There are "not great" things going on here.
The format itself is set up for long games. That's awesome. When I get assigned to a pod where no one is playing combo, it's almost always a great game. Big things happen. Control of the game passes around the table. Alliances are made, and broken. In short, it's everything I know and love about the Commander format.
Enter the combo player.
Suddenly, the game is either over so quick that I've barely done anything. Or, just when things are getting interesting the fatal combo is assembled and wipes everyone out. There's basically no "game."
I'm not bitter about it. Like I've written before, combo is part of Magic. I get that. But here's what actually happened last weekend. Tell me if you think this is good for the format.
We have a decent turnout on Saturday and are being assigned to our pods (tables) for round one. We are in groups of four players and there are four tables for a total of sixteen players. Nice. I'm introducing myself and meeting everyone at my table while we shuffle, cut, draw, pitch, draw, shuffle, cut, and ready our life totals. At the table across from us (not my pod), I hear someone say, "I mill you all out."
We haven't even started yet. I break etiquette and probably tournament rules by shouting over to the other table to find out what the dealee-yo.
Apparently the guy was able to cast Oona, generate infinite mana, and mill everyone at the table out, generating a swarm of rogue faeries... on turn four. Wee! I didn't see it happen myself, but I understand it involved Basalt Monolith and Power Artifact.
My game went to turn nine where the guy across from me drew cards and generated mana with Mind Over Matter and cast Blue Sun's Zenith on everyone in turn. All of this with multiple counterspells in hand, you know, just in case.
I decided to watch the final pod of four players.
It's Oona combo guy. Mind Over Matter combo guy. Jhoira combo guy. And, Mayael, who was not playing combo.
The combo guys were so worried about each other that Mayael won. It was pretty spectacular. He dropped Lurking Predators. No one countered!? And then passed. They were trying to go off, countering, re-countering, and so forth. By the same it came back around to his turn, it was annihilator 5000 and dragons on their asses.
In a small way, it was a victory of the non-combo deck over the others. But, that Lurking Predators was a lucky drop that no one was in a position to counter. Otherwise, he would have been marginalized even with a couple of turns to activate Mayael before someone at the table ended the game.
During the match, one of the guys says something to the effect of, "Almost everyone is playing combo." Then, he proceeds to tell a story. I'll paraphrase:
I was at a different gaming store to play some Commander. I brought my Kaalia deck. I was like turn three Master of Cruelties, smash this guy's face, turn four cheat this out, smash that guy's face. I wrecked the table. I go up to get my prize and the store guy tells me that there are no prizes. So, I ask him, "No prizes? Why was I just playing like such a dick?"