LGS has a Problem Player...what to do?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Dec. 28, 2019, 6:22 p.m. by Rabid_Wombat

We have got this guy at my locals who insists on only playing Tamanoa every...single...game (which is not even a legal Commander for fricks sake).

That in itself would not really be a problem but his deck is Stax on steroids - packed full of Winter Orb , Root Maze , Stranglehold , Blind Obedience etc... you get the idea.

His wincon is to lock down everyone then play damage dealing effects like Ankh of Mishra , Manabarbs , Citadel of Pain and a whole heap of others then gain tons of life.

If anyone attacks him he whines and says "Why do you keep targeting me?!?" I flat out said to him: "Dude, you are fking my sh*t up - that's why."

How can I tell him, in the nicest way possible, that his deck sucks ass and I refuse to play against it ever again?

Gidgetimer says... #2

You tell him "Your deck is not only unfun to play against, it is also illegal. I am not going to play against you piloting it ever again".

December 28, 2019 6:30 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #3

Tamanoa is one of the most widely accepted non-legendary commanders (to the point some people assume he IS legendary). Only reason it's not legendary is WotC's reasoning for legendaries prior to EDH being a thing. They reserved 'legendary' for main characters or cards they were worried about in multiples... not to give people Commander options.

He's playing stax outside of blue (no counterspell backup) so you just need more artifact/enchantment removal and other answers. Your only deck that has a competitive avg. cmc is Zur. The rest will get wrecked by stax for having an avg. cmc over 4 which is entirely on you. Work on getting all your decks to 3.3 (or less) avg. cmc... this will help.

The whining part is the only questionable thing you bring up but that shouldn't make a difference... just don't let table talk dictate your actions.

December 28, 2019 6:44 p.m.

Vimozahr says... #4

General Tamanoa is legal in Commander but, not as Commander. He can take her in his 99.

Its ok to say "Its unfun for us to play Magic because your General is not a preferred Style to Win a Game."

But its Part of this Game, also Landdestrucktion like Armageddon - No one likes it. People dont like it. Also a legit Wincon. But a fucking Lategame Cyclonic Rift for Overloard is okay.

In my opinion both close the Game.

December 28, 2019 7:01 p.m. Edited.

griffstick says... #5

How can I tell him, in the nicest way possible, that his deck sucks ass and I refuse to play against it ever again?

Tell him exactly that and then don't play.

December 28, 2019 7:16 p.m.

Gleeock says... #6

Hmm... I don't have this issue because my LGS's have alot of this type of lame-o crawling out the woodwork, so I play tabletop with closeknit people I historically have great games with... I don't personally understand wasting your time playing a deck that will always play out the same at optimal, & will always tutor for the same stuff at optimal, it is still a card game @ its' core it seems like an LGS powertrip thing to take the gamble out of the game. Anyway, in my playgroup, I have optimized my goofy kingslayer role to an art & actually learned to win with it occasionally. Convention & words may not win out for against this personality... I would adopt the kingslayer role for a while, run some statement games PACKED with artifact destruction, enchantment destruction, 0 cmc to give opponent's life but cast for free types of stuff, learn how to ruin his day hard (make this your objective vs. winning, you may actually find fun achieving this).....Also, if the group flexes to allow this as commander, then they should allow you to make whatever bomb proxies you need to test this out. If you get the feeling others feel this way then Jund with things like Scheming Symmetry is a good way to kick this in the gonads. Also, converting all that garbage into creatures can be fun Titania's Song , Opalescence

December 28, 2019 9:15 p.m.

griffstick says... #7

December 28, 2019 9:25 p.m.

Gleeock says... #8

Also, things that efficiently cheat for everyone & parallel creature buffs can bite this fellow in the butt. I have done this with Oath of Druids many times, stax makes lots of enemies, let everyone freeplay creatures & stomp this guy (who doesn't want anything to do with banger creatures). Eventually you refine this unusual style, have some fun, & he has to shift to your meta/play a different deck... all this done with actions instead of words.

December 28, 2019 9:26 p.m.

Gleeock says... #9

Some silver bullets are great... If stax is an issue though, this guy needs low CMC and 0 cmc alternative cost bullets. There are enchantment killers in green with the option to give opponents life instead of paying. I also have been highly effective against stax & cheatyface by letting the table freeplay to dump on the problem player, another example of making parity plays for everyone (& guess where all that freeplay hate is going to aim?) would be Hypergenesis . If everyone else feels the same way this will aim everyone's best freeplay cards at the staxman

December 28, 2019 9:48 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #10

I kinda feel like this whole 'I won't play against you' side of people's reasoning is petty. I'm also not a fan of preemptively planning to hate a player off the table, either through planning with your opponents or by refusing to play over a rules technicality (Tamanoa isn't broken and is widely accepted for that reason). If he's not cheating, being offensive, or just a douche in general... get over it and get good scrub!

Building a deck to PERSONALLY combat the issue is the way to go here where you don't end up being the "Problem Player" yourself. Adapt to your meta and force him to adapt in turn instead of ostracizing an individual.

December 28, 2019 10:09 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #11

Last_Laugh I only have a few decks listed here on tappedout...I also run Pir & Toothy, Thopter Tribal, Elemental Tribal and Mirieke Ri Berit - all of which can wreck this dude's jank all day long...I don't really need to build anything new - but I'm going to because of TypicalTimmy!!!

TypicalTimmy Great advice...As always! I already have most of the cards you mentioned and will put togather a Rubinia Soulsinger build right now :D

I feel that I should mention that the real issue here is that it's not just me that's having a "negative play experience" - we had a new guy at the table who just up and left after only one game against Tamanoa stax :/

With all the new Commander releases next year I really want the game to grow in my area...whereas this jerk be killing it. Hopefully the store will straight up ban non-legal Commanders.

December 28, 2019 11 p.m.

griffstick says... #12

Tell him he's cheating. And when he wins remind that he won cause he's cheating.

December 28, 2019 11:37 p.m.

Gleeock says... #13

Last_Laugh If the guy uses the same deck without modification repeatedly, with similar results repeatedly, then you shift your deck and strategy accordingly, this is not "hating him off the table", it is forcing him to shift with a meta that has caught wise to his repetitive behavior through the best way possible: action. As far as targeted hate goes against true "stax on steroids" that may be a losing battle with all that 1:1 trading (depending on the deck), that may be okay as long as you are cool taking him down with you. Focusing too much on Tamanoa istelf vs. the parity-breaking stax elements will not address the continued mind-numbing game delay & slow locks. I've just found really strong stax to be pretty strong against conventional decks & less strong against unconventional & gifting strategies & this isn't "planning with opponents" this is in-game wisdom.. This guy locks down a game with Winter Orb , Hokori, Dust Drinker , etc.. ok, so you cast a legit politics-based spell, or free up resources for everyone. Where do you think freeplay creatures for all, scheming symmetry, etc... should be pointed? I never recommended to: sit down & table talk with opponents but using cards to free up resource restrictions & therefore letting others play some of their decks can gain you a unique resource advantage: other players, at least temporarily. Throwing that spice in your gumbo will also provide those more crazy-swingy game vibes & less of that stagnant "why did I start another game with this guy?" vibe.

December 29, 2019 1:19 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #14

In game politics I don't have a problem with. It's collusion before the game even starts that's a problem... if you and your opponents react accordingly in-game, that's a different story.

December 29, 2019 1:43 a.m.

Profet93 says... #15


First and foremost, everyone above me made amazing points, particullarly timmmy and glee. You have a couple options....

  1. Build a specific deck to counter his deck. The best way to beat stax is to either play it yourself or just have a bunch of removal to destroy his pieces. Or just kill/take his commander, but like a user above me said, the stax pieces would still be there. This would be the preffered option.
  2. Add more enchantment/artifact removal and interaction in general. Making your deck lower to the ground and more efficient is always a good thing. This is just a good thing to do in general.
  3. Convince the table to gang up on him. I was playing a 3 man pod, all mono red, but one opponent used constant MLD, which I'm ok with (even though the previous game with a different commander he did MLD) but the other opponent really hated it (obviously), so and opponent #2 ganged up on opponent #1. We still lost because was able to acrue too much value, but in a 4 man pod it's a lot easier to gang up.
  4. The most polite and civil thing to do is just be honest about how you feel. Tell "bob" (gonna call him bob) that you don't want to play against a non-legendary commander deck and that while some people are ok with it, that you are not (try to make sure the table is with you on this one). But honestly, after seeing some stax builds, what you described seems very easy to deal with. It can be annoying as hell for sure, but relative to having to deal with a a T2, or even worse... T1 Grand Arbiter Augustin IV , it is quite tame. Because if I were in Bob's position, that's what I would do if they didn't want me to use that commander. It's really just about communicating your needs/wants/goals/expectations of the game prior to doing so.

I have had a dude get SALTY AF whenever you would attack him or target him. He made the game horrible, so much so he would hold grudges against people and use laughter as a way to justify his beliefs (him feeling wrongfully targetted). At first I thought he was just a rude crybaby to me, but after a few discussions, I realized the entire LGS agreed with me. So much so the owner had to have a discussion with him. I would talk to other members of your LGS and get their opinion on it. If HE is toxic enough as a person to the point where people don't want to come to the store, then the owner would definitely get involved.

December 29, 2019 2:08 a.m.

Profet93 says... #16

^ This....

Of course as you said depends on how toxic the person is. But wow that sucks, sorry to hear that.

December 29, 2019 2:50 a.m.

Snake_Oil says... #17

Tamanoa itself in my opinion is a fine commander, as long as the playgroup accepts it's use, much like the Nephilim in that regard. That's one thing. (IIRC it's one of the few creatures they've legitimately said they wish had been legendary when they made it -- Tamanoa is an important entity in the Ice Age/Coldsnap Saga)

Playing stax in a social, casual manner is just... Ugh. There's slowing down the game -- No issues with that, things coming in tapped and the like, there's creating hurdles and restrictions -- Prison, hatebears, additional mana cost effects and such, and then there's just being needlessly douchey with full-on, hard stax.

Stuff like Overabundance and Manabarbs in Tamanoa is expected, it's part of the fun you can get value off of them for once instead of it being a race against time to ramp hard and win (which is it's own kind of fun, to be fair).

If he doesn't understand WHY he's being hated out of the game, you need to be as clear and frankly blunt as possible -- "Playing against this deck and this commander IS NOT FUN.". Silver Bullets and playerbaiting is only going to make the situation worse. At least by being honest and not resorting to underhanded methods you're justified if he ever starts badmouthing you.

At best, being honest and asking him to build something/anything else for a change might be beneficial both for your play environment and to the player himself. It might take a while, or be a very gradual change (like him playing GAAIV for a while...) but some change is better than a bad one.

If he doesn't respond well to your honesty and concern, then... I'm sorry, this person might not be good for your playgroup.

December 29, 2019 6:15 a.m.

Gleeock says... #18

Profet93 - The only thing I would add to point #1 & #3 above is that: another way to beat stax is to use global enablers to combat those global disablers, aka. stax... Yes, they can be a double-edged sword, but that sword usually makes a B-line at hard stax until that player is eliminated. Point #3 can be more effective if you find/use those unique cards that gift/enable other players with the tools to go archenemy. Weird that attacks cause so much grief & sore loserness out there. Successfully stomping someone with combat-dmg is pretty much the most difficult strategy to successfully win with in EDH, given the pure amount of global prison/pillow/creature sweeps inherent to the game. I have made it a point to "take my licks" when I am losing a game, the closest my group usually comes to "scooping" is to see if there are any responses (frustration scrying) within a reasonable timeline & yielding if not. Also, checking to see if there is benefit to staying in-game (combat dmg triggers or game-swinging spells) - because it is known that I will actually use players as resources. I'm not that guy that tries to force someone to play monopoly when all they have left is Baltic Avenue.... but I will say it is a little frustrating when the 4-life total player cry-baby quits when you were going to Repay in Kind them for the win.

December 29, 2019 7:14 a.m.

griffstick says... #19

The good news is it's at your lgs. You tell this person the truth and not lose a friend over it. That's the good news.

I once banned a friend from my local friend playgroup and telling him was hard. We are no longer friends. He had the temperament problem you explain. All things you said like "WHY DID YOU ATTACK ME"or "WHY DID YOU USE THAT ON ME". I told him he is toxic and bad for the betterment of the playgroup.

December 29, 2019 8:43 a.m. Edited.

Last_Laugh says... #20

I'm unsubscribing from this topic. Over half the replies here make me sick and are from some rather toxic thinking individuals.

It's not alright to ostracize this individual. He spent just as much time, effort, and money building Tamanoa and should be able to play his deck. Grow as a person and get over your petty and selfish attitudes people!

December 29, 2019 8:53 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #21

To be fair, a lot of people here have good advice... I'm admittedly having an issue reading through the rest of this trash though. Good luck to the OP.

December 29, 2019 9:08 a.m.

Regardless of whether or not WOTC wanted to make Tamanoa legendary or not the card does not have that word in the type box. It also does not have the phrase “this card can be used as your commander”. Before the game starts tell this person hey that’s not a legal deck. Make sure the rest of the pod is also down for a legal game. Playing cards that are illegal or used illegally definitely adds an asterisk to the game, and my opinion is in fun. If the person wants to run Naya stax have him place a different creature in the command zone that is real.

TLDR: communication is key. Talk to your play group if they sit down with something the play group should self regulate

December 29, 2019 12:21 p.m.

Rzepkanut says... #23

Just be honest with yourself and him. Hes clearly no fun to play games with currently, so tell him all about it. Also, why are you bothering with "the nicest way possible"? He clearly didn't bother to be overly concerned with your feelings, I would do the same and just be honest about how you feel to him.

December 31, 2019 8:50 a.m.

dingusdingo says... #24


1) Someone is playing a non-legal commander in a casual game

Instead of seeing this as an invitation to build a sweet deck of your own, you would rather no one builds a non-legal commander. You can ask them to play another deck, or specifically request of your casual pod to play legal commanders. Have a discussion, come to a consensus. 99% of the time this player will bring a legal commander deck too, they obviously understand it isn't legal.

2) There's a player I don't like playing with because of specific deck

Yeah definitely talk to them before you do any of the other manchildren reactionary choices you've been given in this thread. "Hey man, would you mind playing something else?" "Hey man, we were trying to play some decks that don't do so well against stax. Want to play one of my other decks?" Make them aware of the problem, extend an olive branch, and let them know it isn't a big deal. Move forward and have a good time.

If that doesn't work, (it's going to work 99% of the time), just politely excuse yourself from games that that player joins. You don't need to ask him to leave. You don't need to give a reason. Just say you don't wish to play against him, and find another game.

3) I don't like playing against stax its anti-fun

This can be flipped towards any archetype. I don't like combo because its too fast and I can't swing with my creatures its anti-fun. I don't like aggro it means I have to waste deck slots on fogs it limits my deckbuilding its anti-fun. I don't like control decks all they do is stop every threat I put on the board and eventually kill me with a flyer, its anti-fun.

Unless a deck is sporting $800 of super fast mana rocks, the stax deck is not going to go fast enough to lock players out. The fault is the opponents who are choosing not to run 1 and 2 CMC artifact/enchantment/creature removal. They are decks designed to exploit greedy deckbuilding choices. Turns out, most players make extremely greedy deckbuilding choices. Sounds like your deck choices are extremely greedy too. Revise your deck.

4) This guy is toxic for x y or z! He should be the one to walk away from games, not me!

If the other players wish to play with him, it is their choice and doesn't impact you. You are the one who isn't enjoying it, and it is your choice to participate. If you have a bad time, knowing you will have a bad time, and you still choose to participate, the problem is your own action. Let other players play with him. If they have the same problems, those players will choose not to play with him too.

5) I should build a silver bullet deck just to blow out his stax

So you're building a deck to combat 1/3 of the meta of all of Commander? Sounds like a good choice. Turns out, filling your deck with cards that remove other players cards is a good choice. Sounds like more fun for you, and more fun for the stax player, and more fun for everyone else. Do it, and enjoy yourself mate.

Last_Laugh come back bud I'll have a discussion with ya.

January 5, 2020 6 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #25

Update! I'm now just avoiding the LGS where he hangs out...never went back there after that last time lol new store I go to has some great players and it's all legit...it's also Very Competitive - Gotta lift my game yo :D

Thanks for all the great advice!

January 6, 2020 4:46 a.m.

Gleeock says... #26

Haha, that works! If things ever get stale there, come to the dark side & start making some unconventional decks & strategies :) Clucking like a bunch of Mother-Hens about your feelings with a playgroup seems like a lot of trouble for a card game, I like your lateral thinking.

January 6, 2020 8:19 a.m.

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