This entry is part 439 of 542 in the series CommanderCast

Hello everyone and welcome to CommanderCast! This week Mark and Adam are taking a week off from the regular to give you something different. Instead of the usual CommanderCast episode that you have come to know and love, you’ll be receiving what is known as an off episode of CommanderCast. This week’s discussion will be involving pipedreams and buck list.

So sit back relax and Click the IB!!!


Ib Download






CommanderCast Off-Week #2

Posted: July 27, 2020 


The Topic: Bucket Lists & Pipe Dreams: Changing the way you approach EDH


What is the goal of playing a game of Commander?


   {Most players say “winning,” but that’s just one way to approach EDH. You might always be trying to win, but if it stops being your primary focus, you open up a world of different and interesting possibilities for your experience of EDH.}


What is a “bucket list” item or “pipe dream”?


   {Shit to do before you die… An illusory or fantastic plan, hope or story}


Mark’s EDH bucket list:

  • Fifth Dawn Station combo
  • Winning a game with my dumb Skeleton Ship combo deck and/or Olivia Voldaren Vampire tribal
  • Killing a player with Gabriel Angelfire commander damage
  • Pulling off the ultimate Timmy win with Mayael’s Aria
  • Living long enough to see a viable Cephalid deck in EDH
  • Building a Grixis deck I like
  • Building a Blink deck I don’t hate


*See also: a list of alt win cons & alt lose cons.


Do you actually make a list?


   {That’s up to the individual? I don’t, but that doesn’t mean you can’t… I’d probably have to put Mortal Combat, Epic Struggle (currently in Rith), one-shotting someone with Progenitus, building a decent Infect deck…, building a real (not fringe) cEDH deck… }

 Mark: see above list.


Why prioritize achievements over victories?


   {Thinking about achievements makes for something else to try to accomplish.}

   {You can be happy about “doing your thing” even if you didn’t win.}—> this.


How does this approach affect deckbuilding?


    {You no longer focus on winning or on efficiency. It’s not as much “how do I kill the table?” as it is “how do I manage to do this weird or bizarre thing?” That thing might win the game, but it might not – that’s up to you. }



  • For me, it’s answering the question, “What do I want this deck to do?” which I have to remind myself often should contain some way to win the game as well.


What kinds of EDH players will this approach work best for?


   {You have to not mind losing… and you have to enjoy building decks and playing them until they “get there”…}



  • Exhibit A:


  • Probably not folks who come from competitive formats/metas/mindsets


Do you ever stop caring about winning?


   {Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…. Me? No – but it depends upon the person…}



  • Follow on question: “Is the idea of a bucket/achievement list anathema to efficiency & optimization in deckbuilding?”


What goes well on a bucket list?


 – Amusing and weird interactions


   {SJ: Sydri, Galvanic Genius & Caltrops, Sydri & Aetherflux Reservoir}


 – Obscure, convoluted multi-card combos


   {SJ: Battered Golem / Retraction Helix / Jhoira 4 card combo}


 – Interactions you came up with on your own


   {SJ: Lutri & Baral’s Expertise… }


Does it count if you stumble upon an “achievement” rather than planning it out?


   {Since the whole point is to find new ways to enjoy EDH, why not? My favorite game ever was when I hit Aura Thief / Enchanted Evening and then Leveler / Fractured Identity on the next turn. I had built the deck with both combos but had never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d hit both in the same game. Hitting either one would have been a “bucket list” item checked off, so hitting both was just spectacular. } 




How do you make something like LabMan combo actually interesting???


How can changing your approach to EDH benefit you and your meta?


 – If you’re an overly spikey player, it can help keep you from dominating play


 – Keeps things interesting / promotes a greater variety of game experiences


 – Makes for great stories and more memorable games






GUEST: Stephen Johnson – check out Steve’s work on CoolStuffInc. & contact him at


CommanderCast  – Email: commandercast(at)gmail(dot)com // twitter: (at)CommanderCast


Calvin – Email: captainredzone(at)gmail(dot)com  // twitter: (at)CaptainRedZone


Mark – Email: mahlerma(at)gmail(dot)com


Adam – (at)squire9999


Be sure to check out our CommanderCast Facebook page. 


And a big thanks to everyone here at the CommanderCast Network. We’ll see you next week with more community, strategy, and technology. Until then, LET’S GET IT!


Editor’s note: the music for this episode is “Alte Herren (Kielokaz ID 364)” by KieLoKaz. 


It’s used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license. No changes were made to this track.

Series Navigation<< CommanderCast Ep 407 – Lab Man and Board Wipes RevisitedCommanderCast Ep 408 – Are There Any Reprints Left? >>