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How long does a cEDH game last?



Okay so we all know the torture of playing premade decks that take forever to close out the game because they have no dedicated win cons most of the time. Personally this is why I can't stand premades. There is this idea that games get shorter as your decks become more and more powerful. You go from no win cons in premades to damage based win cons like craterhoof behemoth, to combos like kiki-Jiki, to fast mana to get those combos quicker. That, at least, is my experience in EDH. Slowly powering up our decks. Since in cEDH you can win with two cards in hand with flash and protean hulk for example, the game seems to take less time. Instead of 12 long turns, it is maybe 4 or 5. But in a typical commander game, nothing much is happening turn 4 or 5. Sure some engines are getting online, but usually no one is in danger of winning that turn. I know the first 3 turns can go draw land pass for each player in some cases. Most of the time, you can expect to get to turn 8+, which is why people include big fat bombs in their decks. You arent casting insurrection in cEDH, even if it was a good card in that environment.

However, in cEDH it seems a lot more happens those first few turns. A turn 1 land pass seems like a poor play. Those first few turns have a lot going on, and so the game might be over on turn 5, in a casual setting they are probably on turn 7 or 8.

TLDR; How long, turn wise and time wise is a typical cEDH game and can it vary by a lot?

Morganator 2.0:
First off, everything I say is true as of a few weeks ago. The release of Thassa's Oracle and by extension, the sushi-hulk combo, has all kinds of things up in the air right now.

Turn-wise, most decks aim to end the game by turn 4. Some of the tier 1 decks can accomplish it sooner. The interaction and stax effects of the other players is what makes the games go longer. Typically, most games are over between turns 3 and 5, but games going longer than that aren't uncommon.

Time-wise it varies greatly. I used to run a cEDH league that had a time limit of 1 hour, and there was almost always at least 1 pod that went to time. Non-infinite combos (storm, anything involving extra turns) take a while to play through if no one scoops. I'm inclined to say that most games end in 45 minutes, but longer games can last to an hour and a half. Even though most games go to only 4 turns, a lot more happens within those 4 turns.

The average goldfish (the turn it wins assuming 0 interaction) of my deck, Sliver Hulk, is around turn 3.. slightly less. Games are almost never longer than 5 turns at this point. On average, the most active turns are going to be 2 and 4 followed very closely by 3, which is when most decks will be wanting to win

Disclaimer: I tend to watch cEDH gameplay vs play it myself.

I think it depends on how much interaction there is among the decks, how familiar the players are with the deck, and if anyone is stax-based. Just because you can combo off on turn 2 doesn't mean anyone else is going to let you. There's also more riding on each decision so players can be more careful/slower. A more casual game can probably be on turn 3 by the time a cEDH game is finished with turn 1 but eventually the former starts to grind to a halt. So I feel judging speed by the turns is deceptive.


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