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Should generals be permitted to be placed in the "General Zone" instead of being shuffled into the library?
Yes 29%  29%  [ 8 ]
No 71%  71%  [ 20 ]
Total votes : 28
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 Post subject: Shuffling generals into the library
AgePosted: 2007-Oct-28 8:23 pm 
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Location: Calgary, AB, CA
This poll is purely to see player feedback on this particular question.

Please post your reasons on why you voted the way you did. Have fun!

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-28 9:21 pm 
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Whenever I try to play Condemn, my friends say that whenever the general changes zones you can RFG it. Of course I know the website and the rules say otherwise. They think its dumb that it goes in the library and they most likely will never play it again. Its not like there are many cards that can do it, mainly just Condemn, Oblation, Riftsweeper, etc. So I guess I would have to vote for putting them in the library.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-29 1:05 am 
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For the record, a quick Gatherer search shows the cards that can put a General into its owner's library: Condemn, Ether Well, Hinder, Oblation, Proteus Staff, Spin Into Myth, and Warp World.

Riftsweeper isn't included, since his ability has been errata'd to not affect Generals.

Cards that can put a General on top to be shuffled away (a couple of which are instants): Forced Retreat, Memory Lapse, Metamorphose, Repel, Temporal Eddy, Temporal Spring, Time Ebb, and Vedalken Dismisser.

Cards that shuffle a player's hand into his or her library (after a timely Boomerang, perhaps?): Diminishing Returns, Head Games, Jester's Mask, Temporal Cascade, Time Spiral, Timetwister, Whirlpool Warrior, and Winds of Change.

I probably missed a couple, but I'm sure that's most of them.

In any case, it's clear that it's rather easy for a dedicated player to shuffle a General away, and that's the way I like it. Sometimes, players rely very heavily on their General. When they do, the effects can be very strong, and if you can't deal with the problem permanently it can feel overwhelming. Being able to banish Generals to the library is a great safety valve for broken metagames.

This entire list (save about half the cards from the first portion) is composed of cards that take a lot of work to apply. If it's worth it for a player to go to those lengths, that's exactly when those lengths are needed.

All of the above, though, is just boring, rational argument in favour of the rule. Personally, I think it's just plain fun. Having that option (and threat) available to you while deckbuilding or mid-game adds a minor facet to the format.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-29 7:15 am 
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Shuffling a general into its owner's library is the only way to deal with it on a semi-permanent basis. That's important to keep combo lynch-pin generals in check. Removing that capability from the format would significantly power up combo decks that prematurely abort games.

From the other point of view, getting its general shuffled into library is just one of the countless hazards that an EDH deck needs to be able to deal with. Either the rest of the deck needs to be stong enough to function without the general and/or the deck needs to be able to dig the general back out of library.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-29 8:00 am 
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If your general goes to the graveyard, it still goes to the graveyard except that it's placed in the RFG zone. This seems harder to do when the library is shuffled. Do you just RFG the general and then shuffle the library? Possibly, but seems unnecessary and the possibly to build your deck around that could exist. The rules should hold up a measure of consistency. Generals who are shuffled should be shuffled.

Plus, from a flavor point of view - the general is still a creature. Still a Gray Ogre (or Elder Dragon). Life can happen to all of us.


Last edited by matthew on 2007-Oct-29 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-29 8:18 am 
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Until I read this topic, I definitely felt that the point of the format is to have access to your general. But to have a threat with no answer is never good for any game of Magic. Keeping a way to deal with generals is important to balance the game, else "combo-enabling" general decks strictly overpower "combat damage" general decks.


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-29 10:18 pm 
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Interesting comments so far.

I don't (yet) have strong feelings one way or the other. The cards that put a general in the library are actually a small component out of the large number of ways to deal with a problematic general, so I neither think it's an ability that really warrants a rules change, nor would the game be changed much if it actually was.

Jeyal wrote:
Until I read this topic, I definitely felt that the point of the format is to have access to your general.


It has been very interesting to observe player's reactions as the "replaying generals" rules have changed. I think that most players still feel that a high amount of access to one's general is indeed important and fosters interesting deck design. Where that "high" is does differ from person to person.

Jeyal wrote:
But to have a threat with no answer is never good for any game of Magic. Keeping a way to deal with generals is important to balance the game, else "combo-enabling" general decks strictly overpower "combat damage" general decks.


Interestingly, out of the relevant cards, Condemn appears to see the most amount of play here, which of course impacts the latter class of generals.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-30 12:03 pm 

Joined: 2007-Jun-04 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Gainsville, FL
Me, I have my generals in different sleeves jut because when I lend out my deck I hate post scoop how they get shuffled in by accident and I can't find them. That screws up the shuffle in thing.

Sure, it can be part of the game to shuffle a general in, but are there really decks that degenerate that rely on their general that much? I guess the answer is yes because otherwise the vote would be a resounding "NO", but out of curiosity, could some describe some of said decks and how they work? What's so damn busted with a general but crippled without it? I know people have played against such decks, please share stories, and tell me how forcing them to RFG over and over is futile in a reasonably sized (say 5-8) multiplayer table.

I have usually noticed irksome generals end up costing 50 billion mana to come into play because people realize they are threat numero uno and kill them even if it means nuking the board or using that only piece of point removal in hand. My Captain Sissay usually ends up costing at least 8 before I get to tap her once if I'm lucky. Jhoira? I don't bother playing her until midgame because she's such a target. So I make the deck function General-less if need be and a beast with it. I think at one point Simon's Hirobi cost 18 mana one game because everyone HATED it.


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 7:41 am 
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If you can shuffle Zur the Enchanter away, the deck is absolutely useless.


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 8:11 am 
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matthew wrote:
If you can shuffle Zur the Enchanter away, the deck is absolutely useless.

Jhoira ? Doran ? Arcum ? :wink:


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 11:31 am 

Joined: 2006-Jul-14 12:02 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
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Philatio wrote:
Me, I have my generals in different sleeves jut because when I lend out my deck I hate post scoop how they get shuffled in by accident and I can't find them. That screws up the shuffle in thing.


I have some of my generals in very slightly different sleeves for that kind of reason, more to facilitate fast finding once it's been scooped and shuffled. Things like a slightly textured sleeve the same basic colour usually.

Quote:
My Captain Sissay usually ends up costing at least 8 before I get to tap her once if I'm lucky. Jhoira? I don't bother playing her until midgame because she's such a target. So I make the deck function General-less if need be and a beast with it. I think at one point Simon's Hirobi cost 18 mana one game because everyone HATED it.


To be fair, Horobi doesn't really go out there expecting to stay long. He's kind of like a loud drunk guy wandering round Columbus, OH in a Michigan shirt.

I just don't see much use to getting rid of even Jhoira for good once the stage of the game where suspending things for several turns later really becomes a problem. At the same time, I also can't see why Generals shouldn't be shuffled in, it doesn't really take them out for good. I was going to say something about bounce and discard of generals, but it seems I may just need to run Phyrexian Furnace in my red deck to avoid losing Kamahl.

The Zur deck can still be pretty good still even if he's been shuffled in. Doran might slow down a kill but isn't broken. Arcum - just a sec, I need to look at what he does - well - he only targets creatures. And if you can't kill creatures at instant speed ever, you're probably going to lose anyway.


Last edited by Nomad on 2007-Oct-31 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 11:34 am 
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Sure, it can be part of the game to shuffle a general in, but are there really decks that degenerate that rely on their general that much?


Think Experiment Kraj (general) with Pemmin's Aura on it. Powered out early by Priest of Titania which then got a +1/+1 counter dropped on it. With a mana filter such as Orochi Leafcaller to complete the loop.

I don't remember what creature Kraj dropped a counter on to get infi card draw to go with the infi mana.

I didn't stay around to see what the kill card of choice was.

Happened on the floor of a departure lounge at Charleston airport. Kraj and the Aura dropped on turn 6 with one mana free to untap Kraj after he dropped the counter onto the Priest. The game ended on the spot.

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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 12:00 pm 

Joined: 2006-Jul-14 12:02 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
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wcc3 wrote:
Happened on the floor of a departure lounge at Charleston airport. Kraj and the Aura dropped on turn 6 with one mana free to untap Kraj after he dropped the counter onto the Priest. The game ended on the spot.


I'll admit, turn 6 seems a bit extreme. I assume it was Paul?

But that's 5 combo pieces**, is it really so bad to win off that?? And while we demonstrate the power of the general, we don't really hit the topic of how allowing shuffling or "bottoming" might be advantageous here.

** Kraj, Priest, mana filter, haste, Aura


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 1:16 pm 

Joined: 2007-Jun-04 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
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Token wrote:
matthew wrote:
If you can shuffle Zur the Enchanter away, the deck is absolutely useless.

Jhoira ? Doran ? Arcum ? :wink:


IMHO, if you build a deck with any of these and can't make it run without playing the general once, you are a poor deckbuilder. Yes, the deck ideally should run optimally WITH the general, but they should hardly be dead in the water without.

Jhoira? Built one that doesn't depend on her. I can usually hardcast everything in the deck if I have to : http://edh.truespace.ca/EDH_Forum/viewtopic.php?t=123

Arcum? Blue is the artifact color. Tinker general is awesome, yes, but again, I think you can have less little, useless artifact creatures that completely suck without the general and focus on an excellent artifact deck with both great creatures and non-creatures. Just because your general does a specific thing does not mean you are banned from putting in good cards that aren't combo specific in them. For instance, in an Arcum deck, should I *not* run Quicksilver Dragon, or Propaganda, or Treachery or Fact or Fiction or any number of good cards that aren't artifacts? I personally don't think so. I'd run lots of synergistic cards with Arcum, but other cards, too, in case some one runs Damping Matrix or Cursed Totem or something. Like Capsize?

Doran is in three AWESOME colors. Tell me Silklash Spider is bad even if he doesn't swing for 7. Tell me you Play Toroh's Faithful in the hopes of smashing for 4. Most creatures are X/X anyhow. Doran's biggest benefit is that he hoses other people's creatures in head-to-head combat. In white, you have access to fliers, in green to trample. Most importantly, in all 3 you have access to long-term recursion and card advantage. Why you would build this deck ONLY around winning combat math due to a static effect on your general is beyond me. He makes marginal cards good, which is very fun and Johnny (and I'm a Johnny, so I love this guy for that aspect), but if you use him like that, people aren't going to pick on you with "shuffle in" effects.

I dunno. I had a few decks that got their teeth kicked in when my opponents wouldn't let the general stay in play, and I learned from it - I fixed the deck. A deck that can't play without it's general is a one-legged man with a single crutch - everyone knows where to kick it to see it go down. It's totally avoidable if you don't fall TOO much in love with your general.


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AgePosted: 2007-Oct-31 3:56 pm 
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Quote:
IMHO, if you build a deck with any of these and can't make it run without playing the general once, you are a poor deckbuilder.


EDH is probably the most Vorthos type of Magic there is.

It's true that relying on your general as the ONLY win condition is mistake number one, but come on, generals should be a big part of how the deck feels and how the deck wins.

In Zur's case, you usually wait until you can get him in Lightning Greaves or Diplomatic Immunity or if you can give him haste. In that deck, yea, you can usually do pretty well without him since everything costs three or less but I'm just saying your chances of winning dramatically improve with him entering the red zone unabated. Zur usually only wins with general damage. A few times I've had him deck people. The rest just give up since they cannot play spells, keep permanents stuck to the board, gain life, or increase their hand size. Blessing of the Nephilim FTW!


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