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 Post subject: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 4:51 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
A question for those of you who play Commander online: how much of a pain is Sensei's Divining Top?

We've had a fair number of anecdotal reports that Top is making games mechanically painful. That's believable - we spent years training people in the real world how to Top so that it doesn't annoy everyone, but those shortcuts aren't available online. So, we're gathering data. If you've had experiences with Top online - good, bad, indifferent - let us know how it's been in the comments below. If there are other cards you've had bad mechanical interactions with, we'd be interested in hearing about those as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 4:54 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Can I just say, I've had awful experiences with top in not-online play. Each game with a top that sticks around adds so much goddamn time to the game.

Aheam, back to topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 6:30 pm 
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I know of a few people who have vociferously complained about it and a few other similar cards. One guy, who doesn't play at one of the LGS's anymore, was so used to online play he would always call a ban and complain the second anyone cast it and nobody could quite understand why.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 6:36 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Ukkmaster wrote:
I know of a few people who have vociferously complained about it and a few other similar cards. One guy, who doesn't play at one of the LGS's anymore, was so used to online play he would always call a ban and complain the second anyone cast it and nobody could quite understand why.


If X = players, and Y = sensei's tops, and T = time it adds on to each turn cycle. [ in minutes]
X * Y = T


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 9:21 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-25 1:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I don't play on MTGO, but on Cockatrice the card rearrangement is fast enough that I don't ever remember complaining about Sensei's Divining Top.

Funnily enough, I was about to open a thread about tutors and their impact on EDH games (but since this thread has just opened, I'll leave it for another time), and one of the points I was going to make against them is the amount of time it takes to find a card among 100 different cards and shuffling everything after. The shuffling part is done automatically on Cockatrice, but finding a specific card (particularly when you're talking about players who cast tutors just because) still takes quite a toll on the timer. There has been many times where I have told to players to hurry up with their searches. I also started running less broad tutors (ex. Diabolic Tutor) and more specific ones (ex. Dragonstorm) not only because of time issues, but simply because of the headache that is to decide which of these two or three cards I should pick :P

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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-05 10:52 pm 
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I think with tutors, it depends on your experience as a player and also for how long you've been playing that particular deck. When I cast a tutor, I usually know in advance what exact card I want to search for, but I know people who don't have much time to play and aren't as acquainted with their own decks and are therefore prone to first cast a tutor and then start to think about what to find.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 12:05 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Joz wrote:
If X = players, and Y = sensei's tops, and T = time it adds on to each turn cycle. [ in minutes]
X * Y = T

Jeopardy song those slow ass players. That should get it down to X*Y/2=T at most.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 2:04 am 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-16 3:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I play on MTGO and I haven't had any issues with the Top. If the issue is whether or not it sinks up time, like most issues it is a player not a card issue. If anything is a giant time sink it's winter orb because your have to F6 instead of F8.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 4:08 am 

Joined: 2009-May-05 9:45 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Acworth, GA
I agree, online, it is all about the player, not the card when it comes to top. There are cards that are just annoying online, anything with repeating targeting triggers comes to mind. No matter how fast you are with the interface, these cards soak up much more time than top does.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 9:43 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-02 10:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Buthrakaur wrote:
I agree, online, it is all about the player, not the card when it comes to top. There are cards that are just annoying online, anything with repeating targeting triggers comes to mind. No matter how fast you are with the interface, these cards soak up much more time than top does.


The worst are things like Consecrated Sphinx and stuff. Top is activated, but people seem to think it's ok to sleep when they have triggers waiting to happen :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 10:53 am 
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Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Yeah, the problem isn't Top, it's the interface. The software lets you F8 (auto-yield priority if you literally can't do anything with your current board state) or F6 (auto-yield to everything no matter what). So what happens is that it encourages bad play by tapping out so that you can F8, but once you cast Top you can never F8 because of the draw ability.

The same principle would apply to a person who drops a fetchland and wants to get maximum value by waiting until right before their turn to crack it, or having a Birds of Paradise in play. The real issue is that there are players who don't focus on the game and don't pass priority when they get it.

As for Top, aside from what I mentioned above, the problem is the player not knowing how to be a courteous Topper. I really hope that you guys aren't seriously discussion Top, especially how it interacts online.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 5:41 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
As for Top, aside from what I mentioned above, the problem is the player not knowing how to be a courteous Topper.


What does it mean to be a courteous Topper online?


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 8:30 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
papa_funk wrote:
A question for those of you who play Commander online: how much of a pain is Sensei's Divining Top?

We've had a fair number of anecdotal reports that Top is making games mechanically painful. That's believable - we spent years training people in the real world how to Top so that it doesn't annoy everyone, but those shortcuts aren't available online. So, we're gathering data. If you've had experiences with Top online - good, bad, indifferent - let us know how it's been in the comments below. If there are other cards you've had bad mechanical interactions with, we'd be interested in hearing about those as well.


In part it depends on the client. Top was easier to handle on 3.0 than it is on shiny (aka CFKAWB, 4.0). Mostly because the shortcut keys (esp. F7 and F4/8) aren't 100% on the new client yet. That said, Top is one of the lower intrusive cards for a time sink online in most cases. And when it does sink time, it's wasting that player's clock so people have an incentive to yield it. As previously mentioned, when games are drawn out, it is not SDT's fault, but a player not engaging the game with passing/auto-passing priority in a time efficient manner.

Cards like Soul Warden, if not auto-yielded, will eat far more of your clock than SDT ever will.

Graft can be a huge killer online, since it asks the controller to move the counters onto every creature that ETBs for all players. And if you yield the action (by selecting "always No to this") then it doesn't trigger for your creatures either. Experienced players can use the "no" yield and turn it off right before the one creature to which they want to say Yes, but people new to online play or that don't understand the interface loose a lot of time to this and similar mechanics.

Vorinclex and company (cards that trigger on tapping land) are awful online because auto-yield will not function if you have mana in your mana pool... causing all players to click through every triggered ability, every time.

More if I think of them, but that's from the top of my head.

papa_funk wrote:
cryogen wrote:
As for Top, aside from what I mentioned above, the problem is the player not knowing how to be a courteous Topper.


What does it mean to be a courteous Topper online?


1- SDT's controller must pay attention on every turn for passing priority, or use Pass until End-of-turn (default F6) liberally (and risk missing some other action they wanted to respond to)
2- All other players should set the first activated ability to "Always Auto-yield" (no default, but can be mapped as a shortcut, I use F10) this action. No need to do that for the second ability, since it will go to library and be recast as a new object.**
3- If you feel you will have a time when you want to respond to the top then you use "remove all auto-yields" (default F3) so you can respond on it's next activation.
4- When activating top, the controller should not linger over the cards when putting them back on top of library. If it's a hard decision, put a quick "thinking" comment in chat so everyone knows neither you nor they didn't disconnect

**The few times I have found top to be annoying online was when that player was trying to use it like Mirri's Guile by casting, peeking and drawing with it every turn... then players can't use auto-yields on it at all because each casting makes it a new object.

One of the reasons I stopped playing my Ally Tribal deck was because it used Thrumming stone and would get 3-4 SDTs out so I could draw with them all, recast one and thrumming out the rest to vomit the deck into play... but online the inability for others to yield all the top triggers made that too annoying to play (had to be worse to play against)

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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-06 10:40 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
papa_funk wrote:
cryogen wrote:
As for Top, aside from what I mentioned above, the problem is the player not knowing how to be a courteous Topper.


What does it mean to be a courteous Topper online?

Well what Tim was saying, but I meant in general, not just online. Don't agonize for two minutes about the top three cards every single turn, and when you decide on your order, you don't change your mind a second later, forget and relook at the order, or any other sort of shenanigan that should require tapping more mana. (Online prevents this, but you get the idea.)


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 Post subject: Re: Question for MTGO Commander Players
AgePosted: 2014-Sep-07 2:42 pm 
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Location: New Hampshire
Treamayne wrote:
One of the reasons I stopped playing my Ally Tribal deck was because it used Thrumming stone and would get 3-4 SDTs out so I could draw with them all, recast one and thrumming out the rest to vomit the deck into play... but online the inability for others to yield all the top triggers made that too annoying to play (had to be worse to play against)

I was confused until I realized that SDT is not legendary... don't know why I was thinking it was... must be bed time.

On the subject of tutors, I don't find the extra time to be too bad, until you start talking about tutor generals, or stuff like Planar Portal, that can literally do it every turn, sometimes more than once. That get's old.

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