View Poll Results: Most bannable card in Legacy? (not that they will touch it)

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192. You may not vote on this poll
  • Brainstorm

    16 8.33%
  • Force of Will

    4 2.08%
  • Lion's Eye Diamond

    35 18.23%
  • Counterbalance

    34 17.71%
  • Sensei's Divining Top

    103 53.65%
  • Tarmogoyf

    46 23.96%
  • Phyrexian Dreadnaught

    2 1.04%
  • Goblin Lackey

    4 2.08%
  • Standstill

    6 3.13%
  • Natural Order

    8 4.17%
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Thread: All B/R update speculation.

  1. #20781

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kap'n Cook View Post
    Format solved
    i like where you're going but i've got a detour: unban probe, top, deathrite, earthcraft, mindtwist and ban brainstorm.

    no more shaky keeps just 'cause you have a BS and a fetch

    you wouldn't HAVE TO play blue "cause i'm a spike nonsense"...

    EDIT: i'd even campaign to get DTT and treasure cruise back if it meant BS gets the ban hammer.

  2. #20782
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    i like where you're going but i've got a detour: unban probe, top, deathrite, earthcraft, mindtwist and ban brainstorm.

    no more shaky keeps just 'cause you have a BS and a fetch

    you wouldn't HAVE TO play blue "cause i'm a spike nonsense"...

    EDIT: i'd even campaign to get DTT and treasure cruise back if it meant BS gets the ban hammer.
    This. Legacy needs a shorter banlist. Otherwise, we will be seeing Modern 2.0 in terms of WotC manipulation or Vintage 2.0 in terms of pillars.
    By the way, unrestrict Brainstorm in Vintage please for the people who love their pillar.
    On the Sep 2011 Ban List Updates,
    Quote Originally Posted by Lancer View Post
    Yep DCI/Wizards never fails... those that cry the loudest wins!

  3. #20783
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amon Amarth View Post
    I think there are two reason we have these bans: Wizards silence on what cards are sacrosanct and there inability to stop printing dumb blue cards. Outside of a Tweet by Aaron Forsythe on Brainstorm (a Tweet, really?) we don't know what cards will never be banned and by extension will be banned around. I can't play Top but I can play Brainstorm and Ponder in all of my Blue decks and I don't think I need to mention the stupidity of Griseltard. This feels really similar to how they manage the Banned List in Modern, very heavy-handed. It would be nice if we were told if they had a vision for the format because looking at the cards that are banned and the ones I can play is kinda confusing.
    Well, what you want just doesn't exist though. I even made a thread here, where we made no real progress in "defining Legacy." Considering Wizard's general position on Legacy, I don't there is there is a formal, logical, cogent definition to be had. Some people define it one way, others a different way. Neither of them are wrong, per se. No one will come out to say, "X will never be banned" because that isn't specifically true. Anything could be banned, if they up a decided that it is a problem. So, where Brainstorm is a "sacred cow" or a "pillar" of Leagcy, that is only because it is in the answer to the question of "what is Legacy?" in the minds of a seeming majority of "decision makers" at Wizards. That is unlikely to change, but there is no reason that it could not.

    I have, for years now, tried to explain that there is absolutely no way that bannings, in any format, are specifically data driven. That is to say that data is not the sole criterion. That doesn't mean it is not considered, because I think it is fairly obvious that it is considered to some degree. I think that a long-term view reveals that bannings are actually done based on "look and feel" rather than on specifically "hard" statistical data. In other words, what Wizards does not want is the appearance of a "solved" format. What "solved" means, again, is not some data-driven statistical "magic-number" threshold though, from Wizard's point of view.

    So, for example, before the Pro Tour that Wizards specifically did not want to be Modern, but public outcry convinced them to have be Modern, they up and banned Splinter Twin, to many people's surprise. Many people, even to this day, still comment how this wasn't necessary, how the data did not bare out that Twin was dominant or stifling diversity, or that while it was good, there were plenty of "counter-play" options. This denies the simple, over-looked fact of the circumstance of the banning. The overwhelming sentiment regarding the format at the time was that Twin was the best deck. No one really could refute that. Perhaps it was only by 5%, or 10%, or whatever. The point is that Wizards doesn't care about the actual number. It cares about the perception of the metagame and the perception was, "Twin is best, play something that can beat it, or don't really bother playing." That might not have been a fact. But it was viewed as if it was one. To Wizards, this is a bad look and so Twin got banned.

    So, what does this have to do with Deathrite? Well, because it was done for, most probably, the same reason. Pro Tour on the horizon, people's perception was that Deathrite was obviously the "best card" and so the format appeared "solved." Not actually statistically solved, but perceptually. And the last thing Wizards wants to be putting on camera is a format that is even marginally viewed as "solved." If there is an "obviously best" choice, even if the seeming "collective" answer is neither "obvious" nor actually "best" the metagame is essentially "compromised" and so is "solved."

    Now, you can disagree with any of those terms that I put in quotes. In fact, there is a likely a cogent refutation of every single one of them to be had. But this denies the fact that such logical argumentation is largely irrelevant to Wizard's likely process. That isn't to imply that Wizard's actions are not logical. It is to say that empirical, data analysis and the like are likely not the criterion that is viewed as "most important." Confound this with what is likely every "decision maker's" own subjective, perceptual stance on what is a "pillar" or "sacred cow" of Legacy, and you have action that seems, superficially, to be completely random and nonsensical.

    In reality, it is rather transparent, if you take the large-enough view to consider all the factors at hand. That isn't to say that some of their decisions are not nonsensical, because, you know, Earthcraft, but their actions are not inscrutable by any stretch of the imagination.
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  4. #20784

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    1) The game-ending (before it began) is the weakest point in the argument against Probe; however an amount of games did end on turn 0 [effectively] because Probe was legal - the failure of Probe to cost any mana made that possible. It's not about how often people feel like that happened; the point is that objectively speaking, that Probe's zero mana cost is the underlying mechanic that made it possible.
    I used "feel" there because I didn't actually do the math; the point is, the chances of the scenarios people were describing were very small. Some examples of things that actually ended the game that are considerably more likely:

    - Show and Tell into Emrakul or Griselbrand
    - Belcher
    - Entomb/Loot into Reanimate

    And to a lesser extent (because maybe you play a maindeck disenchant for some reason:

    - Chalice, or any other Sol Land -> inane lock piece

    The point is, Probe is discount Peek. I get that the difference between zero and one is actually huge, but the point is, the card's text box is Peek. If someone played Peek on you in Legacy, you would laugh at them, but as soon as the cost is 2 life instead people go nuts. Legacy is a place for busted cards, and Probe is just not as busted as plenty of other things in the format.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    There are a lot of cards on the banlist [particularly ones without mana engine aspects] which are banned b/c they are kinda just bullcrap. Now bullcrap comes in two [non-mana engine] flavors: "this is overpowered, and the only way to beat it is to play it" [ ex. Ancestral Recall/Mental Misstep, subset diversity killer] and "this is just plain stupid" [ex. Yawg Will, Time Vault, etc.]. There is a precedent for banning cards just on the basis of "this is bullcrap," and turn zero Probe-Sea-Therapy, take 2 cards-gg is something that qualifies as sufficiently stupid play pattern. An argument of "Probe is to powerful, it should be banned" is inherently subjective, but it's not necessarily wrong [nor is it necessarily right].
    How is that play pattern dumber than any of the ones I described above? Also, has anyone ever played Hymn to Tourach against you? People get two-for-one'd all the time, why is this specific case worse? Moreover, as I pointed out before, for this to happen, you have to have two copies of a card in your hand.

    I do appreciate that you acknowledge a huge portion of the rationale for banning Probe is just that a bunch of people don't like it when their opponents play it, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    2) There is a very large difference between needing to play a land and use its mana to cast a discard spell, and needing zero mana and getting a new card. An opponent cannot interact with something as non-committal as Probe [unless life total is a meaningful axis of interaction from the onset of a game, which is to say specifically Burn].

    3) It's not about the info quality in a dynamic game state, nor about how people play in-game. I'm just looking at the raw mechanics of Probe and stating that the purpose of the card is to move a game of magic away from interactive, precisely because no meaningful axis of interaction was exposed to an opponent.
    How does one interact with Thoughtseize? This distinction is vacuous.

    You can interact with Probe in all the same ways you can interact with cantrips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    4) Treasure Cruise would have gotten itself banned post-theoretical Probe ban. DTT probably also, but we'll never really know. What we can say though is that any card with keyword delve is castable at least 1 turn quicker in the presence of Probe. This can currently be appreciated in legacy by watching Death's Shadow [with Street Wraith] and any other non-Wraith deck with Gurmag. That increase in velocity is objectively noteworthy.
    I have zero issues with this; still isn't noteworthy enough to make Probe bannable.

    Treasure Cruise and DTT, by contrast, are definitely bannable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    5) Chalice requires extreme concessions in deckbuilding. The cost of Chalice's power is that you're at the mercy of an opponent's strategy because Chalice decks are exceedingly easy to predict possible plays (and if Chalice didn't stop their plans, your deck is going to offer very little dynamic resistance). Also notable: most Chalice decks do not get the benefit of increasing the EV of their topdecks by thinning via Fetchlands.
    OK; this still does not answer my question:

    If Probe was actually broken, why did anyone choose to play a non-Probe deck while it was legal?

    People clearly did choose to play Eldrazi, because it was a deck to beat. What did they know that Probe detractors didn't?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    The entire deck of Grixis Delver [pre-DRS/Probe ban] is built upon the premise of abusing Fetchlands in an amount of ways no other decks could. There are of course the cantrips and DRS mana implications; then apart from Fetchlands was the notable ability to shred opponent's hands on the back of Probe/Therapy. That hyper-consistent, hyper-efficient, hyper-disruptive, and high-velocity strategy then got the delve mechanic - and suddenly Probe/Therapy is now also buffing the Fetchland abuse because both feed into the DTT/Gurmag reward pathway. It was not challenging to capitalize on that payoff by turn 3. While it wasn't unbeatable, the chances were the opponent never really got to play magic/make meaningful decisions before they died.

    Probe being legal meant an opponent would die at least ~1 turn quicker. Another way of stating this: with delve, Probe is mana positive.
    Obligatory acknowledgement that fetchlands are obviously nuts, with necessary caveat that without them, Legacy couldn't exist because of the reserved list.

    Again, things you can do by turn three in Legacy (including the things I mentioned above):

    - Make an indestructible flying 20/20 and attack with it
    - Pay 2U using basic islands to put a 15/15 with annihilator 6 and flying or a 7/7 lifelink flying yawgmoth's bargain into play
    - Give your opponent 10+ Brushes with Death
    - Attack them for 50 with a giant frog monster
    - etc etc

    But, uh oh, with Probe, they might make you discard two cards!! ....?

    I get that Grixis was a frustrating deck, but it was still fair and interactive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    The hidden oracle text on Probe is: Pay 2 life, your opponents' ability to interact is diminished and the amount of time they have to interact will be diminished. Results may vary [deck construction + variance], and don't reassess as long as Fetchlands are legal.
    Probe doesn't change the cards in your hand; if you couldn't interact before you got probed, you still wouldn't have been able to after. Just because your opponent knows some of what's in your hand (because after your draw step, they won't know all of it), doesn't mean they have the tools to stop it.

    Like Ron said, I appreciate your perspective, though, and it mirrors a lot of things others have said locally about it. I still think 90% of the Probe ban decision boils down to, "well, I don't like it!"


    Quote Originally Posted by porcupinetreeman View Post
    BAN:

    Brainstorm BOOOOO
    Ponder BOOOOO
    Show and Tell YEAH BAN IT
    Dark Depths eh this is fine
    possibly Griselbrand YEAH BAN IT

    format would be way more fun
    Quote Originally Posted by MorphBerlin View Post
    That deck would be?
    For me personally, it's engine combo - Wizards hates things like ANT, UR Storm (in modern), Eggs (in modern), KCI (in modern), etc. I even bought Cradles to play Elves in case they banned Probe, because the writing was on the wall and at least Glimpse is kinda storm-like, and then they banned DRS and Probe in the same announcement

    It's like they watch my SCG orders to plan out the bans.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorphBerlin View Post
    Sounds like a salty storm player?
    I do play other decks (I have miracles as well), but I can't say "salty storm player" never applies to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Kap'n Cook View Post
    Ban: True-Name, Terminus, Counterbalance, Mentor, Griselbrand

    Unban: Top, Earthcraft

    Format solved
    Show me on the doll where Miracles touched you.

    ...more seriously, we should definitely ban Griselbrand and top was also fine. True-Name's greatest sin is just being terminally boring.

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    no more shaky keeps just 'cause you have a BS and a fetch
    Again, I shout to an uncaring sky, why do you want more mulligans in Legacy??

    Mulligans are among the worst feelings in the game, why is having more of them better?

  5. #20785
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    People probably played non-Probe decks for the same reason anyone sleeved up Eldrazi or D&T during the Treasure Cruise era. They liked it, they had the cards, or they thought they could win. Honestly is a card only banworthy at 100% format saturation? Does someone top 8ing with mono-red Burn suddenly make Treasure Cruise fair and balanced?

    As for the mulligan note, I feel like it's a way of pointing out the lack of deckbuilding constraints inherit to running 8 cantrips. You can shave lands because you can always just dig 3 deep and find one. IMO the most generalized draw engine should not be the most powerful, but I'm biased against goodstuff decks.

  6. #20786

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watersaw View Post
    People probably played non-Probe decks for the same reason anyone sleeved up Eldrazi or D&T during the Treasure Cruise era. They liked it, they had the cards, or they thought they could win. Honestly is a card only banworthy at 100% format saturation? Does someone top 8ing with mono-red Burn suddenly make Treasure Cruise fair and balanced?
    Certainly not, on both counts. 100% format saturation isn't necessary, but certainly more than ~16.6% for something that people are alleging was "completely free and obviously broken." The point is, if the cost was so low, why didn't more decks have it? "The proof is in the pudding," as it were. Jitte is present in 15% of top 8 decks, is color ambivalent, and obviously powerful; why does no one ask for it to be banned? I think it's because a lot of people like crashing dudes into one another, and they don't like people looking at their hand for whatever reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watersaw View Post
    As for the mulligan note, I feel like it's a way of pointing out the lack of deckbuilding constraints inherit to running 8 cantrips. You can shave lands because you can always just dig 3 deep and find one. IMO the most generalized draw engine should not be the most powerful, but I'm biased against goodstuff decks.
    I feel like people overstate how "free" the cantrips are. Yes, they're powerful and efficient, and probably the best thing you can be doing, but they still add "air" to your deck, and now that probe is gone, you have to spend mana to cast them. Anyone who has sat across the table from a Thalia or a Chalice with a mitt full of Ponders and Brainstorms knows that cantrips are a liability sometimes, too.

  7. #20787
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    @taconaut it's not just free Peek, it's +1 delve mana Peek for zero; this mana positive bonus that came about with delve cards is what changed. Fetchlands are still the main problem at work here, but Probe exacerbated that past the point of tolerable after Khans.

    Most ban arguments here usually boil down to subjective opinion, but in the case of Probe we can objectively categorize it as a blatant mana issue after Khans - that's a dangerous thing when combined with being an objectively uninteractive (or interaction-diminishing & game length-diminishing) card. It's just a little to linear [easy] to get +1 mana out of Probe post-delve; decks that had to work at extracting mana from Probe weren't the problem (i.e. Storm: Cabal Rit~threshold, 'free' storm count. Dredge: CA & mana advantage by virtue of dredge mechanic. etc...).

    There is a very key distinction between Probe and Thoughtseize/cantrips: you have expose a land to interaction, and you have to lose mana for that turn before either Thoughtseize/cantrip can help you find the best line. Unless your opponent is on specifically Burn, there is no meaningful resource risked/offered with which an opponent could interact.

    You don't need a card to be played at Mental Misstep levels to be ban-worthy. To reiterate: the linear mana issues of Probe exist only in UBg colors (Cruise/Dig/every delve creature). The free mana is the most powerful thing you can do with Probe [particularly when used with Fetchlands and the cantrips & consistency engines they enable] - you still have to have a coherent plan, that is good enough to compete in legacy, to win with Probe. The requirements for winning with Probe's power used to warp deckbuilding (ANT/Dredge/etc...), but delve creatures let fair decks [primarily Grixis Delver] hijack it. In the same way the dredge mechanic hijacked Bazaar of Baghdad, so while it's unfair that Welder, Reanimator, and Rootwalla/Hollow One will never get to use Bazaar in legacy, it's still the right call to ban Bazaar rather than every card with keyword dredge.

    ---
    @taconaut here's some of the non-Probe stuff:

    Once decks without any central strategy other than play the best cheap spells [or conversely play the most value spells] are able unlock busted potential without any build-around (i.e. incorporating need to perform multi-card sequences which are inherently disruptable), you have to take a serious look at cards like Probe. Letting the issue fester kills diversity; some examples:
    -if you were playing any Delver deck not called Grixis with DRS and Probe, you were playing a less winning deck. You were less efficient at abusing Fetchlands.
    -if you were playing any non-Delver/non-Elves DRS deck not called Czech Pile, you were playing a less winning deck. Also, your fair DRS deck can't do anything to beat Hymn/SCM/Kcomm - your best bet was topdecking running TNNs. One possible exception to this was the super greedy version of Czech with Grove/P-Fire, but that's almost the same deck.
    -if you currently play Stoneblade you win less with Tundra b/c you aren't playing Counterbalance (miracles).
    -if you currently play Stoneblade/Shardless/ETB-fair deck, you win less than Grixis Jammy Jams b/c you don't play Hymn/SCM/Kcomm.

    Now I don't care for Chalice, but at least I can see it in Aggro Loam, Eldrazi, Vial decks, Steel Stompy, Eldrazi Post, TurboMoon, and others. This card is so high variance and restrictive to deckbuilding (and most often unable to capitalize on Fetchland abuse) that it's never going to be the only way to play Chalice. Differing Chalice strategies are also notoriously horrible at disrupting eachother and are thus unable to force out differing Chalice strategies from the meta. Grixis Jammy Jams and miracles however do force diversity [of similar strategies] out because Hymn and blue-Hymn (Counterbalance) are unrivaled card advantage engines. Like Probe, Counterbalance and Hymn can't be used profitably in every shell; but that doesn't mean that these two aren't the primary drivers of diminished format diversity [i.e. bannable].

    Powerful effects you have to work for and build around are just fine. Free mana and CA handouts to fair Fetchland decks, not so okay; they cause homogeneity.

    @Ronald Deuce Ya, I'm with you on combo didn't ruin Probe, but it can't be unbanned and not exploited past the point of reasonable [mana advantage] by Grixis Delver's unparalleled Fetchland efficiency. When ANT/TES lost Probe and largely went away, legacy devolved into Snapcaster soup.

  8. #20788

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by taconaut View Post
    I feel like people overstate how "free" the cantrips are. Yes, they're powerful and efficient, and probably the best thing you can be doing, but they still add "air" to your deck, and now that probe is gone, you have to spend mana to cast them. Anyone who has sat across the table from a Thalia or a Chalice with a mitt full of Ponders and Brainstorms knows that cantrips are a liability sometimes, too.
    The bolded part is pretty funny, "like why should I have to spend mana to cast my spells?"
    Free spells (daze & force) is what it's all about for blue and all held together by BS.

    If you diversified your cantrips, a chalice wouldn't be a liability.

  9. #20789
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    If you diversified your cantrips, a chalice wouldn't be a liability.
    In other words, "Play worse cards."

    EDIT: Not sure how many things I can sig before it becomes a liability.

    EDIT again:
    Quote Originally Posted by H View Post
    I have, for years now, tried to explain that there is absolutely no way that bannings, in any format, are specifically data driven. That is to say that data is not the sole criterion. That doesn't mean it is not considered, because I think it is fairly obvious that it is considered to some degree. I think that a long-term view reveals that bannings are actually done based on "look and feel" rather than on specifically "hard" statistical data. In other words, what Wizards does not want is the appearance of a "solved" format. What "solved" means, again, is not some data-driven statistical "magic-number" threshold though, from Wizard's point of view.
    This is absolutely correct. That's why more transparency is essential; if there's not a metric or set of metrics to define absolutely what's worthy of bans, at the very least they should give people something of value to demonstrate their thought process.
    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    If you diversified your cantrips, a chalice wouldn't be a liability.
    Quote Originally Posted by chunderbucket View Post
    You want interesting, nonbinary games? Don't make your deck so reliant on cantrips, like pretty much every above deck.
    Quote Originally Posted by iatee View Post
    I am tired of malicious top 8s and it is time to put an end to the practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevestamopz View Post
    Almost everyone plays decks that are strictly worse 75s than the top decks - which most people could sleeve up if they wanted to, they just elected not to.

  10. #20790

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by H View Post
    So, for example, before the Pro Tour that Wizards specifically did not want to be Modern, but public outcry convinced them to have be Modern, they up and banned Splinter Twin, to many people's surprise. Many people, even to this day, still comment how this wasn't necessary, how the data did not bare out that Twin was dominant or stifling diversity, or that while it was good, there were plenty of "counter-play" options. This denies the simple, over-looked fact of the circumstance of the banning. The overwhelming sentiment regarding the format at the time was that Twin was the best deck. No one really could refute that. Perhaps it was only by 5%, or 10%, or whatever. The point is that Wizards doesn't care about the actual number. It cares about the perception of the metagame and the perception was, "Twin is best, play something that can beat it, or don't really bother playing." That might not have been a fact. But it was viewed as if it was one. To Wizards, this is a bad look and so Twin got banned.
    It's an interesting take, and you're probably mostly right, although I want to point out there's a very recent counter-example: Chainwhirler is an example of a card that players felt OP, in a deck that players felt was too prevalent and difficult to beat outside a very small number of strategies. But when the chance came along to ban it, Wizards responded with data, showing that the win rates of the various RDW/RB decks was not as bad as players thought.

    Now there are certainly other considerations besides data that can explain the decision not to ban - for one thing, one more banning in that standard would have felt really bad, even with rotation looming - but certainly the official reasoning was data-driven.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Deuce View Post
    This is absolutely correct. That's why more transparency is essential; if there's not a metric or set of metrics to define absolutely what's worthy of bans, at the very least they should give people something of value to demonstrate their thought process.
    I for one have no problem with a lack of coherence in the B&R list. The reality is that whatever rules one tries to set, there'll very probably be corner cases and exceptions that don't fit the rules and would still merit banning, and vice versa. Flexibility on these issues and good communication about the thought process would be fine, if it wasn't for the fact Wizards does not do communication.
    Quote Originally Posted by FourDogsinaHorseSuit View Post
    I'll take "things that mean the same thing" for 200, Alec.

  11. #20791
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Deuce View Post
    This is absolutely correct. That's why more transparency is essential; if there's not a metric or set of metrics to define absolutely what's worthy of bans, at the very least they should give people something of value to demonstrate their thought process.
    I doubt this would ever happen. In fact, I think their aim is to have it be opaque as possible, to prevent people from "gaming the system" so to speak. Keep in mind, they also have access to information that we cannot and will not ever see, for example, attendance over time. Not to mention, access to information about unreleased cards, future design space, rule changes and so on. Not only that, but keeping the process inscrutable allows them more "freedom" to act as they deem fit, not being bound by the public optics of adherence to definitive rules. Again, because it is a lot less about objective facts and more about subjective views and aims.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfy View Post
    It's an interesting take, and you're probably mostly right, although I want to point out there's a very recent counter-example: Chainwhirler is an example of a card that players felt OP, in a deck that players felt was too prevalent and difficult to beat outside a very small number of strategies. But when the chance came along to ban it, Wizards responded with data, showing that the win rates of the various RDW/RB decks was not as bad as players thought.

    Now there are certainly other considerations besides data that can explain the decision not to ban - for one thing, one more banning in that standard would have felt really bad, even with rotation looming - but certainly the official reasoning was data-driven.
    I'm not sure that is a counter-example though, in the grand scheme of things. While it does point to a hole in the "Wizards doesn't like "solved" formats" part, it still adheres to the larger "rule" that data isn't the most important criteria, but keep in mind there are no actual "rules." My "greater" point is that there isn't some well-defined, objective criteria or rule that informs banned and restricted decisions. They are mixtures of subjective views, some objective data, and other considerations, like sales, optics, future design space, and so on.

    The "official statements" are outright PR blurbs. They are specifically not made to actually explain the process, even if they sometimes might. They are made to manage the optics of the decision. Sometimes that might involve true statements about the process. Sometimes not. But if anyone actually believes everything in PR statements made by any company, well, I'm not sure how to resolve relativity for them...
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
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  12. #20792

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    @taconaut it's not just free Peek, it's +1 delve mana Peek for zero; this mana positive bonus that came about with delve cards is what changed.

    Most ban arguments here usually boil down to subjective opinion, but in the case of Probe we can objectively categorize it as a blatant mana issue after Khans.

    In that case, why does no one play Street Wraith? Why does no one play Mishra's Bauble? Both have effectively zero cost according to your metric, and "make a mana" for Delve.

    That's a dangerous thing when combined with being an objectively uninteractive (or interaction-diminishing & game length-diminishing) card. There is a very key distinction between Probe and Thoughtseize/cantrips: you have expose a land to interaction, and you have to lose mana for that turn before either Thoughtseize/cantrip can help you find the best line. Unless your opponent is on specifically Burn, there is no meaningful resource risked/offered with which an opponent could interact.

    So? I remain unconvinced that this matters in any meaningful way in 90+% of games. What decks are you playing against that go, "Dual, something turn 1!!" that you get to respond with "HAHA, wasteland you, #GotEm!"? The reason you have to pay a mana for Thoughtseize or a Cantrip is because the impact of the card is meaningful - Probe just randomly replaces itself and gives you a bit of information. A great deal of the time, Probing on turn 1 is not correct - in the case of Storm, sometimes you want to wait until the fundamental turn, especially if you lack a discard spell.

    You don't need a card to be played at Mental Misstep levels to be ban-worthy. To reiterate: the linear mana issues of Probe exist only in UBg colors (Cruise/Dig/every delve creature).

    Cruise and Dig are not relevant to this discussion, as they were not legal when Probe was banned.

    The requirements for winning with Probe's power used to warp deckbuilding (ANT/Dredge/etc...), but delve creatures let fair decks [primarily Grixis Delver] hijack it.

    Not to be reductive, but Gurmang Angler is a vanilla 5/5, and creatures are the most interactive card type in Magic. I'm just not seeing the brokenness - this argument is that Grixis, and by extension, Probe, is broken because...it gets a discount tarmogoyf?

    In the same way the dredge mechanic hijacked Bazaar of Baghdad, so while it's unfair that Welder, Reanimator, and Rootwalla/Hollow One will never get to use Bazaar in legacy, it's still the right call to ban Bazaar rather than every card with keyword dredge.

    I think Bazaar is objectively busted whether Dredge exists or not; I don't think the comparison applies to Probe.

    ---
    @taconaut here's some of the non-Probe stuff:

    Once decks without any central strategy other than play the best cheap spells [or conversely play the most value spells] are able unlock busted potential without any build-around (i.e. incorporating need to perform multi-card sequences which are inherently disruptable),

    like, say, a 2/1 for 1R, a Discard spell with flashback, and a cantrip?

    you have to take a serious look at cards like Probe. Letting the issue fester kills diversity; some examples:
    -if you were playing any Delver deck not called Grixis with DRS and Probe, you were playing a less winning deck. You were less efficient at abusing Fetchlands.

    You use the phrase "abusing Fetchlands" to describe what makes Probe broken; I'm still not sure I see why Fetches have anything to do with Probe. Could you expand on this? I think earlier you were saying that the reason is that they add extra mana for delve, but that's true of Fetches whether Probe exists or not, so I don't see the connection.

    -if you were playing any non-Delver/non-Elves DRS deck not called Czech Pile, you were playing a less winning deck.

    Am I forgetting a deck, or is the set that these constraints describe literally "Maverick?"

    Also, your fair DRS deck can't do anything to beat Hymn/SCM/Kcomm - your best bet was topdecking running TNNs. One possible exception to this was the super greedy version of Czech with Grove/P-Fire, but that's almost the same deck.
    -if you currently play Stoneblade you win less with Tundra b/c you aren't playing Counterbalance (miracles).
    -if you currently play Stoneblade/Shardless/ETB-fair deck, you win less than Grixis Jammy Jams b/c you don't play Hymn/SCM/Kcomm.

    I think these assertions are all generally true, and also fine? Some decks are just better than others; this will always be true.

    Now I don't care for Chalice, but at least I can see it in Aggro Loam, Eldrazi, Vial decks, what vial deck plays chalice? Steel Stompy, Eldrazi Post, TurboMoon, and others. This card is so high variance and restrictive to deckbuilding (and most often unable to capitalize on Fetchland abuse) that it's never going to be the only way to play Chalice. Differing Chalice strategies are also notoriously horrible at disrupting each other and are thus unable to force out differing Chalice strategies from the meta.

    I mean, personally, Moon Stompy and Spaghetti Stompy might as well be the same deck to me; I feel like that sort of diversity is mostly illusory. That might be more about me, though; maybe there is some cadre of sol-land-connoisseurs that really appreciate the subtle differences between what otherwise-unplayable beater they jam after Mind Twisting their opponent on turn 1 for 2 colorless mana

    Grixis Jammy Jams and miracles however do force diversity [of similar strategies] out because Hymn and blue-Hymn (Counterbalance) are unrivaled card advantage engines.

    I mean, there's also lands, which uses Loam for card advantage in a control strategy. I get what you mean, though.

    I think it's strange to lament that there is a particular midrange strategy that is the best - that's the whole point of midrange, right? "Here's a pile of the most efficient threats and answers that are available in the format; if I am a decent magic player, I can expect at least a 50/50 matchup against anyone because all my topdecks are decent and I can deal with a lot of different scenarios." There can only be so many "best cards" in a format, so the midrange deck of choice just being a combination of those cards seems like the obvious endpoint, especially in eternal formats, where the card pool has been iterated over for a long time. Sure, it's a bummer if you want to be the Knight of the Reliquary Guy, or the Stoneforge Mystic Guy, but sometimes the set of "best cards" isn't Junk or Esper at the moment, and them's the breaks.


    Like Probe, Counterbalance and Hymn can't be used profitably in every shell; but that doesn't mean that these two aren't the primary drivers of diminished format diversity [i.e. bannable].

    Again, Probe did not have an effect on diversity. It was in approximately 16% of decks. The only time in recent memory that Legacy wasn't diverse was during the DTT/Cruise era, and they banned those cards. Other than that, there have been viable decks of essentially every archetype.

    Powerful effects you have to work for and build around are just fine. Free mana and CA handouts to fair Fetchland decks, not so okay; they cause homogeneity.

    Probe is not card advantage, and it's not free - if it were, every deck would play it, and they didn't! People asserting that there wasn't diversity in Legacy are just plainly not addressing all the different archetypes - they are right there, in black and white, in the DTB thread. I don't know how else to say it - there is no defensible argument that Probe homogenized decks.

    @Ronald Deuce Ya, I'm with you on combo didn't ruin Probe, but it can't be unbanned and not exploited past the point of reasonable [mana advantage] by Grixis Delver's unparalleled Fetchland efficiency. When ANT/TES lost Probe and largely went away, legacy devolved into Snapcaster soup.

    Could you give me some examples of decks that you would like to play that you think aren't viable? What diversity was lacking when Probe was legal?
    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    The bolded part is pretty funny, "like why should I have to spend mana to cast my spells?"
    Free spells (daze & force) is what it's all about for blue and all held together by BS.

    If you diversified your cantrips, a chalice wouldn't be a liability.
    I mean, I think free spells are one of the things that makes Magic, and particularly Legacy, cool - it means you have to have your wits about you at all times. There aren't any freeroll turns where you can just do your thing, because there is even counterplay when resources are low.

    Ronald already addressed how hilarious the second assertion is ("just play worse cards to beat the chalices!" ) but I'll address it again more thoroughly like I did earlier:

    Yes, you could play around chalice by adding a bunch of Impulses or whatever to your deck, but then you make yourself worse against the rest of the metagame, because those people are just playing the most efficient spells. That's ultimately a losing proposition if you expect to do well, because later in the tournament, after a bunch of the Stompy decks have lost to their own variance, you're going to come up against the efficient decks, and they're just going to ruin you. It's poor metagaming to adjust your deck to Stompy, which is what makes it feel like a landmine - preparing for them is bad, because it makes your deck worse, but then you can just get randomly ranched by them on the unfortunate occasions you get paired with them.

    Obivously, you can mediate this somewhat with sideboard cards, and people do, but that still doesn't address why so many people have this weird hatred for efficient cards - why do you hate cantrips and other cost-efficient spells so much?

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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    @taconaut I've already answered why not everyone runs the same cards: just because a card has objectively problematic implications and/or raw power level, does not mean that every strategy can incorporate that tool and win games. The most powerful thing in legacy are Fetchlands, yet stompy decks and DnT can compete without running them - that doesn't make Fetchlands not overpowered. Baubles are notably slow-cantrips, and Street Wraith needs very specific cards to turn its cycling into double mana advantage (delve into a 5/5 *and* ramp below 13 life). That a card is powerful does not mean that it wins games, nor does it mean that a strategy designed to exploit that power is viable.

    On your second point you're introducing a wide variety of anecdotal variables. I've talked enough about what Probe objectively is when we strip it down (interaction-diminishing and built-in mana positive issues). Your point is about what Probe does, whereas my point is what Probe is. These are two different things.

    DTT and Cruise are highly relevant to understanding that Probe is a mana positive engine card. It highlights that exploiting that mana engine does not require any deviation in 'fair' & Fetchland-maximizing deckbuilding towards sequential combo. Without demands towards sequential combo Probe can be understood as a free power level handout to UBg (the colors of delve). Now we can classify Probe as interaction-diminishing, mana positive, color-skewed, and further boosting the power of Fetchlands.

    There's a lot of other points you've made which I'll try and come back and comment on, but I want this post to be focused on understanding that Probe got banned because of Fetchlands. Probe is an incorrect unban as long as Fetchlands are legal. Fetchlands break:
    -cantrips (particularly Brainstorm)
    -DRS
    -the delve mechanic
    -already consistency-based [cantrip] strategies (each Fetch mills a land out of deck, decreasing color and flood variance)

    Probe makes every issue of Fetchlands more pronounced [+/- on the DRS one, that specific correlation requires that they are played in the same list]. After Khans, Fetchlands became a fast mana concern (Dig/Cruise/delve creatures), and that's what changed. We've now seen 4 bans (DTT, Cruise, DRS, and Probe) that show that Fetchlands have almost no pressure valve when it comes to destabilizing the format. While Loam/Mox, Cavern/Vial, and Tomb/Chalice can more or less compete with Fetchlands, they fail to induce diversity within the Fetchland group (particularly the cantrip-utilizing ones). Specifically Probe, Counterbalance, and Hymn are/were [Probe] the main diversity killers within that group.

  14. #20794

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by taconaut View Post
    Ronald already addressed how hilarious the second assertion is ("just play worse cards to beat the chalices!" )
    I'd like to thank the academy and my agent for finally being sigged, I've worked so hard...

    However, I was actually being flip and sarcastic. We should feel sorry for the player that has a handful of ponders and BS's...
    It would be like feeling sorry for the 15% tax bracket money market hedge fund manager that wasn't able to buy a new camper this season because they didn't diversify their portfolio.

    Quote Originally Posted by taconaut View Post
    I mean, I think free spells are one of the things that makes Magic, and particularly Legacy, cool - only if you're playing blue
    Pretty much every paragraph you type, it would be appropriate to add at the end, "only if you're playing blue".

    Quote Originally Posted by taconaut View Post
    why do you hate cantrips and other cost-efficient spells so much?
    Don't conflate and obfuscate; it's only BS that needs a ban.

    Probe was fine and didn't need to be banned. It's never any other card. It's just BS. I'd even go so far as to say BS as a sorcery would be fine.

    Top, Probe, DRS, DTT, TC, Earthcraft, Mind Twist > BS

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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    I'd like to thank the academy and my agent for finally being sigged, I've worked so hard...

    However, I was actually being flip and sarcastic. We should feel sorry for the player that has a handful of ponders and BS's...
    It would be like feeling sorry for the 15% tax bracket money market hedge fund manager that wasn't able to buy a new camper this season because they didn't diversify their portfolio.



    Pretty much every paragraph you type, it would be appropriate to add at the end, "only if you're playing blue".



    Don't conflate and obfuscate; it's only BS that needs a ban.

    Probe was fine and didn't need to be banned. It's never any other card. It's just BS. I'd even go so far as to say BS as a sorcery would be fine.

    Top, Probe, DRS, DTT, TC, Earthcraft, Mind Twist > BS
    I cast most of my Brainstorm's at sorcery speed...
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I cast most of my Brainstorm's at sorcery speed...
    Most. The key word here is most.
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    Don't conflate and obfuscate; it's only BS that needs a ban.

    Probe was fine and didn't need to be banned. It's never any other card. It's just BS. I'd even go so far as to say BS as a sorcery would be fine.

    Top, Probe, DRS, DTT, TC, Earthcraft, Mind Twist > BS
    Out of curiosity, do you think that Brainstorm alone (or, I guess, Brainstorm-Fetch) is truly pulling that much weight? I ask because I'm vacillating a bit between thinking a ban would torpedo most blue strategies and thinking it actually wouldn't do all that much.

    I get that Brainstorm is a really good card and definitely the best blue card in the format. I'm wondering how much better people think it is than, say, Ponderónot to mention all the other busted cards in the format.
    Quote Originally Posted by non-inflammable View Post
    If you diversified your cantrips, a chalice wouldn't be a liability.
    Quote Originally Posted by chunderbucket View Post
    You want interesting, nonbinary games? Don't make your deck so reliant on cantrips, like pretty much every above deck.
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  18. #20798
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    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    I would write the various reasons why BS is so far and away a better card than Ponder, but you can probably find that argument somewhere in here made by me and many others about 100 times or more
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  19. #20799

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Deuce View Post
    Out of curiosity, do you think that Brainstorm alone (or, I guess, Brainstorm-Fetch) is truly pulling that much weight? I ask because I'm vacillating a bit between thinking a ban would torpedo most blue strategies and thinking it actually wouldn't do all that much.

    I get that Brainstorm is a really good card and definitely the best blue card in the format. I'm wondering how much better people think it is than, say, Ponderónot to mention all the other busted cards in the format.
    Brainstorm+fetch is so much better than ponder or any other cantrip it's not even close.
    Instant speed, protects against discard, and with fetch has all the functionality of ponder built in. It's insane and, frankly, really boring.

  20. #20800

    Re: All B/R update speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Deuce View Post
    Out of curiosity, do you think that Brainstorm alone (or, I guess, Brainstorm-Fetch) is truly pulling that much weight?
    I must have failed somewhere...
    to convey that BS is the spine and glue that gives blue a choke-hold on legacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I cast most of my Brainstorm's at sorcery speed...
    Hanni's with me ^^
    Let's get a write-in campaign to get back top, probe, DRS, DTT, TC, Earthcraft and MindTwist


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