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 Post subject: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 1:56 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Jul-18 5:02 am
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As I understand it, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic. I haven't been part of any of that discussion, however, so I'm going to try my hand at it.

I saw in the Moxen thread that Sheldon said there needs to be a compelling reason to unban a card, so I'd like to address that point first. I'd like to address that point by calling bullshit. What compelling reason was there to unban Crucible of Worlds? Is Crucible/Strip Mine just SO fun that the format was hurt by not having it show up in every single deck? And that doesn't even address green decks with Azusa, Exploration, Rites of Flourishing, and Oracle of Mul Daya. There is absolutely nothing that comes from Crucible being legal except a lot of frustration at people abusing the single most annoying mechanic in Magic: land destruction. Unless Sheldon can personally give me a compelling reason why Crucible was unbanned (Which is unlikely to exist), I would like to ignore this alleged rules stipulation as fallacy.

Furthermore, I can even supply a compelling reason to unban any card: EDH is a casual format. Casual players want to play the cards they own. There is a certain amount of perceived lack of fun in someone dropping down a Mox Emerald in EDH because of some stigma around those cards. However, there is an arguably greater lack of fun in telling someone "This may be a casual format, but you still can't use those cards you own." I'm obviously not arguing to unban everything, and players will understand that cards like Kokusho are degenerate, but unless there is a compelling reason for a card to remain banned then the compelling reason to unban them is to let people have their fun.

With all that said, there is no reason for Library of Alexandria to be banned. Is the card expensive? Yes, but it's less expensive than Bazaar of Baghdad and Mishra's Workshop, so that can't be why it's banned. Would it go in every deck? It can, but so does Sensei's Divining Top and we know ubiquity is not a reason for a banning. Should two factors that don't deserve a ban combine to deserve a ban? Only if Sword of Fire and Ice is quickly on its way to being banned, and I think we can all agree there's about a 0% chance of that card being banned which would only seem to support the fact that those two factors in concert isn't reason enough to ban a card.

The Library isn't even that powerful, really. Don't get me wrong: it's an amazing card which is why I want to be able to use mine. However, it's less powerful than the aforementioned Mishra's Workshop. Workshop doesn't go in every deck, but in the decks it does go in it's obscene. Being able to start the game on turn 3 is a lot more powerful/less fun than slowing yourself down to draw extra cards. And while drawing extra cards is powerful, there are SO many efficient ways to draw many more cards than Library while slowing yourself down significantly less (Rhystic Study comes to mind) that the power level of the card can't be considered even remotely out of control. Is there some degenerate card drawing engine using the Library? The 7 card restriction says that there's none that you couldn't do easier otherwise. Yeah you can Mind Over Matter to essentially tutor for whatever 7 cards you want to have in your hand, but you could also use Archivist/Urza's Blueprints/a dozen other cards instead.

The fact that Library is a land and can go into any deck is also actually one of the reasons it's not really a big deal. Every deck CAN run Library if it wants. However, just about every does DOES run Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Dust Bowl. Hell, everyone runs Vesuva too, so you don't even need to buy a Library when you can just copy someone else's.

That brings us to the final possible reason Library can be banned: it's perceived as unfun. And on that, I once again call bullshit. Know what card is unfun? Shahrazad. That card is banned in tournaments because the card's only function is to stall (Read: cheat). I've tried playing this thing in multiplayer, and it sucks all of the fun out of the room. It basically forces everyone to concede, and if they don't then you're completely screwing over the players that have already been eliminated by making them sit through not one, but TWO full games before they get to play again. Shahrazad, while flavourful and designed with good intentions, may actually be the single most unfun card every printed in the history of Magic. And yet it was specifically unbanned. If that card is more fun than slowing myself down to draw 1 or 2 cards before my Library gets blown up then I need to revise my definition of fun.

That's all I have to say on this topic for now, though I'm sure much debate will ensue. I'm very curious how people, especially Sheldon, would care to justify this banning.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 2:14 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
NO.

Absolutely not. Never. Ever.


I tested it; I retested it and every damn time it was the same thing.


Kokusho power struggle? Prime-Time power struggle?


LIBRARY POWER STRUGGLE.


Library is an exceedingly powerful card; even more so then most in EDH. Consider in EDH that hand size tends to be larger over a longer period of time; with multiple recursions of draw spells, artifacts, creatures and enchantments. Also saying workshop doesn't go into every deck is a bad analogy, it only works in artifact heavy decks. Library works in any deck. Also, every deck can tutor for library; or tutor for tutors that tutor library.

In the end, its not just a great card in EDH; it can be overpoweringly so; coupled with the fact that it is a land makes it even more so. Sharazard isn't a powerfull card at all; its just a card that makes the game last extra long. But Library is powerfull. And if I did say it earlier, I'm going to say it again anyway "Library is exceedingly powerful because of the EDH format itself."


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 2:33 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-01 3:26 pm
Age: Drake
I agree that it shouldn't take a compelling reason to unban something actually. But there's a compelling reason to keep library banned.

It's not banned for its price. And it's not banned for being ubiquitous. It's banned for both, and that creates a barrier to entry (perceived or otherwise) which discourages new people from playing the format.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 2:44 pm 
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Age: Wyvern
Tremor wrote:
I agree that it shouldn't take a compelling reason to unban something actually. But there's a compelling reason to keep library banned.

It's not banned for its price. And it's not banned for being ubiquitous. It's banned for both, and that creates a barrier to entry (perceived or otherwise) which discourages new people from playing the format.

If this is true, I'll expect Sword of Fire and Ice to be banned in a few months when the price keeps climbing.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 4:07 pm 

Joined: 2008-Apr-27 8:14 pm
Age: Drake
Dr. Jeebus wrote:
Tremor wrote:
I agree that it shouldn't take a compelling reason to unban something actually. But there's a compelling reason to keep library banned.

It's not banned for its price. And it's not banned for being ubiquitous. It's banned for both, and that creates a barrier to entry (perceived or otherwise) which discourages new people from playing the format.

If this is true, I'll expect Sword of Fire and Ice to be banned in a few months when the price keeps climbing.


Thats definitely not a fair comparison, by a long shot;

(1) You see a lot more main deck artifact hate then land destruction
(2) Sword of Fice is 3 to cast, 2 to equip, and can be countered. Library is free, and can't.
(3) Sword is only good if you can keep a creature on the board. All the Library needs is a full hand, which is much more likely in this format as noted previously.
(4) Sword requires you to get through for combat damage.
(5) Sword is not going to hit $200 a piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 4:16 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
I was actually on the other side of this a few months ago, arguing that library could be unbanned.

Having tested it, though, it absolutely should not be. It is prohibitively expensive, goes in every single deck, and is very hard to beat when dropped turn one. Unbanning library would do as much or more damage to the format than any other card on the ban list.

It is entirely reasonable for cost and ubiquity combined to require a ban. It's fine for $200 cards to be legal if most people don't need them. It's fine for some cards to go in every deck as long as people can reasonably acquire them. It is not okay for there to be a $200 card that would improve literally every deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 4:44 pm 
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I don't see how turn 1 Library of Alexandria wins you the game in a multiplayer format, unless your friends just like to play patty-cake while you drop spells.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 4:55 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Dr. Jeebus wrote:
I don't see how turn 1 Library of Alexandria wins you the game in a multiplayer format, unless your friends just like to play patty-cake while you drop spells.



Its called "card advantage".

How long exactly have you been playing this game?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:05 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Oct-14 7:43 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Library goes in every deck with an opportunity cost of almost zero (replacing a land) and raises power level significantly. Basically, it's a mox. Actually, I think it's better than a mox. If I had the choice of running either a Library or a mox in my deck, I would pick Library pretty much every time, unless I'm running, like, Slobad or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:12 pm 
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Age: Wyvern
Joz wrote:
Dr. Jeebus wrote:
I don't see how turn 1 Library of Alexandria wins you the game in a multiplayer format, unless your friends just like to play patty-cake while you drop spells.



Its called "card advantage".

How long exactly have you been playing this game?

Are your friends fucking retards or something? I don't see how 1 extra card each turn at the cost of pulling some serious aggro is going to make you beat a table of people.

Or do you only play with little kids that don't know what they're doing?

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:13 pm 
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troacctid wrote:
Library goes in every deck with an opportunity cost of almost zero (replacing a land) and raises power level significantly. Basically, it's a mox. Actually, I think it's better than a mox. If I had the choice of running either a Library or a mox in my deck, I would pick Library pretty much every time, unless I'm running, like, Slobad or something.

It makes a deck better. Raising its power level significantly seems like a bit of a stretch. Like a lot of a stretch. I do agree it's better than a mox in EDH though; there's no reason for the moxes to be banned besides price. (Lotus should absolutely be banned though)

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:14 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I rid my self of your ignorance, and this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:21 pm 
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Joz wrote:
I rid my self of your ignorance, and this thread.

LOL, so then yes: you only play with morons who use bad cards or something. Awesome. If the card is as powerful as you say, you'd have 3-7 people gunning for you from turn 1. A personal howling mine (that costs mana each turn) isn't go do jack shit to protect you from that kind of focused fire.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 5:23 pm 
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Joined: 2008-May-04 6:05 pm
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Location: Wisconsin
Library is powerful.
Library costs a lot of money.
Library is colorless.
Library is a land and taps for mana.
Library is hard to find.

Really? How many more reasons do you need?


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Library of Alexandria
AgePosted: 2011-Apr-19 6:02 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-15 2:37 pm
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For someone ignorant of the correct application of the Library, can someone explain it to me? It seems a little specific to be that much of a game changer, but it seems like everyone here swears by it.


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