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 Post subject: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-06 4:44 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Everyone who was on these boards at the time knows that arguably one of the most controversial bans PERIOD was that of Sundering Titan. It's not hard to see why. The "obvious" reasons for it to be banned are essentially that it's antisocial, that it's very hard to use fairly, and that it's big size makes it seem nicer than it really is. The obvious counterarguments to these are that not only there are plenty of other cards that seem to fit this description perfectly, but ST was free roaming for quite a while without too much of a problem. For the longest time, discussion about ST usually stopped there.

However, a new point that was brought up was that while in the past ST was placed in the "obviously antisocial" category, players would often run it in a misguided attempt to try to curb what was at the time the most powerful kind of deck in EDH: ramp decks. The most problematic rampers were the ones who used Primeval Titan to get ahold of nonbasics, particularly shit like Coffers and Cradle. This is definitely a legitimate point, and I personally used it to justify my approval of the ban.

However, I feel this point is no longer as relevant, and that is thanks to the banning of Primeval Titan. Without Primeval Titan, far less ramp decks are running around, and the ones that are there are not only significantly less powerful, but they also have to rely on more basic land-based stuff, meaning that if people use Titan as an answer to ramp, they might actually come close to doing so, unlike what happened earlier.

Finally, the release/popularity of new cards as well as the fact that Sundering Titan was at one point banned will hopefully show the kind of players that aren't trying to be dicks exactly what kind of horrible potential ST has, and how to avoid it. The RC could even put in a slight warning by saying something like "we initially banned ST because it seemed like a good answer to ramp but wasn't. don't make that same mistake."

Although there is one thing I will admit: Sundering Titan is one of the cards on the banlist that I don't want unbanned because I think it can lead to fun. I want it unbanned because as much as I (and the whole world) hate it, I'm not sure it necessarily follows the banning criteria. Also, if it turns out that I am definitely wrong about ST not deserving the ban, then this thread could also potentially be an awesome resource for anyone in the future with similar questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-06 6:11 pm 

Joined: 2013-Mar-15 8:39 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Canada, Ontario
Hm.... blowing up one land each player controls with Slyvan primordial, or blowing up all one type of basic land everyone controls with sundering titan. Though choices in my green ramp deck. I could pop all the islands to make sure than no more counter spells will every be played with sundering titan then flicker him to pop two more types of basic lands, making it impossible for mono coloured players to play.


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-06 8:56 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-23 12:56 pm
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Location: Finland
Bull wrote:
Hm.... blowing up one land each player controls with Slyvan primordial, or blowing up all one type of basic land everyone controls with sundering titan. Though choices in my green ramp deck. I could pop all the islands to make sure than no more counter spells will every be played with sundering titan then flicker him to pop two more types of basic lands, making it impossible for mono coloured players to play.

Ummm... No. It destroys one land of each basic land type each time it triggers.

However, as someone already noted: (symmetrical) LD is not a viable answer to ramp. A mono Green ramp deck, for example, will only be hit for one land per trigger while this leaves 4 basic land types per trigger to be taken from somewhere else. Also, SD is a non-optional destroyer which often leads to the destruction of players with more colors. Is it fair? Well, someone might argue that multicolor decks need a bit of punishing but, for the most part, EDH is about multiple colors. Also, it primarily punishes people who opt to play basic lands (or duals - but there are only 2 of those per color combination) instead of using non-basics. More often than not, this means hitting those on a budget.

However, I believe the points above have already been discussed to death. I merely wanted to remind that the points in favor of its unbanning seem insufficient to argue that it does not violate any of the banning principles to a sufficient degree.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-07 12:30 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
However, I feel this point is no longer as relevant, and that is thanks to the banning of Primeval Titan. Without Primeval Titan, far less ramp decks are running around, and the ones that are there are not only significantly less powerful, but they also have to rely on more basic land-based stuff

Except, event before Primeval ST still didn't do enough to answer these ramp decks, and would end up causing collateral damage on other players - which would leave the other players more crippled, and the ramp player still ahead of the others. So the lack of PT isn't a good reason to unban ST.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Finally, the release/popularity of new cards as well as the fact that Sundering Titan was at one point banned will hopefully show

Nope. Very rarely will people know what was previously banned. They only care about what is currently banned. And then there's the people who think "if it isn't banned, then it's fair game to play." Being previously on the banned list shows nothing.

Do you think that Grindstone has horrible potential? If not, then why would ST being unbanned have horrible potential simply because it was banned at one point?


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-07 8:17 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
The fiercest argument over ST getting banned was probably this thread here. I'm probably giving a biased recap (I really don't like ST), but I think most of the arguments against it being banned broke down into one of these 4 categories:

1. "It's a fair way to 'balance' 5-color goodstuff decks."

I think some players also overestimated how popular 5-color decks are (they're definitely popular, but not anywhere close to the wedge generals or blue combo/ramp generals). Even if there was a glut of 5-color decks running amok, the balance part was still a crummy argument, since the RC remains adamant that format balance is not a concern (this applies for the next two items in this list too).

2. "It's the best way to fight ramp."

As above, trying to "balance" a strategy isn't especially relevant, and I've never been convinced that ST was useful for fighting ramp. Instead, it always seemed like one of the better tools for ramp decks to lock down the rest of the table. If you want to play hardcore ramp, the best options are Forest decks (maybe splashing a second color), or artifact mana decks (usually mono-blue, sometimes with a splash like in Oona).

3. "Mono-colored decks need it."

This was always a silly argument, since there have always been a few mono-colored decks that do fine without LD, and in the year since ST was banned, mono- decks haven't disappeared. Azami, Arcum, Memnarch, and other mono-blue combo/control commanders are still competitive if that's your thing. There are a variety of mono-black and mono-green decks. Mono-red and mono-white are probably a little underplayed, but that's more because of the limitations of their color (and furthermore, they've got plenty of other mass LD cards without ST).

4. "Players should understand it's anti-social, so it shouldn't be treated any differently than Armageddon or other mana denial cards."

Yeah, most players who have a strong grasp of the format are likely to understand how ST can be an antisocial card; unfortunately, many players seemed to fall into traps #1-3, and ended up wrecking games in a misguided attempt to "balance" their group. The problem here is that the format continues to grow briskly, and there's no EDH boot camp to train newbies on commonly accepted standards of play. Remember, this forum reaches a very small audience, and even Sheldon's only hitting a small part of the crowd with his SCG column. So keeping it banned seems like the easiest way to prevent new players from having to reinvent the wheel when they discover the format.

(I dunno about the argument that Primeval Titan getting banned makes Sundering Titan more acceptable. I don't really see how the two cards interact, so you might need to explain it differently.)

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-07 12:25 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Kemev wrote:
(I dunno about the argument that Primeval Titan getting banned makes Sundering Titan more acceptable. I don't really see how the two cards interact, so you might need to explain it differently.)

Basically, Sundering Titan was banned when it was because ramp took off and people started to think that it no longer was an "antisocial dick card" anymore, since it gave the illusion of combatting ramp. However, as far as I've seen, every player but me has been ramping less and less since Prime Time has been banned, probably because the non green dudes can't go "Derp, clone, search for Urborg Coffers" like they used to with PT. This argument will become even more prevalent if Sylvan Primordial gets banned (although if it does, it WILL be because of the lack of a may ability, a trait shared with ST).


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-07 11:17 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Kemev wrote:
The fiercest argument over ST getting banned was probably this thread here. I'm probably giving a biased recap (I really don't like ST), but I think most of the arguments against it being banned broke down into one of these 4 categories:

1. "It's a fair way to 'balance' 5-color goodstuff decks."

I think some players also overestimated how popular 5-color decks are (they're definitely popular, but not anywhere close to the wedge generals or blue combo/ramp generals). Even if there was a glut of 5-color decks running amok, the balance part was still a crummy argument, since the RC remains adamant that format balance is not a concern (this applies for the next two items in this list too).

2. "It's the best way to fight ramp."

As above, trying to "balance" a strategy isn't especially relevant, and I've never been convinced that ST was useful for fighting ramp. Instead, it always seemed like one of the better tools for ramp decks to lock down the rest of the table. If you want to play hardcore ramp, the best options are Forest decks (maybe splashing a second color), or artifact mana decks (usually mono-blue, sometimes with a splash like in Oona).

3. "Mono-colored decks need it."

This was always a silly argument, since there have always been a few mono-colored decks that do fine without LD, and in the year since ST was banned, mono- decks haven't disappeared. Azami, Arcum, Memnarch, and other mono-blue combo/control commanders are still competitive if that's your thing. There are a variety of mono-black and mono-green decks. Mono-red and mono-white are probably a little underplayed, but that's more because of the limitations of their color (and furthermore, they've got plenty of other mass LD cards without ST).

4. "Players should understand it's anti-social, so it shouldn't be treated any differently than Armageddon or other mana denial cards."

Yeah, most players who have a strong grasp of the format are likely to understand how ST can be an antisocial card; unfortunately, many players seemed to fall into traps #1-3, and ended up wrecking games in a misguided attempt to "balance" their group. The problem here is that the format continues to grow briskly, and there's no EDH boot camp to train newbies on commonly accepted standards of play. Remember, this forum reaches a very small audience, and even Sheldon's only hitting a small part of the crowd with his SCG column. So keeping it banned seems like the easiest way to prevent new players from having to reinvent the wheel when they discover the format.

This.
Kemev wrote:
(I dunno about the argument that Primeval Titan getting banned makes Sundering Titan more acceptable. I don't really see how the two cards interact, so you might need to explain it differently.)

They really don't interact. I think the argument was that PT was banned to help reign in the ramp, so somehow now ST would be OK because ramp is less prevalent so he wouldn't be run "as an answer to ramp". In other words, it's total bullcrap. The idea that it "controls ramp" is also completely false. In fact the games I've seen it cast were usually by the ramp player (sometimes a Sharuum player too). As has already been pointed out, the mono-color deck is just gonna keep ramping and not care about this thing.

The bottom line is that Sundering Titan is only "fun" for griefers, and there are plenty of options for destroying lands out there if you really need to, so I'm sorry but no one "needs" it. Let it rot on the banned list and be done with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-07 11:41 pm 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 7:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Let it rot on the banned list and be done with it.


Now there's an endorsement!


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 1:00 am 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-12 3:20 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
If you look at the link Kemev posted, you'll see I argued against the ST ban quite strongly.
At the time, I just saw one of the few "anti-ramp" cards being taken away in a format where Ramp was absurdly dominant. I failed to see that in the vast majority of groups and games, Sundering Titan may have been played with that intent, but he didn't live up to it in games. It tended to just ruin games for people already having less-then-good games more then anything else, and nearly as often it just shit on the entire table since it got copied/blinked/reanimated by someone. Oftentimes even coping/blinking/reanimating it once made the game a miserable slog.

Basically, for whatever reason, people had gotten the impression that Sundering Titan was somehow a fair card to play, when in reality it wasn't, at least for the vast majority of people and groups. Overall, the format simply became overall more fun when Sundering Titan was banned.

Nothing has really changed in regards to it. Prime Time or no, Ramp is still huge in commander, and people would still use that to justify playing Sundering Titan where it doesn't belong. For some reason, that attitude never become widespread in regard to any other mass LD, perhaps because Titan looks like he can be controlled and used "Fairly", even though he rarely can.

To sum up... I was against the ban, and I now think I was wrong. Sundering Titan deserves his place in banhalia, and I hope his trip is eternal.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 3:53 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
kaldare wrote:
If you look at the link Kemev posted, you'll see I argued against the ST ban quite strongly.
At the time, I just saw one of the few "anti-ramp" cards being taken away in a format where Ramp was absurdly dominant. I failed to see that in the vast majority of groups and games, Sundering Titan may have been played with that intent, but he didn't live up to it in games. It tended to just ruin games for people already having less-then-good games more then anything else, and nearly as often it just shit on the entire table since it got copied/blinked/reanimated by someone. Oftentimes even coping/blinking/reanimating it once made the game a miserable slog.

Basically, for whatever reason, people had gotten the impression that Sundering Titan was somehow a fair card to play, when in reality it wasn't, at least for the vast majority of people and groups. Overall, the format simply became overall more fun when Sundering Titan was banned.

Nothing has really changed in regards to it. Prime Time or no, Ramp is still huge in commander, and people would still use that to justify playing Sundering Titan where it doesn't belong. For some reason, that attitude never become widespread in regard to any other mass LD, perhaps because Titan looks like he can be controlled and used "Fairly", even though he rarely can.

To sum up... I was against the ban, and I now think I was wrong. Sundering Titan deserves his place in banhalia, and I hope his trip is eternal.
I agree with you 100% and I'm glad you came around on this viewpoint.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 4:38 am 
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Joined: 2010-May-09 10:39 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I really don't see what ST adds to the format that can't be accomplished by a well-timed Armageddon, Jokulhaups (hits other permanents too) or Winter Orb. The problem with ST isn't that it slows ramp (it doesn't), it needlessly cripples the varied manabases that the RC want in the format, nominally 3-5 colour decks with splashy and fun generals that are already vulnerable because of their multiple colours, reliance on multiple basic land types and dual lands and shocklands, which also get hit by ST.

And...it triggers twice. And it triggers from entering play from anywhere, so if you bounce it it kills lands, if you destroy it it kills lands, if you reanimate it it kills lands, if you sacrifice it it kills lands.
Yeah, I'm the guy that went there with Goblin Welder to just be an antisocial douche, which led to a house ban.

I mean...if ramp is that much of a problem in your meta:

Land Equilibrium
Armageddon
Decree of Annihilation
Winter Orb
Static Orb

We really don't need Sundering Titan in the format. It hurts people that are just entering the format and don't have a lot of nonbasics, and those are the people we should be aiming to help out and wean into the format in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 8:19 am 
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Joined: 2008-Aug-15 9:31 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Here's how people played it:

1) Cut most/all basics to decrease his halfway symmetrical nature
2) Run artifact ramp
3) Run bounce/ blink
4) Get him with your first tutor

I'm saying that from personal experience. He was exclusively unfun and changed deck building to "how do I stop/ mitigate my lands inevitably getting blown up." It was very similar to playing in a meta with the guy who refuses to not run Obliterate.dec


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 8:53 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Well, I admit I was definitely wrong about Sundering Titan. I only had one real reason to take it off, and clearly it sounded far better in my head than it actually is. I think it's especially telling that kaldare and trevor, the two forum posters who are almost always on the "unban/don't ban" side of the argument (along with myself), both agreed that ST should stay banned. I give up, you guys win, I'm throwing the towel, it's over, whatever "ending" words you want to hear. If any mod wants to lock this thread, not a problem with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 9:06 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-19 6:19 am
Age: Dragon
It's genuinely very nice when people can admit to being wrong like kaldare and UK have done here. Doesn't happen nearly often enough on the internet.

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 Post subject: Re: Sundering Titan Discussion
AgePosted: 2013-Jul-08 9:48 am 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
I remember feeling surprised at how long it took to ban Sundering Titan.

The guy in our group who loved it moved onto Realm Razer, a card he is still in love with. Realm Razer may sound like a bit of a dick card (and, in fact, it probably is one) yet it's still factors more interesting and interactive than Sundering Titan ever was.

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