Poison Counters

User avatar
ISBPathfinder
Bebopin
Posts: 1808
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: SD, USA

Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 week ago

Well, this is probably a bit of a hot topic but with poison counters coming back I wanted to just start up a topic to see how people were feeling. In the past there has been some strong thoughts one way or another on this mechanic. I haven't looked too closely at all of the spoilers to say where I feel offhand on it yet but I just wanted to see how the community was feeling about poison coming back with more cards. I feel like the infect cards seemed a bit stronger compared to what we have seen this round but I just wanted to see where people stand on the concept as a whole coming back.
[EDH] Dennick (mill) | Rayami | Vadrok (Suicide Chads)

User avatar
PrimevalCommander
Posts: 499
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by PrimevalCommander » 1 week ago

Meh, I'm still not a fan. I would have rather left it behind honestly. Toxic is safer than infect since the creature still deals regular damage, and toxic is not affected by pump effects. But poison is sort of like mill. Once you get a few counters, you are highly incentivized to kill the poison player. Then all their work is largely irrelevant and you can go about your day. It can create rifts in the table since spreading poison just puts more eyes on you, but stacking poison on one player creates a 1v1 situation where the other two players just gas up until the feud is completed. And proliferate is only getting more cards, making poison even more groan inducing since once you get to 6 poison, you could really die at any moment to some proliferate triggers.

Adding Toxic to all these small token makers is just an eye roll to me. It will only be relevant occasionally, but everyone has to be on high alert just in case that occasion is NOW. I guess it's not much different than making more relevant tokens, but if you think about life totals, these little 1/1 dorks are equivalently 4/1's if left unblocked.

I would have much rather seen Wither make a comeback on these little guys, as chump blocking with -1/-1 counters is a really good thing. At least it's not Infect again.

User avatar
Toshi
ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ
Posts: 509
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Freiburg, Germany
Contact:

Post by Toshi » 1 week ago

Generally speaking the more casually focused part of our Meta strongly dislikes Infect in Commander, especially Triumph of the Hordes.

Sure enough, 10 counters per opponent is easier to overcome than 40 life. That being said i am in favor of having it as an alternative option, since punching through arbitrary large life counts (see Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Trostani, Selesnya's Voice and more) can be dull to gruesome - and not all Commanders lend themselves to alternatively swinging for Commander Damage wins. Same goes for Mill, bring it!

What i am not sure about is the amount of counters that's needed to kill, actually. Given 10 poison is half of the usual life count of other formats, 20 could be an appropriate count for Commander.
But let's face it, it has been 10 in Commander since forever and people usually dislike integral change. Plus, it will make Infect considerably worse, which i am against vehemently.

Bottom line: I'm all good on the topic of Infect, while i can see other peoples' problems with it.

User avatar
materpillar
the caterpillar
Posts: 1012
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Ohio

Post by materpillar » 1 week ago

I rather dislike that once once you get up to a higher amount of poison counters you need to be playing counterspells to stop from getting proliferated to death. I rather dislike that kind of wincon. Most poison based winconditions are either rather bad (most of the creatures) or really swingy (Triumph of the Hordes). There's few kind fun, fair cards. Basically just old Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon.

I don't inherently dislike poison, but it doesn't seem to be that interesting of an archetype either.

User avatar
Lifeless
Not here to contribute.
Posts: 414
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Lifeless » 1 week ago

Even as someone who plays and loves Fynn, the Fangbearer I can't really defend the poison mechanic. It feels kind of bad to lose to, although you can draw some fair comparisons to commander damage as far as counterplay is concerned. One balancing factor is that a large percentage of players will hate you off the table even though you're likely not the biggest threat.

Toxic does seem to be a bit more fair than infect at least, considering it scales separately from the creature's power, but I do worry that the added flexibility of additional cards could be problematic.

Also pushing poison strongly in other colors is by and large going to make these decks better. It's not like we are going to struggle with 3 color mana base in this format.

User avatar
Yatsufusa
Posts: 151
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Yatsufusa » 1 week ago

I've seen some of the previews and leaks, but haven't really reviewed the set (and won't until the full gallery is out, as per usual). My general consensus on Toxic is that they're rightfully playing it safe (it is after all just a static version of Poisonous). Infect was dangerous because it is tied to power (which meant any pump spell essentially is a tool). Which means, as an eternal format, the sins of Infect will be the burden all poison mechanics will have to carry in EDH.

That being said, I think what poison counters really polluted was Proliferate. I understood that Proliferate was basically designed for it in the first place, but it's such a generically good ability that I felt gets hamstringed by the "low ceiling" of poison counters. I probably lost the memories concerning New Phyrexia, but with ONE every time I see a decent/good card with proliferate, than I see that the same card has Toxic (regardless of number) I just go "this ain't worth the trouble magnet".

Because of its practically unremovable nature (Leeches exists, I know, I did say "practical"), poison counters always act as a "Final countdown" of sorts (except it ticks upwards) and Proliferate essentially aids in that ticking up, so in the mind of a poisoned player, it makes the mechanic no less threatening than any actual poison mechanic. In games with no poison, Proliferate essentially is just "goodstuff" mechanic for counters (a rather common archetype/feature in decks, but there's still a fall-out point where decks don't find it worth if they don't benefit enough), but it doesn't break the game or instill fear more than any other "goodstuff" builds out there. Atraxa, Praetors' Voice is pretty consistently high on the popular list for a reason, and it ain't because of Poison. But add poison, the entire atmosphere changes.

I'm going to be very careful about selecting cards that make the cut from this set. I could be wrong, but I can see the innate fear (and resulting unfun) making a good bulk of this set turn out to be unappealing to the format in general (of course, the usual powerhouses and other mechanics will prevent this set from completely collapsing, but a sizable portion of the set will still feel "wasted" in hindsight, so the set can ironically never be seen as ONE complete good set for the format). On a quick personal level, only Animar and Freyalise would care about proliferate. With Animar I'm already hyper-selective due to lack of space, Freyalise might be the only place I'm willing to dabble with Toxic/Poison just to see how badly it turns out (I mean Smokestack already gets attention and the deck is rather weak in wincons, so why not just risk more?).
Image

User avatar
TheAmericanSpirit
Supreme Dumb Guy
Posts: 1638
Joined: 3 years ago
Answers: 1
Pronoun: he / him
Location: IGMCULSL Papal Palace

Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 week ago

Poison is an alternative wincon for players who are too cowardly to take on the full 120 hp of a table. Aggro is the best it's ever been, so lose the crutches.

Of course, we can always race if that's the way it's gotta be. Recently my decks can deal 40 pretty gosh darn quick, but I wonder how fast people will be able to count to 10 after this set.
Legacy Burn
There's no biscuits and gravy in New Zealand.
(Except when DirkGently makes them!)

Dunadain
Posts: 388
Joined: 2 years ago
Answers: 1
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

Infect has never bothered me and this set hasn't shown me anything that would change that attitude yet

User avatar
Mookie
Posts: 2730
Joined: 3 years ago
Answers: 29
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: the æthereal plane

Post by Mookie » 1 week ago

I'm not a fan of infect - the vast majority of the time I see it, it feels like a cheesy 'gotcha!' effect that wins out of nowhere. Tainted Strike and Triumph of the Hordes are both very good at killing one opponent out of nowhere, but the mechanic tends to not perform as well in EDH when it isn't a surprise.

Toxic is... significantly safer, which means I don't have an immediate strong negative reaction to cards with it - my usual response to infect cards is 'kill it with fire'. I'm not suddenly a fan of poison as a mechanic, but toxic cards are much easier to tolerate. I'll note that toxic creatures still do normal damage, so they can work in parallel with opponents that aren't running poison. They also don't scale degenerately with pump effects (which effectively had an x4 multiplier with infect due to only needing 10 poison vs 40 damage to kill). Both of these facts mean toxic aren't as likely to one-shot people out of nowhere, which means I don't have to kill them immediately... and in general, I think that will lead to better gameplay.

User avatar
Sinis
Posts: 1918
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Toronto, Canada

Post by Sinis » 1 week ago

I actually really like the Toxic thing. I like that poison counters are more creeping infection and less lethal injection.

User avatar
Avacyn Believer
Faith Requires Sacrifice
Posts: 72
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Innistrad
Contact:

Post by Avacyn Believer » 1 week ago

I think as with almost anything that concerns EDH, it comes down to expectations when you sit down and join a game. I think Poison feels bad to most people because you didn't see it coming, you thought you were safe and then suddenly some creature got Tainted Strike, and you are dead. Which is why I tend to either tell my opponents I intend to play a high power deck, or that it runs Poison. That way they expect to see it, so if it happens, it doesn't feel bad, at least I don't think so.

I also think Poison is kind of self regulating. If you run low power Poison creatures, as soon as you poison someone, you will become the target. So I'd imagine you should expect the negative attention when deciding to build that deck.

Proliferate and Poison is bad, yes, but again, if you are playing that kind of deck, the expectation in the game should be that everyone is happy to play at that level?

Personally I use Poison in Voltron decks, and I run Triupmh of the Hordes in one deck as my one 'I win' card. Games have to end, I don't like grinding to oblivion, so if I get killed by Poison or I kill someone else with it, I can move on to the next game. If I feel playing the poison card would create a negative experience for others, I don't have to cast it.

Overall I think the mechanic is fine. I believe it creates bad taste for people because of incorrect expectations going into the game, so communicate more with your opponents before the game starts! To me Poison isn't much different to any other two card combo or other effects that kill the whole table and end the game.

User avatar
Dunharrow
Posts: 1489
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Montreal

Post by Dunharrow » 1 week ago

I don't think I care at all if people are trying to poison me. I just dislike getting one-shotted out of nowhere. I don't think the new set has any problematic cards in that regard.
Happy to see more proliferate synergy, will see if my Reyhan, Last of the Abzan deck can pick anything up.
The New World fell not to a sword but to a meme

User avatar
Treamayne
Posts: 448
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Treamayne » 1 week ago

I've said it before, and still maintain that Poison needs to be fixed - but by WotC, not by the RC.
When they were "fixing" the life based templates (compare Serra Ascendant / Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim) they should have issued functional errata to all of the cards and mechanics, including poison, to follow the "starting life total" template.
104.3d If a player has ten or more poison counters, that player loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)
should be
104.3d If a player has poison counters equal to or greater than half their starting life total, that player loses the game the next time a player would receive priority. (This is a state-based action. See rule 704.)
Then Poison would scale correctly to EDH and other formats (Vanguard, Archenemy, etc.)
V/R

Treamayne

User avatar
RedCheese
Posts: 317
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by RedCheese » 1 week ago

Im yet to lose to infect/poison so im neutral on it.

User avatar
Maluko
Posts: 134
Joined: 3 years ago
Answers: 1
Pronoun: he / him

Post by Maluko » 1 week ago

Maybe a little off-topic, but have you already realized there are no +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters in the set? I feared the worst after seeing so many proliferate cards, but it seems that, at least for limited, this ability will only affect poison, oil and loyalty counters. It can still be a problem for other formats, though.

Commander decks

DeckSalt score
Midnight Hunt13
Devoured by Dragons18
Inferno22
Chromatic Dragons24
Undercover29

User avatar
JovialJovian
Captain, I object!
Posts: 2078
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by JovialJovian » 1 week ago

I don't mind Poison in general, and Toxic is a return to the old ways of Marsh Viper and Swamp Mosquito of giving fixed amounts of poison, which naturally throttles back the mechanic.
Infect was a mistake, it scales too aggressively, and it turned poison into a boogeyman in many players' minds.

If Infect had never existed, then there would be nothing wrong with poison at all right now, it's just Infect that created this concept that Poison should be half of Life.

User avatar
Treamayne
Posts: 448
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Treamayne » 1 week ago

JovialJovian wrote:
1 week ago
If Infect had never existed, then there would be nothing wrong with poison at all right now, it's just Infect that created this concept that Poison should be half of Life.
It has been 10 poison counters to lose since poison was first introduced with Marsh Viper released in The Dark. However, that was before most (if not all) variant formats with a different starting life total. The rule was printed right on the card.
Spoiler
Show
IIRC Vanguard was the first Variant with changed life totals (the card and life adjustments depending on Avatar) and those released after Chronicles - around the time of Mirage.
V/R

Treamayne

User avatar
OneAndOnly
Posts: 1405
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by OneAndOnly » 1 week ago

I think you're overlooking Pit Scorpion from Legends.

User avatar
JovialJovian
Captain, I object!
Posts: 2078
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by JovialJovian » 1 week ago

@Treamayne
I wasn't clear. I know the rule has always been a flat 10 since the very beginning, but the notion that it should be modified to be half of starting life for formats with non-20 starting life totals was never a point of discussion before Infect, and I believe it would still not be an issue today if Infect did not exist.
Infect is the mechanic that tied poison to an amount of damage, while before poison was always a fixed amount defined by each card, like on Marsh Viper.

User avatar
Treamayne
Posts: 448
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Treamayne » 1 week ago

JovialJovian wrote:
1 week ago
@Treamayne
I wasn't clear. I know the rule has always been a flat 10 since the very beginning, but the notion that it should be modified to be half of starting life for formats with non-20 starting life totals was never a point of discussion before Infect, and I believe it would still not be an issue today if Infect did not exist.
Infect is the mechanic that tied poison to an amount of damage, while before poison was always a fixed amount defined by each card, like on Marsh Viper.
Agreed that Infect brought the issue to the forefront, but I recall it being in contention in the 90s with 2HG and Emperor games (at least at the B&Ms I played at in CA, TX and Korea)
V/R

Treamayne

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 3466
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

Tbh I fear proliferate more than I fear infect. Infect still generally needs to deal combat damage, with few exceptions, which means you can block it, or at least kill it. Dying to having one poison counter and then someone triple casts a Brokers Confluence or something is way lamer imo.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Kagemaro - Blorpityblorpboop - Kayla - SliverQueen - Ivy - Falco - Gluntch - Charlatan/Wilson - Garth - Kros - Anthousa - Shigeki - Light-Paws - Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

User avatar
Treamayne
Posts: 448
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: Unlisted

Post by Treamayne » 1 week ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 week ago
Tbh I fear proliferate more than I fear infect. Infect still generally needs to deal combat damage, with few exceptions, which means you can block it, or at least kill it. Dying to having one poison counter and then someone triple casts a Brokers Confluence or something is way lamer imo.
But do you fear Proliferate when there are no poison counters present at all (infect or otherwise)?

All infect is a threat, proliferate without poison is a durdle (a fun durdle, but still a durdle). I say this as somebody with five "proliferate" decks and not one poison card amongst them.
Spoiler
Show
V/R

Treamayne

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 1662
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

It looks like hot garbage for Commander. It's worse than infect and infect is a terrible concept for 4 or more players as it fizzles out past killing a single player.

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 3466
Joined: 3 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

@Treamayne well we're increasingly seeing cards like Phyresis Outbreak that can put counters on without needing to connect. Add proliferate on top of that and it's definitely plausible to kill someone with poison without every attacking.

Of course there are plenty of decks that use proliferate for non-poison things - I'm not assuming poison just because someone is using proliferate. What I'm more saying is that because proliferate exists and is pretty pushed on a lot of cards, it makes me really concerned about taking even one poison counter. Which means the difference between infect versus toxic isn't that significant imo.

@darrenhabib I mean, at least with toxic you're also dealing regular damage. With infect, if you didn't kill them, then your damage was likely meaningless to everyone else. You couldn't really collab to kill anyone.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Kagemaro - Blorpityblorpboop - Kayla - SliverQueen - Ivy - Falco - Gluntch - Charlatan/Wilson - Garth - Kros - Anthousa - Shigeki - Light-Paws - Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

User avatar
Avacyn Believer
Faith Requires Sacrifice
Posts: 72
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Innistrad
Contact:

Post by Avacyn Believer » 1 week ago

Treamayne wrote:
1 week ago
All infect is a threat, proliferate without poison is a durdle (a fun durdle, but still a durdle). I say this as somebody with five "proliferate" decks and not one poison card amongst them.
I am curious, how so? I've always seen Proliferate as quite useful in decks that my opponents played, since it scales up in power the wider board with counters you have. When DirkGently mentioned it, I thought if Proliferate could only be used on permanents and not players, it could alleviate some of the problems some people see with Poison.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Commander”