• posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from MRHblue »
    Quote from LouCypher »
    I think the real problem with Tooth and Nail is that it, by my knowledge, is the only card not on the banlist that can without any prior setup be used to say "I win the game."... Going back to my earlier point, Tooth and Nail on it's own ends the game like no other card does.
    As a person who does not think T+N should be banned (currently) I get this position. My immediate reaction was 'Sure there are', and then proceeded to search and find nothing. Now a Kiki as General into Zealous is close since one can be had anytime you have mana, but thats as close as I got.

    There are actually so many of these cards that they've earned their own name - "1-card combos". They include Hermit Druid, Survival of the Fittest, Ad Nauseam, Doomsday, and possibly a few others that I'm neglecting to remember. I don't see why discussion should begin with the one that costs the most mana, rather than the ones that cost the least.

    Quote from Taleran »
    Sure T&N wins out of nothing but it also falls down to removal as much ore more than any card in the game.


    Now, there's why the ones that cost the most mana are less of a problem. If you are sitting across from a BUG deck with T&N combo finishes, and you're in a playgroup that doesn't mind such things, then you have until they get to 9 mana to find an Instant to interact with that. And, it can be pretty much any Instant. Sure, one counterspell is a blowout. But also just run anything that can kill a creature. Nuke Mike when the Undying trigger is on the stack. Nuke Palinchron when it's ETB is still on the stack, same with Kikki. If they spend the first few turns fishing for Boseju or some other card that prevents Instant speed interaction, you can exploit the compact, less-efficient nature of that deck by running more efficient combo's. Or if your group leans more toward Control, then start running graveyard-based combo's like Karmic-Lark or Living Death where any answers without graveyard exile to back them up will only delay the process. If you are going to play combo, welcome to the world of combo. Enjoy it.

    Now, if we are going to look at 1-card combo's for being too efficient and compact, the crusade should start with Survival. The only window of disruption that really presents is when you finally for it, and even then, the ability to tutor back in the deck recursion means you only delayed the combo. It also shares the same overlap with T&N in that Timmy is just going to run it out and think it's cool, without necessarily having to hone the strategy in order for it to be imbalanced. Just an absurd card that is rightly banned everywhere else.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - Mono-Black Control
    Yeah honestly, I didn't try Herald of Torment until I wanted to experiment with Bestow and Death Cloud, but it's the flying that's critical for this deck. Specifically in the example above, it's essentially impossible to get by Karn, Silver Golem by tutoring a Sword. For situations like these, which are actually fairly commonly occurring, Flying or Trample is going to be needed somewhere. One go-to for that might be Warhammer, but it doesn't make too much sense for this Commander with redundant lifelink. And, other options are pretty bad. Herald shows up as a bit more value than usual too, because it's much easier to retrieve from the grave. I wish there were more cards like it.

    Hatred and Death Cloud are the other MVP's, in that they get in there to finish the game. That type of card is the most visible, but even stuff like Graveborn Muse in this list end up being key role players to get the deck where it needs to go. Honestly, there are still more underperformers here than overperformers. Quick list of cards I'm condiering cutting - Deathrender, Wake the Dead, Nighthowler, and Tortured Existence, essentially all for the same reason. There are not enough creatures in the deck for them to do a lot of work before the late, late game. There are a few times where a late-running game benefits from a good Wake the Dead, but the others require a long game to even be average. I think putting more beaters in their place might be the way to go, since I'm still quite satisfied with the answer density in the deck.

    As for the token generation, the Zombie tokens are mainly just a perk. I think the most valuable function of Kalitas is the Rest In Peace exile effect, which shuts off a bunch of combos, triggers, and recursion based value engines. And the second most important is actually probably the Lifelink. I don't think I've ever had more than 4-5 Zombie tokens on the board at a time, and games where more than 10 were generated are in the minority. When Kalitas has a method of growing huge, it's usually due to hitting Bloodghast or Gravecrawler rather than exiling a bunch. So, relying on zombies to be there will always be hit and miss. I think anything that looks for a certain card type from an opponent is going to be. There are a lot of decks that don't run many creatures, or rely mostly on creature tokens that don't get counted. But, that is kind of the spot you are in with Mono-Black in the first place. You can deal very well with small board states where there are 1-2 creatures a piece for each player, even backed up by recursion, but it's where a lot of non-creatures and tokens start getting played that you need more specific answers.

    On dwelling in the space of Mono-B, I have been trying to rely on Steel Hellkite less for problem board states. Some enchantments are always a bother, but you don't see them nearly every game, and a lot of those that cause problems like Grave Pact and Debtors' Knell can be resolved by Kalitas' exile effect. Artifacts though, those are in every deck and cause some degree of problems. Having this game with Karn, Silver Golem fresh in my memory, I'm considering trying out Xenic Poltergeist. It may just be a less consistent version of Gate to Phyrexia, but changing artifacts to creatures seems to have its own perks, on top of them being affected by creature removal.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Yatsufusa »

    So it all boils down to this - there is only one main (and it is almost every) Social Contract that matters - the Banned List. What cards qualify to be banned are those who qualified to be run at the cost of breaking almost every Social Contract out there? It need not be necessary be power or speed - it must be the willingness (and capability) to answer the card. Almost (if not all) cards/combos have a counter for it, but are the people who hold the cards willing to do so when a card is used at it's pinnacle of strength?

    Well said. In addition to what to expect when you're getting a public game, the ban list also affects private groups in terms of how socially open they want to be. I don't think I've ever seen a group who will welcome a new player by explaining all of their house bans and asking the new guy to remove any offenders from his/her deck.

    Also, if a card has a clear answer, as T&N does for example, those are not the boogey-men of the card pool. It's the cards the dictate the game flow and have insufficient answer that need to be looked at. All the Green fatties banned over the last little while seem to fit there, but there are a lot of others (imo) that just drive the game to an end without much that can be done.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - Mono-Black Control
    I had a few games in paper with this deck, and I was pretty happy with it. I ended up going 2-1 on the evening.

    The loss was due to Sol Ring assisted draw from Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim where the Vindicate ability came online with a Bitterblossom engine. I would have had Steel Hellkite to wipe the tokens, otherwise.

    The first win was versus the same Ayli and Damia players, just coming out of a really quick development of Mind Slash from me, then Gauntlet of Power coming down after the first Austere Command. Kalitas general damage was the finisher there, and he was in the 2-swing range.

    The second win was v Nekusar, Aurelia, and Karn. It went back and forth for a long time with a lot of wipes from Karn, with a bunch of non-creature damage from Nekusar mixed in (and mitigated by Kalitas). The ending sequence was a D-tutor for Hatred against a very developed Karn player, on the back of a Herald of Torment.

    It seems pretty similar to the casual'ish games I've had on Modo. Kalitas continues to be a solid play even on the the 3rd and 4th go around, and then as a result of that, he just keeps getting in for General damage kills. Herald of Torment continues to show up in clutch situations, and I even remember tutoring for it once or twice. Nighthowler though could probably go. There are probably 2-3 other cards on the list that I will end up cutting, just due to being good only in late game or other certain situations, and then being outclassed by other cards in those same situations. Normal cuts, really.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Donald Trump's Presidency
    Quote from HolyJello »
    Quote from azmod »
    Quote from dox »
    Quote from Jusstice »
    Quick change of pace, I read the following article on HuffPost about the prospects of a Trump presidency, specifically in the light of how new Presidents have formed relationships with the military.


    What do you guys think? Would the military follow Trump's orders if he were elected President? What are some best case/worst case scenarios for how that could play out?
    They would have to. As a soldier you don't have the choice to disobey the commander n' chief. Short of orders that are blatantly and extremely in violation of American law it would be dereliction of duties not to obey the orders of the president no matter what your personal opinions of that president may be.

    There is following orders and 'following orders'. The military has a lot of political power and they know how to push back against an administration they do not agree with. eg. the president cannot forbid a general from testifying in front of Congress. The president can fire a general but that has political consequences. It really depends on how much political blowback a president is willing to tolerate.

    Trump has not been very respectful of veterans.

    I concur with the points you made about generals and their political options. Soldiers almost always follow orders, but exceptions abound.

    The candidate that soldiers and vets support the MOST has not been respectful to them? Perchance you are confusing Hillary with Trump.

    Soldiers only have to follow "lawful" orders. Article 92 of the UCMJ states in part:

    (1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

    (2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

    (3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;

    If someone is court martialed under this section, the fact of the order not being lawful is a valid affirmative defense. I do realize (and so do the authors of the UCMJ) that this puts each soldier in the position of deciding what is lawful. But, the idea is that the conscience of every soldier and officer should be enough to make that decision. For example, we don't hold accountable for theft only those people who have the expertise and authority to read the state criminal statute on Larceny. We hold everyone accountable, since criminal law is intended to be based on things that everyone ought to know are wrong. It's the same kind of accountability on each member of the military to be able to decide which orders are lawful.

    Basically, if "just following orders" isn't a defense, then there are situations where the military shouldn't follow orders. We trust the military itself to know what those situations are.

    Also if you read the article, Rummsfeld's general order on "enhanced interrogation techniques" was one what was taken with varying levels of obedience. That's a specific example where orders aren't getting followed when they aren't agreed with. Rummsfeld would have to remove or otherwise deal with by court martial generals he didn't feel were following the order, which obviously didn't happen. It's the same thing with Trump's hypothetical orders to ICE to deport Muslims, or take your pick of dubious things Trump has said he would do. The agency he's commanding could say no, then a polotical fight would erupt in the court system.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Winning in T3 or T4
    Quote from Stone_Monkey »
    I hear a lot of people saying that competitive edh games are regularly decided by Turn 3 or Turn 4. But somehow I can't believe those decks are reliably winning that early. How would a deck look like to pull that off. Sure, there are a few good tutors to get combo pieces, but it's still a hundred cards and you need four or less lands. Also probably some protection against disruption
    Can someone help me understand that?

    Decks don't even "regularly" goldfish on Turn 4. I'd be suspect of any deck that claimed a faster than Turn 5 average goldfish. But, there are probably a few decks that come in at Turn 5 average.

    What leads to that perception are the times where T3 or T4 wins do happen, even if they are in the minority. I think it's particularly hard to stomach those games for Control decks playing behind, who sit holding a 3 mana counterspell that they don't have mana to cast. It happens sometimes, which jumps out in those players minds, especially in light of the fact that they'll usually handle everything after Turn 4. Also, they often don't find out in a public game just how bad an Ad Nauseam or similar was going to be if it resolved, so maybe they leave with the question that it might have been a "fair" deck playing Ad Naus, or similar.

    Myself, I remember hating on a few decks like Sharuum, Jeleva, Zur, Teferi, etc, and then the game being decided in a way that left me questioning whether they were actually the boogey-man decks that I suspected. So when most of the games against these decks where they win are because of lucky draws and T3/T4 wins, the perception is easy to form that the real boogy-man is this T3/T4 culprit, and that all the decks you beat were sub-optimal, or not what you thought they were. Uniquely with EDH, you're not just automatically convinced that you're playing against a "stock" list because you see a few cards. Every other format, you pretty much know right away what your opponent is playing. If you're suspecting this crazy, speedball format, it's easy to assume when it doesn't happen that you just weren't sitting across from those decks.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Donald Trump's Presidency
    Quick change of pace, I read the following article on HuffPost about the prospects of a Trump presidency, specifically in the light of how new Presidents have formed relationships with the military.


    What do you guys think? Would the military follow Trump's orders if he were elected President? What are some best case/worst case scenarios for how that could play out?
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Goodbye Jackson, Hello Harriet Tubman $20
    Even if you were taking it on feelings, I still think that you're hard-pressed to find someone who can't point to a single other person who they feel did more to advance the cause against Slavery in the US than Tubman did. If it's a question of magnitude of historical impact, I think most would feel that Tubman loses on that criterion to lots of others, maybe Chamberlain included.

    My "feeling" is that Tubman was selected because she is a Black Female. It seems to be our cultural values now to accord others advancement and respect for belonging to classes other than the race of Caucasian and the gender of Male, even when there are others whose achievements are greater who do belong to both those classes.

    Basically, let's get our race and gender boxes checked so that we can go back to putting White Men on our currency.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from metalevolence »
    jusstice, do you agree with my posts on this page?

    I agree with this point:

    The ban list we currently have, in my experience, only exacerbates social gaming issues and divides players, and solves no problems.

    If you expect players to abide by a "social contract" then you should not have a ban list that contradicts that.

    If you expect players to abide by a ban list then you should not advocate a "social contract" that contradicts that.

    It seems to me that a "social contract" should be pre-supposed within any group of players who sit down together in public to play a game. The "social contract" as an excuse for why we don't have a better ban list has never really jived with me.

    If the intent with the ban list is anything other than making an Official Multiplayer Ban List to set the rules for Offical Multiplayer play, whether it's a supplement to this "social contract" or what have you, then the list isn't doing anyone who'd actually use it any favors.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Airithne »
    Quote from Life1ess »
    I have mentioned that before too - using the term ban list is problematic when the list isn't trying to achieve the same goals, nor has the structure, of a traditional ban list.
    To be fair, EDH isn't really a traditional format, so I don't see a problem with the way the term is used.


    Given the current goals of the format, it's difficult to flat argue for a "better" ban list, because everyone here has a different idea of what would make it better. Jusstice's ides of better isn't necessarily better for me, my idea of better isnt necessarily better for Sheldon, etc. With the current goals the RC has for the format, I think the ban list is fine in that context. Could an argument be made to change those goals? Sure, but we'll be blue in the face arguing about what those goals should be until the cows come home.

    As I may have argued before, a ban list by its nature affects public play in a certain way. That effect really doesn't change based on what you think its goals are, what you'd like those goals to be, or what you've publicly stated that the effect should be. It's a ban list, just like all the ban lists of all other formats in all TCG's, ever. The space it occupies is that of official rules, not the space of "suggestions you can feel free to follow or not, but we hope you can get behind our rationale and look out for cards that might be similar also".

    I'm still interested to know what the stages of evolution were of the official ban list, progressing from a non-exhaustive list of soft-banned cards used by one group into the universally published and marketed list used to govern all public play. I don't take it as a given that it was intended to be the latter, which is why it would be interesting to know, but it definitely has become that. But in any case now, it's only academic what such and such intent was. What we have is an "Offical Multiplayer Ban List". Intent, mission statements, so on have zero bearing on the definition of the term "Official Multiplayer Ban List".

    Accordingly, a card like Armageddon might not have complete support in public play as a fair card. But Gifts Ungiven has zero (or near zero) support in public play, because it's on the ban list. The rules are that you can't play Gifts. The rules are that you can play Armageddon. It's pointless to discuss the game in terms that the rules are anything different.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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