First Annual Commander Climate Survey

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Post by arrogantAxolotl » 5 months ago

Woah, did I miss something? What's with the crazy number of people voting to ban Flash? Is this coming from an influx of cEDH players taking the poll? I don't think I've seen Flash get played... ever.

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

Yeah, never seen Flash myself either. I know it's strong in cEDH, but that's a different metric altogether. Even if it were cEDH players polling, surely they'd want it kept anyway?

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Post by Artist » 5 months ago

Its because in cEDH Flash + Hulk is pretty much without a doubt the strongest thing you can do. There's a reason Flash is banned / restricted in legacy and vintage - its a 2 mana instant speed instant win. With protean hulk unban a while back, its just dominated the cEDH format. So we're trying to get the other half banned, because one of those cards need to go for a healthy competitive format (or as healthy a multiplayer 40 life competitive meta can be), and basically casual players playing flash don't exist, so its not like there'd be a huge loss if it was gone on the casual side.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

I voted to ban Flash because I just have no interest in ever seeing flash hulk. It does zero things in the format except enable busted things.

In my mind there are cards like: That have at least some degree of fair use that is done fairly often (or would be in the case of RN/Gifts).

On the flipside there are cards like:
Who have basically no fair uses that people actually do on a regular basis. These cards can just go in my opinion. They don't add anything. Nobody will miss them except CEDH players. I'm never going to play them and the number of people doing anything even sniffing of fun with them are so few and far between as to be exceptions that prove the rule.

Heretofore the RC hasn't really banned stuff like that, but I think it would be fine if they did. I would be fine if CEDH was driven further to the fringes. It's basically a joke of a format in my opinion - like joining a knife fighting league and then disassembling all your knives and building a knife gun out of their parts.

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

pokken wrote:
5 months ago
Heretofore the RC hasn't really banned stuff like that, but I think it would be fine if they did. I would be fine if CEDH was driven further to the fringes. It's basically a joke of a format in my opinion - like joining a knife fighting league and then disassembling all your knives and building a knife gun out of their parts.
To me, it's just a different format. Predicated on EDH, and extrapolated to it's most cutthroat outcome, and that's fine - it's for some and not for others. I have no interest in it but I won't judge those who do; it's when the two parties unintentionally meet that things sometimes get salty. Personally I think a lot of issues would be solved if the two camps were actually separated officially. But yet again that's something that could be addressed with communication pre game - 'we're playing cEDH, bring your A game deck', or 'çasual gaming here, don't bring your cEDH build'.

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Post by Artist » 5 months ago

As a cEDH player I'd love if those cards were banned. The best decks are basically flash decks, food chain decks, or IsoScepter decks. Banning them might open up some new play patterns! But, except for flash, I don't actually think they need to be banned. And Enter the Infinite and Doomsday aren't really cEDH cards. They do see some rare play, but are just outclassed by the first 3.

The thing is, at least for me, both EDH and cEDH is the place you can play those super awesome 8 drops that could never see constructed play, and also simply the *best* cards printed. I think if the RC really believes in self policing, we should unban like half the cards currently on the list, keeping only the cards that have proven to "break" casual play like Sylvan Primordial and Prophet of Kruphix, and the stuff like Moxen which would extremely punish mono colored decks against multi colored (because then you couldn't play more moxen!).

I would personally like to see more support for cEDH in the banlist, specifically by banning Flash. I think there's been a trend in EDH where players are powering up their decks more and more as they collect and build more for EDH. This also leads to more players transitioning into cEDH (or in a lot of cases such as my own, simply playing both), and that totally ignoring cEDH players won't be healthy in the long run. I think a lot of people who have poor views on the format simply haven't been exposed to it in a good way: cEDH is really only fun if every person at the table is playing cEDH decks. They compete on a different axis than the traditional battlecruiser EDH, so when 1 person brings his cEDH deck to a non-cEDH pod, a game isn't really being played, they just stomp. That's not fun for anybody at the table. It'd be like a pro modern player practicing izzet phoenix against some guys kitchen table golgari explore deck. No one gets anything out of that experience. But it really is a fun format to play when everyone is playing it. And people are building better and better budget decks that can compete!

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
5 months ago
pokken wrote:
5 months ago
Heretofore the RC hasn't really banned stuff like that, but I think it would be fine if they did. I would be fine if CEDH was driven further to the fringes. It's basically a joke of a format in my opinion - like joining a knife fighting league and then disassembling all your knives and building a knife gun out of their parts.
To me, it's just a different format. Predicated on EDH, and extrapolated to it's most cutthroat outcome, and that's fine - it's for some and not for others. I have no interest in it but I won't judge those who do; it's when the two parties unintentionally meet that things sometimes get salty. Personally I think a lot of issues would be solved if the two camps were actually separated officially. But yet again that's something that could be addressed with communication pre game - 'we're playing cEDH, bring your A game deck', or 'çasual gaming here, don't bring your cEDH build'.

I can understand that attitude but I don't share it. There's too much cross-pollination for my tastes. Too many CEDH folks will pubstomp. Having those decks is an excuse to play them even occasionally way outside of their power envelope. Sometimes stores throw tournaments, and inevitably people trot out their Zur decks or whatever.

Generally speaking EDH always creates unbalanced games - it's far more random than normal magic, exaggerating the affect of things like dice rolls, opening hands, and so on. All of these things are pushed to the extremes when playing "competitively." There's a huge element of rock paper scissors and a huge element of luck, so fundamentally it's like playing competitive Talisman or Chutes and Ladders or something. I mean...sure, whatever, but the game is so inherently unbalanced it's not really competitive.

Fundamentally I think the rationale for maintaining the same banned list as normal EDH is a bit of a farce - lots of people like winning grossly unbalanced games against decks not quite as well tuned as theirs or even decks that are trying to be competitive but are simply not. *****

There're just so many problems treating this format as competitive; too many things that should be legal are banned and too many things that should be banned are legal. It's like playing Vintage without a restricted list - just basically a joke.

The answer as always has been to split the format. There's no good that comes of it except CEDH people having plenty of dopes to rope.


***** And for sure lots of people approach CEDH with admirably honest competitive intentions. I think those people are misguided rather than jerks for the most part.

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

pokken wrote:
5 months ago
snip
Your experience of cEDH is different to mine, which I guess isn't surprising when discussing our individual subjective experiences.

In my experience, cEDH players (well, the decent ones anyway) are not interested in shooting fish in a barrel. They want no holds barred, top level competitive play. Anyone who wants to pubstomp is a dick, quite frankly. That being said I can't see that they'd get a ton of kudos from the cEDH community for handing a beating out to a casual table, so I'm not sure that that sort of person is a decent indication of the cEDH community at large. I can't remember specifically where he said it, but fellow Primer committee member benjameenbear has talked about cEDH with me before, and described it in terms of a pure social contract where everyone agrees to put 'feelbads' away and game as hard as possible. There's no room in that social contract for a casual player, so it stands to reason that a pubstomping cEDH player doesn't really have anything to be proud of. To my mind anyway - I think I'm reading the cEDH vibe correctly, but I could be wrong.

That being said, I have heard of store EDH competitions where people will just bring their Breya, Zur, whatever just to get over the finish line and that's kinda expected but also pretty lame. EDH is the one format that's more about the journey than the destination, so it's a shame that there's people out there that do this sort of thing. Still, I think you could rightly call the 'shooting fish in a barrel' person an a-hole without tarring the entire community with the same brush.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

I definitely don't think that's everyone's motivation. But I do think it is generally goofy to play competitively with a banned list tuned to casual play. It seems inherently contradictory to me.

And I do think there are a few somewhat unscrupulous motivations in playing cedh that are more common than most people think in the orbit of cedh.

I get that there really isn't another option for competitive singleton with this diverse array cards so I can't really fault anyone for playing it with honest competitive aims.

But I think it's a poor compromise that has serious negative impacts on the casual side of the format.

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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

I mean it's a definite philosophical schism, so I think there's probably merit in honoring that difference with dedicated formats. That's my thoughts on it on a wider scale. And in terms of individual games, if someone sits down with a deck that's clearly tiered competitive I just won't play them myself. Neither one of us is going to get what we want from the game, so why bother?

There's probably a reasonable amount of gray area here too, in terms of what people consider 'çasual' and 'competitive', but generally I get your point.

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Post by 3drinks » 5 months ago

Guess I shouldn't be surprised by how few the numbers are for us that enjoy Vintage as our next fave format.
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Post by Istarkano » 5 months ago

I would be curious to see the results of such a survey in 2-3 month, i.e. when the proverbial smoke has cleared. I think some people are in the heat of the moment and may cool down after a while.

Personally, I think the format is in a good spot. I like the RC/CAG setup and look forward to their actions in the future. I feel like they really make an effort to ban the biggest offenders, while also realizing that they can't, maybe even shouldn't, ban every abusable card.
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Post by tstorm823 » 5 months ago

It's fun watching the trends shift as more responses come in. A lot of the answer trends have held really strong, but I've noticed 2 things change pretty vividly as we moved from just us here to people who saw it on reddit to people who saw Sheldon's tweet. The level of satisfaction over specifically the most recent ban announcement went from very high to about even and keeps trending downward. And the length of time the respondents have played Commander started with a lot of "don't you mean EDH?" and has now become majority of people playing for less than 5 years.

Basically what I'm saying is that teenagers are complainers.
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Post by toctheyounger » 5 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
5 months ago
Basically what I'm saying is that teenagers are complainers.


Damn youngins don't know how good they got it! In my day, we used wax paper for sleeves, gravel for dice, and had to walk 14 miles uphill both ways with no shoes on to the local LGS, and then we had half an hour to play before leaving again.

Tell the kids that these days and they'll never understand it.

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Post by Serpent_Steve » 5 months ago

Finished the survey. Like others I found myself more surprised by what other people had put down compared to myself. Those who want Sylvan Primordial or Primeval Titan back? You must be out of your minds.

Also almost laughed at the poeple who wanted to ban Islands and Colossal Dreadmaw.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 months ago

Hush you, Isochron Scepter can be used fairly. I assume by "fairly" you mean "not Dramatic Reversal or other combo"? As ramming a Mana Drain on it is still pretty strong, in all honesty.

That said, watching people want to unban Prophet of Kruphix and Primeval Titan makes me wonder if my views on Paradox Engine are biased.

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Post by folding_music » 5 months ago

after I filled this in I slapped my forehead and said to myself, "I should have written in Sensei's Divining Top as a card to ban."
Ultimately I think the commander reps do a good job but I prefer it as an unofficial format, where every play group has their own various overrulings of the standards!
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Post by cryogen » 5 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
5 months ago
Hush you, Isochron Scepter can be used fairly. I assume by "fairly" you mean "not Dramatic Reversal or other combo"? As ramming a Mana Drain on it is still pretty strong, in all honesty.

That said, watching people want to unban Prophet of Kruphix and Primeval Titan makes me wonder if my views on Paradox Engine are biased.
I had a player in one of my games last night imprint Lim Dul's Vault onto Scepter just for the dig power.
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Post by Kelzam » 5 months ago

I haven't seen anyone play Isochron Scepter for anything other than imprinting Dramatic Reversal in years, and never really before Kaladesh when that even became a thing.
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Post by tstorm823 » 5 months ago

I've got a friend who plays Iso-Silence in a deck because that was his 60-card deck of choice years ago, and in that deck he does lots of fair things like Isochron Scepter a Deflecting Palm. That is the only person I've ever seen use that card in this format other than Dramatic Reversal.
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Post by cryogen » 5 months ago

I've started to edit the first post to compile the results and give my interpretations. This will be an slow process, but I hope to finish over the weekend.
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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
5 months ago
Hush you, Isochron Scepter can be used fairly. I assume by "fairly" you mean "not Dramatic Reversal or other combo"? As ramming a Mana Drain on it is still pretty strong, in all honesty.

That said, watching people want to unban Prophet of Kruphix and Primeval Titan makes me wonder if my views on Paradox Engine are biased.
I would consider those votes to be reinforcing my desire for a ban. Pretty much the same group of people is fine with PoK, Recurring Nightmare, Prophet, Sylvan Primordial, and Paradox Engine. They're all people who think too much about power level and not enough about how casual value explosions with high casual desirability ruin games.

As much as I love RN, I think it very well could be in the same camp with those cards - possibly on the annoying end of them. I just think the ethics on graveyard hate in commander have changed enough to allow it to be given a shot. It was banned pretty early in the format.

If search hate ever go to be as prolific as grave hate I would consider Prime Time for an unbanning too tbh, but I just don't see that happening.
cryogen wrote:
5 months ago

I had a player in one of my games last night imprint Lim Dul's Vault onto Scepter just for the dig power.
tstorm823 wrote:
5 months ago
I've got a friend who plays Iso-Silence in a deck because that was his 60-card deck of choice years ago, and in that deck he does lots of fair things like Isochron Scepter a Deflecting Palm. That is the only person I've ever seen use that card in this format other than Dramatic Reversal.
These are exceptions that prove the rule. It's so rare that we can think of only a handful of exceptions and they are quite unusual :) Quite different from your typical "problem card" with many fair uses, a la Mystical Tutor or survival of the fittest.

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Post by 3drinks » 5 months ago

Kelzam wrote:
5 months ago
I haven't seen anyone play Isochron Scepter for anything other than imprinting Dramatic Reversal in years, and never really before Kaladesh when that even became a thing.
I still use it to-date with Orim's Chant. I guess this isn't really reinforcing the point here though :P

Uhm...there was that time I ran it with Tithe. That was different.
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Post by Rasputin101 » 5 months ago

What's with all the hate on mana crypt? It can go in every deck!
I get that it's an expensive card and that prices out some players but I don't think the monitory value of a card should ever be factored into a banning.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 5 months ago

Rasputin101 wrote:
5 months ago
What's with all the hate on mana crypt? It can go in every deck!
I get that it's an expensive card and that prices out some players but I don't think the monitory value of a card should ever be factored into a banning.
Fast mana leads to imbalanced starts and there's a vocal minority of players who feel it should be banned. There's almost as much support for a Sol Ring ban (1718 votes vs 1995 for Crypt right now) and that has much wider availability. Those are just the two biggest offenders when it comes to fast mana.
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