Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gahiji's Test

My first test with Gahiji was against Jason, playing a Lazav deck. This was the only deck I was able to test against, since Jason was trying to work out how his deck worked but I definitely had a couple things come up.

First; if I get mana, things are good. That's true of every deck and especially Commander decks but I was concerned about the triple White needed for the Archon Bros. This didn't seem to be an issue in the games I played and that is definitely a good sign. Mana fixing: solid so far.

Second; I don't think a deck can have enough artifact or enchantment destruction. Seriously, has anyone yet built a Commander deck where artifacts or enchantments aren't vital? Because jeeze, every, damn, deck. Hell, Jason was thinking about making a Zur deck but everything he looked at online was so cutthroat he didn't think it would be any fun!

Ah, I'm overreacting a little. The real problem is the Multiplayer issue which I believe can be illustrated by a conversation we had about game two of our series.

Jason Ciphers a Whispering Madness onto Lazav, who is currently copying Rampaging Baloths. Jason isn't being shy about attacking so the two of us are drawing an extra seven cards a turn.

After two hits (so I've drawn an additional 14 cards now) I draw into Wrath of God. This conveniently solves my Lazav problem. If I hadn't drawn those cards then Jason may have just won on the back of the Baloths. Sure, he was drawing cards too and in a 1v1 situation you get parity. This is why cards like Shatter work just fine in duels.*

In a three or four player game, Jason is being outdrawn. He will never come up with enough answers to the questions his opponents pose, instead he now has to hope that those opponents see each other as the bigger problem. They won't, because people don't like having to discard everything and redraw every turn. It's annoying. Annoying is how you get opponents to turn on you like rabid weasels.

Seriously: next time you play, try to notice how often people mention they are annoyed by something. If that annoyance is a player, that player is going down.

Back to the drawing cards problem: this is why cards like Tranquility or Shatterstorm take on more value because you know you're being out drawn every turn. If you can't 2 for 1 something minimum in Multiplayer, then you're in trouble. This is why Oxidda Scrapmelter might have a place in my deck instead of Terra Ravager (although I really like Terra Ravager...)

It's also why Spellbreaker Behemoth loses so much value. A 5/5 for 4 mana seems totally awesome, right? But it might as well have nothing in the text box in Commander because countermagic has practically no place there. A creature that can take care of difficult permanents and feed into the Beast subtheme is going to be much stronger.

So I'm for sure going to replace Spellbreaker soon. I like the card but recognize I need something more versatile in multiplayer.

Of course, this is also why so many Commander decks trend towards the same kind of list: if Tranquility is better than Naturalize then there isn't really a reason to shake it up. So just as with other established formats, we all move closer to the center.

*Although don't play that, play Smelt. Also, the fact that Smelt exists in one set when Demystify has been printed six times and Erase three times-including existence in current Standard is just more proof of WotC's pro-Blue bias. Because one color as more affinity (ha!) with artifacts than any other...

No comments:

Post a Comment