Sheldon's throwaway comment about banning wheels

kraus911
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Post by kraus911 » 1 week ago

Figured we should discuss this quote from Sheldon's article -

"Modern Horizons 2 reinforces that Wheels are the unhealthiest thing in Commander, with cards like Dauthi Voidwalker and Sanctifier en-Vec (and Gaea's Will, I suppose). This is of deep concern to me, and is going to undergo a great deal of thought. Banning an entire class of cards is awkward at best, potentially politically suicidal at its worst. I know that folks love Wheels, so it gets even more difficult. There seem like no good answers at the moment, but I'd really like to look for them."

https://articles.starcitygames.com/sele ... orizons-2/

Or maybe don't print cards that break wheels in sets specifically dedicated to our format?

I'm just going to go with, if it's really a problem, ban Hullbreacher and Narset. Though I tend to be anti-banlist because I think it supports the idea that anything not on the ban list is cool and fun to play and that's not necessarily the case. AmericanSpirit just said something in the card of the day thread about considering your opponents when deckbuilding and not building something you wouldn't want to play against. I think that applies here. The universal "don't be a d*ck" rule.

Interestingly enough, I haven't seen a Nekusar deck on the table in quite some time. It's almost as if the community got tired of the obvious win button and wanted more interesting things to do, or people got flack for playing it and stopped.

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Dunharrow
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Post by Dunharrow » 1 week ago

I am quite surprised by Sheldon's take. Normally, wheels are actually a lot weaker in multiplayer since you give cards to multiple opponents. I have to agree that they need to ban specific cards that interact strongly with wheels rather than the wheels themselves.

otherwise they would ban so many cards....
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Post by Sanity_Eclipse » 1 week ago

For clarification, WAR planeswalker Narset I'm assuming?

[ I like CMDR Narset, plz dn't ban ]
- Lyra -

- Naru Meha -

- Liliana -

- Chandra - Lovisa -

- Nissa - Titania -

- Lavinia X -
- Elenda -
- Yuriko -
- Saheeli -
-
- Glissa - Lathril - Meren -
-
-
-
- Koma -
-
- Anafenza -
- Sen Triplets -
- Narset -
- Inalla -
- Sidisi -
-
- Kaalia-V -
-
-

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Post by Venedrex » 1 week ago

kraus911 wrote:
1 week ago
Figured we should discuss this quote from Sheldon's article -

"Modern Horizons 2 reinforces that Wheels are the unhealthiest thing in Commander, with cards like Dauthi Voidwalker and Sanctifier en-Vec (and Gaea's Will, I suppose). This is of deep concern to me, and is going to undergo a great deal of thought. Banning an entire class of cards is awkward at best, potentially politically suicidal at its worst. I know that folks love Wheels, so it gets even more difficult. There seem like no good answers at the moment, but I'd really like to look for them."

https://articles.starcitygames.com/sele ... orizons-2/

Or maybe don't print cards that break wheels in sets specifically dedicated to our format?

I'm just going to go with, if it's really a problem, ban Hullbreacher and Narset. Though I tend to be anti-banlist because I think it supports the idea that anything not on the ban list is cool and fun to play and that's not necessarily the case. AmericanSpirit just said something in the card of the day thread about considering your opponents when deckbuilding and not building something you wouldn't want to play against. I think that applies here. The universal "don't be a d*ck" rule.

Interestingly enough, I haven't seen a Nekusar deck on the table in quite some time. It's almost as if the community got tired of the obvious win button and wanted more interesting things to do, or people got flack for playing it and stopped.

Yeah, I agree 100% with the idea of banning Hullbreacher and Narset. Wheel effects are fine until you print overpowered cards that didn't need to be blue in the first place that turn wheels into draw seven, everyone else draw 1-0 and or make a ton of treasure.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 week ago

Sanity_Eclipse wrote:
1 week ago
For clarification, WAR planeswalker Narset I'm assuming?

[ I like CMDR Narset, plz dn't ban ]
Yeah, Narset, Parter of Veils. I have yet to see that card used in a remotely fun way. I'm not bent on a ban for her and her ilk, but nor would I miss them a whit.

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Post by FenrirRex » 1 week ago

I'm cool with the banning of cards that have no-fun effects with wheels- again I am always just looking for consistency across the board with bannings. Does it work like Leovold, Emissary of Trest but isn't a commander? Who cares, the effect is unfun whether it's the commander or in the 99, ban em all. Does it entirely shut down a deck like Iona, Shield of Emeria? Sure Void Mirror is much narrower and not worth the 99, but I still want consistency. Same reason I'm still mad they bent the rules for companion, I just want consistency.

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Post by NZB2323 » 1 week ago

Is Sanctifier en-Vec really that broken with a wheel? Or Dauthi Voidwalker? Narset, Parter of Veils and Hullbreacher are the real criminals. Most experiences I've had with wheels have been in casual games where they're fun and kind of help everyone, so banning all wheels just seems like the wrong move.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

NZB2323 wrote:
1 week ago
Is Sanctifier en-Vec really that broken with a wheel? Or Dauthi Voidwalker? Narset, Parter of Veils and Hullbreacher are the real criminals. Most experiences I've had with wheels have been in casual games where they're fun and kind of help everyone, so banning all wheels just seems like the wrong move.
Agreed. Voidwalker seems a lot stronger than Sanctifier, but it's a far cry from the chokehold of Hullbreacher or Narset, Parter of Veils.

Honestly this seems like Sheldon vocalising some internal musings and the community freaking about it. Perhaps he should've kept this to himself, but at the same time he's not responsible for how his words are interpreted so long as he says what he means. I wouldn't immediately read too far into this. But yeah, I do agree, if there were to be action here it ought to be against the enablers rather than the wheels themselves. In a vacuum they're fun and spontaneous, it's only when symmetry is broken they get gross.
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Post by TheGildedGoose » 1 week ago

kraus911 wrote:
1 week ago
Wheels are the unhealthiest thing in Commander
Swing and a miss.

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Post by kraus911 » 1 week ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 week ago
NZB2323 wrote:
1 week ago
Is Sanctifier en-Vec really that broken with a wheel? Or Dauthi Voidwalker? Narset, Parter of Veils and Hullbreacher are the real criminals. Most experiences I've had with wheels have been in casual games where they're fun and kind of help everyone, so banning all wheels just seems like the wrong move.
Agreed. Voidwalker seems a lot stronger than Sanctifier, but it's a far cry from the chokehold of Hullbreacher or Narset, Parter of Veils.

Honestly this seems like Sheldon vocalising some internal musings and the community freaking about it. Perhaps he should've kept this to himself, but at the same time he's not responsible for how his words are interpreted so long as he says what he means. I wouldn't immediately read too far into this. But yeah, I do agree, if there were to be action here it ought to be against the enablers rather than the wheels themselves. In a vacuum they're fun and spontaneous, it's only when symmetry is broken they get gross.
Agreed that we shouldn't freak out about it, and I appreciate that he said this is just a view into the workings of his brain. I should've led with that. I do think if he's going to publish his musings on a widely viewed platform that we should take his thoughts seriously enough to discuss them because I'm guessing there are RC folks who look here and other forums for how the community is responding. I don't mean to be alarmist at all. Heck, it's hard for me to get too worked up about this thing I do for fun. But I do care about the health of the format, and as long as there IS an official banlist I think we should discuss and chime in on it.

I actually finally got a Hullbreacher because I like the card as a response to someone else getting greedy with card draw. I actually forget I can just shove it in a deck with my own wheels. But I'd much rather let go of that than wheels which are super flexible and important cards in the format. Plenty of times I've seen a well timed wheel STOP degenerate things by forcing someone to discard their carefully crafted combo hand. The combo player is sad and the boros player struggling for gas gives a cheer!

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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 week ago

I can see where he's coming from; leovold was banned for interacting with wheels too well. But the key difference imo is that both wheels and wheel payoffs have generic utility beyond their interaction with one another. Banning one class of cards or the other is probably off the table of possibility, but maybe Sheldon plans to lean on R&D to convince them ease up on this in the future. He has a nonzero amount of clout so it could happen. There's no undoing past design mistakes, but learning to better balance future designs is not impossible.

In the mean time, more people need to carefully consider their Windfall + hullbreacher plays and whether that kind of stranglehold is creating games people enjoy playing. It certainly doesn't leave me a happy camper and I doubt I'm alone in that. So why do that to your friends?

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
1 week ago
In the mean time, more people need to carefully consider their Windfall + hullbreacher plays and whether that kind of stranglehold is creating games people enjoy playing. It certainly doesn't leave me a happy camper and I doubt I'm alone in that. So why do that to your friends?
This is what people mean when they say Rule 0 and the response is 'ugh, Rule 0 can screw off'. It's not that hard to treat folk the way you'd like to be treated. Seriously though, this is really well put. It's why I try for variety in my decks, some are spikey, some are not, and none of them do things I'd hate to play against myself.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 week ago

I think that Sheldon is correct in identifying wheels to being an unhealthy type of card. Most any deck that ideally wants to run wheels is probably at a minimum some sort of tempo deck that runs low curve and uses the wheels as a way to give them more assets than others while slamming ramp and cheap cards. This is likely a minimum situation where someone is running heavy wheels. There are also more powerful cards like Hullbreacher and Narset which break them wide open.

It is also possible that rather than trying to ban an entire mechanic that slowing it down and forcing them to run some slower versions could help. There are some 5+ cmc wheels that seem to be less concerning than the 3 mana wheels. I still think that Hullbreacher needs to go and die in a fire either way but some of the cheaper wheels being blocked could be a thing (says the guy who owns 2 Wheel of Fortune).

Still though if you wanted to pair Narset, Parter of Veils + Echo of Eons together its not that different than hitting opponents with Myojin of Night's Reach. Hullbreacher breaks this due to having flash which is why I think it needs to be banned but I could see the more expensive wheels being fine still.
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Post by Hermes_ » 1 week ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 week ago


Honestly this seems like Sheldon vocalising some internal musings and the community freaking about it. Perhaps he should've kept this to himself, but at the same time he's not responsible for how his words are interpreted so long as he says what he means. I wouldn't immediately read too far into this. But yeah, I do agree, if there were to be action here it ought to be against the enablers rather than the wheels themselves. In a vacuum they're fun and spontaneous, it's only when symmetry is broken they get gross.

Sheldon could say he doesn't like Liquimetal Coating or Horsemanship and reddit the internet would freak out over the implications.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 week ago
Sheldon could say he doesn't like Liquimetal Coating or Horsemanship and reddit the internet would freak out over the implications.
100% agree. The internet is perpetually aching to have an edgy take on something he's said. Seriously though, this comment of his really does seem like him just spitballing his musings about what works and doesn't in the format. Perhaps he's got ahead of the trolls and he's just trying to trigger them?
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Post by FenrirRex » 1 week ago

I am idly curious, how often are people seeing the Hullbreachers and Narsets of the world played alongside wheels? Like, in order, I see wheels employed as: 1.) Triggers for Nekusar, the Mindrazer or The Locust God cards, 2.) Graveyard mechanic enablers, 3.) Hand refills for various flavors of red/boros, 4.) Locks with the aforementioned Hullbreacher and friends. The locks I see the least, admittedly because my playgroups value the overall play experience, and they're the only problematic interaction with wheels as best as I can tell.

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Post by pokken » 1 week ago

I am averaging every other game now to see a wheel+punisher or threat of one.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 week ago

I see asymmetric wheels sometimes, often from people who make a point of disregarding the wishes of their table and tend not to stick around long. I primarily see them used to set up graveyard things though, which I like.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

pokken wrote:
1 week ago
I am averaging every other game now to see a wheel+punisher or threat of one.
Out of interest because I know you play both, what's the split on edh/cedh for frequency?
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Post by pokken » 1 week ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 week ago
Out of interest because I know you play both, what's the split on edh/cedh for frequency?
I haven't played CEDH in a while, though one of the ten or so games I played since I started up again was against two "high powered" decks that claimed to be wanting to compete with CEDH decks, that was dominated by me having Hullbreacher to shut off Consecrated Sphinx and such - so I'm not counting that game since the CSphinx actually decided it when I body doubled it :P

I am counting one game where there was a two-player combo wheel/hullbreacher where I was forced to counter the wheel over the hullbreacher because I had a great hand.

It's seriously the worst when someone hullbreachers with a wheel on the stack and you get to choose to throw your entire hand away or lose.

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

pokken wrote:
1 week ago
throw your entire hand away or lose.
Yeah that sucks, those are basically the same decision in a large majority of games.
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Post by duducrash » 1 week ago

This is werid comming in this set. But definitely there is a problem with wheel and interactions problem. Wheel locks are miserable in a format where drawing cards is so importnat and encouraged. whenever a new player look how to build an EDH deck card draw will be right there with ramp as the first two sections.

That said, symmetrical effects aren't the problem. The problem in my opinion comes when there are redundancy in the payoffs. Notion Thief, Hullbreacher and Narset, Parter of Veils + wheel are awful to play against. Terribly unfun. I would be very happy to see those 3 + Alms Collector for consistency gone.

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Post by Gamazson » 1 week ago

I honestly think it is cards that introduce a replacement effect for your opponents drawing cards that are the issue. I play several commanders that depend on the extra draw, or they do not function. Underworld Dreams and Spiteful Visions are fine because they punish me, but don't lock me out the game. If I have to play the card draw spell, I still can. Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Notion Thief, Narset, Parter of Veils & Hullbreacher don't allow me to participate in the game. When I see those, I give a turn or maybe two, long enough see if I or an opponent can remove it. If they stick around I'll scoop.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 week ago

duducrash wrote:
1 week ago
I would be very happy to see those 3 + Alms Collector for consistency gone.
Even as one of the more pro-ban people here, I don't get banning for consistency. If a card is being a problem, ban it for being a problem. Absolutely ban all cards that cause a given problem if that problem is bad enough. Cards don't need to be banned for being shaped like something that causes a problem though, and Alms collector is far enough behind the rest of bullcrap that I think it has be given some leeway. If the tools who were pubstomping with Hullbreacher start splashing white for it, then ban the cat. In the absence of that information, such a ban seems to far overreach any support.

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Post by FenrirRex » 1 week ago

duducrash wrote:
1 week ago
Notion Thief, Hullbreacher and Narset, Parter of Veils + wheel are awful to play against. Terribly unfun. I would be very happy to see those 3 + Alms Collector for consistency gone.
Not to pile on too much here, but even as a huge proponent of consistency I don't think collector is in the same class. It act more as a genuine equalizer, unlike the others does not entirely blank your card draw effects, and (while arguably less of a valid consideration) is in the weakest color in the format.

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