Topical Discussion of the Official Multiplayer Ban List

BeneTleilax
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Post by BeneTleilax » 2 weeks ago

Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
Another example - the RL. If they plan to keep the expensive RL cards in the format forever, then they will. But if they ever foresee it reaching a point where it is no longer sustainable, they should cut the cord now.
I think an RL ban is going to hinge on demographic, rather than practical considerations. The EDH community is large enough, now, to really have its own political blocs, and complex interactions between them. If ownership of RL cards has continues to shift from invested players to non-playing investors, eventually it will have no credible advocates in the community to pressure the RC, while its opponents will grow in number and credibility.

Until around 2014-2015, the main proponents of the RL were long-term fans, who have a voice out of proportion to their number. At a local level, this class of players are often regulars at their LGS, and were early adopters of EDH who got others into the format or the game. Online, while they may not have had the megaphones of various BNFs and streamers (which have always skewed populist-anti-RL), they also tend to be more active and plugged into debates on the format, and many of them have a kind of seniority on various fora as well. These combined to give them outsized, though not unjustified, norm-shaping power and made them the most dangerous bloc for the RC to displease.

The investors are their opposite in nearly every way. They tend to be new arrivals, either from collector culture (eg comic books) or Reddit daytrader culture. They are almost entirely absent from local stores and groups, and seldom venture outside their silos online. When they do, they tend to regard the majority of the playerbase as rubes and are regarded as carpetbaggers or poseurs in return. Where arguments against the RL often had to be precisely worded to avoid offending invested players, dunking on non-playing investors is an increasingly popular argument against the RL in itself.

Most importantly, the investors are not introducing anyone to actually playing EDH, which means they aren't shaping anyone's initial ideas on what EDH ought to be. When I got into the format in highschool, the best and most established players, the guys I looked up to, would show off the Survival of the Fittests and Tropical Islands in their binders. The current incoming group of players I see don't know anyone who owns Survival or ABURs.

The starkness of this difference means, to me, that once a tipping point is reached it will be precipitous.
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Post by Jemolk » 2 weeks ago

Banning the RL sounds like a really bad idea to me, just because there are a bunch of fun casual cards on it. I know the prices of some things are getting freaking stupid, but I'd be rather pissed off (more even than I usually am dealing with speculators) if I couldn't play my Boris Devilboon in Demon Tribal just because a bunch of asshole speculators decided to be asshole speculators. Likewise for such amusing and fun oddities as Koskun Falls, Soldevi Excavations, and Thawing Glaciers. I think it's a far better idea to embrace proxies. Damn shame the RC isn't on board with that, but large swaths of the community are moving on without them, and I think that's a very good thing. Now, if WotC did away with the RL entirely and started reprinting things, that would be the best solution IMHO, and I say this as someone who owns one of every dual other than Tundra, four Tundras, and a Moat, just to name the most notable pricey RL cards I've got. You know, plus the half-dozen copies of Soldevi Excavations and similar holy %$#% when did this thing become $25 that is absolutely insane abolish the RL yesterday WotC.
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Post by Dunharrow » 2 weeks ago

Jemolk wrote:
2 weeks ago
Banning the RL sounds like a really bad idea to me, just because there are a bunch of fun casual cards on it. I know the prices of some things are getting freaking stupid, but I'd be rather pissed off (more even than I usually am dealing with speculators) if I couldn't play my Boris Devilboon in Demon Tribal just because a bunch of asshole speculators decided to be asshole speculators. Likewise for such amusing and fun oddities as Koskun Falls, Soldevi Excavations, and Thawing Glaciers. I think it's a far better idea to embrace proxies. Damn shame the RC isn't on board with that, but large swaths of the community are moving on without them, and I think that's a very good thing. Now, if WotC did away with the RL entirely and started reprinting things, that would be the best solution IMHO, and I say this as someone who owns one of every dual other than Tundra, four Tundras, and a Moat, just to name the most notable pricey RL cards I've got. You know, plus the half-dozen copies of Soldevi Excavations and similar holy %$#% when did this thing become $25 that is absolutely insane abolish the RL yesterday WotC.
I don't think anyone would advocate banning the whole RL. I just think it would mean applying the same logic currently applied to Library of Alexandria to other RL cards - mainly duals, cradle, wheel of fortune, survival, chains, etc.
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Post by RxPhantom » 2 weeks ago

Has the RC ever even suggested banning reserve list cards? I there any reason to think this is a real possibility or are we dealing in pure hypotheticals? I don't think they will, if only to keep the banlist relatively small. Speaking only for myself, I don't think it's that big of an issue.
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Post by DirkGently » 2 weeks ago

I really don't see any downside to keeping RL cards legal. There aren't very many of them on the high salt score list, and honestly most of them that are on there are more of a theoretical salt score. Is anyone actually getting Acid Rained? Yeah don't think so. If no one has these cards at your LGS, then why would they give a crap?

The main one I think that causes some issues is probably Gaea's Cradle, simply because it's really, really powerful and does create a bit of a divide between the haves and the have-nots. Most of the rest are either really niche or don't do anything incredibly strong (or just outright suck). A lot of them have cEDH applications, but at the end of the day, that's always going to be the biggest divide in power - those who are following the gentleman's agreement and restraining their power level, and those who aren't.

I feel like the people who are most angry about the RL in commander are basically people like me who really want to have full access to the entire card pool on more of a theoretical, FOMO sort of way...except they didn't buy all the RL cards ten years ago when they were a bit more reasonable, and now it's sort of a sour grapes situation. I do kind of get it, but I think it's a bad impulse. If you wanna ban cradle, ban cradle. I don't really think any of the others are problematically powerful in casual games. At least not as I've seen them - Survival and Earthcraft might be able to in theory, but I haven't really seen them come up often enough to care.
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Post by materpillar » 2 weeks ago

I'd be super salty if my Elephant Graveyard and Didgeridoo got banned because Gaea's Cradle is so expensive. I'd just encourage folks to proxy more personally. There being a wealth divide in magic is one of the worst parts of the game for me.

DirkGently wrote:
2 weeks ago
If you wanna ban cradle, ban cradle. I don't really think any of the others are problematically powerful in casual games. At least not as I've seen them - Survival and Earthcraft might be able to in theory, but I haven't really seen them come up often enough to care.
Time Spiral could probably get the boot too.

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Post by onering » 2 weeks ago

First of all: MTGO, and other online platforms for playing commander exist, where the RL is irrelevant. Hell, even the old perceived barrier to entry criteria was irrelevant there, as you could pick up the entirety of the Power 9 for under $300, but that criteria was irrelevant in paper as well as the 8 that were banned under it would be banned anyway for other reasons. But I digress, the point here is that RL banning would be a criteria that would be arbitrary and absurd for a large portion of the player base for whom the RL is irrelevant, and this is a portion that could potentially grow in the future.

Secondly: Normalize RL proxies. Problem solved. Its a casual format, you shouldn't be expected to spend a grand on a single card because of an arbitrary decision WotC made in the mid 90's.

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Post by pokken » 2 weeks ago

I would like to see some big changes made, personally, but the RL thing -- please normalize proxying. The RL cards are fun as hell. I'm having a blast with Scorched Ruins shenanigans in mostly mono-white ramp decks for example.

I've been on both sides of this fence but now I'm just 100% pro proxies. This is casual.



The big change I want is frigging bans. More bans. Get that ban list up. I feel like they've taken a nearly complete vacation from dealing with problem commanders and it's annoying.

When they finally banned Hullbreacher I breathed a sigh of relief but it's not the only card like that.

Just ban one card a year at least hell or high water, there's always something that's egregious in the community. Golos being normalized is just so toxic for variety in the format.

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Post by tstorm823 » 2 weeks ago

materpillar wrote:
2 weeks ago
Time Spiral could probably get the boot too.
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Post by Jemolk » 2 weeks ago

Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
I don't think anyone would advocate banning the whole RL. I just think it would mean applying the same logic currently applied to Library of Alexandria to other RL cards - mainly duals, cradle, wheel of fortune, survival, chains, etc.
Sure, but the problem as I see it is, where's the cutoff? Wherever we put it, it's going to be somewhat arbitrary. Are the duals actually warping games or deckbuilding as the moxen would? Is Wheel of Fortune really something that makes people feel like they have to run it? Is Chains of Mephistopheles even something that would be bad to see more of, for example in place of Narset, Parter of Veils? And what of other cards that just randomly spike to some utterly absurd price because speculators? What about Sliver Queen, or Gate to Phyrexia? What happens when some jackass buys out Retribution of the Meek, just because they can? The point is, I don't think this is as clear cut, or as sustainable, as you suppose. Again, to my mind, proxies are the answer.
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Post by Dunharrow » 2 weeks ago

Jemolk wrote:
2 weeks ago
Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
I don't think anyone would advocate banning the whole RL. I just think it would mean applying the same logic currently applied to Library of Alexandria to other RL cards - mainly duals, cradle, wheel of fortune, survival, chains, etc.
Sure, but the problem as I see it is, where's the cutoff? Wherever we put it, it's going to be somewhat arbitrary. Are the duals actually warping games or deckbuilding as the moxen would? Is Wheel of Fortune really something that makes people feel like they have to run it? Is Chains of Mephistopheles even something that would be bad to see more of, for example in place of Narset, Parter of Veils? And what of other cards that just randomly spike to some utterly absurd price because speculators? What about Sliver Queen, or Gate to Phyrexia? What happens when some jackass buys out Retribution of the Meek, just because they can? The point is, I don't think this is as clear cut, or as sustainable, as you suppose. Again, to my mind, proxies are the answer.
I do not think the RC can officially propose proxies as a solution.
I would say the cutoff would be arbitrary like all bannings are - just that they might have to take a stance at some point if the dual lands are 10K each. I don't think they warp games... and maybe they never need to take a stance. It is just obviously better to make a decision now rather than when cards are worth 10K. Even banning Cradle right now would cost people a lot of money.
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Post by onering » 2 weeks ago

Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
Jemolk wrote:
2 weeks ago
Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
I don't think anyone would advocate banning the whole RL. I just think it would mean applying the same logic currently applied to Library of Alexandria to other RL cards - mainly duals, cradle, wheel of fortune, survival, chains, etc.
Sure, but the problem as I see it is, where's the cutoff? Wherever we put it, it's going to be somewhat arbitrary. Are the duals actually warping games or deckbuilding as the moxen would? Is Wheel of Fortune really something that makes people feel like they have to run it? Is Chains of Mephistopheles even something that would be bad to see more of, for example in place of Narset, Parter of Veils? And what of other cards that just randomly spike to some utterly absurd price because speculators? What about Sliver Queen, or Gate to Phyrexia? What happens when some jackass buys out Retribution of the Meek, just because they can? The point is, I don't think this is as clear cut, or as sustainable, as you suppose. Again, to my mind, proxies are the answer.
I do not think the RC can officially propose proxies as a solution.
I would say the cutoff would be arbitrary like all bannings are - just that they might have to take a stance at some point if the dual lands are 10K each. I don't think they warp games... and maybe they never need to take a stance. It is just obviously better to make a decision now rather than when cards are worth 10K. Even banning Cradle right now would cost people a lot of money.
They can't suggest proxies as an answer, but they can just gesture towards Rule 0 and not say not to do it.

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Post by DirkGently » 2 weeks ago

Proxies are only really necessary if there's a problem imo. If the problem is that you're a college student but want to play in a cEDH group, fair enough. If the problem is that you really wanna have dual lands even though no one else at your LGS has them, imo suck it up. Imo proxies should only be used to either catch up to other peoples' power levels, or if you've got some unique idea that requires one, but never to get stronger than your opponents.
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Post by cryogen » 2 weeks ago

RxPhantom wrote:
2 weeks ago
Has the RC ever even suggested banning reserve list cards? I there any reason to think this is a real possibility or are we dealing in pure hypotheticals? I don't think they will, if only to keep the banlist relatively small. Speaking only for myself, I don't think it's that big of an issue.
I don't think the RC makes "suggestions", but Sheldon certainly has broached the subject in his SCG articles where he hypothetically approaches the ban list.
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Post by Legend » 1 week ago

Jemolk wrote:
2 weeks ago
Sure, but the problem as I see it is, where's the cutoff?
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A card that's on the reserved list, exorbitantly priced, game warping, and which would clearly be ubiquitous were it not on the reserved list should be a candidate for banning - i.e., cards like Gaea's Cradle, Grim Monolith, Wheel of Fortune, Time Spiral, Metalworker, Mox Diamond, The Abyss, Survival of the Fittest, etc.

I think one day, when there's a change of the guard at WotC and counterfeits are a problem (they already are) that Hasbro will make Reserved Masters.
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Post by Jemolk » 1 week ago

@Dunharrow -- Probably not explicitly in any official capacity, at least not without annoying WotC, true. This is a point where the playerbase is in a far better position to do this than the RC. Though, as @onering points out, they could just gesture toward rule 0 whenever the topic comes up while refusing to condemn them either. It's not like some segments of the playerbase (such as myself) will refrain from doing the recommending for them, so all they really have to do is allow the impression that they're a valid option.

@Legend -- The only one of those I'd consider even potentially game-warping is Gaea's Cradle due to how it makes incredible amounts of mana repeatedly and relatively consistently. Even then, running a Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin, or Tectonic Edge will take care of it, as will a wrath. The others are obviously strong, but game warping and would clearly be ubiquitous? No, I don't see that at all. Mox Diamond is basically a pitch spell version of an extra land drop, which is good, sure, but unless you're doing something utterly degenerate with it or playing cEDH, I don't think you really should care about it that much. Survival is something that you could build Vintage decks around, but given that here it's 1 out of 99 rather than 4 out of 60, you can't really build around it to the same degree unless you're loading up on tutors (in which case, you're already beyond the realm where the RC can really keep the format balanced for you), so giving all your creatures Creaturecycling is probably not going to break games unless you're going out of your way to break them. Metalworker makes a lot of mana, but is the two most fragile card types, has summoning sickness, and requires you to hoard artifacts in your hand. The Abyss is probably annoying for decks that rely on one or two creatures, but you can get around it with indestructible or artifact creatures, and most decks wouldn't want to play it anyway. Grim Monolith is a combo piece, but not at all scary outside that role. And as for Wheel and Time Spiral -- eh, that depends on whether you think wheels generally are problem cards or universally valuable. I don't.
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Post by Vertain » 1 week ago

I think the best solution to the RL speculation dilemma would be to blanket allow proxies. Make them legal by default if they uphold a certain standard (readable oracle text, mana cost, etc) and point to Rule 0 for those players that dislike them.

Of course, under the RC, that's never going to happen. Even them pointing to Rule 0 rather than condemning proxies is asking too much of the guys who responded to the The Walking Dead secret lair with nothing more than hot air.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 week ago

DirkGently wrote:
2 weeks ago
Imo proxies should only be used to either catch up to other peoples' power levels, or if you've got some unique idea that requires one, but never to get stronger than your opponents.
My initial response was agreement, but in the end I feel this glosses over a deeper problem. If proxies lead to a power pissing contest, then the group had arms race predispositions anyway. This is what purportedly happened in my old uni group after I moved in 2017, I never really sought out in-depth info on the situation.

The closest to an elegant solution would be to mention proxying in rule zero. Whacking the entirety of the Reserved List is not an option, there are too many people with monetary and emotional investment who'd dwarf the Pengine backlash. I actually think that Cradle costing a grand yet being legal is not necessarily bad - your average EDH player won't cough up for one. So since a card exists that would be included if not for cost, that means the deck is already not peak strength. This will hopefully incentivise builders to tune for things that aren't just power.

I wouldn't mind someone from the Class of 2019 being whacked, though that won't happen either. Golos and Korvold are two of the three most popular commanders of the past month on EDHREC. This is kind of silly.
 
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Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
1 week ago
If proxies lead to a power pissing contest, then the group had arms race predispositions anyway.
I think if you gave most new players unlimited access to cards, they'd build for power. There are basically two main things preventing this imo:

1) they don't know how (which will eventually be overcome either by delving deep enough online or playing against powerful opponents).
2) they don't have the cards.

Eventually, depending who they play with, intentionally limiting power will hopefully become the primary reason, but I do think a lot of groups get by on 1 and 2 and never really consciously think that much about limiting power intentionally.
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Post by pokken » 1 week ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 week ago
but I do think a lot of groups get by on 1 and 2 and never really consciously think that much about limiting power intentionally.
Which, while functionally useful, I find it kinda distasteful. Especially 2.

I wish I could I could say I was sure it wouldn't push everyone to near-CEDH to have unlimited card access but I'm not sure :P

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Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

pokken wrote:
1 week ago
Which, while functionally useful, I find it kinda distasteful. Especially 2.

I wish I could I could say I was sure it wouldn't push everyone to near-CEDH to have unlimited card access but I'm not sure :P
I wish we lived in a more perfect world too, but the reality is that most commander players, when someone says "hey, you should put [insert degenerate garbage here] in your deck", will go "oh wow, that's really strong, you're right" and not really think twice about whether it's going to create a positive play experience. And whenever people talk about what they're including in their decklists, the vast majority of the time they're cutting things or adding things for power level reasons and not for play experience reasons.

Obviously there are many people who are more enlightened, but I think the experience a lot of people come into commander assuming is something close to an RPG, where you acquire new powers and "level up", as accomplished by acquiring cards and refining your decklist. Which tbh I totally get, if commander was a single-player game (and ideally where the optimal strategies weren't so boring) I'd enjoy doing it that way too. But I'd also probably play it for a few hundred hours instead of...I don't even know, but almost certainly tens of thousands.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

onering
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Post by onering » 1 week ago

DirkGently wrote:
2 weeks ago
Proxies are only really necessary if there's a problem imo. If the problem is that you're a college student but want to play in a cEDH group, fair enough. If the problem is that you really wanna have dual lands even though no one else at your LGS has them, imo suck it up. Imo proxies should only be used to either catch up to other peoples' power levels, or if you've got some unique idea that requires one, but never to get stronger than your opponents.
Agreed. But if you don't need them to catch up to your playgroup, then the reserved list isn't really an issue since nobody has those cards.

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Myllior
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Post by Myllior » 1 week ago

Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
So my question to you all is : do you think there are any changes that should be made to the format now, rather than years down the road.
While there are a couple of changes I'd enjoy (e.g. combined commander damage), there's nothing that stands out as particularly pressing to me. A general note I'll make is changes that expand options have no such time pressure on them, since the won't invalidate or negatively impact existing decks. Using your example of legalising all planeswalkers as commanders, some people may decide to substitute their current creature commanders for planeswalkers and others may build entirely new decks, but someone who's happy with their current commanders can just keep playing as they already are.

On the flip side, changes that restrict options (usually bannings) may have a time consideration to them, to lessen their impact. Regardless, EDH has largely become a self-regulating beast, so I appreciate the light-touch approach the RC takes and don't think there's much time pressure to make changes. It's still a good point though.

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Venedrex
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Post by Venedrex » 1 week ago

Myllior wrote:
1 week ago
Dunharrow wrote:
2 weeks ago
So my question to you all is : do you think there are any changes that should be made to the format now, rather than years down the road.
While there are a couple of changes I'd enjoy (e.g. combined commander damage), there's nothing that stands out as particularly pressing to me. A general note I'll make is changes that expand options have no such time pressure on them, since the won't invalidate or negatively impact existing decks. Using your example of legalising all planeswalkers as commanders, some people may decide to substitute their current creature commanders for planeswalkers and others may build entirely new decks, but someone who's happy with their current commanders can just keep playing as they already are.

On the flip side, changes that restrict options (usually bannings) may have a time consideration to them, to lessen their impact. Regardless, EDH has largely become a self-regulating beast, so I appreciate the light-touch approach the RC takes and don't think there's much time pressure to make changes. It's still a good point though.
To chime in here, I also support the legalization of planeswalkers as commanders for a couple reasons. However, I don't have a problem with sticking with legendary creatures, since not rocking the boat works just fine, but I think some experiments might be worth attempting.

Some pros.
1. They are legendary, and they do a good job of housing effects that you would expect a commander of your forces to have.
2. They would expand Commander options tenfold.

Some cons.
1. They slow down games.
2. They combo with doubling season effects.

But the main reason I support this change is something I don't think a lot of people think about. Planeswalkers are literally the face of the game for better or worse. If Commander becomes a format where anyone can play their favorite planeswalker, Commander will never fade in popularity, because we know that every set will have a splashy, flashy, or at least unique planeswalker that Wotc writes stories about and does everything in their power to make players care about them.

All the marketing and effort Wotc puts into planeswalkers (that a lot of people complain about) suddenly is redirected into new players to fuel the format. "Well why don't you take your awesome planeswalker that Wotc has labored to make you love and care about as a compelling character and make a Commander deck with it!." Jace, Teferi, Chandra, Nissa, etc etc. They are the Jacetice league for better or worse.

I say we put the affection players have for those characters into growing this format for a long time coming. Jace is likely the closest thing we'll ever get to Iron Man for MTG, and Teferi is basically Dr Strange. I think letting people build commander decks around them would draw a lot of people in, and then we can convert them to building Phelddagrif group hug as time goes on.

onering
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Post by onering » 1 week ago

Allowing planeswalkers would slightly expand the number of available commanders. Only War of the Spark had more walkers than legendary creatures, usually it's 2-5 walkers, and 5 is basically for core sets.

As for them being the "face" of the format, EDH is one of the few places where legendary creatures shine and planeswalkers don't suck all the air out of the room. EDH is also the most popular format, more popular by far than Brawl, which is both more accessible (prices are a lot lower) and allow planeswalkers. I'll start worrying about EDH being hamstrung by not allowing all planeswalkers when Brawl comes anywhere close to overtaking it's popularity.

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