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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-May-29 6:32 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Well then....


Rpgtiger:

I completely agree with you that they can't ban (well, shouldn't) Sol Ring for the reasons you listed. But from a gameplay stance, you remove the lynchpin or the signature card. Part of the issue with Prime Time was that everyone had it or expected to get it, so n any given pod someone would get that ramp boost, it was just a matter of who and when. Same with Sol Ring. It's gonna get played, it's just a matter of when. So without much hyperbole I can say that literally every game of Commander has a 10% chance that someone has 4 mana on turn 2. (Someone on MTGS did the math but I might be misremembering the actual percentage, but you get the point.) If we compare that to Mana Crypt, the price tag and rarity work to self-regulate its appearance., as does the life loss which matters in games which expect to go long.

Tangent: the P9 comparison is lost on me because I think that some of the P9 can be safely unbanned due to not needing a PBtE ban criterion anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-May-30 8:18 am 

Joined: 2019-Mar-15 1:06 pm
Age: Wyvern
I don't have a problem with Sol Ring because any deck can use it if they want it. There also isn't a big price barrier involved. It also gets taken out by Mental Misstep, Nature's Claim, Vandalblast or Fragmentize. Black is the only color that can't easily interact with it, but black has a hard time removing artifacts and enchantments as a general trait of the color. Whether we like it or not, there is always an element of luck to the game. Sol Ring isn't one of the things that I worry about.

Mana Crypt comes out for free, but it becomes a worse Sol Ring immediately after that. I've even been killed by my own Mana Crypt a couple of times, which is always hilarious.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 6:23 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Panphage wrote:
I don't have a problem with Sol Ring because any deck can use it if they want it.

What if there was a 0 mana colorless instant that deals 30 damage to target player?

Everyone having equal access to an overpowered card isn't really a logical reason to allow it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 6:40 am 

Joined: 2019-Mar-15 1:06 pm
Age: Wyvern
Sovarius wrote:
Panphage wrote:
I don't have a problem with Sol Ring because any deck can use it if they want it.

What if there was a 0 mana colorless instant that deals 30 damage to target player?

Everyone having equal access to an overpowered card isn't really a logical reason to allow it.


It's pretty obvious that the power level of Sol Ring isn't even remotely close to the hypothetical card that you're describing. This is an extremely ridiculous comparison.

Sol Ring can give a bit of a lead to someone when they play it, but it's far from the only card that does this and the fact that every deck is allowed to use it works in its favor because no one deck has a special advantage by it being in the format. Playing it doesn't guarantee you a win and there are tons of one-mana cards that get rid of it just as quickly as one mana was spent to cast it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 7:04 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
But the point is everyone having equal access to a card isn't a really a reason to allow it. It makes it worse, now we have games that sometimes have 4 or 5 mana on turn 2 and it's garbage that such a swingy card exists on turn 1 randomly turning games into a downhill battle or archenemy.

Panphage wrote:
it's far from the only card that does this

That's part of the problem, too. Mana Crypt and Mana Vault are kind of terrible to fight against on turn 1 too.

Panphage wrote:
there are tons of one-mana cards that get rid of it just as quickly as one mana was spent to cast it.

True, but personally i find that to be awful too. Misstep is just a bad card in this format and Nature's Claim could just be used on something outirght wins the game and you can be caught with your pants down.

"It can be answered" is actually not a defense of any card, though. Every card can be countered in some way.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 9:43 am 

Joined: 2019-Mar-15 1:06 pm
Age: Wyvern
Sovarius wrote:
True, but personally i find that to be awful too. Misstep is just a bad card in this format and Nature's Claim could just be used on something outirght wins the game and you can be caught with your pants down.


I'm gonna have to disagree on both of these counts.

Paying life is less of a penalty in Commander than it is in other formats since your starting life total is doubled. Couple that with the undeniable fact that there are more one-drops that are worth answering than there are in sets with more limited card pools and I'd consider it a great include if you can run it.

I also can't imagine how Sol Ring can be worth banning and be a card that immediately makes the game into an uphill battle, and yet you simultaneously say that it's not an ideal target for quick removal. If it's that bad, it must be worth answering.

I really don't get your argument at all unless you think that every form of mana acceleration is problematic, since you don't want to answer it but you don't want it in the game because it's too strong.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 2:40 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Panphage wrote:
It's pretty obvious that the power level of Sol Ring isn't even remotely close to the hypothetical card that you're describing. This is an extremely ridiculous comparison.

His reduction to absurdity is valid though. If a card is overpowered, having it available to everyone doesn't make it OK. That's the point he's trying to drive home. Which of course brings us back to the question of whether Sol Ring is overpowered. Or to be more accurate, since just about everything that sees a lot of play in EDH is OP, is it TOO overpowered to be allowed to remain in the format?

I think we can all agree that it's at least a bit OP. I know our local players have taken to refer to T1 Sol Ring as "cheating", as in "Swamp, Cheating, pass". In my view it's probably OK to keep, though, as it's only really bad if dropped early. Turn 1 is dumb. The next few turns are very strong, but the power of the card diminishes rapidly as the game goes on, and soon you'll find yourself wishing that Sol Ring you just drew was basically anything else in your deck.

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-01 2:48 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Panphage wrote:
Couple that with the undeniable fact that there are more one-drops that are worth answering than there are in sets with more limited card pools and I'd consider it a great include if you can run it.
I'm going to need you to show how you got that. While there are a lot of good one-drops in commander, there's also far less of them per deck. Most commander decks tend to curve high, and even the ones that run a lot of 1-drops tend to not go too far in the double digits. Compare this to a 60-card deck, where 4 Lightning Bolts and 4 Fatal Pushs is equivalent to 13.5 commander one-drops.[/quote]

Panphage wrote:
I also can't imagine how Sol Ring can be worth banning and be a card that immediately makes the game into an uphill battle, and yet you simultaneously say that it's not an ideal target for quick removal. If it's that bad, it must be worth answering.
There's two points here. The first is that Sol Ring's brokenness is largely exclusive to T1/T2, the parts of the game where everyone is least likely to have effective removal. One reason why, and also the second point, is because of the inherent card disadvantage of spot removal in a multiplayer format.

In a 1v1 game, you play a monster and I Path to Exile it, we're both down a card and therefore even in the CA department. In multiplayer, the situation is the same except the other 1-3 players aren't down a card. These two factors make spot removal all the more precious, which tends toward players being more likely to save it for big bombs, as well as players preferring less efficient but more impactful spells (think Beast Within and Smash over Nature's Claim and Smelt). Both of the above factors combine to make it so that taking out an opponent's Sol Ring is rarely the correct play, even taking into account how stupidly powerful it can be.
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That all being said, I'm personally not a proponent of fast mana, for the sheer reason that it is only stupid early game. Most fast mana is potentially game breaking on T1-2, strongish on T3/4, roughly equivalent to a land any turn after that, and a horrendous topdeck. It's for this reason I don't actually run Sol Ring in too many decks; it makes the archenemy early game and is a dead draw the rest of the time.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Sid, and he said most of what I wanted to say far more concisely.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-02 7:45 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
There is just nothing exciting about "Turn 1, play Sol Ring"
*groans* "Okay everyone beat him up"

Panphage wrote:
Paying life is less of a penalty in Commander than it is in other formats

That doesn't make it good, that makes Ad Nauseam and Necopotence good. This format has a high curve. It's great in competitive decks, but my competitive deck's average cmc is around 2ish.

Panphage wrote:
I also can't imagine how Sol Ring can be worth banning and be a card that immediately makes the game into an uphill battle, and yet you simultaneously say that it's not an ideal target for quick removal. If it's that bad, it must be worth answering.

Not that it's not worth answering, but that there shouldn't be a card that's so swingy for one mana from turn 1 that you want to waste your card to remove it. Artifact mana sure is busted, i know (that's my argument), but you can get caught with your pants down when you want that removal for something else. Artifact removal is good because of staples like Greaves or turbo value stuff like Panharmonicon that are all over the place... and yes, Sol Ring. I don't think a card should be so powerful that you can play it on turn 1 and have double the mana of the rest of the table and someone is immediately willing to go down 1 card to stop you.
Also, i (unfortunately) lately have only been able to play cEDH events and while i'm down to stifle an opponents mana if it can stop them, you absolutely have to watch out for Mana Vault, Scepter, Aetherflux, Chain Veil, Paradox Engine, Citadel now that people are trying it. (and enchantments if your removal is of either/or type). Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying don't kill Sol Ring. I'm saying it's an incredible down to remove their Sol Ring when any and all decks can also have Crypt, Vault, Monolith, Chrome, Diamond. But i know some of those are uncommon due to price or lower power play.

Panphage wrote:
I really don't get your argument at all unless you think that every form of mana acceleration is problematic, since you don't want to answer it but you don't want it in the game because it's too strong.

Not sure how you get to "you must think all mana acceleration is a problem" from me saying Sol Ring is obviously busted card...? Thought Vessel, Signets, Talismans, Felwar... All pretty darn solid cards that don't need to make people groan on turn 1 because you are bout to jump to 4 or 5 drops on turn 2. Nature's Lore is fine and can 'cost' one mana. Mana dorks are very, very strong and totally fine.


Sid the Chicken wrote:
The next few turns are very strong, but the power of the card diminishes rapidly as the game goes on, and soon you'll find yourself wishing that Sol Ring you just drew was basically anything else in your deck.

That's true but it's also generally better than a land anyway. If i removed Sol Ring from my decks they might become Felwars, Mana Vaults (i don't play this in any deck except a mishra stax deck that's just all the artifacts ever), or another utility land or something.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-03 9:37 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Sovarius wrote:
Sid the Chicken wrote:
The next few turns are very strong, but the power of the card diminishes rapidly as the game goes on, and soon you'll find yourself wishing that Sol Ring you just drew was basically anything else in your deck.

That's true but it's also generally better than a land anyway.

So it's an Ancient Tomb that doesn't hurt you if you draw it late... that's a good land, but still a land, and still not very exciting. Late game I don't want lands, unless they do something not mana related like Kessig Wolf Run or are a huge mana boost like drawing Cabal Coffers when I already have 10 swamps out (and even then it's not that exciting unless I have a use for that big mana).

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-03 12:46 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Yes, but i really don't see that as a neg against the card. It's worst case use probably isn't a factor in whether i think it should be banned or not.

I don't cut lands and ramp spells from my decks just because they aren't any good on turn 9, for example :(

But, probably, i just see things differently than most. I think either a handful of unbans or a handful of bans makes a lot more sense than currently, so i don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-03 1:07 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Sovarius wrote:
I don't cut lands and ramp spells from my decks just because they aren't any good on turn 9, for example

Well of course you don't, that would be silly. Doesn't change the fact that they aren't good then though. Or if they are, things have gone very badly for you this game.

Sovarius wrote:
It's worst case use probably isn't a factor in whether i think it should be banned or not.

Again, surely not. You don't evalute Phage the Untouchable based on how Elvish Piperable she is. But I believe there is value in looking at the big picture, and how the average player is likely to use a card. And in this case the average player is occasionally going to get a huge turn 1 boost, sometimes get a good boost turns 2-5 or so, and often draw an unexciting card. And that huge turn 1 boost will sometimes turn into running away with the game, but that's certainly not a given either.

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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-03 10:25 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
I don't cut lands and ramp spells from my decks just because they aren't any good on turn 9, for example

Well of course you don't, that would be silly. Doesn't change the fact that they aren't good then though. Or if they are, things have gone very badly for you this game.

Sovarius wrote:
It's worst case use probably isn't a factor in whether i think it should be banned or not.

Again, surely not. You don't evalute Phage the Untouchable based on how Elvish Piperable she is. But I believe there is value in looking at the big picture, and how the average player is likely to use a card. And in this case the average player is occasionally going to get a huge turn 1 boost, sometimes get a good boost turns 2-5 or so, and often draw an unexciting card. And that huge turn 1 boost will sometimes turn into running away with the game, but that's certainly not a given either.

So if we evaluate a card based on what it generally does at different stages (and what we want the format to be like at those stages), we tend to find that in the early game Sol Ring gives a noticeable boost over the table (which is bad), in the mid game it is more neutral because if can sometimes boost and other times just help you catch up, and in the late game it is generally unremarkable and best case scenario you got the boost to go off one turn earlier.

At least, this is my evaluation, and my opinion is that cards should generally function at a stage in the game the way they were designed to. And in Commander, we should strive for big swing plays to start happening at the mid game. This is why things like Flash-Hulk or Academy Rector into Omniscience are bad, as is too much ramp too quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-04 3:37 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
If we are banning for strict power level, flash hulk should be banned. If just banning for what goes on in casual games, maybe not. I haven't met a casual playing flash hulk yet personally.

But to Sol Ring's power level; sometimes being average or poor isn't a balancing factor, but you are totally correct Sid. Sometimes being awful to play against and sometimes not being good enough still just plainly sounds like a bad card to me.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ban card X... it wins too many games in my area!"
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-09 2:22 am 

Joined: 2019-Jun-06 6:25 am
Age: Drake
I don’t think sol ring should be banned, as I find mana crypt to be more elusive to new players and more frustrating to deal with. On that note, I wish the social stigma of destroying manarocks in commander would go away

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