[SCD] Sol Ring

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tarotplz
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Post by tarotplz » 5 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
5 months ago
tarotplz wrote:
5 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?
We can beat it, mostly because we play at a higher powerlevel and infinite combos are absolutely commonplace on our table.

The Azusa deck has existed for a very long time however and I remember a time when we got stomped hard by it. (back then we didn't play cutthroat decks like nowadays). Sol Ring did make a difference. If you had it you could keep up for a turn or two longer. Ultimately it was a droplet on a hot stone, but it did feel good not to be left behind completely manawise.

In general I think the higher the powerlevel of a group, the less impressive Sol Ring is. For us it's just another ramp piece. A really good one at that, but we play a ton of ramp anyway.
In a much more casual group, where deck aren't as tuned or perhaps at times might be significantly lacking in ramp, I get how Sol Ring could be seen as opressive, as if noone ever ramps at all and one guys gets an early Sol Ring, that would make for a pretty large gap in power.

Ultimately I think this problem can be averted by simply telling newer players or really casual players to put a bit more ramp into their decks in general,

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Post by MRHblue » 5 months ago

onering wrote:
5 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.
This just is not true. A great 4 drop on T2 can win games, in a very powerful (and bad game) manner. The rest of that is window-dressing on a bad argument.
As mentioned previously, turn 1 Sol Ring actually reduces the chances of the player of winning
Of games specifically on camera. How many terrible games ended up on the cutting room floor because someone got trashed by Sol Ring and the game looked bad?

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

sol ring is a contender for the most powerful card legal in EDH. Probably top 3.

I think my list would go: or something like that :P

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Post by tstorm823 » 5 months ago

tarotplz wrote:
5 months ago
Ultimately I think this problem can be averted by simply telling newer players or really casual players to put a bit more ramp into their decks in general,
I don't actually think that's good advice. I know it's weird to say in the Sol Ring ban discussion thread I started, but I think people overrate ramp in this format. Ramp is a high variance strategy: it wins big and loses big. People remember their big wins and are demoralized by other people's big wins, while being exceptionally talented at writing off all the games they drew not enough mana for their finishers or not any finishers with their mana ("I lost cause of mana screw/flood!") Stuffing a deck full of mana stuff dilutes the power of the deck, and theoretically you make up for it with powerful finishers, but that leaves you susceptible to bad draws or spot answers (which people's lack of is another reason people think green is the dominant Commander color).

One of the things that sets Sol Ring apart from general ramp strategies is that it makes those busted starts without requiring you to sacrifice other aspects of your deck composition. You can just cut a land and add Sol Ring and play whatever strategy you feel like, and sometimes start the game with a 2-turn head start.
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Post by tarotplz » 5 months ago

pokken wrote:
5 months ago
sol ring is a contender for the most powerful card legal in EDH. Probably top 3.

I think my list would go: or something like that :P
I'm not sure I can agree with that list. Sure, Sol Ring and especially Mana Crypt are up there, but I doubt they take the #1 and #2 spots. I think that some of the more busted combo enablers in the format should be placed ahead of many of these. For example, as long as Protean Hulk and Flash exist in the same format, I think one of them (Hulk imo) should take the top spot.

Mystical Tutor above Demonic Tutor is also a very curious case. The 3 black tutors Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor and Imperial Seal can boast with a 100% inclusion rate in non-buget black cedh decks. There's simply no reason not to run them. Mystical Tutor is a great card, but not even close to that much of a staple.

There are also other format defining cards that should probably be on there and at pretty high positions like Tymna the Weaver.

Mana Vault is a good card, but I don't think that it would make my top 5 list at this point in time. Maybe a top 10, but I'm not sure about that.
tstorm823 wrote:
5 months ago
tarotplz wrote:
5 months ago
Ultimately I think this problem can be averted by simply telling newer players or really casual players to put a bit more ramp into their decks in general,
I don't actually think that's good advice. I know it's weird to say in the Sol Ring ban discussion thread I started, but I think people overrate ramp in this format. Ramp is a high variance strategy: it wins big and loses big. People remember their big wins and are demoralized by other people's big wins, while being exceptionally talented at writing off all the games they drew not enough mana for their finishers or not any finishers with their mana ("I lost cause of mana screw/flood!") Stuffing a deck full of mana stuff dilutes the power of the deck, and theoretically you make up for it with powerful finishers, but that leaves you susceptible to bad draws or spot answers (which people's lack of is another reason people think green is the dominant Commander color).

One of the things that sets Sol Ring apart from general ramp strategies is that it makes those busted starts without requiring you to sacrifice other aspects of your deck composition. You can just cut a land and add Sol Ring and play whatever strategy you feel like, and sometimes start the game with a 2-turn head start.
You really don't need to sacrifice much in terms of beckbuilding to fit in a nice little ramp suite that helps you cast your spells.

If everyone has decks that are well built and run smoothely, things will work out fine in both cases however.

if noone runs any ramp, everyone is on an equal playing field. If everyone runs ramp, everyone is on an equal playing field. Both situations are fine and none of them require a ban. With the huge differences in powerlevels between playgroups, this is just another aspect of that.

Sure, if only one player runs good ramp (or only one draws his/hers (even though I would argue that this is mostly due to bad deckbuilding)) that can lead to a one sided experience. However, this argument holds true in the other case aswell.

If noone runs ramp and a say mono white player gets mana screwed because he only put 34 lands into his deck with no card draw and constantly complains about not getting more than 3 lands with hs avergae cmc of 4.1, this will also lead to an unfun experience for that player. If he ran a bit of ramp, perhaps he would've been able to catch back up.

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Post by onering » 5 months ago

GloriousGoose wrote:
5 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.
A) T1 Sol Ring leading to a lower win percentage would not suggest cutting Sol Ring, it would suggest adjusting how you play Sol Ring, such as only dropping it T1 if you are sure you will net an insurmountable advantage by doing so, taking fewer risks to get an early Sol Ring (smarter Mulligan's for instance), holding off until turn 2 or 3 to drop your ring if you aren't going to be able to leverage it until turn 3 or 4 anyway, etc. That's not a straw man though, so it's harder to knock down right?.

B) Sounds smart until you see he only played 48 games with a turn 1 ring. He presents it as data, but it's an anectdote. I've played nearly as many games with turn 1 Sol Rinf since I've started keeping track, and I see win rate of about 23 percent. I'm not going to give you a breakdown because at fewer than 50 games it's still just anecdote, not reliable data. I highly question your source coming up with 30 percent win rate as the control. That means the average deck, in a 4+ player game, has about a 30 percent chance of winning. That's absurd.

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Post by onering » 5 months ago

MRHblue wrote:
5 months ago
onering wrote:
5 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.
This just is not true. A great 4 drop on T2 can win games, in a very powerful (and bad game) manner. The rest of that is window-dressing on a bad argument.
As mentioned previously, turn 1 Sol Ring actually reduces the chances of the player of winning
Of games specifically on camera. How many terrible games ended up on the cutting room floor because someone got trashed by Sol Ring and the game looked bad?
Yes, baseless assumptions is a fine form of argumentation, I'm so glad you followed up calling my post a bad argument without actually addressesing it by appealing to evidence that doesn't exist.

How often are casual games ruined by someone getting a 4 drop turn 2? In competitive metas sure, thats going to happen, but in metas where games go beyond turn 6?

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Post by Cow31337Killer » 4 months ago

Question: There was one sentiment at the end of the philosophy document where You claim (in essence) that the RC fells that the experience of EDH is better when you don't break the game. It may seem obvious what it means to "break the game", however I feel that I'm not alone thinking that "broken/game breaking" qualities are somewhat subjective. What do you feel qualifies as broken?
Answer: Broken to me always implies being able to do too much too fast. I've frequently said that whatever happens on Turn 10 is fine; the same thing happening Turn 3 on a regular basis becomes problematic because games devolve into either making it happen or stopping it from happening. Part of too much is locking other players out of the game before they have the opportunity to act, react, or interact. I know that the rest of the RC agrees with me that while we believe in running answers (no, really; pack some removal), there's a tipping point where you're running more answers than action, and the game suffers.
This is a statement from Sheldon in his AMA on reddit. I definitely agree with what he says here, but I can't help but ask: why doesn't this reasoning apply to cards like Sol Ring|CMD and Mana Crypt|EMA? Don't they create boardstates where people are able to do "too much too fast?"

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Post by MRHblue » 4 months ago

They have said they do not consider 2 mana 'too much' even in early games because they often see it mitigated with 3 v 1 action, or removal of the threat landed with the extra mana. I do not agree, but thats the data I have seen presented by Sheldon and papa_funk about that particular line of play.

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Post by tstorm823 » 4 months ago

MRHblue wrote:
4 months ago
They have said they do not consider 2 mana 'too much' even in early games because they often see it mitigated with 3 v 1 action, or removal of the threat landed with the extra mana. I do not agree, but thats the data I have seen presented by Sheldon and papa_funk about that particular line of play.
I think most people would agree with that assessment, that early fast mana is often mitigated by counterplay. The contentious part for most who want Sol Ring gone I think is whether often is enough. Even if it's mitigated often, that means there are still some occasions that are ruined. And for me personally, I don't enjoy the type of gameplay that properly mitigates early fast mana.

I want people to run removal, with or without Sol Ring they should have answers, but I prefer games where people develop in relative balance with one another so that removal is best held carefully for the perfect moment. One player going ham on turn 3 and everyone else having to nuke all their toys seems to me not substantially better than the blowout that was prevented.
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Post by umtiger » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
MRHblue wrote:
4 months ago
They have said they do not consider 2 mana 'too much' even in early games because they often see it mitigated with 3 v 1 action, or removal of the threat landed with the extra mana. I do not agree, but thats the data I have seen presented by Sheldon and papa_funk about that particular line of play.
I think most people would agree with that assessment, that early fast mana is often mitigated by counterplay. The contentious part for most who want Sol Ring gone I think is whether often is enough. Even if it's mitigated often, that means there are still some occasions that are ruined. And for me personally, I don't enjoy the type of gameplay that properly mitigates early fast mana.

I want people to run removal, with or without Sol Ring they should have answers, but I prefer games where people develop in relative balance with one another so that removal is best held carefully for the perfect moment. One player going ham on turn 3 and everyone else having to nuke all their toys seems to me not substantially better than the blowout that was prevented.
If the game starts out as Archenemy, and we placed odds on whether or not T1 Sol Ring would get the Archenemy out with a W. I don't think Sol Ring gets you there often enough where this is an issue, especially when the power level of EDH games is not that high. No one can withstand 3 other opponents, even with Sol Ring + other ramp.

In truth, I've seen turn 1/2 Mystic Remora deal more damage. And the cards from Mystic Remora are even better in the archenemy situation than Sol Ring alone. Or even T3 Smothering Tithe lead to crazier imbalances than Sol Ring.

There are enough games where T2 Rampant Growth → T3 Skyshroud Claim, I don't think taking Sol Ring out of the equation really changes the math. At least if you're playing green, which everyone will be doing if you ban fast mana.

I'd also want for more people to admit to actually liking Sol Ring and what the card means. I believe everyone would say that playing ahead on curve is one of the most fun aspects of EDH. Along with the pain some T1 Sol Ring games can bring, I know that it can lead to joy as well.

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Post by tstorm823 » 4 months ago

umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
If the game starts out as Archenemy, and we placed odds on whether or not T1 Sol Ring would get the Archenemy out with a W. I don't think Sol Ring gets you there often enough where this is an issue, especially when the power level of EDH games is not that high. No one can withstand 3 other opponents, even with Sol Ring + other ramp.
People can withstand 3 other opponents and win off fast mana. I'm not saying its ubiquitous, or even more common than not, but magic has variance. You can't just say nobody can withstand 3 opponents, because sometimes 3 opponents don't have the right answer for the threat. You increase your odds by having pseudo-teammates, but the possibility of non-games isn't gone by any means.
In truth, I've seen turn 1/2 Mystic Remora deal more damage. And the cards from Mystic Remora are even better in the archenemy situation than Sol Ring alone. Or even T3 Smothering Tithe lead to crazier imbalances than Sol Ring.
I've lost to Caustic Tar, that doesn't make the card fantastic. You can name any reasonably good card and say "I've seen this card do crazy things, way crazier than your average Sol Ring."
There are enough games where T2 Rampant Growth → T3 Skyshroud Claim, I don't think taking Sol Ring out of the equation really changes the math. At least if you're playing green, which everyone will be doing if you ban fast mana.
No, no they won't. I think this is the pro-Sol Ring argument I hate the most. a) If people want the fastest mana, they already play green. b) this is a format of self-expression, people don't change what deck they play based on a one-card change in what ramp is available to them. Nobody is going to tear apart their Grenzo deck because it can't play Sol Ring, that's completely absurd.

There's half an argument in the idea that green decks being played anyway will start winning more often if fast artifact mana gets cut, but I don't think that's true either. Especially with the common insistence that Sol Ring players don't actually win more often. You make this argument yourself. How do you simultaneously think Sol Ring doesn't win enough games to matter, that it's less damaging than a bunch of other cards, and then go on to think that if it were banned people would radically change their decks to different colors to stay competitive? You're latching onto any and every pro-Ring argument you can, because the thing you care about is this last paragraph and the rest is trying to justify it.
I'd also want for more people to admit to actually liking Sol Ring and what the card means. I believe everyone would say that playing ahead on curve is one of the most fun aspects of EDH. Along with the pain some T1 Sol Ring games can bring, I know that it can lead to joy as well.
No. Not everyone would say that. I don't even think most people would say that. Playing ahead on curve is almost completely arbitrary. The only real difference between a 7 drop threat on turn 3 and a 7 drop threat on turn 7 is your opponent's ability to answer it. Your joy at playing things out ahead of when you're supposed to is neither the joy of socializing nor the thrill of competition, it's just a power trip. It's like people hacking online video games to make themselves unreasonably overpowered, it's hard to say whether they even count as still playing the same game. And you're right, some people do enjoy that, but its at the expense of everyone else playing and should be removed from the game whenever possible.
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Post by lyonhaert » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
Your joy at playing things out ahead of when you're supposed to is neither the joy of socializing nor the thrill of competition, it's just a power trip.
It's perspectives like this that are good to check oneself against once in a while.



a) It cuts your deck down to 98 cards + Sol Ring
I agree with the other points, but this one is a big part of how I explain why I don't run it in anything. I'd noticed it help greatly in games I got it out early (T1 Myriad Landscape T2 Sol Ring being one of the most ridiculous of mine), but other games where I didn't have it were more consistent in their pace. For this many cards in a deck it still feels like I can't run even half of what I want to run in the deck, so being able to slot in one more of the cards that actually do cool stuff (and have a more consistent pace with the deck game after game) is what I like.

Up until I bought the C19 decks last week I only owned one copy anymore "just in case I ever built a deck that truly needed it". But that reason above is probably what will keep me from ever running it anyway. I could just leave them on the table at the LGS like draft chaff, but that's just encouraging somebody else to use them. Good thing the LGS still takes them. :grin:

P.S. I'm not above Grasping somebody else's and using it, but odds are they have something way better to steal if I targeted them.
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Post by DirkGently » 4 months ago

lyonhaert wrote:
4 months ago
...being able to slot in one more of the cards that actually do cool stuff...
I don't buy this argument for leaving it out. Sol ring produces mana, and it requires very little to play - it's basically just a really really good land. If you're cutting sol ring, the thing you should be replacing it with is a land, not something that "does cool stuff".

Same reason I don't buy the argument "well it sucks late-game". So do lands, usually, but you can't just not run them.
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Post by BOVINE » 4 months ago

Boring arguments as always. House Rules are encouraged for a reason. Enforce your own ban-list. Tailor your groups experience. I lol'd at Commander Sphere being compared to Sol Ring.
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Post by umtiger » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
People can withstand 3 other opponents and win off fast mana. I'm not saying its ubiquitous, or even more common than not, but magic has variance. You can't just say nobody can withstand 3 opponents, because sometimes 3 opponents don't have the right answer for the threat. You increase your odds by having pseudo-teammates, but the possibility of non-games isn't gone by any means.
My point isn't that fast mana doesn't increase your chances. My point is that not every T1 Sol Ring game is actually a "non-game." T1 Sol Ring games automatically being "non-games" is just not true.

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
I've lost to Caustic Tar, that doesn't make the card fantastic. You can name any reasonably good card and say "I've seen this card do crazy things, way crazier than your average Sol Ring."
How ridiculous? You have never lost to Caustic Tar. It might have caused the lost of your last 3 life, but you never lost due to Caustic Tar. I didn't name random reasonably good cards, I named cards (Mystic Remora/Smothering Tithe) that actually snow-ball just as hard if not harder than Sol Ring.
tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
No, no they won't. I think this is the pro-Sol Ring argument I hate the most. a) If people want the fastest mana, they already play green. b) this is a format of self-expression, people don't change what deck they play based on a one-card change in what ramp is available to them. Nobody is going to tear apart their Grenzo deck because it can't play Sol Ring, that's completely absurd.
Regardless of "self-expression," a lot of players will not play decks that cannot compete on the same resource axis as green. And even some of the people who cling to "self-expression" cling unto green as a means to facilitate their self-expression. It's not that people committed to playing Grenzo will all of the sudden drop it to play green. It's that many people wouldn't even begin to commit themselves to anything non-green in the first place.
tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
Playing ahead on curve is almost completely arbitrary [...] Your joy at playing things out ahead of when you're supposed to is neither the joy of socializing nor the thrill of competition, it's just a power trip. It's like people hacking online video games to make themselves unreasonably overpowered, it's hard to say whether they even count as still playing the same game. And you're right, some people do enjoy that, but its at the expense of everyone else playing and should be removed from the game whenever possible.
Playing things ahead of curve is not like "hacking." It's within the bounds of playing the game and not "hacking"/cheating. There's a reason why group hug decks play cards that ramp everyone. It's not always fun to wait until T4 or T6 to get your deck online.

I just don't characterize things like being able to cast fatties before turn 6 and reanimating big creatures as "power trips" and "anti-social." You just paint with a brush that's too broad.

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Post by tstorm823 » 4 months ago

umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
My point isn't that fast mana doesn't increase your chances. My point is that not every T1 Sol Ring game is actually a "non-game." T1 Sol Ring games automatically being "non-games" is just not true.
And nobody that I'm aware of has said that turn 1 Sol Ring games are automatically non-games. Just that some of them are. A card doesn't have to make every game a non-game to be bad for the format. Some is still bad. You're arguing against an argument not being made.
How ridiculous? You have never lost to Caustic Tar. It might have caused the lost of your last 3 life, but you never lost due to Caustic Tar. I didn't name random reasonably good cards, I named cards (Mystic Remora/Smothering Tithe) that actually snow-ball just as hard if not harder than Sol Ring.
Yes, I 100% have lost to Caustic Tar. It involved some land untapping effects and a Rings of Brighthearth, but I went from 40 to 0 in one turn from Caustic Tar.

Smothering Tithe costs 4 mana, not -1. If you're snowballing off of turn 1 Mystic Remora, your opponents chose for that to happen. I know Caustic Tar isn't in the same ballpark as the two cards you named, but none are comparable to Sol Ring. They don't do the same thing.
Regardless of "self-expression," a lot of players will not play decks that cannot compete on the same resource axis as green. And even some of the people who cling to "self-expression" cling unto green as a means to facilitate their self-expression. It's not that people committed to playing Grenzo will all of the sudden drop it to play green. It's that many people wouldn't even begin to commit themselves to anything non-green in the first place.
I dispute this entirely. People know what sorts of cards and strategies are more or less powerful, and not only do people not gravitate to them, lots of us avoid them on purpose, and the only exception is Sol Ring. Like, I don't check edhrec for much, but this is the perfect time to use it. Sol Ring is in 76% of the decks from the last 2 years. Swords to Plowshares is the only other card to top 50% of the decks it's legal in. Do you think only 29% of black decks could use Demonic Tutor? No. The lack of truly ubiquitous staples is because in every case except Sol Ring, people are more than willing to play unique, if less powerful cards. People aren't going to pick commanders differently because they need green without Sol Ring.

That being said, if green suddenly became a superpower that steamrolled other colors because Sol Ring was banned, that only feels worse since people won't be switching decks. But as someone who plays without Sol Rings, sometimes against Sol Rings and sometimes not, and who plays exceptionally few green decks (2 out of 8 currently, every other color has at least 4 of the 8), I don't feel like green decks are bullying me in any way, shape, or form.
Playing things ahead of curve is not like "hacking." It's within the bounds of playing the game and not "hacking"/cheating. There's a reason why group hug decks play cards that ramp everyone. It's not always fun to wait until T4 or T6 to get your deck online.

I just don't characterize things like being able to cast fatties before turn 6 and reanimating big creatures as "power trips" and "anti-social." You just paint with a brush that's too broad.
Seriously, what is the difference to you between playing a fatty on turn 6 and playing it on turn 3? In real world time, the table of people that draw 1 and play a land and play on curve gets to casting big fat threats just as quickly as the people who ramp them out on turn 3. If anything, group hug slows the game down and makes you wait longer to hit battlecruise time. I may have some amount of expertise on the subject of group hug effects, and I can tell you, I have never enjoyed them because they might arbitrarily decrease the turn counter before the game ends.
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Post by umtiger » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
Yes, I 100% have lost to Caustic Tar. It involved some land untapping effects and a Rings of Brighthearth, but I went from 40 to 0 in one turn from Caustic Tar.

Smothering Tithe costs 4 mana, not -1. If you're snowballing off of turn 1 Mystic Remora, your opponents chose for that to happen. I know Caustic Tar isn't in the same ballpark as the two cards you named, but none are comparable to Sol Ring. They don't do the same thing.
You know Caustic Tar isn't in the same ballpark and that it doesn't belong in the conversation, yet you still mention it. I get it, you're trying to make me seem ridiculous, by being even moreso. It's a nice story, but maybe your threat assessment is off if you view Caustic Tar as anything but a bystander to Rings enabling a cool win.

If you're only point is that a huge resource imbalance is ok at 4 cmc but not at 1 cmc, then I would propose that 2 from Sol Ring isn't really that much in the grand scheme of EDH. Every "problem" about Sol Ring is when it ramps into something else very early and the table didn't face a Bane of Progress or the like. It's never just the 2, it's the snowball. Those cards "don't do the [exact] same thing," but the reason why I mention S.Tithe is they can lead to a huge resource imbalance or snowball. And in that way, they are the same.

I just don't see the point with grumbling about Sol Ring when there are plenty of other cards that lead to the same snowball. And that powerful interactions are very common in EDH.
tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
I dispute this entirely. People know what sorts of cards and strategies are more or less powerful, and not only do people not gravitate to them, lots of us avoid them on purpose, and the only exception is Sol Ring. Like, I don't check edhrec for much, but this is the perfect time to use it. Sol Ring is in 76% of the decks from the last 2 years.
From my point of view, edhrec informs me people know which commanders (the CMDR set ones) are strongest and they do gravitative towards them. People like being able to do powerful things. It seems more likely that people don't avoid powerful things.

And I see Sol Ring's universal appeal as a positive. I get to be like Green without having to make my deck green. Sure, you might see it only as a means to T4 the entire table, but I see it as a way to play giants, dragons, and huge mana spells that otherwise only see play in my Limited Infinity Stack:https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2004-03-01

Personally, I have 3 non-Sol Ring decks (Nikya, Sram, Child of Alara) of my main 4 decks. And I didn't choose them just to not run Sol Ring. I have never felt that Sol Ring makes it a 98 card format. I wouldn't say I'm "pro-Sol Ring." However, I definitely don't stand on the same side with the "anti-Sol Ring "people. To me, you all are kinda like another sect of anti-people similar to the anti-tutor people.

We all share the same road. If the speed limit is 40 mph, I think that it's okay for some cars to accelerate there faster than others as long as everyone is following the rules of the road and being courteous drivers. Some people have heavier feet and some people have more powerful engines. People who have $5000 used cars shouldn't get to yell at people who bought new cars. And people who drive 6000 lb trucks shouldn't get to yell at Prius-drivers. And if people want to go to the track and race, that's fine too if they follow the agreed upon rules of the track. The problem isn't people having fast cars, it's when people want to race on the street and not the track or when people don't follow the rules of the road/track.
tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
Seriously, what is the difference to you between playing a fatty on turn 6 and playing it on turn 3?
I think it's a huge deal to be able to play ahead of curve. You think the only time someone should be able to play two 5cmc cards on the same turn is on turn 10? If you only play on curve, how do fatties compete against 3 players with Doom Blades, StPs, Counterspells, and Wraths?

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Post by Vertain » 4 months ago

BOVINE wrote:
4 months ago
Boring arguments as always. House Rules are encouraged for a reason. Enforce your own ban-list. Tailor your groups experience. I lol'd at Commander Sphere being compared to Sol Ring.
If House Rules were the perfect catch-all answer to any given problem you say they are, we wouldn't need this thread, this subforum, or even the entire ban-list. That may be true for your playgroup, in which case I sincerely envy you, but unfortunately, the fact that we have all of the above things suggests this is not the case for everyone.

Also, as far as casual Commander is concerned, I don't think ramp (green or artifact-based) decks will benefit from the abscence of Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, in fact I dare say they benefit even more from having these two cards than other decks do. Since they already try to ramp, they can count on consistently being "ahead of curve" and build the rest of their decks accordingly. These are precicely the decks that are most likely to run away with the game on the back of a turn one Ring/Crypt.
umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
We all share the same road. If the speed limit is 40 mph, I think that it's okay for some cars to accelerate there faster than others as long as everyone is following the rules of the road and being courteous drivers. Some people have heavier feet and some people have more powerful engines. People who have $5000 used cars shouldn't get to yell at people who bought new cars. And people who drive 6000 lb trucks shouldn't get to yell at Prius-drivers. And if people want to go to the track and race, that's fine too if they follow the agreed upon rules of the track. The problem isn't people having fast cars, it's when people want to race on the street and not the track or when people don't follow the rules of the road/track.
The problem I have with this analogy is that Ring and Crypt aren't "better engines", which would refer to decks as a whole, they are occasional headstarts, determined by luck alone. Sure, other drivers could still eventually catch up, but is it really beneficial to the experience as a whole that they now have to? I do fully agree with the final statement, that the inherent problem I'm having with fast mana in my playgroup does in fact come from those players who actively abuse it with no regards to the core philosophy of the format (casual multiplayer) and I avoid playing with them whenever possible. However, removing Ring and Crypt would even out the playing field a little. The less competitive players don't need access to unfair cards, they need the breathing room of not having to mulligan an otherwise playable hand because it doesn't have fast mana or removal/countermagic that costs 2 or less.

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Post by tstorm823 » 4 months ago

umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
You know Caustic Tar isn't in the same ballpark and that it doesn't belong in the conversation, yet you still mention it. I get it, you're trying to make me seem ridiculous, by being even moreso. It's a nice story, but maybe your threat assessment is off if you view Caustic Tar as anything but a bystander to Rings enabling a cool win.
I'm not trying to make you look ridiculous. The things you're saying aren't unreasonable arguments, but I think the premise on which you argue is flawed, so I'm applying the principle to a ridiculous situation to help identify the issue. Like, it's not wrong to argue that equal cards deserve equal treatment, but you're grouping cards based on the possibility of running away with a game, and an extreme example was meant to display that "can take over a game" isn't the right comparison.
If you're only point is that a huge resource imbalance is ok at 4 cmc but not at 1 cmc, then I would propose that 2 from Sol Ring isn't really that much in the grand scheme of EDH. Every "problem" about Sol Ring is when it ramps into something else very early and the table didn't face a Bane of Progress or the like. It's never just the 2, it's the snowball. Those cards "don't do the [exact] same thing," but the reason why I mention S.Tithe is they can lead to a huge resource imbalance or snowball. And in that way, they are the same.

I just don't see the point with grumbling about Sol Ring when there are plenty of other cards that lead to the same snowball. And that powerful interactions are very common in EDH.
Playing something oppressive on turn 3 isn't snowballing. That's not what snowballing is. Smothering Tithe snowballs, that's all it does. You play it, and you accrue value over time as people draw cards, and that value compounds and builds momentum. That card snowballs. Sol Ring can snowball, it can be ramp that ramps into more ramp and you build your advantage over time, ramp basically is snowballing as a strategy. But that's not the only thing Sol Ring does. Sol Ring is also a ritual, and someone ritualing out an early threat is a very different play pattern than snowballing value with different complications than resource imbalance. Someone who uses normal rituals to blitz out a threat is arguably putting themselves down on the resource balance (assuming the threat isn't like Griselbrand), where a single answer undoes the effect of multiple cards at once. Turn 2 multiple rituals into Sire of Insanity is an oppressive line, it's difficult to answer because it blows out the game before you have yourself well set up to answer it. That's not snowballing, that's pure burst speed. But if someone has a Swords to Plowshares at the ready, the ritual player is super blown out.

There are, to my knowledge, exactly 2 cards in the game that offer both the early burst speed of mana rituals and the snowballing resource advantage of traditional ramp, both aspects having the potential to determine the course of a game. One of these cards is in roughly 3 out of 4 decks in the format.
And I see Sol Ring's universal appeal as a positive. I get to be like Green without having to make my deck green. Sure, you might see it only as a means to T4 the entire table, but I see it as a way to play giants, dragons, and huge mana spells that otherwise only see play in my Limited Infinity Stack:https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2004-03-01
You can play those things without Sol Ring. I guarantee you do play these things without Sol Ring, because every deck with Sol Ring can fail to draw it. If you have a deck with both a Sol Ring and a big dumb dragon, and you draw the big dumb dragon before you have the Sol Ring, do you look at it and go "crap, I guess I'm not playing this creature." No, you just play it a turn or two later. Lack of Sol Ring (or Mana Crypt) isn't the deciding factor on whether to play fatties. I promise, big threatening creatures are still a win condition on turn 6. If nobody played any early ramp at all in the entire format, big mana threats would still reign supreme in 4-person 40 life games of magic. Sol Ring is not the singular card making 9-mana spells win games. I say this as someone who refuses to play Sol Ring and likes Grozoth. 9 drops can still win games on turn 9, I swear.
I think it's a huge deal to be able to play ahead of curve. You think the only time someone should be able to play two 5cmc cards on the same turn is on turn 10? If you only play on curve, how do fatties compete against 3 players with Doom Blades, StPs, Counterspells, and Wraths?
Seriously, what's the difference in waiting turns? How is fairly playing ahead of curve not an arbitrary difference. What is the difference in 7-mana spells on turn 4 vs 7-mana spells on turn 7 other than fewer cards drawn and the possibility of someone being left behind? How is a turn 4 Thraximundar any more resilient against Swords than a turn 7 Thrax? It isn't. You're just hoping to kill people before they draw any counterplay at all. You're hoping for a non-interactive game, which is to say a non-game. And conversely if everyone is playing ahead of curve, nobody is. There's just a different completely meaningless number if someone asks what turn you're on. Why is a different arbitrary turn number more fun?
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Post by DirkGently » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
You can play those things without Sol Ring. I guarantee you do play these things without Sol Ring, because every deck with Sol Ring can fail to draw it. If you have a deck with both a Sol Ring and a big dumb dragon, and you draw the big dumb dragon before you have the Sol Ring, do you look at it and go "crap, I guess I'm not playing this creature." No, you just play it a turn or two later. Lack of Sol Ring (or Mana Crypt) isn't the deciding factor on whether to play fatties. I promise, big threatening creatures are still a win condition on turn 6. If nobody played any early ramp at all in the entire format, big mana threats would still reign supreme in 4-person 40 life games of magic. Sol Ring is not the singular card making 9-mana spells win games. I say this as someone who refuses to play Sol Ring and likes Grozoth. 9 drops can still win games on turn 9, I swear.
In my Kaervek deck, sol ring and mana crypt are actually a pretty major part of what makes the deck work. It's not just two cards - it's also gamble, vamp, demo, grim, seal...maybe some others I'm forgetting. Anyway, having ring/crypt probably means I drop kaervek like a turn earlier on average, given how many hits I have for them.

Kaervek is still ok even if I don't draw fast mana or a tutor for fast mana, but the deck would definitely be a lot worse without them. Possibly enough worse that I'd stop enjoying it, although who knows.

None of that is to say that sol ring and mana crypt are fair cards or that they should be legal (or that vamp, demo, seal, etc should be legal either I suppose), but removing them does have larger ramifications than just removing one good ramp spell in a deck. If I'm making a deck that's trying to cast an expensive commander ASAP, then I'm probably going to run as many cheap tutors as I can explicitly for ring/crypt because they're so much more efficient than anything else, even when you're using a tutor to fetch them. If I'm tutoring for something fair - say, worn powerstone...yeah, idk if that's worth it. Especially for something like grim tutor, which is pretty good with crypt but pretty crap with fair ramp.
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Post by umtiger » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
You can play those things without Sol Ring. I guarantee you do play these things without Sol Ring, because every deck with Sol Ring can fail to draw it. If you have a deck with both a Sol Ring and a big dumb dragon, and you draw the big dumb dragon before you have the Sol Ring, do you look at it and go "crap, I guess I'm not playing this creature." No, you just play it a turn or two later. Lack of Sol Ring (or Mana Crypt) isn't the deciding factor on whether to play fatties. I promise, big threatening creatures are still a win condition on turn 6. If nobody played any early ramp at all in the entire format, big mana threats would still reign supreme in 4-person 40 life games of magic. Sol Ring is not the singular card making 9-mana spells win games. I say this as someone who refuses to play Sol Ring and likes Grozoth. 9 drops can still win games on turn 9, I swear.
If they decided to ban the Urza-tron lands in Modern, players can still "choose" to play play Karn Liberated and Ulamog. But it wouldn't remotely be the same. Because the turn in which you play things matters. And large cmc cards are at an inherent disadvantage vs low cmc cards. Even when their effects scale beyond their mana costs, low cmc cards are still stronger than high cmc cards. That is true in every format where players pay mana costs.

Without fast mana and playing ahead on curve, high mana cards have no chance. Sol Ring is definitely a deciding factor. 9 drops on turn 9 do not win more games than lower mana cards.

It's not meaningless to be able to play a 7 cmc threat on turn 5 instead of turn 7 due to the 2 from Sol Ring. If you spend your entire turn 7 casting Thraximundar and get it Stp'd, it's much worse than having Thrax Stp'd on turn 5. Because:
1.) It's a much larger loss in tempo.
2.) On turn 7, your opponents are probably better positioned to punish that kind of tempo loss than on turn 5.

People who use Sol Ring are not solely wanting to end a game as fast as possible. They just want their 7 drops to be able to hang with 3-4 drops because it's fun to be able to play huge splashy cards on similar terms with cheaper cards.

You can personally refuse Sol Ring. Or go even further and just build decks that optimally wouldn't even use Sol Ring.
Vertain wrote:
4 months ago
The problem I have with this analogy is that Ring and Crypt aren't "better engines", which would refer to decks as a whole, they are occasional headstarts, determined by luck alone. Sure, other drivers could still eventually catch up, but is it really beneficial to the experience as a whole that they now have to? I do fully agree with the final statement, that the inherent problem I'm having with fast mana in my playgroup does in fact come from those players who actively abuse it with no regards to the core philosophy of the format (casual multiplayer) and I avoid playing with them whenever possible. However, removing Ring and Crypt would even out the playing field a little. The less competitive players don't need access to unfair cards, they need the breathing room of not having to mulligan an otherwise playable hand because it doesn't have fast mana or removal/countermagic that costs 2 or less.
To me, the "engine" of a deck is always the mana. Because you build your entire deck around the mana and what it can do the same way vehicles are built around their engines. And the "headstart" would just be having a better built deck than an opponent or being a stronger player. And having a well built deck isn't necessarily judged on power level.

Casual also means too many different things. There's nothing wrong with Sol Ring powering-up someone's coin-flip deck. Sol Ring is also one of the ways a weaker strategy (e.g. coin flipping) or worse built deck can play against other decks. If you get a 2 discount once a turn, most medium cards become better. So I'd say Sol Ring helps a weaker deck more than a stronger deck.

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Post by Vertain » 4 months ago

umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
Sol Ring is also one of the ways a weaker strategy (e.g. coin flipping) or worse built deck can play against other decks. If you get a 2 discount once a turn, most medium cards become better. So I'd say Sol Ring helps a weaker deck more than a stronger deck.
Yes and no. Fast mana may allow a weaker deck to compete with a stronger one that doesn't have it, but when it's the other way round and the stronger deck gets to have fast mana while the weaker deck doesn't, the latter becomes almost irrelevant. Plus, the stronger deck is also more likely to run Mana Crypt and/or cheap tutors for those cards as well, which further stacks the odds against the weaker deck. That aside, all that fast mana does in such a scenario is adding another layer of variance, which I don't think is beneficial to the format as a whole.

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Post by tstorm823 » 4 months ago

umtiger wrote:
4 months ago
If they decided to ban the Urza-tron lands in Modern, players can still "choose" to play play Karn Liberated and Ulamog. But it wouldn't remotely be the same. Because the turn in which you play things matters. And large cmc cards are at an inherent disadvantage vs low cmc cards. Even when their effects scale beyond their mana costs, low cmc cards are still stronger than high cmc cards. That is true in every format where players pay mana costs.

Without fast mana and playing ahead on curve, high mana cards have no chance. Sol Ring is definitely a deciding factor. 9 drops on turn 9 do not win more games than lower mana cards.
Are you even talking about commander? Have you seen the list of banned cards in commander? Excluding the lands and the power 9, the average cmc of banned cards here is like 5 mana. We're talking sixes, sevens, eights. Multiple 8 mana spells are banned in this format. If you go to wizards banned and restricted page, there are 9 cards mentioned on the whole page that cost more than 6 (excluding delve cards) and every single one of them is in commander. And commander has as many sixes as the entire rest of the page combined. It's not because Sol Ring is in the format, look at how different the ban list is from the vintage restricted list. You can have just as many Sol Rings in your vintage deck as you can in your commander deck, but vintage restrict Monastery Mentor while commander bans Sundering Titan. It's not Sol Ring that makes high cmc mega-threats powerful in commander, it's the ~4 player, 40 life format that does that. Use any deck construction rules you want in a 40 life multiplayer format and see if the oppressive cards are Sylvan Primordials or Deathrite Shaman.
You can personally refuse Sol Ring. Or go even further and just build decks that optimally wouldn't even use Sol Ring.
I do, in fact, play no Sol Rings.
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Post by umtiger » 4 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
Are you even talking about commander? [...]It's not Sol Ring that makes high cmc mega-threats powerful in commander, it's the ~4 player, 40 life format that does that. Use any deck construction rules you want in a 40 life multiplayer format and see if the oppressive cards are Sylvan Primordials or Deathrite Shaman.
I am talking about commander. EDH is not some magical format that exists on its own, rules and heuristics from other formats (even the competitive ones) apply here too. I'm just using an example from another format to more clearly demonstrate that playing ahead on curve isn't arbitrary. And that being able to play expensive threats necessitates having mana.

If you honestly feel that you being able to play two 5 mana cards on the same turn should only happen on turn 10 and that cards like Mirari's Wake aren't fun, then you are in the minority.

Mana curves trending downward and power level creeping up are correlated. You can lean on the buffer of 40 life all you want, but when you're playing Wurms and "dumb Dragons" (your words not mine, I think Dragons are cool not dumb) against people doing lower cmc things, you will not win. 40 life is not what you need. You need mana.

Even in a 40 life format, cheap cards are still better. Just having 40 life isn't enough to help someone cast expensive cards. Besides, 40 life is not some unassailable barrier. Even low power decks can deal +40 damage by turn 6 with one straight forward, scaling threat like Pathbreaker Ibex.

If you look at all of the decks where people are trying to T3-T4 each other, they are chock full of cheap cards, not expensive ones. They would play many, many, many more Deathrite Shamans and cards like it before playing their one Sylvan Primordial. Just having 40 life isn't enough to help someone cast expensive cards.
tstorm823 wrote:
4 months ago
I do, in fact, play no Sol Rings.
Yay! Me too. But you can also lay off of the people who choose not to make the same choice. And not paint them all as "anti-social," win at all costs-type of people who are out to ruin anyone's experience.

I like playing my decks. And when people "say that they need to play Sol Ring," I just point out that my deck goes without it just fine and I can still win more than my fair share against decks with Sol Rings. The cards I enjoy destroying most with Child of Alara are planeswalkers and Sol Rings.

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