Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
Magic Market Index for Dec 21st, 2018
Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Betrayal
    Do you have lifegain triggers as the focal point of your deck? If so, this is pretty good. If not, its pretty bad.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    My god, a post so bad that its bringing the whole forum together in agreement over how bad it is.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on PREDICTION: Simic Ascendancy doesn't last a year.
    I'd say its something to keep an eye on. Its not going to go nuts in just any deck, but it can go nuts with just a little help, and R/B don't have much in the way of answers. Its got potential to be a problem, but its not clear that it will be. Usually such cards don't actually end up being a ban worthy problem, or even a problem at all. If it becomes trivially easy to just cast this and win in a couple turns off of what your deck is already doing, without any combos, then yeah, maybe, but if that's only going to be in a dedicated +1/+1 counter deck, that's probably fine. If it starts getting people in U/G to specifically start adding proliferate and +1/+1 counters to abuse it, that's a different story, but I don't see that happening.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Is Adapt Viable
    Honestly i think the only adapt cards playable are biomancer's familiar, new zegana, incubation druid, sharktocrab and maybe benthic biomancer and trollbred guardian

    Skatewing Spy is worth it. The similar outlast dudes from Khans of Tarkir that acted as +1/+1 counter lords were typically pretty good in +1/+1 decks. Flying is always a really strong ability to give out. I'm slamming him into my Ezuri deck and not looking back for one, but any U/G/x counters deck should want a 4 drop that gives their whole team flying. Maybe it won't make the most tuned decks, there is a lot of competition for effects, but it should at least be considered.

    Pteramander seems interesting as well, but probably won't be enough. All I know is that it is itself cheap, its got a rather large adapt number at 4, and its adapt cost can often be rather cheap depending on how your deck is built.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Quote from Taleran »
    Quote from Buffsam89 »
    Quote from Taleran »
    I think you guys are making gigantic leaps to make Iona not just be that bold thing.

    Also referencing the Iona thread and how long it is weird considering how circular that thread is all the time (as someone who contributed to those circles)

    I agree also that this forum is such a miniscule sliver of the audience because it is the only place I evet hear anyone talk about Iona.

    That thread wasn’t circular at all. It was a very small group of people, yourself included, applying the same reasoning you did here for why she shouldn’t be banned. I just find it odd that you continually dismiss ones anecdotal evidence with your own, like somehow your experiences hold more weight than others.

    As for the bold bit, well, that would put you incredibly out of touch with reality. Reddit, numerous podcasts and YouTube videos, other blogs. Hell, it even came up in “ask the RC” Q&A, which if I’m not mistaken, brought us back to this discussion in the first place. I just find that to be an ignorant and self serving statement.

    More proof? How about the dream banlist poll? Iona is routinely right there with fast mana, going back as far as 2015. So, your opinion that a “small group of loud people” are the reason we talk about Iona is incorrect.

    You make a claim that this website is a small sliver of Commander players (I agree with that) and then you use this website?

    Any ways just because someone or somepeople have dissenting opinions that comes from their experience and thoughts about the game does not also mean they believe that it means that they think that their opinions hold more sway over the conversation or truth of the matter.

    A difference of opinion on the power the uniqueness is probably why the card is not banned.

    (I am generally of the opinion that online Commander discourse no matter where it is is a small % that gets even further broken down)

    It is indeed a small percent. But, funny thing, any sample is typically a rather small percent of a population.

    What you are doing is being dismissive of others views on the card by attempting to minimize their concerns. You dismiss other posters experience as anecdotal, then submit your own anecdote to counter it. You accused someone of engaging in logical fallacy when they did no such thing (though to me it looks more like you just misused the word fallacy for dramatic effect as a way to make the other users argument appear weaker by implying they aren't as smart as you, but the attempt to assert intellectual dominance blew up when the user called you on it). You then try to dismiss out of hand everyone on here who makes points in favor of banning Iona by using the poor logic that since mtgsalvation users are just a small percentage of the player base, the arguments made here aren't really worthy of consideration.

    There nothing wrong with you feeling that Iona doesn't deserve to be banned, but you're resorting to being dismissive of other peoples points when you can't seem to refute them. In reality, many unbanned cards have legitimate points in favor of being banned that can't really be answered, but they remain unbanned because those points just aren't enough to push them over the line. Your best argument is that Iona just isn't ubiquitous enough to warrant a ban, which may very well be true. The power level argument is irrelevant, the RC doesn't ban based on power level (though power level does impact most of the criteria they do look for). At this point, there's a lot of evidence that Iona is played a lot, as itss a frequent topic of conversation on podcasts and message boards, but there is also evidence that it isn't, such as a small showing on edh rec. My own personal experience is that I run into it less often than I used to (it was very common on mtgo 5 years ago), to the point where I would no longer say its a staple of white decks. I have stopped including it in decks because its such a toxic card, and it falls into a particularly nasty role where it both ruins games and there are other options at similar costs that do more to make you win. I really think that Avacyn, in particular, has taken over its slot. However, though I see it less, I still see it, and often enough that I wouldn't call it a rare occurrence. And when it shows up, it mostly just ruins games (I think I saw it name blue once and stop a combo, so it can, on rare occasion, do something ok rather than be griefer city).

    I always like to look at cards through the lens of the ban criteria. This is how I see Iona stack up:

    Interacts Poorly With the Structure of Commander. Commander introduces specific structural differences to the game of Magic (notably singleton decks, color restrictions in deckbuilding, and the existence of a Commander). Magic cards not designed with Commander in mind sometimes interact with those elements in ways that change the effective functionality of the card. Cards that have moved too far (in a potentially problematic direction) from their original intent due to this mismatch are candidates for banning. This criterion also includes legendary creatures that are problematic if always available.

    4/5. It preys on the color restrictions in deck building, and it prevents people from playing their commanders. It also has the rare honor of its effect being less powerful in commander than 1v1, yet more problematic, due to the multiplayer nature of the format. In 1v1, a resolved Iona is more likely to be a win, while in commander its more likely to particularly aggrieve one player while merely inconveniencing others, while some opponents will not be impacted. I'll talk about this aspect more in reference to the next criteria. Lastly, it is able to be used as a commander and this makes it more problematic than if it could not be. Being mono white and expensive to cast make this last part less significant than for cards like Braids, as it is not always available early, and is tough to cast multiple times.

    * Creates Undesirable Game States. Losing is not an undesirable game state. However, a game in which one or more players, playing comparable casual decks, have minimal participation in the game is something which players should be steered away from. Warning signs include massive overall resource imbalance, early-game cards that lock players out, and cards with limited function other than to win the game out of nowhere.

    4/5. Its a card that leads to one or more players playing comparable decks having minimum participation in the game, and that's almost all it does (aside from the occasional combo prevention). If it were cheaper, and thus got out earlier on its own, it would be a 5/5.

    * 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 specifc 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.

    2/5. It only seems to be run moderately, but typically has a strongly negative impact on the games in which it appears, with little deck building considerations. It doesn't reach the level of an auto include, however.

    * Produces Too Much Mana Too Quickly. Commander is a format devoted to splashy spells and epic plays, but they need to happen at appropriate times. Some acceleration is acceptable, but plays which are epic on turn ten are undesirable on turn three, so we rein in cards capable of generating a lot of mana early given the correct circumstances.


    * Creates a Perceived High Barrier to Entry. Commander is a socially welcoming format with a vast cardpool. These two traits clash when it comes to certain early Magic cards, even if they would possibly be acceptable in their game play. It's not enough that the card is simply expensive. It must also be something that would be near-universally played if available and contribute to a perception that the format is only for the Vintage audience.


    It seems to me that this is a very borderline card. Its got problematic interactions with the format rules, creates undesireable board states as its primary function, and has a strong negative impact whenever it shows up. I'd venture that the reason it isn't banned is, as Taleran suggests, that it isn't omnipresent. Its a card that feels likes its played more than it is, because it just flat ruins games and that sticks in your memory. But damn if it isn't close to banworthy anyway based on how hard it hits the first two criteria.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Can EDH be 'Almost (or somewhat, even minimally) solved'?
    Whether or not its solvable boils down to one question: is it possible to create a deck that wins at a higher percentage than other decks and, if that deck becomes dominant, is not vulnerable to a meta choice that can prey on it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Fun with Worldgorger dragon copies by riku. Trigger options with parallel lives, leyline of anticipation, crystal shard.
    Congrats on finding a use for Worldgorger Dragon that is actually pretty fair yet pretty fun.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Ban//Unban
    Quote from Yatsufusa »
    Quote from cryogen »
    Yeah, they would probably lose most of their credibility they have with the community, and quite possibly lose some standing with Wizards.

    They sort of locked themselves in with that decision, in a way. What I really dislike about their current position is that it feels like a halfway-botched job. They selected only a tiny part of Reserved List to fall under the PBtE section back then and as time passed (along with the format's popularity and the general attitudes regarding the RL and Secondary Markets) it becomes more and more paramount to feel that they can never touch anything in the list (be it ban or unban) because it'll be awfully easy to accuse them of market manipulation.

    I mean even a card like Palinchron which we all can agree is pretty much "unfun" and while it doesn't show up all the time enough to be an actual problem, it is the kind of card no one will miss when it's gone, the RC needs to take into account that it's a RL card to begin with, so unless it somehow becomes an actual problem in the format (which ironically the RL does inhibit to some degree), the incentive is for the RC to not ban the card since the risk of wrecking their reputation is greater than erasing the tiny amount of damage the card is inflicting to the format right now.

    There's this weird threshold the RL sets causing reputation to be part of the equation that makes the scenario uncomfortable to me. I'm not accusing the RC of anything and I doubt even they had that far of a foresight when the format just begun, but I really wonder had the PBtE RL cards were not banned from the very start when people weren't as concerned about the RL... how much incentive would there be for the RC now to ban the more problematic cards on said list (especially considering how huge the damage some of them would wreck versus their no doubt significantly higher prices).

    Sometimes I think cards like Thunder Spirit should just carry the sins of the RL and we all should treat the RL as a single unit - as long as 1 card is considered too powerful and must be banned, the whole list dies along with it. As stupid as that sounds, it's also quite true to some degree the RL is sort of an integrity promise that binds all those cards regardless of their individual power levels and while the RC didn't make that promise, the Secondary Market would not let them free of it.

    But with that being said, it's also arguably too late to even try it, since even that decision will be hit by the full force of market manipulation accusations. So basically the only opportunity was the same window the RC had back then when they started the format and while I cannot blame them for not having the foresight (and me now and here having the hindsight), it will remain the half-botched job sore spot of the format to me.

    Thing is, PbtE isn't just about price, it's about price combined with ubiquity, or rather the idea that the only thing that would restrict the ubiquity of the card would be its astronomical price. Even if Tabernacle, for instance, cost less than $10, it wouldn't be ubiquitous, and you can see that on mtgo. Timetwister is, I think (I haven't checked the price lately) like a $5 card online. Many blue decks don't play it. I'd argue that more should, as it's still really good even if the deck isn't built around wheels as a way to just refill your hand and recycle your gy, though if you need access to your graveyard or your deck doesn't empty its hand then it's not going to do much for you.

    The moxen are an auto include in every deck that can run them, and because of color identity restrictions the more colors your deck is the more it benefits from their inclusion (having access to 4 moxen is a lot better than having access to one). Recall just makes every blue deck better, and three cards for 1 mana at instant speed is still a level of too many resources too fast that has yet to be reached. Its disgustingly broken even when you just cast it once and forget about it. Timewalk is similar, in that at 2 mana every single blue deck instantly becomes better by running it, and it's so much easier to abuse early that other extra turn spells. These cards aren't just powerful, or even broken, they are mandatory. They have all the problems of Sol Ring, except at a higher level, and have the additional problems of being color restricted and costing $3000. A card that feels mandatory isn't so bad if it's only a few bucks, but does turn people off if it costs thousands of dollars. Vintage compared to legacy at the time of EDHs birth was proof of this, as there were people who would play legacy but not vintage because of the power 9.

    Personally, and this will be controversial, I think Black Lotus would be the least problematic to unban if not for price. On it's own, it a better dark ritual that isn't color restricted, and casual decks rarely run dark cEDH it would be a house, but in casual a one shot of three colored mana is very strong but not super busted. You can definitely get stupid recurring it, but I think it would be more of a borderline card that a sure ban. In casual games, resource production over time is generally more important than getting a little more up front, so Sol Ring and Mana Crypt would probably still be stronger, and Lotus would be a little better than Mana Vault.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on The RC has an incredible opportunity to bring the game's fundamental fantasy to fruition by allowing Planeswalkers as Commanders
    Quote from Pokken »
    On the flipside you have cards like:
    Nahiri, the harbinger
    Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast

    Who probably make really cool decks for colors that struggle to find a reasonable power level in EDH due to color pie issues.

    I keep waffling personally but I think power level alone winds up being a bad argument because there are plenty of creatures more powerful than even cards like Tezzeret the Seeker who is probably the strongest potential PW commander (see Thrasios or Tymna or even Zur).

    I do see the argument that if your commander essentially provides a repeated powerful sorcery every cast it creates the potential for some weird gamestates; playing with Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury even can be kind of oppressive in casual games (almost like having Aura Shards as your commander).

    There are some PW effects that aren't really replicated on legendary creatures such as unrestricted artifact/creature removal or game winning ultimates, and those will create different game states.

    Also, you wind up with some of the similar removal void issues where Red/Black can't deal with enchantments, a lot of colors will struggle to answer Planeswalkers efficiently enough.


    I think I see all the angles and I don't think that the banlist would wind up needing to be too big, but I do feel pretty strongly they need to close the counter loophole for Loyalty -- being able to Deepglow skate your commander is too much.

    You'd wind up with a situation as is where there's a much more varied assortment of commanders who are functionally part of 2 card combos - 'problems' we have today with stuff like Niv Mizzet and Curiosity or Azami and Mind over Matter -- but now you've got a card that is Doomblade, plus draw a card, plus win the game in combo with Doubling Season.

    So I'm inclined to wait and see still myself the more I think about it. But I really do see some advantages as well.

    All good points. The thing is, while I think that the arguments against pw as commanders are more compelling than those for, it's not a clearly one sided debate. Both arguments have merit. The issue is that even if it were flipped, and I found the arguments for pw commanders more compelling by the same degree, we aren't talking about a new format, but one that is well established and whose major feature, and arguably the most defining feature, is that you have a legendary creature as a commander, and changing that requires the arguments for doing so to be overwhelming, like the change to the color identity rule was.

    I get that the walkers printed specifically for commander broaches the subject, but they also haven't been great arguments for opening it up even more, again as most are either just bad as commanders or confirm the fears of people who are against the idea. They also showed that wizards has rules technology to allow it on a limited basis. Brawl has done a bit to further the argument by normalizing pw commanders more, but it remains to be seen if brawl will have staying power once it goes through a couple rotations, let alone whether it ever becomes anywhere near as popular as commander (and right now, signs are pointing to "maybe if everything goes right" and "no" respectively).

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on The RC has an incredible opportunity to bring the game's fundamental fantasy to fruition by allowing Planeswalkers as Commanders
    OPs central premise is flawed as it misunderstands the flavor of both commander at magic as a whole. You ALREADY play as a planeswalker. That's the role you take on in any game of magic, and has been for 25 years. The player IS a planeswalker, not one created by wizards but a player character. This is true of commander as well. You don't play as your commander, they are just the character you have chosen to serve as a commander for your armies. Before the rename, when it was still called EDH, your commander was called your general, which clearly illustrates the role they were meant to play. They are the Witch King to your Sauron, the Ridley to your Mother Brain, the Red Ranger to your Zordon, the Darth Vader to your Palpatine.

    Thus, allowing planeswalkers as commanders does nothing to further "the central fantasy of magic". You would never be playing as Jace, youd be playing as Jace's boss. There is a flavor argument for allowing that, but it's not worth the headaches it would cause. As we can see from the planeswalkers printed explicitly for commander, it is much more difficult to create planeswalkers that make for good commanders than it is for creatires. Most of them are either way too weak and boring or way too strong and combo oriented. Freyalise and Windgrace are kind of, sort of, in that extremely narrow range where they do enough to be worth it but aren't oppressive and repetitive. Most regular planeswalkers would, as commanders, also slot into either the laughably weak category or the groan inducing on reveal category. JTMS would suck, Karn would be kill on sight, and very little would fall in between. Adding all walkers as commanders wouldn't add much to the format except a lot of trap commanders that rope in noobs and some linear combo commanders that create the sort of games the RC doesn't want to promote. They won't ban Teferi or Daretti for doing this, because it's not bannable, but they certainly won't change a fundamental feature of the format solely to invite more of it, with a side order of frustrating noobs who wonder why Jace sucks so much as a commander.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [[Official]] General Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Banlist
    Rift doesn't meet any criteria for banning. The closest it comes to meeting is problematic casual omnipresence, in that it is indeed omnipresent, but I'd hardly say that its problematic.

    Breaking down what it does, there are really 4 modes.

    The first, overlooked mode is bouncing a single permanent. This is relevant, because it can prevent combo wins or getting blown out by Hatred. This is of course not at all problematic.

    The second mode is casting it to clear the board as a game winning move, either to clear the way for an attack or remove hate pieces preventing your combo. This is also not problematic at all. Games need to end, and this is a 7 mana spell that requires you to have either a potentially lethal board state or a combo at the ready to make that happen. It does not win the game on it's own, and in fact requires a hell of a lot more setup than many cards at its mana cost to do so. Often, a player casting Rift for the win in a casual game would have gotten the same value from casting Sleep. Of course, the fact that it hits artifacts and enchantments that might be blocking a win is more powerful, but that doesn't make it more problematic. The use here for Rift is clearing the way for a win that turn, and that is not problematic.

    Third, you can use Rift to reset your opponents when you are behind as a way to stay alive or stop a combo. This is strong, but hardly problematic. You aren't going to immediately win, and your opponents will have a chance to recast their stuff. It doesn't lock them out without a combo going on, not does it even slow down the game by much. Casting Rift in this way doesn't even make you a favorite to win, it just keeps you alive.

    Fourth is the tempo use. This is overloading rift when you are a little behind or a little ahead to jump out further ahead. This is strong, but also a bad play, because Rift is better used when it's going to clear the way for a win or save you from a loss. Using it merely to gain advantage that doesn't guarantee a win is wasting the potential of the card. This isn't a hard and fast rule, and there are times where you'll now that the advantage it nets you will let you put the game away because your opponents won't be able to catch up, but often it's better to save it for pivotal moments in the game. This use is mildly problematic, as it does slow down the game a bit and is generally a feel bad play. This is worse than just casting it and winning because the game isn't over, you have to play it out, the caster is likely to win but the other players still have a significant chance and shouldn't scoop. Still, while this is mildly problematic it is not problematic enough to warrant a ban.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Let's build Persistent Petitioners
    Seems to me like the best support cards are in black and green (and blue, but you're obviously already there). Green gets you awakening effects and black gets you tutors, mass recursion, things that target opponents graveyards, and bloodchief ascension. Obviously if he was legal Leovold would be the elf for the job, being an advisor and combing with wheels and other forced card draw that these sort of decks like. Perhaps Thrasios or the other UG partner and Ravos? Ravos can keep grabbing them from your yard while thrasios is always a great CA engine and mana sink.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Teysa Karlov or Orzhov Scion - which is better?
    Old Teysa is better, even without the darkest hour combo.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Recent Commanders: Flavors-of-the-Week vs Lasting Presences
    I've actually enjoyed Arcades. I saw a lot of decks go all in on attacking with walls, and that's just too unreliable. I play him as a control deck with around 25 cards that trigger him. Draw cards and react to the board, eventually get Cloudstone and go nuts. I approach it as a control deck with a wall subtheme, and that's pretty satisfying and avoids playing the same way each time because control by it's nature rarely plays the same game to game, but I could see where all in walls attack builds or all in combo builds would get old quickly.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What SCG Con Taught Sheldon About Commander And Its Players
    Quote from Yatsufusa »
    Quote from cryogen »
    Quote from An"she »
    My takeaway is: Good that Sheldon is starting to wake-up and realize that the game has progressed since its infancy and isn't the same as what it started as. That he and the rest of the RCs should consider fully updating their view of the format so they can be better at tending to it.

    Because they've done such a bad job tending it that it's gone from some dudes in a single playgroup to the most popular (and successful) casual format? People tend to gloss over the amount of time and effort it took to get the format where it is today and would rather armchair coach with half-baked ideas.

    That's the problem with minimalist approaches when it comes to... marketing (not that the RC pushed for marketing to begin with), people only see the end result and complain, but the point of it was to make it so the format requires as little changes as possible. Much work is done to make sure "nothing" is accomplished.

    At the end of the day, the article was pretty much just an opinionated piece from Sheldon and he outright stated it as so, along with the assurance that it doesn't affect the decision-making process of the RC. Using the "Stax case" as an example, so what if he's surprised by his experiences there? We already knew his stand on the matter - bluntly put he generally doesn't favor it, but at the same time he acknowledges there are people out there who enjoy it and therefore doesn't let his personal bias stand in the way of RC decision-making. His surprise of the prevalency of the stax archetype in a larger event isn't going to change that stance (and what I would personally classify as "professionalism"), regardless of how it may have impacted his personal bias.

    This. Even if he personally changes his stance from "I hate stax" to "stax sure is swell", nothing would change in terms of rules or the banlist, because his anti stax bias hasn't impacted the list or rules (at least not currently, I'm not sure about when it was in it's infancy, as the RC had an anti combo bias that was reflected in the banlist, something they have been slowly undoing though their anti combo bias persists).

    The minimalist approach is the greatest strength of the format. It allows playgroups to develop the format to be what they want it to be. It encourages house bans (and unbans) and house rules. The base banlist, while not perfect, works well enough that it allows the format to be pretty great even in pick up games between strangers and in mtgo.

    I've said it before and I'll keep repeating it: wizards tried to impose their own banlist on mtgo that was created like it's banlists for sanctioned formats like standard, to competitively balance the format rather than to chase the more nebulous ideal of casual fun, the opposite of what the RCs banlist is meant to do. It was a collosal failure. Wizards had to backtrack and reinstate the real banlist as an option immediately, though it took a month to actually bring it back, during which few commander games fired and generally the format went into a coma. Afterwards, players could make decks and games with the RCs ba list or Wizards "balanced" banlist. Multiplayer games were dominated by the RCs list and 1v1 games slightly favored the "balanced list". The balanced list was revised dramatically and often as it never actually achieved balance, though it did eventually approach balance in 1v1 after banning a load of commanders and staples (though it wasn't anymore balanced than the regular banlist at that point, it's just that the wizards banlist that was meant to instill balance ended up creating a format that was even more unbalanced the 1v1 commander with the RC banlist). Last year, they basically scrapped it and reinstalled the RCs banlist with some minor changes as the 1v1 banlist (with the changes mainly aimed at unbanning cards that are banned for interacting poorly with the multiplayer format, and banning cards that are designed for multiplayer and interact poorly with a 1v1 20 life format).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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