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  • 1

    posted a message on Let's talk Companion and EDH
    I really think people are making a mountain out of a molehill. None of the ones spoiled so far, except Lutri obviously, are worth the heavy restrictions they impose upon your deck. They're going to be kinda fun to try as gimmick builds - try remaking your favorite deck, but now with this restriction! - but unless there's a big spike in power they're going to be a sign that your deck sucks more than anything.

    Lutri is obviously good here, but in standard I'm pretty skeptical that the restriction is worth it. So Lutri isn't really a power spike, just a bad fit for commander.

    Quote from FunkyDragon »
    Sol Ring is not an auto-include, no matter how many times people say it is. In Feather, it is an actively bad card and should never be run, as the deck is so color hungry. In most decks, it's a good idea to run, but it's a pretty bad top deck late game in just about every deck. In those decks, the gain of fast early mana is offset by the opportunity cost of drawing a useless mana rock late game. Lutri completely ignores the idea of opportunity cost and needed to not function in Commander as a Companion.

    I agree with your concern about proving the restriction. Do we just go on faith, and then an hour in declare that the player auto-forfeits because they had one card that broke the restriction? Do we have to do deck checks beforehand? It's a stupid, stupid nightmare of an ability in paper.
    Hey, I played sol ring in my feather deck. Sure, not as good as many other decks, but there's still cards that need colorless. And when you T1 a boros signet, that's good feeling. But I agree, not a total auto-include. I didn't run it in my child of alara, for example, since it would just blow it up immediately. Maybe I still should have ran it, but it's at least a question. With lutri there's literally no question, you just run it every time. Not great for format diversity, and could easily become expensive and then creates unpleasant pay-to-win situations. Plus it's just another card you "have" to acquire to optimize any RU deck. I do wish they'd picked a different criteria for lutri. Ah well. Seems fun for standard I guess.

    Proving the restriction argument is ridiculous, though, for two reasons.

    1) nobody demands to check that everyone else's deck is singleton in advance. We just assume we're not trying to cheat. In tourneys, there's deck registration to verify that.

    2) since you have to reveal your companion at the beginning of the game, if you put anything that violates the rule into your deck, your opponent will instantly know you cheated when you try to cast it. You could put them in your deck and never cast them, I guess, but what would be the point?

    If someone accidentally violates the rule, I'd do exactly what I do when someone accidentally has a banned card - tell them to exile it and draw another card (not triggering any draw triggers ofc, no getting sneaky with niv mizzet lol). If they violate it before they cast their companion, I guess I'd let them pick whether they want the card or the companion, if I was feeling generous. In either case, I'd tell them to fix their deck before the next game. Not a huge deal.

    If someone already cast their companion, time passed, and then it later turns out they had a ton of violating cards in the deck...that would be weird...depending how many they had, maybe I'd tell them to just quit and fix their deck. Outside of intentional cheating I can't see how that'd happen, though.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Phelddagrif: Show Weakness to Hide Your Strength
    The goal of the deck, when players are starting to be eliminated, is to try to help the person who you'll have the easiest game against. So if someone has a huge hand (I'm assuming reliquary tower or something, most 7 card hands are totally answerable) you should probably be trying to help their enemies, so that either their enemies win, or they win but they have to use a lot of their best resources to do it. Part of that is likely to be trying to eliminate their card advantage engines, although you should generally try to let them have as much as you can still reasonably handle in the 1v1, since you don't want to attract too much attention or become the threat.

    Enemy counterspells can be a real pain, and being aware of enemy counterplay is very important. When I'm preparing for the 1v1 game, the #1 thing I'm hoarding is counterspells, so that I can ensure an answer to both their threats and their counterplay. Counterspells are generally weaker than other answers in multiplayer because they force you to act very early, and thus don't let you see which direction the threat is going before deciding to answer. Plus they require you to HAVE that answer at the right time. But late-game, 1v1, they're easily the strongest answers because they answer (nearly) anything, and answer it completely. Most games end with me holding a grip of counterspells, just in case.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 1

    posted a message on Phelddagrif: Show Weakness to Hide Your Strength
    The vast majority of games don't go to a nexus "combo" win, so there's no dastardly intentions to notify people of. This deck isn't trying to trick anyone, it's just creating game-states where it's in everyone's best interest to leave you alone.

    Generally enemy CA hasn't been a huge problem. It can be when it gets to 1v1, but before then, it's extremely hard for a single player to outpace the rest of the table's draw + mana, especially with you throwing out wrenches at them and hippos at their enemies. I'm usually totally fine with someone drawing a bunch, it just paints a target on them. When it's 1v1, you may feel more obliged to counter big draw spells or remove draw engines.

    Easiest rule of thumb for wiping would be "when I wouldn't be able to control it if something unexpected happened." If someone is sitting on enough damage to kill me and I don't have any fogs or enough removal to handle it, I'll wipe in case they decide to take a swing at me. Or maybe they have quite a few creatures, and I suspect they might have counter backup for a craterhoof...really just depends on how well you can control the situation. If you're sitting on a fog, some targeted removal, and some counters, you can probably let the board go for a pretty long time, whereas if you're low on answers you might want to wipe sooner. Also, if I have several wipes in hand, I might fire one off just to slow people down and get some CA, so I don't end up with a grip of wipes clogging my hand. And, of course, if someone has a vendetta against me (or it's 1v1) I'm more likely to treat the scenario like a 1v1 game and use wipes whenever it's most advantageous in my judgment.

    As far as handing out hippos, it's a fine art. Generally I don't try to force aggression unless there's good reason - if X is clearly up to something scary and needs to be stopped, I might give hippos to people for hurting them - but X, in this situation, would understand why I'm doing it and wouldn't get mad. He's the archenemy for a reason.

    If the game is fairly balanced and low-key, Phelddagrif is a pretty solid deterrent, as are utility lands like kor haven. Once someone has something scary (say an eldrazi...something I could deal with but would rather see attacking my opponents instead of eating my removal) I don't tend to say "attack X and I'll give you hippos", I tend to say "just don't attack me and I'll give you hippos". This works on a couple levels - it's not going to annoy X, and it's less likely to make me look like a puppet master, and more like someone who just doesn't want to get hit, and is lucky enough to have a good motivator for avoiding it. It helps cultivate that impression of vulnerability.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 1

    posted a message on Need some help building Maralen of the Mornsong
    Honestly? I'd try to switch to something else. Maralen is a one-trick-pony by design. If you have some OTK combo you can search for, people will realize this, and you give them the ability to tutor for whatever answer they need. And if you don't have an OTK, then other people will probably fetch up better stuff than you. Basically, as soon as people realize you're getting a benefit of any significance from your commander, you give them the ability to easily deal with it. That's not a good plan.

    If you really have to build Maralen, I'd probably build a classic big mono-black build with the usual stuff - grave pact, cabal coffers, rise of the dark realms etc, as budget allows. And then you probably never end up casting Maralen unless you really have nothing else to do. But it'd probably be improved by putting almost any other legend in the command zone instead.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    I don't think you are a fool, it's just a meta call.
    From what i have saw, auto-includes are a thing even in less competitive metas.
    The sky isn't falling and my meta won't die for sure, but since, as you said, power creep is a thing, i hope they won't print another sheoldred, avacyn or cyclonic rift in the near future.


    I play mostly at LGS "commander night"-type metas. So, not a fully stable group, but tend to see a lot of the same faces. I've played a couple different metas in the US, in the UK, and now in NZ. I've really never felt running those cards (except rift) was important, necessary, or even optimal.

    If you're just hard-casting those cards without some plan to cheat them out, I think most good decks will either be fast enough that, by the time you play them, you're already in big trouble or outright dead, or they're controlling enough that playing a big expensive clunker with no immediate impact is going to be trivial to answer, if it even needs answering at all.

    I really think you're vastly overstating the power level of avacyn and sheoldred to put them in the same list as rift. Nearly any blue deck is improved by rift, but I reeeaaaaally don't buy that any white deck is improved by avacyn. Unless you can reliably cheat her out and/or plan to armageddon, she's just not that great. She costs a ton in a color that's not great at ramp, and a lot of the good removal doesn't care about indestructible. There are way better things to do with that much mana. A deck just doesn't get to run very many cards at that mana cost and still be effective. Is Sheoldred really the bomb you're going to win the game with? Idk, I've seen a lot of sheoldreds cast, and the number that were a significant part of a victory is pretty low.

    I think auto-includes are more of a thing in 75%-ish metas. Below that, people are running whatever jank suits their fancy. Above 75%, auto-includes exist, but don't tend to be big dumb clunky bombs like sheoldred, so much as efficient answers like swan song and swords to plowshares (swords is one I might compare to rift - not so much sheoldred). And so long as your meta is around 75%, I don't think it's particularly difficult to win with a smart cohesive build, rather than a bunch of dumb "auto-includes". So I really don't buy that any meta exists where Sheoldred or Avacyn are necessary, by any stretch.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    Call me a fool, but I don't think Sheoldred or Avacyn are that great. Good at what they do, yes, certainly, but not the sort of thing I'm just going to jam into any deck in their colors. If I'm playing Kaalia (never gonna happen, but let's say) then sure, Avacyn is great. If I'm playing reanimator, then sure, Sheoldred is great. With tokens, craterhoof. But I'm not setting aside slots for those cards by default, or even close. Out of all my white decks (which, given that I've built over a hundred decks, is probably quite a few) I think I've only run avacyn once or twice. Sheoldred and craterhoof, same deal. Again, call me a fool. But I'm sure not suffering any major loss in win% because of it, from what I can tell. To me, outside of good synergy, these are mostly goodstuff cards, and a bunch of random goodstuff cards just don't hold a candle to a well-built deck with a cohesive plan.

    I mean sure, sheoldred overshadows reya. But you can still run Reya if you don't have access to black, or you're playing kaalia and want redundancy, or you're building angel tribal, or you just want to. Yes, power creep is a thing, but it's not like Reya as a standalone card wasn't always crap. She was kind of OK in oldschool reanimator and that was a long, long time ago.

    Cyc rift I have put in nearly every blue deck I've built though. You've got me on that one. That's probably as close to a true auto-include as exists in the format outside of fast mana.

    I don't buy this argument of "oh, you're playing X color, so you have to play X card". Even if we're operating on the, imo, mistaken assumption that sheoldred/hoof/avacyn are auto-includes. If you're playing to win as your primary goal, then forget about sheoldred, there are waaaaaaay more powerful things available in this format. And if you're not playing to win at all costs, then guess what? YOU get to draw the line in the sand about what is and isn't fun to play with. You can choose not to include those cards if you don't want to. Nobody is twisting your arm. You can make plenty strong decks with or without them.

    If your meta is becoming stale and refuses to move off them, then that's one thing, but personally that doesn't bother me too much, so long as it's not veering too close to cEDH. I always find it fun to run circles around the unimaginative goodstuff decks, personally.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 3

    posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    Most of the never-to-be-surpassed cards existed at the format’s inception. It’s always just been a question of how much power you’re willing to sacrifice for innovation, and vice versa.

    To me, it sounds like you’ve found a formula you think is best, refuse to move off of it, and then blame the format for your own stubbornness.

    To be more constructive: I tend to think of some plan that I want to enact, and then build the deck to maximise my ability to execute that plan. If your plan is always just “win” then that’s probably why you don’t see much variety in your lists.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 3

    posted a message on Fists of Flame, or "why developing specifically for EDH is making the format worse"
    Quote from Carthage »
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Lol, if people don’t want to play low-powered then that’s their prerogatives, but what a bad excuse. You can’t afford $30 to buy a precon to play low-powered, because you spent thousands on cEDH...right...


    Yes actually, people don't want to spend money on weak cards. That's a thing. Why would you believe this isn't a thing?
    you said the game is too expensive to have multiple decks. I can sympathise with the college student who bought one precon and that’s it, but if someone has a cEDH deck and “can’t afford” a low-powered one, then it’s pretty obvious that they COULD afford it, they just don’t want to. Don’t pretend like cost is the central reason when it obviously isn’t.
    Quote from Pip_Maxwell »
    If the price of a deck is the X-Axis, how tuned it actually would be is the Y-Axis. Even amongst the precons, they are tuned to varying degrees despite being priced around the same.
    You’d have to be pretty oblivious to think there isn’t a correlation between cost and power. Sure, it’s not always 100% consistent - sol ring is fairly cheap, guru lands are expensive - but you can’t make a top-tier cEDH deck for cheap, and if you want a decent low-power deck you can do it for less than a precon easy - just look at commanders quarters or something.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Fists of Flame, or "why developing specifically for EDH is making the format worse"
    Lol, if people don’t want to play low-powered then that’s their prerogatives, but what a bad excuse. You can’t afford $30 to buy a precon to play low-powered, because you spent thousands on cEDH...right...
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 1

    posted a message on Anje Falkenrath is a failure of design and one of my least favorite cards after playing with it
    General Tazri is terrible design! Sure, you could build an ally tribal deck, but the best build is food chain combo, so why would you do anything else? It's just a linear boring commander!

    You've always got a choice in deck construction. No one is making you put in a combo. If you didn't have a combo to dig to, you'd probably be more inclined to actually cast your madness cards, because there's no magic bullet at the end of the rainbow. Granted, most madness cards aren't super strong, but when they don't cost a card and they all have flash, most of them are at least decent.

    Unless you're playing cEDH, every deck has to intentionally limit its own power in some way. That's hardly unique to Anje.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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