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 Post subject: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 10:38 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
This is mostly because I'm leery about the prices tutor cards merit even on MTGO. (18.67 tickets for Enlightened Tutor?! This is where I hope there's other enchantment search in GWU, besides sorcery-speed Wargate. The 31.37 for Archangel of Thune is going to be bad enough...) But basically, how important are tutors, and how populated does your deck have to be with them for them to do much of anything? I suppose it's a matter of whether one sees tutors as finding out specific cards or effectively being wildcards.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 10:57 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
It depends. Are you talking competitive or casual?

Competitively: tutors single handedly win games and every deck is saturated with them.

Casual: General consensus is to use as few as possible (if any at all), but there is a crap ton of variation here.

Long story short: unless you're playing competitively, they are far from essential.

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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 12:07 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
It depends. Are you talking competitive or casual?

Competitively: tutors single handedly win games and every deck is saturated with them.

Casual: General consensus is to use as few as possible (if any at all), but there is a crap ton of variation here.

Long story short: unless you're playing competitively, they are far from essential.

Pretty much this, Skyknight. Having built several competitive EDH decks (not fine-tuned, but potent nonetheless), tutors are essential and you'll probably want to run a lot of them. EDH decks, being 100 cards and singleton, have the disadvantage in regards to consistency; however, this is removed entirely through tutors (and secondly by card draw).

In casual though, I recommend running as few as possible outside of land search. Any time you could add a tutor, instead add another card that tutor could have searched for. There's almost always redundancy to be added, and when there isn't you can always add another powerful card.

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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 6:49 pm 
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I like to optimize decks and tend to run quite a few tutors to support that. I don't usually aim for competitive, in fact the strategies I choose would likely be judged to be mediocre or bad by the competitive crowd. Obviously I wouldn't necessary be against running tutors in casual, but do make sure that the resulting decks is interesting to play against. If you find yourself always winning with the same few (tutored for) cards it might be time to reconsider, on the other hand, if you find yourself getting various silver bullets you're probably fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-06 10:55 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I like to pack my decks with manafixing tutors because having enough mana and of the correct colors is critical. For more specific tutors, like it was already said, silver bullet tutors can simply be more redundancy. Broad tutors like Demonic Tutor are fine if you are using them to find a variety of answers based on a current situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-07 3:16 am 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
I'll confess I had one priority in mind for enchantment tutoring, Cathars' Crusade. So doing a search for ways to unearth enchantments in GWU...I don't get all that much. Academy Rector (needs to die first), Enlightened Tutor, Idyllic Tutor, Lost Auramancers (need to vanish first), Plea for Guidance (5W? Pass.), Sterling Grove, and Wargate. I actually fear that even putting in Enlightened, Idyllic, Sterling, and Wargate together will squash out other important cards...all for one enchantment that costs 3WW. I'm not convinced it's worth the candle. (Night night, Enlightened Tutor, even if you could find Cauldron of Souls as well. Although I wonder which explains Enlightened's high price tag more--being able to find BOTH enchantments and artifacts, or being instant speed...)


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-07 4:39 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Skyknight wrote:
Although I wonder which explains Enlightened's high price tag more--being able to find BOTH enchantments and artifacts, or being instant speed...

I think it is a combination of both and only costing {1} mana. IIRC it spiked up when it was unbanned in legacy, then dropped back to its current price.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-07 5:36 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
They are entirely unnecessary short of mana fixing. They needlessly drag on the game while people spend ages searching and then make every game play out exactly the same which is missing the entire point of a highlander format, competitive or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-09 9:37 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I would say in your case you are going obnoxiously heavy on tutoring one specific combo. Which is not necessarily back breaking, but kind of samesy all the time. I would not mind playing against you or your deck, but it is something to consider, if you want to be trying to do that one thing every time. A couple tutors to facilitate it is okay, but not if you already have doubts that playing just 3 tutors squashes out other more important cards.

I personally play tutors in all my decks, but each is a varying degree.

In competitive decks, they are obvious.

In my casual decks, they help me shore up some weaknesses by adding redundancy and being wildcards for me to evade certain things.

The deck sort of determines how crucial it is. If i have good cards in th deck, less tutors is okay. If they are largely ineffectual and there's one or two on-theme cards i really 'need', playing more is fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-12 3:37 pm 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
I just played EDH this weekend with my first deck. I have only three "go for any card" tutors, the Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Liliana Vess. But, I have many other tutors for non-basic lands such as Wargate, Farseek, Tolaria West, and Expedition Map and specialized tutors like Tezzeret the Seeker, and Supply / Demand. In this new token deck, I won half of the four games. The first game was absolutely won by tutors because I was in a bad place, almost dead from a voltron commander hacking away at me with dragons as my other enemy. Wargate found me Gaea's Cradle early in the game. Tezzeret the Seeker got me both halves of the Thopter Foundry/Sword of the Meek combo. After dropping the second half of that combo (the Thopter Foundry), I won the very next turn because the Foundry/Cradle production went into hyper-token mode with a timely Saproling Symbiosis feeding Goblin Bombardment and I fragged everyone at once. That wouldn't have worked any other way.

The second game, I didn't need the tutors at all (and didn't draw one until I was a turn away from victory) because planeswalkers that generate tokens (or work well with them) and Rhys the Redeemed gave me a great beatdown engine, so it really depends on the game. I think that's what Segrus and others are getting at. You can design the decks either way and therefore tutors end up being no different than in 60 card formats. I can definitely see how their influence was overpowered in the first game I won. I probably shouldn't have won that one.

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Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-14 3:30 am 
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Joined: 2011-Mar-29 8:30 am
Age: Drake
Honestly...

I can't think of anything more boring than a deck that always goes "your way" or "the same way" every time and that's what tutoring does. The best part about 99 cards in a deck is that things change and every time you pick it up it's always going to be a different game. With tutors you will always go for the optimum answer or win...where is the fun and excitement in that?!?!

I urge you, or challenge you if you play a causal game please remove your tutors. Build a cohesive enough deck and you shouldn't have to run any. If your running tutors to provide a Swiss-Army solution for everything that could go wrong, remember that in multiplayer Commander you don't always have to come up with an answer to a problem...you have several other players that probably want to remove the same problematic card that an opposing player has played. The person who appears most threatening is everyone's enemy and they are your allies against that common enemy.

All the Best!

Your Friend,

-Jest


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-15 8:35 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Yet tastes are different. Where you can't think of anything more boring than tutoring I can barely think of anything more frustrating than staring at the wrong answer and knowing that card should've been a tutor for the right (or at least a workable) answer. I certainly wouldn't urge you to fill your deck to the brim with tutors, but I would urge people to play the way they consider to be fun. For myself optimizing my deck for my strategy is fun and often what I view as optimal includes a few (synergistic) tutors to find cards important to my strategy and/or to find ways to deal with problems (particularly when there aren't a lot of playable answers in the colors I am in). I don't include a ton of them, usually no more than 4 that can do more than mana fixing, but whatever makes sense for the deck to me.

If you prefer to play without them, go for it! Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with playing them though, just as long as you don't play them at the cost of a fun game.

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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-16 4:00 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
To me, it depends on the deck and the situation (also depends on if the people at the table consider Ramp - all, some or none - to be tutoring). I can't think of a single deck I've made in years with a Demonic Tutor (find anything) style. But Elemental tribal runs Flamekin Harbinger and won't apologize for it.

Also, there are some strategies that require (based on) tutoring. My Captain Sisay deck, for example, is literally based on tutoring (it's her thing after all). But I also think that if you pursue this type of deck, it is incumbent that the player build to avoid The Obvious Playtm. Continuing my example, you won't find Vorinclex or other annoying set-ups, it's just a "Legendary Matters" type deck. About the most outlandish thing it does is assemble Kaldra or Savage Summon Yomiji in response to a WoG.

Long story short (too late):
Tutoring is like Alcohol - It's not for everyone, but if you do use it, use it responsibly.

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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-17 8:32 am 

Joined: 2016-Mar-16 12:03 pm
Age: Drake
In the end, when it comes to tutors, they lend to playing with toolbox-type decks for me. Sort of the mile-wide/inch-deep concept. If you have one in hand (or topdeck it), you're rarely totally out of the game. I tend to run decks that I believe are pretty balanced, in that they cover a lot of basic ideals in Magic (card draw/advantage, tutor, synergy, resiliency, sweeping, graveyard shenanigans, spot removal of creatures/artifacts/enchantments, and life gain) depending on the strengths of the colors in a given deck. Tutors play a part in the feasibility of that deck build, because I can respond in many ways given how the game is progressing. In this, a lot of times I don't win because I'm not focused enough, but at least I had an answer to what killed me (and I'm totally OK with losing because I just didn't draw it, if I at least had it in the deck). But I also pull out a lot of games exactly because I can search out the winning card that their deck doesn't have a counter-strategy to deal with. Therefore, the relative usefulness or lack of imagination used for tutors has a lot to do with the player and his build type, not the tutor itself. I honestly think the biggest knock on them is that they are so expensive due to the demand from competitive tournament scenes and they are therefore strictly "not for casual settings". I don't buy it, but I can see that they are powerful in the casual scene nonetheless.

_________________
Current decks:
Xenagos, God of Revels - Hydras

Under Re-Construction:
Hazezon Tamar - Defenders of Dune (only 8 less Fremen/equipment, adding ramp and answers)
Prime Speaker Zegana - Zegana's R&D
Jenara, Asura of War - Jenara's Celestial Army (needs more answers, ramp, less angels...turns out Jenara can tank quite effectively as a voltron.)

Nuked decks:
Sliver Queen - Tokens (converted back to the 60 card deck it originated from, ending its edh dependency on tutors)


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 Post subject: Re: Tutoring--how crucial?
AgePosted: 2016-Apr-18 4:47 am 
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Joined: 2011-Mar-29 8:30 am
Age: Drake
Quote:
Where you can't think of anything more boring than tutoring I can barely think of anything more frustrating than staring at the wrong answer and knowing that card should've been a tutor for the right (or at least a workable) answer. I certainly wouldn't urge you to fill your deck to the brim with tutors, but I would urge people to play the way they consider to be fun.


Yes I get what you are saying, but the flexibility of a tutor has too large of a scope in my opinion (Particularly cards like Vampiric Tutor/Demonic Tutor).

With these cards you can get a range of answers or outright win the game with what you tutored.

You say you will use it just for an answer, but very often it is utilized to outright win the game.

What you could do instead is try to draw into the answer or win condition using draw effects or you can rely on others at the table to identify the threat and help you take care of it.

I'm one of those players that plays with a group of friends and when they see a tutor go off it can be very frustrating for everyone at the table when the next card played by that player is a win condition or toolbox answer. If you like winning that way and you find that fun, that's cool, but I find that kind of lame. I'm not saying this is the way you play...maybe you are very responsible with what you tutor, but let's face it we've all been there when someone tutored for their win-con and that was the end of the game, it felt cheap and the victory felt very hollow. That's why I am advocating against playing tutors or at least limiting them to minor effect tutors like Trinket Mage or Sac Lands.

-Jest


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