Until end of turn, any time you could activate a mana ability, you may pay 1 life. If you do, add to your mana pool.

Channel Discussion

Epicurus on Infinite Loops

1 month ago

fadelightningmm, you mention that people like me shouldn't complain, but you end by mentioning something that isn't fun. I'm not pointing this out to belittle you or to be a troll, but just to show that each of us have our limits as to what defines fun. As many of you have pointed out, repeatedly, what is fun is subjective. And, again, exactly what I asked for in the original post was opinion. I declared myself as biased from the start only to give everyone a perspective from which to begin the conversation. I don't enjoy infinite loop decks. I see them everywhere, though, so I wanted to get a broader scope on how other players felt about them to see if I was in the majority opinion. Albeit small sample size thus far, but for now it's slightly in favor of the loops.

However, that analysis is possibly errant. I'm talking about infinite loops here, not combos. Using Channel in the original post was perhaps a bad example. Channel-fireball decks were not infinite loops. They were draw percentage decks. By the same token, your Fractured Identity/Phage the Untouchable deck was a combo deck, not an infinite loop. Infinite loop is Elf Alarm. It's Heliod Ballista. It's infinite mana, infinite mill, infinite tokens (all with haste), infinite damage, etc, sometimes multiplies of each, sometimes using as few as two spells, such as it is with Heliod Ballista.

Now, I can certainly respect what Gidgetimer said. I suppose I'm oversimplifying things by my characterization of a tutor-to-infinite deck. In EDH, certainly it takes some skill in design, assuming you're not just ripping it off of EDHREC card-for-card. Even then it takes some skill in execution. To be perfectly honest, I've not been playing EDH for nearly as long as... probably any of y'all. I did play "Highlander" sometimes way back in the 90s, but that was a completely different thing altogether. We're talking about 99 card libraries here, so yeah, I get it. It's entirely possible that I'm underestimating how difficult it is to get exactly those two spells out in a game. If so, then all these players I encounter at the shops are all aces, because they sure do make it look pretty easy.

I also just want to point out, because of a repeated sentiment in this thread, that not all of the decks I build are stompy spike decks full of "how many creatures can I put out, and how big." I like to play control, and I like to be creative with the build of it. I like to figure out weird synergies that cause stack chains. I like spellslinger decks. And, yes, I also like big stompy spike decks full of a ton of big creatures, but even those can be creative (reference: Cemetery Smash). In other words, I also enjoy the design part of the game. I've even built combo decks, insta-win decks and infinite loop decks before.

Sorry, can you tell this topic has been on my mind too much recently? Baha, sorry for the novel, y'all.

fadelightningmm on Infinite Loops

1 month ago

I started playing magic a long time ago (about 16 years ago), and in the beginning I was your typical Timmy and loved swinging in with big creatures. Insane combat math was always my favorite thing to puzzle out.

A few years ago when dominaria released a friend suggested that I try storm because my favorite part was the math in combat. I took him up on the offer and built Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain and loved it. Since then a lot of the decks I have built have been combo decks. There is something vastly different about playing combo versus playing against combo. A seasoned combo player will almost make combos look effortless, but in reality it is much more demanding to find opportunities to do things(assuming it’s not a boring oops I win combo). There are a ton of combo decks out there but they aren’t as bad as people say. As Yisan (great name btw) mentioned it’s cool to pull off the unexpected combo win, but afterwards shuffle up a different deck. Sometimes when you run combo you don’t pull off your combo for a long time ex. I have a Yennet, Cryptic Sovereign deck that tries to win with Fractured Identity and Phage the Untouchable. I’ve had the deck since C18 released and finally pulled off the combo this past Saturday. Combo feels like a really cool achievement and once you pull it off you move on to check off another thing on the list.

Attrition games are fun, but they can take forever. If you’re behind in a game of attrition it can be no fun. At least combo allows for less of the extended I’m behind feel bads. Also you can make some really good attrition based combo decks. Look at any stax based deck for that matter.

I think too many people in the magic community like to complain about things. It’s fine to not like something, but it doesn’t make others wrong for wanting to play that style of game. Pre-game communication can help lessen the feel bads of losing to combo, infect, or voltron. Talk to the group if you want a combo free game discuss that with them.

In the end I guess what I’m trying to say is combo is a legitimate play style. Things change over time. Some things like Channel enable a combo far too easily (something like Flash could also be in this category too) should be banned. Starting a game and immediately ending it isn’t fun (sorry cEDH community).

Epicurus on Infinite Loops

1 month ago

Long story, but there's a question at the end...

I just put together a life-gain EDH deck. I haven't posted it on here yet, because I already know the comments it might receive, if any. Everyone I ask for advice with its build says "wtf do you not have that one Heliod combo in there?!"

I've tried restructuring the deck to include that, and I can pretty easily by just adding the two cards in question. However, when presenting the build including those cards, the question becomes "wtf do you not have a ton of fetch to pull off that one Heliod combo?!"

My answer is simple: I enjoy playing the game.

I had a Legacy Guilty Doll deck once. It won by turn 3 always. On the perfect draw, it won on turn 2. It was fun to build, but no fun at all to play. I ended up selling it to pay rent. I miss some of the cards in it, but not the deck.

In order to optimize the Heliod combo, I would have to compromise the rest of the theme of the deck. It would become a Heliod Combo deck, rather than a life-gain deck. It would certainly be way better that way, probably, but at what cost? The whole game would be searching out both sides of the combo, and setting it off. Wowee Kazowee! (sarcasm implied)

My question is, what is your opinion on all the infinite loops in the game these days? Personally, I have no fun running them, and even less fun playing against them. Always have, since the Elf Alarm decks of old. A fun game for me is a battle of attrition, not a race to the combo. I thought that's why Channel was the original OP banned card.

What's your opinion?

Qolorful on Card creation challenge

2 months ago



Until end of turn, whenever you lose a life, add that many to your mana pool.

A twist on Channel . seems like a safer way to generate a lot of mana, as it is more passive.

Make a card that is extremely powerful, but also extremely dangerous to play.

king-saproling on Rise for Ruin

5 months ago

Channel would be neat here assuming you're not following any banlists.

Kjartan on Sorin to victory (orzhov vampires)

7 months ago

Well, that's cool and all, and you should totally just play what you want to :)

But I think you're valuing your life total, and actually just life totals in general, way too highly.

I remember seeing you comment somewhere that you didn't like Swords to Plowshares because it gave your opponent life, and now, here you are saying that you don't like Champion of Dusk for making you lose it.

Not liking some aspect of the game is perfectly fine, ofc, and if you don't have fun playing with it because you don't enjoy it, that's cool. But if the reason you stray away from using life like that is because you don't think it's good, I think I should just lay it out there that using life as a resource is one of the most competitively viable things you can do in magic, period.

Swords to Plowshares is the best removal spell in the game. Thoughtseize is the best disrupt in the game. Channel is the best ramp card in the game.

Lifetotals matter, but compared to more tangible game advantages, it matters very little. And that is reflected quite clearly in the powerlevel of cards in competitive play.

Sanguine Bond is actually an incredibly weak card. It's weak because it's a card that only serves one single, one-sides function, cost a lot of mana, needs other cards to function, and impacts nothing but life totals.

In other words. It's clunky, costly, narrow, needy and simply put... Unimpactful.

Unless you're in a situation where it wins you that game, which granted, is not too unlikely, the card does nothing. It doesn't further your board state, it doesn't help you proceed to the late game. It doesn't stop your opponent from comboing off

I implore you to keep playing what you like, and what you think is fun, but I'll promise you, if you want to improve your deck, switching out Sanguine Bond s for Champion of Dusk will make it objectively more powerful.

SynergyBuild on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

Fellin22, Hermit Druid maybe be strong, but being such a fragile card, needing a turn of no removal to get around or another piece in a haste enabler and I doubt it is truly a menace to the format. Nearly 0 cEDH lists I have seen in Maximum power run it anymore, as doing so for a major wincon does require a lack of basics and some build around, and that just gets crushed by Back to Basics or Blood Moon , while making painful manabases.

Nerdytimesorwhatever, I agree, I believe in many ways that Flash is an unhealthy card for the format, that or ban its partner Protean Hulk again. Perhaps both. I feel like Channel isn't banned for that reason though, it is banned more along the lines of Yawgmoth's Bargain , where due to the 40 life, it is even more unfair than normal. Not sure, maybe a bit of both. It is also a major reason due to why in the cEDH scene Thrasios/Tymna is by far the best deck.

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