Cass brought us back on Wednesday and although the site doesn’t look quite right, we’re getting there (thanks in no small part to good homie Ryan Swaney. NYC Magic represent!).

Instead of getting back to regular content, I wanted to jump into the fray once more, because getting Cass to play again (albeit via MTGO) over the past week has sort of dovetailed my own resurgence over the past few months. Yeah, he moves faster than I do.

After kinda losing steam on EDH for a while mainly due to live and stuff meaning any Magic-devoted free time I had went to the blog, I started played in paper more regularly with @EDH Ghost. Hanging out with people you enjoy and tapping cardboard is a great way to get excited about the format. So I’ve been reading a lot online & we’ve started a channel in the GDC Slack focused on being a jerk (also known as “competitive”).

As a result, I have a question for everyone, about “competitiveness.” If we arbitrarily create a competitiveness scale for EDH from zero to 10, where zero is all tap lands and vanilla or overcosted spells – basically 100% incapable of ever achieving anything in terms of impacting the game or professing it towards and end – and 10 is the absolute worst possible cEDH deck possible; and if we again arbitrarily create  three categories: 0-3 is kitchen table, 4-7 is “average” and 8-10 is competitive – then my question is:

What is the last straw that pushes a deck from a 7 to an 8?

I suspect it’s not one that can be definitively answered, because it’s so personal, but I’m pretty sure that the activity of discussing and trying to answer it is useful and fun, because (for me at least) it comes from a place of trying to be sure you create a lot of space for others to have their own good time, instead of just building a deck that is most capable of being the last man standing.

The reason I wanted to ask this is basically Reddit. Two things happened. I was reading on regular old /r/edh and noticed a lot of threads saying the Solemn Simulacrum is “bad” and that it’s ability to fit in a deck is actually a pretty good litmus test. The better it is in the deck, the slower, weaker, and less mana-efficient that deck is. This is interesting because I’m addicted to Jens.

Second, I read a thread about a guy’s Ojutai “control” list 97/100 cards foiled. He clearly loved it, thought it was sweet, and believe it was so good that he had thought it appropriate to “power it down” over time to play on balance with his buddies “75%” decks. And as I scrolled through his very pretty labor of love, all I could think was, “this deck looks boring, inefficient, and generally incapable of controlling anything. Although Dragonlord Ojutai is definitely a sweet general for UW control.

So basically, I can’t tell where my preferences sit as a deck builder. I believed I was almost always between 5.5 and 7.5, but everyone always rates themselves above average.

So two questions.

  1. Where do you like your decks to be on my arbitrary scale as I’ve laid it out?
  2. What crosses the line for you and makes it “too competitive”?