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    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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    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)
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    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
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    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
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    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)
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    posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    I think it's important to remember that, in most groups, precons essentially form the floor for competitiveness. There was a time when you could expect at least one person at a given table to be playing a deck composed of draft chaff with a commander they liked from the story as the commander. Those days are long past.

    In the theoretical universe where wotc prints precons strong enough that they can compete with 75% constructed decks, imo that really takes the fun out of making your own deck. The precons aren't super strong, but I've both won with them while playing against constructed decks, and I've even lost to one when playing my own constructed decks once or twice. They aren't garbage, they've got some game. If they're too strong, new players don't get the fun of the gradual improvement of their deck and seeing dramatic improvements as they cut the chaff for cool cards they discovered. That upward trajectory is, imo, critical to the drive of players. If you start off winning 20% of games and gradually climb to 25%, it's not super satisfying. If you start off winning 5% and make it to 15% after making some upgrades, that feels like a big improvement and is much more satisfying.

    Event decks for standard are kind of necessary because, in a 1v1 format, there's a lot less room for sucking. You'll be playing against meta decks in most LGSs and your deck will need to handle their strength in a straight-up 1v1 fight in order to have a chance.

    But that's not true for commander. With multiplayer balance being what it is, a new players with precons can probably expect to draw a lot less attention than other players with better decks. Hence how it's actually feasible to win with one. I think my winrate with precons is probably like 20% or so...which is still a far cry from my winrate playing my own decks (or borrowed decks). But it's still not bad. If you've got the skills you can absolutely make up for the weakness of a precon. I still remember time when I lost to a guy playing a precon, because he absolutely knew what he was doing and it was damn impressive play.

    I kinda lost track of what I was saying. I guess the point is - I don't really want to live in a world where precons are at the same power level as constructed decks out of the box. Flat power levels are good for other formats, but in commander a diversity of power levels is more fun imo.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
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    posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    Quote from SonofaBith75 »
    -that person said they’d improve on that, and 50% of the way through, that’s untrue.
    I think you're forgetting just how bad reprint value was in 2018. I just perused the decklists, and very few reprints are worth more than $2, usually only a couple per deck. Unwinding clock is the only thing I see that's worth any significant money, and it's still single digits.

    Little annoying to figure out the prices on those cards pre-reprint but still, I think we're going to do better than last year by a decent margin. Maybe not by as much as you'd like, but they have improved.

    Anyway it's just a matter of priorities imo. Some people (myself included) don't care about reprints and think the new cards are exciting. I'd be equally as excited for these decks if all the old cards were replaced with stroopwafels. Actually, I'd be more excited because I have a lot more use for stroopwafels than a bunch of cards I already have.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
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    posted a message on {C19} Mystic intelect full deck list + command zone preview card - Elsha of the Infinite
    I love the card mechanically, but also hot damn is that some spicy art. She is not messing around. Glad to have a jeskai monk who isn't obnoxious format-cancer.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    So...Elsha seems cool...

    It's like if Raff and melek had a baby. Casting from top of deck is sweet, I'm glad they aren't making you reveal the card though. And anything that grants flash is always awesome.

    I'm not totally sure how I want to build the deck, but I think I'm gonna build it. Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little but I feeeel like this set might end up being the most successful to date at making me actually get off my butt and build the commanders on release.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on C19 Another Bust?
    Quote from SonofaBith75 »
    You say people are entitled. I say, have higher standards and stop settling.
    I mean, some of us don't care about reprints. I don't, at all. As long as I like the new cards, I don't care if the rest of the deck is draft chaff.

    Not saying you aren't entitled to care about reprint value, but people don't HAVE to care about it in order to "have standards".

    So far I like the design of most of the new commanders, Anje and Savinne in particular although the alt commanders also seem pretty cool. For me 2017 was the biggest bust year - tribal decks rarely interest me. But there's something for everyone.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
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