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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-05 1:12 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
This is going to sound like "run more answers", however I wonder if we should just be playing more card draw restricting effects as a matter of course. Spirit of the Labyrinth is the one I can think of but I know there are more, notion thief?.

They brick vilis pretty hard, and it would be rather funny to smash them for 15 damage, then flash in the thief. They're also just not bad in the format, punishing the many storm type decks that just want to draw cards and spin wheels.

I try not to play them as they feel sort of antisocial. I include Alms Collector in one of my decks but only play it if someone's about to go crazy with draws—and they still get to draw at least one card.

That said, if Vilis means we've all got to play cards that stop other people drawing more than one per turn, I'd call that format-warping. A Commander in which nobody can use Divination seems like an unhealthy format.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-05 4:11 am 
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specter404 wrote:
This is going to sound like "run more answers", however I wonder if we should just be playing more card draw restricting effects as a matter of course. Spirit of the Labyrinth is the one I can think of but I know there are more, notion thief?.

They brick vilis pretty hard, and it would be rather funny to smash them for 15 damage, then flash in the thief. They're also just not bad in the format, punishing the many storm type decks that just want to draw cards and spin wheels.

You're kidding, right?

1. If Vilis gets to do a massive draw once, they probably will have more ways of recurring Vilis or answering your anti-draw than you ever will. So, you better get your answer in response to the first draw.

2. It's unrealistic to expect either of these suggestions to work. You suggest "If someone tables Vilis, we could just steal their draw with Notion Thief or cancel it with a pre-tabled Spirit of the Labyrinth", as though they couldn't, you know, pay {B} to activate Vilis exactly once to destroy either of these one toughness creatures while the previous draw trigger is still on the stack.

If you're going to suggest tripping up Vilis with a "dies to removal" argument, you could at least suggest Plagiarize or Narset, Parter of Veils. Those cards don't get trivially turned away by the very card you're trying to stop.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-05 7:56 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
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See, that's what I was looking for. I knew better examples of that effect existed, I just couldn't think of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-05 10:40 am 
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specter404 wrote:
See, that's what I was looking for. I knew better examples of that effect existed, I just couldn't think of them.

The fact that you couldn't pull them to mind only shows how scarce the 'answers' are. It's not my intent to belittle you about the other two; it's that they are definitely bad answers. It's like suggesting you Doomblade a Morphling.

This kind of reminds me (a little) Erayo, Soratami Ascendant. Erayo had plenty of answers in the format when they were banned. Some creatures couldn't be countered (though, not as many as there are now), you could cycle Resounding Wave, Boseiju, Who Shelters All with a disenchant would work, etc. Obviously the part that's not analogous is that Vilis is eight mana, and Erayo is two.

But, the fact that there were fewer than ten cards in the game that solved the lockout was significant, even though it was ultimately not part of the public reasoning behind its banning.

I think there are fewer than ten cards that reasonably answer Vilis' draw, and I think that's significant when evaluating the card.

I'm certain it's on the RC's radar, but, I would shed no tears if Vilis were banished. This is coming from a player whose favourite colour is black.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-05 10:56 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
spacemonaut wrote:
That said, if Vilis means we've all got to play cards that stop other people drawing more than one per turn, I'd call that format-warping. A Commander in which nobody can use Divination seems like an unhealthy format.

Sinis wrote:
I think there are fewer than ten cards that reasonably answer Vilis' draw, and I think that's significant when evaluating the card.


I don't disagree, which is why I wasn't trying to make a "dies to doomblade" argument. I was pondering the value of running these kinds of effects regardless of Vilis' existence, and as a side benefit making it harder for Vilis.

Decks intent on drawing lots of cards is something that has been happening for a long time, so much that simply playing Nekusar without wheel effects was enough to earn a significant amount of ire from other players. We fight against decks that use heaps of artifact ramp, spew creatures into play or chain spells together, however lands and card draw are sacred and I'm not sure where the line between good strategy and antisocial behavior is in this case.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-06 12:10 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-24 8:05 pm
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Vilis doesn't even die to Doom Blade! Totally broken! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-07 4:48 am 
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As someone who runs Vilis as a commander, he's not as scary in the command zone as the 99. Getting to 8 mana, even with a ton of acceleration is no mean feat. If he doesn't get countered, then generally there's a complete turn cycle before I have mana available to either activate his ability or play one of my suicide cards. Granted, I built the deck to be a glass cannon, but, as a commander, at least, he's not all that busted. With Lazav or Mimeoplasm or Chainer at the helm, yeah, maybe he's more powerful, but definitely not banworthy.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-07 11:12 am 
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kirkusjones wrote:
As someone who runs Vilis as a commander, he's not as scary in the command zone as the 99. Getting to 8 mana, even with a ton of acceleration is no mean feat. If he doesn't get countered, then generally there's a complete turn cycle before I have mana available to either activate his ability or play one of my suicide cards. Granted, I built the deck to be a glass cannon, but, as a commander, at least, he's not all that busted. With Lazav or Mimeoplasm or Chainer at the helm, yeah, maybe he's more powerful, but definitely not banworthy.

I think my position is that he's not as broken as Griselbrand, but, the idea that Griselbrand is a threshold for banning doesn't capture enough. Grizzybrizzy was really busted. That Vilis is acceptable as a general is somewhat the same as Griselbrand as a general; then you're paying an appropriate-ish cost for the kit of abilities.

Only, the people abusing Vilis are not playing him as a general, in the same way that no one was playing Griselbrand as a general.

I think if you look at the event horizon of bannability (for this kind of effect) as a spectrum between Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and Griselbrand with the ban threshold somewhere in between, I would argue that Vilis lies closer to Griselbrand than Jin.

Jin admits answers, has a (relatively) small body. There's a good chance he does nothing when you table him because someone has removal available. Jin has a ceiling of draw 7.

Griselbrand has a huge body. He will *always* draw, barring weird circumstances. His draw ceiling is how much life you have, which can be an enormous amount.

Vilis has an even bigger body, will always draw for resources proportional to the amount you want to draw, and has a draw ceiling proportional to Griselbrand, sometimes equal to Griselbrand if you have a card that just lets you pay life (of which there are plenty). In addition, Vilis has an ability that can remove some answers, and wrest board from other players.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 4:13 am 

Joined: 2019-May-15 8:39 am
Age: Wyvern
specter404 wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
That said, if Vilis means we've all got to play cards that stop other people drawing more than one per turn, I'd call that format-warping. A Commander in which nobody can use Divination seems like an unhealthy format.

Sinis wrote:
I think there are fewer than ten cards that reasonably answer Vilis' draw, and I think that's significant when evaluating the card.


I don't disagree, which is why I wasn't trying to make a "dies to doomblade" argument. I was pondering the value of running these kinds of effects regardless of Vilis' existence, and as a side benefit making it harder for Vilis.

Decks intent on drawing lots of cards is something that has been happening for a long time, so much that simply playing Nekusar without wheel effects was enough to earn a significant amount of ire from other players. We fight against decks that use heaps of artifact ramp, spew creatures into play or chain spells together, however lands and card draw are sacred and I'm not sure where the line between good strategy and antisocial behavior is in this case.


Funnily enough, Nekusar (and Underworld Dreams and Spiteful Visions) actually answer Villis quite handily and I was actually sort of in the "monitor but don't take any action yet" camp but after reading this post

spacemonaut wrote:
specter404 wrote:
This is going to sound like "run more answers", however I wonder if we should just be playing more card draw restricting effects as a matter of course. Spirit of the Labyrinth is the one I can think of but I know there are more, notion thief?.

They brick vilis pretty hard, and it would be rather funny to smash them for 15 damage, then flash in the thief. They're also just not bad in the format, punishing the many storm type decks that just want to draw cards and spin wheels.

I try not to play them as they feel sort of antisocial. I include Alms Collector in one of my decks but only play it if someone's about to go crazy with draws—and they still get to draw at least one card.

That said, if Vilis means we've all got to play cards that stop other people drawing more than one per turn, I'd call that format-warping. A Commander in which nobody can use Divination seems like an unhealthy format.

I'm a bit more aware that while there *are* cards to keep Villis in check if Villis makes those cards more.common then it's probably not healthy for the format as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 4:19 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
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Sinis wrote:
kirkusjones wrote:
As someone who runs Vilis as a commander, he's not as scary in the command zone as the 99. Getting to 8 mana, even with a ton of acceleration is no mean feat. If he doesn't get countered, then generally there's a complete turn cycle before I have mana available to either activate his ability or play one of my suicide cards. Granted, I built the deck to be a glass cannon, but, as a commander, at least, he's not all that busted. With Lazav or Mimeoplasm or Chainer at the helm, yeah, maybe he's more powerful, but definitely not banworthy.

I think my position is that he's not as broken as Griselbrand, but, the idea that Griselbrand is a threshold for banning doesn't capture enough. Grizzybrizzy was really busted. That Vilis is acceptable as a general is somewhat the same as Griselbrand as a general; then you're paying an appropriate-ish cost for the kit of abilities.

Only, the people abusing Vilis are not playing him as a general, in the same way that no one was playing Griselbrand as a general.

I think if you look at the event horizon of bannability (for this kind of effect) as a spectrum between Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and Griselbrand with the ban threshold somewhere in between, I would argue that Vilis lies closer to Griselbrand than Jin.

Jin admits answers, has a (relatively) small body. There's a good chance he does nothing when you table him because someone has removal available. Jin has a ceiling of draw 7.

Griselbrand has a huge body. He will *always* draw, barring weird circumstances. His draw ceiling is how much life you have, which can be an enormous amount.

Vilis has an even bigger body, will always draw for resources proportional to the amount you want to draw, and has a draw ceiling proportional to Griselbrand, sometimes equal to Griselbrand if you have a card that just lets you pay life (of which there are plenty). In addition, Vilis has an ability that can remove some answers, and wrest board from other players.


The bigger body really only matters when you're trying to Banefire him, right? I mean the difference in blocking a 7/7 flyer with lifelink and an 8/8 flyer are pretty minimal. Vilis either needs B on top of whatever you spent to cast him to draw some cards by himself. Griselbrand doesn't require any more mana or additional set up. That is why Griselbrand gets played in other eternal formats and Vilis will likely only see play in EDH or ... nothing? Now that isn't really a reason to keep something of the ban list, but it is something that I look into. Vilis is $5 now, he will probably drop at least to $2-3 soon and will likely tank once he rotates.

Yes Griselbrand is also a big Demon that lets you draw cards, but comparing the two seems like comparing Ancestral Recall and Ponder. The power difference isn't Ancestral Recall vs. Brainstorm even.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 11:44 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Dragon
Inkeyes22 wrote:

The bigger body really only matters when you're trying to Banefire him, right? I mean the difference in blocking a 7/7 flyer with lifelink and an 8/8 flyer are pretty minimal. Vilis either needs B on top of whatever you spent to cast him to draw some cards by himself. Griselbrand doesn't require any more mana or additional set up. That is why Griselbrand gets played in other eternal formats and Vilis will likely only see play in EDH or ... nothing? Now that isn't really a reason to keep something of the ban list, but it is something that I look into. Vilis is $5 now, he will probably drop at least to $2-3 soon and will likely tank once he rotates.

Yes Griselbrand is also a big Demon that lets you draw cards, but comparing the two seems like comparing Ancestral Recall and Ponder. The power difference isn't Ancestral Recall vs. Brainstorm even.


It has already been pointed out, but i'll reiterate that vilis turns Reanimate into a better Contract from Below and Phyrexian Delver isn't half bad either with so much fast mana kicking around. Vilis also combos with a bunch of already absurdly powerful cards that any deck with vilis would be running like Necropotence, Krikk or Bolas's Citadel so that setup is pretty inconsequential.

Vilis doesn't see play in eternal formats because a lot of the cards mentioned are either banned in them, bad in them, or have better meta-based options than vilis to be used with. Commander isn't vintage (unless we're talking cedh but obviously this is an entirely different conversation we should be having about many much worse cards) or legacy. People don't play the best decks, they play middle of the road decks and vilis is clearly very far ahead of most options already existing for those decks.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 11:53 am 
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The cards you mention are all strong on their own and don't require Vilis to run amok. Yes, they are better with him, but each is perfectly capable of making a big impact on a game on its own. There are plenty of busted cards that are better with certain commanders, but they were already busted to begin with. That's like saying Ghave, Guru of Spores is too good to be in the format because Doubling Season exists.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 12:52 pm 
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Inkeyes22 wrote:
The bigger body really only matters when you're trying to Banefire him, right?
Fair point. I mean, it's resistant to damage based removal, is all.

Quote:
I mean the difference in blocking a 7/7 flyer with lifelink and an 8/8 flyer are pretty minimal. Vilis either needs B on top of whatever you spent to cast him to draw some cards by himself. Griselbrand doesn't require any more mana or additional set up. That is why Griselbrand gets played in other eternal formats and Vilis will likely only see play in EDH or ... nothing?
I keep trying to establish:

a) Players aren't 'casting' Vilis. They're reanimating him. At some point, sheer card text is worth almost any CMC. If Vilis cost 16BBBB, he'd see almost exactly the same amount of play, and I suspect he'd still be worth playing.

b) Griselbrand is obviously better than Vilis. Guess why you don't see Vilis in Legacy? Because you could just play Griselbrand!

c) That a card needs to be as powerful as Griselbrand to be banned is not a good threshold; Griselbrand is super goddamn busted, and there are plenty of cards that aren't as good as Griselbrand, but do deserve to be banned.

I'm also still not saying "ban Vilis immediately".

Is there an error in my logic that I'm missing?

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-08 3:14 pm 
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Sinis wrote:
If Vilis cost 16BBBB, he'd see almost exactly the same amount of play, and I suspect he'd still be worth playing.

That might actually make him MORE desirable, because Entomb -> Reanimate would draw you 20 cards instead of just 8.

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 Post subject: Re: Vilis, Broker Of Blood
AgePosted: 2019-Sep-09 2:48 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Sinis wrote:
c) That a card needs to be as powerful as Griselbrand to be banned is not a good threshold; Griselbrand is super goddamn busted, and there are plenty of cards that aren't as good as Griselbrand, but do deserve to be banned.

I'm also still not saying "ban Vilis immediately".

Is there an error in my logic that I'm missing?


See, everybody draws the line differently but for me it is basically Griselbrand or not bannable. I would prefer a much smaller ban list than the average. I 100% understand that people don't always agree with my stance and so I rarely talk about how I think Iona should not have been banned.

I think that when EDH first started it made sense ban things based on Percieved Barrior of Entry, and it made sense to ban things like Biorhythm, now that the game is well established and people are able to buy precons and (very shortly) Brawl precons I don't think the RC needs to ban things as quickly. I know, some will say that the RC is too slow to ban things. Finding that middle of the road can be difficult.

As far as Vilis goes, I would rather see him in the CMZ than Erebos, God of the Dead or Gonti, Lord of Luxury. As far as being in the 99, there are better draw engines.

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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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