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  • posted a message on How does one choose cards for EDH?
    The first step is to know what you want to do. Sometimes this means picking a Commander, and thinking of what you want to with it, sometimes it involves picking a strategy, and seeing what Commander will best support that.

    Next depends on your budget, and your available cards. Sometimes you want to start with the cards you have, and just go through what you have and pull out anything that looks fun, interesting, might fit the strategy, are necessary pieces for those colors (removal) etc. Sometimes you'll start online instead, and find the cards that fit the strategy from online searches, and then try and see if you own them, or how to acquire them. Sometimes you're not sure of the strategy you want to follow, so you look up other lists online and see what people are doing with the card. Learning from repetition is absolutely valid, and every professional has learned in that manner. Artists copy good art, athletes learn proper forms, etc.

    From there - practice, learn, tweak, adapt. Every playgroup is different, and what works well in one area may have different results elsewhere. Talk to the people you play with, see what they think about the deck - they might have suggestions or feedback. Don't be afraid to experiment, especially in the early phases. Some of my decks I purposefully made drastic changes to in order to really try out different things.

    Finally, one great way to learn more is to simply ask for help! Create threads in these forums just as you did here, and say "Hey guys, I'm trying to find cards to achieve <this>, I've done a search for <this>, but I haven't found what I'm looking for. Is there something else I should search for, or that you'd recommend?" So on and so forth. Most of all, have fun with it! Don't be afraid to make your deck not perfect if it will be more fun. My Jori En deck runs Form of the Dragon, and my Trostani deck runs Sandwurm Convergence simply because they're fun. Smile




    I've built decks using every combination of those methods above. I've built from Commander first, and built from a strategy trying to find a Commander. I've pulled hundreds of cards from my collection, to building purely online then practically ordering 80% of a deck to my hands. Most important though is to play, and adjust.

    When I build from my collection, it's not unusual for me to pull out many hundreds of cards more than what I need before cutting down and focusing on what I want. I've pulled over 600 cards once when building a deck, which actually helped me define what strategy I wanted to follow and even gave me the framework for a future deck to build a different strategy that I liked.

    Online searches can be very powerful. I would suggest learning how to use these sites/systems to really refine what you want/need:
    • Card searches:
    • Deck Searches:
      • Check out the Primers on this site. They tend to be written to a higher level, and go beyond simply having a list of cards to explaining what they do and why they were chosen. This eliminates some of the guesswork involved.
      • Check out our Decklist Database. If you're looking for a particular commander, this can be a good place to start, as it'll put those available resources together.
      • EDHrec.com and tappedout.com both have Commander decklists and stats.

    Here's a few quick stories:
    • When I built my Chainer deck I routinely changed between 3 different main commanders, but also tried 4 other Commanders periodically in the Commandzone before I really settled down on Chainer. When I started to build the deck, it was even a completely different Commander, and even different set of colors before I decided to simply go Mono-Black.
    • When I built my Marath deck, I initially built it with a lands matter/landfall package, as well as a sunforger package. In testing, I quickly discovered that the two both took up too much space from each other, and I needed to split them appart. I ended up taking out the lands package, and started building that up without a Commander - once I realized what I wanted to do with it, I found Trostani, and it is now one of my longest lasting and favorite decks.
    • I once built a deck purely online, and tested, iterated, and refined it with online tools to the point that I discovered it was too powerful for my meta, and I never built it in paper.
    • When I built my Jenara deck, I had no idea what I wanted- I had a few key 'must include' cards, but no huge idea of how to relate them to each other - I pulled over 600 cards and started organizing them into synergies before deciding how to complete my vision.
    • My Tibor and Lumia deck has been rebuilt five times as completely different strategies, but built around the same playstyle. Since then, new commanders have encapsulated the theme and soul of each of those iterations into a single card that does the job better than T&L even could hope to do.




    Hello,
    I want to eventually build a reanimation or token commander deck for my first commander deck, but I don't know where to start. Let's say I've picked a commander. Where do I go from there? I can't just search: Good commander removal, pick out some good cards, than move on. How do I know how many cards I need of each type like removal and draw? How do I find the actual cards? Thanks in advance.


    Some of this comes down to knowledge, or preference. Some to searches. I've played and built enough decks that I know that I want certain cards in certain colors to handle my removal. For example, if I'm playing BW I know that I'll probably include Merciless Eviction and Vindicate or Utter End.

    Much like the previously mentioned 8x8 method, I tend to start similarly, but I like to have 40 lands as a base start, so I do 10's:
    10 Ramp, 10 Draw, 10 Removal, 10 small threats, 10 medium threats, 10 large threats. Of course, certain things may cross categories, so you might end up with more representation of each in your deck, for example adding Bloodgift Demon to your medium threats means you'll have a better chance of getting card draw in your games, while if you count it in your card draw, you might up your threat density.

    I used that system to build a deck for my (then 10yr old) nephew, and the deck works quite well.

    When it comes to removal, I like to also keep in mind what type of removal. I typically run 2-4 single target creature removal, 2-3 artifact/enchantment removal, 1-2 catch-alls, and 2-3 mass removal. You'll also want a mix of destroy/exile/shuffle, etc, in order to deal with things that are indestructible, etc. These may overlap some too. For example, in BW my removal package may look like:
    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Swords to Plowshares - Single Creature Removal
    1 Tragic Slip - Single Creature Removal
    1 Murder - Single Creature Removal
    1 Return to dust - Artifact/Ench Removal
    1 Crush Contraband - Artifact/Ench Removal
    1 Generous Gift - Catch All
    1 Utter End - Catch All
    1 Merciless Eviction - Mass Removal
    1 Tragic Arrogance - Mass Removal
    1 Hour of Revelation - Mass Removal


    I might then also have cards like Cavalier of Dawn or Dark Impostor in my threats as well.

    I am currently looking at either Ulasht, the Hate Seed or Nath of the Gilt-Leaf for a token commander. Thanks for replying!


    These are great choices for a token Commander! I do agree with previous posters that you may want to look at how you'd play them differently though.

    For example, with Nath of the Gilt-Leaf you might look into:
    • Adding a heavy discard element to your deck in order to utilize his ability more. Cards that make your opponent discard, or gain value when they do, like Larceny, Liliana's Caress, or Waste Not. However, this will make you a prime target, and makes you more reliant on your Commander to get value.
    • Utilizing some Elf synergies in order to make the tokens more powerful. Imperial Prefect and similar cards could be quite potent.
    • Using him as a starting point for tokens, but making the deck less reliant on the Commander, and going more large scale token swarm to utilize Overrun abilities.
    • Using the black identity to focus less on the swarm aspect of tokens, and utilize Nath as more of a constant source of sacrificial tokens for effect like Attrition, Blood Artist, and Gravepact.
    • Or it could be a mix of all of the above!

    While Nath seems more slow and steady to me, Ulasht seems to want to go bigger, faster. Ulasht needs more creatures out first to get the counters, but opens up different avenues of play:

    • You can play with +1 counter synergies.
    • or make a multicolor dependent deck (creatures that are both red AND green will provide Ulasht a +1 counter TWICE, so give better value)
    • or go bigger mana to use his ability more (Wood Elves early to get lands out, but still count as a creature later for Ulasht trigger)
    • You can also go for a combo route: Ivy lane Denizen will combo with Ulasht, as you'll remove a counter from Ulasht to make a token, but then Ivy lane will see the token made, and put a +1 counter back on Ulasht, allowing you to keep making more tokens.
    • You can play up the red damage aspect more, and run Torbran, Thane of Red Fell or Neko-te to boost the damage dealt insanely, or even Impact Tremors to deal damage as you make dudes.

    As you can see, there's lots of ways to build both of these, and this is just what I can think off the top of my head real fast. As you play them, you'll figure out even more ways to play/build them, and find what works best for you.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Adventure and Haakon
    I suppose it was more confusion rather than questions. I was intrigued by how the rules would be worded compared to the old version. Now that the rules are up, it's pretty straight forward: You take into account any choices, and those choices replace the current characteristics.

    So under the old rules, you could check legality to begin to cast under haakon, change the characteristics, then it would check legality again and fail.
    Now, under the reworked 601.3e, you just check legality based on what you actually want to do, rather than go through those hoops. Makes a lot more sense.

    601.3e If a rule or effect states that only an alternative set of characteristics or a subset of characteristics are considered to determine if a card or copy of a card is legal to cast, those alternative characteristics replace the object’s characteristics prior to determining whether the player may begin to cast it.
    Example: Garruk’s Horde says, in part, “You may cast the top card of your library if it’s a creature card.” If you control Garruk’s Horde and the top card of your library is a noncreature card with morph, you may cast it using its morph ability.
    Example: Melek, Izzet Paragon says, in part, “You may cast the top card of your library if it’s an instant or sorcery card.” If you control Melek, Izzet Paragon and the top card of your library is Giant Killer, an adventurer creature card whose Adventure is an instant named Chop Down, you may cast Chop Down but not Giant Killer. If instead you control Garruk’s Horde and the top card of your library is Giant Killer, you may cast Giant Killer but not Chop Down.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Zur the Enchanter. Need help and/or opinion.
    The only card that really helps you Voltron that I'm seeing is Empyrial Armor. This seems a bit low to me. If you want to go the Voltron route, I'd consider increasing this a bit. I'd also consider something like Sun Titan or Restoration Specialist in order to recover any key pieces that you lose. Likewise, Mistveil Plains can tuck things on the bottom for Zur to bring back up.

    I'm also concerned about your low creature count. It leaves you very vulnerable to Edict types of effects, and while your counterspells will help - if you have to counter every piece of removal that multiple other players are tossing your way, you're going to have a hard time at it.

    I'd consider Teferi's Veil in the deck as well, it'll help protect Zur by phasing him out after your attack, making it harder for your opponents to hit him. Notably most wraths and many Edicts are sorcery speed.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [ELD] Throne of Eldraine set review from an EDH perspective
    Quote from Anachronity »
    I'm actually pretty baffled about us not getting any legends with adventure in a set made for Brawl.
    This is likely by design, as Adventure interacts oddly with the Command Zone mechanic.

    In theory, if the adventure half is more relevant than the creature, you could cast the creature as an adventure, and then when it tries to exile itself on an adventure, simply send it back to the Command Zone, which would let you adventure again. While it could be interesting having a spell in the Command Zone, I bet they probably want to wait a bit on making that a thing, until they can dedicate a bit more time to getting it right.

    It's also a bit of a flavor fail on the part of Adventures, because you send your Commander on an Adventure (which is weird itself, what leader abandons everyone at the time of need?), but then s/he DOESN'T go on the adventure, but just goes straight back home (going to CZ), but you still get the benefit of the adventure... that you flavorfully didn't actually go on.

    Mechanically, it would be interesting though, as you'd have the choice between letting the Commander get exiled on the adventure so you can cast them for cheaper (just mana cost from exile), compared to sending them back to CZ, which would then increase the cost by 2, regardless which half you chose to cast.

    There's also interesting portion of 'cheating' some Command Zone cost if the spell is cheaper than the creature, as you could cast the spell for more expensive, and split the cost over 2 turns. For example, imagine a Legendary Adventure Creature cost 4w, but the adventure cost W, and you have cast your Commander/Adventure twice, so you have a tax of 4. You could cast the spell for 4W, then the creature for 4W, Whereas just casting the creature straight from CZ would have cost 8W. This lets you still cast your Commander, even if you're on 5 lands, despite the tax, by splitting the cost over the two turns.

    On the other hand, if the Creature half is cheaper, then you get the interesting question earlier in the game, as to whether you want to cast the creature half alone - knowing that it would make the Adventure cost more expensive later.

    Either way, it shows there's quite a lot to consider in the design of a legendary creature with an Adventure, so I'm not surprised they didn't release one off the bat.

    The final nail in the coffin is also probably that an Adventure legendary would want to be multi color, probably even 3 color, but the set itself is very focused on mono-colored interactions and cards. It could go into a Brawl deck, but that raises the complexity of a Brawl deck, which they would want more as introductory towards new players, I imagine.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Fetching nonbasic lands
    I think this user got their answer years ago... =)

    locking thread
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Theros: Beyond Death Elspeth
    Just a friendly reminder to keep things civil. A few things have been borderline, or maybe even edging over. Going to just ask once that people try to keep things polite, even in disagreement. It's ok to disagree - it's not ok to insult someone or get mad at them because they disagree. We all have different frames of view.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Looking for Astral slide commanders
    I've always liked the idea of WUG for cycling in EDH, though I haven't built one yet.


    Of those three, I feel that blue would be the easier color to cut if necessary, so if Tectonic Reformation is important to your strategy, I'd suggest at least WRG.

    • Ghired, Conclave Exile has a decent ETB.
    • Gahiji, Honored One may incentivize your opponents to hit each other at first, but I fear this may only work short term.
    • Hazezon Tamar has an insane ETB, but would draw way too much hate, and there are better ways to build him without trying. He'd steal from the theme of the deck.
    • Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis gives you blue back, and is an insane blocker. He'll help ramp and draw you, but doesn't add anything directly.
    • Saskia the Unyielding could be fun to blink and pick new players.

    In the Partner Commanders

    Black and red can both add a lot, but I feel that's just choice between utilities. Archfiend of Ifnir is absolutely insane, and Shadow of the Grave can be quite potent as well. Black also gets you great support, in things like Phyrexian Reclamation to bring them back.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on A few rules questions regarding Adventure
    Addendum to #1, as I believe a part of the question was confused:

    Twincast itself will never go to exile, as twincast itself is not the copy of the Adventure. When Twincast resolves, all it does is CREATE the copy of the adventure on the stack, then goes to the Grave Yard as part of its resolution. Then, the copy of the Adventure can resolve - this copy is technically exiled upon resolution, but the exiled copy ceases to exist before you can do anything with it. You can't try to cast the creature half of the copied card. Finally, your original Adventure will resolve, and proceed normally.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Adventure and Haakon
    The update bulletin gives me additional questions:
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/throne-eldraine-update-bulletin-2019-09-27

    601.3E
    We had some contradictory rulings going on about split cards versus morph and when you look at what sets of characteristics. Adventures gave us the reason to shore up these rules. This isn't a change for morph, but it does change some answers for split cards: if you're allowed to cast a spell with a certain mana cost or color, look only at the half you're casting. Kari Zev's Expertise will allow you to cast Beck (but not Call).

    But stop right there before you get too excited—you can't cascade into Beck // Call with Shardless Agent, since cascade finds a card with a certain converted mana cost and then says that you can cast the card you found. Beck // Call's converted mana cost is 8, and 8 > 3, so you're still out of luck with cascade.

    601.4
    The old 601.3 rule started off by talking about whether it was legal to begin casting, and then all of its subrules went into details. But then the main rule continued on talking about what if it became illegal! I broke that out into its own rule and added clarity that becoming illegal after the proposal is done doesn't matter.


    It looks like they've shored up the rules, but I don't see the new Comp rules yet, the ones up are still from 8/23 (probably will be until release date).

    However, the change to move the legality check to a new inserted 601.4 raises some serious questions. It seems that becoming illegal after the fact is now no longer an issue, but this may tie into the change to 601.3E, which will let us know what attributes to look at when trying to determine whether the spell can be cast...
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on September Banlist Announcement - No Changes
    Scott Larabee:

    September 30, 2019

    CARDS
    No changes.

    RULES
    No changes

    After the changes in July, we feel the format is in a fine state for now.

    3 new sets have released since then:

    - Commander 2020 is perhaps the best received Commander set ever.
    - Modern Horizons offers a slew of new goodies and Commanders (it got me to finally build a ninja themed deck, which I have been wanting to do for years).
    - Throne of Eldraine is now available and should provide many days (and knights) of 100-card shenanigans!

    We'll be back in 2020 with another update. Have fun everyone!


    Source: Scott Larabee - http://mtgcommander.net/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19267
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Seeking Help Building Jeskai Action Hate EDH
    Manabarbs fits your theme as well. Possibly even Sulfuric Vortex.

    Pyrohemia will also be quite brutal, just remember to give your guy pro-red or indestructible first.

    If you're not strict on sticking to red only, you also have Ankh of Mishra, Polluted Bonds, Last Laugh, Megrim effects, Underworld Dreams effects, etc.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Looking for the perfect 5drop for Vial Smasher/Thrasios
    As far as just large beaters go, Spiritmonger is an aggressive size and can regenerate, which lets it survive some wrath types. Vulturous Zombie, while having no defensive abilities, can can large very quickly in a multiplayer game, and the early large flier can get quite a few hits in.

    Body Double can be whatever you need it to be.

    Cipher Spells can give you free spells for extra triggers. I like Stolen Identity a lot.

    Spark Double or Sakashima the Imposter can double up on Vial Smasher.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Deck help
    I would go a bit more control then - Not "counterspell" control, or try to control the whole board - but rather the "Discourage people from attacking me". When we had a period of big creatures at my meta, it was brought a bit down by a lot of boardwipes, and a few highly resilient creatures (indestructible/Persist/etc) with some extraneous equipment to make a few decent creatures into acceptable threats.

    Keep creatures back, and removal spells in hand. Don't be the biggest threat, so people don't feel like they NEED to hit you, and don't be the lowest threat, so that people think they can get free shots off on you (thus, forcing you to actually USE your removal). The final piece of this is to ensure a decent amount of recursion, or ways to rebuild your threats quickly when wipes occur. For example, a slight Equipment theme (you don't need to go full on), can turn any mediocre creature into a decent enough threat. Vehicles provide an outlet of larger creatures that more easily survive most wraths, and can swing back immediately for a punishing crackback.

    I tend to like Green/White for this, myself. From the Commanders you've listed, I like Anafenza, the Foremost the most. Both Anafenza and Dromoka encourage you to attack, which is a bit the opposite of what you want to do (it makes you a target), but Anafenza has utility even if you just need to chill back. Anafenza can also dump counters onto guys that got tapped for reasons other than attacking, and an early game 4/4 will provide more deflection early on.

    It sounds like you have a limited card pool, so the addition of another color will let you reach more broadly and select better options across the line, and black adds some good deathtouch rattlers that have good utility as well.

    The roles for your colors here (although if you have good cards that cross these, go for it!) will generally be:

    Some of the cards that would fit well into this style (these are jsut examples, I don't know what you own, or how they can fit into your budget:)

    Removal:
    • Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Tragic Slip, Necrotic Wound - One mana removal spells. These let you keep up little mana, so you can develop on your turn, but still let you react if something bigger than your defenses comes barreling through.
    • Soul Snare - Sometimes the THREAT of action is stronger than the action itself. Soul Snare can help deter larger creatures from coming your way. This can bite you back though, as if you have insufficient defenses, people may throw their weaker creatures, like Solemn Simulacrum at you, in order to try and get you to 'waste' the snare.
    • Rout - As an instant speed board clear, Rout hits in my top 3 favorite wraths of all time. Angel of the Dire Hour and Fated Retribution can also fit this style, though are more limited.
    • Wing Shards - People learn to respect this card very quickly.
    • Beast Within, Generous Gift - Don't forget removal for things other than creatures as well. These are great catch-alls.

    Recursion:

    Rattlesnakes
    • Glissa, the Traitor - Firststrike and Deathtouch are potent together, but Glissa can be a huge target as she can be quite crazy if built around. Adds a touch of recursion for you.
    • Knight of the Ebon Legion - Can be a potent blocker, and can work well with equipment later in the game.
    • Rhonas the Indomitable - Survives wraths, pairs will with the commander.
    • Skullwinder - Budget Eternal Witness.
    • Vampire Nighthawk - Original. Solid. Flies, the lifelink pairs well with equipment later.

    You'll probably want a few decent fogs here as well, just incase a surprise Craterhoof infused horde comes your way:

    Generally, your goal is to deflect people to other opponents, and try to maneuver yourself into a position to take advantage of that and clean up at the end with better resilience and better removal, or, simply MORE of both (even if not better) due to the fact that you haven't needed to use it it - the threat of using it being enough to send people in other directions so you don't have to expend it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [ELD] Mothership spoilers 9/16— Queen Linden and her retinue
    Things are way heated, and have long since passed being on topic. Locking this thread to let things cool off for now. I will re-open this thread in a few days.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    A big part is that Happily Ever After triggers on the upkeep. It also has a lot more conditions to satisfy. It can be disrupted by clearing out the colors the player has, possibly by nuking the graveyard, or straight up beating their face in.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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