12/02/2010 Feature: "Magic: The Gathering Commander"

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This thread is for discussion of this Feature Article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I am especially excited for the part that says the rules will be tightened on MTGO. Hopefully this includes two player support. I bought my wife an account and the two precons with the intent of playing two-player with her and $70 later found out this wasn't possible. My fault for not looking into it and making assumptions, but here's to hoping for this in the future.
:P so it looks like its now offically sanctioned on paper and online, though run by the EDH group that started it in the first place?  i really don't know anyone mind clarifying that?
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56859838 wrote:
Well obviously goblins breed at a rate of millions of times per year, thus in a few years they had evolved into a new species... you know or....
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63344365 wrote:
Your asking for proof that the ocean is wet, while your standing on the beach.
56733088 wrote:
Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
•Collecting a complete foil set of Zendikar block both on Magic Online and in paper Magic does not entitle you to one (1) free Richard Garfield. Because that would be slavery, and slavery is bad.
slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
I'm not wild about the prospect of new cards that can only be obtained by dropping $35 on a precon deck.

I'll try to keep an open mind -- it's possible they'll prove me wrong. But it seems like all of WotC's efforts lately (e.g., this, canceling the MPR, and the ridiculous costs of mythic rares) make me increasingly disinclined to play any kind of Magic that Wizards sponsors.
EDH's popularity here is only beaten by Standard and Limited. I'm glad to see it get some product support from the mothership. I'm also glad it is not DCI sanctioned. I think the format needs to stay casual. Making it DCI sanctioned, makes scores matter and than the casual nature of the format goes out the door. I think the team made good decisions here.

<a href="http://www.wizards.com/Magic/PlaneswalkerPoints/1206663433"><img src="http://pwp.wizards.com/1206663433/Scorecards/Landscape.png" border="0" /></a>

No love for Brazilian and Portuguese EDH players, I guess. :/
I'm very, very leery of new cards in these decks. I don't mind the name change and support the rest wholeheartedly, but new cards in the decks, especially new generals, make me nervous. These cards will no doubt be designed to be awesomely fun generals, so people are going to want to play them, but being released only in this product means that their supply will be incredibly limited compared to normal generals and normal cards. I'm not looking forward to seeing the singles prices.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

this is so dumb.. I'd prolly never buy one of these decks.. I'd rather spend MORE money making my own, thats what EDH is about.. finding your own combos and cards that fit in the deck.. EDH is supposed to be about a deck builders own creativity, now that is shot down when anyone can just buy a deck.

Good job MTG way to go -sarcasm-
My EDH decks: Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Waitwaitwait. Are they telling me there will be ten new legendary creatures printed for the "wedge" color combinations?

I must be dead, because I've wanted this forever.

EDIT: Also, that guy in the art at the bottom...possibly one of the RBW guys? Looks really awesome. BAH I CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE INFO.
I don't actually like EDH.  Doesn't mean I don't have fun playing it.

But I will gladly thank you for a decent RBW general that isn't Oros. (Not that I don't like Oros.)
this is so dumb.. I'd prolly never buy one of these decks.. I'd rather spend MORE money making my own, thats what EDH is about.. finding your own combos and cards that fit in the deck.. EDH is supposed to be about a deck builders own creativity, now that is shot down when anyone can just buy a deck.

Good job MTG way to go -sarcasm-



I actually like what they are doing by releasing EDH precons, mainly because it helps players who are new to magic and don't have a collection of cards dating back to Alpha get into the format.  The big factors that have been keeping me OUT of EDH are that A:  I don't have, or even know of, many of the cool cards that existed before I got into the game, and B:  I don't have the time and effort to go through the gatherer, find the cards I like, then actually purchase them.  Quite frankly, I think that younger players will greatly appreciate this as a good way to get their foot in the door.  I know I will.

Official Recognition: Good
Name Change: Good
More MTGO Support: Good
EDH Product: Good
Leaving the RC in charge: Good
New Cards: Ehhhh, not really a fan.  You'd been doing a fine job of sprinkling Multiplayer/EDH cards into your regular sets... why start now?  I sure hope none of them are Tournament-worthy in Eternal, or you have a Mana Crypt situation.  (Granted, there will be way more of these printed than Mana Crypt, but it's the principle.)

On the whole, seems pretty cool.

I still want them to delete the "off-color mana production" rule, though.

*crosses fingers for rules update*

this is so dumb.. I'd prolly never buy one of these decks.. I'd rather spend MORE money making my own, thats what EDH is about.. finding your own combos and cards that fit in the deck.. EDH is supposed to be about a deck builders own creativity, now that is shot down when anyone can just buy a deck.

Good job MTG way to go -sarcasm-

Name one person that buys a precon that hasn't started making changes the instant they got new cards with which to do so.

Precons are a good starting point.  You don't need to whine about players not customizing them.  They will.
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
will this be online?  if so im going to start saving money now...shouldnt be too hard to put away $175 for this purchase by then.  yes i will buy all five.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
I still want them to delete the "off-color mana production" rule, though.

This is exactly why I do not bother with EDH.

Rule 3 is redundant with Rule 4.

Drop Rule 3, and nothing really changes except increased card availability.  Hybrid cards, Split cards, and cards like Memnarch and Llanowar Dead become available.  The off-color split-card half and off-color activated abilites are useless, but the cards themselves would no longer be auto-banned.

Drop Rule 4, and absolutely nothing changes.  Why would it matter if my WRG deck is making blue mana somehow, if I have nothing that I can spend the blue mana on anyway?


Of course, everytime I bring this up (which has been several), I'm accused of missing the point.
will this be online?  if so im going to start saving money now...shouldnt be too hard to put away $175 for this purchase by then.  yes i will buy all five.



yes it is, they state that towards the bottom of the article explicitly.
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56859838 wrote:
Well obviously goblins breed at a rate of millions of times per year, thus in a few years they had evolved into a new species... you know or....
Show
63344365 wrote:
Your asking for proof that the ocean is wet, while your standing on the beach.
56733088 wrote:
Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
•Collecting a complete foil set of Zendikar block both on Magic Online and in paper Magic does not entitle you to one (1) free Richard Garfield. Because that would be slavery, and slavery is bad.
slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
EDH was at least interesting as a triumph of player-driven collaboration. Not that I would play it regardless of the name. But I can appreciate what it means to many players.

One one hand it is nice to see WOTC recognize it. On the other, it has lost a lot of what made it cool. Specifically, for them to make a buck on it.
On the other, it has lost a lot of what made it cool.



What has it lost?

Speaking as a player that plays the format, this is great awesome news.
What has it lost?

Umm...  its "exclusivity"?
This sort of phenomenon happens all the time: [thing] is "cool" until it becomes popular, or strongly liked by the "wrong" people - then "[thing] sucks now!".
The bigger problem is that this format will now be defined for the players, not by the players. We already have Standard (and now Extended) for that. I don't play it, but that is not pertinent to my comments. My criticisms for this move would be true for any popular player-run format.

However, as long as they don't mess up a Pro Tour with it, I won't ever have to see the impact. 
The bigger problem is that this format will now be defined for the players, not by the players.


From the article:
Wizards of the Coast and the DCI are not "taking over" the format! We will not be managing the rules or the banned list of the Commander format, instead leaving it in the capable hands of Sheldon Menery and his rules team. They deserve all the credit for this format's popularity and we don't want to mess with a good thing!

Of course, a couple years from now we very well may discover that we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Wonder how expensive the cooler singles from the precons will get.  

Overall good news imo.
Wonder how expensive the cooler singles from the precons will get.  

Overall good new imo. 



None, duh. I swear I'm pissed right now, and I will never call it commander.
The bigger problem is that this format will now be defined for the players, not by the players.


From the article:
Wizards of the Coast and the DCI are not "taking over" the format! We will not be managing the rules or the banned list of the Commander format, instead leaving it in the capable hands of Sheldon Menery and his rules team. They deserve all the credit for this format's popularity and we don't want to mess with a good thing!

Of course, a couple years from now we very well may discover that we've always been at war with Eastasia.




Yeah, to be clear I did see that before I posted. Whether or not they ultimately do take over the rules or B&R list, perhaps for some as-of-yet-unforseen "legal" implications, I don't know. I could see them swallowing it whole at some point and if that does happen it would have started with this announcement today. There would be a little more unease at that point, I would think.

But they are designing cards for the format, and now putting them up for sale with the purpose of them seeing some level of play in that format. This will also guide design in regular expansions to an extent. The fact that it is official now necessitates this from a business standpoint. So in the end they'll be feeding the decks to a much greater extent than before as a result of this. Before this took off players were finding diamonds in the rough. More of those will now be found in a store nearby for everyone to put in their decks because they are perfectly suited to this unusual format.

Some people will like this, or will say the benefits outweigh any possible downsides. That's fine, but I don't agree with that view.
I know, I will miss having Rosheen being the best EDH general on the block .
I am fine with everything except the name change.  They expect everyone (including the format's creators who they are still leaving in charge of the banned list) to start calling the format "commander" just to suit the fact that they made a MTGO format similar to EDH and called it "commander".  If any name should change, it should be the MTGO version, especially since they are aligning it with the paper rules.

The term "command zone" was introduced with Planechase (unless I am mistaken), which had nothing to do with commanders in the first place, so saying that the name change to "commander" since we have a "command zone" doesn't mean anything.

On another note, I definitely like Karador, Ghost Chieftain.  He seems like he would make a pretty nice general.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
New cards exclusively in precons?



...and we jumped it.
But they are designing cards for the format, and now putting them up for sale with the purpose of them seeing some level of play in that format.

But, if "Commander" brings about an eventual reprint of Sun Quan somehow, everyone wins


...right?

I'm not wild about the prospect of new cards that can only be obtained by dropping $35 on a precon deck.



will this be online?  if so im going to start saving money now...shouldnt be too hard to put away $175 for this purchase by then.  yes i will buy all five.


Per Twitter, the price in AaFo's article is incorrect.  Price is $29.99 per deck (Arcana has the correct price).

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This sounds really awesome - I was already looking into building at least a couple of EDH decks, and I'll likely cannabalize at least one of these for one of my planned decks. One of the big benefits, for me, is that it guarantees that the people I play Magic with will be able to participate in this format - particularly those who are quite new to Magic and lack the collection requirements.

I don't feel like Wizards is taking over the format at all, or that this will have any sort of negative impact - on the contrary, it is likely to enable more people to play the format, and having more people to play with is never a bad thing, especially when a format has a large multiplayer focus. Judging by Planechase and Archenemy, Wizards is playing the role of the enabler - allowing players to play the format easily (or, at all in the case of Planechase and Archenemy), but it is up to the players themselves to govern and play casually, rather than in sanctioned events.

Also, I feel like it gives Wizards the opportunity to reprint older cards that are good for EDH that aren't on their "never reprint" list, giving players more opportunity to obtain said cards (depending on the power levels of their decks, things like Sol Ring could be reprinted). Even Legacy-viable cards could be reprinted, lowering the price barrier for Legacy. To me, this seems like a win-win situation: they will sell lots of decks, as people want to pick up these staples, allowing them to take advantage of the secondary market demand for old cards, and those interested in using these cards for Legacy and EDH have an easier time obtaining them.

There is, of course, the fact that traders who have these cards will lose value on them - but, that's always a risk with trading Magic cards (apart from cards on the reprint list) and savvy traders will likely be able to get rid of them before the price  plummets. I feel like it is still fair for those who own the cards: either the person is a value trader, and more concerned with the value of his cards than the actual cards, in which case they have assumed the risk of trading in a volatile market, or they are more concerned with owning the card itself, and won't be that affected by the price drop (case in point: I own two Primeval Titans, as I opened them in booster packs, but I'd actually be ecstatic with a large price drop since then I could fill out my playset - I am still debating whether to sell/trade before they rotate, but I likely won't as they're just so much fun in casual ramp decks). Of course, that's based upon some broad assumptions, so let me know if you disagree!
I am fine with everything except the name change.  They expect everyone (including the format's creators who they are still leaving in charge of the banned list) to start calling the format "commander" just to suit the fact that they made a MTGO format similar to EDH and called it "commander".  If any name should change, it should be the MTGO version, especially since they are aligning it with the paper rules.


What is NOT happening?


People aren't going to suddenly stop using the name Elder Dragon Highlander. Over time we hope that the name Commander will be adopted, but the term EDH in particular will likely remain in use for a long time.


From dragonhighlander.net/mtgcommander.net

I am completely indifferent to the name change. "EDH" and "Commander" have the same number of syllables and roll off the tongue about as equally well, and if anything, "Commander" has a little more flavorful sense than Elder Dragon Highlander for the simple reason that not every general/commander is an Elder Dragon.

As for fears regarding the new cards in the decks: Death By Dragons and the Ghost Centaur dude both indicate that this is not going to be an issue. Cards like DbD are not really printable in regular MTG sets (unless you want a really expensive dragon token) because of the primary focus on 2-player gameplay. My guess is, to sell the product and make it worth printing, Wizards will include at least one Legacy reprint in each deck worth chasing down. Maybe not to the degree we saw with Elspeth vs. Tezzeret, but there'll be something to draw people in.  
They call Highlander "Singleton" for a reason guys, it's trademarked by somebody.  They pretty much had the option to call it "EDH", and say the letters mean nothing, or come up with a new name that makes sense to newer players.


And I think they made the right choice.   
lets see for legacy we have a 6cc sorcery that gives you a 5/5 dragon and a wierd GWB Reya Dawnbringer that you have to pay for the creature... it's the end of the world for legacy were all going to go bankrupt buying all these $30 100 card precons. Really people, STFU.
If this means more Commander games actually happening on MtGO, that's a good thing.
lets see for legacy we have a 6cc sorcery that gives you a 5/5 dragon and a wierd GWB Reya Dawnbringer that you have to pay for the creature... it's the end of the world for legacy were all going to go bankrupt buying all these $30 100 card precons. Really people, STFU.

Who cares about legacy? As one of the people concerned about what these new cards will do on the secondary market, I'm far, far more worried about casual.

Casual players can raise prices exactly the same way that competetive players do. Doubling Season sells for $12-$18 despite having seen competetive play, of any kind, approximately never. Gilded Lotus and Gauntlet of Power hover around $5 and are unplayable in every format. It doesn't happen often, and it generally doesn't go to the extremes that competetive players push things, but it does happen.

If these new cards become popular staples for commander or even, god forbid, regular multiplayer decks, then supply and demand says that their price is going to rise. And since supply of these fifty-odd cards is going to be incredibly limited compared to the supply of any normal card, their price can and will rise far, far higher than a comparatively popular normal card's could dream of doing. Which sucks for commander because one of the major attractions to it currently is that many of the best generals, staples, and power cards are dollar-bin rares you can pick up for a song.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I like that they're trying to bring more support for the format, but I don't like the idea that they're releasing new cards solely for it, and that I have to buy a precon deck to get them (until they go on the secondary market, anyway).  HOnestly, I think it's fine as is, and really doesn't need to be messed with.

-Name changed to commander
That's not great but it's not really a big deal


-Precons
This is good, and will hopefully get more people into the game.


-Releasing new cards in precons
So I have to buy 5 $30 decks? Quit trying to cash in on everything. Releasing them here as opposed to in a new set means you won't get all the drafters opening them - most of the people who buy the decks will buy them for the new cards and won't want to get rid of them so singles prices are likely to be high if any of them are actually good. Even more so if there's a limited print run. One of the good things about EDH was how accessible it was.


-New wedge commanders
Ok, this is pretty nice.


-Tightening the Commander rules to match EDH rules.
Does this mean no more Karn decks using Swamps as a mana base and having Cabal Coffers and Gaea's Cradle? Awesome.


-WotC are not "taking over" the format
I hope not. That remains to be seen...

This is exactly why I do not bother with EDH...Drop Rule 4, and absolutely nothing changes.  Why would it matter if my WRG deck is making blue mana somehow, if I have nothing that I can spend the blue mana on anyway?


You sound intelligent enough that you can probably understand the dangers of commenting authoritatively on a format you don't play.
There are two very common cases where being able to produce off-color mana would be an advantage: reanimation and theft. In a format where everyone is playing the most powerful spells ever, the relatively unfun option  of stealing everything that your opponents play seems like a dominant strategy, but this rule serves to limit that to some extent. Your Erayo deck stole my general, and to stay in theme with the announcement today, let's say I'm playing Teneb. Well, my general is an awesome reanimation engine for me, but is just a french vanilla beatstick for you. In the same way, i can reanimate your Glen Elendra Archmage but can't use it to counter your stuff. Changing these wouldn't ruin the game, but it would affect a lot of games, without question.
By the way, the mana requirements are easy to get around: if rule 4 was eliminated then I could get off-colored mana without putting off-color mana symbols in my deck - City of Brass, Darksteel Ingot, Exotic orchard, Fellwar Stone, Rupture SPire...the list is functionally endless.
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If these new cards become popular staples for commander or even, god forbid, regular multiplayer decks, then supply and demand says that their price is going to rise. And since supply of these fifty-odd cards is going to be incredibly limited compared to the supply of any normal card, their price can and will rise far, far higher than a comparatively popular normal card's could dream of doing. Which sucks for commander because one of the major attractions to it currently is that many of the best generals, staples, and power cards are dollar-bin rares you can pick up for a song.


I'm sure it'll all work out for the best. Anything that turns out to be smokin' can be reprinted in Core, these decks could easily be reprinted or have their print runs extended - this isn't FTV, after all - and over the long term, giving them a way to just go nuts on developing cards specifically for MPM is awesome sauce for all of us!
On top of that, you dont have to buy many dollar-rares before a $30 deck becomes sale of the #^*#ing century.
And new wedge generals commanders without having to wait for them to come up with the idea of Wedgeworld? There is only one way to describe my reaction: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4

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I still want them to delete the "off-color mana production" rule, though.

This is exactly why I do not bother with EDH.

Rule 3 is redundant with Rule 4.

Drop Rule 3, and nothing really changes except increased card availability.  Hybrid cards, Split cards, and cards like Memnarch and Llanowar Dead become available.  The off-color split-card half and off-color activated abilites are useless, but the cards themselves would no longer be auto-banned.

Drop Rule 4, and absolutely nothing changes.  Why would it matter if my WRG deck is making blue mana somehow, if I have nothing that I can spend the blue mana on anyway?


Of course, everytime I bring this up (which has been several), I'm accused of missing the point.



That would make my Sen Triplets deck so much easier. But I actually adore having to play stuff like Sunglasses of Urza
I really dislike tha idea of cards that will only appear in the commander decks. If someone likes just one card from them he won't buy the deck for just for one card, he is going to buy just that card from a dealer that sells single cards. It doesn't feel right if a product sells more in the secondary market.
I think it would be better if a pack was published along with the 5 decks that will contain just the 51 new cards for those that only want some of the cards to tweek their existing comamnder decks without having to spend 150$.
I felt that way about Planechase and Archenemy too. I ended up buying all the Planechase decks just for the planes and felt kind of cheated. I bought only one Archenemy deck for that reason but I would gladly give two times the money I gave for that one deck for a pack that contained two copies of each shceme.
The decks are good for players not familiar with the format that want to learn about it but old players like me don't really need them because we allready have that kind of decks. We just need the new material.
-Releasing new cards in precons

So I have to buy 5 $30 decks? Quit trying to cash in on everything. Releasing them here as opposed to in a new set means you won't get all the drafters opening them - most of the people who buy the decks will buy them for the new cards and won't want to get rid of them so singles prices are likely to be high if any of them are actually good. Even more so if there's a limited print run. One of the good things about EDH was how accessible it was.



No, you don't. Nobody said you had to buy the decks. Odds are someone you know may buy one, but in our casual playgroup probably nobody will despite the fact that we like EDH. I might buy a few of the generals as singles, depending on how the prices go.

You're still completely free to play EDH the way you always have, without ever spending another penny on it. Wizards are not "forcing" you to buy anything.

That said, I'm another one of those who are somewhat wary of new cards being only ever printed in precons. I'm very glad that they're printing a bunch more wedge generals, but I'm on the fence about whether I'd rather have them in a normal expansion. We shall see.
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