MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander
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Question of the Week
http://mtgcommander.net/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=18888
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Author:  Sheldon [ 2018-Jul-17 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Question of the Week

I'm going to start a new Question of the Week feature on SCG. I'll still occasionally do mailbag articles, but maybe a little less frequently. I'm reserving this spot for folks to come back to post questions. I'll choose one each week and reply in the article. It feels like really engaging with Commander players all the time is better than every few months. The questions that have the best chance of getting answered are the ones without easy answers which might encourage additional discussion within the community. Fire away!

Author:  Viperion [ 2018-Jul-17 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

You've often said you use a "build casually, play competitively" approach - you don't build oppressive combos into your decks, and then when in game you will tend to make the optimum play when it presents itself. How much do you actually follow that though? For example, it's turn 3 and due to a random mana dork or something, you have four mana available and Creeping Mold in your hand. Your opponents have just had their turn 2, and one of them has an Izzet Boilerworks on an otherwise empty board. The "competitive" play here is to bomb them back to the stone age, basically removing them from the game for the next few turns while you can concentrate on the rest of your deadly foes.

Clearly, you don't do that, as it's a douche play of the highest order. So my question (finally) is; when does "play competitively" get trumped by "have a memorable game"? To continue that example, if you wait until turn 10 to Creeping Mold that Boilerworks, then it will more than likely have no impact on the game at all. The "right" time to play it is when it will have the most impact, and that's clearly turn 3.

Related question; when choosing who to attack, what's your priority? The guy you can do the most damage to, the guy you can kill right now, the guy who has the potential to do the most damage to you, or something else? Again, does that priority list change depending on how long the game has been going for?

Author:  Sheldon [ 2018-Jul-17 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Viperion, I want to say thanks for nearly always asking questions for the mailbag articles and always asking good ones when you do.

Author:  Viperion [ 2018-Jul-17 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Aw shucks, thanks :oops: :D

Author:  Segrus [ 2018-Jul-17 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

How do you feel about introducing somebody to Magic through the Commander format? The sentiment I hear expressed most often on the Internet is that Commander is one of the worst--if not the worst--platform to use for this. Basically, the suggestion is Commander adds rules to the "basic" rules for the game, and that Commander rules overall are overly complicated or inherently non-intuitive.

Author:  Magical_Hacker [ 2018-Jul-17 10:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Hey, Sheldon!

In the panel at SCG, you hinted at the need for the community to consider the future of the format as the members of the current RC cannot be in charge of the format forever.

How can new members be added to the rules committee? Or how can a new rules committee be made?

Would love to get involved any way that I can, and I'm sure many people would too, but I have no idea what the process for doing so would be.

Thanks!

Author:  crimsonwings3689 [ 2018-Jul-17 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Viperion wrote:
You've often said you use a "build casually, play competitively" approach - you don't build oppressive combos into your decks, and then when in game you will tend to make the optimum play when it presents itself. How much do you actually follow that though? For example, it's turn 3 and due to a random mana dork or something, you have four mana available and Creeping Mold in your hand. Your opponents have just had their turn 2, and one of them has an Izzet Boilerworks on an otherwise empty board. The "competitive" play here is to bomb them back to the stone age, basically removing them from the game for the next few turns while you can concentrate on the rest of your deadly foes.

Clearly, you don't do that, as it's a douche play of the highest order. So my question (finally) is; when does "play competitively" get trumped by "have a memorable game"? To continue that example, if you wait until turn 10 to Creeping Mold that Boilerworks, then it will more than likely have no impact on the game at all. The "right" time to play it is when it will have the most impact, and that's clearly turn 3.

Related question; when choosing who to attack, what's your priority? The guy you can do the most damage to, the guy you can kill right now, the guy who has the potential to do the most damage to you, or something else? Again, does that priority list change depending on how long the game has been going for?


To further Viperion's line of questioning: Building casually and Playing competitively, there's clearly a scale of power with some cards while the optimization of a deck can greatly impact the value/power of a card... Aura Shards is strong in a deck with little to no token generation, but can be back breaking in a deck that focuses on making as many tokens as possible.

How would the ceiling of a card's power/utility factor into your deck building?
- Would you actively avoid a card like Aura Shards in a token deck?
- If presented with an opportunity for the following: Turn 2-3 = Aura Shards, Turn 3-4 Sram's Expertise, would you opt to blow up as many artifacts/enchantments as possible that early in the game, regardless of your opponent's board state? (most optimal line of play) Or would you avoid it as the jerk/douche mode of play and only remove 1-2 pieces, knowing that Aura Shards could be removed in the following turn cycle, thus reducing the value of the card you played?

Author:  cryogen [ 2018-Jul-17 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

As time goes on and new sets are released, we are treated to more exciting cards, some flavorful, some filling a role or adding more redundancy to our arsenal of tools, and some more powerful. And of course, older cards become more scarce or not used as much. So my question is whether you feel there will be a Third Age of the format (the first being the lesser known EDH and the second after the precons came out and Commander exploded onto the scene), and if so will the RC have to reevaluate their approach to the format?

Author:  Sheldon [ 2018-Jul-17 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Magical_Hacker wrote:
Hey, Sheldon!

In the panel at SCG, you hinted at the need for the community to consider the future of the format as the members of the current RC cannot be in charge of the format forever.

How can new members be added to the rules committee? Or how can a new rules committee be made?

Would love to get involved any way that I can, and I'm sure many people would too, but I have no idea what the process for doing so would be.

Thanks!


This was already the question I'm answering this week :)

Author:  TheDoctor [ 2018-Jul-17 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

If you were to pitch the thematic cycle for 2019's Commander pre-cons, what 4 (or 5) deck themes would you choose? Would you look to strengthen pre-established but under supported archetypes or branch into new radical commander-centric gimmick or color bending mechanics?

Author:  Shabbaman [ 2018-Jul-17 9:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

How's your health, and has your taste recovered? Considering your dinner party updates I assume your taste is okay.

Author:  Wolfsbane706 [ 2018-Jul-18 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

Are there any drinks you like to associate with your decks or is that something you never really considered?

Author:  Swmystery [ 2018-Jul-19 2:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

How do you feel about the current position of mono-coloured decks in the format at the moment? Would you be in favour of mono-coloured decks specifically getting more support in some way? I often feel that with so many powerful multicoloured cards in the format- including the wide array of legendary creatures- there's just very little reason or incentive to be mono-coloured unless you're going for an oppressive general like Azami, Lady of Scrolls or a specific tribal legend like Ezuri, Renegade Leader.

A perfect and topical example of this would be something like Daretti, Scrap Savant- with all the amazing artefact support in blue, and an Izzet artefact deck with more undoubtedly awesome blue and multicoloured cards just around the corner, is there really any (strategic) reason for one to stick with Daretti when the benefit to adding another colour is so high?

Author:  scatteredsun [ 2018-Jul-19 2:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

I see a lot of new players falling for what I call "trap cards." These are cards like Iona, Vorinclex, Omniscience, etc. Cards that look like they're big powerful fun cards but are, in actuality, fun killers. I do find they tend to remove those cards after a few games but I feel bad for them because most are not cheap. They end up spending $20 on something they only use for a few games before they get ganged up on. It's an expensive learning opportunity for some of the kids I play with.

I am typically a fan of a smaller, sleeker banlist but was just wondering if this viewpoint of saving new players from making a mistake has ever been taken into consideration when the RC discusses potential bans?

Author:  Sheldon [ 2018-Jul-19 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Question of the Week

I'm occasionally going to answer some of the questions right here as we go along; not getting published doesn't mean they aren't great questions, but I can only run so many and some of them deserve answers.

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