My 5 Cents on… the 1/17/2016 Rules Updates

I don’t normally comment on rulings updates. The only times they’ve really ever bugged me were when they Banned Tolarian Academy the week after I started playing EDH (which was a corner-stone of my Kangee Deck and my Niv-Mizzet deck) and when they Bannned Emrakul right after I bought one for my Brother as a Christmas present (And we just house ruled her to be legal when we play together).

This most recent set bugs me though, so I thought I’d vent here.

  1. The Mulligan Rule Change  (now it’s Vancouver instead of Paris): Doesn’t bother me, since I never did Partial Hand Sculpting.  I will continue to mulligan as I always have: Draw 7. If it’s not playable (at least 3 lands or 2 lands and something that could be cast by turn 3) check the top card, and if it’s  not a land, Shuffle and repeat.  I don’t Sculpt. I look at lands and for a playable card.  I’ve kept 6 land hands because of this. I don’t care if other people want to sculpt scry or whatever.
  2. The Mana Color Generation Rule Change:  I think it’s a flavor fail and it waters down the color-identity rules a bit.  Kozilek-Mana (cards requiring colorless costs) are not going to be that prevalent beyond this one set.
  3. I fear that the Mana Color Generation rule change is going to lead down the Slippery Slope that MaRo is in favor of: letting hybrid cards into decks where they don’t belong.
  4. Prophet of Kruphix Banning: is dumb.  There are far worse cards out there (which I don’t think deserve banning) like Praetors, Consecrated Sphinx, Deadeye Navigator, Skittles, the new Eldrazi that mills 2 when a player land-falls.  Not a hard card to deal with either (2/3, not huge like Prime Time or Sylvan Primordial, and she didn’t hurt other players ability to play the game (like Sylvan Primordial, or Iona) or give them direct consequences to their actions. Most importantly she was a budget replacement (with less playabilty) for Seedborn Muse, who:
    1. Costs over $10
    2. Is playable in 12 deck combinations (instead of 5)
    3. Untaps artifacts  (and the usually less relevant, Planeswalkers and Enchantments) too.
    4. Is harder to Kill
    5. Is easier to Cast.

    And the art on the card was really cool.

  5. Henceforth, in all of my decks that run a Prophet of Kruphix, I am now considering her to be a Proxy for Seedborn Muse. I only have one or 2 Muses (and they’re in non-blue decks) and I can’t affort to buy more Seedborn’s to replace the Prophets that I have in my UG decks, and I don’t feel like digging them all out and looking for other replacements.

So that’s that. I see the the first two changes as more WotC’s normalizing influence (Which has other slippery slope implications) but the banning was just dumb.

My 5 Cents On… the “Tuck” rule change

Much has been written of the recent official rules change regarding “tuck” (note that no one complains about the change to the “bounce” rule).  I don’t have a whole lot to say, but I’ll give my 5-cents worth anyway.

1. The Rule Change doesn’t bother me, in fact, it makes me happy.  Tuck is something that I almost never use, and never feel good when I do.  Having my General Tucked (or any Red Chaos-Shuffle effected) is something that I have never enjoyed being on the other end of.

2. There have been many criticisms of the “logic” employed by the Rules Commitee, and  I agree that the “fewer tutors now” argument is pretty lame. The argument that  I find most convincing is that this format is called “Commander” and the Commander should be special.  There should NEVER be a punishment for building a deck around your Commander.

3.  The rule makes things more consistent. Is your Commander leaving the Battlefield? Yes? Okay then, you can send it to the Command Zone if you want to.  That’s not “Dumbing Down,” that’s simplifying.

4.  The problem is not “problem commanders,” it’s Spikes and non-Social Contract players.

5.  This is not a sign that Wizards should take over Commander as this article from Brainstorm Brewery seems to suggest .  As always, if you don’t like that you can’t Tuck. House Rule it.  Commander is not, and should never be, an official sanctioned format where this stuff really matters. Kitchen Table forever.

 

On Summer Vacation

Vernal Equinox–Becomes–>Summer Bloom

One of the great benefits of working in a school is having summer break.*

Why am I telling you this?

I went to my local (in Maryland) game shop last night, only to find out that they had closed early, which cancelled the regularly scheduled EDH/Commander night. Next Wednesday I have an all-day field trip, so no EDH next week. Then I leave Maryland for the summer to go to Portland, OR, (maybe Honolulu, HI) and Duluth, MN.**

I have friends in MN who play, but I no longer have a regular game-time set up for EDH there, which means that it will be harder to get in quality games to keep momentum going on this project.***  I’m going to do my very best to get in a few game days, but I can’t promise regular game updates.

I will, however, still write some things here. Let’s be very honest, judging from the comments, the only person that reads this is my friend Ted, but I still feel like I should keep things going here. (If you do read this, please do leave a comment), so I’ll probably write some deck updates or deck features.  I wrote a lot of lists in a previous blogging life, so I may do that here as well.

In conclusion:  If you do read this blog, please don’t stop (add it to whatever aggregator you use now that Google are being d*cks and are closing down Reader), and if you know any Fun groups in Portland that would want to get a game in near the end of June, let me know.

* A well earned break: working in education is a high-stress/high-intensity/high-reward, and the vacation time is pretty inflexible.

** The summers in Maryland are inhumane and inhospitable. Heat+Humidity=Hell.  Maryland also lacks lakes, but Minnesota has myriad.

*** My very first EDH experiences were back in 2010, when my brother and I just decided to take up Magic again. We played one-on-one (not French) EDH for hours every morning and evening, to the chagrin

 

of our sister.  Unfortunately, my brother moved to the Twin Cities and isn’t around to play on a daily basis anymore.

My EDH philosophy

Before we get started with the decks, I suppose I should share my personal EDH philosophy:

I’d rather enjoy a game of EDH than win it.

People that want to win as fast as possible don’t like playing (just winning).

There’s no such thing as an EDH “Tournament.” (Fun or Prizes: you can’t play for both).

A deck doesn’t have to be “optimal” to be playable.

I am Pro:

  • General Damage,
  • 40 life,
  • combos after turn 8-10,
  • interactivity,
  • scooping when it’s no longer fun,
  • wacky combos,
  • attacking with dudes,
  • theme decks
  • Free mulligans to get a playable hand
  • “bad” cards
  • Proxying for cards you own

I am Anti:

  • Poison/infect,
  • Mass Land denial,
  •  Mass Hand Denial (unless it leads to quick victory),
  • spite scooping,
  • infinite turns,
  • long turns,
  • playing with other people’s decks, 
  • Partial Paris / Hand Sculpting Mulligans
  • Lockdown decks
  • Staples-as-necessities
  • Proxying for cards you won’t own
  • Trading, or having a trade binder

Other Fun Facts:

The sum total of all Sensei’s Divining Tops I’ve ever owned, played (or even used) : 0

Welcome to the EDH 100 Project

 
Introduction
My Name is Nic, and I have an EDH deck building adddiction. At present, I have over 100 EDH decks built.  My goal is to play each one of them in succession, record the results and share them with the internet.  I can’t promise great writing, great recaps, or even great decks, so this is more of a way to keep a record of my challenge for posterity.
 
Why So Many Decks?
 
People that I play with have often asked why I don’t just focus on a few decks and make sure that all of the “good” cards are in those decks.  The simple answer is that I like building decks, and I don’t like taking them apart.  The longer answer is that my view of what is “good” in commander is pretty broad (i.e. it’s “good” if I think I want it in a deck) and consequently it’s hard to get all of the “good” cards into a deck.
 
It’s happened more than once that I’ll start building a deck and realize that there’s no way to do all of the things I want to do with that deck in 100 cards. The options, then, are a) not do all of the things that I want, or b) make two different decks.   The perfect example was wanting to do a deck that messed with colors, land types and creature types.  What started as Mistform Ultimus, soon also became Blind Seer.
 
It started with the goal of having at least one deck of each color combinatiton (including colorless and 4-color).  Once I met that goal, I decided to shoot for two of each (not including the 4-colors).  As that progressed, I realized I didn’t want to make any more RWB decks, so instead, around deck 50, i realized I could just shoot for an even hundred.  It helped that I decided to do Ravnica “Guild” decks around the time that RtR was announced.  Deciding to shoot for 100 also helped me think of ways to build more creative decks.
 
The Rules
 
Here are the rules for my play-through of all of the decks:
 
  1.  It’s my project and I can break the rules if I have to.
  2.  Play each of the 100 decks at least once before coming back to play it again.   (2a: If I really want to, every 20 games or so, I can play a game that “doesn’t count” just to play a deck for fun. Also, 1v1 games don’t have to count.)
  3. Keep track of the rough details of each game: Win or Loss, Fun Level, other Commanders, gameplay highlights
  4. Try to have the decks mostly accurate at Tappedout.net
  5. Carry 10 decks with me any time I play ( 2 Mono, 3 duo, 3 trio, 1 5-color, 1 Guild)