Conversation: Cardlist | Visual spoiler | Export | Booster | Comments | Search | Recent activity
Mechanics

CardName: Tucking commanders now optional Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: The march update for EDH now allows a player to return their commander to the command zone if their commander would be sent to their hand or shuffled into their library. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Tucking commanders now optional
 
 
The march update for EDH now allows a player to return their commander to the command zone if their commander would be sent to their hand or shuffled into their library.
Updated on 26 Mar 2015 by Sorrow

History: [-]

2015-03-24 16:52:14: Sorrow created and commented on the card Tucking commanders now optional

I'm rather outraged by this, especially by two points of the reasoning. First, yes the white and blue are the colors with the best access to this ability (and red has Chaos Warp), but that's like banning Tooth and Nail because counterspells are primarily blue. The second point I have a problem with is that tucking commanders encourages players to play more tutors. If anything tucking commanders has the potential to slow down someone using tutors when they need to pull out their commander and a combo piece.

"If anything tucking commanders has the potential to slow down someone using tutors" might be true, but it's talking at a completely different stage. You're talking about in-game. They're talking about during deck construction. In a tuck-heavy metagame, people who just want to have their commander available will have to have more tutors in their decks under the old rules than under the new rules. That much seems clear.

On the other hand, I think it's a bit dubious for the Rules Committee to mention people feeling like they had to play blue or white to get tuck effects -- because the problem is, now one of the very few reliable ways to deal with a commander is to gain control of it... which is also blue. (Control Magic effects can be destroyed easily, like most remaining answers to evil commanders such as Darksteel Mutation or Prison Term or Nevermore or Lignify - and look, they're mostly {w/u} too! - but things like Dominate or Blatant Thievery will make the owner have to rather work to get it back.)

I'm right with you in being irritated. Tucking is one of the best answers to extremely frustrating commanders like Prossh and Derevi.
It's also annoying that they cited the answers only being in blue-white. Have they never seen Chaos Warp? Don't they get that the best answers are now STILL in blue-white, with the things that Alex mentioned?
Also, stealing commanders isn't that great. If it becomes more prevalent, people will just run Homeward Path more often.

I think the French EDH style may be the way to go. They banned tuck some time ago, but also banned Derevi and Oloro.

If tutors are a problem, ban them. I'm a fan of banning all face down tutors. Tuck was important to deal with broken commanders. They probably need to be banned anyway. I know a big argument for the change is that the point of playing Commander is to play with your commander, but if your deck can't survive without your commander you need to either improve the resiliency and redundancy in your deck or accept that your deck isn't great and not complain.

Wait, Sorrow, you're actually suggesting that people playing more tutors in a highlander environment is a good thing? That seems like the exact opposite of what the people who run the Commander page want...

I don't get the rage. Tuck was always just a way to abuse the way the rules worked, and gave value to a small subset of cards that Wizards doesn't normally design towards. By making Condemn and Hallowed Burial worse, we just made all the other white spot removal and mass wipe spells viable again. Enough with the decks all being same-y.

And if a Commander can't be stopped except by using a small subset of tuck cards, then yeah, ban the Commander. This is a format where you're supposed to cast your Commander 3 or 4 times. It's not a matter of "I need to do it or my deck falls apart," it's a matter of "I really like this Legendary creature and want to keep playing with him/her/it. That's why I play this format in the first place."

I'm claiming that tutors are already frequently played in EDH.

I don't think tuck cards made decks same-y at all. Sensei's Divining Top and the various mana rocks give a way more same-y feel than a few cards that exist as countermeasures that still have uses against creatures other than the commander.

While some commanders are worse than other for this, like a few of the ones that came out the 2013 commander precons, there are plenty that are threats and are best removed from the board ASAP, or just work better because they have ETB abilities. Tucking then becomes the best and only way in some colors to deal with them, unless you happen to have a repeatable kill engine going on. With the ramp available (which most players I know do run) you can be casting Sen Triplets for 15 and still play another spell or two.

Mmm. But you don't have to play with a top or with mana rocks. According to your logic, though, you must play with tuck cards or expect to lose against certain Commanders. If they are that important, then they cause same-y. If they aren't that important, then you don't have an argument anymore.

If I'm to guess at the thinking of the rules committee choice here, I would guess that they would say "If you have a problem with a friend's Sen Triplets deck, then kindly request they don't play that deck."

EDH has never been about creating a fair environment. 5 Color Magic tried doing that a long time ago, and lost both the casual crowd and the serious crowd in one fell swoop. It's about creating an environment that fosters letting players do the craziest things that their friends will let them get away with within some semblance of rules. If you want a fair and balanced Magic format, one could always play Standard or Modern. This format is intentionally unfair, and weighted toward playing the same Legendary creature over and over again. It doesn't bug me that much when the committee leans heavy on these quirks since that's what keeps the format unique, and not just "like Highlander, except you always have access to one card."

I don't really play commander so I don't have the experience, but I find Alex's argument really persuasive. Like, these cards are basically "you can't play your commander" which you expect to be able to do multiple times over the course of the game and the format is built around. That sounds like a card in regular magic that says "you can't play creatures" or "you can't play spells". Everyone agrees there need to be some hosers, but everyone agrees there's some level where they're just too good. It seems like these removal and some broken commanders are just SO much more powerful in the format, the format shouldn't be just about them, if they can't be answered except by each other, they shouldn't be played...?

Sorrow: Tuck cards don't directly make the format more same-y. But in a format where the rules privilege tuck removal over most other removal, some players in some groups (and it seems, a lot of players in a lot of groups) will play lots of tutors as a way to try to get back their cherished card. So tuck cards indirectly make the format more same-y.

And it might be that any given group of players don't actually play lots of tutors - in which case, great! But if they do, that's obviously going to make the format more same-y, so taking away the rule causing tutors to be played so heavily is a good thing.

As for "there are plenty that are threats and are best removed from the board ASAP" - well, yes. But that's not specific to the commander - cards in the 99 can fulfil that criterion just as much. And all colours have a variety of forms of removal or ways to neutralise attackers. The subtlety here is the ability to "easily" recast a commander once it's removed - but in my experience, unless the commander is 3 mana or less, it takes the player a while to draw enough mana to be able to recast the commander more than once or twice.

The exception is huge ramp decks. And I find it rather odd to imagine a white-blue-black deck that can ramp to 15 unless the game is going very long indeed. Ramp is problematic for its own reasons, but it has vulnerabilities - mass artifact destruction, for example, or early aggression to put the ramp player on the back foot. I can imagine a deck that plays a lot of defensive cards, as well as a lot of ramp, in order to be able to exploit their commander without fear of getting it killed... but at that point, you're not talking about the format as a whole, you're talking about one very specific kind of deck piloted by a kind of player who it sounds like doesn't mind being rather annoying. And at that point, the needs of all the other kinds of player and all the other kinds of deck take priority; if one particular deck gets annoying then the solution is to ask the player not to play that deck (or to just refuse to play against that deck).

Finally "Tucking then becomes the best and only way in some colors to deal with them" - I think this is just wrong. What colours are you talking about? In blue and white, there's lots of tuck, but there's also lots of control-change effects, tapping, ability removal, prohibition etc. Outside {u/w} there's virtually no tuck effects anyway - Chaos Warp is about the only played tuck effect outside {u/w}, right?

Hmm, I think we're hitting something of a culture clash - between those who like Elder-Dragon and those that like highlander.

Highlander format would like to ban tutoring - the whole point of the format is to have 100 completely different cards; not to have 3 important cards, and a bunch of ways to make sure they actually hit the table.

Meanwhile elder-dragon says "Whaddya mean I can't use my funky powers on my one privileged card. This format is all about my funky powers 'cause I can guarantee I get to show them off; which in normal magic I'd never get to!" So anything that gets rid of its ability to play that creature is going to seriously annoy it.

You're right. EDH (and Tiny Leaders) are somewhat of a contradiction at heart: they want to make the cards you draw less predictable, except for one card that you have an absolute guarantee to have available all the time.

The Sen Triplets deck wasn't a problem. I was using Sen Triplets as an example of how ramp ends up in edh, where a player will play 15 for their general an still have a bit of mana left over.

I don't have a problem with tutors in edh, I was questioning the decision that they're included in order to deal with tuck cards. Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor will be used if you're running black simply because they're good cards that pretty much have a place in any deck with access to black. Worldly Tutor and Eladamri's Call spring to mind as the most efficient non-black tutors for getting one's general out of the library, but they're also cards that would be played in most decks with access to them anyway. Enlightened Tutor and Idyllic Tutor work with a more limited number of commanders, but are in most-cases still very playable cards. Tutors are good cards, that's why they see play.

It might be my metas, but not-ramping is not a thing, so expensive commanders can hit the field multiple times in most cases, so spot destruction/exile removal delays the player by all of a turn most times, so unless your deck was about to fire you accomplished nothing. For some commanders, like Sharuum the Hegemon they only need to hit the field, in which case it's not uncommon to kill your own creature into something to use it again. While tucking is almost exclusively {u/w} it seems like the best option. It's feel-bad on both ends waste a creature control spell to take their commander which may have no value on your side of the board while its owner has to sit there looking at it do nothing. Ability removal is a decent option although it may draw the ire and aggression of other players.

As cards that appear in most decks using their colors, there's a lot of color-based staples beyond tuck cards. Consecrated Sphinx is the first that comes to mind, and Tooth and Nail is the first non-creature spell that I think of. If cards being staples are a problem, then it seems silly to only punish one type of card with any staple status.

I suppose I'm most irate because the committee admitted that tucking was the best way to keep problematic commanders in check. Figuring out which commanders are problematic and need to be banned

Around our group, aggro and stax have been doing a good job, so ramp isn't a guarantee. I wish I could say my Isamaru, Hound of Konda deck is leading that charge, but that deck is admittedly mediocre and could use a new shot in the arm. Edric, Spymaster of Trest, however, has been tearing into ramp players that ignore the first 3 turns of the game. By the time ramp is online, Edric draws into enough counterspells to shut the goodstuff.decs down. My own Jhoira of the Ghitu stax deck has been shutting off players with too many expensive value spells. It does play cards like Gilded Lotus, but they're more intended to be there to survive my Wildfires and whatnot and let me keep playing while I lock out the other decks. Of note: Parallax Tide is very good with Jokulhaups.

But that's an irregularity, admittedly. Ramp is a part of most games, I'm sure. But which ramp cards you use are different from player to player. And there are different types of 'ramp'. Jhoira, for example, gets me there by suspending huge threats for 4 turns. It's ramp, and it isn't.

Add your comments:


(formatting help)
How much damage does this card deal? Searing Wind
(Signed-in users don't get captchas and can edit their comments)