'll see if that ends up being a smart financial decision.
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Apr 30, 2018Was anyone really saying legends is a bad set? It's iconic as hell and has tons of powerful cards, maybe only second to alpha (although urza's saga puts up a good fight).Posted in: Articles
Not sure I'm convinced the legends rule is good (I don't even really see an argument that it is). Flavor-wise, it is (or at least used to be) a big win. These days...idk man. Having both versions of jhoira is fine, but having 2 of the same version isn't? Maybe it's supposed to be a multiple timelines thing, but then why can you and your opponent have one, but one poofs as soon as one switches sides? It feels like a top-down rule that's proven to be bad for gameplay, and at this point wotc is just trying to pay lip service to the flavor motivations while essentially destroying everything mechanically important about it.
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