This entry is part 84 of 528 in the series CommanderCast

Posted by ANDY aka GHoooSTS
SCIENCE! It’s the greatest thing, but it doesn’t play into Commander much. As a format that only barely sputters along because of the duct tape of good will holding it together instead of a tight-fisted regime’s bean counters keeping the game in check, EDH is probably the most subjective format of all. You can go to any Standard event and have an idea of what you’ll be playing against simply by reading the internet for twenty minutes beforehand. In EDH, despite the lamentation of skinny-jeans hipsters across the Commander community, it’s difficult to make any assumption when you step into a new EDH group. It’s wild cards all around.

Or is it?

This week I am joined by long-time baller Max of Peasant Rebellion fame to discuss the project of our special guest. Joeri is the creator of “The REAL Top 50”, a fascinating analysis of the MTGS EDH deck database where you can see trends in deck construction, the numerical representation of some cards across the format, and so on. Really, it’s the only science I know of that anybody has ever done to EDH, and that makes it super-noteworthy. Also Jeori has an awesome accent so that’s important.

After you’re done the podcast, don’t forget to have my back on this whole Gifts Given 2012 affair. It’s for the children, but even for the selfish bastards out there like myself, you’re getting hooked up with a thugnificent CommanderCast garment. This will be the only time they are ever produced, so if you want in, get in NOW!

Show notes and pertinent links below. Enjoy.


00:00 to 03:39: Introduction: REAL TALK


03:50 to 13:54: FFART: Self-Imposed Win Conditions: Every now and then you come across the guy who built a deck to ‘win’ in a sense the rules don’t really cover. For example, maybe the deck is built to keep the game at a certain state, or to empty it’s own library, or whatever. In any case, none of them ‘win’ in the sense of Magic’s rules, but rather through personal satisfaction. But when three or more others have to sit there and watch you stroke yourself, what kind of impact do these decks have on others? This week we debate the value in decks that throw the traditional methods of ‘winning’ to the wind.

14:09 to 36:37: The REAL Top 50: Joeri has broken new ground by being the first (that we know of) person to conduct any real research into Commander as a format. He has compiled a massive database of decklists posted on the MtG Salvation EDH forums and from it, provided detailed and regularly-updated lists you can comb for all kinds of fascinating information. Join us this week as we discuss the what and why of the data, how you can get involved, and some of the interesting finds in the haze of numbers.

I also of course want to that Joeri for doing this, as I’m assumig it takes a lot of time and is adding an entirely new resource to the Commander community, something that so rarely happens.


36:52 to 53:22: Draw, Sort, and Tutor: A lot of people love to have big ol’ hands of seven or more cards at all times, and sometimes your Brainstorms and Preordains get lost in the shuffle (what a sick-ass-sick pun). We all know tutoring is the bomb in Commander, but would you ever prefer to have sifting cards over drawing cards? What’s the value in a large grip vs a highly organized one? This week we explore the options at hand (again, I’m punning it up-possessed by the spirit of D-Money).


53:40 to 1:13:44: Statistics Tech: Back to the stats, this week we take a look at cards we use that seem underreperesented on the lists Joeri has taken the time to compile. What are some cards we thought were widely played or otherwise awesome, and turn out to be less so? Statistical anomalies pepper all our decks, a product of card availability, local metagame and personal preference. Here we discuss what cards make us each individual little snowflakes in the larger Commander community.


1:13:57 to closing: Outtro: Thanks for listening!


  • Andy: E-Mail: CommanderCast(at)gmail(dot)com // Twitter: (at)CommanderCast
  • Max: E-Mail: MAXWELLIAN2000(at)yahoo(dot)com
  • Joeri: Contact via MTGS forums
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