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 Post subject: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-08 5:58 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-08 5:49 pm
Age: Wyvern
Can you guys provide a little insight on to your reasonings for the latest banning and unbanning?

Paradox engine is understandable, as you can generate a ton of Mana from rocks or untap creatures after setting it up for several turns. Weak combo maker right there.

Painter Servent, gotta unban cos obv someone has some copies to move on the committee, cos I don't recall anyone ever calling Painter and Grindstone a fair combo. Oh, but you are gonna need to land, Sol ring, vault/crypt, Servent, and Grindstone. Oh, and a single turn for that combo. Arcum Daggson can hit it reliably turn 3-4 depending on ramp.

Iona? 9 mana, dies to a ton of artifacts, and often requires politics and groups to work together to deal with? Gosh we would sure hate for that to happen.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-08 6:43 pm 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Perhaps read the announcement? viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19171

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-08 7:05 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-08 5:49 pm
Age: Wyvern
Thanks,

I apologize but after inserting my own opinion piece I thought you'd have understood that I did, and I was merely interjecting to the article with a sarcasm-rich retort.

What I really meant was, how do you logically consider Iona, Paradox Engine, and Painter's Servent, if put on a scale, all that different in terms of safety and enjoyment?

Personally, every time I've seen Iona in play, I've only seen people work together, not ragequit or build new decks.

Paradox Engine, though can get crazy with rocks or tap-abilities, still requires a pretty convoluted assembly to be effective. Do you find yourself regularly playing PE on turn 5 when you have the Mana, or stabilizing with other spells first? (For me, it is very commonly the latter)

Now Servent, while I agree it could be fun adding a color to every card in the gamestate, requires waaaay less setup to be waaaaat more detrimental than a Paradox Engine, and can be done in any color of deck, unlike Iona--but arguably blue or black with tutor abilities will see it become a staple combo much more reliably.


Hope this makes more sense now that I've removed most of the sarcasm and more people actually consider the implication, as well as the power level of other cards, that, if bans like these soft annoyances are made, what will be next.

Song of the Dryad? Darksteel Mutation? Timeshifter?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 3:20 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Nice Cards wrote:
Painter Servent, gotta unban cos obv someone has some copies to move on the committee

Saying stuff like this doesn't paint you in a good light. It paints you as someone who has already made up his/her mind and then is making cheap shots. Typically, these kinds of people aren't to be reasoned with, which means you're less likely to actually get a response to your question (note that I spent time on this bit, vs on answering your question.)

Nice Cards wrote:
Personally, every time I've seen Iona in play, I've only seen people work together, not ragequit or build new decks.

It's important to always remember that your experiences are merely one data point. There is always the possibility that your experiences are the outlier or even opposite the norm.

Also remember that they mentioned (either in the ban announcement, or the update on the Philosophy of Commander) that they don't ban for power level. So the power level of Servant/Grindstone isn't something that they would ban for.

Sure, Servant/Grindstone is a combo that can take one person out of the game per round. But it does still leave interaction in the game -- and people can interact with it. Iona simply is either an overcosted angel, or something that restricts plays/options in the game, and does it at a scale much larger than something like Meddling Mage or Nevermore.

Basically, Iona goes against the philosophy of the format and they have (finally) banned her. With Iona gone, Servant can come back as they don't ban two-card combos or solely on power-level of the cards.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 5:25 am 

Joined: 2019-Jul-09 4:45 am
Age: Wyvern
Unban them all. It is the players responsibility to know what type of decks you are sitting down with. Iona and Paradox engine both seem very unfair for a group full of under powered decks. But compared to flash hulk decks, doomsday, and timetwister loops, paradox engine is just a card with similar or lesser power level. Iona isn't very fun to play against but I also don't have a problem admitting defeat and just moving on to play a different game with other people. Painter's servant is strong but that players starting hand is servant, grindstone and three lands for the perfect curve, or even they do have a mana vault or mana crypt. That combo still dies to. Tragic slip, Path to exile, pongify, nature's claim, force of negation, force of despair among many others. Let people play what they want to play. Just make sure players are playing similarly powered decks and we can all get along.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 7:30 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
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Location: Connecticut
The only thing that’s even remotely unsettling about the announcement is the implied notion that the RC only just discovered that people don’t have to have nine mana to play Iona. It’s almost like the new CAG posted a Gatherer link to Reanimate in the private discussions and minds were blown. The cat was out of the bag— casuals were paying reduced costs for bombs. It was time to act. This implication is due to the statement that Iona’s cmc had been perceived to be enough till now.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 10:39 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Personally I'd like PS re-banned. I don't think I'm going to see any cute/fun uses for it. I think I'm suddenly going to see more of Llawan, Cephalid Empress.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 12:23 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-19 1:30 pm
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Personally I'd like PS re-banned. I don't think I'm going to see any cute/fun uses for it. I think I'm suddenly going to see more of Llawan, Cephalid Empress.

OK, and...? That's not a particularly powerful combo. There's much, much worse that can be done to the game.

If someone does this, it doesn't last long - someone will have a kill spell or bounce spell, or a win condition without creatures. The Cephalid player has what? Either a pillowfort/fog variant there, or is going to swing out for the win in mono blue?

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 12:31 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-08 5:49 pm
Age: Wyvern
Thank you for the thoughtful replies

Can we talk about some more consequences of the RC's rulings?

When Wizards makes a ban, it is to improve diversity of the metagame in a given format, backed by actual statistics such as overwhelming usage and win % in the recent case of Bridgevine dredge, or abnormally long clocks or rounds going to time in the case of Eggs.

For RC bans, they only need to provide a philosophy article, but do not require any gameplay footage or proof of these cards being as broken or unenjoyable as they say. They merely need to provide a write-up for the banning or unbanning.

An overwhelming amount of Twitter responses are generally not in favor of this ban, many saying they are wrong and stating their monetary loss for Paradox Engines, especially involving the Masterpiece version. If the RC is concerned about fun and our wellbeing, should they also not care about the thousands of dollars that were lost among the broad scope of home commander supporters and enthusiasts? This isn't an MMO where we lost some resources and others gained in having Painter's Servants. These are real dollars and earnings.

Show us some games where Iona is overpowered and unenjoyable, but don't show us simply the instance it was cheated. Show us the whole game, the interactions between people at the table, what happened leading up to and after such a play--this is how to rate a game of EDH--not simply posting the philosophy of a supposed gamestate that could happen in theory.

Let's look in reverse now, how do you give Painter's Servant a greenlight on the same day? Did you spend ample time testing PS, testing that Grindstone won't be a broken combo, and testing for other interactions? If so, I must assume that you also had these cards on hand, or purchased them to test--now unworried about post-banning impact market changes, you are free to include these cards in literally every EDH deck you'd like. We don't have this liberty because we have Paradox Engines and Ionas for coasters.

This distaste is beyond monetary loss or even subjective differences in enjoyment. Why be so strongly supportive of your minority when a majority is calling foul? Could you take the time and reevaluate your decisions, and possibly pick a different method of making changes to a casual format? I could see if these are cEDH rules--competitive players are used to these things. Casual players are not. EDH was built upon big mana and wonky combos--not the unfair combos that could be included in literally every EDH deck such as PS/Grindstone. This isn't the only PS problem, but probably one of the more deadly and unfun ones, as well as anti-diversity moves that should be considered.

Tl;dr issues with bannings
1 RC Bannings were done without numerical or gameplay evidence
2 Hundreds of casual players losing money on their cards
3 Loss of trust among casual community
4 Sudden release of new combos more broken than the things banned, either without testing or with testing after RC obtained said cards to test with


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:05 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Nice Cards wrote:
When Wizards makes a ban, it is to improve diversity of the metagame in a given format, backed by actual statistics such as overwhelming usage and win % in the recent case of Bridgevine dredge, or abnormally long clocks or rounds going to time in the case of Eggs.

For RC bans, they only need to provide a philosophy article, but do not require any gameplay footage or proof of these cards being as broken or unenjoyable as they say. They merely need to provide a write-up for the banning or unbanning.


So you're right, to some extent. WotC makes bans informed by data gathered from Magic Online and large tournaments. Commander doesn't have that resource, and there's no way to replace it. So instead of quantitative measures, the RC relies on qualitative measures from a variety of sources, including the Judge program, tournament organizers, the Community Advisory Group (CAG), their members at WotC, and a variety of social media sources.

What would you have them look at instead?

Nice Cards wrote:
If the RC is concerned about fun and our wellbeing, should they also not care about the thousands of dollars that were lost among the broad scope of home commander supporters and enthusiasts?


No, they should not. TCGplayer is not a stock market, and the RC is not the Federal Reserve.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:25 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-08 5:49 pm
Age: Wyvern
For part one, it'd be nice to see videos or gameplay and/or taking a vote of community feedback. We are connected and able to reach out to one another these days thanks to a plethora of technology.

For part two, you are saying that RC should not take into account of any financial aspects of the game or any money the players in this casual clique have spent or trusted to spend in order to further fuel their EDH obsession? How do you suppose this negligence reflects on the players trust in such a committee?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:39 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, Florida
Nice Cards wrote:
For part one, it'd be nice to see videos or gameplay and/or taking a vote of community feedback. We are connected and able to reach out to one another these days thanks to a plethora of technology.

For part two, you are saying that RC should not take into account of any financial aspects of the game or any money the players in this casual clique have spent or trusted to spend in order to further fuel their EDH obsession? How do you suppose this negligence reflects on the players trust in such a committee?

For the first part, this format isn't a democracy. Iona being unbanned as long as she was is indicative of that. They write articles and post to this website. They aren't beholden to use your preferred medium of choice.

For the second part, no they shouldn't except in extreme circumstances, which they have. Iona and Paradox Engine aren't expensive cards as far as this format is concerned. They're what, $30USD? When they're as expensive as Library of Alexandria ($1000USD), you might have an argument.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:42 pm 
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Nice Cards wrote:
For part two, you are saying that RC should not take into account of any financial aspects of the game or any money the players in this casual clique have spent or trusted to spend in order to further fuel their EDH obsession? How do you suppose this negligence reflects on the players trust in such a committee?

Why. The. Hell. Would you put any money into something that you don't understand is, inherently, volatile?

Or if you do understand it's volatile -- then isn't that a risk you took willingly?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:51 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
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Quote:
An overwhelming amount of Twitter responses are generally not in favor of this ban, many saying they are wrong
This is a horrid metric for trying to figure out anything. People who are neutral or in favor of a decision are a lot less likely to post about it than those who oppose it. Not to mention that forum/social media posters make up a minority of Magic players, which is constantly supported by hard data at Wizards. People who are passionate enough about a game to post about it online are also more likely to have a strong reaction to anything than those who don't.

So you're using data from a biased sample of a biased minority of the EDH crowd and trying to use that data to generalize about the whole. There's few ways to get a less reliable conclusion.

Quote:
should they also not care about the thousands of dollars that were lost among the broad scope of home commander supporters and enthusiasts?
They do, which is one of many reasons why they tend to take a glacially slow pace to banning or unbanning anything.

That said, it should be the very last consideration, if one at all. Whether or not Paradox Engine is harmful to the format is roughly the same whether it's $50 or $0.50.

Quote:
posting the philosophy of a supposed gamestate that could happen in theory.
I think you mean "actual gamestate that happened consistently across playgroups". Type "Iona" into the search bar on any EDH forum website and you'll find dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of anecdotal examples. And since the format is a casual one, that's the closest to hard data you'll ever get.

Quote:
Did you spend ample time testing PS, testing that Grindstone won't be a broken combo, and testing for other interactions?
Why should they? Painter's Servant and Grindstone have been a known quantity since the format's inception, as well as all of Servant's other interactions. Because they're all dead obvious. Does the card mention the color of other cards? If yes it interacts with Servant, if no it doesn't.

But I'll turn the question back on you: have you ever played with or against Servantstone? Because I have, and it sucks in commander. You have two cards that are absolutely dead outside of the combo, destroyed if someone breathes on them hard enough, and even if the combo goes off it still takes you multiple turns (or extensive setup) to actually win. Compare that to any of the already legal combo bogeyman and it doesn't add up. Furthermore, the notion that Servantstone can go in any deck is entirely irrelevant because every single color combination already has access to better combos. You might as well argue that Servant is an efficient creature that can go in every deck, it's just as valid of a point.

Quote:
For part one, it'd be nice to see videos or gameplay and/or taking a vote of community feedback.
Taking a vote of community feedback is something that happens constantly. Admittedly not under the direction of the RC specifically (usually), but it does happen. And it has all the same problems that appealing to Twitter posts has: a biased sample of a biased minority.

And videos or gameplay will solve nothing. Virtually everyone knows exactly what these cards do and how they function in the format and no opinions will be swayed. Those who agree with the decision will take it at face value while those that don't will disingenuously nitpick inch of the video/game to dismiss it as invalid.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Iona, Reban Servent or Grindstone
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-09 1:54 pm 
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Marit Lage wrote:
For the second part, no they shouldn't except in extreme circumstances, which they have. Iona and Paradox Engine aren't expensive cards as far as this format is concerned. They're what, $30USD? When they're as expensive as Library of Alexandria ($1000USD), you might have an argument.


I'm pretty sure someone out there got burnt speculating on Paradox Engine, which is where some of the saltiness is coming from. The invention PE had been ~$100 for a few years, jumped to $175-200 this spring, then saw another jump to $275 right before it got banned.

Nice Cards wrote:
For part two, you are saying that RC should not take into account of any financial aspects of the game or any money the players in this casual clique have spent or trusted to spend in order to further fuel their EDH obsession? How do you suppose this negligence reflects on the players trust in such a committee?


There's some loaded language here, and I think you've conflated "negligence" with "disinterest." The RC makes decisions based on how the cards play in the game, and they've specifically avoided making any moves based on card prices (beyond the power cards, obv). To the extent that they worry about people being able to play with stuff they bought, they've worked hard to keep the banned list as short as possible.

As far as folks being obsessed with collectibles, I feel like that's their own problem. No one twisted your arm into buying a $150 foil when the $15 regular would've gotten you the same play experience.

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