Tuck rule gone from EDH!

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In French Commander, the 1 vs. 1 format that’s quite different to regular EDH, they’ve been playing with a modified command zone rule for quite some time. In addition to having the option to put the commander in the command zone instead of exiling it or putting it into your graveyard, players could choose to put the commander into the command zone if it was to be put into the hand or the library. This effectively cancels out “tucking”, i.e. shuffling a commander into a player’s library, putting it on the bottom etc.

Without playing with these new rules, my initial reactions are positive. The EDH rules committee, the guys who are in charge of the rules of the format, defends the changes thus (their text in italics, my comments in regular typeface):

There are four major points in how we arrived at this decision. None of them individually was the silver bullet; the combination of factors got us to where we ended up. In no particular order:

1) We want to engender as positive an experience as we can for players. Nothing runs the feel-bads worse than having your commander unavailable to you for the whole game.

I completely agree, and this is more relevant for some commanders than others.

2) The presence of tuck encourages players to play more tutors so that in case their commander gets sent to the library, they can get it back—exactly the opposite of what we want (namely, discouraging the over-representation of tutors).

One of the format’s inherent strengths is the variance that the highlander nature provides. Tutors are a complete detriment to this, and even though I myself is guilty of playing lots of tutors in the format, I still feel that this leads to repetitive gameplay for everyone. Nobody likes losing the same way each game, and rather few likes winning in the same way each game. I don’t quite agree with the point entirely, however, since playing tutors is awesome despite the new no-tuck rule.

3) While we are keenly aware that tuck is a great weapon against problematic commanders, the tools to do so are available only in blue and white, potentially forcing players into feeling like they need to play those colors in order to survive. We prefer as diverse a field as possible.

chaoswarp.hqThis is, frankly, incorrect from an objective standpoint, but it is true that these colours are the best ones at it. I don’t think it’s a true incitament to play these particular colours, however.

4) It clears up some corner case rules awkwardness, mostly dealing with knowing the commander’s locationin the library (since highly unlikely to actually end up there).

I haven’t had any issues with this, but I’m sure that if you manifest a commander who is in the library, it does bring up some question. As said, this is corner-case as all hell.

All this aside, I think it’s a good change because it allows player to further construct decks around their commanders. The fact that it dents the balancing effects of being able to tuck broken stuff is  a side note, since the social contracts of this social format should prevent people from doing too broken stuff. If tucking is your only response to your friends’ commanders, you need to talk to your friends.

What do you think of the changes? Leave a comment!

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2 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  March 25, 2015

    Honestly? I’m a bit divided about this. On one hand, having played with generals such as Nekusar, the Mindrazer and Zirilan of the Claw, I know how much it sucks to have your general tucked away and watch your entire deck concept come to a grinding halt. On the other hand it will become much harder to get rid of generals which you have a hard time with.

    But either way it’s fun that the format changes every so often. It makes for a more dynamic kind of game play.

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  2. psykopatmullvad

     /  March 27, 2015

    Without doing to much thinking this early, Id say its a positive for me. I mostly build decks around the general, so tuck always hits me hard.

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