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 Post subject: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 2:39 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
1. Karador is mostly a "solved" deck. And this has a lot of evidence to sustain that claim. In the last two years or so, the Karador decks (from about half a dozen players) have mostly remained the same - gaining cards like Ashen Rider, but otherwise changing very little, and for the most part being very similar to each other. This last tuesday night, I witnessed a four-player Karador match were each person had a deck that was within 5-10 cards of the "base" - the biggest exception was in lands, and one person (just one) with Sol Ring. Karador, in fact - is a broken legend in Commander; in one of the best color combinations (Esper, BUG, Jund, Junk) and has access to every required answer in the game (except of course, for raw-counter spell power.) However, as stated - every Karador deck usually ends up being the same. Playing the same. And being boring, the same. This is a huge problem for EDH/Commander; a deck that is solved - is essentially just playing a regular 60-card format.

And it's a very boring deck to have to play against.

2. Prophet of Kruphix is still a major issue; myself being the guilty party against three other players. I was playing Damia, against...honestly, I don't remember what my opponents had - but as soon as Prophet came down and was uncontested, or protected - it only took one Turn Cycle before they all scooped. Each opponent had a viable board state, and was in a condition that prior to that point - no single player could reasonably assail them without severer action from the other players. As soon as I landed Prophet (around turn 9 or so,) the game literally ended at that point and three players turned from having a normal four-player free-for-all, into yet another Archenemy game against Prophet. I mostly played Prophet as an experiment to judge the reaction from a group I'm new too, and ...well.... the results still show that Prophet is degenerate, and a fun-wrecker.

3. Derevi, Nekussar, Proosh. I'm sure everything that could be said about these three has been said in all its infinitude ways. They are boring (all of them), oppressive (Derevi), "solved" (Nekussar), or just straight un-fun (Proosh dedicated Food Chain Combo.) However, Derevi is just the single worst legend after Karador in terms of how unfun it is to play against. Statistical outliers (gimmick decks) aside - Derevi is just not a good card for the format when allowed to be used as a general. Its activated ability breaks the format. Proosh's ability to become stronger when it gets sent back to the Command zone is utterly inane (and Marath is almost as bad.) And Nekussar, just like Karador is a boring "solved" deck. I have YET to see a Nekussar deck that wasn't group slug with Wheels, Spirals, and so forth. They are simply boring, and unfun.

4. The comment/answer "play more removal/answers" is invalid in this thread.

5. The lacking definition between groups, and players within a group on "fun" or "casual," needs to somehow be addressed. As impossible as that might seem. I think without some definite, if loose, definition of "casual" isn't constructed, the format will continue to devolved into more "hardcore" and "competitive" levels. The general lack of "theme" decks, and a trend towards ever more powerful and "efficient" cards among players (that I've experienced across the Twin Cities,) is honestly ruining the format for me on a personal level, has nearly driven another player out, and is slowly working down on some other acquaintances - driving them back towards Standard, Modern and Legacy (or away from MTG entirely.)

I recognize the near impossibles of that request, that somehow a majority definition of "casual" can be described - but it must be. Of course, some will disagree, and others will violently appose that disagreement - but it must be done.


And those are the current gripes I have with EDH.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 4:17 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Joz wrote:
1. Karador is mostly a "solved" deck.
How? I can see Nekusar, he is really ONLY good with wheels, and there are plenty of other reasonable UBR legends for goodstuff, combo, control.
Quote:
And this has a lot of evidence to sustain that claim.
No it doesn't. You don't know what that word means.
Quote:
In the last two years or so, the Karador decks (from about half a dozen players) have mostly remained the same - gaining cards like Ashen Rider, but otherwise changing very little, and for the most part being very similar to each other. This last tuesday night, I witnessed a four-player Karador match were each person had a deck that was within 5-10 cards of the "base" - the biggest exception was in lands, and one person (just one) with Sol Ring...... every Karador deck usually ends up being the same. Playing the same. And being boring, the same. This is a huge problem for EDH/Commander; a deck that is solved - is essentially just playing a regular 60-card format.
Meta complaints. You can play any card in Karador, and they didn't.
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Karador, in fact - is a broken legend in Commander
Ok but not fact because you are not using that word correctly.
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straight un-fun (Proosh dedicated Food Chain Combo.)
Which is the player, not the legend.
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However, Derevi is just the single worst legend after Karador in terms of how unfun it is to play against.
Your opinion can be whatever, but are you sure this isn't some overreacting hyperbole?
Quote:
Proosh's ability to become stronger when it gets sent back to the Command zone is utterly inane (and Marath is almost as bad.)
It's gamebreaking to be able to sacrifice a creature to power up, and create otherwise useless creatures by itself? Marath costs 2 mana per one damage and the other two abilities (still costing 2 mana per, essentially) help it avoid spot removal. Doesn't seem backbreaking.
Quote:
And Nekussar, just like Karador is a boring "solved" deck. I have YET to see a Nekussar deck that wasn't group slug with Wheels, Spirals, and so forth.
You will just have to get over it. He's crappy without them.
Quote:
4. The comment/answer "play more removal/answers" is invalid in this thread.
Ok, but only because you appropriately inb4'ed.
Quote:
5. The lacking definition between groups, and players within a group on "fun" or "casual," needs to somehow be addressed.
Waiting for your suggestion.... Though i don't think you will find very many people who think this can be reasonably defined, or even enforced.
Quote:
definite, if loose, definition of "casual"
Conflicting thoughts
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the format will continue to devolved into more "hardcore" and "competitive" levels.
How is this not for each player to decide? This comes off like we need to go on a warpath against these criminals and enforce casual rules.
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ruining the format for me on a personal level
Talk to them. Suggest players build decks of other power levels.
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but it must be (addressed).
Must it?
Quote:
Of course, some will disagree, and others will violently appose that disagreement
Mhm.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 5:42 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
I can't help but notice that all commanders you're talking about here are from the dedicated Commander products. And by the opinions of some other people I've heard, these are really problematic, which is kinda sad and fuels the voices claiming that WotC doesn't really understand the format.

I don't have your experience with Karador so I can't say either way about him. The only one I've come across was a Rebel tribal (the guy basically said that Lin Sivvi is his real general), which is, presumably, not the "solved" version you're talking about :) Same with Derevi. Maybe I'm just lucky.

With Nekusar, I agree. Before he was printed, I was actually hoping for a general supporting all those Spiteful Visions and Megrims and Wheels, but Skelly King here is way too much and I agree with him being "solved". Either you play him like a dick or you have the wrong general.

Prossh, on the other hand, can be played thematically and non-dickishly. In his case, the problem is that nobody really does. He's too much of a tease. If I was building Prossh, I'd have to make such a long list of cards that ruin the game with him, that I'd either say "Screw this, let's just kill somebody" and add them, or stop and build something else.

Last thing, how the hell is Ghave not mentioned in that rant of yours?! I feel that one is pretty much in the same position as Prossh. The fact that they had to print a "fixed", nerfed version of him (Dagathar, the Adamant) says it all, I think.

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 5:56 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Antis wrote:
I can't help but notice that all commanders you're talking about here are from the dedicated Commander products. And by the opinions of some other people I've heard, these are really problematic, which is kinda sad and fuels the voices claiming that WotC doesn't really understand the format.

I don't have your experience with Karador so I can't say either way about him. The only one I've come across was a Rebel tribal (the guy basically said that Lin Sivvi is his real general), which is, presumably, not the "solved" version you're talking about :) Same with Derevi. Maybe I'm just lucky.

With Nekusar, I agree. Before he was printed, I was actually hoping for a general supporting all those Spiteful Visions and Megrims and Wheels, but Skelly King here is way too much and I agree with him being "solved". Either you play him like a dick or you have the wrong general.

Prossh, on the other hand, can be played thematically and non-dickishly. In his case, the problem is that nobody really does. He's too much of a tease. If I was building Prossh, I'd have to make such a long list of cards that ruin the game with him, that I'd either say "Screw this, let's just kill somebody" and add them, or stop and build something else.

Last thing, how the hell is Ghave not mentioned in that rant of yours?! I feel that one is pretty much in the same position as Prossh. The fact that they had to print a "fixed", nerfed version of him (Dagathar, the Adamant) says it all, I think.


In all honesty, I've only seen ghave once or twice since he's been released - most players seem to have gravitated to Rug for that sort of fast combo; or if they want Junk colors they just went with herp-derp-Karador.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 6:14 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Joz wrote:
In all honesty, I've only seen ghave once or twice since he's been released - most players seem to have gravitated to Rug for that sort of fast combo; or if they want Junk colors they just went with herp-derp-Karador.
Not fast combo. Slow, grindy control that destroys anything you put into play with Aura Shards, Grave Pact and friends, waiting to draw/tutor into Doubling Season or something to tip off the balance. Also, Ghave is very good at blocking attacks, so he can protect you when setting up. Attack with big nonevasion guy? Make token, block, sac token. Alpha strike? Move a counter on Spike Weaver... That sort of thing.

This thing is to date the only deck I've built and deconstructed after a few games, because it was so much not fun for either side.

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 6:39 pm 

Joined: 2009-May-05 9:45 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Acworth, GA
It all comes down to your playgroup.

In general, people will play the most powerful decks that they personally feel are socially acceptable. If you play with random people, there is nothing you can do put deal with the variance of where people fall on that scale. If you play with a regular group, you have options.

If this group is all friends and not kids, you should easily be able to sit down and have an adult conversation about what each of you want out of your commander games, and where you all fit on the above scale. Once your group has common ground, it is easy to see how your decks compare with the others on that scale, and if they would be acceptable to the group as a whole. Sure, this requires the players to all be honest with themselves, honest with each other, and respectful of each others positions. It also requires everyone to be able to compromise. This should be a given among a group of mature friends.

My group did this, and one way we keep things interesting and keep our decks in check is flat out avoiding good stuff decks. A theme helps limit your options, which breeds creativity and keeps decks from being the same. You have to actually commit to the theme, however, not just run 10 to 15 cards that fit a theme and fill out with good stuff. Also, stay away from themes based on game mechanics, a lot of those just make linear good stuff decks in the end.

Lastly, as a group, commit to policing yourselves on the backbreaking crap. The holy trinity of tutors, ramp, and card draw break this format. Don't build decks with any of them in excess, but still play with the effects. If everyone is on the same page, everyone will have fun.

Of course, you may find people in the group don't want to go this route, but over the last 7 years, I have had a fairly constant playgroup, and this was the only solution we found to stop the competitive good stuff arms race that you hate, and a majority of the people on commander message boards embrace.

When my group found this balance, we have never had more fun, and never looked back. Sure, occasionally someone will call another out on something in a deck that just breaks the power level we have artificially set, but there are never hard feelings, because we accept it is best for the group. However, it makes it hard to play outside your group.

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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 6:48 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
If you ask me for a definition of a "proper" EDH deck, I'd say this:

Do your research. If you find out the deck you're thinking about building is universally berated on various forums as unfun, then don't build it.

That's what's keeping me from finishing Narset, for one :)

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


Last edited by Antis on 2015-Mar-04 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-04 8:49 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
That's why 90% of my decks are built around Tribal Themes.

I have a Ghave Deck - tribal Fungus (no Grave Pact)
My Karador Deck is Tribal Spirits
Nekusar has been dead to me since he was previewed. he should have been a skeleton, and I refuse to play him with Zombie on the card. Look at the picture and Skeletons really need a decent Legend.
I went with Gahiji for my beast tribal, Marath didn't make the cut.
Edric Rogue tribal
Animar Elemental Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava Cats and Warriors (See link above - not enough G Cats)
Nin Vedalken and Wizards
Doran Wall tribal (one of two where the General doesn't match the deck, no Legendary Walls)
There are more but you see the themes...

My non-tribal decks are:
Progenitus Proliferate Deck (which will be Hydra tribal once there are enough Hydras, so far it's 80% hydras-ish)
Enduring Ideal.dek
Exalted Non-Voltron Deck
And a few other odd-ball ideas.


As far as a loose definition of casual goes.... my take is if any given card is not definitely on theme and any of the following criteria are met, then leave it out (or possibly have a playgroup maximum of how many cards fitting this criteria there can be):
- Goodstuff enough that the majority of your decks with that color want it
- More than 2 random people roll their eyes when they see that it is in the deck
- You can find more than 5 Decklists on the net with that card in less than 15 minutes of searching
- Has a similar effect to something that would be more on theme

These simple deck-building techniques for culling things from the list will usually result in a deck that most random players could consider casual. And like the Grand Poobah says: build casual, play competitive.

_________________
V/R

HK

Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-08 12:21 am 
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Joined: 2013-Jul-25 1:15 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Durham, England
My playgroup's been getting a lot more players lately, but we're getting them used to playing in a manner that is of equal power and fun. It basically boils down to forbidding 4 things and throwing anyone who disagrees into an arena with a half-arsed Azami, Lady of Scrolls combo deck made an hour ago out of spare cards we had lying around. Of course, noone's picked up Karador and the Nekusar player recently found wheel-free Nekusar isn't capable of winning often enough or being fun without winning, so I'm not entirely sure much this can help with your scenario.

1. Combo - If your deck can be described as sitting there doing nothing until it decides to go off, then you probably need to rethink your deck. This includes setting someone's life total to 10 and Skithiryx outside infect, victory needs to be telegraphed.

2. Stax - If your deck prevents everyone else from playing the game, then your deck prevents everyone else from having fun too. This includes locking yourself out of the game via pillowfort or intiating a mindslaver-lock or otherwise not giving your opponents a turn.

3. Goodstuff - If your deck lacks a theme and is simply playing all the most powerful cards in magic you haven't built a deck, you've built a card pile. Your deck is an expression of yourself and it should be what defines you as a special little snowflake. The more blatantly powerful a card is, the less you should put the card in without good reason. This is the difficult rule to enforce, especially when the most powerful cards are demonic tutor, Eternal Witness, etc. though removal is usually a free pass. Your threats, like Prophet of Kruphix, should match the deck's theme, such as a Kurphix deck.

4. Mirror - A recent addition after we found "Episode 2" (Attack of the Clones) to be an incredibly dull experience after the initial hilarity of a Progenitor mimic of Nekusar with Mirror Gallery. Clones, theft cards and generally playing your opponents' decks is horribly undercosted thanks to their flexibility and sheer power of what they can do. "Your deck but cheaper" is not the phrase I want to hear when asking about everyone's decks.

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I had a long hiatus, removed some decks, but I still love lands.
Tatyova, Benthic Druid - Exploring Brawl
Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle - Work in Progress
Yasova Dragonclaw - Yasova Tinyclaw/Slightly-less-tinyclaw
Kruphix, God of Horizons - That Which Was Taken by Kruphix
Selvala, Explorer Returned - Blackless dredge
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury - Monogreen Superfriends
Pharika, God of Affliction - Hemlock


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-08 3:42 am 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I forgot to add in Maelstrom Wanderer to my list: Or, as my friend likes to call it "Double Timewalk"


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-09 5:50 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Dragon
It's not necessarily the cards that make a deck oppressive, it's how you play with them. Survival of the Fittest can be a super fun card to play with, allowing for neat synergies (Genesis) and clutch plays (Mystic Snake with Necromancy in hand) or it can dump Mike & Trike in your yard so you can cast Living Death off of Boseiju and win the game.

I built a Damia deck, it runs Entomb, Reanimate, Lim-Dul's Vault, Necropotence, Survival of the Fittest, Greater Good, Natural Order, so on and so forth, people actually enjoyed it.

My friend has a Damia deck, it runs Entomb, Reanimate, Lim-Dul's Vault, Necropotence, Survival of the Fittest, Greater Good, Natural Order, so on and so forth, everyone flippin' hates it!

whats the difference?

Me: Ramp ramp ramp, draw draw draw, play lots of random huge bombs

My Friend:

Plan A = tutor and reanimate Jin-Gitaxias
Plan B = if answered, tutor for Necropotence, draw into combo
Plan C = if answered, ramp into Prophet of Kruphix, Consecrated Sphinx or Vorinclex
Plan D = if answered play Tidespout Tyrant or Deadeye Nav + Palinchron & Venser
Plan F = if answered E-Wit + Deadeye/Capsize + Time Spells

His deck plays out this exact same way, every single game.

Use powerful cards responsibly and your deck won't be a boring pile of rancid fecal matter. Those who don't use powerful cards responsibly aren't worth the time taken to play with them.

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Maluko wrote:
We need a clear set of objective rules so that everybody always knows what to expect, and how to prepare for it. As of now, I think I spend more time arguing with players about the format than I do playing fun and interactive games of Commander. And last time I read, this was not the format's purpose.

QFT


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-11 6:20 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Joz wrote:
And this has a lot of evidence to sustain that claim.
OK?
Quote:
4. The comment/answer "play more removal/answers" is invalid in this thread.
Troll on man, troll on. Nothing like framing a discussion so only your point matters.

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: "solved", "casual?" , "unfun."
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-13 4:38 am 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Karador- Just because a commander has a "solved" version of the deck doesn't mean you have to play it. Tribal spirits, centaurs, and rebels have all been played with him as the commander in "fun" decks.

Nekusar- Yeah, he is played in the deck that we asked for a commander for. I say this is working as intended. I like playing this deck. I like playing against this deck.

Prossh- Again its up to the players to play the "solved" version of the deck. I love my kobald deck. (prossh never attacks in this deck)

One thing that helps me make fun decks is that often my friends play my decks. I know I will have to play against my decks so I will not include things I think are not fun to play against. I think if everyone built decks knowing they would play against them at some point they would be built so everyone has more fun.

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