04/07/2011 TD: "Might I Suggest a Celestial Colonnade?"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
"I've always been a proponent of variety and new ideas in top-level Magic. In that vein, let's look at several slight variations on the current leading deck."
It's the pro's idea of a balanced metagame: you can play U/w or U/b! (Or maybe, if you really want to come from left field and surprise your opponents, U/r!)
It's the pro's idea of a balanced metagame: you can play U/w or U/b! (Or maybe, if you really want to come from left field and surprise your opponents, U/r!)



Don't forget !
"I have mostly used this column to celebrate the diversity of decks and strategies that people can play..."

Really??

I think you and I have different views as to what constitutes 'diversity'. And it isn't whether you run 3 or 4 copies of Jace, or splash black.

Put it another way, if you celebrate diversity, then a part of you should lament a lack of diversity. Month on month the criticism grows that the constructed formats are all about a handful of chase cards which, increasingly, seem to be designed as such (I promised myself I wouldn't go into an M-rant and I won't). Added to which this year we have seen the 'new' extended formats which look an awful lot like standard from two years ago.

Maybe my expectations are set too high. I realise that you are insulated from the economic and social consequences of a format dominated by a handful of chase cards, but I can't believe that you have let the constant reappearance of the same cards escape your notice. I have never seen you utter a word of regret, let alone condemn, this state of affairs.
Mr. Flores,

I have a great deal of respect for you. As a long-time player of this game (harkening back to 1995), your name is one that I have followed for well over a decade.

Having said that, please realize that there is a logical disconnect in your column this week -- one that speaks to an essential problem with the current Standard and Extended environment: every single deck you listed is running Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Every single one.

The environment is completely defined by this one card. It's almost as bad as Black Summer, except that there are a handful of different deck designs that ultimately do the exact same thing: play a Jace TMS as quickly as possible then defend it while it generates incredible card advantage and board control.

I simply do not believe the card is a mistake anymore. There seems to be something more sinister at work there, and I don't like the direction that it has guided Magic. If it is indeed a mistake it is one of epic proportions -- a dramatic failure of multiple teams ranging from design to QA and everything in between.

There is a simple solution here: ban the card. Ban it in all formats. Allow us to go forward pretending that this incredibly poorly-designed card never existed. Let us never again speak its name.

The leaden chains of Jace weigh heavily upon my deck construction decisions. Allow me to breathe again!
Wow.  Apparently I'm not the only one who noticed that all of those decks play 3-4 Jace, the Mindsculptors.  The current standard control variations can be summed up as "play 4 Jace, the Mindsculptors and 56 other assorted cards."
I just noticed your name is Tiresias. That sounds like an interesting story.
Slightly off-topic, but might I suggest Celestial Colonnade (and friends) be put into the core sets alongside the regular dual lands (or perhaps even down to uncommon since they always enter the battlefield tapped) ? 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Slightly off-topic, but might I suggest Celestial Colonnade (and friends) be put into the core sets alongside the regular dual lands (or perhaps even down to uncommon since they always enter the battlefield tapped) ? 


This would require land-destruction effects to be more common for limited play to not be absolutely RULED by said lands.  In Worldwake the lands were rare...with a colorless, free to play answer in Tectonic Edge.

Make them uncommon and Tec Edge needs to be common and have friends...or each color needs their own answers elsewhere.
Slightly off-topic, but might I suggest Celestial Colonnade (and friends) be put into the core sets alongside the regular dual lands (or perhaps even down to uncommon since they always enter the battlefield tapped) ? 


This would require land-destruction effects to be more common for limited play to not be absolutely RULED by said lands.  In Worldwake the lands were rare...with a colorless, free to play answer in Tectonic Edge.

Make them uncommon and Tec Edge needs to be common and have friends...or each color needs their own answers elsewhere.



The core set could do with a little LD in my opinion (which I'm aware is a minority opinion). 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
Slightly off-topic, but might I suggest Celestial Colonnade (and friends) be put into the core sets alongside the regular dual lands (or perhaps even down to uncommon since they always enter the battlefield tapped) ? 


This would require land-destruction effects to be more common for limited play to not be absolutely RULED by said lands.  In Worldwake the lands were rare...with a colorless, free to play answer in Tectonic Edge.

Make them uncommon and Tec Edge needs to be common and have friends...or each color needs their own answers elsewhere.


The core set could do with a little LD in my opinion (which I'm aware is a minority opinion). 


I don't like the idea of bringing back LD as a viable strategy but I will say that it certainly wouldn't be the most disruptive thing in the game if they did bring it back.
I actually agree on the LD thing. The problem is that these manlands are a little too good as it is. If they were more like Faerie Conclave and tapped for both colors they would be good at uncommon, I think. As is, they aren't fit for an uncommon slot for limited, and frankly they aren't a good thing to have in Standard for all that much longer. For the complaints about hiding behind JTMS, control players don;t even have to summon a creature that has to resolve and fend off mass removal effects. (I go back to how much more ridiculous Dralnu would have been with Creeping Tar Pit.)


The environment is completely defined by this one card. It's almost as bad as Black Summer, except that there are a handful of different deck designs that ultimately do the exact same thing: play a Jace TMS as quickly as possible then defend it while it generates incredible card advantage and board control.

I simply do not believe the card is a mistake anymore. There seems to be something more sinister at work there, and I don't like the direction that it has guided Magic. If it is indeed a mistake it is one of epic proportions -- a dramatic failure of multiple teams ranging from design to QA and everything in between.

There is a simple solution here: ban the card. Ban it in all formats. Allow us to go forward pretending that this incredibly poorly-designed card never existed. Let us never again speak its name.

The leaden chains of Jace weigh heavily upon my deck construction decisions. Allow me to breathe again!



It was not a mistake according to WOTC, but I have to think they are not really happy to have it be such an "I win" card for most top decks that commands $100. I don't think they would want to keep doing something like that as it will drive people away. But I always thought the design was poor. Planeswalkers should not just sit there and win the game for you while you watch, and too often this is what is happening in games anyway. Jace just takes it to a new level.

I disagree that it should be banned, although I could see them pulling a fast one and banning it in December, however, in yet another attempt to get people to play Extended when they aren't actually forced to do so. 
"I have mostly used this column to celebrate the diversity of decks and strategies that people can play..."
Really?? I think you and I have different views as to what constitutes 'diversity'. And it isn't whether you run 3 or 4 copies of Jace, or splash black.



I would suggest that you not watch the video in this thread: Jace Video by Pat Chapin

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58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
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How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
It is not new or innovative if you take one deck and change 4 cards. You know what would be innovative and new? If someone took a myr deck and won a tournament, or made a viable rush infect deck.
"I have mostly used this column to celebrate the diversity of decks and strategies that people can play..."
Really?? I think you and I have different views as to what constitutes 'diversity'. And it isn't whether you run 3 or 4 copies of Jace, or splash black.



I would suggest that you not watch the video in this thread: Jace Video by Pat Chapin



That was rancid.


Anyway.

Flores' column is nothing more than "STANDARD ISN'T A BORING, TERRIBLE FORMAT PLEASE BELIEVE ME!"

This article was perhaps his magnum opus.
The Preordain comment was interesting to say the least. Really, in any game, you might get use out of Preordain 4 times. Jace on the other hand just keeps going and going. Adding some speed and constancy is fine, but Jace takes it to a whole new level.  

Unfortunate to be re-using the same thread from last week because I want to break from my defense of the column previously.  I don't mind when Mike overemphasizes the "rogue deck" results because it is valuable to identify what's different and might have potential.  If there's 7 Jace decks and 1 Infect in a top 8 then sure, talk about the Infect.  I'll defend that.


But for crying out loud, Mike.  When the best you can muster is "but the environment was slightly different 3 months ago!" then it's time to cut down on the positive spin.  You don't need to cheerlead a Jace ban but sometimes the defense just gets ridiculous:


Can you remember a time when Garruk Wildspeaker was considered the best planeswalker in Standard, or a slightly later time when Ajani Goldmane was? In neither case was either card thought of as the best card overall, or remotely worthy of banning.

Jump to today... Really, what's the difference?

There have always been dominating cards


The difference is 32 in the top 8.  You were straightforward at the start, but this is where you lost credibility.  I don't even know what the point of that comparison was supposed to be.  We only think Jace is dominating because we don't know how to judge Planeswalkers?  What?


Also:


The advent of planeswalkers has no doubt changed the tournament landscape.


You misspelled "Mythics".  Wizards has never been asked to ban a Mythic before.  Poor work by R&D led to the existence of a $100 in-print card and while every banning has a "this hurts the people who bought them" component it never hung over Standard like this.  No doubt this is why we saw the deflection to ban Preordain, as if that's the real culprit.  And I don't know that a rare or uncommon Jace would be banned any sooner, but I know the insane price tag isn't making the situation less tense.


So in short Mike, maybe you could man up and say "are you as sick of Jace as I am?"  I think we'd be impressed to read that.


That said, the worst snow job of the week was still yesterday's daily deck, Aggro Valakut.  "It made day 2 so feel totally confident playing this, and pay no attention to that top 8 thing."

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Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

Preordain and Mana Leak are utility spells for blue.  Any deck that runs blue will generally run cards such as Preordain.
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I remember back when Flores actually had legit points to make, those were good times
When I read the opening few lines I very nearly changed my view of Mike. He started by saying, effectively, what does it say of an environment where every single one of the top eight decks runs four Jace? My eyes widened, not anticipating a Jace rant, but at the very least saying that-which-needs-to-be-said.

Unfortunately he then went on to do his usual apologist article.

I mean, really, when you say things like "Put another way, shouldn't there be lines and lines of players in the streets, holding up signs to "Ban Preordain!"?" you are either setting up a strawman argument or you really do spectacularly miss the point. I don't have to build my deck to deal my opponent's preordains. I don't have to build my deck to force the inclusion of preordain because not running it is like an athlete not taking steroids if they were all of a sudden legal. I don't sit down to games thinking it will be a race to cast the first preordain. I don't come away from games thinking that preordain won the game all-by-itself. The opposite is true of Jace. It is not the frequency of the card that grates, it is that the card dominates the environment. This would be true even if 'only' seven decks were running jace, or if those players were 'only' running three copies.

The salt-in-the-wound is that the negative reaction to Jace 2.0 started when it was first spoiled at the beginning of 2010. Even back then, people were moaning that every single blue mage would have to run this in multiples. Now we have a situation where not only does every blue mage have to run four copies, but every player has to be a blue mage. For Mike to run an article along the lines of "who knew this would happen?" is rather insulting. The answer seems to be "everyone except you". To have a $100 card in the environment (well, $125 at www.magicmadhouse.co.uk/magic-the-gather...) tells you all you need to know.
The leaden chains of Jace weigh heavily upon my deck construction decisions. Allow me to breathe again!



This is exactly how I feel. I have plenty of fun (yeah, subjective) deck ideas that simply come crashing down just because of this one card. Defining the format blah blah...

On the other hand many decks that I've thought about building would simply be so much better with four Jaces in them. But I've made a conscious decision to rather buy 10 full tanks of gasoline for my car than buy four pieces of cardboard. (and gasoline is quite expensive where I live in)

What a sad, sad article from Mike. And I usually like reading his articles

I know I'm off my usual Stomping Grounds here so I won't say too much, but permit me to venture one quick theory:

Put another way, shouldn't there be lines and lines of players in the streets, holding up signs to "Ban Preordain!"?



No, because Preordain is a common.  There's nothing wrong with every deck running a utility common; at worst the card might be a dollar or two.  There is very much something wrong with the fact that playsets of the other absolute must-play card costs about as much as most people's first car.

I'm just glad that our first NPH preview card exists primarily to destroy the hooded ponce; I think that fact is exactly why they showed it to us this week.  "Look, fans, your long and harrowing journey through the blue land of Mordor is almost over!"

I'm sure I'm not the only one crossing my fingers and hoping that they'll be very careful about this sort of thing for a long time.
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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I've been a defender of Jace for a while. I've thought the domination of the format by mythics was bad in the long-term, and Jace was one of those mythics, but it really was no worse than Lotus Cobra, Elspeth, Knight Errant, or Vengevine. I've always found it to be VERY powerful, but not totally dominating. It did roughly separate the format into Jace and anti-Jace at times, but the anti-Jace decks weren't like Spree of Hate (See this article for an explanation of Spree of Hate: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/fk28b). They were decks like Jund, which was format dominating before Jace came around. That I'm fine with, because I'm not going out of my way because of Jace. I can hate on it without drastically changing my card choices. 
But this is absurd. 32 copies of Jace in a single top 8. "But Phantom," you say, "What about Preordain?" Well, I'm not sculpting my decks to beat Preordain. In Black Knights, Black Knight is better in a vacuum than Vampire Hexmage, but I've cut out the namesake card from the deck to replace with maindeck Vampire Hexmage, because Vampire Hexmage is among the only cards in the game that can always, always ALWAYS kill Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The card is dominating the format, to an extent that it never was before.
The reason, I think, is threefold. First, The overall card power in the format has dropped. Alara Block, because of the more difficult mana costs, could afford to provide more card power. Additionally, it had Cascade Cards, which, as everyone knows, is completely Broken. This held Jace in Check. Second, the mana fixing has dropped in quantity but risen in quality, which leads to a net benefit for mana bases. We've lost the tri-lands, and had them replaced by the SoM block lands, which I don't have a nickname for. This means more decks can play Jace, and get it down on the fourth or even the third turn reliably. The third reason is one card: Oblivion Ring. It was everything Vampire Hexmage ISN'T, a reliable spell to kill Planeswalkers, that's very easily splashable and kills them permanently (usually). Now, people apparently have called Into the Roil the top Blue Instant (which, as we all know, means the top Instant) in Standard, because it resets a Planeswalkers Loyalty and delays it by 1 turn. There's no good answer to Jace in the Format, so the Format is stagnating under his power. Even under Affinity, We had Oxidise, Viridian Shaman, and all kinds of other removal for it. Now, Jace has become even more dominating than Affinity was. 
Last week started me thinking about this, and I began to do some testing of several different decks, which normally would never see each other. I got the following results:
Faeries, when it had access to Time Spiral and Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Blocks, beat Caw-Blade in 4 out of 10 matches, for a 40% win percentage. Jund, when it had access to Alara and Zendikar blocks, beat Caw-Blade in 2 out of 10 matches, for a 20% win percentage. I then went further afield: Rubin Zoo in extended (the old extended) from right after the release of Zendikar beat Caw-Blade in 5 out of 10 matches, for a 50% win percentage. Zvi Mowshowitz's "My Fires" deck from Invasion-era standard beat Caw-Blade in 0 matches, for a 0% win percentage. Affinity beat Cawblade in 5 out of 10 matches, for a 50% win percentage. And, scariest of all, Affinity WITH SKULLCLAMP beat Cawblade in 7 out of 10 matches, for a 70% win percentage. Yes. in 3 full games, (3 matches each), a Cawblade deck without and anti-affinity sideboard beat an Affinity deck with a playset of Skullclamp. The reason? Jace could hate out Affinity, by bouncing Arcbound Creatures, including Arcbound Ravager, to generate card advantage, and blocked whatever had Cranial Plating with Squadron Hawks. Once it got Sword of Feast and Famine, Affinity just couldn't keep up, especially because Jace's bouncing creatures equipped with Skullclampdidn't trigger Skullclamp's card draw trigger. It could save the counters for Shrapnel Blast, making Mana Leaks double as Stone Rains, and managed to pull off wins in game 1 reliably. Affinity generally won after Sideboard, but sometimes Caw-Blade would get a second win. 
This is ridiculous. Decks with Jace are beating Decks with Skullclamp. How do you explain these numbers, mr. Flores? I've defended Jace for over a year now, and I think that he's too strong and too dominating now. In any case, I offer up these numbers to everyone else out there, as a demonstration of just how powerful Cawblade is. Next week, I'm planning on having numbers for Trix, Legacy Fish, G/U madness, Psychatog, Mirari's Wake, Ichorid and Bridge Dredge, and a few others.  
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Even metallix is gone now.
I'm right here.

The format, at the highest levels, has clearly warped around Jace. Most decks are built to include it, and every deck must be ready to beat it. The whole article reads like "Don't take away my favorite card, it's not that bad!" I'm sure someone had written a similar article about Skullclamp ("But look! It powers up Affinity and Goblins and Elves!").

One of my friends brings a typical comment from our area: "I wish I could afford to play standard right now." The reply is "The only really expensive card is Jace, and only one person has 4. And he doesn't even play good decks!" This still isn't enough to bring him back. And it won't be banned for another two months at the earliest, because we just passed the banned/restricted window.

Even then, I fear Wizards won't ban it, despite the fact that it's sculpting formats, driving players from the game, and giving their marquee new card type a bad name. Wizards has an undeniable love of control. They'll print some card in New Phyrexia that they'll deem "the ultimate answer for Jace!" It won't be good enough (just like Kataki wasn't for Affinity, even though it came after the main standard bannings, look at Affinity in Extended back then). They'll let June pass with a "We're keeping an eye on it" comment, and they'll let the rotation finally take Jace into the waiting arms of Extended. They also don't want to face the backlash from the players who paid hundreds of dollars for the best card, so they can finally stand a chance "competitively."

They also don't want to face the backlash from the players who paid hundreds of dollars for the best card, so they can finally stand a chance "competitively."





This will undoubtedly sway ban decisions in a way that hasn't been relevant in standard before now. One possibility is reprinting Jace 2.0 in M12 to bring down the costs before banning in standard, but I doubt they will endure the double whammy of "what?? another 12 months of Jace???" followed by "what??? I just bought my fourth Jace!".

Wizards has reaped what it has sown. They created mythics, they created chase-mythics, they created overpowered-chase-mythics, and then they created Jace. What did they expect?
From the first moment I heard about the creation of Planeswalkers, I felt the storm clouds rolling in. I saw them as cool and insanely powerful. Then, I saw them in play. And I immediately saw how terrible they are for the game. Once a Planeswalker has hit the table, if you have no way of handling it, you find yourself on a very short clock.

Enter Jace, The Mind Sculptor. No card in the history of magic has ever been as insideous as Jace, The Mind Sculptor. Unlike Ravager Affinity, where it was so clear a blind man could see its corruption from the dark side of the moon; Jace, The Mind Sculptor has the more potent poison of versatility. Its power is not confined to one narrow deck design. Jace, The Mind Sculptor is the God of utility cards.

Jace, The Mind Sculptor has completely warped the format, and Mike Flores, as well as the rest of WotC know it. What's worse is that, instead of admitting their mistake, they are trying pathetic, and poorly created spin as this article. There is no excusing 4 copies in every top-8 deck. You can't hide it or explain it away. Every player who wants a shot at a top spot knows that if they don't shell out $400+ for this one card set, they are just wasting their time competing.

Mike Flores had the gull to focus on Preordain, explaining how it wasn't broken. Preordain can be a very powerful card, and even being a 4 of in every top-8 deck doesn't make it worthy of being called broken. When you build a deck, you don't think; "How the hell am I going to handle Preordain?"

At the bare minimum, Jace, The Mind Sculptor must be restricted or banned in all formats. It should've been restricted already. Those extra three copies people wasted their money on can be put in the spokes of their bikes. The cost shouldn't be a factor. The game is corrupted. And only, ONLY the expulsion of Jace, The Mind Sculptor can heal it.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green).

He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one."

I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred:

Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature.

Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself?

Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill.

Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it.

Him: You can't do that.

Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

So what is different about this format compared to so many others that have fallen under the pall of some kind of dominant deck like Jund or Faeries or, given our proximity to some-kind-of-Mirrodin, Ravager Affinity? Put another way, shouldn't there be lines and lines of players in the streets, holding up signs to "Ban Preordain!"?


Well, no. Not really. In fact, of course not.

One difference is that as basically everyone here has already said, Preordain is common, while Jace is mythic rare. Another reason is that preordain is a staple card. That might not be a common way to put it, but you know what I mean - it can fit well in almost any deck of the appropriate color but doesn't actually define any of them, like dual lands. In the case of Preordain, there are many, many cheap blue tempo-improving effects out there. Staples do one simple, small thing, and Preordain happens to do it particularly well. Same for Mana Leak - it's just the counterspell with the most advantage and least disadvantage at the moment. But the point is, banning staple cards is rare. Sure, it happens (Mirrodin artifact lands), but I have the impression the DCI very rarely needs or wants to. Good or not, they aren't particularly powerful on their own.

If Jace wasn't in every deck, then Preordain and Mana Leak wouldn't be either.


One of my friends brings a typical comment from our area: "I wish I could afford to play standard right now." The reply is "The only really expensive card is Jace, and only one person has 4. And he doesn't even play good decks!" This still isn't enough to bring him back. And it won't be banned for another two months at the earliest, because we just passed the banned/restricted window.




This.

Not to hijack the forum or anything, but I just wanted to comment on the tourney scene announcement. I've wanted to play semi-competitively for awhile, but can only really play in limited formats once every few weeks. Standard is too expensive since the rise of mythics/planeswalkers, extended is too expensive even with only 4 blocks, and legacy seems fun but in general has always been out of my price range. I think there was a quote from MR awhile back that defended making utility mythics by saying something like "players need a reason to keep buying booster packs, or we'll be out of business!" which is a valid point. This business stance, however, has cut off the creative deckbuilding skills for those that want to build new decks and test them for, you know, fun. Well, I mean, unless they feel like utilizing free, non-sanctioned wizards products to help them playtest in a small group instead of just playing the decks in tourneys for enjoyment. In this way, it's no surprise netdecking has become the new standard - I'd want to know what deck was actually competitive and good before I drop $400 on it too!

As for 'ban Jace,' I can understand why it hasn't happened. Banning Preordain is like banning Jace, The Mind Sculptor since they're both utility cards and don't really have answers outside of counterspells (which are also blue! yay!) If planeswalkers actually had multiple reasonable answers in standard, I believe we would see the spree of hate decks. Unfortunately, Vampire Hexmage, Mold Shambler, Duress and counterspells are the only real answers I can come up with, and blue decks are almost never built without counterspells, which is some inherent hate against planeswalker decks I suppose.
All I can say is there had better be a huge poster of JTMS up in R&D's offices with the words "Never Again" underneath it.  I know wizards say they don't care about resale value, but when one card is so dominant and so expensive that magic players around the world are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to move jaces around 100 bucks at a time instead of buying new product, that has to show up on their radar. Not to mention the fact that the cards prohibitive price turns people off from playing the game, myself and both my brothers have given up on standard entirely because we can't afford jace, everyone else plays jace, and playing against jace is no fun at all.  I can't wait for this terrible card to cycle out of standard.
Can we please move to the right thread now?
Can we please move to the right thread now?





Perhaps some kind Moderator would copy the posts from here to there...
Can we please move to the right thread now?



Perhaps some kind Moderator would copy the posts from here to there...



And ideally redirect subscriptions...but I won't be surprised if that's beyond their ability.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
BAN PREORDAIN!!!
edit on the testing records I posted earlier: the Affinity without Skullclamp record was incorrect. There was also an eleventh match of three games, which Caw-Blade won, making Affinity without Skullclamp have a 5 -win 6-loss record, for a 45.45% win percentage, not 50%. Sorry. Additionally, Rubin Zoo actually beat Caw-Blade in 6 of the 10 matches, not 5, for a 60% win percentage, not 50%. Sorry. I promise the next batch of records (which I should have by next week, and will include U/R/G) will be 100% error free. 
Fight for the Cookie! click for a secret message!
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click (again) for a secret message!
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Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNoi_wwzbtQ
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WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?
Creator of:
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Standard:
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Soul Stealer Angeltap Bloodchief Ascension Black Knights Infect Knights Mono-Green Control Turbo Bant The Solution
Extended:
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Tight Sight 2010 Dralnu Fog Extended Knights Kor Dad Bolas Ramp
Legacy:
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DragonForce Tight Sight 2011 Hulk-Tooth All-in-Black Wake
Wins I have Witnessed[sblock]
57070368 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
Even metallix is gone now.
I'm right here.
Can we please move to the right thread now?


Perhaps some kind Moderator would copy the posts from here to there...


And ideally redirect subscriptions...but I won't be surprised if that's beyond their ability.


Since no one else has provided a link yet, the new thread is here. Let's hope people start posting their replies to this thread over there, but who knows.
Jace is totally broken, but there should not have been 32 in the top 8. This is how you beat Jace.


4 Birds of Paradise
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fauna Shaman
4 Squadron Hawk
1 Sun Titan
4 Vengevine
1 Kor Skyfisher
3 Hero of Bladehold


4 Journey to Nowhere
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Green Sun's Zennith


4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Stirring Wildwood
1 Plains
5 Forest
2 Verdeant Catacombs


Side Board
4 Kor Firewalker
4 Memoricide
1 Swamp
1 Sylvan Ranger
2 Baneslayer Angel
1 Acidic Slime
1 Linvala, Keepr of Silence

In the rug match up, bring in the memorice package (which inlcudes, the ranger, and swamp obv). Take out llanowar elves, and garruks. Rug is really really really hard. But use Journies wisely and memoricide in this order. Take

With Journey in hand (memoricide Precursor Golem, then titan)
No Journey in hand (memoricide Titan, then golem)

RUG is like 30/70 their way in game one, but the match up evens out pot board.

The real shining star is Caw-Blade. The deck dominiate caw blade. Just remember we have anti artifact hate in the board, and while it is correct to bring it in, the deck can mostly ignore soff. We just swing with vines, let them die, and get them back. Remember that Kor Skyfisher means infintie vengevine recursion. Just don't get it countered.

Valukut is also difficult but no where near as hard as RUG. I'd say about 5/5/ Bring in your linvala in this match as it stop wall mana, and flys over. Again take out elves for whatever SB options you bring in.

So I've got a question for the forum, if no-one minds chiming in, concerning the vibrancy of standard.  During Ravnica standard, I began to notice a drop-off in interest, mainly due to cost.  At the game store that I patronize, however, people still played, casually at least if not somewhat competively.  Since then, however, there has been a steady decline in interest.  At this point, there seems to be virtually no interest in standard at the store where I game.  I know that some other stores in the general area see some standard activity, but it seems as if interest has been evaporating steadily since the time of Ravnica.  I've asked, and the reason I always get is the cost.  It seems somewhat ridiculous that I now remember the days when a solid, consistent competitive deck cost about $200 to build from scratch.  Now the price tag is about twice that for just four pieces of cardboard that makes every top deck competitive.  Ravnica Standard had dozens of competitive decks.  This format has one competitive card. 
Like so many other posters for this, I'm disappointed that the impact of Jace TMS has been relegated to one of 'oh those pro tour guys...'

The defense of the card that it was played in 'rogue' decks until this GP isn't an indication that it's a bad card - it's an indication that throwing 4x Jace TMS into any given deck immediately makes it that much better. The only other deck that's been mildly competitive with it at my LGS has been Valakut ramp, and frankly that's been more a product of the guy who plays it is a hands down better player than 95% of the people who play.

Jace is so good not only because of his abilities, but also because he's blue, with all the inherent support cards that go with it, and the general lack of things that easily kill him (Oblivion Ring, Maelstrom Pulse,Pithing Needle, etc.). The only 'good' answer in standard is Vampire Hexmage, which is really only available to one color... which happens to usually splash blue for Jace.

Further, the fact that Jace TMS is in all top 8 decks shows that R&D's 'answer' had exactly zero impact (Thrun, the Last Troll). This is similar to 'solutions' Volcanic Fallout and Great Sable Stag not stopping Faeries.

I don't believe Jace should be banned in Standard - just print a) alternatives or b) solutions that work.
At least Faeries, as far as format domination goes, is a deck made up of dozens of cards.  Jace TMS is a single card warping a format. 
L2 ban Jace, not make articles defending him. Waste of time. Did Mirrodin block not see bannings in it's standard, and the format progressed because of it? So much time spent making many tribes, types, and new interactions when the only one that matters is the 4-cost blue planeswalker. A rant being what a rant is, I find that WotC just likes selling Worldwake packs, is what it about amounts to. Sigh... Btw we quit standard in our area, a large group of us. We all play blue or Vala (and a couple boros) and we all have playsets of Jace. Same thing week after week at local fnm's. One tuesday t2, there was 15 entrys of u/w. Fun.