[Off-Topic] Community Chat Thread

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Toshi
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Post by Toshi » 2 months ago

When it comes to coding, i am always happy to see others that have adapted my signature preset. :love:
I love tinkering within character limitations - similiar appeal to building EDH decks, i guess.

In terms of paper lists, i had players in my LGS asking for full lists of Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, Zada, Hedron Grinder, Lazav, the Multifarious and my now dismantled budget Omnath, Locus of Rage list and actually turning up with them a short while later. Very flattering, yet weird playing against them, when it's not my own deck as a loaner deck.

So far there are 2 major things that kept me from going for Primer status.
First, for my mid power builds i have too many pet peeves among so called staples; Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Craterhoof Behemoth, ... if it weren't for them i'd be able to write down a more universal guide, while still enjoying it myself.

The other hinderance, is that i don't feel there's a sufficient audience for the decks i feel most confident about. Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle is niché by default and my thread around her is rather quiet. Zada, Hedron Grinder already has a glorious non-Primer thread, though with a different approach. Ezuri, Renegade Leader is just plain old elfball. Lazav, the Multifarious another one with limited traffic and everyone and their siblings knows what an Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck looks like.

But who knows, another week or two of social distancing could see me changing my mind and upgrading Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, Lazav, the Multifarious or Edric, Spymaster of Trest...

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Post by BeneTleilax » 2 months ago

moar primers!

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Post by RxPhantom » 2 months ago

Toshi wrote:
2 months ago
The other hinderance, is that i don't feel there's a sufficient audience for the decks i feel most confident about.
This is an eloquent summation of another source of hesitation for me. I don't want to put a bunch of effort into something that no one will read. Like, I love my Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma deck. I feel like I've put a great deal of thought and effort into the deck, even though it does boil down to attacking with big fat fatties. I've worked on making it more agile, mitigated its weaknesses etc. It's a deck I love to play, and I'm proud of it, but I don't think many other people care about that commander, and enthusiasm can only be so contagious.
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

Well to be fair, 2 of my primers are very niche. Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist has a target audience of 4-5 regular visitors, and Bruna, the Fading Light has 2 stalwarts in ISB and Sinis, as well as a couple of folk who pop in from time to time. Varina, Lich Queen is quite a bit more popular, but the former are still very close to my heart and builds I love, even though there might be relatively few people listening. I do get that it can be hard to labour for love if there's not much reciprocation though.

Obviously no pressure from us, although from a committee perspective we would like to be busier. But also, aside from doing it for an audience, I've found the process of writing a primer forces you to really think out what exact strategies you're trying to leverage and which choices work and which don't. It's a really enlightening process to go through, and really helps narrow down exactly what your deck does, needs, thrives on and hurts from.

It's also worth noting that your deck doesn't need to be 'strictly the best' to qualify for primer status, either. I work on a very tight budget for building (if I can't trade for it I can't have it is where it's at), and literally not a single one of my primers is optimised, nor is it equivocally the best possible build. You can proceed in that fashion, but you certainly don't need to. You get to set the goalposts, you get to decide how close you are, and you get to decide what makes the cut and what doesn't. All a primer is is writing about why and explaining the musings that brought you to that point.
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Post by Hermes_ » 2 months ago

RxPhantom wrote:
2 months ago
Toshi wrote:
2 months ago
The other hinderance, is that i don't feel there's a sufficient audience for the decks i feel most confident about.
This is an eloquent summation of another source of hesitation for me. I don't want to put a bunch of effort into something that no one will read. Like, I love my Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma deck. I feel like I've put a great deal of thought and effort into the deck, even though it does boil down to attacking with big fat fatties. I've worked on making it more agile, mitigated its weaknesses etc. It's a deck I love to play, and I'm proud of it, but I don't think many other people care about that commander, and enthusiasm can only be so contagious.
The only deck of mine that i'd feel fine with doing a primer for would be my Relentless Rats deck,but i never update the deck list despite so many release between then and now. I also don't really see an audience for it. It's basically an auto pilot deck lol
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Post by Toshi » 2 months ago

Deep diving into the BBCode has me dizzy.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 2 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
2 months ago
Well to be fair, 2 of my primers are very niche. Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist has a target audience of 4-5 regular visitors, and Bruna, the Fading Light has 2 stalwarts in ISB and Sinis, as well as a couple of folk who pop in from time to time. Varina, Lich Queen is quite a bit more popular, but the former are still very close to my heart and builds I love, even though there might be relatively few people listening. I do get that it can be hard to labour for love if there's not much reciprocation though.

Obviously no pressure from us, although from a committee perspective we would like to be busier. But also, aside from doing it for an audience, I've found the process of writing a primer forces you to really think out what exact strategies you're trying to leverage and which choices work and which don't. It's a really enlightening process to go through, and really helps narrow down exactly what your deck does, needs, thrives on and hurts from.

It's also worth noting that your deck doesn't need to be 'strictly the best' to qualify for primer status, either. I work on a very tight budget for building (if I can't trade for it I can't have it is where it's at), and literally not a single one of my primers is optimised, nor is it equivocally the best possible build. You can proceed in that fashion, but you certainly don't need to. You get to set the goalposts, you get to decide how close you are, and you get to decide what makes the cut and what doesn't. All a primer is is writing about why and explaining the musings that brought you to that point.
Most of the primers I have made have had almost no discussion on them. The other thing with me though is I constantly deckbuild and I don't feel comfortable with writing a primer until after I have played the hell out of a deck but by then I tend to not be playing it as much lol. Lots of my primers I have closed down because I stop playing them by the time I am done writing the primer because by the time I am done writing a primer I usually have playtested the hell out of it.
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
2 months ago
Most of the primers I have made have had almost no discussion on them. The other thing with me though is I constantly deckbuild and I don't feel comfortable with writing a primer until after I have played the hell out of a deck but by then I tend to not be playing it as much lol. Lots of my primers I have closed down because I stop playing them by the time I am done writing the primer because by the time I am done writing a primer I usually have playtested the hell out of it.
Yeah, I can understand that. I'm approaching that point with Nissa, but I think for myself its a slower progression purely because I don't have an extensive collection to use; I've really got to chip away at a build slowly, and that means chasing perfection just takes that much longer. So there's maybe more mileage in a list for myself over someone who was a full catalog of optimal cards to put in a build (as you know this has come up several times for Bruna, too).

I guess the other side of it is that primers often come down to goals; sure, most of them are aimed at a commander doing what it does at its absolute best, but that doesn't need to be the case either. There's several examples of existing primers that do a specific thing rather than the objectively best thing, and that's just as valid. Off the top of my head I'm thinking @Dragonlover's Golos, Tireless Pilgrim alt-win-con deck, @kenbaumann's modular Jodah, Archmage Eternal and Kruphix, God of Horizons group hug, @Rumpy5897's Ghired, Conclave Exile non-standard tokens, all of which are successful and strong builds that aren't necessarily the absolute zenith of busted things those particular commanders or colours can do, but are nonetheless well written, compete well, and stay true to a vision.
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Post by Kelzam » 2 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
2 months ago
It's also worth noting that your deck doesn't need to be 'strictly the best' to qualify for primer status, either. I work on a very tight budget for building (if I can't trade for it I can't have it is where it's at), and literally not a single one of my primers is optimised, nor is it equivocally the best possible build. You can proceed in that fashion, but you certainly don't need to. You get to set the goalposts, you get to decide how close you are, and you get to decide what makes the cut and what doesn't. All a primer is is writing about why and explaining the musings that brought you to that point.
This ^^^

Being Primer worthy comes down to being passionate about your deck and willing to put the work in to explain your choices! (and yes, presentation)

Personally, I'd rather read decks that are interesting and finding ways to work on their own merit instead of yet another thread where the only reason the deck functions is because the user jams 70% of the same $1,000+ shell in every deck to make the mana work because they play on MTGO or are just theorycrafting. Show me your imperfect deck with all the quirks and fun substitutions because you play on a budget or don't play on MTGO and can't just jam unrealistic shells in every single deck you make! Show me your deck running Didn't Say Please instead of being the user posting their 20th deck with Force of Will and Mox Diamond in the list! Speaking as a reader rather than a member of the Primer Committee, seeing deck lists for the layman that are actually realistic for people to consider building is far more useful and interesting to me than concepts that are dependent on the highest echelons of mana sources and protection which are out of reach for the vast majority of players.

As for writing Primers, myself, I've been wanting to actually write some for a long time. My hesitation is just the time commitment necessary to do something nice, and I've been on a deck building spree during the pandemic and getting bored with everything really fast, which means a lot of decks that aren't up to snuff or necessarily well tested despite playing more than ever thanks to SpelLTable. I have a few in mind I'd really like to commit time to, if I had the time. Seeing iteration and discussion is still infinitely more valuable to me than a 10-minute YouTube video glossing over cards with a list that ultimately says not much at all about the deck presented.
Last edited by Kelzam 2 months ago, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by tstorm823 » 2 months ago

Kelzam wrote:
2 months ago
Personally, I've been wanting to actually write some Primers. My hesitation is just the time commitment necessary to do something nice.
Writing a lot of words is the hardest part, but luckily it's not something you need to do all at once. Start putting your thoughts down on a deck you like, and sooner or later you'll be obsessed enough to finish.
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Post by Kelzam » 2 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
2 months ago
Kelzam wrote:
2 months ago
Personally, I've been wanting to actually write some Primers. My hesitation is just the time commitment necessary to do something nice.
Writing a lot of words is the hardest part, but luckily it's not something you need to do all at once. Start putting your thoughts down on a deck you like, and sooner or later you'' be obsessed enough to finish.
Right. I have the two in my signature, one retired and one under construction. And one in the Test Forum hiding. More than anything I think the release cadence of new sets has been what makes it feel untenable. But heck, maybe this week I'll try to put something out!
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Post by tstorm823 » 2 months ago

Kelzam wrote:
2 months ago
Right. I have the two in my signature, one retired and one under construction. And one in the Test Forum hiding. More than anything I think the release cadence of new sets has been what makes it feel untenable. But heck, maybe this week I'll try to put something out!
The way you said "do something nice" is what inspired my response. I think people are often intimidated by the idea of making a primer really nice, like it's something that's built in one shot, when if you start with just all the things you want to say (or you wouldn't be thinking about making a primer), you'll have most of the content done before even thinking about nicing it up, which suddenly feels minor by comparison.

More of a general comment than specifically at you.
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

Kelzam wrote:
2 months ago
<snip>
All of what you said that I cut for length :P

It can get pretty demoralising reading a primer when you're looking for a new build and realising there's no way you can afford it. A labour of love is a more special thing, and that can really come through in reading a primer, too. While you might need to explain that you're on a budget, often having to specifically go over what you run and why this niche piece is in over a format staple leads to a real deep dive analysis of what you look for in inclusions, and that's information you just don't get on deck techs.

Also, what tStorm said - getting it all in one take never happens. If you're passionate about a build that you love, just chip away at it until you've covered every angle you can see. It's a process, and to date I'm not aware of anyone having got everything perfectly right the first time.
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Post by Legend » 2 months ago

THANK YOU to all the commander primer authors. I read them even if I don't have the deck, and try to remember to click like on them because they're exceptional, even if I don't comment on them.
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Post by bobthefunny » 2 months ago

Primers started all about the content - The looks and formatting are there to make the content more readable. Of course, people who take pride in their deck to make a primer tend to also take pride in their primers, and make them more than what is needed. There are some amazing Primers out there. Don't be daunted by thinking you need to have a Computer Graphics and Literature dual degree to write one though. What is important is clear communication.

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Post by materpillar » 2 months ago

I really want to turn my Changeling tribal deck into a primer. I just have a really hard time sitting down and getting it done. :/
It's a pretty daunting amount of effort to actually type all my thoughts on everything up.

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Post by Guardman » 2 months ago

I have been planning to write something about primers ever since this topic has been brought up, but I've been real busy with work and haven't had the time to sit down and put all my thoughts to paper (or in this case screen). Since I don't know how long it will take until I have enough time and I don't want to be reviving a dead horse, I decided to freeform it since I have a bit of free time right now.

To quote Frank Costanza: "I've got a lot of problems with you primers. Now you are gonna hear about it."

(Also a side note here, I am going to be using Pokken's Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash & Taxes primer as my example primer. First let me say, I think, objectively, it is a very well written and thought out primer. I don't mean to pick on it. But it was the first one I thought of as it highlights many of the negatives I see in primers in general.)

First off most primers are too long and too in-depth. If I am trying to see if this is a deck I might be interested in, I don't want to have to read a novella (and in a few cases, actual novels). For example Pokken's primer without opening the spoilers is 23 pages and 6,075 words at size 12 font in Libreoffice Writer at 12 font, Gothic A1 type, and 38 pages and 13,476 words (excluding the changelog) if what is in spoiler tags is included. This level of detail and words, in my opinion, takes away from the usefulness of the primer, not adds. And if I either am interested in a deck or do play the deck, I believe much more can be gotten out of discussion and asking questions than reading something that was written to tell rather than dialogue.

This is especially true for individual card choices, which I believe belong in the discussion, not the first post/primer. I don't mind them pointing out specific important cards or classes of cards (such as hatebears for example) that are important for the deck to run. I am more talking about running down a list of, to use Pokken's primer, 128 different cards (by my quick count), that include at least several sentences on each card, why they are or aren't included, etc. For one, even in spoilers, this is just a chunk of... I don't want to call it useless info, because it isn't. Instead, I will say I don't think it adds much to the primer, while bogging down the primer in a lot of extra words. And again I believe specific card choice discussions are much better served by discussion. A couple of sentences each for over a hundred cards doesn't provide as much impact as a person asking why a specific card is or isn't included and then having a dialogue about it. Most cards are self-explanatory. In addition, readers outside of the discussion will get much more out reading the discussion than reading the few sentences in the description. Plus, if one person has a question about a card being included or excluded, then it is likely others have the same question.

Also there is a lot of superfluous sections and request for info in the primer template. For example, I don't think it is important to have a paragraph about you or your history or why you like this color combination. It doesn't add anything to the primer other than words. And the intro section should be a concise, one to two paragraphs tops, that introduces the idea/philosophy/gameplay of the deck, who should play the deck, possibly who shouldn't play the deck, and a brief generalization on its powerlevel, difficulty to play, and if it includes elements that opponents would find frustrating to play against. This should be the elevator speech. The hook to tell me if this deck is right for me.

There is more I can say, but I am out of time right now and I feel a lot of it would be similar to what I've already said.

One final thing, and this is something I think should be added not subtracted to primers, a budget version. This won't make sense for every deck, but it is something that I think would be useful for most primers. Especially for someone who is either on a budget or who thinks they might like the deck, but doesn't want to pay hundreds of dollars to invest in a deck they want to try.

Sorry if I sound overly critical, but this has been bothering me for a while.

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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

Guardman wrote:
2 months ago
First off most primers are too long and too in-depth. If I am trying to see if this is a deck I might be interested in, I don't want to have to read a novella (and in a few cases, actual novels). For example Pokken's primer without opening the spoilers is 23 pages and 6,075 words at size 12 font in Libreoffice Writer at 12 font, Gothic A1 type, and 38 pages and 13,476 words (excluding the changelog) if what is in spoiler tags is included. This level of detail and words, in my opinion, takes away from the usefulness of the primer, not adds. And if I either am interested in a deck or do play the deck, I believe much more can be gotten out of discussion and asking questions than reading something that was written to tell rather than dialogue.
Honestly, if you're reading a primer pages deep and you don't wanna build, to quote Roy, Moss and Douglas, it's not for you, Jen. My general yardstick as a consumer is if I get as far as a decklist and I'm not into it, I'm out. Some I will drop earlier, but if I get that far and I'm not convinced that's where I call it. That probably takes you 1/3rd of the way through tops, and avoids a lot of unnecessary reading for something you don't intend to try out.
Guardman wrote:
2 months ago
Also there is a lot of superfluous sections and request for info in the primer template. For example, I don't think it is important to have a paragraph about you or your history or why you like this color combination. It doesn't add anything to the primer other than words. And the intro section should be a concise, one to two paragraphs tops, that introduces the idea/philosophy/gameplay of the deck, who should play the deck, possibly who shouldn't play the deck, and a brief generalization on its powerlevel, difficulty to play, and if it includes elements that opponents would find frustrating to play against. This should be the elevator speech. The hook to tell me if this deck is right for me.
This seems fair. Intro stuff can be pertinent but often isn't. A lot of it does depend on the general ambience of the primer, but yes, introducing the author could be seen as superfluous. I think the idea there was to drum up further conversation and give an idea of what kind of vibe the author is going for. Some are serious, cutthroat builds where the vibe is fairly austere, and some are more jovial. That being said, it's hardly an essential, yes.

What you're describing the intro as is precisely what it should be. There's no real other way to say that. Ultimately though, that's predominantly up to the writer - all we can do is show you how to paint, it's up to you to fill the canvas.

I also agree that every primer should discuss budget. Some lists simply preclude budget options, and while that can be unfortunate it's just the way the cookie crumbles. It's a tough thing, because budget means different things to different people, and it does sort of conflict with one of your earlier points in terms of how much content a primer should include and how weighty it is to read. I definitely think every primer should address it, though. We've certainly tried to highlight this in recent applications.

I don't mean any of this to contradict you or say you're wrong by the way, I hope it doesn't come across this way. And as far as what you guys want to read, and what you want the process to look like, we're very keen to hear more. I just think in terms of amount of content, what it looks and reads like and so far, a lot of it comes down to authorial license - and we do try to have a fairly light touch in terms of guiding people. The more heavy handed we are, the less people are interested in applying; it goes from being a labour of love to the equivalent filling out a tax return form.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

Thank you for your take, you bring up interesting points. I believe that ultimately both brevity and depth belong in a primer, as having a way to hook uninitiated people early via some sort of "elevator pitch" and thrust the list at them could build interest well. But once that's there, sharing a high degree of expertise ordered and collected in one place is good too. The card options are spoilered out for a reason - they're there for the real nitty gritty readers, and a bridge between the two should be the strategy section. This is the part which we place the greatest emphasis on when proofreading, as it should be a solid introduction to how the deck functions, some of its various tricks, play flexibility, what have you. And if you want more, you can spelunk into the multi-sentence discussions on cards that are/aren't present, assess their role and adjust to taste. A snappier primer start is a valid consideration though. At the same time, the context setting of the current introduction parts (I agree that personal info is the most superfluous of the bunch) is nice for primer pacing too, in its own way.

Budget is a topic we've discussed in the past, but it's a hard one to get right. Requiring a whole different budget list is not going to work out great - the person writing the primer is going to have their version of the deck that they toiled away on and have been tuning for ages, and being forced to cook up a new list that's money-centric is not going to go great. It won't have the same level of attention, and may fall into disarray with time. In my primers, I tend to create a discussion box where I go over the specific impact of any expensive pieces, how crucial they are, and what categories/ideas replacements could fall into. We should follow through with some sort of budget section in the template, thanks for the reminder.
 
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 months ago
Budget is a topic we've discussed in the past, but it's a hard one to get right. Requiring a whole different budget list is not going to work out great - the person writing the primer is going to have their version of the deck that they toiled away on and have been tuning for ages, and being forced to cook up a new list that's money-centric is not going to go great. It won't have the same level of attention, and may fall into disarray with time. In my primers, I tend to create a discussion box where I go over the specific impact of any expensive pieces, how crucial they are, and what categories/ideas replacements could fall into. We should follow through with some sort of budget section in the template, thanks for the reminder.
To add to this (and I guess to make the discussion a little more public), specific budget lists tend to change over time, too. For example, I've just traded in a Sakashima's Student that I bought for $1 a few years back for $35 in store credit. Not only is this a subjective thing from person to person, the secondary market just means this changes massively over time.

It's definitely something to address in a primer, it just isn't an easy thing to encapsulate well with specifics. It should be alluded to in most primers, but I think specific options are a case for ongoing conversation in the ensuing thread, if for nothing else because MtG finance is in constant flux. Particularly for the author - the less editing of the original primer the author needs to do, the better.
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Post by darrenhabib » 2 months ago

Great feedback from all. I just took some quick takeaway points in regards to motivation in creating primers.
  • Not many views/eyes on threads.
  • Too long, too much work.
  • Feeling that deck list is not "competitive" enough or too niche.
  • BBCode is daunting.
Not many views/eyes on threads
This really comes down to the fact that Nexus is still a relatively low traffic website.
I don't have statistics but it just doesn't pull the same numbers that Salvation had in its hey-day.
There are a lot of criminally under viewed/little feedback within our existing primers. Like it makes me feel bad that some hardly get any attention.

From my point of view the community as a whole just needs to keep doing small things to help improve the website so that people can see that it is progressive in a way that encourages more people to feel the website is worthy of their commitment.
I guess one of the goals of having official primers is so that Nexus can be viewed as a premium way to post deck lists online.

I can't really give a short term solution to this. I think it is a case of being consistent with content as a community as a whole so that others can see what a great group of like minded Magic players they can interact with.
In my opinion the community has been really great so far. Look at the features that have been added to the website since its inception over the last year.
My point is that I think for traffic to get higher we just need to be patient and keep doing a lot of what we have been doing.
We have discussed doing things like more articles to promote the website in general, but noticed that these ideas definitely took a back burner due to real life commitments, like job losses and pesky child births!

Unfortunately this doesn't offer a solution to primer owners when it comes to their brand new content and getting an underwhelming response considering the time and effort invested. At this stage it is more a labor of love rather that a way to spread information to a wider audience.

Too long, too much work
@Guardman brought up some points about primers just having too much content.
Obviously we don't want to stifle people wanting to write a lot about their decks and subsequently if some interested enough to digest it all if motivated.
So it really comes down to minimum content required if wanting to get peer-reviewed.

I will say that I've never been an advocate for "card choices" myself. I like writing sentences about strategy and if written well enough is going to explain the reason behind card choices in the first place.
I've also found that when I explain specifics in the card choices section, that more often than not a person replying to the thread has missed or just not read anything there. I think a lot of information probably gets obfuscated because it really is just too much information for them to go through and especially remember.

Often primer submissions are pretty short initially when it comes to explaining strategy and if I'm being honest I'd prefer authors to spend more time on that section rather than filling out a card choice section that has a reasonable amount of redundant information.
Oh "Rhystic Study" is a great way to draw cards...
Therefore maybe it could be like "key synergy choices" rather than totality. Then even when I think about my strategy sections they are more than likely to mention key card choices, so a section like this could be very redundant still.

"If it ain't broke then don't fix it". You might say well people have managed to produce the work in the past, so why change the format?
Well the fact that nobody has had the motivation to submit a primer in at least the last 6 months is a good indication to look at changing with the times.
I completely understand why we haven't had submissions as Covid has meant that people can't go out and play their decks with frequency and thus talking and reporting on it makes it hard. No point making a primer if you can't report on it.

@Guardman brings up some other points about superfluous sections, but things like "about me" are purely optional. I don't want to discourage these types of things if a person wants to talk about themselves or fill their primers with information.
But I do agree that it would be beneficial to have primers set out in a way so that no-nonsense readers can cut to the chase.
There are a number of ways a primer could be formatted to help with this, and too numerous to discuss (for me right now).
However imagine something like a special type of box that can be used to highlight sections so that a reader can skim to those to get a broad picture if the deck might be for them or not.

Feeling that deck list is not "competitive" enough or too niche
This is a topic that some of us have discussed before and we really want to promote the idea of fun/uniqueness rather than "most winning" for primers on Nexus.
I'm probably one of the people who gets effected by changing my lists to be more competitive as time goes on as I get more views on the commander and thread.
Often this leads to making the decks more inaccessible to the average person who just can't afford the cards.
@Kelzam has bought this up in the past, and it is a very valid point.

So I just want to make it clear that your deck can be as janky or competitive as you want. The only thing that is important is being able to explain it clearly, not card quality.
It is up to the CPC to make sure that we explain this ideology to people on the website and that we create a sense of variety and uniqueness among Nexus primers rather than a gateway to being a source of "best deck for this commander".

BBCode is daunting
I personally take it for granted as I'm a coder so I literally speak the same language.

We've worked on making a simple template for people to use, so this has been something we've addressed.

We also help with formatting with primer submissions if required. This might be something that we can advertise more in that it doesn't have to be perfectly formatted off the bat. There are people with experience that can help you with that.
Feel free to submit a wonky looking primer as long as the content is good. Making things look pretty is not that important and can certainly be obtained with some help from us.
Last edited by darrenhabib 2 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 months ago

For what its worth team, it's been really good to hear everyone's takes on primers both for and against in their current forms. A lot of this we can take on and use to serve you guys more effectively and easily, for both us and for you (in fact we've already touched base with each other regarding this). So if there's more thoughts on the process by all means please do share. We know there's people out there with decks they want to shine a light on and we want to make it as easy as possible, and as beneficial as possible, to do so.

You should all definitely take away from this that it's not a 'one size fits all' thing, too. There's some relatively brief primers out there, some are voluminous. Some are austere and serious, others are light-hearted and comedic. Within a few boundaries, your primer can contain a lot of whatever you'd like, really. All it requires is passion for a deck you've built and the knowledge and experience to write how you feel about it.
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bobthefunny
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Post by bobthefunny » 2 months ago

I agree with some of all these various points brought up in the thread. At some point more and more explanations became required. I do remember that the then-committee (which I believe no one remains of that initial group) had a discussion about whether every card needed an individual explanation, or if they could be grouped. I was in the camp of Steve and Wood Elves don't need individual explanations, but was overruled.

As far as the depth, I do feel that spoilers, tables of contents, and other organizational skills help a lot with that. This way you can have a visibily relevant overview at the beginning, but if people become interested in the deck and primer, they can go look for that in depth explanation and the nitty gritty details. Essentially a recap of whatever the most relevant discussion in the thread might be. The capability to point out that Bow of Nylea and Inferno Titan have some synergy. Those kinds of things.
Guardman wrote:
2 months ago
I have been planning to write something about primers ever since this topic has been brought up, but I've been real busy with work and haven't had the time to sit down and put all my thoughts to paper (or in this case screen). Since I don't know how long it will take until I have enough time and I don't want to be reviving a dead horse, I decided to freeform it since I have a bit of free time right now.
I think this kind of feedback is always useful. There's no need to apologize for disagreeing with the structure. If these aren't helpful for you, this is important information to have for primers.

It's important to also keep in mind the initial goal/mission of primers:
A Commander Forums primer is a resource or introduction to a play-style, deck, or theme in Commander games. Since Commander is a singleton format, spanning a large amount of available cards, and is played in a variety of social groups from more casual to more competitive, no primer will be the absolute perfectly optimized list. Instead it aims to educate by giving a solid base to work from, within your own constraints.
I'm curious as to how you'd feel about some of the earliest primers. Nemata was probably within the first handful of official primers:
https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the ... mana-flare

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RowanKeltizar
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 2 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
2 months ago
Not many views/eyes on threads
This really comes down to the fact that Nexus is still a relatively low traffic website.
I don't have statistics but it just doesn't pull the same numbers that Salvation had in its hey-day.
There are a lot of criminally under viewed/little feedback within our existing primers. Like it makes me feel bad that some hardly get any attention.

From my point of view the community as a whole just needs to keep doing small things to help improve the website so that people can see that it is progressive in a way that encourages more people to feel the website is worthy of their commitment.
I guess one of the goals of having official primers is so that Nexus can be viewed as a premium way to post deck lists online.

I can't really give a short term solution to this. I think it is a case of being consistent with content as a community as a whole so that others can see what a great group of like minded Magic players they can interact with.
In my opinion the community has been really great so far. Look at the features that have been added to the website since its inception over the last year.
My point is that I think for traffic to get higher we just need to be patient and keep doing a lot of what we have been doing.
We have discussed doing things like more articles to promote the website in general, but noticed that these ideas definitely took a back burner due to real life commitments, like job losses and pesky child births!

Unfortunately this doesn't offer a solution to primer owners when it comes to their brand new content and getting an underwhelming response considering the time and effort invested. At this stage it is more a labor of love rather that a way to spread information to a wider audience.
I can certainly relate to what is being said. I own a primer but haven't got much engagement with it so far. I'm very passionate about the deck and I like to keep the primer up to date, but so far it is mostly for my own pleasure and thought process than discussion or engagement from the community. I would like to write and maintain another primer, but I question if it's worth my time without the engagement and discussion.

Commander is the hottest it's ever been so I see no reason this community can't continue to thrive, grow, and increase engagement with the primers and other decklists posted.

I wonder if there is more outreach we can be doing. Say we ask some of the youtube channels to give us a shoutout? There are a lot of channels that would be good to reach out to. Commander's Quarters, EDHrec, Magic Historian, Tolarian Community College, Jumbo Commander, etc, etc... this seems to me one of the most effective ways to "advertise" the website if we can get them to agree to mention it on one or several of their vids. In turn, we can feature them somewhere on the forums, or work out some other mutually beneficial deal.

Another idea I had was to give our facebook page some love (currently there are only 11 likes) as well as potentially other social media outlets: instagram, twitter, whatever. Post articles, primers, invite your friends. Then perhaps pay for ads? I would chip in something for that.
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Post by darrenhabib » 2 months ago

RowanKeltizar wrote:
2 months ago
I wonder if there is more outreach we can be doing. Say we ask some of the youtube channels to give us a shoutout? There are a lot of channels that would be good to reach out to. Commander's Quarters, EDHrec, Magic Historian, Tolarian Community College, Jumbo Commander, etc, etc... this seems to me one of the most effective ways to "advertise" the website if we can get them to agree to mention it on one or several of their vids. In turn, we can feature them somewhere on the forums, or work out some other mutually beneficial deal.
You need to give them a reason to mention the website (Nexus).
An idea could be to reach out with the idea of collating a "celebrity" primer list.
Most people involved with Magic on a public platform have at least one commander deck.
We could give them a set of questions about their "pet" commander deck and we could post them on Nexus with a mini write up.
Hopefully this way if they have a link to their deck and a mini-primer on Nexus they can talk about it in the video for a few seconds or whatever and mention Nexus.

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