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Defending the Commander Social Contract

Category: Game Theory

Changing Gears by Changing Focus

Have you ever had a deck that just doesn’t work for some reason? When you go over the decklist, there are no glaring holes; if you break things down into categories like ramp, removal, card advantage (tutors and the like go here), recursion, synergy, and win conditions…it all adds up.

But somehow, when you’re playing the deck, it just repeatedly falls flat. Despite several games, you still cannot figure out what is going wrong.

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Using Marginal Gains Theory in Commander

Improving is hard. Like really hard. When you rarely see any meaningful changes it can dissuade you from continuing to invest hard work. To challenge the urge to give up,  you should create different ways to set goals and measure progress. Many tournament players do this. They focus on improving a single matchup and measure results, or they focus on learning the archetypes in a limited environment to know what they should seek. But focused improvement is something that Commander players tend to engage in only passively. To actively engage in improving, we need to change our approach.

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Earning the Win and Ego Defense

Welcome back! This article is inspired by a conversation I had with my girlfriend Liz, after I lost a game to her. I was playing Kaseto, Orochi Archmage and sneaky snakes; I had a sizable army out, dropped a land (missing my Lotus Cobra trigger), made enough snakes unblockable to attack, pumped the team with Tribal Unity, and blasted past Liz’s defenses.

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