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 Post subject: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 2:46 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
I've been one of the louder anti-tuck voices in the community since long before I joined the RC. When I first heard that the Command Zone was being introduced back in 2010, I argued that the RC should use the opportunity to remove tuck from the format.

Five years later, I'm finally unsleeving my Hinders and Condemns. A lot of people are pretty loudly upset right now, so I wanted to talk through some of my thoughts on the subject.

Game Rules

The purpose of game rules is to encourage good games.

As players, we're used to treating the rules as a given. This makes it easy to think of them as some invioble principle, and any change to them outside meddling.

But all game rules were designed by people who had specific goals and ideas of what constitutes good gameplay. Chess has a rule that players take turns, so you always get a chance to respond to your opponent. Magic has a rule that you can only play one land each turn, because it means that games scale up and more powerful cards are played over time. Commander has a rule that you start at 40 life to encourage longer, more epic games.

Many people already understand this, but I wanted to bring it up because whenever any game is changed there's a crowd that asks, "Who are you to say what is good gameplay? How can you make changes based on something as subjective as fun?" when that's the reason that every rule exists in the first place.

Was Tuck a Good Rule?

Okay, so we've got the premise that rules can be good or bad. But what's the case for tuck being a bad rule?

Tuck was always pretty arbitrary and unintuitive. It's not a rule that any one would guess is true without knowing about it, and there's not really any logical or flavorful justification for it. It was a weird loophole that people decided was a good tool for the format.

Getting your general tucked feels bad. But then, so does having your creatures killed, having your spells countered, and losing the game. Why is tuck different?

A big part is the combination of these two elements. Losing a videogame to a bug feels very different from losing it to something that you expect within the logic of the game. Tuck isn't a natural result of the rules of Magic or Commander, it's a weird loophole that exists only to allow the situation that's screwing you over right now.

Can you imagine how people would react if tuck was being added to the format, if they weren't operating on the assumption that it was part of the game? You wouldn't be hearing, "This will be a good way to answer problem generals." You'd be hearing "This is the stupidest rule I've ever heard" and "Why are we adding a rule for these 10 random cards?"

Gameplay and Balance

This is the most contentious area, and the one with the most legitimate concerns. Will tuck's removal be the straw that breaks Prossh and Maelstrom Wanderer's back? Will the balance be shifted too far towards general-centric combos?

Time will tell, but personally I'd be surprised if much went wrong here. I don't think 3 good tuck cards were the only thing holding back the floodgates and skilled deckbuilders won't find other avenues to tune against combo and ramp.

But even if I'm wrong and some generals do turn out to be degenerate, I don't think tuck was the right solution. A weird loophole buffing a half dozen cards is not the right way to tune a format, and tuck has high collateral damage. We can ban generals if we need to, or Wizards can print Nevermore-type effects balanced for Commander.

Strategy

On the other end of the legitimacy spectrum, we have, "This removes strategic depth," or even, "They're dumbing down the game to appease noobs."

These arguments generally the opposite of the truth. Removing a known tool rewards skilled players and deckbuilders - the people clever enough to figure out the best replacements and strategies in a tuckless world will win games because of it.

When M10 removed stacking combat damage, it actually made Magic more skillful - there were more meaningful decisions and fewer best-of-both-world scenarios. But many medium-skill players complained loudly about the change dumbing down Magic, because it was taking away a tool that they new how to wield.

In Conclusion

It's totally understandable that so many players are upset about tuck. It was a tool that they had been given, something that they had learned to accept as part of Commander.

But I believe that Commander will be more fun and balanced without it. I hope that people are willing to give the new world a chance.

I tried to lay out my thoughts in a reasonably logical and comprehensive manner, but I'll be happy to talk through soem of the details if people have questions or wrathful derision.

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 2:47 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
[Rule 4.]


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 3:17 pm 

Joined: 2015-Mar-27 10:51 am
Age: Wyvern
Just me shaking my pompoms - nice to see someone put a well thought-out post together for the Yea camp. :)

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 4:31 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Joz wrote:
You're fired.

Seriously (and I mean that), get off your fucking high horse. You're not a magic playing God, and your opinion doesn't matter any more or any less than anyone else's. If you don't like the format, GTFO and don't come back. I won't miss you and your constant negativity disguised as "bro I'm only trolling lolololololol".

To ODice: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I hope you have your asbestos suit on, because idiots like Joz are going to take plenty of shots at you.

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 5:00 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I have always wondered why tuck was ever allowed. Good to know that it was a type of loophole.

I think even though tuck is useful resource to combat commander-centric strategies, it is important to remember that it never had a place. If that makes a commander broken, then the commander itself will be dealt with at a rules level. Exiling a commander would also be a good tool, but not what the format is about, so it isn't going to get added.
Considering tuck to be a necessary evil is like saying you would breakl game rules or format intentions to 'fix' the format. Reminds me of how people describe war as "bombing for peace".

Only slightly unrelated, i hope everyone realizes that at least some portion of pro-tuck players are whiners regardless of the change going on. If tuck were already not a thing, and was just removed now, some of these same people would be up in arms today.

Viperion wrote:
Joz wrote:
You're fired.

constant negativity disguised as "bro I'm only trolling lolololololol".

(somewhat arbitrarily quoting)
I wouldn't defend Joz, but i would also like to say even though he is making some kind of typical ignoramus comment, you would probably be better off just ignoring him. He isn't going to stop or suddenly add insightful material to his posts (and i think a fair amount of folks here have just learned to ignore him), so any vitriol you want to express is definitely wasted time.


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 9:18 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Thank you for your thoughts odice. I actually find this explanation easier to digest than some of the other ones. I still dislike the change, but when you flip the rule around (what if we ADDED the rule), it makes it hard to defend tuck.

Now, where have you been for the last two years? You became RC and went from active forum member to ghost? (Not attacking you, I got legitimately worried.)


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 11:08 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Hi Devon, nice to hear from you and thanks for your elaborate post.

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 11:51 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
cryogen wrote:
Now, where have you been for the last two years? You became RC and went from active forum member to ghost? (Not attacking you, I got legitimately worried.)

I asked him that a while back, and he said he had something called a "real life" that demanded his attention. Don't know what that is, but it sounds scary. Probably bad news. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 12:08 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Quite recently I made a petition asking to get Real Life banned and it got over 300 votes!

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 12:41 am 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-16 3:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Shabbaman wrote:
Quite recently I made a petition asking to get Real Life banned and it got over 300 votes!

I would sign that petition.


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:06 am 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
A move and a new job knocked me out of the world for a while, but things have settled down and I'd like to be more present and communicative again.

A long post on a controversial subject seemed like a good choice for a dramatic return :)

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:25 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Viperion wrote:
You're not a magic playing God, and your opinion doesn't matter any more or any less than anyone else's.


Everybody is equally entitled to hold an opinion, but that doesn't mean that every opinion is of equal worth. I think that Joz plays enough that opinion carries more weight than some (e.g. all of these new accounts popping up to scream for the RC's heads). You always just have to interpret it through the lens that his playgroup is full of power players who do a shit job of policing their own behavior.


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 2:04 am 

Joined: 2014-Dec-16 6:04 am
Age: Drake
Here's my problem with your argument. WOTC printed Spell Crumple and Chaos Warp specifically for us. They printed Prosh for us, and probably printed Maelstrom Wanderer and other tuck cards like Terminus with us in mind, but we know the first 3 were part of the 153 cards in products for us. Tuck is not, in any way at all, a 'weird little loophole'. It is an aspect of the format officially supported by the printing of the cards for us. You have the gall to demand WOTC print more cards like Never More instead-knowing red pretty much can't answer them?

I am in no way in favor of WOTC running this show, but you have some serious balls to make demands like this. WOTC is running it one way and it isn't how you like. You need to find a way to take that up with them, and not on a message board or through changing rules that didn't need to be changed. Besides, what happens when 10 versions of Never More exist and Captain Douchebag has indestructible untargetable enchantments naming everyone's general in play? That is going to happen when there are enough never mores to do it. In reality, it sounds like when the time comes that whatever nickname we give these cards suddenly gets to that point, you'll consider them 'weird loopholes' instead of official WOTC ways of keeping ass hats in line as tuck had been in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 2:14 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
But MaRo has said he didn't like tuck either, as have other senior WotC employees. So it sounds like WotC and the RC are in agreement here.

I don't think OD made any demands; he said they could ban generals, OR WotC could print Nevermore-type effects balanced for commander.

Did tuck ever truly keep problem commanders in line consistently, or did it just incentivise non-commander centric deckbuilding?

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 Post subject: Re: obsidiandice on Tuck
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 2:26 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
But MaRo has said he didn't like tuck either, as have other senior WotC employees. So it sounds like WotC and the RC are in agreement here.

I don't think OD made any demands; he said they could ban generals, OR WotC could print Nevermore-type effects balanced for commander.

Did tuck ever truly keep problem commanders in line consistently, or did it just incentivise non-commander centric deckbuilding?


Small detail: they have stated that they didn't like the way tuck interacts with commanders, not that they didn't like tuck. Tuck is a niche ability predominantly in W & U that will continue regardless of the interaction or not with commanders.

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