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 Post subject: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 5:13 am 

Joined: 2014-May-23 10:08 am
Age: Wyvern
I understand the intent behind rule 11 (21 commander damage) was to prevent unwinnable situations dealing with infinite life shenanigans but do we really need this? We don't have special rules in place to deal with infinite damage or infinite mana. This seems a bit arbitrary to me. Lets discuss opinions!


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 5:40 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
onedayweek wrote:
I understand the intent behind rule 11 (21 commander damage) was to prevent unwinnable situations dealing with infinite life shenanigans

I'm not sure that was the full intent behind the rule.

I think it also put more emphasis on your commander - make him/her/it even more special during game play.

Originally Commander/EDH was played with only allowing the original Elder Dragon Legend creatures as your general. 21 Commander damage was 3 hits (mostly, as they are all 7/7 dragons.)

It still today allows some commanders to be more of an issue/threat on the board than other creatures - lending the same emphasis on your commanders being special now as it did then.

So I see it as still having a purpose.

That said -- you can play fine without it. My local group generally ignores that rule and we've not run into any situations where we've needed it (granted, we've not got anyone who likes to gain infinite life either.)


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 5:55 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It is arbitrary. It's also pretty foundational to the format and enables the entire class of commander voltron decks to exist. Definitely not something that should be changed.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 7:25 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It gives a great option called 'Voltron'.

Load up your commander and swing. You are working on your own, so 21 is tough but fair.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 7:55 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
The dealing with infinite life (and so on) is a byproduct of the rule, not its intent. It provides an excellent combat-oriented way of winning beyond simply swinging with a giant pile of tokens or what have you.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 11:06 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
This feels like a great opportunity for the format founders the chime in with some history...

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 12:20 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
specter404 wrote:
This feels like a great opportunity for the format founders the chime in with some history...


It came from 3 hits from an Elder Dragon. Being a protection against lifegain was an unintended but welcome consequence. And it's not going anywhere. It's an inherent and defining part of the format.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 12:29 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
What was the point if not to invalidate life gain decks?

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 1:29 pm 

Joined: 2014-May-23 10:08 am
Age: Wyvern
It also seems to add unecessary complexity to the format. It's always difficult for new players to grasp the concept and it's yet another thing to keep track of in an already complex game. How is it that we have a rule that favors some commanders over others? Is the.original intent still valid? I thought the main distinction between edh was constant access to your commander and not the commander damage rule...


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 1:55 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
onedayweek wrote:
It also seems to add unecessary complexity to the format. It's always difficult for new players to grasp the concept...

Having just recently taught someone to play Magic through EDH, it's not really that complicated to teach/understand.
onedayweek wrote:
How is it that we have a rule that favors some commanders over others?

To encourage diversity of deck strategy, since aggro decks in EDH are typically difficult to win with (which means players are less likely to attempt piloting them). So yes, the original intent is still very much valid. Commander's identity as a format can be expressed through more than one thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 2:41 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
onedayweek wrote:
It also seems to add unecessary complexity to the format.
It adds complexity to the format. But it isn't unnecessary. It is one of the things that makes your commander a special card.

Colors of mana add a huge amount of complexity to Magic, both in deck building and play. Removing colors of mana would make Magic simpler, but dramatically worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-11 10:56 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
In studying literature, we often come across the fallacy of authorial intent--which is really the fallacy of the reader attempting to discern what the author intended. This is less important (and sometimes impossible, since many authors that we study are no longer with us) than understanding what a work does (as opposed to what the author may have wanted it to do).

Irrespective of its origins, what commander damage does is provide viable aggro strategies and combat extreme life gain. It creates part of the format's uniqueness and identity. That's just fine with us.

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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-12 7:16 am 

Joined: 2014-May-23 10:08 am
Age: Wyvern
If aggro was so unviable in the early days of the format that you had to include a 21 commander damage rule, why not just have players start at 21 life instead of 40? A person could conclude that, instead of lowering the starting life totals to make aggro viable, this was put in place to MOSTLY deal with extreme lifegain, and adding uniqueness was a pleasant bonus.

My argument isn't strictly against the idea of commander damage, it's mostly against the way the format has a built-in way of handling a problem (infinite life) but disregards a lot of other problems along the way. Understandably, it's improbable that the rules could ever cover all degeneracy, nor should they, so why have them handle lifegain specifically through this rule when it could be handled by the most important tenant of the format (imo): politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-12 7:47 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
It wasn't built to handle infinite life. That's a bonus. It was built to support the power level of your commander and set it apart from the rest of the deck as more important.


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 Post subject: Re: Commander Damage
AgePosted: 2016-May-12 7:47 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It has been said specifically that was not the reason...

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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