Quote from MikePemulis »I do think getting stuck not playing your cards is part of the game. The mana system is at the heart of Magic. Lots of people don't like it, and those people now have plenty of similar games to play where screw or flood isn't a threat.
Yes, it’s part of the game, as in cards were printed that say “Destroy All Lands”, so on. Also true, lots of people don’t like it. In fact, most people don’t like it. Just about every TCG created over the past 10 years does not have a mana system like this where you are just staring at your cards a certain percentage of the time. And, that includes TCG’s that were made by developers who originally developed Magic. Magic is the game that has to justify itself for why screw is a good thing in certain ways, see Maro, and most people don’t buy the arguments.
But, there’re more here. It’s not just that some people don’t like it, some people are ok with it. Because truth be told, I find myself much more often in the camp of people who are ok with it. It’s that people playing 4-color decks, by the very act of doing so, are sending a clear signal that they’re not ok with it. They are not intending to play around mana screw and LD, because otherwise, they’d play a deck that doesn’t have such a high internal fail rate, much less such a high fail rate when facing cards designed to exploit that weakness.
They just want to play the new product, not be taught a lesson about the stability of mana bases. Because if you recall, most people were not thrilled about the announcement of 4-color generals, because we all knew that more than 3 colors is highly risky deck design. But, now we have them. No reason to prove everyone right and just ignore that the new cards exist.
Quote from MikePemulis »I was playing against a monored player the other day who I watched not be able to cast his spells for two games. Between those two games, over probably 20 total turns, I saw him play about 11 lands. And 4 of them died to a Wildfire. 'Way she goes,' he said. We asked how many lands in his deck. He had 34. That's equivalent to 20.4 lands in a 60 card deck. You can do that in Legacy and Vintage and even some Modern decks, where you can run 10 fetches to make sure you get the 2 mana you need to make your deck go. But in EDH? That's absurd.
I mean, this guy was playing mono Mountains, playing Blood Moon, etc, and he still got mana screwed. Should I feel bad about that, especially when his deck construction was so bad? I don't. And I feel exactly the same about nuking peoples' duals and shocks.
If you actually run the math though, having 34 land versus 40 land reduces the chance of having 0 land in your opener by less than 2%. With 34 land of 99, upping your count to 40 only increases the chances of a given card being land by 7%, while drawing one more card increases your chances of a land by 15%. Point being, screw has much more to do with the fact of this game having you draw mana from you deck and an opener of 7 cards than does any of these axioms about good deck construction.
In fact, if he’s playing Goblin Pope or something similar, 34 land might not be far off. There are cards in Red like Faithless Looting, Wild Guess, etc, where you’re actually better off in terms of land by casting them rather than passing and waiting on your deck, provided you can do something with your graveyard.
Even so, convention will tell you that running 34 land is “bad”. How much or why, let’s just take that aside. It’s just “bad”, ok. Well, the same conventions will tell you that running more than 3 colors is “bad”. Same with every format. Temur Delver is fine, for example, but Temur plus Black for the DRS activation better not be more than one Bayou, and even then most Legacy players opt against it.
The difference is, you can run more land. You can run better fixing, more artifacts, more tutors. What you can’t do is cast a 4-color general with a 3-color mana base. You’re sending the message that you will either have a bad mana base, run a different deck, or get hosed. A player running 4-colors is already breaking a long-standing axiom not to do that. So, hose people for playing the new cards? Doesn't seem fun.