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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-28 10:54 pm 
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Nobody ever wants to be the guy who loses his board position to allow other players to deal with the Capsize, but the longer we let the Capsize guy have it the less likely it becomes that we can break out. In one game Capsize guy targeted one of my creatures then redirected my Swords to Plowshares and countered my Beast Within on my own creature just to keep the Capsize. Yet Capsize doesn't feel ban-worthy to me (just like Rift), because when used normally it can certainly be dealt with, while when it's played with tons of mana generation Capsize isn't really the problem (the player playing it is).

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-28 11:11 pm 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Well CR has been a source of aggravation for me since it first came out.

I actually made a habit of always asking people why they thought it necessary to play it when it hits the table, just to keep the discussion alive. Most popular answers:

1. to screw over X (or any other player)
2. to clear the board for an alpha strike
3. to keep me alive, X could kill me if he attacks me
4. because I can't think of another way to solve a problematic situation on the board (usually this is about a Sigarda enchantress voltron deck or a Krenko combo deck)

Are these valid reasons to play it? That's opinion offcourse, personally I think not. It's onesided, and it hits "innocent" bystanders.

Also, I think the arguement that you shouldn't overcommit and should play plenty of things with a convenient ETB ability is very poor. For some decks this will work, but I have several decks who better just scoop to CR. If you hit me with it in my mono red Zadra deck, I take all my permanents back, including mana rocks, so I'll have anywhere between 10-25 cards in hand when it's my turn.

Then i get to choose to play something usefull to some what defend myself, or to play mana rocks and hope that miraculously nobody notices that I'm a sitting duck and try to survive another round.

Either way, I'm chucking excess cards, and I'm left to the mercy of the CR player. Tha fact that this situation wasn't carefully planned and crafting through ingenious scheming and creatively seeking out clever interactions, but achieved by paying 6b EOT, doesn't ease my pain either...


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 12:06 am 
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pi wrote:
Nobody ever wants to be the guy who loses his board position to allow other players to deal with the Capsize, but the longer we let the Capsize guy have it the less likely it becomes that we can break out. In one game Capsize guy targeted one of my creatures then redirected my Swords to Plowshares and countered my Beast Within on my own creature just to keep the Capsize. Yet Capsize doesn't feel ban-worthy to me (just like Rift), because when used normally it can certainly be dealt with, while when it's played with tons of mana generation Capsize isn't really the problem (the player playing it is).


I don't think it should be banned either, just pointing out that Cyc is a modal Disperse to Capsize's modal Boomerang- and one of those is far more oppressive than the other (when people discuss feeling Rift is ban-worthy.) It's sortof how Prophet of Kruphix got the axe (and deservedly so) after years of trying to let it air out- but many players still feel like Leyline of Anticipation and Seedborn Muse are banworthy levels of oppressive. Asking for a Cyc ban would be like asking for a Muse or Leyline ban before a Prophet ban.

My main point of umbrage with Rift belly-aching is that it's often symptomatic of other issues in how someone builds- and the plays complained about (EoT rifts) are often some of the poorest uses of the card. If a player is recurring Rift, most colors get grave-scalpels/exile tools. If you know more players are packing rift, then you can just fatten up on easy to play sorceries with legs like Coiling Oracle- or hasting fatties like Thundermaw Hellkite. But rift never really has a good lock combo, and often just hoses players who haven't built their decks knowing how to utilize their win conditions. IE, they play a bunch of dudes and assume that it will be good enough- which is the opposite of how deckbuilding in EDH works.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 1:04 am 
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Nigerian Prince wrote:
Most popular answers:

1. to screw over X (or any other player)


I always play to win, I find it hard to imagine that your most common answer is one that doesn't seem to match with trying to win. If someone is going to specifically play cards to screw other players then I would wonder if that person's way of approaching EDH isn't the problem? I mean, if you want to screw over another player there are many, many cards to do so with. Using Rift is then just a symptom. Basically this goes directly against the “Create games that everyone will love to remember, not the ones you'd like to forget.” philosophy of the format, you may want to ask those players how this fits with the philosophy in their view.

Nigerian Prince wrote:
2. to clear the board for an alpha strike


How is this player getting to the point where they are capable of alpha striking every other player provided their defenses get taken out? Why do you trust your defenses to hold this player off when you can see they have blue in their deck? This seems like an obvious situation where mass removal should really have been played by someone long ago. In any case, when this happens you now know that this player has the capability to suddenly get through your defenses, so next time you don't let him build up this far. At least the game should end soon after this play and you should be ready to start another in which you can apply this new found knowledge.

Nigerian Prince wrote:
3. to keep me alive, X could kill me if he attacks me


Can you really blame someone for wanting to stay in the game? It's bound to be fun for them to still keep a chance at winning? I assume this includes the situation where they have waited for the attack to be declared as well.

I see it played this way most of the time, particularly when the attack has been declared.

Nigerian Prince wrote:
4. because I can't think of another way to solve a problematic situation on the board (usually this is about a Sigarda enchantress voltron deck or a Krenko combo deck)


Are you saying they should not deal with problematic situations on the board? If they know their deck is weak to such situations then of course they are going to play cards that help them against it.

I can certainly understand some aggravation when it comes to the card: it will indeed hit innocent bystanders, but in that sense it's like every other mass removal effect. Mass removal is so prevalent in Magic that you really should have some way to deal with it or recover from it. If you prefer to build decks that ignore it you should really be looking for a meta where it is house banned or infrequently played for other reasons. Maybe you shouldn't be playing as many mana rocks as you do, perhaps you should lower your curve, perhaps Zadra just isn't strong enough to make work. It sounds a bit like you would expect your decks to be viable in your meta the way you currently build them and then get aggravated when cards get played that you didn't prepare for, expecting those cards to be removed from the meta rather than adjusting your decks to deal with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 4:50 am 
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Nigerian Prince wrote:
Also, I think the arguement that you shouldn't overcommit and should play plenty of things with a convenient ETB ability is very poor. For some decks this will work, but I have several decks who better just scoop to CR.

"You shouldn't overcommit" is NOT a poor argument, because it's not like Cyclonic Rift is the only mass removal playable in EDH. There's loads of it, and if you overcommit into it its your own damn fault. If you better just scoop because someone cast rift, then you probably enter scoop phase to Wrath of God, Austere Command, Akroma's Vengeance, Oblivion Stone, In Garruk's Wake, Plague Wind, Living Death, Decree of Pain, Day of Judgment, Blasphemous Act, Planar Cleansing, and so on. That's a lot of cards that see tons of EDH play.

Running ETB creatures is something people do all the time anyways, because value. It's not so much "you should run ETB creatures to get value out of opposing rifts" as it is "when your opponent rifts, they're taking a risk by giving all their opponents all their ETB effects back".

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 5:49 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
Also, I think the arguement that you shouldn't overcommit and should play plenty of things with a convenient ETB ability is very poor. For some decks this will work, but I have several decks who better just scoop to CR.

"You shouldn't overcommit" is NOT a poor argument, because it's not like Cyclonic Rift is the only mass removal playable in EDH. There's loads of it, and if you overcommit into it its your own damn fault. If you better just scoop because someone cast rift, then you probably enter scoop phase to Wrath of God, Austere Command, Akroma's Vengeance, Oblivion Stone, In Garruk's Wake, Plague Wind, Living Death, Decree of Pain, Day of Judgment, Blasphemous Act, Planar Cleansing, and so on. That's a lot of cards that see tons of EDH play.

Running ETB creatures is something people do all the time anyways, because value. It's not so much "you should run ETB creatures to get value out of opposing rifts" as it is "when your opponent rifts, they're taking a risk by giving all their opponents all their ETB effects back".


Your above statement simply isn't fair, as many of the sweepers you mentioned are destroy effects. Rift gets around player hexproof/shroud, gets around indestructible, regenerate, everything that's meant to keep your permanents on the board vs your opponents removal. Rift is an instant speed, one sided reset button that invalidates the game for everyone but the person running it.

You can't say "don't overcommit" because games can last 4 turns, they can last 20, so it's hard to say what is over committing when you're trying to stay in the game.

Dealing with Rift falls into 4 categories:
1. Run blue (barring some very selective options like Pyroblast or gutteral response) and counter it
2. Run blue or red and copy it to have the reset be even
3. Get wrecked, and hope/pray you can recover before the Rift player gets too much of an advantage.
4. Run specific hate cards to cherry pick a card out of a hand or library falls mostly into black or blue.

That blue is the answer for 3 of the 4 potential options, it's not a simple enough solution, nor a fair expectation to say "adapt" or "run blue", or "pack more removal/don't overcommit to the board"


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 6:40 am 
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crimsonwings3689 wrote:
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
Also, I think the arguement that you shouldn't overcommit and should play plenty of things with a convenient ETB ability is very poor. For some decks this will work, but I have several decks who better just scoop to CR.

"You shouldn't overcommit" is NOT a poor argument, because it's not like Cyclonic Rift is the only mass removal playable in EDH. There's loads of it, and if you overcommit into it its your own damn fault. If you better just scoop because someone cast rift, then you probably enter scoop phase to Wrath of God, Austere Command, Akroma's Vengeance, Oblivion Stone, In Garruk's Wake, Plague Wind, Living Death, Decree of Pain, Day of Judgment, Blasphemous Act, Planar Cleansing, and so on. That's a lot of cards that see tons of EDH play.

Running ETB creatures is something people do all the time anyways, because value. It's not so much "you should run ETB creatures to get value out of opposing rifts" as it is "when your opponent rifts, they're taking a risk by giving all their opponents all their ETB effects back".


Your above statement simply isn't fair, as many of the sweepers you mentioned are destroy effects. Rift gets around player hexproof/shroud, gets around indestructible, regenerate, everything that's meant to keep your permanents on the board vs your opponents removal. Rift is an instant speed, one sided reset button that invalidates the game for everyone but the person running it.

You can't say "don't overcommit" because games can last 4 turns, they can last 20, so it's hard to say what is over committing when you're trying to stay in the game.

Dealing with Rift falls into 4 categories:
1. Run blue (barring some very selective options like Pyroblast or gutteral response) and counter it
2. Run blue or red and copy it to have the reset be even
3. Get wrecked, and hope/pray you can recover before the Rift player gets too much of an advantage.
4. Run specific hate cards to cherry pick a card out of a hand or library falls mostly into black or blue.

That blue is the answer for 3 of the 4 potential options, it's not a simple enough solution, nor a fair expectation to say "adapt" or "run blue", or "pack more removal/don't overcommit to the board"


Here are some more ways to deal with Rift.

1. Be mindful about the number of prohibitively costed mana rocks you play. Gilded Lotus, Thran Dynamo, and Dreamstone Hedron are sweet, but replaying them is sortof brutal.

2. Think about the number of permanents you rely on. If you're playing stax, or a 40 creature deck, you're soft to bounce-wipes. Welcome to MtG. You really should be playing around all flavors of mass wipe in the first place.

3. Make it difficult for your opponent to position a Cyc+Win turn. This really isn't hard. If you blow your Reclamation Sages and Acidic Slimes on mana rocks- you've put yourself in a position where your opponent just has to protect their life enough to start warming up the Ashnod's Altar.

4. Count your opponent's number of open land and cards in hand. Much like counterspells, Rifts can be preempted with pressure. It's the same as playing against countermagic- you should be doing it anyways.

5. Play more than 5 Instants and Sorceries. Weird thing about EDH, is everyone gets so giddy about renewable resources, but you can turn a rift around by just not making EoT Rift the blowout play.

6. Play lands that do things. Really novel concept, I'm sure.

7. If your EDH deck can't take 3+ rifts, you either have to accept that your deck is poorly constructed, or that your archetype (stax, voltron, greedy flicker) just takes it hard. No deck handles all forms of disruption well.

8. Rift enables recursion if they try to force discarding. Many EDH decks outright try to mill themselves for recursion setup. If your deck with recursion and lots of flashback has Reliquary Tower, you might not have thought your choices through.

9. Thank the sun that they aren't chain-firing Capsize.

10. Accept that the game does need to end at some point

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 9:29 am 

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Im really curious as to these situations where rift makes your deck fold. I mean seriously what deck are you playing that a cyclonic rift just ends your game plan?

EoT Rift into combo win is a bullshit argument. I have found most people who are anti-combo dont understand how it works. You dont just leave ashnod's altar in play because it's "just a sac outlet" and the player doesn't have many creatures in play. If your opponents play combo, learn what the signs are, because there are always signs that the player is preparing to end the game. That means you need to keep some removal up.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 11:36 am 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
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@Mr Degradation

I'll just add in comments under the text to reply to each point to make it easier to read.

"Here are some more ways to deal with Rift.

1. Be mindful about the number of prohibitively costed mana rocks you play. Gilded Lotus, Thran Dynamo, and Dreamstone Hedron are sweet, but replaying them is sortof brutal."
a. Very true, but then again, it's not necessarily about the mana rocks getting bounced as it is the nonland permanents. Obviously the rocks help you play your spells, but like I said, it doesn't matter what effort, how many turns, or anything else has gone into the game at that point, we have an instant speed,, asymmetrical board wipe in the game that doesn't care about anything.

"2. Think about the number of permanents you rely on. If you're playing stax, or a 40 creature deck, you're soft to bounce-wipes. Welcome to MtG. You really should be playing around all flavors of mass wipe in the first place."
a. Permanents make up 5 of 7 card types in this game with lands included... are you really suggesting to run a majority of instants and sorceries? There are certainly different ways to build a deck, but that doesn't mean 40 creatures; you can absolutely have a healthy balance of everything.

"3. Make it difficult for your opponent to position a Cyc+Win turn. This really isn't hard. If you blow your Reclamation Sages and Acidic Slimes on mana rocks- you've put yourself in a position where your opponent just has to protect their life enough to start warming up the Ashnod's Altar."
a. You say these things, but that doesn't always pan out. From time to time I can be guilty of underestimating the value of a piece on the board as much as the next person, but I'm also not necessarily in a position to do anything about it if I haven't drawn into my answers.

"4. Count your opponent's number of open land and cards in hand. Much like counterspells, Rifts can be preempted with pressure. It's the same as playing against countermagic- you should be doing it anyways."
a. This is absolutely true, but it doesn't account for a late game win-button that gets top decked or tutored for. Rift is too good at every point in the game when overloaded, and only gains in value the longer a game goes on. Unlike mass creature removal which is a dead card in hand for a while while the board it built back up, this is a universal reset switch that doesn't care about what nonland permanent is in play, because it gets rid of them all.

"5. Play more than 5 Instants and Sorceries. Weird thing about EDH, is everyone gets so giddy about renewable resources, but you can turn a rift around by just not making EoT Rift the blowout play."
a. I do run answers and removal in a variety of forms depending on the deck, doesn't make the Rift pill easier to swallow when I've made good calls and am faced with starting the game over minus the lands because I don't have an answer for Rift in deck (ex. blue)/hand

"6. Play lands that do things. Really novel concept, I'm sure."
a. You find me a land that counters a blue instant, and I will show you my check book and a blank check. The moment they print a land that tells blue to go screw itself is the day I buy a copy for every deck I own.

"7. If your EDH deck can't take 3+ rifts, you either have to accept that your deck is poorly constructed, or that your archetype (stax, voltron, greedy flicker) just takes it hard. No deck handles all forms of disruption well."

a. This... may be the most pompous thing I've ever heard on the forums, or anywhere regarding Rift. Seriously? You're saying that you should expect to "take" 3 C. Rifts in a single game and expect to come back, let alone want to continue playing? I would scoop on principal in that 3rd casting, because I'm playing to have fun, and yes, to win when able... not to watch someone try to be the fun police while they prevent others from actually playing while they amass an insurmountable advantage and blow their load on the table. You're basically saying, "if your deck is mostly permanents, you're going to have a bad time with Rift." With most card types in the game being permanents, you're saying that most decks are going to have an issue handling this.
That exact instance you just described is one of the very reasons why cards are banned, for creating negative experiences in games one would rather forget versus ones they fondly remember.

"8. Rift enables recursion if they try to force discarding. Many EDH decks outright try to mill themselves for recursion setup. If your deck with recursion and lots of flashback has Reliquary Tower, you might not have thought your choices through."

a. Granted, but those that don't like losing their hand or resources, let alone ones' they've successfully had resolve, don't like being forced to discard valuable cards.

"9. Thank the sun that they aren't chain-firing Capsize."
a. I've seen this happen, and honestly, it's the kind of set up that requires the kind of mana for someone to go - "Rift at EOT, my turn, palinchron, deadeye, dump my deck/capsize forever"
Meanwhile, maybe something that blue can't normally deal with en mass could have stopped the BS, were it still on the field...

"10. Accept that the game does need to end at some point."
a. It absolutely does, but not necessarily in the same way, and Rift can be used to set up wins, or stall/drag the game out just as easily because "it was value" or "I didn't want to discard it".

I have 12 decks, and they're all very different. It's not like I'm rehashing the same played out archetypes or commanders. Maybe I have answers on board for someone like Yidris, or Heidar/bounce everything, be they blockers or whatever. That a single spell can enable someone to invalidate everything I've done to the point where my set up, protection, pieces are made irrelevant is my problem. there isn't a spell that's it's equal in the entire game, because it so completely screws over everyone but the caster, and at intant speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 12:38 pm 
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crimsonwings3689 wrote:
Sid the Chicken wrote:
"You shouldn't overcommit" is NOT a poor argument, because it's not like Cyclonic Rift is the only mass removal playable in EDH. There's loads of it, and if you overcommit into it its your own damn fault. If you better just scoop because someone cast rift, then you probably enter scoop phase to Wrath of God, Austere Command, Akroma's Vengeance, Oblivion Stone, In Garruk's Wake, Plague Wind, Living Death, Decree of Pain, Day of Judgment, Blasphemous Act, Planar Cleansing, and so on. That's a lot of cards that see tons of EDH play.


Your above statement simply isn't fair, as many of the sweepers you mentioned are destroy effects. Rift gets around player hexproof/shroud, gets around indestructible, regenerate, everything that's meant to keep your permanents on the board vs your opponents removal. Rift is an instant speed, one sided reset button that invalidates the game for everyone but the person running it.

Uhhh... let's look at your counter argument for a moment (I mostly wanted to stay out of it, but this is just ridiculous):
* Hexproof/shroud: 0 cards mentioned care if your creatures have either ability.
* Indestructible: Ok, that helps against all but 1 listed card.
* Regenerate: ... first... regenerate? Is that really all that prominent in your meta? second - only a few, and you still need to have the mana up (or you are likely sac'ing something to trigger the regen.)

Yes, it does get around your typical "keep this creature on the board" abilities -- but, every card has an answer. Hexproof/shroud? Global bounce or global destruction *is* the answer to that kind of ability.

But your argument seems more of a "I don't like how that card makes me feel, let me try to justify that" style of argument. For the record - it's kind of a crappy argument. Just state that you don't like how it feels on the other end of it -- it's a much stronger argument (as it isn't one that is objectively proven to be weak.)


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 3:32 pm 
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crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. Very true, but then again, it's not necessarily about the mana rocks getting bounced as it is the nonland permanents. Obviously the rocks help you play your spells, but like I said, it doesn't matter what effort, how many turns, or anything else has gone into the game at that point, we have an instant speed,, asymmetrical board wipe in the game that doesn't care about anything.


The instant speed is actually kind of irrelevant, the best time to cast an overloaded Rift is often during your own turn, after your draw step with ways to back it up. Ontop of that, Rift doesn't interact with the stack without text on other cards. EoT Overloaded Rift is one of the most common cases of Fancy Play Syndrome at work because all it does is usually make one player load up their graveyard and reevaluate their hand.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. Permanents make up 5 of 7 card types in this game with lands included... are you really suggesting to run a majority of instants and sorceries? There are certainly different ways to build a deck, but that doesn't mean 40 creatures; you can absolutely have a healthy balance of everything.


Funny thing about this logic is that 1/7 of 100 is 14.3~ Which is an awful number of Lands, Artifacts, Enchantments and Planeswalkers to play- but a fine number for Creatures, Instants, or Sorceries. This is simply because Creatures have changed to behave like Sorceries with bodies attached to them, and given a function of time, serve to create a terminal advantage. Instants and Sorceries are fast plays, they are glue for everything else that matters, and frequently players make the mistake of cutting them for flashier permanents (mostly slow plays) that either have no immediate effect on the game, or so little relative to their cost that it's baffling. Decks where Artifacts or Enchantments matter want more than 14, but decks where they are supportive tend to want significantly fewer- and while it has been done, 14+ Planeswalkers for no reason have a habit of making a deck sluggish and low impact.

The hyperbole here is to illustrate that you've wildly misconstrued my point. Decks with excessive permanent counts are soft to every type of wipe.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. You say these things, but that doesn't always pan out. From time to time I can be guilty of underestimating the value of a piece on the board as much as the next person, but I'm also not necessarily in a position to do anything about it if I haven't drawn into my answers.


Blame variance? If you had no way to stop it, you were just dead to any asymmetrical source of mass advantage in the game- which makes it moot.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. This is absolutely true, but it doesn't account for a late game win-button that gets top decked or tutored for. Rift is too good at every point in the game when overloaded, and only gains in value the longer a game goes on. Unlike mass creature removal which is a dead card in hand for a while while the board it built back up, this is a universal reset switch that doesn't care about what nonland permanent is in play, because it gets rid of them all.


The opportunity cost of developing a sufficient amount of threat in a turn and then following it up with Rift during someone else's turn is massive. How much mana do you have to produce, how many things about what other players are doing do you have to account for? What happens if they respond with their own removal?

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. I do run answers and removal in a variety of forms depending on the deck, doesn't make the Rift pill easier to swallow when I've made good calls and am faced with starting the game over minus the lands because I don't have an answer for Rift in deck (ex. blue)/hand


Having lands is pretty far from having to start over. Like, Worldslayer effects have been part of Magic longer than EDH- and if you consider them symmetrical, then you might not have played very much against them.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. You find me a land that counters a blue instant, and I will show you my check book and a blank check. The moment they print a land that tells blue to go screw itself is the day I buy a copy for every deck I own.

Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Cavern of Souls, anything that produces mana for an instant.

The silliness here, is that what I was pointing out is the sheer number of utility lands like Kor Haven, Maze of Ith, Mystifying Maze, Glacial Chasm, Manlands etc. that have a habit of stopping or slowing down a threat after a rift long enough to make it reasonable to start putting things back onto your board.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. This... may be the most pompous thing I've ever heard on the forums, or anywhere regarding Rift. Seriously? You're saying that you should expect to "take" 3 C. Rifts in a single game and expect to come back, let alone want to continue playing? I would scoop on principal in that 3rd casting, because I'm playing to have fun, and yes, to win when able... not to watch someone try to be the fun police while they prevent others from actually playing while they amass an insurmountable advantage and blow their load on the table. You're basically saying, "if your deck is mostly permanents, you're going to have a bad time with Rift." With most card types in the game being permanents, you're saying that most decks are going to have an issue handling this.
That exact instance you just described is one of the very reasons why cards are banned, for creating negative experiences in games one would rather forget versus ones they fondly remember.


Let me explain it this way... Before 2012, every Blue EDH deck that I had the pleasure of playing with or against contained a copy of Capsize and a copy of Washout. Apparently, this wasn't a strange phenomenon. The less-cuddly versions of Blue decks would setup Mind Over Matter, and/or Isochron Scepter (among other means of copying/recurring) with multiple Boomerang variants (looking at you Hoodwink.) The Blue decks with teeth would jam Leyline of Anticipation (the hot new mess of the time) and Temporal Fissure. Mass bounce and mass tap is Blue's way of pivoting the game, but when Rift became the only mass bounce spell you needed, the game start getting far more cuddly- because Capsize, Washout and Temporal Fissure were often condensed into a single, tricky-to-recur package. Mind you, we're still talking about a format where Insurrection, Overwhelming Stampede, Obliterate, Armageddon and many other huge upset cards are just par for the course.

Banning Rift means we return to the Washout and Capsize days of "staple spell for any blue deck". Sorcery speed doesn't even matter, because we're jamming cards like Teferi and Grand Abolisher. Washout is far more mana efficient, and Capsize actually locks people out completely.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. Granted, but those that don't like losing their hand or resources, let alone ones' they've successfully had resolve, don't like being forced to discard valuable cards.


How many EDH decks effectively play spells that mill themselves for value?

https://edhrec.com/cards/faithless-looting

The answer may surprise you.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. I've seen this happen, and honestly, it's the kind of set up that requires the kind of mana for someone to go - "Rift at EOT, my turn, palinchron, deadeye, dump my deck/capsize forever"
Meanwhile, maybe something that blue can't normally deal with en mass could have stopped the BS, were it still on the field...


EDH decks get huge gobs of mana, if not infinite, sufficiently large to fire off on repeat. The primary difference is that spell doublers are awkward with rift, and recursion is usually clunky. Capsize setups don't stop with your nonland permanents, they gun for your mana sources, and are backed up with Evacuation, Washout and wipes in other colors. The guy firing off a rift and not immediately finishing the game or preventing lethal damage or an infinite combo so that he needs a Deadeye combo is massively misunderstanding the opportunity cost associated, and will probably get punished if anyone at the table knows what's up. The guy who's been Capsizing for 4-5 turns probably won't.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
a. It absolutely does, but not necessarily in the same way, and Rift can be used to set up wins, or stall/drag the game out just as easily because "it was value" or "I didn't want to discard it".


Should we also ban Ashnod's Altar, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Cathar's Crusade and Overwhelming Stampede? EDH decks are built with redundancies to push further ahead, and if someone is tutoring for Rifts every game to push their clunky win-conditions through, then they have built a semi-functional list that relies too hard on a single card. But just because a hypothetical Ghave deck always wins by dumping Cathar's Crusade and a hypothetical Sharuum deck always wins by dropping an Ashnod's Altar into play- doesn't mean that we should ban Maelstrom Pulse and Grave Pact because they facilitate any of that going through. If you can keep a Rift player from winning, the rift just slows down the game like any other form of disruption. That really isn't hard.

crimsonwings3689 wrote:
I have 12 decks, and they're all very different. It's not like I'm rehashing the same played out archetypes or commanders. Maybe I have answers on board for someone like Yidris, or Heidar/bounce everything, be they blockers or whatever. That a single spell can enable someone to invalidate everything I've done to the point where my set up, protection, pieces are made irrelevant is my problem. there isn't a spell that's it's equal in the entire game, because it so completely screws over everyone but the caster, and at intant speed.


That's cool and all- but if you have 12 decks that are all that soft to Rift, they might not do dissimilar things from one another. Also, some commanders are popular (or "played out") for pretty good reasons, understanding how and why those decks work has certainly helped me think ahead when I brew whatever lovely jank I feel like mashing.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 6:06 pm 

Joined: 2012-Jun-07 5:38 pm
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Carthain wrote:
Uhhh... let's look at your counter argument for a moment (I mostly wanted to stay out of it, but this is just ridiculous):
* Hexproof/shroud: 0 cards mentioned care if your creatures have either ability.
* Indestructible: Ok, that helps against all but 1 listed card.
* Regenerate: ... first... regenerate? Is that really all that prominent in your meta? second - only a few, and you still need to have the mana up (or you are likely sac'ing something to trigger the regen.)

Yes, it does get around your typical "keep this creature on the board" abilities -- but, every card has an answer. Hexproof/shroud? Global bounce or global destruction *is* the answer to that kind of ability.

But your argument seems more of a "I don't like how that card makes me feel, let me try to justify that" style of argument. For the record - it's kind of a crappy argument. Just state that you don't like how it feels on the other end of it -- it's a much stronger argument (as it isn't one that is objectively proven to be weak.)


The point I was trying to make is that the card gets around all forms of protection a player can muster on the board. Regardless of the sweeper, barring something like Rift (upheaval is banned for a reason), there are ways to inherently combat mass removal/bounce/exile... this is because at the very least, you have SOME permanents left on the board, potentially the majority of them as most sweepers hit 1 type. All sweepers but Rift (Vandalblast is asymmetrical, but hits 1 permanent type and at sorcery speed) so for 2 extra mana, you get an instant speed, bounce everything that isn't yours, what? because it's a rare? because it technically doesn't "destroy or exile"? That somehow justifies the mana cost for the effect?

Pretty terrible consolation prize there... it's like saying "Thanks for working hard to earn this thing/title/position, etc. but we're going to have to take it back now... we'll give you the effort/money back, but that time is gone."

Mr Degradation wrote:
The instant speed is actually kind of irrelevant, the best time to cast an overloaded Rift is often during your own turn, after your draw step with ways to back it up. Ontop of that, Rift doesn't interact with the stack without text on other cards. EoT Overloaded Rift is one of the most common cases of Fancy Play Syndrome at work because all it does is usually make one player load up their graveyard and reevaluate their hand.


I couldn't disagree with you more on this point, the card IMO is too versatile, in that it CAN and likely WILL be used to stave off death, or get a ton of value in being able to play/swing in unhindered the following turn. I argue that it's most likely to be played as an instant on another player's turn, because otherwise you are potentially open and you can't capitalize on the turn it can give you with all your mana/permanents available. You wouldn't play a Krosan Grip on your turn if you had mana up the turn before and planned on getting rid of the same permanent, unless you were somehow unable to do otherwise.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Funny thing about this logic is that 1/7 of 100 is 14.3~ Which is an awful number of Lands, Artifacts, Enchantments and Planeswalkers to play- but a fine number for Creatures, Instants, or Sorceries. This is simply because Creatures have changed to behave like Sorceries with bodies attached to them, and given a function of time, serve to create a terminal advantage. Instants and Sorceries are fast plays, they are glue for everything else that matters, and frequently players make the mistake of cutting them for flashier permanents (mostly slow plays) that either have no immediate effect on the game, or so little relative to their cost that it's baffling. Decks where Artifacts or Enchantments matter want more than 14, but decks where they are supportive tend to want significantly fewer- and while it has been done, 14+ Planeswalkers for no reason have a habit of making a deck sluggish and low impact.


I didn't mean a literal even split, but that you can run enough cards in a deck of varying types. By no means is it necessary to forgo thematic/flavorful or useful cards, simple because they're not instants or sorceries.

Mr Degradation wrote:
The hyperbole here is to illustrate that you've wildly misconstrued my point. Decks with excessive permanent counts are soft to every type of wipe.


Perhaps this is true, but the massive sweepers that hit multiple permanent types are always symmetrical, with the exception of Rift. The majority of sweepers hit a single permanent type, not the entire board of them minus the Rift player.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Blame variance? If you had no way to stop it, you were just dead to any asymmetrical source of mass advantage in the game- which makes it moot.


Again, Rift is the only card that does what it does. It's because it's so asymmetrical that it's too strong. Wrath of God, sure. Back to Nature, sucks, but at least it's even. Vandalblast, sucks, but at least I get to keep everything else. Rift doesn't play nice, or by the rules. Hell Evacuation costs 2 mana less, same timing and rarity, more intensive casting cost color wise, and it only bounces creatures... 2 extra mana does not justify all non lands that don't belong to you.

Mr Degradation wrote:
The opportunity cost of developing a sufficient amount of threat in a turn and then following it up with Rift during someone else's turn is massive. How much mana do you have to produce, how many things about what other players are doing do you have to account for? What happens if they respond with their own removal?


Short of a spell like Twincast, or a timely Rout in response to Rift, everyone else is screwed unless it's countered. Nothing else that an opposing player can do will come close to the advantage generated by a Rift resolving. Opportunity cost is one thing, but as I said before, the card invalidates the efforts of all other players, regardless of how aggressive or conservative you were with your plays.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Having lands is pretty far from having to start over. Like, Worldslayer effects have been part of Magic longer than EDH- and if you consider them symmetrical, then you might not have played very much against them.


Worldslayer needs a creature to use, costs 10 mana plus the creature's cost and the creature needs to get in for combat damage. You can see it coming. Rift you can't for the most part.
Sure, Avacyn, or Darksteel Plate/Forge + Mycosynth Lattice. There are plenty of cards that work well together that could make Worldslayer oppressive, but it's not something that the removal/protection against is limited to what is largely Blue.

Artifact removal is within every color but black
Creature removal is in every color technically
Instant speed prevention (not damage) is firmly in Blue, with Red and green getting random, super narrow anti-blue options. Black, white and Green for the most part get screwed.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Cavern of Souls, anything that produces mana for an instant.

The silliness here, is that what I was pointing out is the sheer number of utility lands like Kor Haven, Maze of Ith, Mystifying Maze, Glacial Chasm, Manlands etc. that have a habit of stopping or slowing down a threat after a rift long enough to make it reasonable to start putting things back onto your board.


None of those meet my original qualification to tell Blue to screw off (stopping their instant for example). And if the Rift player is going to run a different way to win instead of combat damage? those lands do nothing.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Let me explain it this way... Before 2012, every Blue EDH deck that I had the pleasure of playing with or against contained a copy of Capsize and a copy of Washout. Apparently, this wasn't a strange phenomenon. The less-cuddly versions of Blue decks would setup Mind Over Matter, and/or Isochron Scepter (among other means of copying/recurring) with multiple Boomerang variants (looking at you Hoodwink.) The Blue decks with teeth would jam Leyline of Anticipation (the hot new mess of the time) and Temporal Fissure. Mass bounce and mass tap is Blue's way of pivoting the game, but when Rift became the only mass bounce spell you needed, the game start getting far more cuddly- because Capsize, Washout and Temporal Fissure were often condensed into a single, tricky-to-recur package. Mind you, we're still talking about a format where Insurrection, Overwhelming Stampede, Obliterate, Armageddon and many other huge upset cards are just par for the course.


Your experience is likely not unique, but I also no not believe that that is a typical set up in today's playgroups. There are definitely unfun cards legal in the format, but the prevalence and ease of use of Rift makes it ubiquitous. Find a deck running blue that's been upgraded from stock and you'll likely find Rift being run in it. It's become a staple for blue, but it's very negative for the format because of the experience it creates. You won't find a person who plays that likes to see their efforts shot to hell by a single spell.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Banning Rift means we return to the Washout and Capsize days of "staple spell for any blue deck". Sorcery speed doesn't even matter, because we're jamming cards like Teferi and Grand Abolisher. Washout is far more mana efficient, and Capsize actually locks people out completely.


Multiple cards to assemble a doom laser is preferable to a primed nuke button on a card.

Mr Degradation wrote:
How many EDH decks effectively play spells that mill themselves for value?
https://edhrec.com/cards/faithless-looting
The answer may surprise you.


Not every deck will try to abuse the GY, and the abundance of GY hate in the format makes it a very risky strategy. I admit that I don't like losing access to my own resources, because I acquired them to play, not stare at in the GY. It's why the mill players always die first.

Mr Degradation wrote:
EDH decks get huge gobs of mana, if not infinite, sufficiently large to fire off on repeat. The primary difference is that spell doublers are awkward with rift, and recursion is usually clunky. Capsize setups don't stop with your nonland permanents, they gun for your mana sources, and are backed up with Evacuation, Washout and wipes in other colors. The guy firing off a rift and not immediately finishing the game or preventing lethal damage or an infinite combo so that he needs a Deadeye combo is massively misunderstanding the opportunity cost associated, and will probably get punished if anyone at the table knows what's up. The guy who's been Capsizing for 4-5 turns probably won't.


Again this goes down to the doom laser vs nuke comparisson. Capsize is a pretty significant investment to get back, which means there's a mana rock or 2 involved or an engine to let the player abuse it. More pieces means more chances to stop the combo. Rift is a 1 card nuke.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Should we also ban Ashnod's Altar, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Cathar's Crusade and Overwhelming Stampede? EDH decks are built with redundancies to push further ahead, and if someone is tutoring for Rifts every game to push their clunky win-conditions through, then they have built a semi-functional list that relies too hard on a single card. But just because a hypothetical Ghave deck always wins by dumping Cathar's Crusade and a hypothetical Sharuum deck always wins by dropping an Ashnod's Altar into play- doesn't mean that we should ban Maelstrom Pulse and Grave Pact because they facilitate any of that going through. If you can keep a Rift player from winning, the rift just slows down the game like any other form of disruption. That really isn't hard.


I would argue that the ease with which someone can throw Rift into a deck is akin to cards like Primeval Titan. It makes the deck instantly better by virtue of what it can do for the rest of the deck, and the opposing players wish they had it out and will try to copy/counter it if possible. All because of the sheer advantage it generates for the player and disadvantage it generates for opponents, whether directly or indirectly.

You also argued that a deck should be able to stand up against 3 or more Rifts in a single game, which is absurd. Games do have to end, but when a game can be dragged out to such lengths as you described, those don't sound like enjoyable games worthy of pleasant memories.

Mr Degradation wrote:
That's cool and all- but if you have 12 decks that are all that soft to Rift, they might not do dissimilar things from one another. Also, some commanders are popular (or "played out") for pretty good reasons, understanding how and why those decks work has certainly helped me think ahead when I brew whatever lovely jank I feel like mashing.


Simply put, unless you're running a deck like Mizzix, you're going to have a fair amount of permanents. For you to suggest that a deck that is "soft" to Rift is somehow lacking isn't right. Rift does what no other card does, and it does too much for the values it was printed with.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-29 7:03 pm 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
pi wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
Most popular answers:

1. to screw over X (or any other player)


I always play to win, I find it hard to imagine that your most common answer is one that doesn't seem to match with trying to win. If someone is going to specifically play cards to screw other players then I would wonder if that person's way of approaching EDH isn't the problem? I mean, if you want to screw over another player there are many, many cards to do so with. Using Rift is then just a symptom. Basically this goes directly against the “Create games that everyone will love to remember, not the ones you'd like to forget.” philosophy of the format, you may want to ask those players how this fits with the philosophy in their view.


I admit, not a lot of philosophors around the table here. It's kind of a group dynamic here (and I hear that a lot of groups have this) that the high and educated values of gentlemanship are thrown overboard after a couple of games and are replaced by feelings of spite and vengeance :) Doesn't make the games any less fun and memorable, though.

pi wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
2. to clear the board for an alpha strike


How is this player getting to the point where they are capable of alpha striking every other player provided their defenses get taken out? Why do you trust your defenses to hold this player off when you can see they have blue in their deck? This seems like an obvious situation where mass removal should really have been played by someone long ago. In any case, when this happens you now know that this player has the capability to suddenly get through your defenses, so next time you don't let him build up this far. At least the game should end soon after this play and you should be ready to start another in which you can apply this new found knowledge.


Well, if you have 15 mana available and your opponents have no board, you don't really need that much of a board position to get your commander through for 21 or to pump your creatures enough to shoot some one out of the game. The CR player doesn't end the game with the pre-CR board position, but he sure can after untapping with empty boards across the table.

pi wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
3. to keep me alive, X could kill me if he attacks me


Can you really blame someone for wanting to stay in the game? It's bound to be fun for them to still keep a chance at winning? I assume this includes the situation where they have waited for the attack to be declared as well.

I see it played this way most of the time, particularly when the attack has been declared.


Offcourse you can't blame some one for stayin' alive, but there are lots of less 'nuke the whole table' options. Aetherize - type cards, Fog effects, spot removal, damage redirection, ...

pi wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
4. because I can't think of another way to solve a problematic situation on the board (usually this is about a Sigarda enchantress voltron deck or a Krenko combo deck)


Are you saying they should not deal with problematic situations on the board? If they know their deck is weak to such situations then of course they are going to play cards that help them against it.

I can certainly understand some aggravation when it comes to the card: it will indeed hit innocent bystanders, but in that sense it's like every other mass removal effect. Mass removal is so prevalent in Magic that you really should have some way to deal with it or recover from it. If you prefer to build decks that ignore it you should really be looking for a meta where it is house banned or infrequently played for other reasons. Maybe you shouldn't be playing as many mana rocks as you do, perhaps you should lower your curve, perhaps Zadra just isn't strong enough to make work. It sounds a bit like you would expect your decks to be viable in your meta the way you currently build them and then get aggravated when cards get played that you didn't prepare for, expecting those cards to be removed from the meta rather than adjusting your decks to deal with them.


This arguement keeps coming back... CR isn't "just another piece of mass removal", and can't be compared with something like a Wrath of God. Its one-sided and instant speed and hits multiple types of permanents, name any one card that does what CR does.

My Zadra deck scoops to CR, I know it's because of the way the deck is built, and I accept that as an inherent weakness to the deck. Some games I just can't recover quick enough, I lose to repeated mass bounce/removal, and that's fine, i don't need to win to enjoy a game.

I guess I could keep stuff at hand to recover from a CR, but that would mean that I have to hold manarocks, creatures, enchantments and maybe a PW in addition to the usual instant and sorcerie answers you keep for the right moment. Better make sure I have a Reliquary Tower all the freaking time, and God forbid I would play spells, gotta keep my board lousy so CR-players aren't invited to bounce it all.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-30 4:14 am 
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crimsonwings3689 wrote:
The point I was trying to make is that the card gets around all forms of protection a player can muster on the board.

So... look for other ways to protect your board. I mean... protecting your board from everything should be hard!

I've not heard of "answers" proposed such as: "If in white, try Ghostway and any variants that flicker and return at EOT." or "if in black, try to be able to react with sac effects & gravepact effects to hurt the rift player's board." These are things that are out of the box.

Also - you're complaining about the power level of the card. Very few cards are banned on power level alone (it's usually power level after Commander specific rules have been applied.) So, if you want it banned, you need something other than "Look how powerful it is!" because it doesn't just win games on its own; and that's kind of a summary of what I feel of your arguments.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people play Psyclonic Rift?
AgePosted: 2017-Mar-30 4:29 am 
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I'm a firm believer in the "pressure it out" strategy. I attack into Pernicious Deeds, Oblivion Stones, and untapped blue mana alike. I've begun to play a lot of smaller, more efficient creatures, just to pressure the big sweepers to be played for defensive purposes instead of value purposes.

Another way to make the rift worse is to play good mass removal yourself. If you break all of the things, the Rift won't bounce your stuff. Wave of Vitriol, say, breaks all of their cute combo pieces and value engines. Wrath of God leaves them with no critters to attack the post-Rift empty field.

Aside:

Losing to Cyclonic Rift is essentially the same as losing to Insurrection or Craterhoof Behemoth. (Of note, Cyclonic Rift is REALLY good against those two...)

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