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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 6:41 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Carthain wrote:
VazquezVader wrote:
First thanks for taking the time to explain this again. I actually did head to page 8 and read over your and Willbender's conversation again. You've definitely brought some interesting points of view I hadn't considered before. I am also gonna share some views I have. In no way am I saying mine are better or more right than yours. And definitely not making this an argument for Planeswalkers as Commanders. I tapped out after Papa Funk's last post. Nor can I see any real problems that need fixing in order to make the change to allow Planeswalkers as commanders.

I'm actually finding this quite fun and interesting. The discussing of what flavor fits, and how different people see it feels much less adversarial than other arguments in the rules discussion forum, so it's a nice change to talk about it :)

VazquezVader wrote:
I've always kind of liked looking at it as we team up with them ...

Hadn't thought of it as a team up. Hrm.. I still thing the 'loyalty counters' thing is an issue though (as well as the "how does the commander cast him-/her-/it-self? For me that's a bit of a flavor stumbling block)

VazquezVader wrote:
... because I'm constantly looking at this from the story point of view, I've come to look at it more like the toughness on a creature and that I am in fact rallying them again to my cause. Or maybe even their cause.

For "their cause" ... doesn't make much sense for it to be loyalty counters then does it? Wouldn't it be more like ... confidence counters? trust counters? ...

As for rallying them again, then you'd want something called morale counters I'd think.

As you can see, when looking at the flavor, that they are mechanically called 'loyalty counters' is a stumbling block for me when trying to figure out the flavor of the format :) I have a hard time ignoring the name of them.

I've always assumed that I, as the player, was still being the planes walker, doing the planes walking, and the commander was my representative leading a force.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 6:48 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
crokaycete wrote:
The problem is not that PW would make broken commanders. Or that the ban list would need to grow. Or that most people wouldn't accept the change.

The problem is that the upside is just so marginal compared with the cost of propagating any change. I think the only theme from that twitter list that you can't elegantly build with an existing commander is Werewolf Tribal (and we still have another set of flip cards coming up, so hope springs eternal.)

That polls means I can show up with my Gideon soldier tribal deck, ask if everyone is fine with it, and expect the answer will normally be "yes." And I can just swap my commander to Kitheon if the answer turns out to be "no."

And if you don't believe there are real costs to change, look at the number of threads we have had asking about the elimination of rule 4, which happened months ago and is still generating new repeat questions on this forum today.


I'm still bummed that the werewolf didn't get her commander clause (claws! get it! oh I'm so punny)

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 11:14 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
If it's generally agreed that planeswalkers are not necessarily broken or damaging, then why does there need to be significant upside?

"More commanders/decks/playstyles" is much more potential positive upside vs. "Few people think they will be broken/damaging/uncontrollable".

Change for change's sake is neutral, not a negative or positive. This thread has been more than enough explanation of the upsides or downsides but the reality is there's no way to prove it without masses playing with it, and while banned, is not going to provide any meaningful data anyway. Basically, i think you can't prove they will be a positive, even if the truth is they are.

Why is there anything to prove, really? If we could have more without wrecking the format, why is the default to not have more? The cost of change is questions... which is not a big deal since the RC barely answer answer any themselves and it's usually regulars on here that do so.

I already asked on this thread a year ago how there can be PWs allowed to be commanders just because they say so on the card, and not allow others. The answer wasn't "they were balanced for it", as probably most PWs are balanced or bad enough to not be a problem (or you can ban what, maybe 3 more cards? wahh). The answer wasn't "well that was WOTC's idea and we were opposed because it was never our vision", because it was stated "WOTC had asked us about it/how we would handle it and we said we think we can handle them since they are one-ofs". But nothing was really handled because it was never explained why that doesn't open the doors to the rest.
If the vision was not for PWs and WOTC said "yes it is" then just admit that.
I was also thoroughly ignored on purpose even though i think i had a really reasonable question, so..

tl;dr i really don't think posting about it is ever going to change anything.

--- Rather not use huge quote boxes but i'm responding in general to all of this old talk
niheloim wrote:
Carthain wrote:
VazquezVader wrote:
First thanks for taking the time to explain this again. I actually did head to page 8 and read over your and Willbender's conversation again. You've definitely brought some interesting points of view I hadn't considered before. I am also gonna share some views I have. In no way am I saying mine are better or more right than yours. And definitely not making this an argument for Planeswalkers as Commanders. I tapped out after Papa Funk's last post. Nor can I see any real problems that need fixing in order to make the change to allow Planeswalkers as commanders.

I'm actually finding this quite fun and interesting. The discussing of what flavor fits, and how different people see it feels much less adversarial than other arguments in the rules discussion forum, so it's a nice change to talk about it :)

VazquezVader wrote:
I've always kind of liked looking at it as we team up with them ...

Hadn't thought of it as a team up. Hrm.. I still thing the 'loyalty counters' thing is an issue though (as well as the "how does the commander cast him-/her-/it-self? For me that's a bit of a flavor stumbling block)

VazquezVader wrote:
... because I'm constantly looking at this from the story point of view, I've come to look at it more like the toughness on a creature and that I am in fact rallying them again to my cause. Or maybe even their cause.

For "their cause" ... doesn't make much sense for it to be loyalty counters then does it? Wouldn't it be more like ... confidence counters? trust counters? ...

As for rallying them again, then you'd want something called morale counters I'd think.

As you can see, when looking at the flavor, that they are mechanically called 'loyalty counters' is a stumbling block for me when trying to figure out the flavor of the format :) I have a hard time ignoring the name of them.

I've always assumed that I, as the player, was still being the planes walker, doing the planes walking, and the commander was my representative leading a force.

I never understand how this is ever a problem for people. Not everything makes sense.

In EDH i have always thought you are playing *AS* your commander. If not, then so be it. If you are still a PW, as magic was originally explained/represented, then why are you *NOW* your commander and not before??
There is no lore/flavor problem in allowing PWs to be commanders. You can just be a Planeswalker, yourself, who is simply using Teferi to lead your deck/troops. See how that doesn't matter at all which Teferi commander i'm referring to?
In this case, loyalty is still loyalty to *YOU, the PW*.

Unless i have really really missed something, i have never understand how there is an issue there.


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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 12:16 pm 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Remember, the removal of "Banned as Commander" means those PWs that would be problematic as Commanders would make a total ban inevitable, a la Rofellos. What cost this would have is unclear, but not insignificant.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 1:13 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It is my honest belief that no planeswalker is so good that it would need to be banned as a commander. I think the only one that comes close is Liliana of the Veil, and that would only be because you could build a deck around her that is perhaps similar enough to a Braids prison strategy that you would want to ban her too. But even then, the problem with Braids is that it locks out land drops if it comes down turn 2, not that it is taking "a card" every turn.

Some of the 6+ mana planeswalkers are pretty strong, but so are a lot of 6+ mana legends, so I don't really see this as an issue.

The cost is in transmission of information and irrational blowback. Tuck change made people go totally ape shit even though it rarely had any kind of negative consequences in real games. Rule 4 questions will last a year from the original announcement and are almost certainly the result of disagreements and bad feelings as people get taken by surprise with this change in the middle of their games.

Change is inherently a negative. You need to prove that there is a positive that outweighs that, and that is still lacking in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-13 1:15 pm 
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Joined: 2015-Apr-21 2:05 am
Age: Drake
So I thought I would do a little more research on PW as Commanders so I ran a poll on twitter.

I asked the question:

"If the #EDH rules committee made Planeswalkers legal as commanders would that benefit the format?
#CMDR #MTG"

I received 245 votes and the results were:

31% Yes, it would benefit

39% No, it wouldn't benefit

30% Wouldn't matter either way

Not sure what your thoughts are on the poll, so please feel free to share them.


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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-14 3:21 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
69% don't feel it would benefit the format. Seems like a pretty simple result to read.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-14 6:06 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
Remember, the removal of "Banned as Commander" means those PWs that would be problematic as Commanders would make a total ban inevitable, a la Rofellos. What cost this would have is unclear, but not insignificant.

That is a really good point. I don't think any PWs are really bannable, but i don't think potentially losing a couple is worth not having +30 commanders that can open up a whole different style of play.

crokaycete wrote:
Change is inherently a negative.

I will never agree to that. I'd be surprised if a lot of people did. Change can just be either good or bad or neutral.

crokaycete wrote:
You need to prove that there is a positive that outweighs that, and that is still lacking in this thread.

I don't think it can ever be proven. We can't know without large amounts of data which is really difficult to come by when PWs are already not allowed to be commanders.

The 'proof' you want is only opinions of others. Nothing is 'lacking' as there has been a lot of commentary on the positives. It is your opinion that all the listed upsides are not enough. Though i do agree, all of the positives listed, being opinions, are never going to actual proof. Only evidence, hypothesis, theorycrafting.... I mean, we only have talk, but it's probably been about the best it can be.

CMDTower wrote:
So I thought I would do a little more research on PW as Commanders so I ran a poll on twitter.

Not sure what your thoughts are on the poll, so please feel free to share them.

No option for "It will hurt the format, it's bad". So while crokaycete says "Yea 69% don't see a benefit", i can also say "Yea, 61% think it stays the same or improves". Don't think that's the best poll that could have been done.

Maybe it could have been worded if legalizing would be a net negative or net positive, if people feel they should do so. I mean, in this poll, do the 39% of people who say "There's no benefit" actually care if PWs are legal or not? Is it implied you should pick that option if you don't want PWs legalized? Maybe they think there's no benefit but they really want to jam a Tamiyo deck.

If you did do it again i'm sure you could also link the poll not only on Twitter but on Reddit/Sally/Facebook, whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-14 10:27 am 
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Last edited by CMDTower on 2016-May-14 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-14 10:28 am 
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Joined: 2015-Apr-21 2:05 am
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I would be happy to post another poll.

What should the answers be to create less confusion?

Also, where should I post the link to the poll (exact links would be very helpful).

Also, lets say the majority would like to see this change... what then? what would it take to make this change occur?


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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-15 3:53 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
CMDTower wrote:
What should the answers be to create less confusion?

Also, where should I post the link to the poll (exact links would be very helpful).

Also, lets say the majority would like to see this change... what then? what would it take to make this change occur?

I could definitely come up with something reasonably clear and unambiguous, but not at this exact moment.

I'm not on a million mtg places but i already listed all the more well known ones. MTG EDH COMMANDER is the name of the biggest active FB group i'm aware of.

I don't know if you would ever see a change based on popular vote. If it's not in the vision for the format the RC maintains it's not going to be established. It's never been a democratically run rule list.


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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-15 11:32 pm 
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crokaycete wrote:
69% don't feel it would benefit the format. Seems like a pretty simple result to read.

Or alternatively, you could say 61% think the change wouldn't harm the format.

crokaycete wrote:
Rule 4 questions will last a year from the original announcement

Well, it seems like a lot of questions about Rule 4 stem from questions like "now that you are saying it is gone, what was Rule 4?". Which makes sense given that as short hand, "Rule 4" is a pretty terrible name. At least "mana burn" was evocative of something.

crokaycete wrote:
Change is inherently a negative.

That's not quite accurate. You could say that there is always a cost associated with a change, but just because you have to pay a "cost", doesn't mean that something is inherently negative.

crokaycete wrote:
The cost is in transmission of information and irrational blowback.

You can't do anything about irrational blow back, it happens no matter what. People can be upset because the RC doesn't ban something or unban something, so there can be "blow back" even when nothing happens because doing nothing is making a choice.

However, I do agree that there is the problem with transmitting information, but it can happen when cards are banned or unbanned too, so a rule change needs time to propagate. Fortunately, Commander is a format for Magic: the Gathering, which has rules change and bans and unbans regularly, so its not like trying to propagate a change in chess.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-16 12:29 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
cheethorne wrote:
Or alternatively, you could say 61% think the change wouldn't harm the format.
Not doing harm is not the bar for banning. If Snowfall were banned, it would not harm the format. This is not a reason to ban Snowfall.
cheethorne wrote:
"Rule 4" is a pretty terrible name.
True, but irrelevant. The most recent thread we have (so farthest from the announcement) is asking if there is still a rule about off-color mana production.
cheethorne wrote:
That's not quite accurate. You could say that there is always a cost associated with a change, but just because you have to pay a "cost", doesn't mean that something is inherently negative.
This is semantic baloney. Let's create some hypothetical transaction cost called "retail margin." You own a Black Lotus. You sell it to a vendor, and receive 65% of its value in cash. Two weeks later, you decide to buy another Black Lotus, but now you have to pay 100% of its value. You just lost 35% of the cost of Black Lotus to retail margin. Trading in and buying back cards is inherently negative.

So, why do people do it? Because they can overcome the inherent negativity of the transaction by adding value at another stage. Maybe you need the Lotus money short term to make an investment that is going to pay off at 200% of the initial investment, meaning you actually end your total transaction set with 30% of a Black Lotus in cash, plus a Black Lotus. There are valid reasons people engage in inherently negative transactions.

Likewise, change in EDH rules is inherently negative. That doesn't mean there aren't valid reasons to make changes where the benefits of the transaction outweigh the inherent negatives.
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You can't do anything about irrational blow back, it happens no matter what.
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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-16 2:40 am 
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crokaycete wrote:
cheethorne wrote:
"Rule 4" is a pretty terrible name.
True, but irrelevant. The most recent thread we have (so farthest from the announcement) is asking if there is still a rule about off-color mana production.

If I thought I remembered a rule about mana production and went looking in the rules to find it and then I didn't find it, I might also think "did I just miss it somewhere?" It was an example of a vaguely named rule that was completely removed from the format. In fact, the name is even more misleading since there is still a "Rule 4", it just happened to be rule 5 at the time the mana production rule existed. By comparison, this would be a modification to an existing rule, like Tuck was or like a new banning.

There is also the fact that this change would probably not generate much "feel bad" moments in a game when a player discovers this change for the first time. There are problematic planeswalkers out there already and some can already be commanders, no one is likely to slot in tons of anti-planeswalker cards if planeswalkers were suddenly allowed and while a card like Hero's Downfall might suddenly make some people's lists when it didn't before, that is one card in a 100.

crokaycete wrote:
This is semantic baloney.

True enough, I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Planeswalkers as Commanders
AgePosted: 2016-May-16 4:55 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
cheethorne wrote:
There is also the fact that this change would probably not generate much "feel bad" moments in a game when a player discovers this change for the first time.
Maybe not. As I've said before, I don't think any planeswalker commander is actually a problem for multiplayer EDH because planewalkers are generally just not that good in multiplayer. All the same, the first time somebody plops down a JtMS commander deck against somebody who doesn't know PWs are legal commanders, I doubt the opponent is going to be thrilled about it. (Although I don't think a JtMS commander would actually be a problem for the format.)

Plus, "it probably wouldn't be that bad" is still not a compelling argument for change. With the (hopefully temporary) exception of Werewolf Tribal, there doesn't seem to be anything that PW commanders are really adding to the format. (I think if there were big gains to be had here, we would see a lot more outcry for a change to format rules and/or the change would already have happened.)

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