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 Post subject: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-20 11:30 pm 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Florida
So, I've been shouting this for a while now and figured I'd just go to the source to have the discussion. First off, greetings everyone. First time posting here; who chose the colors? Blue on blue. So hard to read! Okay, so.

My argument:
The rules and banlist for EDH should *NOT* consider the possibility of 'house rules' or playgroup modifications, period. The rules need to be made without the assumption that the players even know one another in the same way every other format is.

My points:
1. First things first, if you're playing at home or with a circle of people you know, the rules are irrelevant. Most 'kitchen table' groups don't pay any attention to formats and just play whatever they have, so why bother making rules with them in mind anyway? Assuming you have a group which DOES follow format rules, they can agree among themselves to modify those rules as they wish.

2. Designing rules with 'playgroups' in mind makes the [extremely inaccurate] assumption that such static playgroups both the norm and are able to police themselves; EDH may have started as a 'kitchen table' format, but it long ago outgrew these roots - we're now playing at game stores more often than not. We're playing with people we don't know. We're playing in events. How are we supposed to come to an agreement on what is and isn't fun or competitive when most players cannot even agree on what those terms themselves mean in this context?

My proposition:
Re-visit your philosophy and goals as a Rules Committee. If you're going to continue to arbite the format, own it. Determine where you want the power level to be and ban accordingly. Stop worrying about who is having fun and who isn't; the player-base will figure out how to have fun within the bounds you set regardless (see Modern players griping about their bans).

Now, personally, I think EDH isn't a format at all - it is a completely new version of Magic and should have formats of it's own; make two banlists. Separate those who wish to play at a higher power level. Or don't. But whatever you do, OWN IT. If you aren't willing to actually make rules and manage the format, then why have a Rules Committee in the first place?


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 5:56 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So... I want to reply ... but I'm having a hard time separating out your points from your aggressive language that you're using.

Any chance you want to restate your argument/points without being inflammatory while doing so? It would set a much better tone for discussion instead of it seeming like you are just coming in with a bone to pick and not caring who you anger in your path. Your points will be much clearer and better prone to discussion vs people picking apart the parts where you are just insulting to people for no real reason.

So... wanna take a do over? If you cut out those aggressive bits, I'm quite willing to have a nice discussion with you... but only if you seem like you're willing to have a discussion back (which currently it doesn't seem that way.)


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 7:58 am 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Florida
Carthain wrote:
So... I want to reply ... but I'm having a hard time separating out your points from your aggressive language that you're using.

Any chance you want to restate your argument/points without being inflammatory while doing so? It would set a much better tone for discussion instead of it seeming like you are just coming in with a bone to pick and not caring who you anger in your path. Your points will be much clearer and better prone to discussion vs people picking apart the parts where you are just insulting to people for no real reason.

So... wanna take a do over? If you cut out those aggressive bits, I'm quite willing to have a nice discussion with you... but only if you seem like you're willing to have a discussion back (which currently it doesn't seem that way.)

My apologies, but it isn't intended to be thus - honestly, it doesn't seem aggressive or mean spirited from my end, I simply tend to argue my points somewhat passionately. No offense is intended.

My points are made firmly because I am frustrated with the stated philosophy of the Rule Committee and it's contradictions; to be specific, the idea that 'playgroups self police' and the existence of a ruling body are in direct conflict with one another. If we could effectively self police, banlists would be entirely unnecessary in any format of Magic.

[EDIT]: To be fair, I came here to convince, not to BE convinced. In my opinion, the current philosophy makes too many assumptions about how and where EDH is played and quite frankly, I have heard 'have that talk with your playgroup' one too many times. Many of us don't have static playgroups. Those that do often have players who cannot comprehend why anyone would play sub-optimally or how their fun could be a detriment to the fun of others. Those groups that DO have static groups and CAN effectively police one another [without bullying] don't *NEED* the banlist, or the Rules Committee which maintains it, in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I will consider and discuss the matter, however I am here to make a point and, perhaps, have some impact. If I happen to be aggressive in presenting my argument, I don't really see how that should reflect on the merit of my points - nearly any good debater will argue passionately and aggressively.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 8:24 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MadMage wrote:
[EDIT]: To be fair, I came here to convince, not to BE convinced.

So, you have an opinion, but aren't willing to consider the possibility that you're wrong? Okay, discussion done.

I gave you a chance to perhaps try to get a discussion going about the issue(s) you see, but instead you just state that your mind is made up. So, feel free to keep "shouting" this around; you don't seem like someone worth really engaging in as you don't want any discussion, you just want to spout your opinions at others.

MadMage wrote:
nearly any good debater will argue passionately and aggressively.

Passionately sure - but you were inflammatory, and engaging in logical fallacies with your post (such as the title being hyperbole) none of which help your case. If you want to be a good debater, then learn how to debate and not engage in logical fallacies.

You will hopefully note that your tone has completely drowned out any points you were making -- definitely not the form of a good debater as you seem to be grouping yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 8:40 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks for your feedback.

MadMage wrote:
My argument:
The rules and banlist for EDH should *NOT* consider the possibility of 'house rules' or playgroup modifications, period. The rules need to be made without the assumption that the players even know one another in the same way every other format is.


This isn't an argument. It's a demand.

Oddly, it's a demand that Commander adopt the same basic approach as other formats, despite a lot of evidence that Commander has grown because it eschewed that approach and appealed to people who find the other formats uninteresting.


MadMage wrote:
My points:
1. First things first, if you're playing at home or with a circle of people you know, the rules are irrelevant. Most 'kitchen table' groups don't pay any attention to formats and just play whatever they have, so why bother making rules with them in mind anyway? Assuming you have a group which DOES follow format rules, they can agree among themselves to modify those rules as they wish.


You make rules with them in mind so that they have guidance; which is beneficial for them. I'm sorry you think so little of kitchen table groups that you don't believe that they should be nurtured and encouraged, but they remain the core of the Commander audience, so I think it's appropriate to keep their needs in mind.


MadMage wrote:
2. Designing rules with 'playgroups' in mind makes the [extremely inaccurate] assumption that such static playgroups both the norm and are able to police themselves; EDH may have started as a 'kitchen table' format, but it long ago outgrew these roots - we're now playing at game stores more often than not. We're playing with people we don't know. We're playing in events. How are we supposed to come to an agreement on what is and isn't fun or competitive when most players cannot even agree on what those terms themselves mean in this context?


Here, I'm afraid you're just making things up, and will have to produce a whole lot of evidence that contradicts everything we have been able to gather

* Such playgroups are the norm. Saying that this is "extremely inaccurate" does not make it so.
* People are not playing at game stores more often than not. The vast majority of play (likely well over 90%) is not played in stores. Events make up an even more minuscule portion of Commander play.

What you actually mean is that *you* are doing these things, and believe that Commander should cater to you. Acknowledge that and explain why you are the audience we should cater to, and we can talk about that.

MadMage wrote:
My proposition:
Re-visit your philosophy and goals as a Rules Committee. If you're going to continue to arbite the format, own it. Determine where you want the power level to be and ban accordingly. Stop worrying about who is having fun and who isn't; the player-base will figure out how to have fun within the bounds you set regardless (see Modern players griping about their bans).

Now, personally, I think EDH isn't a format at all - it is a completely new version of Magic and should have formats of it's own; make two banlists. Separate those who wish to play at a higher power level. Or don't. But whatever you do, OWN IT. If you aren't willing to actually make rules and manage the format, then why have a Rules Committee in the first place?


We are making rules and managing the format. We're not, apparently, managing a format that works for you, which is unfortunate. However, it seems to work for many people; giving them tools to manage themselves is a feature, not a bug.

Separating groups is not something we are interested in managing, though we're happy if people figure out a way to play differently that works for them; they have our blessing to spread it as much as they want.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 9:59 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MadMage wrote:
nearly any good debater will argue passionately and aggressively.

To the extent this statement is true at all, it is only true for speech-based debates. There you have various vocal and physical tools to try to plant a desired impression of your words in the listener's head. On an internet forum you don't have that ability, so it's entirely up to the reader to create their own impressions. And what is intended to be "passionately and aggressively" is often read as "hostile, rude, and not worth dealing with".

Even that being said, it's also only correct if you define "good" debating as being able to appear "winning" to bystanders. If you define "good" debating as something like attempting to convince the other person or trying to figure out the truth, then it's one of the worst possible strategies.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 10:12 am 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Florida
Carthain wrote:
MadMage wrote:
[EDIT]: To be fair, I came here to convince, not to BE convinced.

So, you have an opinion, but aren't willing to consider the possibility that you're wrong? Okay, discussion done.


Quite the contrary, I am always open to the possibility of being wrong. However, I came here to present an argument, not ask an opinion; thus, I came with the goal of convincing.

The title isn't hyperbole; if it were a fallacy it would be 'begging the question', perhaps, but hyperbole is first off a statement [not a question] which is obviously exaggerated - I've never even heard of hyperbole referred to as a logical fallacy before.

I mean, I get the impression that it isn't the way I presented my argument, but the argument itself that you take issue with. How would you have presented my point of view, might I ask?


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 10:18 am 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Florida
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
MadMage wrote:
nearly any good debater will argue passionately and aggressively.

To the extent this statement is true at all, it is only true for speech-based debates. There you have various vocal and physical tools to try to plant a desired impression of your words in the listener's head. On an internet forum you don't have that ability, so it's entirely up to the reader to create their own impressions. And what is intended to be "passionately and aggressively" is often read as "hostile, rude, and not worth dealing with".

Even that being said, it's also only correct if you define "good" debating as being able to appear "winning" to bystanders. If you define "good" debating as something like attempting to convince the other person or trying to figure out the truth, then it's one of the worst possible strategies.


Ah. Yes, tone and such doesn't come over well in speech. Perhaps starting my post off with implying I am 'shouting' doesn't help, either, eh? Open mouth, insert foot and all.

Hrmm.. I made the edit after considering the opposing point of view that my post DID come off rude and aggressive. I still personally don't feel it was intended as thus and am unsure how to re-present it without it being inflammatory to someone else.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 11:11 am 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
Age: Wyvern
Location: Florida
papa_funk wrote:
This isn't an argument. It's a demand.
Oddly, it's a demand that Commander adopt the same basic approach as other formats, despite a lot of evidence that Commander has grown because it eschewed that approach and appealed to people who find the other formats uninteresting.


A demand? No, I was merely trying to summarize my point of view. The point of the argument is to convince you of the merits thereof, not command you to adapt it.

I'm sorry, I don't understand your response - adopt the same approach as other formats? The only thing in this section that would be similar to other formats would be assuming you know the other players beforehand - are we implying that EDH is not intended to be played with new players?


papa_funk wrote:
You make rules with them in mind so that they have guidance; which is beneficial for them. I'm sorry you think so little of kitchen table groups that you don't believe that they should be nurtured and encouraged, but they remain the core of the Commander audience, so I think it's appropriate to keep their needs in mind.

I think you're misreading my intent here - by stating that 'kitchen table' doesn't need the RC, what I mean is that the structure of any rules or format is less relevant; what I'm saying is that you focus on their 'needs' to the detriment of those who play at stores or events. Basically, the inverse of what you said of my post. The difference being a kitchen table group can make house rules to supersede your rules and store play can't/shouldn't.

As for home play being the core audience, I'd have to be convinced that is true (how do you even track that?) nor is it really relevant - again, rules are nowhere near as relevant with home play. These players aren't the ones who NEED banlists.

papa_funk wrote:
Here, I'm afraid you're just making things up, and will have to produce a whole lot of evidence that contradicts everything we have been able to gather

* Such playgroups are the norm. Saying that this is "extremely inaccurate" does not make it so.
* People are not playing at game stores more often than not. The vast majority of play (likely well over 90%) is not played in stores. Events make up an even more minuscule portion of Commander play.

What you actually mean is that *you* are doing these things, and believe that Commander should cater to you. Acknowledge that and explain why you are the audience we should cater to, and we can talk about that.


As above, how do you even gather that info?

Would you consider it wrong to want the rules to cater to my needs? By focusing on one demographic's needs, you ignore entirely the needs of those who don't fall within that demographic. And I reiterate that the needs of the 'kitchen table' crowd aren't even really relevant. You think the four friends sitting in their kitchen playing 60-card jank care what is banned in the Modern format?

papa_funk wrote:
We are making rules and managing the format. We're not, apparently, managing a format that works for you, which is unfortunate. However, it seems to work for many people; giving them tools to manage themselves is a feature, not a bug.

Separating groups is not something we are interested in managing, though we're happy if people figure out a way to play differently that works for them; they have our blessing to spread it as much as they want.

So your response to literally every player that plays in stores and doesn't have a static playgroup that the format isn't for them? Or do you think that my being a single person with the audacity to come here and say something means I am alone in my opinion? Oddly dismissive, but okay.

Anyway, I appreciate your responding.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 11:38 am 

Joined: 2012-Oct-24 8:05 pm
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Perhaps you could start by explaining the problem you're experiencing when you play. It seems like maybe you're having trouble finding opponents with decks of similar power level to yours? Or you tend to end up in games where some players find others' decks unfun?


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 12:41 pm 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MadMage wrote:
A demand? No, I was merely trying to summarize my point of view. The point of the argument is to convince you of the merits thereof, not command you to adapt it.


You don't propose any merits. That's my point. "The rules and banlist for EDH should *NOT* consider the possibility of 'house rules' or playgroup modifications, period." contains no merits to be convinced of. It's a position or a demand.

MadMage wrote:
I'm sorry, I don't understand your response - adopt the same approach as other formats? The only thing in this section that would be similar to other formats would be assuming you know the other players beforehand - are we implying that EDH is not intended to be played with new players?


That is the approach taken in other formats. It does not imply that EDH is not intended to be played with new players. It does imply that EDH is not well-suited for anonymous groups, as one of the fundamental underpinnings of the format is the social nature.

MadMage wrote:
I think you're misreading my intent here - by stating that 'kitchen table' doesn't need the RC, what I mean is that the structure of any rules or format is less relevant; what I'm saying is that you focus on their 'needs' to the detriment of those who play at stores or events.


Well, that's an improvement. Your first attempt took a much more absolutist stance. I don't think the evidence is in your favor here. If they didn't need any structure, why have they flocked to Commander? My counter-hypothesis to yours would be that kitchen tables players were looking for a set of rules that catered to them, and Commander delivered it, along with empowering them to tweak it as they needed, and that's why Commander has been successful.

MadMage wrote:
As above, how do you even gather that info?


Well, I've spent the last 26 years traveling the globe playing Magic in an effort to understand how Magic players tick, have had discussions with Wizards about their research, and have spent huge numbers of hours on the format and making Magic better in general. Even then, I'm uncomfortable making absolute statements. You? Judging by your post, you seem to believe you have gathered the info, so I'm fascinated to hear how.

If you want to think about these things, I strongly recommend you read https://adjameson.wordpress.com/2018/12 ... -at-large/ . It's not about Commander, but it's really entirely about Commander. It's a great read and you might find it interesting.

MadMage wrote:
Would you consider it wrong to want the rules to cater to my needs?


Not at all; we all want things to cater to us. But you need to account for that bias and recognize what you are asking for.

MadMage wrote:
By focusing on one demographic's needs, you ignore entirely the needs of those who don't fall within that demographic.


That is sadly true. If you can create a format that appeals to all demographics, fame and fortune awaits you. Well, some fame, at least. What you are asking for here is for us to abandon the demographic we have chosen to emphasize, which is gigantic, in favor of another - already well-served - one that is much smaller. Make your points with that in mind.

MadMage wrote:
And I reiterate that the needs of the 'kitchen table' crowd aren't even really relevant. You think the four friends sitting in their kitchen playing 60-card jank care what is banned in the Modern format?


The fact that you think their needs are irrelevant is somewhere we will have to disagree. I believe Commander proved this incorrect.

They don't care about what is banned in the Modern format because Modern is not very appealing to the casual crowd.

MadMage wrote:
So your response to literally every player that plays in stores and doesn't have a static playgroup that the format isn't for them?


We encourage stores to tailor their Commander experience for their local players, and many stores are successful at this. In particular, league play with achievements has worked quite well. Have you tried talking to your store and figuring out something that works for your local community? If the others in your area are also unhappy with the format, then that's an opportunity to make it better.

MadMage wrote:
Or do you think that my being a single person with the audacity to come here and say something means I am alone in my opinion? Oddly dismissive, but okay.


I don't think you are alone in your opinion. However, your opinion is not as widely held as you believe.

You can consider the stance dismissive, but consider the inverse. You are demanding that we make wholesale changes to the format - changes that would literally make the format unappealing to the people who founded it - to make it better for you personally.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-21 3:25 pm 

Joined: 2019-Sep-20 10:58 pm
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Location: Florida
papa_funk wrote:
You don't propose any merits. That's my point. "The rules and banlist for EDH should *NOT* consider the possibility of 'house rules' or playgroup modifications, period." contains no merits to be convinced of. It's a position or a demand.

Oh! Yes, I suppose that is something I can more easily work with - I have to admit, after the initial response I have become rather disheartened. I didn't come here with the expectation to speak to anyone in the RC themselves, simply to have a visible conversation they can observe and consider.

papa_funk wrote:
MadMage wrote:
I'm sorry, I don't understand your response - adopt the same approach as other formats? The only thing in this section that would be similar to other formats would be assuming you know the other players beforehand - are we implying that EDH is not intended to be played with new players?

That is the approach taken in other formats. It does not imply that EDH is not intended to be played with new players. It does imply that EDH is not well-suited for anonymous groups, as one of the fundamental underpinnings of the format is the social nature.

So the social interaction between known friends is held above all others? This is an amazingly narrow focus.

papa_funk wrote:
Well, that's an improvement. Your first attempt took a much more absolutist stance. I don't think the evidence is in your favor here. If they didn't need any structure, why have they flocked to Commander? My counter-hypothesis to yours would be that kitchen tables players were looking for a set of rules that catered to them, and Commander delivered it, along with empowering them to tweak it as they needed, and that's why Commander has been successful.

An excellent question: Why do people switch to Commander? If you're implying it is a sense of structure, I present you the least structured format of Magic as counter to that supposition.

How about why I personally switched to Commander? I came back to Magic after a 10-year break after the bans of Mirrodin. Came back during Theros to find utility spells like Heroes Downfall and Sylvan Caryatid priced well above $5 each and in need of 4 copies to make a decent deck. I had an older collection dating back to 1994 and ALWAYS loved 'chaos' games of 6-8 people. Commander cards were cheap, didn't rotate and the deck design allowed those big spells I could never make work anywhere else (Memnarch was my first EDH deck).

I'm a military brat. Never had a home. Never stayed anywhere long and my 20's were a lot more of the same. Not exactly easy for a shy introvert, specifically one with a habit of being abrasive, to make friends - but I can go to a local shop ANYWHERE in the US and find people of like mind because of EDH. THAT is why I play this format. And it is a social interaction this RC severely undervalues.

papa_funk wrote:
Well, I've spent the last 26 years traveling the globe playing Magic in an effort to understand how Magic players tick, have had discussions with Wizards about their research, and have spent huge numbers of hours on the format and making Magic better in general. Even then, I'm uncomfortable making absolute statements. You? Judging by your post, you seem to believe you have gathered the info, so I'm fascinated to hear how.

I can't offer more than anecdotal evidence or a different perspective - I've been playing Magic (and tertiary games) since 1994 all over the US and a bit overseas and I can tell you rather easily there are far too many mindsets and viewpoints when it comes to players to focus in on a single demographic, ESPECIALLY when there is no merit to doing so.

papa_funk wrote:
That is sadly true. If you can create a format that appeals to all demographics, fame and fortune awaits you. Well, some fame, at least. What you are asking for here is for us to abandon the demographic we have chosen to emphasize, which is gigantic, in favor of another - already well-served - one that is much smaller. Make your points with that in mind.

I mean, I don't see why EDH cannot be designed in such a way as to appeal to the largest number of demographics possible; the change I propose isn't a huge one, really.

papa_funk wrote:
The fact that you think their needs are irrelevant is somewhere we will have to disagree. I believe Commander proved this incorrect.

Hold on. I didn't say their NEED was irrelevant. I said the RULES were irrelevant to their needs. A static group playing at home can far more easily come up with 'house rules' and modifications to fit their specific play group, thus the banlist is far less relevant to them than it is to those without static groups. If they feel Balance or Coalition Victory create an unfair play experience, it is a smidge easier to talk to known friends than it is to tell a complete stranger their deck is unfair or unfun.

papa_funk wrote:
They don't care about what is banned in the Modern format because Modern is not very appealing to the casual crowd.

Being seated against a Food Chain Sliver, Shimmer Zur, or Kess Storm deck at a casual event isn't very appealing to a casual crowd, either.

papa_funk wrote:
We encourage stores to tailor their Commander experience for their local players, and many stores are successful at this. In particular, league play with achievements has worked quite well. Have you tried talking to your store and figuring out something that works for your local community? If the others in your area are also unhappy with the format, then that's an opportunity to make it better.

I have, to no avail. 'Encouraging' is fine and all, but you put the impetus on someone else to do the responsibility you've taken; this is one of the more egregious issues I have with your philosophy - you're essentially a Supreme Court for the format that refuses to draw any lines; the rulings you have made are inconsistent and your philosophy is a direct contradiction with your existence. What is the point of a Judge who tells the court to figure it out among themselves?

papa_funk wrote:
You can consider the stance dismissive, but consider the inverse. You are demanding that we make wholesale changes to the format - changes that would literally make the format unappealing to the people who founded it - to make it better for you personally.

I'm actually only proposing a re-consideration of a single facet of your stated philosophy; that playgroups [or stores] self-police. This is hardly 'wholesale changes'. I am not even suggesting any specific bans or rules modifications, simply an overall consideration of what I feel is an overlooked demographic which I believe represents a FAR greater section of the EDH community than you've stated; there is no way those who attend stores make up even in the realm of 10% of EDH players.

And I am not demanding a ban of Cyclonic Rift or anything like that because a card is 'too powerful'; I'm not even really demanding any changes, merely suggesting a re-consideration of the philosophy of relying on playgroups self-policing when considering rules and banlist chances, because this stance comes at a detriment to players who do not fit within these demographics without providing notable merit to those who do. I'm only asking for you to shift the perspective: make rules and banlist changes without the assumption that individuals or stores can or should make personal modifications. The 'kitchen table' groups can FAR more easily make those accommodations than anyone else and are thus in the least need of a banlist to police their play; the ones who NEED the rules arbitration are those who sit down with strangers to make the overall social experience more enjoyable for everyone involved and meeting their needs comes at no detriment to the 'kitchen table' demographic.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-22 12:01 am 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, Florida
In the stores that I play, there about a dozen different tight knit groups. They all have different ways of playing, and some have banned cards or even infinite combos. Some don't change anything at all. Self-policing has let these players make their own decisions on how they're going to play the format. And all it takes before a new player joins in is a little communication.

It's been nothing but a net positive for the format as a whole. As an example, I refuse to play with cards that are miserable to deal with (Rhystic.Study, Sensei's Divining Top), cards that are simply degenerate in my opinion (Expropiate, Tooth and Nail), or any sort of infinite combos at all. I'm self-policing. It works.

You can't stop people from being asses and playing broken decks. You can avoid playing with them, however.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-22 4:31 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MadMage wrote:
So the social interaction between known friends is held above all others? This is an amazingly narrow focus.


How is it narrow? It's probably the largest group in existence. It is less narrow than any other format.


MadMage wrote:
An excellent question: Why do people switch to Commander? If you're implying it is a sense of structure, I present you the least structured format of Magic as counter to that supposition.


I'm not implying that. Your original claim was "why bother making rules with them in mind anyway?" Where is "sense of structure" coming from? They move because there's a format that appeals to them. Part of having a format that appeals to them is having rules that work for them and flexibility. That doesn't mean that rules are unnecessary for them, nor that the appeal is a "sense of structure".

MadMage wrote:
How about why I personally switched to Commander? I came back to Magic after a 10-year break after the bans of Mirrodin. Came back during Theros to find utility spells like Heroes Downfall and Sylvan Caryatid priced well above $5 each and in need of 4 copies to make a decent deck. I had an older collection dating back to 1994 and ALWAYS loved 'chaos' games of 6-8 people. Commander cards were cheap, didn't rotate and the deck design allowed those big spells I could never make work anywhere else (Memnarch was my first EDH deck).


Your stance will make all of these things worse (well, except rotation). Removing the focus on casual play will homogenize the format, driving up the price of staple cards. Decks will have to become tighter and faster as people are forced to race to the top; the days of big spells will be long gone.

I suppose there's a scenario where we drive all of the core away, which would make things cheaper for you. That doesn't seem like the best idea.

MadMage wrote:
but I can go to a local shop ANYWHERE in the US and find people of like mind because of EDH. THAT is why I play this format. And it is a social interaction this RC severely undervalues.


But your claim is that you can't do this. And I don't think we can make a format in which you can do this without destroying everything you just said appeals to you.

MadMage wrote:
I mean, I don't see why EDH cannot be designed in such a way as to appeal to the largest number of demographics possible;


The evidence that a whole lot of really smart people have failed to do this with any format in 24 years would suggest that it might not be possible. You have to choose; we have chosen a very large slice of the pie because it was a slice that was underserved.

MadMage wrote:
the change I propose isn't a huge one, really.


Its an enormous change. You are telling us to change the first line, and most of the rest, of the philosophy document.

MadMage wrote:
Hold on. I didn't say their NEED was irrelevant. I said the RULES were irrelevant to their needs.
A static group playing at home can far more easily come up with 'house rules' and modifications to fit their specific play group, thus the banlist is far less relevant to them than it is to those without static groups. If they feel Balance or Coalition Victory create an unfair play experience, it is a smidge easier to talk to known friends than it is to tell a complete stranger their deck is unfair or unfun.


The fact that is is less relevant does not make it irrelevant.



MadMage wrote:
Being seated against a Food Chain Sliver, Shimmer Zur, or Kess Storm deck at a casual event isn't very appealing to a casual crowd, either.


Correct, which is why we encourage play amongst friends as the best way to play Commander.

I think here we reach the core of the problem, and I have some bad news for you: there is no way to make that player who is playing Food Chain Sliver play a deck that you will enjoy playing against. No banlist update that doesn't contain thousands of cards will stop them from building the best thing available and crushing those "big spell" decks that appeal to you. You have demanded that we "determine where you want the power level to be and ban accordingly." That power level will ensure the prevalence of Shimmer Myr everywhere. Is that really what you want?

MadMage wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
We encourage stores to tailor their Commander experience for their local players, and many stores are successful at this. In particular, league play with achievements has worked quite well. Have you tried talking to your store and figuring out something that works for your local community? If the others in your area are also unhappy with the format, then that's an opportunity to make it better.

I have, to no avail.


Why not? If all the players are unhappy, then this should be an easy sell. Or, if the store isn't interested in doing anything, well, you've found yourself a playgroup.



MadMage wrote:
'Encouraging' is fine and all, but you put the impetus on someone else to do the responsibility you've taken; this is one of the more egregious issues I have with your philosophy - you're essentially a Supreme Court for the format that refuses to draw any lines; the rulings you have made are inconsistent and your philosophy is a direct contradiction with your existence. What is the point of a Judge who tells the court to figure it out among themselves?


This is a weak analogy. The supreme court doesn't start with Rule 0. A better analogy would be the federal government and the states. The government sets the general framework and lets states figure out the individual implementations that work for them. (yes, it's not a perfect analogy, but it'll do).

What rulings have we made that are inconsistent? And our philosophy being in direct contradiction with our existence is only the case if you don't believe that casual players should have set of rules as a starting point to work from.

MadeMage wrote:
I'm actually only proposing a re-consideration of a single facet of your stated philosophy; that playgroups [or stores] self-police. This is hardly 'wholesale changes'.


It's the largest change imaginable. You are asking us to rip up the entire philosophy document.

MadeMage wrote:
I am not even suggesting any specific bans or rules modifications, simply an overall consideration of what I feel is an overlooked demographic which I believe represents a FAR greater section of the EDH community than you've stated; there is no way those who attend stores make up even in the realm of 10% of EDH players.


And I'm afraid that's your belief, and contradicts everything we believe from years of doing this (though I note that you've changed your descriptor here from "playing at game stores" to "players who attend stores", which would change the numbers a bit). Absent any evidence of your claim, it's hard to justify radical changes. And the changes you think are small are actually radical.

MadeMage wrote:
And I am not demanding a ban of Cyclonic Rift or anything like that because a card is 'too powerful'; I'm not even really demanding any changes, merely suggesting a re-consideration of the philosophy of relying on playgroups self-policing when considering rules and banlist chances, because this stance comes at a detriment to players who do not fit within these demographics without providing notable merit to those who do.


They absolutely provide merit to those who do, and I'm sorry that I cannot convince you of this. We will simply have to disagree.

MadeMage wrote:
I'm only asking for you to shift the perspective: make rules and banlist changes without the assumption that individuals or stores can or should make personal modifications.


OK, so let's say we do this. What happens?

What happens is that Food Chain Sliver becomes the official, correct way to play Commander and that's what's left. I I thought you were unhappy about that above.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-22 5:53 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Duvall, WA
being one of those "casual players who doesnt play at stores" the core rules curated by the RC was the initial appeal fir me when i started playing commander over 15 years ago. we made house bans, but often, banned cards would be overlooked if they were fun. that being said, having to start from ground 0 is more work than a casual table really wants to do. Commander provided a cool, flavor driven format that let us build fun decks, with silly, underappreciated cards and did the work of coming up with a rules framework so we could just play the effing game. it also gave us a place to call our own. Type 2 or standard or whatever always hozed us casuals out of being able to use the cards we wanted. commander is the first mainstream format to ENCOURAGE casual play, and eliminate hypercompetative homoginizing of Magic


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