Rookie Commander (New Format Idea)

The Kitchen Table forum

Posted on Dec. 19, 2017, 3:36 a.m. by MWorl91

So like most Magic players I have plenty of cards for the current standard format that are almost unplayable. Either being old Draft decks, or just pulls from random boosters that I won from placing in tournaments. In an attempt to find a better home for some of these cards I've come up with the following:

60 card singleton constructed, using only cards from standard legal sets (but not following Standard bannings) including Masterpiece cards (if it comes in a pack it's legal, much like Draft or Sealed)

Included in the 60 is 1 Commander, a legendary creature that begins the game outside of the deck in the Command Zone, and each card in the deck must not contain any color identities outside of your commander's color identity.


LeaPlath says... #2

Yawn. Yet another stupid poorly thought out format idea.

December 19, 2017 3:45 a.m.

Boza says... #3

Why would I play this?

If the only thing is to have a use for less-than-top-tier cards, there are better existing options - Junk Rare draft, cube, accepting there is such a thing as draft chaff or cards made for Limited, giving away unwanted non-valuable cards to people starting out, pauper, peasent formats...

December 19, 2017 4:04 a.m.

MWorl91 says... #4

Fun, might be a good reason to play it. I mean Fun was the idea behind it. I guess it depends on your definition of the word Fun.

December 19, 2017 4:24 a.m.

Boza says... #5

You did not mention that in the original post. "In an attempt to find a better home for some of these cards" does not really sound like fun is the priority.

And why would I be playing that format instead of the myriad of others? If people are playing MTG, they are vested in other formats. Why should I jump ship?

If you want to do this, be at least somewhat convincing, perhaps. You do not sound convinced even, so why should I?

I am just trying to educate you on the realities of bringing something new to the table.

December 19, 2017 5:22 a.m.

kanokarob says... #6

As a general rule, "this format but with this arbitrary restriction" is not a great way to go. Even ones that appear successful like Frontier just fall flat quickly. There's no reason for it.

Using intentionally bad cards doesn't really work in constructed, either. There's a reason they don't get played. Even in this format, they wouldn't see play; it'd be "solved" in a week.

December 19, 2017 8:09 a.m.

MWorl91 says... #7

Isn't fun the reason you play any format? Also, I mean yes, there's other formats but this is new and different. It's possible you might like it.

December 19, 2017 8:54 a.m.

Boza says... #8

"it is possible you may like it" is not a very good argument to convince people. It is empty words. As I said previously, if you want to do this, be at least somewhat convincing, perhaps. Ok:

  1. What does this provide that other formats do not? Very basic way to start out.

  2. How does it differ from Noble or Australian Highlander?

  3. Standard has on average 1500 cards. That is, 250 cards per color. every pack in every format has at least 2/3 of it that is draft chaff - cards unplayable outside of limited. That leaves about 80 cards per color. That is not a lot. It is incredibly shallow. How do you plan to provide depth to the format?

  4. Masterpieces being legal is incredibly dumb. Do you really want Force of Will and Counterspell and Mind Twist in a pool of standard cards?

All in all, I have listed 4 problems that are never addressed. Answer some of the challenges with a substantial answer.

December 19, 2017 9:33 a.m.

cdkime says... #9

The biggest problem you will have is that of variety. One of the things that makes Commander interesting is the wide variety of deck designs, with cards you do not normally see paired together, and the strange cards with unique effects. Older cards tend to be more efficient to cast, resulting in more board interaction.

Take this away, and you've stripped Commander of most of its fun. You will not encourage junk cards being used--even in the limited pool of standard, you could find 60 decent cards in your colour identity to fill out a deck--but you could not find the hundreds of decent cards traditional commander offers.

Besides, who wants to deal with rotation in casual decks?

December 19, 2017 9:53 a.m.

MWorl91 says... #10

  1. A play environment similar to limited. As pointed out there's not a lot of cards to pull from (1500 was the number presented) and a lack of duplicates leads to consistency challenges that EDH doesn't face due to a wide variety of functional reprints.

  2. Noble is not singleton, does not care about color identity, and only restricts things based on rarity. Australian highlander has a much broader cardpool not defined by Standard rotation.

  3. That's kind of the point. You end up having to play some of that "Draft chaff" in order to round out your colors. Those cards only become "unplayable" with a much larger card pool or the ability to run duplicates of better spells in the card pool. By taking out both the "unplayable" cards actually become playable and provide challenges to deck design. More of a Johnny type of thing.

  4. In a very limiting format? Sure. Those cards are already playable when drafted, and still require challenges in order to play effectively in such a restricted format.

I will say, this idea, without the Masterpieces has already been demonstrated with 60 card decks in an episode of Commander Clash.

December 19, 2017 11 a.m.

MWorl91 says... #11

I meant to say it was demonstrated with 100 card decks.

December 19, 2017 11:02 a.m.

Boza says... #12

  1. You say "consistency challenges" but I hear "no way to accurately determine what your deck will do at any given point or have a strategy".

  2. Cant really say anything on that.

  3. Do you though? in a sixty card deck that is 25 lands, there are 35 nonlands. In a two color deck and even distribtion, you get 17 cards per color to play with. That is not a lot. You are guaranteed to play all masterpieces in your colors and a lot of Kaladesh block ones, since they are colorless. That leaves 10 cards per color.

Now in 10 cards, there is simply no space for draft chaff. You are a lot more likely to play the 10 best cards in your color and keep it at that. Is there a red deck that would not include Rampaging Ferocidon, Glorybringer, Lightning Strike, etc. Sure, you might have space for a powerful draft card like Repeating Barrage, but that will be on the bottom of the list.

Decks will likely be incredibly similar.

  1. Playable when drafted? All the swords of X and Y, Ensnaring Bridge, everythign else I have mentioned are more powerful than any single card in standard. See point 3 for more details.
December 19, 2017 11:31 a.m.

cdkime says... #13

Building on what Boza said, the masterpiece items are only "playable when drafted" because of their extreme rarity. A sixty-card deck with one Aether Vial is strong, but not game-breakingly so. But, this is constructed, not draft. The random number generator does not provide protection. I can purchase the masterpiece items I want, and run a dozen of them in my deck if I want.

Do you want ramp in your deck? Who wouldn't, especially with those big dinosaurs running about? Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Chromatic Lantern, Chrome Mox, Mox Opal, Extraplanar Lens, Sol Ring and many others are all auto-includes.

Rings of Brighthearth; Lightning Greaves; Wurmcoil Engine, the Swords. All powerful cards that laugh at much of what is in standard, and this does not even scratch the surface of Kaladesh's masterpiece cards.

Moving to Amonkhet , we have Wrath of God, Counterspell, Cryptic Command, Force of Will, Dark Ritual, Vindicate, Armageddon (which would play nicely with all the ramp cards above), Damnation, the horror that is Blood Moon, need I go on?

These are among the best cards in the game--many of them have been banned in modern. There's no way I am touching the pidly junk cards when there are so many unequivocally better cards to play.

December 19, 2017 12:09 p.m.

MWorl91 says... #14

So, I should ban the masterpieces?

December 19, 2017 12:51 p.m.

cdkime says... #15

I think that would certainly help, though I am not sure that will save this format. As has been stated, and shown fairly conclusively, there is simply not enough variety in Standard for singleton.

December 19, 2017 1:02 p.m.

kanokarob says... #16

I'm sorry, but playing with cards that are unplayable in Standard is not an advantage of a format. Not one that will make players choose it over others, anyway. Playing a singleton standard-legal deck does not draw people in, rotating a casual deck does not draw people in, using generally unfocused legendaries (and again, rotating them) as your commander does not draw people in.

It's a fine kitchen table game with your friends. It doesn't work as a format to expect people at locals to have decks for.

December 19, 2017 9 p.m.

MWorl91 says... #17

So apparently WotC is making this an actual format

March 22, 2018 11:07 a.m.

kanokarob says... #18

Doesn't really change anything. Still has all the same issues.

It may work out only because they're actually supporting it. And I will admit planeswalkers as commanders sounds neat. But its still a casual deck that has to rotate, etc.

March 23, 2018 7:59 a.m.

Boza says... #19

It is the same thing, except you cannot played banned standard cards, does not include masterpieces, can play planeswalkers as commanders, is prim arily focused on multiplayer, has 30 starting life, but yeah, same thing.

March 25, 2018 1:14 a.m.

MWorl91 says... #20

I mean 60 Card Standard Legal Singleton with a Commander. Obviously the other rules and things were worked out in play testing, something they had more of an ability to do. So yes, its pretty much the same base idea, they just worked out the kinks a little bit more.

March 26, 2018 11:29 a.m.

freshdemon says... #21

The point of this format is to play with cards that would otherwise rot in draft chaff piles IMO. It is obviously not competetive, but rather creates a new and interesting environment. I think that getting to play with the cards you bought is always a good thing.

Wizards intend however is probably to get commander players more exposed to standard, because standard sells sets. Legit strategy by wotc IMO.

April 10, 2018 4:05 p.m.

Please login to comment