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 Post subject: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 2:20 pm 

Joined: 2013-Mar-15 8:39 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Canada, Ontario
Just saying if they were, maybe turn 1 wins would stop being a thing :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 2:34 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
How many times do people turn 1 kill you?


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 4:26 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
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I don't agree with Bull, and I'm aware of the usual criteria for banning a card, but just to play Bull's advocate: It need not be a turn one "kill". It can be a turn one get-so-far-ahead-that-it-may-as-well-be-a-kill, and that honestly happens all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-13 10:25 pm 
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Age: Drake
I was curious about the extent of these in the format, and found 7 total nonland cards that give you mana for nothing (barring shenanigans): https://scryfall.com/search?q=-t%3Aland ... er%3Ablack

Chrome Mox, Mana Crypt, Mox Diamond, and Mox Opal can give you 1-2 mana immediately for nothing.

Lotus Petal and Lion's Eye Diamond give you give you 1-3 mana once. Lotus Bloom gives you 3 mana once in 3 turns so it won't be used turn 1 but can be one of those "so far ahead" things.

Some honorary mentions from a less restricted search: Paradise Mantle needs 1 mana. Astral Cornucopia and Everflowing Chalice scale up arbitrarily high but do nothing for 0. (Jeweled Amulet is just a storage rock.)

~~~~~~~~~

What's going on in games that have us feel they're this much of a problem? I'm surprised, but open-minded and interested to hear about what you've seen.

They wouldn't get drawn together very often, but you'd draw at least one in your starting hand every 3-4 games. Is it the games where they do get drawn and chained together and crazy things happen for that player that are sticking in memory? (That is not a data point without meaning, since the format policy document says: “Create games that everyone will love to remember, not the ones you'd like to forget.”)

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-14 2:18 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Also, if you're really doing this, you might want to add cards like Elvish Spirit Guide, Simian Spirit Guide, and Gemstone Caverns to the chopping block. And we also can't forget Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Mana Vault or Sol Ring, which aren't free in the same way but still give more mana than they cost.

That leads to a total of 13 cards that can give you free mana on turn 1. Probability wise, if you include every single one of them in your deck you'll probably get one of them in your opening hand most games but getting 2 isn't very likely and any more than that is approaching god-hand status. There's only one deck I'm aware of where it's even possible to pull off a win with only 1 extra mana, and that's Flash Hulk (which can technically pull it off turn 0 if you get Caverns and one of the Spirit Guides). The next one up is Hermit Druid, which can get a T1 win if they manage to pull 4 of these cards, and past that there's nothing else that can actually win that early. There are plenty of cases where you can establish an unbeatable advantage, such as a god-hand I got with Daretti, Scrap Savant that essentially ended up with me having Daretti, Ward of Bones, Trinisphere, and no lands at the end of T1. But again, these are god hands and if your opponent is getting them consistently, they're probably cheating.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-14 8:10 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
MMLgamer wrote:
I don't agree with Bull, and I'm aware of the usual criteria for banning a card, but just to play Bull's advocate: It need not be a turn one "kill". It can be a turn one get-so-far-ahead-that-it-may-as-well-be-a-kill, and that honestly happens all the time.
This was the phenomena that led me to change my opinion and agree the very low cost rocks should go. It jives with 'build for games everyone remembers, not those you want to forget'.
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Also, if you're really doing this, you might want to add cards like Elvish Spirit Guide, Simian Spirit Guide, and Gemstone Caverns to the chopping block. And we also can't forget Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Mana Vault or Sol Ring, which aren't free in the same way but still give more mana than they cost.
Rituals are pretty bad outside T1/T2 for brokeness, Gemstone only adds colored instead of colorless and is still a land, and lands that add two aren't rocks that can go down in addition to a land. Now there are more than just the two, but lets not pretend its some double digit addition being called for.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-14 4:13 pm 

Joined: 2015-Dec-22 4:41 am
Age: Drake
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
There's only one deck I'm aware of where it's even possible to pull off a win with only 1 extra mana, and that's Flash Hulk (which can technically pull it off turn 0 if you get Caverns and one of the Spirit Guides)..

Maybe Flash needs to be banned instead. How many people actually use Flash to do anything other than use death triggers to win out of nowhere? Even if it isn't turn one, you can use a Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, Worldly Tutor (with Flash), or Mystical Tutor (with Hulk). Alternatively, if not Hulk, then Academy Rector to get Omniscience. Flash (Hulk) is practically a Coalition Victory but much easier to pull off.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-15 9:45 pm 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
That leads to a total of 13 cards that can give you free mana on turn 1. Probability wise, if you include every single one of them in your deck you'll probably get one of them in your opening hand most games but getting 2 isn't very likely and any more than that is approaching god-hand status.


The maths behind it is far too complex for me to precisely calculate, but assuming the chance of drawing one of these with each card is 13% (it's actually higher). The odds of getting one of them in your opening hand eight without mulligans is ~67%.

Now that we know 67% of the time one card in hand is a fast mana. Now, assuming I'm not just calculating probabilities like a loony and am horribly wrong, we can estimate the chance of each remaining card being a fast mana to be 12% (again, the actual chance is higher). So the odds of one of the remaining seven also being a fast mana is ~57%.

Combine our probabilities and the odds of your opening hand enjoying double fast mana is ~39%.

That's no guarantee the rest of your hand is actually playable, but y'know. Those are pretty damn good odds.

If you have all seven 0 mana artifacts, the odds of drawing exactly two of them in an eight card hand are ~15%.

Not stellar odds, but in a cancerous metagame where all 4 players are running all seven artifacts, you're looking at half of your games containing someone starting with double fast mana.

I've been out of the game for a while, so I'm not sure what the current fast mana meta looks like. But ramping yourself ahead of the pack by several turns is usually enough of an insurmountable advantage and there's few cheap artifact wraths to counter it. Seeds of Innocence having a slow 3 mana, while Serenity is stuck watching your opponent go off until your next upkeep.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-16 5:01 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
First off, if everyone's running that much fast mana you're probably looking at a combo-heavy metagame, which IMO is the worst kind of meta period, especially from a competitive perspective. You're literally playing to see who gets the better opening hand, with the only real confounding factor being if someone put a combo-breaker into his/her deck.

And secondly I'd like to address the mass artifact removal because there are a lot more options. Most mana rocks die to Stony Silence or Null Rod, and while it doesn't outright kill fast mana it's kinda pointless to use them if your opponent drops any of the Sphere of Resistance or Blind Obedience.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-16 8:03 am 
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Joined: 2017-Mar-11 6:43 am
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Who hates their friends enough to build t3 or sooner EDH decks?

Like, I think the fast rocks should be banned, but this doesn't even catch Grim Monolith- while hitting Lotus Petal, which I wouldn't even put into a relative stratum of "this card is a problem". Like, removing ritual effects makes EDH less fun, removing fastrocks just means downgrading to the other good 2-3 mana rocks, and fun stuff like Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus- which are signficantly harder to break than Vault, Crypt, Ring or Monolith. Where ritual mana tends to enhance games of EDH because of it tends to be about high risk/high reward play.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-16 10:21 am 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Also, if you're really doing this, you might want to add cards like Elvish Spirit Guide, Simian Spirit Guide, and Gemstone Caverns to the chopping block. And we also can't forget Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Mana Vault or Sol Ring, which aren't free in the same way but still give more mana than they cost.
We should hit Chancellor of the Tangle too, for good measure.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-16 10:46 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sinis wrote:
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Also, if you're really doing this, you might want to add cards like Elvish Spirit Guide, Simian Spirit Guide, and Gemstone Caverns to the chopping block. And we also can't forget Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors, Mana Vault or Sol Ring, which aren't free in the same way but still give more mana than they cost.
We should hit Chancellor of the Tangle too, for good measure.


I just had a game ruined by Impending Disaster, we should ban that card too!

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-16 1:59 pm 
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Oddly enough if the RC decided to start bans for strict power level reasons, I actually would recommend Impending Disaster. It's an extremely undercosted Armageddon that is particularly annoying when played by any sort of Stax or control deck. Get a lockdown card or CA engine in play, drop this, win.

Although it's certainly not the first card I'd pick. All of the cheap tutors, cheapest mana rocks, and some other insanely undercosted stuff would definitely go before it.

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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 4:11 am 
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Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Oddly enough if the RC decided to start bans for strict power level reasons, I actually would recommend Impending Disaster. It's an extremely undercosted Armageddon that is particularly annoying when played by any sort of Stax or control deck. Get a lockdown card or CA engine in play, drop this, win.

Although it's certainly not the first card I'd pick. All of the cheap tutors, cheapest mana rocks, and some other insanely undercosted stuff would definitely go before it.

Makes me wonder what the environment would look like if you just a flat ban of anything CMC <= 1 or 2.

It would certainly be weird. Not sure it'd be an enjoyable thing, as you'd be missing little things like mana elves which usually are fine.


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 Post subject: Re: So why aren't all the 0 mana rocks banned?
AgePosted: 2018-Jan-17 5:12 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
spacemonaut wrote:
They wouldn't get drawn together very often, but you'd draw at least one in your starting hand every 3-4 games. Is it the games where they do get drawn and chained together and crazy things happen for that player that are sticking in memory?

There can certainly be bias, but is it a great mechanic that you randomly have OP mana rocks in your hand and have an immediate and absurd advantage?

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
while it doesn't outright kill fast mana it's kinda pointless to use them if your opponent drops any of the Sphere of Resistance or Blind Obedience.

Blind Obedience delays it one turn, and facing down a Sphere is a good reason to want a mana rock in play. Sol Ring is still broken at 2 mana.

Uktabi_Kong wrote:
There's only one deck I'm aware of where it's even possible to pull off a win with only 1 extra mana, and that's Flash Hulk (which can technically pull it off turn 0 if you get Caverns and one of the Spirit Guides). The next one up is Hermit Druid, which can get a T1 win if they manage to pull 4 of these cards, and past that there's nothing else that can actually win that early.

Literally T1 is very hard (but possible), but any black deck can play Ad Nauseam and winning with it on turn 2 is very easy when you have it. Necropotence is not as good but can also do a similar job.

But that said, i don't think we know if Bull literally means T1 because he is kind of the type of person to jump to conclusions without thinking through very well (no offense Bull), and as MMLGamer reminded me, there are games that are ruined by the mana you play on T1, but no one has "won" or "lost" yet.


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