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September 19, 2016

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Finding the fun in Commander

How do you like to have fun in a game of commander?

The beauty of multiplayer commander is that there are many different ways to have fun. It’s another way to say that there are many different ways of playing the game. In all other formats, it’s mostly win or nothing, but there are many other angles we can take with our 100 cards, and I’ll use a few of my favourite things (sometimes leaning towards winning) to hopefully inspire you in some way!

In a previous article about different ways to win, I touched on the idea that a combo win is more fun if there’s a chance to disrupt it. “And this is infinite, and you’re all dead” is not the most fun, but here’s a combo I can’t get enough of!

 

This doesn’t even need to be in a zombie tribal deck, as long as you have a few of those undead fellas in there! All you need to do get a couple zombies on the board, Obelisk of Urd makes them all 4/4s, which makes it a little easier to pull this off. Then the fun begins! When you sac a zombie with Altar of Dementia, you just need to mill one creature, and Undead Alchemist gives you one more zombie to keep it rolling!. Mill two and you’ve got a backup zombie incase you whiff. Depending on your opponent’s deck, this is either a sure thing or a real nail-biter! Maybe it’s infinite, but it’s a really exciting one to pull off!

If I’m in a different mood, I might play a deck that forces my opponents to act out of character! Bident of Thassa is a great way to make your opponents attack even if they probably shouldn’t. So what if they come at you out of spite? Throw down an Aetherspouts and they’ll think twice the next time they have to decide who to throw their whole team into. Heck, even an Illusionist’s Gambit can make sure things play out the way you want!

Zada leads a mono red deck that is a very specific kind of fun. The fun of breaking the archetype! Since when does a red card draw you upwards of a dozen cards? When it’s Expedite copied onto a whole team of token creatures. There’s a few cantrips in red that’ll help you get to most of your deck, and you’ll surely draw something like a Brute Strength (or a few such effects) and you’ll be attacking for hundreds! Is it fragile, sure. But is it fun? Heck yes!!!

Sometimes, your idea of fun isn’t exactly the same as everyone else. This is the case with Warp World. It’s the very definition of a wrench in the plans, but man, the results can be fun! Especially if you enjoy sorting out a complicated series of inevitable enter the battlefield triggers on the stack! And in the same camp, Hive Mind ensures that if someone is having fun with a spell, everyone is! Eye of the Storm makes sure that the fun keeps happening over and over and over! This type of fun isn’t always about making sure you win. It’s the journey that counts, right?

I hope you’ve gotten some ideas on some fun things to do with your next brew. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that all of my examples can fit in a single red and blue deck. Am I going to try and put that together? For sure. Will it ever win? Doubt it, but who cares, it’s going to be a blast trying!

And if none of these ideas are your kind of fun, maybe you’ll enjoy an Insect tribal deck?