Monday, August 27, 2012

Read Raging Levine!

Not only do I like writing about Commander, I like reading about it.  (I can only imagine your shock!)

Soon enough, I'll be writing about my favorite sites to read, and adding a 'links' page, but for now, I wanted to share an article with you.

Eric Levine's Conventional Wisdom, over at ChannelFireball.

Go read it.  I'll wait.
Okay, let me give you my thoughts:
1) He knows how to articulate the concept of fun.  This is a format originally designed by judges (Mr. Levine is an L3), people who choose to monitor and moderate competitive play.  As such, their goal was to have a game that was enjoyable, not a game where someone consistently combos off turn 3.  This is important, and a topic that shall be revisited.  This is where the 'social contract' comes in (from
"Commander is designed to promote social games of magic.
It is played in a variety of ways, depending on player preference, but a common vision ties together the global community to help them enjoy a different kind of magic. That vision is predicated on a social contract: a gentleman's agreement which goes beyond these rules to includes a degree of interactivity between players. Players should aim to interact both during the game and before it begins, discussing with other players what they expect/want from the game."
Interaction is the key word.  To me, if the only way you can interact with what's going on is to counter a spell mid-combo, then you're not really interacting.  You're disrupting.  I know it's a grammatical fine point, but what about everyone at the table who doesn't have a counterspell in hand?  They are simply "dying of dysentery" as Mr. Levine puts it.

2) His drawing and descriptions are game states that I've been in, and occasionally I've been the offender.  I might have gone a few steps further and created more of those examples, but yeah, it's a pain to do that kind of work and I'd imagine he was at word count.  Perhaps we'll get more.

3) He's unapologetic about the silliness of Commander tournaments.  I 100% agree--stay the hell away.  If you want a Commander game at a big event, be cautious of even the $5 entry games.  It's not hard for a grinder/combo player to build up $80 in store credit in an hour so he can get another Force of Will.  Instead, if you want a less intense/more enjoyable EDH game, look for a game in progress, watch for a few, and then see who else is watching that game.  Put up a sign, do something that has no tangible reward and you'll weed out most or all of the more cutthroat decks.  At GP Anaheim, I had a great game with other people that I met while standing in line to get Terese Nielsen's autograph on cards.

I started reading the comments section, but then someone brought up Armageddon and I tuned out.

See you again soon!

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