Help Being Casual

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on July 5, 2019, 12:24 a.m. by Evry1sfavteddy

So apparently I have trouble building decks on a casual level, i always tune them to be relatively competitive because i don't know how to build a deck otherwise. So I'm reaching out for some tips and tricks on how to keep a deck casual in general.

DrukenReaps says... #2

A good place to start is keep to a budget. It isn't always going to work but if you don't play cards that cost more than lets say 5$ then you lose out on a lot of the more obviously powerful cards.

Tutors always make a deck stronger so take however many you would normally run and cut it in half or even eliminate them altogether.

Fast mana and a low curve are paramount to a competitive deck. so if you run more around 3.5+ CMC that should work.

I'm a combo player so I have to be careful to choose combos that are more difficult to set up. Blasphemous Act and Repercussion is a good example of a way to win that also requires more work or at least for the game to have been going for a bit.

July 5, 2019 12:46 a.m.

DrukenReaps says... #3

Another thing you can do is look here Commanders by Power Level and avoid anything in tier 0-2 as those will be easier than normal to make really strong. Also be careful with tier 3.

You can make any commander into a competitive deck it will just be less obvious or more difficult with cards from tiers 4 or 5.

July 5, 2019 12:52 a.m.

Joe_Ken_ says... #4

I would also tone down on how good of removal you are using in decks. Like instead of using Natural State instead use Root Out another example being instead of Ponder or Brainstorm use Scour All Possibilities

Also just using less effective tutors could help keep things more casual. Like using Thalia's Lancers or Diabolic Tutor instead of cards on the high end of price like Demonic Tutor and Enlightened Tutor

July 5, 2019 2:11 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #5

One easy trick is to keep your manabase commensurate with the other members of your meta. If everyone else in your meta is running lands that enter tapped, perhaps avoid running fetches, shocks, and ABUR duals. Likewise, avoid running the expensive mana rocks commonly used in competitive decks.

This ensures you are on the same “turn” as your opponents - if they are all playing tapped lands, they are effectively always playing behind someone who is playing efficient lands. If you are able to ramp much faster than them, you’ll effectively always be playing a few turns ahead.

July 5, 2019 3:17 a.m.

Demarge says... #6

One other option if you're at legal age would be to play wasted when they're sober.

The above people have skimmed around it, but raising your average cmc generally will make your deck more casual and this applies to even the best commanders in the format, thras and tymn are only amazing if it's tuned to be near the 2 cmc average, they won't run away with a game if your average is 4+.

I would suggest getting your playgroup to upload their decklists sometime, learning everyone's average cmc and aiming to keep them close to eachother will go a long way to put a playgroup on the natural power level climb that happens with long running playgroups (the more games you put in and cards added to collections), while also keeping the games more balanced.

July 5, 2019 4:33 a.m.

Boza says... #7

The best option - ask to borrow someone's deck to play with. That way, you will have to comply with the power level.

July 5, 2019 5:04 a.m.

PepsiAddicted says... #8

play monowhite without Land Tax or Humility and run General Jarkeld as your commander.

July 5, 2019 6:07 a.m. Edited.

Fellin22 says... #9

Let’s say if there were four different cards that did the same thing with different cmc’s. Choose the second or third one, not the best or worst (basically, not the best, but not the worst.)

July 5, 2019 10:09 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #10

Hi. I’m Tom. I’ve been playing casual commander for four years and it’s hands-down, far-and-away my favorite format. So how do you play casual? Well, I can’t speak for your meta, but in mine... don’t combo.

With some convincing, I’ve come to see the beauty in the game of chess that is not allowing someone to combo off. I still think that that game of chess demands you run far too much removal, but nonetheless, I admire it.

Casual decks usually do not combo, though they may occasionally do so. Usually a casual deck wants to set up an engine that grinds value out. Examples include bant enchantress, aristocrats, blink, tribal, etc. Anything that grinds consistent value and makes your deck more than the sum of its parts.

Do some casual metas combo? Absolutely. We even have the odd combo here and there. But an infinite combo straight out of left field can be pretty feelsbad so usually I we just let them do the combo like 5 times.

July 5, 2019 10:32 a.m.

jordybear2002 says... #11

Give yourself some challenges. Make weird archetypes. Like chair tribal. Maybe go to edhrec and look at a not well known tribe. Also a budget is helpful. Something like no more than $10 each card.

July 5, 2019 10:34 a.m.

Fellin22 says... #12

Do squee (either one) goblin aristocrats, for example

July 5, 2019 12:07 p.m.

I tend to have this same problem. My current way to try to play more casually is to pick cards/strategies which are fun, but not that good, and then build semi-competitively with an inherently bad deck goal. This is good for me because I cannot bring myself to play deliberately strictly-worse cards, especially for interaction. That, to me, isn't fun. There shouldn't be any problems with Nature's Claim or Swords to Plowshares or Wrath of God .

For example, my casual commander deck right now is partners Silas Renn, Seeker Adept and Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa . I play a lot of 2 power creatures which can't be blocked because of Sidar and artifacts like Nihil Spellbomb and Baleful Strix to recur with Silas Renn. My payoff cards are things like Mirror Entity , Spawnwrithe , Edric, Spymaster of Trest , Dusk . Overall the deck can do some silly and fun things, but it's inherently not a good strategy.

If you really want to build a deck that's not too competitive, build Boros XD

July 5, 2019 1:47 p.m. Edited.

If you're always playing with the same people try purposefully building a deck that does not or should not do well in your meta. Lots of boardwipes build creature heavy decks no protection! Lots of graveyard shenanigans? build mill! Lots of fliers go mono green! If you really are just better at deckbuilding than your friends perhaps also consider giving them tips and tricks or card suggestions as well without trying to alter their intended strat too much... Help them get where you're at! Also as previously mentioned Having more than strategies and only 1 or 2 forseen intended combo wincons with no tutors will usualy make your deck inconsistent enough that regardless of how expensive your cards are or crazy your mana base is wins will be far less obvious to come buy and consequently less consistent. Or make that crazy dream combo that takes like 6 cards to do but dont run tutors.. Lots of ways to do it just gotta be creative in slightly different ways!

July 5, 2019 4:20 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #15

... Wow. It really shows that you are a competitive player looking in at casual from the outside, FunkyMountains.

Casual commander is all about every deck, no matter how ridiculous, being able to do its thing. If you build a deck that intentionally can’t do its thing, everyone else will feel just as bad about it as you do. And trust me- you will feel bad.

July 5, 2019 4:35 p.m.

Ha ZendikariWol your missinterpretation is flagrant! I'm about as casual as it gets sir! one look at my decklist is all you need to see that. Sure my play group has powered up a bunch since high school but we're still about having fun. Nothing in what I said will stop your deck or anyone elses from doing its thing its thing might just get hit hard by the things around you, that doesnt not make them no fun or unwinable. Creature heavy deck in a meta with lots of board wipes build weenies with an aristocrats theme and lots of card draw or build lots of recursion yea you will get board wiped a bunch but you can recover, building mill in a graveyard heavy format is just group hug with no inteded game winning combo other than just hopefully getting to mill in commander before they kill you, building mono green in a flier heavy format is just a race to the finish where everyone gets to do exactly what they wanted to do... Just because your purposely building something that lets your opponent pull of what they want doesnt mean you go in with no strat and you cant win. What it does mean is that your oponent will have their way with you more often and you need to be able to recover from it because you know you will get hit hard sometimes you will lose because of it sometimes you will pull off the win agaisnt the odds and feel like a god. Specifically for this person it sounds like what they need. They keep building decks that they tweek to be unstopable why not try doing that with a handicap?

July 5, 2019 6:30 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #17

Well, FunkyMountains... idrk.

The examples you presented previously weren’t necessarily very specific. You gave the impression that you’d just build decks that can’t stand up to the type of deck in your meta. Essentially- just throw. That would suck. But I see that wasn’t your point.

July 5, 2019 11:24 p.m.

ZendikariWol all good dude. I mean yea sometimes the throw will happen if you dont truly believe in the heart of the cards and you get no land or all land or you're missing the tools you need to get back on your horse and ride after your opponent removes your engine but that will happen.. That to me is part of casual edh, not always having the answers. Some of the most fun I had was playing my mimeoplasm deck vs my friend's Derevi, Empyrial Tactician heavy control deck. A lot of times I had games where I was looking great cheating big creatures out of the graveyard just to have them stolen or have my graveyard targets removed by Scavenging Ooze but pulling off a win against him also felt the best cuz I felt like i climbed everest like I actualy played well beat him with skill despite the odds being stacked against me. or having random jank cards that you decided to include for that 1 time it could be amazing like Autumn's Veil come through real clutch. I find a lot of fun in that and I feel like thats a big part of casual.

July 5, 2019 11:45 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #19

That’s fair ig. So fair, in fact, that all I really have to say about it is Veil of Summer would probably do you better than Autumn's Veil .

July 6, 2019 12:24 a.m.

Please login to comment