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 Post subject: Re: What If...?
AgePosted: 2019-Jan-28 5:37 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Sheldon wrote:
What if, back in the beginning of EDH, the rule had been that you must have a minimum number of creatures in your deck--let's say 20-25.

How would that having impacted your willingness to give the format a try? How do you think it would have shaped the format since?

I think I would have been less interested in the format. The arbitrariness of it really bothers me; like, what if I have 19 creatures, and one Advent of the Wurm? Advent is basically a proxy for a creature, but happens to work with populate mechanics. Same with a half a dozen other cards that are regularly included in Trostani, Selesnya's Voice decks. There are also enough creatures that mimic spells that players would just play slightly less efficient spells (like more Farhaven Elf variants instead of Cultivate or Kodama's Reach).

If it's to encourage players to play creatures, turn them sideways, make trades, etc. ... well, I think we'll just see people play creatures in a way you wouldn't like. Hermit Druid with Narcomoeba, Bloodghast, Fatestitcher, Dread Return, into Necrotic Ooze, etc. Lots of those are creatures, but, I wouldn't say they're living the creature life, so to speak.

And then you're sidelining the players who want to play a 'fair' game, but not with creatures. Someone wants to play Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, only wants to table 2-3 creatures and give them the buffs, but they have to fill a lot of their slots with garbage creatures they have no interest in. Same with Karn, Silver Golem Rube Goldberg machines; someone wants to make a pile of things, animate them into an 8 card combo and win with it, and it could be genuinely interesting to everyone at the table, but they have to fill their deck with a pile of irrelevant cards.


Even personal taste aside, I think we'd start to see more 'staples' than ever before. If you're forced to play 20 creatures and don't have much interest in doing so, you're going to play the best ones around. Eternal Witness wouldn't exactly increase in popularity (I think it's pretty much at its peak), but less universal cards like Farhaven Elf, Mulldrifter and similar cards would be come auto-includes because they do a good sorcery impression with decent value. Possibly on the other side of the card type divide, you might see players have more defined taste in non-creatures; with (potentially) fewer non-creature slots to use, players will stick to the cards with the strongest functionality. Why play something like Grisly Salvage when it could be a slot for Demonic Tutor? Only writ over 40ish cards.

I guess I'm in favour of less rules over more. 'Forcing' players to play with cards they don't want to will just result in them playing cards that are least like the ones the rules are intended to promote, and they will use them in the ways least resembling the kind of gameplay the rules are aiming for.

I think, perhaps, 25% of my decks over my play history would have been different; many of them don't have a lot of creatures, simply because I've been interested in other non-creature designs, and they've had around 15 creatures (and not in a degenerate way, think Toshiro Umezawa with a lot of instants in it). Also, some colours just don't have the creature quality to include 20 creatures; I don't think I've ever had a (non-goblin) mono-red deck that has ever had more than ~15 creatures, just because the quality has been so historically awful/niche that it's better to not focus on creatures at all.

Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

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