This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series True Conviction

By Matt

I’m not about to preach to you about how Kukusho should be unbanned, or how Sway of the Stars is no more insulting than Time Stretch (even though both of these things are granted).  And frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn that a whole whopping 43 cards out of 10,698 cards are banned, which is just 0.40% of all the cards available to you in Magic.  In other words, I’m not at all swayed by the slippery slope alarmists who think that an unreasonably huge ban list is coming and will inevitably destroy this or any format. So let’s move on.

What I’m preaching about today is hypocrisy and mixed messages.  I’m talking about a ban list that aims to keep Commander flavorful and “in-spirit” while recklessly encouraging degenerate deck building to both newbies and veterans alike.  I’m talking about the most disputed topic in all of Commander: the terribly inadequate ban list given to us by the Rules Committee.

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This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series True Conviction

By Matt

(Generals being “tuckable” by cards such as Hinder and Oblation is a ruling that is inconsistent with other such replacement effect rules and ultimately discourages players from building general-centric decks or from even casting their general in the first place, which is the defining characteristic of this format and plays the largest role in its success and sets it apart from normal, deceased Highlander. It’s the mating call of the scrubby player to insist that some Generals are “clearly overpowered” and that tucking them is the only solution, especially given that there are plenty of efficient answers to every General that should already be staples in any well-built deck, and simply communicating to the player with the “clearly overpowered” general and requesting that he/she play something more to the level of the group is a more viable solution yet. Rendering entire archetypes moot for three mana at instant speed is what’s truly “overpowered.” I find this debate so absurdly one-sided that writing another structured argument like I did about the sideboard rule would be excessive. Already I’ve said too much on the topic. So, instead, you get a short allegory about a man and a woman going through couples therapy. Enjoy!)

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This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series True Conviction

By Matt

I don’t hate competitive decks.

Okay, I’ll grant that this sounds far-fetched coming from the guy who says “tutor generals are worse neighbors than the Taliban” and “you’re as respectable as John Wayne Gacy, Jr. when you play 5-color combo decks”—but it’s the truth. To hate competitive decks would be to hate one half of myself, one half that surfaces at the right times and the right places but remains respectfully hidden away from the casual group games that the Rules Committee (hereby abbreviated to ‘RC’) promotes.

There is a time and a place for a Land Destruction archetype, for “Counterspell: The Deck,” for Necrotic Ooze combo, for Erayo lockdown, for Captain Sisay and her hateful band of prison guards, and for all the things you deem “cheap” or “unfair” or “overpowered.” That place is for equally Spike-y playgroups and that that time is for when someone chimes: “Who wants to duel?” I am fully in support of both ends of the spectrum of Commander—“Casual” and “Competitive”—and I never judge unless one of the two is presented repeatedly and pompously out of context.

I am loving and accepting and open to all of the wonderful things that this format has to offer—wait, who invited you, Optional Sideboard Rule? We don’t welcome your kind around here! OUT! GET OUT! That’s it, I’m getting my shotgun!

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