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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 7:59 am 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
It's admittedly a really powerful land (maybe the most powerful), but I don't think it's ban-worthy either. In the format you have:
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Ghost Quarter
Dust Bowl
Tectonic Edge (As of Worldwake)
all as colorless and very tutorable (Expedition Map and more in green, not to mention broad-use tutors) answers to it.
Most decks should be running some amount of the above simply as safety valves against the many powerful lands that are likely to show up in any game of EDH.
The Crucible of Worlds argument really doesn't hold that well. If someone's got an active Crucible, you obviously don't Strip Mine their Academy unless you can exile the graveyard or remove the Crucible afterwards.
Jester's Cap and similar effects are useful and should be played if combo is prevalent in your metagame.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 8:28 am 
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Joined: 2007-Sep-10 2:51 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rittman, OH USA
It is the strongest land in the format, period.
I still don't think it needs banned, or needs to be watched, though.
While its effects are extremely potent, they are only as strong as what you surround it with.
It is at its most efficient and brutal in a deck built to serve it. Sharuum, Arcum, Sen Triplets, and God help you if your group allows you to run Memnarch as a general.
People need to run more artifact removal in EDH, and people also need to be less afraid of running cards that might destroy a land or two.

Why is it better than Gaea's Cradle?
All it is needs is artifacts, lots of those have amazing effects, produce mana themselves, ARE lands, or come from Mycosynth Lattice.
Also, it makes blue mana, which as lame as it sounds, is much better than green mana.

My Sharuum deck isn't built around Sharuum, it is actually built around Academy itself.
After Zendikar hit and we got Expedition Map, it got WAY easier to find it. Now even Trinket Mage/Tezzeret/Artificer's Intuition can get Academy due to Map.
I believe I'm running a total of 14 paths to find Academy. And many of those can be used to get Academy #2.

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 8:32 am 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 8:18 pm
Age: Wyvern
TA is awesome, but again, it just requires that you play more answers.

Several of the best decks in my playgroups run them, and if a strip mine or acidic slime comes along, it is the likely target, but it is very rare that the academy is able to get anything crazy going.

Blow up the enabling artifacts before the Academy gets out of control, and use your GY hate to make sure they stay dead, at least some of them.

If you know that some of the better decks you can expect to run into run TA (or Cabal Coffers, Volrath's Stronghold, Gaea's Cradle, Academy Ruins, etc) then everyone in the playgroup should come in armed with a couple land removals; strip mine, creeping mold, befoul, molten rain, annex... Crucible of Worlds is another layer to the problem, but it's easier to get rid of than the Academy itself is.

Take responsibility as a group for cards that you know can be powerful. Banning should be saved for truly degenerate interactions like Protean Hulk and Painter's Servant, not as an option to deal with merely powerful cards.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 8:35 am 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
But you can't have Tolarian Academy as your general! :wink:

Yeah, Expedition Map was a hugely impactful card on the format, especially for Academy. Artifacts that cost 1 or less mana have this bad habit of being really easy to draw in blue decks.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 8:35 am 
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Joined: 2007-Sep-10 2:51 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rittman, OH USA
BigShow wrote:
Take responsibility as a group for cards that you know can be powerful. Banning should be saved for truly degenerate interactions like Protean Hulk and Painter's Servant, not as an option to deal with merely powerful cards.


*peers through the etherial internet fog* Is ... Is that ... Someone has done it! SOMEONE FINALLY UNDERSTANDS!!!

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 9:11 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jul-13 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Monmouth, OR
So can anyone explain to me then why Metalworker is supposedly sooooooo much more degenerate than Tolarian Academy that it warrants a ban?

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 9:44 am 
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Joined: 2007-Sep-10 2:51 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rittman, OH USA
No, actually I can't. I feel the banning of Metalworker was TOTALLY unwarranted.
But the reason he is better in some cases is that when he comes down on turn 2-3, he makes 10+ mana ... academy probably makes 1-2.

However at the same time they banned Metalworker ... they unbanned Rofellos as a general ... WHAT!? Unban the one that starts in your hand every game, okay xD
But, I digress, this is not the topic for this.

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 11:02 am 
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Joined: 2009-Feb-14 11:25 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Winfield, KS
zimagic wrote:
I can't figure out if it's a mechanical spider or a funky window on the nearest tower.

Ban it, I say!


i believe its a crab shaped window.


anyways, it is a powerful land, i just haven't had the experience of playing against someone with it... so i honestly have no idea if it would upset me that much or not. my knee-jerk reaction would just be to strip mine it or something. strip mine can go in any deck. as can expedition map. see where i'm going with this? you have a colorless answer to a blue producing land. if its a problem, find an answer. its not that difficult.

i am speaking theoretically of course...

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-29 3:25 pm 
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Joined: 2008-May-04 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Wisconsin
As I've said time and time again, a simple Stripmine effect does not remotely stop a person playing with Tolarian Academy. Yes there are answers to Tolarian Academy, but it usually winds up taking upwards of ten answers if the player knows what he/she is doing. That can be problematic, even for two players.

I'll repeat myself here too, I'm not trying to get the Tolarian Academy banned. I think it is a reference point for "is this card better or worse the Tolarian Academy." I think it defines the line where the format can do without it, it is a dominant strategy, but not warping so it doesn't have to be banned.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-30 4:30 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
yawg07 wrote:
No, actually I can't. I feel the banning of Metalworker was TOTALLY unwarranted.
But the reason he is better in some cases is that when he comes down on turn 2-3, he makes 10+ mana ... academy probably makes 1-2.

However at the same time they banned Metalworker ... they unbanned Rofellos as a general ... WHAT!? Unban the one that starts in your hand every game, okay xD
But, I digress, this is not the topic for this.


Seeing as you brought it up there is a reason why Metalworker is considered ban worthy in comparison to Rofellos & Academy.

In order to reap the most benefit from both unbanned cards, you need to invest cards and commit permanents to the table to make them strong: Forests in the case of Rofellos and artifacts in the case of Tolarian Academy. You have to use land drops, cast land-search spells or pay for artifacts to benefit. Now I grant that these are not very onerous requirements and a commitment to these strategies basically scales the power of both cards much higher, much faster than a lot of other cards. But the essential core of the power of both cards is that you start low and, as you invest mana & cards to the table, you get more and more back. Take these resources away and their mana output, thus power level, reduces accordingly.

Metalworker is pretty much the opposite. You start with a metal worker and the mana to have paid for him. Straight away, without any further commitment to or investment in the game state, you can have a pool of colourless mana for the price of a "tap:" which is noncommensurate with the investment you have made to the game state. In addition, you can use this mana to pay for the "resource" that provided it in the first place. Essentially the very fact that you have an artifact in your hand allows it to pay for itself. Thus from zero investment in the game state you can put permanents into play for free solely by dint of having drawn them in the first place.

As a follow on, with the exception of Karn decks, you are fueling, for free, arguably one of the most powerful cards (and certainly the most powerful land) in the format, the OPs Tolarian Academy. Alone, these cards are exceptionally powerful. Together they are too powerful and if one has to go, why not the one that warps the "payment" cycle completely? I don't like bans, I won't call for one, but I'm pretty happy with the state of affairs regarding Metalworker and Academy.

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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-30 11:08 am 

Joined: 2008-Sep-21 11:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Tolarian academy to me is an I've already won card..

Not that it's not huge tastic and great and combo enabling and all that noise but if it hits play and bad things happen it's because the group as a whole has ignored the board position of the person playing it.

there are alot of ways to make super huge mana this is just another one, pay attention to what's being played.

1v1 is a different story, but for group game I don't see this as any more wrping than powerartifact ...


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-30 5:00 pm 

Joined: 2009-Dec-17 4:27 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Stockholm
From my experience, Tolarian Academy could very well be the most powerful card in the format and quite possibly stronger than any of the cards on the ban-list. Most decks that run Tolarian Academy are not so much centered around the general or some specific theme, nor are they simple "good stuff" decks. Most decks that run Tolarian Academy are Tolarian Academy decks first and foremost.

While I would be glad to see the academy go, many people seem to enjoy it (these being mainly the type of people who do NOT play EDH in a way that could possibly be considered casual) and it doesn't actually violate any of the three EDH banning principles.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-31 6:22 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Oct-14 7:43 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'm not going to claim any expertise, but it seems very strange to me that Metalworker would be banned while Tolarian Academy roams free. Academy is less situational, has no summoning sickness, is more resilient to removal, and gets stronger the more you use it (because the fast mana allows you to put even more artifacts into play.) Metalworker is usually slower, less reliable, a horrible topdeck, and as you employ it you lose your means of employing it. That's just my impression, of course.

zimagic wrote:
Who went to their last EDH night and sat across from Academy going "Hell no! That's gotta leave this format!"? Nothing has changed since the spoiling of Zendikar or WWK that warrents this consideration (though I accept that a set that's coming out in 9 months time may have the potential to cause us to reconsider it but until then, can't we just let it lie?)

Zendikar's Expedition Map gave it at least three new tutors off the top of my head--the map itself plus Dizzy Spell and Trinket Mage to tutor the map. Oh, I guess Fabricate too. And Artificer's Intuition. So five new ways to search it out, all of which are the kind of things the deck already probably runs.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Jan-31 6:42 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-02 5:31 pm
Age: Drake
I've seen Tolarian Academy abused in the same way everyone else has listed it. From Memory Jar trickiness to simple infinite mana comboness. I would have to agree, however, that Tolarian is in fact more powerful than Metalworker. If a line was drawn where it would be decided if a card was more or less powerful than Tolarian, I think Metalworker falls well within the less powerful lines. I'm not so sure it would be good if both were legal, but it is hard to ban one over the other (especially the weaker one IMO). It would appear relatively clear that the EDH community is not all that content that Metalworker is banned, when compared to other cards like Gaea's Cradle, Tolarian Academy, and Rofellos. I would still fear decks that contain Metalworker and Academy, but if Rofellos can coexist with Gaea's Cradle (and Rofellos is guarenteed to be dropped T2), there shouldn't be too much of a problem.

This is a good topic, using other cards as reference to decide the power level of another card.


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 Post subject: Re: A Healthy Discussion on Tolarian Academy
AgePosted: 2010-Feb-03 10:37 am 
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Joined: 2008-May-04 1:02 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Orlando, FL
1) It can't be used in every blue deck
2) It's legendary
3) Strip Mine, Wasteland, Tectonic Edge can be tutored for just as EASY, if not easier, in ANY deck

...

I don't see any threads on Cabal Coffers
1) It can be used in EVERY black deck, or ANY deck with urborg
2) It's NOT legendary
3) It can generate just as much mana, if not more, and it can't be shut off by a shatterstorm


Oh wait, its not a blue card, you kids only hate blue.

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