Restrictions to make commanders interesting?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on March 25, 2024, 3:28 a.m. by Omniscience_is_life

Oh, Magic.

I haven't played in ages, but I found my old cards while packing up my things to move to university and wanted to check out the current ecosystem of the game... So much new product!

I got excited to try theorycrafting around some of the new legends, but quickly hit a wall; even with the insane density of available commanders I'd never seen before, nothing felt exciting enough to be worth brewing around. Every legend seemed to either generate insane value without much need for support, provide support for an archetype with a trillion options for commanders anyway, or try to provide a commander for a new theme/mechanic that couldn't possibly have enough cards to fill the 99 with the rapidity of set-switching that occurs nowawadays.

The last EDH deck I really enjoyed making was a Nalia de'Arnise build that only employed cards with Party types--having to find sufficient card draw, ramp, and removal only by using Warriors, Wizards, Clerics, and Rogues was a super fun challenge and forced me to find some fascinating synergies and interactions.

I was really hoping to find a commander that would allow for a similar type of build, one which requires effort and originality to fill each slot but doesn't just collapse against other real players. I failed, but fortunately for me there are many many many people better at this game out there--I call upon your power to suggest commanders and/or restrictions (perhaps a particular combination of the two you've pondered before) to satiate the ridiculously narrow type of deck that I like to build.


legendofa says... #2

Welcome back, Omniscience_is_life!

Yeah, there's more cards than ever now. It's getting to be kind of hard to keep up with everything...

There's actually a similar thread from a couple of days ago from Tsukimi. Check it out here. But to give some other thoughts, I've recently been brewing lists that don't actually have a specific commander, like the right commander for the deck doesn't exist yet. Just find something vaguely useful in the right colors to be the commander, then kind of ignore it and play the 99. Still Can't Trust Elves and Do Not Mistake Peace For Passivity are probably my most developed and fleshed out examples.

Copying my thoughts from the other thread:

Restrictions I set for myself are usually along the lines of "What is nobody else doing?" or "How far can I take this?" Basically, I want to do something unique, or at least very outside the norm. Above such mortal concerns was specifically built to use only part of Edgar Markov's color identity, and it feels special even though it's a well-known commander.

Related to that last point is to find a new way of doing something. are well-known group hug colors, so what about group hug? Pure freedom, being in the moment, and letting people live their best lives. Everyone gets to party! Everyone's invited! is what came out of that idea, and it's a great change from the usual safisticblooddeathfireexplodiness that the color combination is known for.

March 25, 2024 3:57 a.m.

griffstick says... #3

I've been keeping up on magic online playing brawl and that's because I don't have time raising to kids under 2 yrs old to leave the house for several hours to play magic. So what do I suggest?

I'm a mono black player at heart. And playing brawl has really shown me a wide range of cmdrs and its easy to build with every card at your disposal.

Sheoldred  Flip was the most fun for a newer mono black cmdr but your opponents might find it to be very oppressive as it's focus is getting cards to the graveyard by making players discard and mill. Meanwhile kill spells to put more creatures in the graveyard. Plus killing Sheoldred  Flip only allows you to recast her allowing you to kill another creature on etb. So spells that bring her back immediately like Undying Evil do work here.

For mono black historic brawl I like Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Now I know how this isn't a card that you missed on your hiatus but maybe this is one worth looking into. Make a control shell and smash with kalitas. Have a few backup win cons.

Outside of mono black I like

That's what I got.

March 25, 2024 10:44 a.m. Edited.

turkinaa says... #4

I sometimes find putting restrictions on yourself make the deck more creative. Don't use duals or tutors. Maybe try to keep a deck around 200 bucks (using cards you have). Do a stupid tribal.

March 25, 2024 11:06 a.m.

sergiodelrio says... #5

Wrath tribal - challenge yourself to keep the board (better yet, ALL ZONES) as empty as possible. Doesn't even need a wincon... the wincon is to see tears in your opponents' eyes xD

March 25, 2024 11:23 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #6

The Sixth Doctor / Peri Brown is something I built recently. It does provide a lot of value out of the Command Zone but the challenge for me was the consistency of the deck while combining so many themes (flash, convoke, historic tribal, and ways to copy the Doctor's trigger or tokens). It's been an absolute blast to pilot and you're welcome to check out the list to see if it's something up your alley. Dopplegangbangers - Historic Flash Convoke Copies

March 25, 2024 12:10 p.m.

You might have missed, in your absence, the fact that some of the Un-cards are allowed in commander. Captain Rex Nebula is hilarious, and forces you to look at your permanents in a TOTALLY different light. Something like Tetravus, a high CMC with +1/+1 counters as well, is suddenly very very different.

March 25, 2024 1:36 p.m.

Please login to comment