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MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander • View topic - Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards

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 Post subject: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 6:50 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
Some recent discussions have made me wonder if there is a threshold of value for certain unbanned staples in the format, particularly the ones on the reserved list. I realize that, when it comes to banning a card, a high price is not the unum necessarium. For example, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale is not banned at $1200-$1500 because, as oppressive as it is in stax, control, and land strategies, it is not everyone's kind of card. However, if it were to become say...$100,000, surely a discussion of its potential banning would not only be merited but obligatory, even if the ultimate decision just barely landed on the "keep it legal" side of the line.

I invite comments on the above premise, but assuming for the time being that I am right, I'd like to know what you all think the value threshold is for each of the following cards:

1. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2. Timetwister
3. Bazaar of Baghdad
4. Gaea's Cradle
5. Candelabra of Tawnos
6. Mox Diamond
7. Underground Sea (and effectively each of the other 9 OG duals)

One note: a card like Mox Diamond may be compared slightly with the five Power 9 moxes. It has the obvious downside of forcing you to discard, but that just means that its value threshold has to be higher (under the above premise).

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 10:06 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
Everyone has their spending limit, but that shouldn't bear on legality. is currently top of my want list, and is above the amount I'm prepared to pay outright from my entertainment budget. I'm going to get one by selling parts of my collection, and it's going to take me months (my biggest purchase to date was which took me 5 months to save for that way). I think it's worth the time and patience to improve my decks. So we've established I'm happy to pay 200 euros for this.

Where is my limit? It's hard to say. I think I would feel a little silly paying 5000, but it's the kind of thing that I could make into a talking point, I think I might. 50,000 would buy a (small) house, I definitely won't go that high.

I do feel there's too much price manipulation in the secondary market, and some traders are using their privileged position to hype demand. There ought to be more regulation. The pauper format is being pushed right now and the price of MTGO commons in short supply has shot up. is $8, is $10. When the fad for pauper inevitably ends or wizards reprint, a lot of people are going to feel they were conned.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 5:58 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 10:16 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
The only card on that list that I could even come close to calling a staple is Cradle. All of the other ones can easily be replaced in any deck with a card that's at most 10% its price. Especially the goddamn dual lands, which I'd argue aren't even the best dual lands in EDH. Fetchlands are clearly better and can do their job fine with the existence of shocks and bicycle lands, and even some others like the painlands have some pretty massive advantages over the duals. can't be Islandwalked, can't be destroyed by Red Elemental Blast, and can cast new Kozilek. Not to mention the plethora of great rainbow lands like Command Tower or Mana Confluence.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 11:29 am 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 1:35 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
is what I had in mind, which my brain keeps telling me is also a functional reprint of REB.


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 12:42 am 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 2:48 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Not owning any cards myself with a value above two figures, I wouldn't bat an eyelid at a price cap.

The last time I saw Gaea's Cradle, it was a proxy. Someone said they had a few proxies in their deck, asked if that was OK, gave Elspeth (a $10 card) as an example, and we okayed it on the basis they didn't have things like Moxes in there. Then we found out they had a Doubling Season and a Gaea's Cradle proxied too, which we weren't okay with — that was way above the impression they'd given us. (Thankfully we found out because they got exiled from their library.)

I won't miss out on Gaea's Cradle if that falls over a price cap and gets banned, and we have Growing Rites of Itlimoc now anyway.

On the other hand, lots of cards more powerful are only worth two or three figures because they're not reserved and they're reprinted in eternal/modern masters sets. So banning for price is kinda like, well, ABU lands are not the problem in this format, and I don't mind not accessing them.

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 5:51 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 6:01 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
This keeps coming up, I have been playing for a while so I do have several cards that fit into this category. I acquired them when they were not nearly as expensive. I remember buying a set of s for $20. I sold several of my s but I still have 2. I have at least one of all the original duals, I have 3 of all the U/x ones. If these cards got banned due to price only I would be more upset that I generally am when cards get banned. (Yes I am one of the ones that is pretty much upset when every card gets banned. I spent time/money acquiring these cards. I get pretty upset when that time is wasted.) A big draw to the format is playing cards that I own and have enjoyed but cannot play in Standard or Modern.

I have played many games where my deck was worth 10x what my opponents decks were and lost horribly. In fact just last night a guy was bragging about how he stomped me with the precon when I had close to $2k worth of cards just on the field not counting the rest of the deck. is better than in 99% of the situations, but having one over the other won't generally give you the edge to win a game you would lose if you didn't have that upgrade. Do I play with my ? Yes of course I do, why not? out of the 13 or so decks that could use it, I only have 3 so the rest have to play or something similar. Are the decks with the going to win more games? maybe, maybe not. It is more likely influenced on the other 98 cards.

I don't own any , but if I did it would not go into any EDH decks. It's not a type of deck I enjoy playing. Would I miss it if it got banned? Probably not, as I don't know anybody that plays it IRL. But I do know people that have them and play them not in EDH, and if they got banned here, they would likely drop a little in price. How much is hard to say, but it might be enough to lower it below the "Maximum Price" threshold, thus causing an unbanning. Then a likely banning again, etc. With that much fluctuation how many people would stop caring about the official ban list? I know I would lose a lot of respect if the RC kept reversing decisions.

Cards have value, much of that value is based on how much and what types of games you can play. Banning or unbanning cards based on the price is wrong. Magic is not a Pay-to-win game. I know some games have felt like that in Legacy or Vintage, and even to an extent in Modern or Standard, but when you have 2-4 opponents it is very difficult to crush people with your wallet alone. Often just dropping an expensive card is enough to turn it into a 3v1. If you want to win, playing can often cost you more than the slight edge you get from .


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 6:05 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 1:13 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-18 11:16 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake

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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-19 1:25 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Thought Experiment: Maximum Price of Unbanned Cards
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-23 3:20 am 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-12 3:20 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
To put it simply... there is no maximum price. Nothing currently legal is getting banned because it increases in price. The point of banning Moxen/Lotus/etc for price/ubiquity reasons was simple... if those were legal when the format was getting off the ground, it would have been seen as a "Rich Person's Format" and likely would have died in it's infancy. And now that the format is established, there simply isn't any real incentive to *unban* something that could have a negative impact, and would most certainly only have a positive impact for at most a very tiny number of people.

On the other hand, there are players who obtained some of the cards on your list specifically *for* commander. Banning the cards doesn't really do anyone any good and does cause a great injustice to the people who obtained them for that reason.

To sum up... changing the status quo on Price/Ubiquity bannings is a big risk and has no real benefits. So it;s going to stay as it is, likely for as long as commander exists.

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Current Commander Decks:
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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