Quote from thememan »Quote from SephX »Quote from lajube »So you do get the doomsaying then. This is exactly the problem: Answers are more expensive than threats now. When the opposite was true, the game was balanced because of the old problem of "wrong answer for the right threat". But what's it take to answer (4) Aetherworks Marvel? It's not (W) Fragmentize, because they get a free Ulamog and killed 2 lands. The only semi-viable answer out there is Negate, which has the opportunity cost of holding up mana waiting for it to come, so the cost is more than (1U). And then they cast other stuff.
Same story for every planeswalker. If you don't have creatures ready to smash it dead, the planeswalker generally gains an advantage. A spells deck can only compete if it uses permanents to enhance their power: Dynavolt Tower and Torrential Gearhulk.
Okay, so everybody plays permanents that gain advantage. Seems like a viable way for magic to be. I think it actually is. Except for the real problem here: The best permanents don't have good answers. Gideon, Marvel, Copy Cat.
I was referring to the doomsaying that Pithing Needle was too strong for the existing format. I mean, cards like Wrath of God and Doom Blade and Pithing Needle had been around so long by the time Core Sets went bye-bye, I just always assumed they'd be there. Not having them was among the worst decisions R&D has made, besides everything else they've done for 5 blocks now. We just keep consolidating all the power into such a small group of cards, so over and above the caliber of anything else in the set that we just keep shrinking the number of viable deck types. Now that a lot of them are getting shoe-horned into the Mythic rarity slot (Grim Flayer, Gideon, Heart, Marvel, Eldrazi, etc), decks are getting smaller in number and more expensive, to boot. Couple that with it being less fun with each set, it's no wonder attendance and streaming viewership is down. It sucks, plain and simple. No one wants to watch vehicle mirrors anymore than they wanted to watch Collected Company mirrors.
To be fair, I get the argument for not always wanting 4 cmc Wraths. You can't really make a 4 CMC wrath any better, and it's difficult to justify playing a 5 cmc wrath regardless of text. The reason Fumigate isn't played, for instance, isn't because its bad. It's actually pretty good in a "fair" meta game. It's that we currently are not in a "fair" meta game. We are in a metagame of incredibly sticky threats that dodge most removal already or can go off on their turn if you have to tap out for Fumigate on turn 5.
Equally, the lack of 4 cmc wraths is not the problem right now, either. It's arguable whether having Wrath of God or Supreme Verdict would actually fix the format at all; so many threats dodge those wraths completely that they really wouldn't work properly.
That said, the floor for a good 5 cmc wrath is much higher than that for a 4 cmc one, and this is something I don't think they realized. Adding trinket text to a wrath and tacking on a mana does not make a good wrath (End Hostilities/Planar Outburst come to mind).
I can understand not wanting to have the same exact cards present in the format at all times - but they really need to make sure that the gap being left open by removal these tools can be closed by something. A common example my group references at times is Doom Blade and Delerium Blade: If Doom Blade is keeping something like Delerium Blade difficult to justify playing (Say, a 2 cmc -2/-2 spell that destroys the creature on Delerium), and you use that as justification for removing Doom Blade, then you have to add Delerium Blade to the god damn mix. That's honestly the problem I've had with R&D's philosophy. The argument was that these spells were keeping other, cool spells from existing and yet they didn't print the damn cool cards that these cards were keeping from existing. Then the notion morphed into the ludicrous notion that removal made the format worse, somehow. Had the kept to the original premise of printing cards that are just as strong as the "staples", if not stronger in some contexts, but required a little more intricate deck building, we would have a much better format. That's not what they did, however. We just often get worse versions of fair cards, only now with useless Trinket Text.
I am totally with you on this. I mean, I hate the format as it is now, I can't imagine how bad it would be if Ruinous Path was actually relevant. Trading sorcery speed from Heroes Downfall in order pick up the option to get a 4/4 if you jack the cost to 7? How titanically slow and plodding would a format have to be that a 1-for-1 with a body at 7 mana is a game-changer? I mean...Nekrataal...?