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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jan-30 12:45 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Even without mulligans, the odds of a T1 Skullclamp are roughly 1 in 12. It's not incredibly often, but it's also not absurd. It only seems weird because a T1 Skullclamp isn't the kind of thing where you can build for redundancy. The odds of drawing say a T1 Llanowar Elves are equally slim, but it doesn't seem that way because 90% of the time it's indistinguishable from a T1 Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Birds of Paradise, Arbor Elf, Noble Hierarch, Elves of Deep Shadow, Avacyn's Pilgrim, or Boreal Druid. Skullclamp on the other hand is ridiculously undercosted, so all the cards that can mimic its effect are all 3-5 mana, and therefore the only play comparable to a T1 Skullclamp is literally a T1 Skullclamp.

Now, a T1 Skullclamp into a T2 Bitterblossom, that'd be a bit more eyebrow-raising. Those odds are more like 1 in 175.

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jan-31 5:33 am 

Joined: 2018-Apr-09 11:02 am
Age: Hatchling
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Even without mulligans, the odds of a T1 Skullclamp are roughly 1 in 12. It's not incredibly often, but it's also not absurd. It only seems weird because a T1 Skullclamp isn't the kind of thing where you can build for redundancy. The odds of drawing say a T1 Llanowar Elves are equally slim, but it doesn't seem that way because 90% of the time it's indistinguishable from a T1 Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Birds of Paradise, Arbor Elf, Noble Hierarch, Elves of Deep Shadow, Avacyn's Pilgrim, or Boreal Druid. Skullclamp on the other hand is ridiculously undercosted, so all the cards that can mimic its effect are all 3-5 mana, and therefore the only play comparable to a T1 Skullclamp is literally a T1 Skullclamp.

Now, a T1 Skullclamp into a T2 Bitterblossom, that'd be a bit more eyebrow-raising. Those odds are more like 1 in 175.


T1 Skullclamp is just a terrible move. Everbody can dig for a solution the next turn(s) and it will most likely be eaten by a Reclamation Sage or similar random disenchant effect before you get value out of it.

I would rather play turn 1 nothing, turn 2 Bitterblossom and turn 3 Skullclamp :P


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-15 2:19 am 

Joined: 2017-Jul-06 3:44 pm
Age: Wyvern
Here's a list of cards that should be added to the Commander Banlist:

1. Sol Ring / Mana Crypt - A two-turn mana advantage early in the game is often a blow in which opponents aren't able to recover from that's almost on par with Black Lotus in terms of power level as it was a main ingredient for many of MTG's original first-turn-kill decks at the time.
2. Mana Drain - Similar to Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, the amount of mana you get from countering a high CMC card can be too much for most opponents to handle especially If their General is within a color identity that lacks consistent ramp support.
3. Serra Ascendant - The problem with this card is that your starting life total makes this way too easy to trigger by enabling you a 6/6 flier with lifelink that's already strong enough to kill early blockers.
4. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - Sure you suffer the same penalty but in EDH decks with just the General as your only creature, you're depleting your opponents of all their resources by having them choose between creatures or mana.
5. Cyclonic Rift - The problem with this card is it's amazing versatility, offering either an early removal or a late-game mass nuke. Sure it takes seven mana to leave your side of the field unscathed but much like with Expropriate it can automatically win the game for you the turn you hard cast it.
6. Demonic Tutor / Mystical Tutor - While tutors are generally required for certain EDH decks to function properly they're often times used to combo out for a win by stealing a resource lead even If luck doesn't favor your opening hand.
7. Gaea's Cradle - It produces twice as much mana as a regular land could produce and once you've accumulated enough mana to cast your fatties, you'll be too far ahead for your opponents to catch up with you.
8. High Tide - For mono-blue builds it's an absurd amount of resources with no real drawbacks.
9. Skullclamp - Creates way too much card advantage for what it does. There's a reason why this card was banned in the original Mirrodin block back when it was Standard legal. I should know since I was around when Elf Clamp was a thing.
10. Iona, Shield of Emeria - Helm of the Host's printing has proved that she's way too powerful in this format when you consider that you can easily lock someone or multiple players out of the game all at once.

Honorable mentions:

    * Mana Vault - Still a lethal way to nab 3 extra mana early game which is fairly easy to get around the drawback with Blood Clock and Umbilicus. Not to mention It's highly unlikely that someone will have an answer to this early in the game unless it's in their opening hand.
    * Brago, King Eternal - Sure 4 CMC isn't super cheap but use a Sol Ring, Ancient Tomb, or Mana Vault and you're basically there. The fact that he scores a free untap with your mana rocks leaving with a super powered arsenal of high CMC spells on turn 4 or 5 is nothing to scoff at.
    * Paradox Engine - At least Brago can only inflict combat damage once per turn, but with the Engine it can re-activate itself as long as you have the mana rocks to keep casting spells. If Paradox Engine only triggered once per turn then it wouldn't be nearly as bad as Prophet of Kruphix was before it got banned.
    * Tooth and Nail - If Tinker is banned why isn't this card?
    * Sensei's Divining Top / Scroll Rack - Never before has there been cards that encourage slow-play as much as these where it's literally gone against the spirit of the format. EDH / Commander is supposed to be about interacting with your playgroup instead of non-interactive turns which does nothing to advance the board state let alone the game in general.

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-15 3:05 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Jeez, some of those are not like the others.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-16 2:56 pm 

Joined: 2017-Jul-06 3:44 pm
Age: Wyvern
Isn't the whole point of EDH / Commander supposed to revolve around everyone not running the exact same cards in their 99? Not to mention the prevalence of tutors in the format makes it far too easy to get staple cards out when you want them instead of relying solely on the luck of the draw after thinning your deck out. I figured If the above cards I listed ends up getting banned then that would encourage more players to think outside the box a bit more instead of relying too much on consistency when building EDH decks. Basically running "playsets" of cards with different names that function identically.

Not saying that consistency is a bad thing however too much consistency can lead to more power creep and other players trying to netdeck off each other. Whenever a popular EDH deck tech shows up on YouTube, that ends up destroying the Secondary Market for those who are wanting to build the deck for themselves. It ends up creating a financial barrier of entry for those who are trying to get into EDH from spending more on Standard and Modern. Now granted there are some cards I listed that don't see as much play due to how much they're going for on the Secondary Market.

Reserve List cards are sort of a blessing in disguise for the format since the more expensive they become the more it pressures players into finding functionally identical alternatives for said cards. Sheldon said it best that, "restriction breeds creativity" and what better way to do that than by narrowing the card pool to where there isn't as much of an unfair disadvantage to those who aren't able to afford Reserve List cards as they continue to spike? Maybe it will help EDH players be more truthful in regards to what cards they decide to proxy that they're actually able to afford.

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"Stax is the hero we need but don't deserve. Too many people just play dumb stuff and often games devolve into "who does their dumb stuff first". People essentially just goldfishing. Great social format you got here Sheldon." - illakunsaa


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-16 9:34 pm 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
Age: Dragon
Card Slinger J wrote:
Isn't the whole point of EDH / Commander supposed to revolve around everyone not running the exact same cards in their 99?


No. The point is to craft environments which work towards the subjective goal of the group having fun. No shade intended, but I think your expectations are too lofty- and thus, you're doomed for disappointment, even if you got everything on your laundry list. Normally, I would respond to this kind of post by asking why Craw Wurm is missing to make this point.

Groups have tried expanded banlists for format variations- those variations don't retain the same type of playerbase.

My own fantasy banlist has only 3 cards. Mana Crypt, Grim Monolith, and Intuition. Banning these 3 cards doesn't effect most tables, but it shakes up how the game is played at tables where it does matter enough to extend the amount of counterplay by a couple of turn cycles. Even then, I've encountered great argumentation against these choices (though, it has mostly been from individuals playing devil's advocate about the dangers of making the EDH banlist larger.)

A few other things...

Tooth and Nail is closer to Reshape or Whir of Invention than Tinker.

The only problem with Top and Scroll Rack are a lack of supply, imo it's an affront that they haven't been stuffed into Commander precons, especially as the MSRP rises.

Clock of Omens and Mind Over Matter would like a word with you about Paradox Engine's place as an enabler.

Brago, King Eternal sounds like the crux of your post- since almost every card you've mentioned fits into a Brago deck. If your group is getting manhandled by a Brago deck, the counterplay does exist (similar to Mizzix of the Izmagus and Meren of Clan Nel Toth)- and that's just to utilize EDH's insanely deep removal pool. If your own path to victory is as clear your opponent's (using Brago to reset rocks/value engines,) then being able to keep up and take it down isn't all that tall of an order.

Again, just to be clear- I'm trying to be very forward and blunt here; but that's because this horse has bred, fed, beaten, eaten and mourned over several generations (thanks, Sacred Mesa.) "Fair Magic" is played by busting up combos on their way down. That window only exists if a player makes commitments for pressure or bottlenecks which allow high value plays to overtake synergistic card combinations, or extremely high power individual card setups. The banlist could be 200+ cards deep, and that simply wouldn't change.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Apr-16 10:34 pm 

Joined: 2016-Feb-13 2:14 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Orlando, Florida
Card Slinger J wrote:
Here's a list of cards that should be added to the Commander Banlist:

1. Sol Ring / Mana Crypt - A two-turn mana advantage early in the game is often a blow in which opponents aren't able to recover from that's almost on par with Black Lotus in terms of power level as it was a main ingredient for many of MTG's original first-turn-kill decks at the time.
2. Mana Drain - Similar to Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, the amount of mana you get from countering a high CMC card can be too much for most opponents to handle especially If their General is within a color identity that lacks consistent ramp support.
3. Serra Ascendant - The problem with this card is that your starting life total makes this way too easy to trigger by enabling you a 6/6 flier with lifelink that's already strong enough to kill early blockers.
4. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - Sure you suffer the same penalty but in EDH decks with just the General as your only creature, you're depleting your opponents of all their resources by having them choose between creatures or mana.
5. Cyclonic Rift - The problem with this card is it's amazing versatility, offering either an early removal or a late-game mass nuke. Sure it takes seven mana to leave your side of the field unscathed but much like with Expropriate it can automatically win the game for you the turn you hard cast it.
6. Demonic Tutor / Mystical Tutor - While tutors are generally required for certain EDH decks to function properly they're often times used to combo out for a win by stealing a resource lead even If luck doesn't favor your opening hand.
7. Gaea's Cradle - It produces twice as much mana as a regular land could produce and once you've accumulated enough mana to cast your fatties, you'll be too far ahead for your opponents to catch up with you.
8. High Tide - For mono-blue builds it's an absurd amount of resources with no real drawbacks.
9. Skullclamp - Creates way too much card advantage for what it does. There's a reason why this card was banned in the original Mirrodin block back when it was Standard legal. I should know since I was around when Elf Clamp was a thing.
10. Iona, Shield of Emeria - Helm of the Host's printing has proved that she's way too powerful in this format when you consider that you can easily lock someone or multiple players out of the game all at once.

Honorable mentions:

    * Mana Vault - Still a lethal way to nab 3 extra mana early game which is fairly easy to get around the drawback with Blood Clock and Umbilicus. Not to mention It's highly unlikely that someone will have an answer to this early in the game unless it's in their opening hand.
    * Brago, King Eternal - Sure 4 CMC isn't super cheap but use a Sol Ring, Ancient Tomb, or Mana Vault and you're basically there. The fact that he scores a free untap with your mana rocks leaving with a super powered arsenal of high CMC spells on turn 4 or 5 is nothing to scoff at.
    * Paradox Engine - At least Brago can only inflict combat damage once per turn, but with the Engine it can re-activate itself as long as you have the mana rocks to keep casting spells. If Paradox Engine only triggered once per turn then it wouldn't be nearly as bad as Prophet of Kruphix was before it got banned.
    * Tooth and Nail - If Tinker is banned why isn't this card?
    * Sensei's Divining Top / Scroll Rack - Never before has there been cards that encourage slow-play as much as these where it's literally gone against the spirit of the format. EDH / Commander is supposed to be about interacting with your playgroup instead of non-interactive turns which does nothing to advance the board state let alone the game in general.

1. Early fast mana earns the ire of the rest of the table. Every time I've had an explosive start, the table low mana interaction all comes my way. I now slow roll my ramp to avoid this.

2. Have you ever played with/against mana drain? Its fine. It's just a swingy counterspell.

3. See number 1.

4. That might have been true at some point, but there's enough interaction and spot removal to make this a non-issue, even in colorless decks.

5. Cyclonic Rift is obnoxious, but not broken. If you're that concerned about the card, prevent your opponents from casting spells on your turn, or force them to use it early. Your argument about it's late game uses in invalitdated by cards like Insurrection, which can simply end the game.

6. Demonic tutor and tutors are obnoxious, but not broken. It being two mana is mitigated by it's the only card that does so without restrictions.

7. Cradle? Really? Is there a reason no one is playing mass removal or spot removal for the Cradle itself?

8. High Tide is only played in combo decks. Next.

9. Skullclamp is fine. Play more spot removal, or prevent the shenanigans by limiting the creatures that the player gets to use.

10. Inona is obnoxious, but she holds a target on your head the size of Nebraska.

Mana Vault is fine. See my rebuttal to Sol Ring.

Arcum Dagsson and Zur the Enchanter would like to show you what degeneracy looks like.

Paradox Engine is fine. It's a combo piece, did you expect it to be fair?

Tooth and Nail is 9 mana entwined to Tinker's 3. That's why one is banned and the other isn't.

Sensei's Divining Top is obnoxious, but "slow play" bannings aren't a thing.

Honestly, a lot of your problem cards sound like they can be solved by building decks with more interaction. The rest can be solved by talking to your group.

EDH doesn't do bannings based on power.


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