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.
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
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.
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.