I like powerful decks too! It’s good to have a range of different options, and I think a GoodStuff option might be great deck to have in your arsenal
Disclaimer: Everyone interacts with Magic differently, this may not be a way that you want to build and/or play decks. No one is wrong! These are just some alternative thoughts, that may lead people to broaden their horizons, and may lead folks to seek out new experiences.
Pretty much how Zack builds all of his decks
To me, it’s a deck where you are just playing awesome cards you already own, without paying particular attention to synergy with your Commander(s)
What exactly is a good stuff deck?
You know how you have those perennial *almost* good enough cards to make your deck? This is the place to play them
You can think of this as a deck made almost entirely out of Flex spots.
I had a Riku of Two Reflections deck, that just had fun cards. What’s better than 1 Simic Sky Swollower? TWO!
I had a Keranos, God of Storms deck, man Hypersonic Dragon is just a sweet Magic Card
Ertai the corrupted. Played things like biterblossom, the guile and dovescape combo, it had phyrexian arena
I think back to when I first started playing Commander (Back in my day it was called EDH gosh darnit!). But seriously, I had decks that were just full of fun/cool cards
This may be harder for newer players to do, as they don’t have as deep of a collection to comb through.
It’s also just generally fun to look at Magic cards, and think of the wildest Magical Christmas Land scenarios!
When I build decks like this, I tend to just thumb through a TON of cards, and just set cards aside that I like, or that make me smile, or remember some silly thing that happened in a kitchen table game, back in the day
When I build a “good stuff” deck, I tend to eschew my typical form of spreadsheet building, which makes sure that I have all of the normal stuff, in the correct ratios, Ramp, Card Draw, Removal etc etc. This tends to lead me towards building less optimized decks.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t build with intention, far from it! For example, you absolutely want to make sure that you have ways of ending games of Magic.
It might be hard to build a tribal deck for this kind of thought experiment, because there will just be so many baked-in synergies. That being said, if it’s a very off-the-wall tribe, you can probably make it work.
I am GLAD we’re getting lots of cards! I just sometimes think back to the days at the beginning of the format, where there were a LOT less Commanders to choose from, and oftentimes the decks felt more personal. I see new folks on Twitter experiencing Commander for the first time, and I have to admit, I’m a bit jealous. It’s pretty much impossible to unlearn knowledge gained through years of playing Commander, but I think it is possible to kinda recapture some of that nostalgia by making “good stuff” decks.
Zack is also happy getting a lot of new commander cards. I remember when all i looked for in sets were commander cards and modern cards when i first started playing and it felt like you got maybe 1-2 commander cards a set.
We have been getting a LOT of cards designed specifically for Commander, and I think a side-effect of this is that we are seeing a general power creep, or maybe even staple creep in the format.
I like to think of it as smooth jazz
You probably won’t have as much of a good time playing a GoodStuff deck against hyper-tuned decks. This is just a more specific case of “Have the rule Zero” talk. It might be really cool to get your playgroup together and talk about making some decks like this to play against each other. We know this isn’t possible for folks that don’t have a consistent playgroup. It also might be really cool to have a GoodStuff deck to play against newer players, if you’re lucky enough to find some to play against (It’s seriously cool to watch folks discover stuff! Like they pick up one of your cards, and their eyes just go wide, imagining stuff)
It’s also super hard to do this when folks have drastically differently sized collections. You could do a budget limit, to try and get the decks to come out more equivalent, but even that is hard.
It’s really fun to play against these kinds of decks, because you get to see so many infrequently played cards. You’ll get to have more of the, “wait, what does that card do?” moments
You’ll probably get into a lot of “Novel” board states with decks like these (Although Commander does tend to bring about Novel stuff all the time, so maybe this isn’t as huge a boon to building a GoodStuff deck)
You also probably need to set your expectations a little lower, when playing a deck like this. It’s not going to function like a well-oiled machine, and it’s probably going to play drastically different from game-to-game. This can be a good thing, if you’re just wanting to see what cool stuff can happen.
My Gonti, Lord of Luxury deck is one that I just threw together out of cards I already had. It’s seriously fun to play, and it’s just super different every time I play it (this is also helped out by the fact that I’m casting OPC from different decks each time I play it)
Some of my favorite decks are like this
Decks that aren’t designed to do a specific thing, end up doing very different things, and I think that can be a good thing, and a fun experience.
Folks out in audience land, what is your take on this idea? Do you have decks like this? Do you ever yearn to recapture that new player experience?
Why would you want to build/play a good stuff deck?