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 Post subject: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-04 8:27 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jul-13 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Monmouth, OR
I know not everyone plays 1v1 EDH, but there is one general that most people don't even realize -- who is completely broken beyond belief: Vendilion Clique.

Yes, Clique is easily the best 1v1 general in the format. Not even other proven "douchebag" generals such as Rofellos, Erayo, Azami, Zur, Dagsson, etc. are able to showcase the ability to just consistently win games at such a crushingly high ratio.

Khymera, Peperono, I, and others have been playing Clique for a while in 1v1 play and we lost maybe a total of half a dozen games at the max. That's all three of us TOGETHER, each playing well over 50 games (Khymera himself has logged well over 100).

Clique almost never loses because it virtually never taps out on its main phase. Unlike other blue generals that aren't named Venser or Teferi or Wydwen, Clique has flash, meaning it's able to control the stack better than other blue generals can when they have to play their general at sorcery speed.

"But Surging Chaos, why can't other blue generals just do the same thing Clique does?" Aside from having flash, Clique gives a MUC an actual clock. Venser and Teferi both have no evasion and their bodies are not that great at all unless you give them equipment or other buffs. With flying and three power, Clique ends a game in seven combat steps. Most blue control decks have had the problem of ending a game quick enough once they actually gain control. Clique has no such problem. Venser and Teferi are also unable to **** up your hand or consistently tuck your general.

Because of Clique's clock, it easily reduces the need to counter every single threat your opponent plays. You only need to counter the critical cards that actually keep you from winning or make you lose. There's also no need to counter removal spells as well, unless they're tuck spells since you just replay Clique obviously.

And of course, there's Clique's ability. It is just unbelievably ridiculous when combined with bounce spells. Someone plays their general, you let it resolve. EOT bounce it, followed by Clique, and their general gets sent to the bottom of their library. Most decks flounder when their general when their general gets tucked. Imagine having to play against a relentless MUC deck without your general, and on a seven turn clock.

I have attempted to find any sort of strategy at beating Clique, and have failed every time. Khymera and many others can attest to this. The format in 1v1 is beginning to gravitate towards more and more people playing Clique. Since Clique blows out 98% of generals in EDH, it really won't take long until the format becomes "Play Clique or don't play at all". That's too oppressive, and simply unacceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-04 1:15 pm 

Joined: 2008-Sep-22 8:04 am
Age: Drake
Signed, obviously. For those who have not played against Clique in 1v1 and think that Surging Chaos is overexaggerating things, he is not. If anything, he is underexaggerating Clique's dominance. A properly built Clique deck consists of nothing but land, counterspells, bounce, and instant-speed draw, and is virtually unbeatable by any deck not entirely focused on beating it (anticlique.dec might be able to boast a 50% win percentage against Clique, but loses horribly to any non-blue deck).

That said, there isn't really a 1v1 banned list recognized on these boards yet (and Clique is bad in multiplayer), so there isn't really a place to ban Clique from.

If I may take the opportunity to plug a 1v1 ban list, over at the other site we've been using the French 1v1 ban list to run a couple of EDH tournaments on MWS. We've taken the liberty of making it our own though, so we can make changes if necessary. After this tournament, I'm pretty certain that Clique will be making its way onto that list (considering that both Surging Chaos and I are advisers for it...).


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-04 1:31 pm 

Joined: 2009-Jan-23 11:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Well, let me ask you this: What are your choices?

You can stop playing 1v1 EDH and switch to multiplayer, hoping the additional players will balance out the power of any one VC player.
You can agree within your group that VC is over powered and house ban it.
You can push for the addition of VC to the French list.
Or you can continue to play until your meta degens into" play VC or don't play."

You guy are pretty smart. You know that 1v1 EDH is basically Vintage singleton with a slightly different ban list. You had to know that eventually some iteration of a blue based deck would come out on top, be it MUC or Combo.

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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: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-11 11:55 am 

Joined: 2010-Feb-11 11:53 am
Age: Egg
Can one of you provide some sort of base Clique list, for testing purposes?


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-16 7:15 pm 
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Location: Emerald's Away
It's sounds pretty brutal so I guess it was luck I beat it. Sol'kanar had enough discard and creature kill to clear a path and Sisay overran it with creatures.

Since it was blue they weren't bad players. BTW, I play RL mostly and not online.

Years of playing means I know how to bait them and trick them. Runed Halo can win the game by itself. They don't get boomerang and/or enchantment destruction in time.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Mar-24 4:22 am 

Joined: 2010-Mar-24 4:19 am
Age: Egg
Opponent should play Scryb Ranger and make aggressive mulligan. so basically even 2 lands and Ranger is good enough to keep :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-14 1:23 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Sep-01 9:25 am
Age: Drake
Location: King of your Creature.
Your joking, right? So in 1v1 your complaining about a 3CMC General with Flash, that doesn't win you the game from being broken? Look at Dralnu before you look at this general in the wrong light, seriously. Even if it gives MUC good tempo and etc and all the arguments to be made for it. Dralnu is a CA engine and can run black(!) as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-15 10:41 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jul-13 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Monmouth, OR
Shax wrote:
Your joking, right? So in 1v1 your complaining about a 3CMC General with Flash, that doesn't win you the game from being broken? Look at Dralnu before you look at this general in the wrong light, seriously. Even if it gives MUC good tempo and etc and all the arguments to be made for it. Dralnu is a CA engine and can run black(!) as well.


No, I am not joking at all.

It isn’t a coincidence that the best general is also in the most dominant and most oppressive color in EDH. With a huge amount of counterspells at your disposal, the amount of versatility in answering practically every threat is immense. What counterspells don’t cover, bounce temporarily takes care of. What either of those don’t cover, there is Clique’s ability to preemptively get rid of it before can even be cast. Having your opponent’s hand revealed alone gives a blue player critical information on exactly what to expect and as such prepare the perfect answer. When none of these options are able to suffice, such as in the case of Kor Haven or Maze of Ith walling out a Clique, the Clique player simply turns to all sorts of various utility lands to plug the gaps – such as Strip Mine, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge, and Dust Bowl for dealing with Maze and Maze #2 (Kor Haven).

Because Clique nearly seamlessly covers up its holes in the versatility and threat density punishment counterspells provide combined with a relatively fast clock, you are backed up in the corner while Clique is on the offensive munching away at your life until it hits the magic number of 21. While you might be able to break out of other blue general’s grip of seemingly “endless” countermagic in the long run to force through real threats, the clock of Vendilion Clique drastically covers up this one well-kept secret of the prototypical MUC deck.

Do cards like Darkblast and Punishing Fire provide a magic pill for stopping Clique? Far from it. The immense versatility of countermagic allows the Clique player to answer 99.99% of spells by simply tapping a few islands. Such cards like the above two rely on the graveyard to do their thing. Remember how I previously stated Clique has no problem looking to other solutions to plug up any sign of a weakness? That’s where graveyard hosers such as Tormod’s Crypt come in, as well as Dissipate and Faerie Trickery. Worse still, is Clique’s ability to ship cards to the bottom of the library. This spells disaster for cards that need to be in the graveyard to function, or function much better when recurred. You can try finding a weakness for Clique, but you cannot pinpoint any one card or strategy that brings the deck to its knees, let alone give you a positive matchup. A very small handful of cards that are about as close to satisfactory as you can get to answering Clique are merely speed bumps for Clique.

Khymera (along with some of my help and input) has come very close to making a truly optimized Clique deck that is basically countermagic, card draw, and bounce spells. That’s pretty much it, and that’s all you need to win with Clique. This makes the deck extremely consistent, and able to answer virtually any threat thrown at it. Hell, I don’t even think my decklist for Clique isn’t up to par yet, and I’ve only lost one game out of over 60+ games because of extreme mana screw. The point is, there hasn’t been one general that I have seen at all in testing that is able to beat Vendilion Clique, let alone even for one game. Keep in mind these aren’t just Norin the Wary decks I’m playing against. I’ll bring up an example of a Sharuum deck I played a few nights ago. His deck was designed to be as competitive as possible, with infinite combos, griever cards, “douchebag” strategies, you name it, he had it. In a three game set, I crushed him 2-0 because he was completely powerless at controlling the stack in both games, and he ragequits upon losing the second game. This certainly wasn’t the first Sharuum deck that was blown out by Clique, and it certainly isn’t the last.

Clique almost never loses because it virtually never taps out on its main phase. Unlike other blue generals that aren't named Venser, Teferi, or Wydwen, Clique has flash, meaning it's able to control the stack better than other blue generals can when they have to play their general at sorcery speed. Dralnu cannot control the stack at all when it has to tap 5 mana during its main phase to cast the general.

To beat Vendilion Clique, your deck needs to be extremely fast, have extreme threat density, and should still function even when the general gets tucked. There are no generals out there that fit currently fit all of these criteria. Almost all top tier generals use their general as their base of operations to do whatever they need to do to win the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-16 8:10 am 

Joined: 2009-Jan-23 11:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
First, I agree with Surging 100%.
In 1v1, a properly built Clique deck is going to own pretty much anything else, barring an extremely bad opening by the Clique player and a nutz draw by the opponent (or a deck designed solely to beat a Clique deck).

That being said, the RC has stated that they do not consider banning for 1v1. Ever.
If you want to play 1v1 EDH then la liste Francaise is the way to go, and you should be lobbing the maintainers of that list.

In fact, it's been a while since I've checked, but is that list being kept current?

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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: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-16 11:03 am 
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Joined: 2008-Sep-15 10:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Portland, OR
Could you post your list?


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Jul-17 12:14 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Surging Chaos wrote:
To beat Vendilion Clique, your deck needs to be extremely fast, have extreme threat density, and should still function even when the general gets tucked. There are no generals out there that fit currently fit all of these criteria. Almost all top tier generals use their general as their base of operations to do whatever they need to do to win the game.

I've been toying with the idea of designing a Radha (or, prior to its banning, Rofellos) deck for 1vs1 that is based solely on the ability to ramp on turn 2 every game, having at least 4 mana available on turn 3. Although such a strategy would still rely on the General, it would only rely on it for one turn, after which using a bounce spell on it and then tucking it with Clique would actually be card advantage for Radha. The rest of the deck would be very high density threats at 4 and 5 mana, as well as semi-hate such as Squallmonger (the ability to hit all players makes it decent even outside of the Clique matchup).

A few other cards that provide at least a small boost in the Clique matchup: Maze of Ith, Prahv, Spires of Order, etc., just plain old pingers, and Spawnwrithe. I'm not trying to downplay Clique's dominance, but I don't believe it's actually unbeatable.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Aug-26 4:59 pm 

Joined: 2010-Aug-26 4:45 pm
Age: Egg
I must say, I find it pretty hilarious that the need to ban Clique is even questionable. Almost nothing on the ban list is even comparable to Clique's brokenness.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Sep-14 7:07 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Clique isn't broken.

Vexing Shusher, cycling out decree of pain/other black cards, other "can't be countered" spellls/permanents, and eventualy, a Clique will draw stuff that can't counter or bounce what you can play.

I've only ever met one Clique deck that can outrun any of my decks, only becouse he has mox, academy, time walk and a few other power(over 9) cards that cost to much.

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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Sep-19 7:38 pm 
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Location: King of your Creature.
I'm sorry to say, but any argument that you can come up with to make it seem like Vedlion Clique is more broken than Dralnu is invalid for a couple of reasons. One, is that I can run the same idenical deck list a Vedlilion Deck can run because Dralnu is blue. And the fact that I get to run Demonic Tutor, which in any given case will give me an advantage if it resolves running the same list against you, would give me an upper hand. Another is Yawgmoth's Will, or any broken Black Spell that fits the criteria of game winner in EDH. Black is too strong of a color to not take top seat in any format where it's most powerful spells are legal. Ask anyone who plays with tutors or broke spells, they'll most likely be playing black.


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 Post subject: Re: Why Vendilion Clique has got to go.
AgePosted: 2010-Sep-19 10:37 pm 
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Shax wrote:
I'm sorry to say, but any argument that you can come up with to make it seem like Vedlion Clique is more broken than Dralnu is invalid for a couple of reasons. One, is that I can run the same idenical deck list a Vedlilion Deck can run because Dralnu is blue. And the fact that I get to run Demonic Tutor, which in any given case will give me an advantage if it resolves running the same list against you, would give me an upper hand. Another is Yawgmoth's Will, or any broken Black Spell that fits the criteria of game winner in EDH. Black is too strong of a color to not take top seat in any format where it's most powerful spells are legal. Ask anyone who plays with tutors or broke spells, they'll most likely be playing black.


You only really make one point here (Dralnu lets you run black) and it doesn't invalidate anything that has been said about Clique. Lots of generals let you run other colors in addition to blue. Clique is better than Dralnu because:
1) It costs three mana. Three is less than five.
2) It has flash. You literally never have to tap out during your main phase.
3) It can tuck opponent's generals.
4) It can take away their answers to Clique.
5) Between low cost and evasion, it is a relevant win condition on its own.

You are comparing a general who flashes in at the end of their third turn and Thoughtsiezes them to a general who you have to tap out for on turn five, and doesn't do anything unless they let you untap with him. Yes, he's nuts when he gets going, but that's rarely going to happen in competitive 1v1 EDH.

Finally, the nail in the coffin of your argument is real-world tournament results. Clique dominated the MWS tournaments until it was finally banned and continues to warp the French 1v1 scene. To my knowledge, Dralnu isn't even considered a viable general.

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