JayMC1130 at your service!

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I'm sold on Drown in the Loch . That card seems so good. Not just in esper, but in Grixis too. Thank you for drawing my attention to that card.

October 16, 2019 11:14 a.m.

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Said on How do You ......

#1

SynergyBuild, quality points and much better explained than I probably could have attempted to do. Actions aren't instaneous and events require time to happen. Time has to be invested in calculation and thinking. Time has to be invested in more basic and fundamental aspects like shuffling. It's pretty ludicrous to think competitive matches would average game lengths where players aren't shuffling, thinking, and interacting, but this would be just about the only realistic way games would average between 10-30 minutes and clearly these games would not be competitive in a true sense as most competitive aspects have been overlooked in the interest of rushing to a conclusion.

October 17, 2019 1:41 p.m.

Said on How do You ......

#2

Colonel_Kink, my playgroup is 4 ex professional and semi professional (with a handful of PT and GP top 8s) players who've been playing for more than 2 decades since beta. Playgroups simply can't be found for cEDH that are more competitive. Trust me when I say your group isn't at that level. Not that yours won't be competitive for the most part, but it's pretty clear from your statements about average game length that your group consistently makes the same misplays game after game if your matches are typically 10-30 minutes with meta standard top tier decks (which by the way generally aren't as potent as the decks my group plays).

Games within a true competitive group of very skilled players simply don't end that quickly outside of 1% scenarios with god hands for the player going first in a pod and even then an attempt often gets stuffed by powerful interactive decks. The fact you're discussing Urza or Teferi as top tier decks (or just any form of Stax concept in general) shows that you're a bit misinformed when it comes to top tier competitive play (as those decks and concepts are strictly tier 3, well below the performance of the most competitive archetypes in the format). I'm not stating any of this to put you down mate, so please don't feel like I'm out to give you the business. I'm genuinely trying to assist a player who came to a forum asking for help and let you know what areas your testing program is weak at and what pieces of knowledge might help you improve that process and your general understanding of cEDH as a whole.

The whole cEDH community is a bit too biased in the direction of the things they see on YouTube or in the few tourneys hosted for edh that are almost exclusively participated in by amateur players and the community tends to believe a lot of that stuff that they see regularly is the top end of competitive play when it simply isn't. That's not to say that these are things of exclusively low quality, as that isn't the case, but you won't find top tier competitive play for cEDH outside of a few dozen playgroups of professional players who enjoy the format. Many in the community feel like you, that they are playing in "max power" situations, but that's just not the reality of the situation.

October 17, 2019 5:25 a.m. Edited.

Yeah mate, Drown in the Loch is probably the best counterspell printed since Flusterstorm, and it's versatility is so nice. Thought Scour is worth running in decks that make use of Drown in Modern at the moment as the only matchups I've tested where Thought Scour feels bad to play is pretty much just Dredge and Grixis. Every other matchup it really turns on Drown to do work and it's pretty easy to side it out for the two matchups where it can enable opponents. The synergy with targeted discard is also super nice and targeted discard is proving to hands down be the best way to deal with Titan and Urza decks while being quite nice in a number of other match ups. I've also taken to running 4x Field of Ruin in a lot of decks just to have a bunch of ways to make Drown as effective as it can be as early as possible. I'm all in on Drown at the moment as it feels like one of the best universal answer cards in that format at the moment.

October 16, 2019 12:16 p.m.

Said on How do You ......

#4

Certainly pretty clear, but I think most competitive players would strongly disagree that competitive games typically last 10-30 minutes. Those are the 1% games where some one opens with a God hand going first in a pod and wins by turn 2. These types of games are the exception in truly competitive circumstances.

Most competitive matches last between an hour and 2 hours as players all reach turn 3 or so able to threaten a win and the game sort of becomes a Mexican Standoff with everyone pointing interaction at each other and nobody trying to be the first person to lose by attempting to go off when everyone else is going to be able to shut that attempt down. Competitive games mostly tend to get really slow starting around turn 3 because each decision becomes critical and one wrong move means creating a perfect opportunity for an opponent.

October 16, 2019 9:07 a.m.

Said on Esper Stoneblade 4...

#5

Drown in the Loch has probably been the best performing piece of interaction for Esper Stoneblade in my testing and it has nice synergy with targeted discard and Thought Scour as the cantrip of choice. I have really not been enthused with the performance of Spell Queller in the vast majority of meta matchups, it just dies too easily to all the cheap, effective removal options to be counted on as much more than a temporary 1 turn delay most of the time. I feel like 3 man lands is definitely ideal for control oriented Stoneblade variants, I run 2 Tar Pit and one Colonnade in my list at the moment. Fun deck to play, but I've had trouble putting together a variant that has more advantageous matchups than disadvantageous ones so let me know how testing goes for you if you find some nifty tech.

October 15, 2019 2:02 p.m. Edited.

Said on How do You ......

#6

TypicalTimmy - Yeah there are a lot of potential turn 1 combo wins in cEDH. Dark Ritual into DD, fast mana into Flash Hulk combo, ANAG, the list goes on and on. The thing is that these wins are extremely uncommon, these are less than 1% scenarios, most are less than .1% scenarios. The prevelance of fast mana and mana efficient combo enablers makes these types of lines possible even if they aren't going to happen but once in a blue moon. Very few formats even have this possibility, it's just Vintage/Legacy and EDH really. Very rarely are these combo lines something that win via damage dealt (although some can), but typically some form of alternative win condition.

October 15, 2019 12:54 p.m.

Said on How do You ......

#7

Playing with Power is going to be a bit lower on the quality and competitiveness spectrum than Lab Maniacs on average I would say. Both are about the upper end of what you are going to find as "competitive" on YouTube, but these are still both platforms that showcase why edh is considered a casual format played mostly by casual amateur players on a regular basis. Higher quality than something like Game Knights and certainly way more competitive than Commander Clash, but nothing you find on YouTube is going be the absolute top end of competitive level play.

October 15, 2019 11:08 a.m.

It could probably be tuned a bit better toward what the meta landscape looks like, but it's pretty solid.

I'd definitely lose the Fact or Fiction in favor of Into the Story, and I run 2 copies of that in my Grixis control variant. I also tested a handful of things as threats but simply wound up with Tasigur as a 2x because he proved the most effective game in and game out against the widest range of meta decks as opppsed to Kess who worked out ok at times but was less useful in a greater number of matchups (which made me quite sad). If I run the targeted discard options in Grixis at the moment I run the full 4 of Inquistion main with 2 Thoughtseize and the other 2 Thoughtseize side board for specific matchups (Eldrazi Tron, Urza decks, Neoform decks) and wound up not liking the over all performance of Rise//Fall (despite this card feeling like a good 2 for 1 value piece in certain situations). I wound up nixing all the Force of Negations as a deck relying on accruing advantages with value plays over time doesn't really ever want to 1 for 2 itself, and ran a couple more Spell Snares main. Goblin Cratermaker has been pretty much an All Star out of the board as it really shines in Urza and Tron matchups and has value in other matchups where killing creatures can be relevant. I think I've got a single Vendillion Clique main at the moment too that I've been toying with but don't feel strongly about one way or another yet. Vandalblast has made it's way into my board as well with the rise of Urza decks but I don't have enough games with it yet to say if it's ideal and it can feel a little slow at times to use for an overload.

October 15, 2019 6:46 a.m.

Said on How do You ......

#14

@ Colonel_Kink True competitive edh matches rarely take only 3 turns. Those are pretty exclusively the types of games that are not competitive played by lower skill leveled players playing glass cannon fast combo decks. In true competitive settings with players of high skill levels piloting more advanced strategies the games tend to last between 6 and 12 turns with every player attempting to go off and having that attempt stuffed once or even twice before enough players run out of resources to defend against the last player left with some sort of game winning combo line to play.

The kinds of games you think are "competiive" are liable to be the types of games you would typically see from, say, a Laboratory Maniacs video. These are pretty good players playing high powered but hugely flawed decks making a relatively large number of misplays in each match video. That's not really top tier competitive play mate. It's about the best quality play one can see from amateur players, but quite far from truly competive level edh; even if that's about the most competitive edh tends to get as a casual format played mostly by casual players.

October 14, 2019 4:09 p.m. Edited.

Interesting and completely unintuitive. It totally contradicts the basic rules for Adventures.

October 14, 2019 3:57 p.m.

The deck does not have a way to win against competitive decks without some form of Lab Man win line combo, no.

You absolutely cannot consider Bomberman combo for infinite mana into looping as viable in a competitive setting as this method leaves you unable to protect the combo itself. Against actual competitive decks that concept is so ludicrously vulnerable and ineffective as to be nearly unplayable. I've had 100s of games testing that concept and seen how it works in practice as opposed to theory.

So no, the deck doesn't have a way to win without Lab Man lines, which are already ineffective in a true competitive setting. You can't really expect to run exclusively the most fragile and vulnerable combos in the format and still win games against 3 opposing competitive decks. It would work fine against more casual opponents with lesser skill levels and lower power decks, but these aren't viable lines to take against true competitive players and decks.

@ Megalomania Faerie Macabre is a fine answer, but it's reactive instead of proactive and far more narrow in function as it only effectively stops a tiny number of core cEDH strategies. Extract can legitimately shut down every opposing combo strategy in the entire format, is easier to tutor for, and can generally be utilized far sooner in matches than Faerie Macabre while opponents are still attempting to set up and create and initial board state, in other words: well before they are going to have the resources available to fight down an Extract line.

Even in the event they delay set up to hold up interaction to oppose an Extract line the line can simply be used against a different vulnerable opponent for even greater value as the line has now disrupted multiple opponents greatly enhancing the position of an Inception deck compared to the pod. This is the key concept of Inception, every possible action opposing players can take helps the Inception deck because of the Inception strategy focus on pure efficiency, in cards, mana costs, play patterns, etc.

Whether the community at large is playing the concept is actually pretty irrelevant, most communities are very slow to adapt and change and the Inception strategy has only been around for about a year. The only people using it, for the most part, is a handful of ex professional mtg players: my playgroup. I'm the only person promoting the concept to a larger audience and I'm not a well know player with a huge internet platform to help dissimenate the information, so naturally the concept had been slow to catch on. None of that changes the stastical and analytical evidence accumulated or how effective the concept is in practice. Regardless of how many people are currently aware it's the most dominant concept in cEDH it still happens to be exactly that. Play it yourself for 100 games if you doubt it. We had to put in several 100 more games than that when we discovered this idea because we also couldn't believe the results and thought it was a fluke.

October 14, 2019 6:41 a.m.

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