Point List

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Taleran
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Post by Taleran » 6 months ago

So this may seem like a radical idea but hear me out.

A large part of the discussions around this format as of late are about wide swaths of cards that are powerful and seem effective in a lot of decks or cards that are extremely good in certain decks but kind of lackluster in others.

What if this format adopted a more Highlander style of restricting what cards can be in decks.

An easy way to put a limit on players when all the cards in the history of magic are at your disposal is to give the cards you find extremely powerful point values and then cap the decks at a certain number of points and therefore a deck could not run all of certain groups of cards without also giving up on others thus encouraging interesting deck building and also forcing people to define what they really want out of their decks.

Now unlike Highlander formats the special nature of Commander would require that certain cards be 'banned' or put a points number making them impossible to be put in decks Karakas being the best example here, also any cards disallowed as a Commander would also have the same thing applied.

Now I realize that the thing probably preventing this from happening the most is the fact that this format has run with a traditional ban list since its inception, so the idea of a such a huge change this far into the format is a large pipe dream.

However I do think this style of a change would be the most elegant way to solve the problem of the format being full of swaths of cards that are borderline bannable, or cards that would be fine in more a vacuum but if removed from a lot of their support could lead to better uses of them and more varied archetypes

To anyone who has no idea how this works I will include a brief description and the Canadian Highlander points list as an example:
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These decks are created with 10 points that can be made up of any on this list obviously a bunch of these cards would still be banned in Commander for real but this is an example

Changes Effective June 10th, 2019:

Ancestral Recall – 7
Balance – 1
Birthing Pod – 2
Black Lotus – 7
Demonic Tutor – 3
Dig Through Time – 1
Enlightened Tutor – 1
Flash – 6
Gifts Ungiven – 2
Imperial Seal – 1
Intuition – 1
Library of Alexandria – 1
Mana Crypt – 3
Mana Drain – 1
Mana Vault – 1
Merchant Scroll – 1
Mind Twist – 1
Mox Emerald – 3
Mox Jet – 3
Mox Pearl – 3
Mox Ruby – 3
Mox Sapphire – 3
Mystical Tutor – 2
Natural Order – 4
Protean Hulk – 3
Sol Ring – 3
Spellseeker – 1
Stoneforge Mystic – 1
Strip Mine – 2
Summoner’s Pact – 2
Survival of the Fittest – 2
Time Vault – 6
Time Walk – 6
Tinker – 4
Tolarian Academy – 1
Transmute Artifact – 1
Treasure Cruise – 1
True-Name Nemesis – 1
Umezawa’s Jitte – 2
Vampiric Tutor – 2

Anyway whether or not this has any chance of ever happening I would be curious what people think it would do positively or negatively for Commander or even cEDH.

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Post by papa_funk » 6 months ago

Points lists are great for the formats they're working in. I'm a big fan of CanLander's approach.

However, they are great for heavily invested Magic players. Where they don't work so well is for the less invested crowd, who don't have that much time to spend tracking points and figuring out how to work around them. They also only work for format balancing, where they're set up as a goal to optimize around. For those reasons, they're a bad fit for Commander.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

papa_funk wrote:
6 months ago
Points lists are great for the formats they're working in. I'm a big fan of CanLander's approach.

However, they are great for heavily invested Magic players. Where they don't work so well is for the less invested crowd, who don't have that much time to spend tracking points and figuring out how to work around them. They also only work for format balancing, where they're set up as a goal to optimize around. For those reasons, they're a bad fit for Commander.
I've thought about the point list idea for a while and it's really annoyingly complex to maintain. Especially as it changes. However---

I think that, informally, it might be worth creating a point list type document that is advisory -- as in, "these cards are very powerful and you should be responsible with their use."

Sort of a who's who of "woops, you might be drifting toward CEDH."

On a somewhat related note, I saw a really interesting start on a "deck powerlevel scale" on Reddit the other day that you guys might find informative. I was really surprised by how good it was.



I did it for most of my decks and it was within 1 point on a 1-10 scale where I would have placed them myself, which didn't surprise me that much after I skimmed the questions.

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Post by papa_funk » 6 months ago

That's a pretty good list, though I'm not sure 7 works.

My personal favorite question to figure out that kind of thing is "Why did you pick that Commander".

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Post by BloodyWensday » 6 months ago

According to this list my casual Riku deck is basically cEDH, at 7 vs my actual main cEDH decks both at 8... yet every player I have shown it to has confirmed it is in fact a casual deck lol.

Also questions 4, 7, and 8 are kind of sketchy.
4) Tutors: The cEDH deck with the MOST tutors only runs 9, and at least 3 of them are basically not played anywhere else.
7) Effectiveness: I'm honestly not sure what you mean by this. If you removed a narrow card and replaced it with something less narrow would the deck still work? If so it would first depend on what your definition of narrow means, but using a more liberal definition I would be inclined to say a lot of cEDH decks could in fact hold up without specific cards (unless its literally the win-condition and even then).
8) Colors: If I'm reading this right, you are automatically losing a point on any 4c-pair and any G/x deck, which seems odd. I would change it to just be Boros instead of Naya, green is a great color and it is often paired with either white or red.

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Post by Taleran » 6 months ago

pokken wrote:
6 months ago
papa_funk wrote:
6 months ago
Points lists are great for the formats they're working in. I'm a big fan of CanLander's approach.

However, they are great for heavily invested Magic players. Where they don't work so well is for the less invested crowd, who don't have that much time to spend tracking points and figuring out how to work around them. They also only work for format balancing, where they're set up as a goal to optimize around. For those reasons, they're a bad fit for Commander.
I've thought about the point list idea for a while and it's really annoyingly complex to maintain. Especially as it changes. However---

I think that, informally, it might be worth creating a point list type document that is advisory -- as in, "these cards are very powerful and you should be responsible with their use."

Sort of a who's who of "woops, you might be drifting toward CEDH."

On a somewhat related note, I saw a really interesting start on a "deck powerlevel scale" on Reddit the other day that you guys might find informative. I was really surprised by how good it was.

reddit.com/r/EDH/comments/ccb4ch/deck_rating_scale_feedback_wanted/

I did it for most of my decks and it was within 1 point on a 1-10 scale where I would have placed them myself, which didn't surprise me that much after I skimmed the questions.
This list is weird (Also by its metrics most decks I make are 7 to 9 easily).

Also not at all what this thread is even close to talking about.
papa_funk wrote:
6 months ago
Points lists are great for the formats they're working in. I'm a big fan of CanLander's approach.

However, they are great for heavily invested Magic players. Where they don't work so well is for the less invested crowd, who don't have that much time to spend tracking points and figuring out how to work around them. They also only work for format balancing, where they're set up as a goal to optimize around. For those reasons, they're a bad fit for Commander.
Thanks for the response lines up with my overriding thought as I submitted this.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

It's tangentially related to different ways to police/assess power levels.

You always come across as so cranky though man, can you chill out a little?

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Taleran
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Post by Taleran » 6 months ago

Sorry but they are completely different, clarification of decks and a system of limiting specific cards due to the card pool available to create format wide balance are entirely different things with the only similarity being at the end you arrive at a numerical score. I hope we can leave talk about it here because it is taking this thread off course from what it is about.

Please refrain from reading too much into my state behind my posts especially online all talk around these matters online leave me personally as cool as a cucumber. I hope you are not just reading my disagreement with your post and other posts as a hint at my mood it is merely that see certain ways of looking at this format very differently.

I do realize telling someone on the internet that you are chill is the biggest red flag imaginable but I sincerely would not keep posting anywhere about a game like magic the gathering if it made me actually mad or cranky to do so that feels like such a waste of time.

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Post by darrenhabib » 6 months ago

I think a points system in general would be the most balanced way to approach any format.

Would people be able to play Ancestral Recall? Or are you thinking still a ban list on the most powerful cards?

I think it could work if people could afford $$ cards to fill up the points system that are still competitive choices. If that makes sense, those that are less inclined worry about squeezing the maximum amount out of the points system and just want to almost generically puts some cards in that don't cost a Mox Sapphire worth of dosh.
Sol Ring and Demonic Tutor come to mind, but in relation to that Canadian Highlander list it starts dropping off pretty fast from the affordable by all.

I think it would be fun to start creating a hypothetical list for Commander, given 40 life, a legendary creature at your disposal and multiplayer.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

I don't think a point system is feasible for most of the reasons presented. I think it would be the perfect way to go for an alternate CEDH banlist. The tuning opportunities from a point list would be stellar for that format from a diversity perspective.

I do think that thinking about the point levels of cards has value - and I think a CEDH point list would yield great positive dividends in terms of helping people build decks that are at the same level. If someone asks you "how many points are in your deck?" that's a great way to begin the power level discussion.

(the way I would suggest starting is brainstorming a list of cards that could be at least 1 point)

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

I started with the canadian highlander points and then added my own and removed some

(I removed strip mine, jitte, and protean hulk, mind twist, stoneforge, and I think that's it)

Then I added the current BAAC list with a thought that this is probably "if this is your commander" (but I removed Emrakul because that's dumb) .

Then I added a handful of potentially problematic commanders to the commander points list

Then I added a few cards not on the list I think could get points, starting at the end. The good mana dorks are a real stretch but I didn't want to leave them out. Same with carpet of flowers, though it's very strong in most competitive metas.
Commander Points

My suggested possible additions:

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Post by Taleran » 6 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
6 months ago
I think a points system in general would be the most balanced way to approach any format.

Would people be able to play Ancestral Recall? Or are you thinking still a ban list on the most powerful cards?

I think it could work if people could afford $$ cards to fill up the points system that are still competitive choices. If that makes sense, those that are less inclined worry about squeezing the maximum amount out of the points system and just want to almost generically puts some cards in that don't cost a Mox Sapphire worth of dosh.
Sol Ring and Demonic Tutor come to mind, but in relation to that Canadian Highlander list it starts dropping off pretty fast from the affordable by all.

I think it would be fun to start creating a hypothetical list for Commander, given 40 life, a legendary creature at your disposal and multiplayer.
The $$ is always weird because I play against a deck with a Workshop and one with a Twister and one with a Tabernacle at present, so in certain games of edh right now I always feel the impact of peoples budgets or history of the game and I am sure people feel that with some cards I have aquired. Also like I know in my heart Ancestral is a good magic card but is Ancestral pointed aggressively enough to cut a deck that runs it still a really good magic card in Commander it is a strange question (This also isn't taking into account Commanders so Ancestral may be worth giving up a lot of the tutors in a deck like Kess because of what Kess does as an example, but then that Kess deck both becomes slower more reliant on draw and less consistent for those sacrifices.

Certain cards for sure would have to be banned and there is also precedent for that in that even Sharazad and the usual suspects of Dexterity cards and Ante cards are banned in Highlander formats.
pokken wrote:
6 months ago
I don't think a point system is feasible for most of the reasons presented. I think it would be the perfect way to go for an alternate CEDH banlist. The tuning opportunities from a point list would be stellar for that format from a diversity perspective.

I do think that thinking about the point levels of cards has value - and I think a CEDH point list would yield great positive dividends in terms of helping people build decks that are at the same level. If someone asks you "how many points are in your deck?" that's a great way to begin the power level discussion.

(the way I would suggest starting is brainstorming a list of cards that could be at least 1 point)
I agree with this also I wonder just how big that list will end up being, obviously a bunch of Highlander pointed cards lose some potency moving to multiplayer but a handful of cards would gain them due to multiplayer efficiency and commander synergy.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Based on my quick refresher of current CEDH strategies I think it'd probably be small as long as you're willing to make a commander point list (so that say, Niv Mizzet, The Firemind cost a couple points because he combos with Curiosity, and similar.

Probably easily under a hundred cards. At least to start. hehe.

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Post by Sheldon » 6 months ago

Fellow RC member Gavin Duggan and I had an hours-long conversation at least a decade ago about the idea of a points list. The long and short of it is basically what Toby just said. It's a great deal of work for low reward and it only applies to the most heavily-invested users. That's not to say that the idea doesn't have value, it's just that from a big picture format level, it's quite unwieldy.

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Post by schweinefett » 6 months ago

Is it possible to have a points list as a "variant" to EDH? maybe call one EDH and the other commander?

Or maybe instead of a banlist or points list, it's a restricted list? So you can have max 1 of anything that appears on the restricted list?

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

schweinefett wrote:
6 months ago
Is it possible to have a points list as a "variant" to EDH? maybe call one EDH and the other commander?

Or maybe instead of a banlist or points list, it's a restricted list? So you can have max 1 of anything that appears on the restricted list?
I think my ideal points list starts out as an advisory list. Call if "Power Score" or whatever. Then you can use it for tournaments if you want after it's super refined and people can leverage it as a tool to help understand deck power.

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