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 Post subject: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-02 6:58 am 
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Joined: 2015-Sep-28 11:55 am
Age: Wyvern
A while back, I had a Zedruu deck. I knew I could make it a rude Delusions-style deck, but I thought it would be far more interesting to play him exactly as the box told me: Play politics with all the other players.

It didn't work so well.

The decklist is lost to time (good riddance), but the problem was really the philosophy. Players would target me even if I gave them a hand "because I was open," which really hampers the strategy of "Let's you and him fight."

Do you think it's possible to make a non-Group Hug deck that involves political maneuvering as its main mechanic? If so, what kind of win condition would you use? I tried Words of War, but it was too slow of a grind.

_________________
"I'd rather lose an awesome game than win a boring one."

Decks:
Karrthus, Jund Cena
Hazezon Tamar, Token Spammer
Jeleva, Herald of Cruel Ultimatums


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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-02 7:18 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
We'll assume for the moment that wheeling and dealing isn't frowned upon by your group (there are definitely groups where it's a no-no). In order for such a thing to work, you'd need to make it in their best interests to A: Not attack you and B: Actively attack each other. Then you need a way to actually win. This is either going to be a combo that you have the time to set up because no one's thwarting you, or you let it get down to you and one other player, and then you've got him under your thumb because you've been stockpiling resources. I'm not going to say it can't be done, but I think it'd be a hard road to travel, and if your opponents are at all intelligent, they're going to realize they've been played, which will make the deck that much harder to use the next time around.

_________________
"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: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-02 10:39 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
I have (and still do) play a Zedruu deck exactly how you're describing.

Politics can go either way; sometimes people will believe your lies or take your incentives, other times they will not.

You do need defensive measures and bodies, however.

I would never make deals with table talk like the ones you're suggesting. I prefer leading people to their own conclusions, which they cling to with much more certainty.

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Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-02 11:08 am 
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Joined: 2015-Sep-28 11:55 am
Age: Wyvern
Sinis wrote:
I have (and still do) play a Zedruu deck exactly how you're describing.

Politics can go either way; sometimes people will believe your lies or take your incentives, other times they will not.

You do need defensive measures and bodies, however.

I would never make deals with table talk like the ones you're suggesting. I prefer leading people to their own conclusions, which they cling to with much more certainty.

Well, I certainly don't lie. I just try to influence. Lying is a terrible tactic because it doesn't take long to unravel, and then nobody ever trusts you again -- at or outside the table.

I do think there's a place for table talk, though maybe I overdo it.

_________________
"I'd rather lose an awesome game than win a boring one."

Decks:
Karrthus, Jund Cena
Hazezon Tamar, Token Spammer
Jeleva, Herald of Cruel Ultimatums


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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-02 9:21 pm 

Joined: 2009-May-05 9:45 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Acworth, GA
It can be done. Focus on rattlesnakes that give people incentives for messing with others. Add some gerrymandering effects that manipulate who gets to play with what. Top it off with some campaign donations, but not the usual suspects that lock people out, but gifts that manipulate the game.

Playing politics through your cards is not a simple thing, but it is absolutely a thing of beauty when someone does.

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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-03 2:24 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
trdl23 wrote:
Sinis wrote:
I have (and still do) play a Zedruu deck exactly how you're describing.

Politics can go either way; sometimes people will believe your lies or take your incentives, other times they will not.

You do need defensive measures and bodies, however.

I would never make deals with table talk like the ones you're suggesting. I prefer leading people to their own conclusions, which they cling to with much more certainty.

Well, I certainly don't lie. I just try to influence. Lying is a terrible tactic because it doesn't take long to unravel, and then nobody ever trusts you again -- at or outside the table.

I do think there's a place for table talk, though maybe I overdo it.

Hm. I didn't mean verbally lying. I meant, you play your cards in such a way as intend to deceive your opponents into harming each other instead of you.

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Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

Follow me on Twitter: @generalspeak


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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-03 2:25 am 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Absolutely possible.

Some thoughts:
- to do well it needs to look like you weren't playing them, you will want a deck that peaks very late, but is able to survive the peaks of the other decks before reaching its own peak.
- your reputation must support your politics: if you're known to break your word every now and then your promises aren't likely to be taken seriously. There are many other ways your reputation and your deck's reputation can help. It's crucial to manage your reputation.
- it must appear dangerous to attack you (you don't need visible defenses; a player in my group got so convinced I always had something like Rout that he would usually leave me alone until he had a really serious board position and by that time I would have had a lot of opportunity to draw such a card. Visible defenses definitely help though).
- don't play obviously dangerous cards. If you have a nuke someone will try to deal with it and often taking you out is the best way to do so.
- read up on politics, The Ferret has written many great articles on StarCityGames on politics, I personally really like this one, but there are many more as he was having a small rivalry with Anthony Alongi, who pretty much did not allow politics at his table at all.

_________________
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I sleep all day and I dance all night
I'm a gabber and I feel OK
I dance all night and I sleep all day


3 Steps Ahead - I'm A Gabber


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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-03 11:05 am 

Joined: 2012-Sep-19 2:29 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Brazil
I play a politics centered Zedruu. It does not always work, people have to be playing on a nice pace for it to even stand a chance. That guy that combos on turn 5 is the other players problem, not yours.

You need leverage to play politics, so, you got to pack some powerfull boardwipes and combat tricks. You need to be behind a lill taxing and pillowforting.

I'd say propaganda effects, some fogs, instant blue combat tricks, some selection of powerfull counterspells, boardwipes that function on real desperate times, like a miracle terminus in the middle of a betrayal.

I'd advise verbal politics only as diversion. Control who attacks you and how much will He pay to do so, remove hexproof from things, protect players, let them grind slowly, than try to kill them when they're weak.


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 Post subject: Re: Politics -- A viable core tactic for a deck?
AgePosted: 2015-Oct-26 6:39 am 

Joined: 2013-Nov-12 4:35 am
Age: Hatchling
For my own politics experiment, I didn't go with Zedruu, but rather Tasigur. Don't have a decklist handy, but a basic rundown of the deck was Fact or Fiction effects, Tribute effects, Will of the council effects, the tempting offer cards, and stuff with dies triggers and block triggers and anything to make my opponents think twice about my combats or their combats against me. Keiga, Jugan, and Kokusho block very well without blocking.

The beauty of Tasigur was usually that at least one person at the table wanted exactly what I wanted, and if I chose my "..an opponent chooses..." carefully, I could get what I wanted. Not just from his activated ability, but also from stuff like tribute creatures, eye of doom, and similar. If the choices were obvious enough, often I wouldn't even have to suggest an option.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "political choice" cards in my deck were centered around removal, the result being that the deck kinda dragged games out badly. If I ever retread it, I'm definitely gonna give it a harder focus on ending the game, maybe with a voltron kit. Tasigur is emminently recastable, after all.


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