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 Post subject: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-10 8:16 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So by doing a quick scroll through the last two pages of the is forum I don't see anyone really bringing up fast mana (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and to a lesser extent others like Grim Monolith and the various legal Moxen). However, since it is a recurring discussion on MTGS I would like to get some outside opinions from this forum on the matter as well.

It is hard to disagree that one of these early game can potentially lead to an explosive start which quickly ends that game or provides an insurmountable advantage. Of course, there are also games where this isn't the case. What are your thoughts and experiences?


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-10 10:12 am 
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Joined: 2013-Aug-06 1:27 pm
Age: Drake
Fast mana ruined many games at my LGS. We never banned them from the store, but they are heavily criticized by the community. Most players now choose not to include them in their decks. I think Commander is much better without fast mana rocks.


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-10 11:44 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
To me it's not that big a deal - yes, sometimes someone gets an early Sol Ring and goes ape, but firstly, an early fast mana rock does not always mean a win or even a significant advantage, and secondly, god hands will happen with or without fast mana.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-10 2:46 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
It's hit and miss with our group. Some people play a lot of rocks, while others don't. Some green players play a crapton of ramp, while others have maybe 6 ramp cards in their decks. I think a lot of people in our group play against it, as well. It is a rare game where we don't see Vandalblast, Austere Command, Return to Dust or similar being played.

All that said, it takes a special combination to run away with the game. The latest time it happened was with my Sharuum thopter deck where I tabled a bunch of rocks and churned out a bunch of thopters, and no one had answers for the rocks or the thopters and I pretty much ran riot because of an early Sharding Sphinx.

I think that the game could have just as easily turned against me if anyone had a wrath or an artifact wipe, because I was otherwise out of gas.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-10 10:09 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Orlando, Florida
While there's not a lot of artifact hate in my playgroup, we don't have really any fast mana either than standard ramp. The only one I can think of is my Kozilek, the Great Distortion deck, and that's mostly because the big guy is ten mana.


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-11 4:47 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
It was only an issue when fast mana was followed up by normal mana and you had one player vastly ahead on mana production.

I've seen more games made better by a timely drop of a needed mana rock than games ruined by excessive mana production.

We found that the biggest issue with fast and efficient mana was the tendency it created to reduce the number of lands in a deck making it more often that someone was getting screwed with mana.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-11 5:50 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Would be quite happy to see a ban on Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, specifically. These are the two omnipresent inclusions in the groups I play/have played in, and I am happy to consider them to fall under the "produces too much mana too quickly" banning criteria, although I know the RC don't.

Whilst in more casual groups, in which I include mine, it is rarely the case that these cards determine who wins a game, they nevertheless unbalance the games where they arrive in the early turns- and since everyone who can play them, plays them everywhere they can, this happens frequently enough to be kind of repetitive. Especially when the Ring or Crypt is followed up by an early Commander or extra ramp (T1 Ring, T2 Solemn Simulacrum, for example). I don't think these sorts of auto-includes (i.e. cards which legitimately go in pretty much any deck regardless of colours) are healthy for the format.

I should point out, though, that I'm not in favour of a minimalist banlist- there are at least 3-4 other cards I would happily ban in a heartbeat (in addition to Ring and Crypt) that the RC don't seem to consider, so take this as you like.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-11 9:05 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-23 12:59 pm
Age: Wyvern
The first game I played with Atraxa, I got her out on turn 2 thanks to Sol Ring, but that was before I altered the deck.
As some sort of "rebellion", I don't have Sol Ring in any of my decks. However, if I get my hands on an Alpha or Beta Sol Ring, it's getting jammed!


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-11 1:29 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Mar-31 8:25 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Zealand
cryogen wrote:
So by doing a quick scroll through the last two pages of the is forum I don't see anyone really bringing up fast mana (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and to a lesser extent others like Grim Monolith and the various legal Moxen). However, since it is a recurring discussion on MTGS I would like to get some outside opinions from this forum on the matter as well.

It is hard to disagree that one of these early game can potentially lead to an explosive start which quickly ends that game or provides an insurmountable advantage. Of course, there are also games where this isn't the case. What are your thoughts and experiences?

My own thread was just at the top of the 3rd page, so a bit dated, but basically my opinion is the same:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17988

Fast mana is no fun, but I am slightly biased because I play online, and everyone owns a Sol Ring and a Mana Crypt for every deck they own. You see them more often then not.

They aren't broken, but I don't think they make the format fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-11 3:23 pm 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Kall3m0n wrote:
The first game I played with Atraxa, I got her out on turn 2 thanks to Sol Ring, but that was before I altered the deck.
As some sort of "rebellion", I don't have Sol Ring in any of my decks. However, if I get my hands on an Alpha or Beta Sol Ring, it's getting jammed!


How did a Sol Ring help you do that?

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-12 12:12 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I think Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are net negatives for the format. I think all the legal Moxen are fine. Burgeoning and Manabond are both very easy to abuse, but only tend to really break things if you build a deck intended to really break things in general, the regulation of which is outside the function of the ban list.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-12 12:58 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
Kall3m0n wrote:
The first game I played with Atraxa, I got her out on turn 2 thanks to Sol Ring, but that was before I altered the deck.
As some sort of "rebellion", I don't have Sol Ring in any of my decks. However, if I get my hands on an Alpha or Beta Sol Ring, it's getting jammed!


How did a Sol Ring help you do that?

I'm guessing something like
Turn 1: Swamp, Sol Ring, Simic Signet
Turn 2: Plains, Atraxa

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-12 7:08 am 
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Joined: 2007-Mar-28 12:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Omaha
Fast mana almost seems intrinsic to EDH. (And I love playing without it, because top-decking better than your opponents is a great way to win long games. Killing the guy who drew Sol Ring and Kodama's Reach on turns 10 and 11 is always satisfying.)

My group plays anything from green decks that ramp on every CMC and artifact mana-heavy lists that try to get turn 5 Kozileks ('dump all of your fast mana and draw a new grip' is a pretty viable strategy) to decks with only threats that win on card quality when the fast decks are drawing dead mana. Neither is more viable than the other. The diversity is pretty nice, as far as I'm concerned.

And calmly playing your fifth land and casting Cataclysmic Gearhulk when an opponent has six mana rocks is golden.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-12 7:46 am 
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Joined: 2009-Apr-16 9:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Regina, SK
While I'll admit that Sol Ring is in every one of my decks, I don't think it (or Mana Crypt) is too powerful. A strong early game advantage is more often than not balanced out by table politics. Granted, the guy that ramps hard for the first few turns stands a better chance of ultimately winning, but it's certainly not critical that Sol Ring is your start. Nonartifact ramp, though slower, usually ends up being better in the long game after an artifact wipe hits the table.

So it's not too powerful. Is it unfun? I don't really think so. It doesn't really add anything to the game, but it doesn't really take anything away either. Yes, it's an auto-include, and yes, that's a downside, but it's often taking the place of a land (the actual auto-include), so it's not really decreasing diversity. At the end of the day, I'm neutral on Sol Ring as a card, which to me means that it shouldn't be banned.


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 Post subject: Re: Fast Mana
AgePosted: 2016-Dec-12 7:59 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Played last Friday night, and one game you could say that Sol Ring handed one player the game (T1 Sol ring into T2 Explosive Vegetation is pretty significant) -- but then, you could also say that another player not drawing a second plains or mana ramp for his wrath's in hand also handed that other player the game.

We all agreed that Sol Ring was what gave player 1 the boost in that game, and it would have been a very different game if he didn't have it.

Couldn't tell you if it would have been a better game or not. But almost certainly it would have been a longer game.


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