This morning’s Idea Log comes to me from Commander Cast #62, Season 5, Episode 10. The guys were talking about board position and it was said “the best way to win is to look like you are always in second place.” This really stuck with me, and while not always relevant, it is a strategy that could benefit you when playing Commander.
It makes perfect sense. If you have three more lands in play than everyone else and several creatures while the opponents only have a few, then you are a threat, and your opponents will make you the target. If you instead have slightly less threatening cards in play than one of the other opponents, then the remaining opponents will see that one as a threat and attack them instead of you.
This will not always work of course. If you are like me and your group consists of the same four guys every week, then they get to know you and the decks that you play, so they know what to look for when assessing the threat level of the table.
The real lesson here is to be flexible. Like most things in life you don’t want to go into anything with one set plan and be unable to cope with things that happen to disrupt that plan. So, if you have a decent board position, but one of your opponents is the current threat, then maybe it won’t be such a great idea to drop that planeswalker or Doubling Season (in my decks these tend to be the target generators.) It all depends on what becoming the target will mean, so ask yourself, “can I withstand the whole table ganging up on me and still come out ahead?” If the answer is no, then hold off.