miinor_threat : We know that there are a lot of bad EDH (or as they call it, "Commander") players out there who are looking to take their bad play to the next level. Bad players who want to step up their game and become truly awful. This is the guide for you. We here at the Research-Institute-For-Terrible-Play have designed a foolproof system that can turn even a good-natured, skilled player into the most worthless, uncreative, mouth-breathing primate ever to wrap its club-like, Dorito-cheese-dust-covered-hand around a 100 card deck. We know you have it in you!
KrazyCaley: That's right, folks. Why settle for the mediocrity of merely being annoying, when you can be such an awful person that card shops empty at the sound of your approach? You know what I call a playgroup that only has you in it because everyone else left because they hate you? Automatic first place.
miinor_threat: (Emperor Palpatine voice) Yessss. You've opened the article and and read this far. Let the hate flow through you. I can taste your anger. Come to the dark side of EDH play.
All you have to do is follow the 9 steps in our patented D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G. system:
DISCLAIMER: All EDH players are occasionally guilty of the above sins. We do not mean to imply that the reader is a douchebag merely for having engaged in a few of these practices from time to time, merely that the systematic application of many or all of them is what makes for a truly unfun EDH player.
miinor_threat: Truly bad play starts during the deckbuilding process. You need to make sure that there is nothing unique or cool about your deck from the get go. Personality and flair are anathema to being a D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G. As a bad player, your job is to prevent fun.
Think of the Iron Chef. His job is to cook new and unique dishes out of eclectic ingredients for the benefit of others. He wins when the judges respect and savor his dishes, and thus he vanquishes his opponents. He is a good EDH player. We hate him. Instead, you should netdeck cold-meatloaf from Ralph's and put a note in the mashed potatoes threatening to kill the judges' families if you don't win. That way, you're more likely to win, and that's all that matters.
Stay away from fun cards in general. The life bidding in a clutch Mages' Contest is always going to be fun, don't run it. Making 18 cobra tokens with a Snake Basket is not an option for you. Using Bind in Mono-Green to stop a JMS ultimate is going to get high-fives, so you can't do it. Pongify and Ovinize are out (You came here to combo off, not to turn Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre into a sheep and then block him and kill him with a bird token, what do you think this is!?).
KrazyCaley: Especially avoid any kind of unifying theme. Don't make your deck about octopi and kraken, or time counters, or Thieves' Auction , or anything that will make people think you are creative or out to have fun. The theme of your deck should be winning. Pay no attention at all to questions of flavor, art, unusual card interactions/play states, or wonky, rarely-used generals. In fact, why pay attention at all when you could just grab a ruthlessly optimized decklist of the ol' internet and ruin your friends' desire to play Magic for the rest of the week? It's all a part of what I like to call "dickbuilding," which is really just the best form of deckbuilding.
C: Picture this scene - you and a group of friends are all shuffling, sitting around a table, talking, laughing, maybe drinking a little bit, looking forward to a nice rousing game of multiplayer EDH. You're on the play and drop a Swamp. Everybody else goes. Turn 2, Dark Depths , Dark Ritual , Vampire Hexmage , and oh look at this! Before anyone else even has Oblivion Ring mana ready, you have Marit Lage. LOL, hope you mulliganed to Swords to Plowshares , suckers.
Remember, the key to an unfun combo is that it be:
A) Incredibly powerful and preferably used at some point in competitive play; bonus points if any of the cards were banned BECAUSE of this combo,
B) An extreme buzzkill due to its ability to suddenly knock at least one person out of the game without any fair fight or real opportunity for them to do anything about it, and,
C) Completely devoid of any complexity or thoughtfulness; two cards is ideal; three cards is ok but pushing it.
miinor_threat: This is where bad players truly shine. A great game of EDH is like a debate, everyone contributes and it can be a long, thoughtful, complex process. Normally you win by making good points and establishing your position and credibility. A combo player, on the other hand, wins by letting out a long, loud fart which brings that conversation to an abrupt halt and makes everyone else want to leave. Have you ever been in the 40th minute of a game that was just getting good when someone pulls out the old Mikaeus, the Unhallowed -Triskelion combo and ends the game with wah-wah trombones? How about some good ol' Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker -Pestermite right when things were getting interesting? If science could bottle the feeling of Melira, Sylvok Outcast plus Woodfall Primus and a sac outlet they could use it to induce vomiting in poisoning victims.
Because here is the thing that good players don't understand, these "obvious" combos are a secret that ONLY YOU were smart enough to figure out. You invented Basalt Monolith plus Rings of Brighthearth because you are CREATIVE and you deserve to use it because you are AWESOME. It makes you a better player (obviously). Other players choose not to use combos because they are stupid and you are better, not because they realize those combos are rude and ruin the experience. You are the only one who is smart enough to figure out Power Artifact , other people don't use it because they suck.
SIDENOTE: Four EDH combo players playing together is a beautiful sight to behold. All four of them silently trying to assemble their combo, not speaking, not interacting, basically getting together on a Sunday afternoon to play four games of solitaire at the same table, seeing who can end the game fastest. It's like that Zen koan about one hand clapping, except it's one hand masturbating (times four).
miinor_threat: EDH is already a slow format. Games take a while to get going and take a while to wrap up. You should take every opportunity to slow the pace down to a tedious grind. Use tools like Winter Orb and Armageddon to really grate on your opponents' nerves. Your goal is to make their experience like something between World of Warcraft power leveling and a trip to the DMV.
Don't stop there, play really slowly in general. You should be agonizing over every decision, counting your lands, and checking your graveyard and your sideboard every turn. That way, you can limit the afternoon to no more than 1 or 2 total games, so everyone regrets coming.
KrazyCaley: And don't forget that this cuts both ways; never play anything that will have a tendency to make the game run faster and smoother. But just failing to speed the game up and make it fun isn't enough. You have to slow it way down. Casting spells like Stasis
and Rule of Law
(or better yet, BOTH) is the kind of thing you need to do, especially when combined with the aforementioned constant 2-hour-long turns that you take while agonizing over whether to put Swords to Plowshares
or Path to Exile
on the top of your library with Sensei's Divining Top
KrazyCaley: Let's assume you disregarded our advice and are actually building your own deck from scratch. This is actually still ok, because if you know the right cards, you can build a deck without ever having to think! Here are some cards that should go in every EDH deck. EVERY. EDH. DECK. If one of these cards doesn't work well thematically with the rest of your deck, well then you need to remember what the D in DOUCHEBAG stands for. The cards:
Wow, that's 10% of the deck, RIGHT THERE! And that's before we even get INTO cards that should always be there for a given color! Who says deckbuilding is hard?
miinor_threat: If all of your decks run all of the above cards, you may already be a D.O.U.C.H.E.!
This method gets extremely easy when you are running more than one color. For tri-color Bant, piece of cake! Slap in an Austere Command
, throw in a Survival of the Fittest
, Cyclonic Rift
, toss in a Mother of Runes
, little Wrath of God
, Overwhelming Intellect
, Sylvan Primordial
, Sylvan Library
, maybe a Jace, all the obvious counterspells, a token Sun Titan
, a Clone
(or a Phantasmal Image
). With enough dogmatic, thoughtless adherence to staples, it doesn't really even matter who the General is, because you don't have any room for any other cards anyway. The other players in your playgroup should never have to read your cards because your card choices should all be so stale and commonly used that everyone has already seen them 1,000 times.
Pro Tip: Good players use these cards like spices to power up good decks. You basically want nothing but spice, so the dish is inedible.
KrazyCaley: What is essential here is not just that you just play a commonly-used general. What is essential is that you use that general in a broken and overplayed FASHION, using long-established deck archetypes that have been around forever and are much more powerful compared to the rest of the field. It's not enough to run Jhoira of the Ghitu , you have to run her WITH THE THINGS THAT MAKE HER BROKEN. Here's a (non-exhaustive by any means) short list:
(For reference, Mind Over Matter )
miinor_threat: Azami decks turn into a 15-minute-long-turn-jerk-off fest around turn 4. #Solitaire
KrazyCaley: As soon as he attacks, be sure to make him indestrucible. Then give him hexproof. Just keep it going. The best part is this whole process is unstoppable after you put that first enchantment on there.
miinor_threat: That's for Zur rookies. When really terrible people run Zur, they run mana rocks so Zur can come out swinging turn 2 or 3 and fetch Erayo, Soratami Ascendant . If you can't get past Erayo on turn 3, the next combat phase is Rule of Law . Zur turns a game about playing spells into a game of sitting. You literally can't do much worse than be a Zur player. #TheAIDSofGenerals
miinor_threat: M: Yo dawg, I herd you like cascade, so I put some cascade in your cascade so you can cascade while you cascade. Whenever someone sits down with Wanderer, I always visualize the Swedish chef from the Muppets (google that s**t if you're ig'nant) going "Derp derrrr, ramp ramp ramp and I terk an erxtra tern! #InfiniteTurnsAreGay
KrazyCaley: The only way this would be sillier is if he were five-color, and there were about 25 more cards in the game with cascade.
miinor_threat: Oona is regarded as the poster child of infinite mana. Real assholes tend to slip in other combos in as well, Hinder and Tunnel Vision is common, as is Leyline of the Void and Helm of Possession . #JustPlayModernFaeries
KrazyCaley: I'm sorry, Mistbind Clique ! I'm sorry I talked trash about you! You're MUCH less infuriating than all these infinicombos! Please come back to the Oona deck! I promise I won't tear you to shreds whenever you're cast!
miinor_threat: If you really want to never stand out, you should have been running Edric in 1v1 leagues here and in Europe last year. In some places, the meta-game at tournaments was greater than 50% Edric, and the Edric v. Edric mirror was the most dangerous match (it was later banned by French rules in 1v1). #SameS**tDiffDay
KrazyCaley: Counterspells and weenies and weenies and counterspells. And drawing cards and answers and counterspells and weenies. Counterspells and weenies and weenies and counterspells and counterspells and weeeeeniiieees.
KrazyCaley: On the plus side, at least she gets it over with quickly so your playgroup can go on to something else, like crochet.
miinor_threat: This guy carries the stench of combo - BLUE ARTIFACT combo to be precise. Arcum Daggson is to being a combo player what James Lipton is to being a failed actor. #InfiniteMindslaver
miinor_threat: See also: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir if you want to lock them down completely. What's that gnarly combo with him? Omen Machine ? I couldn't hear you. I was getting up to go play with a different group. #DrawGo
KrazyCaley: Note the plural, turns. One extra turn is for wusses. A resolved Time Stretch
is mere competence. What I'm talking about is turns, man, TURNS. Lots of turns. Maybe even INFINITE turns. I'm talking about Time Stretch
getting double teamed by Deadeye Navigator
and an Archaeomancer
on your Isochron Scepter
. That's the ice you want on your fingers. Using this strategy, you can have great fun playing Magic by getting rid of the most annoying and detrimental thing in the game, namely all the other players.
miinor_threat: Extra turns give me the dry heaves. When I see you play Walk the Aeons with Cast Through Time on the field, and then play Call to Mind and do it AGAIN (and again and again) just as I thought I was going to actually participate in this match it makes me wish I could take a long white Halloween beard out of my backpack and put it on and glare at you while you go through the tedious motions of killing everyone while taking your infinite turns.
miinor_threat: Remember, when 60 card players evolve and grow tired of the predictability of short decks running 4x of their power cards, they turn to the 100 card singleton world of EDH, where the variability and viability of a hugely expanded cardpool ensures dynamic and unique matches every time. F**k that.
Change is scary and fun and is like exercise for your brain. You want to avoid that. You should aggressively (and I mean aggressively) tutor for that one thing that makes your deck run exactly the same way every time. By turn 2 you should already be playing Demonic Tutor /Enlightened Tutor /Fabricate /Expedition Map for Sneak Attack /Survival of the Fittest /Phyrexian Metamorph /Cabal Coffers or what have you. Your deck should run like an algorithm that requires you to make very few choices from game to game. If you aren't running 10+ tutors, your'e leaving everything to chance.
KrazyCaley: It is merely stating the obvious to say that in a 100 card singleton deck game, deck tightness is the clear priority of the format. Be sure to adhere to this principle by including far too many tutors, a ton of cards that work exactly the same way, and card interactions that guarantee that the same things will happen over and over again, no matter how many times you play! EDH is all about predictability, dreary deck efficiency, and ruthless performance. Don't let the rest of the table get away with fun. Building decks that behave with even slight variance is a terrible mistake, and must be punished.
miinor_threat: This one is near and dear to my heart. Proxying hard to find cards or cards that you are testing is a common practice that generally no one minds, it's a simple matter of common courtesy and the accepting, casual nature of EDH.
As a terrible player, you want to push the bounds of that courtesy and acceptance until you have totally destroyed it and given yourself a huge advantage. We recommend proxies that are impossible to easily recognize so that it takes WAY more thought and attention than normal to have any clue of what is going on on your board.
There are two main schools of thought on this, "Lazy" and "Over The Top." The "Lazy" school will typically use post it notes or scribble on commons or basic lands with a sharpie. A mountain with just "cryptic command" written on it in illegible handwriting is a classic example. Imagine a whole row of lands which are covered in post-its. One says "U/R," (Volcanic Island , obviously) and you can't really read the rest of them. Someone attacks, and you use a crudely proxied Razor Boomerang with "Maze of Ith" written on it to nerf the attack. You can see the frustration on the attacker's face and it kind of gives you a chub. PRO TIP: DO NOT offer to let them take the attack back.
The other school of thought is "Over the Top." This is a sophisticated technique. It's like scrapbooking for assholes. These players make their entire deck into customized foil Japanese Magic Set Editor proxies of anime school girls with giant breasts (or whatever).
KrazyCaley: "Over the Top" is indeed a rewarding technique, Dave; why have "Swamp" when you could have a Yu-gi-oh card with a crude skull drawn minutely on one side? Hey, dude, I thought you said you were cool with my proxies! Remember, too, that cards that are offensive to play against and/or incredibly expensive should always be proxied regardless of your income level. Some people think that there are cards that it's never ok to proxy, like Shahrazad , or The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale , or Moat , or any card from Portal: Three Kingdoms, or Mana Drain , and so on. You have no idea why anyone would feel that way. Seriously.
KrazyCaley: This is the glue that holds the rest of D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G. together. Sure, every EDH player might accidentally stumble into one or the other of the above faults from time to time, but even if you manage to be a D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A., you'll never be a true doucheBAG without an aggressive, hostile attitude, especially when losing. When winning, of course, you want to puff up like a Middle Eastern oil baron and talk as much crap as possible. Losing is another case, though. Remember that losing is never due to your deck, nor any play errors by you, and also not your opponents' skills. Your opponents got lucky and you got crappy draws. Here are some handy phrases to deploy after a lost game:
"I could have drawn this card, that card, this other card, that other card, THIS card, and like a million other cards to kill you, but NO."
"Nice deck. I guess using cheaper cards is ok if you get a god draw every time."
"(incoherent mumbling about getting unfair hate)"
"I should have pile shuffled. I had SO MANY lands out last game."
"Wow, you drew like, EVERYTHING you needed."
And don't forget, after a victory, be sure to deploy this time-honored classic, with a tip of the cap to MinscAndBoo, whose recent forum post reminded me of it:
"I still had (various answers and threats that guaranteed victory even if your opponent topdecked out)."
Remember - The best part about being a douchebag is rubbing your foot in their face and making them taste the douche.
miinor_threat: Caley is right. This is the cherry on the turd cake. This is where you bring it all together. You knew full well how much everyone hates your Memnarch -combo-jank deck and how much everyone hates when you go off and take infinite turns. This is where you have to dig deep and pretend to have the GALL to act surprised when the entire table gangs up on you eliminates you first (PROTIP: This is not a surprise). You have to act as petulant as possible, blame your loss on missing a few land drops, and then give obvious advice to the remaining players. At that point, if anyone is still willing to play with you, try actually getting mad and storming off, or maybe raising your voice. "This cardboard with art on it is SERIOUS BUSINESS MAN, why you gotta Mind Twist me!?"
KrazyCaley: And that's our guide on total EDH douchebaggery. We hope that you are able to profit by it and become the most annoying Magic: The Gathering player in (subject hometown here). Join us next time, which could literally at ANY TIME, except for the past.
miinor_threat: This article is dedicated to all those EDH players who run balanced, awesome decks that are both competitive and fun. I believe the true test of a deck is 2 equally important questions: "Can it win?" and "Is it fun to lose to?"
Caley and Dave also pay their respects to Sheldon Menery (the Godfather of EDH) and the Rules Committee for inventing and embodying the spirit of the format.
LOL, I will say though, I use a combo just to reset the game. I have seen far too many control players who will just sit there and kill/counter everything that is played so when you are on that minute 40 no one has any permanents except for that one asshat. It's times like those where everyone already wishes the game was over that I will resort to combos.
Also, don't forget about tutor decks, decks that tutor out tutors to tutor out tutors. THAT is the most annoying s**t ever.
just gunna put this out there. the trisckelion combo is with mikaeus the unhallowed.
This is pure win. Definitely one of the funniest things I've read in a while. Unfortunately my deck kinda fall into the "Deck plays the same way most games" because my Wort, Boggart Auntie deck relies heavily on the Goblin Recruiter and Goblin Ringleader combo. But I don't think that makes it unfun.
Also, I think "plays Terastodon" should be it's own section...I hate that card so much.
mccracka just doing one of those things doesn't make you a bad person. You have to do all of them to be a true DOUCHEBAG
My opinion is vary varied on this. I enjoy playing a combo deck. I also enjoy playing my Maelstrom Wanderer good-stuff deck (no extra turns though). I have a mill deck and a Brion Stoutarm fling deck. I even have a tribal tribal deck (Mistform Ultimus). I think that as long as you don't durdle and dick around for 20 min, then its all fine. Each style of decks can be fun in different ways. I don't mind playing against combo or control either, the only thing I hate is extra turn loops.
This was truly hilarious to read and i thoroughly enjoyed it props to the both of you
You can play similarly every game and have a game ending combo and not be a douchebag. You have to have all the letters to spell the word so if you don't have all the letters then the word doesn't exist. That's logic.
And this was a wonderful, hilarious article, loved it. If I could make a change it would just be to add Azusa to the bad generals list. "I'll use Strip Mine, then I'll use Strip Mine, then I'll use Strip Mine, then I'll use Strip Mine..."
@atreyujames - Yeah, like I said, everyone has a little bit of the above in their decks. I run a Jhoira deck for instance, which while it does not suspend Obliterate and some nasty monster, IS pretty unfair sometimes. It's a fine line, and I really doubt that anyone on this site is a full-on douche.
add lich's mirror to the Dbag handbook to stop the gang-ups
@nikolaTloncar - Fixing. Dave said "Mikaeus" and my brain did not think about it.
Hahahahahaha I haven't read something like this in ages. Kudos to you, you wonderful people.
Wonderful and brilliantly funny article. I'd love to join in and contribute with articles if I thought I had the experience in the game to give interesting insight and meaningful discussion, this thing looks like it was tons of fun to write.
@pookypuppy6 - If you want to write something, anything, let me know, anytime. I am always looking for content.
You forgot to mention one of the big alltime favorites Iona, Shield of Emeria which basically reads "Target player doesn't get to play the game".
You guys has a lot of fun doing this and I could feel the energy. I had a blast reading it and I'll be sure to employ these tactics if my mono-red wears thin on awesome.
How do you write cards so they show a picture when you scroll over? I haven't commented on anything in quite awhile and I couldn't find any page on the site that shows you how to do it. But I wanted to put my friend's general up here haha.
[ [ misthollow griffin ] ]
Without spaces =
Nvm I remembered after plugging 10 different things in haha.
Animar, Soul of Elements has the potential to be a really fun edh deck, or an infinite combo scoop inducing deck. My friend has the latter.
Him: Ok, I'll play Worldly Tutor or Survival of the Fittest or Fauna Shaman or Defense of the Heart and fart on you till I play Deadeye Navigator soulbound with Palinchron to give me infinite mana and re-soulbond to Prime Speaker Zegana and blink him umpteen times to draw my whole deck and fk target opponent. gg.
I was writing my comment while you said that, but thank you zandl!!
Oh man, this is SOOOOO true.
I'd have to say I score half of the douchebag points, oh well.
Great article, I love it!
this may get me to play Magic after a loong while again, truly genious!
XD cascade cascade cascade. Great job, i havent read something this funny and yet so true about mtg in a long time
I once played a game where a guy ran Battle of Wits, and counted out the cards in his deck everytime it was his upkeep he would count out his. cards in edh....... and then ask 4 a second count. Talk about playing slow.
Hilarious, anyone notice all the mentioned generals have blue in them except for Maralen of the Mornsong? Just a fun observation lol.
I like this article: I think the only one I really fall into is playing and overused general, Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, though any instant-win potential really comes down to drawing Aluren as I can't tutor for it... And Vig, just throwing it out there, usually gets killed when he hits the board.
The trouble is this: how can we actually make EDH fun, wherever we go? Both of my playgroups and my home shop are full of people who still run douchebag decks. I play in a group where Arcum Dagsson was allowed, though he was eventually considered utter bullshit. Now we have a Teysa deck aiming to combo out, and everyone thinks this is normal. At the store, people still run, despite the bannings, Edric in French EDH. It's hard to find a person who runs a fun deck, and when they do, 9/10 they also run infinite combos as a pragmatic way to end the game.
I only wanted to play Vig for his art and his Simic status (it's the bomb). I want to make a super janky Isao, Enlightened Bushi or Iwamori of the Open Fist deck, but they'd just roll over and die no matter where I play.
Also, I'm kind of hoping Palinchron will get banned in this format. So many broken combos begin with him.
Don't forget Kaalia of the Vast for ultimate douchebaggery
I dont think Kaalia of the Vast HAS to be douchebaggery, it's predictable, and arguably a "noob" general. But wasn't the game started as a way to run a bunch of bomby creatures and spells that you wouldn't run in "competitive constructive?" If Kaalia is, than Mayael the Anima is too, and I wouldn't consider Mayael to be douchey
This is interesting because you started with the premise of identifying the worst traits of EDH players and instead ended up exhibiting them yourself! Your article came off as, "I don't like it when I lose if you build your deck better, play better, are irritating (Which is fair, infinite proxy guy is actually a good point... but about the only one in the article), and mentioning maralen/maret lage was hilarious, "Oh hey you have combos that may not win the game they're in, SO LAME! What do you expect me to INTERACT in the first 3-4 turns of the game???? "
The Edric whine was similar; while he's maddening in 1v1 EDH and deservedly banned, if your problem with someone's group deck is that it plays counterspells and weenies, then you probably should quit playing magic and try something more your speed. You mentioned croquet, which is a fun game that people can't build "op" or "unfun" decks in. Focus yourself on that or something.
Vendilion Clique EDH I might already be a D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G. D=
However, those cards alters were fantastic. XD
I'm so sharing this with my play group, lol. One guy in my pod Wednesday won with the Mikaeus + Triskelion combo after a rather long, fun game.
Of course, some of them were getting mad at me for using Wheel of Fate, Wheel of Fortune, Reforge the Soul, and Molten Psyche in the same game, but I made up for it by playing Anvil of Bogardan and Font of Mythos.
Don't forget that Mikaeus, the Unhallowed can turn into many ridiculous 3-card combos with the addition of Lingering Tormentor/Puppeteer Clique and X (Falkenrath Noble/Blood Artist come to mind). Just happened to me today actually. Oooooooops.
@ckallas2, while I acknowledge the legitimacy of your observation regarding the use of "gay", I'd also like to point out that this article revolves around the acronym D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G., which makes me suspect that political correctness was not valued too highly. Nor would I automatically assume that the rampant satire throughout reflects the actual views/opinions of the authors. Furthermore, as a member of the Magic community, I (and I suspect many others) would rather not be lumped into any assumptions or judgments about the presumed homophobia of said community.
What I see here is a failure to realize that edh is 3 separate formats.
There are highly tuned decks.There are average budgetish decks.There are silly theme decks.
Its all about having the appropriate deck to play for the appropriate playgroup. I dont see why there is a need to insult or feel bad about the existence of the tuned decks.
If you have someone who only has a highly tuned deck, tell him that he should go about making one for the appropriate power level of your playgroup. This shouldnt be a problem for his budget.
@ckallas2: I acknowledge that "gay" as a derogatory is a thing that we really ought to phase out. My apologies.
@Sinders: For sure. Our primary target here is the guy who cannot comprehend a casual playgroup; no offense intended if you're in a super-competitive league with skin on the table, etc.
Great article. Many were the times I nearly spit my drink. Bravo!
@Sinders This is literally a copy/paste from the magic wiki on EDH..."Elder Dragon Highlander is a Magic: The Gathering variant which provides a way of encouraging casual, interactive games with a low barrier to entry while still requiring good deck building skills. It can be played 1-on-1 but is usually multiplayer."
How would most if not all of card combos listed in this thread be considered casual or interactive? I fail to see how the highly tuned decks which you are suggesting hold true to either of these qualities.
Almost peed myself at "it's like scrapbooking for assholes." The entire article was funny, well done!
Man, this article reminded me why I stopped playing EDH. Everyone has their own arbitrary list of rules for what is NOT FUN and you bend over backwards trying not to break them. Suddenly every strategy is effectively banned except for playing giant creatures and attacking (other strategies are ok but only if they are very bad in a format of attacking with giant creatures), so every deck does the same thing. Snooze.
I love this article. My general goal with EDH is to stick to my theme, while still making my deck competitive against assholes. I have a few staple cards that I do tend to use in most decks (Reliquary Tower and Elixir of Immortality come to mind), and I try to avoid mechanics like land destruction and tribes like elves and slivers. I also have a few decks set aside that I reserve for when when other people are being dicks.
I want to reiterate a previous comment made by Sinders: There are several different ways of playing EDH, and Magic in general. I would never bring my EDH into a casual playgroup, because I know it wouldn't be fun for any of us. However, my playgroup is all 1v1 and highly competitive (We don't follow the French rules, but we totally banned Edric, Spymaster of Trest) so I built the best deck I could possibly build, and one that fit my playstyle.
Fun and interactive games of magic folks, fun and interactive.
LOVE THIS! Kaley if you ever leave this site again i'm gonna find you, stick you to a computer and make you keep writing these awesome articles! (not forgetting your just as awesome partners in crime!) Thanks alot guys this is great!
You forget Momir Vig: Tutor every time you play a mana dork.
This is amazing. Proxies are the worst...can't stand em. And they way people act with them, so innocent "oh, you don't mind if I proxy do you? I can't play (win) otherwise!".
And then when you say no, they look at you like you just killed their kitten.
Great article, loved reading it.
Good article. But Zur can't tutor Erayo. He is a creature while he is in your deck.
After building my last EDH current EDH deck I realized I am running Havoc Festival/Heartless Hidetsugu + Wound Reflection yea that kinda ends games and I always feel bad when it happens, but I just like each of those cards on their own so much to remove them. I talked to my playgroup about having them and they are cool with it so long as I dont try to tutor it up, so I guess its all good.
This was too good, there is so much truth in this and sadly i must admit i do some of these things or i want too do these things but a guy i play with has an Azami, Lady of Scrolls deck that just just kills me unless i get a god hand so i believe its ok if i did some of these things
Epochalyptik this sounds familiar, except you FINALLY made a deck that other people could play against. it still sucks, but at least it doesnt meet 95% of these requirements
The difference is I don't purposefully use my BUG deck to wreck new or casual players. I use it in a very specific environment. The deck is built to win, and it does exactly that. I don't use it in casual pods because the atmosphere and goals of the game are different.
I just started playing Magic maybe a year ago and in my EDH play group, I tend to be the one to slow things down. I run Zedruu the Greathearted and Merieke Ri Berit decks. Both tend to get me tons of aggro and hatred. I am working on changing Merieke Ri Berit to Sen Triplets at the current moment, so more love there. I tend to shy away from combos, but my Zedruu the Greathearted deck has a couple that I figured out later on. Taniwha gifted to some one turn followed by Paradox Haze gifted the next turn.
I made a deck based off of these rules. My newest EDH deck (crediting the authors in the title) has a loose milling mechanic but... really... honestly... it'd be lucky to make it to turn 10 in one piece.
Hope I'm still a DOUCHEBAG
Eh, Maralen's easy to deal with just as long as someone is smart enough to tutor for a removal spell off her tutor.
@ struck21 - Any Zedruu the Greathearted deck probably fails to be a DOUCHEBAG deck. No self-respecting DOUCHEBAG would ever run a deck with Taniwha in it, even to give to other people grouped with Paradox Haze.
My Krenko, Mob Boss deck has received much hate, and it accomplishes almost none of the D.O.U.C.H.E.B.A.G deck requirements, except for playing out similarly every game, even though my only tutors are Goblin Matron and Goblin Recruiter. Something is nice about swinging for lethal with 20 25/25 hasty goblins with Coat of Arms and Goblin Chieftain. I dunno, I think you could add mimeoplasm to the overused/overpowered commander group, being that half my play-group runs him. Anyways, great read, I loved it. Keep writing.
I demand podcasts!
Also, I feel a little self-conscious, now. xD
in response to a previous comment, I don't see Kaalia of the Vast as a douchey general most of the time. She's my general, and I do have cards like sol ring and the signets. Ideally, i would have a land drop into a Sol Ring into a signet opposite my land drop for a turn one, then Kaalia or Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots turn two, then swinging and attacking turn three (that's happened like three times in the year I've had the deck). If i made that combo consistent, THEN it's douchey. However, Kaalia as a general is very easy to kill, since her toughness is so low, and because she's so powerful, but doesn't run counter colors, for the most part, she gets a lot of hate, and is easily dealt with.
@Alizer313 - Not a bad idea. Dave and I live about 45 miles apart, so it's not the easiest thing to do, but I'm sure it could be arranged.
@KrazyCaley You could livestream stuff. You definitely don't have to be in the same location with that
This is the greatest article about Magic that I've ever read. It finally made the point that I had been trying to get across to my Magic cohorts for awhile now. Hilarious. I had to share it.
@comedyguy0411 - Be sure to click through the other me + Dave articles via the link at the bottom of the article. Good times.
This article = Piece of Shit.
This article is just a bunch of unreasonable crying over some of the worst card choices ever(crying over Overwhelming Intellect, really!?). This article has absolutely zero value in reading it at all and is nothing more than a waste of time.
Probably the guy in Dave's playgroup who runs Overwhelming Intellect and pissed Dave off with it.
I feel like I'm the only one who caught the Portal reference, so bravo for that. :D
As a new player to EDH surrounded by ultra competitve players, my casual playgroup feels a lot of the hate for combos. A friend of ours is thinking about making a super friendly everyone draws cards deck to run instead of his Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker shutdown deck. ((We have declared he is not allowed to cast winter orb. Ever.))
@Sweet-Nightmare - What portal reference was it? I've already forgotten.
@ Sweet-Nightmare Right, thanks. I was skimming the article looking for portal jokes, because I vaguely remembered making one but couldn't recall what it was, but then I couldn't locate it.
Great article! I laughed a lot.
I don't mind any of that stuff in an EDH deck so long as there aren't too many tutors in the deck (so I guess Zur would potentially get to me). I think that's what really kills EDH. No matter how broken some combo might be, if it only happens once in a while it is kind of fun, actually - and the deck can't be really built around a single combo that way - so there has to be something else interesting in it, too.
I couldn't possibly care less about proxies. Actually, I want to proxy cards that I make up myself. But I have learned about how angry that makes people so now I keep such heinous atrocities to my secret self. Proxies are great try-before-buy tools. But I can see how people who spend a significant portion of their income on the game who then get beat by a person who ever used a proxy in their life to avoid spending that much money would feel furious about it.
Great article guys! Obviously there are a couple of sensitive trolls who don't understand the commander format well enough to appreciate your sense of humor. Likely a couple of event judges with sticks up their asses cause commander/edh takes away from the tournament scene and their paychecks. Seriously, if players can't find a way to play the game without winning every time with an infinite combo then they should just play solitaire or something. Magic is a great game with lots of possibilities. Why ruin it by running the same stale deck the same way every time?
To me, commander is the only format worth playing casually. I literally have 25+ different commander decks that I modify as my playgroup sees fit. For instance we don't play shadow or infect, and for good reason. This article highlights most of the things that break the balance for the format. Although I would give Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger an honorable mention.
I think EDH is such a social game and that makes it difficult to systematically express because of some nuances of social interaction.
So there are cases where the kinds of things that would normally fall into the D.O.U.C.H.E. category become high-five material. There are cases where I feel that any kind of aggro against a combo that is obviously waiting to go off AGAIN gets viewed by others as being a jerk - even though it is the natural MTG answer to such things.
I think there are groups of players who actually would prefer to play games where the only way to win is to build up a powerful enough game presence to make other people scoop. In such an environment, any aggroing or attacking may be seen as picking on someone or being a jerk. By comboing out or building a ridiculously powerful and hard to remove force, you don't have to irritate anyone, make anyone take last place by taking them out, or make any enemies or start anything by attacking and evading attempts at blocking you. It's sort of like a benevolent giant truly honorable knightly forced surrender in some sense, no? I also perceived such a dynamic as one that looks down on people "drawing things out" and trying to find a way to win even though another player "clearly had reached scooping rights" against them. I can see how this dynamic promotes faster and more frequent games - although it isn't the way I would want to play MTG because sometimes it is possible to recover from a weakened position and those can be the most interesting games.
There are other cases where I feel that people over-do the ban-lists to include all the decks that beat them. This is a case where the politics itself is becoming a worse problem than any single deck could ever be. If you think about peer pressure and what it can be used for in high school for example, consider what it can be used for in EDH. Can you take the group-hate from a single game and turn it into a long term hate campaign or a shunning? Can you use your social power to take other peoples' ideas for a deck, deck strategy, or just take their deck period. Can you move from a short banned list to a short "only-play-these" list? Can you get into a powerful enough position where your whims are all that matters without any real need for a set of rules so that you can just declare any deck that beats you henceforth anathema? Infect? Shadow? Direct Damage? Multiple Turns? Card advantage? Board wipes? Counterspells? Cascade? If it beats you once and you don't feel like bothering to either blitz or board wipe or otherwise answer (or keep up with) the strategy - then why not use politics to shut it down instead? Then you can just keep playing your same deck all the time and make anyone who finds an angle on you switch to a different one. Maybe you can even start telling other people what general and deck they should play. Can you make that counterspell.deck player get rid of their vital card advantage cards in favor of whatever you dictate instead? If you can then you can ensure yourself that spot at the top of the mountain forever.
I think this article is talking about annoying things that reach an extreme. Yes, a T3 kill from a combo that gets out an eldrazi or 20/20 creature is annoying because it happens before an o-ring could even have been played by some people. Yes, it is annoying to be forced to sit through a looonnng game where only one person at the table can effectively do anything. Yes, a deck or general is getting old and should be given "a break" if it is played by half of the people at the table. This may or may not be Edric, Spymaster of Trest , it may depend on your particular meta.
But what about a T5 win from a lucky draw? What if it isn't even a win and is just instead a removal of one player? What about any combo at all that requires 10+ mana to pull off (and therefore would be entirely stoppable by just one player let alone the whole table)? At what point does the complaining, shunning, whining, and banning become a bigger problem than the decks in question?
I don't think this article is necessarily going too far - but I do think that sometimes EDH players take this too far. Yes, EDH is a social game - but sometimes the "social" tries to take over the "game".
My most fun thing to do with tutors (in modern) Gifts Ungiven
into Sun Titan
, Birthing Pod
, Eternal Witness
and Phantasmal Image
. Worst case scenario is getting pod and image, but even then, I can use Birthing Pod
to sac image to get another Eternal Witness
, then upgrade witness into Restoration Angel
to blink something else, then upgrade angel into Geist-Honored Monk
, back into titan to return the image to get back the witness to do all this annoying stuff again. Yeah bant pod is annoying.
On a side note... KrazyCaley? Can you do another article like this for sealed events? This is great.
I may be way the hell late, but I don't care. I enjoyed this thoroughly. Then proceeded to play a game of French EDH against an Arcum Dagsson deck, then a Jhoira of the Ghitu , and then a Maelstrom Wanderer deck. This was while I was playing Athreos, God of Passage . Every single one of these decks (except the Wanderer) were at least 50% proxies. I enjoyed every single one of those games. EDH is all about what you make it. To me, it plays a lot more like legacy/vintage (depending on the deck) than anything else. But yesterday, I played a six player game that mercifully ended with me casting an Armageddon after resolving Ghostly Prison . Everybody was fine with it. EDH is a different format depending on who you play it with. While I agree with a lot of the stuff in here (except the maralen thing, she's kinda dumb and usually just eats removal), I think it needs an addendum that there are appropriate times and places for everything. Even 'geddons. Because sometimes, you just need to cripple everyone to death.
NotSoLuckyLydia - Of all the Top 10 Articles miinor_threat (who became a father a couple days ago!) and I have made, this one has the most mixed feelings for me. Miinor_Threat plays a LOT more EDH than I do (it's more or less all he plays now), and the brutal plays anger him more than me. For me, EDH runs the same danger as "casual"- if the players don't really agree on what's casual and what's tryhard, then there will be problems.
I suppose the target market of this article is people who think stuff like Zur decks are ridiculously tryhard for EDH, and if you put yourself in that mindset, it's a bit more hilarious, but lest there be disagreement, it IS a joke and is overstated for effect. I, for instance, have a Jhoira deck, Dave runs Skullclamp and what not everywhere, and I don't think anyone would be entirely THIS casual-attitude about EDH.
But I hope you laughed! :D
I really really hate Zur, and love that he got the bannhammer in French. He's the definition of miserable EDH. The three best colors. Tutors for something hard to remove. No important restrictions. (If it can't be done for less than three mana, it doesn't matter.) I did giggle while reading this article, though. I enjoy this and I don't mind different viewpoints. One thing I like about french is that you don't refer to it as casual. It's a competitive format, just a less consistent one. Everybody has fun in a different way, though. So however you enjoy the game is the best way to play for you. Finding a group that agrees on fun is great, though. My LGS has a lot of people who play french, which is perfect for me!
Oh, and a note on proxies. We all print out proxies and put them in sleeves in front of the real cards. They look decent, and it's cheap. We use it because we like to try out new decks regularly, and replacing the actual decks is expensive as hell.
@Mac97 As the official arbiter of EDH tryhardness, I declare any three-card combo fair, as long as you actually have to draw the cards fair and square at random. Sen Triplets commander is also fine, if potentially very annoying.
No I can tutor for them. What Esper combo makes people lose friends? I have too many and I need to let some go. lol
Zur guaranteed to lose friends. olowleye does not have the classic formulation, but it's close enough here: