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 Post subject: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 3:24 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I was honored to be asked to speak on the PAX panel for Commander. The event was awesome, with 500 people showing up and a really positive vibe in the room. Thanks to everyone who came and asked questions and generally hung out.

Because I was speaking, I prepped a short speech in case I needed it. The structure of the panel was such that I didn't, though I did cannibalize it for various questions and answers. In any event, I figured I'd share it with you all here.

--------------------------------------

I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about Batman.

Not the dark and gritty Christopher Nolan version, or even the dark and twisted Tim Burton version. I want to talk about the 1960s version, starring an oh-so-earnest Adam West. Those episodes, classic TV that they are, were almost always broken into two parts. At the conclusion of the first part, Batman would inevitably have been trapped by the villain and placed in some inescapable deathtrap.

These fiendish killing machines were masterpieces of Rube-Goldberg-ian baroqueness, themed around whichever particular villain had triumphed over Batman that day. But they all had one thing in common - at the start of the second part, once the villain had left the room, Batman would find an equally baroque way of escaping these traps. And by the end of the episode, the villain would be carted away to what appears to be the lowest security prison of all time, since they seemed to have no problem popping up again at will in later episodes.

Some of you out there think this seems pretty silly. Once you have your arch-nemesis incapacitated, you kill them and you'll be able to run rampant through Gotham City for the rest of your career. Scott Evil, in the original Austin Powers movie, summed this up: "I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out!" To which his father replies "Scott, you just don't get it, do ya?"

Scott Evil doesn't understand Commander. He sees a format he can break easily and a banlist that doesn't make any sense. The Joker? To the Joker, the journey is more important than the final result, and if Batman gets away, there'll be another chance to break out of Arkham and concoct a new fiendish deathtrap. The Joker loves Commander.

Commander is a Vintage format in which you're guaranteed to have a pretty strong card - your general - available to you all the time. You have lots of extra life, and it's multiplayer, so people's attentions are spread around. There are too many guns. If your goal is simply to win, you're likely to be frustrated at how easy it is. The good news is that there are lots of formats - Standard, Legacy, etc - that are all carefully managed to cater to you. Commander wasn't designed that way. It was built as a social format, a way to hang out with your friends, play some Magic, and see what kind of craziness develops. If a game goes well, everyone gets a few moments to cackle like a supervillain.

What we can do as the Rules Committee is try to steer people away from cards that we have found accidentally make the game uninteresting. We want to make sure that the shark-infested custard you plan to dangle your enemies over isn't emitting toxic fumes, because that would be awkward. If you are using Erayo, or Armageddon, or putting Curiosity into your Niv-Mizzet deck, you aren't thinking about defeating your opponents with a laser mounted on the moon, and there's no banlist long enough to stop you finding guns too powerful for the format. But if you heard the phrase 'shark-infested custard' and that gave you warm fuzzies, I think we have a format for you.


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 3:52 am 
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Joined: 2008-Nov-08 5:27 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Canberra
It's a very nice speech. I think it's an eternal struggle.

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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 4:22 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-10 2:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Good speech. At least you got to post it here, if not give it, because it's not only entertaining but does a good job getting the point across in a manner that is appropriate for the format's image.

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Decks: Lion King (Rafiq of the Many - Midrange Combo); Uril, the Miststalker (Enchantress Beasts); Saliva (Sliver Overlord - Sliver/Allies); Angry Enchantress (Child of Alara - 5c Enchantments); Nicol Bolas (Reanimator Goodstuff)


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 11:04 am 

Joined: 2009-Aug-03 8:55 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Awesome speech. :D


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 11:16 am 

Joined: 2008-Jun-20 7:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
That is an excellent speech, and I wish you were able to actually give it. I feel like far too many people have forgotten what Commander is supposed to be focused around, and this really explains it well.

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Current Generals:
Rafiq, Sharuum, Nekusar, Kresh, Mayael, Kaalia, Maelstrom Wanderer, Ghave, Ruhan, Mimeoplasm, Genju of the Realm, Phelddagrif, Derevi, Oloro, Jenara, Karrthus, Marath, Tariel, Riku, Karador, Numot, Damia, Sliver Overlord, Karn, Silver Golem


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 11:43 am 

Joined: 2009-Jan-23 11:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
<3

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Spekter wrote:
niheloim wrote:
Aggravated Assault + Bear Umbra = My attempt to make my group move to ban Uril.
That's not ban-worthy, that's the spirit of EDH. Three-card combo involving the combat phase? Awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 1:07 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jul-13 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Monmouth, OR
I'm a pretty competitive player myself and I thought that was really awesome!

Also, this must mean Albert Wesker likes Commander too.

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onlainari the ragequitter: http://www.mtgcommander.net/Forum/viewt ... 199#p72199

CommanderCast: Community, Strategy, and Technology: http://www.commandercast.com/

Occupy Kokusho


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 1:32 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Aug-06 1:54 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: USA
I approve. 8)

Additionally, I think we need a special Sunday EDH session of Batman Villain theme decks on Cockatrice. Just to emphasize the "shark-infested custard" part of that speech :D

_________________
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: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 3:44 pm 

Joined: 2010-Mar-10 1:31 pm
Age: Dragon
nice speech,i may take parts of it and say it to my group

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onlainari wrote:
trappedslider wrote:
EDIT: so if i somehow manged to get down to 1 life,played Repay in Kind followed by Decree of Annihilation then it owuld be bad evil juju?

That's not how magic works. You can't equate cards and situations linearly like that!


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 5:26 pm 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2007-Jan-05 12:58 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I might steal that metaphor next time I'm on CommanderCast. That was perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-12 10:18 pm 

Joined: 2010-Mar-26 5:45 pm
Age: Dragon
I liked the speech. But winning isn't super easy even if thats all you want to do. If your in a 4 or 5 man group and your threat number 1, chances are the group can kill every permanent on your side of the board beginning on turn 2.


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-13 3:46 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
fistsofthor wrote:
I liked the speech. But winning isn't super easy even if thats all you want to do. If your in a 4 or 5 man group and your threat number 1, chances are the group can kill every permanent on your side of the board beginning on turn 2.


If that is true, it's only because your opponents are all also going up to their rooms to get their handguns, not building laser beams on the moon...

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The Command Zone (my MTG Blog).
Commander 2015 Set Review


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-14 8:58 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-28 8:44 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Hamilton, ON
awesome speach. Perfect.

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Current Commanders:

Norin the Wary (chaos control)
Talrand (mono-U tempo/Proteus Staff combo)


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-14 9:37 am 

Joined: 2008-Jun-08 6:41 pm
Age: Drake
You basically did say this, only broken up across the panel. There was even a Scott Evil reference at some point. I think you managed to get your point across quite nicely. That said you're free to say it on the show... or you can like BKM steal it.


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 Post subject: Re: The speech I didn't give at PAX
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-14 5:25 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-25 3:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Nice speech.

_________________
1] Horde of Notions (Blink)
2] Teneb, The Harvester (Rock)
3] Isperia the Inscrutable (U/W Control)
4] Mayael the Anima (Fatties FTW!)
5] Omnath, Locus of Mana (Big Green Men)
6] Oros, The Avenger (Rock Burn)
7] Savra, Queen of the Golgari (Token Snack)
8] Rafiq of the Many (One Man, Alone)
9] Reaper King (Taste the EPIC!)
10] Uril, the Miststalker (Dark Rafiq)


I THINK in metaphors


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