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MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander • View topic - A method to their madness.

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 Post subject: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 1:43 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-03 11:24 am
Age: Egg
When Wizards of the Coast makes a banning/unbanning, they usual attempt to attack cards that enable a particularly oppressive strategy. Deathrite Shaman's recent banning, and cards like Seething Song are examples of this.

In reference to the Commander ban list, I feel like I don't see the same methodology when it comes to the bans. Some bans do show some semblance of this thinking, like Tinker and Yagmoth's Bargain.

While I will admit that I took the banning of Primeval Titan personally, considering how much I love the "Get more land" strategy, I understood that it enabled the green decks to accelerate beyond decks not playing that color. It warped multiplayer games from a fun atmosphere where each player had their own individual strategy to "Everyone make copies of Primeval Titan".

Sylvan Primordial's recent ban has got me thinking about how these decisions are made. It's Sundering Titan and Primeval Titan wrapped in a happy little bundle. It warped the playing field in the same way those two cards did, and more, so the banning did not surprise me.

What I have noticed since the banning of Sundering Titan, to Primeval Titan and now Sylvan Primordial is that the combo oriented decks are now becoming more popular. Prior to the banning of Sundering Titan, I chose when to cast him and when not to. If it was obvious that a player in the pod had intentions of preforming some shenanigans like Kiki-Jiki + Pestermite or Tooth and Nail entwined for Palinchron + flicker effect, I would cast cards like Primeval Titan and Sundering Titan as an attempt to prevent myself from being completely put out of the game by such a degenerate combination. Sundering Titan sets them off of lands, Primeval Titan keeps me up to speed with the faster artifact decks and Sylvan Primordial to slow down other people while I speed up.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who spend a lot of time to regulate the EDH format, but I just don't know if all the cards that are banned, and all the cards that are not banned are in the right place.

What do the regulators focus on when making bans, and what are the chances of seeing unbans?


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 2:49 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Official Banned List and Format Philosophy Document
Might I direct you to the above link, because you've come to the right place for the answers. Notice, not everyone will agree with the banlist in its current form, nor does everyone agree this is how it should be handled. The Rules Committee follows, to the best of their knowledge and ability, these general guidelines as I've linked above. Usually, cards have to be in more than one of these categories to even be considered, because it is the Committee's belief the smallest possible banlist is necessary for the health of the format.

As far getting something unbanned: normally, it involves a whole lot of effort. You not only have to prove the particular card doesn't qualify for its previous offenses anymore (such as with ), but that it will also add to the gameplay experiences of the widespread EDH community. Neither of these are easy.

Did you have a particular card you were looking at?


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:02 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:06 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Welcome to the forums!

Generally the RC likes to focus on a couple things when banning cards:

1. Does it produce a buttload of mana too fast? To paraphrase a statement by a member of the RC (I think it was Sheldon) on this topic: Epic plays in games are the point of EDH. However, we'd rather not have them happen on turn 3. That's what Legacy and Vintage are for. and are prominent examples.

2. Does it consistently create unfavorable gamestates: People like fun games, not stupid ones. Sidenote: This is by far the most subjective one. Examples: Sundering Titan, Limiting Resources, Trade Secrets

3. Does it interact badly with the rules (both written and unwritten) of EDH: Certain cards are just plain dumb with the rules of EDH. Examples: Riftsweeper (back when the Command Zone didn't exist and generals were in exile), Coalition Victory, Karkaras, Sylvan Primordial (if EDH wasn't a mostly multiplayer format, it would be fine). All creatures like Rofellos that are only banned as generals also fall under this criteria as well.

4. Perceived Barrier to Entry: People who may want to join EDH may be convinced it's an expensive format if these cards are widespread. Examples: Power 9 (except Timetwister), Library.

Those are the "official" reasons to ban stuff. Here are some unofficial criteria that are often also taken into less consideration, but still sometimes valid:
-Format Warping (Primeval Titan)
-Creates too linear of gameplay (Gifts Ungiven, Protean Hulk)
-Too difficult not to break (Fastbond, Panoptic mirror)
-Reduces Interactivity when paired with cards that already do that, even though it is fine on its own and with cards that don't reduce interactivity (Painter's Servant)

2 more things about the banlist:

1. In general, the banned list relies on the social contract in its most basic form to weed out "obviously" unfun cards like Stasis or Obliterate. The cards that generally make it to the banlist are those that aren't fun, but they seem like they are. Classic example: Recurring Nightmare

2. Ultimately, even with all these rules, the banlist is mostly representative. I mean, there are some specific cards that are just there because they suck for the format or in general (Coalition, Biorhythm), but most cards on the list exemplify a specific kind of card that the RC believes shouldn't see very much play if you want "fun" games, and the cards on the list happen to be the most egregious offenders. For example, Worldfire happens to be the top notch worst of the "big red blow up everything" spells, and therefore it is banned. This doesn't mean that the RC wants everyone to run similar cards like Obliterate either.


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:09 pm 

Joined: 2007-Aug-09 7:38 pm
Age: Drake

_________________
"During the democratic debate Tuesday night, Senator Joe Biden criticized presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, saying 'There's only 3 things he mentions in a sentence: A noun, a verb, and 9/11.' Giuliani later responded, saying, 'Joe Biden sucks 9/11.'"
-Seth Meyers, SNL's Weekend Update November 3, 2007


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:13 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:17 pm 

Joined: 2007-Aug-09 7:38 pm
Age: Drake

_________________
"During the democratic debate Tuesday night, Senator Joe Biden criticized presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, saying 'There's only 3 things he mentions in a sentence: A noun, a verb, and 9/11.' Giuliani later responded, saying, 'Joe Biden sucks 9/11.'"
-Seth Meyers, SNL's Weekend Update November 3, 2007


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:38 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:42 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:47 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon

_________________
Decklists:
Kothophed (mono black control, ETB abuse)
Teferi, Temporal Archmage (blue pillowfort superfriends)
Glint-Eye Nephilim (combat tricks, card draw, & creature pump)
Oloro Upkeep Tribal (enchantment-based control)
and more:Decklists


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:47 pm 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary

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"(P)art of the joy of Commander (is) being forced to work with what we (have), even if it (isn't) optimal. Optimal usually isn't that interesting." - papa funk


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 3:58 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-04 3:38 pm
Age: Dragon


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 4:01 pm 

Joined: 2008-Jan-25 8:26 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary
:roll:

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"(P)art of the joy of Commander (is) being forced to work with what we (have), even if it (isn't) optimal. Optimal usually isn't that interesting." - papa funk


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 4:53 pm 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I think all groups naturally tend toward combo as they mature unless the players deliberately make choices to avoid it. Combo is simply the most powerful thing you can do when you need to take 100+ life away from your opponents to win.

I don't think ramp or LD or particular bannings have anything to do with this.


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 Post subject: Re: A method to their madness.
AgePosted: 2014-Feb-03 5:47 pm 

Joined: 2009-Jan-23 11:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon


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