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 Post subject: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-31 1:44 am 

Joined: 2014-May-23 10:08 am
Age: Wyvern
In light of the change to the tuck rules, I've realized that the rules committee is not afraid to change aspects of the rules to better the game. There is one rule that has always bugged me that I'd like to discuss the ramifications of changing. Currently, commander rule 11 states:

11. If a Commander would be put into a library, hand, graveyard or exile from anywhere, its owner may choose to move it to the command zone instead.

a. This is a replacement effect. It applies last and may apply multiple times to an event.
b. The creature never goes to the original destination zone and will not trigger abilities that trigger based on going there (e.g. "dies" triggers).

I've never quite agreed with the replacement effect which prevents death triggers. What are your opinions on the rule changing to the following:

11. Whenever a Commander is put into a library, hand, graveyard or exile from anywhere, you may move it to the command zone.

This opens up the doors to a number of commanders (see below), some of which would be controversial. Also, moving things into the library, and then to the command zone would still trigger the need to shuffle. That could be a limiting factor.

Child of Alara
Jugan, the Rising Star
Keiga, the Tide Star
Kodama of the Center Tree
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Ryusei, the Falling Star
Tuktuk the Explorer
Yosei, the Morning Star

Thoughts? Discussion is open.


Last edited by onedayweek on 2015-Mar-31 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-31 2:20 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Child, Yosei, Kokusho and Keiga would become extremely obnoxious. It would make the dragons more viable as commanders - I"m just not sure that's a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-01 1:47 am 

Joined: 2014-May-23 10:08 am
Age: Wyvern
I guess people are more interested in reacting to rules changes than proactively discussing them :(

At least, right now that seems to be the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-02 12:29 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Myself, I'm quite fine with the way the rules work right now.

Sure, they don't trigger any 'dies' events (because they don't hit the graveyard) - but to me, that's flavor right there. Your Commander doesn't die - he just gets chased off or routed for a bit, then he comes back again.

So having something called 'dies' trigger when your commander isn't put into the graveyard would be... weird.


Plus, the way it is right now increases strategy. You can still play things like Yosei or Kokusho as your commander - and you can have their 'dies' ability trigger by letting them go to the graveyard; It's not a forced decision. You just then have to worry about getting it out of your graveyard to cast again (and with the new anti-tuck rule, this is even easier. You can use cards like Reito Lantern to move your commander from your graveyard to the command zone.)

So I see the change you propose as all-downside for the format.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-02 12:45 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Oh god no. There are so many generals that can benefit from dying. Giving them that AND putting them back into the command zone would be nuts. I don't advocate the banning of any additional generals right now (even with the tuck change), but if the rule you propose went into effect there are multiple generals I would want to ban. Or at least advocate reinstating the BaaC list and banning them there.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-02 12:54 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
cryogen wrote:
Oh god no. There are so many generals that can benefit from dying.

This. Child of Alara goes from being an ok 5c general to soul-crushingly oppressive if they don't have to do any work to get it back in the CZ after blowing up the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-02 1:38 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
I've played against Child decks that were soul-crushingly oppressive already. This would only make it worse.

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"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-03 9:21 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-12 7:46 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'd be fine with that change, although I would rather have it be something that you could whenever you want just to cover the times your opponent takes your turn and exiles your commander.

As for being too oppressive, I doubt it would be as bad as all that, especially compared to the commanders that people were complaint about with the removal of the tuck effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-03 3:32 pm 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I've always been on board with this. I definitely think it's an unintuitive feelbad that Commanders can't "die" naturally, especially ever since death was keyworded.

I like the option. If it's advantage, let it die. If not, it's all the same.

Remember the core of the philosophy, the same reason we got rid of tuck: rules weirdnesses are NEVER acceptable as balancing mechanisms. If this pushes something into obnoxious-tier, that's a separate and unrelated issue! That general should be socially pressured against or banned if so. See also Memnarch & co....I remember when we were debating the color identity rules that a lot of people said that the rule status quo should remain because Memnarch would be oppressive. It's a non-argument.

Until there's a change like this, an easy kludge is to use Scrabbling Claws effects and let the Commander die anyway. It's a universal way to get them back to the Command Zone.


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-04 9:07 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Spekter wrote:
I've always been on board with this. I definitely think it's an unintuitive feelbad that Commanders can't "die" naturally, especially ever since death was keyworded.

But your commander is better than regular troops. He/She/It doesn't die from things that would kill your normal troops.

That's why you can easily recast them without requiring any sort of reanimation effects.

Since I don't need any reanimation effects, and he/she/it never hit the graveyard -- why should it trigger when something dies? As far as I can tell, nothing has died.

Do you think a commander who has been affected by StP should trigger a dies effect? Does that create a 'feel bad' situation for you too? Or is that one allowed? If that one doesn't have any bad feelings associated with it - what's the difference between that and a Terror? In both cases your commander doesn't go to the graveyard...


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-04 1:17 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Spekter wrote:
I've always been on board with this. I definitely think it's an unintuitive feelbad that Commanders can't "die" naturally, especially ever since death was keyworded.

Actually, they can. Like all other creatures, they can be destroyed/sacrificed and put from the battlefield to the graveyard. They just have the awesome commander superpower that gives them the ability to avoid death if they so choose.

And as Carthain said, the whole idea of giving them death triggers when they didn't actually die is awkward at best and just plain silly at worst.

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III Omnath, Locus of Mana III Thada Adel, Acquisitor III Geth, Lord of the Vault III Eight-and-a-Half-Tails III Zo-Zu the Punisher III BruseIkra III Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis III Kess, Dissident Mage, III AkriSilas III Grenzo, Havoc Raiser III Ghalta, Primal Hunger III Ambassador Laquatus III Anax and Cymede III Sidisi, Brood Tyrant III Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest III Ghave, Guru of Spores III Zurgo Helmsmasher III Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder III


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-04 1:31 pm 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
And as Carthain said, the whole idea of giving them death triggers when they didn't actually die is awkward at best and just plain silly at worst.

You know - something just feels wrong when we agree. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-04 1:48 pm 

Joined: 2010-Dec-03 3:54 pm
Age: Drake
onedayweek wrote:
11. Whenever a Commander is put into a library, hand, graveyard or exile from anywhere, you may move it to the command zone.

This opens up the doors to a number of commanders (see below), some of which would be controversial. Also, moving things into the library, and then to the command zone would still trigger the need to shuffle. That could be a limiting factor.

This does not actually work - once you move the card to a hidden zone (Hand or Library), the trigger is no longer able to find the card to move it to the Command Zone. You can fix this by allowing the player to search his or her hand and library and reveal the commander, then move it. This in effect splits it into two rules (one for moving to public zones, & one for moving to private zones) and adds complexity to the rules, which I am not in favor of, though I do admit the complexity is almost entirely 'behind the scenes' and would rarely affect actual gameplay.

Another problem is that by changing it from a replacement effect to a triggered effect, it is now susceptible to Stifle effects. I do not like adding a 'cannot be countered' clause to the rule, and there is no other clean way to protect against this I can see.

Finally, while I would be willing to test with the change (if there was a clean way to make said change), it adds considerable power to a number of possible Commanders, with Child of Alara and Kokusho, the Evening Star standing out. While I doubt it would push either of these to a breaking point, Child becomes highly problematic while Kokusho was recently unbanned. It would be best not to make any changes such as this without considerable testing with these commanders beforehand.

In summary, the current replacement mechanic is much cleaner from a rules viewpoint, and changing it to a trigger has a high risk of causing far more problems than it solves.



The changes to the format rules I would personally make, in order of priority are

1) Planeswalkers are legal choices for a Commander. This has been an apparently common house rule for years, and with the addition of the Commander Planeswalkers from C14 has become far more visible. It hits all the flavor of having a unique individual (ally or minion) in command of your forces and adds a lot of variety to the format, adding both new Commanders and new play styles.

With the possible exception of Tezzeret the Seeker (which I would advocate watching closely for the first six months after the change, and possibly requiring a ban), none of the currently available Planeswalkers would be stronger than existing Commander options, though most would be very good.

2) Remove 903.9. If mana would be added to a player’s mana pool of a color that isn’t in the color identity of that player’s commander, that amount of colorless mana is added to that player’s mana pool instead.

This rule is both complex and unintuitive, and unnecessary. The rule is rarely relevant during gameplay, and if explained during gameplay for the first time, often gives the impression to the newer player affected that you are making shit up to screw them over. It has tremendous overlap with the Color Identity restrictions on deck construction, and the oft used 'flavor' justification falls apart when discussing control changing effects, in particular Sen Triplets.

3) Reduce the starting life total to 30. I have played attrition-based Black decks for years, the kind of decks that would be hurt from this change, and I have always felt the format as a whole would be superior with the lower starting life total. I recently built an aggro deck (Alesha, Who Smiles at Death), and experience playing with it heavily reinforces this opinion. Having a life total of 30 with multiple opponents still allows plenty of room for the Big Plays the format is known for, while significantly increasing the viable strategies for decks to play.

It has the added benefit of lessening the impact of 'life total matters' cards, such as Sorin Markov and Serra Ascendant. While these effects are not truly a problem, they are strongly disliked by what appears to be the majority of the player base, primarily because of the higher starting life total increases their relative power.

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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-04 5:27 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
And as Carthain said, the whole idea of giving them death triggers when they didn't actually die is awkward at best and just plain silly at worst.

You know - something just feels wrong when we agree. :D

It's been happening a lot recently... I think it's some kind of omen.

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Current Generals:
III Omnath, Locus of Mana III Thada Adel, Acquisitor III Geth, Lord of the Vault III Eight-and-a-Half-Tails III Zo-Zu the Punisher III BruseIkra III Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis III Kess, Dissident Mage, III AkriSilas III Grenzo, Havoc Raiser III Ghalta, Primal Hunger III Ambassador Laquatus III Anax and Cymede III Sidisi, Brood Tyrant III Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest III Ghave, Guru of Spores III Zurgo Helmsmasher III Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder III


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 Post subject: Re: Open Opportunities
AgePosted: 2015-Apr-05 4:18 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
We actually discussed the idea of allowing zone-changing triggers (so Child of Alara goes from battlefield to graveyard to command zone) and discarded the idea as untenable. It wasn't "can't do that because it breaks CoA," it was "seems clunky." We vastly preferred the replacement effect.

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