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 Post subject: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 5:10 am 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
As always, I'm compelled to say that what follows is by no means anything that the RC is considering or has discussed. It's a clever idea I gleaned from a Twitter follower and would like to see how smart people like yourselves would punch holes in it:

"During a player's draw step, if that player controls fewer lands than any other player, they may pay two life to search their library for a basic land card and put it into their hand instead of drawing their card for the turn."

That wording is off the top of my head, but you get the idea--it's to replace your normal card draw (and only that one) with paying two life and get a basic instead. How could this be abused?

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 5:21 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I won't lose from decking myself at 0 cards in library until my opponents find a way to make me draw extra cards. I might eventually lose from the life payments. Among other things that breaks the mill deck win condition as a built-in rule.

Everyone can color fix as long as they're a land behind someone (like the green player) and willing to skip a draw, which might be a worthwhile enough cost that 5C decks run far less colour fixing on average. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it lets them focus on other details, and they'll be paying for it with card advantage.

Font of Agonies, which currently requires you have some focus on life payments in order to be viable, becomes a viable consideration for any black deck at all, even those with no life payment cards. (Not an auto-include)

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 5:30 am 
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I think you'd see a lot of decks with 10 to 15 lands built because of it, and some abuses with Hermit Druid type effects.


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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 5:57 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-14 4:04 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
Taniwha decks will never miss land drops.

On a more serious note, I would consider trying a Recross the Paths effect (but put the rest back in a random order), so that it isn't free color fixing for greedy manabases, it takes less time to resolve, and it doesn't get randomly hosed by Stranglehold or Aven Mindcensor.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 6:34 am 
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Joined: 2007-Jul-03 7:50 am
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Location: Belgium
if you limit this to twice in a game, it'll be ok... abuse? no... but making 3 color decks very stable vs 2 or 1 color decks.... there should be a downside to playing too many colours without enough manafix...imo, basically because more colors makes your deck more powerfull (besides the land issues)

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 6:40 am 
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Quote:
"At the beginning of your upkeep if you control fewer lands than any other player you may pay 2 life, search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it on top of your library"


Would solve the "doesn't trigger draw" and "can't mill me out" problems.

I think this is deeply flawed though; even if you're simply going second, third, or fourth this would mean you'd never be colour screwed ever again (assuming player 1 plays all their land drops).

Which, I mean, not being colour screwed is a good thing, sure, but player one will likely miss out on this advantage, at least for one turn when they miss their land drop.

This is also really good with Landfall decks, Seismic Assualt/Borborygmos Enraged decks, Angry Omnath decks, Titania decks, Gitrog Monster decks, and plenty of others I'm probably missing.

I would suggest a tweak:

Quote:
"At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control two fewer lands than any other player you may pay 2 life, search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it on top of your library"

But I suspect it's still broken

Maybe some number of limited activations per game would be a good idea too (my suggestion would be the number of colours in your Commander's colour identity, but I don't think that can be templated nicely)

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 8:07 am 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Turn one, player one plays a land. Would player two get to use the ability or means "any other player" that only the last player gets to use it? You'll end up with a mini game just to draw the lands. Once you are "the monarch" you could just tutor for lands if you skip the land drop. Discard a fatty and reanimate.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 8:09 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
The way Sheldon originally worded it, yes they'd get to use the ability. You could change "any other player" to "all other players" if you wanted to restrict the ability more

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"- if this spell is played ten times in a given game then I suggest you warm up the tar and pluck some chickens" - tarnar

The internet's great at making noise, and poor at operating pants. There's gonna be half-dressed mobs screeching half-assed arguments for the rest of the 21st century - Kemev


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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 9:29 am 

Joined: 2011-Mar-08 7:15 am
Age: Wyvern
Hey Sheldon,

Ok, this is completely unrelated to your post, but I couldn't resist. Back in '93 when Magic first came out my playgroup had a rule kind of like your proposal...

If at the start of your turn you decide to "pass your turn", you may simply untap, pay upkeep(s), draw your card, and then draw an additional card; then your turn was over. This was great as we played long grindy games and would easily run out of cards to work with. Plus Magic had just come out so our decks sucked and no one was playing blue draw/go yet. (LOL)

Worked awesome for us; of course, that was back in '93 so....

Take it easy,
Jared


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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 9:36 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
This seems insanely abusable.

First trick to mind is playing with Sensei's Divining Top (or any other Brainstorm effect that lets you restack your top cards). These cards are already some of the most powerful in the game, and one of their only speed bumps is that occasionally you get locked with multiple bad cards on top of your deck. The opportunity to set up a free shuffle every turn injects a lot of nitro into these already-powerful engines.

Same thing for cards that let you play off the top of your library like Future Sight, Melek, or Oracle of Mul Daya. These are already powerful cards, and this rule lets a player shuffle away a bum draw, take a free basic land, and potentially set up a much more powerful turn. (Honestly, for my Melek deck, I'd be happy just to have the free shuffle -- the basic land would just be extra gravy.)

On top of that, it's a huge boost for low-land-count decks. Many of the decks playing elves, or maxed out on the fast mana rocks, get away with playing 30-32 lands since they only need 1 or 2 lands to go off. This rule would make their opening hands dramatically more consistent; if you know you can tutor for a basic, it's way easier to keep a hand full of gas. Their late game gets more consistent too... sometimes an early Wrath or Vandablast can knock these decks out of the game (they lose all their mana sources, and never draw enough lands to get back in), but this rule would let them tutor back into the fight.

Shabbaman's right that reanimator builds can play this game too. If your goal is to set up an early reanimate, it'd be super easy to cut your lands down low, skip your first land drop, and discard a fatty. Currently this is a high-risk, high-reward kind of play, and it's not necessarily easy to set up. But if you know you can tutor for a land, there's less reason to play a normal-ish mana curve, and more reason to cut down to 30 lands so you have more room for reanimates and viable targets.

Furthermore, I don't think "as long as someone controls more lands than you" is much of a check. The Land Tax-type effects are already trivially easy to keep active through the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 4:30 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 3:54 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Germany, near Berlin
"At the beginning of your upkeep if you control two or fewer lands and any other player controls four or more lands, you may pay 2 life, search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. If you do, skip your draw step and you can't play lands this turn."

To me the least enjoyable games are those where I'm missing the third land drop to cast a Cultivate or Manalith.

I suspect it's still breakable, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 4:55 pm 

Joined: 2019-Feb-20 4:07 pm
Age: Egg
I personally would cut most of my decks from 30-40 lands to 5-10 lands, as you can always insure drawing and playing at least one land for each turn.
You would of course be encourage to play as few lands as possible, as you don't want to choose to draw for your turn AND then draw a land. So you're incentivized to keep your land count low.

You could easily make like 3 land decks and abuse with;
Goblin Charbelcher
Balustrade Spy
Hermit Druid
Undercity Informer

Commanders that become much better (if playing 5-10 land);
Etali, Primal Storm, Melek, Izzet Paragon, Narset, Enlightened Master, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter, Selvala, Explorer Returned, Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign.

Makes shuffling library an option every turn, so makes card like these much better;
Scroll Rack, Sensei's Divining Top, Sylvan Library.

Plays off top deck that get bottle-necked by lands become a lot better (if playing 5-10 land);
Magus of the Future, Future Sight, Experimental Frenzy, Vizier of the Menagerie

Not that it's a "problem" but mass land destruction become almost impossible, as all opponents can just draw lands for their turns until recovered.

Just any card that uses X number of cards from top of library will be much better as you lower your land counts, so will have more ratio of spells to lands.

The Pros:
No more land screw or color problem games.
People will be able to cut out most of their lands and put in many more spells in their 99, which can mean more elements to every deck.
People will be able to afford multi-colored decks more, as the land base often takes most of the budget when trying to make non-basic land bases consistent.

The Cons:
The commander format stops resembling Magic as a game.
Lynch mob from those that spent thousands on their land bases. Might actually be a riot in select locations.
Some silly stuff with "no land" decks.
Some deck archetypes will not be viable anymore.


Last edited by GrumpyCat on 2019-Feb-21 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-20 5:21 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Viperion wrote:
The way Sheldon originally worded it, yes they'd get to use the ability. You could change "any other player" to "all other players" if you wanted to restrict the ability more


Thanks for clearing that up. The difference between those two is important for how easy it is to trigger. In this case you just have to wait for anyone to drop his first land and you're settled. In turn this means that you can build your deck around it: low curve, no ramp, few lands. An aggro general like Najeela will love this.

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-21 12:10 am 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
Re colour fixing, change it to "a basic land with the same name as a land you control"

Re doing it too much, change it to "you gain a greed counter. Search your library etc then lose two life for every greed counter on you."

The greed counter can be proliferated by opponents and will cap this mechanic quickly

Maybe the better fix is to have it give you a treasure token and not a basic?

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 Post subject: Re: Challenge: Break This Rule
AgePosted: 2019-Feb-21 1:07 am 
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Joined: 2011-Apr-25 12:43 pm
Age: Drake
If someone is only playing 5-10 lands, they will be more susceptible to land destruction. Sure, they'll be able to search their deck for another land, but it can easily snowball from there.

As much as I hate LD, if I knew someone was only playing 5-10 lands so they could maximize their combo/synergy, then I would start including more LD to counter them.


tarnar wrote:
Re colour fixing, change it to "a basic land with the same name as a land you control"

Re doing it too much, change it to "you gain a greed counter. Search your library etc then lose two life for every greed counter on you."

The greed counter can be proliferated by opponents and will cap this mechanic quickly

Maybe the better fix is to have it give you a treasure token and not a basic?


I like that idea about the greed counters. It becomes progressively more punishing to search for that land every turn, but it doesn't dissuade people who really need it once in a while.

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