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 Post subject: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 7:59 am 

Joined: 2017-Jun-13 4:56 am
Age: Wyvern
I did a brief search of the forum archives for "netdecking" to see what the existing discussion/opinions on the topic were, and I dropped into a salty ocean of vitriol. So I'm gonna preface my question with a bit of protective self-justification and excusing here.

I've got seven-ish commander decks, two of which are basically "finished", two need land overhauls, and two are basically non-functional but are legally playable. I built all of them myself from scratch with minimal outside influence; I didn't follow anybody's deck guidelines (though I listen to tons of Commander podcasts), I didn't use EDHrec or any other online comparison tools for a skeleton, I didn't solicit advice from my play group or Magic peers during deck construction or modification.

Behaviorally I'm very far in the "brew it yourself" group. But I don't care. If I wanted to play a format but didn't have a deck I wanted to brew I'd netdeck something inexpensive and fun without a second thought.

I feel like I don't have enough deck variety but I've been short on inspiration and time. I'm contemplating dropping 50$ (or 70$, I'm pretty bad at deal-hunting) to purchase someone else's deck list every month or so. I suspect at least half my playgroup will hate it; none of the others even look at EDHrec, except for one guy who just started playing Magic at all three months ago. If I never tell them they might not notice, but I'm not exactly duplicitous or subtle :P.

So, is literal copypasta netdecking a possible social contract and game philosophy betrayal?

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 9:23 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
Age: Drake
I would say that taking a deck from what is listed online and copying it card for card would be a breach of the social contract and the spirit of the format.

It's one thing to take something you see and use it as a shell (ex. taking the land base and the tribal lords for say, elves, goblins, merfolk, etc) When there are staples for a given tribe, there's not much diversity when you would ideally run every lord effect possible for them.

It's another thing entirely to copy something online, be unable to give credit where it was due, and pass it off as your own. It also stifles creativity and takes the trial and error/playtesting out of it.

In a competitive format like standard, modern, legacy or vintage, it makes sense as there's actual money on the table and you're playing to win as frequently as possible. For Commander/EDH where it's more of a social format, winning isn't put at such a high premium as the experience.

Though, truth be told, $50-70 often isn't enough to fully copy/build a deck anyway if bought from scratch. Depending on what you're building, something from start to finish could easily break $200 without foils.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 9:47 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I would say that if you tell them what you are doing (probably with a caveat that you will be tweaking it between sessions - if you mean it) then no harm, no foul.

That said, there are so many other options. For example, you can check the strategy section of this forum (or post there) looking for advice, assistance, inspiration (Example).

You could look through the decklists on this forum, then PM the poster of something that sounds interesting and ask for help or a skeleton to build from.

You could take the decklists you are already researching, cut any non-theme cards to make a skeleton, then fill it in with stuff you already have. Conversely take an un-themed deck (e.g. Karador good stuff) and make it a theme (in the example, by changing all creatures to Spirits to make it tribal).

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 10:12 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Nowhere in the EDH philosophy documents, rules, etc. does it say you can't or shouldn't net-deck. So do it if you feel you must. You'll get more EDH street cred for doing your own brewing though.

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 10:28 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Me: Oh man I've got a sweet idea for a Narset deck! She'd be great if I played lots of mana rocks to get her out ASAP, and then played a bunch of extra turn cards and extra combat step cards! *builds deck*

Scene: Our hero is at a table playing his homebrew deck for the first time. The rest of the table does not appear to be happy at what lies in the Command Zone.

Opponent 1: Great, here comes another Narset deck.

Opponent 2: Gee how original, you played Waves of Aggression. I haven't seen this deck on EDHrec before.

Opponent 3: Well this looks like every Narset deck I've seen on MTGS.

End scene. Our hero leaves, dejected, and saddened that the deck he crafted was not unique and original as he had hoped.


There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 11:13 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
Age: Drake
cryogen wrote:
Me: Oh man I've got a sweet idea for a Narset deck! She'd be great if I played lots of mana rocks to get her out ASAP, and then played a bunch of extra turn cards and extra combat step cards! *builds deck*

Scene: Our hero is at a table playing his homebrew deck for the first time. The rest of the table does not appear to be happy at what lies in the Command Zone.

Opponent 1: Great, here comes another Narset deck.

Opponent 2: Gee how original, you played Waves of Aggression. I haven't seen this deck on EDHrec before.

Opponent 3: Well this looks like every Narset deck I've seen on MTGS.

End scene. Our hero leaves, dejected, and saddened that the deck he crafted was not unique and original as he had hoped.


There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


Surely you must realize that there are generals that are inherently degenerate. Ones that, when broken via tuning, literally end the game either immediately or through a series of actions/plays?

Narset, Meren, Atraxa (infect), Breya, etc.

While it's true that there are optimized builds for each general, there are those that are fair, even when optimized.

Infinite turn/combat step narset, infinite whatever I want meren/breya, atraxa is the oprah of poison counters... there are ways to not make the table hate you, some just choose to do so anyway. Health/opinion of the playgroup be damned.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 11:42 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


I would argue the opposite, there are no "correct" builds for any general. There are "tuned" builds and "optimized" builds, but that does not make them "correct." I showed up at a table my Uril deck once (circa 2010ish), groans abounded. I told them it was Beast tribal (at the time Uril was *the* only legendary beast), sarcasm and disbelief gushed like a broken dam. Then I got to 5 mana and did not play Uril. Eight mana, still no Uril. Uril dropped when I got my Mark of Fury, around turn 8. The only Auras were some Magemarks, Spirit Loop, Rancor, and undying Rage; and most of those played on other beasts.

This deck was not "incorrect" because it didn't abuse Uril... (though Uril did cede control to Gahiji when C13 released)

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Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 3:55 pm 

Joined: 2015-Jul-06 5:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Based on what you describe it doesn't seem like you are "netdecking" in a negative way. If you were trying to find the most optimized list of cards for a commander and building those decks that would be going about it the wrong way in many people's eyes.

There are many decks that people put out on the internet in multiple places. Some people want to just show off what they have because their build is great to them. Others want to share their list for people to use as a shell. While others want people to build just like them. There is no "wrong" way to build a deck. There is a perceived negativity for netdecking in that people just go build what won last week's Pro Tournament just to try to win and that goes against the spirit of the game and deck building.

Now I'm not saying netdecking is good or bad. Some in your play group may perceive what you are are wanting to do negatively and you may want to discuss it with them.

I have my decks listed out online for several reasons. And if someone saw one of my lists and decided to build a deck card for card as mine, my first question would be: "Did you have fun with it?" I'd ask that because EDH is about the fun interaction of the game. I would do the same if someone barrowed one of my decks for a few games. I'd want to know what they liked or didn't like.

Now I don't see how you will be able to build a new deck each month for $50-$70 without most of them being budget decks.

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-26 4:42 pm 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
My only issue with "netdecking" is it's a big, slow format and you simply can't understand all the personality and nuances of a deck you just found online which leads to slow and sloppy play. If you can pick the deck up and pilot it with some level of competence, that's great. If you slow down the table because you don't know how to play your own deck, you need to build your own deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-27 5:01 am 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
crimsonwings3689 wrote:
cryogen wrote:
Me: Oh man I've got a sweet idea for a Narset deck! She'd be great if I played lots of mana rocks to get her out ASAP, and then played a bunch of extra turn cards and extra combat step cards! *builds deck*

Scene: Our hero is at a table playing his homebrew deck for the first time. The rest of the table does not appear to be happy at what lies in the Command Zone.

Opponent 1: Great, here comes another Narset deck.

Opponent 2: Gee how original, you played Waves of Aggression. I haven't seen this deck on EDHrec before.

Opponent 3: Well this looks like every Narset deck I've seen on MTGS.

End scene. Our hero leaves, dejected, and saddened that the deck he crafted was not unique and original as he had hoped.


There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


Surely you must realize that there are generals that are inherently degenerate. Ones that, when broken via tuning, literally end the game either immediately or through a series of actions/plays?

Narset, Meren, Atraxa (infect), Breya, etc.

While it's true that there are optimized builds for each general, there are those that are fair, even when optimized.

Infinite turn/combat step narset, infinite whatever I want meren/breya, atraxa is the oprah of poison counters... there are ways to not make the table hate you, some just choose to do so anyway. Health/opinion of the playgroup be damned.

I think you're missing the point. The point isn't that Narset is easily broken, rather that for some commanders it is easy to accidentally create a list that looks like a list online. Another example would be Krenko, Mob Boss lists are probably mostly tribal goblin and have like 90% card overlap.

You seem to be conflating netdecking with playing a deck that is overpowered within the meta.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-27 6:35 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
cryogen wrote:
Me: Oh man I've got a sweet idea for a Narset deck! She'd be great if I played lots of mana rocks to get her out ASAP, and then played a bunch of extra turn cards and extra combat step cards! *builds deck*

Scene: Our hero is at a table playing his homebrew deck for the first time. The rest of the table does not appear to be happy at what lies in the Command Zone.

Opponent 1: Great, here comes another Narset deck.

Opponent 2: Gee how original, you played Waves of Aggression. I haven't seen this deck on EDHrec before.

Opponent 3: Well this looks like every Narset deck I've seen on MTGS.

End scene. Our hero leaves, dejected, and saddened that the deck he crafted was not unique and original as he had hoped.


There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


I'd say this is worse than netdecking. I don't really care if you copy a deck online but please let it be a unique deck! The way WotC has been building commanders, t hey makes for linear builds with far too much card overlap.

Yes we know you can win a game fast with Purphoros and Goblins. It's the first thought most of had when we saw Purphy spoiled. TTTHHHBBBTTT Easy mode! Level up please!

I don't think netdecking is against any creed or ethos, but as Sid said, you won't earn any street cred by doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-27 7:06 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
MrCool wrote:
crimsonwings3689 wrote:
cryogen wrote:
Me: Oh man I've got a sweet idea for a Narset deck! She'd be great if I played lots of mana rocks to get her out ASAP, and then played a bunch of extra turn cards and extra combat step cards! *builds deck*

Scene: Our hero is at a table playing his homebrew deck for the first time. The rest of the table does not appear to be happy at what lies in the Command Zone.

Opponent 1: Great, here comes another Narset deck.

Opponent 2: Gee how original, you played Waves of Aggression. I haven't seen this deck on EDHrec before.

Opponent 3: Well this looks like every Narset deck I've seen on MTGS.

End scene. Our hero leaves, dejected, and saddened that the deck he crafted was not unique and original as he had hoped.


There's only so many "correct" builds for a given general, so no matter how original and creative you think you are, someone else on the internet probably already built it first. Screw the haters.


Surely you must realize that there are generals that are inherently degenerate. Ones that, when broken via tuning, literally end the game either immediately or through a series of actions/plays?

Narset, Meren, Atraxa (infect), Breya, etc.

While it's true that there are optimized builds for each general, there are those that are fair, even when optimized.

Infinite turn/combat step narset, infinite whatever I want meren/breya, atraxa is the oprah of poison counters... there are ways to not make the table hate you, some just choose to do so anyway. Health/opinion of the playgroup be damned.

I think you're missing the point. The point isn't that Narset is easily broken, rather that for some commanders it is easy to accidentally create a list that looks like a list online. Another example would be Krenko, Mob Boss lists are probably mostly tribal goblin and have like 90% card overlap.

You seem to be conflating netdecking with playing a deck that is overpowered within the meta.

This guy gets it. It's trivially easy to build a deck that turns out to be very similar to a "netdeck". It's also easy to intentionally build a deck that doesn't conform to expectations ("Look at my Jhoira tribal Beeble deck using only cards from Fallen Empires which start with the letter U"). My point was that you shouldn't worry about whether your deck looks like a netdeck, or even if it is one. Play the game and have fun, and hopefully your opponents can have fun also. Screw the people who want to judge someone for something so trivial.


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-27 12:07 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
My opinion on net decks is I dont care where you got your deck idea from, as long as it's fun to play with.

All decks, across all formats, are tuned to a particular meta. So outright net-decking, literal card for card copying, is rarely the absolute best option. Especially in commander you will need to adjust your deck to play against the decks played in your area, and whilst many of the "best" lists will be good against a broad swathe of opponents, it doesn't matter how perfectly tuned your Meren reanimator deck is if everyone is packing graveyard hate.

***Warning - Generalisations ahead: This is not about anyone in particular***
I think the problem net-deckers come into is that the kind of people most likely to post deck lists online, and the kind of people most likely to use online decklists are people looking to min/max thier decks, and when you push towards maximum tuning you are removing things which are individually fun or interesting for things which are more consistent, powerful and generic.

When I rebuild or tune a deck myself I make decision like "I'm playing X over Y because I like it more and it does these things to Ash's deck (You know who you are)", whereas a list directly online may not have that nuance, you are looking for what is best in slot.

While that is overall negative towards netdecking, that is more why I dont like copying a deck exactly myself, I do however go back to my opening point which is, I dont care how you got your list, I only care about if it's fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Jul-28 12:26 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
Netdecking helps you grow as a player and a brewer. It helps you make connections you otherwise might never have thought about. I've seen Sheldon write about using others players decks for fun and variety. And honestly in the 21st century netdecking is what normal looks like, there's no super secret tech any more and cards supply is good. Ymmv


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 Post subject: Re: Netdecking, like literally.
AgePosted: 2017-Aug-04 5:58 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
I have no problem with other people netdecking, in fact I have done it myself in my early years of edh.
I don't anymore for two reasons:

First, it just doesn't work. If you just copy a list, you don't understand it, you don't know what to tutor for, when to hold back removal, when to move in with the big guns, etc. You need to play a list dozens of times, constantly tweaking and tuning, to pilot it just right. Meta's are very different to, so what works for the original deck builder might not get the job done for you.

And second, deckbuilding, to me, is just as fun as actually playing, so I'm robbing myself of a lot of pleasure :-)


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