Combos With Everything (Earthcraft and Ashnod's)

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ISBPathfinder
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 3 weeks ago


I understand the RC's stance on cards that have purpose outside of combos but at what point do cards just break with literally anything? I feel like Ashnod's and Earthcraft have been long time favorites and super powerful cards but the problem is if you look at them today vs where they were 10+ years ago they just keep breaking every other set it feels like. These are horribly powerful cards that players do love playing with but they also break the game when you look at them sideways.

Is there ever a point where these cards need to eat the Primeval Titan or Paradox Engine treatment of just making them stop? You could probably also attach Phyrexian Altar into the mix too.

I don't think that you can quite fit the RC's banned list philosophy to these two cards but I think there are a lot of elements of other cards that were banned that you can partially fit to these two cards. I also think that these cards have escalated in how broken they are today in comparison to where they were much earlier in the format's lifetime as far as what they can and do go infinite with.
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Post by umtiger » 3 weeks ago

Do these cards really keep breaking with every "new" set?

Or is design space just finite, and sooner or later WotC just prints a semi functional reprint or rehash an old card? For example, Viscera Seer is just 2nd copy of Carrion Feeder. Reveillark another Karmic Guide. Deceiver Exarch = Pestermite.

It wasn't long ago when people were posting about how Deadeye Navigator combo'd with everything and wanted that banned. And before that even longer ago, the same thing with Crystal Shard since it also "combo'd" with everything that ETB'd.

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Post by DirkGently » 3 weeks ago

umtiger wrote:
3 weeks ago
It wasn't long ago when people were posting about how Deadeye Navigator combo'd with everything and wanted that banned.
Wait, did we stop doing that? I still want that bastard banned.

Besides squirrel nest idk that I can think of any 2-card combos with earthcraft or ashnods (totally open to being wrong but I can't think of any). I feel like DEN presents a bigger problem since it is an extremely powerful card that also goes infinite with at least 3 different single cards. Not that it's an urgent must-ban, but if I got to ban some cards, it'd probably be pretty high on my list.

oh wait, also Spawning Grounds lmao. Don't see that one much though. Actually don't see earthcraft much at all unless it's only my side of the table (and I'm a good boy mostly).
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Post by Mookie » 3 weeks ago

....I don't think I can envision a world in which Ashnod's Altar is worthy of a ban. It's certainly one of the better sac outlets in the format, but I'm not aware of any sacrifice-based combos dominating the format. Most sacrifice-based combos require 3+ pieces, which makes them more difficult to pull off than 2-card combos like Splinter Twin. Critically, I don't think removing Ashnod's Altar would have any meaningful impact on the format - there are numerous free sac outlets available to replace it.

I could see Earthcraft being banned, but it still seems somewhat unlikely. It can function as a part in 2-card combos (most notably with Squirrel Nest), but there aren't that many cards printed to let basic lands generate tokens. The thing that would make me actually consider its banning is the non-combo use case - it's pretty trivial for it to be generating absurd amounts of mana, particularly in a token deck. The fact that it isn't technically a tap ability also makes it miles stronger than Cryptolith Rite, its closest replacement. However, its price keeps it out of most decks, which means I don't actually see it show up that often. If it ever becomes more widespread, I could see it being banned, but currently, it's in the 'broken but not widely played' bucket, alongside stuff like Mana Crypt and Mox Opal.

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Post by folding_music » 3 weeks ago

I really dislike all them outlets with no activation cost and Ashnod's seems like the most universally played - the way it stops you landing auras on yr opponent's creatures and fizzles cantrippy removal is weirdly frustrating on a card that also provides a bunch of mana. any Altar in a deck that generates a bunch of token creatures has a restrictive effect on what an opponent can do to counter it evenly. plus it's an efficient ritual when yr opponent is in position to win and Naturalizing it on sight in that situation isn't enough. i do think it's a fairly problematic card, both as an aide to victory and as a control-frustration option over a longer game.

don't really understand the commander banlist though, I couldn't say for sure whether it should be on or off

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Post by pokken » 3 weeks ago

So I have three problems with starting the combo enabling ban train especially with these cards.

1. The slope is slippery. There are a lot of effects that enable A+B+C combos with a variety of mechanics (things like sac outlet + recursion enabler + thing that stops the recursion enabler from being limited). Do you start just hammering open sac outlets? Because people will move toward Viscera Seer and Carrion Feeder combos for that experience.

The fun added to the format of 4 and 5 card wombo combos with various open sac outlets is enough for me to say let them be. If people want to Earthcraft + Squirrel Nest that's a worthy sacrifice for people being able to do Earthcraft + Sprout Swarm + Doubling Season + Animation Module or whatever bullcrap. Johnnys love that stuff and I think it's fine.

2. We (collectively) have decided that policing A+B combos is not appropriate. The format can't handle it, there're just too many that have too much positive value on their own as cards. If we start banning the more complex enablers, I think there's a push toward adopting A+B combos.

I've come to believe that 3-4 piece infinite combos are good for the format. The game of magic is so complex that trying to drum infinite combos out of the format is cutting a major chunk of the game out.

3. This change has a lot of collateral damage as well as both of these cards have significant fair uses as well. Altar and Earthcraft are pretty great ramp spells in token strategies.

--

And if you want to do some serious looking at "what's wrong with EDH?" right now, it has almost nothing to do with various mediocre combos and has everything to do with:

Insanely pushed value engines driving everyone toward more powerful, compact cEDH combos like Hermit Druid and Thassa's Oracle. We live in a world where Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker isn't frigging good enough anymore for the most part :P It's grotesque.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 3 weeks ago

Some of the biggest issue I have with these cards is that they are legitimately good cards but they are so good that they go infinite. This means you can just play them out and they do ridiculously good things and in the process of the decks that would play them they combine with other cards you just naturally want to be running to go infinite.

Compare this against many two card combos and you will see that many two card combos aren't really viable cards outside of their combos. Don't get me wrong.... they will do something but its not like Walking Ballista or Heliod are really functional EDH cards in 99% of decks they get put into. This isn't me getting into what is and isn't cEDH or anything but me saying that these cards are great cards that break the game with a lot of other cards while being amazing cards in the decks they get included into.

In several cases these cards can also sort of protect themselves in that they can potentially execute their loop multiple times in response to trying to interact with them as well. In some cases interacting with other combo pieces when they are on the stack will work but its another issue I have with them. If they resolve and you have interaction for them sometimes they protect themselves.
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Post by Dunharrow » 3 weeks ago

Before we go after 2 or 3 card combo enablers can we maybe reconsider Food Chain, a one card combo that has no place in commander?

I don't think anyone has ever looked at my Nim Deathmantle + Ashnod's Altar + Sun Titan + critter combo and complained about the Altar. I don't see how you can consider it the issue. If people are assembling 3 or 4 card combos it hardly matters when there are hundreds of other options.

Earthcraft is funny to me. I have maybe seen squirrel nest once in 10 years? Let's not exaggerate and say earthcraft is breaking games. it is expensive and will only see less play than it already sees, which is very little.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 3 weeks ago

Dunharrow wrote:
3 weeks ago
Before we go after 2 or 3 card combo enablers can we maybe reconsider Food Chain, a one card combo that has no place in commander?

I don't think anyone has ever looked at my Nim Deathmantle + Ashnod's Altar + Sun Titan + critter combo and complained about the Altar. I don't see how you can consider it the issue. If people are assembling 3 or 4 card combos it hardly matters when there are hundreds of other options.

Earthcraft is funny to me. I have maybe seen squirrel nest once in 10 years? Let's not exaggerate and say earthcraft is breaking games. it is expensive and will only see less play than it already sees, which is very little.
Food Chain is also restricted to a very few select commanders (I can't actually name one other than Prossh offhand). The only reason you don't see more earthcraft is because its price tag. It combos with a lot more than squirrel nest but people don't complain because its multiple cards. Were you not going to run Earthcraft + Double Token outlets in your token deck? My argument is more that they are great cards that go infinite without needing to dedicate cards to them being infiniite.

Sacred Mesa + Earthcraft + Doubling Season is an example of an infinite combo using non obscure cards where each of those cards is worth running of its own merit. I would say Ant Queen to keep it mono green but I think Ant Queen is probably not an example of really a worthwhile card in a vacuum. Often times you can replace the token producer with a commander like say Ghave or Marath though and you have a three card combo involving a commander and cards you were going to run anyways.

Introduce a few newer commanders like Chatterfang, Squirrel General and they can replace other parts of the infinite just needing a slightly different token producer. This isn't even me reaching and looking up a bunch, just naming a few that come to mind immediately and its not even the list of concerning not quite infinite nonsense you can do with some of the ETB based creature concepts with draw functions to them.
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Post by kirkusjones » 3 weeks ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
3 weeks ago
Dunharrow wrote:
3 weeks ago
Before we go after 2 or 3 card combo enablers can we maybe reconsider Food Chain, a one card combo that has no place in commander?

I don't think anyone has ever looked at my Nim Deathmantle + Ashnod's Altar + Sun Titan + critter combo and complained about the Altar. I don't see how you can consider it the issue. If people are assembling 3 or 4 card combos it hardly matters when there are hundreds of other options.

Earthcraft is funny to me. I have maybe seen squirrel nest once in 10 years? Let's not exaggerate and say earthcraft is breaking games. it is expensive and will only see less play than it already sees, which is very little.
Food Chain is also restricted to a very few select commanders (I can't actually name one other than Prossh offhand). The only reason you don't see more earthcraft is because its price tag. It combos with a lot more than squirrel nest but people don't complain because its multiple cards. Were you not going to run Earthcraft + Double Token outlets in your token deck? My argument is more that they are great cards that go infinite without needing to dedicate cards to them being infiniite.

Sacred Mesa + Earthcraft + Doubling Season is an example of an infinite combo using non obscure cards where each of those cards is worth running of its own merit. I would say Ant Queen to keep it mono green but I think Ant Queen is probably not an example of really a worthwhile card in a vacuum. Often times you can replace the token producer with a commander like say Ghave or Marath though and you have a three card combo involving a commander and cards you were going to run anyways.

Introduce a few newer commanders like Chatterfang, Squirrel General and they can replace other parts of the infinite just needing a slightly different token producer. This isn't even me reaching and looking up a bunch, just naming a few that come to mind immediately and its not even the list of concerning not quite infinite nonsense you can do with some of the ETB based creature concepts with draw functions to them.
Ukkima, Stalking Shadow is the other commander that goes infinite with Food Chain, given that you play whatever the partner is to have access to green.

If you're banning Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar can't be far behind. As Pokken already pointed out, hitting sac outlets and combo pieces is a slippery slope. Yes, Earthcraft is a great card. So are Survival of the Fittest, Cyclonic Rift, and Necropotence. Just because they're standalone great cards that also enable combos doesn't mean they should eat bans.

Everyone has cards they hate in this format and wish were cast into heart of the sun. These two (or three) just happen to be yours.

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Post by DirkGently » 3 weeks ago

kirkusjones wrote:
3 weeks ago
Ukkima, Stalking Shadow is the other commander that goes infinite with Food Chain, given that you play whatever the partner is to have access to green.
Don't think so. It just gives an outlet for the mana generated by food chain (off the misthollow griffin etc combos). afaik prossh is the only one who goes infinite on his own since he generates more mana from food chain with each cast. Don't think anything else scales in a way that food chain can use (oh, wait, maybe that MH2 storm ooze can now that I think about it)
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Post by kirkusjones » 3 weeks ago

DirkGently wrote:
3 weeks ago
kirkusjones wrote:
3 weeks ago
Ukkima, Stalking Shadow is the other commander that goes infinite with Food Chain, given that you play whatever the partner is to have access to green.
Don't think so. It just gives an outlet for the mana generated by food chain (off the misthollow griffin etc combos). afaik prossh is the only one who goes infinite on his own since he generates more mana from food chain with each cast. Don't think anything else scales in a way that food chain can use (oh, wait, maybe that MH2 storm ooze can now that I think about it)
D'oh. You're right.

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Post by Dunharrow » 3 weeks ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
3 weeks ago
Dunharrow wrote:
3 weeks ago
Before we go after 2 or 3 card combo enablers can we maybe reconsider Food Chain, a one card combo that has no place in commander?

I don't think anyone has ever looked at my Nim Deathmantle + Ashnod's Altar + Sun Titan + critter combo and complained about the Altar. I don't see how you can consider it the issue. If people are assembling 3 or 4 card combos it hardly matters when there are hundreds of other options.

Earthcraft is funny to me. I have maybe seen squirrel nest once in 10 years? Let's not exaggerate and say earthcraft is breaking games. it is expensive and will only see less play than it already sees, which is very little.
Food Chain is also restricted to a very few select commanders (I can't actually name one other than Prossh offhand). The only reason you don't see more earthcraft is because its price tag. It combos with a lot more than squirrel nest but people don't complain because its multiple cards. Were you not going to run Earthcraft + Double Token outlets in your token deck? My argument is more that they are great cards that go infinite without needing to dedicate cards to them being infiniite.

Sacred Mesa + Earthcraft + Doubling Season is an example of an infinite combo using non obscure cards where each of those cards is worth running of its own merit. I would say Ant Queen to keep it mono green but I think Ant Queen is probably not an example of really a worthwhile card in a vacuum. Often times you can replace the token producer with a commander like say Ghave or Marath though and you have a three card combo involving a commander and cards you were going to run anyways.

Introduce a few newer commanders like Chatterfang, Squirrel General and they can replace other parts of the infinite just needing a slightly different token producer. This isn't even me reaching and looking up a bunch, just naming a few that come to mind immediately and its not even the list of concerning not quite infinite nonsense you can do with some of the ETB based creature concepts with draw functions to them.
No card is being banned because of 3 card combos. I get that Earthcraft is generically good in token decks and combos with other good cards you would play anyway, but Sun Titan combos with way more cards if you are looking at 3 card combos, and I have seen Sun Titan played a lot more ubiquitously than Earthcraft. If you want Earthcraft out you have to realize that there are dozens of cards that would need to be banned.
The first time I Sun Titan combo'd I didn't even know I had combos in my deck. Just playing synergistic cards and realized I was going infinite. I would say most Sun Titan combos are in that boat.

Food chain + prossht
Mind Over Matter and Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Palinchron and Yarok, the Desecrated
Zealous Conscripts and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Let's not start calling for earthcraft to be banned because it is generically good and combos with other generically good cards. It leads nowhere. Combos are always going to happen.
At least Earthcraft isn't in the command zone.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 3 weeks ago

Dunharrow wrote:
3 weeks ago
No card is being banned because of 3 card combos. I get that Earthcraft is generically good in token decks and combos with other good cards you would play anyway, but Sun Titan combos with way more cards if you are looking at 3 card combos, and I have seen Sun Titan played a lot more ubiquitously than Earthcraft. If you want Earthcraft out you have to realize that there are dozens of cards that would need to be banned.
The first time I Sun Titan combo'd I didn't even know I had combos in my deck. Just playing synergistic cards and realized I was going infinite. I would say most Sun Titan combos are in that boat.

Food chain + prossht
Mind Over Matter and Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Palinchron and Yarok, the Desecrated
Zealous Conscripts and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Let's not start calling for earthcraft to be banned because it is generically good and combos with other generically good cards. It leads nowhere. Combos are always going to happen.
At least Earthcraft isn't in the command zone.
The RC doesn't hold hard rules on what is banned. Because something is or isn't banned doesn't mean anything about another card. Also... Paradox Engine is not a two card combo.

You listed a bunch of other combos that are two card combos but in most of those cases they are lackluster cards outside of their pairings. You don't just cast Palinchron as a bad flying blocker / attacker without it being an emergency and even in that case its likely one of the worst cards in your deck in that situation. Mind over Matter is far from a playable card on its own. My point with all of this is that both of the cards I am talking about are incredible cards on their own merit outside of infinite combos. It matters, a lot.

I am not asking to ban every card that combos. I don't think that sun titan loops are a problem either they are vulnerable to far more interaction given you can permeant, graveyard, or counter interact with them and they generally don't protect themselves. I don't know why anyone thinks what I am asking for loop of ban requests. I am asking for 2-3 cards to be banned because they are incredibly powerful cards that go infinite with cards you were going to play anyways and are amazing cards in every situation they are worth including in a deck. Most of those combos you listed run actual factual BAD CARDS that are not worth playing outside of their combo. When someone disrupts a lot of combos, you can be left with bad cards left in play but my concern with these cards is that they don't include bad cards and even when disrupted you are left entirely with cards you likely are running because of their own merit and are left with powerful cards you intended to play anyways. Conscripts is still reasonable in situations but its also a red combo that is expensive to resolve in one shot that has a lot of interaction options.
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Post by Dunharrow » 3 weeks ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
3 weeks ago
Dunharrow wrote:
3 weeks ago
No card is being banned because of 3 card combos. I get that Earthcraft is generically good in token decks and combos with other good cards you would play anyway, but Sun Titan combos with way more cards if you are looking at 3 card combos, and I have seen Sun Titan played a lot more ubiquitously than Earthcraft. If you want Earthcraft out you have to realize that there are dozens of cards that would need to be banned.
The first time I Sun Titan combo'd I didn't even know I had combos in my deck. Just playing synergistic cards and realized I was going infinite. I would say most Sun Titan combos are in that boat.

Food chain + prossht
Mind Over Matter and Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Palinchron and Yarok, the Desecrated
Zealous Conscripts and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Let's not start calling for earthcraft to be banned because it is generically good and combos with other generically good cards. It leads nowhere. Combos are always going to happen.
At least Earthcraft isn't in the command zone.
The RC doesn't hold hard rules on what is banned. Because something is or isn't banned doesn't mean anything about another card. Also... Paradox Engine is not a two card combo.

You listed a bunch of other combos that are two card combos but in most of those cases they are lackluster cards outside of their pairings. You don't just cast Palinchron as a bad flying blocker / attacker without it being an emergency and even in that case its likely one of the worst cards in your deck in that situation. Mind over Matter is far from a playable card on its own. My point with all of this is that both of the cards I am talking about are incredible cards on their own merit outside of infinite combos. It matters, a lot.

I am not asking to ban every card that combos. I don't think that sun titan loops are a problem either they are vulnerable to far more interaction given you can permeant, graveyard, or counter interact with them and they generally don't protect themselves. I don't know why anyone thinks what I am asking for loop of ban requests. I am asking for 2-3 cards to be banned because they are incredibly powerful cards that go infinite with cards you were going to play anyways and are amazing cards in every situation they are worth including in a deck. Most of those combos you listed run actual factual BAD CARDS that are not worth playing outside of their combo. When someone disrupts a lot of combos, you can be left with bad cards left in play but my concern with these cards is that they don't include bad cards and even when disrupted you are left entirely with cards you likely are running because of their own merit and are left with powerful cards you intended to play anyways. Conscripts is still reasonable in situations but its also a red combo that is expensive to resolve in one shot that has a lot of interaction options.
The point I was making with the combos I listed is that they are much more dangerous given that you keep one of the combo pieces in the command zone. To me they are much bigger problems if you are trying to get rid of combo cards.

Parardox Engine was banned because it would basically make for extremely long terms every time it was cast. Sometimes it would combo out, sometimes it would durdle for 20 minutes. I get the comparison you are making that you don't need to build around Earthcraft because it is always good and combos with cards you are playing anyway.... but it is not played as much as Paradox Engine and does not durdle as much.
The thing with Earthcraft is that if you are going infinite the game is over. No reason to waste time. This is the same for many other combos and the RC does not want to police combo cards.

Every ban we have seen in recent years has been to ban a card that is seeing too much play and centralizes the game. That's why Ad Nauseum isn't banned - it is not seeing that much play outside of cEDH and it ends the game right away.


Now, if the RC were more aggressive banning cards, I could see these cards being considered.... but as it is, I don't think there is a chance of it happening. The precedent is not there. Earthcraft has been around for ages and most people do not even have access to it.
If the RC were to ban Earthcraft they would be opening the door to dozens of other bannings.
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Post by onering » 2 weeks ago

The thing about generically good cards that are part of 3 card combos is that they will also tend to eat removal. You sandbag your combo cards to avoid this, but are you going to sandbag one or two of Doubling Season, Earthcraft, and Sacred Mesa in any deck that would run them until you get all 3? And any deck with that combo is going to look more threatening with any single one on the board, even with nobody else suspecting a combo. Only Sacred Mesa isn't a kill on sight enchantment. So you have 3 cards that if you draw them you should cast them, and your opponents should remove.

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Post by wildfire393 » 1 week ago

I would say Phyrexian Altar is a bigger problem than either of these, because it'll incidentally go infinite with stuff like Gravecrawler and Nether Traitor without trying too hard, which has lead me to remove it from several decks that have wanted a free-reusable sac outlet for value but didn't want just instant wins.

Ashnod's a bit more limited because it only makes colorless mana. There's a few things it goes easy infinite with, like Nim Deathmantle, but nobody's really playing Deathmantle for fair reasons anyways.

Earthcraft is an interesting one. The Squirrel Nest combo is obvious to the point of boredom, but it's also a fairly disruptable combo that loses to Strip Mine effects, Disenchants, instant sweeps, all kinds of incidental effects. I've enjoyed it a lot in Enchantress type decks where you can make a deathball type land with Wild Growth and similar effects on a basic, and going infinite generally means multiple auras plus an outlet like Sacred Mesa or Centaur Glade Given the card can't be played in Legacy, I'd hate to see it get the axe here as it is a genuinely fun card to play with.

Food Chain is a cEDH card and I haven't seen it at a casual table in ages. People know what it's capable of, and the lines for easy command zone kills are there and clear. No one is using it to cast a big creature a little ahead of the curve.

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Post by BeneTleilax » 1 week ago

I have to say, I love Ashod's for ramp and easy sacrifice access in Wx decks. White can spam tokens with the best of them, but it has fewer ways of turning them into other resources. If you want Wx to be good in EDH, don't ban colorless cards that can mitigate its weaknesses.

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Post by kirkusjones » 1 week ago

Gravecrawler and/or Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar both require at least another card to do something meaningful with the infinite ETBs though, right? An aristocrat effect, and in the case of traitor, some means of creating a tokens to continue to have something else to sac to bring back Traitor…they're not A + B = win the game.

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Post by wildfire393 » 1 week ago

kirkusjones wrote:
1 week ago
Gravecrawler and/or Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar both require at least another card to do something meaningful with the infinite ETBs though, right? An aristocrat effect, and in the case of traitor, some means of creating a tokens to continue to have something else to sac to bring back Traitor…they're not A + B = win the game.
This is correct, but that C is often trivial. Tormod, the Desecrator, for instance, gives you infinite tokens with Gravecrawler or infinite mana with Traitor.

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Post by kirkusjones » 1 week ago

wildfire393 wrote:
1 week ago
kirkusjones wrote:
1 week ago
Gravecrawler and/or Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar both require at least another card to do something meaningful with the infinite ETBs though, right? An aristocrat effect, and in the case of traitor, some means of creating a tokens to continue to have something else to sac to bring back Traitor…they're not A + B = win the game.
This is correct, but that C is often trivial. Tormod, the Desecrator, for instance, gives you infinite tokens with Gravecrawler or infinite mana with Traitor.
That may be true, but there are a ton of A + B + C combos in EDH. I see it as a feature, not a bug. Plus, if we started banning parts of three card combos…well that way lies madness.

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Post by Crazy Monkey » 1 week ago

I'm of the opinion that 2 card combos are "too easy" and that assembling 3+ card combos with intentionally limited tutors is great, but those are more my self imposed deckbuilding limitations than banning criteria. Tutorless or tutor-lite decks are more enjoyable to me unless the tutors are narrow. Wild Research, Birthing Pod, and Sunforger are great. Even Enlightened Tutor and Mystical Tutor are reasonable, because you have to make deckbuilding decisions on their inclusion and you telegraph what you're doing when you reveal the card. If you're winning via a combo line through narrow tutors, I think it's telegraphed enough and reasonable even in low-powered games.

Conversely, I think that Vampiric Tutor et all through Grim Tutor to assemble 2 card combos is where the "win-out-of-nowhere" happens a lot. It is more difficult to play against, especially in lower powered games. It's what happens the most in cEDH games that I see/play and is a critical portion of those games. It's also just not as interesting to me from a deckbuilding perspective, and why I often reply with "but that's too easy" when someone borrowing a deck wants to know why they can't find a Squirrel Nest to pair with Earthcraft. Nope, you'll just have to keep alternating between Food Chain and Greater Good with the commander Ghalta, Primal Hunger to keep casting new creatures and reducing cost until you can kill us. Use the Earthcraft mana to cast noncreatures instead of taking the easy A+B path.

I think that unconditional tutoring is more problematic if you want to police combo that the combo pieces themselves. If for no other reason that the interaction space typically includes more than just the stack and generally all colors/decks can participate. Only blue/black can really disrupt the stack/hand of tutoring repeatedly. At least most combo wincons have something important in a different zone to interact with.
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Post by wildfire393 » 1 week ago

kirkusjones wrote:
1 week ago
wildfire393 wrote:
1 week ago
kirkusjones wrote:
1 week ago
Gravecrawler and/or Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar both require at least another card to do something meaningful with the infinite ETBs though, right? An aristocrat effect, and in the case of traitor, some means of creating a tokens to continue to have something else to sac to bring back Traitor…they're not A + B = win the game.
This is correct, but that C is often trivial. Tormod, the Desecrator, for instance, gives you infinite tokens with Gravecrawler or infinite mana with Traitor.
That may be true, but there are a ton of A + B + C combos in EDH. I see it as a feature, not a bug. Plus, if we started banning parts of three card combos…well that way lies madness.
Sure, I'm not even saying it necessarily needs to be banned. It's just a card that I like on paper that I've found myself cutting from decks because it accidentally goes infinite when that wasn't something I was shooting for.

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Post by Legend » 1 week ago

I think the curious thing about Earthcraft is it has the same main issue as Paradox Engine. Supposedly, "it has no fair use" (to paraphrase). But unlike PE, it isn't colorless and it isn't as easily attained.
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Post by wildfire393 » 1 week ago

Legend wrote:
1 week ago
I think the curious thing about Earthcraft is it has the same main issue as Paradox Engine. Supposedly, "it has no fair use" (to paraphrase). But unlike PE, it isn't colorless and it isn't as easily attained.
I'd strongly disagree with that. Paradox Engine is pretty binary where you're either chaining a bunch of spells off of mana rocks and probably storming out and winning, or it just like... gives you vigilance when you cast a dude post-combat. Earthcraft has a ton of fair uses where you use it as a Cryptolith Rite that also gives psuedo-haste, providing significant but not game-breaking ramp. The actual game-ending combos are extremely well-known and obvious, and while it can contribute to some infinites with stuff like Marath and Ghave, those cards are the real "I once went infinite with a ticket stub to X-men 3 and my neighbor ringing the doorbell" type cards.

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