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 Post subject: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-12 5:08 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
As an active member of various Commander forums and Facebook groups, certain questions are brought up repeatedly. Wish cards, Relentless Rats, and many other similar topics are of frequent discussion, sometimes from new players asking for clarification. When appropriate, we are often able to find an answer or citation when someone says "Prove it" or this need arises.
There is, however, one question that is difficult to actually prove. That is the question of sideboards. The answer, of course, is that there are no sideboards in Commander. Mostly because of the absence of any rules that dictate their function or existence.
There are many members of this community that do not take absence of proof as proof, however.
I would love for there to be a rule 14. Which does not actually change any rules, as much as clarify the one many already know:

14.) There are no sideboards in Commander without playgroup approval.

This clarification gives us a point of reference, especially when people try to point out that there is no rule that states there are no sideboards.
I have seen many conversations divulge into the internet equivalent of "angry shouting matches" over this, and view it not only as a rules clarification but a cleansing fire to cease the hostility this can bring up in conversation.

Let me know what you think, thank you for your time.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-12 1:08 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Orlando, Florida
Why does a sideboard matter? Rule 13 keeps wishes from functioning, and you can't board when the game is starting. If they want a small pile of cards to make adjustments easy, let them.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-12 9:28 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
A couple of recent quotes from EDH RC member papa_funk for context:

Re: Is still allowed to have a sideboard? (20 Oct 2017):
papa_funk wrote:
Officially, by default, sideboards are not a thing in Commander.

If you want to use one, you're going to need to get your playgroup to adopt house rules for them.


Re: Wishing for Wish's: An optional sideboard (02 Feb 2019):
papa_funk wrote:
Lakaen wrote:
I did a bit of reading up on this and it seems in the past in sanctioned EDH tournaments there used to be an optional 10 card sideboard rule. I'd love to see that rule again officially so we can be graced by our wonderful Wish cycle and other cards like them in this splendid formant.


There has never been a rule for this. If the people sanctioning a tournament want to put in a rule like this, they are, of course, welcome to.

There was once a section of optional variants that included various mulligan rules, league points and mentioned sideboards (along with pre-sideboarding once Commanders were revealed). That was removed because some people liked to claim they were official rules and force their compatriots to adopt it.

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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-13 4:46 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
Marit Lage wrote:
Why does a sideboard matter? Rule 13 keeps wishes from functioning, and you can't board when the game is starting. If they want a small pile of cards to make adjustments easy, let them.


From a community perspective, I have learned that there are pockets in places of people who play Commander with a 10 card sideboard. Everyone reveals their Commander and they take a few minutes to sideboard appropriately based on this information.

This, however, is not the standard for Commander. The rules for Commander, in my opinion, are kind of the "this is what to expect when you go someplace public and new" documentation.
A lot of shops strictly follow the rules set for by the Rules Committee, partially because it is the easiest way to solve arguments and rules questions.

Having a rule worded similarly to the one I have proposed creates a sort of ease of access to something that can be a bit of a hot topic at times. I know for a fact that if sideboards get brought up by a member of the largest EDH community on Facebook, the admins get to it as fast as possible to post that there are no sideboards, and to lock the thread because the topics tend get out of hand.

There have been times in the past where I have dug up quotes from Sheldon or Papafunk on here to prove the matter of sideboards. I often have to explain a bunch of extra information to get this to finally take, starting with sometimes why I have to pull up a forum post and why there is not a rule for this on the main page. (and sometimes just who Sheldon or Papafunk are). I even have people to a lesser degree that try to post this from the CR, even though it does not apply to Commander:

100.4. Each player may also have a sideboard, which is a group of additional cards the player may use to modify their deck between games of a match

The rule I am proposing functionally changes nothing. Commander keeps being what it always has: a format where playgroups can create, bend, and break rules as much as they want in the spirit of having fun. It just clarifies a fact for two reasons: To establish people's expectations when playing out in public, and to stop this subject from becoming a heated debate, arguably creating tension in the community.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-13 10:36 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
ebyers4 wrote:
From a community perspective, I have learned that there are pockets in places of people who play Commander with a 10 card sideboard. Everyone reveals their Commander and they take a few minutes to sideboard appropriately based on this information.


So they've found a cool way they enjoy playing. What's the problem, exactly?


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-14 1:11 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
papa_funk wrote:

So they've found a cool way they enjoy playing. What's the problem, exactly?


The problem stems from the community discussions that are produced from these player's mindsets.

As previously mentioned, the rules are there to give guidelines and expectations for players when they go someplace new and or public. Sort of like: Yes, your playgroup lets you play silver border cards, but that does not mean you should automatically expect a brand new playgroup to do the same, or a public place. These rules and guidelines naturally encourage discussion where we say things when we sit down like "Hey, I am playing silver border. Is that cool?"

The issue here is that since there is no written rule that helps dictate that there are no sideboards, the people come out into public sectors and online forums and think that just because their "areas" or "playgroups" allow it that sideboards are automatically normal. Showing them that this is not the case is difficult, since explaining that a member of the RC said it in a forum post sometimes is insufficient evidence for these people. As previously mentioned, these discussions often get heated, and I have lost count how many of these threads have had to be locked or deleted for spiraling out of control. Compile that with the fact that people will sit down, try to start their game of commander, and initiate the sideboarding procedures I outlined....and the people in the game have to stop them and say "Hey we don't do that".

The rule I proposed, while possibly better worded, ultimately changes nothing from where the rules are now other than puts to rest this argument and benefits the community.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-14 2:53 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
The problem with siting the Comp Rules (100.4 was it?) that describes what a sideboard is -- is just that .. it only describes what a sideboard is. It doesn't specify how big the sideboard is.

Plus, if we're looking at the comp rules, in 903.X section, nowhere does it specify that people reveal commanders and then player have an opportunity to swap in cards from their sideboard. So even if "sideboards are allowed" they're still house-ruling with sideboarding after generals are revealed.

So... I guess with just the comp rules combined that would mean they need to sideboard blindly -- in which case, why not just say "Oh before we play, I wanna make a couple of changes to my deck."

That said -- an explicit rule stating they aren't used would make these arguments go much faster. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-14 6:56 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
That said -- an explicit rule stating they aren't used would make these arguments go much faster. :)


I know I am in the minority, but I would rather there be a rule that they are allowed. I get that if I want to see change the onis is on me to provide why I feel it would be beneficial to change, and I really don't have anything new to add to that conversation. i mean, at least they are talking pre-game about what types of games they want right? Then if you agree/disagree with SB you can choose to abide by whatever adjustments someone wants to make or you can choose to play with other likeminded people.

I get that sometimes there is only 2-3 other people that are interested in playing EDH at the LGS, so you either play with them or don't play at all. I have travelled to a game store about 20-30 minutes away and when I get there there was not anybody interested in playing Vintage/Legacy/EDH and so I did a little trading and left without getting in a single game (I rarely have a Standard deck and do not like Modern, but if draft was an option I would have done that). It felt bad driving out there, wasting one of my very few free evenings and getting zero games in, but that is the way it goes sometimes. Had I ran into someone that wanted to play, but with house rules such as Silver Border/Proxies, I may or may not have played with them depending on their mannerisms etc. If they wanted to have a wishboard, I would have not had an issue with that.

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The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-14 7:06 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
How about:

Rule 14: Sideboards are allowed in Commander. They must contain exactly 0 cards.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-14 10:59 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
When it comes to wishes and sideboards, there is one thing I never understood and still don't: Why isn't Rule 13 in the comprehensive rules? If house rules are both encouraged by the RC and as easy to implement as everyone suggests, why are you relying solely on the wishy washy half measure that is Rule 13 to establish the absence of sideboards and "outside the game" effects when any rule in the C.R. is subject to customization via house rules anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-15 3:26 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
Sheldon wrote:
How about:

Rule 14: Sideboards are allowed in Commander. They must contain exactly 0 cards.

:D

I appreciate the jest of this comment, but in all seriousness, having a rule such as this would still make it more clear than what we have now. :D
"Sure you can have your sideboard....of zero cards."


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-15 3:35 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
MMLgamer wrote:
When it comes to wishes and sideboards, there is one thing I never understood and still don't: Why isn't Rule 13 in the comprehensive rules? If house rules are both encouraged by the RC and as easy to implement as everyone suggests, why are you relying solely on the wishy washy half measure that is Rule 13 to establish the absence of sideboards and "outside the game" effects when any rule in the C.R. is subject to customization via house rules anyway?


This is mostly conjecture on my part, take it as you will.

But the comprehensive rules probably would rule wish cards one of two ways: Either no, or go with the typical "In a tournament sideboard/casual play is collection" answer. The "whatever your playgroup decides" aspect of the rule really does not flow well with how they present the Comprehensive Rules. Compile that with the fact that judges actually can and do use the front page of mtgcommander for rulings, and there probably is not a great reason to. Any Commander events usually say ahead of time their rules for wishes anyway, so there probably is not a great need.

Unlike rule 14. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-15 12:13 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
ebyers4 wrote:
papa_funk wrote:

So they've found a cool way they enjoy playing. What's the problem, exactly?


The problem stems from the community discussions that are produced from these player's mindsets.

As previously mentioned, the rules are there to give guidelines and expectations for players when they go someplace new and or public.


The rules are a baseline for players to build upon. They are not there as a tool to bludgeon a group who are having fun, even in a public space. Stores are welcome to modify the rules as they see fit, and often do (see things like leagues and points and store rules).

Nobody has a right to play Commander the way they wish to play it. You can cultivate a group who want to play like you do, but you cannot join a group and unilaterally install changes, even if the changes are supported by the rules. That goes for the people who want to use sideboards but join a group that doesn't as well. They can't come in and demand they can be used. Support in the rules is irrelevant.

ebyers4 wrote:
The issue here is that since there is no written rule that helps dictate that there are no sideboards, the people come out into public sectors and online forums and think that just because their "areas" or "playgroups" allow it that sideboards are automatically normal.


As I said before, if someone is demanding that players use sideboards because they (mistakenly) believe that Commander has them, then you can point them here. Or demand that they show a rule that supports their position. If they don't believe a post like this, then they're not actually interested in being shown otherwise.

There isn't an explicit rule about sideboards because it wouldn't do anything. Sideboards exist for two main* purposes in the rules: modifying your deck between games in a match (CR 100.4), and as a location to use wishes on in a tournament (MTR 3.15). The former is irrelevant for a format that doesn't have multi-game matches, and the latter is already covered by a separate rule. They can have sideboards if they want; they just don't do anything.

*Yes, there's some narrow additional uses for Conspiracy, et al that clearly don't apply here.


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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-15 3:58 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
papa_funk wrote:
...The former is irrelevant for a format that doesn't have multi-game matches...


Off-topic idea -- doing a multi-game match might be fun for a low-turnout commander event.

"First person to win 2 games wins the pod."

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 Post subject: Re: Proposed Rule 14: A clarification
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-16 2:28 am 

Joined: 2019-Feb-12 4:48 am
Age: Hatchling
papa_funk,

I understand in the spirit of Commander that the rules are the baseline and to be built upon. For simplicity's sake, however, a lot of shops use those baseline rules for their gameplay. Sure, they add things like points systems and such, but the "normal" rules for Commander are not changed to keep gameplay at a place that is easy to give rulings on and help players if needed. Its also consistent, allowing me to walk into any of the LGS's in the area and understand what I am getting into.
I also agree that rules are not something that should be bludgeoned over someone's head. That is not my goal here in requesting this clarification. The clarification is to quell arguments in discussions.

Pointing people to the contents of this forum has its issues. Some people do not know who you are or what authority you have as a member of the Rules Committee. Heck, some people do not know who Sheldon is. So we first have to go through the arduous process of making them understand who you guys are, and then we have to explain how a post you make in this forum is as good as a ruling, and then explain why that ruling is not on the front page of mtgcommander.

I know the rules of Magic the Gathering are permissive in nature. Which means that having a rule that states "there are no sideboards" is redundant. So perhaps its is too greedy of me to try to request it as a rule.

What would be wonderful though is some form of explanation that can easily be pulled from mtgcommander's main page. Perhaps under one of the various links on Deck Construction or Play. Perhaps Sheldon's next article on Star City Games is an article about misconceptions and myths in Commander, and he briefly speaks about it on there, and have the link on mtgcommander's main page. Just something that is easily accessed. The difference here is that most people will understand an explanation from the official commander page. It would prevent someone from having to go through an arduous process of digging up a quote from a member of the Rules Committee in this forum, then go through the process of establishing their credibility.

What I am wanting does not change anything about commander except quell arguments.


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