Tag Archives: Commander

Top 5 January 2022: A Look Ahead

Introduction

This Top 5 January 2022 article comes about a week late. We here at 2 Guys Gaming consider that a victory after disappearing for two whole months at the end of last year. Also, unless I come up with something else while writing the article, this top 5 January 2022 might be only a top 4.

Will I make it to 5? Stay tuned to find out.

Top 5 January 2022

Well, that wasn’t at all suspenseful, was it? I learned over the last few years from people that I love who suffer from anxiety that suspense is overrated.

5. Geocaching – I will talk about this more on my other page. However, it became such a part of my life over the last 3rd of last year, I’d be doing a disservice by not mentioning it here, too. I currently have two goals for the year. Finish out my 365/366 consecutive days of caching and finding 1000 caches in the calendar year. Check out the other page to keep tabs.

4. Homebrew Games – I recently hooked up my Atari 2600 emulator to the downstairs TV again. I only played a few minutes of Frostbite and Circus Convoy. The latter reminded me how much I enjoyed the other homebrew games I purchased at the beginning of last year. So, I found myself on the Atari homebrew page again thinking about what new games I want for a 50 year old video game system.

3. New Games – I actually put together a Christmas list for the first time in years. On the list, I asked for a few new games. I saw Chess Ultra at Walmart for 13 bucks and Chris recommended Hades. I also asked for the new Metroid game before realizing it cost 60 bucks. But, I got Hades and Chess. I played through a few minutes of Hades, texting Chris the whole time and can’t wait to play more. Plus, Chess is always a winner.

2. Dungeons and Dragons Duels – I talked about this in my previous article wrapping up my favorites of last year. Quinn and I never got a chance to sit down and have a session. But I remain committed to making it happen. We have the same February vacation this year. Expect an update after that.

1. MtG Commander – I also wrote about this in my year end wrap among other articles. Unlike Duels, though, Chris and I actually got to play some Commander while watching Alabama eviscerate Georgia in the SEC Championship. As it turns out, Georgia gave Bama the rope a dope in that game and turned the tide (ha ha) earlier this week. I’d have lost my house if I didn’t think the line was super fishy. But, alas, back to the point. More Commander not this weekend, but next.

The Verdict

Our top 5 January 2022 seems less intriguing than our preview last year. However, it is far more sustainable over the long run since I’m not promising to play 75 games that I’ll never even speak of again as long as we live. Also, honestly, I’m not sure what else to write this week, so it might be a bit of a dry stretch until we play Commander again next week. Plus, there will be at least three of us there! See you then.

2021 Tabletop Game of the Year

Introduction

Previously, we picked Magic the Gathering Arena as our PC/Mobile Game of the Year. As promised, this time we pick our 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year. If you paid attention to the previous article, this choice will come as no surprise. As with our PC/Mobile game, we really only played this game, so the choice is more or less by default. Nevertheless, the choice is genuine. We very much enjoy this game, especially lately.

Drum roll, please. Pause for effect.

This year, we the esteemed creators and chairmen of this very web site, 2 Guys Gaming, of sound body and mind, do so delcare with enthusism and without question (is this run on sentence with a parenthetical ridiculous enough yet? Because I’m running out of steam.) that we choose Magic the Gathering as our Tabletop game of the year. Other than the fact that we consistently (well, as consistent s we get) publish content about Magic the Gathering, we have other reasons for choosing the game.

The Cons (Always Start with the Bad News)

Cons? How can the 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year have cons? Well, there are always two sides to the story. Besides, the cons aren’t game breaking and easily remedied.

  1. Expensive – As with the digital formats, Magic the Gathering cards can be expensive. Unlike the digital (except MTGO), the actual cards have a secondary market that drives the cost up on many cards. Thankfully, I’m not one to keep up with the Joneses and refuse to give in to the temptation to spend stupid amounts of money on cards. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take advantage, as evidenced by the Griseldaddy and Chandra I sold for almost 100 each.
  2. Hard to Get Together – This mostly applies just to us and our playgroup. Chris and I texted several times before we were finally able to get together for some Commander on the night of the SEC Championship. Inspired by that, he tried to get us together with some of his buddies that we’ve played before, but that fell apart, too. But, we planned to get together after the new year.
Hmm, draw 7 cards or two tanks of gas? I could also feed my family for a week. Tough choice, but I’m not signing on that dotted line in blood any time soon, Griseldaddy.

Pros (Preciesely Chosed to Counter the Cons)

  1. Proxies – I checked before I ordered. Okay, I checked soon after I ordered. But, I couched the question with an assumed affirmative. “We allow proxies, right?” I knew Chris would say yes. I wasn’t sure about the other guys. But, I got a yes and ordered the cards I needed to upgrade my Naya landfall Commander deck. Too bad I read the small print too late and just recently saw they’re coming from Spain. That’s gonna sit in customs for a while.
  2. Face to Face Always Better – Even when I’m losing to some stupid Paradise Mantle combo or Chris is beating my brains out in Commander, I still have more fun against actual people. My paranoid side always sees my opponent’s draw in Magic the Gathering Arena as tailored specifically to beat my deck or draw. Harder to make that claim against a non computer opponent
  3. Commander – I already went over this several times so I won’t rehash it again here. Just know that it remains my favorite format.

The Verdict

I think we made a clear case why, in spite of the fact that it was basically by default, that Magic the Gathering is our 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year. Join us again in a couple of days as we choose the console game of the year. If you thought this one was ridiculous, wait until you see the justification for that. But, don’t let that scare you off. Be sure to come back. It’ll be fun.

Commander: Top 5 Reasons It’s My New Favorite Format

Introduction

I often said that I’m a Commander player who never played Commander. Well, I can’t say that anymore. I played Commander. In person. Against a real live boy. Insomuch as you belive that Chris is an actual human and not some figment of my imagination. After watching “A Beautiful Mind”, I neither confirm nor deny the existence of anyone. However, I’m 95% sure that Chris is a real person because my wife and children have all seen him. So, either they are all fake or he’s real. While still not confirmation, it’s more likely that he’s real than I’ve constructed this elaborate lie to keep myself as sane as possible given that I probably died about a decade ago and this is Hell.

Just how far down does this Matrix go? Is it too late to pick blue?

Whether Chris actually exists or not, I played a few games against him. We watched Alabama absolutely eviscerate Georgia, we ate pizza, and we played Magic the Gathering. Okay, even I admit, this is sounding less and less plausible as an evening in the life of a 46 year old father of three. Nevertheless, let’s pretend it’s all real. I present to you the top 5 reasons that it’s my new favorite format. Granted, I had no favorite format before, except maybe Legacy or Vintage. But, I never in a milliion years, made enough money to even put together a proxy deck in either of those formats, so EDH it is.

Number 5 – Low Money Threshold

Precon decks are cheap. They are also terrible. However, I discovered that many players wrote extensive upgrade articles to take them from terrible to slightly less terrible for less than 100 dollars (as long as you and your playgroup are willing to tolerate proxies). Take this page for example. Or, this one. For about 150 bucks, I got 2 playable decks and a stupid combo deck. Not bad all things considered.

Number 4 – Popularity

Partially because of the low barrier economically, many many people play this format. I know becaue (a) of the plethora of articles mentioned in the last section and (b) anytime I mention to another human being there seems to be a (completely made up statistic) 72.5% chance that they tell me they at least have a precon deck redy to play

Get yours today!

Number 3 – Variety of Strategies

One of the things that keeps us coming back to Magic the Gathering is the ever evolving strategy of the game. Within that changing metagame, certain things remain universal. Life gain. Tribal. Ramp. Prison. Mill. Plus, many more. Find your playstyle today. Unless you play mill. In that case, I invite you to go straight to hell.

And, of course, I open MTGA and the first game is opened with this play, FFS.

Number 2 – We got a playgroup together (Sort of)

You may remember from the early days of 2 Guys Gaming that Chris and I went to a guy’s house to play some sealed for one of the sets. After the sealed game, we played something or another. I don’t remember the exact format. I simply remember watching another game and making a snarky comment similar to the one I just made about not actually playing Magic the Gathering as my opponent combo’d off on turn 3.

The point of this story is that those same players contacted Chris a couple of weeks ago about getting together to play Magic again. We were supposed to get together last weekend, but it fell apart due to scheduling conflicts of adults. However, we made a commitment to try again next month. So, progress!

Number 1 – Singleton Decks

Chris and I texted back and forth several times about our get together and the quirky nature of singleton decks. I said something along the lines of, “It’s funny how you can play the deck so many times and still be surprised when you learn that a card is in the deck because you’ve never seen it once.” He replied with, “Yeah, the one copy of each card makes for an interesting strategy.” I got a glimpse of it with Tiny Leaders, but doubling the card count provides a whole new level of strategy for sure.

Commander: A Great Format or the Greatest?

In addition to everything already said, playing against Chris inspired me to order counters, tokens, and a satchel to carry my decks. I know we get inspired to do things around here (like update the web page regularly) only to see that motivation wane to the point that nothing is done for months at a time. However, this interest in Commander seems to have a staying power. Stay tuned in January to see if that’s true.

Commander Legends: Cards I Love

Introduction

Commander Legends? Aren’t all commanders legendary? I am the first to admit that I have not played Commander at all. But, even I know that much. Okay, requisite dorky dad joke out of the way, let’s get to the actual introduction.

After all, I am a dorky dad and I have the photos to prove it.

As we often do, Chris and I texted about each new card that we found interesting or fun. I’m not sure who started the text chain this time, but I’ll be honest, I never expected it to persist for as long as it did. Mainly, we haven’t gotten together to play in almost a year (maybe even over a year) due to Covid.

As a result, I’ve seen Chris’s passion for the game die. I’ve been able to keep mine mostly alive by playing a game against the boys. Also, xMage and Arena have kept me going. So, I was more than a little surprise that Chris said that he ordered a box of cards. I followed suit by buying a Commander gift box from Channel Fireball that included two Commander decks. So, after years of saying that I’m a Commander player who never played Commander, we are both suddenly Commander Legends.

White

Commanders I’d Play

Both of these have similar effects. Akroma is just straight stupid with a card like Zetalpa, Primal Dawn that is keyword soup. Prava has the added bonus of being a tiny leader in addition to a possible commander. You could build one heck of a nasty token deck around that card. If Chris gets a copy, I might just buy or trade for it.

Other Cards of Note

Austere Command is just a ridiculously versatile control card that I would run 2 of in pretty much any deck that had white. Sure, it is expensive. But, all of the effects are devastating. In addition to just learning Commander, I have also learned about the Monarch, which was introduced in the Conspiracy set a few years ago. It’s a cool mechanic that introduces new strategies to the game. Akroma’s will works well with Akroma. Not surprising, but my eyes bugged when I saw the card.

Blue

Commanders I’d Play

Turning scry into draw is a seemingly powerful effect. Heck, I just got tricked into picking this card because of that effect. Now that I think about it, though, I wish that the effect was “may” or “scry and then draw”. The second effect might be too powerful. I picked the second because of the partner effect. Unfortunately, I can’t partner the card with my Kira because the CMC has to be below 4 cumulatively. Nevertheless, if both are in play at the same time, good luck casting any removal.

Other Cards of Note

WotC is just trolling us at this point with blue cards that are 5 CMC and have “Force” in the title. Sakashima’s Will is just a cool card. I noticed a card with a similar “choose” effect when I was looking through white, but I wasn’t impressed with the card. This one is a lot of fun. I texted Chris about Body of Knowledge as soon as I saw it. Look at this dumb card, I said. Not sure it is good, but it certainly is dumb. Just my kind of card.

Black

Commanders I’d Play

I have an “Empires” deck that I put together that was the throne, crown, and scepter of empires. Of course, I built a blue deck around them. I was thinking that I could adjust the deck to build around Armix. The only problem is that if I make it Tiny Leaders, I can’t run the crown because it is 4 CMC. Tevesh Szat is just a Commander that you run if you don’t ever want to play a game of Commander. He puts a huge target on you.

Other Cards of Note

Profane Transfusion reminds me of the card from one of the Phyrexia sets. Phyrexian Rebirth. Once upon a time I had the ridiculous idea to build a token deck around that card. Maybe with the Cat Leader from above, I finally can. As I was looking through the black cards, I noticed an elf theme. As elves are usually green, I found that interesting. Rakshasa Debaser is just one of those ridiculous cards that I get in my head will somehow work exactly the way I hope. Yet, it never does.

Red

Commanders I’d Play

I texted Chris about Rograkh, too. I think my exact question was, “exactly how broken is this stupid card?” Actually, that wasn’t my exact question. I think I said something about “speaking of stupid” and he replied with something along the lines of “Dear God”. Looks like we can Alena, then the next turn cast Rograkh and a ton of cheap enhance spells, get a bunch of mana and then cast fireball. GG no re.

Other Cards of Note

Wheel of Misfortune and Explosion of Riches just seems like dumb Hearthstone cards. I simultaneously hate the RNG nature of that game and love the RNG nature of that game. These two cards just feel like they’d end up with half of the table laughing and the other half crying. I texted Chris about Blasphemous Act, “When you absolutely, positively don’t want any friends.”

Green

Commanders I’d Play

(a) Did somebody say elves? I noticed an elf theme in black earlier. I surely would have been disappointed if green did not have a similar theme. Time to brew a GB elf deck of doom. (b) Cascade from hand?! That seems like crazy combo possibility with some of the green cards out there. I’m sure Chris has some ideas.

Other Cards of Note

We heard you like ramp, so we put some ramp in your ramp in Reshape the Earth. That’s crazy expensive and if you have 9 lands on the battlefield, I’m not sure what you’d do with twice that. Then again, I’m not a green mage. Court of Bounty is another interesting monarch card that gives some versatility. And not only does Apex Devastator cascade four times, but if combined with Kodama, you get a creature from hand.

Multicolor

There are only Legendary creatures in the multicolor pool for this set. Therefore, I’ll pick more than the two I had been picking for each color.

Commanders I’d Play

In my research about Commander, I learned about group hug strategy. I don’t entirely understand it. But, from what I gather, that bunny looks like a group hug type of guy. I picked the Boros guy simply for all you players out there who like to take notes. He tells you to do so in the text box. I texted Chris about Yurlok because he brings back mana burn. We joked about him scaring off the noobs with old school rules.

Averna let’s you ramp when you cascade. That’s a neat addition. That abomination is going in my mythical GB elves deck. And, that brings us to Nevinyrral. I texted Chris about this one because I recognized the name from the old disk card. This guy has the same effect with a sizeable body.

Colorless

I joked earlier that WotC likes trolling us with almost Force of Will cards. They have done the same with Lotus cards throughout the years. This one is the closest almost Lotus that we’ve ever had. It very well could see a banning in Commander and especially Tiny Leaders. I could put the Staff of Domination in my terrible Armix deck. And, there is a cycle of diamonds in this set. I just picked this one because it’s not Mox Diamond, it’s Moss Diamond. LOL. *ahem* Colorless sucks in this set. What do you want from me?

The Verdict (Commander Legends cards are fun)

Commander Legends offers some fun stuff for players of the format. Even someone like me who has only fancied himself a Commander player who doesn’t have a playgroup can find something in this set. I have to say that there might even be better cards in here than some of the other more recent standard sets. I mean, I have been having fun with MTGA, but the Zendikar Rising cards are mostly just annoying to play against. So, I commend Chris on his decision to grab a box of Commander Legends. He won’t be let down.