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Author Topic: Experience with Commander-like formats  (Read 819 times)

Morganator 2.0

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Experience with Commander-like formats
« on: October 13, 2021, 11:23:39 am »
It's no secret that this site really likes the Commander format. But I'm curious about what people thought of the commander variants. Stuff like Tiny Leaders, Brawl, Oathbreaker, and Conquest (among others). What was it like playing these formats? Did you enjoy it? And what did you like/dislike about them?

WWolfe

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 01:58:44 pm »
I played Tiny Leaders some when that was "the next big thing". It was ok, I ran a format fitting version of my Skullbriar deck and it did pretty well. I enjoyed the format, and think I may still even have a deck that's legal for it, but it kind of lost popularity and you hardly ever see it played anymore. Though the "official" ban list and website are still active and updated.
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Bonethousand

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 02:51:29 pm »
I'm really hot and cold on Brawl. Honestly, I hate all the "Standardy" things about Brawl: singleton decks that rotate, the head-to-head dynamic that allows you to fill a whole deck with counters and kill spells, etc. Whenever I play, it really feels like I'm either playing against people who've never played commander before, so they don't realize what works and what doesn't; or I'm playing against the same meta netdecks. However, I really like the strange, non-thematic, non-ban related restrictions it puts on the deck building. Like, I made a Mila, Crafty Companion deck that should by no means be a viable EDH deck, but with 60 cards... and everyone else doesn't have access to the most ideal synergies... it just felt fun. One of the closest experiences to "fair magic" I've had in a long time.

Cosmic_Insight

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 05:20:11 pm »
I like the idea of Oathbreaker. A commander like format, but faster, with 60 card decks and 20 life each, where a planeswalker leads your deck AND you have access to an instant or sorcery in the command zone. The RC for oathbreaker cares about making the best decisions for the format, not banning cards for personal reasons (rip Golos, you will be missed) and although the format is supposed to be fast, most of the notorius fast mana sources are banned, from Sol Ring to Mana Crypt.
"Your next line will be "Golos shouldn't have been banned!""

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ApothecaryGeist

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 01:11:49 am »
I built a Brawl deck when the format was created.  There were never enough Brawl players on Commander night to make a pod.  Then the format rotated.  Never played it.  Likely won't spend my time ever making another "Casual format" deck that rotates out before I get to play it.
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Eryx92

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 08:09:41 am »
I like the idea of Oathbreaker. A commander like format, but faster, with 60 card decks and 20 life each, where a planeswalker leads your deck AND you have access to an instant or sorcery in the command zone. The RC for oathbreaker cares about making the best decisions for the format, not banning cards for personal reasons (rip Golos, you will be missed) and although the format is supposed to be fast, most of the notorius fast mana sources are banned, from Sol Ring to Mana Crypt.

This! I only played a few rounds of Oathbreaker, but I like the faster nature of the format. Commander games can sometimes be tedious if you have a casual playgroup that lacks efficient removal.

What also really like about Oathbreaker: Combat is way more important than in EDH.

I think even on a tight budget, Oathbreaker offers really decent builds, especially if you like Reanimator Playstyles.
RIP Golos. <3

Morganator 2.0

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 11:15:59 am »
I gave brawl a shot and managed to convince a few of my commander friends to join for a while. It was pretty unpopular. I remember thinking "why don't we just play commander?" We did have some standard players join in, but they didn't really have a sense of what makes a good multiplayer deck, so their card choices were wonky. And if you weren't playing green, mana ramp was not something your decks would have. I kept my deck until rotation. I think I was the last person in the city with a brawl deck.

Oathbreaker on the other hand went really well. I had Xenagos the Reveler + Genesis Wave and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries + Paradigm Shift. Lots of fun. Myself and a few others pretty quickly figured out the format. There are two type of signature spells that make a successful deck; either a spell that ends the game when you cast it, or a spell that can be discounted so you can cast it multiple times.

I've also considered Conquest. It's made by a group of people who didn't like the way the commander rules committee was running things. They've tailored Conquest's rules and banlist so that aggro decks are just as viable a strategy as combo decks.

And one thing that I really like with both oathbreaker and conquest; the creators listen to community feedback, and are willing to make changes based on it. That is something that's been lacking from commander for a long time now, but we are starting to see changes in that direction.

Potato Chop

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2021, 06:39:11 am »
This positive talk of Oathbreaker has convinced me to convince my friends to give it a shot. We're getting out of lockdown in a week and a half, and now we're planning to build some Oathbreaker decks to have some planeswalker-filled fun.

I don't know about the others yet (one is considering using his copy of Teferi, Time Raveler for an Azorius stax build), but I'm building Jeskai Spellslinging with Narset of the Ancient Way + Inspired Ultimatum for a generally good time. Building on a strict budget was surprisingly easy because of the 60-card decks, rather than the 100 cards that I'm used to.

Has anyone got more inspiration for fun Oathbreaker builds they've done? What is the general consensus on the format?

MustaKotka

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2021, 11:18:07 am »
I loved Tiny leaders, we used to play it all the time. Lower mana costs and lower life totals meant fewer combo decks and more organic and faster game play. My Merieke Ri Berit originates from Tiny Leaders, actually. It used to be a walls and steal deck. (Did alright!) The lack of good board wipes pushed the format towardws aggro so a lot of our play group was on aggro. Except that one former judge... He played a degenerate lands deck with Glacial Chasm which pretty much stopped the entire format for us. It felt "solved" after that grindy 5h game where we collectively figured out we have enough removal to stop the lands player but nobody would have that alone. His plan was to make us deck ourselves so we would draw every singly card in our deck - so we were guaranteed to hit that removal. We kept playing and it took ages. I don't even remember who won but that game kinda did it for us for that format. We moved on to commander.
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Cosmic_Insight

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2021, 07:21:25 pm »
If you need inspiration for and Oathbreaker deck, try Narset of the Ancient Way with a signature spell of Battle Hymn. This deck is all about cards that say "whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, create a */* (doesn't matter) creature token. Get two of those out plus Narset, and you can cast battle hymn for infinite mana and infinite tokens.
"Your next line will be "Golos shouldn't have been banned!""

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Morganator 2.0

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2021, 07:47:30 pm »
EDHREC has an Oathbreaker site that works exactly the way EDHREC works. It never came out of beta but it works well.

https://oathbreaker.edhrec.com/

Potato Chop

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2021, 02:14:13 am »
If you need inspiration for and Oathbreaker deck, try Narset of the Ancient Way with a signature spell of Battle Hymn. This deck is all about cards that say "whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, create a */* (doesn't matter) creature token. Get two of those out plus Narset, and you can cast battle hymn for infinite mana and infinite tokens.

That sounds cool, and I'm certainly playing Jeskai, but I'm not looking for infinite combos. An interesting suggestion, just my personal playstyle tends towards having fun without exploiting combos.

EDHREC has an Oathbreaker site that works exactly the way EDHREC works. It never came out of beta but it works well.

https://oathbreaker.edhrec.com/

This is great, thanks! I'm sure it'll be a huge help to me and my friends as we build our first Oathbreaker decks.

robort

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Re: Experience with Commander-like formats
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2021, 03:36:13 pm »
I tried Brawl when it was first implemented and it was ok. There was even a Brawl event at my LGS. I only played it for the promo pack. So it was really nothing special to play. Oathbreaker just just doesn't appeal to me at all. Commander just holds many more options compared to either of those 2. I honestly don't play any other format now besides Commander because there is so so so much in Commander. Everything from the multiplayer aspect, the creativity, the absurd amount of cards in the card pool, the friendships that are made and many more things. Any other format just doesn't seem to hold the same light or comes close to that of Commander.
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