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By: ricklongo, Rick Longo
May 18 2017 12:00pm
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If you follow Twitter on a daily basis for Magic-related subjects like I do, you probably came across the discussion about banning things in limited last week. It all started when pro player Ben Stark suggested Angel of Sanctions and Glorybringer should be banned in Amonkhet draft.

This generated an interesting discussion, and I was happy to realize most pros and Magic personalities agree with me: banning stuff in limited causes way more harm than good.

First, there's the fact that I disagree those cards are anywhere near ban-worthy. Glorybringer is insane, because it will often both kill the opponent's most formidable threat AND require their best removal spell to be dealt with - two-for-ones don't really get much better than this. Still, it's a rare, it's very susceptible to many common removal spells, and it's nowhere near as inevitable as truly degenerate stuff like Umezawa's Jitte or Pack Rat, both of which come down on turn two.

Banning Angel of Sanctions, on the other hand, is even harder to justify: it's a mythic, meaning it comes up way less often, and I wouldn't even necessarily say it's better than rares like Glyph Keeper, depending on what you're playing.

Even if both those cards were among the best and hardest-to-deal-with limited cards ever printed, however, I would still be against banning them, because of the 'feel bad' moments this would generate, especially when it comes to newer players. Having the luck to open a bomb rare only to realize you're not able to play it seems like something that would put rookies off drafting in general, especially in real life. What's worse: given the monetary value those cards often hold for constructed purposes, it would be even harder for non-pros to justify not taking those cards anyway.

Sure, banning may make for a more skill-intensive Pro Tour, but that's an extremely small gain for the non-fun situations this would generate at the local store level. Magic depends, after all, on its 'bread and butter' players, which are the ones actually spending the vast majority of the money on cards.

And of course, it would make today's draft significantly less tommy-tastically notable.

As you can see, I ran into some technical problems in round 2, and as such the video skipped from the beginning of the last game right to its end. I have to tell you, though, that the game wasn't much longer than what's there anyway - that was one fast and furious match that shows just how ridiculously fast this format can get.

That's all I have for you today. I hope you've enjoyed this, and see you soon.

@ricklongomtg on twitter


I don't really use my twitter by bdgp009 at Thu, 05/18/2017 - 16:48
bdgp009's picture

I don't really use my twitter so much but in drafting you hardly get these cards so banning them is the wrong call. If you get those cards it is just your luck.

Banning stuff in limited is by JXClaytor at Thu, 05/18/2017 - 23:39
JXClaytor's picture

Banning stuff in limited is just really silly. If they didn't ban Pack Rat, or Jitte, both of which I feel are better than Glorybringer or Angel, then the level of power needed to ban in limited is significantly high, and would have to be the result of an actual mistake, something like a production error.