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  • posted a message on Best Black Group Hug/Politics general?
    Quote from FearDReaper »
    I might just have to move out of my comfort zone and play nonblack if I want to do this right. I'm not really feeling the flying hippo but I might have to consider something like Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. If I can't play black I'd at least like to play my second fav colour Red. Any red reccomendations?

    Edit: I might try Mathas. How much worse is he do you guys think compared to K&T or Zedru
    k&t is group hug, not political. Your opponents benefit equally so they have no reason to be nice to you. You can't turn off their benefits if they're hurting you (unlike phelddagrif). Group hug implies a symmetrical mechanic but not an actual strategy.

    Haven't played Mathas in my cz, only my 99 and enemy cz. I think his effect is pretty subtle in terms of politics (it's tough to translate it into favors or to strongly steer the game in a particular direction) but he seems fine. Because the effect is nearly symmetrical it rarely moves people to do anything in particular (I.e. use removal on it).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Best Black Group Hug/Politics general?
    Well, my first thought is that Phelddagrif is, and shall probably always be, the best political commander in the format. big ol' primer in sig. /plug

    But if you're committed to black, there are still plenty of decent options.

    Queen Marchesa is an interesting one. I've been playing with her a bit. She mostly creates scenarios where your opponents are motivated to attack each other (to get the monarch) but not attack you (because you have a bunch of deathtouch blockers). In practice, it's a bit unreliable against evasion, but that's at least the theory. You can help make up for that weakness with the other cards in the deck.

    Ludevic is trash. For one thing, if an opponent cracks a fetch, they draw a card. Even if they send all their attackers at your face. Even if they target you with all their removal. If they don't have fetches, they can send one flying token at an opponent for the same result. It's extremely weakly political imo. also vial smasher triggering on enemy turns will help your enemy draw a card...that can occasionally be good but it's pretty niche.

    Vial smasher is also really horrible politically, imo. Random damage is *kind of* better, but much like purphoros he represents a threat to the entire table and should draw hate. It also could easily kill someone you don't need, or want, to kill, while the more threatening player lives to kill you. There's a reason threat assessment is an important part of the game, especially a political game. Randomness is antithetical to that.

    As far as good political commanders:

    Athreos, god of passage is an interesting one. You can use him both as punishment for removing your stuff by targeting them and forcing them to either lose 3 or negate their own removal, or as a way for others to do you political favors by not paying the life. You can also, if you're feeling particularly dirty, go "infinite with assistance" by having someone let you infinite loop a free creature to a sac outlet to kill some common enemy. I've got a deck built around that premise in my sig.

    Basically anything that goes well with removal is solid at politics. Token example being glissa, the traitor. Punish your enemies with removal and draw cards off baubles and stuff, plus she deters attacks like a boss. Toshiro Umezawa is similar in this regard. Lazav, Dimir Mastermind also synergizes with removal, in a more unique way. I like all three of these commanders a lot.

    Mathas fiend seeker motivates opponents to remove what you target, and while you can't fully control the draw, you can stop at least one person from getting any.

    Pharika, God of Affliction lets you create deadly blockers anywhere on the table, while also controlling graves, which can be both a benefit (don't attack me and you get a snake!) or a deterrent (if you attack me, I'll exile your genesis). Plus, real hard to interact with.

    Teysa, Orzhov Scion + tokens can also work as a deterrent, threatening to exile targets in response to whatever you don't like.

    Xantcha, Sleeper Agent is basically Mathas on crack - one person gets to suck it, everyone else gets cards. Haven't played much with her yet, so I don't have any strong opinions, but it's one to look at.

    Saskia, the Unyielding is another "screw that guy commander". Biggest downside is that you can't change targets without blink/recast, which is kind of a problem in the rapidly-changing state of commander games. So this one is just decent. If you've got one problematic guy, it could be good.

    Tasigur, the Golden Fang is a really cool political commander, from a different angle. I've got a version in my sig - basically the idea is that your opponents can help you counter major spells and remove major targets by giving you back what you want with tasigur. If I was rebuilding it, I'd have a lower density of answers, so your opponents decisions to help you aren't so forced.

    Finally, Kaervek, the Merciless. Kaervek is freaking hilarious. Here are my rules for Kaervek:
    If you cast a spell, you choose Kaervek's targets, unless...
    -That target would screw me over
    -The spell screws me over
    -The game is, or will be, about to end.
    Adding these rules turned Kaervek from an auto-kill to an amazing, board-controlling, responsibility-shirking, engine of mass destruction. It's probably one of the most fun decks I've created.

    I hope that helps with your decision. Personally my top picks are probably Kaervek, Tasigur, and Glissa.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Intervention Pact
    Personally I hate any card that reveals the top card of my deck. It makes it much easier for your opponents to play around what you have.

    I guess on the plus side, this goes best in a pretty midrange creature stompy deck, though, where concealing cards usually isn't as much of a concern. You probably aren't running a lot of answers or combo pieces that are best kept concealed.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Trying to both find a commander and build a deck with a $30-35 budget
    Yep, getting a precon would be perfect for your budget and they're really good bang for buck in terms of power.

    This years are a bit weak, though, so unless you particularly like one of them I'd aim for one from a previous year.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on So what could WotC realistically do to help white in Commander?
    Quote from Lithl »
    When you discard a plains card, you may reveal it and put it into your hand.
    wild mongrel?

    I don't think we'll ever get better than land tax tbh.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on So what could WotC realistically do to help white in Commander?
    Quote from Dormammu »
    White sets rules, so I like the idea of forcing someone to interact with you in the combat step. And this also makes white’s reliance on creatures less of a liability. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, but forcing people to attack you in combat seems like an interesting thing to give white.
    Forcing people to play "fair" seems like a decent idea, but giving a single, fairly narrow enchantment, doesn't seem like a reasonable solution. You have to assume that (1) you'll actually draw this card (2) it won't get removed, and (3) it'll actually be relevant.

    1 can only really be remedied by increasing the number of cards with that sort of effect that are actually worth playing. An enchantment that does nothing against, realistically, the majority of decks, and not enough versus quite a few more, is not a card I would expect to see play in a format without sideboards.

    2 I think is best remedied by making it something that isn't telegraphed. If you have this enchantment in play, your opponent probably won't cast exsanguinate until it's removed. If it was an instant the lasted until end of turn, though, then you could get them to actually use their big bomb, rather than just waiting and winning later. Or, again, making it something that exists on a lot more cards in various forms.

    3 is the biggest problem, though. Sure, exsanguinate is a good, commonly-played card, but many "unfair" strategies still use the combat step. kiki conscripts? combat step. infinite turns? usually combat step. craterhoof? combat step. Or they just don't ultimately care about how they win - planeswalker ults off doubling season or leaving them on an empty board after jokulhaups, drawing their deck via any number of combos, or just winning via alt wincon like lab man...there are just a ton of ways to win. The percentage of decks I see that are mill-focused primarily is definitely less than 1%, and the number of noncombat damage focused decks is probably less than 5%, although of course some decks use a mixture of combat and noncombat. So I think you need to cover a lot more bases with a directed hate card like this before it becomes reasonable to include it, especially because - for it to really be worth it - it needs to be good enough that you're encouraged to tutor for it, so you actually have the answer reliably when you need it.

    In terms of things I think would be (1) not out of color pie and (2) actually make a significant impact, I think the top two are:

    (1) give white big win-conditiony things (like secure the wastes for XWW and the tokens have prowess? just spitballing), and
    (2) give mono-white some really good commanders

    The former because wincons are the most likely things to get tutored, and therefore cast in more games and have a bigger impact (ofc mono-white sucks at tutoring nonenchantment/nonequipment cards, so maybe make some of those) and the latter because, well, they sit in the command zone and get played a lot, obviously. These little hosers and tech cards are fine but they won't get played much and they won't have a significant impact on the color as a whole unless there are just, like, a crapton of them, because you'll rarely draw them.

    In terms of what I actually WANT for mono-white, it's more unexpectedly absent-quality removal, because that's what I want to play, when I want to play white. But in terms of what the common EDH-player would need to see white as a viable color, it's probably those two things.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Who should lead a Sans-R Walls Deck?
    Quote from Monkey222 »
    Quote from DirkGently »

    I mean, if you want to build a bad deck for fun, build a bad deck for fun. But if you want to make a wall deck work, just build arcades. Doran doesn't even add anything to the deck, he's just redundant.

    I recently came to the realisation that my decks are too strong for most of my playgroup, so I started building some weaker decks so the newer players aren't always getting blown out.

    And I brainstormed building one deck for each colour combo, and Estrid, the Masked takes the Bant slot.
    Hmm, I do understand that goal, but I'd think that having a deck that's extremely fragile to removal would be a pretty un-fun way to avoid blowing out your opposition.

    Personally I think the best options are either to build around a particular mechanical restriction with little synergy (i.e. I had a deck where every card gave my opponents choices, such as tempt with vengeance, weird harvest, shared fate, capital punishment), or to just play a precon. Precons are nice since you don't have to build a crappy deck on purpose. Although building around a funny theme can be amusing.

    I've also tried some experiments with restricting my own play in certain weird ways. For example, an aggro deck where I chose a random condition to care about (i.e. who has the most land, or who has the most cards, or who has the highest life...the condition being either selected from a deck of conditions written on cards, or each condition assigned a number and rolling a dice to decide) and then whoever satisfied that condition was the person I targeted. The idea being that people could intentionally avoid satisfying those conditions so they'd be less likely to be targeted. This was pretty hilarious but it ended up not slowing me down enough, I still won a pretty high percentage of games. So more fine-tuning is probably necessary to find a good balance.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Atraxa be nice edh
    I like how the OP posted about how he wants a deck with the goal of making the game interesting - with atraxa presumably as an afterthought in the command zone - and people latched onto atraxa and started sharing deck ideas that have nothing to do with what the OP wanted to build, other than playing atraxa.

    Also I think there's a strong chance the OP won't find this thread again, having been gone from sally for a week, and the thread having been moved.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on So what could WotC realistically do to help white in Commander?
    You mean like faith's reward, a niche-playable card?

    enchantment would not get played (At least not by me or anyone else who isn't building toward a specific meta).

    Lin Sivvi would be sweet but preeeetty dangerous. Would be a very strong card in multicolor white decks, though, not just as a commander. Idk why 1 stat point would make any difference whatsoever.

    Fixing is brokenly strong in EDH. WWW is perfectly castable in 5-color, let alone 2. not a good idea. If you want "real" balance, that isn't just a veiled board/land/hand wipe, play balancing act. Except no one plays that card because it's terrible.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [GUIDE] Phelddagrif: Show Weakness to Hide Your Strength
    Added a little tip that I've have rolling around in my brain for a few weeks - third place (threat-wise) is generally the safest position to be in (in a 4+ player game). First place gets the table's hate. Second place gets first place's hate. Fourth place (or last place) gets the opportunistic hate. And of course, doing better is better Teach so no reason to be in fourth place if we don't have to. So third place is really where we're looking to be in the 4p game.

    This is also part of why I think the 3p game is so much harder with this deck. First place is easier to end up in on accident, second place attracts a higher percentage of first place's hate because they're a larger percentage of the opposition, and third place can be difficult to obtain if one of your opponents stumbles or has a bad deck (plus opportunistic attacks are more likely with a smaller table, since the benefits of eliminating one player are greater). The game tends to be faster and bloodier, and harder to escape notice. Not our cup of tea at all.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on So is Boros just terrible this time around?
    I know this is an old thread, but also, what? Pretty sure Boros is the strongest guild in the set.

    That said it could very well be overdrafted in paper. I know I'm getting kind of complacent when drafting against bots on arena, where forcing boros is the right move a solid 70% of the time or so. So then when I play paper, I have to make sure to correct for my bias. I'd guess if a meta is used to arena drafting, or just likes boros for other reasons, then boros could be overdrafted and result in mediocre decks.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Who should lead a Sans-R Walls Deck?
    The best commander, by far, would be to just use arcades. If you think anything else is close you're kidding yourself. He already has doran's ability plus the draw ability plus the critical "walls can attack" ability. If you use either of those partner pairs you're going to be sitting on a pile of garbage that instantly folds as soon as assault formation and arcades are removed, and can't do anything until you tutor one of those cards in the first place either.

    I mean, if you want to build a bad deck for fun, build a bad deck for fun. But if you want to make a wall deck work, just build arcades. Doran doesn't even add anything to the deck, he's just redundant.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [GUIDE] Phelddagrif: Show Weakness to Hide Your Strength
    I have actually thought about them a bit, as I was sorting through all the potential CA engines. They're definitely difficult to evaluate, since their effectiveness is very meta-dependent. But so is everything in this deck.

    Tbh I haven't had time to test the theory yet, I'm in the middle of a move from the US to the UK so things have been a bit hectic. I see a few potential stumbling blocks, but I really think testing is the only way to be sure.

    -Giving everyone CA allows us to answer more things, but it doesn't generally accelerate us in the same way a ramp deck might. If our opponents are using those resources to actually build and accrue more resources it could get out of hand quickly. We get a lot of value out of reliably playing a land and keeping not too far behind the table, but if everyone is ramping while not losing CA the gap might become a problem.
    -of course, if we should ever become the threat, all those cards we gave our opponents are going to haunt us. Obviously we're trying to avoid that with the whole construction of the deck, but hey, it still happens sometimes.
    -in the 1v1 game, of course this is inevitable and makes the card basically dead at that place in the game.
    -forced CA every turn is actually not my favorite. Early in the game (when 2 cmc is the best) we usually don't want to actually cast most of our spells since there aren't worthwhile targets. By the late game, less risky CA is affordable. And even late-game, our hand can get full and then we either have to throw out answers at subpar targets or reveal that we're sitting on a bunch of answers by discarding one.
    -Some players (i.e. me playing other decks) see cards that break the normal rules of card advantage - i.e. letting everyone draw many cards a turn - as a threat to their control gameplan, and might see howling mine as a significantly bigger problem than phyrexian arena. Or they might assume we're playing regular group hug and hate us out for it. I wouldn't assume howling mine is going to appear "innocent" to other players, especially competitive ones.

    So those are my reasons for why I'm skeptical. That said, it does bear testing and once I have a new group to test with in the UK I might give it a go. First we're on vacation for most of the next two months, though, so it might be a bit.

    Edit: in terms of cards that resolve most of my issues with the concept, mikokoro, center of the sea is a CA engine I can get behind. geier reach sanitarium is also decent. Colorless sources are at a premium, but if you just subbed a CA tool for mikokoro I think you'd be fine.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on So what could WotC realistically do to help white in Commander?
    Why would nissa be a marquee reanimation commander? Surely you mean chainer or karador or Alesha or teneb...
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Are there cards you don't play for power reasons?
    i get Iona and vorinclex, but what's wrong with jitte? It's very powerful in 1v1 games but multiplayer? I don't even think it's particularly good. Most of the swords are probably better.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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