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 Post subject: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 6:24 pm 

Joined: 2013-Apr-22 12:09 pm
Age: Wyvern
My google fu is unfortunately lacking

A.
I do not see the reason why cards should be banned based on real life value. Especially since this is not the case considering 50+ cards are allowed that cost over a hundred US dollars, while a few costs hundreds. Now some, I can understand based on power level alone. Other I cannot.

Ancestral Recall
Many cards draw way harder than this card, early it means discarding, mid to late game other better cards exist(consecrated sphinx)

Black Lotus
Yes, Busted. but people still abuse lotus bloom.

Karakas
I agree that a land that bounces legends is strong, but kor haven also shuts down legends as well as maze of ith.

Library of Alexandria
It draws a card with a steep unabusable condition(well not easily). I see no problem

Mox Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, Emerald and Jet
Could be overpowered yes, but sol ring and mana crypt are a thing.

Time Vault
Easily broken. so stay banned.

Time Walk
Severly undercosted so stay banned.

Workshop, imperial seal, dual lands, and many other cards are herp derp expensive. I see no reason to ban certain cards based on cost and not others.

B.
Gifts ungiven
While very stong, I do not see anything suer busted that cant be achieved through intuition

Protean Hulk
Only combo I can think of is the modern melira combo for infinite life. which doesnt win you the game. (see section C for tooth and nail)

Painter's servant
With the exception of the grindstone combo, I do not see how this breaks the game.

Tinker
other effects like this exist, while i agree that its powerful, it could be unbanned and play groups can yell at people for pulling a blightsteel turn three(which there are other ways to do this just as easy)

Tolarian Academy
Good in some decks the way that cradle is good in other decks(except cradle is busted because of tokens and there sint a way to make obscene amounts of artifacts)

C.
you talk about cards that are banned because of power level?

Tooth and Nail - The ONE card combo
This card can search tons of two card combos that instant win the game.....yet it isnt banned.....yet protean hulk is.....


I would really appreciate any comments and feedback. If I had a better understanding as to why a card is/isnt banned I will leave this alone, unless your reasoning makes absolutely no sense.

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 7:24 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
This is the best I've been able to compile: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... faq#banned

I'm sure it won't be as in-depth or exhaustive as you'd like, but it's a start.

This is also required reading: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12254


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 7:58 pm 
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Joined: 2013-Aug-06 1:27 pm
Age: Drake
I’ll share some of my current opinions on the cards. I also recommend you check out the links that Cryogen posted.

1.Ancestral Recall

Every blue deck wants to play this card. New players are turned off a game when they learn they can’t afford cards.

2. Black Lotus

Black Lotus is so much better than Lotus Bloom that you shouldn’t compare the two.

3. Karakas

Bouncing a legendary is much more powerful than removing it from combat.

4. Library of Alexandria

I personally don’t think LoA is as strong as people say but it’s banned for the same reason as Ancestral Recall.

5. Mox Rocks

I’d prefer less broken mana rocks.

6. Time Vault

I agree.

6.5.

Mishra's Workshop is busted and I wouldn’t mind seeing it go. Most black players want Imperial Seal and almost all players want duals but the cards aren’t necessary in a deck so most people just get over it.

7. Gifts Ungiven

Intuition can pull out most of the combos but Gifts can bring out more since it gets you two cards. I’d prefer if the format had less tutors.

8. Hulk

From my experience it seems that most players dislike combo. I think taking him off the list would cause more harm than good.

9.Painter’s Servant

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon becoming an EDH staple made Servant coming off the list very unlikely.

10. Tinker

Dying to a Blightsteel Colossus before your 2nd turn isn’t very fun. All it takes is an island, mana crypt, and tinker.

11. Tolarian Academy

Too many people have been emotionally scarred by this card for it to come off the list.

12. Tooth and Nail

It doesn’t always win the game and costs a lot of mana. I wouldn’t mind seeing it banned though.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 9:39 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
I think it's important to understand that cost alone isn't what bans something, and nothing will again be banned based on that criteria. It's not just cost which counts, but ubiquity. Consider the size of the true Vintage community: it isn't large. This is due to a barrier to entry. The cards required to play Vintage and ubiquitous and costly. The Rules Committee don't want people to feel the same way about Commander/EDH and decide not to play. But no cards are likely to become as ubiquitous and costly as the Power Nine, so nothing again will be banned under that premise.

    There's also some massive misunderstanding about the power level of a lot of these cards in your evaluation.
  • Ancestral Recall is the most power draw spell in the game in terms of cost. Nothing else draws as many cards for so few restrictions and mana.
  • Black Lotus is completely incomparable to Lotus Bloom. It takes certain cards to make Lotus Bloom remotely good, but Black Lotus is always good, forever, all alone.
  • Maze of Ith and Kor Haven may stop a commander from attacking, but Karakas doesn't even allow them in the room to use abilities.
  • If you're unfamiliar with the theory of card advantage, you're not going to understand why Library of Alexandria is broken beyond repair.
  • If your argument for allowing the Moxes into the format is to point out more broken mana, you're making the wrong argument.
  • Gifts Ungiven is an instant speed, low cost, 4-card tutor in the color already considered the strongest color in Commander. It isn't a card which immediately seems broken, but generally ends the game when you play it or soon after.
  • And another multi-tutor in the form of a recurable creature--Protean Hulk. Again, if your argument is "look at this other multi-tutor that's not banned," you aren't making a good argument for allowing this one.
  • Painter's Servant...Iona and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon both join Grindstone for why it's probably best not to allow Servant.
  • Tinker won't be played just on turn three and later, but turn one and later. Tinker is too powerful to allow into the format.
  • Creatures are harder to get out and harder to keep around than artifacts are, unless your deck is stocked with the right artifact removal. When a player talks about "fast mana," it is always in reference to artifacts. Fast mana is why Tolarian Academy generates mountains of mana before Gaea's Cradle gets online. You can draw a comparison to the two land in the abstract, but in practice they aren't comparable.

Please see Cryogen's links above, because they are a fantastic collection of basic information.

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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-24 11:14 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Ancestral Recall: This card is more banned for its legacy as a P9 card than its actual effect. It can easily be somewhat demoralizing to a new player to see people running around with one of the most expensive cards in the game as if it's a staple. And while the effect is far weaker in EDH than in standard play, it would still be one of the best blue cards in the game and virtually every deck would be better for having it. Hell, Concentrate is unbelievably worse than it yet is generally considered a staple. This one isn't banned for any one reason, more of a case of "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

Black Lotus: So, basically what I said about Ancestral Recall, x1000. It's even more expensive, even more iconic, and there are multitudes of cards which are so much worse than it (Lotus Petal, Lion's Eye Diamond, any card with "Ritual" or "Spirit Guide" in the name) that are competive staples. Every deck is better with it than without it, which just isn't something you want from a card that gets into the $10,000 range (and will keep growing forever and ever).

Karkaras: So, again like Ancestral Recall, but this one is less about price/availability and more about the effect. It is a card with a disproportionately powerful (arguably broken) effect that can go into any deck and make that deck better. This one has even less oppurtunity cost than the other two, as it is strictly better than a basic Plains. And going up against this card and basically never being able to have your general out for more than a turn unless your opponent thinks it isn't a threat is absolutely no fun, which is the point of playing EDH.

Library: Same as Recall and Lotus. Super expensive, super powerful, super ubiquitous, very little oppurtunity cost.

Moxen: Read the above. Every deck gets better by having them in. I personally would argue that the only reason the moxes aren't better than even Lotus is because Lotus can go in every deck. That said, imagine the stupidity of a 5-color deck. All five Moxen and the Lotus, plus all the stupid fast mana that is already legal? No thank you.

Mishra's Workshop: Eh, not near ubiquitous enough. Few decks run a high enough concentration of artifacts for it to be worth it, and most of the decks that do are hyper competitive and don't care about the price.

Imperial Seal: Unlike the other super expensive and ubiquitous cards, Imperial Seal is not far and away the best at what it does. While pretty much any good/cheap tutor is overpowered in EDH by virtue of being a tutor, Imperial Seal isn't anything special. Just for comparison: Ancestral Recall is a $5,000 card whose closest comparison is a $50 card that is strictly worse. Imperial Seal is an $800 card whose closest comparison is a $30 card that is strictly better.

Gifts Ungiven: Honestly, your point sounds like a better argument to ban Intuition than unban gifts. Though there are some major differences. The first is that Gifts is cheaper and easier to acquire, meaning more non-competitive players/decks have it. The second is sheer power. A 4-card tutor for 4 is FAR more powerful than a 3-card tutor for 3. This is then compounded by the fact that Gifts' "drawback" is virtually irrelevant in EDH.

Hulk: The arguments for this card staying banned and being unbanned are so voluminous and nuanced that I don't trust myself to abridge them accurately. Long story short: I personally agree that it should come off, but understand and accept the reasons why it hasn't.

Painter's Servant: This card has no reason to be on the list, but every time it's discussed there are so many non-sequiturs thrown around that it's impossible to make any real conversation about the actual reasons why it should or shouldn't be.

Tinker: This was a (relatively) recent ban. Tutors in general are stupid good, tutors in blue that put whatever they're searching into play for 3 mana are too obnoxious to be allowed.

Tolarian Academy: This one is a bit nuanced. Obviously it has the iconic status of being TA, but that is merely one problem. Artifacts in general tend to be pretty explosive early game, and TA makes that problem worse. And unlike a lot of other explosive lands or cards like Metalworker or Ancient Tomb, Tolarian Academy tends to get even better as the game goes on, turning your early advantage into a mid-late game landslide. It also warps decks towards including more small artifacts, which creates a generally less interactive and more boring gameplay experience. The game is fun when you make big splashy plays, but not when those plays happen turn 4.

Tooth and Nail: Honestly, I personally don't care whether it's banned or not. Ideally, I'd prefer that this and Hulk have the same fate: either both are gone or neither is.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-25 5:12 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Something people are hinting at, but not outright stating is that "being a combo" isn't a ban criteria on its own. It is, at best, a subcategory of "creates undesirable game states."


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-25 5:36 am 

Joined: 2013-Apr-22 12:09 pm
Age: Wyvern
cryogen wrote:
This is the best I've been able to compile: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the- ... faq#banned

I'm sure it won't be as in-depth or exhaustive as you'd like, but it's a start.

This is also required reading: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12254


I read the salvation parts and what other people said about cards and I agree.But he fact that l an gifts are banned because of the one card combo potential. So I stand by my reasoing that on that fact alone tooth and nail should be banned. We have a saying in my group that if you cast TnN entwined and dont win, your a terrible player. Its mostly a joke, but in all truth very likely.

people can argue its a sorcery and it can be countered but every spell(with few exceptions can be countered). or that the creatures can be dealt with(hulks creatures can be dealt with) but the sheer number of plays with it win the game on the spot.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-25 9:06 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Of all legal cards, the two closest to being bannable, in my opinion, are T&N and Survival of the Fittest. Your assessment of the card isn't wrong, but the RC doesn't think it crosses the line.

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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-26 12:41 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
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There are a number of unbanned cards for which someone could make a reasonable argument to ban. Keep in mind our relatively conservative approach due to a strong desire to keep the list as short as possible. Would "one more card" hurt? Depends on how many times you invoke it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-26 3:11 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Uktabi_Kong wrote:

Painter's Servant: This card has no reason to be on the list, but every time it's discussed there are so many non-sequiturs thrown around that it's impossible to make any real conversation about the actual reasons why it should or shouldn't be.


Wait... you mean to say you havent been enjoying playing Iona and Grindstone all this time?

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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-26 3:13 am 
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Joined: 2013-Oct-26 9:21 am
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Location: Xenia, OH, USA
crokaycete wrote:
Of all legal cards, the two closest to being bannable, in my opinion, are T&N and Survival of the Fittest. Your assessment of the card isn't wrong, but the RC doesn't think it crosses the line.


I could add Deadeye Navigator to that list too, but that might be my overwhelming hatred for that card, and keeping it off the banlist is some of the new answers that stop it from being too powerful, like Containment Priest.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-26 10:28 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
tgambitg wrote:
I could add Deadeye Navigator to that list too, but that might be my overwhelming hatred for that card, and keeping it off the banlist is some of the new answers that stop it from being too powerful, like Containment Priest.

I think it is mostly unbanned because it takes at least 8 mana before it does anything, is answered by either instant-speed spot removal or sweepers, and requires another creature to generate any value. I agree that the card is super obnoxious, but it does take a hefty investment before it takes over a game.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-26 3:23 pm 
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JJackson wrote:
tgambitg wrote:
I could add Deadeye Navigator to that list too, but that might be my overwhelming hatred for that card, and keeping it off the banlist is some of the new answers that stop it from being too powerful, like Containment Priest.

I think it is mostly unbanned because it takes at least 8 mana before it does anything, is answered by either instant-speed spot removal or sweepers, and requires another creature to generate any value. I agree that the card is super obnoxious, but it does take a hefty investment before it takes over a game.


Oh I fully understand why it isn't banned, especially with powerful answers to it now printed.

Now if somehow every copy of the card were rounded up and put in a bonfire, I wouldn't complain.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-27 12:37 am 
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havocentral wrote:
Ancestral Recall

Other card drawing spells have some fairly significant resource costs. Ancestral has basically none. It's pure card advantage, costs you nearly no resources, and has no real downside. It really doesn't have any comparisons with other card drawing spells at all when you look it at it like that. It's more like Sol Ring... it gives you significant extra power and resources, at basically zero cost. Every deck that can play it, would want to play it. And it's out the price range of all but the most elite players. And that just isn't what commander is about. Elite players having exclusive access to all foil decks, and a few weird 1994 niche cards is fine. This would be more comparable to Sol Ring being a $500 card. It gets enough complaints as it is. How would the 99% of players who couldn't afford it feel when it got cast? Not good. This card simply has no place in commander.

havocentral wrote:
Black Lotus

Lotus Bloom? Are you kidding? This isn't even remotely comparable.

havocentral wrote:
Karakas

No, again, those aren't comparable. Lots and lots of commander function just fine without connecting with your opponents face (likely well over 50%). Requiring you to pay for your commander again at the tap of land both greatty encourages not playing any expensive commanders and greatly encourages playing plentiful land destruction. It also encourages playing as many tutors as possible, so you can find your Karakas as well as ways of dealing with your opponents. (Assuming you have any intention of actually playing with a commander in your commander deck.) All of those things are awful and harm the format. This is the single worst card that could possibly be legalized.

havocentral wrote:
Library of Alexandria

It isn't steep at all. And like Recall, it has nearly no cost to include in a deck, since it taps for mana, and has HUGE potential upside. And it now costs an absurd amount of money... and that increase was largely on an unsubstantiated RUMOR that it might be legal in an actual format someday.

havocentral wrote:
Mox Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, Emerald and Jet

Neither of those cards are GOOD for the format. The format can survive them, and it has thus far. The LAST thing any of us need is a 5x as many such cards legal, especially when only the very elite get such a chance. Like all the other expensive cards, legalizing them does no good, and quite possibly a lot of harm.

havocentral wrote:
Gifts ungiven

This in intuition on steroids. Is that enough to be banned? Maybe. Maybe not.
I hate tutors, so I won't complain much myself. I can see the argument for unbanning it, but having played with and against it in commander when it was legal, I also understand why it was banned and why it remains banned.

havocentral wrote:
Protean Hulk

There are a LOT more combos with this, including ones that DO win you the game. Anyway, it's also just really really powerful. It could maybe be unbanned, but as stated above, I hate tutors, so I'll let others argue for it.

havocentral wrote:
Painter's servant

Although I do agree with you here 100%, I have to admit there are more ways to break the game with it, such as Iona. (Which is itself something I think should be banned.)

havocentral wrote:
Tinker

There are ways to do it, but they are *not* "just as easy."
And it also ruins games in many more ways then actually ending them anyway. This card is just plain stupid and will (and should) never be unbanned.

havocentral wrote:
Tolarian Academy

Loading the board with artifacts is less risky and vulnerable then doing so with creatures... and blue is much better at protecting that board then green is. Cradle is at the absolute upper edge of the commander power level, and Academy is better. And that's just that.

havocentral wrote:
Tooth and Nail

This should likely be banned. It basically never does anything good for a game it's cast it. But then, I hate tutors, so.... maybe my opinion here is a little biased.

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Alesha, She who Smiles at Death.....Atraxa, Praetors' Voice.....Eight-and-a-Half-Tails.....Gonti, Lord of Luxury.....Karametra, God of Harvests.....Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.....Kozilek, the Great Distortion.....Prime Speaker Zegana.....Rubinia Soulsinger.....Thrasios, Triton Hero + Vial Smasher the Fierce

My general commander philosophy: Using your opponent's degenerate cards against them is far more satisfying than playing degenerate cards yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Why are certain cards banned or not banned?
AgePosted: 2016-Jun-27 2:28 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Kaldare lines up mostly with what I'd say about specific cards, but I want to expand on a few.

Quote:
Protean Hulk
Combos aren't even the start of why this guy is better off on the banned list. I'd rather have somebody Flash/Hulk me out with any of the combos he can get than watch somebody who cloned it try to figure out their best value for 6 CMC from their entire deck.

Quote:
Painter's servant
There are some really nasty hosers to pair with it from back in the day (Lifeforce, Deathgrip, etc.). It isn't just the lock-out combos (though that is a part), there are a fair number of obnoxious uses for it. Personally, I think it is the safest unban on the list, but that is because I think it is sweet paired with Teysa, Orzhov Scion. I may be strange in this regard.

Quote:
Tooth and Nail
I think the distinction between this and Protean Hulk (which is one of the closest ban/unbanned comparisons, IMO) is twofold.

Firstly, when T&N breaks the game, it tends to do so in a way that is obvious. If you're just grabbing a two-creature table kill, you built your deck with that in mind; it is a player issue, not the card. You could be doing something sweet like Vigor+Bloodfire Colossus, which is the kind of high-impact play that is awesome. When Protean Hulk breaks the game, it is by pouring molasses into the gears. It is one of the worst tutor abilities to watch resolve that has ever been printed.

Secondly, PH is a creature, which opens up tons of shenanigans. Cloning, reanimating, Bribery, Sneak Attack, etc that all get it down before it should come down and then keep it coming back instead of staying dead. Couple that with the first difference and I think PH is better off banned. I wouldn't cry over a T&N ban, though, I think it is probably the third or fourth worst card currently legal. (Sol Ring and Iona I think should be banned and Mana Crypt and T&N are the cards I'd shed the fewest tears over.)


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