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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-31 3:06 pm 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
As far as Painter's Servant, it being on the ban list locks out two big combos: It and Grindstone as an instant kill, and it and Iona, Shield of Emeria as locking out the rest of the table from playing anything. The Grindstone combo can go in any deck. I understand the ban on Painter's Servant, and I will agree it's next to useless on it's own, even in it's Scarecrow tribal. What it can combo with is the problem, and I'm glad that the ban goes to the combo enabler instead of multiple cards it can break.

Leovold doesn't have as strong of combos as an instant kill two card combo, but he's still lockdown, and he's still a Legendary Creature. I'll also mention that there are only four other U/B/G commanders, with Leovold being the lowest CMC. Leovold also doesn't directly break anything as quickly as Painter's Servant, but I don't think Erayo does either. Countering spells passively isn't the same as draw lockdown, but Wheel and Deal, Dark Deal, Day's Undoing, Jace's Archivist, Windfall, and Time Reversal all could be used to prevent people from playing with Leovold. The U/B/G has a lot of ways of making the discards happen, tutoring out combo pieces, protecting Leovold, and recovering combo pieces from the graveyard.

What it comes down to is that Leovold is the card that enables the combo of 'each opponent discards their hand and draws one card', assuming that's where the combo ends. There are a lot of other things that can be thrown in that could cause problems, and also Anvil of Bogarden to consider. Leovold being a commander only adds to his flexibility in making combos happen, because it's one less card someone need to tutor for or draw. To my knowledge, cards that prevent people from playing or combo to prevent people from playing goes against the spirit of Commander as a format. Am I wrong to say Leovold is a card that enables a combo that prevents people from playing?

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Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Aug-31 6:00 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Drrakus wrote:
...but I don't think Erayo does either. Countering spells passively isn't the same as draw lockdown, but Wheel and Deal, Dark Deal, Day's Undoing, Jace's Archivist, Windfall, and Time Reversal all could be used to prevent people from playing with Leovold.

None of that actually prevents people playing. In fact you say that next:
Quote:
What it comes down to is that Leovold is the card that enables the combo of 'each opponent discards their hand and draws one card',

Making people discard their hand is kind of rude, but they are still fully able to cast the spells they draw. Erayo says you cant do anything until you have enough mana and cards to cast two things per turn. A persistent effect for as long as she is in play. Leo + wheel makes you pitch your hand, but doing it against doesnt gain much value until people refill.

Quote:
To my knowledge, cards that prevent people from playing or combo to prevent people from playing goes against the spirit of Commander as a format. Am I wrong to say Leovold is a card that enables a combo that prevents people from playing?

I do not think leovold prevents people from playing in nearly the same way that cards like Erayo, Braids or Iona do. Jin Gitaxis is a more consistent lock out, and all 4 of those cards mentioned manage to do what they do without any help.

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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 1:12 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So add in Arcane Laboratory. Add in Words of Waste. Add in Anvil of Bogardan. Add in Puzzle Box.

There are any number of cards that turn his "not a lock" into an actual lock. Jin Gitaxis does nothing if you have no max hand size. It's also far more expensive and not even close to an actual lock since you can still draw 100 cards even with a max hand size of 0.

He's absolutely in the same vein of Erayo and Braids or Servant. They all have a minor effect when they hit the table and don't actually lock the game down without support. All they take is a token generator or a stream of 0-1 drops AND a specific lock piece to do bad things. He will quickly leave you handless and then it's just a matter of playing any number of pieces that solidifies the lock from there. You CAN still potentially break out with a top decked instant but he can still counter that easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 2:30 am 
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Joined: 2014-Aug-16 4:42 am
Age: Wyvern
No one is really scared about wheels turning into mind twists for your entire hand. You can still draw a card after a mind twist, so you can still play the game.

People are scared of never playing a sorcery-speed spell again (other than their commander).

Considering you have a commander you can cast in your command zone, maybe it's not a problem? Maybe people run enough instant speed removal to get rid of Teferi's Puzzle Box or Anvil of Bogardan (and give Leovold another card...)?


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 3:22 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
iplaymtg wrote:
No one is really scared about wheels turning into mind twists for your entire hand. You can still draw a card after a mind twist, so you can still play the game.

People are scared of never playing a sorcery-speed spell again (other than their commander).

Considering you have a commander you can cast in your command zone, maybe it's not a problem? Maybe people run enough instant speed removal to get rid of Teferi's Puzzle Box or Anvil of Bogardan (and give Leovold another card...)?


Does your commander cost 4 or less? What makes you think you can still cast it? Is your instant speed removal split second? What makes you think it will resolve vs a blue control deck? He really doesn't need to play the actual "lock" pieces to make it a lock. You're capped at one card per turn anything that bounces to top of library is effectively a lock. Anything that counters the first spell each turn is effectively a lock. Anything that counters the next spell cast turns the soft lock into a hard lock even through instant speed split second removal. He doesn't have to permanently lock the table. Only delay it long enough to kill you. A full table mind twist might not be the end of the world but it's also not generally happening on turn 4 reliably.

Even without playing towards the lock, you're guaranteed to be in top deck mode with a single windfall effect which there are TONS in color. How easy is it to abuse a player in top deck mode? Your only white source? It's a forest now or tapped in upkeep... try to recover.

It's not that bad... you can still play the game, right? You just have to play two spells a turn or play a token generator to keep up, right? He's VERY similar to braids and Erayo. He's just not seen as threatening for some reason... Which tends to make him more dangerous.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 3:48 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Epsilon wrote:
Jin Gitaxis does nothing if you have no max hand size.
There's roughly half a dozen cards that give this effect and are even remotely playable, and a lot of the ones that are are like Tamiyo or Praetor's Counsel and super expensive.

Quote:
He's absolutely in the same vein of Erayo and Braids or Servant. They all have a minor effect when they hit the table and don't actually lock the game down without support. All they take is a token generator or a stream of 0-1 drops AND a specific lock piece to do bad things. He will quickly leave you handless and then it's just a matter of playing any number of pieces that solidifies the lock from there. You CAN still potentially break out with a top decked instant but he can still counter that easily.

This sounds like you've never played against Braids. Braids is a 1-card lock. You get her out T2 or earlier, and the game drops to a halt until you eventually get something to break the symmetry and you start playing solitaire. And PS isn't even remotely in the same category. Largely because he's not a general, but also he and his combo pieces are all terrible by themselves (with the exception of Iona).

And he's also not similar to Erayo, who doesn't have a "minor effect" at any point in the game. He's either busted and extremely fun sucking or vanilla and useless.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 4:18 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
This sounds like you've never played against Braids. Braids is a 1-card lock. You get her out T2 or earlier, and the game drops to a halt until you eventually get something to break the symmetry and you start playing solitaire. And PS isn't even remotely in the same category. Largely because he's not a general, but also he and his combo pieces are all terrible by themselves (with the exception of Iona).

And he's also not similar to Erayo, who doesn't have a "minor effect" at any point in the game. He's either busted and extremely fun sucking or vanilla and useless.


Braids isn't a one card lock... I haven't just played against her, I have played her. You either have something to go along with her or you just time walk the table for 3 turns and go back to turn 1 while accomplishing effectively nothing. You can drag it out further with card disadvantage and hopefully draw a tutor but she's much weaker as the game progresses and not an effective lock if she doesn't have a means of breaking the symmetry.

I had a Jace "Erayo" emblem played against me last night. It was a "minor effect"... Without the Arcane Lab to make it a lock it draws out cheap trash before the actual play. It was late enough that it didn't matter.

Both of these banned commanders are only effective in the early game. Leovold is not limited to that. He's also coming down just as early and his additional "combo" pieces aren't niche cards that don't see much play. Wheels are super common in the format. Puzzle Box is super common in the format. They're all "fun" common cards. He reads as a fun deck list. He does not play as one. That's the type of creature that gets banned.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 4:34 am 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
Epsilon wrote:
He's just not seen as threatening for some reason... Which tends to make him more dangerous.


This is the part I can't agree with more. It only takes one card to set up the lock for another card to finish. I've seen a Meren deck lockdown the field by playing Fleshbag Marauder and then reanimating it three times in the same turn. My artifact deck runs Silent Arbiter and Etched Champion, which all but locks down combat focused decks, and it completely shuts down token decks unlucky enough to not have an answer. But none of my play group's lockdown combos actually stop someone from playing the game. Being able to empty someone's hand and keep it empty does stop people from playing, and it can probably even stop someone from pulling out more then five lands.

I'll quit rambling about that, I went out and looked at some things Leovold can combo with after the windfall/wheel and deal card, but this is just the discard stuff. I didn't even go look for how he could clear the board to deal commander damage, mill people's decks with stuff like Mind Funeral, how to make discarding deal damage, or look at what kinds of creatures he could use to trample past whatever people pull out. That he has access to the best tutors in the game is probably the worst part.

Each Opponent Discards a Card: Ashiok's Adept, Cackling Fiend, Capital Punishment, Creeping Dread, Liliana's Specter, Mind Raker, Screeching Buzzard, Scythe Specter, Siren of the Silent Song, Thoughtrender Lamia, Words of Waste

Each Player Discards a Card: Bottomless Pit, Cunning Lethemancer, Earsplitting Rats, Gibbering Descent, Marsh Crocodile, Mindlash Sliver, Necrogen Mists, Rotting Rats, Serum Raker, Sibsig Icebreakers, Smallpox, Strongarm Tactics, Stronghold Rats, Syphon Mind, Whispering Madness

I think there are just too many options for his lockdown, and since he's a legendary creature, he's able to have recreate the lockdown with minimal effort, because he can be a commander.

_________________
Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 6:03 am 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Drrakus wrote:
Each Opponent Discards a Card: Ashiok's Adept, Cackling Fiend, Capital Punishment, Creeping Dread, Liliana's Specter, Mind Raker, Screeching Buzzard, Scythe Specter, Siren of the Silent Song, Thoughtrender Lamia, Words of Waste

Each Player Discards a Card: Bottomless Pit, Cunning Lethemancer, Earsplitting Rats, Gibbering Descent, Marsh Crocodile, Mindlash Sliver, Necrogen Mists, Rotting Rats, Serum Raker, Sibsig Icebreakers, Smallpox, Strongarm Tactics, Stronghold Rats, Syphon Mind, Whispering Madness

I think there are just too many options for his lockdown, and since he's a legendary creature, he's able to have recreate the lockdown with minimal effort, because he can be a commander.

How do any of those cards combo with him to create a lockdown? Are you saying with an empty hand and leo in play, it isn't possible to recover?


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 6:20 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Words of waste can combo to make a lock but yeah most everything else there isn't going to do much aside from keep an empty hand empty.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 6:49 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-02 11:09 pm
Age: Drake
You know what completely trashes Leovold, Emissary of Trest and is played in almost every deck already?

Any kind of Clone.

Besides, how is this worse than Gaddock Teeg?

How is this type of discard worse than Sadistic Hypnotist?


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 6:58 am 
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Joined: 2014-Aug-16 4:42 am
Age: Wyvern
SnailSlug wrote:
Besides, how is this worse than Gaddock Teeg?


You can still play creatures with Gaddock Teeg. And CMC 3 non-creatures.

SnailSlug wrote:
How is this type of discard worse than Sadistic Hypnotist?


Hypnotist gives you access to topdecking sorcery-speed removal. Teferi's Puzzle Box leaves you with nothing for your main phases.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 7:19 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
SnailSlug wrote:
You know what completely trashes Leovold, Emissary of Trest and is played in almost every deck already?

Any kind of Clone.

Besides, how is this worse than Gaddock Teeg?

How is this type of discard worse than Sadistic Hypnotist?


How does Clone do anything? You're still getting locked with a clone out... The Leovold player gets locked too? ...and? Go ahead and block so he can recast him in the next main phase and you're back to a normal lock. Otherwise, you're dead after 21 damage while he's dead to 40.

How is this not worse than Teeg? You can still cast 75%+ of your deck with Teeg out. The rest of the deck may restrict you further but he's not a combo piece. You get locked to instants only with Leovold locks which is generally less than 10% of a deck. Not to mention better colors...

Hypnotist doesn't keep you empty. You can top deck a draw spell or utilize an already set up engine and get right back into it. He's also not in the command zone. Yeah, Nath + Hypnotist is rough. It's a two card combo with one in the command zone. It's 10 mana, sorcery speed very specific combo. The odds of it showing up are far lower. The odds of it being permanent are far lower. The odds of it happening before people can get set up are far lower. Mass discard on turn 5-6 vs mass discard on 3-4 is quite significant. The odds of it being protected are far lower. Green can give hexproof but that's avoidable and still far less common than a counterspell.


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 7:56 am 

Joined: 2016-Aug-15 1:21 pm
Age: Drake
Keeping an empty hand empty is what I thought was part of his lock: Nobody has a hand, nobody can play anything. With Leovold, it's asymmetrical that he's the only one who still has a hand. Combining Leovold with 'each player/each opponent' discard is a lockdown on the entire table instead of just one person. I think back to when my Nekusar deck has Nicol Bolas as it's commander, and after I took out their hand, they were unlucky enough to draw only lands for the next five turns.

How easy would it be to exploit someone who doesn't have a hand for several turns? They don't get to play creatures, lands, enchantments, sorceries, or artifacts if Leovold's lockdown is abused. Someone not being able to play lands means they can't even cast their commander if it gets sent back to the command zone enough times. Not being able to play creatures means what they have out is what they have to block whatever Leovold pulls out. No sorceries, enchantments, or artifacts means no support, and a large number of removal cards are sorcery speed. Yeah, they might be able to answer Leovold, but how many times can they do that? Leovold starts at CMC 3, meaning turn 4 he can drop everyone's hand to 1, and next turn start his lockdown.

As for the cloning thing, I think one of the reasons Prophet of Kruphix was banned should be remembered.

Quote:
Instead, the primary approach has been to steal it, clone it, run it yourself, or get run over.


I think the cloning thing is irrelevant to whether or not a card should be banned. I'll also say Gaddock Teeg is a creature that only locks out noncreatures, which can still be used to attack the Gaddock player. That's the key difference. Sadistic Hypnotist is also target player, not each player or each opponent.

I look at it like this: Leovold has an ability that by itself isn't all that great. He's U/B/G, which only has four other possible commanders that all have a higher CMC. Using a specific type of card that's not broken, he can two card combo into a soft lockdown. The problem there is that he's able to be commander, so the person using him already has half of their combo. What happens when the two card combo becomes a three or four card combo? Think for a moment about what kind of advantage someone can have by keeping an opponent, even just one, with no hand even during their turn? What kind of advantage does someone have if that starts on turn four or five? What kind of board state would it be if everyone but one player was limited to a hand of one card, if that?

The reason I think Leovold should be banned is that there is no counter play that I know of that's restricted to relying on drawing an instant speed removal or using your commander if you can cast it. Yeah, one of the other players might be able to draw something, but out of 99 cards, how many instant speed removals does the average deck have? Yeah, I might have some ways of countering a Leovold deck, but can I draw them as reliably as Leovold can draw multiple cards of a different name that do the same thing? I don't know that answer, but I do know letting a commander capable of locking out at least one person from playing the game is something that not everyone will be able to deal with. I'm sure a lot of us wouldn't need to make many changes to our decks to be able to counter Leovold, but how many would need to make changes to have enough instant speed removal so that someone at the table could counter Leovold is he's played? I know I could just run a different deck, and a lot of people could.

I guess the argument I'm making is that if he's used, and if his ability is abused, he's a huge problem, and if he's not used, and his ability is not abused, he's just the fifth U/B/G Legendary Creature printed. Granted he hasn't even been out for two weeks either, but I've never been one to take risks when there's a possibility of punishing someone for playing the game by doing nothing and waiting for whatever it is that's causing it to become a problem.

_________________
Commanders:
-The Ur-Dragon-Five Color Dragon Tribal Deck
-Nekusar, the Mindrazer-Hardcore Mill Deck
-Nahiri, the Lithomancer-Monowhite Soldier/Equipment Deck
-Sharuum the Hegemon-Esper Artifact Themed Deck
-Karador, Ghost Chieftain-Kamigawa Spirit Reanimator Tribal Deck
-Zedruu the Greathearted-Predictability is Weakness Themed Deck
-Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist-Monogreen Land Based Deck


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 Post subject: Re: Leovold, Emissary of Trest: a new general worth banning?
AgePosted: 2016-Sep-01 9:17 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It seems to me the main argument for him being able to lock a table is that once he empties your hand, and adds another regular discard effect, then you only get to use one spell per turn.

Teferi's puzzle box aside, most discard effects mentioned above are on the Leovold players' turn. So all three opponents draw before it comes back around for leovold to make them discard again. So just to be clear we have a 3 piece lock, one of which is the commander, which is only a soft lock forcing players to get stuck in top deck mode, it doesnt win the game.

Once again:
- 2 Cards + commander
- Makes the game archenemy
- Doesnt end the game
- Doesnt actually lock the game

If any player draws removal the lock stops. "oh but they're playing blue so counterspell", how many counters do they have? because 3 players are looking for removal to end the lock.

It's very annoying, it's something people can set up, but really think through how many hoops need to be jumped through to make this a genuine lock. This is not one card ruining the game, it is a coordinated game plan being implemented.

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