How to make your commander deck work 'better' without changing the core strategy

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If you clicked this link, chances are there have been times you wondered why your deck just isn't performing as well as you think it should. Or perhaps you're happy with your deck but you just wonder if there's room to improve. Maybe someone out there knows something you don't.

 

The vast majority of decks out there ARE underperforming. Sometimes, it's because the core strategy just isn't an efficient one. Sometimes it's because the card choices are off. But the vast majority of the time, it largely comes down to deck design.

 

 

Think of your deck as a beautiful structure. Perhaps it's a tall proud skyscraper. Perhaps it's a sprawling museum. Perhaps it's a giant statue. Whatever the case, it needs the support of a solid foundation. Most players I've played with/against online, and most decks I've seen posted here on the forums skimp on the foundation, and the deck underperforms as a result. And when I say 'most', I mean the vast majority. Like 90% of you.

 

 

Yes, even you, guy-who-thinks-he's-got-it-all-figured-out, are most likely choking your decks' efficiency by making it top-heavy.

 

 

So what is this foundation I speak of? It comes down to escaping the game's 2 core limitations:
1) the 1 land per turn limit
2) the 1 card drawn per turn limit

 

 

It really doesn't matter what your deck is trying to do. Perhaps you're trying to build up an overwhelming token swarm. Perhaps you're trying to voltron your general to epic proportions. Perhaps you're trying to assemble some sort of combo. Or perhaps you're trying to run everyone else out of gas and then clean up with the most hilarious of finishers. It doesn't matter. Regardless of its aim, your deck will accomplish its strategy more effectively with more mana available and more cards to play.

 

 

Ramp & draw is not just a 'strategy' that only applies to certain decks. EVERY strategy benefits from being supplemented by the ability transcend the 2 fundamental limitations of a turn.

 

 

Consider the following extremely simplified example:

 

 

Deck A: 40 lands, 59 action cards
Deck B: 33 lands, 41 action cards, 14 concentrates, 11 signets

 

 

For the nitpickers:

Show
I chose signets because 2 mana for +1 ramp is very standard. Nearly all 'fair' ramp effects fit that metric, be it on a creature (sakura-tribe elder), an aura (fertile ground), a spell (rampant growth), or an artifact (coldsteel heart)

 

 

I chose concentrate because 4 mana is a pretty standardized cost for a draw-3. Yes, there are more efficient (and more inefficient) ways to draw extra cards, but concentrate is common and cheap and accessible to everyone, and there are enough 3-for-4 analogs (eg: ambition's cost, harmonize) to consider it a standardized 'fair' price for its effect.

 

 

Given a perfectly even shuffling distribution, goldfishing would look something like this:

Deck A - TL:DR

Show
By 'perfectly even' I mean that since deck A is 3/5ths action and 2/5ths land, its draws would look like:
action, land, action, land, action,
action, land, action, land, action,
action, land, action, land, action,
etc - 2 lands for every 3 action cards

 

 

Deck A opening hand: 3 land, 4 action
Turn 1: draw action, play land(1 in play, 2 left in hand), 1 action mana available, 5 actions
2: draw land, play land(2,2), 3 am, 5a
3: draw action, play land(3,1), 6 am, 6a
4: draw action, play land(4,0), 10 am, 7a
5: draw land, play land(5,0), 15 am, 7a
6: draw action, miss land(5,0), 20 am, 8a
7: draw land, play land(6,0), 26 am, 8a
8: draw action, miss land(6,0), 32 am, 9a
9: draw action, miss land(6,0), 38 am, 10a
10: draw land, play land(7,0), 45 am, 10a

At the end of 10 turns, deck A has 7 lands in play, has drawn 10 action cards, and has had 45 mana over the course of those 10 turns that could have been spent playing action cards.

 

 

Deck B - TL:DR

Show
and deck B's perfect shuffle would leave the library stacked thusly before drawing the opener:
Action land concentrate signet land
Action action Land Action Concentrate
Land Action Signet Land Action
Concentrate Land Action Action Land
Action Signet Land Concentrate Action
land action action land signet
Concentrate, etc...

 

 

Deck B opening hand: 2 land, 3 action, concentrate, signet

 

 

1: draw land(3), play land(1,2), 1am, 3a
2: draw action, play land (2,1), play signet, 1am, 4a
3: draw concentrate, play land (3,0), play concentrate (land(1), action, signet), 1am, 5a
4: draw land(2), play land(4,1), play signet, play concentrate (action, concentrate, land(2)), 1am, 6a
5: draw action, play land(5,1), play concentrate (action, land(2), action), 4am, 8a
6: draw signet, play land(6,1), play signet, 11am, 8a
7: draw land(2), play land (7,1), 21am, 8a
8: draw concentrate, play land(8,0), play concentrate (action, land(1), action), 28am, 10a
9: draw action, play land (9,0), 40am, 11a
10: draw land(1), play land (10,0), 53am, 11

At the end of 10 turns, deck B has 10 lands in play, and 3 signets, for a total of 13 available mana. It has drawn 11 action cards, and has had 53 mana over the course of those 10 turns that could have been spent playing action cards.

 

 

To summarize:

 

 

Deck B ran fewer lands than deck A (33 vs 40), yet deck A missed its turn 6 land drop while deck B made every drop up to turn 10.

 

 

Deck B ran fewer action cards in total than deck A (41 vs 59), yet drew more of them over the course of 10 turns (11 vs 10). Actually - it's 12 vs 11 if you count your general as an action card (which it usually is), and by having more mana, deck B would be able to replay its general more times, increasing the action count further.

 

 

Deck B continuously dumped mana into ramp spells and card draw spells, yet had more leftover mana to put towards action cards than deck A had mana the entire course of those 10 turns (53 vs 45)

 

 

So basically, deck B outperformed deck A in every way.

 

 

Let's talk about that.

 

 

It's pretty easy to see that card draw played a huge role. How else does the deck with fewer lands in it draw more lands, and the deck with fewer action spells draw more action? It's easy to see the value provided by playing card draw effects. If you aren't playing cards that draw extra cards, you're choking your deck's performance by obeying the 1-card-per-turn limit.

 

 

What most newer players underestimate is the value of the ramp. Drawing extra cards costs mana. If you're spending mana to cheat on the 1-card-per-turn limit, but are still obeying the 1-land-per-turn limit, you're choking yourself in a different way: you now have more cards to play, but even less mana to play it with!

 

 

These 2 effects feed off each other. Ramp helps you play your cards faster. Draw gives you more cards to play. The more ramp your deck has, the more powerful card-draw effects become. And the more card-drawing-power your deck has, the more powerful ramp effects become.

 

 

Again, remember that this is just structural integrity we're discussing. I'm not telling you to change your decks' gameplan. I'm telling you to tighten it up a little and make room for the draw+ramp turbo-charge it needs to really fly.

 

Doesn't every EDH deck run a bunch of mana and card draw?
not enough. Or I wouldn't have felt the need to post this.
A good card drawing engine is also a bad ramp engine.

Oddly and counterintuitively, cheap cantrips can be great EDH cards. Flare is a waste of space at 3 mana. Ponder and Thought Scour are great at 1 mana.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

I take exception to labeling concentrate as something other than an action spell.

I agree with the principle though. I've said as much before.

3DH4LIF3

So what about non-blue monocolour decks, where there really isn't much card draw available, especially of the Concentrate variety (especially in mono-red)?
Concentrate doesn't interact with the board in any way. It's resource development/investment.

Mono-color decks still have options. Black is easy: tutor for necropotence, done! For red, use artifacts like mind's eye and staff of nin, and if your build can unload its hand quickly, use plenty of wheel of fortune effects.
Red is probably the hardest to draw cards in repeatedly. Especially in the early stages of the game. Mana ramp that isn't land fetching is also more dangerous now because of cards like vandalblast.

Which is probably why blue black and green are such popular colors, and red is relegated to a support color in most cases.

I still take exception to not calling card draw action. Drawing cards and producing mana are the two actions that most directly influence who wins the game (in general). Yeah, its a bit semantic, I get that you're parsing between the different kinds of cards played... but it just feels so good to draw cards how can that not be action?!

3DH4LIF3

Because "action" cards do something to the board/gamestate.  Drawing cards doesn't actually do anything until you start casting those extra cards.  It doesn't mean that drawing cards is bad, just that they fit into a different category.
I get what niheloim is saying. When your hand is weak and you're in a bad state and you're thinking "man I need to draw something good soon!", you're pretty happy to rip concentrate.

But still. It's a support card that helps your deck do its thing (better).
Because "action" cards do something to the board/gamestate.  Drawing cards doesn't actually do anything until you start casting those extra cards.  It doesn't mean that drawing cards is bad, just that they fit into a different category.


I was kidding when I "took exception"... 

But really, concentrate may not be an "action" card, but what about Mulldrifter huh? It has wings. 

3DH4LIF3

@Tremor... would you mind if I linked to this in my advice section in the Decklist Compendium? I really like the example you gave with the number between the two hypothetical decks. It was an easily understood illustration of the POWER OF RAMP AND DRAW!

3DH4LIF3

Please do

In all honesty I posted this so I'd have something easy to link to when replying to deck help threads. It's one of those things that seem common sense to vets but a lot of newer players (and some vets) have a hard time understanding. 
Cool beans.

3DH4LIF3

So what about non-blue monocolour decks, where there really isn't much card draw available, especially of the Concentrate variety (especially in mono-red)?



In my red decks I use stuff like Mind stone. I think Wheel of Fortune is a must in any red deck if it's mono red Chandra Ablaze just for her -2. I've also started running Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded he's not really card advantge but he help you to see a lot more cards then you would otherwise.

You can also play stuff like Anarchist Charmbreaker Devils to get value out of your wheel of fortune effects.

Even in colors with card draw available I much prefer stuff that advances my own board state rather then concentrate spells. Stuff like Mulldrifter Phyrexian Arena Bloodgift demon Garruk Primal Hunter Tamiyo, the moon sage Disciple of Bolas soul of the harvest etc.

Playing a peice of artifact mana a turn is fine until you get blown out by Austere command meltdown Pulverise fracturing gust I mind it's very easy for people to over extend with artifact mana sometimes playing extra lands in a deck is the right choice.

So what about non-blue monocolour decks, where there really isn't much card draw available, especially of the Concentrate variety (especially in mono-red)?



In my red decks I use stuff like Mind stone. I think Wheel of Fortune is a must in any red deck if it's mono red Chandra Ablaze just for her -2. I've also started running Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded he's not really card advantge but he help you to see a lot more cards then you would otherwise.

You can also play stuff like Anarchist Charmbreaker Devils to get value out of your wheel of fortune effects.

Even in colors with card draw available I much prefer stuff that advances my own board state rather then concentrate spells. Stuff like Mulldrifter Phyrexian Arena Bloodgift demon Garruk Primal Hunter Tamiyo, the moon sage Disciple of Bolas soul of the harvest etc.

Playing a peice of artifact mana a turn is fine until you get blown out by Austere command meltdown Pulverise fracturing gust I mind it's very easy for people to over extend with artifact mana sometimes playing extra lands in a deck is the right choice.


playing extra lands is hard to do in colors that aren't green. Artifact mana is not a substitute for playing at least one land per turn. If you're playing catch-up with a Thran Dynamo there might be a problem. Tremors Example in the OP with the 33 lands and ten signets was just to show how ramp and card draw is better than the draw one card/ play one land per turn paradigm. Yeah, Vandalblast makes playing all artifact ramp look silly.

There are ways to get extra lands into play. I think mono red might do well to play Wayfarer's Bauble and Solemn Simularum. I'm also a fan of Terrain Generator, escpecially with cards like Journeyer's Kite.

3DH4LIF3


There are ways to get extra lands into play. I think mono red might do well to play Wayfarer's Bauble and Solemn Simularum. I'm also a fan of Terrain Generator, escpecially with cards like Journeyer's Kite.



Druidic Satchel is one of my favorites.
"ramp" isn't optimal for every EDH deck (although I can agree that a large majority of EDH decks require at least some kind of "ramp" especially if your play group plays "fair" decks).
Don't be too smart to have fun


Even in colors with card draw available I much prefer stuff that advances my own board state rather then concentrate spells.

You're nitpicking. I said it was a very oversimplified example. There aren't even 14 4-mana draw-3s in magic.
Playing a peice of artifact mana a turn is fine until you get blown out by Austere command

Yeah. See aforementioned note about it being an versimplified example. I'm not actually saying every deck should run 11 signets. Heck, I'm not even saying you need to run 2-drop accelerants. If you prefer cultivate and far wanderings, go to town. All I said was that most decks posted here, and most decks I see played online don't pack enough ramp or card draw and I used a kindergarten-level example to show why they're missing out.
There are ways to get extra lands into play. I think mono red might do well to play Wayfarer's Bauble and Solemn Simularum. I'm also a fan of Terrain Generator, escpecially with cards like Journeyer's Kite.

I'm actually a huge fan of tricks with thawing glaciers. EG: use expedition map to pair it with deserted temple, or if you play online it allows you to use lands with off-color mana symbols so it has awesome synergy with ravmica bouncelands. (eg: you activate thaw, then play your bounceland returning thaw and have effectively accelerated by 1).
"ramp" isn't optimal for every EDH deck (although I can agree that a large majority of EDH decks require at least some kind of "ramp" especially if your play group plays "fair" decks).

Name a deck that doesn't want to ramp?
I guess you could argue that tribal decks have a lot of cheap creatures and therefore don't need ramp. You could also argue that a deck built around card advantage wouldn't need it as much, since with extra draws come extra land. But then you are back to what I said before: Good card draw doubles as bad ramp.
Both arguments are fallacious. The title of the OP said how to run "better", and every deck will be better with the right ramp. Maybe one deck the right ramp is mana elves. Another may be mana rocks, and another may be land fetches. The two decks I run with the most dedicated ramp package both perform rather well despite one of them being a brainless Timmy deck and the other being a gimmicky Ally deck. That they both overperform, and both have more ramp than most of my eight or so other decks, makes me a believer in the idea put forth in the OP.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

Can your next thread please be about when to switch the core strategy. I find that to be a bigger problem.
@Perpetual - you've got the idea. As you've noticed, even a tribal 'aggro' deck can't adopt the same philosophy as the aggro decks of 1v1 20-life formats. Your opposition has multiple chances to draw some kind of sweeper each turn, and you have probably 5 times as much damage to deal before you win. You can't rely on the gas in your starting hand to go the bulk of the distance in 3 or 4 turns and then top-decking your way into lightning bolts to finish. In this format, aggro just means building up a dominating board position and overwhelming everyone. It takes many more turns, has to fight through more disruption, and has to be prepared to protect and rebuild several times. You need a massive resource supply to fuel that kind of aggression. In fact, I'd suggest that being the table's aggressor necessitaties MORE ramp and draw than a more defensive control or combo strategy.

Can your next thread please be about when to switch the core strategy. I find that to be a bigger problem.

Hmm, I actually hadn't planned on making a 'next thread'. This one just something that I saw coming up again and again and had been thinking a long time about the best way to illustrate it. It's one thing to tell people they need more ramp/draw and hope they listen. It's another to help them to understand why. I hope this thread helped accomplish that for those who read it, and if anyone wants to make suggestions how to make it clearer I'd love to hear them.

Your question would come down to specifics...There are hundreds of possible core strategies, and there could be any one of dozens of things causing a deck to underperform. Without knowing more about the specific deck in question, I'd be just guessing in the dark at the direction it needs to go to improve. The short/cop-out answer would be to say if you've tried everything you can think of and the deck still just isn't as good as you want it to be, it's probably time to change what it's trying to do.

I could try to make some educated guesses based on other common biases I've seen. For example, many players seem to work too hard to avoid losing what they have, when often it's more efficient to just replace any losses. Hmm actually maybe that's an idea for a future post, right there. Also many people over-adjust for the slower format and lean too heavily on repeatable effects. For example I've seen both whispers of the muse and treasure trove suggested as good card draw engines in this format. I think they're awful. You can draw a whole lot more cards for less mana just by having a sufficient quantity of one-shot effects in your deck, and even a critical mass of one-shots isn't the best route to keep your hand stocked (the best is to tutor for something unfair, like necropotence). Mana efficiency still matters!

There are ways to get extra lands into play. I think mono red might do well to play Wayfarer's Bauble and Solemn Simularum. I'm also a fan of Terrain Generator, escpecially with cards like Journeyer's Kite.

I'm actually a huge fan of tricks with thawing glaciers. EG: use expedition map to pair it with deserted temple, or if you play online it allows you to use lands with off-color mana symbols so it has awesome synergy with ravmica bouncelands. (eg: you activate thaw, then play your bounceland returning thaw and have effectively accelerated by 1).


Well crap... I forgot all about deserted temple. I've always used glaciers with Rings of Brighthearth... which is a little slower and more easily disrupted...

Not I have to get me a couple sets of glaciers and temples....


As for when to change your core strategy... The only answers I came up with were if your never win (and that affects your enjoyment of the game. I think few people can play and NEVER win and still have a good time), and if your strategy hurts the enjoyment of other people you're playing with.

I have a friend who built a mimeoplasm deck that only barfed lands onto the field and drew tutored until he killed everyone with geth + Jarad. It didn't bother me much. It was easily metagamed against (oh look... praetors grasp, sadistic sacrament, I killed you first douche), but there are some fringe groups that we play with that just aren't on par with our decks- the mimeoplasm left a very bad taste in their mouths. So My friend is going to build something less competitive for when he plays with those guys.

Its happened a couple of times where decks get disassembled or just not played as often because the don't promote a fun environment.

3DH4LIF3

Treasure Trove... is it weird that I love the card but refuse to play it? Everytime I've tried it (its neat, casual and repeatable) I've rather just played Azure Mage... I guess makes a big difference.

 

3DH4LIF3

Treasure Trove... is it weird that I love the card but refuse to play it? Everytime I've tried it (its neat, casual and repeatable) I've rather just played Azure Mage... I guess makes a big difference.

 



In black, Greed is useful for the same reason; Greed and Phyrexian Arena are my idea of "fair" Necro in EDH. Was surprised WotC used an Emma Goldman quote in Treasure Trove, though.

I have the same issue with Fecundity. Every deck I try to put it in (Ghave, Rith, Kresh), I end up saying no just because I'm afraid I'll deck myself.
139359831 wrote:
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Treasure Trove... is it weird that I love the card but refuse to play it? Everytime I've tried it (its neat, casual and repeatable) I've rather just played Azure Mage... I guess makes a big difference. 


Paying 6 mana instead of 8 for the first card is a pretty big difference too. But to be honest I don't really like either. I'd rather just play little jace or blue honden for repeatable draw. At leat they don't suck up the mana that you want to be spending on actually playing all the cards you draw.
The initial investment is a factor. I think I play the mage because it comes back with reveillark... but I'm probably better of with picking up another little jace and a sun titan.

3DH4LIF3

I have the same issue with Fecundity. Every deck I try to put it in (Ghave, Rith, Kresh), I end up saying no just because I'm afraid I'll deck myself.



Way back when Fecundity came out I was a big fan of it. Nowadays there are better green draw engines. By "better" I mean they benefit only me. Fecundity could be a bite-me-in-the-butt nightmare faced off against another token deck, or at a table where board wipes are common. 

BTW, Fecundity is a "may" effect, so you wouldn't deck yourself.Wink

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

Fecundity as a combo engine maybe ... play fecundity, sac to ashnods altar, pay for words of wilding, net 1 colorless and repeat?

3DH4LIF3

I'm actually looking for more non-green land ramp in the vein of Terrain Generator, Walking Atlas, Expedition Map and Solemn Simulacrum.  I do rely on rocks in non-green decks, perhaps more than I should.  Thawing Glaciers is a bit overpriced for me at the moment as well, and both of mine are already spoken for.

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

I'm actually looking for more non-green land ramp in the vein of Terrain Generator, Walking Atlas, Expedition Map and Solemn Simulacrum.  I do rely on rocks in non-green decks, perhaps more than I should.  Thawing Glaciers is a bit overpriced for me at the moment as well, and both of mine are already spoken for.



You want Pilgrim's Eye. Doesn't come much more budget than that.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

What 14 concentrates are there in mono white? 
 
There isn't even one.

In monowhite I'd tutor aggressively for an engine of some sort. Mind's eye and staff of nin are good, just like in monored. White also has land tax and scroll rack which is stupidly powerful if you can pair them (and you have access to enlightened tutor and idyllic tutor to help make it happen).

Depending on the deck there are other ways for monotwhite to draw cards too. Stoneforge mystic and steelshaper's gift can get you sword of fire and ice to equip to an evasive creature. Ideally a double-striker. Also, in the right deck well of lost dreams can do a lot of work.

Cards like sun titan and crucible of worlds with fetchlands can help too.

To be honest, white and red are the two weakest colors in this format, and don't really lend themselves to strong monocolor decks (despite having some really powerful and cool generals).

You want Pilgrim's Eye. Doesn't come much more budget than that.

Pilgrim's eye doesn't ramp.
I've resorted to armistice in my monowhite. Inheritance might be worth playing.

3DH4LIF3

You want Pilgrim's Eye. Doesn't come much more budget than that.

Pilgrim's eye doesn't ramp.


Neither does Expidition Map, which was in Rx's post. I was running within his parameters.

As for White, it relies heavily on artifacts for card draw, yes. But you can occasionally squeeze in a limited use winner like Aura Blast, Puresteel Paladin, or Mesa Enchantress. Inheritance is great if you have the mana for it.....but you are running mono white and your ramp is dubious &/or based largely on artifacts just like your card draw. Well of Lost Dreams can be sick purely because White decks tend to gain lives on accident.
But very little will beat Mind's Eye for mono White, Red, or a R/W deck.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

When I first started EDH, I was using stuff like Carnage Altar and Illuminated Folio for card draw.

As for nongreen (psuedo)ramp...

Mycosynth Wellspring, Armillary Sphere, and Wayfarer's Bauble are the ones I subsisted on until I actually got multicolor legends (an all around better cards)
56965458 wrote:
As long as it's random, I really can't see where's the problem. Anyway, there's already a few standard ways for doing this. We listed them in this thread. If someone does the bogey-bogey, eats the cards, waits until they come out, look out the approximate order, place replacements in the same order, calls the president to ask him to give him a string of numbers, puts the card in the given order, then pick the cards in the order given by taking the date of birth of his opponent, reversed, and taking only every other number, then a judge can clearly declare that he's random enough.
56874518 wrote:
The beauty of sarcasm is that when the person using it is totally incorrect, you can just remove the sarcasm and end up with a post that is actually correct.
I think bauble counts as actual ramp.

3DH4LIF3


To be honest, white and red are the two weakest colors in this format, and don't really lend themselves to strong monocolor decks (despite having some really powerful and cool generals).
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I disagree when it comes to white.  It may not ramp well, but it can do damn near everything else. 

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

I've got the land tax/scroll rack thing going but it is hard to consistantly get it early game. I like Inheritance, I'll add that, good suggestion. My ramp is working well, so I should have the mana to use it just enough to have cards to play. Well of Lost Dreams will work well too. I'm building Darien, so there's at least four "when a creature comes into play, gain a life" creatures in the deck. Should work well.

This is a great thread by the way, definitely helped me tune my decks.
 
I disagree when it comes to white.  It may not ramp well, but it can do damn near everything else.

White can ramp just fine. It has to use artifacts, just like every other non-green color, but mana rocks are the most powerful (if not the safest) way to ramp anyway.

White is a great support color. It has the best control effects - the best sweepers, best removal, some good disenchants....What white lacks is draw power, which is why it doesn't stand alone very well.
I posted this as its own thread but Ill post it here too


This post is a response to a post from Jan 13, 2013 -- 8:47AM, Disturbed185 wrote:




Can your next thread please be about when to switch the core strategy? I find that to be a bigger problem.




I know I have fallen victim to this conundrum many times when building and EDH deck.  I look at a general and see so much that I could do with that card, and then I start deck building and I end up with a big card pool and narrow it down to a deck.  This can lead to a deck that lacks focus and win-conditions.  I think a lot of problems with deck building come from not knowing what you are going to do with a deck.  So here is a list the main deck types that I see out there and what they generally include.  To help determine what type of “core strategy” you are trying to play and how to best build to them.  All of these strategies will benefit from the previously mentioned ramp- draw strategy




    1.  Combo:  This is fairly straight forward. Assemble my combo and I will win, and I want to assemble my combo faster then my opponent.  Using lots of tutoring effects and board disruption lead to a game state that is advantageous to the combo player.  OF course combo weakness is disruption and removal so having a back up plan is important, especially in a singleton format. 

    2. Control:  Controlling the board state is the name of the game here, keeping what you have on the board and taking away what your opponents have.  This can be done by permission IE counters, resource denial, IE discard, land destruction, or removal the best example I have ever seen of this is a Braids deck before she got the ban hammer. 

    3. Agro:  These decks are simple and effective, play big creatures and smash a lot of face with them.  They are what classic EDH table top magic was meant to be. 

    4. Tempo:  These are decks that pair cards together that have a lot of synergy and work well together.   Better examples of these decks are usually seen in type 2 play but are possible to run in EDH. 

    5. Voltron:  Again as the name implies it’s a deck that roles along and kind of plays defense and doesn’t look all that threatening until in assembles in a flashing light display that should have given us all a seizer when we all kids and wins that way.  See ZUR.  (you know who you are) 

    6. Reanimate.  I kill your stuff, I kill my stuff, my things come back and yours stay dead.  These decks find ways to get stuff into their yard and get it back cheap, it’s a principal that’s as old as magic, bin expensive creature and get it in to play cheap. Except back in the day we were animating a   Mahamoti Djinn LOL. 

    7. Mill:  Also a concept as old as magic.  I can run you out of cards I win the game.  Now anyone who has tried building a group mill deck knows it is not that easy to do but it can be done and is a fun deck to play.

    8. Tribal:  Sliver players unite.  Playing a lot of creatures of the same type that benefit each other and have a nice theme to the deck.  Again a great table top stable of magic.

    9. Good stuff decks:  As the name implies good stuff decks consist of the best and most powerful cards and usually win by out gunning other decks.  They have no real theme they just win by playing awesome cards. 

    10. Other:  There are those people out there on that build decks that do not fall into these categories and these are the decks that are weird for weird sake.  You might have someone like this in your play group who is always showing up with some off the wall idea or creation that only works one in 20 times. 




Now I know the examples that I have given above are very simplistic and rudimentary strategy list of deck building ideas.  I also may have left a few of them out but they were the ones I could think of off the top of my head. 




Now the reason I bring these up is to help focus a deck.  I find that if I try to build in more then three of these ideas into a deck things will always end up going to Hell.  So for EDH I think that 2-3 is a perfect number when building a fun multiplayer deck.  Now as far as competitive 1 v 1 decks the more focused you are on one of these strategies the better your deck will perform.  I find that building a deck that is so focused on one aspect of the game is bad in group because your deck is not prepared to deal with the chaotic nature of group magic and you end up not having fun.  (It’s like playing a great 1 v 1 deck in a group game)  Sure you might kill one person but the table turns on you and you die quickly.  So to answer the question, find your general find two things you want to do with that general and build accordingly.  I see a lot of decks on here that people are asking for help with that have no idea what they are trying to do with the deck.  So I think it is not a matter of “switching the core strategy but focusing on one or two you already have in the deck and removing the cards that are not working toward that cause.




I hope this was moderately helpful in answering your question and helping people on this board build better decks, as usual discussion and ridicule are always welcome.