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  • posted a message on Are there any other cards to make Tron work in Mono Red?
    Gamble should be in every mono-red deck.


    It should probably be in every red deck, period. It’s one of the best cards in the format.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Does Josh (CMZ) missplays on purpose for the show?
    Can't remember which episode, but I believe there was one where someone had a win right in front of them, but didn't take it and lost.

    In all the groups I've played with, most players make an astounding number of mistakes. Commander is very complex as a format, and many commander players haven't really played on the competitive side of the game to hone their fundamentals. I see mistakes whenever I watch CMZ play, but a lot fewer than I see locally.

    It is a little annoying that, afaik, there's no one famous as being great at commander. Josh is fine but I've met plenty of people who are better (and if I'm being honest and a little braggy, I think I'm better). At the end of the day, with no high profile tournaments to identify the best players, it's just down to what gets the views, and most people watching those shows are the same people making horrendous misplays at my LGS. To them, Josh is probably indistinguishable from a pro.

    It's also likely that they're focusing on showmanship - not in terms of making intentionally bad plays, but just that they're distracted. They're trying to act and play magic simultaneously. I know when I'm trying to play a tight game, whether at a tournament or just a critical turn in a casual commander game, I'm not exactly interesting to watch. I'm 100% focused on the cards, and everything outside of that may as well not exist. In the tank, as it were. Not exactly what you want when you're trying to make an exciting youtube video. They're probably shooting from the hip and not thinking too carefully, because they're focused more on trying to be personable instead of magic-playing robots.

    EDIT: here's the episode: https://youtu.be/H1dMKyOpoEg?t=2083 If Jimmy had just used Huatli's 3rd ability to remove blockers while Josh was defenseless, he would have won.

    Also the prof was horrific at politics and threat assessment, but that's more complex than simply throwing away unavoidable lethal.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Worst Commander
    He clearly limited himself to 1 of each mono colour (idk why though). I agree that Isao isn’t terrible, but he’s actually not a crazy pick for worst in mono-green. Mono-green doesn’t really have any truly trash commanders.

    Mono-white I might have gone rashida scalebane or Zhao zilong. The “one per set” rule is tricky because p3k and champions have a lot of the worst options. Oriss is pretty bland but she’s not worse than telim tor by a long shot.


    I definitely think it’s worth it to build subpar commanders (I built pang tong ffs) but to be fair, outside of isao and maybe the unspeakable, the others would be really bad and hard to make non-useless.


    I was surprised to see him throw shade at latulla. It’s not really a worse fireball if you can pay for it by discarding lands. Or squee for that matter. Plus it’s repeatable, reliable, and instant speed. Sure she’s not great but she’s not awful.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Wich Ulamog is more powerful?
    Mill requires several attacks to be meaningful in most games - usually 3 attacks before it really matters, against a single opponent. And 10 is a lot to pay for the double exile.

    Ultimately I think they fulfill different roles, but gyre gets my vote for just doing what you want your eldrazi to do. One attack will often set someone back pretty far, and a second may well cripple them irrevocably. Every attack matters and can be a big deal. Not so much with ceaseless hunger.

    The shuffle in is the cherry on top. Sure, it makes it a bit harder to cheat into play...but not THAT much harder, and it makes you nearly immune to an entire strategy. I've considered running one of the titans in control decks just for the shuffle in (though nexus typically takes that slot now).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    Quote from DirkGently »
    Most of the never-to-be-surpassed cards existed at the format’s inception.


    I don't know. Surely old cards had some really broken ass *****cards. But things like Avacyn, Sheoldred or cyclonic rift looks pretty new to me.
    We're talking NEVER to be surpassed cards. None of those - maaaaybe cyclonic rift, but even then not really - are anywhere near that camp.

    Wotc could totally print a slightly better sheoldred or a slightly better avacyn, or even a slightly better rift - in standard. Maybe it's not likely, but it's definitely not impossible. Power creep is a thing.

    WotC printing a slightly better sol ring in standard? Never ever ever ever ever going to happen, not if power creep runs its course for a thousand years. Hell, I'd be shocked if a strictly-better worn powerstone was ever printed in standard, and that card is already several orders of magnitude less powerful than ring and crypt.

    If you want to find never-to-be-surpassed cards that aren't super old, you're probably looking more for something like skullclamp or treasure cruise, not big dumb beaters that had a minimal/acceptable impact on other competitive formats. If there weren't bannings in constructed, then it's safe to say that wotc doesn't feel they made a mistake (and arguably didn't), and may well push the envelope further in the future.

    Also, none of those cards (arguable exception of cyc rift) are really doing any serious damage to this format either, imo. Sure, they're good, but I'd put sheoldred and avacyn pretty low on the list of "what's wrong with EDH these days".
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Run more interaction! Run more fast mana! Or: The death of interesting edh deckbuilding
    My comment was directed at OP, not you, sorry for any miscommunication.

    I don't really have good advice for someone who's meta is powerful enough that any attempt at innovation becomes a huge handicap. I've been in more or less powerful groups, with more and less powerful opponents, but there's always been enough wiggle-room that, between my advantages in budget, build experience, and play skill, I haven't had any trouble making off-the-beaten-path lists win a reasonable amount of the time. If someone feels they're trapped in a competitive meta and don't want to be, all I can suggest is talking to them or finding a different group to play with. In my experience the vast majority of metas are around the 75% level.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Need some counterspells for a golgary deck
    I don't think I'd dedicate slots to do-nothing cards like withstand death. Especially since you'd need to always keep that mana up for it to work. I think I'd most rely on:

    -your commander not being a big enough threat to justify 1:1 trades.
    -recursion (with sac outlets) if you find your commander getting priced out of play.
    -tutors for the best of the above.

    hapatra is the sort of thing many control decks won't really care about, so the first thing should be working in your favor. Throw in a volrath's stronghold, phyrexian reclamation, high market, etc and you're good to go. And all of those cards are fine cards, not do-nothing junk that will be a painful topdeck in most scenarios. And of course, tutors will make it easy to get those things if you need them, or some synergy piece if you don't. You could even throw in a dust bowl or something in case your commander gets turned into a land by something.

    Of course stuff like greaves is also a fine inclusion since it's a good standalone card, but when exactly is stonewood invocation going to be a good card to have? It's impossible to keep up and it does very little.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • 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)
  • posted a message on The Zirilan of the Claw Compendium
    I just saw it. Definitely looks like a good choice for Zirilan. Only awkward part is that it doesn't help with trample, so tyrant can still go through blockers easier. But this guy + scourge of the throne makes for an easy 40+ damage, and much higher if you've got a way to untap or copy the ability.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • posted a message on What to play in creature heavy meta?
    When I think board wipes + aggro, I think of depala, pilot exemplar. With vehicles, you can have a big aggro board without being prevented from playing board wipes - or getting destroyed by enemy wipes.


    could also play zurgo helmsmasher or nahiri, the lithomancer, who also play very well with board wipes but using equipment instead of vehicles. And with nahiri you can play humility and watch all creature-based decks get absolutely destroyed.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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