This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series The Social Contractor


Ahhh… league systems! Who doesn’t love adding external awards to a game to promote certain types of behaviour? Commander, as a format, is perhaps the greatest fit for this type of system you can find in Magic. After all, when the best way to win a game is often frowned upon, your game could probably use some beefing up. A little more substance without the abuse part. For many people, Leagues do just that, as well as having the added bonus of providing a subtle way to steer the behaviour of participants with a nice, passive-aggressive tone. This also lets you avoid the kind of uncomfortable confrontation so many MtG players fear.

In a way, many league structures represent the vision of Commander the Rules Committee and much of the more ‘casual’ (aka scrub-laden) player base chooses to promote and play. We see rewards for unique and funny plays, even if they aren’t that efficient. We see points distributed for meeting arbitrary, non-gamestate related requirements. It lets people play around and have fun, without necessarily trying to win the actual game. In theory, these Utopian, sunshine-and-lollies setups create a perfect world where even the guy playing Horned Troll as his win condition should be enjoying himself while playing.

But this isn’t your typical bullshit League. While many run penalties to deter things that ‘ruin games’ like infinite combos, fast kills, or mass land destruction, this system promotes the ‘play to win’ philosophy. Instead of trying to make sure everyone has a fighting chance, we’re here making sure we see the survival of the fittest. There’s no room for hand-holding and appreciating your delicate little unique snowflake of a deck, and nobody gives a shit about your ‘funny’ play. There’s nothing funny about Commander, son. This is serial bidness.

If most league setups are paradisaical (oh snap this is a real word, I totally thought I was making it up!) visions of Commander with sunshine and rainbows, this is the Mad Max of Commander; a barren, loveless wasteland only the hard-hearted can survive. It’s the kind of point system Cormac McCarthy would endorse. A sort of post-apocalyptic bizarro world of Commander. Gone is the pretense of social play, the veneer of civility; with these kind of points, we’ve stripped the game down to it’s most primal (and ‘important’) elements, the kind of things Professional Commander Players on message boards everywhere should be trying to integrate into their game.

So, without further adieu, I present to you the Internet TryHard Commander League Scoring System.


This Deck Sucks (-1 to -4)
If your deck doesn’t have a Sol Ring, lose one point. If your deck has less than three copies of Sensei’s Divining Top in it, you lose 3-X points, where X is the number of SDTs in your deck.

Don’t Waste People’s Time (-1)
When you reveal your Commanders, if your deck doesn’t have blue in its colour identity, you lose a point.

Social Format (+1)
Whenever you refuse to play with another player, everyone gets a point pre-game (except for the asshole you refused to play with, nyah!).

Gotta Love Leagues (+1)
Before the game starts, everyone gets a point, because you’re going to forget to award some later on. Trust me.

I Read It Online (+1)
If you can bring a printout of your deck from somewhere on the webternets and you didn’t post it, gain a point.

Gatherer of Misery (+1)
Discreetly sideboard in color-hosers. When confronted about running Lifeforce, insist that you’ve always mainboarded that card. (Matt)


We don’t play THAT kind of game here (-1)
Lose 1 point whenever a creature comes into play under your control. (Carlos)

Swimming Upstream to Victory (+1)
If you make an opponent cry, you get a point.

False Kill (+1)
Eliminate another player with a proxied card for a point. (IGottaBigDeck)

Online MtG Writer (+1)
If you call somebody else bad at Magic, gain a point.

No. (+1)
Gain 1 point whenever you counter a spell (Carlos)

Andy’s Commandercast Special (+1)
Whenever you destroy a land, gain 1 point.  You may destroy another land. (Carlos)

Cunning Linguist (+1, -1 friend)
Eliminate another player with a foreign card doing something other than what you ‘translated’ it to do. (IGottaBigDeck)

Double Scoop (+2)
Counter an opponent’s spell by scooping for two points. (Obsidiandice)

I Don’t Know that Jackass, I Swear (+2)
Give your friend a 5-0 split on a Fact or Fiction in an EDH ‘tournament’ for two points (split the prizes later!).

The Loneliest Game (+3)
Mindslaver lock the table, but demand to play the game to it’s bitter end. +1 additional point or each player at the table beyond four. (ElTacotheRogue)

Whenever the term ‘skill’ is seriously referenced in an EDH context by a player, if you pass that player a pamphlet from a local trade school, college, or university, you get three points.

Nice Kodama’s Reach (+3)
Gain 3 points for each player you kill before turn 5. (Carlos)

Inception (+Variable)
Create a sub-game using Shahrazad, then use a Wish to retrieve it and cast it again. Get a point for each sub-game created, and a point for each opponent who scoops in frustration. (Silvermannen)

Playing with Yourself (+Variable)
Whenever you take another turn, gain 1 point for each successive turn you have taken. (1 point for 1 extra turn.  2 points for the next, etc). (Carlos)

But Kokusho is Broken! (+Variable)
Whenever a Kokusho, the Evening Star goes to your graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent loses 5 points.  You gain points equal to the points lost this way. (Carlos)

After School Special (+Variable)
Gain a point for each consecutive tutor you cast beyond the first. Gain no points instead if none of those cards are part of an infinite combo. (Matt)


Losing is for Losers (-1)
Whenever you lose a game, you lose a point. Give the guy you took you out of the game your pants.

The Real Winner (+2)
After losing the game, reveal the top 5 cards of your library. If one of those cards would have “won me the game if only you hadn’t gotten so lucky,” you win two points. (Matt)

Hundred Card Singleton (+5)
At the end of the game, gain 5 points if you didn’t play your commander. (Carlos)

Lost And Gone (Variable)
At the end of the game, you get a point for each Commander you placed into either a non-visible zone (like a library) or caused a player to exile permanently.

I would like to thank everyone who was kind enough to contribute to this exercise in awesomeness. I’m not creative to come up with a full list of these things. If you are curious about where or whom each achievement came from, you can find it attributed to the creator in parenthesis after the achievement itself.

Series Navigation<< The Social Contractor 04 – Oops, I Win!The Social Contractor 06 – Commander VS Breakdancing >>