Login | Register


All times are UTC - 7 hours


It is currently 2019-Sep-20 11:25 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-14 7:50 pm 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
Age: Wyvern
Everybody's heard the argument "Aggro isnt viable in EDH; there's too much life and too many opponents."

But I bet you've also heard about this guy, Serra Ascendant, how he was made for a different format, and is broken in Commander, Over-powered, blah blah blah...

Well, I don't think he is broken, and while I do agree that aggro isn't viable, I wish and think it should be.

I'll show my math below, but my conclusion is that more cards like the Ascendant need to be printed to fill a gap in the meta, and make traditional aggressive strategies possible without hinging on a particular commander, or going Infect or Voltron.

So, why do we need more cards for Aggro?
1. There Aren't Enough.
When I think of aggro I look primarily for 0-3 cmc creatures with a high power-cost ratio. The problem is that in EDH we need that ratio to be a lot higher than what we normally get, so there aren't as many to choose from, this brings me to point 2.

2. The Math Doesn't Work
Who's the all out champion of Aggro in Modern? If you ask me it's Goblin Guide. Here we have a fast, high power, low cmc creature, who will knock the opponent for 10% of their life total each hit. His second ability is as much a blessing as it is a curse, but overall he is considered very powerful. However, In EDH he is complete and utter garbage: 2 damage is under 1.7% of the total life you have to get through (assuming 3 opponents), and by the time you're done with one player the other two could be hard-casting their Emrakuls. Not only that but you can play 6.6 times as many of him in Modern as you can in EDH (accounting for deck size).
In a format with 6 times the starting life total, you would need a creature to have 6 times the power to hit that 10%. Does that mean goblin guide should be a 12/12? of course not. We can't change goblin guide, so he, along with monastery swiftspear, Wild Nacatl, Grim Lavamancer, Kytheon, Hero of Akros etc, will continue to suck and there's no way around it... or is there...?

3. It would diversify the format
There aren't enough pure aggro decks out there. Nobody feels bad losing to Edric, Spymaster of Trest, or Purphoros, God of the forge, because it's quick when it happens, and it doesn't happen that often. Ok, there's a good chance someone will get you with their voltron commander, or one-shot you with infect, or cave your face in with an army from Kaalia of the vast, but these are build-around themes, in the same way one might build around Omnath, Locus of Rage, it's aggressive, but it's not true aggro. True aggro should be able to do its thing regardless of the commander, in the same way a true control deck doesn't hinge on its commander either.

4. It's in the spirit of EDH
I've got folders full of janky stuff just itching to be played, but some cards there aren't enough of. I thought this format was supposed to let us relive our old standard decks? I turned an Esper curses deck into Atraxa control, so what about my Jund aggro? I don't want to go midrange... I don't want to think about my long game (granted, I probably still should). If I can't convert all of my decks then maybe there's something wrong, there's a gap, and it hurts the format.

So then, what would I have Wizards do about it?:
Print More Serra Ascendants
Yes, he's a 6 power flyer with lifelink, in modern it would be unheard of. But if goblin guide deals 2 dmg, he swings the game for 10% of the total enemies' starting life total, well guess what happens when Ascendant swings? 6 dmg plus 6 life gained = 12... = 10% of 120 life. They're the same. Ok so the flying may be a touch OP, but I consider Ascendant the gold-standard of EDH Aggro, he is to Aggro, as Sol Ring is to mana rocks.
And it's not just ascendant, there are other aggro cards that work perfectly in EDH, Eidolon of the great revel is still very potent and doesnt lose empetus late game, Hunted Horror adds 13 power to the table for just 2 mana (just not all on your side!) and others like managorger hydra receive boosts from the extra players at the table. Then there are cards that reward aggressive play, Grenzo, havoc raiser, and Tymna the weaver to name a few... It's basically a tribe, it just needs a little more support.

So how to do it? How can Wizards print more cards like Ascendent, without breaking a format elsewhere... By basing them on rules specific to each format, and restricting/improving a cards potency based on:
- starting life totals
- number of opponents
- The commanders' properties, and whether or not you have one...

Wizards have already made a start: undaunted, melee, and the lieutenant abilities were all kind of in the right direction, but none of these stack up to the Ascendant, nor do they make aggro more viable as far as I can tell.
Then there were their other failings... saskia the unyielding, bloodsworn steward these were a play at aggro in EDH, but they kinda suck (Sorry, Saskia players).

But that's just my take, what do you think? If you have any comments or suggestions for card ideas i'd love to hear them. Am I wrong about the Ascendant? Maybe you think Aggro doesn't need any help at all, or maybe we're just better off without.

Thanks for reading!


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-14 7:51 pm 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
Age: Wyvern
Here are a few example cards I drafted out that I think would be fair and serve the aggro purpose in EDH. If you ask me these are underpowered... but I think the important thing is to keep their abilities fairly vanilla (or bad for you), so they don't just get put into every deck.

Cheap N' Smacky Ogre - 5R
Undaunted (cost one less for each opponent)
Menace
6/5

Serra's Better-Balance Friend - 1W
Serra's BBF has +3/+3 and Flying if you have 30 or more life
2/2

New Hunted Cycle - 1BR
Demon
when hunted(BR) enters the battlefield, an opponent creates 2 3/3 white Angel tokens with a flying
flying
7/4

Minigorger Hydra - 1G
Whenever an opponent plays a spell put a +1/+1 counter on MiniGorger Hydra
0/1

Burny the burn Guy - R
Whenever a player casts a spell, Burny deals 2 damage to that player if they had 20 or more life.
2/1

Odric's protégé - 1W
At the beginning of combat, if your commander has First strike, Odric's protégé gains first strike, the same is true for trample, haste, vigilance etc etc...
3/2


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-14 10:51 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I feel like I'm missing something basic here. What does "Aggro isn't viable in EDH" mean, and how is it distinct from "Aggro isn't good in EDH" or "Aggro isn't competitive in EDH?

_________________
Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 12:01 am 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
Age: Wyvern
Swmystery wrote:
I feel like I'm missing something basic here. What does "Aggro isn't viable in EDH" mean, and how is it distinct from "Aggro isn't good in EDH" or "Aggro isn't competitive in EDH?


That's exactly what I mean...

It's just my opinion, but certainly in my playgroup it's widely accepted that aggro decks suck; 'not viable' just means they aren't generally capable of competing with other decks once you reach a certain level.

Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of fun with aggro, I just wish it were easier you know ;)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 12:35 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Boston, MA
I think that myriad was a pretty big missed opportunity for some effective aggro cards in EDH, since all the cards they put it on cost 5 or more.
How about:

Goblin Guy - 1R
Haste, Myriad
Goblin Guy gets +2/+0 for each other attacking Goblin Guy.
1/1

Best part is everyone will get mad at the ramp player who doesn't have a creature to block it for the first 4 turns.

_________________
Sygg, River Cutthroat: Ninjas, Rogues, Ophidians
Rosheen Meanderer: Hydras
Sapling of Colfenor: Toughness > Power
Riku: Pump Spells
Teneb: Life Manipulation
Kiki-Jiki: Big Red
Geth: Nim
Kodama of the North Tree: Hard Mode Voltron
Nin: Elementals
Sram: Jankstorm
Zur: Zombies
Rhys the Redeemed: Aura Voltron
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh: Chandras
Ojutai, Soul of Winter: Tap Out Control
Alesha: Allies
Inalla: Treasures
Vial Smasher: Lava Axes
Atraxa: Counterless Keywords
Ludevic and Tymna: Curses


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 3:25 am 
User avatar

Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
First off, if you want aggro to be viable in EDH, the focus shouldn't be on members of the 99. The generals are really what can make or break any strategy. Wheels wouldn't be a thing without Nekusar or Yidris. Vehicles wouldn't be playable except for Sram and King Macar.

And I'd have to heavily disagree that aggro is unviable in EDH. Hell, the vast majority of decks that I pilot are in some way or shape aggro decks. It's only unviable if you're talking a pure aggro deck, like Sligh or Zoo. But by that same logic, control decks aren't viable either. Back in 60-card land control decks could win the game if they can stick a single big threat like Wurmcoil Engine or a smaller one like Vendilion Clique. In EDH that just isn't possible, so most control decks adopt a touch of either aggro or combo so that they actually have a way to win the game.

Aggro in EDH works the same way to an extent. A pure balls-to-the-wall deck filled with efficient creatures and a strong curve just isn't fast enough to counteract the resource management of the other decks at the table. But that is far from the only way to play an aggro deck, and plenty of aggro decks work amazingly in EDH. Just to give a few examples:
1. Aggro/Combo: Find a general that supports aggro strategies, and then build to abuse the hell out of that particular ability. The best example I can think of is Purphoros, whose ability is phenomenal for chipping your opponents' lives down but also benefits a lot from a more token-based aggro strategy.
2. Scaling creatures: Goblin Guide is terrible in EDH, while Legion Loyalist is IMO one of the best aggro cards in the format. The big difference? Goblin Guide is great T1 but loses his luster after that, while Legion Loyalist is good T1 but even better T4 or T10. Primordial Hydra, Flametongue Kavu, Champion of Lambholt, and scores of other phenomenal cards to be able to beat down your opponents at any stage in the game.
3. Hate Baloths: Hatebear cards like the Thalia incarnations tend to be really good in 60-card because they provide a solid mix of both aggro at control all condensed into one neat little package. In EDH, you get access to not only all of those hate-bears, but their bigger cousins too. Someone in another thread mentioned the "big ass flier principle" for control decks, where if you have trouble winning games throw in a couple powerful monsters with a control-ish ability tacked on. The same principle applies here too.
4. Tribal decks: Ezuri Elfball and Krenko Goblin Swarm are still amazing last I checked. Same goes for Edgar Markov and The Scarab God. And most if not all of these strategies are primarily aggro.
5. A general that rewards you for aggressive playstyle: I honestly think that from a pure design perspective, my favorite general is Grenzo, Havoc Raiser and Neheb the Eternal isn't too far behind him. These cards do a phenomenal job of not only rewarding you for playing aggressively, but also doing it in a way that shores up some of the typical weaknesses of aggressive decks. You also get generals like Dragonlord Ojutai who are control cards but also work really well at the helm of an aggro deck. And speaking of generals...
6. Voltron: Rafiq, the Mimeoplasm, Shu Yun, Omnath, Thada Adel, 8.5 Tails, Ghalta, Yidris, Uril, Skullbriar, Thrun, Tajic, Kalemne, the list goes on. Voltron is aggo, and I've always been able to build and utilize it to spectacular results, as have others.

_________________


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 3:51 am 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
Age: Wyvern
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
if you want aggro to be viable in EDH, the focus shouldn't be on members of the 99. The generals are really what can make or break any strategy.

You make many good points including this one, and I get it, but wouldn't it be nice if you could??? With more card like the examples above, you could focus on building a good deck first, then worry about bringing your commander in later.

A common problem with most existing aggressive strategies is that they depend too much on their commanders, so one well-timed doom blade can set you back turns. That would apply to most of the commanders mentioned so far. Lucky for us, I've found that removal is often lacking in many LGS's, but I lose count of how many decks I've undone just by dropping a Fleshbag Marauder.

Coco wrote:
I think that myriad was a pretty big missed opportunity for some effective aggro cards in EDH, since all the cards they put it on cost 5 or more.
How about:

Goblin Guy - 1R
Haste, Myriad
Goblin Guy gets +2/+0 for each other attacking Goblin Guy.
1/1

Best part is everyone will get mad at the ramp player who doesn't have a creature to block it for the first 4 turns.

I love this idea, like an EDH-powered Pulse Tracker, and would pair very well with Grenzo, havoc raiser.

:)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 6:04 am 
User avatar

Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Kresh the Bloodbraided is sortof the bread n' butter aggro general. Because EDH has such a huge cardpool, aggro decks are often built ontop of complex advantage engines like Bitterblossom- and focus on maintaining their "beatdown" position through more than early board domination.

Just think contextually about your aggro plan, and making the most aggressive version of any General can become obvious- and the cards that compliment that strategy, and the generals which shine in aggressive positions.

_________________
niheloim wrote:
Wall of Chat. 2U
Creature- Wall

Defender
Wall of chat exceeds at using a lot of words to mischaracterize opposing view points.

Warp Riders (Ephara Solar Flare)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 7:04 am 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
Age: Wyvern
Mr Degradation wrote:
Kresh the Bloodbraided is sortof the bread n' butter aggro general. Because EDH has such a huge cardpool, aggro decks are often built ontop of complex advantage engines like Bitterblossom- and focus on maintaining their "beatdown" position through more than early board domination.


Fascinating I bet there are some interesting strategies there... Don't suppose you have a decklist?


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 9:07 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
The issue I have with beatdown / aggro is that you generally have to put on early pressure and maintain it in order to win with the strategy. That may work for your first opponent, but each sucessive opponent has had more time to find the required answers and you're less and less likely to be able to maintain the required pressure.

So you're forced to break your play down into 4 different options:
- Build your deck to attack in waves (i.e.: attack your first victim, take a break to build up resources, attack the second. Mass recursion, card draw.)
- Build your deck to attack in increasing levels of damage (multiple lords, progressive Anthems, cards that make more than one creature)
- Build your deck to attack in one overwhelming wave to kill everyone (Sudden token swarms, Overruns, Craterhoof)
- Build your deck to have non-combat damage reach (Purphoros, Blood Artist, Goblin Bombardment, Hellrider)

A good deck should be able to incorporate multiples of these themes into the same deck but doing so generally tends to drag you towards tribal strategies as certain tribal effects have these elements incorporated into their synergies. (Lords, progressive anthems, cards that make more than one creature, cards that trigger off counting the number, type or colour of creatures you control.)

I have to say that the most efficient aggro decks I've seen have been ones that can jam all of these together the most efficiently. A Wild Nacktl is nice but it's just outclassed by multiple opponents starting at 40 life and the fact that it's just an undercosted beater. Give me a Mogg War Marshal at practically 4 times the cost any day: 3 CITB triggers, 3 LTB triggers and in a tribe & colour with a redundancy of options.

In summary, I just don't think you can port a constructed 60-card deck into EDH and expect it to continue to work the same way. You can have aggro decks in commander, but they just won't look the same as modern junk or whatever.

_________________
Current decks:
Sydri's random pile of cards with "Artifact" on them
Scarab God Zombie Horde
Sissay 5c Superfriends
Morophon Eldrazi (5C Devoid)
Grenzo's Goblins


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-16 3:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Is there a neat and tidy definition of "Aggro"?

I honestly thought the majority of EDH decks were 'Aggro'. Isn't that what Battlecruiser magic is? Throw out big stuff and turn things sideways?

_________________
Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-16 4:59 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
scatteredsun wrote:
Is there a neat and tidy definition of "Aggro"?

I honestly thought the majority of EDH decks were 'Aggro'. Isn't that what Battlecruiser magic is? Throw out big stuff and turn things sideways?


I think the premise is low curve and aggression from the early turns. EDH tends to be forgiving on decks that want to build for 4- turns before starting to do anything meaningful.

_________________
Current decks:
Sydri's random pile of cards with "Artifact" on them
Scarab God Zombie Horde
Sissay 5c Superfriends
Morophon Eldrazi (5C Devoid)
Grenzo's Goblins


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-16 8:25 am 

Joined: 2016-Sep-16 11:05 pm
Age: Wyvern
I honestly don't think aggro can be made to match 'combo' decks. True competitive combo decks can finish the game turns 1-4 (maybe even 0). My strongest aggro deck (mono-green Selvala) can in theory drop 40-50 mana into Gen Wave on turn 4. That does require an absolute perfect draw, while the combo deck is built for consistent turns 1-4.

I honestly don't want aggro to be ramped up to the speed of combo. Multiple turn 1 10/10 creatures just doesn't seem fun and would force players further into turtle modes with 40 answer cards in every deck. Right now if you have super fast combo players - they are the problem. Increasing aggro to match them makes the format the problem.

PS: My Selvala deck is considered extremely dangerous and will absolutely run away with the game unanswered, or in unprepared pods. I'm only using a single infinite combo, and do NOT run Paradox Engine. I don't tutor for the infinite combo but consider it fair game if it shows up.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-17 1:56 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Hm, a low curve swinging deck. I like this challenge! I do see the difficulty, if you can't get people down in life in the early game, you can get clogged up and overrun in the mid. Need some way to keep the party going strong in the mid game to finish off what you started in the beginning.

I will contemplate this.



@crimson - is your Selvala deck list online?

_________________
Glissa, the Traitor -> Voltron
Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
Starke of Rath -> Wrath of Starke: MRC

Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Does EDH need more cards for Aggro?
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-18 3:30 pm 

Joined: 2016-Sep-16 11:05 pm
Age: Wyvern
This thread has my decklist within ~10 cards. I've made a few optimizations since posting that list. Example - Stream of Life is out as I never used it.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=18561

The deck specifically avoids all but 1 infinite combo and does not use Paradox Engine. These are deliberate choices as the deck is considered broken as it is for my playgroup.

Current most broken opening hand I'm aware of.
T1 - forest, mana dork.
T2 - forest, Selvala
T3- forest, Wayward Swordtooth, forest, tap Selvala and dork for Mana Reflection
T4 - Natural Order either of the two creatures for Realm Seeker. Nature's Chosen on Selvala - estimate 40-60 mana after untapping Selvala for free. Genesis Wave.
Shuffle and pick up different deck for new game.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 26 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: