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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-05 10:57 am 
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Mr Degradation wrote:
-My favorite Mardu general is Alesha, Who Smiles at Death- pretty much hands down. She's much less obvious than Kaalia- but often does similar tricks (and plays better into Aristocrat variants- which are harder to disrupt because they run closer to the ground.) You might still have to get comfortable with bullying the table here- but it doesn't present itself as immediately as the block of text on Kaalia.


Alesha can be beautiful & crazy. I've seen someone use Raving Dead with her. Guess what? When brought back to life by Alesha, it doesn't have to attack at random -- it's too late for that triggered ability. Pick anyone you want to attack with it. Pick that person with no decent defence against it if you want. That was a hell of a fun game.

I like the rest of your commentary on this too, and totally agree with your analysis of Kaalia as a villain commander & enjoyed your portrayal of how it works. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-05 11:59 pm 
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spacemonaut wrote:
alexev wrote:
Normally we are 4 but the threat assesment is kind of weird, I mean, in some moment one guy was playing Alesha, other guy has 3 dorks (2 3/3) and a 28/28 hydra , tne next guy has 3 big cats one indestructible, then I have a propaganda, eslpesth with 3 soldiers and 60 life and they say "hey oloro is winning" , they focused on me and got me at 35 life and kill my poor Elspeth, so yes I need to be able to handle 3vs1 situations because I want to keep the advantaje I gain during the game


That's something you'll read about in guides about threat assessment: everyone's is a bit different. Some people look at how many cards are in people's hands, some people look at life totals, some look at board state, and so on. Some people pay attention to multiple factors, some fixate on just one. Your friends seem to see high life status as a high priority threat signal — or enough someone got to trick everyone else into targeting you and not them.


To be fair, which "Elspeth" you had was likely a contributing factor. If it was Elspeth Tirel or Elspeth, Knight-errant then your board state screams "building for Ultimate to combo out" and I would have focused on you as well. I find that avoiding PWs with ultimate abilities that scare the whole table really helps lower the perceived threat level of my decks (neither of the above, avoid Venser, the Sojourner, Karn Liberated, etc.)

Maybe just a simple conversation (no requests or recriminations) about what each person perceives as the top three biggest threats (Life total, commander damage, free fatties, uncontrolled ramp, uncontrolled draw, planeswalker's swingy ultimate abilities, etc. - not just board state items) could help everybody understand each other better.

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Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 1:08 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Treamayne wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
alexev wrote:
Normally we are 4 but the threat assesment is kind of weird, I mean, in some moment one guy was playing Alesha, other guy has 3 dorks (2 3/3) and a 28/28 hydra , tne next guy has 3 big cats one indestructible, then I have a propaganda, eslpesth with 3 soldiers and 60 life and they say "hey oloro is winning" , they focused on me and got me at 35 life and kill my poor Elspeth, so yes I need to be able to handle 3vs1 situations because I want to keep the advantaje I gain during the game


That's something you'll read about in guides about threat assessment: everyone's is a bit different. Some people look at how many cards are in people's hands, some people look at life totals, some look at board state, and so on. Some people pay attention to multiple factors, some fixate on just one. Your friends seem to see high life status as a high priority threat signal — or enough someone got to trick everyone else into targeting you and not them.


To be fair, which "Elspeth" you had was likely a contributing factor. If it was Elspeth Tirel or Elspeth, Knight-errant then your board state screams "building for Ultimate to combo out" and I would have focused on you as well. I find that avoiding PWs with ultimate abilities that scare the whole table really helps lower the perceived threat level of my decks (neither of the above, avoid Venser, the Sojourner, Karn Liberated, etc.)

Maybe just a simple conversation (no requests or recriminations) about what each person perceives as the top three biggest threats (Life total, commander damage, free fatties, uncontrolled ramp, uncontrolled draw, planeswalker's swingy ultimate abilities, etc. - not just board state items) could help everybody understand each other better.


I played no combops on Oloro, my Elspeth was Elspeth, sun's champion wich is in the deck only to block with 1/1 s, my decklist is almost creatureless

My playgroup thinks Ghostly prison is also OP and when I drop it they talk about how OP it was and how they are going to get rid of it


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 8:12 am 
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The more you post, the more it sounds like your playgroup's problem isn't your card choices, but you. Sorry to be so blunt. You say they aren't new players, and I'm guessing they aren't stupid. I just can't fathom a Narset, Jeleva or Shattergang player honestly thinking of Ghostly prison is a "threat" (Breya, maybe, if it's a deck about going wide). It really sounds like they are grasping at excuse straws to explain behavior that has some other motivation (even if subconscious).

Are they on the forums? Maybe you could invite them here to "talk it out."

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Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 8:29 am 
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Treamayne wrote:
The more you post, the more it sounds like your playgroup's problem isn't your card choices, but you. Sorry to be so blunt. You say they aren't new players, and I'm guessing they aren't stupid. I just can't fathom a Narset, Jeleva or Shattergang player honestly thinking of Ghostly prison is a "threat" (Breya, maybe, if it's a deck about going wide). It really sounds like they are grasping at excuse straws to explain behavior that has some other motivation (even if subconscious).

Are they on the forums? Maybe you could invite them here to "talk it out."


I can definitely see people thinking Ghostly prison is annoying. I mean it is, it is effective at removing choices. If I kind of wanted to attack someone and they had Ghostly prison, I would be annoyed regardless of other things going on. Now, most will players will take other factors into account (life totals, cards in hand, previous experiences, etc.) when deciding how annoying it actually is. If they were Oloro, with combos (yes they are present even if they are not the most obviously boring ones) I would want to knock them down faster as the Oloro player has inevitability.

The Shattergang Brothers maybe doesn't run a lot of Enchantments to sacrifice. Narset unhappy about having to pay 2 for 3 Planeswalkers is kind of silly. I have to assume that some of this might be that you have cut some details due to typing out the general ideas rather than every minute detail.

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The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 8:38 am 
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Treamayne has got a point, although I'm actually looking at it from the other side. It just seems like the playgroup itself is incredibly toxic. You've constantly mentioned here and on the Oloro thread that you need certain antisocial cards are a necessary evil to deal with OP strategies, yet you mention non-OP cards like Kaalia and Ghostly Prison pointed to by the group as a legitimate reason to gang up against you. I feel the only rational explanation is that there is simply bullying going on here, and I don't have enough information to say which direction it's going.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 9:31 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Treamayne wrote:
The more you post, the more it sounds like your playgroup's problem isn't your card choices, but you. Sorry to be so blunt. You say they aren't new players, and I'm guessing they aren't stupid. I just can't fathom a Narset, Jeleva or Shattergang player honestly thinking of Ghostly prison is a "threat" (Breya, maybe, if it's a deck about going wide). It really sounds like they are grasping at excuse straws to explain behavior that has some other motivation (even if subconscious).

Are they on the forums? Maybe you could invite them here to "talk it out."


I concord, maybe they see mas as the "stronger" player because I am the oldest one, in 1v1 with Kaalia my winrate is high but in multi I have never ever won a single game against them so the "fear" seems odd.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Treamayne has got a point, although I'm actually looking at it from the other side. It just seems like the playgroup itself is incredibly toxic. You've constantly mentioned here and on the Oloro thread that you need certain antisocial cards are a necessary evil to deal with OP strategies, yet you mention non-OP cards like Kaalia and Ghostly Prison pointed to by the group as a legitimate reason to gang up against you. I feel the only rational explanation is that there is simply bullying going on here, and I don't have enough information to say which direction it's going.


I don't know wich ones of my cards are 'anti social' besides maybe geddon, in the other post Inkeyes told me that he feels humility as antisocial but imagine this real situation, marsil with a blink until eot ability and nevyral disk , that happened in one of our games and we got controlled for 45 minutes until he made a mistake.

Some people may think that rule of law (wich I play) is antisocial, but this is another real experience, Jeleva hardcasting a mizix masteryoverloaded and the niv-mizzet dude copying it with reverberate , after that they took about 30 minutes resolving all the stuff.

As for my playgroup, one of them is a very competitive dude in all aspects, he is very good at gaming in general he is a good winner and a good looser, he will never get explicity upset when he looses but you can feel it, he does not loose often and you can tell when he deoes it hurts him, he is the one playing narset, elves, niv mizzet, monoblue, sigarda and alesha among others.

The other player is a very intelligent one, he gets salty when someone retaliate in full against him but normaly he is chill, he is the one playing Jeleeva, marsil, nekusar.

The last one has a 'pick' against the first so sometimes I got to convince him to get in my side in exchange for help, he is competitive, he likes Breya, shattergang, doran among others, he gets even more salty and has scooped several times because of that.

They are all my friends, I love them all and I don't think they are 'toxic' at all, I love to play with them and my goal fine tunning the deck is to have the games go 'my way' wich does not mean 'my win' , going my way means (in my mind) being able to do my magic and putting a hell of a fight.

They are not in the forums, I grew in USENET, then in forums so I love this as a resource of information and good conversation but my friends are younger than me and don't like forums

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 10:20 am 
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alexev wrote:
I don't know wich ones of my cards are 'anti social' besides maybe geddon, in the other post Inkeyes told me that he feels humility as antisocial but imagine this real situation, marsil with a blink until eot ability and nevyral disk , that happened in one of our games and we got controlled for 45 minutes until he made a mistake.

Some people may think that rule of law (wich I play) is antisocial, but this is another real experience, Jeleva hardcasting a mizix masteryoverloaded and the niv-mizzet dude copying it with reverberate , after that they took about 30 minutes resolving all the stuff.
This is exactly my point. You're running antisocial cards to combat other antisocial strategies.

Now, this wouldn't be much of a problem if your group is simply just naturally high-powered and ok with it. But from what you said it doesn't seem like that's the case either. Ignoring everything I've already mentioned about the Kaalia hate, you say this specifically:

Quote:
going my way means (in my mind) being able to do my magic and putting a hell of a fight
This is what most people IMO want out of the format. It sounds to me like this is what you (and maybe a couple other people in the group) want, but everyone else is far more focused on winning so there's a massive arms race going on where the only way to deal with people trying to break the format is to break it just a little bit harder.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 1:40 pm 
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Looking at your Oloro list, maybe part of the problem isn't Ghostly Prison on its own; so much as you have that *and* Propaganda *and* Sphere of Safety *and* things like Luminarch Ascension...

Maybe, instead of trying so hard to prevent attacks on you, you should incentivize players attacking elsewhere (Crown of Doom, Curse of Verbosity, Curse of Inertia, Curse of Shallow Graves, Vow of Malice, Phyrexian Splicer, etc.)

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Quote:
going my way means (in my mind) being able to do my magic and putting a hell of a fight
This is what most people IMO want out of the format. It sounds to me like this is what you (and maybe a couple other people in the group) want, but everyone else is far more focused on winning so there's a massive arms race going on where the only way to deal with people trying to break the format is to break it just a little bit harder.


Agree whole-heartedly. To put it another way, it seems that the group's members are either:

1) Prioritize winning over fun/interaction
- or -
2) Prioritize the challenge/struggle over winning

Getting a group with this kind of schism to a point where *all players are enjoying the games* is not easy, but also not impossible. Knowledge helps. Information about the social contract, being open about expectations, just reading about the format - besides EDHRec decklists - can help.


Quote:
I don't know which ones of my cards are 'anti social' besides maybe geddon,


Here's the easy test(1) for "anti-social" cards/strategies.

If a card/strategy forces a player make a decision, the card is interactive (not necessarily popular, and getting the groups opinion is recommended); but also not immediately anti-social.
- Examples: Ghostly Prison, War's Toll, Angel's Trumpet, Rhystic Study, etc.

If a card/strategy prevents a player from playing the game (or interacting with you), it is "anti-social". Generally speaking, you should have a very strong "on-theme" reason to play these kinds of cards (and then, still limit them)
- Examples: Stax decks, Turtle (Pillowfort) decks, infinite combos, MLD (one-sided definitely, in general for most playgroups), Gaddock Teeg, Rule of Law, Vorinclex, Spreading Plague, etc.

1: This is my opinion, though I don't think it an uncommon one. How cards fit in these categories is also debatable. "Hate-bear" cards (War's Toll, Rule of Law) are especially contested on which side of the "anti-social" divide they belong. Also, some cards can be in the first category when solo, but fall in the second category when interacting with other parts of the deck (Example: Avacyn, Angel of Hope can be fine on its own, unless you also have any mass destruction (WoG, Armageddon, etc.); then you are being anti-social).

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Hazezon Tamar - Manland theme
Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-06 10:47 pm 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
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Treamayne wrote:
Maybe, instead of trying so hard to prevent attacks on you, you should incentivize players attacking elsewhere (Crown of Doom, Curse of Verbosity, Curse of Inertia, Curse of Shallow Graves, Vow of Malice, Phyrexian Splicer, etc.)


I was thinking adding the curses (black and blue) If I have the slots for it I will

Treamayne wrote:
If a card/strategy prevents a player from playing the game (or interacting with you), it is "anti-social". Generally speaking, you should have a very strong "on-theme" reason to play these kinds of cards (and then, still limit them)
- Examples: Stax decks, Turtle (Pillowfort) decks, infinite combos, MLD (one-sided definitely, in general for most playgroups), Gaddock Teeg, Rule of Law, Vorinclex, Spreading Plague, etc.


I think Rule of law is a necesary evil, it is not there (in Oloro) to prevent people of casting a signet and then a creature, it is there to prevent Mizzix's Mastery overloaded , Storm things, Narset englightnened master and his broken "cast 4 things for free" ability among others.

Same is for Spreading Plague I have it as another extreme boardwipe thats also keeps the field clean.

In both cases I have "criteria" about when to use them, I wont cast Rule of law turn 3 (Unless I think narset will do her things T4) or I won't cast it at all if there is no such threats in the table.

Same goes for plage or even a normal boardwipe, I the "love" if flowing across all the table and I am not being the focus of the attacks I wont need to push the "panic button".

As oloro creatureless you are always "open" to attacks because the only thing that prevents people from attacking you are the enchants like propaganda or righteous aura (preveting damage often makes people doesnt want ti waste the attack) or maze of ith etc. For that the curses yu suggested are really great aditions.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 3:58 am 
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So, I don't mean to be harsh- but jumping from Kaalia to Oloro to improve your game experience is like replacing a bottle of fortified Port with a bottle of Absinthe- looking to avoid hangovers. Rather, the problem that I see coming up isn't *what* you're doing, but *how* you're doing it- and if Kaalia is a fun-sponge, Oloro is an absorption sock, if you're just doing something obvious. Being called a "Blue Player" is usually an insult, not a compliment- because it implies you only like to play gross Draw-Go, and lack the fundamental skills to play on the next level.

Do you have a reservation about approaching the table with an unorthodox commander?

The two rules I recommend thinking about, from the position of your playgroup are these...

I- Do I have a theme? Does my deck do something novel, or interesting? How does that effect the table? How much have I actually committed to that theme?

II- Am I playing powerful cards, because they are powerful, or because the support the theme of my deck?

This, is why I resist my "Durdle King" title. The problem was never that I want to play defensively, but the means by which I choose to do so. The Ephara deck in my signature (which I really need to update at this point) is a funny example of making a powerful control deck fun, in the context of an EDH playgroup. I stripped that list of cards like Rhystic Study- because while they are powerful, the number of equally powerful alternatives that don't waste my playgroups time are large enough that I could play more acutely to the theme I had set out for with the deck (the Solar Flare pivot play.) The deck could just have easily been built around Enchantress stax- but making that interesting would involve finding ways to make Opalescence and Starfield of Nyx plays- where I'm much more interested in Monastery Mentor plays.

The more your playgroup can narrate your plays before you make them, and the more time those plays waste- the bigger not only your disadvantage at a table of knowledgeable and experienced players- but the less desirable you will be for future sessions with those players.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 4:22 am 

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Mr Degradation wrote:
So, I don't mean to be harsh- but jumping from Kaalia to Oloro to improve your game experience is like replacing a bottle of fortified Port with a bottle of Absinthe- looking to avoid hangovers. Rather, the problem that I see coming up isn't *what* you're doing, but *how* you're doing it- and if Kaalia is a fun-sponge, Oloro is an absorption sock, if you're just doing something obvious. Being called a "Blue Player" is usually an insult, not a compliment- because it implies you only like to play gross Draw-Go, and lack the fundamental skills to play on the next level.



Actually I switched to Oloro and went very well, see my other post for the decklist, ir is not opressive nor combo focused.

When I am saying I am a blue player is because, I am, I mean, I have been playing mainly blue since 8th edition so... I really dont have much experience in any format without blue in it (standard, extended, modern).

This topic was intended to get some insights from non-blue players about how to pilot Kaalia, because if everybody fears her that should mean that she is OP and if she is OP but I have a 0% winrate and a 0% fun rate in EDH it makes me think I am the one playing her badly and maybe it is because I lack the experience on those colors.

Mr Degradation wrote:
I stripped that list of cards like Rhystic Study- because while they are powerful, the number of equally powerful alternatives that don't waste my playgroups time are large enough that I could play more acutely to the theme I had set out for with the deck (the Solar Flare pivot play.)


There are few cards I will never ever consider cutting from a deck that can carry them, one is Rystic study , other is Necropotence and off course my favourite card of all times Sensei's divining top (I don't play combos JFYI)

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 4:40 am 
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[*]
alexev wrote:
Mr Degradation wrote:
So, I don't mean to be harsh- but jumping from Kaalia to Oloro to improve your game experience is like replacing a bottle of fortified Port with a bottle of Absinthe- looking to avoid hangovers. Rather, the problem that I see coming up isn't *what* you're doing, but *how* you're doing it- and if Kaalia is a fun-sponge, Oloro is an absorption sock, if you're just doing something obvious. Being called a "Blue Player" is usually an insult, not a compliment- because it implies you only like to play gross Draw-Go, and lack the fundamental skills to play on the next level.



Actually I switched to Oloro and went very well, see my other post for the decklist, ir is not opressive nor combo focused.

When I am saying I am a blue player is because, I am, I mean, I have been playing mainly blue since 8th edition so... I really dont have much experience in any format without blue in it (standard, extended, modern).

This topic was intended to get some insights from non-blue players about how to pilot Kaalia, because if everybody fears her that should mean that she is OP and if she is OP but I have a 0% winrate and a 0% fun rate in EDH it makes me think I am the one playing her badly and maybe it is because I lack the experience on those colors.

Mr Degradation wrote:
I stripped that list of cards like Rhystic Study- because while they are powerful, the number of equally powerful alternatives that don't waste my playgroups time are large enough that I could play more acutely to the theme I had set out for with the deck (the Solar Flare pivot play.)


There are few cards I will never ever consider cutting from a deck that can carry them, one is Rystic study , other is Necropotence and off course my favourite card of all times Sensei's divining top (I don't play combos JFYI)


Color identity has relatively little to do with technical play. A functional EDH playgroup requires it's members to make concessions for one another- and often, part of those concessions and compromises involve stepping out of comfort zones with things like staples- in favor of emphasizing the group experience.

EDH isn't a format where your winrate is relevant- it's a format where players often learn how to be better players, and evaluate complex interactions, and tell interesting stories. If you're going to play the best combo support, but not combo off- it's almost insulting to your group. If you play stax, but draw the game out in such a way that there's no tension if you're winning- then that's even more insulting to any group.

You might find Oloro fun, but if your playgroup groans and loses interest- that's worse than losing a dozen games in a row. When you let go of whatever identity you've built up for yourself as a player, and understand the game from another player's perspective- it becomes rather easy to magnetize playgroups for frequent sessions. But, in all honesty- every time I've played against Oloro or Arbiter Stax, and the pilot gloats about how much they love blue- and they proceed to create 20 minutes+ of dead game time; it's like watching the Monty Python sketch about the dead parrot. The stronger the playgroup, the more likely they'll absolutely crush you- and have no desire to continue.

It got so bad with one particular gentleman at the LGS, that we used to tell him "well, nobody wants to play with you, so you win the game by default, right? That's what you want, right? You must be way too good for us", when he would tilt about nobody "being brave enough" to play EDH with him (even though he could never win a game against our established group- because we knew his plays before he made them- and sculpted our plans around it.) This individual's idea of fun, came at the exclusion of the playgroup- which resulted in him not really getting to grow as a player (which, ultimately did effect his FNM performance frequently.)

Like, I get where you're coming from- most of us here have been there- but it sounds like you're missing out on the best part of EDH (the shared growth of technical play- and doing entertaining things) by being stubborn.

All the best, though :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

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Last edited by Mr Degradation on 2018-Mar-07 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 4:49 am 

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Age: Drake
Mr Degradation wrote:
EDH isn't a format where your winrate is relevant- it's a format where players often learn how to be better players, and evaluate complex interactions, and tell interesting stories. If you're going to play the best combo support, but not combo off- it's almost insulting to your group. If you play stax, but draw the game out in such a way that there's no tension if you're winning- then that's even more insulting to any group.


Mr Degradation wrote:
Like, I get where you're coming from- most of us here have been there- but it sounds like you're missing out on the best part of EDH (the shared growth of technical play- and doing entertaining things) by being stubborn.

All the best, though :)


Have you red all the thread? or have you just picked up something and started from there?

your words makes me think you haven't red all the thread because I have stated a lot of times that I do not play infinite combos, My playgroup plays alesha , narset, breya, narsil, jeleeva and many others sometimes non interactive commanders.

I also repetead several times that my focus is not winning but having the chance of doing "my magic" all the times I played Kaalia in multi I have never the chance of actually doing something relevant, meanwhile with my current Oloro list (poorly made) I Won 1 of 4 and the other 3 were very fun too because I was able to make relevent things

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Kaalia of the vast
Edgar Markov The current updated decklist is here
Oloro, Ageless ascetic The current updated decklist is here


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 4:55 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
I did read it- but I don't think you realize how golden the advice Treamayne and Uktabi have been giving you is; based on your responses. Like, as far as dudes on the forum to take serious commentary from; they're pretty high up there.

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niheloim wrote:
Wall of Chat. 2U
Creature- Wall

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Wall of chat exceeds at using a lot of words to mischaracterize opposing view points.

Warp Riders (Ephara Solar Flare)


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