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 Post subject: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 8:24 am 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
I'm going to start a new Question of the Week feature on SCG. I'll still occasionally do mailbag articles, but maybe a little less frequently. I'm reserving this spot for folks to come back to post questions. I'll choose one each week and reply in the article. It feels like really engaging with Commander players all the time is better than every few months. The questions that have the best chance of getting answered are the ones without easy answers which might encourage additional discussion within the community. Fire away!

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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 8:47 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
You've often said you use a "build casually, play competitively" approach - you don't build oppressive combos into your decks, and then when in game you will tend to make the optimum play when it presents itself. How much do you actually follow that though? For example, it's turn 3 and due to a random mana dork or something, you have four mana available and Creeping Mold in your hand. Your opponents have just had their turn 2, and one of them has an Izzet Boilerworks on an otherwise empty board. The "competitive" play here is to bomb them back to the stone age, basically removing them from the game for the next few turns while you can concentrate on the rest of your deadly foes.

Clearly, you don't do that, as it's a douche play of the highest order. So my question (finally) is; when does "play competitively" get trumped by "have a memorable game"? To continue that example, if you wait until turn 10 to Creeping Mold that Boilerworks, then it will more than likely have no impact on the game at all. The "right" time to play it is when it will have the most impact, and that's clearly turn 3.

Related question; when choosing who to attack, what's your priority? The guy you can do the most damage to, the guy you can kill right now, the guy who has the potential to do the most damage to you, or something else? Again, does that priority list change depending on how long the game has been going for?

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"Degenerate, unfun decks generally come from degenerate, unfun players in my experience." - Cthulus Thrall

"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

"I'm happy to serve as a quote machine" - Sheldon


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 9:03 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Viperion, I want to say thanks for nearly always asking questions for the mailbag articles and always asking good ones when you do.

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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 9:40 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Aw shucks, thanks :oops: :D

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"Degenerate, unfun decks generally come from degenerate, unfun players in my experience." - Cthulus Thrall

"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

"I'm happy to serve as a quote machine" - Sheldon


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 9:56 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
How do you feel about introducing somebody to Magic through the Commander format? The sentiment I hear expressed most often on the Internet is that Commander is one of the worst--if not the worst--platform to use for this. Basically, the suggestion is Commander adds rules to the "basic" rules for the game, and that Commander rules overall are overly complicated or inherently non-intuitive.

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Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 10:04 am 

Joined: 2018-Jul-17 9:59 am
Age: Egg
Hey, Sheldon!

In the panel at SCG, you hinted at the need for the community to consider the future of the format as the members of the current RC cannot be in charge of the format forever.

How can new members be added to the rules committee? Or how can a new rules committee be made?

Would love to get involved any way that I can, and I'm sure many people would too, but I have no idea what the process for doing so would be.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 10:31 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
Age: Drake
Viperion wrote:
You've often said you use a "build casually, play competitively" approach - you don't build oppressive combos into your decks, and then when in game you will tend to make the optimum play when it presents itself. How much do you actually follow that though? For example, it's turn 3 and due to a random mana dork or something, you have four mana available and Creeping Mold in your hand. Your opponents have just had their turn 2, and one of them has an Izzet Boilerworks on an otherwise empty board. The "competitive" play here is to bomb them back to the stone age, basically removing them from the game for the next few turns while you can concentrate on the rest of your deadly foes.

Clearly, you don't do that, as it's a douche play of the highest order. So my question (finally) is; when does "play competitively" get trumped by "have a memorable game"? To continue that example, if you wait until turn 10 to Creeping Mold that Boilerworks, then it will more than likely have no impact on the game at all. The "right" time to play it is when it will have the most impact, and that's clearly turn 3.

Related question; when choosing who to attack, what's your priority? The guy you can do the most damage to, the guy you can kill right now, the guy who has the potential to do the most damage to you, or something else? Again, does that priority list change depending on how long the game has been going for?


To further Viperion's line of questioning: Building casually and Playing competitively, there's clearly a scale of power with some cards while the optimization of a deck can greatly impact the value/power of a card... Aura Shards is strong in a deck with little to no token generation, but can be back breaking in a deck that focuses on making as many tokens as possible.

How would the ceiling of a card's power/utility factor into your deck building?
- Would you actively avoid a card like Aura Shards in a token deck?
- If presented with an opportunity for the following: Turn 2-3 = Aura Shards, Turn 3-4 Sram's Expertise, would you opt to blow up as many artifacts/enchantments as possible that early in the game, regardless of your opponent's board state? (most optimal line of play) Or would you avoid it as the jerk/douche mode of play and only remove 1-2 pieces, knowing that Aura Shards could be removed in the following turn cycle, thus reducing the value of the card you played?


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 11:51 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
As time goes on and new sets are released, we are treated to more exciting cards, some flavorful, some filling a role or adding more redundancy to our arsenal of tools, and some more powerful. And of course, older cards become more scarce or not used as much. So my question is whether you feel there will be a Third Age of the format (the first being the lesser known EDH and the second after the precons came out and Commander exploded onto the scene), and if so will the RC have to reevaluate their approach to the format?


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 1:50 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Magical_Hacker wrote:
Hey, Sheldon!

In the panel at SCG, you hinted at the need for the community to consider the future of the format as the members of the current RC cannot be in charge of the format forever.

How can new members be added to the rules committee? Or how can a new rules committee be made?

Would love to get involved any way that I can, and I'm sure many people would too, but I have no idea what the process for doing so would be.

Thanks!


This was already the question I'm answering this week :)

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"Leave the gun. Take the cannolis."


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 2:17 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Aug-06 1:54 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: USA
If you were to pitch the thematic cycle for 2019's Commander pre-cons, what 4 (or 5) deck themes would you choose? Would you look to strengthen pre-established but under supported archetypes or branch into new radical commander-centric gimmick or color bending mechanics?

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A few of my EDH Generals:
~ Mayael the Anima - Mayael the 5-Power Stompy
~ Marath, Will of the Wild - An EDH Teacher deck (Tribal Beasts)
~ Rhys the Redeemed - Tokens... Why do they keep coming!?
~ Bosh, Iron Golem - Legend of the Iron Giants
~ Damia, Sage of Stone - All Creatures Great & Small


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-17 9:50 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
How's your health, and has your taste recovered? Considering your dinner party updates I assume your taste is okay.

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"Our words are backed with OBLIVION STONE!"


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-18 12:04 pm 
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Joined: 2015-Mar-18 12:55 pm
Age: Drake
Are there any drinks you like to associate with your decks or is that something you never really considered?

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The QFT Section
Sheldon wrote:
The cards didn't just warp the way the games were played, they warped how I was conceiving and perceiving the format. That's the sign of a problem.

Carthain wrote:
The idea that you should be able to build your deck however you want and still be competitive is false, and a bad idea to have. Taken to the extreme, that's like making a deck with no removal in it, and then complaining that you can't win because stuff your opponents play gets in your way.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-19 2:30 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
How do you feel about the current position of mono-coloured decks in the format at the moment? Would you be in favour of mono-coloured decks specifically getting more support in some way? I often feel that with so many powerful multicoloured cards in the format- including the wide array of legendary creatures- there's just very little reason or incentive to be mono-coloured unless you're going for an oppressive general like Azami, Lady of Scrolls or a specific tribal legend like Ezuri, Renegade Leader.

A perfect and topical example of this would be something like Daretti, Scrap Savant- with all the amazing artefact support in blue, and an Izzet artefact deck with more undoubtedly awesome blue and multicoloured cards just around the corner, is there really any (strategic) reason for one to stick with Daretti when the benefit to adding another colour is so high?

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Current Commanders:

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Machine Red)
Sigarda, Heron's Grace (Innistrad's Industrial Revolution)
X (The Spy Who Un'd Me)
Rubinia Soulsinger (Polymorphs)
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Shadowborn Apostles)
Mathas, Fiend Seeker (So Me To You)


Last edited by Swmystery on 2018-Jul-22 5:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-19 2:42 am 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
I see a lot of new players falling for what I call "trap cards." These are cards like Iona, Vorinclex, Omniscience, etc. Cards that look like they're big powerful fun cards but are, in actuality, fun killers. I do find they tend to remove those cards after a few games but I feel bad for them because most are not cheap. They end up spending $20 on something they only use for a few games before they get ganged up on. It's an expensive learning opportunity for some of the kids I play with.

I am typically a fan of a smaller, sleeker banlist but was just wondering if this viewpoint of saving new players from making a mistake has ever been taken into consideration when the RC discusses potential bans?

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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Question of the Week
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-19 3:55 am 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
I'm occasionally going to answer some of the questions right here as we go along; not getting published doesn't mean they aren't great questions, but I can only run so many and some of them deserve answers.

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"Leave the gun. Take the cannolis."


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