Defending the Commander Social Contract

Author: Jon Pflug

Just Deserts

Over the past two sets, we’ve been introduced to the land subtype of Desert. It started as little more than a minor inclusion of flavor with Amonkhet, but exploded in a big way with the release of Hour of Devastation. The number of deserts jumped from 5 (including the OG Desert from Arabian Nights) to 20 with the new sets release with one card in particular that I think will see some serious play: Scavenger Grounds.

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Return To The Ranks

So…it’s been a while. Over the last nine-plus months or so, I’ve been on hiatus from writing for GDC. I wanted to fully dedicate myself to training for my new job and getting acclimated to the environment there, so it was prudent to step away for a while. I’m finally getting used to my new schedule and it is due time to step back into writing again.

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“Enter the Battlefield” isn’t just the name of the new Magic: the Gathering documentary. It’s is the long-established standard of value within the game. Creatures with such abilities have long been coveted for their penchant to generate an effect even if they are quickly dealt with afterwards.

Solemn Simulacrum.


Siege Rhino.

Cast, blinked, or reanimated – they are going to keep the value train rolling. Their power justifies their ubiquity in deck construction.

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You know that itch? The one that happens when you’re alone, and it is directly in the middle of your back? Impossible to reach, takes forever to go away, forces you get something else to reach it? Well, consider Emblems and Experience Counters the itch – and right now, we need something to scratch them.

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Back To Basics

Though I was a bit bummed when GDC went on hiatus, it wound up being a silver lining. After my last article, I had a wave of good fortune in the form of a couple of jobs opportunities, but ones that were going to be extremely time intensive. I wound up needing all of the time we had off to complete the applications and gather all of the necessary paperwork.  I’ll know more about my prospects later in the year, but in the meantime I’m going to be back here at GDC in a more limited position.

In the midst of this, I also changed regular work schedules, so I’ve been adjusting to working afternoons now. It has been fine for the work aspect of it, but it is going to eat into my EDH playing time, as well as my other activities. I’m down to playing once a week for a few hours, and it pains me every time I see my group setting up an alternate EDH night because I just can’t make it during weeknights anymore.

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Vicarious EDH

As some of you know, Dave and I have been playing in the same EDH circles for the last couple of years. Our usual group meets up on Monday nights, but occasionally some of the group meets up for Alt-EDH night for some extra games during the week and to accommodate those who miss on Mondays. Dave has had a lot of real life stuff going on right now (all super awesome cool stuff), and even the secondary nights have been tough for him to make. I’ve been sending Dave some highlights from nights entitled “Vicarious EDH”, and today I’d like to take it a step further with a full game log of our game last night. (Editor’s note: I pretty much hang on every word of Jon’s generous post-gaming tweets. When you can barely find time to brew in your head, distracting yourself at work with 140 characters of EDH shenanigans is teh bestest.)

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The Specter of A Combo

We’re past the awesomeness that was GenCon 2015, and though I did not get to go this time around, I still had the pleasure of a small GDC meet up in the form of Kaka and his wife Penelope swinging by EDH night here in NYC on their way to the ‘Con in Indiana. It was great to meet them and hang out, and we even got to play a game which allowed me to see Kaka’s ‘super secret tech’ deck. Hopefully next time around I can fully join in on the festivities and be a part of all the shenanigans in Indiana.

Here on the homefront, I was still able to get some games in the day after the ‘Con ended to alleviate some of the fun I missed out on. It was during this time that I ran into a curious phenomena during one of my games: the harbinger of combo death.

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The Planeswalker Tsar: Dragons of Tarkir & M:tG Origins

It seems as soon as I switched over here to GDC that I have been inundated with real life stuff and have been having trouble finding time to write. I basically spent the whole month of June finding a new apartment, packing up to move to said apartment, and then moving over the course of the last week of June. In short: moving is soul-wrenching. I’m now somewhat settled into my new place but there is still painting, unpacking, and setting up a new internet connection. Hurray adult things! 

I’ve been itching to get back to writing and what better way to jump back in then unearthing The Planeswalker Tsar?

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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself….

Hello to everyone here at GDC! My name is Jon Pflug, and I’ll be joining the team here as a writer. Some of you might be familiar with my work over at East Coast Commander, which unfortunately had to close its doors recently. I’d like to thank Christian and Scott for running such an awesome site, and giving me the opportunity to write about EDH for the wonderful community that ECC fostered. Without the support and platform ECC gave me, I might have never taken the time to start writing in this capacity – so I’m forever grateful. Also, shout outs to James Davey (who’s joining up here as well), Chris Tremble, and all the people who submitted articles to the site. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a great community.

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