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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 5:43 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Dragon
papa_funk wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:
The rules committee spent the better part of the last two years making little to no changes to the format


Other than changing the tuck rule, changing the mulligan rule, changing the mana production rule, rewriting the format philosophy and ban criteria, removal of official house rules, various Comprehensive Rules changes, and banning Prophet, what has the RC ever done for us?


I mean, the tuck rule change caused a huge upheaval in the community for a bit, but it really didn't end up effecting gameplay all that much in the long term, same with pretty much everything else you listed except banning prophet. Even then, U/G and U/G/x is still the best color combo by far, with more tools and more raw power than pretty much anything else even with prophet gone. You guys might not ban based on competitiveness, but even in casual games U/G anything tends to run circles around other decks and take control far too easily for my tastes.

The RC certainly hasn't done absolutely nothing, that is true, but in terms of really shaking up the format? the biggest thing that's happened is unbanning hulk, and that just makes an already very powerful subsection of decks even more powerful. I tend to see the RC mention that new sets are what's supposed to shake things up quite a lot, but I'm not really seeing that happening either.

Sure, people change out cards and decks for new ones all the time, but for the most part it's still a fairly minor change, if anything changes at all. Despite numerous new sets, I still see all the same cards I usually do in every deck that wants them. EDH players have almost the entirety of Magic The Gathering's card library at their disposal, and yet I see the same 10% of the card pool being played over and over in completely different decks. I'm not immune to this either, not by a long shot but I can't help but feel like a bit more culling of that 10% would be a good thing.

"Then people would move on to the next best thing" is the usual argument against that. They're not wrong, but at least we might have a few years of that next best thing feeling different than the same things we've been seeing for the last 3 years. I've always wanted to see a what a rotational list that changes every year or two does for the format, if it makes a difference or not. Maybe it won't but at least I'll have a reason to shuffle the cards I've been playing with for years out for awhile and be forced to try something new.

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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: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 6:46 am 
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Gath Immortal wrote:
The RC certainly hasn't done absolutely nothing, that is true, but in terms of really shaking up the format?

Why should the RC do anything to shake up the format?

Isn't the growing popularity a good sign for the format?

The RC *could* institute a rolling ban -- every quarter they just ban 20 cards, and remove 20 from the existing ban list. That would certainly shake up the format -- but would that help?

It sounds like you are tired of seeing the same old decks and/or deck staples. Where has the RC said that these weren't aspects of the format? Why are they responsible for changing things up so things remain new & fresh for you and your playgroups?

Its sounding like you're upset at them over something that is based solely on your own perception.


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 6:51 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Gath Immortal wrote:
You would think that right? ...and B is pretty much not a thing at an LGS.
Correct, I would. But mostly based on being that I only play at LGS, more than one, and not at all with the same people. I rarely have a 'bad game', but it does happen.

Based on what you have said here and before, I think you want a much less powerful game that just does not line up with tons of people, but your verbiage seems to suggest everyone else SHOULD want that, and I think thats what rubs people the wrong way.

You would have to admit your propositions are quite extensive, correct? But you don't have a bunch of support at your LGS, or here. Doesnt that seem to say its not quite as popular an idea as you think it should be?

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My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 8:57 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Gath Immortal wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:
The rules committee spent the better part of the last two years making little to no changes to the format


Other than changing the tuck rule, changing the mulligan rule, changing the mana production rule, rewriting the format philosophy and ban criteria, removal of official house rules, various Comprehensive Rules changes, and banning Prophet, what has the RC ever done for us?


I mean, the tuck rule change caused a huge upheaval in the community for a bit, but it really didn't end up effecting gameplay all that much in the long term, same with pretty much everything else you listed except banning prophet. Even then, U/G and U/G/x is still the best color combo by far, with more tools and more raw power than pretty much anything else even with prophet gone. You guys might not ban based on competitiveness, but even in casual games U/G anything tends to run circles around other decks and take control far too easily for my tastes.

The RC certainly hasn't done absolutely nothing, that is true, but in terms of really shaking up the format? the biggest thing that's happened is unbanning hulk, and that just makes an already very powerful subsection of decks even more powerful. I tend to see the RC mention that new sets are what's supposed to shake things up quite a lot, but I'm not really seeing that happening either.

Sure, people change out cards and decks for new ones all the time, but for the most part it's still a fairly minor change, if anything changes at all. Despite numerous new sets, I still see all the same cards I usually do in every deck that wants them. EDH players have almost the entirety of Magic The Gathering's card library at their disposal, and yet I see the same 10% of the card pool being played over and over in completely different decks. I'm not immune to this either, not by a long shot but I can't help but feel like a bit more culling of that 10% would be a good thing.

"Then people would move on to the next best thing" is the usual argument against that. They're not wrong, but at least we might have a few years of that next best thing feeling different than the same things we've been seeing for the last 3 years. I've always wanted to see a what a rotational list that changes every year or two does for the format, if it makes a difference or not. Maybe it won't but at least I'll have a reason to shuffle the cards I've been playing with for years out for awhile and be forced to try something new.

It is in no way the RC's job to force you to branch out or shake up the format.

I have taken steps to ensure that I always have something to build towards. And while some decks will invariably run the same cards, I take it upon myself to switch in cards that I think would be a fun change of pace.

case in point- I decided to play Zurgo Helmsmasher because I wanted to make fun use of Capricious Efreet and Crooked Scales. No one forced me. its just something I do to keep the format fun.

If you're having issues with monotony or homogeneity suggest something to your group. Organize an Commander draft. Try a small tourny where you play decks at random built by other players- points awarded when you win and your deck wins. Try limiting non- land rares... maybe a "build your own precon" where decks adhere to specific rarity counts. Maybe get a commander randomly and build out of your binders... I dunno.

But asking for change via banning cards isn't likely to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 9:21 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Gath Immortal wrote:
Even then, U/G and U/G/x is still the best color combo by far, with more tools and more raw power than pretty much anything else even with prophet gone. You guys might not ban based on competitiveness, but even in casual games U/G anything tends to run circles around other decks and take control far too easily for my tastes.


Not touching on the rest of your post- others have already said what I would say.

The thing about this particular bit, though, is that this is an inherent and direct consequence of EDH's rule set. As long as it's played multiplayer and at 40 life, UG(X) strategies will be the best option at casual tables, closely followed by GB. Even granting this is a problem, which I don't, the Rules Committee cannot and should not attempt to change this through the banned list. No amount of bans can change the fact that in long attritional games where infinite combos and land desctruction are frowned upon the best approach will be to gain as much card advantage as possible for as long as possible.

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Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
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Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 10:17 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Don't most formats play with a small portion of the card pool also? I'm not sure why EDH should be any different. The fact that the playable card pool in EDH is so vast should be a testament to the format as it is.

For the sake of argument though, how do you shake up the format and get the "10%" up to 15 or 20%?


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 10:31 am 
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Gath Immortal wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
Sure, people change out cards and decks for new ones all the time, but for the most part it's still a fairly minor change, if anything changes at all. Despite numerous new sets, I still see all the same cards I usually do in every deck that wants them. EDH players have almost the entirety of Magic The Gathering's card library at their disposal, and yet I see the same 10% of the card pool being played over and over in completely different decks. I'm not immune to this either, not by a long shot but I can't help but feel like a bit more culling of that 10% would be a good thing.


This isn't just an EDH problem. Some cards are better then other cards, so players gravitate to using the best cards in the format. The meta in an eternal format is always gonna get a little stale after a while because of this. I mean, this is literally the reason standard was created.

And even despite that, stuff does shake up the format a bit. Let's look at standard legal stuff that has impacted EDH. General Tazri Food Chain combo is one of the best competitive EDH decks. Colorless decks using one of the Eldrazi titans got a huge boon with BFZ. U/B zombies got a nice buff with SOI, with Gisa and Geralf being a very viable zombie general choice. Kaladesh printed the Gearhulks which I'm assuming people have gotten excited about playing (I haven't seen them much at my LGS tho) and the stupid, stupid, card called Paradox Engine. (Which should arguably be banned and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go in the next year, but that's another topic all-together.)

Lastly - one of the appeals of EDH is its stable banlist. Any legal card over like ~3 years old is practically guaranteed to not be banned. Players are a lot more willing to invest in EDH knowing they could spend a grand on a deck, quit for 5 years, then come back and continue playing with the same deck that is probably worth two grand at that point.

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 10:48 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
sir squab wrote:
Lastly - one of the appeals of EDH is its stable banlist. Any legal card over like ~3 years old is practically guaranteed to not be banned. Players are a lot more willing to invest in EDH knowing they could spend a grand on a deck, quit for 5 years, then come back and continue playing with the same deck that is probably worth two grand at that point.


You say "appeal", I say "poisonous bug." Inertia keeping the likes of Iona, Shield of Emeria legal is not a point in the format's favour.

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Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
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Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 11:42 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
How long were Hulk, Metalworker, Kokusho, and friends banned for? How long did Sundering Titan and Trade Secrets remain legal? Inertia doesn't mean fixed path.


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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 12:12 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Swmystery wrote:
sir squab wrote:
Lastly - one of the appeals of EDH is its stable banlist. Any legal card over like ~3 years old is practically guaranteed to not be banned. Players are a lot more willing to invest in EDH knowing they could spend a grand on a deck, quit for 5 years, then come back and continue playing with the same deck that is probably worth two grand at that point.


You say "appeal", I say "poisonous bug." Inertia keeping the likes of Iona, Shield of Emeria legal is not a point in the format's favour.

Whilst I agree that Iona is one of the most annoying cards going around, I will take a game or two ruined by Iona over having parts of my favorite deck banned every few months because some people thousands of miles away chose to find a way to break them.

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 12:54 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
How long were Hulk, Metalworker, Kokusho, and friends banned for? How long did Sundering Titan and Trade Secrets remain legal? Inertia doesn't mean fixed path.


Quite. I'm merely suggesting the amount of time it took to get those cards banned/unbanned is not a positive thing, as is being suggested.

specter404 wrote:
Whilst I agree that Iona is one of the most annoying cards going around, I will take a game or two ruined by Iona over having parts of my favorite deck banned every few months because some people thousands of miles away chose to find a way to break them.


If you accept that seriously problematic cards should be banned (whatever you take "seriously problematic" to mean), it is irrational not to want those cards removed from the format as quickly as possible. The health of the format has to be worth more than the bad feelings created from sudden and unexpected bannings. See also: Felidar Guardian.

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Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Ephara, God of the Polis (Azorius Men O'War)
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: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 1:20 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Annoying is not equivalent to seriously problematic.

In my opinion there are no seriously problematic cards legal in the format at this time. There are several cards I don't like, but I manage them within my local area through discussion and meta-gaming. People dont combo off with black mike against me, period, because my decks all have multiple ways to answer it. People dont play vorinclex against me, because I clone/reanimate/steal it and beat them to death with it, all the while explaining how they did this to themselves.

I put major social pressure on anyone playing Iona, and some of them are happy to be "that guy" or "that girl" playing Iona, but the social pressure is enough to discourage 99% of people that would try it.

All that said, just because I dont like them doesn't mean other people should be deprived the chance to use them. I play Dark Mike in my decks, some of those decks can 3-4 card combo win with him, but most of them drop him for good value until he is killed (which he absolutely should be).

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 1:56 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Annoying is not equivalent to seriously problematic.


Right. Mikeaus and Vorinclex are just annoying. Don't mix me up with Gath here.

specter404 wrote:
In my opinion there are no seriously problematic cards legal in the format at this time...


I do not share this position. "Seriously problematic" does not mean "unanswerable". All cards have answers, especially if you're invoking the social contract to deal with them rather than in-game answers. But there's a certain subset of cards which have been legal for years- Iona, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Derevi- which are problematic enough that they should have gone years ago, for me. In addition, the slow pace of the bans and unbans Cryogen made are other great examples of this- all (most?) of those are the right decisions, and given they were the right decisions it would have been better if the needle had moved earlier. This is especially true of stuff like the Sundering Titan ban.

It doesn't matter if you agree with those specific examples. If you think anything belongs in that category, and I suggest most people do, the logic of my prior post holds. This is why I'm suggesting it's not an unambiguously good thing that bans don't happen very often.

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Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Ephara, God of the Polis (Azorius Men O'War)
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Mathas, Fiend Seeker (Mardu Judo).


Last edited by Swmystery on 2017-May-09 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 1:57 pm 
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So, the thing here that gets me is that the slow development and change cycle of Commander is being portrayed something that isn't a virtue.

The catch22 of EDH has always been that it's an eternal format- meaning that my cards from Beta to Amonkhet are all valid. Also meaning that every ban dropped onto the suggested banlist often gives the wrong impression- that your favorite card might not be able to be played in Commander- and without sufficient reason it can be aggravating. For example, had I not played EDH during the time that Prophet of Kruphix was legal, I might have found myself gobsmacked by it being on the list- as many friends who I introduced to the format since were upon reading the list. Cards like Time Vault are super easy to explain, but the effect Prophet has with 3+ players at a table is actually pretty difficult to explain to someone who has only played 60 card 1v1 MtG. With respect to that sentiment- it impacts the entertainment value of Commander, and the entertainment value of Commander supercedes even the relative balance of the format.

Using Big Mike as an example, outside of the world of TappedOut theory brews, it's actually pretty rare to see Mikaeus, the Unhallowed at the table, unless inside of a deck piloted by somebody fond of the card. But often, the decks that run Big Mike aren't even looking for an infinite combo, but instead focus on ingrained, redundant synergies built into their deck through redundant effects (often falling under the "Aristocrats" decktype.) For these, Big Mike is a linchpin, often being the card that lets them string along combos that fall very short of infinite or Fireball level to drain large amounts of life and position themselves aggressively. In these scenarios, Big Mike is just a powerful and synergistic card that helps these decks reach the state of "breaking the game" that is expected of most decks in EDH.

But when Mike comes up as "too strong", it's usually for it's interaction with Triskelion and the 2 recent variants on the classic creature which create a 3 card combo utilizing a manaless creature sacrifice outlet. In the Aristocrat-style decks, the combo may be present simply because the goal of the deck is to chain off sacrifice effects for value, but the decks aren't dedicated combo decks, so the situation is often inconsistent, and something of a reason to celebrate well fought game. Even though the actual combo decks do exist, the combo is regarded as easy to tech- and even if frustrating in some playgroups, is one of the weaker ways to go infinite.

However, even IF the combo were further enabled, and the power of it began to eclipse other popular (often more reliable) combos, banning the card outright would adversely effect the players who use Big Mike as their powerful linchpin would be the ones most effected by the ban. Combo decks tend to be built with multiple angles and interactions in mind, often trying to use as many of the same combo pieces, but fleshing out the iterations with which that occurs. Big Mike will give way to other ways to go infinite or sufficiently infinite with Triskelion, or the Trisk package will just fall off of the larger combo package at hand, and be replaced outright. The combo deck's powerlevel moves very little, where the Aristocrats-style decks have to be reconstructed to compensate for the big, value fattie shaped hole, and the number of choices that inform how they get to build and play their favorite flavor of decks is actually diminished significantly.

This is like some old posts I read on WCF years ago about why Rafiq of the Many and Kresh The Bloodbraided needed to be banned as Generals because of the higher power level of aggro in EDH (because the format cares about synergistic play and cards like Natural Order can be devastating when they enable proactive strategies.) But then, in my experience playing against moderately powered versions of those decks with Natural Order and Survival of the Fittest present, I simply learned that EDH operates with an entirely different type of bar for power-level; and that in order to have fun playing against them, that I had to desensitize myself as a player to the idea that it was noble to "not break the game" or "win fair". Instead, I would discuss the deck, and the lines of play involved with the playgroup to look for insight on how to hang with that sort of power- and EDH became a huge learning experience, and a great source of entertainment and insight on MtG as a game.

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 Post subject: Re: Banlist Discussion Stuff
AgePosted: 2017-May-09 9:16 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Mr Degradation wrote:
So, the thing here that gets me is that the slow development and change cycle of Commander is being portrayed something that isn't a virtue.


To be precise, it's that it's not always a virtue. If the banlist is flawed in some way- perhaps an important way- it being slow to change is not a good thing, because problems should be fixed as quickly as possible.

It doesn't matter what you think the problem is with the banlist. It's literally just to say that if there's a card which should (all-things-considered) be unbanned or banned, that change should ideally happen as fast as possible. And since there are changes which I think should be made, and have not been made, the slow change cycle is self-evidently not always a good thing.

I know full well that metrics of power level in EDH are different and the point of the format is not breaking it. That doesn't impact on anything I've said.

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Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Ephara, God of the Polis (Azorius Men O'War)
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Mathas, Fiend Seeker (Mardu Judo).


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