Dear Squee Vol. 2

Our favorite Audio Engineer Squee McGee answers the Collective’s most burning questions!!

Dear Squee,

“…I am looking back at almost 100 games played so far this year and I have noticed that my win rate is much higher than it “should” be according to the 25% that it should be at. My playgroup has started to notice as well. 1 of the players in our group is a bit more of a budget player and has a very very low win rate. He has resorted to tearing apart a few of his decks to salvage the better pieces to make a pretty damn competitive and fast Razaketh deck. 

I know this has been discussed a little recently but I was wondering what you would do in my position? I currently have 11 decks and I would say that 3 of them are 8-9 range while the rest are between 5-7. The 3 higher powered decks don’t see much play unfortunately even though I love them a lot. I have considered “powering down” some of these decks but it sure does feel bad to cut cards that I have invested in and having spent so much time tinkering and testing. My playgroup is great and we are all good friends so none of them complain or anything but do make comments about my winning so much.”

-Nick “The Hotness” Cooper (@Slapdashh)

Dear Mr. Hotness, 

This is a very relevant question to EDH players everywhere.  I am glad you brought it up as I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of different playgroups.  I think it is important to note that deck power is not the only part of having a healthy playgroup, some people enjoy playing to win, some enjoy playing for weird interactions, and to quote “The Dark Knight”:

“…some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

All cryptic quotes aside it sounds like you have a great group to play with and a good attitude around enjoying the games.

Do you power down your decks?

No. I am firmly on the never power down your deck unless “you” personally don’t enjoy playing it anymore train. You worked hard to research, build, and purchase those decks, so you deserve to tune them as you feel fit.  

I’ve put countless hours into picking each card in my Rhys the Redeemed deck and have slowly increased its power level as I could afford to do so (over the course of a few years).  It would kill me to purposely make it worse… It sounds like you have a good spread of decks from power levels 5-9. 

I would recommend brewing a few Weatherlight Report(esque) commanders with fun mechanics that you’d enjoy building around. You will have all sorts of room in the deck to make it something that is a blast to play with and against.  I have found these decks are especially fun to tinker with.  You get to use cards that no-one would expect and/or has never seen before.  

How do you incorporate highly tuned decks into a playgroup?

We have all been at a table and watched a deck rip through the board so quickly that the whole group said, “why did we even shuffle?” It is not a fun game when you don’t see that coming.  The most important part of playing power level 9 and above decks in a group is open communication. In my experience, one high powered deck usually cannot survive 3 medium powered decks if the table has an idea of what is going on.  

Over the years I have been in quite a few different playgroups, as mentioned before some good, some bad… but our current playgroup has been a true joy to be a part of.  In order to play high level decks we always make sure everyone has access to a deck that can compete, or is aware it may be a quick game.  We have often taken the highest powered decks in the group, set them on a table, and rolled dice to see who played which deck. Not only is it fun to play with such tuned decks, but I have learned a lot about EDH by playing in those games. And I must say… it feels good to watch someone else win with your deck. Ending a day of games with a random deck selection is a nice way to decompress and relax. 

Embrace the Chaos

I think it is healthy for any playgroup to have a range of styles. The games are more dynamic that way.  A table with an archenemy, a politician, a chaos bringer, and someone sitting tight sounds like a good time to me =)



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