Theme is king! Throw off the shackles of function and efficiency! Ditch your sol ring and have some fun!

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I bought the vast majority of my cards pre-2006 (mostly in the 90s, really). I largely only buy singles from my LGS for Commander decks, with some prerelease 2HG “tournaments” here and there. I think I’ve sold less than five cards in my life... it’s a one way street for me lol

March 27, 2023 11:21 a.m.

Said on A Discussion of …...


Niko9 is 100% on point. I feel like M:tG has a lot of good parallels with D&D (unsurprisingly): if you and some strangers are talking about D&D and you mention that you’re playing a barbarian, they’re going to assume that you’re using a certain block of stats/feats/equipment/etc because that is what people would use to optimize damage, armor class, etc. You could very easily have made an Intelligence-focused barbarian because you’re playing a Fox-Mulder-inspired investigator, but the assumption will start out as whatever the “ideal” meta is for barbarians. Staples are going to slowly rise in the ranks, streamlining those archetype decks to (effectively) perfection. Side note: it sounds like Niko9 would be a lot of fun to play D&D with, but someone who plays the Strong Meta (tm) isn’t less fun to play with either. You just gotta find your ideal play group and support them accordingly.

March 26, 2023 2:36 p.m.

Said on A Discussion of …...


I think Niko9 raises a good question. In an attempt to agree and answer, with reference to my prior post, I think it heavily depends on the deck you’re talking about. When you hear that someone is playing an Izzet spell slinger deck, a number of creatures and artifacts jump to mind (like Harmonic Prodigy). To complicate things, though, the realm of types of decks has expanded a fair amount; imagine what M:tG looked like before Ravnica. I think that growth is part of why the idea of staples is harder to explain now. Back when 80% of the decks relied on creature combat, Sol Ring was a heavy hitter. Nowadays most creatures don’t even attack ;p To piggyback on a term Purp The Historian has used in his videos: “Paint-by-Numbers commanders” have both broadened the scope of commander, and created/cemented/narrowed deck types. The staples for a spell slinger deck will always be changing because they will always be producing a new wizard with “::good thing:: happens when you cast an instant or sorcery” and a new cleric that has “::good thing:: happens every time a creature enters the battlefield” {shrug} in the long run this (in my opinion) dead ends into everyone having basically the same decks (meaning: all spell slinger decks will have ~60 of the above-mentioned wizards to choose from) and the real distinction will be how they actually try to win. We’re sort of there already, honestly.

March 26, 2023 11:25 a.m.

Said on A Discussion of …...


I think staples can be categorized well by effect: card draw, single creature removal, board wipes, land ramp, graveyard hate, creature protection, effect-copying... there’s a ton. Colors will have different strengths and weaknesses, and artifacts/lands that do these things are more likely to be staples because of accessibility. So you could almost break your question down into: what are your staple oddities for [topic]. Board wipes are pretty easy for red, white, and blue... less so for green (maybe, I don’t know). A black staple that I love, and have posted a bunch of times about (sorry) addresses a different type of staple: equipment. Artificer's Hex is brutal on boots and swords, and in commander they need to be dealt with promptly.

March 25, 2023 12:25 p.m.

As one of the resident Olds on this site I’d like to give a little more generalized advice, that dovetails/repeats Daveslab2022 good advice: any time you catch yourself thinking “and then I can sell (thing) to someone else who’ll pay (amount) for it” I want you to pause and realize that you are that “someone else” already for someone else. When your plan relies on finding a sucker, you’re the sucker. Now: you never implied anything malicious like that here, which is awesome, but this life lesson is super important to learn and can be devastating to learn the wrong way. END-UNREQUESTED-OLDMAN-ADVICE If you are thin on money, I think your current kitchen table plan is perfect. Again, Dave’s plan is also solid: lands are rarely changing in importance and utility. If you’re not going to continue enjoying magic as much without getting into modern then easing into ownership is probably safer. None of this changes the fact, though, that you’re going to be spending a not-insignificant amount of money on it. If you have some higher life priorities then please get those taken care of. Literally everything is more fun when you’ve got rent covered for the next six months.

March 25, 2023 12:07 p.m.

Said on UB Hunted...


Another potentially bad idea: Swan Song could give you a little more resiliency if you wanted.

March 24, 2023 3:04 p.m.

Said on UB Hunted...


Possibly a Virulent Plague? The cmc is higher, so maybe a one-of, but it wouldn’t be terrible.

March 24, 2023 2:18 p.m.

Said on The Quackening...


I would recommend adding scry, like Sigiled Starfish to manage your top card.

March 23, 2023 8:54 a.m.

I like the idea of having more formats, but the distinctions need to be easy to understand. Going all the way back to Type 1, tracking what’s allowed or banned is more of a hurdle than one might expect. If the distinction between Oathbreaker and Commander is what card you can pick to be your commander, and that you get to pick a spell (that would already have been allowed in the deck) as your “commander spell”... then it’s pretty easy to understand; you’re piggybacking on all the (hopefully) pre-understood knowledge about Commander. In my opinion, if Oathbreaker is going to divert further from Commander it needs to be a big enough change to completely break out of the gravity well of Commander. Anything less than that will be too confusing. Planechase works because it’s “play magic, but you have one of these cards revealed, and here are the two (or whatever) rules for getting a new plane.” That Standard-version of Commander, whatever it’s called, is too much (in part) because few will tolerate the list-maintenance needed to cycle cards out of your deck. If you’ve gone to the work of making a Commander deck, you’re probably not going to scrap a third of it in two months because a new set came out. Conversely: if you make a new deck for some yet-to-be-invented format, that only has 25 cards and three wooden pegs that you position on the table for different effects (or whatever) you’ll keep that in a box somewhere as well. Assuming they don’t make you carve new pegs every few months ;p TLDR: if there’s going to be a successful new format, to me, it has to be either effectively the same as commander or WILDLY different.

March 22, 2023 4:21 p.m.

Said on Yugioh in MTG …...


I really like the work you’ve put into all of these! Sadly I don’t know a damned thing about yugioh, so I won’t be good for any conversation...

March 22, 2023 1:51 p.m.

Said on I still don't …...


Just to make sure I’m not coming across as a crotchety downer: I did like the more-enchantment-like only-down-ticking planeswalkers, as they were mostly just attackable enchantments. Similar to making an Orcish Oriflamme into a 0/1 artifact creature.

March 22, 2023 12:33 p.m.

I agree: I think the etb damage, combined with the card draw, makes it a lot better. Also a lot more fun for you AND your opponents. I think forced discard is less enjoyable to play against than a (maybe) two or three damage per turn doomsday clock.

March 21, 2023 5:14 p.m.

Said on I still don't …...


I’m on board with what both Gidgetimer and Caerwyn have said here, so I’ll try not to restate any of that. The two other issues I was going to raise were (1) they are a perfect embodiment of the “all upside” era of magic that we’re in, and (2) the “railroad plotting” era we’re also in. For (1): Asymmetrical value and gameplay is not new to magic, but it usually took multiple spells/draws to pull it off. Or, to put it more simply: it was a thing that you had to pull off. For a while now we’ve been given cards that have that baked in, such as Fevered Visions. The controller of that spell really shouldn’t be exempt from the damage. Planeswalkers have generally been the apex of asymmetrical gameplay, and that’s okay. It makes sense, I just don’t like it. When they’re relatively balanced it’s not a huge deal, but it’s easy to have them spill into a total mess of a card. For (2): when PWs were added to magic, it was very disappointing to me, because I was one of the weirdos who grew up with RPGs in the 80s and spent a significant non-zero amount of time imagining things like “what is it that the guy in Pitfall (on Atari) has in his backpack?” PWs drew the game closer and closer to a “sit down and watch the movie” feeling for me. “Play the heroic intervention that has Ajani on it to save your purple-vested 1/1 from that net spell your opponent just cast” can start to build a feeling in some (like myself) that the game is being built more and more as a re-enactment rather than a “here’s a pile of tools, build something fun” game. When magic was full of nameless Time Elementals and Goblins of the Flarg it drove people to write stories about them... less so the other way around. Having that lead to “make a story and then make cards about the story” is a totally understandable and natural progression for the game to have taken, and lord knows WotC doesn’t actually owe me anything, but it still leaves me a little sad. Luckily, there’s nothing that stops me from building my own theme decks and enjoying them... but I end up spending a lot less time interacting with rather large groups of people here who are into the lore (which also sorta makes me sad, I like all you dorks). So those are my two big reasons for disliking PWs. It’s totally personal, and honestly a little silly, but I just don’t like them. Having said all that, I don't roll my eyes and groan when someone uses one, because I still love playing magic and hope to for the next thirty years.

March 18, 2023 4:35 p.m.

Said on Why is WotC …...


Some of us still don’t like planeswalkers, but you just roll with the changes. Why did they make “flanking” and get rid of “interrupts?” Why did they make “Ecto Cooler” flavored Hi-C? Generally creative people (some of whom make games) like to continue creating things. As long as they don’t actually get rid of original Orange flavored Hi-C we’ll all be fine. ;p

March 18, 2023 10:51 a.m.

Thanks, that explained it perfectly!

March 17, 2023 12:37 a.m.

Can someone give an Old(tm) the TLDR on what oathbreaker is? Commander with different hand sizes? Decks split into land and non-land shuffled piles? You get a legendary commander and an artifact? Fill me in, fellow kids.

March 16, 2023 5:47 p.m.

Said on DreadKhan...


I hit “like” on your comment about 99-driven decks, but I wanted to say directly that I really -really- liked your comment. I hadn’t heard the term “99 driven” before but it’s great. I’m a huge fan of the 99 being the heart & soul of the deck rather than the mechanics of the commander, but never heard a term that encapsulates that notion so well. Thank you!

March 15, 2023 4:19 p.m.

I put two tutors in my Torture deck, contrary to my normal personal “no tutor” rule, because I kept both the “punish large hand size” cards and the “punish small hand size” cards in the same deck. It lets me have a little more flexibility in functionality. Where I play people are pretty good about not eating a ton of time up with searching, shuffling, playing, searching again, etc. The larger problem, in my opinion, is a little broader with “additional hands.” Tutors sort of become unimportant when your graveyard is also your hand, and you have a stack of cards exiled from your opponents’ decks that you can cast too. It ends up being a LOT of reviewing and heming and hawing over what the best play would be. Having one player like that can be slow... but if you have two it’s almost unbearable.

March 15, 2023 2:40 p.m.

Said on Fun commanders...


That’s awesome - welcome aboard! Another commander used in my household is Syr Faren, the Hengehammer which is also extremely straightforward. That Card will be inexpensive enough that you might end up having trouble finding it lol. If you enjoy stompy green you should check out my Skull Island / King Kong deck. Fun stuff in there.

March 13, 2023 1:57 p.m.

Said on Fun commanders...


umbra-taint I’m sorry, I totally misunderstood that. I don’t have any of my kids’ decks on here, so I don’t have a good link to share. Basically for blue we stacked up card draw, scry, hexproof instants and sorceries. For white we pulled together instant speed indestructible, 1/1 soldier creation, and combat tricks. I stopped short of getting any deeper than that. Now that I know more, though, I’m thinking this might not be as perfect a fit... seeing as how you already know the difference between a sorcery and an instant ;p

March 13, 2023 1:48 p.m.

MTG Decks


Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


Antique Shop

Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


Ladies (Coven) Night

Commander / EDH* FormOverFunction


Kong, King of Skull Island

Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


Natural Disasters!

Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


Haunted House!

Commander / EDH FormOverFunction



Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


The Briny Deep

Commander / EDH FormOverFunction


Finished Decks 19
Prototype Decks 3
Drafts 0
Playing since Legends
Avg. deck rating 9.59
T/O Rank 14
Helper Rank 11
Favorite formats Commander / EDH, Pre-release
Cards suggested / good suggestions 2 / 0
Venues Mox Mania
Last activity 20 hours
Joined 3 years