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 Post subject: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-21 10:39 am 

Joined: 2011-Jun-29 3:29 pm
Age: Hatchling
The variation here really is to ensure a bit of consistency. Obviously, the benefit is stronger for multi-color decks, but it ensures that all players don't miss later land drops, i.e. 'stuck at three lands' for many turns.

In short:
1. Out of a player's deck, two basic lands of a player's choice are placed in the command zone along with their Commander.
2. They can be played from the Command Zone as a special action (Rule 115.2a) similarly to a land play during their turn.

The 'rule change' might look like this:

305.1. A player who has priority may play a land card from his or her hand or command zone during a main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty.

903.6. At the start of the game, each player puts his or her commander from his or her deck face up into
the command zone. As well, each player may put up to two basic lands (Rule 305.6) from his or her deck face up into the command zone. Then each player shuffles the remaining cards of his or her deck so that the cards are in a random order. Those cards become the player’s library.

Why not three or more lands? I don't really know. Maybe it would make decks too consistent or punish decks with cheaper spells.

Obviously, the benefit is on the decks which draw less lands and it hurts decks that frequently mana flood.

There is another rule that we allow for, which may be more elegant:

1. A player who has priority may search his or her deck for a basic land card from his or her library during the main phase of his or her turn when the stack is empty. This may be done by exiling two cards face down from his or her hand, and if he or she has the fewest lands in play. That player then shuffles his or her library.

Probably one or the other rule would be fine. Nobody builds decks with this rule in mind, although there are ways that this rule could be abused.

Mulligan rules do solve some mana screw, but still there is enough randomness in Magic which can lead to bad games for some players.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-21 11:26 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Making EDH more like Hearthstone is not a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-21 11:55 am 

Joined: 2009-May-05 9:45 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Acworth, GA
Honestly, mana screw and mana flood are a part of Magic. Accept that, or find a new game.

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-21 10:36 pm 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 7:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Buthrakaur wrote:
Honestly, mana screw and mana flood are a part of Magic. Accept that, or find a new game.


Mature way of communicating you have there.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-22 12:18 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
The one thing about the command zone rule that I don't like is that it is basically a free Ancestral Recall. I'd be down with it if you added on something like, "For each land put into the command zone this way, that player draws 1 fewer card in his or her opening hand."

If you're playing with a group where budget manabases are the norm, it could definitely help to ensure that players are less likely to just be observers.

I'm not a fan of the one that lets you get pitchlands, but that is more about it just feeling weird rather than being imbalanced.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-22 11:49 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
If you're playing with a group where budget manabases are the norm, it could definitely help to ensure that players are less likely to just be observers.
Exactly how many 3 cent common and uncommon multicolor lands and artifacts do you think have been printed in just the last 3 years? (Hint: It's a freaking ton.) Budget mana bases are not a problem now and haven't been an actual problem for a very long time.

The only time they can be an issue is if they are trying to compete with a much more expensive mana base, but this has nearly nothing to do with it being a "mana base" as you can say the same thing about threats or removal or whatever else.

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-22 3:23 pm 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
What's up with the tone? Did a $600 mana base murder your parents?

Yes, budget mana is much more doable than ever. You can get a decent mana base for under $20. The step up from decent to actually good is substantially more expensive because the cards involved have competitive demand.

Quote:
The only time they can be an issue is if they are trying to compete with a much more expensive mana base, but this has nearly nothing to do with it being a "mana base" as you can say the same thing about threats or removal or whatever else.

This is just not true because the point of EDH isn't about who wins and who loses. If everybody is playing with shaky manabases, you're much more likely for color screw to crop up and ruin somebody's game. If you are actually looking for good games, this is bad for everybody at the table.

If I'm in a PTQ, I would gladly take a tournament down where every one of my opponents didn't draw the cards they needed to play. If I'm having playing beer & pretzels magic with friends, though, I don't want anybody to be sidelined because their deck didn't give them the basic resources they needed to play.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 12:28 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
What's up with the tone?
Whatever tone you are reading is just the tone you are reading. I can't control that. I didn't write it angrily or defensively or whatever tone you think it has. If you are reading it as any of those things, that's 100% on you. (Please apply this statement's message to the statement itself as well.) I was just talking about how silly it is to say playable mana bases are expensive.
JJackson wrote:
If I'm having playing beer & pretzels magic with friends, though, I don't want anybody to be sidelined because their deck didn't give them the basic resources they needed to play.
But this is a consequence of bad deck construction or bad mulligan decisions, not of lands being expensive. A realistic budget multi-color EDH deck should run a minimum of 40 lands and about 8-10 additional sources of mana fixing. That deck will rarely have mana problems even if it includes 0 rare lands.

When a deck (on any budget) has regular mana problems, it's because it's running too few lands and mana fixers. When those lands and fixers are better, you will be punished less of the time because your color fixing will be stronger on the cards that are drawn, but budget mana bases are just not a real problem. And I say this as a guy who runs two 5-color decks with 0 ABU duals, about 4 total fetches between them, and an incomplete cycle of shock lands. Mana problems are the result of deck construction, not card availability.

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 1:16 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
crokaycete wrote:
When a deck (on any budget) has regular mana problems, it's because it's running too few lands and mana fixers.

I'm not talking about regular mana problems here. Assuming a four-player game, if we set the chance of color screw at 10% for a deck (number pulled from thin air), you end up with about 1/3 of games involving a color screwed player. If you cut it down to a 5% chance of screw, then about 1/5 of games involve a screwed player. You have to get down to about a 2.5% chance of screw for each player to get down to only 1/10 games having a screwed participant.

Quote:
Exactly how many 3 cent common and uncommon multicolor lands and artifacts do you think have been printed in just the last 3 years?

You may not have intended that to come off as tone, but this phrasing reads exactly like a parent scolding a child.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 3:44 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
What about my colorless deck? No basics there.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 4:37 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
You may not have intended that to come off as tone, but this phrasing reads exactly like a parent scolding a child.
This is not a way I scold my child, nor is it a way my parents ever scolded me. Like I said before, this is 100% you.
JJackson wrote:
You have to get down to about a 2.5% chance of screw for each player to get down to only 1/10 games having a screwed participant.
But you are still only looking at this one dimension of "doesn't draw enough land" as if stands alone in any type of reasonable sense. If you're playing black and somebody plays an artifact or enchantment you can't deal with early in the game, you also get screwed. Making mana better does not, on average, make games better. It just lets people have greedier mana bases and spend more time noticing other imbalances in the game state. That's not a solution to the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 4:42 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Joz wrote:
What about my colorless deck? No basics there.

That's the first thing I thought of too when I read the OP. The rule(s) proposed do nothing to benefit a colorless deck. On the flip side, there are very few colorless generals. Likewise, it penalizes you for not having basics, which I don't like either, and which is far more possible, especially in 3-5 colors.

I DO like the spirit of the idea though. Being land-short is a bitch.
JJackson wrote:
The one thing about the command zone rule that I don't like is that it is basically a free Ancestral Recall.

That's true, but in theory it's a free recall for everyone, AND it's restricted to basic lands, so it's more like a free activation of Armillary Sphere, which sounds a hell of a lot less broken (because it is).

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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 8:03 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Joz wrote:
What about my colorless deck? No basics there.

That's the first thing I thought of too when I read the OP. The rule(s) proposed do nothing to benefit a colorless deck. On the flip side, there are very few colorless generals. Likewise, it penalizes you for not having basics, which I don't like either, and which is far more possible, especially in 3-5 colors.

But, if this rule is known beforehand (ie, before/while building decks) then that's a choice the player's make, and can toss 2 basics in their deck to be able to benefit from this rule. So if someone doesn't benefit from it, it's of their own choosing.

Alternately, the rule could possibly be: Start with 2 basics in command zone, or 1 random non-basic land (flip from top of deck until a land is revealed, then shuffle & draw hand). This would allow those without basics to benefit from the rule - just not as much (one card, and no choice on what colour(s) can be generated)


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-23 2:44 pm 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
You're thoroughly in house rule territory here, so a reasonable group that wants this rule should probably allow you to start with a couple of lands that have relevant abilities other than making mana (Panoramas spring to mind).

crokaycete wrote:
But you are still only looking at this one dimension of "doesn't draw enough land" as if stands alone in any type of reasonable sense. If you're playing black and somebody plays an artifact or enchantment you can't deal with early in the game, you also get screwed. Making mana better does not, on average, make games better.

This is just not true. If you are monoblack, you still have 2 other people who might be able to deal with that artifact, and can still do something other than draw and discard. Massaging mana doesn't solve every problem, obviously, but it is a problem that does stand out as a unique type of frustration.

Quote:
This is not a way I scold my child, nor is it a way my parents ever scolded me. Like I said before, this is 100% you.

Nor is it a way that I was scolded nor do I intend to scold my future children that way. The "exactly (blank) did you think (blank)" rhetorical question is accusatory and belittling and isn't conducive to forming healthy relationships. The only ways that phrasing doesn't default to being a negative tone is if you are actually asking for a number.


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 Post subject: Re: Two basic lands in the command zone
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-24 2:39 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I can't make you read text in a different tone than you want to read it. But it's not me imposing that tone, and I won't take responsibility for the way you are choosing to read it.
JJackson wrote:
If you are monoblack, you still have 2 other people who might be able to deal with that artifact, and can still do something other than draw and discard.
And if I'm not drawing enough lands I also have 2 other people to deal with various threats that would kill me until I have the opportunity to topdeck some lands and get back in the game. There is nothing special about "mana screw" vs "answer screw."
Also, if a person has nothing to do except draw and discard, that is a deck construction or mulligan decision problem. This player probably deserves to have a sucky game so that he or she can learn a lesson about building their decks or mulliganing in a more realistic way.

Hearthstone has all the strategic depth of a kiddy pool. One of the big reasons for that is that you automatically get perfect mana every game. When you remove mana as a way of introducing both variance and strategic decision making, you just make the game worse.

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