EDH vs cEDH

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 30, 2020, 6:07 p.m. by DrukenReaps

The idea that cEDH and EDH are separate or should be separated is beginning to really annoy me... It relies too much on the idea of power level being something that is concrete rather than fluid.

At my current table my decks are pretty strong and I might label them at a 7 or so (assuming 1 to 10 with 10 being the best). If I sit down at another table my '7' could turn out to be a '3'.

Do you guys put much faith in power level? Do you seriously think there could be a separate format made specifically for competitive play? What ends up being the cut off? 8.675 out of 10?

If you don't use power level to determine the difference are there specific cards? How many of those kinds of cards do you ban before you are happy with the result?

I realize this is more of a rant than anything useful... Sorry about that.

maxon says... #2

Is there a push to make them officially two separate formats?

January 30, 2020 8:17 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #3

maxon Not that I'm aware of... This is just me ranting after seeing several more well known commander players mention this.

January 30, 2020 9:17 p.m.

hejtmane says... #4

The issue is people want a ban for cards that have no impact on the casual meta and by nature if you read the RC's website bans are not based on power level but issues in the casual meta but the people that play edh like it is a competitive meta tournament game have gone full on assault they bitched about the PE ban because it effected the cedh world with no understanding the devastation it was creating in the casual battle cruiser meta which is the large majority of the players. This wars been raging on the redit forms as while and the current issue is the cedh meta is a turn zero solved game now fish hulk or sushi hulk. Yes it is a different game and yes it will continue because edh is not a competitive format but people want cards banned for competitive reasons. EDH is not modern, standard pioneer etc but people try and treat high end decks like that is the end game. Look more power to people that enjoy that level of play but sometimes the answer is no. The top tier level 10 decks will just have to suck it up if they are going to a tournament which is what edh is not about but they are doing them anyways. Live with every one playing fish/sushi hulk or bust to win or go back to more casual edh or drop down a tier and do not do tournaments. I mean it sucks for them but that is life and that can happen when you try an break a format that tells you they will not ban cards based on power levels.

What ever

January 30, 2020 9:29 p.m.

Dango says... #5

I think it's really important to talk to your playgroup prior to forming a pod. The numbers gauge is relative to each individual and isn't the most universal across the board. What I think is a 7 might not be what you think is a 7 for example. I think it's best to consider talking about actual components of decks, as in the archetypes, combos, and even budget can help assess that to an extent as well.

January 30, 2020 10:43 p.m.

enpc says... #6

hejtmane: EDH is a social format, not a casual format. The fact that the majority of players are casual doesn't mean that that is what defines the format.


From a banlist point of view, (and especially banned as commander), I know there are some benefits to being two separate formats. But the problem is that you can't define a cutoff at a particular power level and just say "Deck XYZ is now in cEDH and so must adhere to the banlist". Becuase once you put a separator in the power level, you effectively just have two lots of 1-10 scales.

The only way it would work would be that when a player makes a list, they have to make the conscious choice of which format they are building for and then design the deck accordingly with that format's build/play philosophy in mind.

The problem with splitting them however lies in the fact that you might like cEDH however there are no playgroups adhereing to the banlist in your area (and it's not like oyu can just play against good pubstomp casual lists due to different banlists.

The other issue is that (especailly in the casual version) you will get people who swear they're playing casual decks but are building the most cuthroat casual lists they can in defiance of the rest of the group's social contract, but will refuse to move their list over to be a cEDH list.

I still think we are better off having one format (albeit better managed) where casual is at one end of the build spectrum and competitive is at the other. Becuase at the end of the day, there will always be arseholes who abuse that spectrum (and other players), but no matter how you try to configure it these people will continue to be arseholes.

January 30, 2020 11 p.m.

SpammyV says... #7

Honestly I thought that cEDH was the 1v1/French rules/duel format.

To me the difference is more mindset. Commander is my hangout format. I play with my old college buddies or meet with a group that hangs out at a pub on the weekends. Winning is secondary. I don't want to lose but I'd rather have fun with the deck that's built to my personal taste and not the optimized list. And while I enjoy being the Archenemy from time to time, I don't want to end every game with a stomp. If I want to be serious and competitive, I'll play Modern and Pioneer. I play Commander as a break from that.

If someone want to play at the optimized, fast-as-possible level then that's valid, but that may not be the game anyone else wants to play. But I would rather that those people play against each other instead of dramatically overpowering people who don't play at that level.

The numeric system is overly simplistic and I'm not really a fan of it either. I don't have a snappy list yet but I've got a series of questions I usually go to that I think better describe a deck's "power level."

January 30, 2020 11:17 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #8

The discourse surrounding EDH is just getting progressively worse as people parrot opinions that they have heard. Whether it be a content creator saying/doing something and then people acting as if these poorly considered things are the Gospel According to Menery; or the age old fight over casual/social. People are most of the time unwilling to consider that they may be wrong.

January 30, 2020 11:31 p.m.

hejtmane says... #9

At the end of the day this is all that matters Directly from the RC https://mtgcommander.net/index.php/the-philosophy-of-commander/

Commander is for fun. It’s a socially interactive, multiplayer Magic: the Gathering format full of wild interactions and epic plays, specifically designed as an alternative to tournament Magic. As is fitting for a format in which you choose an avatar to lead your forces into battle, Commander focuses on a resonant experience. Each game is a journey the players share, relying on a social contract in which each player is considerate of the experiences of everyone involved–this promotes player interaction, inter-game variance, a variety of play styles, and a positive communal atmosphere

January 30, 2020 11:58 p.m.

enpc says... #10

Which comes back the whole whole definition of fun (and which is completely subjective). So for people who enjoy playing cutthroat games of cEDH with lots of combos and stax, then they are still 100% within the bounds of the EDH ethos.

January 31, 2020 12:46 a.m.

Nemesis says... #11

I've been trying to think of some way to differentiate the two, but in the end I also came to the conclusion that if a separate ruleset existed for cedh, it'd have to be the player that determines which format to be a part of. At the end of the day, if the competitive community comes up with its own RC (which I believe they should, frankly), the only group that will suffer is the casual side. They'll still have to self manage people that come to the table with "casual" cedh decks. No getting around that I'm afraid.

Also, if you don't split into two groups you're basically telling a part of your community "your fun is wrong and your concerns are invalid" which kind of goes against the spirit of the format too. I don't think that kind of mentality is helpful for anyone.

January 31, 2020 9:07 a.m. Edited.

enpc says... #12

Nemesis: I don't believe that's true though. I think that everybody can still sit on the same scale comfortably without having to tell the other group that they're wrong.

All it takes from the casual end of the spectrum is acknowledging that the competitive end of the scale exists and that that is a perfectly valid way to play, even if they don't want to play that way themselves. And on the flipside, the competitive end of the scale needs to acknowledge that the format started in a casual setting and not to belittle casual players for playing less refined decks. It all comes down to mutual understanding and not being dicks.

I do however believe that the banlist needs to be more tailored to the competitive end of the spectrum, since that's where consistency in banlists is important and since it is much easier to house ban cards in a casual environment. We've all heard the "We don't play XYZ in our playgroup" which is much eaiser to enforce on a playgroup by playgroup environment.

January 31, 2020 9:21 a.m.

Nemesis says... #13

enpc Sorry, my point wasn't stated well (that's what I get for doing this at work) - what I meant was specifically the scenario where the RC ignores the competitive part of the community and refuses to make any concessions for them. I totally believe that should the interests of both sides be taken into account, they can coexist without issue. To keep the community together that's all you really need - attention to both sides of the spectrum.

January 31, 2020 9:36 a.m.

enpc says... #14

Nemesis: Ahhh, that makes sense. Then yes, I entirely agree with that :D

January 31, 2020 9:41 a.m.

One thing that I believe much of the community overlooks is that the c in cEDH is just a shorthand.

It is saying "I am playing a deck that is a 9 or 10 that looks to be efficient and powerful with a clear win condition that can be met consistently. I am looking to play against other decks that are built with the same mindset."

The rest of cEDH is just EDH. These are the rules we abide by and most of us started by playing commander with a precon or just what we had on hand just like everyone else. My playgroup is a league that regularly has 30ish people weekly and in the past year I have seen more people brewing up competitive or semi competitive lists because they see the competitive tables doing cool stuff, and that is exactly how I started building cEDH.

January 31, 2020 11:33 a.m.

I also find it really harmful and hurtful that youtubers with a following like Saffronolive would suggest we split off from EDH. We are playing the same game with the same rules, just different outcomes.

January 31, 2020 11:38 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #17

Hold onto your butts, a spicy opinion is coming your way.

My roommate is a massive EDH player who is very vocal about his distain for the Rules Committee. His belief is that EDH should have zero regulations and WOTC needs to officially recognize it as a format.

Take a moment to process that, then process it again. Go ahead. I'll wait.

  • One Eternity Later

He wants a SOCIAL format to have zero regulations while ALSO having it regulated.

He just wants to use objectively broken and bad cards because he's the type of player who doesn't want to "play", he wants to "win".

Doesn't matter if your deck beats his 10/10 times; If your build isn't top rated online and isn't using $30 - $200 staples and isn't a "Tier Zero" or T1 deck, it's shit. You're shit. Throw your cards out and quit the game.

The truth is, "cEDH" is for people who feel the need to have a power trip. They want to maximize their deck to the point it will win 9/10 times. Players like those aren't sitting down with friends or the community to have a fun afternoon and have awesome interactions and great memories; They are sitting down with the sole and exclusive drive to stroke their own ego and say they are the best. It's a power trip and they want to flex their wallets.

Look, money doesn't make you a good player. You can have a $13,000 deck, and you can lose to someone who understands the game better than you.

Magic is about resource management. You need to think of Magic both like Chess and like Poker.

Just like in Chess, you need to look several steps ahead and determine the best value. You may lose a Knight, but you take their Bishop. You may lose a Pawn, but you take their Rook.

In the same light, you need to know how to bluff, read cards, read players, know when to move all in, when to call it quits, and most importantly learn the percentages of your deck. Hence, Poker.

Magic is about interaction; about exploration and talent. It's about learning and growing and becoming the best with what you've got.

Anyone can (in practice) buy a $4,500 deck; Not everyone can win with it.

And fun fact; Your $4,500 deck can be shit if it's only $4,500 because you foiled it out with the rarest of rares.

That's why I dislike netdecking. Anyone can play the stupid thing, but if you win it's because you won off the backs of someone else. Gloating about your superiority over a CARD GAME because you spent $5,789.96 on a deck only means you either have a lot of disposal income, are good with balancing debt, or make brash decisions.

In my opinion, EDH and "cEDH" are two sides of the same coin; One side is where you have fun, and the other is where you either win ---- or you're garbage.

January 31, 2020 11:52 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #18

And look, just I don't actually care if you - or anyone - netdecks or is into cEDH or loves "Tier 0" decks or whatever.

  • Nothing says that your version of fun and my version of fun have to be the same thing.

You do you, and I'll do me.

We can agree to disagree.

Maybe you see something I don't. Maybe you have a different perspective because - guess what, shockingly you're a different person. I know, such a revelation.

The point I am getting at is, whatever you truly find to be the most fun is exactly what you need to do.

For me, I've seen far too many arguments to have a tolerance anymore. I have seen:

  • Friendships ended over it
  • Swearing by a grown ass 40 year old adult toward a teenager who is too scared to stand his ground, and rightfully so
  • Blatant and inexcusable cheating so profound you would almost have to WANT it to happen - such as putting something that is exiled into the graveyard, "accidentally" grabbing a second card and shrugging as you put one back, or my absolute favorite LITERALLY LOOKING AT THE TOP CARD OF YOUR DECK RANDOMLY JUST TO GAIN INFORMATION - NOTHING INSTRUCTS YOU TO DO SO; YOU LITERALLY JUST LOOK AT THE TOP CARD WHENEVER YOU WANT (God, I feel like Desolator Magic: Spoiler, I'm not.)
  • Someone grabbing another player's deck and literally knocking it off the table
  • Someone purposely spilling soda on another player's boardstate because they didn't like what was going on

I literally - and there is no way I can stress this enough - LITERALLY - had someone PUNCH me because I mentioned to them that what they did couldn't happen the way they wanted it to happen.

  • Story: The guy cast a Mistcutter Hydra for some big mana, gave it haste and swung. I shrugged, tapped some lands and Murdered it. He put it into his graveyard after sighing and shaking his head, but in a humorous way. During his next turn, he used Stitch Together, targeting the Hydra. He put it onto the battlefield and gave me one of the biggest shit-eating grins he could muster. So, I sort of looked at it puzzled and told him it dies to state based actions.
  • "No it doesn't!"
  • "Yeah, it does. It's a 0/0. You didn't pay into because you didn't cast it. It doesn't have any +1/+1 counters on it, so it dies to state based actions."

And what was this 26 year old man's reasonable response?

He slammed his fist down on the table two or three times while swearing, then reached over the table and punched me.

So yeah. I'm a bit stern, a bit salty, and a bit opinionated. But that's my belief.

Play "cEDH" if you want; Join their community, buy the decks, hold opinions and debates... but at the end of the day realize that the REAL difference is not what you are playing with, rather WHO you are playing against.

January 31, 2020 12:11 p.m. Edited.

@TypicalTimmy I know you said don't at me, but.... yolo.

Honestly some of the things that you said you have seen are despicable and I am sorry you have had to deal with that. That being said I have 1 major issue with your take. cEDH is 100% to have fun. Sure we want to win, but there are 3 other people at the table who also have highly tuned and interactive decks that want to win just as much. Every week I sit down at a table with a mix of friends and acquaintances trying to stop their t2-4 win while trying to bust out my own. Sometimes the games can take hours because we just keep stopping each other. We get our kicks trying to decide our optimal plays and hoping it works out, but a majority of the time I wont win because the other players had the correct mix of luck and skill this week. If we were so upset about losing we would just play modern/vintage/legacy, but we have a lot of fun with the restrictions the format brings and the multiplayer aspects as well as the interactions we have with our friends.

Tl;dr- I play EDH competitively because I think it is really really fun.

P.S. your roommate sounds like a bit of a jerk.

January 31, 2020 12:36 p.m.

Mortlocke says... #20

"The truth is, "cEDH" is for people who feel the need to have a power trip. They want to maximize their deck to the point it will win 9/10 times. Players like those aren't sitting down with friends or the community to have a fun afternoon and have awesome interactions and great memories; They are sitting down with the sole and exclusive drive to stroke their own ego and say they are the best. It's a power trip and they want to flex their wallets."

TypicalTimmy - hold' up. As you once put things to me: "That is not how the game works". Let me clarify - cEDH is when you engage in a game where you and all of your friends collectively agree to unleash decks that create quick and ideally - very interactive games. The group is looking to try and end the game by turn 6 or 7 at the latest, and don't care about how much or how little you spent on the deck. It's all about efficiency - and outplaying the whole table when everyone is trying to crush each other at breakneck speed. In a sense your previous statement was kind of right - people want a powertrip...but cEDH is when everyone is collectively going on that same trip together.

January 31, 2020 1:10 p.m. Edited.

Mortlocke says... #21

Oh, and P.S TypicalTimmy, I too am not a fan of the rules committee - I don't like the idea of a group of other people dictating to me what is and is not fun - yes, i'm still salty over the Paradox Engine ban and no, I don't run Urza (Phyrexia for life baby!). I believe that before every single game you are obligated to explain to the best of your ability what your deck does, what turns it can consistently threaten to win (none of that number nonsense - "My deck is a 7"), and see if everyone at the table is okay with the themes and cards you included in the deck. If a player is unable or unwilling to do that, then 1. They need to really learn their deck, 2. Need to be more considerate of others, and 3. If they are seeking to just pubstomp - need an attitude adjustment - or quickly find themselves "that guy" and will have trouble finding games.

Oh, and for the record - totally not a fan of all the other stuff your roomie is for. Wizards needs to stay away from regulating EDH. Also, "Swearing by a grown ass 40 year old adult toward a teenager who is too scared to stand his ground, and rightfully so." I'm sorry that happened to ya man. I hope that 40 y/o guy is banned from the shop.

January 31, 2020 1:23 p.m.

Nemesis says... #22

@TypicalTimmy: Sorry guy, you can't post something that divisive and not expect to be @'d. I have tons of issues with your two posts, but I'll sum them up as best I can. You can't say that players who enjoy cEDH are in it for the power trip as if you're some kind of authority on cEDH and the people that play it, then immediately follow it up with "you do you and I'll do me" and "whatever you truly find to be the most fun is exactly what you need to do". You are literally judging a whole section of the EDH community for a playstyle that they consider fun based on the assumption that they're all doing it to blow themselves.

January 31, 2020 1:27 p.m.

Another thing, cEDH is not just a wallet flex. There are $200 decks that can keep up with and even beat budgetless lists as long as they are built with a competitive mindset. A lot of the expense in cEDH is in the mana base and in any reserved list cards that do things slightly better than other options available. You don't need to run og duals, but they are better than all other options considering that fetchlands can find them and they don't shock to come in untapped. Someone with a foiled out expensive ass god tribal deck will almost always lose to a tuned $200 cst or yisan list.

January 31, 2020 1:28 p.m.

triproberts12 says... #24

Honestly, I think power level really does matter. I would play an ABU dual/fetch manabase, Rings of Brighthearth+Basalt Monolith, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, etc. in every one of my decks. The thing is, setting the expectation that decks will have that kind of "oops, I win on turn 3" power excludes a lot of people in the way a high buy-in at a poker table does.

I do think that makes EDH and cEDH different formats, because certain cards like Force of Will and Echoing Truth lose their utility at underpowered tables. Practically, though, I don't think this should change anything. There are 20,000 Magic cards, and EDH is a singleton format. EDH players could live with a Protean Hulk reban, same as cEDH players can live with the inexplicable ban on Primeval Titan, when casuals are far more likely to be packing Hour of Revelation and Nylea's Intervention than turn-1 Reanimate.

January 31, 2020 11:20 p.m.

triproberts12 says... #25

*Hour of Promise, sorry.

January 31, 2020 11:22 p.m.

triproberts12 What rulings exactly make them different formats? We are using literally the same rules and deckbuilding constraints, and as far as I know those are the only defining features of a format. Is a tier 1 standard deck a different format to little timmy's first jank standard deck because the tier one is much more consistent? With certain cards having less utility at different levels that would make Mana Drain a casual card, right? Because it is gonna get you the most mana against a battlecruiser meta.

The very first sentence of the philosophy of commander is "Commander is for fun." For some, fun is turning a Shivan Dragon sideways and pumping it up as much as humanly or draconically possible. For others it is casting Necromancy on top of someone's Flash to reanimate somebody else's Aven Mindcensor and make them unable to hulk for the win. Fun is subjective and that is why we communicate before the game what we are playing and how powerful we think it is. Both EDH and cEDH are the commander format.

February 1, 2020 3:03 a.m.

triproberts12 says... #27

That's all lovely and good, but a deck running 33 lands, every 0 and 1-mana ramp spell, every tutor, etc. is playing a very different game from anyone running Shivan Dragon. There's a cEDH dragon deck led by Scion of the Ur-Dragon, but it's not feeding red mana into firebreathing.

I play Jason Alt-style 75% decks. I sat down against a cEDH elfball deck, played one game against that Legacy-powered monstrosity, and refused to play against it ever again, because I will never own a deck that has $2000 worth of fast mana and fixing. They're different formats, and that is established during the turn 0 talk.

February 1, 2020 3:14 a.m.

DrukenReaps says... #28

Wow, so many comments sparked by my silly rant. Awesome conversation guys! Surprisingly civil-ish too.

triproberts12 I'm going to pick on you since your the most recent. Lets say we sit down and I have some silly deck led by Barktooth Warbeard filled with mostly vanilla creatures. To use power levels this would be a 1. You have your 75% deck, likely sits around 7 by most standards. Are we playing different formats? This is literally your argument. The difference in the two deck's abilities to win is just as far apart, if not more so, than that elfball was from yours.

February 1, 2020 4:13 a.m.

The turn 0 talk just establishes the power level of decks at the table, not the format. The 1's, 5's, and 10's all build with the same rules. The exact same format, just different power levels within the format. You straight up don't need a $2000 deck to compete. I would bet that swapping out cards you have in your collection already and maybe putting in $40 (roughly the price of a new precon) worth of other cards you would be able to keep up with that elfball or at least help shut off their ramp and draw engines. By all means, don't change your deck or play him if you don't want but don't claim it is because you won't have a $2000 deck. Here is a resource for a bit more budget versions of the highest powered styles of decks in our format.

February 1, 2020 10:22 a.m.

I genuinely am not trying to come at anyone or to force people to change how they play. I just want people to understand that we are not so different from each other. My format is your format is our format. All is EDH. All is Commander. I love this format and I have ever since 2012 when I built my first jank

February 1, 2020 11:01 a.m.

triproberts12 says... #31

Yes, if you come with Barktooth, and you're not doing something Giant tribal into Rise of the Dark Realms, it's not going to go well for you at most tables. The label cEDH is an acknowledgement that before Wizards really got a handle on how the game works, some of the early designs were busted in half. It's the same reason as why Legacy and Vintage are entirely different formats, despite only being separated by a handful of cards. It seems insincere to talk about any power level deck below a precon, though, which are certainly not 1's and 2's, or 3's, or even 4's these days. If people play decks lower in power, that's fine, but the gulf between a tuned cEDH deck and a 9 is comical, relative to the difference between one of my 75% decks and a $40 precon you can play out of the box from your LGS. The reason why the format isn't formally divided is because there are decks like Dana Roach's Sphinx tribal deck he talks about on EDHRECast that need fast mana to do anything, even if that anything isn't particularly powerful, his curve is just not ideal by nature of the tribe. That's not a cEDH deck. The community self-policies this division, but just because the rules committee, which is already kind of nebulous, doesn't declare it, that doesn't make it any less true.

February 1, 2020 11:39 a.m.

They are still printing busted ass stuff. Genuinely if commander was only from modern legal or even pioneer legal sets, there would still be people who want to play this one format competitively.

February 1, 2020 11:51 a.m.

triproberts12 says... #33

Maybe, but that hypothetical is pretty far from reality as we live it. Nyxbloom Ancient got hype because Reanimate's old, busted ass is a thing. Emry, Lurker of the Loch is OP, but mostly because of crazy loops you can do with 0-mana artifacts, most of which were printed over 10 years ago. Same for Urza, Lord High Artificer. Helm of the Host is sweet and powerful in most decks, but if you throw it in Kamigawa's favorite son Godo, Bandit Warlord, you're talking about a different kind of game.

February 1, 2020 12:01 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #34

triproberts12 how about Felidar Guardian and Saheeli Rai... And in most of the talk I saw about Nyxbloom Ancient people were looking at Zacama, Primal Calamity and other silly things. I would consider Godo to be a product of modern mtg too but maybe I've been playing too long.

"It seems insincere to talk about any power level deck below a precon, though, which are certainly not 1's and 2's, or 3's, or even 4's these days."

So we just ignore that those decks exist then? I'm not trying to be insincere. I've been the guy with the power level 2 or 3, now I'm generally the guy with the 75%. If we separate top end decks because they are so much stronger we have to separate decks that are too weak too. And you still haven't actually said how you would do this beyond the turn 0 talk. Every game should include setting expectations and that does nothing to change the actual format...

February 1, 2020 12:37 p.m.

The combo isn't the only part of it though. We get spicy new interaction in basically every set and the interaction is what sets most competitive decks to be stronger overall. Sure we need to have a tight powerful win con, but we could just jam things like heliod or mikaeus the unhallowed and walking ballista if we want.

February 1, 2020 1:19 p.m.

triproberts12 says... #36

The turn zero talk will still include all of those things, but if someone is about to sit down with a cEDH deck, and they say, "This is a cEDH deck," don't be surprised if the reaction, rather than, "Okay, we'll pull out our most powerful decks to account for that, and by playing archenemy, it should be fine," is instead, "I don't have a cEDH deck." I've played games where a player at the table says their deck is powerful, like a 9-10, we all pull our our 7-10 power-level decks, but are completely unprepared for a turn-3 infinite combo, and we all die with interaction in hand, having tapped out for turn-2 mana rocks. And, yes, you can effectively pretend those decks don't exist. Most people don't keep a 1-3 power level deck anymore, so if your playgroup keeps those decks for ultra-jank week, that's cool, but most players will have an unaltered precon to play with new players, and that's about where the expectation ends.

February 1, 2020 1:20 p.m.

Even command zone says that 9-10 is cedh territory. My expectation has always been that 9-10 is something with potential to win that fast.

February 1, 2020 1:31 p.m.

triproberts12 says... #38

In that case, pretty much every deck I've every built has been between a 5-8, which is a pretty narrow range. I've seen the Command Zone's explanations, and I think their more useful metric is "what turn does the deck consistently threaten to win?" They put power level 10 between turns 1-4 unimpeded, while a 9 wins between turns 4-6. They note that a 9 can beat a 10, but why I say that cEDH is a whole different game is that while the lower power-level decks might be playing 3 and 4-mana ramp, there is a reasonable expectation that everyone has a turn or two to ramp, fix their mana, and get a read on whose deck will really hum in the next couple turns. With a cEDH deck, a true 10, everyone starting off with a turn-2 Signet opens the path to victory on turn 3. It's just a very different play experience, and card like Force of Will and Lightning Bolt become very different cards with the change in context.

February 1, 2020 1:58 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #39

triproberts12 I almost feel like you are overcrowding the top end of the power level scale. Which leads right back to my statement of the thing being fluid rather than concrete. Not to say you are wrong in your assessment of power levels at your table. It is just such a subjective scale that I rather dislike it and would love to see a new and better metric for people to measure decks by.

February 1, 2020 2:05 p.m.

triproberts12 says... #40

I probably do crowd out the top of the power scale, but it's more just that I don't know why you would ever build a deck that can't win unimpeded until turn after turn 13. I would still call a couple of the decks I've built 6's, but only by virtue that there were other trade-offs apart from thematic pieces that allow them to be faster. The top of the scale is crowded, because precons are 5's these days.

The fluidity of one person's 6 being another's 7 and one person's 8 being another's 9 is exactly why I make a hard distinction between cEDH decks and casual decks. Everything up to there is up for debate, but if you're looking for an opening to go for the win before anyone else has cast a non-ramp spell, we're not playing the same game.

February 1, 2020 2:18 p.m.

Gleeock says... #41

I don't know about in of this "interactivity" for cEDH decks. The most effective ones typically work at their finest just rolling along, not utilizing combat, not caring about what your opponent is doing.

My opinion is that the game designers should keep working hard to create valid punishers of insular gameplay, or unusual punishments through rewards, push the envelope of interaction. Punishment through rewards = Heartwood Storyteller.

My hope is that some day this is barely a conversation as new design spaces scaling stronger to MULTIPLAYER specifically keep coming around. Hopefully some of these truly interactive cards that scale well with non-insular gameplay will even the gap with all the consistent "play my game in a vacuum" decks that are out there.

Did I mention I loved Conspiracy?? with the exception of banned boy :)

February 1, 2020 2:32 p.m.

Gleeock says... #42

Power scale does become pretty blurred though, it depends on how conventional everyone's strategies are (assumes similar goals & playstyles). This is why I say more scaling punishers with upside need to keep being released. I personally play very interactive decks, where I side with the idea that: "you give something to get something". I play a lot of unusual parallel effects that screw a whole bunch of conventional one-sided boards states & this actually leaves a good amount of the more convential "tier1" players scratching their heads. Nothing like an early Oath of Druids to suddenly flip the tables' balance of power to the Timmy, or watch the one-sided Ugin-lockdown player frown with annoyance with their one-sided boardstate being redistributed with Thieves' Auction

February 1, 2020 2:43 p.m.

Mortlocke says... #43

I have to point out that players here need to stop using the numbering system to measure the power of their decks. "My deck is a 6, 7, etc" isn't communicating anything about your deck. I have picked up from a video near and dear to my heart: How to Power-up your decks by the CommandZone Podcast. They talk about decks in two ways:

  1. What kind of cards are you including? What are the themes? Are you running Tangle Wire? Infect? Freaking Blightsteel Colossus?

  2. What turn can your deck threaten to win on a consistent basis? Turns 1-3? 5-8? etc?

I encourage all of us as Commander players to abide by this standard for the turn 0 talk. No more of this "I build 6's and 7's" and more of "Hey, I run stax and I lock the board down with Aven Mindcensor, Winter Orb and etc. I tend to go out on turn 4. Do you want to play this deck?"

February 1, 2020 2:49 p.m. Edited.

Gleeock the interactivity comes in the form of being able to interact with the other decks using removal and counterspells to make your combo the one to win. After I started playing vs these decks I have seen more spells countered and more problematic permanents destroyed than ever. Take a look at a cEDH Najeela tempo list or any flash hulk build. Extremely interactive.

February 1, 2020 4:41 p.m.

Gleeock says... #45

Yes, interactivity in the form of wincon removal pissing matches...Take, take, take, & then I win. Pretty limited interaction & it all doesn't really matter if 1 player or 5. I've played plenty of that brand of "cEDH" Extremely interactive is a stretch, these decks limit interaction to this type of exchange. It reminds me of how my beloved Edric, Spymaster of Trest has been relegated to "Edric extra turns-I'm-going-to-play-with-myself" in the "competitive" spectrum, when the deck itself should have such zany political damage-bartering potential.

February 1, 2020 9:18 p.m.

The thing is though.... you are more than welcome to play it with damage bartering political whatever. Nobody is forcing you to play edric turns, it is simply the strongest way to play edric until wotc prints something that edric can use better than extra turn spells. I am sorry if it offends you that your favorite commander is regularly played by others in a fashion you don't like, but my favorite commander isn't even on the radar of most cEDH deckbuilders ever since partner commanders entered the fray. You know what I did? I jammed Karador in games vs. all sorts of top tier things and still got plenty of wins because I had things to interact with the board and spells to interact with the stack and I know my deck well as well as a fair bit of luck. Play the game in the way you enjoy and please allow others to play in the way they enjoy.

February 1, 2020 9:37 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #47

What type of exchange are you talking about? "Take, take, take, & then I win" is a phrase that makes no sense to me. Am I missing a slang term or thinking wrongly about something?

I am also a little confused as to what the people consider to be interaction if it isn't removal and counter magic. "Removal pissing matches" are highly interactive. As are counter wars. Deck builders and players are under no obligation to give you time to stop them from winning. The strategy part of MTG being a strategy card game is deciding when you need to play defensively and when you need to play offensively. The failure to interact when a player combos off is on the opponents, not the combo player.

February 1, 2020 9:42 p.m.

Gleeock says... #48

That's the thing though, there is a whole world of interaction instead of wipes & all the spikiest 1:1 removals until the flood runs out at the wrong time & some player finally combos off. To the thread topic though, I don't put much faith in "power levels", more like win-focused strategies.

February 1, 2020 9:56 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #49

Like what?

February 1, 2020 10:11 p.m.

Gleeock says... #50

Not writing you an essay dude. If you need that to know that an extremely deep card game has a ton of other ways to interact, other than the narrow suite deemed competitive, then I'm wasting words.

February 1, 2020 11:14 p.m.

Please login to comment