How to Keep Commander Balanced | Decks that Maintain Order
MTG App Staff
27 Jan 2023
Magic: The Gathering is a popular trading card game with a dedicated fan base. One of the most popular formats in the game is called Commander, where players construct a deck around a legendary creature that serves as the commander for the deck.
Despite the excitement and thrill of playing with or against a powerful commander, some players may find that their games can become overly explosive, resulting in quick and unbalanced matches. To ensure a more balanced and enjoyable experience, this article will explore various tactics for reigning in the explosive nature of commanders and promoting a more level playing field.
Understanding the Problem
The problem with explosive commanders is that they can generate an overwhelming amount of advantage, making it difficult for other players to catch up. This can lead to less interaction between players and a less enjoyable game experience. Some common examples of explosive commanders include:
- Commanders with powerful abilities generate a lot of card advantage, such as Azami, Lady of Scrolls or Edric, Spymaster of Trest.
- Commanders that can generate an excessive amount of mana, such as Sakashima the Impostor or Maelstrom Wanderer.
- Commanders that have the ability to quickly win the game, such as Krenko, Mob Boss or Kaalia of the Vast.
Strategies for Keeping Commanders Less Explosive
There are several strategies that players can use to keep commanders less explosive and promote a more balanced game.
Play a Control Deck
One of the most effective ways to keep a game from being explosively won is to play a control deck. Control decks aim to disrupt the opponent’s strategy by countering spells, destroying permanents, and drawing cards. Playing a control deck can slow down the game and make it more difficult for your opponents to generate an overwhelming advantage. Some popular control commanders include:
Play a Stax Deck
Another strategy for keeping commanders less explosive is to play a stax deck. Stax decks aim to limit your opponents’ resources by playing cards that tax their mana, creatures, and other resources. By limiting your opponents’ resources, you can slow down the game and make it more difficult for them to generate an overwhelming advantage. Some popular stax commanders include:
Play a Group Hug Deck
A third strategy for keeping commanders less explosive is to play a group hug deck. Group hug decks aim to benefit all players by playing cards that give life, draw cards, or generate tokens. By playing a group hug deck, you can promote a more interactive game and make it more difficult for any one player to generate an overwhelming advantage. Some popular group hug commanders include:
Play a Political Deck
A fourth strategy for keeping commander games more balanced is to play a political deck. Political decks aim to use diplomacy and manipulation to gain an advantage over your opponents. By playing a political deck, you can use your opponents’ desire to win to your advantage, make deals and alliances, and make it more difficult for any one player to generate an overwhelming advantage. Some popular political commanders include:
By understanding the problem of explosive commanders and using strategies such as playing a control, stax, group hug, or political deck, players can promote a more balanced and enjoyable game experience. It’s important to remember that while some commanders may seem powerful, there are always ways to counteract and disrupt their strategies.
Additionally, players should also consider the dynamics of their playgroup and adjust their strategies accordingly. With these strategies in mind, players can keep their commander games less explosive and have more fun playing Magic: The Gathering.