Sunday, November 21, 2010

Should they join Kor Firewalker?

Hey kids! Congrats to Jeff Thomas on winning the last FNM! I think he is still busy making soldier tokens down at 3rd right now. Unfortunately I have decided that a much more interesting discussion would be on the proposal to ban both Jace the mind sculptor in Standard and Survival of the Fittest in legacy. Right now those two cards are inarguably dominating the format and definitely presenting a huge change in the way people build decks. You either beat them(sometimes!) or join them. Anyway let’s talk about the history of banning cards…

Wizards of the Coast official position on banning cards is well, you shouldn’t ban cards, only in dire circumstances. In the past five years, in standard they have let the cards play out unitil rotation…leading to well a player base filled with whiners(not the kind in california or france). The past two standard formats were dominated by Bitterblossum and bloodbraid elf, which in the end weren’t banned, and well dominated until their respective rotations. The last cards to be banned where the well affinity bannings in 2005 which banned all of the artifact lands, disciple of the vault, and arcbound ravager, which led to well the format being dominated by tooth and nail where some people argued for that to be banned as well.

Affinity was one of the most degenerative decks of all time, probably next to academy as the best type two deck of all time. The format forced people to main deck artifact hate, which was almost insane given how bad artifact hate was against the rest of the decks in the meta. Affinity had turn 3-4 kills, was quite resilient to hate, and could win out of nowhere. And that’s even without skullclamp which was banned the previous fall for well being one the best cards of all time.

I guess it all kinda arbitrary, but I suppose it needs to reach the affinity line in terms of power, performance, and well reiliancy. Altough one could quickly argue that all of those strategies and Jace are just as dominiate, I would tell them that having the rest of the field would have 8-12 dead cards against non-affinity opponents. Affinity also gave the opponent very little time to react, and made things very non-interactive(not a Webster word). Either way, point conceded that its very arbitrary the line to ban cards.

Now, that brings us to legacy, legacy being an eternal format which well I guess the “wait till rotation” route doesn’t work out. The last card to be banned was mystical tutor, a key card in both reanimator and Storm decks. Mystical was thought to keep getting more and more powerful, decks were simply made to find there instant or sorcery, play it and win the game.

Alright I guess I will just make a chart based off of past criteria and well my pretend expert opinion:

Suspect #1:

Jace the Minscupltor

Format dominating?

Totally guilty of that, in the last stars city open it was 50% of the top 16. Once played the card needs to be immediately dealt with.

Create a non-intereactive style of play?

Well not really, the thing about jace is that it gets better with player skill, it bounces creatures, finds answers, and controls the opponents draw step. In fact, the card is all about intereaction.

Quick end to games? A combo engine?

Not really, it will certainly put the opponent ahead but it’s not an engine. It finds answers.

Finds a home in a variety of decks?

Yes, it’s not just putting one strategy ahead, there are many kinds of jace decks. Right now we have RUG cobra, UB control, and UR destructive force. Which is a definite argument for it stay giving that it allow multiple types of strategy.


Well not really, the valakut ramp decks apparently have good game against the blue decks, and another plan is just win before turn one with vampires, goblins, or elves. Pyromancer’s ascension deck is also a good choice against the Jace decks too. Yes it’s a card advantage, and will take the game over if unanswered but it’s not unstoppable.

You can kill planeswalkers with burn, attacking it, or playing another Jace. Who needs Maelstrom pulse and oblivion ring? Well everyone, but they are not the only the cards.


You probably shouldn’t ban it, there will always be the ‘best’ card in standard. Its powerful, it does win games, but at the end of the day it promotes interaction and smart play. Sure its one of the best blue cards since well I guess brainstorm that doesn't mean its ban worthy.

Suspect #2

Survival of the fittest.

Format dominating?

Yes it certainly is the most popular strategy. However, it doesn’t show up as much as Jace does, however it is a bigger format.

Create a non-interactive style of play?

Yes, it certaintly does. Games in which survival “goes off” are incredibly non-interactive, the other player has to have the answer within a turn or lose.

Quick end to games? A combo engine?

Oh yeah, that’s what it is, an engine with vengevines or necrotic ooze.


Well no, but it’s quite resilient. There are a lot of good cards against survivial. But they have plenty of search and discard and counters to play around the hate. Also many have alternate wins with being a ug madness deck or a gw agro. So while you have all those anti-survival cards you have to deal with mongrel or goyf coming in at you.

Will it continue to dominate?

Well I will put it this way if they ban both vengevine and necrotic ooze, survival would still be quite playable as a draw engine, in fact there will probably be cards in the future that will break it.


At the end of the day, I am against survival being banned; however, it seems that has much more criteria to be banned than Jace does. One it’s a combo engine and two there is no rotation
While I say that it’s more bannable than Jace, I still am against banning it. In fact, I am against banning mystical tutor as well. There has to be points were we accept the power level of some cards. Survival is definitely equal to mystical’s power level so I won’t be surprised to see it get the ax.

Mark Sanchez the best QB in the NFL, yeah I said it

The guy in my comments who I remember in the 7th round for taking out a baby and skinning it in front of everyone. Now whose the lying cheater!! =P
You guys for not mentioning anything about blue waffles

Anyway until next time….

1 comment:

  1. Dylan Sez

    if jace wasnt an 80 dollar card hed be in 80 of the decks instead of 50 ish and way less ppl would want him banned