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By: Tarmotog, Naoto Watabe
Mar 18 2010 2:52am
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Welcome yet again to another One Double O where I go into the 100 card Singleton. Today, I'll start with a routine look at the tournament scene.
I will be talking about counter magic in the format and also showcase a particular deck idea that you can explore to show you that 100 card Singleton is still a very open format to ideas.

------------------------------------------One Double O Tournament Center------------------------------------------

First up, here are the recent deck archetypes that made top 8 in the weekend challenges in order of placing. It looks compact to remove excessive information. Decklists can be found in the link provided.

21/02/2010: decklists can be found here.

UW anti-red
Monored + goblins
Monored + goblins
Mono blue control
Survival bant + combo kill
Monored + goblins + green
Monored + goblins + green
Monored + goblins

Comments: It's quite a shock to see the same few lines appearing again and again but on the other hand, it is quite amusing to see how well placed the anti-red deck is in this top 8. It beats 5/7 of the decks in the top 8. A rare appearance by mono blue is made too. Blue seems to be significantly stronger with additional colors but being mono color has its advantages such as almost never losing to a Blood Moon.

goblin recruiter

26/02/2010: decklists can be found here.

Doran rock
Survival bant + combo kill
GW aggro
Monored + goblins + green
Monored + goblins
UW Control
AdNauseam Combo
5c rock

Comments: The top 8 has returned to a more diverse field with a new deck which I will talk about later on in the article, Ad Nauseam combo. I like it when the top 8 doesn't suggest that there is something wrong with the format.

doran, the siege tower

06/03/2010: decklists can be found here.

UW Control
UB Control
Doran Rock
Doran Rock
UW anti-red
UW anti-red
GW beatdown
Bant

Comments: This particular week saw zero red decks in the top 8 which is very rare. Most of the decks in the top 8 are actually good against red as one might imagine them to be. However, I don't think that these results will be here to stay as red is always a popular deck choice.

kor firewalker

 Overall Comments: Again, mono red is still the "deck to beat". I think this is a signal that it might be time to free up more cards from the banned list because a considerable number of cards currently in the banned list don't look like they will make a big impact if speed and life total is going to be a crucial part of the format. Other than Balance, none of the banned cards actually help against the red menace and a bunch of them are really terrible against a deck trying to bite out chunks of life away. No?

------------------------Tech from GP Madrid (Legacy)------------------

With Legacy having the closest card pool selection as 100 card Singleton, I scoured the decklists for usable technology.

#1 Loyal Retainers as a white reanimation spell (that's counts as a creature)
The first is the use of Loyal Retainers to reanimate Iona, Shield of emeria.
This was used in a Survival of the Fittest deck in the said legacy format.

With mono red still hot in the coming, having Iona, Shield of emeria set to red is essentially "good game" unless they get morph creatures down and use Cursed Scroll and lands to shoot you down.

There is a problem with this setup that I have to point out: the existence of Karakas.
The land that bounces legends is a natural bane to this particular technology and it is not uncommon to find it being run in decks with access to white mana or even ran as a "colorless" mana source for the access to its ability. Running legends as reanimation targets opens up to some cards like Goryo's Vengeance but I am rather worried about the aforementioned land.

loyal retainers

#2 Patron Wizard + Stonybrook Schoolmaster

While a little obscure, Stonybrook Schoolmaster actually helps cards like Opposition or Glare of Subdual and of course, the card mentioned above, Patron Wizard.

While I've never actually considered the white merfolk a playable card, it seems to have its own applications that can be worth exploring.

------------------------------------------One Double O Gameplay Talk - BLU! ------------------------------------------

Over the past few weeks, I have piloted 3 very different decks into top 8 in the 100 card Singleton Weekend Challenge but they all have one thing in common: Islands. (Just for reference: 4c survival, Ad nauseam combo, bant of which the latter two are in the links above.)
Unfortunately for me, I get very uncomfortable when not having blue, or rather counter magic, in a deck. Today, I'll be talking about this aspect of the game from my perspective, the topic of counter magic.

The Ideal Play 

Before going on, do take some time to watch this video which unfortunately isn't embedded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAJDD1_Oexo&feature=related

In this particular video, which comes from the movie "Beautiful Minds" about John Nash, you see him making a statement and explaining in his example how it is more beneficial for people to act not for their individual interests but for the collective interest as a group. This is represented by how it is better off for the whole group to chase the friends of the blond when it would be better off to get the blond. The outcome of that particular situation itself is interesting because it would be better off for everyone to make the worse choice but that's not important here. The main point is the fact that collective interest supersedes individual interest.

In Magic terms, this "collective interest" can be translated as a point that it is more beneficial for one to play his/her game according to how the opponent plays and this is one of the fundamental play-styles when playing Magic that people understand at the back of their heads after they grasp how the game works.

To illustrate this, say you had Tarmogoyf and Grizzly Bears to cast on turn 2 against a deck with some removals (say Terror). Which would you cast?
The most powerful play is obviously Tarmogoyf because Tarmogoyf is simply better (we'll just suppose you have relevant cards to make it bigger) but you won't always cast the better card because you factor in what your opponent might do to your creature when you make play decisions.

However, in this situation presented, you have some information on what your opponent is playing (a deck with some removals) and that is why you might opt to make the less optimal play to hopefully create a better outcome than going for the "optimal" play.

What contributes to playing optimally?

- Mana usage
You want to maximize the use of your mana so you want to cast the spells that correspond to the amount of mana you have available.
 

- Playing the best card
You want to cast the better card (not too difficult since all cards have different values) for the situation presented or expected.

- Molding your position into a better one
Building up your board for a stronger position in the future.
 

What do you do when you have no idea at all on what your opponent is playing? We make assumptions based on what little information we have such as the lands the opponent is playing. From there, we try to imagine the various possible decks that the opponent might be playing, even though it is as difficult as it gets in the 100 card Singleton format because of how many possibilities exist, to give ourselves a smaller subset of cards to work around.

Summarizing the above, it is best to play keeping in mind of what and how your opponent plays and the generic "best" move might not be the "best" move depending on what your opponent can do.

The Power of Blue

In a battle of two non-blue mages, it often comes down to whose gameplan is directly superior. If GW faces mono-red, odds are that mono-red would have a very tough time because of the size of the GW creatures. If GW faces something like reanimator, odds are that GW won't have a nice time at all. The amount of disruption in these cases are minimal so people play their optimal plays and the one with the better overall strategy, better draw and better playskill would be able to win the game.

On contrary, with a blue mage in the equation, the other player is forced to adapt a different playstyle as blue mages like to directly interfere with one's gameplans. Of course, this is not to say the other colors don't do anything. Reactive cards such as removals are always what people keep in mind when trying to throw down their best creature. However, of all the colors in Magic, blue is the color that has the greatest impact on how people play their game because of how it is the most reactive color. This impact is stronger the more experienced your opponents are. Against a blue mage, people always consider counter magic as a very huge factor that determines their gameplan because having an important card countered at the right time is like having a hole in the execution of a plan. A less experienced player doesn't feel a tiny bit of pressure facing two untapped Islands. On the other hand, most people will start to put their guards up and become more cautious and that is where the real battle starts.

Assuming both players have playable hands, the game starts to turn into a battle of wits where the one who is able to control the flow of the game would emerge as the winner. The non-blue mage will try to best the blue mage while the blue mage struggles to cut the advancement of the opponent and slowly takeover the game.

counterspell

Breaking Inevitability

Blue mages have an advantage in the format as they have a direct influence on what happens in games. They make decisions that make or break them.

Decks that don't have counterspells need more time and effort to react to powerful spells such as Living Death, Natural Order or Armageddon, which are capable of winning games by themselves. The quality of some cards in the format are just so high that a small group of cards can greatly overshadow others in terms of their impact on the game. Amongst the various card types in the game, most cards revolve around creatures and the most dangerous spells are actually instant and sorceries that can only be dealt with via counter magic or discard (which doesn't help against a topdeck).

(The key to winning more in the 100 card Singleton format, in my honest opinion, is to maximize the power of cards that help you win the game. I intend to talk more about this topic in One Double O #33, the next next one, so keep an eye out for it.)

progenitus

Roar!

Back to the topic, another factor to consider when playing the format is "exhaustibility" which most other formats don't face. This is the situation whereby a particular card is unable to impact a game because it's just not in the deck for you to draw into. This particular characteristic increases the value of every single unique card in the format. For example, a Natural Order is Duressed away. Eternal Witness and similar cards aside, you will not have to deal with Natural Order for the rest of the game. In a format where every card is restricted, it is possible to say that there is a power pyramid where the handful of really powerful cards are sitting at the tip. There just isn't 60+ of "really powerful" cards to make a deck with. Every card in a deck serves a purpose but they greatly vary in raw value.

A piece of counter magic is as strong as the card it counters and there are quite a few counter magic available as compared to the cards at the cream of the crop. Each unique spell countered is almost as good as robbing a particular effect from the opponent, exhausting his total options away.

Despite being able to trade with the best spells your opponent has and therefore disrupting your opponent's game plan, the real power of counter magic comes from being able to protect your own game plan. It is meaningless to have a ton of countermagic but not have a proper game plan because you can't win like that. I enjoy playing blue for this very reason. It is healthy to have a degree of counter magic in a deck with blue to distort the flow of the game because games are determined within a blink of an eye, at critical points in the game and being able to protect yourself at the most crucial point is what makes counter magic so powerful. The stronger your game plan, the more valuable any form of protection becomes. Likewise, pin point discard is capable of doing the same thing but is again still vulnerable to cards hiding at the top of the deck which makes counter magic superior unless you can decide the match immediately.

The Position of Blue in 100 card Singleton

On the back of being able to control the flow of the game by being able to disrupt your opponent's plan and being able to protect your own, blue is no doubt the most powerful color in Magic.

However, the most powerful color doesn't mean that it is the most popular.
The main reason for this is that it denies your opponent the "fun" of being able to do his thing. It is thus harder to test a fresh version of a deck with counter magic in the casual room and it is not easy for an untuned deck to take on serious decks when starting out. This is a big problem for people who want to get into understanding the strengths and limitations of counter magic and the right amounts of it in a particular deck if blue based.

The next reason comes from the fact that cards are becoming more efficient and thus more apt against blue decks in general. It only gets worse as time passes and it will continue to do so and that is why it is becoming more and more important to have a solid game plan so that counter magic move to a minor supporting role as much as possible so that what people are fighting are not your counter magic but your game plan.

Another reason comes from the stress that comes along with long games and decision making, both of which can wear out a player mentally. It is difficult to make good judgment calls over a long period of time unless you are used to it and are in a proper state of mind.
The composition of the deck also becomes more and more relevant as one goes through more parts of the deck due to game length and a sub-par list can really suffer from this.

Blue is no doubt strong but there are requirements to fulfill for it to be able to run at its full potential and these conditions are not easy to meet. It doesn't help that the power of blue is growing at a slower pace than the other colors which is why blue is not as popular as the other colors going into tournaments.

------------------------------------------One Double O.dec - Adcombo (Prototype)------------------------------------------

A friend I knew in real life was organizing a multiplayer EDH tournament and I wanted to support him thinking that I might be able to make a good deck since EDH and 100 card Singleton aren't too far apart in terms of deckbuilding restrictions. The biggest difference is card evaluation because of the sudden "slowdown" of the format and the generals create a new subset of situations.
There are a few complications that I have to take into account when making an EDH list:

#1 Multiplayer Politics
#2 Generals and color based restrictions
#3 Life Total of 40
#4 House Points System

I knew I wanted to abuse #3 and #4 going into the tournament because the house points system had actually defined how the games would be played or rather how to actually win over the other competitors since the points were accumulative throughout the tournament of 3 rounds.
The house points system actually had minus points for doing things like gaining a turn or destroying more than 2 lands or making a player discard more than 4 cards to deter unfriendly games.
In addition, there were plus points for some odd conditions such as having cards from an entire block in play and/or on the stack or actually controlling every permanent type and spell type at the same time. These bonuses were big. My plan was to get some of these big points.

In any case, the large life total was really tugging at me. (Look it's 40! Look it's 40! FORTY!!!!) Life was going to be a more abusable resource in this format. I brainstormed various ideas such as Necropotence to even the instant version of it but I eventually came up with a neat concept: Ad nauseam + a deck of cheaply costed cards.
If I drew a large chunk of cards off my life total, fulfilling the two special conditions mentioned above that are based on having various cards would not be any problem at all. How could it be a problem? I intend to draw 30+++ cards with a single spell!

Draw 7 cards a turn...

Unlike 100 card Singleton, EDH uses a different banned list and has more allowance for powerful cards. I also have Vampiric tutor and a Demonic Tutor to work with. With that in mind, the idea was to Ad nauseam into a large number of cards. I could easily convert about 30 life into that many or even more cards looking at the cards I played. The main problem was actually being able to win with cards that cost 1-3 mana. Is it possible in your opinion?

Of course it is. Otherwise I'd have nothing to talk about. With infinite combos strongly discouraged (which would net a large number of negative points), the next best thing was to have cheap and really powerful threats.
Dark Depths + Vampire Hexmage has a total converted mana cost of 2.
Phyrexian Dreadnought + Stifle also has a total converted mana cost of 2.
Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek has a total converted mana cost of 4.
With these, the win conditions are set and the deck's characteristic is defined by a simple guideline: cheap cards. I would play 3c as defined by Thopter Foundry.
(By the way, the (Painter's Savant) + Grindstone combo is banned in EDH but that is a total converted mana cost of 3.)
phyrexian Dreadnought

Unfortunately, in real life, I don't own as many neat stuff as I do online. Although I do own at least a piece of each of the above combos, I had cards I wanted to play not readily available in my inventory such as the original dual lands, a Mox Diamond, a Dark Confidant etc. I built the deck under the belief that the odds of people playing a ton of counter magic would be rather low. Aren't counter magic weaker in multiplayer games? I found out the hard way that I was wrong on this but this is not the place to discuss that... (which is also why I didn't say my main plan was to resolve an Ad Nauseam but to cast it)

Forwarding to sitting down to think about 100 card Singleton, I looked back at the deck and thought to myself: is it possible to recreate this in the format?
This was a rather difficult question to answer because I know for a fact that there is less access to Ad nauseam online because of the lack of tutors and that the format is far more aggressive than EDH ever would be, making it harder to try using my life total of 20 as a resource for cards.
Still, I wanted to experiment with the idea. With the paradigm shift back to 100 card Singleton, I had to start thinking about being relevant in more compact games. Also, the indiscriminately banned tutors were a big problem because they were important in assembling combo pieces or finding Ad nauseam (which would not be as ideal). In EDH, I could transmute a muddle the mixture to get a Demonic Tutor to pick up any card. I don't have that luxury anymore.

To make the deck more relevant, I started out by cutting white out to increase the consistency of the deck since there wasn't a need to actually play 3c but I eventually came back to white because I couldn't resist both Swords to plowshares and Path to exile in the deck as powerful 1cc removals. I will show you the prototype version which I piloted to t8 recently and discuss the cards in it. The deck itself is far from ideal as seen from playing it out but it was definitely a good experiment.

Ad Nauseam Prototype
7th place on 02/26/2010
Creatures
1 Dark Confidant
1 Devoted Caretaker
1 Dimir Infiltrator
1 Painter's Servant
1 Phyrexian Dreadnought
1 Psychatog
1 Tarmogoyf
1 Trinket Mage
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Weathered Wayfarer
10 cards

Other Spells
1 Ad Nauseam
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Arcane Denial
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Bitterblossom
1 Brainstorm
1 Chrome Mox
1 Condescend
1 Counterbalance
1 Counterspell
1 Dark Ritual
1 Daze
1 Duress
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Executioner's Capsule
1 Expedition Map
1 Force of Will
1 Force Spike
1 Ghastly Demise
1 Grim Tutor
1 Grindstone
1 Into the Roil
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Land Tax
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mana Drain
1 Mana Leak
1 Mind Twist
1 Mox Diamond
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Night's Whisper
1 Pact of Negation
1 Path to Exile
1 Ponder
1 Portent
1 Remand
1 Repeal
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Shred Memory
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Slaughter Pact
1 Smother
1 Spell Pierce
1 Standstill
1 Stifle
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Thoughtseize
1 Treasure Hunt
1 Trickbind
1 Yawgmoth's Will
52 cards
Lands
1 Academy Ruins
1 Barren Moor
1 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 Dark Depths
1 Dreadship Reef
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Faerie Conclave
1 Flooded Strand
1 Halimar Depths
4 Island
1 Jwar Isle Refuge
1 Lonely Sandbar
1 Marsh Flats
1 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 River of Tears
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scrubland
1 Seat of the Synod
3 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Sunken Ruins
1 Tolaria West
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
38 cards

Ad Nauseam

 

The key factor going into deckbuilding was actually playing cards with casting cost not greater than 2. That was the reasonable limit if I intended to cast Ad nauseam into cards. Of course, I ran a few cards as you can see above such as Yawgmoth's Will, Grim tutor, Psychatog, Trinket Mage and Force of Will but those were put in at a later point in time to increased the overall power of the deck.

Yawgmoth's Will allows me to replay a large number of cards that are cheap to play.
Grim tutor is a poor substitution for Demonic Tutor.
Psychatog + Ad Nauseam is a kill condition by itself.
Trinket mage is a card to search out Phyrexian Dreadnought, Expedition Map, Sensei's Divining Top and Basilisk Collar which I thought might help when beating down with large guys.
Force of Will was added to give the deck extra push in exchange for a higher risk (when flipping it to Ad Nauseam or Dark Confidant).

psychatog

engineered explosives

Converted mana cost of zero

With an exception of these cards, everything else had to be converted mana cost 2 or less or the whole meaning of the deck would be lost. To do this was not difficult because I knew in my mind which cards I wanted to use: spells that did more than the price on the casting cost.

The first cards that I had in mind were the "fake" converted mana cost 0 and 1 spells:
Ancestral Vision, Pact of Negation, Slaughter Pact,Engineered Explosives, Mind Twist, Condescend, Executioner's Capsule, Repeal and Skeletal Scrying.

Next in line were the normal cards to help the deck function the way it is intended to.
Protection: Arcane Denial, Force Spike, Counterspell, Daze, Mana Drain, Mana Leak, Remand, Spell PierceDuress, Thoughtseize, Counterbalance.

Kill Conditions:
#1 Stifle / Trickbind + Phyrexian Dreadnought
#2 Vampire Hexmage + Dark Depths
#3 Grindstone + Painter's Servant
#4 Tarmogoyf (this seems odd but it looked nice enough to play for a 2cc card since all I had to do was to add Tropical Island to the deck)

 

Tutors / Card Draw / Library Fixing:
Brainstorm, Expedition Map, Enlightened Tutor, Muddle the Mixture, Mystical Tutor, Night's Whisper, Ponder, Portent, Sensei's Divining Top, Shred Memory, Standstill, Treasure Hunt, Dark Confidant, Dimir Infiltrator, Weathered Wayfarer (for Dark Depths), Halimar Depths

Of these, Treasure Hunt was odd because I had played with Scroll Rack in my EDH list which could improve Treasure Hunt

The rest are fillers for the deck, either removals or cards that had some minor role in the deck. Of these, Isochron Scepter is probably the most outstanding one as it is able to win against aggro decks by having a removal imprinted unto it. Just for reference, here are the other cards: Basilisk Collar, Bitterblossom, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Ghastly Demise, Into the Roil, Isochron Scepter, Land Tax, Lightning Greaves, Mox DiamondPath to Exile, Smother, Swords to Plowshares, Devoted Caretaker

The sideboard was made out of cheaply costed cards that seemed relevant in the format. They helped various matchups without compromising on the intention of the deck. I do have to admit that I was surprised to have been able to put a sideboard together out of cards that didn't cost much mana.

Generally, I had modeled the EDH deck that I made around the extended Dark Depths + Thopter Foundry deck in the way the deck would run and this particular 100 card Singleton build was greatly influenced by that particular EDH build, with most of the cards ported directly but it had to be altered slightly because a different subset of cards exist for both formats. For example, I originally had Entomb for Bloodghast (to use Skullclamp on) or to search out Sword of the Meek. Without Skullclamp, there wasn't a real reason to include Entomb and thus this removed a search outlet for Sword of the Meek. I also had Intuition to search out Sword of the Meek, Bloodghast and a random card but that isn't in the format.

Playing with the deck, I learned a few things: The "cheap" spells were not as cheap as they advertise themselves to be in their mana cost because a Slaughter Pact is straight up a Dark Banishing and a Pact of Negation is a retail priced Force of will. This meant that I was using more mana than what I would use for an existing effect.

Also, it was difficult to meld the deck together this time because a wrong tutor with a wrong combo piece was counterproductive.
For example, having Dark Depths and Enlightened Tutor didn't do anything.
This made me reconsider the Thopter FoundrySword of the meek combo again.
Also, I felt that some cards such as Lightning Greaves or Devoted Caretaker were redundant because their true value came only during the times when I had something going on. I am reconsidering Lightning Greaves as I originally envisioned Lightning GreavesPsychatog after an end of turn Ad Nauseam a possible play and (Lighting Greaves) was meant to give added protection against multiple players in EDH.

Cards not in the decklist:

Death's Shadow
This card was in the initial version of the EDH deck which people found odd when they saw it in my hand, questioning its viability in the EDH format in which it would be rare to have a life total of 0-12 life. It stood out more than it should since I had a foil version of it but that was when I was still fiddling with the deck, trying out a variety of cards while trying to meet the 99 card requirement. I eventually switched it out because it was too unreliable in the format with a 40 starting life and there was probably nothing a creature without trample or evasion could do to make it a good idea to play it. This is different in the 100 card Singleton format so it might be able to see some play this time.

Dispeller's Capsule
This was meant to be in the sideboard but I had forgotten about it before going into the tournament.

Gilded Drake
It's coming online soon enough that it would definitely make a difference to the deck, being able to trade for a stronger creature from the opponent. Watch out for this.

death's shadow

Also featured on magicthegathering.com

Overall, I think there is some potential in the direction in which I am taking the deck to but there is a considerable amount of redundancy at the moment. It would help if bannings cleared up so that the deck could gain more power.
Right now, the great randomness of the deck is its greatest boon which is not easy to fix. I think it's a neat deck concept that can really enjoy an early Dark confidant. I would definitely try making it a more efficient deck but the main deck concept itself is a problem worth debating over. Do give it a try if you are curious as to whether or not it can work.

------------------------------------------Last Words------------------------------------------

In the next One Double O, I will be looking through the upcoming Urza's Saga set to review the cards worth playing in the format. The number of unique effects in the set is so high that I think that it would be a set that changes the way we play 100 card Singleton. Look forward to it!

tarmotog@hotmail.com
Tarmotog on myMTGO.com

5 Comments

Here are a couple of quotes by ArchGenius at Thu, 03/18/2010 - 10:26
ArchGenius's picture
5

Here are a couple of quotes from your article I would like to discuss.

"Again, mono red is still the "deck to beat". I think this is a signal that it might be time to free up more cards from the banned list because a considerable number of cards currently in the banned list don't look like they will make a big impact if speed and life total is going to be a crucial part of the format."

"On the back of being able to control the flow of the game by being able to disrupt your opponent's plan and being able to protect your own, blue is no doubt the most powerful color in Magic."

"However, the most powerful color doesn't mean that it is the most popular."

My question is why you keep making arguments for changing the banned list for 100 singleton in order to weaken goblins and mono-red strategies when you freely write about how it is not the most powerful strategy, it is simply the most popular strategy.

The current banned list seems to be working in regard to keeping decks in check. There are more viable decktypes in 100 singleton than any other format.

If you're going to make an argument for changing the banned list, I don't think it makes sense to base your argument on the current metagame. Personally, I like the current banned list because it means that I can play all of the colors and a wide variety of strategies without being destroyed by one particular deck. Every color combination has ways of beating red decks, and it is nowhere near the point where a change to the banned list is called for to address it.

B/R List by Zimbardo at Thu, 03/18/2010 - 11:41
Zimbardo's picture

This is a valid comment. I've complained about the overly aggressive metagame, but I think you're right that a variety of strategies are viable and things are generally working.

It's still stupid to ban cards that are not powerful enough in 100CS to cause problems, particularly Imperial Seal. The goal should be to have the smallest banned list possible that still allows a healthy metagame.

I keep pointing out that by Tarmotog at Thu, 03/18/2010 - 11:47
Tarmotog's picture

I keep pointing out that there needs to be changes in the banned list because there hasn't been any changes in the banned list (other than the recent addition of Tolarian academy) since the last time they did a huge move of the cards around.

The banned cards are supposed to be banned on the basis that they are potentially too powerful and game warping. Improving the power of other decks in no way reduces the current power of mono red. On contrary, the said mono red benefits from decks casting spells that return lands or deal damage to themselves because the cards that actually hurt them are the cards that are doing something and this added power would help regulate the metagame and prevent it from being "too powerful".

Even without looking at the metagame, it is not difficult to make a case for some of the cards in the banned list which I feel don't deserve being in the banned list and some of those can increase the number of viable strategies as seen from formats such as legacy.

which cards do u want to see by dragonbgx (not verified) at Fri, 03/19/2010 - 07:16
dragonbgx's picture

which cards do u want to see unbanned actually?

I'm not sure if Tarmotog has by ArchGenius at Fri, 03/19/2010 - 10:04
ArchGenius's picture

I'm not sure if Tarmotog has changed his mind since this article. But this is the last article he wrote specifically dealing with what should come off the banned list.

http://puremtgo.com/articles/one-double-o-27-exodus-and-no-bans