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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-14 10:52 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
For transparency's sake, I'm not implying anything by what I'm about to ask. I'm just trying to get a sense of the underlying logic.

Is being a hyper-efficient tutor, in and of itself, enough to make a card banworthy? Leave aside the universal clause of "it needs to see (or would see) enough play to actually be a problem" that applies to everything for this purpose.

From what I can see, four tutors are officially banned: Gifts, Tinker, Sylvan Primordial and Primeval Titan. In the case of the latter two, it's not the tutoring per se that's the problem. Rather, it's the ubiquity/centralising nature of it that's broadly agreed to be an issue- they're creatures that go in every green deck and get reanimated, stolen, copied, etc into oblivion. Gifts doesn't seem to be problematic in this way- every blue deck might run it, although I wonder about that, but people aren't going to be stealing/copying/etc it as much as the green creatures because it's an instant, and those are a lot harder to interact with in that sense.

But I'm now wondering if being a sufficiently cheap and powerful tutor is all that's required, a la Tinker. I had previously assumed this wasn't the case because, in all honesty, I forgot Tinker even existed. If, for instance, a Demonic Tutor that fetched two cards instead of one would be banworthy, it's easy to see how that criteria would apply to Gifts as it was used in practice (because it's trivial to make Gifts choices whereby you get two specific cards in your hand).

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 1:54 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MRHblue wrote:
Did the 'different names' aspect of Gifts contributed to the banning? Do you think that criteria of the search influences it continuation on the ban list?


Probably less so back then than it does now (the guidelines weren't as well defined back then), but it's a relevant factor. Taking one of the best tutors ever printed and removing the downside seems like something that gets deeper examination.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 3:02 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
MRHblue wrote:
I toss in my .02 because thats how we influence decisions. People so often get called down for saying anything outside status quo, when people say something unpopular that I agree with, I think its important to speak up.


This is a major reason why I rarely post. I played when Gifts was legal and it did affect my decision on who I picked as my General, but I did play "Non-Blue" Generals and so did the people I played with. I remember it ruining a game or two, but I also remember it saving more than one game that was about to be ruined. For the first part of me playing EDH I had no idea it even had a banned list (I played Braids on occasion) and it was a lot of fun. I did not learn of the Banned and Banned as Commander lists until I had played for a number of years and I had just as many enjoyable games then as I do now.

If Gifts was unbanned today I would put the 5 copies I have into 5 decks that already have Blue, but I would not drop a commander to replace it with XXU commander just to run Gifts. I am pretty sure at least one other player in my group would also put in Gifts, but I know that 2-3 would just shrug and not put them in. In short would it get played? Yes, but even though it would be in 5-7 decks in my play group it still would not be showing up in every game, maybe not even in every other game. When it does show up will it be an auto-win-from-nowhere? Maybe, but it is just as likely to be digging for answers rather than win-cons.

I have seen Protean Hulk spoil far more games (Hulk/Flash anyone?) and that got unbanned. Recurring Nightmare and quite a few more cards should be set free, but because I am against the status quo I fully anticipate scorn and ridiculous comments.

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The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 5:05 am 
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Inkeyes22 wrote:
but because I am against the status quo I fully anticipate scorn and ridiculous comments.

You know the easiest way to invite scorn and ridiculous comments? Telling someone else what their argument is. The second easiest way is to imply something about the individuals who disagree with you that is separate from their actual arguments. This statement does both, and it's particularly sad since there is nothing wrong with your post outside of this passive-aggressive footnote.

This entire argument type of "I'm getting dogpiled for going against the status quo" is one of my least favorite arguments ever. First off, it is pretty circular. "It's unpopular to have an opinion that isn't popular". Furthermore, the positions that make up the status quo weren't arbitrarily chosen out of a hat by a monkey. Popular opinions become popular because there is something compelling about them, so naturally arguing against that opinion is going to be difficult. It's also part of the status quo that we shouldn't ban Akki Rockspeaker nor should the starting life total be 4 or 400.

And that brings me into my second major problem with the argument. It's paradoxically both applicable to literally any discussion and also irrelevant to all of them. The argument is as powerful when you use it as it is when people use it to argue for Nazism or creationism or that Suicide Squad was an amazing movie. It also has the side effect of assuming what your opponent is thinking to try to make their point weaker, which is just intellectually dishonest. "Sure, he said X, Y, and Z, but I really know that he's just going along with the status quo."

The argument is lazy, illogical, irrelevant, reverse-elitist, and all based on a circular premise. Like many of the worst types of arguments out there, it will never really succeed at convincing anyone other than those who already agree with you. I also find it sad that it pops up in this particular discussion. While I happen to personally think that it's more or less an open-and-shut case that Gifts should remain banned, it is extremely interesting to talk about the reasons why it's banned, specifically in regards to other potentially problematic legal cards or innocuous banned ones.

And just to clarify, this is not a personal attack against you or anyone else who uses this argument. In fact it's the reverse. I think know that you and the vast majority of the people on this forum are better than this. If I didn't feel that way, I wouldn't have commented at all. It's irritating to hear bad arguments from people you don't respect or supporting positions you don't hold. It's twenty time worse to hear those same bad arguments coming from a position you do hold or a person you do respect.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 6:20 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
papa_funk wrote:
MRHblue wrote:
Did the 'different names' aspect of Gifts contributed to the banning? Do you think that criteria of the search influences it continuation on the ban list?
Probably less so back then than it does now (the guidelines weren't as well defined back then), but it's a relevant factor. Taking one of the best tutors ever printed and removing the downside seems like something that gets deeper examination.

Thanks for the information. One of the stated factors in releasing Protean Hulk and Kokusho, the Evening Star was the increased use of and flexibility of GY hate. Do you feel that is not a factor here, or that its just not good enough to overcome the power of Gifts without relevant restriction?

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 5:53 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
This is why the card was costed at 4 mana, yes. But we shouldn't be looking at it's restriction. Only whether or not it's broken here. Realms Uncharted is worded this was and is clearly not broken.

Firstly Realms Uncharted is fine so gifts is fine is the same as saying sylvan scrying is fine so demonic tutor is fine. Land vs Card is just not comparable.
Second The different names part, and I'll say it again, IS NOT a downside, it is a bonus. If those words were not on the card, we would not be having this discussion, because the card would never have been changed from it's original printing.

There was no point in this conversation where i said "Realms is fine, therefore Gifts is fine". On it's own, the "different names" part is not bannable itself, or Realms *would* be banned.

The different names part is absolutely a downside...? Being able to search any 4 cards is strictly better. What way would that be a bonus? Yes, the card was worded a little wonky the first time around because it kind of doesn't even work in magic rules.

Also bolded relevant parts in my quote.

specter404 wrote:
Gifts is not broken because of the individual things it can do, it is broken because it can do all of them.

This is pretty good, and i can see that. It is at least more cogent than some of the things said here (on both sides). But the sum of this seems to be "it's broken" which is not banning criteria. Overall, it seems none of the problems the card has much more to do with it's mana cost, as we already covered that higher mana spells are allowed to win and that the restriction on card names solely isn't a reason for banning.

specter404 wrote:
Gifts is a split card akin to who/what/when/where/why, but the parts are entomb, demonic tutor, intuition, tooth and nail/ad nauseum, fact or fiction.


This is for sure hyperbole, like someone else noted. Also, do you mean can use Gifts as parts of these cards (with various degrees of difficulty/hoops, not that Gifts *is* all these cards?

How is Gifts part Ad Nauseam?
How is Gifts ever Demonic tutor without jumping through hoops and casting multiple spells for around 6x the mana of Demonic? This is almost worthy of not describing Gifts as Demonic.
How is Gifts ever Tooth and Nail (what part)? Notably, it was you who said:

specter404 wrote:
Ok we really need to put the comparisons between Gifts and T&N to bed. I understand why some people believe they are comparable, both are tutor effects with the capacity to tutor a win and end the game, but that is where the comparisons end.


This plus the "fail to find" plus the fail on "Intuition can't reanimate Craterhoof from the graveyard" plus the "just because Realms is fine doesn't mean Gifts is fine" is all a little inconsistent i feel.

MRHblue wrote:
Carthain wrote:
Because it also seems like it's a fun card and perfect for the format, but actually isn't.
An interesting point I had never heard about this card. I could see that.[quote]
Yea, this is kind of a big thing. Seems similar to other allowed cards though. I mean for me, it seems like if you are ruining the game with Gifts, you did it on purpose. Unlike some other cards (Panoptic, Primeval, Primordial, Prophet, Grisel) which can be reused very easily or where their fairest applications are not interesting or deliberately designed to be overpowered on their own. Though i would like to note again, i know that comparing a banned card to unbanned card does nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 5:55 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
spacemonaut wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
Demonic Tutor gives you only one card, not 2-4.
You get 2 cards maximum off of Gifts. If you tool around with a graveyard deck, then hooray, your deck has extra uses for this card.

You described at the top of your post how to get a full 4 spells out of this:

Sovarius wrote:
Delirium and Spell Mastery, but i also forgot Delve and Dredge that are also new, as well as 2 more Flashback sets.

I agree those are cool things you can do, but they're also the kind of thing that can help make Gifts Ungiven into tutoring up to its maximum potential of 4 cards. So, respectfully, you can definitely get more than 2 cards out of this.


Yes, but those are exactly what 'extra uses' are. All of these cards only see a couple of their mechanics here and there in edh. You still can't guarantee you 'freely' get all 4 cards unless you *only* grabbed Dredge and Flashback stuff. The very best things you can do with Gifts don't even include those, they are just interesting techniques. If you are using generally subpar cards i think it's fine, i'm not sure overall the keywords Dredge or Flashback are significant enough to warrant calling for a ban, but rather everything else.

spacemonaut wrote:
There are also a goodly number of commanders who will be happy to see two cards head to their graveyard.
  • The Mimeoplasm, at CMC5, will happily enter copying one of your four best cards with +1/+1 counters for another.
  • Silas Renn, Seeker Adept, or Ravos, Soultender paired with a blue partner, will happily each get one of those permanents back next turn.
  • Mairsil, the Pretender will have one of those two cards' activated abilities now, and the other card's later.
  • Kess, Dissident Mage will count as free Flashback for the sorceries you'll be tutoring up, this turn then next.
  • Bruna, Light of Alabaster will get those auras back in a couple of turns. In her deck this seems even more appealing than using Three Dreams: you get four auras rather than three, and two of them will be free. (That said, I haven't played yet against a Bruna deck. I don't know if she's already busted.)

None of these commanders are making a huge splash or notably broken. Like of all the commanders that people want banned, these are not them you know? If you like EDHRec, none of these are in the top21 of all time, only Kess is in the top 21 this week and this month.

There isn't a means possible for me to prove that unbanning Gifts will *not* break these commanders, but suffice to say my opinion is that none of them are a single card away from Rofellos, Braid, Erayo or the legal legends that are used in competitive play such Zur, Tazri, Edric, or Breya. And still, only Kess from that list is one that competitive players consider high tier. Not that competitive play is supposed to be considered, but i'm here to talk.

Mimeoplasm has other tools like Entomb, Intuion and Buried Alive that let 'him do him' (obviously Gifts is a better card than those in many ways, only stating Gifts doesn't unlock something new).
Silas is the slowest and most interactive way (combat step) to 'get a 3rd card'. It's not really fair to say this is guaranteed or easy.
Ravos is similar in this way. It's a good set up, you get all 4 cards over the next 2 turns cycles. It's just synergy. Ravos is far from broken, Gifts is not going to break and a painfully medium card like him. Both also only work with specific card types. If you want to Gifts for Gifts (the maximum of it's flexibility in getting any "cards" not just artifacts or creatures) then you will sometimes be casting it for much less potent effect.
Mairsil is interesting. I mean you get 1 piece in hand and buyback the other piece from the yard with his ability. However, he is far and away neutered by the 'once per turn' clause. He seems fascinating, i'd love to know the worst that can be done with him like this.
Kess is straight value. Seems superbly scary but generally 2 card combos aren't simply just spells so she probably doesn't have an immediate payoff like seems to be possible with Mairsil. The card advantage is incredible, that's for sure.
Bruna is one of a few commanders that can get all 4 cards, and repeatedly, and very consistently. Mime exiles and only gets the maximum if it's 4 creatures, Ravos and Silas are medium and locked to one specific permanent card type, Mairsil gets to use one ability per turn so a really easy combo might not be inevitable, kess in a way can get 6 and can only use instants and sorceries. Bruna is also locked into specific card type, but they all come back, at once, every time. They don't get exiled. I still don't imagine unbanning Gifts turns Bruna into a huge portion of the meta is forever unfair. She's not huge as is, and Three Dreams and such are still amazing with her (you can just get a 1-shot anyway). All 4 are free by the way, it looks like you took Bruna to only grab Auras from the GY and battlefield but it's hand too.

These are all what extra uses are IMO. Most commanders in the game, and the most popular commanders in terms of usage, don't even have extra synergy. On the whole, i don't think that individual commanders are the issue with the card.

----------

Can anyone explain how this card makes you choose blue commanders more? Like counterspells and draw power and clones and some of the very best commander abilities didn't do it for you but this does?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-15 11:13 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Sovarius wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
You get 2 cards maximum off of Gifts. If you tool around with a graveyard deck, then hooray, your deck has extra uses for this card.

You described at the top of your post how to get a full 4 spells out of this:

Sovarius wrote:
Delirium and Spell Mastery, but i also forgot Delve and Dredge that are also new, as well as 2 more Flashback sets.

I agree those are cool things you can do, but they're also the kind of thing that can help make Gifts Ungiven into tutoring up to its maximum potential of 4 cards. So, respectfully, you can definitely get more than 2 cards out of this.


Yes, but those are exactly what 'extra uses' are. All of these cards only see a couple of their mechanics here and there in edh. You still can't guarantee you 'freely' get all 4 cards unless you *only* grabbed Dredge and Flashback stuff. The very best things you can do with Gifts don't even include those, they are just interesting techniques. If you are using generally subpar cards i think it's fine, i'm not sure overall the keywords Dredge or Flashback are significant enough to warrant calling for a ban, but rather everything else.


I think I ought to reposition what I was saying in context because this is going into some splitting hairs I don't really want to get into.

In context I was pointing out Gifts Ungiven can give you a full 4 cards and therefore isn't directly comparable to demonic tutor in the way someone else was comparing it. You told me I couldn't get a full four cards, just two. I explained how you can get a full 4 cards, and they're use cases we both acknowledge exist. At this point that's all I felt the need to say.

You've called those use cases "extra", as if they somehow don't count or are irrelevant. I don't buy that, and that argument is unpleasant to be confronted by, so I don't want to engage in that. That argument comes across something like this to me: "You're wrong about being able to get 4 cards, except in these multiple exact cases we both agree can get you 4 cards, but I'm going to take those cases and label them 'extra' so that I can say they don't count somehow, and then continue to tell you you're wrong." You can probably imagine that feels bad to be on the receiving end of, right? It feels bad. There's nothing "extra" about those cases -- they are how you get the full four cards.

If it helps clarify things, I was never trying to argue every deck always would get four cards all the time: I was just trying to say it's fairly accessible to get four cards.

I consider the stuff specter404 described here to be a better case for showing its brokenness. But getting access 4 arbitrary cards (any at all!) for 4 mana out of your deck is pretty crazy in a format that wants to de-emphasize tutors.

Sovarius wrote:
None of these commanders are making a huge splash or notably broken. Like of all the commanders that people want banned, these are not them you know? If you like EDHRec, none of these are in the top21 of all time, only Kess is in the top 21 this week and this month. (and some other stuff)

(and more stuff which I'll snip for brevity)


Yeah, that's all fine. This was an extension of the above: "look, here's several more cases where you don't even need the cards themselves to do anything special in order to get four cards out of Gifts." I'm not trying to argue those are format-breaking, just show the variety of cases in which that happens. I'm glad we agree Bruna at least would be nuts with Gifts Ungiven. :P

I want to point out this bit though, you said:

Sovarius wrote:
Mairsil is interesting. I mean you get 1 piece in hand and buyback the other piece from the yard with his ability. However, he is far and away neutered by the 'once per turn' clause. He seems fascinating, i'd love to know the worst that can be done with him like this. [...] Mairsil gets to use one ability per turn so a really easy combo might not be inevitable


This is tangential to the whole "unban gifts" debate happening here, but if I understood you correctly, I think you may have misread Mairsil: you don't get one ability per turn, you get each ability once per turn. You can activate each ability just once, but you can activate any number of abilities Mairsil received. (I'm envisaging you get two creatures or artifacts in hand, then get the abilities of one of the others now thru Mairsil, then of the other later. Still not breaking, mind, but it's a big difference from just one ability per turn at all.)

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 6:56 am 
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Sovarius wrote:
Seems similar to other allowed cards though. I mean for me, it seems like if you are ruining the game with Gifts, you did it on purpose. Unlike some other cards (Panoptic, Primeval, Primordial, Prophet, Grisel) which can be reused very easily or where their fairest applications are not interesting or deliberately designed to be overpowered on their own.

Okay - so... we're saying (claiming) that Gifts can seem fair, but ends up wrecking games. Isn't that (in part) the same reasoning that keeps Panoptic Mirror behind bars?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 7:50 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sovarius wrote:
The different names part is absolutely a downside...? Being able to search any 4 cards is strictly better. What way would that be a bonus? Yes, the card was worded a little wonky the first time around because it kind of doesn't even work in magic rules.

The additions of "up to" in the rules text came into existence much later so that the card text matches the rules. If the card had read "search for 4 cards, then reveal them" then there would not have been a need to errata the card.
Sovarius wrote:
This is for sure hyperbole, like someone else noted. Also, do you mean can use Gifts as parts of these cards (with various degrees of difficulty/hoops, not that Gifts *is* all these cards?
How is Gifts part Ad Nauseam?
How is Gifts ever Demonic tutor without jumping through hoops and casting multiple spells for around 6x the mana of Demonic? This is almost worthy of not describing Gifts as Demonic.
How is Gifts ever Tooth and Nail (what part)? Notably, it was you who said:

I can see how this has not been interpreted the way I intended for two reasons. When I said a split card between these cards, I meant that it can be used to mimic the effects of those cards, not that it can do exactly what those cards can do. So the effect being mimicked from T&N and Ad Nauseum is the "I win the game now" effect. I had adjusted my analogy in a later post.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 6:07 pm 

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Carthain wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
Seems similar to other allowed cards though. I mean for me, it seems like if you are ruining the game with Gifts, you did it on purpose. Unlike some other cards (Panoptic, Primeval, Primordial, Prophet, Grisel) which can be reused very easily or where their fairest applications are not interesting or deliberately designed to be overpowered on their own.

Okay - so... we're saying (claiming) that Gifts can seem fair, but ends up wrecking games. Isn't that (in part) the same reasoning that keeps Panoptic Mirror behind bars?


Both Gifts and Panoptic Mirror should come off the ban list. Playing these cards, you know exactly what you're doing, they don't ruin games 'by accident' any more than cards as Tooth and Nail do. Yes, I know, "Tooth and Nail is a 9 mana sorcery, it should win you the game". 9 mana in a green deck, that's turn four? Five? I can easily think of twenty cards I'd ban before Gifts Ungiven.

If Gifts is a problem in your play group, the players are the problem in your play group.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 6:57 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
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spacemonaut wrote:
If it helps clarify things, I was never trying to argue every deck always would get four cards all the time: I was just trying to say it's fairly accessible to get four cards.


The crux of this mixed agreement and disagreement between us seems to be that i that i draw the line at 'extra' as 'not the normal resolution of the spell'. When you and i mention some ways to get all 4 cards, (dredge, flashback, commanders like Bruna or Kess), i don't see these as typical. You don't get cards #3 and #4 without specific commander abilities or mostly niche card abilities. Of course we agree they exist but the sum of these cases is not remotely the sum of Gifts uses (that is, plenty of powerful but fairer uses where you just end up with 2 cards if you are not seeking to 'break' the game).

And if you meant anything along the lines of 'two wins cons, two recursion' it doesn't really ever equal all 4. While powerful, this scenario describes pitching one spell (gifts) for 2 spells (positive card advantage) and then stuff like Regrowth (neutral card advantage, but not really a 'card' you wanted from the ) or something like Noxious Revival (negative card advantage, and still not a '4th card' you get).

I more or less responded as though your stance was it was guaranteed you get 4 cards (which you nor anyone else said) or that it was very easy.

I'm sorry if i came off some kind of negative way and i can try to be better if i said something out of line, but as far as i can see, you shared opinions, i disagreed and shared mine in response, you disagreed and shared further opinions. So regarding feeling bad, let me know how i can help, but at the moment i am rereading what i said and i can't tell if i did something wrong.

Carthain wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
Seems similar to other allowed cards though. I mean for me, it seems like if you are ruining the game with Gifts, you did it on purpose. Unlike some other cards (Panoptic, Primeval, Primordial, Prophet, Grisel) which can be reused very easily or where their fairest applications are not interesting or deliberately designed to be overpowered on their own.

Okay - so... we're saying (claiming) that Gifts can seem fair, but ends up wrecking games. Isn't that (in part) the same reasoning that keeps Panoptic Mirror behind bars?


'We' as in you and i? I am not saying Gifts can 'seem fair, ends up wrecking games'. I am saying if you break the game with Gifts 'alone' (alone if we suppose it is a one card game ender) it is explicitly on purpose.

I explicitly do not think Gifts breaks games by accident just getting value or popping it in an otherwise fair and/or interesting deck. To me it is the opposite of Mirror. Mirror with virtually anything is really dumb, notwithstanding the brokenness that is Time magic, board wipes, tutors, etc. Very fair cards with Mirror can make no sense, and this is not including the very strange ability for it to remember multiple spells without replacing the old one, being colorless, and being a permanent that recasts these spells. These are all different things than Gifts and i believe they ruin games at a different rate (*would* since both are banned).

specter404 wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
The different names part is absolutely a downside...? Being able to search any 4 cards is strictly better. What way would that be a bonus? Yes, the card was worded a little wonky the first time around because it kind of doesn't even work in magic rules.

The additions of "up to" in the rules text came into existence much later so that the card text matches the rules. If the card had read "search for 4 cards, then reveal them" then there would not have been a need to errata the card.


Carthain brought something to my attention and then i realized that the original wording of Gifts still allowed you to find less than 4 due to 'different card names' being a card characteristic. Unlike Demonic Tutor, which requires you find one as long as you have one card in your library. I believed all along the original wording of Gifts was that you could not resolve any part of it's effect if you could not produce 4 unique cards (such as having 3 in your deck). Which, if true, would be somewhat poor design that didn't always allow it to work, but spells (including Gifts og wording) are generally worded that you do as much as you can.

specter404 wrote:
I can see how this has not been interpreted the way I intended for two reasons. When I said a split card between these cards, I meant that it can be used to mimic the effects of those cards, not that it can do exactly what those cards can do. So the effect being mimicked from T&N and Ad Nauseum is the "I win the game now" effect. I had adjusted my analogy in a later post.

I understand now, i may have taken that too literally.

Nigerian Prince wrote:
Both Gifts and Panoptic Mirror should come off the ban list. Playing these cards, you know exactly what you're doing, they don't ruin games 'by accident' any more than cards as Tooth and Nail do. Yes, I know, "Tooth and Nail is a 9 mana sorcery, it should win you the game". 9 mana in a green deck, that's turn four? Five? I can easily think of twenty cards I'd ban before Gifts Ungiven.

If Gifts is a problem in your play group, the players are the problem in your play group.


I partially agree and disagree. I believe Gifts is precisely the kind of card you only truly break wide open when you intend to. But Mirror seems hilarious, it's quite wonky and is a unique card with a very little-used effect (and is repeatable because permanent card type and you can add to it, why??). Some mundane cards you can add on it are just stupid. You can put Divination and Wrath of God on it and it's already absurd (or Concentrate/Supreme Verdict). Time Magic is absurd. Mwonvuli Acid-Moss is absurd.

The problem with Panoptic is you can put almost anything in your deck on it and accidentally have a thing you can easily underestimate the power to. Like what does on put on this Mirror to be the fairest? Cultivate seems really, really good too. Any tutor, even some topdeck ones.

You don't have to build around breaking Mirror. Which is another reason i don't think it's like Gifts. Gifts is only an easy combo if you just... have a combo deck that's built to just combo.

Gifts is a lot more interesting than casting a medium spell over and over again (which is stronk in the case of mirror)


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 9:26 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Nigerian Prince wrote:
Both Gifts and Panoptic Mirror should come off the ban list. Playing these cards, you know exactly what you're doing, they don't ruin games 'by accident' any more than cards as Tooth and Nail do.


The bold definitely doesn't fly. What does an innocent or fair use of Panoptic Mirror look like, considering the cards people actually play? Because sticking Vindicate or Diabolic Tutor or even Reap and Sow seems pretty oppressive from where I'm standing, long before we get into the more common cases people cite like the Wrath of Gods and Time Warps of the world.

Mirror "combos" with fair cards and makes them unfair. T&N and Gifts don't do this.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 10:12 pm 

Joined: 2015-Apr-23 11:27 pm
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Swmystery wrote:
Nigerian Prince wrote:
Both Gifts and Panoptic Mirror should come off the ban list. Playing these cards, you know exactly what you're doing, they don't ruin games 'by accident' any more than cards as Tooth and Nail do.


The bold definitely doesn't fly. What does an innocent or fair use of Panoptic Mirror look like, considering the cards people actually play? Because sticking Vindicate or Diabolic Tutor or even Reap and Sow seems pretty oppressive from where I'm standing, long before we get into the more common cases people cite like the Wrath of Gods and Time Warps of the world.

Mirror "combos" with fair cards and makes them unfair. T&N and Gifts don't do this.


O but I never meant Panoptic Mirror is an innocent little cutie of a card. What i meant is, when you play Panoptic Mirror and choose a card to copy, you know what you're doing. When you put a Time Warp under it, you don't accidentally wreck a game. I can think of spells that can be fun or challenging with Panoptic Mirror, things like Kaboom or Illicit Auction I wouldn't mind at all.

If you don't combo into infinite turns or hardcore mana denial, I think Mirror would be quickly dealt with by the table if you get too much of an advantage out of it.

Back on topic, it feels to me the reason for Gifts being banned, is not in meeting with any of the ban criteria, but simply being too good/efficient, a situational and highly subjective reason for banning a card.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-16 11:09 pm 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sovarius wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
If it helps clarify things, I was never trying to argue every deck always would get four cards all the time: I was just trying to say it's fairly accessible to get four cards.


The crux of this mixed agreement and disagreement between us seems to be that i that i draw the line at 'extra' as 'not the normal resolution of the spell'. When you and i mention some ways to get all 4 cards, (dredge, flashback, commanders like Bruna or Kess), i don't see these as typical. You don't get cards #3 and #4 without specific commander abilities or mostly niche card abilities. Of course we agree they exist but the sum of these cases is not remotely the sum of Gifts uses (that is, plenty of powerful but fairer uses where you just end up with 2 cards if you are not seeking to 'break' the game).

And if you meant anything along the lines of 'two wins cons, two recursion' it doesn't really ever equal all 4. While powerful, this scenario describes pitching one spell (gifts) for 2 spells (positive card advantage) and then stuff like Regrowth (neutral card advantage, but not really a 'card' you wanted from the ) or something like Noxious Revival (negative card advantage, and still not a '4th card' you get).

I more or less responded as though your stance was it was guaranteed you get 4 cards (which you nor anyone else said) or that it was very easy.

I'm sorry if i came off some kind of negative way and i can try to be better if i said something out of line, but as far as i can see, you shared opinions, i disagreed and shared mine in response, you disagreed and shared further opinions. So regarding feeling bad, let me know how i can help, but at the moment i am rereading what i said and i can't tell if i did something wrong.


Thanks, I think you're right with all of that. I feel OK having that stuff acknowledged. (Honestly I was mostly just hoping I wouldn't get a nasty/trollish response, thank goodness.)

Definitely didn't mean two wincons + 2 recursions. :) I was interested in scenarios that gave you 4 full cards.

(This conversation made me realise that Deadbridge Chant would also be pretty great in a The Mimeoplasm deck -- go fish out a bunch more options, and return some of the ones less preferable to copy to your hand.)

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