Login | Register


All times are UTC - 7 hours


It is currently 2019-Nov-16 9:16 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-10 9:38 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-10 8:57 pm
Age: Hatchling
Hi everyone!

I just came over from another forum where I had developed a certain idea regarding bannings, and I thought I'd take it right to the source of Commander rules, to hear your input on whether it might be viable or not.

Some cards on the EDH banlist are there because their individual power level is so high that they break pretty much anything they're paired up with. This is certainly true for things like the Power 9, as well as Tinker or Show and Tell.

Other cards however mainly seem to be on the list due to specific combos or interactions, of which the rules committee needed to ban at least one piece in order to break the combo. Famous example: Painter's Servant and Grindstone. The cards by themselves don't do much individually - it's only when you bring them together that you create something explosive.

In those cases, it's a question of picking the lesser of two evils: Which ban will harm the smaller amount of existing decks, while at the same time being effective enough at preventing the combo?

The discussion in the recent ban announcement article on how cards like Iona, Shield of Emeria are only unfair if you can cheat them out, rather than actually having to pay the steep mana cost, made me think of something:


What if, for certain cards on the banlist, it would be possible to ban specific card interactions, rather than cards in their entirety?


For example, the same thing that can be said for Iona can also be said about Emrakul, the Aeons Torn: If you actually have to hardcast it, you need to put in a lot of work to get to that amount of mana, and if you do and your opponents let you get away with it, they kind of had it coming, didn't they? Any other spell you cast for that mana cost is equally likely to wreck their game.

Another case is Leovold, Emissary of Trest. He could actually be used to make the game more fair by preventing everyone else to draw additional cards, i.e. except the one they draw in the draw step. He'd be a great counter-strategy against Rhystic Study, Consecrated Sphinx and such. And if anyone tries to target the player who plays the "policeman", they get punished by allowing Leovold's controller to draw cards. Leovold himself, mind you, does not draw any cards. He only becomes overpowered when people can put him into the same deck as Windfall and other such effects. That single step takes Leovold from a card that's supposed to prevent unfair stuff from happening to one massively causing unfair stuff himself.

So what if the banlist didn't just read "Emrakul, the Aeons Torn" or "Leovold, Emissary of Trest", but instead, there was a colon behind those names, listing specific cards you're not allowed to have in your deck if you decide to play this card.

For example:
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn: no Sneak Attack, Goryo's Vengeance, Through the Breach, Elvish Piper, Quicksilver Amulett
Leovold, Emissary of Trest: no Dark Deal, Time Reversal, Wheel of Fortune, Windfall

This way, also cards that are now unbanned could remain on this "conditional banlist", making the cards accessible to anyone who wants to brew with them while at the same time preventing the most game-breaking combos. Such as:

Painter's Servant: no Grindstone
Protean Hulk: no Flash, Sneak Attack, Through the Breach


The cards listed as suggested conditional bannings for each card on the banlist are just off the top of my head; I'm sure we could compile a complete list easily with a little use of Gatherer, Scryfall or similar.


Just to be clear: I do not suggest doing this for every possible card in the history of Magic! :mrgreen: Just for the ones that are on the banlist already anyway.

This would keep conditionally-banned cards somewhat accessible to players who actively strive to use them in a fair way, while at the same time shutting off exactly what the RC is trying to prevent.

At the same time, it would create some interesting tradeoff choices for deckbuilding:
Is a card like Sylvan Primordial strong enough that, in order to be allowed to put it in my deck, it be willing not to play any blink effects in my entire deck? Would I be willing to go one step further and not play any blink-, bounce-, or sac effects in order to have Sundering Titan in my deck?

This way, you could disincentivize people from playing certain cards without making it entirely impossible to play them. It would allow regulation of many cards without their complete expulsion from the format.

There would still be some completely-banned cards, of course, in all those cases in which the list of conditionally-banned cards would get excessively long. (For example, Tinker would require all artifacts with converted mana cost < X to be banned, Show and Tell all permanents with converted mana cost > X, and so on.)


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 12:21 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
Age: Dragon
I routinely advocate for adding 30 cards to the banlist, and this seems way more complicated than just doing that.

_________________
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.

QFT


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 1:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
There's some issues with this.

1. Most if not all cards on the banlist aren't super broken just due to a small set of cards, they're just super broken by being present in a deck at all.

2. This doesn't account for other players' actions: a game with Leovold in it can still have a Windfall in it so long as someone else plays it. Someone can still be playing Emrakul for me to Bribery it out. (I'm getting flashbacks to how Primeval Titan warped the format so much that even nongreen decks that didn't include it were building around getting to use Primeval Titan; Uktabi Kong describes that situation here.) This means those same cards can still do a lot of damage to the format.

3. You're probably underestimating the number of cards that would need to be co-banned. For example, can I show you Scryfall Tagger's lists of sneak cards (mostly complete), reanimate cards (partially complete), tutor-onto-battlefield cards (very incomplete), or free casting cards (barely started) cards? Many of these will be highly relevant to cheating out Protean Hulk, Emrakul, etc. Leovold's a problem combined with any black card that makes a player discard at least one card per turn, which is a lot of cards.

4. There's a lot of additional mental overhead in deckbuilding (read: error prone-ness) if your deck's banlist can vary from 20 to 100 cards (or more!) depending on what cards you're including, so you have to compile a correct banlist for what you're playing and then check your work against it. This can be accomplished with the assistance of tools, but there's value in having a format that can be made just by sitting at my desk with some cards and a single list of no-nos.

_________________
Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 8:11 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Its a no from me dawg.

That is not nearly as easily groked as 'you can't play these 20 cards'.

Its an innovate idea, but just not the right target games.

_________________
sir squab wrote:
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.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 10:22 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
This is a tempting and unviable solution.

Building with a co-banlist is complicated. It's hard to keep track of all the interactions and make sure you haven't violated a restriction. Sure, everyone on this board could probably handle it, but an enormous part of the Commander audience is playing just a little Magic a week. Spending time figuring out if they have a legal deck is time not spent playing.

It's the same as points systems. I love CanLander's points system and think it's great for heavily enfranchised players. But it only appeals to enfranchised players; it's way too much work for the average Magic player.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 12:16 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Having played competitive Pokemon quite a bit back a few years ago, I've spent some time in metas that had an interaction-based ban (or, as they call them, complex bans). And even for a game that is far less complicated in the deckbuilding process than EDH or Magic as a whole... they sucked. They were difficult to keep track of, were particularly confusing/punishing for new players, and 9/10 times everyone agreed in hindsight that they should have just straight-up banned the most offensive of the parties.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 10:08 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-10 8:57 pm
Age: Hatchling
First of all, thanks a lot for all your insights, and for addressing this idea with an open mind! :)

I didn't know there were actually games that have a conditional banlist already, so what Uktabi_Kong said about Pokemon is definitely food for thought.

Some remarks also overlap with what I've heard on the other forum where I ventilated this idea - namely the issue of cards like Bribery.

If it were only for that case alone, one could argue for Bribery being banned instead of all its potentially dangerous targets, just like Birthing Pod was banned in Modern due to the list of overly strong creatures it could hit growing longer and longer. Yes, Sylvan Primordial becomes more problematic when a different player gets it out with Bribery and then starts cloning it or similar, but the same is true for e.g. a Blightsteel Colossus, which is still legal.

Quote:
Most if not all cards on the banlist aren't super broken just due to a small set of cards, they're just super broken by being present in a deck at all.


Yes, that's what I said about the Power 9 as well as Tinker, Show and Tell etc.

My idea would only mean trying it out for a few select cards first, like e.g. Sylvan Primordial or Recurring Nightmare.

Technically, Commander has had a conditional banlist for a while, and the recently created online survey of the RC actually even includes the question whether this rule should be re-introduced: the "Banned as Commander" category.

The question also states that, if re-inroduced, this rule would only apply to Braids, Cabal Minion and Erayo, Soratami Ascendant at first.

Of course, whether or not something can be played as a Commander is a lot easier to assess than whether something can be played in the same deck as a bunch of different cards.

However, with cards that are not so inherently broken that they combo with almost everything, but only become unfair when played too early, flickered too often etc., it might work.

The "tutor to battlefield" and "sneak" lists aren't terribly long, after all (yet).

The recursion list seems to be a much bigger problem. The only way to shut them off would once again be to restrict the available engines to tutor stuff into the graveyard, like Entomb, Buried Alive, and Jarad's Orders, as well as, by extension, Survival of the Fittest and Fauna Shaman.

Quote:
Sure, everyone on this board could probably handle it, but an enormous part of the Commander audience is playing just a little Magic a week.


That's a fair point I hadn't thought of, indeed! :) To me, it always seemed obvious that Commander decks are quite high maintenance, especially when it comes to upgrading / updating / tweaking a deck with every new set that comes out. More casual players, in contrast, will likely just keep a precon on their shelf, and then the question would be what happens if a certain interaction from a precon got banned. It's easier to say to those players "simply take out card X and swap it for something else", rather than "on the one hand, you can take out X and put in Y; but you can also decide to leave X in, however, in that case, you have to take out A, B, and C..."


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-11 10:26 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Strato Incendus wrote:
Quote:
Most if not all cards on the banlist aren't super broken just due to a small set of cards, they're just super broken by being present in a deck at all.


Yes, that's what I said about the Power 9 as well as Tinker, Show and Tell etc.

My idea would only mean trying it out for a few select cards first, like e.g. Sylvan Primordial or Recurring Nightmare.


Sylvan Primordial is one of those cards. Did you read Uktabi Kong's summary? Even decks that never included Sylvan Primordial were warping around the opportunity to use someone else's Sylvan Primordial. It is a poster child of “ruins the format merely by being present in it.”

Strato Incendus wrote:
Technically, Commander has had a conditional banlist for a while, and the recently created online survey of the RC actually even includes the question whether this rule should be re-introduced: the "Banned as Commander" category.

The question also states that, if re-inroduced, this rule would only apply to Braids, Cabal Minion and Erayo, Soratami Ascendant at first.

It sounds like you're describing this survey. You say it's the online survey of the RC, so I just want to make sure we're clear — this survey is not official and is not conducted by the RC. It's conducted privately by cryogen on behalf of MTGNexus, a MTG discussion community branched off from MTGSalvation. That was not making any authorative claims about how "banned as commander" would work, just asking people how they would want it to work if it was brought back.

_________________
Decks: Chaos colored dragons, Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem).
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-12 6:23 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Strato Incendus wrote:
Yes, that's what I said about the Power 9 as well as Tinker, Show and Tell etc.

Just to be 100% sure you know, Show and Tell isnt banned in EDH.

_________________
sir squab wrote:
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.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-15 11:56 pm 

Joined: 2019-Jul-10 8:57 pm
Age: Hatchling
@spacemonaut: Yes, I've read it - I've heard similar stories about Laboratory Maniac, how even people who decided not to play it in their own decks made spontaneous use of someone else playing the maniac (gaining control of it, cloning it etc.).

@MRHblue: Oh, thanks for the clarification! :) I don't know why I assumed that... probably because the original artwork looks so stylistically similar to Tinker, and both cost 2U... :mrgreen:


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-18 12:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
I had thought of this very idea before. I think it's something that would be easy to implement at the playgroup level, but is a really bad idea for a global rule set. It's also an excellent personal rule to go by if you want to use neat things without the "Oops, I broke the game" moments that inevitably come up.

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Banning card interactions instead of individual cards
AgePosted: 2019-Jul-18 1:43 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
First off this is a really bad idea but you are in no way silly for suggesting it. I say that because it is pretty much what Mark Rosewater did to a number of cards in the early days of magic. For more details you can have a look at the article "Power Errata B Gone", but the TLDR is that Peregrine Drake, Palinchron and other similar cards with the untap lands trick were given errata to say "If you cast this from your hand". This was done because the cards become too powerful when paired with reanimation (Recurring nightmare to be specific) and Alluren. Aaron Forscythe explain why they reversed this which boils down to the overheads are too much.

To do card interaction restrictions you not only have to remember whether a card is allowed but also if a card has a restriction and the nature of that restriction. This is a lot of stuff to remember and you need to remember it both in the deck building stage as well as during gameplay, unlike bans which are really only important during gameplay. For easy flowing games you want to cards to do what they say they do and not have to be looking up rulings on a regular basis.

If this was Eternal or Hearthstone, your suggestion would be perfect, because the computer program could do all the remembering for us and dynamically change the text of the cards based on the situation, but for a paper game it doesn't really work.

Strato Incendus wrote:
If it were only for that case alone, one could argue for Bribery being banned instead of all its potentially dangerous targets, just like Birthing Pod was banned in Modern due to the list of overly strong creatures it could hit growing longer and longer. Yes, Sylvan Primordial becomes more problematic when a different player gets it out with Bribery and then starts cloning it or similar, but the same is true for e.g. a Blightsteel Colossus, which is still legal.


You are half right with regards to why SP is banned. It isn't banned just because it is powerful and annoying when people clone it. SP is a card that looks like a cool ramp piece, and plays out in a broken way. To the casual observer Primordial looks like a perfectly reasonable card which contributes to why it was so prolific. No-one would say the same of a blightsteele, that is a giant monster who's job is to murder players. It's purpose is clear and if you put it in your deck you do so knowing it's true purpose.

_________________
Favourite Deck:
Ghost Council of Orzhova

Playing Online:
Noyan Darr & Sedris Zombie Guy


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 44 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: