When it it Okay to Unleash the Hounds?

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Post by Sheldon » 1 week ago

Assuming that your answer isn't "as fast as possible," on what turn do you think it's reasonable to end a game? I get that many people have different ideas on this topic, but I don't want to just separate things into just "fast as possible" and "everyone else." Turn 5 and Turn 10 are definitely different flavors of game. I'm curious where folks fall.

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Post by void_nothing » 1 week ago

I will say my ideal Commander game goes for about 10 turn cycles, give or take.
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Post by Hawk » 1 week ago

I think 9-10 turn cycles is where I'd be okay with the game ending, although 12-15 feels even better. Too much earlier, and it feels like at least one person didn't really get to "do anything". Longer, and the game can feel a slog and a chore, or a forgone conclusion.
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Post by void_nothing » 1 week ago

Hawk wrote:
1 week ago
I think 9-10 turn cycles is where I'd be okay with the game ending, although 12-15 feels even better. Too much earlier, and it feels like at least one person didn't really get to "do anything". Longer, and the game can feel a slog and a chore, or a forgone conclusion.
I get that perspective too; depending on the decks involved nearer to 15 can be what's most enjoyable for everyone.
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Post by Mookie » 1 week ago

In a vacuum? Around turn 9 or 10.

If I sit down with a group of people and we agree to play a high-power game, then my answer is 'as fast as possible' - I expect everyone at the table to be bringing their A-game, and I won't complain if the game ends quickly. Those games are relatively rare though.

However, the vast majority of games I play aren't like that - I only have one or two decks I consider to be particularly competitive, and if I'm playing any of my other decks against something trying to end the game by turn 5, I'm going to feel massively outgunned, which isn't particularly fun. I would say that in an ideal game, everyone would get sufficient time to 'do the thing' (whatever that may be for their deck), which usually means around turn 10 or so.

As a side note, I would say my usual expectation for a game of EDH is anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour - if I'm going to invest 5-10 minutes before every game in shuffling + mulliganing + rolling for first, I'm going to want more than 20 minutes of actual playing time.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 week ago

I'd say around turn 8 onward, as that gives all parties involved a decent chance to contribute. Obviously power compatibility is still necessary.

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Post by ConstantMists » 1 week ago

Somewhere between turns 8-15 is where the game should end for me. As Mookie says. with all the prep time for a game, ending it in 20 minutes or less isn't for me.
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Post by Candlemane » 1 week ago

It really depends on the politics. Usually I just let people play some stuff even if I have the possible win in hand sometimes. Otherwise I just dig and handle stuff as it comes up.

The group I go to regularly at a friend's house is more laid back, and we don't do too much to necessarily win quickly unless that's more or less stated before hand. That's not to say we aren't playing our decks, but we generally have to be slower there because our games average six players.

The LGS I go to currently is a playing to win environment, but only just so. Most of the time it's laid back as well, with one or two guys pushing hard some days to win ASAP. There will be times I don't cast something there, like when I get put into a pod of 3 players. I was playing Yennett against Kemba and Vilis. I purposefully didn't play a Sheoldred right after Kemba because he already couldn't hurt us, and I didn't want him to feel like he did nothing.

More specifically, I've never counted the turns. I just like good games, but I suppose that means 10+ turns, and I'd wager that's a good number. I only go to end a game if the clock runs low at the LGS, or if people are getting slogged down, there's a very good opening, or actually tired.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

It's more the 'vibe of the thing', in the immortal words of Dennis Denuto. Like probably turns 8-12 has given everyone an opportunity to build some momentum, so probably you're ok then. But every deck builds momentum differently, so there's no hard and fast. For example, my most recent build with Yawgmoth at the helm comes out of the gate full steam, doing lots of things as early as possible, so theoretically it could go win pretty early, but it also needs to be doing stuff ASAP. Similarly, the eponymous Edgar Markov weenie build does stuff immediately, and if the deck hasn't been dealt with by the time everyone else is thinking about unleashing the hounds it's probably going to win. There's also games where every turn is a slog - chaos builds and stax builds come to mind, and those games ought to end promptly so that the suffering ends also. So yeah, it's subjective.

For the purposes of a reasonably clear answer though, I think most of the answers so far are pretty well on the money. Once the turn cycle is in upper single figures, you're OK to start your endgame, as a general rule of thumb.

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Post by Lifeless » 1 week ago

8 Turns or after the 3rd board reset, whatever comes first.

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Post by Gavvin » 1 week ago

I started plying EDH over 10 years ago and recently came back after being out for 2 years. The game seems a LOT faster now than it used to and I have had games where it didn't feel as if I was doing anything to affect the outcome. I think 10 turns is a reasonable game butI have enjoyed shorter ones and wished some longer ones had ended sooner.

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Post by cryogen » 1 week ago

45 minutes to an hour into the game is an acceptable time for the gloves to come fully off for me.
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Post by Sheldon » 1 week ago

cryogen wrote:
1 week ago
45 minutes to an hour into the game is an acceptable time for the gloves to come fully off for me.
My LGS Commander league does it like that. There are point penalties (sufficiently high that you can't win) for going infinite before the 45 minute mark. After that, all bets are off.

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Post by Cyberium » 1 week ago

Depends on decks and how many people, roughly 5 to 10 turns before someone has wincon ready, though s/he will likely be stopped by one of the players.

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Post by cryogen » 1 week ago

Sheldon wrote:
1 week ago
cryogen wrote:
1 week ago
45 minutes to an hour into the game is an acceptable time for the gloves to come fully off for me.
My LGS Commander league does it like that. There are point penalties (sufficiently high that you can't win) for going infinite before the 45 minute mark. After that, all bets are off.
In our league killing someone before their 5th turn gets you a dookie, as does comboing out before turn 10. Personally, once I've gotten to meaningfully play for like 45 minutes I should have gotten to play my deck, or I'm stuck with slow players in which case I'm ready for a new game. Either way, I'm usually fine with a change of scenery by that point.
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Post by Mimicvat » 1 week ago

Like two hours, however many turns that is. I'd like it to be less but we have some slow players around.

If we're talking turns, 10-15 is good, 5-10 is a bit fast, and less than 5 means we've accidentally let someone bring out their 'cEDH' deck

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Post by Finale of Revelation » 1 week ago

(cEDH player here) I'd say between turn 3 and 6. Turn 1 Flash-Hulk is dumb and there is no game. But turn 3-6 gives people time to make sequencing choices, interact, play around each other, etc. without the game taking too long. And since these are optimized decks, everything's CMC is very low, so the game ending on turn 3 still means everyone probably cast at least 3 spells and had multiple decision points.

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Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

Easy: Don't wear gloves (or leash your hounds, if that's your preferred metaphor). If you play against me I expect you to bring your best, start to finish. If I've got a win, whether it's turn 1 or turn 30, I take it. You better do the same or I don't want to play with you.

2 things to clarify:

1 - that doesn't mean I enjoy high-power decks or combo wins. If I have them (perhaps in a deck I'm borrowing) I will 100% play them, but I don't like them and I don't include them in decks I build. I don't include anything I think will result in an unsatisfying game. As a result I usually win slowly - but I've had decks that win fairly quickly too - some of my aggro decks can win turn ~6 with a good draw and slow opponents.

2 - playing your best doesn't always mean your fastest. If waiting a turn let's you leave up protection etc, that can be the right play. In which case, I'll weigh the options and take the one I think gives me the best win chance. Or maybe playing your threat is dangerous politically and you should bide your time for strategic reasons. Also obviously legitimate reason to slowroll threats.
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Post by vandertroll » 1 week ago

I try to be relatively ahead, either by mana or board presence/protection/decent cards in hand by turn 5 or 6. Winning at turn 9 or 10 is acceptable. If there are many decks playing mass destruction, after a couple wipes someone must win!

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Post by Morganelefay » 1 week ago

Our LGS starts dropping strong stuff around turn 4, generally speaking, and wins are usually taken somewhere in the turn 7-12 frame, kind of depending on the decks at the table. Usually by around turn 7 the favorites to win are at least clear.
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Post by 75chan » 1 week ago

Generally, turn 4 is when I'd expect people to start threatening wins, trying to run away with the game, or being set up to dictate the flow of the game or at least make sure it doesn't end. That doesn't mean that's when games actually end, just that if your deck can't expect to at least stop other decks from winning turn 4 it's probably too slow for my meta.

If you're consistently faster than turn 4, especially if you're packing cheap interaction to protect said win, you're probably too fast and probably should be playing cEDH (I think?). Of course, if you have the nuts and can win earlier, just do it, don't hold back ever.

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Post by folding_music » 1 week ago

I like M:TG to play out at sealed deck speed. I wanna see libraries getting perilously short. It's best when players are responding to each other, lots of attacking&blocking, fog, countering, bounce/kill spells etc. but that's no longer the reality of the format - people play giant threats and spells which unsubtly destroy entire orders of permanents, and someone starts doing something which is too good to beat when in my mind the game has just begun. feel homeless in magic as a result, anyone wanna play Tarpan casual with me? =P
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Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

folding_music wrote:
1 week ago
I like M:TG to play out at sealed deck speed. I wanna see libraries getting perilously short. It's best when players are responding to each other, lots of attacking&blocking, fog, countering, bounce/kill spells etc. but that's no longer the reality of the format - people play giant threats and spells which unsubtly destroy entire orders of permanents, and someone starts doing something which is too good to beat when in my mind the game has just begun. feel homeless in magic as a result, anyone wanna play Tarpan casual with me? =P
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Post by pokken » 1 week ago

I generally build my decks toward a critical turn of 6 or 7. Which means the deck will be doing its thing forcefully by then most of the time. And will have at least one or two pieces of interaction before then to protect what it wants to do.

All my decks try to play something every turn starting at 1 though so sometimes shit gets real fast.

I mostly like games to be ending in an hour or ten turns which usually is about the same. But if someone has an early combo and no one has an answer it doesn't bother me really. Unless that combo requires a long time wasting sequence to get to.

My least favorite thing that happens early is dropping something like sunbird's invocation and then dominating game time for s long time then winning nondeterministically.

I generally really don't like how many versions of consecrated sphinx there are now -- giant 6 mana engines that dominate the game left unchecked. It makes the mid game something of a slog a lot.

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Post by benjameenbear » 1 week ago

45 minutes to an hour is my preferred window. However, in terms of actual game length, this varies wildly. I've had games where 45 minutes/1 hour games is equivalent to T10 and other games where that's equivalent to T5. Depends on the caliber of player I'm with, and this is 100% the reason I prefer cEDH. I can usually get a higher volume of games with better MTG players so that there's WAY less "tanking" between turns by individual players. Since my time is premium as a young father, employee, student, and active Church member, I care more about volume of games than quality, although my experience is that a high quantity of games often correlates with higher quality games.
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