Five Common Mistakes in Commander Format – MTG Tips

Commander is arguably the most popular way to play Magic at the moment. No matter the type of game you’re seeking, there are common mistakes many players make. In this article, I share five errors you might be making in Commander and how to rectify them for a better experience.

1. Not Attacking

A significant error in Commander is not utilizing potential damage. In Limited, you learn to attack with a creature if you don’t plan to block with it. Underestimating early game chip damage is a common oversight. Evaluate the commanders you’re playing against to determine the best attack strategy.

Sometimes, players hold back significant forces without good reason. For instance, if you have several strong creatures, it’s usually better to attack. Delaying can result in missed opportunities, especially when a board wipe occurs. Aggressive decks, like those using Wulfgar of Icewind Dale, emphasize the importance of maximizing creature value.

2. Basing Threat Assessment Solely on What’s in Play

A common mistake is to assess threats based only on the current board state. This approach often leads to misusing valuable resources like counterspells or removals on less critical targets. Players should consider potential threats, not just immediate ones. For example, a player with a full hand and passive play may be planning a significant move. Effective threat assessment involves considering both current and possible future threats.

3. Not Using the Stack Properly

Proper use of the stack is crucial in Commander. Two key mistakes are not following the priority order and rushing through game actions. Skipping priorities can lead to missed opportunities and misplays. It’s important to allow each player their turn to respond. Additionally, rushing through phases or steps can inadvertently reveal strategic information, disrupting the fairness of the game.

4. Not Utilizing Virtual Card Advantage (VCA)

VCA can be a powerful tool in Commander. It involves using on-board elements or potential plays in your hand to influence opponents’ decisions. For instance, having certain cards like Cathar Commando visible can deter opponents from playing specific spells. VCA is not limited to board wipes but includes various cards that influence the game’s pace.

5. Taking It Too Seriously

The essence of Commander is to enjoy a fun and social gaming experience. Overthinking and focusing too much on winning or deck optimization can detract from the game’s enjoyment. Embrace the spirit of the game by allowing for fun plays, running favorite cards, and not fearing losses. Open communication about your deck can lead to more enjoyable games for everyone.

Final Thoughts

MTG Commander offers a diverse range of playstyles and power levels, catering to various preferences. By avoiding these common mistakes and embracing the game’s social and expressive nature, players can enhance their Commander experience.

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