[SCD] Sol Ring

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

If any card deserves a thread in this subforum, Sol Ring is the card. It is historically the most contentious card in the format, and I have no hesitation in saying it should be banned. I do not think Sol Ring is an unbeatable card that's ruining the competitive balance of the format, but competitive balance is not the purpose of the Rules Committee's ban list. The purpose of the Commander banlist is to foster an environment where a table of multiple players can come together and have the opportunity to express themselves through their decks and the agency to impact the course of the game. If everyone has that, it doesn't matter who wins. As far as I am concerned, a card needs to meet two requirements to be ban worthy:

1) It actively hurts that environment of player agency and self-expression, creating a worse experience for those playing the format.
2) People keep playing it anyway.

The second point is easy to evidence, but important to point out. There's no point banning something that nobody wants to play anyways. Stasis is a far worse card with regard to the first point, but you will only find it in a tiny minority of EDH decks even among the online crowd who tend to be more serious Magic players, and all the people employing Stasis understand the experience they are generating. Even if they insist on playing it, people don't have to agree to play with them. None of this can be said for Sol Ring. Sol Ring is ubiquitous, it makes up 75-80% of decks on the internet by any statistic I've seen, and likely more in reality as casual players who don't post online are often dependent on the pre-constructed Commander decks for guidance, and those all have Sol Ring. You cannot decline to play against Sol Ring, and many players don't even recognize why you might want to. With regards to my point #2, Sol Ring needs to be banned or it isn't going anywhere.

Point #1 is much harder to show, that Sol Ring creates a worse environment. But there are a bunch of ways that Sol Ring takes away the agency and self-expression that the banlist and philosophy are aiming to foster.

a) It cuts your deck down to 98 cards + Sol Ring. It's a minor point, but if we want people to have maximum personal influence over their decks and the games that they play, cutting the singular format defining staple would decrease the sameness of people's decks.

b) It encourages inexperienced players to play sloppy and inconsistent decks. Sol Ring is a crutch. This is often used as an argument in favor of keeping it, the idea being that worse players can have a handicap against stronger players when they happen to have their Sol Ring. I argue that this is a bad thing. Experienced players can successfully recognize when their decisions, including deckbuilding decisions, have lead to their success or failure. Inexperienced players who haven't developed that skill are far more inclined to see wins and losses as luck. And this is important because (by my observations) inexperienced players have increasingly entered the world of constructed Magic through the Commander format. Consistently losing with a poorly built deck will indicate to someone that they're making mistakes they can learn from. Giving them a random chance to compete with a clunky deck that needs a 2 mana head start on turn 1 muddles that signal and resonates with the idea that winning and losing is just a matter of luck. This discourages growth and makes Commander seem like an hour long hand of blackjack.

c) It can run away with games, disallowing other players from doing anything at all. I know this isn't the average use case, but the old Crazy Plays thread had posts regularly that were "turn 1 fast mana, turn two play an expensive spell, turn 3 I win". And that's not a crazy play, that's ~3 other people who shuffled up and then didn't get to really play a game of magic. Again, I'm not suggesting that turn 1 Sol Ring means instant win, but when turn 1 Sol Ring does cause a win, it tends to do so without the other players getting to do much before the game ends.

d) When it doesn't run away with games, it still warps the field. Someone somewhere did a statistical analysis of publicly posted games and found that turn 1 Sol Ring actually negatively impacted the players win rate. I don't know if that holds up as a general rule, but even assuming that to be true, is that really a good thing? Is it a better format if playing the card that everyone has on turn 1 effects your win rate significantly either way? The most prominent explanation for why turn 1 Sol Ring leads to more losses is that the other ~3 players will all gang up on the person with turn 1 Sol Ring. Does anyone want that? You sit down for a 4 person free-for-all and on turn one random chance dictates who the archenemy is and obligates you to target them immediately. If the Sol Ring player is losing more often, then Sol Ring isn't format warping in the way competitive formats care about, but again, this banlist isn't intended for competitive balance. It's intended for a multiplayer environment where everyone gets to be involved and make decisions the way they'd like, and Sol Ring turning someone archenemy makes a lot of decisions for people.

All of this is happening in almost every playgroup everywhere. I've personally gotten a few groups to play without Sol Ring, typically with little more pushback than "well, if everyone is cutting it, I'd agree to that." I don't try very hard to change the minds of people I won't see often, but I do try with friends I do see often. I've only had one person that took effort to convince, because they genuinely believed that Sol Ring was balanced because it was a bad topdeck late in the game. I started pointing out every time he played Sol Ring later in the game and asked if he was going to use the extra mana that turn. The answer was nearly always yes, and often that extra mana was game winning, and he agreed with me within a couple weeks that it warped the format. And then we all play without Sol Rings and it leads to more interesting, less volatile games. If you haven't played this format without Sol Ring, I highly recommend trying it for a time period because I'm confident you'll have better games without it.

But even if I convince people to cut it, that doesn't last forever. People move, playgroups change, and everyone has to settle into the status quo of who they play with. No one person can compete with the saturation of Sol Ring. Everyone plays it. And from a deck function perspective, they're right to. There's no reason from a personal perspective not to: it's cheap, it's available, and it's almost universally better than the basic land you cut to play it. It makes any deck's goldfish game guaranteed more effective. But that's not a metric we should care about, the metric we should care about is enjoyability of the format, and it's more enjoyable without Sol Ring. And the only way we can even hope to get this format without Sol Ring is to ban it.
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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

A minor issue we found with cutting sol ring in our playgroup was that more than one person snuck in a damn mana crypt basically immediately. This was years ago, mind, but then another friend of ours started playing who had a pile of grim monoliths, mox diamonds, and so on as well, and the arms race commenced.

My suspicion is that shaving sol ring largely gives a boost to the other busted rocks and doesn't really do much to move the needle.

I also think that the more busted rocks get banned, the stronger green gets as a color - and the stronger extra land drops get as well. exploration is a very strong card in this format and if you start tossing mana rocks up I think it incentivizes that type of resilient ramp even more. And I don't think that non-ramp strategies are going to compete against land-drop-ramp either from a bomb-playing perspective. My The Gitrog Monster deck will often outramp signet decks as is.

Mana dork decks also get quite the boost, as they're now the only color (green of course) playing ramp on turn 1.

In some ways this is already an issue, that for the most part only very expensive or green decks have explosive turn 1-3 games.

I'm really not sure if any of this is reason to ban or not, but I feel like for the most part, just sharing some of the various thoughts and experiences I've had over the years with sol ring. It definitely causes a lot of busted games, enough so that my group banned it for years. So I am sympathetic to the case.

But I will say it steered a lot of players toward green and more expensive busted rocks.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
I'm really not sure if any of this is reason to ban or not, but I feel like for the most part, just sharing some of the various thoughts and experiences I've had over the years with sol ring. It definitely causes a lot of busted games, enough so that my group banned it for years. So I am sympathetic to the case.

But I will say it steered a lot of players toward green and more expensive busted rocks.
I'm inclined to consider that sort of group as a lost cause. Not that it's wrong to play that way, just that it's not really the same format. If a ban moves the competitive balance and that causes someone to move towards a more dominant strategy, then they're fundamentally not playing what they want to in the first place. The philosophy of the rules committee for the format they desire talks about player interaction, variety of playstyles, gameplay variance, and the opportunity to express oneself. The hope is that people are playing what they want to rather than what's most effective.

If you treat a commander ban like a modern ban and say "well, the deck I was playing is worse, so I'll have to change strategies to compete", it's really out of place. If banning Sol Ring makes a bunch of people think "my Ephara deck can't play Sol Ring? I guess I'm a Roon player now." It feels silly to consider that kind of switch in the context of people playing the decks that they do for the love of the cards.

Now, if Sol Ring were banned and everyone swapped in a basic and otherwise played the same and green decks were suddenly unbeatable monsters, I'd agree that's a problem. But that has not been my experience. Though that could be because most people I play with just get bored of simic rampy drawy decks immediately after building them. But it's also not as though green ramp decks in commander are immune to the issues that green ramp decks have everywhere else: you have to first draw the right mixture of ramp and payoff, and then you're counting on those few big payoffs to not get answered.
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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
7 months ago
I'm inclined to consider that sort of group as a lost cause. Not that it's wrong to play that way, just that it's not really the same format. If a ban moves the competitive balance and that causes someone to move towards a more dominant strategy, then they're fundamentally not playing what they want to in the first place. The philosophy of the rules committee for the format they desire talks about player interaction, variety of playstyles, gameplay variance, and the opportunity to express oneself. The hope is that people are playing what they want to rather than what's most effective.

If you treat a commander ban like a modern ban and say "well, the deck I was playing is worse, so I'll have to change strategies to compete", it's really out of place. If banning Sol Ring makes a bunch of people think "my Ephara deck can't play Sol Ring? I guess I'm a Roon player now." It feels silly to consider that kind of switch in the context of people playing the decks that they do for the love of the cards.

Now, if Sol Ring were banned and everyone swapped in a basic and otherwise played the same and green decks were suddenly unbeatable monsters, I'd agree that's a problem. But that has not been my experience. Though that could be because most people I play with just get bored of simic rampy drawy decks immediately after building them. But it's also not as though green ramp decks in commander are immune to the issues that green ramp decks have everywhere else: you have to first draw the right mixture of ramp and payoff, and then you're counting on those few big payoffs to not get answered.
They were my best friends and we played together for years and went through all kinds of changes; we banned sol ring for almost two years and the natural evolution was people playing more exploration and birds of paradise and even mox diamond. I don't think that's a "lost cause." There is no way everyone swaps in a basic. Mind you mox diamonds were like 20 bucks at the time, so picking one up wasn't a big deal.

I would say that green ramp decks in commander have a ton of resiliency to the lack of consistency that other format ramp decks have actually - the same way that artifact ramp strategies do. The command zone is a great place for some card advantage, and EDH is far more gentle to card draw bombs like genesis wave and recurring insight and consecrated sphinx than other constructed formats.

I'm not saying sol ring ban single handedly makes green ramp king in EDH but it certainly does not help.

I don't think that many people say "I can't play sol ring in this deck so I'm going to retire it" so much as there's a very small pressure toward green decks that may add up to being more of a detriment long term than expected. Given green is already the most popular casual color by a lot, that could be a problem.

Again I don't know that that winds up outweighing the positives. But there's another raft of negatives as well to consider:

* Requires a change too 80% of commander decks (imagine how people feel when Paradox engine is banned now multiply by 12)
* Violates what many people will consider an implicit promise from WOTC that it won't be banned (because it gets reprinted every year; imagine if Command Tower got banned? It's actually pretty broken, essentially violating the rule of lands that it not be strictly better than a basic)
* Significant financial consequences of sol ring becoming bulk.

Obviously many of those things are things one can waive off, and many would say that finances should never play a role at all, but in my mind the biggest issue is the one of trust.

The idea of sol ring as a pillar of Commander has been building and building for years. They've printed it like 10 times in precons. they've had dozens of opportunities to ban it. It was possibly *more* broken when it was first legal than it is now. We've known it is broken since it was restricted in Type I when I was in junior highschool.

I can't recall there ever being even the tiniest whisper of the commander guys even thinking about sol ring. Not a tweet, nothing that I can think of.

I think there is a likelihood the damage done to the format just from up and breaking that kind of implicit promise is pretty severe, no matter how good the intention.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
I don't think that many people say "I can't play sol ring in this deck so I'm going to retire it" so much as there's a very small pressure toward green decks that may add up to being more of a detriment long term than expected. Given green is already the most popular casual color by a lot, that could be a problem.
The pressure you're describing is the same temptation that drives people to do other things that they know are mistakes. Everyone playing commander has the responsibility to make a fun experience for themselves. That can happen at any power level, but it largely requires people playing at a close to level playing field. If someone builds a deck that is either far stronger or far weaker than their play group, they're gonna have a bad time either way. I'm sure you've seen people miserable because they can't do anything, but I'm also sure you've seen people apologize for things like fast comboing a game away. Good games of magic are well balanced.

Example: a friend of mine had a perfectly acceptable Maelstrom Wanderer deck. One day he says to me "I think I'm just gonna put every blue extra turn spell <8 in Wanderer." (there were far fewer of those at the time, I think the grand total was like 6 or 7). I told him if he did that, my decks wouldn't keep up. He did it anyway, and then the deck was more powerful than the rest of the playgroup. But nobody followed the arms race, and he got tired of making non-games, and then he stopped playing one of his favorite decks for the most part. It's easy to point to exactly where he made a mistake. (Fun fact: he did this like a month after I took out the 2nd extra turn spell from Zedruu because I felt it was making it less fun to play against, so it's not like he couldn't have figured out what would happen.)

Gravitating towards more powerful strategies isn't good or wise in Commander. If someone pushes the power of their decks upwards above the people they play with, they inevitably suffer for it. Either because they break the balance and make a bunch of non-games of magic that aren't even fun to win, or because their friends compete in the arms race and invalidate the less powerful decks they had chosen to play in the first place. If people feel a pressure to move towards more dominant strategies, they're deciding what to play for the wrong reason because they've not taken responsibility for their own fun. I have several friends, that I have great respect for, who have stopped building Commander decks because their interest in magic comes from the search for optimal play patterns, and they couldn't do that and have fun in Commander at the same time. One of them borrows other people's decks, another I hope still has his one deck that plays only cards with completely unique mana costs from the history of magic, but we play cube or board games when I see him so I don't know if that's still a thing.

People who take responsibility for their own fun wouldn't change play styles because of a Sol Ring ban. Taking out the temptation to build powerful decks that stomp your friends, there is no pressure towards green's broken fast starts unless you're already interested in playing the fastest mana, in which case you're already probably a green player with Sol Ring legal. The people I feel the ban list should be aimed at are the people who are playing not what is good but what they think is fun. That's how you get a bunch of inefficient Timmy cards on the ban list while degenerate fast combo stays legal. People can recognize degenerate fast combo isn't what they want in a low powered meta, but might be inclined to think Sway of the Stars is a cool card, and the ban list is a stop sign saying "no, I know you think that looks like fun, but it's really miserable". This is exactly where I believe Sol Ring lines up. It doesn't really make games more fun, it makes some games miserable, but people don't necessarily recognize the bad games Sol Ring makes. That's exactly what the ban list is for.

And as far as the financial implications of a Sol Ring ban, I don't believe for a second that there's enough real demand to warrant the current $5 price on Sol Ring. There are just too many copies floating around for that to be real. I've got like 10 of them lying around, and I certain other people who buy the precons are in the same position. The market is saturated, it's just price memory holding up that value. Anyone who considers Sol Ring a stable financial investment is misguided already. Just to find a piece of evidence, I pulled up Starcitygames. If you look for basically any format staple, be it Vedalken Orrery, Rhystic Study, sad robot, cards whose prices are held up by consistent demand, the buylist price is approximately half of the sell price. If you look up prices for commander Sol Rings, the buy is $1.50 and the sell is $5. Because the list price isn't supported by supply and demand, it would be unwise to buy higher than that even if people are willing to pay the higher price for it. Price memory is a hell of a thing.
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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

I think you're assuming a lot of things about different playstyles and approaches, essentially claiming your approach to the game is correct - and also conflating putting one cool card in with going whole hog and evolving to charizard all at once or something:P

Imagine instead your buddy tossed Part the Waterveil into wanderer because it's cool. One spell probably doesn't make a big difference. Then begins a slow years long journey of tuning, along with the rest of his groups.

That's how a lot of groups work. Things change slowly and then eventually they get to their natural end state based on the personalities involved. People enjoy the journey. Then they need to do something to reset somehow--usually dialog driven.

Anyway I think I'm out of stuff to say about sol ring. I once argued against it probably more aggressively then you. But I think the ship has sailed.

My advice to you would be to try to step outside of your box a bit. The way your group plays is very different from any group I've been in so I think you may have some blinders on as a result.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
Anyway I think I'm out of stuff to say about sol ring. I once argued against it probably more aggressively then you.
I'm not entirely sure that's possible. And if it is possible, it's probably not healthy, so I'm glad to hear you got better.
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Post by Jivanmukta » 7 months ago

This blasphemous thread again eh?

While I suppose it should exist for the sake of it, it isn't exactly a "real" discussion. Sol Ring isn't going anywhere regardless of its impact on the format.
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Post by cryogen » 7 months ago

Jivanmukta wrote:
7 months ago
This blasphemous thread again eh?

While I suppose it should exist for the sake of it, it isn't exactly a "real" discussion. Sol Ring isn't going anywhere regardless of its impact on the format.
Doesn't mean the underlying problem of disproportionate mana among players caused by early game fast mana shouldn't be discussed. My personal opinion is that Sol Ring is more problematic than Mana Crypt, but I'd settle for a Crypt ban if it brought attention to the problem and was a step in the right direction.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 7 months ago

Of course there's one of those threads ;)

You bring up the statistical analysis that showed Sol Ring starts to negatively affect win rate, and you spin that as a problem for the card. I'd argue the opposite - it demonstrably shows that it can be handled. If anything, pods need to work on picking up on the signals that the analysis picked up as win-friendly (having the highest land total, going first) and correct for those in a similar fashion to what they do for a simple early rock.

Another self-policing aspect of the card is that it encourages sketchy keeps. A garbage hand with Sol Ring? Keep it, given the Sol Ring mana it'll work itself out, right? Nope? Ah crap I lost. This might also be a contributing factor to the lower win percentages.

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Post by folding_music » 7 months ago

EDH folks have developed and arms-raced the format so thoroughly that I don't think the problem is Sol Ring alone, but imho it's still a miserable card that belongs only in Vintage and competitive Commander. I won't persecute other players for sticking with it, though, power is addictive!

Have personally had more fun in recent years designing janky Commander decks where no card can cost more than a dollar (using a fairly consistent site for prices like Scryfall or something) - you see more weird stuff when people can't rely on the stock EDHREC inventory and no efficient mana rocks at all. Even the Mirage diamonds are somehow disqualified under those rules!
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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
7 months ago
Of course there's one of those threads ;)

You bring up the statistical analysis that showed Sol Ring starts to negatively affect win rate, and you spin that as a problem for the card. I'd argue the opposite - it demonstrably shows that it can be handled. If anything, pods need to work on picking up on the signals that the analysis picked up as win-friendly (having the highest land total, going first) and correct for those in a similar fashion to what they do for a simple early rock.

Another self-policing aspect of the card is that it encourages sketchy keeps. A garbage hand with Sol Ring? Keep it, given the Sol Ring mana it'll work itself out, right? Nope? Ah crap I lost. This might also be a contributing factor to the lower win percentages.
We know that there are fast mana blowouts. Nobody who has played the format for more than 10 seconds is going to contest there are never games where one player has a breakaway start and the game ends before anyone can stop them. I mean, that's going to happen sometimes with or without Sol Ring, but it definitely happens with Sol Ring. Now consider how often people get "handled" out of games to counterbalance that trend, it can't be an insignificant amount if turn 1 Sol Ring is a losing play. And then you bring up the possibility of people losing because they kept a bad hand just for Sol Ring.

If none of those things happen and the game proceeds like normal, then Sol Ring was just another mana rock that offered nothing unique to the experience. If any of those things happen, I'd argue you had a bad game. Someone running away with the game turn 1 is a bad game all around. Someone being dismantled because of their turn 1 play is a feel bad game for likely multiple players, but at least 1. And someone keeping a bad hand and not getting to play magic makes everyone feel bad that they didn't really get to play. The counterpoint to "Sol Ring ruins games" is "yeah, but it can also ruin games in a different way!" There is no unique experience offered by Sol Ring other than misery. And yet 75% of decks play the card.
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Post by Necrofish » 7 months ago

I don't like Sol Ring. I feel like an ass playing it on turn one and seeing other ppl play T1 Sol Ring into Mana Rock also isn't fun. I wouldn't miss it if it was on the banned list.
That said, I'm trying to convince my playgroup to cut it. Also we're taking a look at Oathbreaker anyway, which banned Sol Ring.
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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

Necrofish wrote:
7 months ago
Also we're taking a look at Oathbreaker anyway, which banned Sol Ring.
That's actually interesting. I only know the basic summary of what Oathbreaker is, I've never even seen someone play it, but if people enjoy that format with Sol Ring banned, perhaps it will help tip the scales in Commander.
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Post by darrenhabib » 7 months ago

For me personally Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are the cards that ruin games from the outset more than anything else.

If you want to promote lop-sided starts, then sure keep supporting Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, if you're into more balanced games then look to ban them.
Pretty simple stuff.

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Post by nobody » 7 months ago

There are cards that hurt the format way way way way way more then sol sing.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

nobody wrote:
7 months ago
There are cards that hurt the format way way way way way more then sol sing.
I would entertain that possibility. Would you care to elaborate? Bear in mind, if you think something like Tooth and Nail is hurting the format more, you're imagining each copy of Tooth and Nail being played causing 25x as much trouble as each individual Sol Ring.
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Post by digitalfire » 7 months ago

Sol Ring has demonstrated the potential to unintentionally wreck games. Easily inserted into any deck, it combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play, generating a great deal of mana with virtually no deck building cost. While the RC doesn’t ban cards which are only problematic if you build around them, it has clearly demonstrated that it doesn’t need to be built around to be broken.

Sound familiar? That quote is from the banlist update 3 days ago, using the new banlist philosophy. And I think this is exactly why Sol Ring fits the RC's banlist criteria perfectly.

The effect is "small", right? Only gives you two mana. It's harder to see it as the culprit for ruining games than Worldfire. But that's exactly WHY it's the culprit. If you cast Worldfire, you know what you're doing. But playing Sol Ring can be slotted in anywhere for no deck building cost, providing lopsided starts and unintentionally wrecking games in a way that's not immediately noticeable.

[mention]pokken[/mention] I actually think Sol Ring remaining unbanned makes green stronger. Just as Sol Ring into Grim Monolith is spooky, the same is true for Sol Ring into turn 2 Nature's Lore Cultivate

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

digitalfire wrote:
7 months ago
Sol Ring has demonstrated the potential to unintentionally wreck games. Easily inserted into any deck, it combines with cards which players already have heavy incentives to play, generating a great deal of mana with virtually no deck building cost. While the RC doesn’t ban cards which are only problematic if you build around them, it has clearly demonstrated that it doesn’t need to be built around to be broken.

Sound familiar? That quote is from the banlist update 3 days ago, using the new banlist philosophy. And I think this is exactly why Sol Ring fits the RC's banlist criteria perfectly.

The effect is "small", right? Only gives you two mana. It's harder to see it as the culprit for ruining games than Worldfire. But that's exactly WHY it's the culprit. If you cast Worldfire, you know what you're doing. But playing Sol Ring can be slotted in anywhere for no deck building cost, providing lopsided starts and unintentionally wrecking games in a way that's not immediately noticeable.

@pokken I actually think Sol Ring remaining unbanned makes green stronger. Just as Sol Ring into Grim Monolith is spooky, the same is true for Sol Ring into turn 2 Nature's Lore Cultivate

The issue is that if you take away sol ring into grim monolith now only green decks are having busted starts. Green can definitely do nuts stuff with it. But they can do nearly the same level of nutsy stuff with exploration.

I've had turns like:
t1 land, exploration, land, skyshroud ranger
t2, land, land, tap skyshroud, cast gitrog

Take away sol ring and you start taking the explosive starts away from non-green decks. And I think that is a big risk. Especially if you take Crypt too.

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Post by Jivanmukta » 7 months ago

The strength of g/x decks necessitates fast mana. I've seen far more nongames due to green ramp than mana rocks due to the stigma against stopping the former and numerous people running answers to the latter.
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Post by digitalfire » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
t1 land, exploration, land, skyshroud ranger
t2, land, land, tap skyshroud, cast gitrog

Take away sol ring and you start taking the explosive starts away from non-green decks. And I think that is a big risk. Especially if you take Crypt too.
I think this illustrates my point. Skyshroud Ranger, Exploration, and 5 lands? That's pretty christmas if you ask me. Sol Ring / Mana Crypt and a single other ramp spell is going to happen every other game with 4+ people, gives you the same mana as your example, and doesn't leave you with an empty hand. It's not just about explosive starts, its about ubiquity of Sol Ring and ease of slotting into a deck without repercussion. Not every deck wants to run Exploration, and if you're thinking people will just play the next best thing, the alternatives to Sol Ring / Mana Crypt are so significantly worse and see such a lower amount of play that no one can genuinely make the slippery slope argument. Look at how they tried to balance it. Nothing comes close.

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Post by digitalfire » 7 months ago

Jivanmukta wrote:
7 months ago
The strength of g/x decks necessitates fast mana. I've seen far more nongames due to green ramp than mana rocks due to the stigma against stopping the former and numerous people running answers to the latter.
Give me an example of a green ramp card nearly as egregious. I assume you're talking more along the lines of dork into Cultivate, which is the same amount of mana turn 3, but you're missing the RC philosophy here: it isn't as easily slotted into a deck without repercussion.

It requires several basics and for you to want those basics instead of playing other lands;
ramp spells take up deckbuilding slots, leaving less room for other interactions;
many ramp slots makes your draws have less value in mid-game;
your opponents can deal with your ramp spells easier after turn 1, and it doesn't have to be MLD;
several ramp spells are more likely to make yourself an archenemy than just 1;
your ramp spells leave you with less cards in hand

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

Burgeoning creates often more explosive starts than Sol Ring in my Gitrog deck. It's kind of an unusual creature because I run 46 or so mana producing lands, but if I turn 1 burgeoning you can bet my turn 2 is going to be ridiculous.

I'm not saying burgeoning is bannable. But it and exploration, along with birds of paradise, become significantly more powerful in a no sol ring meta. And they just get progressively more powerful the more fast mana you ban.

Right now I think the balance of playing land vs. artifact ramp is pretty good in casual circles. People usually don't have the money for all the busted rocks, so maybe you see sol ring+crypt but you don't see mox diamond and grim monolith too, necessarily.

Here's a long list of green cards that get stronger with no sol ring:
And I am sure i missed one or two.

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Post by nobody » 7 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
7 months ago
nobody wrote:
7 months ago
There are cards that hurt the format way way way way way more then sol sing.
I would entertain that possibility. Would you care to elaborate? Bear in mind, if you think something like Tooth and Nail is hurting the format more, you're imagining each copy of Tooth and Nail being played causing 25x as much trouble as each individual Sol Ring.
for starters https://edhrec.com/top/salt

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Post by digitalfire » 7 months ago

@pokken First, I disagree that Burgeoning becomes more powerful in any meaningful way. What exactly becomes more powerful about it? Let's say we're sitting across the table, you play t1 Burgeoning and then I play t1 Sol Ring. Now t2 you have 5 lands and play Gitrog. Even with my Sol Ring, what am I supposed to do? Mulligan away my ramp for Force of Will on the off chance that your opening hand is 5 land and Burgeoning? It's okay though, Mr White on my left has no Sol Ring, but he sure as hell has a Swords to Plowshares. You get no Gitrog triggers, and now there's only 1 or 2 cards left in your hand. Meanwhile I have the same amount of mana as you and a full hand.

And that's the point that I and the RC are making. Other ramp, while potentially just as explosive or even moreso, has downsides. Burgeoning doesn't belong in every deck, and in fact I've only ever ran it in 1 EDH deck in over 8 years. The RC isn't banning things for being broken, they ban for accidentally ruining the game by slotting in an easy card that fits in without any downside. See my quote above. And because every deck runs Sol Ring, you'll see 50 Sol Rings before you see Burgeoning + a full hand of lands so when you do see that explosive start, it's exciting and not just another nongame.

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