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 Post subject: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 6:09 pm 

Joined: 2017-Jul-06 3:44 pm
Age: Wyvern
I discussed this topic last weekend with a friend of mine while I was playtesting Firesong and Sunspeaker gaining tons of life off of the damage that I've been dealing and I asked him If it was okay to stay at 100 life. I remember running into a similar problem awhile back when I was playing an Azorius Storm Herd Urzatron build when the first Ravnica block was released.

My friend decided against it and suggested that I go past 100 life even though it made more sense to stay at 100 life since for me it's much easier to calculate life loss and life gain that way. I'm fully aware of where the official judges stand in regards to this since gaining infinite life is supposed to be a set number. The problem with choosing a set number is that it makes games too one sided.

I figured If there was an official 100 life cap rule for the format then games wouldn't take forever, sure there's ways to get around it with Tainted Remedy and False Cure but what If nobody within your playgroup is running Black in their color identity for those cards? Wouldn't that be a problem for decks that are unable to deal with life gain in Commander? Poison is an alternative sure but what else?

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 6:52 pm 
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The format also has Commander damage as an alternate win condition. Besides that a table can generally work together to get a player with lots or even "infinite" life under control (maybe your Commander isn't that good at dealing 21 damage, but somebody's bound to be).

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 8:11 pm 
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I disagree with the concept. Life is a resource that White and Green generate willy-nilly, but in EDH, there are pieces in every color, that synergize for well over 40+ damage in fair decks, and they tend to stack up rather quickly. Lifegain is generally considered a weak strategy because of that- and if your opponents cannot overcome the amount of life gained- they'll generally be wise enough not to play it out.

With F&S though, that's sortof the point- your lifegain spells generate Volcanic Hammers, and the lifegain you get from red spells helps pad out your lifetotal to handle taking ludicrous amounts of damage. Cards like Storm Herd, Archangel of Thune, Serra Avatar etc. are just the payoffs for floating a high life total- and are naturally countered considerably often- while Treasonous Ogre gives you the ability to consume the resource for considerable acceleration. F&S also permit you to play spells that burn all players (including yourself) quite liberally with the downside negated, or cards like Volcano Hellion to greater effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 8:29 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
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There's also not a limit for:

- number of creatures on the board
- how big your creatures can be
- how big an X value can be
- how many spells you can cast in one turn
- how much damage you're allowed to do at once
- how much damage you're allowed to prevent
- how many counters can be on anything

There is a limit on deck size and singletons, but that's because those restrictions are defining characteristics of EDH.

Life doesn't have a limit because the base game doesn't give it one and the format doesn't inherently need to give it one.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-13 3:04 am 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-19 1:30 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Yeah, I've got to say that if lifegain is what's breaking your meta, you should be happy. Infinite turns, soft- and hard-locks, infinite swarm, "I play solitaire until you all die", and similar decks are much much more oppressive. If you run into one of those decks, and don't have a counter at the right time, you typically get to stare at the board and be able to do nothing about it. At least with infinite life, even if you have no infinite damage option in your deck, you've still got the possibility of commander damage and deck out to win. If you want to give your commander a better chance to do the damage, you can always throw in Rogue's Passage, Trailblazer's Boots and Whispersilk Cloak.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-13 7:58 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Also, if infinite/absurdly high life totals really are the problem, Inkmoth Nexus is legal in every deck and barely even costs a deck slot.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-13 2:39 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I know you said non-black, but if gigantic life gains are a serious problem, sorin markov and magistrate sphinx are ways to deal with it. They're really annoying for people not gaining a lot of life though to use them sparingly. Reverse the sands or soul conduit might be other ways to disuade an opponent that is hellbent on going into the 12 digit life totals

Along with the aforementioned infect and commander damage, you can also consider some other alternate win-cons. There are ways to win a game without any damage at all. Mill is one such example, but you can also use door to nothingness to make that player lose, or create a biovisionary, azors elocutors or approach of the second sun deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-13 6:19 pm 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Also, if infinite/absurdly high life totals really are the problem, Inkmoth Nexus is legal in every deck and barely even costs a deck slot.


If you go that route, just build a Skittles deck to prove your point. Or any Voltron deck. Also, this seems like a perfect thread to post this:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-13 7:19 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-19 1:30 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Shabbaman wrote:
If you go that route, just build a Skittles deck to prove your point. Or any Voltron deck.
I'm all for Voltron. My Thrun deck is a lot of fun (although I notice that post needs a serious update).

specter404 wrote:
Reverse the sands or soul conduit might be other ways to dissuade an opponent that is hellbent on going into the 12 digit life totals

See also:
White: Arbiter of KnollridgeAxis of MortalityBlessed Wind
Red: Stigma LasherLeyline of PunishmentWitch HuntSulfuric Vortex
Green: Shaman of Forgotten Ways
Artifact: Mirror UniverseQuietus Spike

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 1:46 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Willbender wrote:
Shabbaman wrote:
If you go that route, just build a Skittles deck to prove your point. Or any Voltron deck.
I'm all for Voltron. My Thrun deck is a lot of fun (although I notice that post needs a serious update).

specter404 wrote:
Reverse the sands or soul conduit might be other ways to dissuade an opponent that is hellbent on going into the 12 digit life totals

See also:
White: Arbiter of KnollridgeAxis of MortalityBlessed Wind
Red: Stigma LasherLeyline of PunishmentWitch HuntSulfuric Vortex
Green: Shaman of Forgotten Ways
Artifact: Mirror UniverseQuietus Spike

You left out the best red card... Heartless Hidetsugu!

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 2:04 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
niheloim wrote:
You left out the best red card... Heartless Hidetsugu Repercussion!

FTFY :D

Surprised Quietus Spike and Sword of War and Peace haven't come up. Not usually a fan of most equipment- but these two are exceptional at taking the scalpel to high lifegain strategies.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 7:32 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
Mr Degradation wrote:
niheloim wrote:
You left out the best red card... Heartless Hidetsugu Repercussion!

FTFY :D

Surprised Quietus Spike and Sword of War and Peace haven't come up. Not usually a fan of most equipment- but these two are exceptional at taking the scalpel to high lifegain strategies.

Quietus Spike also has a mirror in Scytheclaw. Connect with both for extra fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 1:51 pm 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Mr Degradation wrote:
niheloim wrote:
You left out the best red card... Heartless Hidetsugu Repercussion!

FTFY :D

Surprised Quietus Spike and Sword of War and Peace haven't come up. Not usually a fan of most equipment- but these two are exceptional at taking the scalpel to high lifegain strategies.

Quietus Spike was mentioned. In the post I quoted.

Also, new Virtus the Velied.

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 Post subject: Contribution
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 4:39 pm 

Joined: 2017-Jun-13 4:56 am
Age: Drake
Many modern/recent digital CGs do install hard caps to to limit game scope. Hearthstone, Shadowverse, that-one-game-that-no-one-talks-about, all use caps to keep certain abilities in check. Priest with no health max would be insanity, Forestcraft can generate ludicrous 1/1s really easy but only 5 can be in play at once.

The amount of maintenance and memory demand in magic is very high. I enjoy nested algebra, multi-million creature combat, and tracking trigger compiling/sequence vulnerability, but I get why lots of people don't. Without shortcuts or players trusting outcome explanations my favorite decks would be torturously time consuming, it's why I have VERY different MTGO commander decks and paper decks (Presence of Gond + Midnight Guard lethal takes 5 seconds in person and 10 minutes online).

It seems like Card Slinger is more concerned with game prolongment than balance. Things you can do to shorten games?
-Run fewer boardwipes
-Run more game-ending combos
-Kill players when you get the chance, even if you don't win off it
-Refuse M.A.D. deals and force them to kill you
-Don't remove threats proactively, let people generate Archenemy leads
-Be willing to draw games that could have a winner, but would be super time consuming
-Play infect/voltron
-Play teams, so that it is XvX with no political ambiguity
-Plan out your turn before it is your turn
-Focus the Control/Prison deck first
-Don't overthink, let yourself make less-good decisions to save time

Remember, if you lose faster you get more opportunities to win!

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 Post subject: Re: Why Isn't There an Official 100 Life Cap Rule for Commander?
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-15 11:36 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Drake
once you can do non-infinite amounts of damage that involve scientific notation, you realize life totals are irrelevant.

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We need a clear set of objective rules so that everybody always knows what to expect, and how to prepare for it. As of now, I think I spend more time arguing with players about the format than I do playing fun and interactive games of Commander. And last time I read, this was not the format's purpose.

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