Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Play it again, Sam!

One of my more recent pet peeves in EDH is seeing the same card played turn after turn. Creativity and diversity are two of the cornerstones of a good EDH game - while repetition may be effective in generating “virtual card advantage”, it is antithetical to what makes a multiplayer session of spellslinging fun.

We’re already dedicated to seeing some of the cards over and over again from the command zone, there’s no need to make it worse - and definitely no need to play commanders that in turn recur shit we’ve already seen on the board (and probably killed for good reason the first time). Bad enough to have “staples” like genesis and debtor’s knell that make sure you haven’t seen your last eternal witness - but leading this degenerate recursive army are the king and queen of stale shitty games:


What do these cards have in common? Whatever you just killed on the board, you’re probably going to be killing it again... and again... and again... until everyone says fuck it and kills the person who won’t stop re-playing spore frog (hi matt!) or phrexian metamorph (hi melissa!).

At one point I got so sick of mimeoplasm and genesis and made a deck packed with graveyard hate: leyline of the void, relic of progenitus, necrogenesis, and even grafdigger’s cage. The problem is none of those cards are actually fun to play, and while it was respectable at disabling the graveyard for a while, it was only a matter of time before the hate cards got blown up and we went right back to the recursion game.

Here’s the thing... if what you had was worth killing once, its worth killing twice. But if I keep dropping removal spells, we both know that I’m going to run out of answers from my hand before you run out of shit to reanimate, and thus we know who wins the attrition game. You won’t like it if I hit you for 40 with a kicked savage beating, and I don’t like having to deal with the exact same card turn after turn after turn - so let’s call a truce. I’ll keep spreading my early game damage around, and in return you promise to play different cards from turn to turn. Win-win!

Macaroni or Cheese?
While they still look tame compared to the stupidity of the mimeoplasm, the king and queen of repeat offenses are unquestionably cheesey. If you must play junk, play doran. If you must play esper, play daakon blackblade. Leave the lame train for the Sunday tournaments at comic book shop!