Magic Market Index for Feb 8th, 2018
Magic Market Index for Feb 1st, 2018
Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
  • posted a message on Tolaria West (and other utility lands)
    Tolaria West is a 3 Mana, uncounterable tutor for the utility land you need most at the time, the 0 cost artifact you need most at the time, or the color fixing land you need. That is takes up a land slot matters as well. While you want to use it's spell mode, as it's land mode is an etb tapped island, the fact that it can be used as a land that makes colored Mana means that it makes more hands playable. Sometimes you don't have a first turn play and your land tutor in hand being Tolaria West rather than Expedition Map or Sylvan Scrying means you have enough land to keep the hand. If you are in green or black it's value decreases somewhat as there are more spells available that tutor for lands more effectively, but it still has value there. In OPs case, whether or not it's worthwhile depends on the answer to the question of how often he uses the tutor mode and feels that it's a good play.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Boros Commander Problem
    I really like Sylvia Brightspear and Khorvath Brightflame but managing two tribes is really difficult.

    Pick one and focus on that, using the effects from the second to boost them, and include a few good stuff creatures from the second tribe. Flying and haste boosts knights late game and gives the aggro tribe extra gas late (play aggro and by the time your knights start getting outclassed Korvarth gives them evasion to finish people off). I built a dragons version focused on low CMC (5 or less with Lathliss and the win the game with 20 artifacts dragon at 6) dragons that get a lot better with doublestrike. Changelings get A LOT better considering they get buffed by both.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Marshal's Anthem
    Ice Cave is one of the old school famously bad cards. It was designed specifically for 5 color decks because going 5 color let's you counter anything while your opponents are limited in what they can counter (and invasion block was all about playing as many colors as you could). In the right deck, the payoff is surprisingly high, but it's too slow for 1v1 and was a bust for years. EDH though give it new life. There are enough 5 color decks, and edh outside of competitive is slow enough, that this can do interesting things, and it's easier than ever to run uncounterable spells to get around it. Even the 4 color commanders benefit, though some more than others (Breya runs too many colorless artifacts, but Ydris overwhelms with Cascade and Atraxa is Atraxa).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    I find most of that pretty reasonable. I'd largely agree with the 5 on omnipresence after much discussion. I think i tend to run into the spikier side of casuals so maybe it feels more represented.

    I think I still lean towards it being closer to prophet in undesirable game states but that's probably just me. It's surprising how often it creates a board state wherein there is a combo to be had if you durdle hard enough.

    Part of that is that it strongly synerizes with a ton of very good cards. Comboing with mana rocks is a pretty dangerous thing as evidenced by stuff like tolarisn academy and tinker and balance being on the list.

    I am a bit less certain than before I'll admit but I have yet to play a game where i enjoyed seeing it.

    It does also concern me that it may "go mainstream." Achieving PCO (problematic casual omnipresence) would probably not be fun with this card.

    I think we've pretty much said it all, appreciate the thoughtful dialog.


    The thing with Prophet vs. PE from an undesirable game states perspective, after noodling on it, is that when someone durdles out with PE it's very time consuming all at once instead of spread out.

    Prophet was quite annoying with the "ok let me do my stuff at your upkeep" but for the most part it wasn't that crazy unless you were playing Maelstrom Wanderer.

    The turns where PE durdles off are just egregiously annoying. Everyone sits there watching them do it.

    Thankfully that is less frequent but it's much worse when it does happen. Especially in less optimized decks that aren't going to go off as triumphantly. I saw a guy put half his deck onto the battlefield and then lose to an overloaded rift once (in a game I was not in, thankfully) - but the players sat there for like 10 minutes watching him play crap, which was awful.

    I guess it really will come down to how common that is in reality; I haven't seen that kind of durdle very often but it sure left a bad taste in my mouth every time.

    Oddly enough, I think we're mostly seeing eye to eye on this at this point. I rate it as high as I do on problematic game states precisely because of how bad it is when someone who doesn't know what they are doing takes it into durdle mode. The relative rarity of that, on the other hand, keeps me from ranking that any higher. If PE mainly hit the board and then went to durdle town, I'd be in favor of a ban just based on that, ala Shaharazad. As it stands, when I do see it it's usually either a combo win or a value engine. I play it in Reveka Wizard Savant as a way to actually make use of her, and I'm either going to get a couple of activations a turn, without a ton of things untapping, or I go off and combo out. For comboing out, I'd usually rather have mind over matter because it needs less help. It's certainly no more durdly there than Palinchron is. This is just an example of where PE can out in honest work, and I've played against similar. The existence of such options impacts the RCs thinking in cards I've noticed, so I apply it when rating problematic casual omnipresence and game states. I give lower ratings if the card has other uses besides the problematic ones and actually gets used for that. PE being mostly used for combo or value and relatively rarely for durdling reduces it's problematic nature, not by making the problems it causes less severe but by making them less common.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    And you're assigning a conclusion that I never even discussed. Metalworker is just a good example we can reasonably compare for mana explosiveness.

    It being unbanned but previously banned is both an argument for and against PE--against because PE is equally or less mana explosive, but for because PE is far more problematic in other ways than Metalworker, but almost as explosive.

    All I'm trying to do is establish a TMM2Q score which I think I have, somewhere around 4 to 5/10 - similar to metalworker but not as bad as mana vault or sol ring. Probably in the vicinity of grim monolith as well.

    PE TMM2Q score: 5/10 (hell, I could be convinced on 4.5/10 I guess, but it's definitely up there)

    If we all agree on that or at least close enough for government work, which do you want me to hit next? Or if you don't care I'm fine to let it rest Smile

    The other two items I think PE hits on at least some level:

    * Creates undesirable game states
    * Problematic casual omnipresence

    Unless both of those are 7+, which I highly doubt, then it's probably not banworthy. And a colorless card that isn't seeing more play than seedborn muse, and which shows up most in cEDH decks, is simply not omnipresent in casual play. At most you could rate that a generous 5, if we just agree it's problematic. Of coursez it isn't actually hitting most of the things that are considered problematic under this criteria, which has been discussed ad nauseum in comparison to Prophet, Sylvan, and Prime Time, so without that it would come in at somewhere in the 2-4 range.

    Weve also previously discussed problematic game states. Again, this is maybe a 4. Mostly because combo wins aren't considered problematic. Not by me, by the RC, because it would be impossible to manage the banlist playing combo whack a mole. It's non combo applications can be moderately problematic when people durdle. Simply using it for value isn't that bad (getting some extra Mana and tap effects each turn), but durdling around trying to win without a way to do so is. Fortunately, these failed combo states are relatively rare, because people trying to combo usually know what they are doing. Unfortunately, throwing it into a deck with a lot of tap effects and ways to cast a lot of spells can lead to situations where a player can take a ton of actions that don't actually win them the game, and leave enough room that other players have a reason to keep playing. If you go infinite, or at least close enough that your showing a win, the number of actions is irrelevant: you've just hit the combo, you've won, time for your opponents to scoop. Still, the durdle state is problematic enough to warrant a 4.

    Overall, this ends up being a card the is powerful and annoying, but not over the line. It doesn't hit high enough in any category to deserve a ban, nor does it hit high enough across multiple categories. Should it start to get played more casually, that would bump it up on casual omnipresence. Should people start adding cards like bribery to search up PE, that would add a couple point on that as well.that could get us to a 7 or an 8 on problematic casual omnipresence. I'd imagine that with it appearing in more casual decks, it will enable durdle mode more often as less experienced players think they need to play it and then start adding untap effects for it without actually making it a consistent combo. That could raise problematic game states to a 5 or 6.

    So with to much Mana at a 4 or 5, problematic game states at a 5 or 6, and problematic casual omnipresence at 7 or 8, I'd see that as open for a ban similar to Prophet. It would be close on problematic casual with moderate scores on the other two pushing it over the edge.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    His made up "makes mana too quick score".

    Of course it's made up, it's his opinion on how hard each card hits the criteria. Any attempt to quantify it is going to be made up, but a 1-10 scale is pretty basic and easy to understand.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    I'm using the more competitive decks simply to illustrate the too much mana too fast argument, since I used the same quality of deck to compare metalworker (playing all the good rocks). I don't think you can discuss the "too much mana too fast" through the lens of "problematic casual omnipresence" --

    That is, you cannot assume that the "too much mana" criteria must be "too much mana in the average deck."

    So that's what I mean by you moving the goalpost - you seem to be saying that in order for PE to produce too much mana too quickly it must do so in a medium deck instead of a strongly tailored deck. The numbers seem to show that in a strong deck that MW and PE are fairly close in terms of busted mana production.

    You've demonstrated that well. That doesn't advance the argument that PE should be banned, as MW got unbanned. MW got unbanned in large part because of how it only started hitting those levels of Mana acceleration in specific decks and couldn't be relied to do so just anywhere. The goalposts weren't moved, they were just never at MW. MW is a kick that falls 10 yards short.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    I'm not looking at average decklists I'm looking at pretty good ones with paradox engine in them. Lots of medium decks without paradox engine run fewer. Most strong PE decks are running >12 and sometimes more.

    something like:
    sharuum (~15 rocks/dorks)

    Sisay - (18+ rocks/dorks)

    sen triplets (my buddy's list): - 18 rocks not counting trinket mage but counting voltaic key

    jhoira ( with 16ish

    It seems like "20+" is a tiny bit of hyperbole I was just operating from memory but running every broken rock plus all the signets is at the very least pretty common Smile And Enlightened Tutor + Vampiric Tutor tend to make it functionally +2 if needed.

    Basically every PE deck runs enough to see 2 ramp spells within the first 10 cards at a high rate:
    12 ~ 35%
    15 ~ 46%
    18 ~ 57%

    Gonna try a little more rigorous math assessment to compare MW + PW just for funzies--

    Metalworker math for fun-
    t1 ramp spell OR grim monolith - 0.444
    metalworker or 1 of ET/VT - 0.229

    ~ 0.102, 10.2%

    --Note, this drops of precipitously if you start trying to factor in having 3+ other artifacts for a crazy turn.
    Assuming you have:
    40 artifacts in deck, and you have seen metalworker + ramp spell already, that means you have 38 left

    With 38 artifacts, 97 cards in deck, and 8 cards to see your odds of 3+ of those being artifacts is 67%, so if I'm doing that right it means that your odds of an explosive Metalworker turn are somewhere in the vicinity of:

    But I'm not sure I did that one right!

    More refined paradox engine math with carified assumptions;
    -Going off requires 6 mana by turn 3 + paradox engine
    -achieving 6 mana by turn 3 requires, with some simplification:
    mana vault = (0.08)
    grim monolith = (0.08)
    mana crypt or sol ring (0.155) + 2 CMC rock or worn powerstone or thran dynamo (assuming 6, 0.4) = (0.062)
    ancient tomb (.08) + worn powerstone (.08) = (.0064)
    mox diamond or chrome mox (.155) + worn Powerstone (.08) = (0.0124)
    MISC - any 3 specific cards, e.g. (mox opal + mox Diamond + chrome mox) = .00512, let's assume there are 5 combinations like this at minimum, so: ( .00256)

    ~ 0.24, not counting any things i didn't think of
    + odds of having paradox engine (or vamp or ET) - .229

    total - ~prob 0.055 (5.5%)

    Feel free to correct my math I'm not an expert, but feels pretty close.

    My guess is overall PE likelihood of an explosive PE turn is probably around 6% by turn 3 with a reasonably tuned deck.

    Comparing to Metalworker's odds, that's not really that far off I don't think. They're both in the same rough scope assuming I didn't screw something up that makes it an order of magnitude off (<10%).

    Obviously I didn't correct for stuff like not having enough lands or metalworker missing on artifacts etc, but I think it's order of magnitude close Smile

    You keep missing the point that once you've changed your deck to maximize the number of rocks you run, greatly in excess of the norm, specifically to make the most out of PE, you've moved out of the too much Mana too fast argument entirely and into "it's a combo" territory. You aren't looking at what the card does normally, but what it does when you set out to combo with it. If that was the criteria, then earth craft, food chain, and worldgorger dragon would be banned for too much too fast.

    Im also not moving the goal posts. What I'm doing is arguing that even when all the criteria are taken together I don't think it warrants a ban. A lot of the points we just disagree on, whether by nature or degree. Taking all the criteria together makes me more sympathetic to the ban argument because I see it popping up in a number of criteria to moderate or moderately low degrees. Looking at any single one I'd say "no way this is banworthy". Looking at them all together and I say "this isn't quite banworthy, but the RC should be keeping an eye on it because if it moves up in one or two of the criteria it might be".

    I personally think you are overestimating it's prevelance of play because it's in your meta. My own experience is the opposite of yours, so I look it up on sites like edhrec and see that reality probably somewhere in between, with it being reasonably popular but not omnipresent. I also see that it tends to show up in competitive or near competitive lists, where it is also at it's most effective. This by definition precludes casual omnipresence, because a card has to be showing up at least as much in more casual decks to check this off. Prophet of Kruphix was the opposite: it only had a mild to moderate impact on cEDH but was absolutely everywhere in casual. PEs ceiling is higher, it is a better card in better decks, but that doesn't matter, as it's the impact on casual that the RC takes into account.

    So when I point out that the average deck is not going to be able to slot in PE and make it go nuts, and you counter by providing a list of competitive decks where PE is nuts, it is not moving the goalposts to point out that doesn't really matter because it isn't heavily ran in casual and lower power decks.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    Eh, 20 rocks is not really that many in an artifacty deck, I've seen more mana sources for sure.

    I would agree that the reason metalworker got unbanned is that it's 1) fairly spikey, 2) fairly narrow, but I think you're taking my point backwards. That has nothing to do with the "too much mana too quickly" argument - metalworker survives because it doesn't really hit any other banlist criteria (while PE perhaps does?). You keep jumping from argument to argument about casual omnipresence vs. mana vs. how spikey the deck is etc etc. Let's get focused.

    There are multiple hurdles to clear to get banned; too much mana too fast isn't an auto ban. Obviously otherwise Mana Crypt (which is arguably stronger than Fastbond) would be banned. Fastbond and TA get got because of other reasons (can get into that in another post if desired but I think I see the reasoning there).

    What I'm trying to establish is, on the "too much mana too quickly" front that PE is close to Metalworker. Your arguments seem to assume a tuned Metalworker deck and an untuned PE deck, and in that vein I think you are overstating the case for how much more mana Metalworker makes than PE.

    * Would it help if I tried to list starting hands that generate critical mana turn 3 with PE vs. Metalworker?
    * Where on the spectrum do you think PE is for too much mana too quickly if MW is 7, Fastbond/Crypt 8, TA 9, Channel 10? Or do you disagree with those ballpark numbers?

    I disagree with those ballpark numbers. MW is like a 5, and only because it needs very little help to generate a ton of Mana quickly. Even just playing it turn 3 you should be tapping for a lot turn 4 with no other help at all. It's more consistent early even with a lower ceiling, and PEs ceiling comes when you have enough support that its almost combo territory. PE I rate as a 2 or 3 because it can only do so with significant help, but it has a high ceiling once you get into situations that are almost combo level. Were it not for that possible explosiveness, I would not even rate it that high. Turn 5+ is beyond the too early issue.

    Academy I'd rate closer to a 7, as it needs more help than fastbond or to get nuts early. Crypt I'd rate a 7 as well, because it's effective on its own early but had a much lower ceiling and a sometimes relevant drawback. Sol Ring and Vault I'd rate about a 5. Black Lotus I'd rate as a 7 because it's one shot. Fastbond I'd rate an 8 or 9, because it's as effective as Lotus or crypt at immediately ramping you but has more long term upside. Again, this is all without much help. I'm not worried about fastbond comboing with searching your library for 5 lands or with crucible of worlds and Armageddon, or grabbing lotus out of the yard.

    I also fundamentally disagree with your stance that we should be discussing only one facet at a time, because when a card isn't a clear "this ***** needs the ban hammer" 10/10 in one category you need to look at multiple categories at once. So look at metalworker again: it probably got unbanned because it was only hitting the too much too fast category, and only hitting it as hard as numerous unbanned cards that see more play. There are numerous cards that hit, say, the problematic game states category as 7s but don't hit any other categories so they stay unbanned. Yet there are also cards that hit medium high in a few categories, not high enough in any one to get banned but high enough in enough to get banned. Prophet I think fell into this category. It's not overwhelming a problem in any issue, but it is significant enough of a problem in problematic game states and problematic casual omnipresence, and a moderate to mild problem in too much Mana and interacts poorly with the format, to be banned. Not discussing it all holistically will result in the decision that a card shouldn't be banned when it actually should be. In regards to PE, arguing one at a time would help my position that it isn't banworthy, but it's still wrong. It could also result in people pointing at cards that are banned which are only hitting one category about as hard as PE and asking why that's banned but PE isn't, without understanding that it is the degree to which the card hits other categories that pushed it over the top. If PE is like a 2 or 3 on too much Mana, and Prophet is like a 3 or 4 ( lower ceiling again, but very easy to use, as coming out a turn or two early, say based on a Sol ring, will jump you more Mana than PE with the same small amount of help), you'd see that neither are banworthy for that, but fail to see that Prophet hits other categories in the medium high to high range.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    Any deck that's running metal worker is running enough artifacts that 3 in hand should be the minimum expected, 4 should be average, and 5 should be merely uncommon, rather than rare. Getting a rock in your opening hand to set this up is, likewise, merely uncommon. On the other hand, the scenarios you are describing for PE are pretty darn rare.

    Eh, I think this is a bit confused; on one hand we talk about PE as if it's from a position of being in any deck it's good enough for vs. Metalworker in a deck extremely tuned to work around it. Yeah PE will be crappy a lot in an untuned deck but so would MW if you put it in a non-optimized deck :p

    In a deck tuned highly to work around it PE will absolutely make more mana faster than metalworker. We're talking scenarios where MW might make 4, 6, 8 mana on turn 2/3 sometimes, but PE will make infinite or virtually infinite on turn 2/3/4 with some regularity.

    I think part of the issue is we're trying to talk about two things at once. Problematic casual omnipresence confuses things because there're a lot of decks playing PE that it's not optimized for--it's just good.

    If you look at Metalworker decks, not everybody runs 60 artifacts in a metalworker deck - because just to have 3-4 artifacts in hand *after ramping* that's the ratio you're talking about (since 1 ramp spell + 4 artifacts + metalworker is 6 artifacts, that means 6/9 cards were artifacts). I have seen MW decks have crappy draws where it's a dud. This happens.

    Let's dial it back and talk specifically about Too Much Mana Too Quickly OR Problematic Casual Omnipresence, not both at the same time.

    Too Much Mana Too Quickly

    In its optimized state PE will generate near-infinite mana by turn 4 with a high degree of consistency. I've seen this in practice; my buddy's Sen Triplets deck is maybe an 85% deck with something like 20 rocks. I've seen him go off on turn 3 very often. All it takes is a combination of rocks that happens more often than you think.

    But that's anecdotal really just like all the metalworker discussion.

    Can we try to imagine what the bar is for too much mana too quickly? I'm having a hard time imagining it in the scenarios where it is highly situational (as it is with PE and Metalworker).

    Fastbond - with 3-4 lands, you will consistently hit 3 (+2) mana avail turn 1 and 4 (+2) mana turn 2. That's on par with Mana Crypt and Sol Ring, so nothing really crazy except how it scales in the late game, and combos.

    Channel - Turn 1 or turn 2 access to >30 mana

    Tolarian Academy - I dunno, like +1 mana turn 1, +3 turn 2 typical? (With a much higher ceiling and floor, and mid game implications)

    Metalworker and Paradox Engine are so much more situational i think it's tough to figure out consistently what they do.

    The way *I* view it is

    Metalworker - low likelihood of +4 mana on turn 2, moderate likelihood of +4-6 mana turn 3, high likelihood of +4-8 on turn 4

    Paradox Engine - tiny likelihood of 4+ on turn 1, very low likelihood of +4-10+ mana on turn 2, low-moderate likelihood of +4-10+ mana on turn 3, moderate-high likelihood of +10 mana on turn 4, very high likelihood of infinite on turn 5

    So PE and MW are both quite a lot slower than the other offenders, with PE being typically slower but more explosive.

    The difficulty is in classifying the likelihood of these scenarios and what rules you use to determine those.

    If you use the rules of a Casual Deck, you have to go back and think about Tolarian Academy and Fastbond some, because TA is a pretty medium card in a truly casual build, and Fastbond is often not much better than Burgeoning in lower powered decks.

    So we need to decide how tuned of a deck we're using to think about this, and that makes it very complicated.

    IMHO, way more complicated than you're making it out to be.

    First of all, 20 rocks is a ton. That's definitely going to make it much easier to pull of going crazy with PE early, but its also a pretty extreme case. Without going that high, the chance of going nuts with it early is very small. Also note that it relies on dumping a lot out of your hand early, so you need some way to draw stuff to keep it going. Getting a rock and metalworker with a few artifacts in hand is going to come up more often, and you'll immediately have use for the mana.

    Second: "Eh, I think this is a bit confused; on one hand we talk about PE as if it's from a position of being in any deck it's good enough for vs. Metalworker in a deck extremely tuned to work around it. Yeah PE will be crappy a lot in an untuned deck but so would MW if you put it in a non-optimized deck :p"

    That was the key to metalworker being unbanned I think, that its only good in narrow decks. That is also what will probably keep PE from getting banned, in that it is only truly nuts in certain decks. PE going into something that's sub optimal just isn't dominant enough to warrant a ban, and it doesn't seem like the community is feeling compelled to stick it in any deck with 6-10 rocks.

    Like, again, if metalworker is no longer clearing the "too much too fast" bar, despite being more consistent at providing large ramps early, there's no way PE clears that bar. With both cards, you can't just stick them in any deck and expect them to give you bonkers mana early, you have to build the deck around them. And with both cards, we aren't seeing a trend of large numbers of people doing that. Instead, we see the cards slotting into decks that were already good fits for them, and these are mostly at higher levels of play.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    Remember that all of these metalworker hands also require having a grip of artifacts in your hand afterward. If any of those artifacts are rocks, now your t1 vault/crypt becomes vault/crypt/rock/PE. And then you need a fattie, or enough colored mana to cast your commander or some kind of outlet.

    I would bet money that simulations would show PE generating more mana by turn 4 in more scenarios than Metalworker for an infinite card pool -- but how much different it is by 2/3/4 I'm not sure.

    I do know that PE is the only one capable of a turn 1 win without Hall of the Bandit Lord :p there're many scenarios that result in t1 kills off of Paradox Engine with or without commanders. But Metalworker requiring haste drastically reduces those.

    (I have seen several t1 functional kills with PE - usually some combination of vault/crypt/monoliths).

    Edit: RE: Prophet

    I think prophet went in more types of decks than PE, but it wasn't by like a huge margin. It being very cheap ($$) and multicolored meant it kinda went into any deck with a buncha ETB creatures and UG in the color profile.

    PE is just a little spikier than Prophet, and a lot more $$, so I don't think we see it quite as much. But it is in a lot of decks and there are a ton of decks where it would be very good but is not played because of it being a hair spikier and more expensive than casuals typically jam.

    I certainly think that PE is closer to Prophet on the scale of casual omnipresence than you're making it out to be. "ETB creatures" is not a much more common demographic than "artifact or mana dork decks." If at all.

    I mean, you are still looking at extreme scenarios here. There's no reason to do a comparison based on a random card pool, because both cards only get ran in decks that are built to take advantage of them. Any deck that's running metal worker is running enough artifacts that 3 in hand should be the minimum expected, 4 should be average, and 5 should be merely uncommon, rather than rare. Getting a rock in your opening hand to set this up is, likewise, merely uncommon. On the other hand, the scenarios you are describing for PE are pretty darn rare. I'm sure they happen, but not at any rate that would justify banning it. Turn 2 Splinter Twin combo also happens, as do many other busted plays coming off of god hands, and they have no bearing on the banworthiness of the cards involved (except, perhaps, the rocks themselves, though I'd argue that Crypt is the worst offender here).

    I also don't understand why you are narrowing Prophet down to etb creatures. Sure, it was great with etb creatures, but it had so much more functionality than that. Getting those untaps every turn is huge on its own, which is why seedborn is a staple. Adding flash for creatures blew the card wide open, because it let you deploy threats on everyone's turn, at the end of their turns, after holding up mana for answers and to protect prophet. And, because its value was so good for literally any deck, stealing it, and adding cards to your deck to steal it, made sense. We just do not see that happening with PE, because PE is significantly more restricted in its usefulness. I also have to just keep coming back to Prophet being more widespread in its heyday despite the color restrictions. Prophet was held back in the number of decks that could run it by being two colors, so only Bant, Sultai, Temur, Simic, 5 color, UBWG, UBGR, and UWGR could run it, but all 5 mono color, 9 remaining guilds, 7 remaining arcs/wedges, and 2 remaining 4 color combos wanted it. PE meanwhile has no such restrictions, yet doesn't see as much play as Seedborn Muse, the weaker predecessor of Prophet.

    Now, price, that has some bearing here, but its a $20 card vs what was a $4 card pre banning. However, for much of its history, it was around $10, only climbing in the past year. Further, its less than $1 online, so it should be showing up more there if price was a major factor.

    Again, you mention that PE is a spikier card, and that's holding back its numbers. I agree, but I think that's a big argument against banning it. The decks that its good in are already more cEDH than casual, and you will run into far more in cEDH circles than casual ones. Being a cEDH staple while seeing, at best, a moderate amount of casual play precludes "problematic casual omnipresence." Again, the decks you listed as examples where its going nuts, Arcum, Selvala, Breya, those are cEDH or on the fringes of it. It can certainly go nuts in lesser decks, but it just isn't really turning up there, instead falling into cEDH more often than not. Quick check on EDHrec I'm seeing storm, $3500 Tasigur, fast combo, elfball. If its mostly doing its damage in already powerful metas, its not really a problem, its just fitting in with the sort of things already ran there. Unlike Prophet or Prime Time, which were showing up to wreck face everwhere.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    Quote from Cainsson »
    And it's way worse in those decks because dorks tend to have summoning sickness and therefore can't develop an incremental mana engine in a single turn like artifacts can.
    PE is nowhere near as good as Metalworker. Metalworker drops Ulamog or Ugin turn 2. PE usually does well turn 4-6 with notable build up, at that point other players should be capable of fighting it.

    It's nowhere near the same magnitude of power as Fastbond or Metalworker. It's more in line with Altar/Deathmantle and Monolith/Rings.

    Mana dorks are possibly more effective (in some ways, and consistent anyway) than rocks because they are easier to sequence (there are more dorks so getting turn 1 ramp is much easier). Your assessment doesn't jive with how PE is played in my experience. The PE dork decks often play some of the better rocks too but they don't need to play as many bad ones like worn powerstone.

    There are also lots of generically powerful commanders and cards that interact positively with creatures + PE -- cards like Glimpse, Lifecrafter's Bestiary, Beast Whisperer, etc.

    Edit: If you look at decks that play PE, it's a who's who of artifact and mana dork commanders; for every Breya there's a Sisay, for every Arcum there's a Selvala.


    Please tell me a sequence where you untap t2 with Metalworker that does not also bust the game if you do it with Paradox engine. I'm very interested. Hands that generate 3 mana on turn 1 and then have enough artifacts to tap Metalworker for 6+ are pretty few and far between.

    My thought exercises suggested that any explosive ramp turn that generates a t1 metalworker is just as likely to go ape with a paradox engine.

    T2 metalworker also requires t1 ramp (chrome mox, sol ring, mana crypt, mox diamond, etc.).

    If you change your statement to "explosive turn 3" from "t2 10 mana" I'd buy it more. The way you phrased it sounds like not well thought out rhetoric to me.

    Land, vault metalworker, untap, or Mana crypt instead of vault would be even stronger. I can't show you the same so easily for PE, that's the point. You'd need to get both vault AND crypt turn 1 with PE in hand, which is venturing into magical Christmasland, while merely getting one rock is realistic. You need a god hand to go ape with PE that early, but you only need a good hand to do the same with metalworker. It's a major difference. With just vault, you aren't casting PE until turn 3, and untapping with it turn 4 (and needing something to cast for 2 Mana because vault is tapped). With crypt, you wait to cast it until turn 4. Waiting two turns that early in the game in the same situation is huge, and puts them in two different ball parks. Then you change things up and say Sol ring instead, metalworker hits turn 2 and untaps turn 3, PE is still waiting to be cast. You have a pretty realistic though uncommon chance of getting two cards you need in your opening hand, while getting 3+ is extremely rare. Meanwhile, making 10 with metalworker is normal. You have 8 cards in your hand turn 1, you play 3, then draw 1 turn 2, six cards in hand. You play metalworker in artifact decks, so it's realistic to have 5/6 be artifacts. Even if 4/6 are, your still churning out 8 Mana turn 2. Heck, even if only half hour cards in hand are artifacts, that's still 6 Mana off the metalworker. You have another from your land, then depending on how you got there even more (maybe you had crypt instead, or ancient tomb). You have many more combinations that lead to a turn 1 metalworker than you have for a turn 1 PE, and they leave more cards in hand. You probably have at least as many as you do for a turn 2 PE. Workshop gets you there on its own. Ancient tomb plus any rock does as well.

    The rest of your post doesn't really help your case, you are describing decks that are built around PE, either because they have commanders that take advantage of it by tapping or they add a higher number than average of Mana dorks and rocks. Most decks do not run high numbers of Mana dorks. We're getting into a situation again where you cannot just slot the card into any deck that can run it, which is every deck since it's colorless, or even nearly any deck that can, and expect it to perform. You either have to have it be a deck that already wants that effect, or you have to start adding more rocks, dorks, and tap effects to get a critical mass to ensure that PE always performs when you draw it. Cards that actually hit problematic omnipresence did not need these considerations. Prime Time just went in every green deck, because every deck could use a fatty that tutored lands into play. Prophet went in nearly every U/G deck, because nearly every U/G deck ran creatures, and even many that didn't run enough creatures still got plenty of use out of untapping everything every turn to make it still worth it. Sylvan was solid removal attached to ramp and stapled to a big body. Those we're all things that where universally useful. PE needs a bit more help to get there, which is why it doesn't get ran as much despite being colorless and thus having more decks that it can legally be put into. You see a lot of it in your playgroup, others don't, and I rarely see it online. I only expect to see it in decks like the ones you mentioned, and honestly I'm already expecting those decks to do degenerate things anyway whether they have PE or not. They are already kill on sight.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from cryogen »
    I would argue that Prophet interacted poorly because you effectively got 1+X turns, where X was the number of opponents. The more opponents you faced, the more turns you got compared to theirs. Of course, this logic is flawed because that also meant that you had to have a deck more prepared to make use of thaose turns as well as protect her. Speaking only for my own experiences, she was most often the correct choice to Clone or Bribery, and games did turn into a minigame of Kill The Prophet before the regular game could resume.

    Prophet did, I agree
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    Quote from Onering »

    Too much Mana too quickly: not at all. It costs 5 Mana and requires other cards to work. This category is really reserved for truly busted ***** like Channel that do it turn 2-3 without any help. If you are getting infinite Mana off of this turn 4, congrats, but you could have done this with a number of other cards. At this point, it's just a combo, not an issue particular to the card, and therefore irrelevant. Under normal circumstances, it starts doing its thing too late in the game to be considered to quickly, regardless of the prodigious amount of Mana it produces.

    I don't know about this man. Rofellos is on there for 'too much mana too quickly' and he requires you to play a lot of basic forests. Admittedly he's in the command zone, but PE is going to make more mana than Rofellos on turn 3 or 4 most of the time in decks optimized to play it. Hell, Rofellos would play it.

    Other cards on the list for too much mana too quickly (at one point)
    * Metalworker, which is significantly slower than PE (or at least as dependent, and arguably slower, certainly more narrow)
    * Fastbond, which is not really appreciably faster at ramping than PE, though certainly more consistent
    * Tolarian Academy, which is...faster than PE but how much? Is it on a completely different planet in turn 3 mana production? I'd need to think about this a lot to see the lines of play.

    Obviously PE is weaker than fastbond or Tolarian Academy, but it's certainly arguable that it's in a similar class to Metalworker (who obviously got unbanned, and has some similar combo potential) -- but if Metalworker was at one point banned, PE is probably not a 0/10.

    (sorry for the additional post, not intending to spam I just realized my post was getting quite cluttered and wanted to address another point)

    Metal Worker was banned because it could generate ridiculous mana turn 3 off of just one rock. What it can do turn 5 is irrelevant, its what it could do turn 2-3 that was absurd, and what it could do on those turns was easily tap for 10 mana. That is too much too fast. What does PE do turn 3? What does it do turn 4 without a god hand? You need multiple rocks down at that point to be getting value from it that fast. The RC doesn't look at just the god hands to evaluate what a card is doing, but most hands. PE needs some pretty great hands to get out of hand that early. MW needs to be in an artifact deck to start ramping you ten by turn 4, and 1 rock makes that turn 3 (or 2 if its vault). That's a much lower ceiling to be effective, and a much better example of too much mana too fast. That MW got unbanned further shows what is required to get banned for this (I'd wager that requiring a dedicated deck and being significantly worse late made them decide it was ok, despite it hitting this category so hard, while Tolarian Academy is just absurd from the start and gets better as the game goes on). Rofellos is only banned because its legendary and thus sits in the command zone. When banned as a commander existed, he was legal in the 99. Legendaries have a lower bar to clear to be banned because they are always accessible. If we look at Rofellos and PE as equivalent, it would make sense that PE isn't banned, as it cannot be used as a commander. Fastbond ramps faster than PE, because it starts going nuts turn 1, but it has a lower ceiling. Building around it to the extent of building around PE (running more cards that fetch lots of land to your hand, or just more draw) makes up for that. The reason I expect Fastbond to remain banned but would be mildly surprised to see PE eat a ban is that Fastbond can slot into literally any green deck and make it immediately better, without requiring any changes (unlike PE, which with a normal amount of artifact ramp isn't going to see enough tap effects consistently to reach its potential, and is more likely to be a dead card). Its a $5 card (though I expect it would spike, probably quintuple in price at least, because right now its only legal in vintage), it would get played heavily.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Pokken »
    I think you might be overstating the requirement for problematic casual omnipresence; Sylvan Primordial and Prophet of Kruphix probably both hit that criteria a little and it's doubtful either one saw more play than PE - maybe primordial.

    Prevalence is obviously important, but it's not enough on its own to rule something in or out. I think the jury is really out on what a 'problematic' level of prevalence is as well so not sure how we can take the EDHREC numbers as either opening or closing the door on that.

    The last philosophy document I read said:
    Problematic Casual Omnipresence. Some cards are so powerful that they become must-includes in decks that can run them and have a strongly negative impact on the games in which they appear, even when not built to optimize their effect. This does not include cards which are part of a specific two-card combination — there are too many of those available in the format to usefully preclude — but may include cards which have numerous combinations with other commonly-played cards.

    I think PE is really close on a lot of those points. I'd say it's fuzzy when you start thinking about "decks that can run them" and what that means, but I would say there is a very broad set of decks that want a paradox engine. If you break down these points:

    * Must-include in decks that can run them - Arguable since any deck can play an artifact - but a large variety of decks want it
    * Strongly negative impact on the game even when not built to optimize - Check
    * Have numerous combinations with other commonly played cards - Check

    It's more than the problematic game states; the card has become the de facto combo enabler for literally every artifact ramp deck, which is a substantial portion of the format, as well as for most mana dork heavy decks (which is another good chunk of the format, although less so).


    If you go through all of the criteria PE hits basically every one of them as at least potential.

    * Interacts poorly with the structure of commander -- Somewhat, though maybe 5/10 (in the same way POK did but without flash, I consider POK a 7/10
    * Creates undesirable game states -- Check, 8/10
    * Problematic casual omnipresence - Check, 7/10 (it hits a lot of the boxes but one is arguable)
    * Produces too much mana too quickly - Check, 9/10 - often enabling virtually infinite mana as early as turn 3 or 4 in combination with any number of mana rocks or dorks
    * Barrier to Entry - 0/10

    It doesn't interact poorly with the format at all. Anything problematic it does in edh it does exactly the same in any other format. No rule specific to commander or multiplayer benefits it in any way.

    Creates negative game states is say is sitting at more of a 6/10. Winning via combo does not count, so you have to discount any situation where it quickly wins as a combo piece as the RC simply does not count that as inherently problematic (for good reason, as they'd have to ban numerous cards if they did). That leaves situations where PE resolves and lasts but doesn't quickly win, which is often problematic as it leads to durdling and time wasting, but not always (sometimes it just works as a way to get some extra value).

    Too much Mana too quickly: not at all. It costs 5 Mana and requires other cards to work. This category is really reserved for truly busted ***** like Channel that do it turn 2-3 without any help. If you are getting infinite Mana off of this turn 4, congrats, but you could have done this with a number of other cards. At this point, it's just a combo, not an issue particular to the card, and therefore irrelevant. Under normal circumstances, it starts doing its thing too late in the game to be considered to quickly, regardless of the prodigious amount of Mana it produces.

    That leaves problematic casual omnipresence. The problematic part has nothing to do with the degree of omnipresence, but only whether being omnipresent is causing problems. Island is omnipresent, but not problematic. This means that there are two, separate conditions to be met for this criteria: it both has to be everywhere, a card that is an auto include and played in every deck that can add it, AND it has to cause problems whenever it's played. A problematic card that doesn't get banned for violating other categories gets banned if it's everywhere. If it isn't, if isn't getting played in most decks that can play it and hitting every game it isn't a big enough issue to ban. If a card is played everywhere and an auto include, but doesn't cause problems when it's played, it doesn't get banned. PE is not played everywhere. It's a colorless permanent and it isn't played as much as 2 color Prophet was when fewer people played the game. It is by any definition not an auto include. It does combo with numerous commonly played cards, but if you just slap it in a deck with a normal amount of artifact ramp, say 3 signets, vault, crypt, grim mono, Sol ring, and let's say 2 more of you choice, that's not enough to ensure you are getting real value from it. You may have one out, maybe two. Ok, that's a great amount of Mana, but you don't have a way to keep the cards flowing to keep the untaps coming, and you don't have a way to go infinite. You actually have to build around this card. If by artifact ramp deck you mean any deck that runs the common artifact ramp, then no, it's not an auto include there and doesn't cause problems if ran there. If you mean an artifact deck that leans heavily on ramp, thats a more narrow archetype. A colorless artifact that is and auto include in just a specific archetype is not omnipresent enough to hit this category. It can go in any deck, but it doesn't. Instead, it's only going nuts in decks built to take advantage of it, either with commanders built around tap effects or with already busted artifact decks. I'd, at best, rate this a 5/10, but I think it's more like 3/10.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.