This entry is part 74 of 537 in the series CommanderCast

Posted by ANDY aka GHoooSTS
Tired of being that tryhard that comes in and stampedes over your local group’s decks with only token resistance? Maybe you’re sick of ending every game int he exact same way, or have noticed you have about the same 120 cards forming 80% of your decks?

If you have the ability to recognize this, first of all, congratulations for being honest with yourself. Second, I hope this show–and week worth of content here at CommanderCast–can help. Call it ‘tryhard therapy’, I guess. We’re going to spend the week discussing why it’s worth your time to make sure your decks AREN’T optimized, as counter-intuitive as that may be. Many players often invoke the memory of a time when they EDH decks were stuffed with dollar rares and shit they had playing around the lab; today we’re more likely to hear about a $3000 cardboard brick full of combos, synergy, and other jazz. It can all start to sound an awful lot like you’re playing another other format, which for many players, is exactly what they wanted to avoid when they started slinging Commanders.

This week, me and my man Cassidy Silver of and Off-Color Cast theme are joined by Alex from the Commander Rules Committee to help you find out a satisfying way to hit that throwback feeling while still enjoying yourselves. It might not be for everyone, but that’s one of the wonderful things about podcasting: I’m not legally permitted to force you to listen at gunpoint.

Worth noting is that our call-in show, otherwise known as the Call-InFerno, is approaching. If you want to volunteer for this… thing, you can! Check out this page and then contact me with your name, Skype ID, and proposed topic.

Show notes and pertinent links below. Enjoy.


00:00 to 02:55: Introduction: INTERNET RADIO: THE FUTURE IS NOW


03:00 to 18:39: Alex’s Rant: Competitive Commander: I give Alex an open mic and he decides to kick things off with the bold proclamation that competitive Commander players don’t exist. While this sounded pretty ridiculous to me on the surface, the discussion spirals into providing some good insight on how you can avoid being the overcompetitive dick nobody likes in your group and how to try to scale your deck’s power level appropriately for your local group.

18:54 to 31:31: The Value of Bad Decks: When we’re talking about powering down, we should probably talk about ‘bad’ decks. It’s important to keep in mind a truly bad deck isn’t worth building, because it won’t be fun to play. But a ‘bad’ deck in the sense that the tryhards will turn their nose up at it and ask why you don’t put in a bunch of played-out staple cards? I feel that it’s something all EDH players should have on hand at all times (locally, we call these decks ‘dusters’). Some people don’t understand the uses of a good ol’ duster so in this segment we speak on why you need to keep one on hand, especially if you’re the kind of person who assumes a local leadership role in your EDH community.


31:45 to 47:45: Multiplayer and Card Advantage Theory: After Alex wrote his thoughts on the topic I figured it would be logical to have him come on the show and express his thoughts using words as well. We’re all probably familiar with the concepts of card advantage being a bunch of tryhards scouring the internet for EDH-related material. But how thoroughly examined has the theory been as far as applications in multiplayer go? What elements of the theory hold up, and which ones don’t?


47:59 to 1:04:36: Prepackaged: Rings of Brighthearth: The return of Prepackaged has us chirping about Rings of Brighthearth. Perhaps one of the most powerful vacuum permanents out there, Rings has a huge number of powerful interactions. In Commander, we discuss the importance of having a general who can interact with the card, the number of other cards that we feel you need to make good use of it, and all kinds of other crap. And of course, we provide a few specific cards that we feel work well with it you may not have considered.

Overall Recommendations: Lands with activated abilities, Planeswalkers, artifact tutors and artifact protection cards, a Commander with activiated abilities (Olivia Voldaren, Arcum Dagsson)

Cassidy’s Recommendations: Garruk, Primal Hunter, Training Grounds/Heartstone

Andy’s Recommendations: X-Dump creatures like Oona, Queen of the Fae, Mizzium Transreliquat

Alex’s Ability: Cards that you can only use once (Pyrite Spellbomb, Tornado), Oblivion Stone

1:04:54 to 1:18:51: Pulling Teeth: In this segment, we discuss ways we find work well in terms of powering down our own decks. Removing consistency though avoiding tutors, staying away from certain infamous cards (e.g. Palinchron), and so on are all on the table. Consider staying away from cards that are too powerful for real formats (a la Vampiric Tutor). If you’re looking to power down your decks, then this segment is hopefully going to contain some information that you can use.


1:19:07 to closing: Outtro: Thanks for listening!


  • Andy: E-Mail: CommanderCast(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)CommanderCast
  • Cassidy: E-Mail: csilver85(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)writerofwrong
  • Alex: Contact via MTG: Commander forums via username Ban-Ki Moon
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