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 Post subject: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-30 10:53 pm 

Joined: 2016-Oct-30 10:41 pm
Age: Hatchling
Hi all,

I've been wondering about this for a while and couldn't find a topic about it here, so I decided to start one myself.

Now that the rules restricting the production of mana to your commander's color identity are gone, I fail to see why the rule that was originally instantiated to allow people to play Memnarch, Bosh, Daughter of Autumn et cetera as their general while being able to activate their abilities is still in place.

I'd like to start a healthy discussion where people lay out the pros and cons of this rule to determine if it's still carrying its weight.

Please provide your insights below!

PietjePuk


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 12:45 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
You still can't run Island in Memnrarch. And thanks to the printing of Wastes you no longer have any need to run basic lands for any other colorless general.

And even then, it's all about flavor. It sounds kinda dumb that Memnarch, a creature clearly based in the color blue, wouldn't have access to all of the things that other blue cards get.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 1:10 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
You still can't run Island in Memnarch. And thanks to the printing of Wastes you no longer have any need to run basic lands for any other colorless general.


Of course you can run Island in Memnarch.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 1:55 am 
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zimagic wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
You still can't run Island in Memnarch. And thanks to the printing of Wastes you no longer have any need to run basic lands for any other colorless general.


Of course you can run Island in Memnarch.


Not without color identity.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 3:03 am 

Joined: 2009-Oct-08 1:00 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
There was never any benefit to the way it was before Color Identity, just a dubious (in the sense that it could be argued either way) flavor justification and a status quo bias. The actual rules also always included the concept that's now called Color Identity (it used to only apply to the 99), just before this rule it was harder to talk about and there wasn't a search option for it on magiccards.info. There's no benefit at all to removing it and limiting the applicable generals to their casting-cost colors -- especially since, as I predicted in one of the long discussions leading up to this change, WotC has since printed a bunch of legends that rely heavily on this rule to function sensibly in Commander.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 5:26 am 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
Memnarch

Quote:
3.A card's colour identity is its colour plus the colour of any mana symbols in the card's rules text. A card's colour identity is established before the game begins, and cannot be changed by game effects.


Quote:
Lands whose type includes swamp, island, plains, forest and/or mountain (e.g.: basic lands, shocklands, dual lands, Shadowmoor special-basics, etc) also have the corresponding colour identity. As such, they may not appear in a deck unless the Commander is also of the appropriate identity.


This is what confuses me. I thought Memnarch does have blue color identity because of his activated abilities.

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-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
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-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 6:58 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Drrakus wrote:
This is what confuses me. I thought Memnarch does have blue color identity because of his activated abilities.
He does, NOW. Before Color Identity existed he was just considered a colorless creature with a activated ability that happened to require blue mana. So a special rule had to be made to allow Islands to be played in a Memnarch deck. Color Identity hasn't actually been around that long.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 7:28 am 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
thaumaturge wrote:
Color Identity hasn't actually been around that long.


I guess I take that for granted, only having been on the forums for a few months. But if that's the case, then...

PietjePuk wrote:
I'd like to start a healthy discussion where people lay out the pros and cons of this rule to determine if it's still carrying its weight.


The pros of Color Identity, in my eyes, vastly outweigh whatever cons Color Identity has. I don't really see any cons though....

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Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 7:48 am 

Joined: 2016-Oct-30 10:41 pm
Age: Hatchling
Drrakus wrote:
I don't really see any cons though....


Aa said before, it's mostly a flavor thing. I believe that, for instance, giving a Krenko player access to Tin Street Hooligan is more consistent with flavor than allowing an Alesha, Who Smiles at Death-player to play Nekrataal, which I believe is the matter at hand.

Now, the Legendary Creatures with off-color abilities from Fate Reforged are of course a welcome addition to the format and I believe especially the aforementioned Alesha is a popular general, but I don't see how restricting the card pool for only a few generals while simultaneously adding options to every single deck, including the decks "negatively" affected by this change, while also removing format-specific rules that higher the barrier of entry, would be an overall negative thing to do.

For full disclosure: Like Drrakus, I was not aware of the pre-december 20, 2010 rules (when Color Identity came into effect) affecting deck construction rules. Could someone maybe try and find the then-effective version of the EDH-specific CR?


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 8:53 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jul-28 8:30 am
Age: Dragon
In the case of Krenko/Tin Street Hooligan, even before color identity they couldn't be played together (somebody correct me if I'm wrong). I'm also not sure what you're trying to advocate for here. By removing the current color identity rule, a lot of cards become unplayable in the format. There will be signficantly more bad than good repercussions to the format as a whole if you eliminate color identity. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Are there cards you want to play in certain decks that the current rules prevent?

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 9:25 am 

Joined: 2016-Oct-30 10:41 pm
Age: Hatchling
I'm not saying we should go back to the pre-december 20, 2010 version of the rules, which, as has been said before, apparently did prevent the Krenko/Tin Street Hooligan case. Also, as I said in my previous message I was not aware of this when I started the thread. If the concept of Color Identity were to be removed, I'd say using cards' color instead of color identity makes more sense than applying different rules to the 99 than to the general.

What I am trying to understand is why Color Identity exists now that we're able to produce off-color mana. I'm merely curious if it's worth keeping and don't have much to gain or lose with a change, as kirkusjones seems to think. I think most players wouldn't even notice the difference.

Quote:
a lot of cards become unplayable in the format.
I'm curious what you mean here, as the way I see it everybody gets to play more cards than before, except for those who play generals with a more restricted color than color identity, which is a minority, and even they get to play cards they couldn't play before, like for instance an Alesha player could play Tin Street Hooligan which they're currently unable to.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 9:44 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Are you seriously suggesting that without CI Alesha would be better off with the ability to play Tin Street Hooligan, but not all of Black or White? How many cards are negatively affected by CI in the manner of Tin Street Hooligan (which I would consider unplayable without a reliable source of G, or even with one, TBH)?

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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 10:14 am 

Joined: 2016-Oct-30 10:41 pm
Age: Hatchling
Quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that without CI Alesha would be better off with the ability to play Tin Street Hooligan, but not all of Black or White?
I did not intend to suggest this and I'm sorry if I came across this way.

Quote:
How many cards are negatively affected by CI in the manner of Tin Street Hooligan

82 noncolorless, nonwhite cards have a white mana symbol in their rules text. For blue, this value is 83, for black 95, for red 88 and for green 72, according to Gatherer if I remembered my search correctly. Note this doesn't take hybrid mana into account and there is quite some overlap.

I have just come to the realization that, with CI gone, anybody could play any of the Diamonds, Signets, Banners, et cetera, and even any land, which I don't think should be desirable. Narrowing down CI to mana abilities would theoretically "work", but that would be undesirable as it would replace a rule that just works and is widely accepted and that people are eager to defend (as can be seen by the response I've gotten so far) by a clunky watered-down version that still is a rule that sets apart EDH from other formats which was the entire point of me starting this discussion.

As far as I am concerned, I am now convinced of the purpose of CI, for which I'd like to thank you all. Feel free to share any opinions and/or suggestions though, I'll look into them later.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 10:53 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
PietjePuk wrote:
What I am trying to understand is why Color Identity exists now that we're able to produce off-color mana.

Colour Identity has never been, and still isn't, about off-colour mana production. So looking at those rules as being linked in any way is a red herring, which means you're starting off from a completely inappropriate vantage point.

Colour Identity is about flavour. You may not see, or even if you do you may not agree, with it -- but it's there, and has nothing to do with off-colour mana production.

PietjePuk wrote:
I think most players wouldn't even notice the difference.

Except, there's a huge difference. First off, would you just open up deck construction to allow people to play whatever they want? Or would you simply replace "colour identity" with "colour" (the standard way of determining a colour in Magic.) Because those two options will provide very different end results. And I haven't seen you propose what you'd like to replace it with -- so I'm going to assume you just want the rule removed.

This means that a green deck... nope, sorry... a green Commander can run Armageddon and Decree of Annihilation. They can easily get permanents to tap for mana, and leave everyone else in the proverbial dust.

Also - notice that your commander matters even less now. Sure, you can still cast and recast it throughout the game, and you can build around it -- but it no longer forces you to think about what possible resources you'll have available to put in your deck, as there are no longer any more restrictions.

PietjePuk wrote:
Quote:
a lot of cards become unplayable in the format.
I'm curious what you mean here, as the way I see it everybody gets to play more cards than before

Because you don't seem to have thought through what you are proposing. If I can slam a Tooth & Nail into a black deck -- then that's one less black card that might have been played otherwise. The decks end up being more homogenized and you see less variety in the format.

So no, you don't end up being able to play more cards - you actually end up with fewer different cards that will make the cut of your final deck (when compared to which cards make the final cut in other decks for other commanders.)


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 Post subject: Re: Does Color Identity still contribute something positive?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-31 2:46 pm 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
Carthain wrote:
And I haven't seen you propose what you'd like to replace it with -- so I'm going to assume you just want the rule removed.


In my experience, some people who are new and see something that looks odd will ask before the think about the question. Color Identity, to my understanding, has no relevance outside of the Commander format. I could see how someone who might be new(er) to the format might misunderstand something/not realize the significance of something. Regardless, someone trying to understand something instead of suggesting changes without knowing which way is up (Which I get a lot on a Non-WotC related forum) is the kind of person I don't mind trying to explain things to.

I'm not going to assume, but from the look of things, we have someone who's new to Commander.

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Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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