cEDH Handbook - Game Scenarios

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cEDH Handbook - Game Scenarios

Here are some examples of decisions made during real matches

By Kaylani, 01/28/20

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Threat Assessment 2. Game Scenarios 3. Archetypes

GAME SCENARIOS

This time, we will exemplify the principles discussed in the previous article with decisions made during actual matches. •

1st scenario

Image content of the Website
-

Player A

had a slow

development

and was trying to gradually create

board presence

due to decks with mass removals in the match. -

Player B

spent the first few rounds managing their hand, trying to gather 7 mana necessary to their win condition while controlling the pace of the other decks.

Ad

-

Player C

tried to gather

card advantage

in the early game using his commanders. He also used

tutors

to search for answers and missing pieces for his combo. -

Player D

quickly achieved 12 mana with his

Dockside Extortionist

and was ready to engage in the next turn.

Board state:

         A: Some

mana dorks

, the commander and 1 mana.          B: Commander, some artifacts and 0 mana.          C: Mana dorks,

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

(Lab-Jace), commanders and 6 mana.          D:

Dockside Extornionist

and 12 mana. In the 5th turn,

Player B

put a piece of his combo at the top of his library with

Mystical Tutor

. He used this instant on his own turn because the other players didn't have much mana, although

Player C

had a

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

(Lab-Jace) on the battlefield.

Player C

then used his Jace, forcing

Player B

to cast a draw spell at

instant speed

so as not to lose his combo piece. In response,

Player C

used

Vampiric Tutor

to put a piece of his

Protean Hulk

combo on the top of his library and draw it with Jace.

Player C

ended his turn with

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

,

Sylvan Safekeeper

and 6 mana. On

Player D

's turn (while

Player B

had no mana), he cast

Obliterate

, sacrificing his Treasure tokens in order to gather enough mana to play his commander. With the mana generated,

Player C

cast

Flash

before switching phases and then

wins the match.

Ad

-

Analysis:

Player B

used a tutor to gather his combo piece even though he knew he would need resources to defend it. He also tried to execute his game plan

without taking into account his opponents' capabilities

, probably because he didn't know much about his decks.

Player D

lost the game because he

didn't recognize imminent threats

from other decks, probably due to a lack of knowledge about the format. He also failed in changing his

game plan

in the presence of said threats. •

2nd scenario

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-

Player A

had a quick development with the help of

mana rocks

and slowed

Player C

(which was the fastest deck) with the help of disruptive elements from the other players. -

Player B

had a slower development and could not commit to the development of his

board

due to the threat of

Flash

+

Protean Hulk

that

Player C

presented. -

Player C

had a good development with the use of mana dorks and was using the commander to obtain

card advantage

until he was delayed by a

board wipe

. -

Player D

didn't have permanents that affected the game until his commander was on the field, except for a

Howling Mine

that was destroyed by

Player A

(who didn't want others drawing more cards).

Board state:

         A: Some mana rocks,

Karn, the Great Creator

,

Teferi, Time Raveler

and 12 mana.          B: Commander and 6 mana.          C:

Thrasios, Triton Hero

,

Noble Hierarch

,

Sylvan Safekeeper

and 6 mana. On his hand, he had a

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

(Lab-Jace),

Demonic Consultation

and

Veil of Summer

.          D: were using a deck with few interactions and so his board and hand did not effectively affect the game.

Player A

managed to lead the game with the ability to play at

instant speed

and due to the acceleration he achieved in the

early game

, on top of using an off-meta deck, which was mistakenly ignored. With

Teferi, Time Raveler

preventing other players from finding answers and the ability to develop his board even further on

Player D's

end-step, it was clear that the game needed to be resolved quickly.

Player B's

hand consisted only of a bounce spell, which would not be effective against

Player A's

Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage

, as he could recast his permanents. In the end,

Player B

spent the turn expecting the worst.

Player C

needed

Veil of Summer

's protection to execute his game plan, but

Player A's

Teferi, Time Raveler

wouldn't let them cast it. So,

Player C

tried to force

Player A's

interaction by attacking Teferi with two creatures.

Player A

blocked one of the creatures but had to cast

Teferi's Protection

so as not to lose Teferi. With

Player A

out of the picture,

Player C

cast

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

and

Demonic Consultation

. However,

Player B

had two removals, and so

Veil of Summer

was not the enough to protect Jace. On

Player A's

turn, he cast

Knowledge Pool

to lock the other players with Teferi. After a board wipe, the other players

conceded.

-

Analysis:

Player A

almost lost the game due to a conservative move and

Player B

had to use his responses to stop

Player C

.

Player C

tried to end the game early because he didn't think the situation would get any better (and it didn't).

Player D

, in addition to not interacting with other players' threats, provided an additional draw with

Howling Mine

. This kind of strategy can backfire, as giving cards to your opponents isn't the best option.

Ad

In short, many resources in this match were misallocated and key decisions were ignored until they could no longer be resolved. •

3rd scenario

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-

Player A

and

Player D

both spent the early game trying to use mana dorks to accelerate his strategies, trying to clutch the game quickly with an infinite mana combo, as

Player B

and

Player C

would stabilize during the

late game

. -

Player B

and

Player C

, on the other hand, spent the early game resolving specific threats from

Player A

and

Player D

while trying to

ramp

his mana and gather card advantage. - After some clashes,

Player A

and

Player D

could no longer keep up with the game and so the match would be decided between

Player B

and

Player C

.

Board state:

         A: Some mana dorks and 0 mana.          B: More than 20 mana.          C: Commander,

Counterbalance

and more than 10 mana.          D: Mana dorks and 1 mana.

Player B

had access to more than 20 mana per turn (thanks to Urborg-Coffers and Mana Doublers) and was expecting a loophole to win with

Exsanguinate

.

Player C

was trying to use

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

with

Capsize

's buyback ability so he could draw even more cards. Following some stalemate turns,

Player C

had a

Peregrine Drake

+

Deadeye Navigator

combo in hand, but waited until he had more cards than

Player B

, so he could answer all his removals. After a few more turns,

Player C

used

Gitaxian Probe

to find out if it was possible to outplay

Player B's

removals. However,

Player B

had a

Sudden Death

in hand (a removal with

split second

).

Player C

then cast

Brainstorm

to put

Capsize

on top of the deck, which allowed them to use

Counterbalance

's effect to counter

Player B's

Sudden Death

, as both Sudden Death and Capsize had the same converted mana cost. After casting

Delay

,

Dispel

and triggering

Counterbalance

,

Player C

managed to play his

Peregrine Drake

+

Deadeye Navigator

combo and

proceed to win

with

Stroke of Genius

. -

Analysis:

If

Player C

was impatient, he would have lost his only combo and possibly the entire match. However, he identified that it was up to

Player B

to

take initiative

and moved aggressively only after being confident that victory could be obtained. •

4th scenario

Image content of the Website
This match can be found in the 1st episode of the 3rd season of Laboratory Maniacs [1]. -

Player A

had an explosive start with

Mana Vault

in his 1st turn, an uncounterable

The Gitrog Monster

in his 2nd turn and a

Bazaar of Baghdad

shortly after. -

Player B

spent the first few turns developing his board and responding to

Player A's

Gitrog with a

Gilded Drake

, a solution that was circumvented by

Player A

using his newly purchased

Homeward Path

. -

Player C

had a slower start and used one of his responses to slow

Player D

, knowing that Zur is also an explosive deck. -

Player D

had one of his acceleration pieces countered but found an opening to try to clutch the game. After a

Timetwister

cast by

Player C

and a

Chain of Vapor

that cleared much of the field (17:20 in the video [1]), the players used the next cycle to rebuild his boards. After an attempt of a

end step sculpt

by

Player A

and a

Vampiric Tutor

cast by

Player D

, we have the following:

Ad

Board state:

         A: Commander,

Homeward Path

(in the field) and

Life from the Loam

(in hand).          B:

Gilded Drake

,

Mystic Remora

,

Exploration

,

Carpet of Flowers

and 3 mana.          C:

Grim Monolith

,

Rhystic Study

and 5 mana.          D:

Sensei's Divining Top

and 5 mana.

Player D

then cast a

Laboratory Maniac

followed by a

Demonic Consultation

. Although

Player B

has

Mystic Remora

and

Player C

has

Rhystic Study

(both with enough mana to cast them),

Player D

thought it was a good time to try to win the game. The game was starting to get out of reach for

Player D

, since the other decks had lots of

card advantage

. The result of the interaction (which was admitted as "greedy" by

Player D

) can be seen in the episode. Spoilers, though:

Player D

was stopped by a simple

Chain of Vapor

. -

Analysis:

The mistake here was not to ignore the other decks at the table, or even not knowing how to assess threats. Rather,

Player D

failed in trying to end the game without having any sort of protection against other players' interactions. •

5th scenario

Image content of the Website
This match can be found in the 2nd episode of the 3rd season of Laboratory Maniacs [2]. -

Player A

cast in his 1st turn a piece of the

Stax

strategy (

Grafdigger's Cage

) that affected two other decks. Then, he spent the next turns only presenting answers. -

Player B

cast a mana dork in his 1st turn and

Aven Mindcensor

in his 2nd (another Stax piece instead of his commander). -

Player C

was

setback

due to the Aven Mindcensor cast by

Player B

. -

Player D

started very slowly and cast another piece of Stax (

Cursed Totem

) in turn 2.

Board state:

         A:

Grafdigger's Cage

and 3 (blue) mana.          B:

Noble Hierarch

,

Aven Mindcensor

and 3 mana.          C:

Mox Opal

and 1 mana.          D:

Cursed Totem

,

Mox Opal

and 0 mana.

Player B

had his

Tymna the Weaver

countered by

Player A

(12:20 in the video [2]). The battlefield contained 3 pieces of Stax, where 2 of them hijacked

Player B's

original plan (

Flash

+

Protean Hulk

). -

Analysis:

Player B's

reasoning was to use the commander as a

card advantage engine

while he were unable to remove Stax's pieces. However,

Player A

thought that in a slower game Tymna would lead in

card advantage

and surprised

Player B

with a

Counterspell

. •

6th scenario

Image content of the Website
This match can be found in the uncut episode of the 3rd season of Laboratory Maniacs [3]. -

Player A

had a quick development, as is usual for a

Food Chain

deck, and spent the first few turns using tutors to gather pieces for his win condition. -

Player B

had a slower development, as is customary for a control deck, and used his turns to ramp his mana and cast his commander. The commander choice here is notable as it represents the

card advantage

he will attempt to establish throughout the game (12:42 in the video [3]). -

Player C

spent his early game interacting (stopping

Player A's

multiple attacks) and casting a

Mystic Remora

. -

Player D

had a slow start and maintained the burden of interaction on

Player B

and

Player C

, as he were last on priority (this can be seen by

Player D's

starting hand at 2:13 [3]).

Board state:

Ad

         A:

Noble Hierarch

and 1 mana.          B:

Birds of Paradise

,

Vial Smasher the Fierce

and 3 mana.          C:

Mystic Remora

and 0 mana.          D:

Sensei's Divining Top

and 1 mana.

In this case, it's worth mentioning the previous moves:

         A: Resolved two tutors, had a tutor canceled, cast a

Silence

and was unable to win the game after a bounce spell on

Noble Hierarch

.          B: Cast an acceleration piece and the commander, which was tapped before

Player A's

third turn.          C: Cast a

Mystic Remora

and only interacted with

Player A.

         D: Cast a

Sensei's Divining Top

but had no acceleration pieces or card advantage. This play didn't directly affect the end of the game, but it would have changed the course of the game if it had been different.

Player B

casts a

Keen Sense

, trying to establish a card advantage engine.

Player D

casts a

Swords to Plowshares

on

Vial Smasher the Fierce

, trying to prevent

Player B

from developing. The discussion between the players follows (it can be heard at 12:42[3]): D: I'll cast a Swords to Plowshares, targeting Vial Smasher. B: Please, reconsider. Luke (A) probably has a Food Chain in his hand. Are you sure you want to do that? D: Yeah. You still have 3 mana. Cameron (C) has 10 cards and is not that fast a deck. Slow decks win by baiting foolhardy like me into not let them use his engines early and bridging it to the late game. I've lost to Cameron on Tasigur enough to know that, yes, you do, in fact, kick the control player in the first couple turns, otherwise you lose. B: You are playing a dangerous game. D: Aha. If I lose to Luke (A), I lose to Luke (A). I can still just lose to you because you have a Keen Sense. I'm not winning in neither of those cases. I don't care who I lose to, I'd rather win. B: There is a good chance that you might not win because of it. D: There is a good chance that you should be saving your 3 mana for a counterspell then. B: What if I don't? D: Well, then. That's your punt, not mine. -

Analysis:

Player D's

reasoning was proven correct, given the outcome of the game. It is interesting to note that

Player B

was forced to spend resources to establish a way to unite his early game with his late game.

Player B

also acted correctly, as he needed to ensure that his game plan would be executed, even in the presence of

Player A's

threat. Overall, great assessment made by

Player D

on the positions of each player in the match. Further reading (spoiler) and a centralized PDF (in Portuguese): https://github.com/kaylani2/cedh-ta

REFERENCES

[1] L. Maniacs, “S3 episode 1: Gitrog combo vs tasigur control vs chain veil teferi vs shimmer zur cedh gameplay.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/d5Dlbw0suXo, 2019. [2] L. Maniacs, “S3 episode 2: Breya consult vs shuffle hulk vs divergent control vs niv-mizzet parun cedh gameplay.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xwk0jZIijYI, 2019. [3] L. Maniacs, “S3 uncut: Food chain tazri vs 4 color rashmi vs inalla wizards vs e man cedh gameplay.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hz-hXKlSnxQ, 2019.

Grade

0

opinion cedh
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Kaylani

Kaylani Bochie iniciou no Magic em Mirrodin, no final de 2003. Foi iniciado no cEDH em 2016, pelo interesse natural em otimizar estratégias no Commander. Busca decks control em todos os formatos e está sempre à procura do “2-por-1” perfeito.

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