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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 1:57 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
tempesteye wrote:
Sinis wrote:
...
Stuff
...

First, this entire justification behind your post puts the onus on the other players. Which is wrong. You're arguing for an antisocial deck by essentially saying an opponents well prepared deck (or decks) can deal with it.
Whoa. Stop. Red light.

I am not "arguing for" an "antisocial deck".

Firstly, I said I was sad to see it go, because I and other people (gasp) had fun when I played it. Our own subjective definition of fun that you may not agree with, but there it is.

Secondly, it wasn't antisocial. There are no such things as antisocial decks, they don't exhibit those sorts of qualities: they're pieces of cardboard. There are, however, antisocial people. I always engaged my opponents in a social manner before I played Erayo. My opponents knew exactly what they were getting into, and indeed they nearly always asked that I play it, because that was the kind of game they were looking for. At a competitive table (because, that's what we were looking for), you really ought to play challenging threats. That's kinda how you win. And opponents should pack answers for those challenging threats. Did I mention that we were playing vintage-lite decks that were trying to win at any cost, and we were having fun doing it? I'm pretty sure I did.

Thirdly, yes, playing Erayo puts the onus on other players. But, so does Avenger of Zendikar, or any other card that may cause your opponent to lose. If I play Avenger, and you don't echoing truth, wrath, damnation or whatever you lose. You must react to Avenger of Zendikar. The difference with Erayo is that a) it's my general, and I will reliably have it, and b) it is very threatening.

Again, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I griefed people, and now I've got a fountain of tears because I can't do it anymore. I am merely saddened that a strategic option is lost at a hypercompetitive table I play at semi-regularly.

Quote:
But the whole issue with Erayo is that this kind of deck requires very specific answers (which are usually not otherwise played) and those answers need to be castable very early.
Lots of people play Swords to Plowshares. Also, you can bet anyone at the table will play it. I was merely illustrating how commonly played answers could sandbag or stop Erayo, and that if everyone at the table had these commonly played answers, there is a good chance Erayo will be stopped. Moreover, it is not merely that Erayo gets stopped, and can do it again next turn. Flipping Erayo is a massive resource sink that cannot be done back to back except in rare circumstances (usually requiring Time Spiral).

Quote:
Second, show me a deck with Erayo as the general that's not looking to lock out a game and I'll ask the builder, "Why use Erayo if you're not going to utilize its very powerful ability? Why not use one of the other powerful monoBlue generals like Azami or Barin?"
I don't want to build Azami because I don't want to build a Wizard tribe deck. I don't want to build Barrin because it isn't interesting for me to mess around with Spine of Ish Sah, Chamber of Manipulation, or similar. Besides, Erayo flies, which is better for the voltron strategy ;)

Part of the problem with traditional Erayo is that it locks people out early. When a player looks at Explosive Vegetation in their hand on turn 4 and can't play it because of a flipped Erayo, that might be really objectionable. If I built a deck that flipped him turn 8, it's not like it would be worse than the person running Vorinclex or Sheoldred.
Quote:
The decision to be antisocial with Erayo is made in the deck building stage; no one ever says, "Oops, I just flipped Erayo, how did that happen?" It's never accidentally broken.
Players choose Erayo for one reason. Any suggestion otherwise is unconscious self-deception or an outright lie.
It saddens me that you're willing to leap to a generalization. You can build sub-optimal decks. You don't have to flip turn 3. If you flip him much later, it's not really worse than having a Forbid wall. Players have had time to set up with their explosive vegetations, they can sink a card into Erayo and still cast something significant.

The 'brokenness' of Erayo falls very far indeed as the turn where you flip becomes later.

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Last edited by Sinis on 2011-Sep-21 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 2:00 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I don't know what the fuck you are all saying because you write to damn much.

Condense it down.

Facts. Examples. Orderly Execution of Infidels!
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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 2:05 pm 
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Let me clarify what I mean by "makes you play the game on its terms." When I see an Avenger of Zendikar (or Azami, or Zur, etc.) hit the field I have a number of ways to respond to it. I can attempt to peg it with a removal spell. I can put an Arrest on it and make it unable to attack me or tap to draw cards. I can drop an Ensnaring Bridge and make Zur unable to attack me at all. If I know the Zur player is not playing with foolishness like Empyrial Armor, I can theoretically ignore it while I set up my own ridiculous combo. The point is, I am dealing with threats on their own terms. I am able to prioritize and determine whether or not I want to spend resources to deal with these cards. Usually I do, but I don't HAVE to.

With Erayo, GAAIV, Gaddock Teeg, etc., I am thrust into a game universe where the rules of the game are fundamentally different. All of my spells have "As an additional cost to play this spell, pay X, where X is the color and amount of mana in the CC of another spell in your hand. Discard that spell." My 4 CC creatures now read "This card can't be cast." My spells all cost 1 more to play. These effects are not in themselves the worst thing that can happen in the game, but I do not have a choice about whether to engage them. I can't NOT pay the 1 for GAAIV like I can with Rhystic Study. Boseiju or "can't be countered' aside, I am automatically denied my first spell each turn. The cards in your example change the state of the board; these cards change the nature of the game being played, and having them readily available to my opponent is (IMO) both frustrating and unfun.

Sinis wrote:
Why is it not an "Erayo deck"? I didn't realize that the essential feature of Erayo decks was an average turn 3 flip. It is completely possible to build a deck that does not take full leverage of a general's capability, and for it still to be a "X deck" where "X" is the general's name.


Yeah, I realized I was employing the "No True Scotsman" fallacy after I wrote that bit. I was hoping nobody would call me on it ;)

Again, though, the distinction is that Erayo's ability is inherently a build-around-me ability-- you want to put in cheap or free spells so that you can flip her, even if you aren't necessarily putting in the really broken ones like Mana Crypt. It is as Tempesteye says-- if you are not building your deck to flip Erayo eventually and quasi-reliably, why are you using Erayo as your general? If you're just using her for the colors, Teferi or Venser seem like better choices-- much more flexible.

Rhys, by contrast, has two abilities that suggests he's at home in token decks, but neither of those abilities are INTEGRAL to the deck's function. Some games I play with Rhys I double tokens all day long; some games I am lucky to make a few elves; and some games Rhys keeps getting killed before he can activate either of his abilities (for some reason... Apparently Rhys is scary to some people). I've won games in all three situations. Certainly I'm at an advantage if I double my elves, but I don't need Rhys to be firing for my deck to do what it's supposed to do.

I guess my real argument here is that the ability of Erayo's Essence itself is what makes Erayo unfun (which I suppose one can have a legitimate disagreement about), not the fact that a tuned Erayo deck can go off consistently Turn 2 or 3 (which I think most people would agree ratchets the level of unfun up to 11).

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 3:00 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-20 3:45 pm
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Location: Hamilton, ON
I agree with the Sept. changes. They acknowledge combos, time constraints, and non-interactive decks.

The arguements on this thread are all good on one side of the fence or the other. My two cents though is with regard to Generals suh as Zur and the like. The topic of the "Gentleman's Agreement" keeps getting thrown into the mix. To me, go ahead and play Zur (or whomever), but you do not have to play lock pieces. Try getting creative, pack some zany stuff, but stuff that makes the game truely interesting for everyone. If you talk to your play group when you present Zur, tell them that hey don't hate on me yet, I've got no lock pieces. If players acknowledge the "Spirit of the Format" when they build, then in theory the banhammer will not come down on too many Generals in the future. If players ignore the "Spirit of the Format" , then you reap what you sow.

**As an aside note, I would really like to thank the innovaters & RC of EDH/Commander for creating and maintaining the best (see fun) format I have played in years.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 3:32 pm 
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Sinis wrote:
Again, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I griefed people, and now I've got a fountain of tears because I can't do it anymore. I am merely saddened that a strategic option is lost at a hypercompetitive table I play at semi-regularly.


The possibility that Erayo presents an interesting strategic problem, to be solved by extremely competitive players who enjoy such things, did occur to us during our deliberation. I myself enjoy playing against a particularly savage Momir Vig prison deck in our local meta game, from time to time. That said, two factors led me to believe that the banning wouldn't cause problems in this regard:

1) That people who enjoy that kind of game are definitely not the majority of commander players, and in particular not the majority of NEW players the blacklist is meant to assist. Experienced and intelligent people like Sinis are, quite frankly, not the people who need the list's help.

2) I strongly suspect that all of the people who have/would enjoy[ed] playing against your Erayo deck will still be willing to do so.

In essence, I doubt the "banning" of Erayo will have any real impact on the games you're discussing. If you come across players who feel that Erayo's presence on the list signifies that she's "obviously too powerful and hence not worth playing against", just point them at the part of the announcement where I state that she's not the worst mono-U/combo commander to play against... she's just the most succinct way for us to say "Hey guys, be aware most people don't like this kind of game."

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 3:40 pm 

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Genomancer wrote:
she's not the worst mono-U/combo commander to play against... she's just the most succinct way for us to say "Hey guys, be aware most people don't like this kind of game."

Who is the worst monoblue general to play against?


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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 4:06 pm 

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Vendilion Clique is pretty rough to play against. My strategy against Clique is running Boseiju, Who Shelters All with Telemin Performance because most clique decks I have faced run no creatures and an abnormal amount of counter magic.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 5:16 pm 
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tempesteye wrote:
I personally have ONLY ever seen it used in a degenerate way, except for the following:
One time I used Gift's for: Solemn, Forest, Civic Wayfinder and Man O War.
And the other 4 players at the table literally told me, and I'm paraphrasing here, "That is perhaps the WORST play ever made in the history of MTG."
I'd find that perfectly acceptable. Along the lines of Gifts Ungiven for 3 Relentless Rats and a Swamp.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 5:20 pm 
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Joz wrote:
Genomancer wrote:
she's not the worst mono-U/combo commander to play against... she's just the most succinct way for us to say "Hey guys, be aware most people don't like this kind of game."

Who is the worst monoblue general to play against?

I think arguments can be made for Azami, Teferi, and Clique. I personally think Erayo is the strongest in a multiplayer setting, but I'd definitely be interested to hear what Genomancer thinks.
arctic79 wrote:
Vendilion Clique is pretty rough to play against. My strategy against Clique is running Boseiju, Who Shelters All with Telemin Performance because most clique decks I have faced run no creatures and an abnormal amount of counter magic.
Against a buddy of mine's VC deck, you'd hit his Mistbind Clique, which he uses to lock players with Riptide Laboratory (cast Mistbind during your upkeep, championing Vendilion Clique, EOT bounce, tucking a card from your hand, and leaving VC to attack on my turn).

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 5:30 pm 
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Genomancer wrote:
1) That people who enjoy that kind of game are definitely not the majority of commander players, and in particular not the majority of NEW players the blacklist is meant to assist. Experienced and intelligent people like Sinis are, quite frankly, not the people who need the list's help.
I thank you for your compliments, but I'm going to disagree here, and for a very weird reason: The hypercompetitive table I play with needs a banlist with some officiality, even if it is only minimal in balancing the format.

We compete within a set of restrictions. Those restrictions are the official ban list. If we were to say, "sure, Erayo is permitted", there would be literally no reason we could reasonably provide to say "unpack your moxen and lotus", and the people I play against do own that stuff.

The official ban list, no matter how flimsy in a competitive sense, serves to keep really broken cards out for this group. Any deviation from it is met with slippery slope argument, all the way down to black lotus. Similarly, banlists from MTGS, or the French banlist are also unacceptable; they change according to the whims of non-officials.

To make a long story short, we need the banlist because without it, we'd just play 100 card vintage. In part, it's our own laziness to institute our own ban list, and in part it's also that if a hypercompetitive EDH player joins our table (we play at an LGS), we need a recognized banlist to smoothly interact ("I'm playing Erayo"; "Really, he's banned?"; "Not to us, we didn't think it necessary"; "Any other surprises?"; "well... yes"; "I am unprepared for this one-shot deal. Sorry guys.")

Thusly, Erayo decks are banned at the highly competitive table.
Quote:
2) I strongly suspect that all of the people who have/would enjoy[ed] playing against your Erayo deck will still be willing to do so.
I have no doubt they would, but they likely wont, because it blurs the line of acceptability.

As I said before, I realize everyone else needs this banning more than I need it's unbanning; groups like the one that I play in (that meets only occasionally), as you said, are terribly rare. But, d-bags at gencon or other events seem far more common. I'd rather many other people enjoy themselves at my expense than vice versa. Additionally, the conversation we're having could probably apply to any card on the banlist, in the context of my local group, so I'm not really willing to whine too hard about it.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 7:05 pm 
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herodotusjr wrote:
Let me clarify what I mean by "makes you play the game on its terms." When I see an Avenger of Zendikar (or Azami, or Zur, etc.) hit the field I have a number of ways to respond to it. I can attempt to peg it with a removal spell. I can put an Arrest on it and make it unable to attack me or tap to draw cards. I can drop an Ensnaring Bridge and make Zur unable to attack me at all. If I know the Zur player is not playing with foolishness like Empyrial Armor, I can theoretically ignore it while I set up my own ridiculous combo. The point is, I am dealing with threats on their own terms. I am able to prioritize and determine whether or not I want to spend resources to deal with these cards. Usually I do, but I don't HAVE to.

With Erayo, GAAIV, Gaddock Teeg, etc., I am thrust into a game universe where the rules of the game are fundamentally different. All of my spells have "As an additional cost to play this spell, pay X, where X is the color and amount of mana in the CC of another spell in your hand. Discard that spell." My 4 CC creatures now read "This card can't be cast." My spells all cost 1 more to play. These effects are not in themselves the worst thing that can happen in the game, but I do not have a choice about whether to engage them. I can't NOT pay the 1 for GAAIV like I can with Rhystic Study. Boseiju or "can't be countered' aside, I am automatically denied my first spell each turn. The cards in your example change the state of the board; these cards change the nature of the game being played, and having them readily available to my opponent is (IMO) both frustrating and unfun.
This is going to sound trite, but I don't see the distinction. If you're talking about degrees of threat, I think you're underestimating Avenger of Zendikar. The Azusa deck could kill you outright if the untap with Avenger on the table.

That Erayo or Grand Arbiter provides a more powerful and more proactive effect is beside the point, I think. In either case, it's answer or die. The fact that it takes a long time with GAAIV and Erayo is an immaterial fact that generates the illusion of being unthreatening (though, not a very convincing one).

Quote:
Sinis wrote:
Why is it not an "Erayo deck"? I didn't realize that the essential feature of Erayo decks was an average turn 3 flip. It is completely possible to build a deck that does not take full leverage of a general's capability, and for it still to be a "X deck" where "X" is the general's name.


Yeah, I realized I was employing the "No True Scotsman" fallacy after I wrote that bit. I was hoping nobody would call me on it ;)
That's what people call it. Well, I learn something new every day. ;)
Quote:
Again, though, the distinction is that Erayo's ability is inherently a build-around-me ability-- you want to put in cheap or free spells so that you can flip her, even if you aren't necessarily putting in the really broken ones like Mana Crypt.
Um, no. If you want, you can play 2, and three cost spells, and flip on turn 8 or later. You don't have to churn out a bunch of zeroes to flip. You don't have to play to that strength.

You could find another way (I'm serious about the upcoming CommanderCast article; you'll see an alternate non-broken way of flipping Erayo).

Quote:
It is as Tempesteye says-- if you are not building your deck to flip Erayo eventually and quasi-reliably, why are you using Erayo as your general? If you're just using her for the colors, Teferi or Venser seem like better choices-- much more flexible.
Because you want the cycle of Ascendants from Kamigawa as generals? Because you think other mono-blue generals are stupid? Personal prefernece? Intense ear fetish? Does this question even matter once we're playing suboptimally?

Quote:
I guess my real argument here is that the ability of Erayo's Essence itself is what makes Erayo unfun (which I suppose one can have a legitimate disagreement about), not the fact that a tuned Erayo deck can go off consistently Turn 2 or 3 (which I think most people would agree ratchets the level of unfun up to 11).
Disagree. Here's an example resembling a game I had a few weeks ago:

There's a table of three; a Karrthus reanimator dredge deck, Azusa and Erayo.
The Azusa player's opening hand is: Forest x3, Cultivate, Genesis Wave, Woodfall Primus and Krosan Grip
My (Erayo) opening hand is: Island x3, High Tide, Misdirection, Mystic Speculation and Basalt Monolith
The Karrthus opening hand is: Swamp x2, Mountain, Golgari Thug, Necromancy, Far Wanderings, and Sheoldred, Whispering One.

T1: I'm on the play. I look at my hand, realizes not very good, draws Mystic Speculation, and plays Island, saying go.

T1: Azusa topdecks Sylvan Scrying, and says Forest go.

T1: Karrthus topdecks a Jund Panorama, and plays swamp, go.

T2: I topdeck Academy ruins. Total crap. Island, go.

T2: Azusa draws Oracle of Mul Daya, plays Forest. Looking quickly over his hand, Azusa casts Sylvan Scrying, finding Temple of the False God.

T2: Karrthus draws High Market. Plays it, and taps out for Golgari Thug.

T3: I topdeck Mishra's Bauble. Good enough; throw a third island, casts high tide, Erayo, Mishra's Bauble and Mystic Speculation (seeing some stuff, including a Merchant Scroll which gets moved to the top). Erayo triggers and passes the turn.

T3: Azusa topdecks a strip mine. Looking at the hand, Azusa plays the mine, and is now holding forest, Temple of the False God, Cultivate, Genesis Wave, Woodfall Primus and Krosan Grip. This whole hand is useless; if Erayo was not flipped, Azusa would have been played followed by Forest and Temple, followed by cultivate. Next turn, Woodfall. Instead, this whole hand is complete crap; even the Krosan grip will have to wait two turns, and even then, Azusa will have to throw the general or the cultivate to Erayo's trigger. Grip could get played next turn if Azusa draws Green Sun's, Worldly Tutor, or Concordant Crossroads, but that's pretty much it. Azusa's third turn is land, go.

T3: Karrthus sacrifices Golgari Thug during his upkeep using High Market, and then dredges it back to hand, showing some sweet targets for Necromancy (including an Acidic Slime). Karrthus wises up to the flipped Erayo, plays a mountain and casts Golgari thug into Erayo's trigger, setting up another dredge turn.

T4: I topdeck Merchant Scroll (big surprise). Scroll for Mystical Tutor, Mystical tutor for Timetwister.

-----

At this point, the Karrthus player loses everything, and so does Azusa. Either will need Krosan grip as I get a new mitt of cards that will almost certainly have counterspells. The game is probably a lock, and it's only a matter of time before Erayo finds the win conditions while stalling significant threats from the others, or outright destroying them with Arcane Lab. The point of this anecdote is to show that both the other decks were primed for some explosive plays, but got shut down because of a turn 3 flip. If I flipped on turn 5 or later, Erayo's Essence would have been eminently manageable by either player.

It is the early flip that makes Erayo backbreaking; if players get to play ramp, they can more easily afford the one spell tax in terms of mana, before the Erayo player can start to really leverage some advantages. That usually means that Erayo's Essence is going to get destroyed. Later in the game, players have an establish board and things aren't quite so bad. If it happened mid or late game, it wouldn't be so bad, even if it was taxing for players to play against. It would certainly be easier to actually destroy.

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Last edited by Sinis on 2011-Sep-21 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 7:56 pm 
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Just want to chime in on the Erayo issue.

First off, I can totally buy Sinis' claims. I'm sure there are some playgroups where Erayo is viewed as an interesting challenge rather than a fun-killing griefer deck, and I can believe that some people are responsible enough own an Erayo deck and only pilot it against people who enjoy playing it. Based on that experience with Erayo, I can imagine being disappointed with the ban.

My experience with Erayo was a player at my local game store who built the deck as his first and only EDH deck. He was primarily a tournament Magic player, so when he approached EDh is just made sense to build something that would give him the greatest control over the game. He then proceeded to ruin dozens of games with other inexperienced players before quitting the format because no one wanted to play with him any more. I'm sure he might have eventually caused problems with Azami or Momir Vig, but entering the format with Erayo caused immediate and serious problems for him and his opponents. Coming from that perspective, banning Erayo makes perfect sense to me.

I think that it was correct to ban Erayo for similar reasons to Braids - they may not be the most powerful/competitive generals, but they are both relatively strong generals who can lock multiple opponents out of the game very early. I think it is worth* banning such generals because of the extremely negative experiences they can lead to when entering the format.

*Corrected, per Daf's comment - fairly important typo. (Also, appreciate the complement on my GDS2 work!)

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 9:04 pm 
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obsidiandice wrote:
I think it is worse banning such generals because of the extremely negative experiences they can lead to when entering the format.
"worth"?

Grats on your GDS2 outcome, btw; I fell off the forums in Feb but remember you had some neat ideas with your world theme. :)

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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 9:20 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I view a flipped Erayo the same way I do anything else scary.

if its not protected by an Arcane Laboratory, I'm going to find a way to take it [with Rayne, ofc/]


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 Post subject: Re: 9/20 Banned List Update Discussion
AgePosted: 2011-Sep-21 11:14 pm 

Joined: 2011-Jul-09 10:45 am
Age: Wyvern
obsidiandice wrote:
I would say that the biggest problem with Iona + Painter's Servant is that you can Tooth and Nail for it. Yes, someone will inevitably mention Kiki+Pestermite n' friends, but that requires three colors and can be disrupted by removal. Searching out Iona+Servant lock can be disrupted by... Mouth of Ronom, I guess?


That is true, but then couldn't there be a very easy case to ban Iona rather than Painter's Servant?

My argument for this is that Iona causes many more problems by itself than Painter does. It can very easily be a hard lock on one or two players and causes no interactions other than "kill it or X player loses".

Painter, on the other hand, can do countless amounts of silly and fun things, only two (three if you count Teysa, but I don't) of which are broken. It enables a lot of otherwise sub-par strategies and generals like Jaya Ballard, can boost the usefulness of cards like Grand Architect, and can throw a fork in the plans of someone piloting an Oros deck or anything similar. It is quite possibly the epitome of what EDH is about, in that it's a janky silly card that actually has a place to do hilarious, fun things. I really do think that the format could only benefit from its unbanning, because when you get down to it there really are a lot of color-matters cards.


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