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 Why does MassLD get such a bad rap? 
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:32 pm
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Post Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
Everyone only looks at the bad side of Mass LD. (all of your lands dieing)

Let`s think of the good sides of Mass LD!

1) It stops lands from getting out of control.

Example: I coulda used some Mass LD last night.

3 "maze of ith"s in play.

In the end, the game was called off on acount of boredom.


2) It stops people from playing too many big spells

Without mass LD really big spells become too easy to play.

Example: Time Stretch


There are many ways to "play around" mass LD:

1) Keep some lands in your hand.
Dont overcommit to the board.

2) Play mana helpers:
Mana Artifacts (not only "Sol Ring")
Mana Creatures (When was the last time we saw Llanowar elves in play?)

3) Keep land-fetchers in your hand.
If you suspect someone will use Mass LD, hoard land-fetching artifacts, creatures and spells.

4) Play more 1 2 and 3 drops.
We don`t see enough of these I think.

If you don`t do any of the above, your deck will be vulnerable to mass LD.

Can you really blame someone for exploiting one of your deck`s weaknesses?

I`m not saying that I want to see a lot of mass LD but I think a healthy fear of mass LD would be a good thing.


Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
:)


Last edited by peterquinn on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
I won a game at school on Wednesday by playing Armageddon. A lot of games like that will go something like survive, sweep, get ahead on board position, geddon, everyone scoops. Pretty boring, and in my defense I only did it because I had forgotten my decks and my opponent loaned me his...hopefully he'll take out the geddon next time!
peterquinn wrote:
Can you really blame someone for exploiting one of your deck`s weaknesses? I`m not saying that I want to see a lot of mass LD but I think a healthy fear of mass LD would be a good thing.

I don't feel as strongly about it as Sean or Don, who have threatened physical violence, but I will definitely kill anyone who geddons me - and I will probably target them any time they play that deck because as you say, they're exploiting my weakness. One of the unfun things about that kind of strategy is that they force others to gear up and kill or be killed, which ruins the casual vibe and makes games more predictable (for the record, that's why I prefer it when people don't bring the same decks every week, but to each their own).
peterquinn wrote:
1) It stops lands from getting out of control.
Example: I coulda used some Mass LD last night. 3 "maze of ith"s in play.

Your deck needs to be able to deal with threats, but there's a huge difference between mass LD and ways of dealing with problem lands. Cards that will help you to deal with them that are pretty much a good idea in any deck and won't piss people off:
Decimate
Acidic Slime
Creeping Mold
Mwonvuli Acid Moss
Salt Blast
Vindicate
Necrotic SLiver
Angel of Despair
Reap and Sow
Befoul
Detritivore
Reality Acid
Annex
A healthy fraction of all bounce spells (capsize doesn't count - even the geddon guy is allowed to smack you for that)
Blatant Theivery
Blatant Thievery (errataed with proper spelling)
...
The point is that there are a ton of ways of dealing with the problem, and Boom//Bust, Armageddon, etc, are not on that list.

peterquinn wrote:
2) It stops people from playing too many big spells
Without mass LD really big spells become too easy to play.
Example: Time Stretch

I prefer Beacon of Tomorrows myself :D This is EDH, and it is the Timmiest mainstream format. You are SUPPOSED to play big spells, and you're supposed to be able to play them...most people enjoy the diversity of being able to play a larger percentage of the cards in the game. The minute Mass LD becomes a significant part of the equation, you start privileging efficiency and killerability over variety and fun.
besides, if you're packing the really big spells, you should be able to swing the game in your favor. Maybe you didn't bring enough gun? Plague Wind, Blatant Thievery, Insurrection, VItalizing Wind, Temporal Wake, Decree of Pain...these are all game enders that should be seen in the bargain bin and in your EDH decks. Well, maybe not the Decree, but I picked one up, which means it was probably going for y90 or less


Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
defenestrator wrote:
This is EDH, and it is the Timmiest mainstream format. You are SUPPOSED to play big spells, and you're supposed to be able to play them...


If we want this discussion to be fruitful, we should avoid heavily subjective statements such as these. What EDH is about is such an abstract concept that each of us likely has a very different definition. This is a non-arguable point.


I for one think it is important that we discuss these things; it is utterly wrong and stupid to tell somebody what they can and can't play, when your only logic behind it more or less amounts to "its not fun", or "its against the spirit of edh".


Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:40 am
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
My response to defenestrator`s points:

Your 1st seems to be that Mass LD is boring.

Well, I can`t really argue with that one. The main weakness of Mass LD is that it doesn`t win games. Kinda like life gain. You never win by gaining life. It just prolongs the game. I guess this is why they added the "General Damage" rule.

For this reason, I would never play Mass LD unless I could win with it soon.


Your 2nd point is what you will do if someone plays Mass LD

"I will definitely kill anyone who geddons me "

A common reaction I think.
This is another reason why I would never play Mass LD unless I could win with it soon.

"I will probably target them any time they play that deck because as you say, they're exploiting my weakness."

That`s your choice and something I`ll have to think about when I decide which deck to play.


Your 3rd point i don`t quite get.

"One of the unfun things about that kind of strategy is that they force others to gear up and kill or be killed"

What do you mean by "gear up"?
Do you wean that you will play Mass LD even though you deck is not able to deal with it?

"which ruins the casual vibe and makes games more predictable"

3 maze of ith is not casual
EDH is rather predictable anyway. So many "Must haves".


Your 4th point was a list of spot removal cards I should play.

But only Annex and Blatant Thievery are permanent.

the rest are only temporary solutions. In EDH the graveyard should be renamed the "second liabrary" cuz there is so much recursion!

(also you forgot my favorite Vedalken Plotter and one more Instant-arcane spell from kamigawa block forget the name now.)

Without Mass LD, lands become the least vulnerable permanent in EDH.

Creatures, Artifacts, and Enchantments can be exiled by many cards.

To exile a single land you can use only
Amulet of Unmaking
Archon of justice
Mangara of corondor
Sowing salt
Caustic rain

not so many.

This makes lands very powerful.
So without good ways to deal with powerful lands I feel i must "gear up and kill or be killed" and start building land-based decks and join the "No Mass LD" Brigade.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
why is maze of ith not casual to you?

when i think casual i think decks/cards that you pretty much wouldnt see at a real money tournament. Yes maze is an 18 dollar card but that price is because of casual player demand not tournament player demand (just like doubling cube). Maze is a kitchen table card IMO and a card i certainly think about when i build an edh deck. Whispersilk cloak is a great "answer" lightning Greaves works great too. I dont think exiling maze is the only way to beat it or even preferable to something like whispersilk cloak which will continue to give you value and will answer all mazes and make a crapload of other removal dead.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
This is a really good thread and I’m glad that Peter posted this. Your writings and support of your ideas betrays a level of intelligence I didn’t know you possessed, masked by the “how terrible!” There are a lot of things here that I think will lead to a better understanding of the direction our playgroup is heading.

Now to address your question in the title of this thread. Why does mass land destruction receive the hate that it does in EDH? I don’t know if you’ve ever played in a constructed tournament but whenever there has been a deck that runs mass land destruction as a tier one or two deck, the format shifts drastically. In other words, strategies that would normally be feasible become unplayable unless a means to counter the LD strategy is present.

Simply put, were you (or anyone I play with on a continual basis) to play with mass LD effects, my first priority every game would be to tutor up sadistic sacrament (a card that exiles lands btw) and remove all of your options. The result is near the same as if you were to simply not include them except I have to devote a card slot and one to two turns tutoring for it and you are out several cards that could have been something interesting.

Quote:
I don't feel as strongly about it as Sean or Don, who have threatened physical violence, but I will definitely kill anyone who geddons me - and I will probably target them any time they play that deck because as you say, they're exploiting my weakness. One of the unfun things about that kind of strategy is that they force others to gear up and kill or be killed, which ruins the casual vibe and makes games more predictable (for the record, that's why I prefer it when people don't bring the same decks every week, but to each their own).


While I do believe that the player who plays mass LD for pleasure in a formal defined by a social contract fits under the “kill it before it breeds” category of people, I must retort that I am by no means for a ban or use of violence as a means of coercion. Such a notion is much the same as the connection between morality and law; that is to say that just because I think someone who commits a certain act may be foolish/evil/etc. it is not the case that I would wish a law created to ban such an action.

As Brian aptly put:

Quote:
If we want this discussion to be fruitful, we should avoid heavily subjective statements such as these. What EDH is about is such an abstract concept that each of us likely has a very different definition. This is a non-arguable point.


I for one think it is important that we discuss these things; it is utterly wrong and stupid to tell somebody what they can and can't play, when your only logic behind it more or less amounts to "its not fun", or "its against the spirit of edh".


However I think it demands mentioning that while I agree it is wrong to tell someone what they can and can’t play, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say what one thinks that they shouldn’t play. This of course comes with the stipulation that one will take in game action against the person as means of an argument.

Quote:
What do you mean by "gear up"?
Do you wean that you will play Mass LD even though you deck is not able to deal with it?


What he means is that their presence necessitates a metagame shift where everyone has means of dealing with the mass LD. Much like in prisoner’s dilemma of game theory, it much more beneficial if both parties abstain.

Quote:
3 maze of ith is not casual
EDH is rather predictable anyway. So many "Must haves"


This statement baffles me a little. The Maze of Ith situation could very easily be remedied by a Pithing Needle, Icy Manipulator or a Magus of the Moon. One of the wonderful things about EDH is that it challenges one to think of new ways to answer certain situations. As Sean points out above, simply giving your attacker shroud not only owns the maze but other forms of removal as well. I have a very hard time dealing with Uril as he requires me to play a board sweeper. You also have to keep in mind that two of those Mazes were played off mine via Vesuva.

As for consistency, Akroma and Korlash are predictable because we have streamlined our decks to the point where every single card in the deck has a reason to be included and an immense synergy with the deck. We’ve put in the work for our consistency. Now I can understand if you are frustrated with the “must haves.” Rather than think in terms of playing without said staple cards, why not think of situations that would benefit from the lack of “must haves?” In my opinion the following are auto includes in any EDH deck:

2 Armillary Sphere
2 Journeyer's Kite
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Scroll Rack
4 Solemn Simulacrum
3 Crucible of Worlds
0 Claws of Gix
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sol Ring
3 Rings of Brighthearth
3 Oblivion Stone

The numbers are the converted mana cost. The immediate thing that pops out to me when I look at this list is that the removal of these from the pool would give me the ability to abuse the **** out of any and all cascade mechanics. And what spell works the best with cascade? You guessed it, Hypergenesis! This is just one of the ways you can make a deck that has the STRENGTH of not running the auto includes rather than trying to limp by without them.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
My response to Rishana`s points:

"Your writings and support of your ideas betrays a level of intelligence I didn’t know you possessed,"

Yeah, I get a lotta that....

"Now to address your question in the title of this thread. Why does mass land destruction receive the hate that it does in EDH? I don’t know if you’ve ever played in a constructed tournament but whenever there has been a deck that runs mass land destruction as a tier one or two deck, the format shifts drastically. In other words, strategies that would normally be feasible become unplayable unless a means to counter the LD strategy is present."

Uh. I don`t really see how this is a bad thing. It`s just Strategy-Counter-strategy.

I play a Strategy (Mass LD), you play a Counter-strategy.

You might not like having to put in cards just to counter a strategy someone else will play but that`s the way it goes.

This reminds me of a reaction to defenestrator`s objection to hinder effects. He was told to include more Sac outlets. I`m sure he would rather not have to include more Sac outlets. He would prefer if hinder effects were not played.



"Simply put, were you (or anyone I play with on a continual basis) to play with mass LD effects, my first priority every game would be to tutor up sadistic sacrament (a card that exiles lands btw) and remove all of your options. The result is near the same as if you were to simply not include them except I have to devote a card slot and one to two turns tutoring for it and you are out several cards that could have been something interesting."

No, I would LOVE it if this happened!
I have 3 reasons:
1) You would have to devote a card slot and one to two turns tutoring for sadistic sacrament. It`s always good to keep you opponents reacting to your strategies rather than playing their own.
2) Once the offending cards were removed all of the players would breath a sigh of relief because they would think that my decks main strategy was removed.
3) You would have thinned my deck of 3 cards that I probably wouldn`t have played anyway. I already said that I would only play Mass LD if I could win soon after.

I don`t really see the downside for me.

It might seem strange for me to be telling you all this but I know you hate Mass LD so much, I know you`ll waste a card and some turns on a wild goose chase rather than let me keep Mass LD in my deck.

Also, If I have Mass LD in my deck anyone who plays a sadistic sacrament-like spell on me will always remove the Mass LD, leaving the cards I really want to play untouched!



"While I do believe that the player who plays mass LD for pleasure in a formal defined by a social contract fits under the “kill it before it breeds” category of people, I must retort that I am by no means for a ban or use of violence as a means of coercion. Such a notion is much the same as the connection between morality and law; that is to say that just because I think someone who commits a certain act may be foolish/evil/etc. it is not the case that I would wish a law created to ban such an action."

I wouldn`t play mass LD for pleasure. I would play Mass LD for the win.


"However I think it demands mentioning that while I agree it is wrong to tell someone what they can and can’t play, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say what one thinks that they shouldn’t play. This of course comes with the stipulation that one will take in game action against the person as means of an argument."

Sounds good. Use an In-Game solution.


"What he means is that their presence necessitates a metagame shift where everyone has means of dealing with the mass LD. Much like in prisoner’s dilemma of game theory, it much more beneficial if both parties abstain."


I don`t agree. Like I said in the original post "I`m not saying that I want to see a lot of mass LD but I think a healthy fear of mass LD would be a good thing."

BTW What exactly do you mean by "means of dealing with the mass LD"


"This statement baffles me a little. The Maze of Ith situation could very easily be remedied by a Pithing Needle, Icy Manipulator or a Magus of the Moon. One of the wonderful things about EDH is that it challenges one to think of new ways to answer certain situations. As Sean points out above, simply giving your attacker shroud not only owns the maze but other forms of removal as well. I have a very hard time dealing with Uril as he requires me to play a board sweeper. You also have to keep in mind that two of those Mazes were played off mine via Vesuva."

My point about Maze of Ith is that it seems that lands are to powerful in our group. I`M not saying that each individual land doesn`t have a weakness. Just that Lands in general are too strong.


"As for consistency, Akroma and Korlash are predictable because we have streamlined our decks to the point where every single card in the deck has a reason to be included and an immense synergy with the deck. We’ve put in the work for our consistency. Now I can understand if you are frustrated with the “must haves.” Rather than think in terms of playing without said staple cards, why not think of situations that would benefit from the lack of “must haves?” In my opinion the following are auto includes in any EDH deck:

2 Armillary Sphere
2 Journeyer's Kite
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Scroll Rack
4 Solemn Simulacrum
3 Crucible of Worlds
0 Claws of Gix
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sol Ring
3 Rings of Brighthearth
3 Oblivion Stone"


About the "Must Haves" this is just the nature of EDH I guess.

To end I`ll say thanks for the Hypergenesis tip.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:52 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
The way I see it, there are two problems with mass LD; one is not really relevant but serves as a good explanation why it is often irrationally detested, the other is a bit more of an important point.

First, mass LD is one of those effects that allows the user to establish super long games where not much interaction is taking place. There are situations where the best play is most certainly a turn-8 obliterate, even though it might add another 20 minute to 1 hour to the game. The issue is, not everybody can refrain from making the best play available to them, and as a result lots of perceptions on mass ld effects are colored (both by past experiences, or by personal what-would-I-do musings).

But the issue I think is most important is, since most LD effects are attached to sorceries, you end up with incredibly powerful effects in a not-very interactive package: The only zones affected is the stack, it doesn't target, and your only opportunity to respond to it is a short little moment before it resolves. And if it resolves no problem? The slightest amount of board presence post-spell will win you the game with almost no contest.


But anyway, going off about what I don't like about mass LD is not going to help this thread discussion, so let me go over the kinds of situations where I wouldn't mind seeing my lands go boom:

Partial land destruction, like flashfires
-The amount of frustration you get from losing your lands is exponentially proportional to how many lands you have left. There's a huge difference between going down to zero lands, and going down to five. If you want to keep people from playing big spells, I would look towards effects that destroy lots, but not all, lands.

Highly respond-able situations, like Disk + Mycosynth Lattice
-This ties back to my previous argument about interactivity. The in-play zone is the most interactive zone in the game, so if I am sitting there with nothing to say about your combo that's about ready to win you the game, then either I haven't built my deck correctly, or you have out-maneuvered me, and deserve your win.

Nonbasic hate, like Back to Basics
-This is probably built on a foundation of bias towards mono-and two-colored decks, but the way I see it basic lands should be your base, and nonbasics your utility. So if you cast Ruination and half my lands hit the bin? I was greedy with nonbasics, so I got what I deserve.


Anyway, if you are having trouble dealing with land strategies, here are some more cards that are powerful in EDH because they're not just one-shot effects:
Dust Bowl (GREAT in any color, esp. with expedition map!)
Dwarven Blastminer
Dwarven Miner
Shivan Harvest (also great because it's a sac outlet)
Detriviore
Incendiary Command

Anyway, hope that clears some things up.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Why does MassLD get such a bad rap?
Interesting post gilrad. I hadn`t expected to find any love for Mass LD in any form.

gilrad said,

"since most LD effects are attached to sorceries, you end up with incredibly powerful effects in a not-very interactive package: The only zones affected is the stack, it doesn't target, and your only opportunity to respond to it is a short little moment before it resolves."

That`s the same for all sweepers. That`s why we see so many of them.

But Mass LD is a little more predictable than other sweepers cuz if someone will play Mass LD they will probably be setting themselves up for it for a few turns (if they want to win and not just piss people off). Missing land drops. Putting out as many critters and other non land permanents as possible. Also the timing must be right to be the only one with non land permanents on the board.

Playing Mass LD to win is a difficult thing to do in multiplayer.


"And if it resolves no problem? The slightest amount of board presence post-spell will win you the game with almost no contest."

Well, in a multiplayer game with each person starting with 40 life it might be a bit different.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:48 pm
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