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 Post subject: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 6:58 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
So this concept came up in the most recent tuck thread, and I thought it might be worth highlighting/discussing it in more detail.

Rather than paying 2 extra mana each time the general died, what if the rule was more like;

Quote:
While the commander is in the command zone with no time counters on it, it may be cast. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from your commander. If a commander would be put into a graveyard or exile, its controller may put it in the command zone with X time counters on it, where X is the number of times it has been cast from the command zone.


This would do a few things for us;
-Ramp decks would no longer have an advantage in availability of the commander
-Obnoxious commanders would go away for longer and longer periods of time if you can kill them.
-You could no longer be priced out of having your commander altogether by having it repeatedly killed off.

Please do not re-ignite the tuck debate in this thread, and keep it to the merits (or lack thereof) of this idea. DISCUSS!

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 7:13 am 
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Joined: 2010-May-09 10:39 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So if I understand this correctly:

Edric dies, gets put in the command zone with a time counter.
Time counter gets pulled at the beginning of upkeep.
You play Edric for 1GU. You always play Edric for 1GU.

However, this imposes a delay on playing your Commander. You basically lose it for one turn per time destroyed, which to me...that would tend to make the gods into more favourable generals than they are already. On the other hand, this would make those annoying utility commanders like Jhoira, Sisay and others that are mana-hungry a little more fair. It also has the added benefit of slowing down the game somewhat, which is never a completely bad thing (well, you never want to make blue super strong but...).

I like the idea to be honest. The "problem" with the current model is that if you're on an aggro commander like Isamaru, Radha, Sygg and so on you don't really want to be paying 1+6 to re-cast a 2/2. This iteration lets you keep your mana available for other stuff instead of just "time walking" the opponent while you just tap out for a commander that migth eat a removal spell.

Ok if I try this at our LGS and report?

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Generals:
Jasmine Boreal - Flower power! Nature/Justice/Retribution themed casual fun.
Radha, Heir to Keld - All white-bordered!
Xantcha, Sleeper Agent - cEDH discard/attrition.
Pre-Modern:
A Denying Wind.
Duel Commander:
Nissa, Vastwoord Seer - Ramp ramp ramp into Ugin+Painter's Servant.
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider - Unbridled Aggro

Find me Saturdays at the Wizard's Tower - Ottawa and occasional Mondays at Westboro Legion for Duel Commander.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 7:27 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
CrazyPierre wrote:
So if I understand this correctly:

Edric dies, gets put in the command zone with a time counter.
Time counter gets pulled at the beginning of upkeep.
You play Edric for 1GU. You always play Edric for 1GU.

That's the jist of it. It might need tweaking to work as intended (since the first death effectively imposes no time delay), but you understand what it's trying to do.
CrazyPierre wrote:
Ok if I try this at our LGS and report?

Why wouldn't it be OK? I'd love to see some actual data.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 7:30 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I also think this is a worthwhile idea to explore.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 7:36 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I had intentions of trying this concept out last night with whatever random crowd I happened to find at one of the local game stores...but I arrived to find out the call for casual players was at least months old. I really shouldn't trust scribblings on a white board in a game store...

Anyway, I'll see if I can't convince my wife to pilot two decks while I pilot two myself and see how it goes in a vacuum. Honestly, the time delay makes indestructible commanders more powerful and therefore makes exiling effects more powerful. While all colors have access to exile effects, White is definitely the king of exile. Maybe this means White will be more prevalent?

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 7:49 am 
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Location: New Hampshire
Segrus wrote:
Honestly, the time delay makes indestructible commanders more powerful and therefore makes exiling effects more powerful.

Can you elaborate on why you think this? Specifically, what about the time delay makes indestructibility better?

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:05 am 
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Segrus wrote:
Honestly, the time delay makes indestructible commanders more powerful and therefore makes exiling effects more powerful.

Can you elaborate on why you think this? Specifically, what about the time delay makes indestructibility better?

Well...hmm...

It made sense a moment ago, but investigating it further doesn't seem to lead into any logic sense. I think I may have confused my feelings on ten new indestructible commanders being printed here soon, five of them sooner than the other five, and that I'm going to be leaning more heavily on exile effects due to this.

I'm just crazy, and speaking without thinking.

EDIT: However, what is actually true is extra turn effects get stronger. I don't know if they'll be noticeably stronger, but on paper they will be. Derevi breaks this pretty hard as well. Thankfully I have a weak version of that particular deck, so I'll see if it's too broken to continue being allowed.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:43 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-12 7:46 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Segrus wrote:
However, what is actually true is extra turn effects get stronger. I don't know if they'll be noticeably stronger, but on paper they will be. Derevi breaks this pretty hard as well. Thankfully I have a weak version of that particular deck, so I'll see if it's too broken to continue being allowed.


Extra turn effects are always pretty strong in overcoming these type of things. They could get you extra mana to get the 2 more you need to cast your commander again or give you the chance to draw or use a tutor spell to get a tucked commander back.

As for Derevi, Empyrial Tactician getting around this. If that was an issue, the rule could be changed to prevent that particular loophole or it could be understood as existing in the same way that a commander that can self-sacrifice (like Saffi Eriksdotter) can get around the non-counter based tuck effects if desired.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:48 am 
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Location: New Hampshire
Segrus wrote:
Derevi breaks this pretty hard as well.

And he doesn't break the existing system?

Some generals WOULD take a hit. Prossh, Marath and Jeleva would no longer be able to amplify their effects by dying.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:49 am 

Joined: 2013-May-18 10:16 am
Age: Wyvern
One interesting thing to consider is that at least three cards from the recent commander 2013 precons (prossh, jevela, marath) get better with the current commander tax and will not scale well with the proposed alternate.

However on the whole I do like the way this works.
Sid the Chicken wrote:
This would do a few things for us;
-Ramp decks would no longer have an advantage in availability of the commander
-Obnoxious commanders would go away for longer and longer periods of time if you can kill them.
-You could no longer be priced out of having your commander altogether by having it repeatedly killed off.

I like all of these things.

It also will encourage people to play more expensive commanders, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 8:57 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Segrus wrote:
Derevi breaks this pretty hard as well.

And he doesn't break the existing system?

Some generals WOULD take a hit. Prossh, Marath and Jeleva would no longer be able to amplify their effects by dying.

Time is a measurable value for us. He breaks it now by costing increasingly less mana to utilize, but I imagine him to be leagues better than even the more powerful commanders we currently have by virtue of spending more time on the battlefield. This is especially true for commanders which can use ramp to effectively bypass the commander tax.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 9:06 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
I like it other than making the new commanders designed around the commander tax crappier.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 9:16 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 3:54 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Germany, near Berlin
The following idea might be a little too complicated...

At the beginning of the game each player gets an Emblem with the following text:

Whenever you cast your Commander, put a time counter on this emblem.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if your commander is in the command zone, remove a time counter from this emblem.
You may cast your Commander from the command zone, if you do, it costs {2} more to cast for each time counter on this emblem.
If your commander would be exiled or put into a graveyard from anywhere, you may put it into the command zone. If you do, put a time counter on this emblem.


So basically, time reduces taxes.
Maybe that tax could be raised to {3}

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Generals:
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Rakdos, Lord of Riots (Demon Tribal)
Melek, Izzet Paragon (Dragonstorm) -> these must stay because of a house rule


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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 9:35 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
I was thinking along similar lines, that the time counters could incur the tax if played early... but that defeats the original intent of time counters, which is to force a cool-down for commanders.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought exercise - alternative to general tax
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-28 9:41 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Thor_Naadoh wrote:
The following idea might be a little too complicated...

At the beginning of the game each player gets an Emblem with the following text:

Whenever you cast your Commander, put a time counter on this emblem.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if your commander is in the command zone, remove a time counter from this emblem.
You may cast your Commander from the command zone, if you do, it costs {2} more to cast for each time counter on this emblem.
If your commander would be exiled or put into a graveyard from anywhere, you may put it into the command zone. If you do, put a time counter on this emblem.


So basically, time reduces taxes.
Maybe that tax could be raised to {3}

That's an interesting take.
niheloim wrote:
that defeats the original intent of time counters, which is to force a cool-down for commanders.

Well, it does but it doesn't. It lets ramp decks pull ahead again in this department, but if you can't afford your general until the tax cools down enough, that's an issue. The problem I see here is that it doesn't get incrementally harder, which is something we have now that I think is worth preserving.

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