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 Post subject: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 4:17 am 
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Joined: 2008-Nov-08 5:27 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Canberra
Recurring nightmare is a pretty average card. Why is it banned?

There must be some combo that I've never seen guys, like Worldgorger Dragon. Please tell me about it.

Lets name five cards that are more powerful:

Capsize
Rite of Replication
Tooth and Nail
Iona, Shield of Emeria
Genesis
Eternal Witness
Sensei's Diving Top
Academy Ruins
Volrath's Stronghold

Jeez wow sorry, I got carried away and couldn't stop.

Time Stretch
Sol Ring
Hinder

It's true if I keep going I will eventually hit a card definitely worse than recurring nightmare; which will then obviously be held up as a strawman and trump all these listed cards that are, in fact, stronger.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 8:35 am 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I wasn't around for its banning, but I'll wager a guess. My guess is that it's not a pretty average card. :wink:

It's not that Recurring Nightmare is just powerful (although it is very powerful). It's also that RN is incredibly hard to disrupt. Options for disruption include:
Counterspells
Selective Discard

Enchantment hate is bankrupt against it. Graveyard removal and activated ability counters don't actually counter RN because the return to hand part is a cost, so they're only temporary fixes.

Where many of the spells you listed are high mana cost bombs, RN is a cheap and hard to disrupt (in fact, impossible for some colors) engine.
I'm sure someone with more experience playing it will step up and explain better why it was actually banned.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 9:10 am 
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Oh I have played against the card many times before, I understand the difficulties in disrupting it.

It's not a weak card, but the EDH committee do not and should not have a policy of banning staples. If this wasn't banned right now, there would be no way it would find itself on the ban list.

The effect is not game breaking, there are only so many eternal witnesses a deck can have (which is one, gravedigger and izzet chronarch don't quite get there). It (the witness) can be exiled very easily. Hand disruption and counter magic is extremely common; but I am not going to debate this issue over its resistance due to disruption. The reason is because people have already made their minds up, it's an enchantment that they can't kill with naturalize (or krosan grip), so it's unfair.

It's just a sorcery with buyback guys. And yes, free buyback *is* cheap, and this card would see play in estimated 70% of decks that run black (30% of decks don't want enchantments or sorcery speed recursion or don't have enough creatures, etc). Again, this is not my strong point for unbanning it.

My strong point is that it's simply not too powerful of an effect. I would prefer to avoid the strawman here, but I can't, so I'll point it out to you for convenience.

STRAWMAN: Setting someone's lifetotal to 10 or tapping for GGG every single turn 3 ever are more powerful effects.

I think the effect is similar to genesis, which also sees play in about 70% of green decks. Genesis is easier to get rid of, but if they have no creatures recurring nightmare doesn't do much, genesis is pretty much always going to hit.

Graveyard hate is available in every deck, but so is enchantment hate. And yet, last EDH game I played, I got twenty creatures for free from lurking predators. It was completely nuts and I won the game; recurring nightmare can do the same. My point is, probably as often as lurking predators.

Simple fact, staples don't get banned, if it wasn't banned right now, it would not be thrown on the ban list.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 10:14 am 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Hmm. Well, you won me over. In a format where cards like Tolarian Academy and Skullclamp are quite acceptable, I don't immediately see where Recurring Nightmare is ban-worthy.

Is there some sort of easy infinite combo with it that I'm just not seeing? The Rofellos argument is relevant. Having that effect always at hand with 2-3 cards in your 99 to make infinite mana seems a lot more abusive than this simply very powerful card.

I understand that there are cards like Priest of Gix and Palinchron which can refund (or more) your RN mana, but even then you have a two-card combo not involving a General. And that's a douchebag usage.

Edit: I'd like to play with it, so I'll try out a local unban. You should too. Report if degeneracy appears.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 11:42 am 
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Joined: 2008-May-29 8:11 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Michigan
So you think this is a fair spell?

2B
Sorcery
Buyback 0
As an additional cost to play ~, sacrifice a creature you control.
Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

With Bogardan Hellkite in play, or in your graveyard, this says: "2B: deal 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players," or with Eternal Witness: "2B: return target card in your graveyard to your hand," or how about Magister Sphinx: "2B: target player's life total becomes 10."

It's way, way better than Corpse Dance, which is considered to be a strong card.
Genesis doesn't even come close to sniffing this card's potential.
It's way better than any of the cards you listed in your first post.

It's grossly powerful, and that's why it's banned.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 11:50 am 

Joined: 2010-Apr-10 11:43 am
Age: Wyvern
The problem with Recurring Nightmare is the same problem as some cards like Painter's Servant. They inherently aren't overly powerful, but the support they can give puts them over the edge.

For example:
Recurring Nightmare: Sacrifice Yosei, Return Karmic Guide, Return Yosei with Karmic Guide's trigger. You now effectively lock someone out of the game forever.

The best way to look at it Nightmare is: Think about all of the CIP (or goes to graveyard) abilities that are absolutely bonkers (Duplicant, Simulacrum, Palinchron, etc.) Now think of them happening every turn, if not multiple times each turn.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 12:27 pm 
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The same effects can already be done without recurring nightmare, yosei and karmic guide in particular! And when they are done, without recurring nightmare, if no one interferes then yes it's game breaking.

EDH decks have a habbit of interfering. Stonecloaker will do it, but fact is something as lame as mortify will do it too. Hit the creature with nightmare on the stack.

Every combo in EDH I've seen that locks someone out of the game forever manages to last two turn cycles at most.

I remember a game I had this week where I got mindslavered two turns in a row in a three player game, hence attacking the third player with my creatures. The mindslaver was then stopped by the third player, and I won the game in my next turn (nice topdeck).

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 12:37 pm 
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Cervid wrote:
"2B: deal 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players,"

That's not game breaking. Future sight and top is far stronger. You get to do damage for what seems to be free, but you tap out and then graveyard gets hated on at sorcery speed in another players turn.

You also gave away your inexperience by listing a hypothetical scenario that when thought about, isn't valid. The magister sphinx one. Just ask a few questions about the game state here where the magister sphinx is in that graveyard and you're using recurring nightmare. Thought about it? The recurring nightmare is not actually doing anything impressive here.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 12:43 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-25 3:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
I would love to see recurring nightmare come back into the format. Yosei lock can be done in other ways in B/W already. There are answers present in the format and like Onlainari said, if you kill the creature with the trigger on stack the conditions are no longer met and it will fizzle. It's also a sorcery speed effect so every disenchant in the format would take care of it.

@Garlow: I'm a blink player so I'm well aware of the number of CIP creatures that could be abused by RN. There might be enough GY hate in the format to keep RN under control along with other answers like Sadistic Sacrement.

I get that it's powerful and Magister Sphinx for every 2b is bad, but at the same time if your EDH group doesn't run enough GY hate to deal with other GY threats maybe dropping a RN on them will wak them up

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 12:57 pm 
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RN can't be disrupted by enchantment removal Jukren.

Anyway, it's a long time before a ban list announcement, I've stated my position adequately. I will try to encourage two of my friends to run it in their decks, I won't be using it myself because it doesn't fit into any of my decks. I can get some more information this way, and come back to this thread closer to a ban list update date.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 1:04 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-25 3:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
onlainari wrote:
RN can't be disrupted by enchantment removal Jukren.


Is it just me or does the fact that RN can only be bounced at sorcery speed mean that it can be blown up by disenchant effects?

I'm not saying you can disrupt it in response to them using it. I'm saying if someone tries to disenchant it the player can't sacrifice it to use it's effect and protect it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 1:06 pm 
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Ah, I'm guessing you've never had the horror of facing a recurring nightmare before.

You can't kill it for the same reason you can't lightning bolt Garruk fast enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 1:11 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-25 3:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
onlainari wrote:
Ah, I'm guessing you've never had the horror of facing a recurring nightmare before.

You can't kill it for the same reason you can't lightning bolt Garruk fast enough.


I'm assuming you mean this in terms of passing priority and active player? yeah, I guess in that case disenchanting it wouldn't work unless they were dumb enough to pass priority or if they left it on the table after they had finished their turn. I guess I was wrong there. Sorry for my confusion.

To the general masses: run GY hate, which you should be doing already.

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3] Isperia the Inscrutable (U/W Control)
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7] Savra, Queen of the Golgari (Token Snack)
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10] Uril, the Miststalker (Dark Rafiq)


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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 3:16 pm 
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Recurring nightmare certainly is a card I was suprised to find on the ban list when I first started on an EDH deck using black. It certainly is very good though, most probably on par with the cards mentioned. I'd love to see it unbanned and am curious why in particular it was originally banned as there doesn't seem to be a clear statement on that in this topic?

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 Post subject: Re: Why is recurring nightmare banned?
AgePosted: 2010-Apr-10 4:10 pm 
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onlainari wrote:
Ah, I'm guessing you've never had the horror of facing a recurring nightmare before.


You actively want something you refer to as a horror in EDH?

SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?

Recurring Nightmare is simply far to easy to abuse. You can go infinite far too easily with Palinchron, or you can lock a player out with Yosei + Karmic Guide, or you can rack up Reveillark triggers. With it you pretty much get to abuse CIP and leaves play triggers willy nilly. Part of the restriction on the powerful CIP/Leaves play abilities is the mana cost that comes with the creatures they're attached to. It's quite easy to dump dudes into the yard, and once they're there, their mana cost effectively becomes "2B". 2B for Palinchron? 2B for Magister Sphinx? 2B for Bogardan Hellkite? 2B for Kederekt Leviathan? The list goes on and on. And all of these CIP abilities are easily reusable by Recurring Nightmare's simple existance.

Add to this that it's extremely resiliant to most forms of disruption and it should be apparent, and you calling it a horror clearly demonstrates that you do understand, why Recurring Nightmare is a bad thing for the format. Given that most discard effects aren't that good in multiplayer, that enchantment hate can't take RN out, and that even removing the graveyard might slow it down a turn, the only way to stop it is a counterspell. If there isn't a counterspell on hand, Recurring Nightmare should put almost any game out of reach.

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