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Author Topic:   Commander Events - Best way to run them
MAB_Rapper
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posted January 15, 2013 06:57 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for MAB_Rapper Click Here to Email MAB_Rapper Send a private message to MAB_Rapper Click to send MAB_Rapper an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or SaleView MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or Sale
So, this is actually a very serious topic that has come about with the local store. For the past year, I have run Commander Gauntlets, where it is continuous play until we run out of prize packs, with 1 pack being awarded for each elimination and a bonus pack for being the last man standing at the table. There have been many kinks to work out, including the following:

- A no conceeding rule, to make sure a prize pack is actually awarded. This is waived if someone has a complete board lock or there are 2 people left.
- Switching to 90 minute timed rounds to make sure everyone plays 3 rounds and has equal opportunity at packs. This also includes pairing the final round based on performance in rounds 1 and 2.
- Pretty much making rules where you can not kill yourself or do anything to get the pack for knocking yourself out of a game, unless it just ends the game. I seriously had to build a rule for giving an opponent's creature infect or who gets a pack during a Mindslaver turn.

That said, the big problem now is infinite combos and how to try and keep casual players at the events when they just can't stand the combos. Now, to be clear, I am not talking about Dream Halls + Cruel Ultimatum + Nucklavee + a sac outlet + a blue instant in the graveyard. I am talking about Splinter Twin combo in a casual format. We had discussed creating a special ban list, but we then realized that once you start, you wouldn't be able to stop banning cards.

So for my event this weekend, we are changing nothing and simply encouraging people to just be ready for it and have a way of stopping it. But is there a way of chaning something, whether the prize structure or something else to make it better?

The last thing is please, please keep this on topic and not turn into any sort of flame war. I am to the point of giving up on this series and it is the last thing that I, the store, and the 12-20 or so players I get each time want to have happen. I have done everything through speaking with the players, the store, and friends on Facebook, but it seems to always be a cycle that ends up with use getting nowhere. This is my last place to turn.

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hilikuS: Also, as much as MAB's list has become the list on the T/A Forum, I do miss Slinga's.

 
AGO
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posted January 15, 2013 07:14 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for AGO Click Here to Email AGO Send a private message to AGO Click to send AGO an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View AGO's Trade Auction or SaleView AGO's Trade Auction or Sale
Is this 1vs1 or 4 man pods?
 
Pail42
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posted January 15, 2013 07:22 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for Pail42 Send a private message to Pail42 Click to send Pail42 an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View Pail42's Have/Want ListView Pail42's Have/Want List
Give everybody who didn't activate or threaten an infinite combo a sportsmanship pack This may affect the entry fee ...
 
yakusoku
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posted January 15, 2013 07:33 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for yakusoku Click Here to Email yakusoku Send a private message to yakusoku Click to send yakusoku an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
My LGS has a Commander league going and they award points for certain achievements. Winning the game is only one of those achievements that can get you points, and they try their best to discourage unfun elements by awarding negative points for certain things.

I don't remember all the things, but I remember they did discourage certain combos by having things like:

-1: for each turn past the second that you take in a row.


So, you could have a rule like:

-1: for each creature copy past the fourth.

This wouldn't stop someone from creating a number of copies of a creature with a deck that's full of clones, Phyrexian Metamorphs, and Mimic Vats, but if you got Splinter Twin + Pestermite going, if you want to kill everyone with infinite Pestermites, it's basically going to knock you out of contention of winning anything. However, if you still want to create, say, three Pestermites per turn, that's not obscenely broken.

Here's an article by Sheldon about this topic.

[Edited 1 times, lastly by yakusoku on January 15, 2013]

 
MAB_Rapper
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posted January 15, 2013 07:41 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for MAB_Rapper Click Here to Email MAB_Rapper Send a private message to MAB_Rapper Click to send MAB_Rapper an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or SaleView MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or Sale
quote:
Originally posted by AGO:
Is this 1vs1 or 4 man pods?

4 Man Pods, pending number of players (i.e. 21 people means one 5 man pod)

Also, just because I forgot. It's $10 entry fee, 3 packs into the pool per player entered.

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hilikuS: Also, as much as MAB's list has become the list on the T/A Forum, I do miss Slinga's.

 
bushe
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posted January 15, 2013 08:44 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for bushe Click Here to Email bushe Send a private message to bushe Click to send bushe an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View bushe's Have/Want ListView bushe's Have/Want List
What we do is each eliminated player has to give a pack to someone else at the table and only the winner can give it to himself.
 
Demilio
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posted January 15, 2013 08:53 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for Demilio Click Here to Email Demilio Send a private message to Demilio Click to send Demilio an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View Demilio's Have/Want ListView Demilio's Have/Want List
quote:
Originally posted by bushe:
What we do is each eliminated player has to give a pack to someone else at the table and only the winner can give it to himself.

That's an interesting idea. I like how it promotes politics and group hugs.


 
Lord Crovax
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posted January 15, 2013 09:04 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for Lord Crovax Click Here to Email Lord Crovax Send a private message to Lord Crovax Click to send Lord Crovax an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Demilio:
That's an interesting idea. I like how it promotes politics and group hugs.


Just have to be careful, seems easily abused. I know something like that would never work locally, cause some people are just irrationally hated, granted my playgroup also has a limited notion of politics to begin with.

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Volcanon
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posted January 15, 2013 09:07 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for Volcanon Click Here to Email Volcanon Send a private message to Volcanon Click to send Volcanon an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
So I could play a 2-hour game and end up winning just one pack? That seems a bit unfair.
 
KevinM
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posted January 15, 2013 10:15 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for KevinM Click Here to Email KevinM Send a private message to KevinM Click to send KevinM an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
There's a shop in Ottawa that runs a Commander Gauntlet tournament once a month. They've had good success with it, in part because of the structure and in part because the community there enjoys the social aspect of it just as much as the competetitive aspect. They use the regular banned list.

Here's the format they use:

Gauntlet Commander
Entry Fee: $5

The Gauntlet Commander tournament is designed to test your skills in various formats of Commander using the same deck. It is a point based system with standings at the end to be decided based on your final score. There are three rounds with each being a different format.

Round 1
The first round is a free-for-all multiplayer game. Pods will be created at random and regular multiplayer rules apply. Points will be awarded based on two things. One point is awarded for each player you eliminate from the game, as well as an extra point to the last person standing.

NOTE 1: No points are awarded for eliminating a player using an infinite combo in this round. Yes you can wipe out the table using an infinite combo but thatíll only net you 1 point for being the pod winner. The three things that are looked out for are Infinite Mana, Infinite Damage, and Infinite Turns. (Making infinite creatures counts as infinite damage).

NOTE 2: Players are not allowed to attempt to eliminate themselves unless the end result would net them at least 1 point. This is to prevent players from commiting suicide to deny someone a point they earned. On a similar note, conceeding during round 1 will result in you being dropped from the tournament.

NOTE 3: In the event that the round goes to time, each remaining player will be awarded 1 point.

Round 2
Based on point standings in round 1 each player will be paired with another player for a 2v2 multiplayer match. This is not two-headed giant! Each player has their own life total and their own turns. Players on the same team will be seated across from each other and will work together to eliminate the other team. Winning this round will net both players on your team 3 points if youíre both standing, or 2 points if your team wins and youíre down to 1 player. Also, if your team loses this round but eliminated an opponent, the players on your team will be awarded 1 point.

Round 3
The final round of the Gauntlet event will be 1v1 best of 3. This will proceed the same as a round of our regular Sunday Commander events. Winning this round in two games will net you 3 points. Winning it in three games will earn you 2 points, and the loser will score 1 point.

 
bushe
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posted January 15, 2013 10:38 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for bushe Click Here to Email bushe Send a private message to bushe Click to send bushe an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View bushe's Have/Want ListView bushe's Have/Want List
quote:
Originally posted by Volcanon:
So I could play a 2-hour game and end up winning just one pack? That seems a bit unfair.

That's how it goes, if you are an *******. We actually give each player 2 packs that they can split and most of the time whoever "drives the action" (may or may not win but was pushing the pace) of the game ends up with the biggest pot. Some playgroups this doesn't work but we find that it encourages people to build decks that are fun to play and fun to play against. It has an added bonus of chasing off people who take commander as a win at all costs format.

 
mcelraca
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posted January 15, 2013 10:51 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for mcelraca Click Here to Email mcelraca Send a private message to mcelraca Click to send mcelraca an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View mcelraca's Have/Want ListView mcelraca's Have/Want List
quote:
Originally posted by yakusoku:
My LGS has a Commander league going and they award points for certain achievements. Winning the game is only one of those achievements that can get you points, and they try their best to discourage unfun elements by awarding negative points for certain things.

I don't remember all the things, but I remember they did discourage certain combos by having things like:

-1: for each turn past the second that you take in a row.


So, you could have a rule like:

-1: for each creature copy past the fourth.

This wouldn't stop someone from creating a number of copies of a creature with a deck that's full of clones, Phyrexian Metamorphs, and Mimic Vats, but if you got Splinter Twin + Pestermite going, if you want to kill everyone with infinite Pestermites, it's basically going to knock you out of contention of winning anything. However, if you still want to create, say, three Pestermites per turn, that's not obscenely broken.

Here's an article by Sheldon about this topic.


This i think is probably the best and most clever idea. Winning isn't everything! I don't mind loosing if my deck at least gets to perform and by making these little rules/challenges you could get some people to do some fun decks that need to accomplish more than just a win.

My friend has a group hug deck that is a ton of fun simply because it's final goal isn't to win.

[Edited 1 times, lastly by mcelraca on January 15, 2013]

 
Volcanon
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posted January 15, 2013 10:51 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for Volcanon Click Here to Email Volcanon Send a private message to Volcanon Click to send Volcanon an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bushe:
That's how it goes, if you are an *******. We actually give each player 2 packs that they can split and most of the time whoever "drives the action" (may or may not win but was pushing the pace) of the game ends up with the biggest pot. Some playgroups this doesn't work but we find that it encourages people to build decks that are fun to play and fun to play against. It has an added bonus of chasing off people who take commander as a win at all costs format.

So have a Game Day instead of a Tournament. Tournament suggests competitiveness.

Also, your system seems Speed Demon.

 
iccarus
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posted January 15, 2013 11:17 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for iccarus Click Here to Email iccarus Send a private message to iccarus Click to send iccarus an Instant MessageVisit iccarus's Homepage  Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View iccarus's Have/Want ListView iccarus's Have/Want List
I agree that points are the best approach to this. The only way you will get people to stop playing combo is if they suffer some penalty for it.

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bushe
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posted January 15, 2013 11:19 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for bushe Click Here to Email bushe Send a private message to bushe Click to send bushe an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View bushe's Have/Want ListView bushe's Have/Want List
quote:
Originally posted by Volcanon:
So have a Game Day instead of a Tournament. Tournament suggests competitiveness.

Call it what you will, if I wanted to play competitive I would go find one of the (ALL OTHER) formats that are more competitive (and I do play them a lot, mind you). Like I said, as soon as I see commander I tone it down and play for fun. Winning stuff is fun, even if it is the secondary (or tertiary, etc) motivation for showing up. People can play for fun (for the whole table) and still try to win.

quote:
Originally posted by Volcanon:
Also, your system seems Speed Demon.


k, read the op? He asked for solutions because his players don't like a win at all costs meta, I offered what I have played under/used to generate just such a meta.
 
theqissilent
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posted January 15, 2013 11:56 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for theqissilent Click Here to Email theqissilent Send a private message to theqissilent Click to send theqissilent an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
I have played similar points rules as posted. One shop I frequent has an extensive ban list aimed at combos specifically.
 
Zeckk
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posted January 15, 2013 12:07 PM   Click Here to See the Profile for Zeckk Click Here to Email Zeckk Send a private message to Zeckk Click to send Zeckk an Instant MessageVisit Zeckk's Homepage  Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View Zeckk's Have/Want ListView Zeckk's Have/Want List
One of the many reasons why Commander does not mix with entry fees...

Seriously. Commander fell out of favor in Las Vegas precisely because we thought it would be a good idea to hold tournaments, which led to deck optimization, combo whoring, etc. It's best to simply have a commander night, eschewing prize support.

 
jULAG
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posted January 15, 2013 02:07 PM   Click Here to See the Profile for jULAG Click Here to Email jULAG Send a private message to jULAG Click to send jULAG an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View jULAG's Have/Want ListView jULAG's Have/Want List
You could try putting limits on the number of sets that people can play with (something like a build your own standard, two blocks plus a core set).

You'll probably still need to ban some cards, but not nearly as many as you might otherwise have to ban if you allow people access to all the cards ever printed.

[Edited 2 times, lastly by jULAG on January 15, 2013]

 
Devonin
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posted January 15, 2013 05:12 PM   Click Here to See the Profile for Devonin Click Here to Email Devonin Send a private message to Devonin Click to send Devonin an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View Devonin's Have/Want ListView Devonin's Have/Want List
My most competitive deck contains 1 infinite combo which is an infinite turn combo that I can turn on and off whenever, so I can just do 2 or 3 turns and then let it go.

I have decks from "Competitive, with tons of strong synergy, multiple powerful wincons, original and shock duals and all the good artifact mana" down to "Silly, casual, mostly basic lands, doesn't actually win, just does fun things that are fun"

EDH is one format where it is super easy and not that expensive to have MANY decks of different styles and levels of competitiveness, and you can just exercise a little common sense about which ones you use when.

 
MAB_Rapper
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posted January 16, 2013 05:30 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for MAB_Rapper Click Here to Email MAB_Rapper Send a private message to MAB_Rapper Click to send MAB_Rapper an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or SaleView MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or Sale
Alright, thanks everyone for the input so far.

Yaku, that link is great and I plan on implementing it in part to the next event. Probably having 25% of the prize pool dedicated to the point system, with the remainder still going to people eliminating people.

__________________
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hilikuS: Also, as much as MAB's list has become the list on the T/A Forum, I do miss Slinga's.

 
hilikuS
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posted January 16, 2013 05:57 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for hilikuS Click Here to Email hilikuS Send a private message to hilikuS Click to send hilikuS an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View hilikuS's Trade Auction or SaleView hilikuS's Trade Auction or Sale
quote:
Originally posted by MAB_Rapper:

So for my event this weekend, we are changing nothing and simply encouraging people to just be ready for it and have a way of stopping it. But is there a way of chaning something, whether the prize structure or something else to make it better?


A friend of mine and I run EDH stuff as well, and I have found this to be the best solution. Sort of tough love, but the group we have are almost all pretty resilient to getting their asses beat. They're willing to learn to keep up with the sort of arms race that's occuring. I think it both makes them better Magic players, and keeps the format diverse and full of evolution. I've had complaints from just one friend about getting things banned.

Our prize structure is kind of bad, but it allows for everybody to receive something. I personally wouldn't like it as just a player, but we consistently get 10+ (which is pretty decent for this area).

$10 buy in. Our deal is sort of a league, and $1 goes to maintaining a webpage that my friend runs, as well as some other things.

The games are head to head, and we have 5 rounds. For each match win you get 360 points ($3.60), which can be redeemed for singles, packs, etc. I sell singles at MOTL, and packs at $3 for standard. Usually have some foreign stuff that's a bit more. Considering the pay out isn't great, I try to give everybody as much mileage for their points as possible. This formula will always work provided you have an even number of players. So often times me or my friend will sit out to make sure that's a thing. You can only win a maximum of $18 in prizes, but since everybody is a slave to SCG's price guide around here, they're usually getting a bit more than that.

Not sure this helps, but I hope it does!

 
caquaa
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posted January 16, 2013 06:55 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for caquaa Click Here to Email caquaa Send a private message to caquaa Click to send caquaa an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View caquaa's Trade Auction or SaleView caquaa's Trade Auction or Sale
quote:
Originally posted by Zeckk:
One of the many reasons why Commander does not mix with entry fees...

Seriously. Commander fell out of favor in Las Vegas precisely because we thought it would be a good idea to hold tournaments, which led to deck optimization, combo whoring, etc. It's best to simply have a commander night, eschewing prize support.


this is the conclusion out shop owner has come to after 2 events. He charged entry, put up nice prizes, and I wanted to win so..... bad things happened.

My suggestion which we tried previously for a league set up seemed okay, possibly in need of refinement. The store charged to enter the league. It was for 5-6 weeks. If you showed up, you got a ticket. If you played in a 3+ player pod you got a ticket. Threw all the names in a hat and drew for prizes. It was just trying to reward showing up and playing. Someone did bring up that it still rewarded grinding out games as fast as possible, so I think I'd modify the rules a tad where if handed out a ticket to everyone playing every hour or every half hour or something for the duration of the league times.

As for a single tournament, I think its just a bad idea. If its set and you're gonna do it, I think finding a way to distribute the prizes as much as possible is the best solution. Letting players decide is terrible because some can hold grudges for no reason, that's why voting or giving the pack to someone I just don't think would work.

Creating achievements just leads to alternate combo schemes. If you do random achievements then deck building becomes futile. I dislike them in pretty much every way.

EDH is fun, don't make it competitive. Problem Solved. Just reward showing up and having fun. We did have a store that just had a pizza night for $X with all you can eat pizza and EDH. Seems like a way to promote an event, reward players for showing up, and making something for the store if the entry fee is set properly.

 
MAB_Rapper
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posted January 16, 2013 07:35 AM   Click Here to See the Profile for MAB_Rapper Click Here to Email MAB_Rapper Send a private message to MAB_Rapper Click to send MAB_Rapper an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or SaleView MAB_Rapper's Trade Auction or Sale
quote:
Originally posted by caquaa:
As for a single tournament, I think its just a bad idea. If its set and you're gonna do it, I think finding a way to distribute the prizes as much as possible is the best solution. Letting players decide is terrible because some can hold grudges for no reason, that's why voting or giving the pack to someone I just don't think would work.

Creating achievements just leads to alternate combo schemes. If you do random achievements then deck building becomes futile. I dislike them in pretty much every way.


The beauty with the points system Sheldon set up (the link Yaku had) is that none of them can actually be obtained by winning the game. Also, none of them are judgment calls, except for those which award negative points.

Examples, all from the article:
+1 Point: Prevent another player from being eliminated from the game.
+1 Point: Control exactly 6 lands, 6 creatures, and 6 other permanents.
+1 Point: Destroy 2+ Planeswalkers during the game.
+1 Point: Be the first person eliminated from the game.

Keep in mind, we do have rules in place to prevent conceeding for no reason, so I'm not worried about the players taking advantage of some of these.

The 5-6 week league thing would almost never work at my LGS. Granted, there are some people who are there nearly every day playing. But there are those who just show up for the events because they have real jobs and a real life, not being able to show up 3, 4, or more times a week to play. I do agree with bonus prizes for certain things, but I am not finding a real solution on how to it, at least not yet.

__________________
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hilikuS: Also, as much as MAB's list has become the list on the T/A Forum, I do miss Slinga's.

 
mm1983
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posted January 16, 2013 07:24 PM   Click Here to See the Profile for mm1983 Click Here to Email mm1983 Send a private message to mm1983 Click to send mm1983 an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote View mm1983's Have/Want ListView mm1983's Have/Want List
Charge $5 to play in a 4 person commander pod. Each person's $5 entry fee puts 2 booster packs into a prize pool. Each person can win 2 booster packs for each person they eliminate in their pod. Possible pod scenarios

Player 1 knocks out all other players. Player 1 wins 8 packs.

Player 1 knocks out player 2 and 3 but player 4 knocks player 1 out. Both player 1 and 4 receive 4 packs because player 1 receives 4 packs for the 2 people they knocked out and player 4 receives 4 packs, 2 for knocking out player 1 and 2 packs for winning the whole pod.

Player 1 knocks out player 2 and player 3 knocks out player 4 and then player 1 knocks out player 3. Player 1 receives 6 packs, 2 for each person knocked out and 2 for winning the whole pod and player 3 receives 2 packs for knocking out player 4.

If there is an odd number of people such as 7 people they would have to play in a pod of 7 where same rules could apply. There would be a very small chance where 1 person could win all 14 packs then or depending on how people got eliminated 1 person could win 6 packs, another person could win 4 packs, and 2 other people could each win 2 packs. Again, it all depends on the number of people each individual person eliminates out of the game.

 
stab107
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posted January 16, 2013 09:09 PM   Click Here to See the Profile for stab107 Click Here to Email stab107 Send a private message to stab107 Click to send stab107 an Instant Message Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by caquaa:
Creating achievements just leads to alternate combo schemes. If you do random achievements then deck building becomes futile. I dislike them in pretty much every way.

EDH is fun, don't make it competitive. Problem Solved. Just reward showing up and having fun. We did have a store that just had a pizza night for $X with all you can eat pizza and EDH. Seems like a way to promote an event, reward players for showing up, and making something for the store if the entry fee is set properly.


I am in agreement with caquaa here. I have played EDH in several LGS settings and both the random achievements game play and the rewarding players for comboing the table out made me not want to return and play again. One of the local shops here runs a set of achievements that enables players to exploit it for packs via collusion. For example:

5 players start a 5-man pod, $5 each with 2 packs per player price pool.

Colluder A: "f I kill your dude here then you have this achievement."
Colluder B: "Yeah dude, let's get PACKS!"
Colluder A: "Ok, kill your guy."

This went down despite itbeing a very bad decision in terms of threat assessment. This then followed:

Colluder B: "Yeah! Got my fourth pack!"
Colluder A: "OK, I got my six. There are no more packs? OK, let's scoop and start another game and buy in for more packs!"

Are we playing EDH here or just pack farming? The thing with achievement systems is you have to be careful, as you could end up playing something that looks like it has some EDH qualities but isn't actually EDH.

One of my favorite casual groups had a rule at our LGS that every EDH game we started we would all chip in $2 for the shop. At the end of the game everyone had the chance to vote on best/most interesting/most fun player or best/most interesting/most fun play. We found that this encouraged interesting deck building and great interactions.

Keeping it casual and encouraging people to simply come out, play some cards and build up a community is what I recommend. Once it becomes about the achievements/packs/winning you lose (for lack of a better term) the spirit of the game.


[Edited 1 times, lastly by stab107 on January 16, 2013]

 

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