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By: R Koster, Rob Koster
Mar 05 2020 1:00pm
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There are some things I would like to address this week. So let's get straight into it.

The first thing I want to talk about is that I saw someone in the 5-0 dumps was playing a Thassa's Oracle and Inverter of Truth Nausless Ad Nauseam deck. I feel like that deck is a way better deck then what I built last week. I guess I just still have a tendency of wanting to play an interactive Control-Combo deck because when those are good. They are amazing. But the list I found in the 5-0's was a lot better than mine. If you want to play the combo in Modern, you should start here.


This deck is just taking the place of Ad Nauseam. Going from a 5 mana card to a 4 mana card is a big deal in a format like Modern. Shelldock Isle is there to just help you save mana and in your combo turns. I won't be surprised at all if this is the direction the deck ends up going.

Another thing I wanted to address tonight is that I absolutely hate Wizards new banning policy of announcing their announcement a week ahead of time, so we know for sure that something is going to happen. It's like telling a kid that was naughty that you are taking it's toy away next week as a punishment for being bad. But not telling which toy you are taking away. It's dumb and creates a ton of unnecessary hysteria, feelbads, and uncertainty that could all easily be avoided if Wizards just did their thing and got off the pot immediately instead of just flipflopping about for a week. It also just looks shady, some people already know what's going to happen. I know Wizards makes their employees sign contracts that they can't use insider information. But they can talk, and it's not like Magic the Gathering card trading is something the law will care about very much. In my humble opinion, it's a system just begging for some insider trading. Things like these are the whole reason I avoid speculating on the secondary market of Magic cards, it's just a giant, lawless stock market in which Wizards of the Coast has all the control. Not my cup of tea.

The other problem I have with the new policy is that all I hear now are people that are scared to buy into decks because they could be banned at any time. It's a lose-lose situation. I personally don't care because I just have access to all the cards, but knowing that something you buy could just be banned next week after the whole of 2019 happened with its multitude of bans has not done my local player base much good.

Personally, I would like a weekly update like there was at the start of Pioneer. It doesn't have to be significant. Just a simple: "No changes today, we are watching card XYZ." is all it would need. There doesn't need to be anything else, but please just communicate with your player base WotC, most of us spend a ton of money on your game regardless, at least give us some clarity. Just make us feel like we know what's going on and what we can expect from you guys regarding our favorite hobby. And don't tell me that sharing that information breaks a format faster than not sharing it. Because that is just rubbish, there was almost no information shared on anything, and still, everything broke, and a ton of bans happened.

And for the players regarding bans. Bans are not a failure to the game. They aren't WotC screwing up horrendously to the point that their heads need to roll. They are trying to give us the most entertaining game they can bring us, and they are pushing boundaries to do it. And that is ok. Have you ever tried something new? Were you perfect at it straight away? Give them some breathing room, a lot of cool things have happened to the game in the last few years. So just forgive them that a few rotten apples got through development. Actually, apples are the perfect metaphor. If you buy a kilo of apples and 1 of them is rotten, you don't stop eating apples. You ban the apple from entering your mouth, and you move on with your life. Bans are a correction to get back to a good situation after trying something new, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I would find it a lot worse if there weren't any bans at all ever because it means that R&D isn't pushing themselves and keeping it safe. And have you ever played a game where you were safe at all times? Or watched a movie in which nothing could happen? Because I have and it's really, really dull. It's the whole problem Superman had and why they gave him his weakness to Kryptonite. He was just too safe to ever have something happen to him, and people flocked away in droves. And the same thing works the other way around as well. Batman has no powers except the power of the most powerful card alive, the credit card, and people are just eating it up like it's hotdogs and dessert. Because everything is dangerous and risky, and Batman has to try all sorts of stuff and can fail. But when Batman does it, everyone thinks it's great.

And I get that cards cost you money, but if you can't risk losing it, you couldn't afford it in the first place.

The final thing I want to get into in this article is what I think and or hope will happen with the bans next week.

I would do this:

Pioneer:
Unban Field of the Dead
Ban Thassa's Oracle

Modern:
Ban Once Upon a Time

And my reasoning behind it is that Field of the Dead really isn't that powerful compared to what's going on in the format right now at all. Is Field of the Dead really going to break a format in which people are consistently killing each other on turn 4? I highly doubt it.

I would ban Thassa's Oracle because it's just to easy to trigger. After seeing how it went down, I would have much more preferred it if they had printed Laboratory Maniac into Pioneer because I do think the Inverter deck is really cool, and alternative wincons are sweet. I feel this one is just a bit too good and too easy to abuse.

And for banning Once Upon a Time in Modern. The card is a hideous abomination of design and is everywhere. I haven't checked the numbers myself, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was getting close to 25% or 30% of the format is a Once Upon a Time based deck.

So there is my rant for this week, I was going to write about how I was going to get my first real dip into Legacy because there is so much uncertainty about Modern and Pioneer right now. There just isn't a reason to care about Historic; although the format seems fun, there's just no incentive to play. But that will be for another Once Upon a Time, I suppose.