This deck kind of represents a lot that's wrong with Commander. Once you pick the colors of the deck, that's all the uniqueness you get. From there it's just throw all the most degenerative stuff in those colors (that work together or neutrally win on their own) into the deck and call it a success. No matter that after you've chosen color, 80% of it is identical to every other deck in the chosen color identity.
Then there's the topic of overpowered. For any mana cost, there exists overpowered cards for that cost. I'm glad most of us recognize SRing
as a part of that list, but Sheoldred
fit the bill well. Players are denial, too, which tries to justify these cards because "they'll die immediately anyway". It's the argument we've heard time and time again with cards like Bob
, etc. Because what happens when they untap? They win.
This includes CSphinx because, unanswered, it just wins. And it's just assumed that every single opponent has their mana open for instant speed removal the moment it hits the game. Because past that, it's over. "But it's Free For All, it's different." You're right, it is different. 1) Like I said, it's expected spot removal will be ready. But spot removal isn't even highly valuable in FFA, what are you talking about it's "expected"? 2) If there is spot removal, it's true big targets like CSphinx catch it. But so does everything else in the format. In fact, what if everybody has a CSphinx? Then what? 3 guys have removal, so the question becomes, "who's going to pick the winner?"
The real scenarios are that first CSphinx drops, then Sheoldred drops, then WEngine
, then ITitan
(can't forget about them Titans! Wizards knows how much we hate cards that you have to untap with to be absurd, so they fixed that for us). So again, we can't all take turns removing everything. Spot removal is finnicky and you have to use it carefully. Good players wait until they are directly threatened, and CSphinx doesn't even actually do that unless it attacks. So catching removal is a very delicate procedure. Whoever does the deed loses their protection for awhile, and makes an enemy. Good luck with that.
So how about instead, just drop the overpowered cards. They only lead to unfair, unfun situations. There are objectively overpowered cards as mentioned, but their are subjective ones as well that lead to degenerative gamestates and infinite combos. They're not fun. Many people get tired of Commander because of these situations that just piss everybody off. Avacyn
is not cute or inventive, it's just broken and cheap. Nobody's going to congratulate you on making such a fine move.
Replace these ideas with fair cards, that are great, but not ones that attract immediate attention from every table in the room. That's the problem in the first place. When you run one broken card, it gets answered. So to remedy that you run 30 broken cards, and hope some of them stick. That's pretty much the most popular type of Commander deck. We refuse to not break the game, so instead we all bring our knives to the table and see who can bleed out the slowest. It's boring and painful.
To bring this into perspective, notice how Adam hesitated for a second with that ETwin
. He had a similar moment a few months back with WPrimus
, and rightfully so. He gives in to these temptations at time, drives the knife deep, because he looks across the table and sees something stupid like Meishin
, and does the deed. This is the problem with Commander, and illustrates the point I just explained to a tee. But there's more: he didnt do this with WPrimus, he didn't clear their lands with an infinite combo because they weren't (notably) breaking the game. That's a bad policy. Never hold back with your deck just because it will obviously win the game if you do. Instead, take out broken cards, and let your deck win fairly. Don't give yourself the temptation to break the game, and you won't do it.
And that's the ultimate sum-up of where Commander is at, between the vision of the original EDH and the streamlined, competitive Commander. Our goal can either be to break the game, and see who breaks it the fastest, the hardest. And we can justify doing so because it either prevents somebody else breaking the game or stops somebody's broken stuff. Or
, we can just play fair. And if somebody tries to break the game, you reprimand them for it, by setting up a 3v1, as FFA, and politics, has always supposed to work.