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Competitive EDH alternate banlist (idea)

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Joined: 21 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: Competitive EDH alternate banlist (idea) Reply with quote

So, several months ago, myself and a few friends decided to try and revise the ban list for EDH to provide a better environment for competitive play, in both multiplayer and duels, as we felt like the current list does not allow for such an atmosphere. We posted the idea in r/CompEDH, and it was shot down, mostly due to the assertion that Mana Crypt be banned. Below I will post the original piece that started the whole thing. Granted, some of these cards I disagree with, but this is what the group started with, and it has proven to make games super interesting and balanced. The decks are overall more powerful, but without 1 deck being oppressive


Ad Nauseum*
Ancestral Recall
Black Lotus
Braids, Cabal Minion
Coalition Victory
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
Gifts Ungiven
Library of Alexandria
Limited Resources
Mana Crypt*
Mox Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, Emerald, and Jet
Protean Hulk
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Sway of the Stars
Time Vault
Time Walk
Tolarian Academy
Trade Secrets
Yawgmoth's Bargain

All cards with the Conspiracy card type i.e. Advantageous Proclamation, Ante cards i.e. Tempest Efreet, and manual dexterity cards i.e. Chaos Orb are also banned.

Consecrated Sphinx
Hermid Druid
Mana Vault
Mishra's Workshop
Primeval Titan
Prophet of Kruphix
Sol Ring

List of cards that are on the official banned list bot not on ours:
Painter's Servant
Panoptic Mirror
Primeval Titan
Recurring Nightmare
Sundering Titan
Sylvan Primordial

Brief Explanations:
Mana Crypt and Ad Nauseum were added to the banned list. Mana Crypt is degenerate because it doesnt require an investment of colored mana on the first or second turn which allows you to cast a 2U or 2G spell for example. Even if drawn on turn 2 you can play a 4 mana spell that has double color requirments. Having Crypt in the opening hand makes you a heavy favorite to win the game.

Ad Nauseum was added because any card that basically reads: "pay life to put a card in your hand immediately and repeat this process as much as you want to" is degenerate and especially so in a format with 40 life.

Mana Vault, Mishra's Workshop, and Sol Ring are in the same boat as Mana Crypt but not quite as strong so they are being WATCHED as potential cards to BAN. Sol Ring is VERY STRONG but at least requires an investment to play, you can't go turn 1 Sol + Rhystic Study or Azusa for example. Mana Vault is strong and gives a burst of fast mana but wont untap for the rest of the game unless the player has nothing better to do and might as well untap it. Mishra's Workshop is strong but can only cast one type of spell which we believe makes it worth watching but not banning immediately.

Necropotence is similar to Yawgmoth's Bargain and Ad Nauseum i.e paying life to draw a card. However the cards do not enter your hand immediately and the player must discard to 7 after putting all the cards into their hand at the end step. This means that the player must pick a number of cards to draw and then discard all but 7. Yes, that is very strong but not as strong as paying one life at a time to see a new card until you have suffiecient resources to either take control of the game or win with some sort of combo.

Consecrated Sphinx is being watched because we believe that it is very close to being 4UU: win the game. Draw spells are very abundant in this format and if your opponent has a Sphinx it becomes very bad for you and very good for them if you play one. If 2 players control a Sphinx the game is over for the other participants because both of them can draw as many cards as they want. Trade Secrets is on the banned list for that reason, it basically reads 1UU: we both win, or more accurately whoever untaps with all of these cards in their hand first wins.

Hermid Druid is being watched because there is a deck built around it that aims to win as quickly and uninteractively as possible. The deck runs 0 basic lands so when it activates Druid it dumps it's whole library into the graveyard and then plays Dread Return targeting Angel of Glory's Rise which brings back Azami and Labratory Maniac to win instantly. The deck is very resilient because it has every tutor possible to find Hermit and has a ton of protection. That being said, this deck is not so popular as it's quite hard to acquire. When Hermit Druid is used as a reasonable value card it's more interesting and I'd like to keep it, but if we encounter problems with the combo deck running rampant it might be better to ban it.

Painter's Servant, Recurring Nightmare, and Panoptic Mirror are off because they enable 2 card combos which we don't believe warrants a ban for either of these cards. Plenty of other cards exist that enable 2 card combos in this format Kiki + Zealous Conscripts for example. Painter also enables some interesting interactions. Nightmare has an added bonus of being an extreme value card but we believe that it's slow enough to be allowed.

Primeval Titan, Sundering Titan, Sylvan Primordial are off because the problem is not what you can ramp into but what allows the ramp in the first place. This is why we banned Mana Crypt and are watching Sol Ring and Mana Vault. These cards are strong but they all cost 6+ mana, you can't ban every strong card that costs 6+ mana. We're watching Consecrated Sphinx which kind of makes us hypocrites in that regard but Sphinx is much easier to break i.e. play Sphinx = win if it remains in play AND the fact that if another player clones it the game ends for everyone else. We're going to be quite liberal with the watch list so if necessary these cards just be watched.

Worldfire and Sway of the Stars are both "restart the game" type cards but there are key differences between the two that lead us to keep Sway banned and let Worldfire off. Sway's design ecourages you to play it in neutral game states far more often in order to restart the game when one player is ahead. Sway is essentially a Shahrazad in that it unnecessarily prolongs the game. Worldfire can be played the same way but since it sets life totals to 1 and everybody is hellbent the game will end in a few turns. Someone could draw land + Fyndhorn Elves for example and the game ends. Worldfire is a game-ender and Sway is a staller. It's not really the power level of these cards that we're worried about but the troll factor. Sway is far easier to troll with b/c it has a timetwister added in and life totals are set to 7 which is a lot more than 1. Worldfire ends the game faster when played in neutral while also being a card you can combo with Jhoira or some other convoluted set of cards for a combo kill. These cards set a fine line and we'll probably end up discussing them a lot.

If you have any concerns PLEASE voice them! If you believe a card should be BANNED or WATCHED please say something so we can all discuss it! We'd like to keep the banned list conservative but the watch list liberal, so please say something if you think a card should be watched.

Any thoughts on this format? I think it would make an interesting thing for the community to do every so often.
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Joined: 22 Feb 2015
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be 100% on board with dead eye navigator and/or palinchron receiving some form of stipulation.

Thoughts on humility?
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Joined: 21 Mar 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deadeye/Palincron hasn't been an issue, but as a whole we are pretty loose with combos that are easy to interact with, as we try to min/max decks

Humility: Generally we play enough blue and the like to police humility, but by the same token, Humility polices other busted creatures, so it is a good balance.

Overall, we like a very high powered format.
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