(EDH) Best product for introducing my family to commander

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Oct. 18, 2018, 5:16 a.m. by CasualCucumber

So i am trying to get 4 commander decks to introduce my family to commander. (They know the rules of magic and we have played for a long time)

I am wondering which commander product is the best for getting them into this format.

I am thinking about picking one of anthologies up. The first anthology looks to be fun while the second seems a little underwhelming. However the second seems more in my price range.

Another solution could be to buy the 4 commander decks that came out in 2017 but they cost more than the 2018 precons, but they seem more fun.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Demarge says... #2

Honestly many of wotc precon commander decks are often rather random, now you could use this site's deck builder's advanced search functions to look up budget lists of each family member's most desired starter commander and then mass card buy the decks off of tcg player.

This way you not only get the family more engaged in wanting to play commander by essentially letting them pick out their first charmander, but you can get pretty much the exact budget you're looking for, hell those wotc precons are usually just expensive due to a few singles and you might even have 70% of their lists in your collection anyway.

October 18, 2018 5:34 a.m.

Arvail says... #3

Are the people involved familiar with magic? Because if they're not, edh is a very challenging way to first get into the game. You might let them know about web and that it's an awesome multiplayer variant of the game that's super popular and that if they want to try it out, they should first give Arena a few hours to see if they like the base game.

October 18, 2018 8:32 a.m.

CasualCucumber says... #4

Thanks Demarge! an interesting idea! I will look into it, however i am a little concerned with the budget decks i will make, since there probaly will happen a power creep with some of my family members. But i guess that just means they should be upgraded a little each time.

Thanks for you response Arvail! My family are allready involved with magic and we play on a regular basis.

October 18, 2018 1:27 p.m.

Arvail says... #5

Oh, that's awesome. Then my suggestion is to independently help them 1-on-1 to pick out a general in their color combo that they want. Maybe talk them through some of the things that are important in deck building in EDH. This can be with precons or without. The important thing is that the general they pick out resonates with them or can act as a jumping off point for their future brews. Build some decks on a budget, or better yet, proxy a few decks up with the idea of trying the format out. If people like them, then you can spend money. This way you're not forcing people to invest in this new thing they might not like. Then set aside an afternoon for games.

October 18, 2018 2:30 p.m.

chirz2792 says... #6

I bought the first anthology and played it with friends and it was kind of unbalanced. The meren, freyalise, and derevi decks were fine but whoever got the kaalia deck usually didn’t do anything and just wound up looking at their phone because they were bored. Not sure about the second anthology but I think Demarge’s idea is the best choice. You can probably find lists online that are balanced and fairly cheap.

October 18, 2018 2:31 p.m.

CasualCucumber says... #7

Thanks chirz2792

I think i will go by your and Demarge recommendations and will try to build 4 cheap decks :)

October 18, 2018 3:17 p.m.

Arvail says... #8

Yup. Definitely go with that. One of the things that makes EDH so special is the feeling of customization and really finding your own groove. You don't get that with just ordering anthologies.

October 18, 2018 3:31 p.m.

DuTogira says... #9

Just be careful with finding/building 4 cheap decks. For all the flack which we give WotC about their balancing failures etc. making the precons, what the precons do have going for them are as follows:
Very linear strategies which are easy for newer players to pick up
A lack of complex interactions which might require a judge (commander of all formats creates this situations in spades)
Relatively well constructed mana bases (with some notable exceptions such as the dragons deck from 2018)
Relative balance. One of the precons always comes out as the "super-power" but never to the extent that the other decks don't have a fighting chance in any one game.

If you are fetching/creating budget decks, the responsibility falls on you to find/make decks that are relatively well balanced, relatively straightforward, have consistent mana bases, and are FUN to play.
Speaking from experience, it's extremely difficult to hit every one of those check boxes. It can be done, but it will require a significant time investment on your part in finding/creating AND playtesting (extensively) whichever decks you wish to present to the fam.

You can do it, just be aware that you're going to have to put in a significant amount of effort if you want these non-precon decks to be superior to the actual precons.

Whichever route you take, good luck friend!

October 18, 2018 4:52 p.m.

Demarge says... #10

DuTogira turning on the competitive meter in the deck edit towards the bottom (if using another's decklist, just copy it and make the change in the copy) will give a rough metric to balance decks.

October 18, 2018 7:39 p.m.

DuTogira says... #11

Demarge friend... using that competitive meter to gauge deck performance is like using piss for coffee sweetener.

The only accurate measure (currently) of how competitive a deck is would be to play it against other decks. That’s it.
Not trying to discourage the OP. If anything I’m just trying to help achieve the results he’s after: a relatively balanced deck pool that he and his family can enjoy.

October 18, 2018 7:51 p.m. Edited.

Demarge says... #12

yes, the competitive meter is rough, but you do find yourself closer to a balance if each deck in a playgroup fits in around the same %, rather than seeing how many games and edits it would take to manually balance. it at least will save you from playing the first 50 or so games where one deck turned out to be a 60% when the other 3 ended up being 25%.

October 18, 2018 8:30 p.m.

Arvail says... #13

Nah. Never use TO competitive meter. Ever.

October 18, 2018 9:09 p.m.

I honestly think the newer precons aren't half bad, especially for newer players.

If you're looking for something on the cheap, the Commander's Quarters YouTube channel has some decent $25 decks that can be easily expanded. A friend new to the game built the Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire one (sort of) and it certainly holds its own at our table.

October 19, 2018 8:20 a.m.

shadow63 says... #15

As duct tape mentioned about the guy on youtube using his decks you could make 6-9 of them roughly for the same price as the anthologys. It'll give you and your fam more variety in decks they can use. Also if you have younger kids it could be a lesson on getting bang for your buck

October 19, 2018 3:36 p.m.

shadow63 says... #16

Also you could check out a site called edhrec.com

October 19, 2018 3:38 p.m.

Thanks for your help guys! I will try to build 4 decks that are fairly budget for me :)

October 20, 2018 8:39 a.m.

DuTogira says... #18

Last piece of advice from me:
If one of your decks comes out on top as the clear “best deck” don’t be afraid to remove good cards from that deck. It’s far more effective than trying to bring all 3 other decks up to the former’s power level.

From experience: nerfing overpowered decks produces balance far more quickly and easily than buffing the underpowered ones.

October 21, 2018 11:46 p.m.

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