Old cards: Powerful, or Broken?

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by TheCasualOblivion, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Completely unnecessary. They could just be reprinted as a box set (like Anthologies or Beatdown). That type of reprint has been done in the past, and the cards are legal for Vintage (or Legacy) but are not a part of the card pool in rotating formats. I hope that is not what all of the fuss is about. I'm all for the people playing rotating formats being able to have a balanced metagame, but there is a world outside Standard/Extended. I think part of the issue is collectors and all that.

    Personally, I would love to see reprints. I'm all about availability in this game. I have eight copies of Force of Will. They keep going up in value, but I wouldn't care if they were reprinted (the same goes for the dual lands I have).

    That's not to say that I don't think WotC should be able to make money on cards. I've been willing to shell out some cash in the past to build a good deck, but the availability of these old cards can only shrink, and I like winning games because of deck-building/strategy and even a little luck a lot more than I like winning because I happen to have better cards than my opponents.
  2. Terentius The Instigator

    Can't you tell if a card's broken by it's price? My friend has a stack of 36 of those old dual lands with no drawback worth about $250 total. He doesn't use them or anything, they just sit in a tin box meaninglessly...

    Anywho, if I wanted to be a "mature" player, would I need to drop Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic Spectre out of my Discard/Scion of Darkness deck? It would compromise it greatly...
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    If it's an "old" card, probably. Those prices are fairly stable since the card's been out for a while.

    New sets take a while to settle down as people figure out their uses and they rotate from Standard to other formats.

    Your friend doesn't use dual lands? Why not? Does he want to get rid of them? ;)
  4. Ferret CPA Founder, Slacker

    That's a great idea - of course, they already did that once. A while back there was a reprint box set you could get w/ every card printed in Beta. They were gold bordered and were definitely NOT tourney legal. However, casual players could use them all they wanted and would not have to worry about selling their first born to get them...perhaps, WotC should do this again w/ all of the older sets (everything through, say Mirage Block?). They would still wouldn't be legal in tourneys (so they wouldn't impact the secondary market), but Casual Players (which still represent a bulk of ALL Magic players) could take advantage and have fun w/ them...


    "...and WotC could still make money off of them..."

  5. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    That would be great, and I would even buy some of those.... hehe
    KillerJoe will get that joke......
    Maybe the art work and card design can be modified to really make them stand out. The symbol could just be a capital C.
    Question to the board:
    Would you attend some kind of release event for these cards, where you would build decks and play other players?
    One on one or would it have to be some multi-player format?
  6. NorrYtt Casual Green Mage

    That's not entirely true. In a self-correcting format like Free-For-All, it's true. There are completely unfair cards in FFA, like Sundering Titan, Kokusho, and Seedborn Muse, but they don't entirely win the game on their own.

    It's just game balance. It's not a good game if one strategy (or card) dominates. It's far better if there are 5 equal colors with strengths and weaknesses and winner is determined mostly by skill and a little by matchup and luck. Magic also prints new cards, so it's dynamic, and formats are rotated to keep everything fresh. This is all in effort to make Magic a good game.

    But there's more. There's plenty of niches Magic fills. There is Timmy, Johnny, Spike, people who only play a certain color or deck archetype, collectors, art lovers, players of only a certain format like Limited, Constructed, or Multiplayer.

    Powerful cards are exciting. There are inevitable fluctuations in power level, but I'm fine with that as long as the obviously powerful cards have a narrow answer available. That's part of the game's self-balancing nature.

    The old-school power cards were made when the game was fresh and all the resource theory of CCGs were relatively unknown. Richard Garfield's theory was that there are fewer Black Lotuses running around (as it is rare and he expected meager sales) so as a tradeoff it's power level is very high. That theory was SMASHED when players bought enough product to stuff 4 Black Lotus in their decks. This "Rarity = Higher Power Level" theory applies only to Limited formats and not Constructed.
  7. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's usually the case. There are some important exceptions, to be sure. The most notable ones I can think of are the broken cards that were reprinted in Revised and other core sets after that. The $ amount on such cards as Balance, Fastbond, Necropotence, and Wheel of Fortune are typically less than astronomical. The same is not often said of the level of abuse available with such cards.
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Has the price of those cards you mentioned - Balance, Fastbond, Necropotence, and Wheel - changed drastically since they were last printed in Revised or the core sets until present day?
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Not to my knowledge. I was referring to the fact that you might not be able to tell such cards are broken simply from their price (which was what was asked). They all tend to cost a few dollars at least, but that could be said for a lot of mediocre cards too.

    As far as stability goes, I would agree that it is another common benchmark, but it is more difficult to measure. Also, many of the powerful old cards do see incremental changes, especially when there was an unusual price spike for many of them within this last year. But broken cards certainly tend to avoid decremental changes (except for maybe when they are banned/restricted from a tournament format) after they have been out for a while.
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Incremental/decremental changes (which is not defined here, so I'll assume $1 or so)are pretty irrevelant when talking about old cards; it's the overall or average price they command. If it jumps around by say, $5 or more, then something weird is going on.

    I see what you mean about the original question though. "Price" is determined by demand, so really, all you can tell by a card's price is how "hot" it is or how much it is in demand. It won't tell you if a card is "broken", especially if a set is just coming out; the price is determined by what people think about a card before it's had a chance to really be played.

    But powerful cards are more in demand, and the most powerful are "broken". So it's all "steps on a ladder", so to speak.
  11. Reverend Love New Member

    Gizmo, maybe I should have clarified my opinion. Non-basics that tap for either or, are good for the magic (painlands, filterlands, taplands, etc.) Llike I said basic lands are obsolete in every format except draft and always will be. Basics rule draft simply because of the format itself and the availability of non-basic lands. Even with restrictions placed upon them, whether coming into play tapped, or pinging you for a point, non-basics are almost always superior to their basic counterparts. In my opinion this a good thing (having access to superior lands) as it generates options during deck construction due to consistent manabases.

    Now I'm with you 100% when it's a non-basic land that tap 2 or provided degenerate synergy. They're broken cards which R&D should have seen coming to include Tolarian Academy and their ilk.

    Now if your arguing that the original dual lands are broken well that's arguable depending on the format. Type 1, no they're not. And in recent cases dual lands are considered worse then basics in Type 1 simply due to their vulnerability (Titan, Blood Moon, and Wasteland/Crucible decks). Type 2 and Extended, yea they'd probably be bad for the format.

    And as for your example of 24 fetchlands or 24 painlands..well nice and stupid, thanks for sharing. :rolleyes: If you do retort please refrain from coming off like a pretentious putz, as I think your smarter then that.
  12. Ferret CPA Founder, Slacker

    I think the only time Basic lands were not obsolete was the Invasion Block where you were encouraged to build decks w/ all five basic land types in them. Otherwise, the can be replaced by lots of other non-basics.


    "Of course, I still like using cards like Rampant Growth..."
  13. Gizmo Composite: 1860


    Basic lands are the cornerstone of Magic in ALL formats. Non-basics HURT to use, and that's the way they should be. You want just enough nonbasics to blunt the edges of your mana, but ideally want to run as many basic lands as you can get away with. Drawing too many non-basic lands can easily lose you games by their either coming into play tapped, not untapping, or dealing you damage.

    If they were obsolete nobody would use them, but a quick glance at almost every deck ever played shows that they are in fact the majority of lands used. The idea that basic lands are now, or ever have been, obsolete is ridiculous. If you took the limit off people using 4 of each non-basic land, they would STILL use basic lands unless their deck gained specific benefits from interactions with nonbasic land types (Hermit Druid or Affinity, for instance). Ok, I'm making a U/W control deck. I can use 24 Adarkar Wastes... umm, no thanks. I can can 24 Coastal Towers... no thanks once again (free Time Walk for my opponent). I can use 12 of each... umm, still no thanks. I can use 4 of each and 8 Plains and 8 Island... now that's much more like it. No card should be better at blue mana than an Island, no card should be better at White mana than a Plains.

    The End.

    How about...

    4 Coastal Tower
    4 Adarkar Wastes
    4 Faerie Conclave
    4 Forbidding Watchtower
    4 Cephalid Colisseum
    4 Quicksand


    And any combination of non-basics you try and put together will be WORSE than the same deck that runs at least 50% basic land, unless you're going crazy with splashing in colours OR you use dual lands. Because dual lands are broken in any format - that people play anti-dual land cards in Type-I simply shows they are broken (because given the chance to use them, everyone will, therefore its worth hosing them). Cards that are so good EVERYONE uses them is really the hallmark of brokenness. A card that you either play with, or have to hose against.

    If basic lands are obsolete, then take them out of your decks and replace them with non-basics, and watch your deck fall on it's arse really badly.
  14. DÛke Memento Mori

    Wholeheartedly agree with Gizmo.

    I'm really quite puzzled at how basic-lands can be obsolete. Am I missing something in the arguments?
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, that depends on what counts as a "cornerstone." In Vintage, while basic lands have made a recent comeback, they are still not anywhere near as important as they are in most other formats. Duals are still a lot more common and some tier 1 decks don't use any basics at all. Still others run a few basics to help avoid Wastelands, but basics are only a fraction of the total manabase. Basic Islands do show up (though not nearly so much as dual lands). Swamps and even Forests are also seen in more meager amounts. There are even a few Mountains (and almost no Plains, for quite some time now, although I'd be happy to see an increase since white is doing so poorly in the current environment).

    Legacy, which has fewer good artifact mana cards, sees more basics being played, but even there, dual lands and other nonbasics are preferred for a multicolored deck...
  16. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I have to agree with Gizmo too, just because it makes more sense and I've never seen a deck here posted without including basic lands in some way...
  17. Killer Joe Active Member

    I really like non-basic lands and so I play with many of them,...IN CASUAL PLAY! But in tournament play I like to use basic lands because they DON'T hurt. With THAT said, I still end up using a bit of non-basics to smooth out the mana needs.

    Non mana producing (or ones that produce colorless or colored for a <ping!>) non-basics lands are just like spells to me. I used to really use Quicksand all the time.
  18. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Quicksand was the bollocks.

    A key part in our mono-blue defenses back during Forbiddian-era Type2.
  19. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Never? I've posted at least one myself...
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It must not have been notable enough to remember... :)

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