Commanders and their appeal
I stated recently that I got back into Magic Gathering simply because I was bored. And I found a format to my liking, Modern Pauper. Playing modern pauper so far has been interesting but it seems like the format rewards more for playing aggro decks…. But that’s not what i really want to talk today.
Today, I would like to talk of the other reason i jumped back into MTG.
While the idea has been around for ages, it was called Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) before this, only recently, late last year or this year, I’m not sure, that the Wizards officially used EDH, calling it Commander instead, to avoid copyright shenanigans. Its format is simple, it appeals to the casual and not a tournament format game.
- It’s a 100 card deck. All single copy only except for basic land.
- Choose one legendary creature to be your commander, he is part of your 100 card deck, but he starts out of play zone, a special out-of-game area for commander.
- Commanders can be cast out of play into play by its normal mana cost, but everytime he is removed from play or into graveyard or out of game, he can be moved back into the commander zone, and every subsequent mana cost will be given a plus 2 colorless.
- The importance of commander is that his mana colours will determine the entire deck’s colours. If the commander is white red, such as Jor, then his deck can only be lands, colorless, red or white or gold (white/red).
- Life starts at 40.
- Lose condition is player life to 0, or any specific enemy commander deals enough damage to your commander for 21 damage, you lose as well.
There are few more variation. But the thing is, commander are taken for the cardpool of extended. Meaning you have so much choices for it… and being highlander, you only need one copy.
Not forgetting, commander decks are also multiplayer. You can the usual 1vs1 or go multiplayer. Typically, multiplayer is more about player politics and the game can be a bit longer if the players take their time to think. We have tested the 30 second per round player (exclude opponent interfacing) and it does well.
There are five commander decks, each of them 3 colours, by which 1 colour and their 2 enemy colours.
1) Heavenly Inferno (White, Black, Red)
2) Mirror Mastery (Blue, Green, Red)
3) Counterpunch (Black, Green, White)
4) Political Puppets (Red, White, Blue)
5) Devour for Power (Green, Blue, Black)
This 5 comes in a set, where you can buy one of them to get standalone complete deck, or you can share buy a case of 5 of them and then play together with your friends. Being precon, there’s no worry of mixing cards as long as you use different colour/type sleeve. Against each other, the deck are balanced, (or at least balanced in that limited cardpool sense).
I bought Heavenly Inferno and a few of em bought the other and we plan to have the multiplayer rampage thing soon.
War of Honor does an interesting L5R variation for multiplayer but i’ve yet to see it being used in full scale.