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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-11 9:12 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
tgambitg wrote:
niheloim wrote:
yes you can
Teysa says to create a white token whenever your black creatures die.
Darkest hour makes these tokens black
You can then sac them to any available ability without end.
So, you can't sac 3 white creatures to Teysa's ability, but I can sac to Phyrexian Plaguelord as much as I want to clear the board of any creatures I can target.


That is not the reason you would put Painter's Servant in a Teysa, Orzhov Scion deck though. And Phyrexian Plaguelord doesn't care about the color of the deck, it only cares about whether the creature exists. I mean yes, Teysa will give you infinite creatures, but you're sending them to the graveyard, not exile, which is why they need to be white.

Can we agree that both are infinite combos with Teysa and that adding PS to the deck gives it an additional infinite? Yes? Great. Movin' on.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
It is inconceivable to me that Hulk isn't a problem in a format where Lark, Karmic Guide, Body Double, Dark Mike, Kiki-Jiki, and Phyrexian Delver are all staples

Debatable. Exhibit A, the OP is now having Hulk problems.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
yet Servant would be a problem in a format where Iona is hated out on arrival and every other problematic card is unplayable.

You shouldn't say you don't want to go down this rabbit hole, and then dive in head-first. But I'll try to be brief here - the fact that it enhances the anti-social funsuckness of cards that are already anti-social funsucks is the entire point. You're right that it's a niche effect that's not worth playing if it doesn't interact with your general (or if you're going to Tooth and Nail Iona and it into play because you suck immeasurable amounts of ass). The problem is that PS turns a lot of those color-caring generals incredibly unpleasant. Llawan is pretty much garbage without PS. WITH it, she's incredibly annoying. The bottom line is that you can't justify unbanning a card by saying it would be cool with some things (it would) but just ignore all the ways it would be completely awful.

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-11 9:55 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Why does unbanning mean we're ignoring the awful?

What card that has been unbanned doesnt have its awful interactions? Theyre not being ignored. They just arent an issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-11 9:58 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
tgambitg wrote:

That is not the reason you would put Painter's Servant in a Teysa, Orzhov Scion deck though. And Phyrexian Plaguelord doesn't care about the color of the deck, it only cares about whether the creature exists. I mean yes, Teysa will give you infinite creatures, but you're sending them to the graveyard, not exile, which is why they need to be white.

?

Wut?

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-11 3:51 pm 
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
It is inconceivable to me that Hulk isn't a problem in a format where Lark, Karmic Guide, Body Double, Dark Mike, Kiki-Jiki, and Phyrexian Delver are all staples

Debatable. Exhibit A, the OP is now having Hulk problems.

Exhibit B, one of the metas I play in is now having Memnarch problems. Exhibit C, one of the metas I play in has been having Atraxa problems. Exhibit D, the RC clearly doesn't seem to think that as a whole and across the format Hulk is currently a problem.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
The problem is that PS turns a lot of those color-caring generals incredibly unpleasant.

I'd have to contest that claim pretty aggressively.
Eight-and-a-Half Tails: Powerful, but mostly functions as a way to save mana.
Iona, Shield of Emeria: Admittedly pretty terrible, probably the worst interaction with Servant period.
Crovax, Ascendant Hero, Ascendant Evincar: Kind of a non-bo. Worst case scenario a 2-card Night of Soul's Betrayal.
Llawan, Cephalid Empress: Pretty annoying, but relatively easy to answer and not anywhere near as game-ruining as Iona.
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage: Her first ability is now a Vindicate.
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV: I mean, he sucks on his own and PS makes him stronger, but doesn't actually do anything to make him suckier.
Sygg, River Guide: Effectively 8.5 tails but for Merfolk Tribal.
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh, Yeva, Nature's Herald, Patron of the Orochi, Baru, Fist of Krosa, Kaysa, Meng Huo, Barbarian King: The color-based ability now works with artifacts.
Oona, Queen of the Fae: Her ability now creates more tokens.
Circu, Dimir Lobotomist: About half of your mono-colored cards and all of your colorless cards will now exile 1 extra card.
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch: Either you get extra removal or extra card advantage. Probably the latter.
Ulasht, the Hate Seed: Ulasht gets bigger on ETB.
Tolsimir Wolfblood: About half of your tokens (probably your green ones) get +1/+1.
Daughter of Autumn: Her ability works on all creatures.
Teysa, Orzhov Scion: Another pretty awful one, and unfortunately on a general that's otherwise pretty fair. A repeatable asymmetrical Final Judgment is nothing to scoff at and can pretty easily ruin games.
Tibor and Lumia: Similar to Teysa, but WAY less overpowered and antisocial. Also has the ability to function as a Levitation.
Savra, Queen of the Golgari: Pretty solid effect, essentially turns her into Grave Pact.
Firesong and Sunspeaker: Pretty great with PS, will most likely cause you to get a free Lightning Bolt with every Lightning Bolt you cast.
Agrus Kos, War Veteran: Either white creatures get bigger heads or red creatures get bigger butts.
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary: A bit like GAAIV but in the opposite way. Momir's effect isn't particularly enjoyable, and Servant really just makes it more efficient. Also relevant that this is the deck where the Servant is most likely to be cloned, which would indeed be a pretty big problem.
Dromar, the Banisher: I thought he was in the bad category, then I decided to RTFC and I was wrong. "Whenever this creature deals combat damage, cast Evacuation" is annoying, but since it gimps the user as well it's probably not going to happen very often.
Crosis, the Purger: I would put it into the bad category, except that anyone who wants to play that game should just play Bolas instead. Same colors and almost the exact same cost for basically the same effect.
Sol'Kanar, the Swamp King: Now you gain life for every spell cast.
Darigaaz, the Igniter: Pretty decent effect, you now do just that much more damage per hit.
Rith, the Awakener: Mycoloth eat your heart out. Turns Rith into a much more powerful win condition.
Jacques le Vert: Every non-green creature gets a slightly bigger butt.
Treva, the Renewer: Like Rith, but with lifegain. I personally would love to see the race between this and my BruseIkra deck.
Alesha, Who Smiles at Death: Doesn't interact with Servant directly, but tends to have a lot of offensive creatures with protection abilities and such. Also can reanimate it, and can play Red Elemental Blast.
Reaper King: Can always use more Scarecrows
Ramos, Dragon Engine: Roughly 2 out of every 3 cards will add an extra counter to Ramos.
Every general with "protection from color X" x8: Effectively becomes a cheaper Whispersilk Cloak.
Oros, the Avenger and anything with Intimidate or Fear: Complete nonbo.

Out of the 44 generals who synergize with it at all, a grand total of 5 (Iona, Llawan, Teysa, Momir Vig, and Crosis) start making the game suck when paired with it. Out of those five, Teysa is the only one who on her own doesn't scream "this general is not fun to play against". Iona and Llawan are just crap generals in general, and Crosis is normally alright but gets outclassed hard by Bolas if you ever decide to play him antisocially. This means that we're not likely to see much annoying PS play outside of Momir Vig and Teysa. And of the five, those two are by far the least offenders.

Quote:
The bottom line is that you can't justify unbanning a card by saying it would be cool with some things (it would) but just ignore all the ways it would be completely awful.

I'm not ignoring anything about it. I'm flat out denying that the possible ways it could be awful will happen significantly in practice. Even ignoring the social contract and the general expectation that EDH players should avoid games/strategies that aren't fun, most of the antisocial uses of PS are just plain bad. Including PS in your deck for no other reason than to combine it with something like Deathgrip is just bad deckbuilding. Even taking the example you mentioned of T&Ning Servant and Iona out is generally a bad strategy unless you're running some kind of deck that already has a legitimate reason for both of them to be in. And as annoying as Teysa and Momir are with Servant, Teysa certainly isn't powerful enough for it to make waves in cEDH and Momir is probably not good enough either.

Competitive players won't abuse PS because it simply isn't powerful enough. Casual players won't abuse it because doing so makes games boring and stupid. No matter what possible motivation you have for playing this format, using Servant in an antisocial way is just a stupid decision that requires you to break every unwritten rule of building and playing Magic. If Servant were legalized tomorrow, I would guarantee it would be annoying people in Teysa and Momir for about a month, then retired to only interesting and fun decks once people realize how weak and boring what they're doing is.

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 1:10 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
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@Uktabi-
I like your analysis quite a bit- but Painter's Servant being on the banlist seems more or less a relic of EDH's surge in popularity around 2010- in general, I don't think it's a problem card until it becomes a colorless Hermit Druid. The Hulk unbanning has proven that the format has by-in-large caught up with those sort of hard combos moreso than with hard acceleration like Primeval Titan and Sylvan Primordial (I'd rather have Dead Eye Navigator banned than Sylv though- since even Clone Warring over Sylv can be fun without the seemless, efficient, cardless flickering- since Sylv's high end is searching up a Murmuring Bosk instead of Glacial Chasm, Dark Depths and other such madness. Flicker engines don't need DEN, either)

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 3:49 am 
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As a casual player who already sees tons of broken unfun combos that make a game boring and shut people out, I would rather not see another tool added to the pile. Casual players will do boring funsuck things with it because it helps them do awesome winning stuff.

"Build casually, play competitively" might be one of the format maxims, but it's not in the philosophy document or any of the material that gets shipped with commander precons and it's relatively obscure advice I only learned about several years into my activity in the format. Most people are not going to have heard of it or follow it, and will build competitively and play competitively because that's how we are taught to make magic decks in every other format.

That will mean including Painter's Servant with Momir Vig, and it will mean playing Momir Vig so we can include Painter's Servant and use these two in combination to win.

Asserting Painter's Servant simply will not be exploited as a funsuck by casual players doesn't seem valid to me. I don't see a reason to believe that would be true, and have seen plenty of similar stuff that has me believe many will absolutely use it.

Spikes will like it because it helps them win, Timmies will use it because combos are nice, Johnnies might use it because it makes their big splashy cards more big and splashy when they hit. Mels will like the mechanical interlock.

Mill often needs all the help it can get but when I make a mill deck, if Grindstone and Painter's Servant are both available, that means playing both and getting an effective two-card reusable Door to Nothingness is a correct or valid decision. (Plus an artifact tutor or two, why not.)

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Jun-12 6:07 am 
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spacemonaut wrote:
Spikes will like it because it helps them win, Johnnies will use it because combos are nice, Timmies might use it because it makes their big splashy cards more big and splashy when they hit. Mels will like the mechanical interlock.

The bolded part, as I've explained, is just flat out false. Servant is simply a bad (read, weak) combo card in EDH. It has zero ways to win on the spot in multiplayer, can't be a general, and does nothing to support the deck outside of the combo. Look at most of the other stupid combo bogeymen in the format and you'll see how Servant doesn't stack up to them.

Most of the time the argument against banning stupid combo pieces is that Spikes will just move on to other ways of doing the same thing. Not only is that true for Servant, but in its case most of the other ways of doing the same thing are far far better.

Quote:
Mill often needs all the help it can get but when I make a mill deck, if Grindstone and Painter's Servant are both available, that means playing both and getting an effective two-card reusable Door to Nothingness is a correct or valid decision. (Plus an artifact tutor or two, why not.)
Not in the slightest. Servantstone is a terrible combo in multiplayer formats. Assuming it doesn't get disrupted, you'll most likely kill one player and then have one or both cards blown up the next turn and have the rest of the table gang up on you. And in the games where you don't end up assembling the combo (read, most of them) you have effectively two dead cards taking up valuable deck space.

Also, anyone who runs a 2-card game winning combo in their deck AND a way to tutor out the pieces is no longer playing casual EDH but solitaire.

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-25 3:33 am 

Joined: 2018-Jul-15 5:17 am
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"On the other hand, we feel as though it’s time to let Protean Hulk off the leash. A number of factors led to this decision. Support within the community has been tilting toward Protean Hulk for quite some time. Inside the Rules Committee, we have been leaning in that direction for a while as well, but didn’t have enough of a consensus. Now we do. We acknowledge that the card will be strong, but are of the opinion that it won’t be the centralizing factor it once would have been. Back when Protean Hulk was banned, both creatures and graveyard control were nowhere near as strong as they are today. We know combo possibilities exist with the card, but they need to be specifically built around, so to us it becomes a great value card instead of a dangerous combo piece in casual environments. We suspect that Protean Hulk will be much like Kokusho, the Evening Star when it was unbanned: powerful but not broken in the current Commander landscape."

Apologies for dredging up an old thread, but reading this got me thinking. If the format's graveyard control is strong enough to accommodate Protean Hulk, might it also be strong enough to accommodate Recurring Nightmare? Or is there something I'm not seeing?


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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-25 1:31 pm 
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I'm not going to say that Recurring Nightmare necessarily must stay banned, but the reasons in favor of it staying banned have little to do with Hulk. Hulk is effectively an absurdly powerful effect that some would argue is too powerful to deserve to exist in the format. Recurring Nightmare on the other hand is a moderately powerful effect that is pushed beyond the point of reasonableness by the fact that it is both absurdly undercosted and reusable. If anything, its best comparison on the banned list would be something like Panoptic Mirror or Karakas. When left on the board long enough, it makes games incredibly linear and repetitive.

It is a generically useful effect, but it's not going to go in every deck; it's going to go in decks that synergize incredibly well with it. And when it shows up in those kinds of decks, the optimal play is going to quickly become "Play Recurring Nightmare and activate it as many times as you can each turn." That way you get to clear the opponent's board with your Fleshbag Marauders and Grave Pacts, draw your whole deck off of Fecundity and Wall of Blossoms, drop your opponents' life to zero with Purphoros, God of War and Gray Merchants, create infinite mana with Great Whale, etc.

I would compare it to DEN, a card that most people seem to agree is annoying as hell but not annoying enough to ban. However, if DEN were to be banned, I doubt very many people would want it to come off, because even in the best of cases it tends to make the game durdly and boring.

Also, not that I think that it's actually relevant to Nightmare being banned or unbanned, but if anything I would say Hulk being legal now is a point against Nightmare. Because I don't want the two of them to be in the same format, and of the two I think Nightmare is by far the worse offender.

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III Omnath, Locus of Mana III Thada Adel, Acquisitor III Geth, Lord of the Vault III Eight-and-a-Half-Tails III Zo-Zu the Punisher III BruseIkra III Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis III Kess, Dissident Mage, III AkriSilas III Grenzo, Havoc Raiser III Ghalta, Primal Hunger III Ambassador Laquatus III Anax and Cymede III Sidisi, Brood Tyrant III Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest III Ghave, Guru of Spores III Zurgo Helmsmasher III Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder III


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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-25 8:26 pm 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
I would compare it to DEN, a card that most people seem to agree is annoying as hell but not annoying enough to ban. However, if DEN were to be banned, I doubt very many people would want it to come off, because even in the best of cases it tends to make the game durdly and boring.


Which card is “DEN” here? It's not coming to mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Card Unbannings
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-26 12:35 am 
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