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 Post subject: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-24 10:06 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-18 11:59 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Rakdos, Lord of Riots seems like a commander that cries tears of joy if seeing Tyrant's Choice.

In a standard pod at worst it's a one sided innocent blood, which a decent sacrifice early tempo removal. At best it's an 12 mana discount for 2 mana. I know often punisher mechanic cards are looked down on, but considering this one requires a vote which is easier to manipulate, I feel like this deserves a spot in the 99 for Rakdos.

I know I'm free to play whichever cards I want in my deck, but found it near criminal that EDHREC doesn't have it listed on the top cards list.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-24 10:51 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Dragon
Rakdos doesn't really need an unreliable one-turn-only discount of 12 that does nothing else. It has better cards and plans available.

Most of the creatures in your deck have a generic component of 6 or less. Dealing 2 damage to 3 players is enough to get you the maximum discount on all of them. On the turns before summoning Rakdos, you'll set up the board with staples like Thermo-Alchemist and Cryptolith Fragment. Once you summon Rakdos these cards will be giving you most of the discount you'll ever need every single turn. They also do other things beside give you a discount: Thermo-Alchemist could be a surprise chump blocker and Cryptolith Fragment generates mana.

A handful of cards in your deck will have a higher generic component than 6 (e.g. Eldrazi). By the time you're ready to cast those you're probably capable of dealing at least 9 damage to players that turn (at the very least via combat damage). That is enough of a discount you're casting most of the Eldrazi for 1-3 mana, which is good enough.

You also have other, better, repeatable ways to ensure players sacrifice creatures: Mogis, God of Slaughter for example. You'll be doing this because you want to minimise the nuber of blockers your opponents have available, because that means you'll be able to break through with attackers and earn mana discounts through combat damage.

In theory Tyrant's Choice in a god hand and god draws lets you dump 5 Eldrazi for 2 mana total on turn 4, but you don't need to do that since this isn't a competitive format. However most of the time your opponents should simply be ready to vote Death because they won't want you to have a 12 mana discount. The players with 0 creatures can vote Death for free and sacrifice nothing.

If you want an explosive turn we now have Dire Fleet Ravager which will give you much more than a 12 mana discount.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-25 6:01 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
EDHrec is a handy tool for seeing how most people play. It's not as handy for figuring out sensible ways to play. Averaging together a ton of bad advice doesn't give you better advice, it just gives you consistently bad advice.

With Rakdos, most people prefer permanent-based sources of damage 'cause they're banking on playing a pinger in turn 2-3, and then turning that into Rakdos + a fatty the turn after. It leaves their build a bit vulnerable, since if their opponents always squash the Lobber Crew or whatever, Rakdos is pretty much dead in the water.

I think you're right that mixing in instant/sorcery sources of damage gives you handy options for sneaking out Rakdos (and a bunch of free creatures)... I'm not sure that Tyrant's Choice would be at the top of my list though. I'd rather add the Earthquake variants first, since they're more multi-purpose (you get bonus board control). Then I'd probably look for damage everyone cards like Price of Progress and Flame Rift (they prevent the table for voting death when you really want torture).

tl;dr EDHrec, frequently suspect. Tyrant's Choice, very medium

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Mar-22 9:57 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Here's a link to my most updated list on tappedout, since apparently I haven't updated it here in a long time: Rakdos Lord of Dragons. As you can see, I currently run Tyrant's Choice in my list.

It's an okay card. Sometimes it is spectacular, but other times there's just not a good opportunity to play it. Once I get back around to updating the deck, I'll probably find something else for its spot. Honestly, I think the card more people should be running is Pyreheart Wolf. Never fails to surprise people.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-12 3:51 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
This thread is a bit old, and I don't mean to ressurect it per se- but I'd like to reinforce the points made by Kemev.

A simple truth of "how EDH do", which is backed up by other metrics by EDHREC, is that above all else; newer players are simply drawn to Commanders which are immediately, and obviously powerful as individual Legendary Creature cards. In my experience, commanders which fill an interesting niche like Rakdos, Lord of Riots are mostly tapped out experiments, or unexplored territory covered by players dedicated to getting the most out of it.

To illustrate this, I'd like to use a simple anecdote. Now and then, I will play a game with my Ephara, God of the Polis EDH deck, after which someone will ask "why isn't Oloro your commander?"- and the answer often simply goes over their head (not for lack of competency as Magic players on their end, either.) Legendary Creature is not a powerful card type, and it's simply more important in building an EDH deck build into some niche which having constant access to that Legendary Creature card provides. Oloro doesn't accelerate nearly as reliably as Ephara, and the third color takes away the advantages having a 2 color manabase provides in many games. The advantage here, simply doesn't make ANY sense to someone inexperienced in the format because paring down colors for more powerful manabases doesn't immediately seem like an advantage; where having an extra color seems like much more of one than it is (because EDH has such a deep card pool.)

Tyrant's Choice is a card which fulfills something powerful in context to Rakdos, Lord of Riots; but accessing powerful plays through Rakdos, Lord of Riots is not as immediately obvious as, say Muldrotha, the Gravetide or Yisan, the Wanderer Bard to someone who has consumed EDH content, but hasn't played enough hands to see those decks get absolutely shut down through regular play (which, is also incidentally- why less experienced players are drawn to Stax, or hate-y cards in general when their 99 card slots feel less precious than they are.) There is a definite "power gaming" phase to the EDH learning curve, in which most players I have encountered are drawn to use what they (incorrectly) view as "oppressive" (opting to swing more "competitive", in the casual/competitive spectrum model, for fear of being left in the dust.)

EDHREC, tappedout etc. do not account for player experience, or the existence of real paper decks; they account for hypothetical aggregates of theorycraft posted in online places. When I posted the first iteration of my Ephara decklist here, for example- Monastery Mentor was not on any of the recommended slots; even though it is the most consistently overperforming individual piece I have played in my deck in it's various forms over the last 5 years of it's existence (after retiring my Arbiter group slug build- as it was an artifact of my own power gaming phase.)

If Rakdos serves you well as a Commander, and Tyrant's Choice is a card which facilitates it- that is not indicative of aggregate tools failing; but of you, as a seasoned commander player, unlocking synergistic choices and innovating a commander whose niche is largely unexplored. I feel like that deserves commendation- so go you, you badass.

Aside- try Burnt Offering if you haven't. It fills a similar, niche and rewards you for playing cards like Geralf's Messenger, Vindictive Lich and Cathodion.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrant's Choice - Why isn't this played in Lord of Riots?
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-14 3:02 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-18 11:59 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Good call on Burnt Offering, I already use Sacrifice to good advantage in my Kresh deck. I probably should switch that out to offering since they're both instant speed.

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