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Tips for cutting cards from decks

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--- Quote from: Judaspriester on June 18, 2019, 04:25:13 pm ---Could we maybe get this topic pinned? I think it's very useful, especially to new/unexperienced EDH players.

--- End quote ---

Ask and you shall receive.

Morganator 2.0:
Are we casting Raise Dead on this thread? Because I've learnt of something that might help new players.

It's called 8 by 8 theorem. The premise is you have your commander, 35 lands and then 8 categories with 8 cards in each category (which gives a perfect 100 cards). So you would have 8 mana ramp cards, 8 removal cards, 8 draw spells, and then the other categories would be themes of the deck like haste enablers, token generators, anthem effects, etc.

To me this seems like an alright way of making a first draft, so long as you follow the other suggestions in this thread on what cards to include/exclude. I also think that some color combinations (Boros) would have trouble filling some of these categories. While the deck will eventually move away from 8 cards in 8 categories, it's good start point.

I often divide cards into functional categories. Once I see how many cards I have in each category I decide how many cards I want there to be in that category. Then I rank the cards in the categories to match the general curve of my deck. A couple of one-drops, a few mid drops and maybe one or two bigger cards. If the category feels lopsided (i.e. too many small spells or too many big spells) I just cut down to fit the curve.

Example, mana:
Wayfarer's Bauble is really good because it fetches a land into play. Then I'll want a few signets/talismans, maybe Commander's Sphere, Coalition Relic. Gilded Lotus is usually the end of my ramp curve but some decks can definitely use Dreamstone Hedron for it's ability to sac into cards. The point is: I'm not filling up the ramp category with just small one or two costed ramp spells because they're not that impactful later on. A Dreamstone Hedron isn't useful in the opening hand either.

Example, draw:
While Blue Sun's Zenith is really good late game it isn't that useful early on. So I might not want to include both Stroke of Genius and BSZ. Instead I trade some of the really powerful draw spells for something in the mid range, like Rhystic Study or Mystic Confluence. I make sure to add some small draw/loot effects like Preordain, Careful Study.

One weird thing I've noticed is that card advantage is mana ramp. The more you draw the more you hit lands, the more ramp spells you have. If you need to cut down on something don't skimp on card draw. I don't think I've ever managed to build a deck with too much card draw. You could even consider converting two ramp spells into one card draw (more specifically an engine like Mind's Eye). The overall effect is that you'll be slower but more consistent.

This is exactly how I do it.

In fact, it's how I build highly competitive decks. The cards I play ONLY do the following:

Help me cast the cards I need, help me find the cards I need, help me stop someone else from winning, or win me the game on the spot.

I have no space for fluff in my decks.

My categories look like this...

Ramp (dorks and rocks)
Interaction (stax, counters and removal)
Wincon A
Wincon B

And nothing else.

Of course, many times the dorks become excellent blockers for example faeburrow eldar. Those layered advantages are nice, like the statement above regarding abrade.... But yeah, check out my builds, you will see the way I do business, it becomes so easy to figure out what to cut :)


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