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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-08 5:18 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
This is an argument for banning those two, not an argument to unban Gifts.

No this is not, since the Rule Committee clearly does not think those 2 need to be banned.
When I say "this is an argument for X", I mean "The points you're raising support an argument for X".


Sure, and i agreed with that. But what i disagreed with was that you seemed to think that it means it can't be an argument to unban? I insist that is, my opinion is that Necro/Ad Naus are similar in power and function for broken players that if one does not assert Necropotence should be banned i cannot fathom how they can assert Gifts should be banned. You don't just simply cast gifts and accidentally ruin the game (i don't deny you technically can, but you don't "cast gifts, okay i win?" when you are not trying to) but Necropotence ruins games every single day of the week because you get to either draw 20 cards and win or you just get to lollllololol as you sit at 7 cards every turn for about the lowest price point possible.

Correct me if i misunderstood you, sorry if i did.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Hence what I said about the amendments being a bit less nuanced then I wanted. If I were to completely rewrite your statements rather than just amend them, I would have replaced "combo" with... something along the lines of "overpowered play".

That's fair, i understand better. But i am not sure if overpowered play is significant. There are a good handful of cards that gives you overpowered plays and it does seem today cards aren't only banned for power level. There are cards that are absurdly powered that are banned, but that are also 'accidentally broken' in ways.

People bring up Tooth and Nail, which is precisely a fair analog and i won't use it. But it's easy to compare their power. T&N costs 9 for the 'win on the spot' mode (but can still be countered or interact with creatures or proactive measures). Gifts sort of has a discounted rate due to being an isntant and not having to cast the Gifts and the combo on the same turn. But it appears reasonable Gifts piles still require large amount of mana (and a bunch of colors, anyone take a look this piles?).

Kiki-Jiki, Pestermite, Regrowth, Noxious Revival is a bigger pain in the ass than T&N and costs more mana. To win on untap, you have to csst 4 cards at a cost of 5RRRGU and lose your draw step (which is not huge if you win, but it's not worth not mentioning). To not win on the untap turn but over a few, you have to be glared at for several turns and still pay 6 the next turn, then 5 the next turn.

Basalt Monolith, Power Artifact, Regrow/Revival
With a Thrasios deck. On your untap turn to make this happen you must cast Regrowth, Basalt, and Power in one go. So 4GUU. Basalt i guess taps for the colorless on Regrowth maybe? You still need Thrasios in play already, which is extra or which is another factor for you to protect since he might eat removal sitting around looking like a combo player or in response to gifts. And then you must still have a deck of free mana or you draw a bunch of cards with nothing to do. And are we catering to players who combo with Thrasios in the most cutthroat speeds possible?

Reveillark, Karmic Guide, Body Double, Mirror Entity
We can all probably see that this costs mana and turns if you put the Guide and the Double in their hand. This is also not a free combo win on the spot unless you plan to pay 10 mana.

So this feels decidedly not "win on the spot for free" or "totally overpowered". Feels like a lot of opportunities to interact and broadcasting your intentions. Similarly, anyone playing 4 card combos with Gifts is also playing enough tutors to broadcast their intentions. (U_K, this is not meant a tirade claiming that you think it is strictly about power, i was continuing a train of thought from that word).

Per Sheldon, comparing to T&N "We see it as an overly-easy "EOT, go get all the pieces" situation which doesn't require much else and gives far less of a chance for other players to react/interact than, say, a nine-mana sorcery does". However, i believe it is actually pretty established that this gives opponents a lot more time to react since a lot of setups with it require a couple turns or mana similar to T&N, and gives more windows for counters, removal, grave hate, etc.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
As I mentioned, cards like Hulk and Staff still have negative impacts but overall contribute enough positive/fun to override it.


Would we (not you and i necessarily, but anyone) be in disagreement that it isn't totally interesting? There are only a couple cards similar. Fact or Fiction types are a bit similar, it's closest analog is Intuition, and it kind-of-sort-of has a bastard cousin in Guided Passage.

All of these are awesome and that has been said as much since the day this card was banned. They are fun effects since you can't hide your plans. Everyone knows what you may or may not be up to and gets to discuss that, and bickering about the correct piles can be massively entertaining. Personal anecdote; i don't really pick a person when i resolve Fact or Fiction since it is always a group effort. Democratic cards are sweet in multiplayer.

It has a lot of political flair. You can find some great silver bullets when someone is too well positioned and your temporary allies can give you an assist on stopping them. Then you try to sneak in some dumb OP stuff for storing in your graveyard for later, and then they argue nah quit that bs you get jack shit if you go find combo pieces. It's awesome. I do this regularly with FoF and with Skullwinder and Intuition and they are great fun. I rarely pick a player for FoF anymore* because everyone, chosen player included, understands it's a democracy really.
* Hyperbole, of course i technically pick a player.

It has value for some commanders especially like Mimeoplasm, Sharuum and Bruna, Light of Alabaster.

Has applications with Delirium, Spell Mastery, and such things like Body Double or Reveillark (which incidentally have a slow combo that can be set up with Gifts).

This is all known since it has been true since it was banned, except for the new cards and mechanics that have been printed since it was banned.

This makes it far from a card 'with limited function other than to win the game out of nowhere', as Sheldon considers it as per the banning criteria.

Comparing to Ad Naus again, which is a card that really only serves to win the game out of nowhere. Ad Nuas is unplayable in decks where it can only safely draw 1 or 2 nonland, and it's broken in decks that average out at 1.3 cmc and draw about 20 cards. Surely the 'fair' medium of Ad Naus use is smaller than Gifts, and Gifts range of interesting and unique applications far greater than Ad Naus. In my thought experiment it sure seems so.

To be more explicit and without the comparison, Gifts is far more interesting than it is broken and the target audience of the format would enjoy it's flexible applications more than there are persons who play it as "4 mana i win".

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Banning something is itself a detraction. For something to be banned, it needs to cross a threshold where its negativity on the format outweighs the problems with banning it.

I cut the rest for brevity but i am replying this whole paragraph and the next.

Unless i misunderstand you by a lot, i think you are missing my point. It does not seem you are addressing my question.

If a card has previously crossed the threshold and does not anymore, it should be re-evaluated. It seems you are saying it should not. Any time a card gets banned is a necessary evil, but if it is not past the threshold, it is not necessarily evil. The default status of a card should be legal.

I may have overcomplicated my point with the hypothetical question. It is possibly doubly so, because it was specifically to you and not the RC, since clearly they do not see Gifts the way we refer to this hypothetical 'no longer past threshold' card.

And since they clearly do, i can understand that Gifts is not an auto unban, but the point of my hypothetical was to illustrate that i believe cards should be legal by default (and not "well it's already banned and we can't technically prove that unbanning will be a net positive even though criteria changed and this technically does not fit it anymore, so whatever").

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Aside from everything else I've mentioned, there's also the possibility that Gifts was banned for Reason A, a stupid reason, and is now kept on the banlist for Reason B


Right. To clarify, i was speaking hypothetically if there was no Reason B invented or discovered. I don't believe "This card doesn't fit our criteria and doesn't need to be banned, but no one can prove we gain anything, so off it goes" is helpful or responsible. It seemed you supported that, but it's just kind of an appeal to the status quo.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Out of all the problems this format has that the RC could fix, I don't think "too big of a banned list" is even remotely the biggest.


No, but is one that can be approached and electing to do so 'because status quo' is not a great way to approach. It's not the biggest problem but that doesn't mean it should be skimped.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Kokusho offers a ton to the format. It's kinda the definition of the type of card EDH was made for. Big iconic legendary beater with a really powerful effect that synergizes with half of the cards in the color black? The only reason it was ever banned is that once upon a time people couldn't use all that power responsibly.

How was it decided that suddenly people did? I have heard it was due to increasing grave hate cards and playability of them. Seriously not sure. The BAAC announcement that legalized her as a commander offers no explanation.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-08 8:10 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Essentially everything associated with the ban list comes down to the importance you place on "winning" as the goal of your commander games.

Look at Hulk. It's the key to a 10 card win combo. Sure, that's pretty complicated but all the cards in the combo are singletons and you need as few as 4 cards to actually start going off, so it's doable in Commander. You can win with it, but is it interesting?

If I call my friends over to a table where there's just me & my deck and I goldfish the combo, how is doing it in-game with them "playing" any different? It's really not. They get to see me playing alone until I assemble the combo & win. There's nothing new here and the only interesting thing about the journey is whether they will interrupt me or not. That's not about the journey, the game, passing time with friends & having fun. That's the equivalent of writing a maths problem on a chalkboard. It's complicated, it can be elegant, but it's not "fun" and we're here to have fun. [This is just a hypothetical, I don't play Hulk combo.]

So why was Hulk unbanned? Probably because there are uses for Hulk that are not a combo win. Maybe you & I can come up with something that makes everyone at the table sit up and say "Ok, that was cool!", even just once. That's why Hulk was unbanned, I think.

Gifts Ungiven?

Where do you draw the line with cards that are so efficient that they are essentially a single stepping-stone to the end-game? This is undercosted, the wrong speed and bootstraps players into a winning position from no-where. It's essentially a better Hulk with no restriction on the type, colour, cost or function of the cards you go to find.

It's a hyper-efficient "winning" card and it's great in formats where winning is the only goal. This is not that format.

"Ok," you say, "but I could get non-combo fun things that are different and interesting". Yes, you can but a lot of other players may not chose to go that route. A certain amount of hand-holding on one card like GU sends a message about how you should orient yourself when you're building. For us fans of Gifts, that's an unfortunate cost of enjoying this format: It's too easy to win with Gifts Ungiven.

Why is the ban list not longer then? Well, it could be about 50-100 cards longer quite easily. Do people want a hyper-regulated format or do people want to assume the choices they make about how they want to play the game?

The RC is using Gifts to send a message and, considering all they have communicated on their view of the format, it's a fair choice to retain Gifts on the ban list.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-09 1:01 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
You know - I don't see a lot of people asking for Sundering Titan to come off the ban list.

Why is that? Is it because people remember that when it was played, people were jerks with it? Or that it wasn't fun when someone else had it?

I mean, the format has changed since then - there's more non-basics being played (so, a bit less for him to hit). So shouldn't we be talking about unbanning him too?

Just because the format has changed (more nonbasics & more gy removal) doesn't mean that a banned card will now be fun or a net gain for the format. I think people understand that in Sundering Titan -- so why do they look at Gifts Ungiven differently?

Even with the casting of the regrowths to "increase the cost" of what Gifts Ungiven does (when comparing to T&N) -- that doesn't make it fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-09 5:33 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
I mean, the format has changed since then - there's more non-basics being played (so, a bit less for him to hit). So shouldn't we be talking about unbanning him too?
I don't think so, because what it does (blow up lands) is most often thought of in a negative light by players I have spoken to. Thats not true of all, but most, and thats the same vibe I get from the people on these forums. Tutoring just does not rate the same. Answers are needed, politics can be a part of Gifts. ST isnt a 'may', a large factor even mentioned in the banning. Plus you most likely don't even win off a ST, just nuke lands and make the game miserable for some (or all) your opponents.

Quote:
Even with the casting of the regrowths to "increase the cost" of what Gifts Ungiven does (when comparing to T&N) -- that doesn't make it fun.
Agreed its not fun, is winning directly off T+N?

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-09 10:03 am 
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MRHblue wrote:
Agreed its not fun, is winning directly off T+N?

I'd much rather ban T&N than unban Gifts.

I often don't "end the game" when I cast T&N -- because I consciously try to avoid having cards in my deck that can do that. But I know others don't - in fact, others in my group do end the game with a T&N and I usually find it quite unsatisfying.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-09 10:41 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Ok we really need to put the comparisons between Gifts and T&N to bed. I understand why some people believe they are comparable, both are tutor effects with the capacity to tutor a win and end the game, but that is where the comparisons end.

Gifts is an instant, costing 4 mana which can search for any kind of card or effect. Whatever you need at that moment, you can get it, single or mass removal, counterspells, ramp, card draw or win con.

T&N is a sorcery, 9 mana to find and play two creatures. Now there are creatures that will do all the things I mentioned above, but once you get to 9 mana you dont really need any of them except to push yourself towards a win.

The power of gifts is in it's flexibility, T&N can, in theory do everything gifts does, but in practice by the nature of it's mana cost is only useful in the later stages of the games development. Gifts is useful much earlier and maintains it's power no matter what the board state, no matter what stage of the game.

Now I dont know what your collective experiences are with this card, but as I mentioned above my main modern deck for a long time was Gifts, both 4C and UW, and the deck is called gifts because it is the card you always want. It often was the game-ender by fetching unburial rites +iona/elesh, but it was also the tool box, getting a discard/land destruction package, getting a counterspell suit, or a wrath suit, or just getting more card draw plus another gifts.

Gifts is a swiss army knife, it's not just good because it has a knife, even if that's what you use most, it's good because when you need a toothpick, screwdriver, can opener, or even that stupid hook thing, whatever you need, you've got it. Swiss army knives have no place in commander.

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-09 4:33 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Swiss army knives have no place in commander.
Strongly disagree. Modal cards, tutors and such are exactly the types of things needed to combat multiple opponents of varying skill and deck power level.

Talking about what Gifts can do in Modern is much less useful to this discussion than discussions of other cards in the context of EDH. No one is questioning the power of Gifts, just its worthiness to be banned.

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My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-10 9:21 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Gifts is a swiss army knife, it's not just good because it has a knife, even if that's what you use most, it's good because when you need a toothpick, screwdriver, can opener, or even that stupid hook thing, whatever you need, you've got it. Swiss army knives have no place in commander.


Imagine the following hypothetical card:

Awesome Gifts Ungiven:
3U
Instant

Search your library for up to four cards with different names and reveal them. Put two of them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.

Is this card banworthy? I suggest no. The only banlist condition such a card might meet is Problematic Casual Omnipresence, because every blue deck would run it. But being "omnipresent" isn't the same as "Problematic Omnipresence" (proof: Sol Ring), and even-hyper efficient tutors aren't usually "problematic" in the sense required (Protean Hulk!)

Why then would an almost strictly worse version of Awesome Gifts be banworthy?

Note that my argument isn't about whether it was right to ban Gifts originally. That may or may not be the case. I'm just saying it doesn't seem to meet the current banlist criteria, and I take it as a given that anything that does not meet that criteria should not be on the banlist (which I know not everyone does).

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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-10 10:54 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Swmystery wrote:
specter404 wrote:
Gifts is a swiss army knife, it's not just good because it has a knife, even if that's what you use most, it's good because when you need a toothpick, screwdriver, can opener, or even that stupid hook thing, whatever you need, you've got it. Swiss army knives have no place in commander.


Imagine the following hypothetical card:

Awesome Gifts Ungiven:
3U
Instant

Search your library for up to four cards with different names and reveal them. Put two of them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.

Is this card banworthy? I suggest no. The only banlist condition such a card might meet is Problematic Casual Omnipresence, because every blue deck would run it. But being "omnipresent" isn't the same as "Problematic Omnipresence" (proof: Sol Ring), and even-hyper efficient tutors aren't usually "problematic" in the sense required (Protean Hulk!)

Why then would an almost strictly worse version of Awesome Gifts be banworthy?

Note that my argument isn't about whether it was right to ban Gifts originally. That may or may not be the case. I'm just saying it doesn't seem to meet the current banlist criteria, and I take it as a given that anything that does not meet that criteria should not be on the banlist (which I know not everyone does).

The RC feels that every card on the ban list deserves to be on it, or else they would have removed it already. So you can't start an argument by saying a made up strictly better version of a banned card shouldn't be banned. Gifts is banned, so your better gifts is automatically banned as well.

The issue with Gifts is that despite the many uses it has as a toolbox or value card, it also has a number of uses that just let you win on the spot turn 5 without additional support (beyond dedicating a couple of deck slots to a combo). Tooth and Nail, while an apt comparison because they both require large amounts of mana, doesn't hold up because you can't win off T&N as fast without ramp support. To be honest, I'm surprise no one is making the better comparison of Doomsday. You can win just as fast with Doomsday and with less mana, but Gifts actually has normal uses, unlike Doomsday which is pretty much just a combo card (or troll win with Hive Mind).


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-10 11:11 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
The RC feels that every card on the ban list deserves to be on it, or else they would have removed it already. So you can't start an argument by saying a made up strictly better version of a banned card shouldn't be banned. Gifts is banned, so your better gifts is automatically banned as well.


Right. And I'm questioning that feeling of theirs by asking which criteria (officially spelled out or otherwise) Awesome Gifts and by extension normal Gifts is supposed to meet.

In other words, it's not about whether Awesome Gifts would be banned if it existed, but whether it should be banned if it existed. If we agree that Awesome Gifts wouldn't be banworthy because it doesn't meet the banlist criteria- and it does not appear to, from what I can see- then logically the real-life worse Gifts doesn't meet those criteria either.

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Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
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Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-10 11:31 pm 
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Why are people ignoring the "Interacts poorly with the format"?

The card is balanced with the mindset that most people play with 60 card decks, and usually 4 copies of a card. That reduces the power of it, so that people have to often consciously alter their deck in order to fully reach the power that card can provide.

... In Commander, they don't have to otherwise weaken their deck (reducing redundancy) because the rules of the format require that your deck already be that way.

Its the same as Karakas - something about the format makes it's power significantly better than it would in any normal sanctioned & constructed format.

I also recall some people playing blue in their deck primarily to be able to use Gifts. As in, they would alter which commander they were using, so that they could take advantage of this card. That's also fairly format warping.

Gifts if not a card that deserves to be in this format.

As for the ridiculous example about "Awesome Gifts Ungiven" -- yes, that would be banned, for the same reasons Gifts is already banned.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-10 11:41 pm 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
As for the ridiculous example about "Awesome Gifts Ungiven" -- yes, that would be banned, for the same reasons Gifts is already banned.


You miss the point of my example.

I'm not suggesting the RC would let Awesome Gifts be legal whilst Gifts is not. Again, I know it would be banned if it existed, because Gifts is banned.

Rather, I'm trying to understand why Gifts is banned, because it doesn't seem to meet any of the given criteria to me. Awesome Gifts is merely to highlight this- "if this much better Gifts wouldn't meet any of the criteria, actual Gifts doesn't."

In this regard, your answer (particularly the point about "interacts badly") is very helpful. No need for the condescension.

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Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-11 12:33 am 

Joined: 2014-Apr-03 3:46 am
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Carthain wrote:
Why are people ignoring the "Interacts poorly with the format"?

The card is balanced with the mindset that most people play with 60 card decks, and usually 4 copies of a card. That reduces the power of it, so that people have to often consciously alter their deck in order to fully reach the power that card can provide.

... In Commander, they don't have to otherwise weaken their deck (reducing redundancy) because the rules of the format require that your deck already be that way.

Its the same as Karakas - something about the format makes it's power significantly better than it would in any normal sanctioned & constructed format.

Gifts if not a card that deserves to be in this format.


You are vastly Gifts "Interacts poorly with the format" potential.

Commander naturally favors control decks more than other archetypes due to high life totals and control also doesn't mind running 1 offs.

Card like Diaochan, Artful Beauty has far better potential than gifts does. Not only she breaks color pie but she far more efficient than black variants and she can even be ran as the commander.

Quote:
I also recall some people playing blue in their deck primarily to be able to use Gifts. As in, they would alter which commander they were using, so that they could take advantage of this card. That's also fairly format warping.


Why does this matter at all? I like to play Sun Titan so I put bunch of 3 cmc or less cards in my deck. Does this mean Sun Titan is format warping?

Intuition which is the closest card to Gifts is not banned and

I think Gifts Ungiven should be unbanned because:

-Gifts has "opponent chooses" in its' text box and that significantly reduces its' power.
-Gifts doesn't cheat mana.
-Faction or Fiction is a fun card to resolve. Everybody in the table gets to participate by voicing their opinions and you can do fun politics with it. Resolving Gifts is a similiar experience.
-Intuition which is the closest card to Gifts is not banned and it is not played in every blue deck. Intuition isn't even in the top 100 played cards according to edhrec.
-Gy hate (the part that is needed to break gifts) sees more play today than it did when Gifts was unbanned and there is more gy hate available.
-I don't see Gifts getting better power level wise. Piles where you tutor recursion, recursion, wincon part A, wincon part B don't get better even if wizards prints more wincons and recursion.


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-11 1:54 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Swmystery wrote:
cryogen wrote:
The RC feels that every card on the ban list deserves to be on it, or else they would have removed it already. So you can't start an argument by saying a made up strictly better version of a banned card shouldn't be banned. Gifts is banned, so your better gifts is automatically banned as well.


Right. And I'm questioning that feeling of theirs by asking which criteria (officially spelled out or otherwise) Awesome Gifts and by extension normal Gifts is supposed to meet.

In other words, it's not about whether Awesome Gifts would be banned if it existed, but whether it should be banned if it existed. If we agree that Awesome Gifts wouldn't be banworthy because it doesn't meet the banlist criteria- and it does not appear to, from what I can see- then logically the real-life worse Gifts doesn't meet those criteria either.

So why make up a better card? It doesn't forward this topic at all. Why should Awesome Gifts be banned? "Because Gifts is.". How about just simply, "why is gifts still banned?"


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 Post subject: Re: Unban Gifts?
AgePosted: 2017-Nov-11 2:37 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
Would I trust myself with gifts? Yes. I love powerful cards that let me do silly things.

Would I want the guys I play with to run gifts? No! They still want to win over most other things. Gifts would be a combo piece.

I want it. But I'm not willing to let it out of prison yet.

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