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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 3:51 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
Sol Ring gets discussed occasionally, but there's not really a lot of new arguments raised.

From our perspective, it;'s not a problematic card in a casual, multiplayer environment (which is what the RC seeks to foster). If you remove either of those qualifiers, it's a horrible card.

Clarification: do you guys discuss it occasionally, or do you mean that it gets discussed on the forums occasionally (which I know it does).


Both - it doesn't come up much in a "hey, we should talk about banning this" (since, as noted, there's not a lot of new perspectives there), but it gets mentioned in "what cards have come up recently" discussions.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 4:24 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
I don't have the data, and frankly I doubt many people do, including the RC, about how many games are won with a Sol Ring on the starting hand (although I am starting to collect some data on cards that players often complain about and see how often they win games, and Sol Ring is one of them). So I can't say it should be banned based on power level.

However, I would like to see it banned based on ubiquity. Just look at the data collected on EDHREC: https://edhrec.com/cards/?q=ring-on-it. The card is present in 75% of ALL the decks analyzed by that website. That's 2.5 times more common than the second most frequent card, Lightning Greaves. In a game with 10.000+ cards available, that's just ridiculous. And I don't think this data surprises anyone. I mean, it's a one mana colorless artifact that gives you two additional mana every turn. It is way above the curve by today's standards, puts you significantly ahead of everyone else at the table, and gives you something every decks wants: mana. Other than ethical or moral reasons, there is an incredibly low cost to putting a Ring on a Commander deck. You might as well call the format the "Sol Commander" and post on the rules page that decks have one commander, one Sol Ring and 98 other cards.

And that's what I hate about the card. It's cutting a slot in everyone's deck that could be dedicated to more awesome things. And, as it already has been mentioned by other people in this thread, it does occasionally ruin games that could otherwise have been more interesting. In fact, that was the primary reason I stopped running the card in my decks. I felt horrible during one game where I went T1 Sol Ring T2 Explosive Vegetation T3 Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund -> kill the table three attacks at a time.

I also agree with cryogen that the slippery slope argument holds no strength in the banning of Sol Ring and/or fast mana. The other mana rocks have real costs associated with them (Mana Crypt deals you damage, Mana Vault is a ritual more often than not), but Sol Ring is good at every stage of the game, and completely busted in the first three turns of the game.

I would like to end by asking this to everyone who cares. Like I said at the beginning, I don't know if the card is powerful enough to deserve the banhammer. But how many of you would miss Sol Ring if it was banned? And if so, why? What if Sol Ring had never been printed in the first place, would you think the format needed a card similar to it?

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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 4:37 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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cryogen wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
Sol Ring gets discussed occasionally, but there's not really a lot of new arguments raised.

From our perspective, it;'s not a problematic card in a casual, multiplayer environment (which is what the RC seeks to foster). If you remove either of those qualifiers, it's a horrible card.

Clarification: do you guys discuss it occasionally, or do you mean that it gets discussed on the forums occasionally (which I know it does).


Within the RC, most of the discussion of Sol Ring is that it's getting discussed elsewhere again. As Toby said, there are no new arguments, so it rarely rates in-meeting conversation. Where you stand on Sol Ring depends on where you sit on the casual/competitive continuum.

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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 4:44 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sheldon wrote:
cryogen wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
Sol Ring gets discussed occasionally, but there's not really a lot of new arguments raised.

From our perspective, it;'s not a problematic card in a casual, multiplayer environment (which is what the RC seeks to foster). If you remove either of those qualifiers, it's a horrible card.

Clarification: do you guys discuss it occasionally, or do you mean that it gets discussed on the forums occasionally (which I know it does).


Within the RC, most of the discussion of Sol Ring is that it's getting discussed elsewhere again. As Toby said in another thread (I think), there are no new arguments, so it rarely rates in-meeting conversation. Where you stand on Sol Ring depends on where you sit on the casual/competitive continuum.

The thread on MTGS has remained dormant since last year, mostly because like you guys said, there's nothing new to discuss. It's not like Wizards will print a card and everyone's like 'ZOMG Sol Ring is teh borken nao!!!!'.

@ Maluko, I personally wouldn't miss Ring/Crypt if they were banned. They don't add anything interesting to the format imo, and the occasional explosive starts it can give do not create memorable games. If I had to remove it from my two decks it would get replaced with a land.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 4:52 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
Umm sure... if you want to use one single example as a counter to my overall general statement. Cuz, statistics and probabilities work that way, right?

The first part I was talking in generalities. The second part was during a specific example. That would be why I separated them. Also note the differences -- as you yourself highlighted, one we are talking about a T1 Sol Ring, while the other is a game where I say it isn't *right* at the start of the game.


You're misunderstanding me. I am suggesting your specific example is an example of a general trend- people can't, generally do enough damage in a 40 life format to threaten someone who drops an early Sol Ring into more ramp. I am therefore using that general trend as evidence against your general point about archenemy status- we're both speaking in generalities. No need to be passive-aggressive.

And for what it's worth, I don't think Sol Ring (or Crypt, but this is a Ring thread) is balanced any time before at least Turn 4. Dropping Titans on the play before other people can cast Solemn Simulacrum isn't exactly very balanced.

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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 8:42 am 
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Would anything happen to the format if Sol Ring and Mana Crypt were banned? If everyone is doing it, then everyone would lose it.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 9:45 am 

Joined: 2013-Mar-15 8:39 am
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Location: Canada, Ontario
I'd love to see sol ring banned and some of the other fast mana like mana crypt because they speed up the game too fast. I'm ok with signets and grim monolith since it's slower than sol ring (requires mana to untap or a combo piece) and or they cost more to play than they produce.

Often times the player with the sol ring in my group wins on turn 4 because either no one else was lucky enough for mana rocks or they were still mid ramp when the combo player went off.

Pretty sure the RC isn't allowed to ban sol ring since wizards reprints them in every commander set and it's a staple card. You know one of those over priced (money-wise) cards that are guaranteed to increase your chances for winning.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 10:56 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Well, Grim Monolith taps for more mana than it costs. And I we take Wizards and the RC at their word, they've the said the RC is in control of the format, so the only thing stopping them from banning Sol Ring is their desire not to.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 12:14 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Swmystery wrote:
You're misunderstanding me. I am suggesting your specific example is an example of a general trend- people can't, generally do enough damage in a 40 life format to threaten someone who drops an early Sol Ring into more ramp. I am therefore using that general trend as evidence against your general point about archenemy status

I did misunderstand you -- but I still don't see what you're proposing as being evident. My example was simply an example. I have other examples such as one where one person took a lead through the use of Sol Ring and it put him in an archenemy situation. And then us other players were able to contain him. Sure, we weren't threatening to kill him through damage -- but that doesn't mean we couldn't keep his other cards/effects under control. Later that game a second person took the lead, and all other players then were focused on them. Finally a third player took the lead, and eventually won.

That was one of the coolest games of EDH I've played. Without Sol Ring, it wouldn't have been as exciting as it wouldn't have been as big of a hill that was needed to be climbed to survive the initial onslaught.

So I still feel you were using a single example to argue against a generality -- which doesn't really work out. And, having experienced both situations -- I value the one where we fought against the early Sol Ring advantage and had a really memorable game from it more than I do than the games that were "ruined" by Sol Ring early and then we simply shuffle up again and play another game. When looking at those two situations -- the risk of the "ruined" game is definitely worth it for the memorable games that it can be the catalyst for.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 12:41 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Maluko wrote:
And that's what I hate about the card. It's cutting a slot in everyone's deck that could be dedicated to more awesome things.

Can you clarify? Not trying to bust you down, but i have *never* once understood this even a little. People say this, but what does it matter if the card is interesting or not? Should cards be banned for ubiquity if they are *not* broken? Command Tower is played in many, many decks and is not really more or less interesting than Sol Ring as a card. Should we have a problem with Swords to Plowshares?

Maluko wrote:
And, as it already has been mentioned by other people in this thread, it does occasionally ruin games that could otherwise have been more interesting. In fact, that was the primary reason I stopped running the card in my decks. I felt horrible during one game where I went T1 Sol Ring T2 Explosive Vegetation T3 Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund -> kill the table three attacks at a time.

Unless your leaving a ton of information out, the real problem is that no one interacted with you for 11 turns....

Maluko wrote:
But how many of you would miss Sol Ring if it was banned? And if so, why? What if Sol Ring had never been printed in the first place, would you think the format needed a card similar to it?

I would, because i love Vintage cards and it's power level. I haven't had a problem with Sol Ring destroying games except for very narrow circumstances (in competitive games, where 4cmc commanders coming out on turn 2 with a Lightning Greaves happens once every several dozen games). My experience, and i fully accept the fact other people have differing experiences, is that if you play Sol Ring on turn 1, you are targeted and if you *as a player are equal to your peers* are still only a 25% chance to win a given a game (in general, i play with all kinds of people and some win a lot and some can't win to save their lives).

No, the format does not *need* a Sol Ring and they wouldn't need to print one if it didn't already exist. But i mean, the format doesn't *need* specifically any card really. I don't think the format *needs* mana rocks. People just like them, they are cool and good. I want them.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 3:48 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
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Maluko wrote:

And that's what I hate about the card. It's cutting a slot in everyone's deck that could be dedicated to more awesome things.


realistically, if sol ring got banned tomorrow, that slot would go to the next best cheapest mana ramp card. That's kind of the issue, you can't just ban sol ring, if you're going to do it, vault, crypt, grim and basalt monolith should all get the boot along with it. They're all far too good at what they do to ban one of them and leave the rest. I honestly wouldn't mind though if the ramp power curve started with exploration, land tax, wayfarer's bauble and signets instead of "derp I'm on turn 7 on turn 2" levels of insanity.

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Maluko wrote:
We need a clear set of objective rules so that everybody always knows what to expect, and how to prepare for it. As of now, I think I spend more time arguing with players about the format than I do playing fun and interactive games of Commander. And last time I read, this was not the format's purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 4:24 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Gath Immortal wrote:
Maluko wrote:

And that's what I hate about the card. It's cutting a slot in everyone's deck that could be dedicated to more awesome things.


realistically, if sol ring got banned tomorrow, that slot would go to the next best cheapest mana ramp card. That's kind of the issue, you can't just ban sol ring, if you're going to do it, vault, crypt, grim and basalt monolith should all get the boot along with it.

Why on earth would that be true? No you don't have to ban the others if you ban the single best mana rock right now. Sol Ring is head and shoulders above those. If Crypt, Vault, and Grim were all $1 they still wouldn't be put into nearly as many decks.

Basalt Monolith really? Okay but if we ban Basalt Monolith then that slot is just going to go to the next best thing. If we Ban Basalty Bitches then we have to ban Worn Powerstone.

And Land Tax is not ramp.

Exploration seriously? It puts you at up to 4 mana on turn 2 and doesn't have the drawback of having that extra mana being a frail creature mana dork or having summoning sickness if you want to use that second mana t1. You are okay with that but not Basalt Monolith which is a very pricey ritual (that doesn't "ritual" until next turn, so really just an efficient battery) that also is pricey to untap? I mean Thran Dynamo is just a far better card outside of combo applications i think, and that doesn't seem to be on your radar. EDHREC has Basalt Monolith at a whopping 6% of all commander decks and you've got to (probably pretty accurately) assess that a lot of that is for combo applications.

This post is so confusing to me.


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 7:56 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
...having experienced both situations -- I value the one where we fought against the early Sol Ring advantage and had a really memorable game from it more than I do than the games that were "ruined" by Sol Ring early and then we simply shuffle up again and play another game. When looking at those two situations -- the risk of the "ruined" game is definitely worth it for the memorable games that it can be the catalyst for.


I believe that you believe this, but I think it's deeply irrational. The number of epic games involving early Sol Rings and Mana Crypts, such as you describe, is quite low- we could argue about how low, but that doesn't much matter. Conversely, the number of games ruined by early Rings and Crypts is quite high (and I don't just mean in my local meta, I mean across the format). The latter is not justified by the former- the risk of the "ruined" game is simply too high and the chance of a memorable game coming about through Ring/Crypt specifically is too low.

Even if this were not the case, why is this different from something like Leovold? Surely epic games have been had where people team up and win against the typical Leovold deck (with Puzzle Box and friends). Yet Leovold is still rightly banned- because the number of games he ruined far outweighed the number of epic games where people beat the odds. The exact same logic applies to Sol Ring and Mana Crypt.

Carthain wrote:
I did misunderstand you -- but I still don't see what you're proposing as being evident. My example was simply an example. I have other examples such as one where one person took a lead through the use of Sol Ring and it put him in an archenemy situation. And then us other players were able to contain him. Sure, we weren't threatening to kill him through damage -- but that doesn't mean we couldn't keep his other cards/effects under control. Later that game a second person took the lead, and all other players then were focused on them. Finally a third player took the lead, and eventually won.

That was one of the coolest games of EDH I've played. Without Sol Ring, it wouldn't have been as exciting as it wouldn't have been as big of a hill that was needed to be climbed to survive the initial onslaught.

So I still feel you were using a single example to argue against a generality -- which doesn't really work out.


Right, but the focus isn't the specific example you gave. I am using the general type of game these cards create to argue against your generality- because, as argued above, I think games involving early Rings and Crypts much more frequently tend toward to the un-containable than the containable. This is partially because of the damage point and partially because of many other factors, like people not running enough cheap removal and the shift in the mulligan rule.

So it's not "your general point about archenemy is wrong because of this specific example", it's "your general point is wrong because what actually happens in this general situation is more like..."

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Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
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Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Mathas, Fiend Seeker (Mardu Judo).


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 11:00 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Dragon
Sovarius wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:
Maluko wrote:

And that's what I hate about the card. It's cutting a slot in everyone's deck that could be dedicated to more awesome things.


realistically, if sol ring got banned tomorrow, that slot would go to the next best cheapest mana ramp card. That's kind of the issue, you can't just ban sol ring, if you're going to do it, vault, crypt, grim and basalt monolith should all get the boot along with it.

Why on earth would that be true? No you don't have to ban the others if you ban the single best mana rock right now. Sol Ring is head and shoulders above those. If Crypt, Vault, and Grim were all $1 they still wouldn't be put into nearly as many decks.

Basalt Monolith really? Okay but if we ban Basalt Monolith then that slot is just going to go to the next best thing. If we Ban Basalty Bitches then we have to ban Worn Powerstone.

And Land Tax is not ramp.

Exploration seriously? It puts you at up to 4 mana on turn 2 and doesn't have the drawback of having that extra mana being a frail creature mana dork or having summoning sickness if you want to use that second mana t1. You are okay with that but not Basalt Monolith which is a very pricey ritual (that doesn't "ritual" until next turn, so really just an efficient battery) that also is pricey to untap? I mean Thran Dynamo is just a far better card outside of combo applications i think, and that doesn't seem to be on your radar. EDHREC has Basalt Monolith at a whopping 6% of all commander decks and you've got to (probably pretty accurately) assess that a lot of that is for combo applications.

This post is so confusing to me.


okay, you ban sol ring. Game ruining ramp games are then just going to look like T1 Mana Crypt into T2 Vault, Grim or Basalt into turn 3 oops I blew up the game. even without it turn 1 search for tomorrow suspended gets you turn 2 basalt into turn 3 7 mana. Basalt monolith is far far better than you give it credit for, it's miles ahead of than worn powerstone because it hits play untapped and taps for one more, and also happens to infinite with a 3 mana artifact that's good value in almost every deck just as a bonus bennie. You could ban everything before basalt, and it would be in every deck from then on almost guaranteed.

Land Tax isn't ramp, but it's a very powerful way to ensure you hit every land drop starting turn 1, which often matters just as much as burst mana.

Exploration requires far more to get going than the god rocks, you need to actually have tons of land in hand, at which point if you have no gas, you become a dead stick, you've got nothing left.

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Maluko wrote:
We need a clear set of objective rules so that everybody always knows what to expect, and how to prepare for it. As of now, I think I spend more time arguing with players about the format than I do playing fun and interactive games of Commander. And last time I read, this was not the format's purpose.

QFT


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 Post subject: Re: This Year's Sol Ring Thread
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 1:15 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Swmystery wrote:
Even if this were not the case, why is this different from something like Leovold? Surely epic games have been had where people team up and win against the typical Leovold deck (with Puzzle Box and friends). Yet Leovold is still rightly banned- because the number of games he ruined far outweighed the number of epic games where people beat the odds. The exact same logic applies to Sol Ring and Mana Crypt.

I'm sure a T1 Explosive Vegetation in terms of brokenness and inability to fight is not even remotely comparable to "Your maximum hand size is 1 and you only get to draw one card per turn.

Gath Immortal wrote:
okay, you ban sol ring. Game ruining ramp games are then just going to look like T1 Mana Crypt into T2 Vault, Grim or Basalt into turn 3 oops I blew up the game. even without it turn 1 search for tomorrow suspended gets you turn 2 basalt into turn 3 7 mana.
Seven mana T3 really isn't that big of a deal. Especially since once you use 3 of that mana it's gone.

Gath Immortal wrote:
Basalt monolith is far far better than you give it credit for, it's miles ahead of than worn powerstone because it hits play untapped and taps for one more, and also happens to infinite with a 3 mana artifact that's good value in almost every deck just as a bonus bennie. You could ban everything before basalt, and it would be in every deck from then on almost guaranteed.
This is just nuts. So what, it enters untapped, and you use it, so now you're right back where you were before you played it? It's only really good if you intend to use it the next turn (or combo with it, which is an entirely different problem that the RC couldn't give a rats ass about). And it certainly wouldn't go in every deck. In decks I personally own that don't already have it (the only one that does is a Zo-Zu deck with like 33 lands and 15 mana rocks), I probably wouldn't play it if all other fast mana got banned (in most of those decks, if I replace Sol Ring with a ramp spell it'd probably be Worn Powerstone).

And this is related to a general point I want to make about a line we need to draw in the sand. If it is in fact decided that Sol Ring is a problem (which I'm not sure it is), then it does logically follow that Mana Crypt may also need to get the hammer. Sol Ring is potentially more problematic in the fact that it is cheaper, easier to acquire, and with literally no drawback, like Magic's equivalent of the infamous YGO card Pot of Greed. However, in terms of actual gameplay, Mana Crypt is as bad if not far worse at enabling explosive starts. Probably the worst example I've seen recently is when a crypt plus a forest led to Azusa and two lands, followed next turn by Crucible of Worlds, Misty Rainforest, and Retreat to Kazandu. That play would require something else like a Lotus Petal or Simian Spirit Guide if it were a Sol Ring. So I could understand possibly going from banning Sol Ring to also banning Mana Crypt.

However, it really doesn't make sense to go any further than that. Vault and the two monoliths simply are not in anywhere near the same category. They give you a nice burst for one turn, and that's it. Outside of extremely competitive decks where 6-7 mana is literally enough to win the game, or artifact heavy decks with a bazillion Voltaic Key-type effects, these cards are only slightly better than rituals. Vault is nice and speedy but comes with the unfortunate drawback of having a more annoying way to untap it and it also pings you every turn. Grim Monolith is probably the best of the three for your average EDH deck since it still comes in early, doesn't have a hard drawback, and it's not unreasonable to be able to untap it late game. Basalt is honestly by far the worst and shouldn't even be considered fast mana. It comes out too late, taps for only enough mana to replace itself, and at that mana cost there are simply better ramp choices. Almost every infinite combo you can do with it you can also do with Grim.

Tl;dr Sol Ring and Mana Crypt at least make some sense as potential candidates for banning because they are a consistent source of fast mana. Vault and the two monoliths are not because they are effectively rituals.


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