Thursday, June 18, 2015

Official Blog Meeting

Dear As I Run,

We need to have a talk about our house magic rules for this year at the beach and maybe just in general.

1. In the interest of keeping things balanced, we've decided on proxies being allowed in any format we play but we need to determine how many per deck and which ones aren't allowed. Any thoughts? I say no Power 9, natch. Justin was saying we should follow the Legacy banned list for 60 card casual, which sounds good to me. What numbers should we allow? I say like 1/4th. Or we could proxy up any legal land for our manabases in addition to the decided number. I say we also continue to follow the commander banned list too.

2. I feel we also should talk about the unlimited mulligan rules. How do you guys feel about this? I say maybe we should consider changing it. Like maybe 1 free mulligan in casual games and then start to follow the one less card per hand rule. Then 1 Paris Mulligan for EDH and that's it. I know on more than one occasion, I've found myself taking like 5 or 6 mulligans until I get the perfect hand. That seems to me to be excessive and perhaps unfair. I suggest that we also agree not to go buckwild on the one guy with no lands. Though what is the definition of buckwild exactly? Though "if it ain't broke don't fix it" may apply here too.

3. Lastly, I have a homework assignment for all of us. Make at least one 60 card Pauper deck each this summer. Its a format we've never played and I think it'd be fun.

This concludes my post. What do you guys think?


  1. 1. I am fine with doing any number of proxies and with following the commander/legacy banlists. This seems like a fair way of making people allowed to play with whatever they want to and keeping the decks fairly even. Maybe the one thing I would think is maybe not doing any cards that are legal but hugely expensive like Gaea's Cradle or Mishra's Factory. These cards seem like they could be really powerful in commander and I guess I wouldn't be opposed to trying them out, but it is also probably not realistic that any of us would ever own these for our commander decks. They would be so powerful that they could warp the format a bit more and be unrealistic compared to what we might usually play. There are a lot of cards like this that are legal in commander but just don't see hardly any play because no one wants to spend that much money for one card in a commander deck. So maybe no proxies that are cards over $100/$150? I guess maybe this would rule out the dual lands too and they aren't too overpowered, but you can also have a fine manabase without them.

    2. I like the rule about one free mulligan. It seems like it introduces a bit more variance and makes it so everyone doesn't have an awesome hand every game. It also makes the games get started more quickly. I agree that these things often have a way of working themselves out in multiplayer too since the person who is mana screwed is not perceived as a threat and then isn't attacked much until they can gain their footing. I don't have strong feelings either way on this, but I would lean more towards this switch.

    3. I would be down to build a pauper deck although I wonder what that format is like and worry that it might be bland with little good sweepers or removal. However, I sure it is a different deckbuilding challenge to wrap your head around and I am always down for that. Are we thinking we would build the decks for one on one purposes or for multiplayer purposes?

    I will also bring the multiplayer cube that we can always use to switch things up too and that would make it so everyone is on equal footing too. I has been updated with a lot of sweet and awesome multiplayer-centric cards too.

  2. 1. Honestly, at first I thought the proxies would just be for the 60 card decks. Although I agree with the sentiment behind Phil's idea of nothing over $100/$150, it feels kind of weird since the whole idea of proxies is to get access to cards that you wouldn't normally be willing to pay for, thus the expensive ones. It would also create a weird situation where you couldn't play with an underground sea, but you could play with a "revised" plateau. I think it would be better just to house ban cards that we thought would be problematic, like Mishra's Workshop, Gaea's cradle, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, etc. This would largely result in expensive cards getting banned, but some harmless offenders like Zodiac Dragon ($250) would be okay (unless of course you think Zodiac Dragon is a format killer). One place to start such a list would be to look at what is banned in Legacy or restricted in Vintage and ban anything we thought too powerful. We definitely don't want degenerate games, but a price cap my keep us from some more interesting, but hard to come by inclusions. Just a thought.

    2. For commander Veronica and I have been using a rule I heard from Sheldon Menery, one of the fathers of the format. We draw an opening 7 and if it doesn't have at least 3 land, you set it aside and keep drawing 7 card hands until you get one with enough land. Then you shuffle all previous hands into your library. This tends to be faster than the Paris mulligan, since there's no shuffling between hands. Of course the rule is subject to abuse like many, but that seems to be a matter of personal responsibility. Maybe if you had to reveal your hand each time you drew one, to show insufficient mana that would be enough to keep everyone honest. I don't know if such a rule would work for 60, where I tend to think that one free 7 card mulligan followed by regular mulligans is fine. Commander games often go long and even if people don't go buckwild on you, it still feels really bad to have to discard to handsize turn after turn. I just want to be able to have enough land to get going and feel like I've got a shot. I think that's what the mulligan rules should protect.

    3. As for pauper, I'm game. You can find out about the metagame here: I imagine Tommy might also have opinions on the matter. As far as sweepers go, you can play crypt rats, Swirling Sandstorm (if you have threshhold), and Martyr of Ashes. I was thinking multiplayer, as that's the maximum amount of fun (at least to me). Since we all don't get together so frequently, things that maximized group play seemed ideal to me. But I'm willing to hear counter arguments.

  3. That's a good point that just doing it by price doesn't entirely make sense, although you did uncover my secret agenda to stop Zodiac Dragon which is now the only card my Kiki-Jiki deck is weak to. It certainly could be fun to take some of the really old cards that are expensive but not overly powerful and be able to play with those. Maybe we could just kinda make it at everyone's discretion as to whether you think it might be too busted to make games unfun. Probably mostly much older cards that should have never been printed and only exist because Mark Rosewater was doing a lot of coke back at that time. I feel like it should be fairly obvious with most cards where this is the case and if it isn't they you could just ask everyone.

    I like that mulligan rule and how it assures that you will have enough lands. I do also like the Paris mulligan rule too though because it feels like such an interesting strategic decision. Maybe we could combine those two?

    Yeah, I was thinking it would be more fun to do multiplayer for pauper too. And it would probably be some really interesting creature battles taking us back to the old days of playing where it was just black knights and pykeknights and chub toads running up against each other all the live long day.

  4. I knew you secretly had it out for poor old Zodiac Dragon. All he ever wanted to do was love. While I'm generally fine leaving it to personal discretion I think Mishra’s Workshop, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Bazaar of Baghdad, and Gaea's Cradle should be lumped in with the power 9. That said, what do you guys think of Forcefield?

    Maybe I'm just feeling extra lazy right now, I know I should auto add as many duals and fetches as possible, but that sounds like a lot of work. My main interest in proxies was for the 60 card decks, since I have long since dismantled/canibalized/sold/traded large parts for commander decks.

    As for the mulligan rule, how would you combine the two rules?

  5. Forcefield seems really powerful to me and like it would slow the game way down. However, it is also not that much different than something like story circle or ensnaring bridge or numerous other effects that would be legal, so I think it is fine. I don't think it is entirely game warping and creates huge amounts of mana like some of the others things we have listed.

    I was thinking we do the first mulligan rule and you get your hand with at least three lands through that process, shuffle all your other hands back in, and then you would be able to Paris mulligan the hand that you kept. I just like the strategic decisions of the Paris mulligan although it certainly can make everyone have stronger hands than they would otherwise. It would take a bit longer too.

  6. I'm down with having a price limit of $100/150 or following a banning list too. I guess it comes down to what cards we all think would be the most fun/fair. And it'll be good to have alternate formats too like pauper and cube.

    I like the idea of the 3 land mulligan rule too. Maybe for 60 cards we could follow the old school mulligan rule of revealing your hand and if it has no lands you get 7 cards otherwise it goes down a card. Just a thought. Or you don't have to reveal at all and you get 1 less. Kinda gives you a downside to taking a mulligan but makes it more fair in terms of mana screw. Just kinda feel like the unlimited mulligans are too much.

    For Pauper, I've already got a Young Wolf/Vines of the Vastwood deck in mind...

  7. Oh and prey upon. Gonna call it Fight Club.

  8. Also, I was thinking about how Timtom was playing some version of commander with only commons and uncommons, including using any uncommon creature as a commander. That sounds like it could be fun and maybe could be something we could try out? Maybe we could text Tommy to illuminate the format in more detail?

  9. I think pauper commander sounds like a lot of fun. I wonder though...and I know I'll probably sound like a curmudgeon many formats are we going to need decks for? Regular commander, pauper commander, 60-causual, and 60 pauper. I have some concerns (my available space during travel being one). Does this seem potentially problematic to anyone else?

  10. Yeah, that is a good point. We only have so much time and space and there is no need to overwhelm ourselves with tons of different formats.

    Here is another idea: Let's just take all of the decks we all bring and shuffle them all together and then just all play from one deck for the whole weekend

  11. Awesome, so Schlessinger style it is then! Then we just have to say, "What? Argh, Martiiiiiiiinnnnnn!!" every 15 min.

    I would assume normal commander would be the default format. I'm fine bringing decks for that and one or two for another format (or two). If anyone has strong feelings about what would be the best format to play, I'm game. Anything beyond commander and I'm going to have to build decks from scratch regardless. But the more formats we include the fewer decks per format. From a space perspective, 60 card formats will provide more space for decks. What does everyone think?

  12. True dat. That is a lot of formats. I'm most into commander but I am really interested in 60 card pauper too now that I built a deck for it. For me I'll probably bring my box which is like 2/3rds commander and then the rest 60 card (including 1 pauper deck). We can always lend each other decks too if need be.

  13. Yeah I am mostly into commander and 60 card casual and cube. So I think sticking to bringing commander, 60 cards, and 1 pauper deck seems like a good idea.