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Subject: Question about wording on large Commander cards in Commander decks rss

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My friend showed me some of these new Commander decks (2013) for the Commander mode of play in M:tG and I had a question about the main (larger sized) commander cards.

Many of them have a mana cost themselves of like 1RGB (for example) but in their ability text area, they reference an X value variable where X = the amount of mana spent to cast the card. Why do they bother calling the variable X if the card clearly lists how much it cost to cast it? So in the example above, it should just say 4 since that's the total mana spent to cast it. Why use the X variable as if there was an X in the Casting Cost???
 
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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Because commanders casting cost is variable (+2 for each time it been removed from the battlefield)
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Jerbear
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To note couple things.

Those large cards all are sold with a regular sized version that most people play with.

As posted above. In commander whenever a commander would put in a graveyard or exiled the owner can choose to put it into the commander zone instead. From there they have the option to pay two more than the last time it was there to cast it again. Commanders start in this zone at the beginning of the game.

Www.mtgcommander.net has the official rules if you are interested.
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Sean Franco
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virre wrote:
Because commanders casting cost is variable (+2 for each time it been removed from the battlefield)

To expand on this a bit, the gimmick with those cards was to change the extra {2} mana from a penalty to a bonus. For example, Marath, Will of the Wild (which costs {R}{G}{W}) enters the battlefield as a 3/3 the first time you cast him, but will be a 5/5 the second time, a 7/7 the third time, and so forth. The X is being used to deliberately interact with the commander mechanic.
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Sweet. I'd like to try this format at some point. I'm still a bit leery due to all the griping about "playing fun vs. trying to win" - my take on it is that the cards and/or the game mode should already be balanced for fun vs. competitiveness ahead of time, thus reducing the need for the players to have to self-police themselves during a game (which, imho, is fairly lame).

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Jerbear
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Banning every card that could be abused would be way more lame. It is a causal format and is moderated as such
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Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.
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Dan Owsen
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Regardless of format, casual MTG requires some self-policing if you are going to keep a large and consistent group of players. It's way too easy for newer players, or those not as invested in it, to just get slammed and never want to play again. Even if it's not intentional! I'm not even that good of a player, nor a great deck-builder, but I've laid down some beatings on more casual players that I really regret in hindsight. Of course, this could be said of almost any competitive game.

Commander can be fun, but it does sour if some people are trying to play on another level than others. The preconstructed decks are relatively even, which is nice. It's a format I personally like, but I've had a hard time getting my usual MTG group to adopt it, and I haven't looked too much for a different group yet.
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Mark McEvoy
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wytefang wrote:
Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.


How do you propose removing human nature from humans?
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Yoga Wind
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thatmarkguy wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.


How do you propose removing human nature from humans?


With Unnatural Selection. Duh.

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thatmarkguy wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.


How do you propose removing human nature from humans?


Better game/format design.

I've played a few really enjoyable MP games and the design is what helps police the gameplay issues that could arise.

 
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Jerbear
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wytefang wrote:
Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.


Personally, I think the fact that it encourages self policing is exactly what makes it so awesome.

I have been playing magic for over 20 years now. I was lucky enough to get into towards the beginning and for a while dealt in magic. Because of this I have played a TON of Magic. Literally, 1000's of games. I have played almost every format. I started casually, started in competition in what was then Type 2, now called standard. Then I started Drafting and easing into Type 1. I have played Vintage competitively and still enjoy Legacy today. I have tried lots of side formats like pauper, cube, star.

Today the form I most look forward too is Commander; or as I still call it EDH. I still draft from time to time and will do sealed if Im at a pre-release, but EDH is the best.

The thing is Commander is essentially Vintage but it forces people to use 100 card decks and make them all highlander. Ban the most offensive cards and go to town.

It isn't hard to make a broken EDH deck. I can make a deck that combos out in less then 5 turns every game. BUT that really wouldn't be fun for me or my opponents. SO that problem could be solved by make a 200 card banned list of the major cards that were likely to combo with other cards. But really that would kill the format. The thing is most of the cards in the combo wouldn't be a problem in another deck just when used in an abusive way. We don't want to say hey you can't play with this card. What EDH players want is you to NOT use the card in an abusive way.

I feel like EDH goes back to what the game was originally supposed to be. A casual game that was intended to be limited in what cards you had in your deck. This limitation was the print run but Garfield originally didn't think people would by tons of packs and make ultra broken decks.

Really the whole format comes down too, Don't be a Dick. Their isn't a way to regulate that officially, so it has to be done socially.

If you see that as a problem or something that you couldn't enjoy then the format isn't for you. Personally, I played a 4 man game that took 2 hours the other night and I had a blast, mainly because no one was being a dick.
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Mark McEvoy
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But then store start offering paid-entry commander tournaments for prizes and the dicks all come out in full force because they all want that prize. Again, human nature. Any game can be socially regulated if the only rewards are social. But once commander grew, once it got codified and tournamentized and competitivized, then people started building these no-fun decks to win.
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Yeah, competitive EDH is an Oxymoron. I have never really done it. But if I did it would have to be like Armada League point system that punish those that make it un-fun.
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Derry Salewski
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wytefang wrote:
thatmarkguy wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Well I wasn't implying bannings. More that the format has some inherent issues if the players have to self-police.


How do you propose removing human nature from humans?


Better game/format design.

I've played a few really enjoyable MP games and the design is what helps police the gameplay issues that could arise.



It's not a format designed by the people who design the cards, so I don't know what you want them to do!

But it's wildly popular. So I'm not sure how terrible it can be

But yeah, I've shown up to a game night with my 'fun' deck, and wait til turn ten to drop a bunch of huge creatures and beat people down with them. And that was 'unfun' for them. It's like anything, just find people who like the same shit and you're good to go.
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Sam Hillier
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Syvanis wrote:

It isn't hard to make a broken EDH deck. I can make a deck that combos out in less then 5 turns every game. BUT that really wouldn't be fun for me or my opponents. SO that problem could be solved by make a 200 card banned list of the major cards that were likely to combo with other cards. But really that would kill the format. The thing is most of the cards in the combo wouldn't be a problem in another deck just when used in an abusive way. We don't want to say hey you can't play with this card. What EDH players want is you to NOT use the card in an abusive way.


Perfectly said. EDH is a broken format, there's no way around it. New players always want to break it, but that stops being fun when you see how easy it is to do (compared to standard, say). The true joy in the format comes from seeing what you can do that is thematic, imaginative, and creative. It doesn't come from winning, as winning is easy via combos, but that's not fun for everyone around you. The trick is to have an enjoyable experience for everyone at the table, and a self-policing social contract is essential to that.

I've always found Menery's point system to be a little too strict, as he is down on some things that I find fun, but we share a similar sentiment. EDH will be a different game for a different group, and if you can find a group that plays the same way as you do (whatever that way is), you've found a near perfect format.
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Tommy Occhipinti
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I certainly enjoy the commander precons as silly fun, but the format will never be more than an occasional distraction for me, and I barely consider it Magic.

I can definitely see why the format appeals to some. I enjoy playing, and I particularly love that it lets me play ridiculous cards that I don't get to in other formats, and it can create some pretty absurd board states (Storm Herd for 38, followed by opponent reanimating a Squallmonger, etc), but the lack of any clear/measurable goals makes deckbuilding within the format a non-starter for me.

But, the fact that so many people love EDH is great, and a real testament to what makes Magic such a great game, it's flexibility to provide for everyone the kind of experience they want.
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Thanks for all the replies, it certainly still seems interesting (to me). I'll have to just get some games in under my belt in order to really understand what's going on with the format, I suspect.
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