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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 4:47 pm 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Himetic wrote:
-No offense, but I'm not really taking your word for it that the card is problematic when you've only been playing for a year and a half, especially since the card's been banned since long before you started playing.

Didn't you also say that it's been banned since you started playing Commander? So in that case, why is it that you won't take our word on things, but you feel we should take your word?


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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 4:59 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-07 4:24 pm
Age: Drake
Carthain wrote:
Himetic wrote:
-No offense, but I'm not really taking your word for it that the card is problematic when you've only been playing for a year and a half, especially since the card's been banned since long before you started playing.

Didn't you also say that it's been banned since you started playing Commander? So in that case, why is it that you won't take our word on things, but you feel we should take your word?


I don't. I'm just saying it should be considered/tested by the RC.

I assume no one takes anyone's word of the internet.

Also fwiw I'm not actually sure when I started, exactly, I'm pretty sure it was 2009 although I haven't found any decklists older than march 2010 so I'm not positive. I know I remember the painter's servant ban. Anyway, that's really neither here nor there since I never saw it played either way as far as I recall.


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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 7:53 pm 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Himetic wrote:
If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I really want to go through that kind of work without at least some indication that it will have some impact. As I said, if someone from the RC has an interest in experimenting with the card, then that's great and I'd be happy to do some experimenting on my own if it'll help. But without the push I'm not really interested in putting in the effort. Mostly just in stirring the crap to see if anything interesting happens.

Anyway,

Personally I feel like the meta has changed substantially from 5 years ago - blue is less dominant and combo is less frequent, in my experience (there's also some info to back this up in the form of this thread: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... r-metagame which shows that the once-boogeymen combo generals azami and sharuum have fallen substantially in the list, with generally ramp and etb-centered generals maelstrom wanderer, damia, kaalia, and karador taking over the top spots. And while it's anecdotal, I'd say I've seen a similar trend in my LGSs.

All this doesn't prove that gifts wouldn't be abused, of course. But I think it's evidence that the dominant archetypes in most EDH circles are shifting away from straight-up combo, of the form that gifts was banned for enabling, and towards fast ramp strategies. In light of this, I think it's worth testing the card. I hope the RC agrees.
I can get behind this. I don't see the same combo commanders as I did from years ago. Testing the gifts in the normal sort of blue decks seen might be worth while- see if they start edging towards combo decks of yesteryear.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 8:34 pm 

Joined: 2013-Mar-20 1:38 pm
Age: Drake
This card doesn't need any more testing. There is only one fair way to play it and it is called realms uncharted. Anything beyond that, no matter how fair you think it might be, takes an interesting game and makes it uninteresting. You get 4 cards, for 4 mana, at instant speed, from your 100 card singleton deck that you need. Question: How is that fun! Answer: What is you only need lands?

How else are you remotely playing this in a fair way and not just oops I win and not on purpose? I love the card, but not in this format. How hard is that to get?


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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 8:50 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
niheloim wrote:
Himetic wrote:
If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I really want to go through that kind of work without at least some indication that it will have some impact. As I said, if someone from the RC has an interest in experimenting with the card, then that's great and I'd be happy to do some experimenting on my own if it'll help. But without the push I'm not really interested in putting in the effort. Mostly just in stirring the crap to see if anything interesting happens.

Anyway,

Personally I feel like the meta has changed substantially from 5 years ago - blue is less dominant and combo is less frequent, in my experience (there's also some info to back this up in the form of this thread: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... r-metagame which shows that the once-boogeymen combo generals azami and sharuum have fallen substantially in the list, with generally ramp and etb-centered generals maelstrom wanderer, damia, kaalia, and karador taking over the top spots. And while it's anecdotal, I'd say I've seen a similar trend in my LGSs.

All this doesn't prove that gifts wouldn't be abused, of course. But I think it's evidence that the dominant archetypes in most EDH circles are shifting away from straight-up combo, of the form that gifts was banned for enabling, and towards fast ramp strategies. In light of this, I think it's worth testing the card. I hope the RC agrees.
I can get behind this. I don't see the same combo commanders as I did from years ago. Testing the gifts in the normal sort of blue decks seen might be worth while- see if they start edging towards combo decks of yesteryear.

Straight-up combo and counterspell.dec were the only decks I saw in the last place I lived, and at least had been that way from the moment Commander starting getting popular there a couple years ago. So you'll understand why I have doubts it doesn't exist or is in major decline. For instance, the first majorly publicized EDH tournament had Nin (counterspells), Edric (counterspells), and Kaalia (combo) as the first, second, and third place winners. I didn't watch the entire tournament because I refused to participate; however, I saw about the first hour and a half. Out of about sixty people, it was pretty much split 60/40 in terms of decks: counterspells/combos piloted by older and experienced players; the smaller portion new players never having heard of EDH before this tournament and trying their luck with a mix of your basic synergistic decks, tribal decks, and unfortunately trash decks.

I'm not saying this proves a widespread existence of those decks, but when I left they were still holding tournaments and the same players were piloting those same decks. It still lives in places, and I know the players in this particular place will run Gifts in every deck they're allowed to. I will too.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 9:01 pm 

Joined: 2013-Mar-20 1:38 pm
Age: Drake
Segrus wrote:
niheloim wrote:
Himetic wrote:
If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I really want to go through that kind of work without at least some indication that it will have some impact. As I said, if someone from the RC has an interest in experimenting with the card, then that's great and I'd be happy to do some experimenting on my own if it'll help. But without the push I'm not really interested in putting in the effort. Mostly just in stirring the crap to see if anything interesting happens.

Anyway,

Personally I feel like the meta has changed substantially from 5 years ago - blue is less dominant and combo is less frequent, in my experience (there's also some info to back this up in the form of this thread: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... r-metagame which shows that the once-boogeymen combo generals azami and sharuum have fallen substantially in the list, with generally ramp and etb-centered generals maelstrom wanderer, damia, kaalia, and karador taking over the top spots. And while it's anecdotal, I'd say I've seen a similar trend in my LGSs.

All this doesn't prove that gifts wouldn't be abused, of course. But I think it's evidence that the dominant archetypes in most EDH circles are shifting away from straight-up combo, of the form that gifts was banned for enabling, and towards fast ramp strategies. In light of this, I think it's worth testing the card. I hope the RC agrees.
I can get behind this. I don't see the same combo commanders as I did from years ago. Testing the gifts in the normal sort of blue decks seen might be worth while- see if they start edging towards combo decks of yesteryear.

Straight-up combo and counterspell.dec were the only decks I saw in the last place I lived, and at least had been that way from the moment Commander starting getting popular there a couple years ago. So you'll understand why I have doubts it doesn't exist or is in major decline. For instance, the first majorly publicized EDH tournament had Nin (counterspells), Edric (counterspells), and Kaalia (combo) as the first, second, and third place winners. I didn't watch the entire tournament because I refused to participate; however, I saw about the first hour and a half. Out of about sixty people, it was pretty much split 60/40 in terms of decks: counterspells/combos piloted by older and experienced players; the smaller portion new players never having heard of EDH before this tournament and trying their luck with a mix of your basic synergistic decks, tribal decks, and unfortunately trash decks.

I'm not saying this proves a widespread existence of those decks, but when I left they were still holding tournaments and the same players were piloting those same decks. It still lives in places, and I know the players in this particular place will run Gifts in every deck they're allowed to. I will too.



It is a for fun format. Tournaments don't apply. Anyone doing that is doing it wrong per the rules. Gifts wrecks games where people try and do it right. Coalition victory is banned, and I think from Maro's blog he said he'd try and use that card if he got into the format. That basically explains the banned list.

On an unrelated note, Texas is huge and I live a lot closer to Mexican states than US states, but if you do as well, I might be able to hook you up with good games of Commander. If you live closer to Oklahoma, which is what we call Dallas, you're in for a long drive to get some good games of Commander.


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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 9:14 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Dale! wrote:
It is a for fun format. Tournaments don't apply. Anyone doing that is doing it wrong per the rules. Gifts wrecks games where people try and do it right. Coalition victory is banned, and I think from Maro's blog he said he'd try and use that card if he got into the format. That basically explains the banned list.

Armada Games holds EDH tournaments, I believe. One player I knew in those LGS I mentioned was running Fastbond for several games before a PreRelease until I told him it was banned.
Dale! wrote:
On an unrelated note, Texas is huge and I live a lot closer to Mexican states than US states, but if you do as well, I might be able to hook you up with good games of Commander. If you live closer to Oklahoma, which is what we call Dallas, you're in for a long drive to get some good games of Commander.

Appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 9:38 pm 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Yeah, I'm not sure tournament play should count.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-06 11:12 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-07 4:24 pm
Age: Drake
Segrus wrote:
niheloim wrote:
Himetic wrote:
If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I really want to go through that kind of work without at least some indication that it will have some impact. As I said, if someone from the RC has an interest in experimenting with the card, then that's great and I'd be happy to do some experimenting on my own if it'll help. But without the push I'm not really interested in putting in the effort. Mostly just in stirring the crap to see if anything interesting happens.

Anyway,

Personally I feel like the meta has changed substantially from 5 years ago - blue is less dominant and combo is less frequent, in my experience (there's also some info to back this up in the form of this thread: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... r-metagame which shows that the once-boogeymen combo generals azami and sharuum have fallen substantially in the list, with generally ramp and etb-centered generals maelstrom wanderer, damia, kaalia, and karador taking over the top spots. And while it's anecdotal, I'd say I've seen a similar trend in my LGSs.

All this doesn't prove that gifts wouldn't be abused, of course. But I think it's evidence that the dominant archetypes in most EDH circles are shifting away from straight-up combo, of the form that gifts was banned for enabling, and towards fast ramp strategies. In light of this, I think it's worth testing the card. I hope the RC agrees.
I can get behind this. I don't see the same combo commanders as I did from years ago. Testing the gifts in the normal sort of blue decks seen might be worth while- see if they start edging towards combo decks of yesteryear.

Straight-up combo and counterspell.dec were the only decks I saw in the last place I lived, and at least had been that way from the moment Commander starting getting popular there a couple years ago. So you'll understand why I have doubts it doesn't exist or is in major decline. For instance, the first majorly publicized EDH tournament had Nin (counterspells), Edric (counterspells), and Kaalia (combo) as the first, second, and third place winners. I didn't watch the entire tournament because I refused to participate; however, I saw about the first hour and a half. Out of about sixty people, it was pretty much split 60/40 in terms of decks: counterspells/combos piloted by older and experienced players; the smaller portion new players never having heard of EDH before this tournament and trying their luck with a mix of your basic synergistic decks, tribal decks, and unfortunately trash decks.

I'm not saying this proves a widespread existence of those decks, but when I left they were still holding tournaments and the same players were piloting those same decks. It still lives in places, and I know the players in this particular place will run Gifts in every deck they're allowed to. I will too.


"tourney play doesn't count" aside (which I think is kind of valid - no one said combo decks weren't still GOOD, just that they weren't as common, and obviously I'd expect high-tier decks at a tourney), I don't think you can really call most kaalia decks "combo" per se - I mean, there's synergies like avacyn + geddon but I wouldn't call that combo in the same way you can call azami + mom combo. And edric and nin being counterspell-heavy has little to do with gifts - the reason it was banned was for enabling winning combos, and it doesn't sound like it would do that in any of those decks, at least not without changes.

Anyway I'm sure there's still plenty of combo decks around, I'm just saying that they're on the decline in my (and many peoples') experience. Obviously a tournament will bring them out of hiding.


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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 6:01 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
The example does count if it's indicative of the play group environments, which it is in every case I could find there (and believe me, I tried to find a group--I didn't play EDH for a very long time because I wouldn't accept these combo/counterspell heavy groups). Kaalia is a combo deck in the same way Reanimator is a combo deck (mana, mana, do something, big creature into play), since this Kaalia deck was built to be attacking with Kaalia on turn three and four at the latest.

I'll have more about Edric and Nin at a later time, once I get done asking at least one of the players to respond on Facebook.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 8:33 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Hmmm... Kaalia combo running gifts? I don't think that combo is gone, but that the traditional combos have been given up for more diversity. I think the only old-skool combo I see is niv mizzet, and I think that's because wizards went back to ravnica. Combo will never be gone in a format with a vintage car pool a multiple opponents.

In a more diverse setting will gifts turn all the blue decks into gifts.dec? I dunno. Probably. But it might be worth trying it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 8:58 am 
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Location: Midgard
niheloim wrote:
In a more diverse setting will gifts turn all the blue decks into gifts.dec? I dunno. Probably. But it might be worth trying it out.

Segrus wrote:
I'll have more about Edric and Nin at a later time, once I get done asking at least one of the players to respond on Facebook.

The guy who played the Edric deck said this about whether or not he would run Gifts in Edric: "Probably. It's an easy way to go get 4 power house cards and nab two of them. Seems really strong."

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 9:04 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Powerhouse cards? That's fine, maybe a little annoying. Cheap Insta-win combo... That's what we're worried about.

Edit: I know I would put it in every one of my blue decks to nab powerhouse cards. Would it become the focus of my decks? Maybe in a few. Would it be used to be a reactive control card? Yup. Would it be used to set up reveillark reanimations? In the one deck yup. I can't say how much I would change my decks to accommodate and I can't say how I would play out every game without some testing.

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Last edited by niheloim on 2014-Mar-07 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 9:06 am 
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niheloim wrote:
Powerhouse cards? That's fine, maybe a little annoying. Cheap Insta-win combo... That's what we're worried about.

It begins with grabbing powerhouse cards and evolves into insta-win combos. It did when it was legal, and it would do it again now.

Also, annoying turns into frustration whenever the same combinations of cards turn up each game. Once that calms down, it's just boring.

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 Post subject: Re: Why? Gifts Ungiven
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-07 9:13 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Segrus wrote:
It begins with grabbing powerhouse cards and evolves into insta-win combos. It did when it was legal, and it would do it again now.
that cannot be known. Koko warped formats... Not anymore. Staff of domination is now fine... Rofellos was still borked... After some testing.

If I had to wager I would say " gonna still be borked", but I think testing it has some merit after so many years.

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