[SCD] Sol Ring

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tstorm823
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Post by tstorm823 » 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.
Ok, but nobody's goal should be to make non-games more color balanced. Letting other colors have a card that lets them occasionally have faster mana than the green deck hasn't stopped those nongames you observed. The answer to green ramp sin't Sol Ring and mass land destruction. The answer to green ramp from the other side of the table is interaction for their spells. The real answer to green ramp is restraint on the part of the person building the ramp deck, Fast ramp is an inherently swingy and volatile strategy in Magic just in general, and the harder you commit to ramp as a strategy, the more wildly games are going to swing between big wins and utter helplessness. If people don't want non-games, it's on them not to build a deck dedicated to getting to 7 mana on turn 3. You'd need one hell of a banlist to prevent that coming from green decks who are doing that on purpose. But it's very easy not to do that on purpose.

Except currently, the single most played card in the format is capable of hitting that amount of mana that fast with a couple of signets.
nobody wrote:
7 months ago
for starters https://edhrec.com/top/salt
That is a wonderful list of cards that people have largely figured out on their own not to play. Most of them top out at like 5000 decks, vs Sol Ring's 180,000, and that's even excluding the vast majority of decks that people don't put online which are almost guaranteed to have Sol Ring and not have Stasis.
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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

You're over-focusing on burgeoning. The point is that all 1 CMC ramp becomes more powerful without Sol Ring.

and almost all of it is green.

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Post by digitalfire » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
You're over-focusing on burgeoning. The point is that all 1 CMC ramp becomes more powerful without Sol Ring.

and almost all of it is green.
And they all have drawbacks that make them not an auto-include like Sol Ring which is my point.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

digitalfire wrote:
7 months ago
And they all have drawbacks that make them not an auto-include like Sol Ring which is my point.
But they become much more attractive without sol ring. And if you think Birds of Paradise has many downsides I think you're overstating it. green sun's zenith and dryad arbor are basically the same. Fine autoincludes in basically any green deck, maybe not 100% but as close to it as it gets.

And when non-green decks can't play turn 1 ramp, making those sacrifices to play say exploration (Which is a damned good card) becomes a lot more attractive. Even stuff I forgot like wild growth and utopia sprawl become far more desirable.

For every <1 CMC artifact ramp spell you kill you make green more powerful and desirable. That is a fact. Ramping on turn 1 is crazy powerful. Probably the most powerful thing you can do in EDH (except maybe tutoring, which is so often for ramp as to be pretty funny :)).

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Post by Souma » 7 months ago

On a normal table you get targeted by everyone when you drop T1 Sol Ring (or Crypt).
The downside is becomming the target.

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Post by MRHblue » 7 months ago

Yea Ring and Crypt are the only singular cards really doing this. The others have heavy dependence, or don't untap.

A group game was just flat out ruined this weekend because someone untapped on T3 with 7 mana. Of course it took more than just Sol Ring, but without the ring thats delayed 2 turns. No green ramp, just rocks into rocks.

But Jiv is 100% correct, its NEVER going anywhere. They are making a Promo for sale directly by The Command Zone for GP Vegas.

I don't think I noticed how easily it slid directly into that ban announcement. Kudos.

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Post by umtiger » 7 months ago

In many of the games that I play, the power level just isn't high enough to ensure that T1 Sol Ring + 2cmc rock leads to a runaway game. Often, players will keep weak hands just on the promise of having a T1 Sol Ring without a meaningful follow-up.

In some games where T1 Sol Ring + 2cmc rock does push a player very far out in front, sometimes he might lack lands and gets mopped up by a T4 Bane of Progress or Vandalblast.

I don't think Sol Ring inhibits deck choice or deck creativity. No one is bound to play Sol Ring + Mana Crypt (which imo has a significant drawback compared to Sol Ring) to optimize compared to some other cards. For example, playing Doubling Season in a PW-deck. I have more than a few decks where Sol Ring + Mana Crypt aren't included and I'm absolutely sure it's the optimal decision.

Without Sol Ring, I just see every deck in every pod I play becoming green. Fast ramp is inherently swingy, sure... but land ramp is inherently consistent. Every g/x deck will hit 10+ lands in play if the game goes long. It also has mana doublers whereas non-green has to good mono-color to play Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, or Extraplanar Lens.

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Post by Souma » 7 months ago

Indeed, I also own decks like Yuriko, Tuvasa and Feather that really want colored mana over the boost.
In Tuvasa I have all the 1 cmc Elves intead and since I also run many anti-artifact enchantments you can see why I don't want to have any rocks at all.

Also as mentioned above Ring and Crypt can end up as traps.

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Post by Taleran » 7 months ago

This may be a bit tin foil hat but I got to thinking about the newly spoiled Arcane Signet and if that also shows up in Commander precons as well as Brawl ones moving forward it vould be a thing that moves wotc from printing Sol Ring every year and freeing it up for an easier time bring banned if it stops being in every precon.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 7 months ago

An apt comparison is Commander's Sphere. Did that obsolete Sol Ring? Nope, it got printed a bunch alongside it.

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Post by Taleran » 7 months ago

The difference between 2 and 3 mana for that kind of effect is very large.

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Post by materpillar » 7 months ago

Can they just Errata Sol Ring to have Serra Avenger's first line of text? I've probably had more games of EDH turn into a bad game of EDH from a T1 Sol Ring, than any other card on any other turn.

I think exploration and burgeoning are probably in the same ballpark in terms of strength. They're just not nearly as widely played in my personal experience.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 7 months ago

There's no denying that Arcane Signet is going to be more ubiquitous than Commander's Sphere. I'm just saying there's precedent for them making supplemental rocks and keeping Sol Ring around.

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Post by MRHblue » 7 months ago

materpillar wrote:
7 months ago
Can they just Errata Sol Ring to have Serra Avenger's first line of text? I've probably had more games of EDH turn into a bad game of EDH from a T1 Sol Ring, than any other card on any other turn.
No, they no longer have format errata. They used to way back in time, but it was bad news. Either the card is busted enough to be banned, or its not.

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Post by tarotplz » 7 months ago

In my opinion banning Sol Ring alone makes absolutely no sense. Mana Crypt is definitly the stronger one of the two and enables even faster starts.

For some reason people tend to apply the same ban ideas to Sol Ring as they would in other formats. "It is the most played card, so it has to be the best card aswell, right?". In reality there are many cards that are far more problematic powerlevel wise.

Now I know that EDH is meant to be a casual format and bans are mostly based on "unfunness" of certain cards, but banning Sol Ring while leaving all the other fast mana options in the format untouched feel incredibly short-sighted to me.

Even if we add Mana Crypt to the bans aswell, there are tons of other cards that enable blazing fast starts that can't all be banned. The classic example here are mana dorks (Elvish Mystic etc.) which are essentially half a Sol Ring. Depending on your colors you can run roughly 6-8 of these and that's not even considering other ways of accomplishing the same effect like Wild Growth or Utopia Sprawl. In addition to that, many of these will also fix your mana (like Elves of Deep Shadow), which is something Sol Ring can't do. There are even other fast mana rocks available to those with deep pockets in Mox Diamond and Chrome Mox.

When you look at this list of Sol Ring alternatives, you will notice that almost all of them are either green or very pricy, which means that explosive starts will be far mroe common in green decks than those of any other color. This is already true in higher powered metas where people actually do play those cards. By banning the unilateral fast mana rocks however, you take away the ability of other colors to compete with these fast starts, which will in turn lead to a warped and green dominated meta and man ynon-games where the non green people can't keep up with the green ones.

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Post by xeroxedfool » 7 months ago

Does the power of Sol Ring anything to do with its legality? Every format has something akin to Sol Ring. A card too powerful that remains legal.
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Post by GloriousGoose » 7 months ago

xeroxedfool wrote:
7 months ago
Every format has something akin to Sol Ring. A card too powerful that remains legal.
That's only true with Legacy and Brainstorm.

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Post by xeroxedfool » 7 months ago

GloriousGoose wrote:
7 months ago
xeroxedfool wrote:
7 months ago
Every format has something akin to Sol Ring. A card too powerful that remains legal.
That's only true with Legacy and Brainstorm.
And vintage with Misrha's Workshop
And modern with Looting
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Post by Candlemane » 7 months ago

I've never had a problem with Sol Ring, but then again, my group enforces on its own various social contract obligations. Only time it's bad is turn one after a land and before a signet in Kaalia.

If Sol ring gets banned, get the other fast rocks first.

In consideration of any other scenario, Sol ring is the poor players' fast mana, evening the field against other decks (not all the way even, but closer). I'm against banning it now.
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Post by GloriousGoose » 7 months ago

xeroxedfool wrote:
7 months ago
And vintage with Misrha's Workshop
And modern with Looting
Workshop, like Brainstorm, is sort of grandfathered in, so I'll give you that one. As for Faithless Looting in Modern, well, that's certainly debatable. It's a powerful card and one of the most played cards in the format, but too powerful? Compared to Brainstorm or Workshop, both of which are undeniably format-defining and meta-warping, I don't think Looting is on the same level. It could very well warrant a ban, but I think it's less of a bogeyman than DRS or Probe.

At any rate, I don't think it's fair to compare EDH banlists with competitive banlists since they have fundamentally different banning philosophies. Competitive formats tend towards format homeostasis while EDH tends towards, well, its own unique ends. Yes, Legacy is basically Brainstorm: the Format, but that's not a great justification for keeping Sol Ring legal in EDH.

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Post by onering » 7 months ago

People are confusing being one of the most played cards with being one of the most powerful. Sol Ring is colorless and universally powerful, but it's not by any stretch one of the most powerful cards. Let's leave aside that Mana crypt is stronger, even with the 1.5 damage per turn, because its free, meaning you can use that (possibly colored) Mana from your turn 1 land to cast something (essentially giving you an extra Mana the turn you play it compared to Sol Ring) and it is much more abuseable with ways to bounce it. So if we're talking about banning just one piece of fast Mana, Sol Ring shouldn't be it, Mana crypt should be. More importantly, Sol Ring has a pretty damn narrow window in which it can ruin games. It has to land in the first few turns. We aren't talking about some guy dropping Sol Ring turn 5 so he can cast his 6 drop commander, or dropping it turn 3 to set up that same 6 drop on turn 4, and saying that's problematic. No, we are discussing the narrow range of play where a turn 1 or 2 Sol Ring into signet play sets you significantly ahead on Mana, or some combination of rocks and ramp including sol ring in the first 3 turns gets you to seven Mana. Even the, the player achieving this sort of sequence needs to have a way to translate that early Mana advantage into a win. In cEDH, yeah that's usually going to end up being a win without an opponent holding an immediate answer, but as you go down in competitiveness this becomes less and less certain, because doing this makes you the archenemy and that is a significant downside outside of cEDH. In a 75 percent meta, the deck achieving this is probably going to have a way to press the advantage, but the opponents are more likely to run answers to disrupt it, and all of them should be focused on the clear threat. In a more casual meta, those answers and the coordination are both less prevalent, but so is the ability of the deck hitting ring into signet to press their Mana advantage into a quick victory, and thus their opponents are more able to catch up and stabilize before the Sol Ring signet player can knock them out. And of course, all this is assuming that only one person gets Sol Ring into signet or a bunch of ramp by turn 3 and everyone else is stuck at 1 land drop per turn. If everyone else lands a signet turn 2, then they're all only a step behind but still focused on the guy that's ahead, and the downside of being the archenemy starts to outweigh the reduced Mana advantage. If two players get Sol Ring signet turn 1, they tend to focus on each other as they are each other's biggest threat, while everyone else is free to work together and build their board and deploy answers when needed. Most of this issues with Sol Ring "ruining games" comes from people freaking out when someone lands an early Sol Ring even if that early Sol Ring play may not have been we'll thought out (how many people keep shakey hands because they can drop a turn 1 Sol Ring?) when they should really take a breath, calm down, and play their game. I play a lot on mtgo, and I've seen plenty of people drop because someone landed Sol Ring turn 1 only for Sol Ring guy to lose anyway. I bet those dropped players thought that Sol Ring ruined the game, but it was really their attitude that did (for them anyway).

As mentioned previously, turn 1 Sol Ring actually reduces the chances of the player of winning. This is really significant, as the only chance Sol Ring has to "ruin games" is in the first few turns! The situations we are discussing, where Sol Ring helps fuel a large early Mana advantage, come in turns 1, 2, and 3. But here we are, when a turn 1 Sol Ring actually reduces your chances of winning, so it's on average a bad move to play it on one of the 3 turns where it can become a problem! What's going on here?

Well, for one, we've already discussed the archenemy phenomenon, and how that works to reduce the advantage granted by landing an early ring, even when connected with other Mana rocks or ramp. The key point here is that the real risk Sol Ring poses for running away with the game comes not from just landing a Sol Ring but from landing it in conjunction with other ramp, usually either turn 1 or with multiple other pieces of ramp turns 2 or 3. Your opponents playing archenemy against you, by countering that thran Dynamo or aiming their STPs at whatever critter you cast off that Mana, or casting an early reclamation sage to deal with a rock, helps keep this in check a bit, but it still is likely to snag a win, as honestly should be expected when you net multiple pieces of ramp very early, it's essentially magic Christmas land. Awesome opening hands happen, and will still happen without Sol Ring, and even without crypt and vault as well. The good thing here is that such games are usually over quickly (when the person who pulls it off wins, if they don't the game will take longer but that isnt really any different than a normal game at that point) allowing everyone to just shuffle up for another game, one that is highly unlikely to end the same way and much, much more likely to just play out normally. But there are also games where people just drop a Sol Ring turn 1 or 2 without the support of other ramp. This isn't as powerful as a lot of people think, not saying it isn't powerful but lots of people act like outside of cEDH this is going to dramatically increase your odds of winning as its a super powerful play and thus opponents go into archenemy mode when it might not be warranted and the Sol Ring player is more likely to keep a shakey hand or pursue a bad line of play because they overestimate the advantage that a turn 1 or 2 Sol Ring will bet them. Its this latter issue that I think contributes pretty significantly to that lowered win rate after playing turn 1 Sol Ring. The advantage gained from doing so without back up from other ramp doesn't really increase win percentages that much, yet people have a tendancy to keep hands that actually reduce their odds of winning because they can drop Sol Ring turn 1, or make risky plays because they get overconfident. And I haven't even mentioned that sometimes when the turn 1 Sol Ring player wins, it's not because of the turn 1 Sol Ring. I've seen people play it and it get removed, or their opponents stabilize before they can press an advantage, or they get archenemied and have to play defense all game, but then they manage to win from some unrelated thing, like hanging on after being taken down a notch and then mopping up the last few points of damage after a long game, or getting a combo later on, or hitting some big play on a turn when big plays are normal.

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Post by GloriousGoose » 7 months ago

To anyone citing that video about t1 Sol Ring lowering your chances of winning, a) I look forward to seeing your decks not using Sol Ring and b) I would like to direct your attention here.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

tarotplz wrote:
7 months ago
By banning the unilateral fast mana rocks however, you take away the ability of other colors to compete with these fast starts, which will in turn lead to a warped and green dominated meta and man ynon-games where the non green people can't keep up with the green ones.
I don't believe this to be true, but I'd like for you to look for evidence of this yourself. I genuinely suggest people just cut Sol Ring from their entire meta and experience how nice it is, but if you're not able or willing to do that, I'd like you to just pay attention to the impact of Sol Ring on your games. In this particular example, I'd like you to pay attention to games without Sol Ring involved and see if green decks actually dominate the way you are postulating. I highly doubt they will.
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Post by tarotplz » 7 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
7 months ago
tarotplz wrote:
7 months ago
By banning the unilateral fast mana rocks however, you take away the ability of other colors to compete with these fast starts, which will in turn lead to a warped and green dominated meta and man ynon-games where the non green people can't keep up with the green ones.
I don't believe this to be true, but I'd like for you to look for evidence of this yourself. I genuinely suggest people just cut Sol Ring from their entire meta and experience how nice it is, but if you're not able or willing to do that, I'd like you to just pay attention to the impact of Sol Ring on your games. In this particular example, I'd like you to pay attention to games without Sol Ring involved and see if green decks actually dominate the way you are postulating. I highly doubt they will.
I play in a meta with an Azusa, Lost but Seeking deck. It routinely outramps the entire table (including our Sol Rings) on roughly turn 4. By that I mean it will have more mana available than all 3 opponents combined. (This is in a pretty high powered meta, where things like Chrome Mox are not uncommon.)

I actually just finished building a deck that utilizes a ton of mana dorks, so I guess I'll soon be able to say with more certainty how strong they really are in comparison to Sol Ring.

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Post by tstorm823 » 7 months ago

tarotplz wrote:
7 months ago
I play in a meta with an Azusa, Lost but Seeking deck. It routinely outramps the entire table (including our Sol Rings) on roughly turn 4. By that I mean it will have more mana available than all 3 opponents combined. (This is in a pretty high powered meta, where things like Chrome Mox are not uncommon.)

I actually just finished building a deck that utilizes a ton of mana dorks, so I guess I'll soon be able to say with more certainty how strong they really are in comparison to Sol Ring.
I wouldn't suggest with or without Sol Ring you're going to be able to outramp Azusa. The question is whether Azusa outramping you means you're left with an unenjoyable game of magic, and whether or not Sol Ring makes a difference there. For your theory to hold that Sol Ring lets non-green decks keep up better, you must see a need to keep up with green ramp decks. I know you can't ramp as fast as green without green, the question is whether you can compete with a ramp deck without ramping yourself. And if you can't manage to beat a ramp deck, is adding in Sol Ring variance actually the answer?
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