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Not often, but every once in a while we at TWC need a chance to speak our minds. This is basically the page for such a thing.
Guide to Casual EDH and Optimization   (2/8/2017)
A Guide to Casual EDH and Optimization

Taken from Bizarre-Trader

If games of Standard are like skirmishes, one faction against another, games of EDH are like wars between multiple parties. With such long games and with the nature of magic, its easy to end up with a salty ending to a two hour game. This post is a guide on how to avoid those bitter feelings. STEP 1: Cut all cards that make you win on the spot. These make the entire game up to this point useless, only that turn mattered and you might as well have skipped the rest of the game. This includes things that win if they arenít removed immediately such as Consecrated Sphinx. Others are Insurrection and Storm Herd. You want the war to be a series of battles, sometimes one player has the advantage and sometimes another player does, it comes down to how well you play your cards not ďI bought an Insurrection so I winĒ. STEP 2: No extra turns. Iíve already written about them, in short theyíre very selfish because they lengthen the game at everyone elseís expense. STEP 3: Cut deck search. Tutoring when controlled can be moderately ok. The problem is, no matter what kind if tutor, at some point its going to be used to search out an answer and ruin someoneís day in a bad way. Tutor heavy decks are also a sign of bad deckbuilding, as you canít get your strategy rolling without accessing your deck every other turn. This also isnít to say you canít run a tutor or two, thatís fine. But know how they function in your deck. STEP 4: Cut Infinite Combos No deck should ever run Kiki Jiki, ESPECIALLY as a commander. Having Instant speed/hasted/infinite tokens is obscene, especially when cards like Tooth and Nail can just fetch him and a combo piece immediately. Infinite combos are a very unfun thing to play against because it demands an answer on the spot at instant speed. Players should not be expected to always have spot removal ready at any given point of the game (though players should be expected to run SOME removal). And thatís what infinite combos exploit, the ďwhat? you donít have an answer this turn? Lol I winĒ is awful to play against, and like the problem with cards that win you the game on the spot they make the previous two hours of play meaningless, leaving everyone else feeing very salty. STEP 5: Cut as much staples and goodstuff as possible. EDH is a format of creativity. The idea is to build an interesting deck to play for fun, not to net deck to win. Thatís not to say donít run staples, they have a purpose. Boros may never draw cards if you donít run staples. Your deck just doesnít need to run tons of staples. Try to find creative ways of drawing cards and recurring that fit in theme with your commander. Make the logistics of your deck (ramp/draw/recur) thematic, make your deck play differently. STEP 6: Optimize 75% Even a budget Rubinia build can do work in more competitive settings. It isnít as much about how much money you put into it, its more how optimized is your deck. In this format its possible to make your deck TOO efficient to the point where youíre unstoppable. Nobody wants to play against an unstoppable deck where spot removal is meaningless. You want to make it about 75% of what it should be, a fine engine but with flaws that give it weaknesses that make the game more interesting for it. In a multiplayer setting, you shouldnít consider winning more than 50% of the time if thereís 4 players each game, thatís selfish thinking. Many people complain about control. Well fully optimized aggro sucks just as much to play against, look at Kaalia. Less optimized control can play just as well alongside aggro and midrange, it really just depends on your optimization. STEP 7: Take Responsibility Iíve seen Rafiq players confused and sad everyone scooped as soon as they one shot-ed a player right out of the gate with Hexproof and Indestructible. Iíve seen Narset players take back an Armageddon post casting because people started scooping. As you build your deck you should understand the impacts the cards you run have. Do not be shocked if you play Armageddon after Collective Voyage that everyone concedes, thereís no point in playing a game you canít play. You built this deck, you take responsibility for the salty feelings it causes. Its important to deck build with how you want games to run in mind. Do you want to make everyone else sad (as what seems to be the standard motive for most players switching into EDH)? Donít get upset when everyone scoops and no one wants to play against you anymore because theyíre tired of playing two hours to feel sad. This is a 7 Step process to make your decks more fun to play against and to make a friendlier meta. This process has been proven true by my own meta and has allowed for more casual strategies that couldnít exist before to flourish. If your meta is having problems after games I highly suggest taking a look at a few of these steps and seeing if you have any of these problems.

New vs. Old, Hot vs. Not   (2/27/2006)
Every once and awhile I get amazed at the difference in price between one copy of a card and another. Take for instance the hippo. In 9th edition, they are $12.00-$14.00 as of this writing and the uncommon copies are half that. If the card is legal for play in a particular format, all copies with the regular magic card back are also legal. You can play with revised, 4th and anthologies copies of the card as well as 9th. This is in addition to the more expensive unlimited, beta and alpha versions. The same is true of kird ape. All the cards in the core sets exist in other sets (use the search feature) so why not get the cheaper version?

Wizards of the Coast Price Increase   (12/17/2003)
Wizards of the Coast has announced a 15% price increase effective in the middle of January. No more product will be available from them until after that date. The talk amongst dealers and distributors centers around how manufacturing cost has gone up 15% all of a sudden. While this is certainly not the case and the severity of the price increase is a shock, we can't say that the price increase is unexpected. We expect all other sealed product prices to follow the increase. For this reason, it might be the right time to buy if you were planning to do so.

As a footnote, Onslaught, Legions and Scourge seem to be in reasonable supply. Mirrodin may become a problem set as a result.

Onslaught as an investment   (12/17/2002)
Occasionally, I will use this space to inform my customers of what is hot, and what is not. When Saga came out, there were so many good cards in the set, it was easy to predict that it would do well. It is my opinion that onslaught will perform well also, albeit at a lesser pace than Saga. Those of you who like to buy boxes and hold them should consider Onslaught. Again, we formulate our opinion from our experience and we have been wrong before (we still like fallen empires.) By the way, I do not expect Saga to stop anytime soon.

Black vs. White   (11/4/2002)
Of late, WOTC always tries out new cards in an expansion before they can be put into one of the base sets (currently 7th edition). They may come out in portal or in one of the regular black-bordered expansions. This means that all cards in 7th originally came out in a black bordered set and is basically true of 4th through 6th. You have a choice of buying the white bordered 7th edition card or the black bordered card from the original expansion. If the price of the black bordered card is close to the white, you should always buy black. There are three reasons for this. Black bordred cards are prettier than white in a deck. Over time, black bordered cards are more collectable and will hold their value better than the white counterparts. Lastly, black bordered cards wear better than white bordered cards and do not show dirt as quickly. It is for these reasons that you may have heard...Once you try black you will never go back.

Who's the Boss   (10/17/2002)
The purpose of this page is to allow us at the Wizard's Cupboard to ocassionally voice our opinion. While we buy and sell Magic daily, our opinions are just that. They are no more valid than those of our customers. Actually, when you think about it, it is the opinions of our customers, taken collectively, that we pay attention to, and you should also.


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