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 Post subject: 100 cards?
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-29 2:53 am 

Joined: 2019-Jul-29 2:27 am
Age: Hatchling
Why "exactly 100 cards" instead of "at least 100 cards"?

Building an almost competitive deck force you to play a pool of cards you simply can't cut (PtE, StP, Teferi's protection, Mana Drain, Force of Will, Mystical Tutor, Remora, Rhystic Study, Cyclonic Rift, Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Sylvan Library, ...). It depends by the colors, of course, but the build of a deck it's often limited to the choice of no more than 30 cards based on the commander's abilities.

Every time I build a deck I need to sacrifice 1 or 2 cards which I would like to play, but I can't. Sometimes, as I often do in Legacy or Modern, I only would like to play 101 cards instead of 100. And I have friends with low budget decks that would love to play 110 (or, in one specific case, he want to play Battle of Wits singleton deck). What about changing the rules to "at least 100 cards"?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 cards?
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-29 3:37 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
"exactly 100 cards" because it makes for a unique deck building challenge. It also is a nice midway between "large deck" in order to promote variation in game to game with the same deck, and IMO keeps it just the good side of "too large to handle nicely." This means in the time it takes to properly shuffle the deck, to search through it for a card, etc.

You should keep in mind that the primary focus of the format is the casual player -- so when you say you are "building an almost competitive deck" you are possibly running into issues that other more 'casual' players don't find themselves in.

For example, you mention that there's some cards that you "can't cut" -- but it all depends on what kinds of games you are expecting. If you're trying to do more cEDH -- then I can see why you'd be of the mindset that you "can't cut" some of those cards. In which case, then that's simply an extra deck building restriction you are placing on yourself.

For example, my mono-blue deck doesn't have Mana Drain (even when I did own them), Force of Will, or Mystic Remora. Because I don't feel I need them -- they're too much power for the group I play with; or they simply cost too much for me to obtain (again); or I find that they draw too much of a target to me, and opening with "Island, go" already gives me enough of a bulls-eye on me that I don't need to give my opponents more reason to target me over someone else.

Tenebroleso wrote:
What about changing the rules to "at least 100 cards"?
I don't think that's going anywhere. It's been known for a long time that it would be easier to build a deck with just a few more card slots -- but it's not changed before, so why should it change now (beyond you now asking for it)?

There are benefits to having a strict limit, have you thought about that at all?

Have you thought about trying to play with cutting 1 or 2 cards that you say you "can't cut" and see how it actually affects the game? (Depending on the general power level of your group this may not be feasible.)

I've played in higher-power-level groups than the one I play in now. It was fun. But so is the more relaxed group that doesn't need to put in the "top tier" cards into all their decks. The lack of having an "arms race" within my group is surprisingly freeing -- lets me cut out things that you wouldn't in a higher-powered group so it lets me play with more niche or themed cards. Which for me makes playing the decks more fun.

I'd highly suggest you re-evaluate those cards that you find you "can't cut" and try cutting some of them to play with those 1 or 2 other cards which you'd like to play with.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 cards?
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-29 11:25 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
A significant component of your question mentions competitive play as well as modern, legacy etc. So I think it's worth noting that when you are trying to play in any competitive fashion you should be playing the minimum cards allowable. There is almost no situation in which playing 61 cards maindeck in modern or legacy is the correct strategic choice. You always have a worst card and you must be able to identify and cut that card to be the most efficient you can be. If you are playing competitively you are playing the minimum number of cards for the format.

As for how this relates to commander, what is your goal? Are you trying to build the best deck you can or are you trying to build the most enjoyable deck you can. Now with a goal in mind you cut your deck down to the minimum number. You cut the card that is least able to support your goal, and just like every limited card pool I have built, the last few cards are hard to cut, but you make the cut to 40 because it makes the best deck.

As Carthain discussed it is part of the fun and part of the challenge of playing this card game. The different between Commander and the other formats is the cards that don't make the cut for the best deck, do make the cut for the next one. As I have been arguing with many people from my LGS, you don't need 5 copies of force of will and you don't need to proxy it just to optimize every deck, it's ok to have a tier 2 and a tier 3 deck.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 cards?
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-10 2:47 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Tenebroleso wrote:
Building an almost competitive deck force you to play a pool of cards you simply can't cut (PtE, StP, Teferi's protection, Mana Drain, Force of Will, Mystical Tutor, Remora, Rhystic Study, Cyclonic Rift, Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Sylvan Library, ...). It depends by the colors, of course, but the build of a deck it's often limited to the choice of no more than 30 cards based on the commander's abilities.

Problem 1 - the format isn't managed for competitive play, so the fact that you feel you MUST include certain cards to be viable is irrelevant - the rules don't change to support the kind of play where that would be remotely true.
Problem 2 - unless you're playing in a very competitive meta, that idea isn't remotely true. It is 100% possible to build a blue deck without C-Rift, Mana Drain and Force. I know this to be true because my local meta back in the day used to be "Everyone plays a blue/X combo deck and we see who combos out first". I didn't have the money for cards like mana drain or force, so I used other options and still won my share of games.

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