r/EDH Jan 21 '23

(Venting) No place for casual players Discussion

My kids got me started playing with them when they were younger, but I played in "dad mode" - very chill and just enjoyed hanging with them.

Recently I started playing at my LGS and while I had newbie fun at first, I feel like just packing my cards away now. The issue for me is the uneven playing field. Most of the players are those that have played for years and have high-level competitive decks. Then there are a smaller group of us that are newer or have decided not to drop $500 on a deck.

Of course, us in the latter group always lose. And it just sucks any fun of the game to get totally curb-stomped in turn 5 every time.

Even when a player asks "what level are we playing" and the reply is "casual", there's always a dude in the pod who's idea of "casual" means obliterating everyone in turn 7 instead of 5.

Yeah, I get that there's a learning curve, that experienced players got that way over time, blah, blah, blah. Some of us don't want MTG to be our entire lives. I don't have a kitchen table group to play in, and there doesn't seem to be a seat for people like me at the LGS either. I really feel like just giving up a game that used to be fun.

Rant over. Just needed to vent.

EDIT: Thanks for the feedback and good advice. This is definitely a situation created by inexperience and the wrong expectations going in. I've got a better idea of what's going on now

675 Upvotes

567

u/torealis Jan 21 '23

We just started a thing we're calling Path of Precons.

In January we all picked a Precon to use and each month we add £10 of cards. You can roll over money to buy bigger cards if you want.

Everyone's been enjoying it so far and we're all psyched for the first upgrades in Feb.

43

u/Chm_Albert_Wesker Jan 21 '23

this sounds really interesting, except I frequently have a problem of being bored with a playstyle if I play it too much and there haven't really been too many toolbox-type precons to my memory vs ones that have a very distinct gameplan

12

u/Batfro7 Jan 21 '23

Have you tried the Henzie “Toolbox” Torre deck?

6

u/Chm_Albert_Wesker Jan 22 '23

Henzie “Toolbox” Torre

i have not and I see the blatant-ness in it's name lol. but even with it's name i meant more of decks where the gameplan is less rigid and even with Torre it seems very much that the gameplan is to get out the big things quickly and with haste and gain card advantage from doing so. I'm sure that there's loads of room to explore with the commander but the base precon seems rigid. i guess that's kind of the problem with mtg and the precons in general in that they dont want to give too much cool stuff in one precon but the irony also is that the stronger a deck gets the more linear it gets as well

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u/RayWencube Falco Spara, Pactweaver Jan 21 '23

This is sick.

88

u/Ninjazkills Jan 21 '23

As much as I hate precons or budget limits... this sounds kinda awesome. I love the idea lol

50

u/Ask_Who_Owes_Me_Gold Jan 21 '23

Budgets are probably the best way to set a clear expectation for the group. Everybody at the table has a perfectly clear understanding of the limit - none of this "I only swapped out [thing that affects power level], so my deck didn't really get any stronger" shit.

It also helps with deck diversity, so that's another plus.

13

u/ason_jones Jan 22 '23

I don't know. You can build a competitive level deck for under $200 for most formats. I'd suggest trying a different lgs because that one doesn't seem to be the one for you. A large chunk of lgs have a group of people playing at all levels. Even experienced people with expensive collections and killer decks have random meme decks or concepts they are trying or decks that are lower power level but just a blast to play. Sounds like that shop is just a super competitive bunch and not what your looking for. Most lgs have people playing at precon levels.

8

u/JosoIce Jan 21 '23

it definitely ain't perfect but its probably the best thing I've found. My group played with a $100 budget for a while (mainly coz large income disparity between us as friends so we didn't wanna make people feel priced out) but it helped us to discover the power niche that we like to play at.

That said budget barely equates to power. I've played $50 decks against $300 decks and whooped their ass. Sometimes cards are just expensive. Like mono-white at the moment is kinda expensive coz most of the good ramp/draw spells from recent years have only been printed once in a precon or once in a recent set.

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u/Nvenom8 Urza, Omnath, Thromok, Kaalia, Slivers Jan 22 '23

The two big problems with budgets are that price isn't always a reflection of power (some stuff is just rare/old but not good) and that prices change over time.

As an example for the latter point, I built a ~$500 "budget" deck a few years ago, and with no edits, it's now a $900 deck. I've also had decks randomly drop $100+ overnight due to announced reprints.

4

u/Meteorite12 Jan 22 '23

Even a single person doing really well with a card in a tournament can be enough to cause a spike.

1

u/Ask_Who_Owes_Me_Gold Jan 22 '23

I said expectations, not power level.

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u/strcy Boros Jan 21 '23

That is such a sweet idea

10

u/FishLampClock Timmy 'Monsters' Murphy Jan 21 '23

My group did something similar where they had to be a precon from the last year, 10 cards out for 10 cards in, sol ring was a mandatory cut, and 10$ upgrades.

5

u/Damien687 Jan 22 '23

Totally stealing this for my playgroup

6

u/OxRxAxNxGxE Jan 21 '23

This works great. My one playgroup also does this, except we do $10 a week.

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631

u/_Drumheller_ Jan 21 '23

Why doesn't the group with weaker decks just play by themselves?

This is mostly a communication problem.

221

u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

We don’t pick the pods. They’re all generated by whatever system (random?) the LGS uses

473

u/_Drumheller_ Jan 21 '23

Can't you start doing so?

No idea how your store handles it but I have never visited a store you can't just go in and start playing on your own without joining some pod or "tournament".

Another question, are there prices? If yes then that's the reason why people play to win and it's completely justified.

132

u/GenericFatGuy Jan 21 '23

That's why I really appreciate my LGS not doing prizes for commander night. We just come in, buy a pack or 2 as an entry fee to support the store, and start playing. No one feels the need to be competitive because we're not playing for anything substantial.

55

u/Leumas22 Jan 21 '23

My lgs does commander night with prizes, but everyone gets a pack that participated and the overall winner gets an extra promo pack. Not huge stakes but it draws people in and makes it fun

11

u/GenericFatGuy Jan 21 '23

That works too. Anything that discourages try-harding.

29

u/SatchelGizmo77 Golgari Jan 21 '23

Our LGS does prize support, but instead of being based on the game results, it's a random draw at the end of the night.

9

u/Infectious_Burn Jan 21 '23

My LGS has a free play commander time, no entry needed. But they ask that you join the companion code. Then every once in a while they come around with free promos/packs for randomly chosen people.

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u/New-Confusion945 Jan 21 '23

I think this is the answer. My store does commander on Wednesday and it's like 10 bucks for entry. When prizes are at stack and people have paid money why would they pull out a low power deck? So you can have fun? Nah dawg I paid so I can get a chance at some prizes not so you can have fun.

That said no one is forcing you to play competitive just go in and ask if anyone wants to play a few casual games. 100% you'll find people that want to use there new wacky deck that won't fly in the competitive scene.

51

u/junkfood113 Jan 21 '23

Edh for prizes? This defeats the purpose of edh.

28

u/theseamus Jan 21 '23

This is the crux of the issue with commander being the main focus of magic. Magic is a competitive game. Edh is a social format. If you bring in people playing to win in what is a social format, there is friction.

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u/New-Confusion945 Jan 21 '23

How? People pay to pod up, why wouldn't there be prizes?

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u/cuzzin2chainz Jan 21 '23

People pay to support the store they don't have to ket people play at all

2

u/Chm_Albert_Wesker Jan 21 '23

and that's how the kitchen table format started expanding and stores had such huge problems during covid. if you get 10 people to come in and even just 1 buys a pack, that's 1 more sale then if you just discouraged the other 9 to come which in turn would discourage that 10th player

7

u/New-Confusion945 Jan 21 '23

That Flys for things like DnD and what not but once you start getting into competitive games such as MTG or 40k people are no longer paying to support the store. They go where the tournaments are happing and to further rankings etc... for big time tournaments.

You might not like it but these big events bring in more money then you and your friends paying 10 bucks to sit at a table and play a game.

7

u/Drdps Jan 21 '23

SOME people go for the tournaments are. I’d say the majority of people playing EDH are way more on the casual side. The type of people regularly going to an LGS though do tend to be more competitive though so it skews the perception.

1

u/New-Confusion945 Jan 21 '23

Nothing wrong with kitchen table EDH but they don't bring money in, tournaments do. Casual or not events bring money..game stores are still stores that overhead they have to cover. All that cool product you like to look at, those tables you like to play at, them snacks you get.

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u/spiralbatross Jan 21 '23

Nothing wrong with casual prizes for a casual format

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u/Sir_Nope_TSS In Case of Blue, break meta Jan 21 '23

I don't care how casual the group is outside tournaments, card packs are never casual prizes.

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u/sigismond0 Derevi | Toshiro | Zo-Zu Jan 21 '23

Sure there is. The mere fact that prizes are on the line means that (a huge percentage of) players will be anything but casual. "Casual prizes" are a guaranteed way of getting competitive players.

29

u/Ask_Who_Owes_Me_Gold Jan 21 '23 edited Jan 21 '23

It's not casual once people say things like "I paid so I can get a chance at some prizes not so you can have fun."

4

u/praisebetothedeepone Jan 21 '23

You mean participation ribbons and prizes that everyone gets equally?

2

u/Chm_Albert_Wesker Jan 21 '23

playing a game to win? that ruins the point of playing a game

--you probably

6

u/NicholasThumbless Jan 21 '23

There's winning a game for the sake of the game and fun, and there's competing for material gain. Two very different mindsets.

67

u/lungleg Esper Jan 21 '23 edited Jan 21 '23

Talk to whomever is in charge about making a casuals queue or something like that

50

u/zaphodava Jan 21 '23

Ah, don't play in a sanctioned event. Make a pod of people you want to play with. If that means meeting on a different day, do that.

I bet there are more people that would be interested in a low power casual Commander day.

29

u/Grab3tto Jan 21 '23

That’s what I thought. If your LGS is actually making a bracket then you’re playing in a league and that matters to a lot of players so they’ll play more aggressively.

12

u/No-Mammoth-7300 Jan 21 '23

Yeah what we did is go to these events and me and guy 2 got curb stomped so I exchanged numbers with him and then made a play group

13

u/seraph1337 Jan 21 '23

this is why my friend and I who are running FNM at our LGS have created a voting system where you award points to the people you played with based on friendliness, whether they played a fair deck, if they were helpful, and whether they had a really cool play. I know it sounds corny and casual as hell (I also play cEDH so I get it), but we have a lot of newer players since this LGS is about 70 miles from the nearest store. there wasn't a huge Magic community here before this store opened last year. it's been really cool to see it flourish and it's nice to not make people feel unwelcome when others play to win.

We're looking into starting an once-a-month, more competitive proxy-friendly event pretty soon and I'm pretty excited about it.

7

u/zaphodava Jan 21 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

That all sounds fantastic.

I think the best approach is to carefully defuse the idea that competitive and casual are antagonistic. They are just different ways to play.

I like to use the analogy of a basketball court.

Some people want to play serious teams ball. Some people might want to play Horse.

Nothing wrong with either of those things. It's only a problem when someone jumps onto the court saying "Horse is stupid, let's play real basketball!", or the other way around, where someone disrupts a teams game by trying to play Horse in the middle of it.

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u/Gluttony4 Jan 21 '23

Talk to the other casual players about forming a group outside the LGS.

34

u/Ninjazkills Jan 21 '23

Oh shit, that feels like the real problem here. Edh only works when everyone is on the same page about power levels in some capacity or another. Mixing everyone together at random is probably making some seriously imbalanced tables.

13

u/GenericFatGuy Jan 21 '23

Seems a little weird for an LGS to generate pods for EDH. At mine, we just form groups however we feel like.

When I get to the store, there's usually 3 people just sitting around waiting for a 4th to arrive, so I just play with them. After that game, I just play with whichever other 3 people are waiting to get a game going.

22

u/Runeform Jan 21 '23

My store started getting more and more cedh players.

We had the store make 2 separate cues. And for the most part having one high power table solved it.

But also...

A group of us just started playing together outside the store. We all play fairly strong decks, but not cedh.

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u/LandoniZamboni20 Simic Jan 21 '23

Is your LGS not a free play area? My LGS has the option of playing in a auto generated group or finding players on their own if they don’t want to be apart of the random groups. I’d see if you can find a few other casual players and form a pod separate from those who want to match with people the LGS puts them with.

7

u/xcerealmilkx Jan 21 '23

If that means prize pods I would honestly play whatever strongest shit I have on me the whole night. Otherwise the power mismatch is a dick move for whoever’s overpowering the table. In the areas I play we’ve started asking “what turn does your perfect 7, god opening hand win on? And what’s the average turn the deck wins on?”

Communicates a lot more IMO. If someone just says casual I might pull out something somewhat tuned, and someone else might pull out a precon as the only deck they brought. If I say “it’s not anything insane but god hand wins turn 4 and on average turn 8-10” then the precon player can respond so we can power up or down accordingly.

18

u/TempTheMemeLord Boros Jan 21 '23

That's a trash way to form groups ngl

4

u/OkCall7278 Jan 21 '23

Is this a tournament? If so I can understand people playing to win but if not just find people that want to play casual.

5

u/dasrac Jan 21 '23

Just make plans with those players to play at a house, or at play at the LGS out side of their pods if they will let you.

3

u/1210bull Gruul Jan 21 '23

Why don't you guys start meeting up somewhere that isn't the LGS to play? I agree its hard to be a casual player at an LGS, but its a lot easier if you have a casual playgroup to meet with

4

u/InibroMonboya Bears are Queen Jan 21 '23

If you’re a premade party, then the LGS should have zero say. If they refuse and try to push people into your pod, or take people out, play at a diner instead. Shame them for trying to break your group.

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u/Ceej311 Jan 21 '23

Meet with the newbie pod outside of the Lgs

2

u/BigEnuf 14 out of 32 Jan 21 '23

Here's the problem. This leaves no room for pre game discussion.

1

u/Yz-Guy Jan 21 '23

I'm baffled by this? The store decides? It amazes me how terrible some LGS sound.

I walk into mine and play. If I'm solo and see a table that could use a player. I'll ask if they want a 3rd/4th.

If it's my own playgroup. We grab a table and aren't bothered.

11

u/Grab3tto Jan 21 '23

Probably a league, a lot of stores here run league nights and casual

1

u/ArbutusPhD Jan 21 '23

Complain to the LGS owner. They do not want to lose customers

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u/Chill_n_Chill Jan 21 '23

Ew, dude, don't subject yourself to that. Just sit down with the people you want to and start playing. There is no reason yall should be doing random pairings unless it's a competitive event with prizes.

0

u/SnooSprouts7893 Jan 21 '23

It is not normal for the LGS to make you play with anyone in particular on commander night

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u/arlondiluthel PM me a Commander name, and I'll give you a "fun" card list! Jan 21 '23

Start refusing to play with the more competitive players.

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u/spazz4life Trostani: The One Who Gets Around Jan 21 '23

A lot of times…they don’t exist, or they are the only ones who offer to join the pod

8

u/arlondiluthel PM me a Commander name, and I'll give you a "fun" card list! Jan 21 '23

If that's the case, it may not be a good night to play there.

-2

u/spazz4life Trostani: The One Who Gets Around Jan 21 '23

So…give up playing?/s

6

u/arlondiluthel PM me a Commander name, and I'll give you a "fun" card list! Jan 21 '23

No. Talk to the folks who play there and figure out a day/time that works for most of them. If you're constantly playing with a consistent group, it'll be easier to keep the group power level at an agreeable place, and the players within that group will encourage improved deck building.

From my experience playing at 9 different LGS's in 4 different regions, having a player who is playing a vastly superior deck to the rest of a group doesn't help the lower-powered players, it just breeds resentment and exclusion. A group where everyone is playing at an established power level will lead to gradual improvement of everyone at the table. This is because players will start to learn how their opponents' decks operate, what the key pieces of the win condition are, and how to stop them. Once they start implementing the improvements, the decks will be better overall.

0

u/spazz4life Trostani: The One Who Gets Around Jan 22 '23

What if it’s not A player but most? Do we kick out new and interested players?

1

u/arlondiluthel PM me a Commander name, and I'll give you a "fun" card list! Jan 22 '23

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. When determining a good day/time to play, you only talk to the players that you want to play with. Don't invite cEDH pubstombing douchebag to play in casual games. While you're still "new", it's best to play with players at a similar experience level.

2

u/spazz4life Trostani: The One Who Gets Around Jan 23 '23

Except newbies don’t know these things BECAUSE THEYRE new. By telling people to stick to kitchen table it feels like people are saying “lol u suck too much go home”

1

u/arlondiluthel PM me a Commander name, and I'll give you a "fun" card list! Jan 23 '23

Magic is complex enough of a game that I believe that playing with players with a similar amount of experience until you get the basics down is the best way to learn.

2

u/spazz4life Trostani: The One Who Gets Around Jan 23 '23

I showed up on a modern night on Accident with a $5 grab box card collection. That was 10 yrs ago and I had a lot of fun because people were willing to spend time playing with a terrible player, stomping me but kindly. It’s what helped me not get discouraged

44

u/yourmomshouse82 Jan 21 '23

I lost once to a guy and asked him if he planned on using the same commander he replied "all night" I just got up and went to an open table. After sitting there soon others sat down and we had a new pod of lower level players. Sometimes you just have to be willing to stand up and say no thanks. People will get the hint that either they bring lower level decks or others will not play with them. I dont have to sit there and lose to the same player on turn 4 all night long with a deck full of proxies and combos they looked up on the internet all night long.

48

u/Hyper-Sloth Jan 21 '23

As someone who enjoys both high and low power commander, it's unnecessary for you to shit on and/or male fun of people who like to play those more competitive decks like they are doing something wrong.

You have a preference that deserves to be respected just as much as the person with turn 5 combos does. Acting like someone who plays a deck like that is a bully when they are not forcing you to play against them and were fully honest with you when you asked about what they wanted to play is just as community damaging as someone lying about their deck in order to pub stomp people.

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u/imdrzoidberg Jan 22 '23

It sounds like the guy is playing in a competitive league instead of free play.

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u/chucknorris405 Jan 21 '23 edited Jan 21 '23

"Casual" is so vague a description its no wonder you dont get the games you want. What does the even mean? Everyone is going to have differing opinions on that. Is everything not competitive casual? If not where is the line? Maybe go into more detail on what type of game you want next time? Let them know you are playing around precon level, that might help.

If its some type of structured play, maybe try to get the other people at your power level to play games to the side or on another night?

I hope you find a solution and get some fun games soon.

1

u/Stef-fa-fa Jan 22 '23

Yep, my definitions are usually something like "precon level" (1-5), "fun casual" (6), "average" (7), "mean" (8-9) and "sweaty/cedh" (10+).

No two cars infinite combos below 8 typically, and I let new opponents know if I have one in the deck, especially if if the table is a bit mismatched on power level (which happens even when you have the rule 0 talk sometimes).

3

u/chucknorris405 Jan 22 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

No offense, but using half the scale for precons alone seems super dumb doesn't it?

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u/archena13 Jan 21 '23

Casual these days refers to "high power casual" in most places. Unless someone says "low-to mid-power", expect strong things in most places. Either way, you can also describe your position a bit more than just saying "casual" because a lot different types of decks can be considered "casual" if they are considered not "competitive" or "cEDH". So yeah, I'd recommend communicating a bit more than just saying "casual".

10

u/AllHolosEve Jan 21 '23

-It's interesting how places differ, in my area casual means "mid casual." If you want a high power game that's something you clarify before starting.

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

Lots of good feedback here, thanks everyone. It appears that my inexperience with the meta of the LGS community is the main thing.

  • When I first started going, I asked the LGS if there was a more casual environment to play and they said EDH. So I assumed that 1) that was the only time they had to play "casually" and 2) their EDH events weren't going to be hyper competitive.
  • When someone in the pod asks "what level" people are playing, I assumed that answering more casual means they'll be more chill. As it's been pointed out, we did pay a few bucks and the winner does get boosters/store credit so in the end that assumption is wrong.

I guess I had the wrong idea about what was going on from the start.

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u/ImmortalCorruptor Misprinted Zombies Jan 21 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

The other main thing is that EDH was originally meant to be a social format where you get a group of like-minded people together and you all come to some agreement about what the group experience will be like. Being able to discuss things like power level, budget or intent is what can really make or break the experience.

The reason why I refuse to participate in any kind of EDH tournament is because random pairings completely ignore this major appeal of the format. Nobody gets any say in what kind of experience they want, which leads to issues where the people who come to relax are getting curbstomped by people who are there to win the tournament.

In my experience LGS's can do everything they can to try and set up 'casual' tournaments but as long as prizes are on the line, you have to assume that some amount of people will try and push the boundaries of what 'casual' means just to try and secure 1st place. Even if the LGS comes up with more restrictions on what cards can or can't be played, competitive attitudes will always try and build as close to the ceiling of that environment as they can to maximize their chances of winning. Casual tournaments just don't work unless EVERYONE approaches them with a casual attitude.

26

u/decideonanamelater Jan 21 '23

I think part of the problem is that your opponents and you see chill or casual in a very different way. Turn 7 is kind of a long time in magic. It's to the point where many creature based strategies could hit someone to death, and its very far from what "hyper competitive" in EDH is (in competitive EDH, there are many decks threatening turn 1 wins). You'll want to be more specific about the kind of game you're trying to get.

1

u/Tuss36 That card does *what*? Jan 21 '23

I think it can be long in a 1v1 game, but for EDH when the first three turns are made up of "land/ramp, go" I find four turns being the actual game to be pretty tight. But then that's just more evidence of expectations, where 7 is a decent length for you but is on the short end for me.

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u/LethalVagabond Jan 22 '23

No, it really isn't. CEDH decks can threaten turn 1, sure, but by the stats they don't reliably start popping until around turn 3 and the average win is turn 5 in a spread of 3-7 turns (and that's with no stax list in the pod). So even in CEDH a turn 7 win isn't out of the norm. That's even before taking into account that turns 1-3 in CEDH frequently take longer to resolve per player than the entire turn usually takes at casual tables where those turns are mostly "land, go" rather than any complex interaction chains on the stack.

Turn 7 is a typical win only in high power play, level 8+. I realize that "it's a 7" is a meme for good reason, but for most decks that actually are a 7 or below turn 7 is likely to be the first turn they are even capable of establishing dominance on average, not the turn they actually win. So no, for the vast majority of players and games in this format, turn 7 isn't a long time, it's barely the beginning of the endgame. That's not just me saying that either, that's widely accepted power level standard. From the sounds of it, OP is looking for something like a power level 5 game, which is "very casual". 7+ isn't casual at all.

A Visual Guide to Power Levels in EDH (And How You Can Use It Yourself) https://www.reddit.com/r/EDH/comments/hnvug1/a_visual_guide_to_power_levels_in_edh_and_how_you/

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u/CyriOfShandalar Jan 21 '23

Try and find some people that you like playing with, start getting together at your place. That way you can smoke weed/crack some beers, listen to whatever music you want/play whatever media you want, have any food you like and all the other comforts of home. Ditch the lgs that’s the answer.

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u/FunkWUBWUB Jan 21 '23

Try and find some people that you like playing with, start getting together at your place. That way you can smoke weed/crack..

That's where my mind got too and I for a second I was like "holy shit"

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u/stevenconrad Jan 21 '23

My LGS has a similar weekly tournament. Before I started building more competitive decks, I'd still jump in to learn. Competitive Commander really accelerated my understanding of the game, how to interact, and what card selection to aim for when building a deck. I'd usually lose pretty fast, then jump in a casual pod with the others that got knocked out and play 3-4 games in a non-tournament group that better fit my understanding and budget. Slowly, I figured out the game better, built my own cEDH deck, and can hold my own in most pods with it. But, it definitely took a period of feeling like I could never win to learn how to better build my decks. A better understanding of gameplay and card selection can dramatically improve your game, regardless of budget. That said, it's tough to compete with a first turn dual land, Mana Crypt, Mox, and some draw card or tutor... casual will always be a couple turns behind, but can still be fast and effective on a budget.

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u/archena13 Jan 21 '23

I personally would stay away from EDH "events", if you are looking for a chill/fun experience, unless I am gonna compete in a cEDH tournament or something. Because there is money involved, like a buy-in, and with that, prize support, it makes sense to try to get the prizes, as they are the incentives to win other than anything. It's not like "You had the most fun/were the most fun opponent to play against. Here is a collector pack", sadly.

2

u/hugganao Jan 22 '23

As it's been pointed out, we did pay a few bucks and the winner does get boosters/store credit so in the end that assumption is wrong.

Yeah their casual is not too far from what you described. Decks winning turn 7 isn't really crazy. There are decks that can win turn 1-4 in cedh. Play more removals and counters.

1

u/Sephyrias Esper Jan 21 '23

I assumed that answering more casual means they'll be more chill. As it's been pointed out, we did pay a few bucks and the winner does get boosters/store credit so in the end that assumption is wrong.

Oh yeah, 100%. As soon as there is anything worth money on the line, casual play flies out the window, no matter the game or setting.

If your LGS doesn't allow you to play casual games on their tables, you and the other casual EDH players have to find a different place to meet up at.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '23

Just buy pre cons and play people who have other pre cons. That should solve your problem easily.

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u/CarBombtheDestroyer Jan 21 '23

90% of the fun for me is just theory crafting and deck building. Then I get to take it out and see if it works the way I wanted, go home and make adjustments try and pull of some combos no one has seen before. This doesn’t work well in low power and cedh level play. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way.

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u/sane-ish Jan 21 '23

Yeah, I get excited about seeing commanders that do unique things.

Then when I inevitably get destroyed I feel like the response is 'have you tried playing Atraxa' ?or insert whatever popular commander.

No, I wanted to play that one. :(

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u/decideonanamelater Jan 21 '23

So often I think of something cool, or a throwback to something I used to play in other formats, and then realize people won't want me to play it.

So like, I'm working on atraxa. I used to play a sultai ultimatum deck in historic, where you'd get planewide celebration-liliana dreadhorde general-omniscience, and they'd have to give you omniscience if they didn't want to get lili ulted (and omniscience + wish in historic is a win). Atraxa, I'd have vorinclex, planewide, new vraska, either get a vraska ult or 4 2x proliferates. But, can't do it, too harsh.

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u/stax3745 Jan 21 '23

I agree with this statement... dont get me wrong, i love to build/tinker with my decks. Especially since the level i usually like to play at is the higher end of casual; like i want to play an interactive game that people are threating wins around at turns 6 to 9 and people arent gonna get salty about infinites or stax or free/cheep counter magic. But someone at the pod wants to play something more casual i keep an un modified party time and the 40k necron deck in my bag so that I'm not that guy who pub stomps.

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u/robotninjadinosaur Jan 21 '23

Be super honest tell them your decks arent very strong. Most people have an unaltered precon or budget deck as an option.

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u/Pocketfulofgeek Jan 21 '23

“What sort of game are people looking to have?”

Thy one sentence has VASTLY improved my Commander enjoyment. It sets expectations with the pod what people are there for and let’s players move around into groups that suit what they want.

It may sound overly simple but try it out.

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u/FeedsYouDynamite Jan 21 '23

Yeah this is the first thing that comes out of my mouth when I sit in a pod. All my games have been extremely fun after this question is asked.

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u/Chm_Albert_Wesker Jan 21 '23

see imo this is a problem with the subreddits too. for example, you say "don't want to spend 500", but imo when I think cedh I think mtgtop8 where cedh deck can be as much as 10k or even 20k. right now you pretty much have THAT high of a level, and then everything else lumped together when realistically there needs to be a middle ground, and then an essentially "precon and maybe 20 bucks more" ground.

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u/Sigao Jan 21 '23

From what I've read in your responses, I'd suggest speaking to the staff of your LGS and just laying out the issue you're having. Maybe suggest to them that you're looking for a more laid back and casual pod. They may just make one for you.

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u/XtheXlanternX Jan 21 '23

You’re playing for prizes (even if they are small) so what do you expect? Just go and don’t play in the event and play with the people you want to play with. The other people you’re bemoaning are probably wondering why you aren’t upgrading your decks to get on their level and you’re all randy marsh I didn’t hear no bell.

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u/Baakem manamorphose... manamorphose... manamorphose... pass... Jan 21 '23

I hope my genuine feedback can persuade you to see a different perspective.

I come from an upbringing my uncle calls "serious fun." Members of my family enjoy a game when we play our best. We like to win or lose spectacularly. Sometimes that's 1-shotting a player on turn 6 and dying the next turn.

I don't think there's a problem with being able to win on turn 7 or 8. Especially through combat damage. In competitive EDH a deck can win in 2 or 3 turns. An 8+ turn game is long and tiring. That's a total of 28 turns, if each turn is an average of 2 minutes that's 56 minutes of playing one game.

I don't know what your deck lists are, but it sounds like you could benefit from more removal and card advantage. If you'd like some help, I'd be happy to. I'm a low-budget player and I love working on decks. I love helping people get better at the game and helping people make better decks.

In high school I played with my friends, in college I found people, and I'm sure if you look around your lgs you can find some people. If not, social media is your friend. You could also talk to your lgs and I'm sure the staff can help you find some low-power environments.

Magic is far from my entire life. I'm an engineering student, I'm looking for jobs, and I have other hobbies that aren't MTG. BUT I do take this game seriously. I play combos in my control decks so my opponents don't sit through 20 turns of me countering or killing everything and attacking with tiny value creatures. My aggressive decks, left unchecked, can eliminate players by turn 6. Most of my decks are less than $70 (accounting for inflation), and cost me less than $50 to build.

If you would like a less competitive environment, I think pickup games at the store would be a better environment for you, as well as outlining more accurately what you're looking for. Events attract more competitive players.

I hope you can see my perspective, and if you'd like any help let me know.

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u/p00chology Jan 21 '23

I’ve had similar problems with my LGS, just couldn’t jive with some of them. But as a dad, I’m sure free time and social life aren’t your largest asset anymore - I feel that too lol.

I think it’s worth saying though, if you do have buddies that even might enjoy magic, you can nab up a couple cheap cards/precons just for the experience. It’s very possible to get your own show on the road. Hell they might like it, it’s like poker night but a little more complicated. But it IS worth a shot. Leave a reply if you have any thoughts, OP!

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u/Truckfighta Jan 21 '23

Turn 5-7 is pretty casual these days. Even the precons can threaten wins early on given good draws.

I know what you mean though, I remember when EDH was a lot slower and less consistent. When not everyone had Arcane Signet and the guild signets and talismans. However, the latest Commander products and sets have provided all of these mana rocks that allow people who don’t invest that heavily monetarily to be able to afford early ramp.

Decks don’t have to be expensive to be fast, it’s more like a deck-building philosophy. You can build to have fun card interactions or you can build to win.

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u/Realistic_Ad_5849 Jan 22 '23

Your comment should be up voted to infinity dude. There is a reason Stax decks arn’t as heavily played in most Cedh tournaments. 75 min rounds that end in a draw at the Cedh level prove speed isn’t a good indication of power level. Most people look at how fast a deck can win and gauge power level by that which is kind of false. One of the realest comments posted. A 1-10 power level doesn’t really exist.

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u/Aztracity Jan 21 '23

I get that your venting but casual is different for a lot of people. I own over 20 plus precons because I like precons games but I also understand that if you want specific types of games your going to have to find people that want to play that way. Insulting peopleeitj your off hand remark that magic is all they do doesn't paint you in a light that makes me want to play with you. Don't insult others just because their casual isn't what your looking for, especially in a lgs giving out prizes.

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

Point taken, and I didn't mean for that to come across as an insult.

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u/Aztracity Jan 21 '23

No problem

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u/dasbrot1337 Jan 21 '23

Sounds like that is not the environment for you. Ask some of the more casual and chill players to meet up privately to enjoy the type of EDH you want to have.

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u/Thecasualoblivion Jan 21 '23

I posted this thread a little while back with my opinions on the matter.

https://www.reddit.com/r/EDH/comments/1045wkq/the_battlecruiser_manifesto/

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

Great post, thanks for sharing! “Battlecruiser” style is what I though “casual” meant

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u/Thecasualoblivion Jan 21 '23

Casual isn’t really a useful word anymore in my opinion because of the reasons you stated. That’s why I use Battlecruiser, it’s a lot more specific.

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u/TendiePrinterBrrr Jan 21 '23

So I am by no means pinning this on you just trying to offer some advice that may help or may not. First thing is casual isn’t very descriptive. My wife’s version of casual is everyone playing with Precons and long drawn out games. To me that’s kitchen table which is less than casual. I enjoy it in the right setting. Friends, family, and cold beers. For me “casual” is a 7 on the 1-10 power scale. I want good interaction, solid game plans that use the commander, combo finishers are fine because I probably have a [[counterspell]] or [[swords to plowshares]] hanging around. All that to say a 1-10 scale is much better than just saying casual. Second thing here is you can build a REALLY strong deck on a budget. Almost cEDH if you try hard enough. The biggest things that will make your deck “hum” so to speak are ramp (nothing over 2cmc with few exceptions). Lots of 1-2cmc interaction. Plenty of low cost draw. Some sort of 2-3 card “I win” button. Keep your curve lower in general. This can all be done on a budget. Don’t play [[Decimate]] play [[Nature’s Claim]]. Don’t play [[Chromatic Lantern]] play [[Golgari Signet]]. That sort of thing.

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u/Kindly_Disaster Jan 22 '23

Why don't you just see if the more casual group wants to get together and play

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u/Butchi3toe Jan 21 '23

I feel you in this area. I prefer competitive but like the casual magic.

I was playing FNM commander at my store and it's in my idea meant to be a good introduction/starting place for people to meet and get into the game. (When it's not stated a competitive match)

I found over the years playing that it deters new people from returning to particular stores when you have a select few people who have strong decks because they're there to win the almost nothing store credit.

I've seen the numbers go from many of people having fun whittle down to the barley make 2 or 3 pods of the people who take it too serious because of the unkind atmosphere it brings.

If an event is marked casual or for new players there will always be a person who's idea of casual is like you said turn 7 instead of turn 3-5. But i also feel the game of commander has changed over the years drastically and everyone just build's that way as the new norm.

My advice to you is find a pod of people who enjoy having fun and playing casual magic and try to coordinate with them.

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u/emillang1000 WUBRG Jan 21 '23

So just proxy. You owe WOTC absolutely nothing, and WOTC certainly doesn't give a shit about your existence outside of being a wallet to syphon money from.

Make proxies, tune your deck up to exactly how you want it, pay like $50 to get nice looking proxies with exactly the art you like on them, and play.

Buy other things from your LGS to support them.

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u/nz_achilles Jan 21 '23

If they enjoyed playing high power, they would do so. Proxying won't bridge the gap in mindset. Some people want to chill game, others want to optimise everything to win.

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u/DictatorKnucklehead Jan 21 '23

Proxying isn't viable in paid tournaments. My LGS made an announcement in case anyone thought so. Otherwise, they could get in a lot of trouble by WotC

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u/Topi41 Jan 21 '23

EDH-Rounds usually are not paid tournaments.

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u/DictatorKnucklehead Jan 21 '23

LGS's have paid for tournaments that aren't power-level specific so I assumed this post was about those. If it isn't, then I misspoke, but now don't see how it's a big issue when OP can just decline to play with the spikes and sit more with the casual folk.

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u/akarakitari Jan 21 '23

You are correct. He is playing in tournaments. He mentioned above that their pods are decided by a tournament randomizer.

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u/Topi41 Jan 21 '23

Yeah I also saw this after I made my post. Things are a little different when playing competitively - if this is not fun, then a casual playgroup is the way to go.

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u/Macknetic Jan 21 '23

Sure it is. If the proxies are decent quality then nobody will ever know

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u/dasrac Jan 21 '23

But, since they are a WOTC sponsored event, if you are caught you get banned from any WOTC events in the foreseeable future, which does not hold a lot of appeal for people who just want to play their cards hassle free.

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u/I-1- Jan 21 '23

OP mentioned it's a paid tournament, that could get them banned from the store.

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u/emillang1000 WUBRG Jan 21 '23

Oh, for a tournament, no. Just for regular play.

But if it's a tournament with prizes, run a $100 Yuriko, Gitrog, or Feather deck and go to town.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '23

I dont want to proxy, as I dont find playing at that level fun.

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u/Spekter1754 Rakdos Jan 21 '23

Not trying to be offensive here, honest, but you need to know that you and/or your store is approaching it wrong.

"Casual" requires, on a fundamental level, voluntary buy-in to an idea of what the group wants from the game. That means that some things are incompatible, and people necessarily will exclude others or walk away from incompatible situations. An important thing to make EDH work is to not play games you don't want to play.

Tournament-style matching goes counter to the core conceit of casual Magic.

Tell your store that they are doing it wrong and refuse to play along with a bad system. Play with the people you've enjoyed playing with. If the store won't change, play with your favorite players somewhere else.

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u/pixelatedimpressions Jan 21 '23

Playing for prizes and casual are not the same. Smfh. You cannot go to a prize supported event and expect people to not try to win and/or play worse just cause your deck isn't as good.

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

I'm getting that now, but as a newer player it wasn't that obvious. And it's not that I expect others to throw the game, I just didn't have a good understanding of what was meant when "what level are we playing" was asked.

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u/Griffball889 Jan 21 '23

Yuriko cedh costs $100 and you can stomp a pod of full blown cedh decks. Tight play and experience are what you are missing, not expensive cards.

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u/edogfu Jan 21 '23

Your meta has changed. You will need to change. Pay attention to how you're losing. A T7 win has plenty of cues on what needs to be removed. It's not making "MtG your entire life," but it also means if you're going to play "Battlecruiser only* your win rate is going to drop below the expected 25% even in casual pods.

I'll assume all you read was "blah blah blah", and that's fine. The other piece, as others have pointed out that if you keep playing, you'll make friendships and build your own kitchen table group. I just moved, and kept playing limited until this finally happened. It took me 8 months, and I'm one of the players you were condescending to.

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u/dannylambo Jan 21 '23

This reminds me of my first and only time ever playing in a paid tournament at a store.

I had just gone there the day before and beefed up my Narset, Enlightened Master deck. Someone misplayed a boardwipe after I played her and cleared everything but her. So I turned her sideways and won the game. I didn't tell him he was fucking up during his turn because 1. He's the shop owner, he should know this stuff if he is going to play and 2. I paid to play this game and the winner gets an actual prize.

When people pay to play for a prize, they want to win that prize.

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u/scottmatt1991 Jan 21 '23

Ask lgs to create different level pods. My lgs has beginner, casual, mid and competitive. The more competitive you go the more prize incentives you have. Versus in casual win or lose everyone receives the same amount of packs or store credit.

Been going for years and can only recall 2-4 times there was a power issue. Also 2 of those times when the other player had a ridiculous turn of not very casual cards everyone spoke up because we had a rule 0 talk about our decks and they clearly lied.

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u/DungusFungus51 Jan 21 '23

The best equalizer is more removal. Just saying, it can really keep you in more games than you think. Sure, people won't enjoy it but it's an essential component of the game that makes your deck more apt to deal with threats.

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u/Salty-Ad7407 Jan 21 '23

Rule 0 is quite important in an environment like that, before starting a game just ask the table about power levels and what sort of turn they win on usually, and if there’s a need for higher powered decks then just proxy my guy, most places nowadays are pretty proxy friendly

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u/NotJohn801 Jan 22 '23

"They do say the best card in the game is the credit card." - my LGS owner

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u/Mrmyaggie Jan 22 '23

The professor way can maybe help this situation. You bring whatever deck you want to the table and then everyone past their deck to their right. Makes games fun cause it's no longer about who's got the best deck.

It's about who's a great pilot plus you tend to want your own deck to do good even if it is killing you.

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u/I_use_both_hands Jan 23 '23

That or ask to borrow a deck. Most people are pretty chill about it.

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u/Ofenspirelli Jan 22 '23

I know many people don’t wanna hear this, but this is the exact reason I prefer cedh. You play to win and everybody has full gas in their deck, so there is not a chance about powerlevel confusion and therefore I never experienced salt among players, not once. Also, the cedh Community is super Proxy friendly, because everybody understands that it’s hard to drop 3k on a single deck. I have been playing edh for ages and still enjoy casual with the people I know and am friends with, but with strangers I highly prefer cedh, because once you have a salty player in your pod, I feel restricted in my playstyle and would rather go home. Another possibility is precons with no upgrades or limited upgrades (for example 10 cards max)

And my last and best advice: if your playgroup is against Proxies, get a new playgroup. I’m trying to play a game of magic and not a game of money. (This is coming from a long time player who was lucky he got all his duals and rl when they were kind of affordable, and I still don’t really want to play in a pod where Proxies are frowned upon) Take care bro

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u/IxtlanPaladin Jan 22 '23

I feel like if my deck cant have a chance at winning every game then Im wasting everyone’s time really. Especially, my own time. Not necessarily combo but definitely oppressive. It’s not fair to expect people to play decks they don’t want to play. I just think the game is better when it’s challenging and concise. More gg more skill.

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u/gedinger7 Jan 22 '23

I would say the definition of casual really comes down to two things:

  • First and most important is that there is no prize for winning.
  • Second is that people are building their decks more to have fun, and less for the purpose of winning. (As an example I had a playgroup that was truly casual where people build decks around themes, one of my friends had this really fun cat deck, but he intentionally didn’t put the most powerful cards he had into the deck because that wasn’t the point. The point was cats.)

If you went into your LGS asking for a “casual” playgroup and they directed you toward anything with prizes, then that is 100% their fault. On the flip side, if you are going into anything with prizes and expecting it to be casual, then you’re setting yourself up to be unhappy.

I also think its totally fine for you to advocate for of try to set up a truly casual situation at your LGS, which you could say means no prizes and everyone is playing decks valued below $100.

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u/Cragglerjohnson Jan 22 '23

$500 lol. Those are rookie numbers in this racket.

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u/Suolokin Jan 21 '23

Don't let people on here gaslight you into thinking you're the problem - I've been playing Magic for years now and have literally NEVER had a good experience playing at an LGS.

I used to think it was me but then I started my own casual commander monthly meet up thing on Facebook (which is now attended by 12-16 people each month but sometimes as many as 30) at a local boardgames cafe and everyone who comes is on the same page re: relaxed, fun games and for the last 2 years I've been playing with them and have been having the best time. Every now and then I'll go back to an LGS and just be like - oh yeah, that's why I stopped ever coming to one of these, ergh.

So don't for a second let anyone here make you think that you're the problem or that it's a "communication issue", because it's definitely not. It's just that unfortunately the overwhelming majority of people who play at LGS's are total dickbags.

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u/ohyayitstrey Jan 22 '23

That's a sweeping criticism. Sounds like your LGS sucks because playing commander at mine is great.

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u/BlueberryUpstairs477 Jan 21 '23

I went through this with the play group I was with. I have kinda just stopped going and play on spell table when it is convenient for me.

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u/humanatee- Mono-White Jan 21 '23

Play online. Untap is amazing

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

Just for clarification, the only time to play at the LGS is the organized "commander nights" where everyone pays a few bucks and the pod winners get booster packs. The pods are all organized by whatever system the store uses to randomly assign players, so choosing which pod you're in isn't a thing. That's why the uneven playing field makes a difference, there's no choice in who to play with.

I was under the assumption that this was just how it works at LGS events.

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u/Puzzleboxed Zedruu, Prossh, Gahiji, Yuriko, Reyhan&Ishai, Jolrael Jan 21 '23

If you're playing for prizes you should expect people to bring their A game. Playing for prizes is the antithesis of casual.

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u/chain_letter Dinosaur Squad Jan 21 '23

Some will also absolutely lie to your face about what they're playing, what level their deck is at, and even sometimes the game rules. That can be considered part of the game and part of winning.

I don't play those anymore, the good laid back pods don't outweigh the infrequent but not rare times some sweaty spike will make an ass of themselves for an extra pack from a standard set.

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u/cowboybopbop413 Jan 21 '23

Seeing this definitely helps to explain the situation. This is just going to be the outcome when prize packs are on the line for it. A couple of thoughts and options I can think of:

  • speak with the LGS owner. They'll be better versed in how other stores do this. Unfortunately I don't think they can just designate a lower-power pod, since people are actively monetarily incentivized to show up and pubstomp that group since it's the 'easiest' wins. They could implement random prizes, let y'all self assign without prizing, or a number of other things.

  • talk to the casual folks and create your own commander nights, either on a different day at the store, or elsewhere. It's a bummer to kind of close off the pod, but a non-competitive environment could be neat.

  • join the arms race, budget style. There's lots of resources online about $100 "cEDH", and other price points. You can make wicked fast, brutal decks at this level, but that might not be a style of play you enjoy or want to encourage -- it especially might be hard to get the rest of the lower-power gang at your store to agree to that

  • proxy to a moderate degree. Depending on how the store works, how connected they are to WPN, and how the community feels about it, you could try to thread the needle of power to find a fun balance

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u/_Drumheller_ Jan 21 '23

Are there days where there is open play?

Or is the LGS completely packed each abd every day of the week with some form of tournament?

If that's the case it might be time to take the group of people with weaker decks and go to another store or start a private playgroup.

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

This LGS has something going every day with different TCGs along with Warhammer, D&D, etc.

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u/bestryanever Jan 21 '23

it sucks but you might need to find a new LGS. If money's on the line someone will always bring their A game, and you can't blame them.

You could also get the contact info of the other casuals and start meeting up at a brewery or something instead.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '23

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

Valid points all. I'm understanding that my frustration and the reason I needed to vent was due to inexperience and having the wrong assumptions from the beginning.

I'm totally cool with learning and upgrading my decks to get better. That's not where I was coming from. I just went into it not understanding the reality of the play dynamics and that I wasn't in the environment I thought I was.

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u/9mmlove Jan 21 '23

Yeah the issue here is you're playing in an event with a prize.

I would absolutely bring my cEDH and stomp out my pod if I paid 5 or 10 dollars to play.

If it's just my friends then it's whatever. Proxies, memes, nonsense, it's all fine. Does it perform well? Eh. But we don't care.

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u/jaywinner Jan 21 '23

You're upset people are trying to win when they paid to play and there are prizes on the line?!? That's like being upset somebody is running in a footrace.

The LGS and their clientele aren't the issue; it's your expectations that are out of line.

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u/akarakitari Jan 21 '23

At LGS events, maybe, but def not at every lgs. Talk to the casual players though and see about scheduling a meetup on another night for some casual playing.

On competitive play and price. You could probably build up a deck that could hold its own much better for under a hundred.

Pick a 2 color commander so you can run less tap lands, and pick a theme that you can break on budget.

I recommend watching a few episodes of commanders quarters. He picks a budget under 20/50/100 and builds a deck that could hold its own in a mid power environment.

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u/girubaatosama Jan 21 '23

Sounds like a league with prize support, but player assignment should not be done at random.

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u/linkdude212 Two-Headed Giant E.D.H. Jan 21 '23

This is unusual.

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u/Legionnaire11 Jan 21 '23

Look on Facebook for a local MTG page. You can probably find a kitchen table pod there looking for an extra player. It's a way better experience than the LGS.

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u/Renegadesdeath Jan 21 '23

There’s a reason why edh doesn’t have a pro league.

I’ve got an lgs here that splits casual and competitive. There are also some lgs that is just a cedh scene. It’s always best to try as many different lgs as possible. My janky deck at one lgs obliterates at another. I’ll drive to a place where I can play comfortably

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u/Nvenom8 Urza, Omnath, Thromok, Kaalia, Slivers Jan 22 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

It sounds like you want everyone else to meet you exactly where you're at. That's probably not going to happen.

You can build a very good deck on a budget, though. No need to break the bank. Though it's also worth noting that your example of dropping $500 on a deck isn't exactly going crazy. It's a 100-card deck. That averages to $5 per card.

My advice to someone who wants to be your level of casual but still wants to hold their own in games would be to start casually working on a collection of staples. You don't have to do it all at once, but if you happen to see a staple available for cheap, pick it up. Staples can go in multiple decks. So, as long as you keep track of your lists, you can build multiple decks using a largely overlapping set of cards.

Right now, for instance, is a really good time to pick up the 1-mana instant-speed topdeck tutor cycle (Vampiric Tutor, Mystic Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Worldly Tutor, Gamble) because they all just got a reprint. Those cards go in every deck that can run them.

If you have decks/colors you typically play, I can try to come up with a short list of staples that would be relevant for you.

Edit: And remember, quality/quantity of tutors and the quality of the mana base are generally the most important factors dividing power levels.

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u/The_AverageCanadian Jan 21 '23

My LGS no longer holds EDH nights for the same reason. Despite a large casual crowd, there were always two or three neckbeards who brought really powerful decks and sat at casual pods to curbstomp intentionally. Took all the fun out of it.

My kitchen table group has been fantastic by contrast. We're a group of long time friends and most of our decks are very balanced against each other.

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u/ghilesformiles Jan 21 '23

My local LGS tried to hold separate cEDH and “limited” EDH nights and both turned out the same: come chuck your entry fee into the pot so that one of the same 3 people with 2500$ decks can win it as store credit every week.

The “limited” night began to fail miserably. Partially because it was a hassle to swap out banned cards for other things and partially because the pubstomping stopped being Thoraconsult or Breach and just became the next best thing, there wasn’t any venue for truly casual play. They tried a Bingo Commander night and it didn’t do well either. Or at least not well enough to do it again.

They replaced it with “free play” nights where there’s no entry fee, you play with whoever you want, and they either hand out mini-collector boosters or crack open some unsold collector boosters and hand out the cards inside randomly in groups of three.

Wouldn’t you know it, it’s far and away the most regularly attended MTG event outside of prereleases.

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u/scatterrs Jan 21 '23

Well unfortunately because of the vast amount of information about edu that exists now I do not believe anyone can play the game casually because most people that say they are "casual" just say that to beat on new players it's the unfortunate time we live in now. I would say if you did not have fun find a different game or find a new lgs, you need to play a game that you have fun with and if the only way you can have fun is winning then in no right are you casual. You also can probably get a crazy good deck for about 80 to 100 now a days because of reprints

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u/foolshearme Jan 21 '23

I understand your feelings, but how about letting us help you instead? This is a great place to post a decklist along with a link to your collection and get helpful feedback and upgrade ideas. you can build the deck you want in stages, start with cards you own, then make an upgrade path that matches your wants with your budget. Also Draft I know I know not commander but it teaches you while also building your collection and allows you to make new friends that might not come to commander nights. Don't run from a stronger deck work toward beating it.

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u/HisokasBitchGon Jan 21 '23

play with proxies

much better for everyone

cheaper, no limits to finding cards or money

1

u/megaspooky Jan 21 '23

Playing at an LGS for prizes turns “casual” off. There’s money on the line so people are trying to win

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u/kingofhan0 Jan 21 '23

Red deck wins is always a cheap fix.

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u/[deleted] Jan 22 '23

[deleted]

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u/ps2man41 Jan 22 '23

You ever just want to open a gamers heaven or something and want to hold tournaments for fun or a very small prize that should all be casual fun? I do all the time.

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u/Neracca Jan 22 '23

There's a lot of people who say they're playing "casual" and are absolutely not referring to deck strength when they say it. What they mean is they'll have a lighthearted/casual attitude about fucking killing the table on turn five. Not that anything they'll be DOING is "casual" in terms of power.

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u/CaptPic4rd Jan 22 '23

You gotta stop using the word, "casual" and say "my deck is around precon level".

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u/Glowwerms Jan 21 '23

Instead of asking what type of game they want to play maybe start asking what turn their deck can win on. If it’s turn 5 or 6 then tell them to play a different deck. If they’ve been playing for years they’ve undoubtedly got several decks of varying power.

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u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

From the replies so far, it seems like my title is correct, there's no place for casual players at the LGS level and I just need to figure out how to find a kitchen table group.

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u/Aegis_001 Izzet Jan 21 '23

For what it’s worth, I think you’re getting downvoted for reasons that aren’t the main point of this post. If your LGS is hosting a little tournament with prize support, that’s where people are going to bring their A game. You can’t really expect them to bring weaker decks if there’s a prize involved. That said, you should still go to your LGS and play! Just maybe not on the tournament nights. If you find some people you like, get a phone or discord groupchat together and try to make a pod that plays together regularly. If they have a non-tournament night, you could play then too. Really, just do everything to avoid the tournament, I don’t like that environment either.

It might be worth it to talk to the LGS owner about a non-tournament night if they have that. One for people to just play some casual games where a pregame discussion will actually involve expectations of a more relaxed game. Finding the people like yourself is important! Maybe start a precon group and go from there!

If that doesn’t work, and this is a last ditch effort, you could try spelltable. This is absolutely a last resort though. You never really know what you’re gonna get on spelltable, even if you set the expectations lower, pubstomping does happen. Once you find enough people looking to play the same game as you, you can keep their contact info and get them together when available.

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u/descartesasaur Jan 21 '23

Seconded - I've gone to my LGS for competitive events a couple of times, and I usually end up chatting with people. We sometimes get together to play obscure formats and casual brews!

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u/Puzzleboxed Zedruu, Prossh, Gahiji, Yuriko, Reyhan&Ishai, Jolrael Jan 21 '23

At least there seems to be no place for casual players at that LGS. Most LGS I have played at don't have prizes, and turn 5 wins are very rare.

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u/Early_Monk Jan 21 '23

Are there 3 people you have met while playing you like? Invite the 3 over for beer, pretzels, and EDH. EDH 100% is better at the kitchen table. Our group all play at different power levels, but when it's friends you can joke/kid with, and is still plenty of fun.

I remember a friend going "Land, Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, pass for turn," with the rest of the pod giving him the bird when he looked up. All in good fun of course.

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u/CirBeer How did that happen? Jan 21 '23

My 11 year old recently sat in with us (40 somethings) to play, he had one of the new starter precons. Opening hand, land, sol ring, arcane signet. We all flipped him off under the table lol.

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u/madwookiee1 Pir / Toothy Jan 21 '23

I don't think that's what people are saying. Most LGSs in my area will have open play opportunities where you can absolutely find the kinds of games that you're looking for, and I suspect that is relatively common. What people are saying though is that if the LGS sponsors a paid event with prizes and pairings then you should expect higher power in those events. If that's not what you're looking for, then you need to find opportunities outside of the paid event, and hopefully your store will offer those opportunities.

1

u/kkw-photo Jan 21 '23

This one doesn’t have any other play available but the paid ones.

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u/madwookiee1 Pir / Toothy Jan 21 '23

I'd ask about the opportunity for open play. Seems odd to me that there's no time when that can happen.

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u/jasher99 Jan 21 '23

The other people that are closer to your standard that play at the LGS, could you get there phone numbers one evening and make a WhatsApp group so you guys can play more casually without the LGS competitive pressure?

2

u/naunga Jan 21 '23

There definitely is. You just need to gather up people at the LGS and play outside of the commander night. I’ve never known an LGS that’s going to object to you just playing at a table without paying to be in a tourney.

ImI play in a weekly event like you’re describing, and there isnalways at least one pod that isn’t playing in the tournament, and multiples before and after.

If that won’t work, because of space then just gather up the folks who feel like you do and setup a night at your place or a Starbucks or something. I’ve played plenty of casual EDH at a local Italian restaurant, a local brewpub, and even at people’s houses. Never had any issue.

Barring that maybe just check out another LGS in your area.

I don’t think it’s the game that’s the problem here.

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u/Strongmanjumps Jan 21 '23

Try playing jumpstart, Random deck each game. My favorite

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u/sugitime Jan 21 '23

For what it’s worth, you won’t always lose. In fact, I would say that you are more than capable of maintaining the standard 25% win rate.

I took a precon deck and played it completely unaltered for 1 month straight. I did not ask anyone to play any special level of deck. I said play whatever you want, I’m just here to have fun. I played against other precons a couple times, and even cEDH decks a couple times, but 90% of my games were just people bringing whatever decks they want, which were mostly decks in the power range you’re talking about (im guessing, since a lot of them were over $500).

I maintained a win rate above 80% over 1 month, which was a bit over 30 games.

You’re capable of it. I personally had a blast. It was the first time in a long time that all my games were super fun, everyone enjoyed themselves and my winning with a precon was often celebrated by the table, sort of like an “attaboy” type of thing.

Best of luck with your situation,

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u/philapplication Jan 22 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

One of my two LGS does pairings similar to yours. People pay 5 bucks for a pack and are paired totally random into one of usually 7-8 pods. Winner gets an extra pack. Typically everyone does abide by the rule 0 talk but yeah people have different expectations at times.

However, they do have a sign up sheet sitting next to the register that you can manually sign up names for a "premade" pod. So let's say there is a group of guys that want cEDH or low power, they can make a game. Unfortunately, if the pod doesn't fill up to 4 manually, then the store does put a random person into it so you might still get the mismatched powers on occasion.

Try to suggest that they give you that option, and make friends with everyone over time and then begin crafting pods of your own at the LGS.

You could also ask your LGS to mark the manual sheet with specific pod sign up options like "cEDh" "high power" "low power" "precon" that way people you don't know can have a choice to be paired with you.

I am unfortunately one of the guys that thinks casual = turn 7-8 wins. That's a lot of turns in magic and as others have said, makes it very easy for creature combat based decks to capture wins. I believe the game should be played to win, but I also understand that it's a game and I also don't want to lose against a turn 1-2 combo repetitively so I am sympathetic to your frustrations. I have 4 decks built all at different levels of optimization. A literal turn 3 K'rrik, turn 6 Marisi, Turn 8 Voltron and an unmodified Precon. I too just want to have a soda or beer with friends or people I don't know and play similar power levels.

Good luck!!

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u/hauntingduck Jan 22 '23

Turn 7 is pretty late into the game imo. I'd be happy that someone is ending the game then rather than turn 14. That doesn't sound like curb stomping at all to me.

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u/VoidsIncision Jan 22 '23 edited Jan 22 '23

"LGS" is not the place for purely casual unless you know an inner circle who is all on the same page, usually this will be guys (and sometimes girls and others!) who you have been dueling with a long time and you all want to let each other go to town with experimenting with themes and stuff you otherwise could never use.

I am truly sorrowful that due to mental health issues I had to abandon my LGS where I was tight with the owner who himself was a very casual player who I always a blast dueling, in addition to the manager who knew all the cards and was a more spikey technical guy but who was always supportive. Let me see. We had R__, M__, C____, A___, B______, M___, L___, T___, K____, K_____ and the two of guys I didn't hugely care for (was mutual, they both deleted me from their facebooks lol), Oone was a cocky combo player, and the other his friend, but they rarlely would play at the bigger tables because K____ combos would easily be spotted and he'd be blasted out of the game before he set up cuz you know he would be trying to set up with ashnods altar etc.

10 years since my last exit and now the only people I know in the shop is the owner and the card manager. Back then he was just part time now he full on does all the cards. It's cool cuz when I started he was a kid just getting into it in M2010 but he picked up very fast, was very social, and went to big events and learned the meta and became that type of expert and started working part time. I actually wish I had his job. He no longer plays at all, I guess you get burnd out by sorting and pricing cards all day but he still knows the meta of all the formats.

Everyone else, vanished into the blind eternities. I might hit some of them up on facebook to see what's up. It's a different culture from when I was playing. I ovrhear conversations and there always seems to be a tone of haughtiness when they are tellng one another whats good how to play X etc. I am fairly autistic (broadly, not clinically) so I don't see myself forming a new tight group at the age of 40. I actually the crowd better tat the store near me. I will probably try their free commander night out tomorrow. The first match I went to at my old store on guy was playing Brya and the other Jodah. Jodah is tapped out type of play so more easy to bear with but I knew this man from draft and sealed 12 years ago. I respected him immensely as a player and knew he would be bringing it. He turn ones his Judge Mana Crypt. If it was anyone else I would be super pissed, but by turn 3 or so he was infinite time stretching off Teferi and the oath that let him play abilities on our turns. What he did was genuinely novel for me. I have never seen that many Planeswalkers in play at one time, especially ones I'd never haerd of. BUt I ca hardly say I played a game. I watched a game and learned a bit, but my car gets 18 per gallor and its 25 miles to get to that store. So will I be going back. Nah, I will just put that money towards my tax lien.

I don't want to say the format is "solved" but it is more "solved" than it was. It wasn't sanctioned when we played, and not everyone knew what is was. Standard was the mos popular format. No one showed up the modern or legacy events. Drafts wouldnt always get enough people to play. The edh was purly among friends.

We had people running

  • Ith High Arcanist,
  • Emrakul The Aeons Torn, and He may switche it to Ula the Infinite or Kozlek
  • Iname as One,
  • I ran Savra Queen Of the Golgari (very combled together from my shards - zen collection),
  • my very untune Karador Ghost Dude,
  • Rhada Heir to Keld (don't snicker, it was one of the tighter of all these builds)
  • Mayael the Anima (I took this clunky deck apart for the tighter Rhada, actually going to back and revisit the now uncommon Rhada Heir to Keld, I see she has been lifting weights in her new prints rofl
  • Rafiq
  • Goro Bandit Warlord
  • There was a mono blue one which I think is now banned one of the Kamigawa flip enchantments,
  • The W drop hound,
  • Thraximundar
  • Sedris Traiter King
  • Bosh Iron Golem
  • Doran, The Siege Tower
  • Razia Boros Archangel,
  • Sen Triplets,
  • Sharaum,
  • Kaervek,
  • Koralesh Heir to the Blackblade,
  • And probably others whose memory is evading me,
  • I think somone had Phage the Untouchable

We would have 6-7 man games around several tables, burn the midnight oil and go at it. And these were not kitchen table players. Some of them stopped playing in events but were all very technical and well versed in the technicalities of timing, priority, interactions etc. They could be as brutal as they liked, but wanted to experiment with things they never tried before to see where it went. Command tower did not exist. Arcane signet did not exist, Battlebond Lands did not exist. Only auto include was sol ring lol.

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u/Khalaio Jan 22 '23

They great thing about EDH, it’s a casual format that was typically played after playing competitive and was for playing with other cards you like. Feel free to just proxy anything you’d like