Playgroup Struggles

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 12, 2017, 4 a.m. by buildingadeck

Hey guys,

I didn't think I'd be in this predicament, but I am: I'm having a lot of trouble finding a playgroup that is competitive enough for me locally.

I've been kind of teaching friends the ropes of playing infinite combo decks in EDH recently, which has been fun and rewarding to talk about the strategies that are generally the next step for anyone who wants to play EDH frequently. However, outside of letting friends pilot my decks and helping them learn how to do so successfully, I don't enjoy destroying other players.

I played 4 EDH games today at the nearest LGS... and I won all 4 of them. No one seemed salty afterward or anything, but it's not fun for me to not be challenged, and I know it's not fun for them.

I won one game with my Yisan deck, one with my Padeem list, and two with my Tasigur list (bringing it out was maybe a mistake, as it is the most competitive of the three, but I really wanted to get a game in with him since he's the most fun [and challenging] to pilot). My Padeem list is by far the most casual, but it was not phased at all by a playgroup who didn't attack every combat series and was not playing optimized lists.

One of the players has a Prossh list that he said he doesn't bring because people target him. I do not mind being targeted as it is part of the game (in the final game, Tasigur was definitely targeted by the two Voltron decks; I won at 1 life).

I do not want to edit my decks heavily in order to play at a less competitive level, but I could probably adapt Padeem to be more casual (though he is pretty casual as is...). I can also persuade the Prossh player to bring his Prossh list and lend the other guy a deck or help him optimize the lists he has (his best list is Narset, but that is no shrug of the shoulders when built properly). My final option is to simply drive further (this gamestore is a 5 minute walk from my home; I would otherwise have to drive places).

Thoughts?

Eiti3 says... #2

First thought is build a group hug deck until your playgroup joins your level of competitiveness or until you relearn the joys of just derping around (not accusing you of losing that). Group Hug easily allows your opponents to feel what a competitive deck would be like with their OWN decks, essentially looking at what cards they would want to take out and put in better cards (the cards that sit in their hand the whole game when you force feed them 3 draw per turn).

This would also give you your fix on competitiveness as you are force feeding your opponents a win, but may still have the option to make a comeback in the end. And lastly, relearning the joy of derping around and seeing what crazy stuff can just be done in EDH is something many players need to do from time to time otherwise can suffer from burning out. Once that happens, you may be inclined to build some casual decks that have once in a blue moon combos that are hilarious when you stumble upon them.

March 12, 2017 4:13 a.m.

Homura_Akemi says... #3

I am having the same problem right now, and I'm not going to lie, it's hard. That is, the decision to either stay with your friends and not be challenged or to try to find a new, more competitive group that you don't know anyone in. I am under circumstances that would make it difficult for me to join a new group, so I would advise you to do so if you have the option. It can't hurt to test out a new playgroup once and see if you like them. Who knows, maybe you'll make some friends and find the level of playing that you're looking for :)

Whatever option you end up choosing, good luck with it!

March 12, 2017 3:32 p.m.

buildingadeck says... #4

Eiti3: I think you misunderstand. For me, playing to win is fun. I enjoy being pressured to make the right choices and decide which decks are threatening at which moments. Also, take a look at my Tasigur list. Winning via infinite Reality Shift is derpy.

Homura_Akemi: Yeah, it's a bit of a struggle, especially when I just don't have the cash to make casual decks to appease them. I thought Padeem was the right power level for my nearest LGS, but even it seemed too good.

March 12, 2017 3:46 p.m.

SaberTech says... #5

I get where you're coming from, since I'm in a similar situation. I moved to a new town a while back, so the conflict of leaving friends behind had already been made for me, but I don't have viable alternatives to my current LGS. The competitive level here is moderate, and I am generally compelled to leave my stronger decks at home.

If you choose to stay at your current game store, perhaps you could try deck builds that are high-risk, high-reward glass cannons. The three decks you listed above all have a lot of resilience built into them (tutor power/protection/card advantage), so you might get more of that "am I making the best choices/plays?" mental challenge if you play a deck that is still powerful but more susceptible to disruption. That way, if your board gets smashed, you also have the challenge of trying to make the best plays to bring yourself back into the game. I know it's not an optimal situation, but it provides a challenge and it means that your friends will still feel that they are able to win.

March 12, 2017 5:56 p.m.

buildingadeck says... #6

SaberTech: I can really get behind what you're saying. Go for a Hermit Druid + Laboratory Maniac style deck. My only problem is really that I can't afford to make another deck right now. As you can see, my competitive lists are also budget. But I would love to build Thrasios/Tymna Buried Alive/Hermit Druid.

March 12, 2017 6:21 p.m.

SaberTech says... #7

buildingadeck: I've also been wanting to give Thrasios/Tymna a try, but can't justify putting in the money at the moment.

When playing with less competitive decks, I try to get that problem-solving thrill by playing versatile cards like Domineering Will and Mirrorweave. Those sorts of cards can test your ability to set up the board and make the best decisions to get the most out of them. If nothing else, it's one option for making a game more challenging for yourself if the overall competitiveness of your group isn't as high as you would like it to be.

March 12, 2017 7:12 p.m.

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