Salty Commanders!

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 25, 2023, 1:04 p.m. by grumbledore

Hi all -

I have been building a website in my spare time wherein you paste a deck link and it gives you a "salt score" based on the aggregated salt values of cards in your deck list.

It's a personal project and I have no aims to monetize it with ads or anything... I just think the topic is hilarious and would like to give back to the community in some way.

If anyone is interested, please give it a whirl:

You can just copy/paste your tapped out deck entry to get the score.


Gaddock Teeg jumps to mind, as that locks a lot of things down. Child of Alara seems to elicit groans, as does Sen Triplets. Edgar Markov is pretty relentless as well, and puts a pretty big target on the player. I’m interested to see what other recommendations people have!

January 25, 2023 3:11 p.m.

grumbledore says... #3

Haha yea Sen Triplets is great - I had it built for a while. My goal was to have no wincon other than my opponents giving up and conceding lol

January 25, 2023 3:25 p.m. Edited.

Delphen7 says... #4

Neat project! Can't wait to see who gets salt score 100 XD

FormOverFunction Maybe Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh?

I pair him with Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist, and lots of tutors for Colossus Hammer and Masterwork of Ingenuity. People are always salty after being to first to die to him t2 :D

January 25, 2023 4:17 p.m.

Necrosis24 says... #5

This is pretty cool! How did you calculate the salt score? Did u rate all the cards in the database?

January 25, 2023 4:51 p.m.

legendofa says... #6

Everyone gets to party! Everyone's invited! Rakdos group hug: 7.572. Accurate. This is a very friendly deck.

Color Shift Esper color hack: 13.725. Questionable, but salt-inducing by way of excessive memory issues, rather than Stax effects or whatever.

As Nath desires, so shall it be: A flawless world Golgari discard reanimator: 28.324. Accurate. This is one I'd like to see get higher, but I don't have the budget for that.

What criteria are used to determine salt, and how are they ranked?

January 25, 2023 5:56 p.m.

grumbledore says... #7

Necrosis, legendofa - it looks at your deck list and then queries to get their salt score for each card. then it adds totals those values and that’s it hah.

eventually i want to make it also look at combo pieces in the deck and use that as criteria but yea. the day job that pays my bills requires most of my time haha. hopefully soon though

January 25, 2023 7:13 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #8

Lol I put all my decks in there and only got a salt score ranging from 23 (Isshin) to 46 (Muldrotha). I was surprised when my Narset list only got a 44.

January 26, 2023 10:15 a.m.

grumbledore says... #9

Last_Laugh - yea it can be kinda funny how one playgroup's level of salt compares with other groups. my tergrid deck flat out pisses people off to no end. like... its glorious and i love it haha. but its score is much much lower than derevi just do the fact that derevi is stax and stax is universally hated.

meanwhile, my buddy's full cedh t1 godo list gets a 43.

commander threat/salt assessment is almost 100% directed at stax players, it seems lol

January 26, 2023 12:09 p.m. Edited.

grumbledore says... #10

btw, if anybody finds something broken with the site, please feel free to make an issue here:

also if there's a feature you think should be added, you're more than welcome to add a request for it here:

thanks again to everyone who has tried it out :)

January 26, 2023 12:22 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #11

grumbledore My Sidar / Tymna deck is pretty full of Hatebears and it scored like 43 iirc lol.

January 26, 2023 12:39 p.m.

grumbledore says... #12

Last_Laugh - hmm interesting :) thanks for the feedback! I agree, if its full of hatebears, it should be higher. I have been thinking about adding a "community rating" or something like that to add adjust the base score thats aggregated from edhrec for cases like this.

January 26, 2023 12:57 p.m.

zAzen7977 says... #13

This is hilarious and pretty accurate! I submitted my EDH decks and got the following:

K’RRIK, LORD OF THE STORM [cEDH Primer] - 39.8

TINY PUNISHER - Discard/Stax [cEDH Primer] - 42.6


KAALIA'S CATACLYSM - Aggro/Stax [cEDH Primer] - 64.1 - “pure artistry” lol! Lots of hate to go around!

January 26, 2023 2:57 p.m.

Does Infect figure into the equation at all? I know some people get particularly salty when Poison Counters are involved..

January 27, 2023 12:12 p.m.

grumbledore says... #15

Metroid_Hybrid - it doesn't currently, but that is a good idea :) plus it sounds fun to implement hah

January 27, 2023 12:54 p.m.

Profet93 says... #16

January 27, 2023 5:11 p.m.

grumbledore says... #17

hey all :))

first off - thanks for inputting all of the decks on that you did. you guys are awesome. it greatly helped me figure out some of the curves for competitive power and such.

i wanted to ping you all because i’ve been spending a lot of time trying to calculate a decks relative power level in terms of saltiness, threat assessment, combo abilities, and the holy grail of “what power level are we playing?”

so if you have a sec and/or are interested, please check out the new scoring and let me know if you think it’s accurate from your pov!!

also Last_Laugh - i remember you commenting on the other thread about power levels, so i was definitely curious on your thoughts :)

thanks again everyone! enter image description here

March 12, 2023 1:36 p.m.

legendofa says... #18

My main thought on my Nath of the Gilt-Leaf deck is that it didn't capture the Sadistic Hypnotist combo. The power level, salt, and threats look right, and it captures Chain of Smog + Professor Onyx and Maralen of the Mornsong + Opposition Agent. It has a preference for hard locks and wincon combos. This isn't really wrong, especially when measuring salt levels, but it's something I noted.

The analysis of my Dromar and Xantcha lists look pretty much perfect. Good work!

One more for fun: Above such mortal concerns

March 12, 2023 2:06 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #19

I'm on the same page as legendofa. I feel most aspects are pretty accurate but there's definitely some combos missing.

It's an Animar deck so the combos are a bit weird like Ancestral Statue + Animar, Soul of Elements w/ 4 counters for an infinitely big Animar. Add more cards like Purphoros, God of the Forge or Walking Ballista to make the combo lethal. Cloudstone Curio + Animar w/ 3 counters + any 2 morph creatures accomplishes the same thing and needs the same cards to make it lethal.

They all require counters on Animar so I'm not sure how/if that'd work for your scoring system though. A lot are also combo lines for consistency and redundancy and I'm not sure how/if that's factored in. Weird Harvest looking up Ancestral Statue and Walking Ballista/Purphoros is a simple example.

Anyways, awesome job. I'll make sure to point this out to friends and get the word spread.

March 12, 2023 2:32 p.m.

grumbledore says... #20

thanks guys!

Last_Laugh - which deck has the animar combo? it should have picked that up.

legendofa - could you also link me your nath deck please? that also should have worked.

thanks again guys. this feedback is super helpful!

March 12, 2023 4 p.m.

legendofa says... #21

grumbledore As Nath desires, so shall it be: A flawless world It looks like it's the only Nath deck uploaded there right now.

March 12, 2023 4:11 p.m.

grumbledore says... #22

ahh actually i think i figured it out - i had neglected to include the commander(s) in the list of cards to check for combos

March 12, 2023 4:18 p.m.

grumbledore says... #23

ahh actually i think i figured it out - i had neglected to include the commander(s) in the list of cards to check for combos

March 12, 2023 4:19 p.m.

grumbledore says... #24

i just reindexed Last_Laugh's animar deck and your nath deck.

i think they're both showing the missing combos now :)

March 12, 2023 4:20 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #25

grumbledore is there a way to check other lists from your site w/o the url? I've clicked your dropdown and 'commanders' but when I click the commander it doesn't take me anywhere. On an android device.

March 12, 2023 5 p.m.

grumbledore says... #26

oh like click on one of the commanders in the list and see decks that are using it?

that’s something i plan on adding real soon for sure.

you can also go to the leaderboard and expand the ‘filters’ thing at the top and search for a commander name

March 12, 2023 6:13 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #27

All in all I think it looks pretty good. I think the scores for my decks all mostly made sense, but there were a couple that surprised me for being scored higher than I anticipated.

I was wondering if impulse draw effects could be added to the Draw category, especially since that seems to be a design space that Red is getting more and more of as its primary method of drawing. In looking at my decks that do have Impulse draw, I think only Mezzio Mugger was counted towards that, and I'm guessing that's mostly from the Blitz.

March 13, 2023 3:56 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #28

I also noticed that some modal cards like Gruesome Realization had only one mode counted towards a category, but not the other. In the case of Gruesome Realization, it was only counted toward Draw, but not Removal. Wear / Tear was also only counted in Instant Speed, but not in Removal.

As I said before, I think the site is solid, but some of the categorizations might need a bit more adjustment.

March 13, 2023 5:28 p.m.

grumbledore says... #29

what’s an example of impulse draw?

March 14, 2023 10:17 a.m.

grumbledore says... #30

oh exile and play/cast. yea you’re totally right. good call :) thanks man i’ll add that.

and yea the modal cards are tricky and definitely need some more work.

thanks for all of the feedback!!

March 14, 2023 10:19 a.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #31

grumbledore, yes exactly! Basically any effects like Light Up the Stage, Prosper, Tome-Bound (everyone's favorite non-Simic, Simic commander), Neyali, Suns' Vanguard, Jeska's Will, etc.

Red still has plenty of its Faithless Looting effects for draw, but it definitely seems like the impulse/exile draw is the new design space they've been pushing over the past couple of years.

Lastly, is there any way to be a bit more discerning regarding combo pieces? I've noticed quite a few decks will have combo scores even if they only have 1 piece of a combo, but not the rest. In the combo section some of those decks will list the complete combo, and get scored for it, even if the other piece(s) aren't in the deck. I understand that may be challenging to pull off, but just thought I'd put it on your radar.

Thank you again for putting this tool together!

March 14, 2023 11:07 a.m.

grumbledore says... #32

oh that’s super weird about the combos - it shouldn’t show the combo unless all the pieces are in the deck.

do you have an example of that happening?

March 14, 2023 11:14 a.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #33

I think it's more so that I've seen Lightning Greaves listed as a combo piece in the pie-chart distributions for most decks that have it, but then it isn't listed in the actual combos tab.

March 14, 2023 11:23 a.m.

grumbledore says... #34

ohh gotcha. yea i was struggling with that a bit. basically the intent of the ‘combo pieces’ was to represent the situation if an opponent was blindly looking at your board state without knowing what your deck is.

like basically knowing that a card could be in a particular popular/well known combo, but not necessarily if the combo is in your deck.

in hindsight that’s a bit too abstract. i should constrain that list to actual pieces for combos in the deck.

March 14, 2023 11:29 a.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #35

Your line of thought makes sense though as to why it would be categorized the way it was showing up.

March 14, 2023 11:42 a.m.

grumbledore says... #36

Ok Crow-Umbra - I think I have the impulse draw effects accounted for now. I tried to restrict it to only effects that work from the top of your library (eg. not Ragavan. Oh man I love that monkey...

March 14, 2023 1:45 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #37

Awesome! Thank you for the quick follow up grumbledore

March 14, 2023 2:02 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #38

I haven't noticed if this is the case with other sagas, but I noticed that Fable of the Mirror-Breaker  Flip doesn't seem to be counted to potentially Ramp, since its Goblin Shaman token is essentially a worse Captain Lannery Storm. It also seems like its second chapter isn't being counted towards Draw/Discard as a looting/rummaging effect.

March 14, 2023 6:27 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #39

General site problems:

The analytics page is broken on PC at (the now normal) 16:9 aspect ratio. The scroll boxes go out of the bottom of the window making the bottom item(s) unreadable. I haven't measured, but it seems that the widest ratio that it is usable is around the old spec of 4:3.

Problems with combo detection:

I have put two all-in combo decks in and gotten extremely low scores on the "combo" section. I realize you are using a third party for the combo list, but it seems to be very unevenly edited. I will work on submitting combos to the database that you are pulling from, but I am just warning that it is far from exhaustive.

For example Alluren+Shrieking Drake and Alluren+Chulane,Teller of Tales+Shrieking Drake are both listed but there is no mention of Cloudstone Curio being in any combo despite that being the most prevalent of the three interchangeable land bounces for Shrieking Drake combo in Chulane decks. Cloudstone also enables another 45 combos if we list out every combination of the 10 non-drake 1 drop creatures in the deck.

Passionate Archaeologist is also showing in the combos list despite not being in the deck it is showing in or even in the combos linked.

March 14, 2023 11:09 p.m.

grumbledore says... #40

Gidgetimer - oh interesting. what browser were you using?

also could you link me to the decks you submitted? i'm curious about the combo aggregation. I would like to use tappedout's combos in addition to commanderspellbook but data from TO isn't as readily available for external aggregation.

thank you for the feedback! very helpful :)

March 15, 2023 11:07 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #41

I was using Chrome and I checked it on Edge too. I have to take the browser out of full screen and make it a narrow window to be able to see everything.

Those are the all-in combo decks that I uploaded and think that the combo scores are low on. Additionally I'm really not sure what significance meta share has on weighing the salt of combos. To my mind Eternal Scourge+Food Chain (with a not included in the list Chulane) at adding 5 points would be the same level of salt from people as Chulane, Teller of Tales + Overburden + Shrieking Drake which is only adding 0.6. Both are infinite draw into a Thoracle. If anything an Overburden out for a turn cycle makes people saltier about the game when you spread the combo pieces over two turns.

Is the one that was including the non-existent Passionate Archaeologist in the Aggravated Assault combos. Though now the Aggravated Assault combos aren't showing at all. I looked at the combos on this non-combo deck since it was displaying as higher than the Chulane deck.

March 15, 2023 9:35 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #42

Hi grumbledore, I've noticed that quite a few of the following cards are uncategorized, and figured they could fit into some of the following categories you have on site:

This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the ones I noticed from looking at my own deck categories.

March 16, 2023 11:36 a.m. Edited.

grumbledore says... #43

Gidgetimer - awesome thank you for the info and deck links... I'll check this out :)

Crow-Umbra - man thanks so much for taking the time to get this list of cards!! I have been doing spot checks of decks looking for things that stand out. I keep getting in the situation of 'fix one thing, break 3 others' when it comes to the card categorization, so I've been trying to slow the pace down a bit and be more thorough haha. but yea, I agree on all of these!

March 16, 2023 11:59 a.m.

grumbledore says... #44

also Gidgetimer - i forgot to reply about the combos. i've tried a few different ways of figuring out the value of combos. the first couple revolved around the salt scores of the cards in the combos, but that put jank decks way out in front of cedh lists, which didn't feel right. i also tried weighting the score by the number of cards in it, but then the results were too heavily shifted towards cedh.

i landed on metashare, since from a competitive play standpoint, the better combos/strategies will have a higher play percentage, regardless of format.

all that being said, commander is an interesting format for this whole idea because of the subjective nature of players threat assessment. i'm totally open and looking for new/better ways of doing this, so please let me know if anything comes to mind!

March 16, 2023 12:03 p.m.

grumbledore says... #45

one way of calculating combos that ive been thinking about is to look at the response from commanderspellbook for the combo and checking the 'Results' section and looking for key terms like "win the game" or "infinite draw/counters/mana/etc".

i just haven't had time to circle back to that yet, but hopefully soon :)

March 16, 2023 12:06 p.m. Edited.

Crow_Umbra says... #46

Totally understandable grumbledore. There's definitely other stuff that is still in uncategorized that doesn't fit as cleanly anywhere else, such as Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots. They could technically be Aggro, since they grant Haste, but are also forms of protection.

Similarly, Mondrak, Glory Dominus doesn't quite fit into any of the categories, but could roughly fit into Aggro since it can make itself indestructible and attack.

Thank you and best of luck with your fixing and recategorizations. Maybe to take some pressure off of you, would it make sense to open up a feature for users to vote on uncategorized cards for potential new categorizations?

March 16, 2023 12:13 p.m.

grumbledore says... #47

Crow-Umbra - yea i like the idea of crowdsourcing the categorizations. i also want to add a way for people to vote on salt for cards, which would be like a weighted value to aggregate with whatever edhrec has.

March 16, 2023 12:38 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #48

My issue with using metashare as a metric is that the "metashare" Commander Spellbook uses is how many commander decks on EDHRec it is in, and most decks on there are not intended to be optimized. It also skews the weighting unduly toward colorless or mono-color combos. I hate to keep referring to my deck, but I find examples useful. To illustrate the mono-color bias Food Chain+Eternal Scourge is weighted at almost twice Food Chain+Misthollow Griffin. In a deck that includes both colors and has a functional mana base the combos are functionally identical except for the Griffin costing an extra mana. I could see knocking off 10-20% of the points for the one extra mana, but a full 50% seems... excessive.

To get a truly accurate picture of combo power one would need to take a percentage of the non-land cards that are involved in combos. Then weight it with average combo size (excluding the commander); result of the combo; both number and efficiency of tutors that find combo pieces; and total MV of all combo pieces.

This would be incredibly hard to automate though. So, to hit the high points and only use data that is already in your analytics I would probably go with combo pieces with a weighting value for tutors and a small one for size of combos. Once you set up a way to get the results of the combo you could add in a weighing value for game winning combos.

March 16, 2023 9:19 p.m.

grumbledore says... #49

that’s really well thought out. damn. i like it! i’ll definitely give that a go

March 17, 2023 3:04 a.m.

grumbledore says... #50

heya Gidgetimer - which of your decks has the Food Chain combos you mentioned above?

I'm working on a new rules engine for combo ranking and wanted to run your deck through it :)

March 17, 2023 6:54 p.m.

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