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 Post subject: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-12 3:10 am 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Inspired by the Karakas thread, in which several people agree Karakas would be in the top 5 cards to ban from the format, I'm curious what y'all's top 5 would be.

The details of the hypothetical scenario are these: You are now the Rules Committee. This will be the only [O]fficial banlist; playgroups can choose to add or remove cards from it but you are trying to guide the format. You can only put a maximum of five cards in it. Which five (if any) do you choose? Why?

I think to attempt to provide the best guidance with only five cards, I would let cards like Limited Resources and Time Vault slip by. People who want to use those cards are not going to accidentally ruin their playgroups, so providing guidance to them would be wasted.

I think I would also let the entire Power 9 8 slip by. With the format as accessible and advertised as it is now, the price criteria for banning seems the least essential. Also with only five spaces, banning just one of the Moxen seems silly.

My focus would be on cards that look like they would be fun but actually ruin games. My five would probably be:
Griselbrand — My hope is that this would also signal to players not to mess around with Yawgmoth's Bargain; of the two of them Griselbrand is definitely more likely to be included in a deck just because he looks fun.

Primeval Titan — This is the epitome of the accidental game breaker; I know there are playgroups that would be fine playing it because the other players would be packing Balance and Ruination, but my sense is that most groups would already shy away from those cards.

Demonic Tutor — I believe excessive tutors are actually one of the worst problems in the format right now; this hopefully would discourage that.

Biorhythm — Of the instants and sorceries that win out of nowhere, this is actually one of the least problematic in terms of power level and non-interactiveness (by which I mean countermagic isn't the only option, as you can respond with something like Consume the Meek + unentwined Grab the Reins to change the outcome); again my reason for choosing this one above the others is I see this as more of a trap for well-intentioned players.

Upheaval — I actually have no idea whether people look at this card and think it would be fun, but I can't have a banlist with no blue cards on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-12 4:35 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Disclaimer: I'm tending to look at this from a perspective of necessity rather than that of example. While I tend to favor the principle of "ban cards that ruin games accidentally" in terms of the actual banlist, no 5-card banlist could possibly accomplish that. Therefore, I'm using two primary criteria:

1. The impact the card will have on a game-by-game basis (aka, what is the maximum amount of fun/misery the card could cause, and how close to either is the average?)

2. How ubiquitous it could be. If the card has literally zero downside to include in your deck, that tends to be a point against it.

Karakas: In terms of sheer cost-benefit ratio I think it's safe to say Karakas is literally the most overpowered card in the format. It has an incredibly powerful effect with virtually no opportunity cost.

Time Vault: In virtually every "no-holds barred" format I've ever played, decks literally devolve into who can combo Time Vault off the earliest and best. Unlike most other cards on the banlist (and cards that people complain about in general), Time Vault has ZERO potential to make games interesting. You either get your combo off and win in the most boring and uninteractive way possible, or you don't and it does jack shit.

Coalition Victory: Honestly the same reasons as Time Vault, but a lot more explicitly so. It literally either wins you the game on the spot, with no fanfare or interaction whatsoever, or it does nothing.

Limited Resources: Even moreso than Karakas, this is the epitome of "Interacts badly with the structure of the format". Karakas, as stupid and overpowered as it is, just amounts to getting a free removal spell every turn. Limited Resources puts the game in a stranglehold, and can get particularly stupid when paired with land destruction.

Time Walk: Thankfully, in EDH the actual "power" of the power nine goes way, way down compared to other formats. That is, except for this piece of garbage. Time Walk actually gets better in EDH, as games are generally slower and bigger and therefore you have much more stuff to do with the card. I also generally dislike extra turns in general, and the only reason that they aren't completely and utterly ubiquitous in every deck ever made is because they tend to be pretty high on the CMC ladder. Time Walk, much like Karakas, is the epitome of an epic effect for zero opportunity cost. I challenge anyone to build a deck without Time Walk that cannot be improved by putting it in.

Honorable mentions: Channel, Balance, and Fastbond.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-12 5:23 am 
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Joined: 2011-Apr-25 12:43 pm
Age: Drake
If I could only choose 5 cards, my list would be:

Time Vault
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Tolarian Academy
Yawgmoth's Bargain

The first 3 can either shut down 1 or more players completely, or turn the game in to a one player game. That is definitely against the spirit of the format.

The last 2 let one player ramp way too quickly and get an absurd advantage.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-12 9:47 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
I think it's possible the banlist is too big. It really does seem too much to expect players to eschew unfun cards: banning Biorhythm hasn't stopped local players trying to do the same effect with tree of perdition for example, so why not unban biorhythm?

I tend to become sensitised to cards I know too easily, and not be suspicious of cards I haven't experienced before (I haven't experienced most of the banlist).

I can't suggest a 5 card banlist since I feel both too biased and too inexperienced. Happy to defer to the RC on this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-13 7:45 am 

Joined: 2009-Feb-09 4:00 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
If we're just pulling from the current ban list, mine would be:

Gifts
Griselbrand
Time Vault
Tinker
Tolarian Academy

I think all of these cards in some form or another trivially enable degenerate combos and should be kept out of the format.

If we're pulling any cards, though:

Griselbrand
Demonic Tutor
Sol Ring
Time Vault
Tinker

I think Gifts is powerful but Demonic is too cheap and too easy. Similarly, I think Academy is powerful but constrained by being blue, while Sol Ring is ubiquitous and almost always worth running.

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Printing generically and boringly powerful cards obviously intended for commander does the format zero favors.

Sidisi - Nin


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-13 8:24 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-19 12:15 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Sacramento, CA
My focus is cards that would be ubiquitous and create a financial barrier to the format. I think I need a ban list of at least 20 cards to keep the format fun.

#1-5
Black Lotus
Ancestral Recall
Time Walk
Library of Alexandria
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

#6-10
Mox Sapphire
Mox Jet
Mox Emerald
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby

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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-13 9:32 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
For me, it would be:

1. Fastbond - this is my one card ban list card. The ability to play lands this quickly puts you head and shoulders above the group.

2. Channel - Similar to Fastbond, this is too much mana. Being able to dump all your mana rocks or a Blightsteel Colossus on turn one, fuel a Blue Sun's Zenith or Exsanguinate is something the format doesn't need.

3. Time Vault - this was a combo piece in 1993 and 25 years later there are tons of ways to tutor and combo out.

4. Limited Resources - My representative for "interacting poorly with the format". And there are plenty of ways to get around the restriction if you build around it.

5. Coalition Victory - This was hard for me. At this point choosing a 5th and only 5th card is difficult. The format is a lot more degenerate and arguably faster. Do you choose a broken card at the expense of another? A win now card? Fast mana? Ultimately I opted for CV because it wins games out of nowhere and can be played early in games (unlike Biorhythm or Worldfire).


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-15 11:15 am 
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Joined: 2010-May-09 10:39 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Good thread.

My 5:

1.Balance: Yeah, it isn't balanced at all, especially with all the fast mana.

2.Helm of Obedience: Just too easy to win with Rest in Peace, not fun.

3.Griselbrand: Too strong with 40 life. Interestingly, it seems some play in Duel Commander (20 life),but only in the 99.

4.Power Artifact: Too many infinite mana uses, no real fun uses generally seen.

5.Cyclonic Rift: Again, super unfun game extender. Interacts terribly with 3 other players at the table.

Yeah, Fastbond and Bargain would be terrible to have in the format, as well as Channel, but without Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Channel isn't super amazing. Karakas being around isn't great, but I'd just add format-specific errata that it cannot target a player's commander(s).

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Xantcha, Sleeper Agent - cEDH discard/attrition.
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A Denying Wind.
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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-16 12:26 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Jan-06 10:25 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Seattle
Emrakul
Omniscience
Channel
Iona
Balance

While not banned, Overloading Cyclonic Rift gets you slapped with a trout. Doubling Season and a Planeswalker gets you poked with a sharp stick. Any easy, two card well known combo gets you a frown and -5 cool points.

Also, at the end of your third consecutive turn, if you didn't win, you lose the game.

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Mayael the Anima -> Flopping Fatties
Phenax, God of Deception -> Grave Rats
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Proving Grounds: Drawmia-maro, Titania When Lands Attack, Tromokratis Read it Again, Kaalia's Klerics, Hordes of Tribes.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-19 10:34 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Im going with:
Upheaval
Worldfire
Karakas
Limited resources

I'd be happy to leave it at those four, but the fifth could be a flex slot for the most annoying out of erayo, braids, balance or channel

Im not too worried if you want to win the game, play an insane combo, end the game on turn 1 or two, at least then I am not wasting my time. But if you want to restart the hour long game we've all been playing by going the line of float, upheaval, land, mana rocks, wheel, i'm going to flip a table.

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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-23 6:24 pm 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Most of the cards currently banned wouldn't be much of a problem, since they're either waaaay to expensive or very clearly unfun.

My 5 card banlist would contain cards that for some reason people think are okay to play, but really wreck good games:

1. Sol Ring: too often, a turn 1 Sol Ring takes the lead and the game before anyone can do anything about it.
2. Cyclonic Rift: No, it's not a cool card. No, I shouldn't be grateful I can reuse my ETB's, and no, it's not my own fault for overextending.
3. Prophet of Kruphix: because
4. and 5. original Emrakul and Kozilek (Dammit I need a six card banlist!): Annihilator is not fun, and the cost of these cards do not make them harder to get into play (who actually casts these guys?)


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 Post subject: Re: Fun thought experiment: Five Card Banlist
AgePosted: 2018-Jul-23 6:35 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
1. Plains
2. Island
3. Swamp
4. Mountain
5. Forest
(Wastes are fine)

:twisted:

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Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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