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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-05 11:16 pm 
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So I've pretty much always disagreed with the RC on just about everything they've done, I find their method of managing the format to be downright negligent and ignorant of the actual issues an "optimized casual" AKA still non-competitive setting has when they do utterly insane things like unban mother humping god damn protean hulk.

That being said, based on their 1v1 ban list, wotc can please stay the hell away from paper EDH, because I'd rather have a the ban list curated by people who do nothing but take cards off of it, than a group of people who clearly have no friggin clue what they're doing and ban cards like humility, which basically no one cares about, and ban some broken cards but leave most of the really good ones still available for abuse.

Yeah, I never want to see WotC in control of paper EDH if this is any indication of how they'd handle it.

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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: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 1:25 am 
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Gath Immortal wrote:
people who clearly have no friggin clue what they're doing


Gath Immortal wrote:
ban cards like humility, which basically no one cares about

Irony. I don't know if you've ever played EDH at a competitive level, but Humility is one of the best cards in the color white. Like, play it if you don't believe me. It's basically an ongoing wrath spell, which also happens to be one of the more difficult card types to harm.

Any deck that isn't hampered too badly by its drawback (Superfriends, non-creature combo decks, equipment voltron, tokens) would absolutely love to have it. Even decks that are affected by its drawback are still probably better off running it as a get out of jail free card. The only reason it isn't way more popular is because it's a pretty antisocial and unfun card.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 2:05 am 
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I'm curious as to how we've been negligent. And feel free to enlighten us of the "actual issues" you mention.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 4:02 am 
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Sheldon wrote:
I'm curious as to how we've been negligent. And feel free to enlighten us of the "actual issues" you mention.


From your point of view, my negligent would be your "keeping the ban list as small as possible" and that's fine. It's your format, you decide what you think is best for it, but that doesn't mean everyone sees it that way. A lot of the people I play with feel like the rules committee is out of touch with at the very least the needs of the upper end of the format, I tend to agree. I think most of it comes from the fact that in our area, our LGS is full of people with very finely tuned decks that are about as strong as you can get before you get into the "combo you out on turn 2" meta of decks that include things like Hermit Druid, Ad Nauseam and Doomsday.

Despite that, none of us feel like we're "Competitive". We still run goofy tribal decks, decks themed around +1/+1 counters, token spam, decks that copy and clone everything, enchantress decks. While our area isn't full of U/G or U/G/x goodstuff players or constant 2 card combo decks, the cards that make those decks so oppressive are the cards that start to blur the line between competitive and casual and they don't just show up in combo decks. When people run a casual list that wants one of those game breaking cards, it gets thrown in because pretty much everyone accepts there's no reason not to if it's not banned.

It's an interesting dichotomy, because a lot of the players around my area won't run cards that generally get extreme personal hatred directed at them, like MLD, Stax cards, Vorinclex or Iona and the like because of the reactions they get. Still, we pretty much all run the power cards when the deck calls for it, and constantly complain that they're not banned.

I honestly think the reason that we don't move away from them is that no one can agree on where the line starts.

In other formats, you look to WotC or the Duel Commander Committee or what have you to decide when cards cross that line. You expect that they have the format's best interest in mind and when a card or deck gets out of control, they deal with it. In essence, they look to the controller of the ban list as the final authority on that format's rules, and with EDH when a bunch of passionate people look at the rules committee, and see seismic changes in the power level of the format ever since Avacyn Restored came out and see so little actions taken to deal with it, there's going to be a large subsection of the community that views it as negligence regardless of the rules committee's actual intent.

Hell, even the announcement of the WotC magic online ban list seems to have started to show signs of a schism, and some of the attitudes towards the current EDH ban list are actually even surprising to me: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/magi ... dds?page=2 and http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... he-greater

As far as what I think the problems are, I've posted most of them before, but I'll just hit on the really major one, which is an additional ban critera.

Cards that combo far too easily and also produce too much value outside of their combos:

Players Cannot Take Extra Turns - Extra turn effects are absolutely counter to the point of this format, I've believed that for a long time. A single extra turn essentially skips three players worth of chances to interact with whatever insane thing you're trying to set up with the extra time. Even something as innocouous as using Time Warp, Temporal Manipulation or Walk the Aeons to draw a card and drop a land could either spiral into more turns or simply set up a late game easy win because time spells interact very badly with regrowth effects. Now that every single blue deck can take up to three turns or more in a row simply by virtue of having Archaeomancer and Mnemonic Wall, and skipping as many as nine players worth of possible counterplay, the value proposition of extra turns is simply too high. This rule is really the only way to efficiently deal with the massive issue that extra turns create.

Deadeye Navigator - I still to this day cannot fathom why this card isn't banned. Even outside the realm of combo, spending two mana to repeatedly recur ETB effects is simply too much power in the hands of a color that absolutely does not need it. The amount of value generated by deadeye navigator paired even with a simple ETB cantrip effect is enough to bury your opponents in card advantage. Now pair it instead with Jace's Mindseeker and cast half your opponent's deck for free, or Puppeteer Clique to psuedo insurrection everyone's graveyard, or Zealous conscripts to steal someone else's creature, blink and pair it with deadeye navigator and keep it permanently. Deadeye Navigator with six mana on the table is the swiss army knife to end all swiss army knives. Deadeye Navigator with twelve to twenty plus mana on the table is unstoppable.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker - While less spammable than deadeye navigator, the raw flexibility and power of kiki-jiki puts him on the same level. Even barring the fact that he goes infinite with every creature with an ETB untap effect and Intruder Alarm, simply having access to instant speed creature copying for no mana is unbelievably powerful. Add in an Illusionist Bracers, Panharmonicon, strionic resonator or one of the few untap effects that DONT go infinite with kiki-jiki and you're quickly going to approach the same level of unstoppability as deadeye navigator. On top of that, kiki-jiki's immediate copy effect can create extroaordinarily devastating one sided plays, like playing and copying Terastodon and nuking six permanents, Angel of Serenity, exiling six creatures, Chancellor of the Spires casting two copies of a bomb spell from someone's graveyard. And much like deadeye, his effect early on copying utility creatures like solemn simulacrum or Burnished Hart can very easily accelerate that player to the lead position.

Mikaeus the Unhallowed - Mikaeus is honestly just too strong. In addition to infinite combos with triskelion, walking atlas, and persist creatures, Mikaeus can create massive value simply by being on board at the right time, completely blunting a sweeper, or casting wake the dead, spamming Corpse Dance to resurrect a bunch of ETB value creatures, only to sac them or have them die at end step and come back in the case of wake the dead. Mikaeus's mere existence is backbreaking, as he is in the one color that has zero issues recurring him, and by proxy allowing constant spammable recursion of every other creature in the deck while also making exile effects the only real way of dealing with him, but the second you have a mass reanimation spell. sac outlet and mikaeus, There are almost no ways to get rid of him if the player behind him knows what they are doing.

Protean Hulk - Good god why? There is almost no fair way to use this card outside of MAYBE mono green, but even then, protean hulk is just too much value. There are so many ways to sacrifice creatures for value, Life's Legacy/Momentous Fall/Disciple of Bolas, drawing six cards is usually strong enough, but also tutoring for 6 CMC worth of dudes on top of it is game warping as all getout. That's not even counting what Natural Order, Birthing Pod, or Eldritch Evolution can do with hulk. And if you want to get out of mono green, there are even more insane ways to break protean hulk. Sac hulk to Diabolic Intent, Karmic Guide + Viscera Seer fetching hulk out of the yard grabbing (who else) dark mike and getting 12 CMC worth of creatures and a free demonic tutor. Or we could go into red green instead, pick up sneak attack, sneak out hulk for Eternal witness and Feldon to get bakc hulk and sneak it in again, get kiki-jiki and start going ape. Blue green, mercifully might actually be the most mediocre color combo, but still has access to Flash, so besides that you still get all the green sac for value cards as well as Body Double to copy him in the yard and a whole lot of value creatures you can grab with hulk, and oh yeah, you're playing blue. I cannot understand this decision, but I hope to god it gets reversed quickly.

While there may be more cards that would fit this critera, these are quite clearly the worst offenders by a country mile, and they show up all the time for various reasons even in the casual setting, and they quite often take over games.

Maybe negligent wasn't accurate, but because i'm passionate about the format I still can't help but interpret the rules committee's desire to keep the ban list as small as possible as inaction. With the slow speed of updates to the format I can't help but feel frustrated and that's a lot of the feedback I seem to get from those I play with when it comes to the ban list. On the flip side, do I want wotc to take control? absolutely not given their recent actions and decisionmaking, but I do want SOMETHING to happen.

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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: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 6:21 am 
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Actually, Gath, the bannings are performed after furious debate among the Hellfire Club Rules Commitee. While Sheldon is one of the architects, he's more or less the voice of the group towards the public, but it isn't his format to balance by his lonesome.

Extra Turns- This can't be fixed by bannings- It's up to each playgroup to moderate excessive turns in their own way. That said, many decks that I've played actually finish the game on the first extra turn- which makes the whole thing kindof moot. We all know that extra turns exist, we all know that they potentially break the game, we all built our decks to fight them, we all have discussions with our playgroups about where "the line" is, and when it is crossed.

Deadeye- Has been in the community's crosshairs since it was printed. Quite possibly the reason that Containment Priest and Hallowed Burial were designed. It's a known quantity, and is often attacked and teched out by playgroups. The fear of it over-centralizing the game is valid, but so far, there's just enough tech to keep it relatively speaking in line for a 6 drop recursion engine starter that strains it's owner's mana.

Kiki- Similar to Navigator, recursion is something that R, W, and U get to do very well. It goes infinite, and the number of tech cards to hate it out are expansive. Kiki has become a non-issue.

Big Mike- This feels like more of an extension of the Hulk debate. Mike + Triskellion is a known quantity, but having tried- Recurring Mike is hard in a salted playgroup, comboing with Mike is even harder, because he gives anything that he would combo off with +1/+1 requiring a third card that is a functional sac outlet. If that outlet requires mana, Mike combos become fireballs (which are very acceptable in EDH), if it's free- it can go infinite, but the windows for disruption are huge. Powerful cards simply exist in EDH, and after you get blown out by them, they tend to be on your radar- banning is only sensible when "tech better" doesn't work- and Mike (like Kiki) really doesn't come even close to that edge.

Hulk- Sheldon recognized in the latest Commanderin' podcast that this was a gamble, but honestly- I've had a hard time justifying Hulk in many lists- because the power level of 6 drops is waaaay different than it was in 2009.

To be honest, most of what has been described here, largely got phased out through the change in design philosophy that falls under the umbrella term "Titan Magic". Pure combo strategies have been phased out enough to really dominate EDH like they once did, because there's now a saturation of absolute powerhouse 5-7 mana creatures that make stalling or over-tutoring for combos weaker than it once was- 2 of them (Primeval Titan and Sylvan Primordial) are even banned, because their raw utility and the ease of recurring them makes them scale in ways that the format cannot withstand without centralizing around them- and simply put, none of the cards listed even remotely stack in my experience to recurring Sylvan Primordials for value. Hulk and Big Mike are tragically slow by comparison to most of the Titan-cycles, Kiki-combos tend to get hosed out by Fog variants. Ghostly Prison effects, token hate, proactive removal strategies (Grave Pact and friends) etc., and Deadeye really needs to see an untap step before it's mana intensiveness keeps allows it to go off in excessive ways. Extra turns are a known quantity that the banlist cannot handle reasonably- so they have to be teched out or handled politically (copy it, counter it, target the player in subsequent games, refuse to play with the player.)

EDH is currently only really suffering from a few pain Voltron and super-tutor dense decks or hot cheese like Jhoira of the Ghitu- but even then, the format has to be managed at the player level through the social contract.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-06 7:46 am 
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Mr Degradation wrote:

To be honest, most of what has been described here, largely got phased out through the change in design philosophy that falls under the umbrella term "Titan Magic". Pure combo strategies have been phased out enough to really dominate EDH like they once did, because there's now a saturation of absolute powerhouse 5-7 mana creatures that make stalling or over-tutoring for combos weaker than it once was- 2 of them (Primeval Titan and Sylvan Primordial) are even banned, because their raw utility and the ease of recurring them makes them scale in ways that the format cannot withstand without centralizing around them- and simply put, none of the cards listed even remotely stack in my experience to recurring Sylvan Primordials for value. Hulk and Big Mike are tragically slow by comparison to most of the Titan-cycles, Kiki-combos tend to get hosed out by Fog variants. Ghostly Prison effects, token hate, proactive removal strategies (Grave Pact and friends) etc., and Deadeye really needs to see an untap step before it's mana intensiveness keeps allows it to go off in excessive ways. Extra turns are a known quantity that the banlist cannot handle reasonably- so they have to be teched out or handled politically (copy it, counter it, target the player in subsequent games, refuse to play with the player.)

EDH is currently only really suffering from a few pain Voltron and super-tutor dense decks or hot cheese like Jhoira of the Ghitu- but even then, the format has to be managed at the player level through the social contract.


based on this chunk of text, I can tell you we aren't playing even remotely the same format.

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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: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 4:40 am 

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Gath Immortal wrote:
I honestly think the reason that we don't move away from them is that no one can agree on where the line starts.
So you admit its a difficult line to parse.

Quote:
In other formats, you look to WotC or the Duel Commander Committee or what have you to decide when cards cross that line. You expect that they have the format's best interest in mind and when a card or deck gets out of control, they deal with it. In essence, they look to the controller of the ban list as the final authority on that format's rules, and with EDH when a bunch of passionate people look at the rules committee, and see seismic changes in the power level of the format ever since Avacyn Restored came out and see so little actions taken to deal with it, there's going to be a large subsection of the community that views it as negligence regardless of the rules committee's actual intent.
Then attack them for not doing things as you would? There have been lots of changes to the format since AR, one of which is an explosion of popularity. More people means more people who want to optimize, plenty with a lack of tutelage from 'old school EDH players' and plenty who dont care about 'the vision'. But a bunch of folks coming in and wanting to do something different shouldnt just facilitate some large scale upheaval of the rules.

You can refuse to change, and be part of a group that optimizes just short of T2 combo, and blame the RC, but you really need to take some responsibility for it at some point.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 10:52 am 
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Gath Immortal wrote:
based on this chunk of text, I can tell you we aren't playing even remotely the same format.


This, right here, is ultimately the problem. You're basically not playing the format that the RC is catering the banlist for.

Competitive vs casual isn't a black and white line in the sand. (Because sand isn't usually black and/or white, for one thing.) It's a spectrum. Whether or not you want to admit it, you lean towards the competitive end of the spectrum - and the casual playgroups that the RC is trying to cater the ban list towards aren't playing even remotely the same format as you.

Okay. Competitive vs casual. On the one hand you have decks that combo out consistently by like turn 3 without disruption. On the other side, you have straight out-of-the-box precons. What people forget is that there's a lot of room between those two. Casual vs competitive isn't a line in the sand, it's a spectrum.

I want to compare a couple cards as an example of this. [[Prophet of Kruphix]] and [[Sol Ring]]. From a casual standpoint, Prophet is completely bonkers and Sol Ring can give someone a bit of a head start, but that's balanced out by an aggressive start generating a lot of aggro. From a competitive standpoint, Prophet is completely unproblematic because it costs an expensive 5 mana and it does nothing if it eats removal right away, while Sol Ring gets used alongside Signets, Mana Crypt and other dumb cards that help people assemble their combos way too quickly.

The RC has chosen to cater the banlist to the casual side of the format. They count on players self-policing themselves with regards to the broken stuff, and ban the cards that are strong enough to be a problem in casual play but not quite bad enough that players avoid it because it's broken.

Now, the data the RC uses. Because their basing the format on casual play, they can't get any hard data to use. There isn't tournament datat they can look at and analyze to figure out what is causing issues in the format. So they try to base it, as best as they can, based on what appears to be an issue in the majority of playgroups.

The problem is that playgroups vary SO, so much from one to another. You get competitive playgroups baffled by the banning of Prophet and wonder how Mana Crypt is still legal. They're basically playing a different format then people who are using modified precons, where their meta is getting dominated by Prophet and no player has even seen a Mana Crypt.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 12:50 pm 
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Mr Degradation wrote:
EDH is currently only really suffering from a few pain Voltron and super-tutor dense decks or hot cheese like Jhoira of the Ghitu- but even then, the format has to be managed at the player level through the social contract.

Perhaps you should watch what happens in a competitive EDH game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ktctk0XidQ
I don't think any of the cards you mentioned would have helped your deck in that game.


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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 1:20 pm 
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iplaymtg wrote:
Mr Degradation wrote:
EDH is currently only really suffering from a few pain Voltron and super-tutor dense decks or hot cheese like Jhoira of the Ghitu- but even then, the format has to be managed at the player level through the social contract.

Perhaps you should watch what happens in a competitive EDH game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ktctk0XidQ
I don't think any of the cards you mentioned would have helped your deck in that game.


Lol, just a Prossh deck doing Prossh things. If you haven't that kind of game with Prossh, have you really played Commander?

Few things though.

1. The Labratory Maniacs have a social contract to play the absolute most powered decks possible to build in EDH. Games like that are a result, but are not necessarily indicative of problems with the game.

2. Are you saying that there aren't 2-4 mana tech cards that stop Food Chain from comboing into a Prossh/Bushwhacker? Or that a 6 card combo is bad for EDH? Aren't there a couple dozen 1 and 2 mana Fogs, and plenty of other cards that tech that better than Fog? What about every single naturalize/bounce permanent effect in Magic?

3. Zur is one of those "Voltron/Tutor Generals" I mentioned. lol

4. Since this originates from a DC thread. Do you think Prossh or similarly aggressive builds are stronger than combo, value, or Titan decks in DC?

5. Not related to Commander, but did you ever have the pleasure of playing the Kuldotha Red deck? Or any affinity strat in Modern?

While I'm not sure a video of Prossh going off early is going to convince me of anything, I'd like to see your perspective here (having been on the receiving end of many Prossh and Kresh the Bloodbraided beatdowns,) since I find games like these to be happy anomalies that make for cool stories.

EDIT: lol, just realized that your quote might have been mistargeted. I wasn't the guy complaining about Kiki, Mike, Hulk, and Deadeye (all of which are obviously less egregious than Food Chain lolololol)

EDIT: Also, I mentioned Containment Priest which means that the Kobolds would have been exiled instead of entering the battlefield, so Prossh wouldn't have done enough to kill anybody lol.

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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 1:51 pm 
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Mr Degradation wrote:
EDIT: Also, I mentioned Containment Priest which means that the Kobolds would have been exiled instead of entering the battlefield, so Prossh wouldn't have done enough to kill anybody lol.

You do realize that Containment Priest says "nontoken" right?


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 Post subject: Re: American 1v1 rules change
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 2:00 pm 
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Carthain wrote:
Mr Degradation wrote:
EDIT: Also, I mentioned Containment Priest which means that the Kobolds would have been exiled instead of entering the battlefield, so Prossh wouldn't have done enough to kill anybody lol.

You do realize that Containment Priest says "nontoken" right?

Nope, I shortcutted by thinking it was Hallowed Moonlight attached to a body. D'oh!

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 2:38 pm 

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Gath Immortal wrote:
Mikaeus the Unhallowed - Mikaeus is honestly just too strong. In addition to infinite combos with triskelion, walking atlas

Walking Atlas

Not trying to insult you, but it's hard to see where you're coming from when you often misunderstand cards. I want to go find it and point to it before making a claim, but this is isn't first time. Iirc, there was a time you did some heavy complaining about a combo that wasn't even a combo.

sir squab wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:
based on this chunk of text, I can tell you we aren't playing even remotely the same format.


This, right here, is ultimately the problem. You're basically not playing the format that the RC is catering the banlist for.

Competitive vs casual isn't a black and white line in the sand. (Because sand isn't usually black and/or white, for one thing.) It's a spectrum. Whether or not you want to admit it, you lean towards the competitive end of the spectrum - and the casual playgroups that the RC is trying to cater the ban list towards aren't playing even remotely the same format as you.

Are you sure he's competitive? I mean, he literally wants Kiki Jiki banned because you *might* copy an 8 mana creature for your previous 5cmc triple-R creature that's supposedly sitting around for several turns. He wants Mikaeus banned partly because it's "wrath protection" for 6 mana. When you live in a world where Kiki can stick around long enough to copy Terastodon and think a 6cmc creature that gives you a one-time pseudo-protection from wrath spells (many of which are actually less than 6 mana to boot) is broken, you're pretty decidedly not playing competitive games.

I do agree that casual-competitive is a spectrum, and this is just my anecdotal personal experience - but none of those cards are 'decks' on their own in any competitive games i have been in. The only one i ever see is actually just Mikaeus and that's because i play him, and only myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-07 3:04 pm 

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Ok - I run in an area with a fair amount of disposable income. The areas where high school kids are running with 2-3k$ decks. Half of what you mentioned is annoying but usually stopped on the spot or taken out before a single turn of the table. I've seen Mike/Ike type combos work once. I never got Kiki-Zeal to work when I was running it in a mono-red deck. Iona/Vorn? The table groans and then someone deals with it. Iona is broken against mono colored decks - I will agree to that. My viewpoint on broken? Kozeliek as commander. Turn 3 protected by boots swing with annihilator 4.

You've touched on common netdeck combo/broken cards that can kill unprepared tables. It sounds like your playgroup is running low on answers or just doesn't have a dedicated I answer everything type personality. One of my friends recommends at least 10 targeted removal and multiple mass removal with ways to bring them back - for every deck.

How does my playgroup handle stupidity? With more stupidity of course. Example: Use Chancellor of the Spires on a clone type spell - generate 1 million 7/7 flyers for fun. Player 2 makes 1.5 million copies. Player 3 says ewww. Clone legion. Player 4 says - this is freaking stupid. I'm going to make 100 million copies. They proceeded to kill me for my efforts.

I feel like it's late and I'm only semi making sense so I'll close with a question. Ban all of the problem cards you mentioned. Where does it end? Do we ban E. Witness cause it's cheap recursion that can be reused multiple times? Let's ban dual lands because they are instant 2 color lands with no drawback. I've found that one group's cancer overpowered deck is weak according to different playgroup. (was told a turn 3 mana reflection was cancer) Given the wide range of playgroups and card bases - where does the banlist end?


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-08 3:54 am 
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Sovarius wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:
Mikaeus the Unhallowed - Mikaeus is honestly just too strong. In addition to infinite combos with triskelion, walking atlas

Walking Atlas

Not trying to insult you, but it's hard to see where you're coming from when you often misunderstand cards.

I'm pretty sure he meant Walking Ballista. Which combos with Mikaeus just fine.

That said -- there is a "Preview" button which I often use to make sure I'm linking to the right cards (mostly just so I know I haven't misspelled the names -- but occasionally I think of one card, but have the wrong name along with it.)



I find it hard to put too much credibility in Gath's proposed bans -- mostly due to his attitude. He's usually pretty aggressive about how badly the format is being handled whenever it comes up in threads, and then he uses language such as "...the needs of the upper end of the format" Typically "upper" means "higher" which is associated with aristocratic "better-than-thou" attitudes.

It's fairly easy to say " .. the needs of the competitive side/end of the format..." and not offend anyone. Now, he can say that he's casual -- but just building tribal decks, or +1/+1 counters, or token spam doesn't imply causal at all. There's enough depth of cards that many of these can get pretty far on the "competitive" side of the casual <-> competitive spectrum that sir squab was talking about.

And then he dismisses Mr Degradation with a " I can tell you we aren't playing even remotely the same format." just reinforces this attitude that he shows.

Why would we want to cater to someone like that in a format that is supposed to foster friendly interactive games? I, for one, find his attitude distinctly unfriendly.


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