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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
 
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on General Discussion of the MTGO Banlist Thread
    Another banlist update coming on May 24th: http://wizardsmtgo.tumblr.com/post/160820809069/commander-banned-list-update

    Looks like Wizards is quickly realizing that this format is too easy to solve with the current ban list they have.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    And if that's truly the case, then Twin NEEDS to come off


    Are you ever going to let this go? This is a perfect example of why ban discussion on this forum goes nowhere. People like you have these ridiculous and irrational infatuations towards cards that are never going to be unbanned. How many times are you going to keep bring up "Unban Twin"? I'm surprised more people here haven't gotten sick of it because it's gone on for countless threads.

    I'm sorry if I'm coming off as sounding crass or as a jerk, but it's the truth. People need to look at the ban list in an objective manner and not through the lens of wanting to play with their pet cards.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Supreme Court Justice Nominees Gorsuch and Garland
    The Supreme Court has been a partisan legislative body since at least the Dred Scott decision (and perhaps even earlier). Do you think it's a coincidence that left leaning justices happened to be appointed by democratic presidents and vice-versa? When Earl Warren was nominated, Eisenhower was hoping for a more conservative judge (which was ironic considering he was a judge in California). The only difference nowadays is that the justices are making the Court more visible, and that was arguably still the fault of the GOP than RBG (If you want to blame anyone for making the SC appear as a partisan legislative body, blame McConnell.

    I agree that the SC should not be home to partisan poltics. It's one and ONLY job is to make sure the Constitution is being followed correctly, and police the President/Congress when they step out of line.


    To be fair, Dred Scott v. Sandford has been universally and unequivocally condemned in retrospect by virtually every single individual as being one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever made.

    What I'm talking about is more about hot-button issues that cause partisan lines to be drawn today. Let's take an example of a hot-button issue of its time: interracial marriage. As late as the 60s, interracial marriages were forbidden in many states. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Loving v. Virginia that all laws banning interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Let that sink in for a moment. In the politically-unstable environment of the early 60s, the Supreme Court made a 9-0 ruling on an issue that many people at the time had sheer hatred for. It was a non-partisan decision.

    Same thing for another landmark case of its time, such as Brown v. Board of Education. Again, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state-enforced segregated schools were unconstitutional.

    Even Roe v. Wade wasn't a partisan decision. It wasn't unanimous, but at 7-2 the decision clearly was not split on partisan lines.

    Now compare it to a similar hot-button issue of our time: gay marriage. The Obergefell v. Hodges case was a 5-4 decision. Not surprisingly, the decision was strictly made on partisan lines.

    How about another modern day hot-button issue, such as Obamacare? The National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius case was another 5-4 decision. Once again, the decision was strictly made on partisan lines, except for one vote. John Roberts was the deciding vote, and he got tarred and feathered by conservatives for being a sellout and "saving" Obamacare.

    What about gun control? The DC v. Heller case was yet again another 5-4 decided along partisan lines.

    I could go on and on. This is why the Supreme Court has become far more relevant than it has ever been. Judges no longer make non-partisan decisions like they used to. They strictly make the decisions based on whether the ruling lines up with their political ideology. A Supreme Court packed with liberals, for example, would severely undermine the 2nd Amendment. Conversely, a court packed with conservatives could do something like severely undermine the 14th Amendment or overturn cases they do not agree with, such as Roe v. Wade. Such nightmare scenarios would have been unthinkable decades ago. But today they are a real possibility.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on US Missile Strike on Syria
    I have a very grim feeling this is going to lead to yet another costly military escapade in the Middle East.

    At the very least, this is going to be another Iraq or Libya where the dictator in power is removed and the resulting power vacuum leaves the country in far worse shape. At the very worst, this will lead to a hot war with Russia. Which in turn will start a chain reaction leading to World War 3.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court Justice Nominees Gorsuch and Garland
    Quote from Kahedron »
    Who is RBG, and what have they said against Trump?

    As for staying out of politics is that a blanket ban or a much confused request/requirement that they stay clear of Party Political matters?

    Cause if it is the latter some criticism of Trump being unprepared and spending to much time away from Washington is valid regardless of who it is coming fro,.


    Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She called out Trump during the election:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/politics/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-donald-trump-faker/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/11/in-bashing-donald-trump-some-say-ruth-bader-ginsburg-just-crossed-a-very-important-line/

    It was very much a partisan jab. Ginsburg is very left-leaning and she clearly despises Trump. Supreme Court justices normally stay silent on such matters and what she did was unprecedented.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court Justice Nominees Gorsuch and Garland
    Quote from Xeruh »
    I don't really agree with what you're saying on RBG


    RBG calling out Trump the way she did was completely wrong. Her comments show that the Supreme Court is now a partisan legislative body, which is not what the court is supposed to be.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court Justice Nominees Gorsuch and Garland
    Here's something I've been thinking about: What if the Constitution is amended so that SC justices no longer have life terms?

    When the Constitution was written, it was during a time when human life expectancy was much lower than it is today. If Gorsuch was nominated back in the 18th century, there is a good chance he would be dead in 15 years. But in today's world, he is going to easily live to past 80, if not 90.

    The fact that human life expectancy has dramatically improved has greatly increased the stakes for each and every justice. This is why the GOP fought tooth and nail to block Garland. They knew that if Garland was confirmed he was going to be on the Supreme Court for 30+ years. The issue is no longer "Is this individual qualified?" it's "Does this individual line up with my partisan beliefs?"

    The other reason is that whole point of a life term for a justice was so that they would not become beholden to politics and could instead focus on being a justice. However, we have clearly seen that has been a massive failure. You have justices like RBG who now are super partisan and have basically broken the "code" of justices to stay out of politics.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Supreme Court Justice Nominees Gorsuch and Garland
    Quote from Mockingbird »
    To the best of my knowledge, the minimal outcome Democrat in office seek is to not get primaried out of office in 2018. The Democrats were waffling on whether or not to fight the nomination up until Chuck Schumer essentially had a hammer drop on him by left-leaning and Democratic activists. The message I have heard from peering into Democrat affairs regarding the Supreme Court essentially boils down to "Stop this and take a stand, or we will find someone who will stop whatever happens next and take a stand next time."


    Which is pretty much the exact same thing the Tea Party did years ago. Going against partisan lines is dead now, because if you are not deemed ideologically pure enough, you will get primaried.

    Look at Joe Manchin, the blue dog Democrat senator from West Virginia. He has been under fire for confirming some of Trump's cabinet picks and he is going to get primaried in 2018 by the far left.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Voting System in the US
    Honestly, I think the spoiler effect is more of a myth than anything. An election that appears to be spoiled is usually the result of a major party running a very awful candidate. This doesn't just result in a notable third party turnout, but it also causes just enough people in one major party to vote for the other candidate.

    Let's look at the 2000 election, since Ralph Nader is the universal pariah of the left for being a "spoiler". To a common observer, it looks like Nader cost Gore Florida. Nader got about 95,000 votes and Bush won by only a few hundred. But did you know that roughly 308,000 Democrats in Florida voted for Bush? That number of voters completely dwarfs Nader's entire vote count. If Gore had just won 1% of those voters, he wins Florida.

    This is also ignoring the fact that Gore failed to win his home state of Tennessee (won both times by Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996) and failed to win West Virginia (also won both times by Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996). Had Gore won either of those states, he would have won even if he lost Florida. People like to blame Nader but few want to admit that Gore was a bad candidate. Gore was a wealthy, out of touch cosmopolitan that was greatly at odds with the working class that Democrats usually win over.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Voting System in the US
    Quote from jeffbcrandall »
    That's something that has been bothering me for a while with a lot of elections, not all, but quite a lot of them. It really shouldn't come down to the lesser of two evils as it were when it comes to political voting. As you said though, the current system doesn't really hold the major parties feet to the fire as it were enough to get them to put out better candidates. I wish it did, and I wish I could see elections on a more regular basis that were more about the best of the best, rather than the less worse of the worst. I hope this last election will get both major parties to realize something needs to change, and I hope that the third party candidates can step it up given what happened and start giving the major parties even more reason to do better if they want to be able to win in the end (with the current system we have anyway). And who knows perhaps this last election could be the beginning of a push that will start getting those third party candidates some more coverage and attention and we might actually see some Perot-like numbers again for a third party candidate to really get things going.

    I do think it would be interesting to find out how people would have voted if they voted only based on ideology and who they honestly felt the best candidate would be for the political position being voted on, I agree with the OP and others in that area that inevitably with that in mind I think you would certainly see the numbers for the third party candidates rise as a result of that, but how much it actually would rise is the question, and I'm just not sure we've seen the right person come along for that in the third party ranks to be able to give the other two parties a run for their money even in such a situation.


    I don't see the major parties changing much after this election, mostly because of how polarization drives politics in today's world.

    Decades ago, when a major party ran a bad candidate, they would get destroyed in the general election. See: Barry Goldwater in 1964, George McGovern in 1972, and Walter Mondale in 1984. Those guys suffered horrific defeats because people didn't hold their nose to vote for "their guy". So many Democrats crossed the aisle to vote for Reagan that there is actually a political term coined for the phenomenon, Reagan Democrats. Today, the party affiliation is so ingrained in most individuals that it's almost equivalent to your gender or race. People don't split their tickets because they believe voting for the other party is like committing treason.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Voting System in the US
    The whole point of the ranked-choice voting system is to eliminate voting out of fear. Which, to be honest, drives a substantial amount of the vote. A lot of people voted for Trump not because they liked Trump, but simply because they feared Clinton, and vice versa.

    This game theory incentivizes the major parties to run subpar candidates instead of good ones, knowing that people are going to hold their nose and vote for the bad candidate.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on March 13th Bans?
    Quote from Meridian36 »
    Well, if they do that, then standard is finished. If you ban those five cards, you nuke the three best decks in the format, and drop the prices of 3 mythic rares. People will straight up quit the format and probably wont come back with amonkhet.

    They should make no changes at all, and look to print some useful answers in amonkhet. Pithing Needle is a much needed card right now.


    Amonkhet was finished by Development and sent to the printers long long ago. That ship has sailed. In fact, most of the upcoming sets have already been set in stone by the time Sam Stoddard admitted they needed to make answers stronger. A lot of future sets have been designed and developed under the "answers are feelbad; push the faces of the set" philosophy we're seeing right now. You're not going to be seeing stuff like Pithing Needle until in another 9-12 months or so.

    Even worse, Amonkhet was being developed with the previous rotation schedule. Specifically, Amonkhet was being made with the assumption that Gideon would be rotating out by the time it came in. Don't trust on Amonkhet to fix Standard. Not when the Copycat combo will render a significant number of future cards unplayable due to the dynamic of how the deck works. Which, just so happens will be in Standard for a whopping 2 years thanks to the recent rotation changes they made.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on March 13th Bans?
    Final prediction:

    - Felidar Guardian is banned.
    - Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is banned.
    - Heart of Kiran is banned.
    - Scrapheap Scrounger is banned.
    - Winding Constrictor is banned.

    Wizards goes nuclear and unleashes a tidal wave of bannings on Standard that haven't been seen since the miserable Urza's Saga days. The first four bannings kill CopyCat and Mardu Vehicles outright. Constrictor is banned on the same logic as Reflector Mage: a card designed to weaken the BG archetype that would undoubtedly take over with the other top 2 decks being wiped out of the format. We enter uncharted territory as the game's health comes to a serious nadir, and several R&D members are "reassigned" to work on other games.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    They shouldn't feel the same. BGx has been good the whole time in Modern, outside of during Eldrazi. Despite what players will tell you, it was pretty damn good still even during the Birthing Pod era. Sure, that matchup was somewhat tough, but it had game vs. everything else and did better vs. Twin and Affinity than Pod did. Not to mention, BGx was stupid during the BGx Deathrite Shaman/Tectonic Edge and Ajundi days.

    Twin players never had this. Twin was never as dominant as BGx if you go through the meta since the beginning. Twin is not even true Control, so Control players still never had a deck even close to the level that BGx has.


    Twin was both a control and combo deck combined together. It was a deck that forced the opponent to always play suboptimally due to the nature of threatening to instantly win by the time the third land was played. That was the real reason why the card was banned and will continue to stay banned. Zero opportunity cost decks shouldn't be existing.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from ktkenshinx »

    It had control elements, as well as combo and tempo elements. Whatever you want to call it, that kind of deck is not good in Modern today and has been bad since August 2016. If BGx were performing this badly, I guarantee a different group of players would be rioting. It just happens to be the blue players. As for me, I just go where the numbers point, and right now they point to a major blue decline that almost certainly was unintended by Wizards.


    I disagree with this, heavily. BGx and other archetypes do not have the same kind of infatuation in the playerbase that blue does to generate substantial outrage if they ever became weak.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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