A quick glance at Commander message boards will probably reveal a couple of threads on the topic of whether the format is getting stale, whether it’s healthy, whether the competitive and casual crowds will ever get along, and from players who are frustrated with the format and are giving it up. Is this cross-section of what people are talking about a fair representation of what’s going on in Commander circles these days, or is it a case of the complainer phenomenon? The complainer phenomenon is that people will often go out of their way to complain but rarely go out of their way to pay compliments or express contentment. It might have a flashier name, but I don’t know what it is. Regardless, that there is any discussion on this subject means it can be argued that the Commander format is suffering from a bit of stale air, and could perhaps be very unhealthy at the moment. I’d like to pontificate on why I think that is (what else is new).
Welcome to the second edition of Deck Salad Surgery! I had the idea for this particular column while driving over to a friend’s place to sling some cardboard. The basic premise is this: what kind of deck would you make if there weren’t any banned cards (except the ante cards, of course)?
There’s obviously a few ways to go with it, but I chose to go top-down. What cards would I most like to play if they weren’t banned? Then, how do I abuse those cards? (Of course, many of the cards on this list don’t require much work to abuse.) Two sprang to mind immediately, but I won’t give away which ones just yet. Instead, let’s look at the banned list and break it down by colour.
Just like the Primeval Titan you can’t get rid of, I’m baaaaaack!
My exceptionally long hiatus was due to two things. The first is that I had to finish my semester of law school and I had zero time for Magic at all, much less writing about it for you folks. The second is that once I got my time back, I had to rekindle my interest in the game. That took longer than expected. I think I’ve played less than 10 games of Magic since March. Egads.
Then the bug bit again (pun intended, as you’ll see). I was looking over an unholy legacy Show and Tell deck featuring the hep new cat Griselbrand and I said to myself: I need to do that. I NEED to do that!! The wheels started turning on a rather disgusting seeming BUG deck (see? get it?) which is tentatively entitled “Draw ALL the cards!”
Just yesterday, I went out and picked up an Entomb and a Griselbrand. Then I read today that he’s now more accurately called “Griselbanned”. In the first banning since Emracool, the Aeons Hip, Sheldon and the RC gave the axe not only to my new fast friend but to Sundering Titan as well. I guess I get why they axed that sick 7/7 — usually when I get excited about something, it’s a sign nobody else at the table is going to have any fun. Banning ol’ Tits is fine too. I don’t play him and generally don’t have any fun when anybody else does either.
I think the deck is still do-able and will still be good, it’s just … sad. And incredibly ironic, really. I intend to do another deck-building feature on here for it. Maybe I’ll go less cutthroat and more thematic with it. Should be fun, right?
So that’s plan #1. The next plan involves two new weekly features I’d like to add to the site. The first is to do a “Card of the Week” sort of thing. You know, the usual. I’ll talk about some choice sleeper, or some overrated thing, or whatever. Feel free to submit recommendations for cards you’d like to see talked about, too. The second is to do a Deck Doctor sort of thing, where you lot can submit a deck to me and I’ll dissect it, talk about card choices, and make recommendations. FUN! INTERACTIVE! WEB 2.0!