On Restriction and Banning

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Seeker of Truth, Jun 15, 2000.

  1. TomB Administrative Assistant

    A few questions, but first, you may be right about the Zorb, but then again you may not. I've always hated that card, but I remember usually winning the game when my opponent started saccing land to stay alive too. Many people swore by them years ago, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt anything if they were unbanned and unrestricted.

    I have to ask though: How does the Academy go from too Broken for Restriction, in your estimation, to useless? Even if it only stayed in play for a few turns it could be useful, and if it drew the Wasteland away from your Port would it still be totally useless? How about if it only kept your Tundra from being Wasted?

    I'll admit there's a sometimes fine line between a strong card and a Broken one. I believe that's why, years ago, WotC came up with the notion of card Restriction in the first place, so strong cards that were broken in multiples, like Balance, could still be used.

    There's nothing wrong with having an environment that allows for the use of strong cards. As Magic players, having, and playing, with strong cards is what a large part of the thrill of this game is all about. To skate the line between strong and Broken is R&D's job, and, obviously they sometimes fail in that endeavor. To me, restricting these cards first to see if an out of control situation can be fixed that way allows for strong cards to remain eligible for play. Whether anyone would choose to play with them afterward, in a non-Broken way, is tough to speculate about...

    At least we'd have the option though. :D
  2. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    Academy can be dealt with by what!?
    In Type 1?

    My Turn 1: Academy, Mox Pearl, Sheltering Prayers, Mana Vault, any number of 0-2 mana cost artifacts, Turnabout, etc...etc... Tutor, Time Walk, more artifacts, Timetwister, Tutor, Mox Ruby, Turnabout, Wheel of Fortune, K-Y Lube, Stroke... (what? you Force of Will? Heh. Did you notice I have 30 cards in my hand? Force you back...bitch...)

    Your Turn 1: Silly, you don't get one.

    Restriction is the only hope. Even then, once the Academy is out, you better have already won the game...
  3. Crazy Pierre New Member

    Fristly, Sheltering playes only affects BASIC lands, not non-basics.

    Secondly, I can't believe some of the posts I have been reading.
    Balance and Wheel not useful in Type 1? Hello???
    Wheel gets you 7 new cards. It doesn't matter if it's symmetical, you get to use your cards first!

    As for Balance, it isn't, balanced, that is.
    For 2 mana, I cast Armageddon (assuming Zuran Orb in play) Mind Twist, and Wrath of God, becaus no Type 1 deck worth its salt relies on creatures.....Pretty good I'd say....

    As for Jar being restricted in Extended, don't be crazy.
    It would just be back to the Megrim combo again. Off the top of my head, here is something you could build
    1 Windfall
    1 Yawgmoth's Will
    4 Megrim
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 Mox Diamond
    1 Memory Jar
    4 Tinker
    4 Grim Monolith
    4 Argivian Restoration (the one that brings an artifact back into play)
    4 Voltaic Key
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Tolarian Academy
    Add a few black mana producers, and you're off to the races...

    As for not using Time Spiral in Type 1, I have a Type 1 deck with Moxes, etc, and I don't play Spiral because it is TOO DAMNED expensive.

    It costs SIX for crying out loud!
    Nothing in a Type 1 deck should cost above 3 mana unless you win when you cast it.

    I'll stick with Timetwister myself.....
    Oh, and Memory Jar is restricted in Type 1 and it is still broken as hell......

    And to finish my rant, they don't need MORE playtesters, they just need to e-mail Zvi, or any number of other crazy players and ask them to break the cards......

    Rant mode off,
  4. Apollo Bird Boy

    we're talking about the Academy in extended. Down boy.

    I was wrong about my initial assessment of the Academy. Because you can't use Mana Vault, Tinker is dead. So there are no decks to fit the Academy into. You would need to build one around it. But with Port, Wasteland, etc. around and the drastic methods you'd have to use to get it, you can't do that either. If you can't make a deck around it, and you can't fit it into a deck, I'd say it's useless.

    First of all, much of your deck is banned. Second, "add some black mana producers"? In extended? What black mana producers? Without Dark Ritual and Mana Vault, your deck couldn't hope to go off fast enough. One of the strengths of Megrim/Jar was that you needed two copies of Megrim or Jar. You only have 1 Jar, so you need two Megrims, and you don't have a single card in your deck that can fetch it for you! Another strength was that you could use the cards you get from the first Jar to set up another. There won't be another. You'll never have the mana without Ritual and Vault to set up any Argivian foolishness.

    Now for Balance. It's an Armageddon-"If you have a Zuran Orb." And if you don't? It's a Mind Twist-assuming your opponent didn't empty his hand fast just like you. It's a Wrath-but as you said, no type 1 deck uses creatures anyway. Sure, it can be all of these things, but it's usually none of these things.

    And Wheel? You get to use the cards first, but with mana tapped. Your opponent's cards just went into the graveyard-that's gonna hurt when he plays the Replenish you just handed him, isn't it? Or when he goes off with the hand of cheap artifacts you just gave him. Remember, he's gonna empty his hand just as fast as you emptied yours, so he's gonna be helped just as much as you.

    For the final verdict, look at the Duelist Invitational and see just how many copies of these two cards were played in the type 1 portion.

    I like this argument much more than arguing with my brother. He usually says his piece, than shouts through my piece. You guys listen. :)


    [Edited by Apollo on June 25th, 2000 at 11:21 PM]
  5. Cateran Overlord New Member

    Hmm, I just read the initial post and it sounds like something I could have written. How very odd. Oh well, I don't need to say anything, you all know my views on all of this from one of my rants, but for those of you who don't, the gist is to slow down the sets and actually try to make the cards work correctly, as tehy were probably intended to do, not pieces of trash and not the next god card.
  6. Seeker of Truth New Member


    As regards your observation that at least a turn is lost when you Tutor for something, that's not necessarily true if you tutor during your opponent's end phase, which I think most skilled players would do anyway. So as long as you have one colored mana by the end of your opponent's turn, you'll be able to draw the card you're looking for on your very next turn. Plus, the card itself could possibly be the next card you draw, so you have at least 5 chances to draw the card you need, assuming you use 4 of the proper tutor and that the card you're looking for is restricted. Yes, I realize that Tutors slow your deck down somewhat, but if the card you're looking for is one of the broken ones, it's essential to get in into play, and a slightly slower deck won't be much of a consideration if you're searching for the kill card.


    I agree with what you said about playtesters, which is one of the reasons I also thought that sets should be slowed to ensure that R&D gets enough time to ensure that the cards in new sets won't be so broken. R&D needs to stop and think, and maybe be more conservative with cards they know are powerful, rather than just letting such a powerful card see print just because it'll be cool for players to open in packs.

    I had other things I wanted to say, but I forgot. Oh, well...Oh yeah, I think Lotus Petal is a perfectly OK card, as long as the surrounding killer combo cards were the ones that were banned. Versatile staple cards like the Petal and Dark Ritual shouldn't be the ones that are banned, as they have a wide range of decks that they are suited for. Meanwhile, specific-use, narrow cards remain unbanned, and while they may be useless without their supporting staple cards, the staple cards are also useless, and if the narrow card is still useful, it's probably because the staple cards have been replaced with other staple cards, whereas if you had banned the narrow card instead, the staple cards would still be viable options.

    In short, it's like I said before, if there's a problem with a particular card, BAN THAT CARD. I don't see why it can't be that simple.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I understand what you're saying. And all I'm saying is that all decks should have a chance to be played. With Tutors, the deck is slowed down some but still gets a chance to be played and win (in other words, it's not slowed down enough to make it a total loser). If the opposing deck can't beat the combo/Tutor deck by that time, then frankly, the opposing deck is probably not that good and the combo/Tutor deck SHOULD win. It's hard to explain here; I hope you get my general gist.

    On the same lines, though your remarks were aimed at TomB, I don't see the problem with Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal being banned (or in my world Restricted). Banning one or two cards instead of the x amount of killer combo cards seems better because again, the deck can still be played, just slower, and more cards are playable and not banned. Sure there are replacements for Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal, but again the goal is to keep the decks playable, not create future design concerns that an existing DR or LP would create because of the mana acceleration.
  8. Seeker of Truth New Member


    I get what you're saying, and in many situations I would agree, but I think there are combo decks out there that manage to win or lock down the game by the third or fourth turn, and it's hard for other, non-combo decks to consistently win by that time. A top player in my area once bragged that his Turbo-Bargain deck consistently went off on turn 3. A dedicated Stompy deck has a chance to beat it by turn 3 (in fact, the player in question lost to a Stompy deck while playing his Turbo-Bargain), but even at its best, Stompy can't consistently win that fast.

    So the combo deck wins, and wins again, even against a relatively well-tuned Stompy deck. Does the Stompy deck deserve to lose since it sometimes takes four whole turns to win? Or is it just that there isn't room for a well-tuned Stompy deck, only a perfectly-tuned Stompy deck, in the world of Magic?

    As for banning Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal, here's where we reach the Catch-22 portion of the banning process. If Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal are not banned, the mana acceleration allows combo decks to win even faster, to the point where the only thing that can realistically keep up with them is Stompy. If Dark Ritual and Lotus Petal are banned, combo decks move on to Grim Monolith and Thran Dynamo, mono-black suicide and multicolored decks die out due to lack of useful mana acceleration, which leaves Stompy as the only viable option outside of combo decks.

    As for future design concerns, I think that there's something definitely wrong with R&D if WotC is forced to ban cards just so that R&D won't have to think about them during playtesting and development. As for keeping decks playable, that's true, but if the object is to have as many different kinds of decks in the tournament scene at once, then Necro in Ice Age block and ProsBloom in Mirage block have shown that banning the card that's so broken everyone wants to use it would allow for much more innovation and creativity than banning a staple card like Ritual or Petal, which I think actually lessens the number of decks that are considered playable due to the lack of mana acceleration.

    In short, I still stand by my idea that says, if there is a problem card in the game, get rid of it. First, don't let it be printed if you know it's broken already, and second, don't ban everything else in a feeble attempt to rebalance the problem card.
  9. Dune Echo CPA Founder, Idea Man

    Man, I've been away too long. I agree with Restriction before banning. It at least adds the small possibility of letting someone who paid the bucks to use the cardboard you bought for something other than a coaster. But, I also think that if they ban a card that is combo-ish, they need to allow people to try to break it again once a set rotates out, at least in Standard. I would love to see people try to break Fluctuator now...
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, the only thing I have to say is to make a clarification: I don't believe R&D TOTALLY disregards a card idea because of existing design constraints; rather, they find out that their existing idea is not feasible and either tries to redo it or pushes it to the next block (I believe they wanted a 'Time Walk' effect in Tempest but couldn't make the one they had work in time so they bumped it to US). As you know, card ideas are recycled so it's just a manner of finding the right combination or mechanic to pair it with (in other words, they'll probably make it work eventually).
  11. Apollo Bird Boy

    Time Warp was a "Time Walk effect" in Tempest.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Hmm... must be my addled brain again... perhaps it was a TimeTwister effect that got bumped to US? Or Time Warp was conceived during MirVLite? Anyway, the idea was a card sometimes gets bumped while it's further play-tested.
  13. Five Color Fat New Member

    Keep in mind, the specific banning that is being referred to, was an admitted oversight on the part of R&D.

    90% of the playtesting for a set (at least for Saga) was against ITSELF.

    Let's be honest, Mind Over Matter was a mistake to begin with, but that is what bannings are, a correction of a previous mistake.

    It is for this reason that certain cards never get reprinted. For example, Mana Drain, one of the best reasons to play Type I was an over-powered counterspell in the first place. On the other hand, Camaflauge just wasn't very good.
    These are the reasons that those particular cards never saw reprinting.

    Tolarian Academy was banned in Type II because it was too breakable, and unlike "High Tide" there was a very large percentage of players choosing the "Academy" archtype.

    Bannings are going to happen in every format and it is our responsibility as players to continue to evolve past the "broken" cards and show ingenuity the way we always have.

    After all, every deck is beatable, that is why we still compete against one another. Ponza came out of Wisconsin and beat Academy at States in '98, proving to many people in the region that Academy is not unbeatable.

    This has happened time and time again, so instead of packing away your Ports and Lin Sivvis, or your Cradles and Academys, and complain about how your favorite deck "got ruined" by the DCI, play something else for awhile.

    Man, nothing upsets me more than "Jar" players whining. "I don't understand..." Oh shut up! What did you think; "This deck kills first and second turns, I'll be able to play this all extended season!" Sorry, man, go play Tide.
  14. TomB Administrative Assistant

    I didn't realize there were any of those. Wasn't Memory Jar banned, like, 2 weeks after it's release?

    I think our point, 5CF, is that a card like Memory Jar should have NEVER seen print! At least not with the wording it was released with. How a card that broken could be missed by R&D is mind boggling.

    OTOH, a card like that didn't need to be Banned when Restriction would have kept it from dominating the tourney scene. In fact, as Apollo said, Memory Jar would likely never see play even if it was only Restricted, and to me, if it took all the search cards Pierre listed to go and find the pieces of the combo, and all the mana sources to do it all, it wouldn't be going off till turn 5 or 6 anyways.

    5CF, is it true that they barely even looked at the other sets when they playtested Saga? OMG!!! You've got to be kidding me! That does explain a lot, but...

    DAMN! :mad:

    I'm sorry, but I think that's horribly irresponsible of WotC. To me, nothing they've ever released screwed up the game worse than Saga, and to find out now that they hardly even checked to see how those cards would interact with all the other cards they've ever released...

    As I said, R&D can be mind-boggling.

    I have another question for you. How exactly is it "our responsibility as players to evolve past the "Broken" cards and show ingenuity the way we always have"? To me, as players, it should be our responsibility to find ways to beat the broken cards first, instead of the incessant whining that goes on every time someone finds an interesting new way to abuse an old, lame card. From where I sit, it's not the people who complain because their new combo deck got banned who started the whining. It's everybody else who doesn't want to/can't figure out a way to beat it that did.

    And no, I've never played either "Tide" or "Jar". I just think it's wrong to sell people cards, then 2 weeks later tell them they can't use them anymore. To me, that's borderline Fraud, and it shouldn't be tolerated.
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I thought Jar was banned BEFORE the set was released.

    FCF: How do you know Saga was play-tested against itself?
  16. Apollo Bird Boy

    No, Jar was out for a few weeks before it was banned. It was big in some ptq's and everyone was going crazy about it and it was banned. I don't know if there are many "Jar" players around, considering they only had a few weeks to get emotionally attached to the card.

    And I agree that it is Wotc's responsibility to make sure cards like that never see print. And it is unfair to sell people cards and say that they can't use them. But if the alternative is a format where only one deck is viable, that card has to be banned. I don't think so many people get angered by the bannings of cards like Academy as they do cards like Dark Ritual, which weren't the broken ones.

    I do think they acted too quickly on the Jar. It hadn't been out for long and people hadn't had the chance to react to it. Perhaps some anti-Jar decks would have evolved (see Iron Phoenix and others from last season) to make it only a powerful, but not dominant, deck. Players should be given time to devise a counter-strategy, as TomB has said so often.


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