View Poll Results: Would the format be better without Tendrils of Agony?

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Thread: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

  1. #1
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    Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Because my post in the other thread seems to have been glazed over.

    Although originally I had said that if anything should be banned alongside Tarmogoyf, it should be Lion's Eye Diamond, I've changed my mind.

    Basically, Tendrils of Agony is a card that changed the way combo worked. In the old 1.5, which existed for about a year with Tendrils but which had no real fast mana aside from Dark Ritual and Elvish Spirit Guide, we had combo decks that were fast; they were primarily Food Chain Goblins and Dragon.

    Food Chain Goblins functioned as an aggro deck that could occasionally explode into a turn three or four (once in a great while, turn two) kill with hasty piles of Goblins, using Goblin Recruiter and Ringleader to drop a lot of Warchiefs and Piledriver.

    It was also stopped by such non-blue cards as Elephant Grass, Moment's Peace, Humility, Moat, and usually Engineered Plague.

    Dragon was undisputably the best combo deck... and yet, every single color had cheap and ready answers to it. Cards like Abolish or Swords to Plowshares, Naturalize or Diabolic Edict, Chain of Vapor or Stifle could not only end the combo, but would leave the opponent with nothing in hand. Worst comes to worst you could run Tormod's Crypt, which stopped the combo but didn't remove all their lands from the game the way other answers did.

    Now, if you didn't have those answers you were SOL, and Dragon could run cards like Duress and Unmask and Force and Avoid Fate and Orim's Chant of it's own, but generally speaking, you did not have to play blue or die without sideboard hate.

    However... since then...

    Combo has been redefined in 1.5. Combo, for the most part, no longer means traditional combo, a deck where two or more cards interact to kill you, most of which were permanents of some stripe.

    Today's combo is a lot of mana and some tutoring effects into a very big burn spell.

    What's more, although storm was designed to fight countermagic, in fact countermagic is the only strategy that's able to contain this threat effectively.

    Here's my question:

    Would the format be better without Tendrils of Agony decks? Solidarity would still exist but still be slow; CRET Belcher would still exist but be vulnerable to Engineered Explosives and Pernicious Deed and Pyroclasm.

    And I know that Tendrils decks are not dominating the metagame, but I believe that, more than any factor besides possibly Tarmogoyf, they're indirectly responsible for the dominance of the color blue.

    Moreover... speaking of LED... like Long.dec, as long as Tendrils is around, all fast mana and draw or tutoring cards require laser-like scrutiny. Sooner or later, if Wizards keeps printing such cards (which they should), something else will need to be banned. And then something else. But the problem, fundamentally, is Tendrils of Agony.

    My personal thoughts are that Tendrils should go on the banned list and more vulnerable combos and enablers, such as Hermit Druid, Dragon, Entomb, Metalworker, should come off.

    But right now I'm simply asking; Does Tendrils of Agony make the format more or less interesting.

  2. #2
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    My answer would be yes it should be banned, seeing there are so many decks that are not viable only because of its bad Tendrils matchup. It makes Board control decks viable, and makes blue less dominant. It would certainaly be really interesting.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    This isn't any different then the ban tarmogoyf argument. Stop the madness.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    The only problem I have with Storm Combo is that you basically need to play blue to stop them unless you are packed full of discard (that isn't even that reliable because of Brainstorm...). However, combo hardly puts up results since blue is so heavily played. If something from blue did get the axe, then maybe banning Tendril would be the right call.

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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jak. View Post
    The only problem I have with Storm Combo is that you basically need to play blue to stop them unless you are packed full of discard (that isn't even that reliable because of Brainstorm...). However, combo hardly puts up results since blue is so heavily played. If something from blue did get the axe, then maybe banning Tendril would be the right call.
    My argument is that Tendrils combo (Can we stop calling it "Storm combo" or "Dark Ritual decks" or whatever? It's Tendrils. That's the throbbing heart and soul of the deck, without which it's simply bad) is part of what's keeping blue dominant. Because blue generally is the only color that can rely on beating Tendrils, this gives players less incentive to run any other color, which tend to lose on the first, second or third turn without much they can do. Conversely, the lack of incentives to play a color outside of blue means that blue is rampant which means that less players feel inclined to run Tendrils. When people stray out of this formula, however, they tend to run into Tendrils one round and get completely demolished.

    I don't consider it healthy. I like combo being strong, but I feel that Tendrils is a bad combo from a metagame perspective. Dragon and Entomb being unbanned would introduce a much healthier combo, I think.

  6. #6

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Every once in a while Wizards fucks up. They admit, and everyone knows it.

    Sometime they make cards just too powerful. But I think Storm is just too powerful.

    Storm changes the way the game is played. The 5-6 playable storm cards are all way overpowered in what they do. Sure in standard, they were nice and fair, but even in Extended cards like Mind's Desire, were one of the upper tier Combo decks.

    I think wizards would be best to do the following.

    In Leagcy:

    Ban: Tendrils, Grapshot, Brain Freeze, Empty the Warrens.
    Unban: all the "combo" stuff. Imagine how many cards are no longer broken as fuck when your have to accelerate into a combo thats actually counter able and, surprise surprise actually a COMBINATION!

    In Vintage it harder, as Restricting Tendrils does little to stop Storm, as most decks only play 1-2.

    I think it might be actually ok to ban the card there.

  7. #7
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I don' think you need to play blue to control combo. Dragon Stompy does a more than capable job of it. I guess the other options besides blue are extremely limited though, basically being Magus of the Moon, Chalice and Trinisphere, and two of those cards can be used in any color deck. Although to truly take advantage of their power they can not be splashed, so maybe you do have a point as there is little splashable hate.

  8. #8

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    My answer would be yes, but not because of how powerful it is but because of how little interaction it offers.

    Control - Lots of interactivity with counters and such.

    Aggro- Little guys that try to kill you? Interactivity with defending from them and/or racing them.

    Storm Combo: They might cast a discard spell, but otherwise they are playing solitaire while you play Chess for him and you.


    I might argue that Ichorid needs to lose something, but even it has a larger amount of interactivity than Storm Combo.

    I'm also glad that IBA fully grasped the point of my "Countermagic and Legacy: Do we want it" topic. Counters are rampant because we depend on them to keep Tendrils combo in check, which I think is not healthy for the format.

    Take a look at some of the other decks in the forums: Something you may see often is "well, lets just focus on our other MUs and just accept the lose Vs Tendrils". That is not a good argument for why a deck should do poorly vs another: every deck should have the ability to beat another with proper skill and a tiny bit of luck.

  9. #9
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Much more interesting without Tendrils.

    Actually errata that changed the wording of the card might be enough -- if it were damage instead of loss of life, that would open up a TON of answers and make more decks in more colors able to withstand it.

    On the subject of , it's not like counters are suddenly going to disappear if Tendrils disappears. Counters work against everything. But if Tendrils disappears, Combo gets a minimum of 1-2 turns slower, which gives aggro a big boost.

    I find combo boring, to face and to run. It works, but jeez, wake me if you fizzle.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I don't think banning Tendrils alone would be any good to the format.
    It wouldn't make people play less Goyfs and FoWs. I believe it would make aggro more viable, and as a consequence, board control, too.

    However, I believe that, despite the "healthy" of the format, it's time to shake things up a little bit by unbanning a couple of cards.
    Yes, I know that there's a lot of viable archetypes and decks, I know that the format is balanced and almost every single deck has its bad matches, I know that every now and then Wizards presents us a few playable cards. But I fell the discussions about the format are becoming less and less interesting and this discourage people from keep playing legacy (or maybe I'm just sad that there are too few championships nearby ).

  11. #11
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Sure, because right now combo is everywhere. Everybody and their little brother is playing combo. People are actully shitting tendrils instead of, you know, crap.

    [/sarcasm]
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I don't want either the color blue or combo as an archetype to disappear; I'm actually fond of both.

    I'm aware that a certain reaction to this sort of poll will be to assume that it's the anger of a Timmy (or some similarly banile generalization) who simply wants to get rid of all the decks that beat... (I used to be able to insert a given tribal deck in this slot, but those have stopped sucking dramatically. Let's say 9land Stompy, then).

    However, I think there are desirable amounts and forms of both blue and combo in the format. Although the two issues aren't intrinsically related, my desirable form of blue doesn't involve a two mana 5/6, and the desirable form of combo, I think, involves an actual combination of cards, at least one of which is a permanent.

    I quite like the Cascade-Hypergenesis combo, for instance, which I think may be vulnerable; but it's also vulnerable to any deck that can drop a lot of permanents out of it's hand, or that can play Wrath or Damnation early; I beat it with Quinn, for instance, by just dropping Runed Halo, O-Ring, O-Ring. Moat would have been even better, to say nothing of Humility.

    Another combo I like is Life, which can be quite powerful but relies on creatures, and further has difficulty beating decks with a powerful milling option, whether that's Solidarity or Train Wreck.

    Cephalid Breakfast is both blue and a combo, but ultimately quite fair and healthy for the metagame, being vulnerable to creature hate as well as graveyard hate (while having tools to fight through both, as well as the usual counters and such).

    That's what we used to think of in terms of "combo" decks. Combinations of cards. Now combo has come to mean Tendrils of Agony. It... irks me.

  13. #13
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I'm usually a combo player, and combo definetly has a fairly interactive game against anything but monogreen.dec
    People is running chalices, discard, countermagic, istant damage sources (for AN), graveyard hate (for IGG), etc. Even if the game is usually not even fair against non-blue decks this doesn't mean there are no choices to be made by the players considering what the other player is doing.

    However, even banning Tendrils, combo decks are usually able to make >10 storm especially when working with AN. The aggro matches would be still unfair using Brain Freeze / Grapeshot.

    I guess I can still 8-2 any goblin deck with a TES list with -1 Tendrils +1 Grapeshot, and maintain almost the same percentages against black disruption decks, aggroloam, etc.

    It's not the win, it's the engine. Maybe you'll have to adjust your deck to fit in some more IGG or some doomsdays, but still, the game is going to be unfair against those ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousBearAssassin View Post
    the desirable form of combo, I think, involves an actual combination of cards, at least one of which is a permanent.
    Yeah, I know those combos! One involves LED+Mystical tutor and the other one Doomsday+SDT! :)
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    We got Goyf Threshold, Deadgoyf Ale, Survival of the Goyfest and Goyfalid Breakfast.
    It probably won't end until we have decks like Goyf Stax, Goyfbelcher, Goyfchantress, Vial Goyflins, Goyfstill, Goyf from the Loam, Faergoyf Stompy, Goyf-Pox, Goyf Confinement, 8-Land Goyfstompy, and the Dave Gearhart classic, Goyfidarity.
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I'm going to dismiss, categorically, the argument that Storm Combo would be as strong with Brain Freeze or Grapeshot.

    Or if Grapeshot combo does become big, I'm going to start boarding in Scars of the Veteran.

  15. #15

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousBearAssassin View Post
    I'm going to dismiss, categorically, the argument that Storm Combo would be as strong with Brain Freeze or Grapeshot.

    Or if Grapeshot combo does become big, I'm going to start boarding in Scars of the Veteran.

    Going to have to argee. Both Grapeshot and Brainfreeze need almost double the storm count that Tendrils requires to goldfish.

  16. #16
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousBearAssassin View Post
    I'm going to dismiss, categorically, the argument that Storm Combo would be as strong with Brain Freeze or Grapeshot.

    Or if Grapeshot combo does become big, I'm going to start boarding in Scars of the Veteran.
    Quote Originally Posted by DragoFireheart View Post
    Going to have to argee. Both Grapeshot and Brainfreeze need almost double the storm count that Tendrils requires to goldfish.
    If you can board Scars of the Veteran, why not just board Orim's Chant? :)

    Doomsday Combo is going quite a lot for the infinite grapeshot kill postboard, and playing Ad Nauseam usually draws you something like 10-15 cards. After that you can still IGG and reach even 30 storm.

    Storm wouldn't obviously be as strong as it is now, reducing he power of IGG loops (maybe you should add a couple of IGG to your deck). What I'm saying is that the fundamental turn is not that often given by the win condition, but by the engine you're using.

    The storm combo against decks not packing countermagic, even with a less powerful deck, will still result in the same interactions, and the same ending, with combo being almost as fast as it is now.

    A TES' hand with petal, D.Rit, D.Rit, AN, against goblins is going almost always to be a turn 1, whether the win is Grapeshot or Tendrils. If the goblin player has the chance to play discard on turn 1, or play a chalice@0 on turn 1, then the TES' hand is going to lose its turn 1 potential, whether the win is grapeshot or tendrils.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tacosnape, TrialByFire, Silverdragon mix
    We got Goyf Threshold, Deadgoyf Ale, Survival of the Goyfest and Goyfalid Breakfast.
    It probably won't end until we have decks like Goyf Stax, Goyfbelcher, Goyfchantress, Vial Goyflins, Goyfstill, Goyf from the Loam, Faergoyf Stompy, Goyf-Pox, Goyf Confinement, 8-Land Goyfstompy, and the Dave Gearhart classic, Goyfidarity.
    And Ichgoyfrid, Red Deadgoyf, GES, 42landand4goyf.dec, Goyf Game and Ill-Gotten-Goyf-y Pop
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  17. #17

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    It would seem to me that banning Tendrils combo would have nearly 0 effect on the dominance of blue. Counterbalance decks aren't good because they keep combo in check. Counterbalance decks are good because Counterbalance is fundamentally broken. I'd still play Counterbalance without Tendrils in the format because my Counterbalance decks have exactly 0 cards against Tendrils outside of CB/Spell Snare/Force of Will. This is very similar to many other NLU-type decks because deckbuilders expect to run into other CB decks (because CB is so good) and aggro decks, not the 5% of players who pick weird combo that they probably can't pilot through hate.

    All it would do is free up sideboard slots for aggro decks because they get to run more specific anti-control cards rather than genera stuff like Chant/Pillar/Teeg (although Teeg might still see play).

    This seems to make the format a lot less interesting for the combo deckbuilders and hardly affect anyone else (outside of paranoid crazy guy's 60 cards of storm combo hate who now can't even go 1-5 in an event).

  18. #18

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    I'd like to see non-tendrils combo. But I don't think that that's a good reason to ban it.

    I feel like Hermit Druid would be kinda cool to play. And WGD might be cool (although I've never played against it, in my defense).

    Aydunno.
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  19. #19

    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    [obviously]modern combo has a nice engine, allowing it to get needed pieces and needed mana fast enough to race most of nonblue decks.[/obviously]
    with such engine combo players are able not just to play good win conditions like tendrils, but different ones. for example, look at a 2 lands belcher which would come back if they ban tendrils. it will have 2 win conditions: belcher itself and ETW. both cards are easy to answer for every deck, even for a colorless one (needle, powder keg, explosives etc). but at the same time they need absolutely different answers. add some protection like duress, chant or pact and you see that nonblue decks still aren't fast enough to find enough answers. if something in such combodecks is really broken, then it's the engine, not the finishers. if blue decks will somehow stop dominating format, i'll vote for banning LED or infernal tutor, not the tendrils.

  20. #20
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    Re: Would the format be more interesting without Tendrils of Agony?

    Quote Originally Posted by emidln View Post
    This seems to make the format a lot less interesting for the combo deckbuilders and hardly affect anyone else (outside of paranoid crazy guy's 60 cards of storm combo hate who now can't even go 1-5 in an event).
    I have to disagree. Without Tendrils players would actually look for combos, not a way to reach 10 storm faster. Said that, and being a combo-lover myself since ProspoBloom, I agree with IBA when he says that we don't have combo anymore, we have Tendrils. Any 'combo' deck other then the ones with Tendrils kill sucks. First because Tendrils is by far the best option when you have such fast mana like we do in Legacy, 2nd because everyone is packing CB, FoW, Daze, Chalice etc in order to combat those Tendril combos.
    Tendrils stifles real combo deckbuilding just like Tarmogoyf stifles aggro and control deckbuilding and variety.
    Don't get me wrong thou, I think Legacy is quite healthy now, but it could be much more interesting without the amazing dominance over their respective archetypes that those two cards have.
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