Pattern of deck Pool?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 6, 2021, 11:25 a.m. by seshiro_of_the_orochi

Disclaimer: I do realize this is a very open-ended topic with highly subjective possible answers. Nonetheless, I'm very interested what other users do think about this.

What is this topic? Here we go:

I'm a person with a very pattern-oriented mind. I like it when I can find patterns and small logical connections. This relates to numbers, to grammatical similarities over different languages, the way tiles are laid out, personality types and how to handle them and so on...

And I also like to find patterns in commander deck pools.

For example, I've considered to build a deck for each existing colour or combination of colours (I gave up on this...way too expensive).

Other patterns I have or had:

  • Two-coloured decks with humanoid female characters with a CMC from 2 to 4 (I still have Feather and Siona.)

  • Mono-coloured decks around massive feral beasts (Goreclaw and Moraug are what remains of this.)

  • I've finished Archelos, Lagoon Mystic a while ago, and I love this powerhouse of a landfall deck, and I've considered building both Kwain, Itinerant Meddler and Yurlok of Scorch Thrash for the lore connection or the connection of both being reptilian three-coloured humanoids. I didn't, as Kwain doesn't fit my playstyle and Yurlok has no foundation in my collection...I would basically have to buy the whole deck. Doesn't feel great.

  • Finally, I've found a version of Thantis, the Warweaver that I've put many hours of thought into by now, and that version screams to be finally tested (curse you, covid!). After pulling a Koma, Cosmos Serpent last week, I've also build a pretty cool version of this. There might be a new pattern starting, with both Thantis and Koma being colossal, intelligent and dangerous beings in animal-shape. I'm already thinking about which creatures could be added to that pattern. Yorion, Sky Nomad is a hot candidate, maybe as a Dance of the Manse O-ring know, what's normally going through a brewers mind...

This way of thinking lead to frustration sometimes, as I got annoyed by not continuing the pattern. Currently, I've accepted this. I don't want to force myself into building a deck that doesn't make me excited when thinking about finally playing it. This order of priorities works fine for me.

Ok, here are my questions: Do you recognize this pattern of seeing patterns from yourself? Are you disturbed by this way of thinking? Do you have some of these or other patterns yourself? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this. Happy exchange!

RambIe says... #2

Yes, but i dont focus on flavor. I focus on function, cmc, and color balance.
One of my favorite builds is a 4x5 . Were every card in the deck has atleast 4 other cards with a similar function and atleast 5 other cards it can combo with.

March 6, 2021 11:49 a.m.

RambIe says... #3

i kinda understated how much of a nightmare build that is to do
finding 4 cards with a similar function is easy, finding 5 cards that will amplify that function is pretty easy to
then tuning it down to a fine cmc curve with a perfect color balance to the commander starts gets much harder
but then the hardest part is at the end of the build, were the last card ends has to connect with the first card while keeping the cmc and colors perfect
that step can take months sometimes.... because when you add one card it may kick out 2 or 3 other cards
the results are worth the effort though. when im done ill play those decks as "no peek" meaning i don't even look at my opening hand until after my first card draw and will consistently play a card every turn and every card has a meaningful impact on my board state
before my favorite lgs closed down there was one night i was playing with one of the most popular community members and i broke my deck down for him. in front of everyone he referred to my deck as a work of art. lame i know but it was a very proud moment for me.

March 6, 2021 12:07 p.m.

Ramble: This is far from lame. That's actually pretty amazing. I dig that concept, as this is basically a perfect formula for a somewhat mathmatically perfect deck. And the result of that obviously seems to be that you know your decks inside out to a level many players can only dream of. That's pretty dope. Are any of the lists you made this way uploaded here? I'd love to see it. Although I can barely grasp how hard it is to write the deck description.

March 6, 2021 12:20 p.m.

RambIe says... #5

my Windgrace *Rip* started as a 4x5 build but the final version i have listed strayed from the path
i am at work today and game tonight, but if i can spare some time Sunday ill upload one and link it to this thread.

March 6, 2021 12:45 p.m.

I don’t know exactly how similar or dissimilar we are, but I’m a big fan! Take a look through my decks and see if you find similar patterning, because it could be a lot of fun to talk more about! To be clear; I think my theme decks are a little more scattered than yours - but still!!

March 6, 2021 12:49 p.m.

Ramble: I'm looking forward to that link.

FormOverFunction: Thank you for the kudos. I'll be sure to have a look. Any idea on where to start?

Good to hear my topic fell on Fertile Ground .

March 6, 2021 1:01 p.m.

FormOverFunction: After looking through your decks, I can definitely say I like the patterns you have going on. The natural disaster decks are a beauty, and the creepy flavour decks definitely are impressive. This is the kind of answer I've been hoping for.

March 6, 2021 1:42 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #9

My decks tend to have a pattern of meiosis. I started out building a few two-color decks, but in time, I ended up splitting the colors, each half of the deck growing out to their individual outspoken parts.

What started as a Mina and Denn, Wildborn landfall deck, became on one hand a mono green landfall deck with Rhonas the Indomitable in charge, which very recently changed into Omnath, Locus of Mana big green ramp. On the other hand, the red half melded into Etali, Primal Storm big red, big burn deck, that's now helmed by Kumano, Master Yamabushi .

My Athreos, God of Passage aristocrats deck split into Rankle, Master of Pranks and Heliod, God of the Sun the same way, and my The Locust God deck split into Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion and a mono blue deck, now led by Naru Meha, Master Wizard .

Out of the 13 decks I currently have, 8 of them are monocolored and one of them is colorless. The multicolored decks that remain, are held together by synergies that demand more than one, like Boros equipments ( Akiri, Line-Slinger + Arden, Intrepid Archaeologist ) , Jund Sacrifice ( Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire ), Temur Landfall Omnath, Locus of the Roil and 5C Shrines (Golos, by lack of inspiration). But now that I have two different Omnath decks, I have an itch to build the other two Omnaths as well. That's pretty much how my patterns keep changing, a new line connecting current decks usually leads to inspiration to build the next.

I do notice my developed preference for monocolored decks, but I don't feel hindered by this way of thinking. I like leaning into it, finding cool ways within the limits of the color, to make the decks suprising anyway, to make them as interesting as can be for me to play.

March 6, 2021 2:08 p.m.

plakjekaas: This is indeed a pretty fascinating pattern. Dividing multi-coloured decks into parts that are bigger than their combination is a pretty efficient way to find out a lot about your own style while being able to try out very specific deck types. When choosing new decks, I tend to avoid similar strategies in different colours (Archelos and Momo are an exception as they, although both landfall decks, play out very differently). Your way of splitting decks is good to further define what you like about that strategy. Pretty sweet.

March 6, 2021 3:26 p.m.

plakjekaas I had a similar experience with my natural disasters decks. I started with red/green because those were the core old school disasters ( Earthquake , Hurricane , etc) but there were a lot in black and blue that also seemed I made one of those. Then I got greedy and tried making WUBRG and found that white was sorely lacking..but pressed on anyways. After that, I realized there just wasn’t enough room for all of the meat and potatoes that got me excited about the theme in the first place, so I made three additional monocolored ones to itch those scratches. Sadly, that means that one of the deck boxes I haul around to game night is effectively all natural disasters...which means some other fun deck, specifically Skull Island, ends up getting left at home. Ultimately it’s worth it, though, because each of those decks can sometimes be PERFECT for whatever is going on with the other three or four decks that happen to turn up at the table. More decks is always the answer ;p

March 6, 2021 3:40 p.m.

Mcat1999: I can totally relate to playing alone. You aren't alone in doing this, so no worries there.

The feeling of liking the idea, but not liking where it goes I do know from myself. This is why I don't finish many of the patterns.

March 7, 2021 6:52 a.m.

RambIe says... #13

this is what im working on right now current project surprisingly i even took a win with it last night
sorry it's not completed yet but its enough to see it and gives away a lot of my deck building process

March 7, 2021 8:24 a.m.

Ramble: I've had a look at Firja and left you a suggestion. This looks pretty cool. I realized your pattern is hard to recognize from just a list if one doesn't know about it. Maybe try to elaborate it a bit more in your description to obtain better suggestions?

March 7, 2021 10:40 a.m.

RambIe says... #15

Thank you, this is something ive done for years and don't seek out suggestions.
dont misunderstand i would love to get usable suggestions, its just i've had to many bad past experiences with suggestions that don't fit my build that lead to terrible debates about power levels of cards for some reason there seems to be alot of people that don't see or just don't care what i'm doing so i've given up trying to explain it
this is also a big reason why i dont bother posting my decks. first i work really hard on them and dont want someone to just copy paste my effort, second most dont see it unless i bore them to death trying to explain it or just play it out for them

i do like your suggestion though
it fits the demands of two functions, its type and cmc fits if i cut Righteous Valkyrie and the difference in color will bring me closer to balance.

March 7, 2021 11 a.m.

Ramble: I do understand that reasoning. It's still great you shared your approach on deckbuilding. It's unusual, but very structured and seemingly very useful if you are willing to put all the effort into it.

March 7, 2021 12:06 p.m.

Ramble: I just read your latest answer on the Firja deck. My would-be answer there seems to be more fitting on this thread:

I'm still fascinated by such a mathmatical approach. I tend to have thresholds that I want to Reach in certain categories, but maybe I'll try your approach once. I'm very curious for the results.

March 7, 2021 12:11 p.m.

RambIe says... #18

if you try it be warned you may start playing cards that don't make any sense to normal people
example today i swapped out Snuff Out for Eat to Extinction
any normal magic player would tell you Snuff Out would be the better choice
but for me i have a tight cmc and this card slot is dedicated to spending 4 mana so the casting cost reduction has no value
next i am running Living Death while already milling players adding destroying creatures to a function doesn't make sense to me
thats why exile is a low priority function in the deck, also self mill is a mid priority
so Eat to Extinction synergizes with two priority functions while fitting into the card slot dedicated to 4 cmc, instant, with 1 black mana symbol to cast.
one card clearly has a better power level yet the other card fits the pattern and therefore will perform better in the deck

March 7, 2021 7:30 p.m.

TriusMalarky says... #19

Dayum Ramble's got his thing down.

I'm still tuning my processes, especially for Commander. Currently I use spreadsheets on the manabase and curve.

I start with a win condition(or commander) in mind -- to use one of my latest brews, let's use Siege Rhino in Modern, which costs .

I then work back -- what are good 3-drops, 2-drops, etc. Once I have a list of cards, I go from the bottom up: what is my plan turn 1? Turn 2? Turn 3?

I'll then tune the numbers by making sure I have a ~80% chance of being able to play that kind of curve(honestly I just make sure I have an 80ish % chance for each turn, so about 14-16 1 drops(most of the time in 60 card lists).

This often changes the plan slightly due to numbers, so I run over it a few times.

Then, I'll add up mana costs in colors -- say, for instance, 32% of my colored symbols are green. I then want to make sure that about 32% or more of my manabase(or about 8 lands in a 23 land base, again for 60 card) can produce green. I often inflate the numbers with duals(using Frank Karsten's manabase math). Then I'll add all the symbols on the lands(for instance, Volcanic Island is a red and a blue, adding a total of 2 symbols to my math) together and make sure the percentages approximately line up(using a sort of average between percentage of that color found in my spells and the number of colors I'm using).

Mostly I just love spreadsheets.

(Looking back I don't know why I mentioned rhino)

March 8, 2021 10:52 a.m.

TriusMalarky: This is pretty close to how I put together my 60-card decks. , but I usually don't use actual spread-sheets. How do you translate this to EDH? Do you include rocks etc. Into your numbers?

March 8, 2021 1:19 p.m.

RambIe says... #21

current project

i'm taking a small break from the build and taking the time to type out my build process
i'm not sure why but our conversation inspired me to share it with everyone
just please bear with me its going to take some time, i work 60 hours a week and grammar isn't my strongest skill set
but i will continue add to it until my entire build process is listed and then get back to building it

March 8, 2021 7:10 p.m.

TriusMalarky says... #22

seshiro_of_the_orochi for EDH I use a similar process, but with different numbers. Or at least, I plan on going back over my EDH decks as they were built a bit before I had my current system quite as fleshed out.

Rocks are interesting. Honestly, you can do a lot with how you math them.

As Karsten says, a rock(for example a signet) can count as a land, but only for cards of certain costs. So, for example, that signet counts as a land if you plan on casting a 4+ card, or if you have a low curve.

One thing about EDH is you have so many unique effects, and a lot of my math ends up relying on having several similar effects(like Bolt and Push -- not necessarily exact or even very similar, but played in a similar way).

I'll go over my justifications for Sol Ring: It's an auto include given my commander has generic mana in it's cost AND I have at least ~30 nonland cards that have generic in their costs. If I'm mostly casting 1-mana spells, I don't want to run Ring.

Of course, it's offset by some other details. For instance, if I want to be casting Ad Naus in my Korvold list, I'm definitely including even if I have very very few cards with generic costs.

But I don't run it in my Tuvasa list because it doesn't even do anything until at least turn 3, which just isn't what I want to be doing. Also that deck actively runs Stony Silence effects and other cards that want to make high power artifact ramp bad.

March 9, 2021 7:37 p.m.

Ramble: I went through the new description right after getting up this morning. This is complicated, but I understand and like the general logic behind it. This is impressive, but the deck indeed looks kind of messy. Fascinating...

TriusMalarky: That makes sense. Thank you for answering my question. Guess this thread is a great learning possibility.

March 10, 2021 5:23 a.m.

RambIe says... #24

Lol ty!!!
The deck looks messy becouse its still being built thats not the end results lmao
I work from 7am to 630pm mon-fri and 8am-230pm on Saturday's
taking the time to write out the process is robbing me of any time to actualt build it

March 10, 2021 6:36 a.m.

RambIe says... #25

you know...
in the 90s when i first started playing magic i developed a template
originally i called it 20/20/20
because i felt 20 spells, 20 creatures, 20 lands was the perfect balance
and i believed playing with the least amount of cards allowed in my deck would lead to the best consistency
i later discovered my lgs (Graham Crackers Comics, bolingbrook, il) held quarterly tournaments
super excited i built and tested the same deck for over 4 months
i even evolved my template to limit to two colors and accounted for cmc
Color 1
Creatures - 4 copies of a 1 cmc, 3 copies of a 2 cmc, 2 copies of a 3 cmc
Spells - 4 copies of a 1 cmc, 3 copies of a 2 cmc, 2 copies of a 3 cmc
Lands - 12
then the same for second color
the deck as a hole only had 6 unique cards not counting lands
i will never forget that tournament because 2 things happened
1st from the moment i entered the other magic players teased and made fun of me for having such a small deck...
one person even pulled me aside and warned i would run out of cards before the game is over and maybe i wasn't ready for a tournament yet.......
2nd i was determined to prove meyself and show everyone i knew what i was doing
i made it to third round. then the judge kicked me out of the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct
he clamed that my use of Stasis & Time Elemental was an unfair player advantage because it didn't allow my opponent to participate in the game....

that was my intro to magic and over the years nothing has changed
the magic community has always been good at 3 things
1. teasing those that don't follow the herd
2. copying others with out giving them credit
3. changing the rules to support the herd
this is why i learned to keep my ideas and decks to myself
im not sure why i chat on tapped out, and im not sure why i started to share
but after re reading your comment. im suddenly feeling less inspired and no longer wish to invest the time and effort.

March 10, 2021 8:11 a.m.

Ramble: That sounds like a terrible shop. It's a shame my comment seems to have irritated you that much. Did it sound unnecessarily critical? If so, please note I'm not a native english speaker, so it's perfectly possible there are things between the lines I wouldn't even realize.

March 10, 2021 9:24 a.m.

RambIe says... #27

honestly im not sure
but it is how it is and if not you it will be someone and i have put enough bullets in my opponents guns
as for you, you have already read and under stood the first 3 parts
those are the important ones, last two is just type and color templates
so if your actually interested i would suggest finding a 3 card combo and developing it into a core
you will be able to see the results of consistency for yourself

March 10, 2021 9:49 a.m.

Ramble: I think I'll do exactly that. The Yorion idea I mentioned in the first post seems like a good deck to try it with.

March 10, 2021 10:05 a.m.

RambIe says... #29

Mill & Kill
It should be less messy now
Its built around a 4 card combo , with a 75% chance to fire on turn 10, making it a casual deck.

March 12, 2021 7:45 a.m.

RambIe says... #30

I went this route becouse i still have wet feet about sharing a competitive deck
And also becouse 4 card combos are an extremely challenging build in edh, especially when your not using tutors.
Edit: But unlike the other decks i have posted this is an actual real deck i play, so sharing it is a step forward for me.

March 12, 2021 10:14 a.m. Edited.

Ramble: Thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to have a look at the list.

March 12, 2021 10:27 a.m.

Please login to comment