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 Post subject: B&R Changes for September 2008
AgePosted: 2008-Sep-01 12:09 am 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2006-May-09 4:17 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary, AB
I'll have a more detailed explanation of our goals, logic, and plan tomorrow, but in the meantime here's a quick version of the changes to the B&R list taking effect September 1st, 2008:

* Card-specific rules are being removed
* Karakas is banned
* Riftsweeper is banned
* Rune-Tail, Kitsune Attendant is legal for play as printed.

Card specific errata have proven to be a significant deterrent to adoption by new players. Since the rules are getting more complex in other ways, removing them is a positive for the format.

Even when flipped, Rune-tail has proven good but not overwhelmingly so, and only in aggressive weenie decks anyway. Since this is an archtype which could undergo enormous improvement before being overpowered anyway, that's find. Riftsweeper and Karakas can't be allowed in EDH games -- both are too hard to deal with and too good at disrupting generals.

* Test of Endurance is no longer banned

This came up during the discussions of the card specific errata (Rune-Tail, specifically). There was discussion of which "life total cards" should be banned or dealt with, and while test of Endurance is much easi*er* to win with in EDH, we don't believe it's actually that easy. It requires significant setup to gain the necessary life and stay above 50 in the face of multiple opponents. Yes, it's possible, but we think it will be a reasonable (not broken) strategy. If we're wrong... we'll revisit it in a few months.

* Protean Hulk is banned

This one really hurt, and I expect a lot of playgroups will still allow the Hulk to see play in games between trusted friends. Hulk is one of the most prototypical EDH cards... high cost for a huge effect, which is well suited to the highlander nature of the format. Unfortunately, it's proven too good. It's a one-card combo which is too easy to tutor up, and once it resolves there are several ways to kill every opponent, instantly. Hulk combo has cropped up multiple times, in different places, and has been the most problematic element in competitive environments.


The key here is that the kinds of cards required to answer Protean Hulk combo (cheap permission, hand disruption, or RFG-creature removal) aren't the kinds of cards we feel people should have to fill their EDH decks with. As such, the hulk needed to go.


* Grindstone is banned
* LED is banned

While not as problematic as hulk, neither of these is nearly as big of a loss for casual players. Many other two-card combos fall within the realm of "fair game", but the LED/Salvagers and Grindstone/Painters Servant combos are made up of cheap components which are easy to tutor up and quick to hit play. Because they come down so soon, they can be online before opponents can be expected to have disruption available... and make up the top tier of combo options.

While we don't want to make the banned list longer than necessary, these were felt to be acceptable additions. The complementary combo parts (Salvagers and Painters Servant) were felt to have more "legitimate EDH uses."


So, those are the changes we're implementing for now. We know some people will complain no matter what we decide, but we feel this addresses the major problems faced by competitive environments and cleans up some of the less polished corners of the rules.


G

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