04/21/2011 TD: "The Highlight Reel"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Enough with the damage control spin. The outcry against Jace isn't because it hit 32 out of 32 in one top-8. Its because it is such a powerful card that is warping standard. The complaints didn't spring up overnight. They have been building as Jace used more and more. Of all the decks you showed, only 1 didn't carry Jace, and 1 other didn't carry the super Jace everyone hates.

Yes, Caw-Blade is a powerful deck. But, how much does that deck weaken when Jace is dropped out? Can you show one game where a person who was tied or behind when their opponent dropped Jace that they won? Jace isn't an "I win the game" card as soon as its played. Nor is it a "I can't lose the game" card.

Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 

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.

"Caw-Blade is a better-performing deck in Standard than... well... almost any deck that has ever operated at scale."

Look at me, I'm Mike Flores and I like to grossly exaggerate things that get me excited!
I agree with the comment posted above. The argument here that Jace isn't a problem because caw-blade takes skill to play/ is interactive fails on multiple levels. The point is, out of a tournament of several hundred players the best 8 decks all had 4 copies. Reguardless of the fact that Jace doesn't kill you immediatley when he hits the board (though he often kills you eventually), you're not winning a tournment in this standard if you don't own $350+ in Jace the Mind Sculptors. This is not a healthy format.
I quote Adam Forsythe's article on why the 'Clamp was banned: 
"Note that the ideal Tooth and Nail plan makes no use of 1-toughness creatures, but the way to make this deck a winner is to include sixteen one-toughness creatures and four Skullclamps!
In other words, it was banned because it was everywhere, showing up all over the place, even in decks where it would normally make no sense.
Now, with that in mind, look at the Genesis wave deck. This is an almost entirely green ramp deck based on playing a triple-green costed spell and getting huge amounts of power onto the board quickly... and it runs 4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor, a card where, unlike the rest, you lose a lot of power if you get multiples off a Genesis wave. A monogreen deck is running 4 cards that can potentially hurt their game plan, because of the raw power. Just something to think about. Now that I mention it, there was also an elves deck in a top 16 (I forget which) that ran Jaces. 
And I don't think the problem is Caw-Blade. Flores is right about how Caw-Blade isn't the same as the other Boogeymen. The problem is that it is right now, because of one card. Jace. It's not even Caw-Blade. The best deck, the second best deck, and a lot of tier-2 decks all run Jace. Looking at this list, it seems like every deck either has 3-4 Mindsculptors total main and side, or is dedicated toward fighting Jace. And there are a whole lot more successful decks in the first category. 
Also, a correction: Mr. Flores, while I understand where you're coming from, I doubt more than half the decks played Jace, because of the possible jaces, more than half were played. What you assume is that everyone played 4. If someone played 3 and someone else played 1, that would up the count. So, it's probably more along the lines of 60% or even two thirds of the top 8 decks that played Jace, the Mind Sculptor 
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I thought this article would have been more accurately titled "Arguments for not to Banning JtMS".
Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 



Tommy here to shed some light on why I chose not to run Jace, the Mindsculptor in my Big Red list (I seriously can't believe I'm entertaining this thought). Why in Zeus' butt hole would I run Jace in Big Red? The deck I ran is called Big Red. Did you even notice my Tectonic Edge count? I only ran two? Why is that? It's because the deck needs boat loads of red mana aka mountains. Splashing 10 or more non-mountains hurts the deck. I run Obsidian Fireheart too (which was co-mvp at my Qualifiers btw) and that guy eats red mana like nobody's buisness. Trust me. Jace is good but he's not good enough for me to drastically change the deck to support him.

Btw, here's my record in the last 5 tournaments vs Jace decks with my deck list:

12 Wins / 1 Loss

Anyways, you're overreacting. I can't believe you actually believe anyone who has Jace, TMS x4 should splash blue to support him in whatever list they're running. Do us all a favor. Go build Boros and RDW and improve those lists by adding 4 Jace to them. Let us know how that worked for you ok.
you're not winning a tournment in this standard if you don't own $350+ in Jace the Mind Sculptors.

Sorry but I have to disagree. I took first while my friend took second in the Denver Nat Qualifiers. Both of us went undefeated with non-Jace list.

Several of the decks listed in the article ran red. Not one of them even had a single copy of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. It seems odd to be turning down a free Lightning Bolt, but no doubt there's a good reason for this.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 



Tommy here to shed some light on why I chose not to run Jace, the Mindsculptor in my Big Red list (I seriously can't believe I'm entertaining this thought). Why in Zeus' butt hole would I run Jace in Big Red? The deck I ran is called Big Red. Did you even notice my Tectonic Edge count? I only ran two? Why is that? It's because the deck needs boat loads of red mana aka mountains. Splashing 10 or more non-mountains hurts the deck. I run Obsidian Fireheart too (which was co-mvp at my Qualifiers btw) and that guy eats red mana like nobody's buisness. Trust me. Jace is good but he's not good enough for me to drastically change the deck to support him.




I think he meant if you could you would, not that you're big red deck is missing four jace, it isn't.  He meant if Jace was I dunno red, you'd play it.  Or perhaps less drastically committed to blue.
Oh boy Mike, you just don't get it, do you? It's not...

... you know what, forget it. I just don't have the energy to explain it to you any more. Keep saying up is down if that's what works for you.

Peace.
Oh boy Mike, you just don't get it, do you? It's not... ... you know what, forget it. I just don't have the energy to explain it to you any more. Keep saying up is down if that's what works for you. Peace.



Is this a general statement that you are going to retire from the anti-Jace forum Wink or is it just one of those days?
Oh boy Mike, you just don't get it, do you? It's not... ... you know what, forget it. I just don't have the energy to explain it to you any more. Keep saying up is down if that's what works for you. Peace.



Is this a general statement that you are going to retire from the anti-Jace forum  or is it just one of those days?





Let's just say when I read the article I did something that fans of Family Guy would recognise as "WHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTT?" ;)

The whole article for me could be summed up thus...

"Let them eat Jace" ~ Mike 'Antoinette' Flores, 21st April 2011

Probably good for everyone, especially me, if I leave it at that.
Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 



Tommy here to shed some light on why I chose not to run Jace, the Mindsculptor in my Big Red list (I seriously can't believe I'm entertaining this thought). Why in Zeus' butt hole would I run Jace in Big Red? The deck I ran is called Big Red. Did you even notice my Tectonic Edge count? I only ran two? Why is that? It's because the deck needs boat loads of red mana aka mountains. Splashing 10 or more non-mountains hurts the deck. I run Obsidian Fireheart too (which was co-mvp at my Qualifiers btw) and that guy eats red mana like nobody's buisness. Trust me. Jace is good but he's not good enough for me to drastically change the deck to support him.




I think he meant if you could you would, not that you're big red deck is missing four jace, it isn't.  He meant if Jace was I dunno red, you'd play it.  Or perhaps less drastically committed to blue.



Please spare me. *facepalm*

Let's see. If Jace cost 2RR and had the same abilities then:

1. There would probably be no need for the color pie.
2. Of course I'd be less drastically committed to blue... which makes no sense in the first place since I have zero commitment to blue. 

You didn't help his argument btw. I think you even hurt it. 
"Looking at these results, my opinion is that the conversation is a bit off-center. I don't really think it's a question about Jace, the Mind Sculptor so much as it should be a conversation about Caw-Blade."

Really? This is your argument?

Would Caw-Blade be so dominating without Jace? Or is Caw-Blade is so dominating because it's the best Jace deck? 
Mike,

JtMS is Necro 2.0.

This is the same fundamental situation today that we were in more than a decade ago in Black/Necro Summer.  Even then, as Necro was finding its way into deck after deck, the urge to call it 'just a support card, and not the issue' is still wrong.

In your case, you're looking at the other pieces of the puzzle, namely the Caw-Blade engine, and calling that the issue.  It's not, just like Hymm and Hippie weren't the problem back then.  They're just card advantage engines that double as win conditions.

What JtMS does now, as Necro did back then, is to enable a consistency to those decks that makes them degenerate.  Necro did it via raw card advantage, while JtMS is more subtle -- but the impact is the same.  The funny thing is that deeper in your article, the salient point is made by Jonathan Sukenik, specifically in how he attacks the JtMS metagame.

Why is it important to have a mountain down on Turn 2?  So he can attack the Jaces -- much in the same manner that the counter strategy to Necro was to attack the life total of the Necro player.

Caw-Blade without JtMS is a good deck and fair in the metagame.  With JtMS it's degenerate and format warping ... just like Necro back in the day.

Later,

Don!
A failure to plan, is a plan to fail.
oh good you found 1 blue deck not running Jace TMS !
"Looking at these results, my opinion is that the conversation is a bit off-center. I don't really think it's a question about Jace, the Mind Sculptor so much as it should be a conversation about Caw-Blade."

Really? This is your argument?

Would Caw-Blade be so dominating without Jace? Or is Caw-Blade is so dominating because it's the best Jace deck?

But there you are. Instead of having people unhappy because a very expensive card of theirs has been banned from Standard... instead of banning Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, just ban Squadron Hawk - and maybe also Sword of Feast and Famine. And then, if after a month or so, this doesn't result in a balanced and diverse metagame, then consider banning Jace.

Banning Valakut was suggested as an idea because Vengevine decks are needed in the metagame. But when Blue is too powerful, banning one of the most powerful red cards seems perverse. Is there a way some other red card could be banned, so that red decks remain just as powerful against blue decks, but are weaker against decks based on Vengevine?

Ah, there we are: just give Vengevine an errata; temporarily change its mana cost to until Innistrad comes out.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

This is getting ridiculous. On Friday, Tom LaPille posted an article basically saying, "Yeah, we know Jace is a problem. We meant him to be powerful all along but he wound up being even more powerful than that. However, we don't feel he's quite bad enough for the environment that banning him right now is warranted. Sorry, but Jace-less decks still manage to win here and there, and we tried to put answers to Jace in the next couple sets, and if we failed, well, the next scheduled dates for banning cards is June 20, hint hint." That seems pretty clear: almost everyone agrees that Jace is a problem, the only question is what to do about it.

And here Mike is trying to tell us "no, really, the problem isn't Jace, it's Squadron Hawk! That versatile card advantage engine with a low CMC is the real reason decks with a playset of it are cleaning up!" Riiight.

If it were really about Jace, the Mind Sculptor, wouldn't we have had some greater indication before Mirrodin Besieged?


This is stupid to the point that, sorry, it looks disingenuous to me. We did indeed have indications before Mirrodin Besieged; Jace has been big and getting bigger since he was released. Why wasn't he considered broken on release? Two simple, obvious reasons: M10 had splashable and relatively cheap answers (Oblivion Ring is common, and Pithing Needle has been printed in three sets so far so it's pretty accessible as well) and the Alara block had its own ridiculous card advantage engine with the cascade mechanic. Jund could beat Jace on its own terms, and everyone else could put those hosers in their sideboards without thinking about it and Jace would be almost useless after game 1. But when Scars of Mirrodin came out, all that rotated out and was replaced with Memoricide, a 4cc sorcery that doesn't help against a permanent already in play. (Vampire Hexmage was there all along, of course, but it's not splashable.) And Mana Leak came back at the same time, one of the best counterspells in the game. Sure, you can play around it, but if you wait until turn 7 to play a Memoricide your opponent will have used Jace three times...

The only interesting question to me is why we didn't see this 32-Jaces-in-a-top-8 as soon as M10 came out and Scars came in. Sword of Feast and Famine certainly helped, but can't explain everything; Jace is also getting used in RUG decks with no equipment. The only explanation I can come up with is that people were experimenting with a new large set and set in their ways of ALA-ZEN Standard and took a couple months to realize "Hey, there's really no decent answer to this anymore." I don't have the time to look it up right now, but I'd bet a Jace that tournament decklists show a slow, steady and constant increase in the number of Jaces played ever since M10 left the format. But saying that Jace isn't a problem just because we would "have had some greater indication before Mirrodin Besieged" is absurd. He was too powerful from the start, but he couldn't become truly broken until M10 and Alara were gone... which is pretty much what happened.
Several of the decks listed in the article ran red. Not one of them even had a single copy of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. It seems odd to be turning down a free Lightning Bolt, but no doubt there's a good reason for this.

Because without mana acceleration, Valakut is only a free Lightning Bolt on your seventh turn at the very earliest, and only once per turn. I guess that's not worth the risk of a land that comes into play tapped if you want it earlier than that.
Instead of having people unhappy because a very expensive card of theirs has been banned from Standard... instead of banning Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, just ban Squadron Hawk - and maybe also Sword of Feast and Famine. And then, if after a month or so, this doesn't result in a balanced and diverse metagame, then consider banning Jace.

Banning Valakut was suggested as an idea because Vengevine decks are needed in the metagame. But when Blue is too powerful, banning one of the most powerful red cards seems perverse. Is there a way some other red card could be banned, so that red decks remain just as powerful against blue decks, but are weaker against decks based on Vengevine?

Ah, there we are: just give Vengevine an errata; temporarily change its mana cost to until Innistrad comes out.


As for banning Squadron Hawk, like I said, Jace is getting played a lot in decks without the Hawk or the Sword. And as for errataing Vengevine, I hope you're not serious. They've never done anything like that before, and they certainly wouldn't do it in hopes of a Kansas City Shuffle scheme to change the power of another card with the real goal of changing the power of a third.
Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 



Tommy here to shed some light on why I chose not to run Jace, the Mindsculptor in my Big Red list (I seriously can't believe I'm entertaining this thought). Why in Zeus' butt hole would I run Jace in Big Red? The deck I ran is called Big Red. Did you even notice my Tectonic Edge count? I only ran two? Why is that? It's because the deck needs boat loads of red mana aka mountains. Splashing 10 or more non-mountains hurts the deck. I run Obsidian Fireheart too (which was co-mvp at my Qualifiers btw) and that guy eats red mana like nobody's buisness. Trust me. Jace is good but he's not good enough for me to drastically change the deck to support him.




I think he meant if you could you would, not that you're big red deck is missing four jace, it isn't.  He meant if Jace was I dunno red, you'd play it.  Or perhaps less drastically committed to blue.



Please spare me. *facepalm*

Let's see. If Jace cost 2RR and had the same abilities then:

1. There would probably be no need for the color pie.
2. Of course I'd be less drastically committed to blue... which makes no sense in the first place since I have zero commitment to blue. 

You didn't help his argument btw. I think you even hurt it. 



What I was saying Tommy, was that if you could add Jace to your deck, without committing any cards specifically to it (including lands), then wouldn't you add it?

Unfortunately, the current standard doesn't have any dual lands that produce and . But, say there was a land in standard like Copperline Gorge, but produced instead of . You could add two or three to your deck, plus the 4 Sphere of the Suns in your deck already, and you should have no problems dropping Jace on turn 4 with only causig a small risk to the lands.

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.

Talking about Contagion Clasp : "reset a permanent on zero (for example, a spent Tumble Magnet), returning it to functionality"

Is this statement correct?  I tought a permanent had to have a counter on it to Proliferate.
Talking about Contagion Clasp : "reset a permanent on zero (for example, a spent Tumble Magnet), returning it to functionality"

Is this statement correct?  I tought a permanent had to have a counter on it to Proliferate.



Pretty sure he was talking specifically about using Venser.
Yep, you are correct, I reread and saw the error of my ways!

Thanks, I thought i was playing wrong this whole time...lol
Here is the most simplistic way to explain this. Find a deck in standard that doesn't have Jace and say that the deck wouldn't improve if Jace was added. Even Tommy Luke's Big Red deck would gain a boost. The only difficulty in adding is figuring out how to handle the lands so you don't weaken Koth.

As for those not using Jace, do they choose not to add Jace or do they not own Jace (possibly because of how expensive Jace is)? 



Tommy here to shed some light on why I chose not to run Jace, the Mindsculptor in my Big Red list (I seriously can't believe I'm entertaining this thought). Why in Zeus' butt hole would I run Jace in Big Red? The deck I ran is called Big Red. Did you even notice my Tectonic Edge count? I only ran two? Why is that? It's because the deck needs boat loads of red mana aka mountains. Splashing 10 or more non-mountains hurts the deck. I run Obsidian Fireheart too (which was co-mvp at my Qualifiers btw) and that guy eats red mana like nobody's buisness. Trust me. Jace is good but he's not good enough for me to drastically change the deck to support him.




I think he meant if you could you would, not that you're big red deck is missing four jace, it isn't.  He meant if Jace was I dunno red, you'd play it.  Or perhaps less drastically committed to blue.



Please spare me. *facepalm*

Let's see. If Jace cost 2RR and had the same abilities then:

1. There would probably be no need for the color pie.
2. Of course I'd be less drastically committed to blue... which makes no sense in the first place since I have zero commitment to blue. 

You didn't help his argument btw. I think you even hurt it. 



Hey back off, all I did was clarify his point which you seemed to misunderstand, you wanna start a flame war go ahead.

It was his point not mine, the color pie has nothing to do with his point it was hypothetical ignoring the color pie that was the idea.  And it was OR not both yes Jace would be less drastically commited to blue if he was 2rr but in the second example I gave I meant OR he was 3U.
I think it's amusing that people are talking about banning Mystic now because we got another really powerful equipment in Batterskull.

IMAGE(http://mixedknuts.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/chapin_jace1_small1.jpg)
I think this article was a weak attempt at justifying why Jace shouldn't be banned. It was done by pointing out that there are other high quality cards and combos that can be used in Magic. Despite that fact, Jace changes the game all on his own. These other cards are powerful, but can't decide a game the way Jace can. I play RDW and Boros and I'm glad there are players who are successful with that format, but exceptions are not the rule. And the number one rule to winning in Standard is to use Jace. 
Was anyone else surprised after finding 0 "blades" in the 75 of the "BantBlade" list? Seems like a bit of a weird name for such a deck xD
Mike,

JtMS is Necro 2.0.


Don't say that out loud. Necro got reprinted in the next base set.
What is Red-Green Tokens?  That was the only deck on the list you provided I haven't seen or wasn't immediately self explanatory.
Weighing in again: 
First, to Tommy Luke: two things: First, if this were in the Ravnica-Time Spiral era, and we actually had good enemy dual lands, don't tell me you wouldn't run 4 Jace. You would. Everyone would. Even in heavy aggro, it would give a pile of extra versatility, bounce blockers, and refill your hand while letting you replace lands with more Burn. Second, I did what you suggested, and made a R/u deck splashing 3 Jaces and 2 Unified Will. I did quite well in the tournament practice room on MtgO. It wasn't a significant improvement, but I think I did do slightly better than I otherwise would. The most noticable point was when I managed to overwhelm another Red Deck, because I was sending their best cards to the bottom and giving them a pile of lands while they had to concentrate killing my Jace. By the time it was dead, I was at 8, with a Koth and two Goblin Guides on the board, and they were at 2, with a Dragon's Claw and a bunch of mountains down. No burn spells. 
I've also taken a MUCH closer look at some of the decks Flores touts as good decks without Jace. First, the Mill Control deck: I have no idea why Jace2.0 isn't in there. Sure, it's not as good with Haunting Echoes, but it can make your chances of flipping an Eldrazi Titan smaller with the first ability, double as creature control and card advantage, and it provides an incredibly powerful mill effect with his ultimate, putting the opponent within Hedron Crab range while simultaneously avoiding Eldrazi Titan effects. Also, just looking at this, I count about 45 decks that probably ran Jace in the qualifiers. The best performing deck that doesn't run Jace was over 4 times less popular than W/U CawBlade alone. And note when he's talking about Josh's CawBlade: "
html_removed
Ravitz later pointed out that at that point he had played close to 40 tournament rounds with essentially the same deck list (if you include his Extended PTQ win, where skills still transfer)". He was playing essentially the same list in extended, and won a PtQ with it. That's just not right. Also, in his final win, he got both Mortarpod and Sword of Feast and Famine, implying he probably got 2 Stoneforge Mystics, and of course, Squadron Hawks. In short, he got lucky. Jace is good, but he won't on his own win you the game if you're too far behind. 
Finally, I'm saying this outright: Maybe this is like with Affinity, where first one card was banned for being everywhere and making the best deck too good, then the core of the deck was ripped out of Standard. What I mean is, first Jace, then Squadron Hawk, Stoneforge Mystic, Sword of Feast and Famine, and maybe Preordain or Gideon. Fortunately for Wizards, the second stage will be A. unnecessary, and B. impossible. They won't ban a pile of cards within a few weeks of rotating. Jace, on the other hand, should be banned. It's not a 1 mana artifact that can fit in any deck like Skullclamp, but it's still managing to dominate standard on a close though lesser level to Skullclamp. 
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Wins I have Witnessed[sblock]
57070368 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
Even metallix is gone now.
I'm right here.
And as for errataing Vengevine, I hope you're not serious. They've never done anything like that before, and they certainly wouldn't do it in hopes of a Kansas City Shuffle scheme to change the power of another card with the real goal of changing the power of a third.

Actually, there are only two cards involved - three cards are involved if you ban Valakut to stop suppressing Vengevine decks so that they can keep the Jace decks down.

As for being serious, that depends on what you mean by serious. Yes, they haven't done anything like that before, and so they aren't likely to do this now.

But making a card more powerful temporarily is something positive, and so Jace owners would have less to complain about if that were done instead of banning Jace in order to balance the format. So I am at least partly serious in suggesting that maybe Wizards has to think outside the box to find a way to balance the format in a way that is less painful.

Making Vengevine cheaper was just an example based on the discussion of the dynamics of the situation - I don't know if that would actually be enough or too much. Even more outrageously, they could just say, "Oh, and by the way, although it's not in any current sets, to balance the format, our latest B&R announcement now says that Tarmogoyf is now officially Standard-legal; and, just to make things easier for Standard players who don't have one or four, random common such-and-such from the Alara block is accepted at all sanctioned Standard events until further notice as a proxy for Tarmogoyf".

You want balance? You can get balance, if you're willing to use a sledgehammer - and this sledgehammer doesn't hurt anyone!

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Weighing in again: 
First, to Tommy Luke: two things: First, if this were in the Ravnica-Time Spiral era, and we actually had good enemy dual lands, don't tell me you wouldn't run 4 Jace. You would. Everyone would. Even in heavy aggro, it would give a pile of extra versatility, bounce blockers, and refill your hand while letting you replace lands with more Burn.



Um...
Boros has access to good duals for blue? 
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)
If you want to add a single card to a set after a print run it is pretty easy, especially if it is a reprint.  Do what they did with Time Spiral where they snuck in a very small percentage of cards.  All you do is errata the print runs print a few Mythic hoser cards, your example was Tarmagoyf.  I might chose another, but that's ok. 

If you need an answer then that would work. 

Tournament players would have enough to play with because it was previously in circulation. 
It would appear in the set as a bonus card, purhaps with a funny card number attaching a B. 

Jace is the best card in standard.  He probably isn't too good, but he does heavily push Blue in an already small card pool.  The big problem is that he is prohibatively costed.  Not so much for the pro tour players, but for the common FNM players that want to be able to play decklists the pro's use. 

Jace's cost is a double edged sword.  He costs too much so he should be banned.  But he can't be banned because players have invested too much in him.  Either is a terrible precedent for Wizards. 

The best answer maybe to ban Valakut, though, I'm not convinced that is the answer or reprint some very good answer.

The problem with both Valakut and Jace 2.0 is that they are card types that are inherently hard to deal with.  Planeswalkers have always been very difficult to deal wiht and answers from the past for them like Maelstrom and Bloodbraid have rotated.  Lands have always been very hard to deal with.  As a combo piece they are hard to interact with.  So in that deck you have to interact with the acceleration by using counterspells, which are blue.  

Jace is superpowerful.  Blue is normally superpowerful, it has the best parts of the color wheel for consistancy.  But when Jace became that expensive, the hate is really coming from the peasants at FNM.  Who want to be playing the same game the pro's do.  By playing the same game they don't just mean MTG.  They mean playing with the same decks that pro's use.  What use is spending time following the things the pro's are doing if you can never afford to be playing the same game.   
Weighing in again: 
First, to Tommy Luke: two things: First, if this were in the Ravnica-Time Spiral era, and we actually had good enemy dual lands, don't tell me you wouldn't run 4 Jace. You would. Everyone would. Even in heavy aggro, it would give a pile of extra versatility, bounce blockers, and refill your hand while letting you replace lands with more Burn.



Um...
Boros has access to good duals for blue? 



Steam Vents and Hallowed Fountain would do just fine here in this hypothetical scenario.
Dear Mike Flores,

You're really bad at this. Stop trying. 

Seriously what is Red - Green Tokens?


I searched last night for it and wasn't able to find it as an archetype at least no list that looked like it could take down a tournament.   

Seriously what is Red - Green Tokens?


I searched last night for it and wasn't able to find it as an archetype at least no list that looked like it could take down a tournament.   


No need to yell. I'd guess it's either an Avenger of Zendikar deck (like half the decks here, but with more copies of Avenger and without blue for Jace), or a green Eldrazi deck with some red on the side.

Jace is superpowerful.  Blue is normally superpowerful, it has the best parts of the color wheel for consistancy.  But when Jace became that expensive, the hate is really coming from the peasants at FNM.  Who want to be playing the same game the pro's do.  By playing the same game they don't just mean MTG.  They mean playing with the same decks that pro's use.  What use is spending time following the things the pro's are doing if you can never afford to be playing the same game.   



This is pretty much exactly the point.  People like Mike can go out of their way to talk up and down about how not broken the card is or isn't or how the meta game is or isn't.  Or what deck can or can't sometimes maybe beat Jace.  But really it is all a diversion from getting people to ask the question of why something so insane and powerful ended up at Mythic rare status as a required 4 of, in the 3rd set of a so-so block.

If you really want to prove something how about an article that shows how many people entered into all those events.  How many decks there were.  And how many decks with 4xJtMS there were and what % of those took the top spots.  I'm sure what you will find is that people that can't afford Jace are still showing up, playing, and not winning against him.  And some of them are perfectly good at playing the game, designing decks, making the tough calls, but like the quoted poster was saying are not getting a chance to 'play the same game' as people that can drop $500 on a standard deck. (which as far as I know has never happened in the history of standard) 
You know, I noticed something else about the article worth criticizing.
Looking at these results, my opinion is that the conversation is a bit off-center. I don't really think it's a question about Jace, the Mind Sculptor so much as it should be a conversation about Caw-Blade.


He writes this paragraph right below a table that demonstrates the reverse. His own numbers make it clear that he's wrong.

Seriously, look at it. After Caw-Blade on the table of deck representation is RUG, a deck with no birds or blades, but Jace. After that is mono-green Eldrazi. One example of that deck took second place here. It has four cards (Ulamog) with "[when you cast this], destroy target permanent". You think the caster will choose to target a bird, or even a blade judging by the artifact destruction elsewhere in the deck? It also has one card (Emrakul) that can't be countered and four cards that basically hose counterspells - Summoning Trap. This version of it has one Swamp in the deck, for no reason other than to enable Memoricides in the sideboard. Long story short, this deck is almost completely targeted Jace-hate; it doesn't run Autumn's Veil, but it might as well. (In fact, some versions of the deck do run it, like another one further down the ranking in that same tournament.) You know what's missing from that deck, though? Targeted and/or repeatable creature removal, like you'd expect if Squadron Hawk was the real problem. What, not even Hornet Sting, Leaf Arrow, Plummet, Wing Puncture or Mortarpod? They're on-color! They'd kill a Hawk before it can be equipped! The serious point is, none of them (except Mortarpod, of course) look like cards worth considering for Constructed to me, but neither does Autumn's Veil. The fact that a laughable-for-Constructed card that hoses Jace appears in Constructed but not laughable-for-Constructed cards that hose the Hawk should tell you which is the real threat. The only thing in that deck that's obviously aimed at the hawk is Wall of Tanglecord, and that's just stalling, not a definitive answer.

Well, that was long-winded, you get the point - the best-performing Jaceless deck looks a lot like targeted Jace hate. Going down the list from there, we have black-red Vampires. Vampire Hexmage is obviously anti-planeswalker, and vampires in Standard are very resistant to counterspells with Bloodghast and activated abilities like Kalastria Highborn as their win condition. Adding red, I'll concede, is probably intended to kill a Hawk with a Sword on it, but most black-red Vampire decks are far more black than red. Valakut relies on land for most of its damage, so it too is somewhat resistant to counterspells. Boros' strategy is to kill their opponent too quickly for Jace to have a chance to turn things around. As for Elves, see the parts about both mono-green Eldrazi and Boros - it has access to both ridiculous speed and hate aimed at blue.

So, we have the Hawk's impact on National Qualifiers: adding red to a black deck, adding a wall with reach to an otherwise aggressive deck, and giving a little card advantage to Boros. On the other hand, we have Jace's impact on the National Qualifiers: he's in half the top decks and the following quarter or so have to hose either Jace himself or blue in general. Am I the only person to whom the second impact looks bigger than the first?

I'm sorry. I don't play Standard much, certainly not at this level, and that's not because of Jace, it's just because it's been easy to play with friends around the table these days. I was glad to read Tom's article last Friday but it ultimately doesn't affect me much either way. I'm just a little annoyed by Jace's situation - but I'm greatly annoyed by the Mike's ridiculous "blame the bird!" mantra. It's insulting our intelligence.
You know, I noticed something else about the article worth criticizing.
Looking at these results, my opinion is that the conversation is a bit off-center. I don't really think it's a question about Jace, the Mind Sculptor so much as it should be a conversation about Caw-Blade.


He writes this paragraph right below a table that demonstrates the reverse. His own numbers make it clear that he's wrong.

Seriously, look at it. After Caw-Blade on the table of deck representation is RUG, a deck with no birds or blades, but Jace. After that is mono-green Eldrazi. One example of that deck took second place here. It has four cards (Ulamog) with "[when you cast this], destroy target permanent". You think the caster will choose to target a bird, or even a blade judging by the artifact destruction? It also has one card (Emrakul) that can't be countered and four cards that basically hose counterspells - Summoning Trap. This version of it has one Swamp in the deck, for no reason other than to enable Memoricides in the sideboard. Long story short, this deck is almost completely targeted Jace-hate; it doesn't run Autumn's Veil, but it might as well. (In fact, some versions of the deck do run it, like another one further down the ranking in that same tournament.) You know what's missing from that deck, though? Targeted and/or repeatable creature removal, like you'd expect if Squadron Hawk was the real problem. What, not even Hornet Sting, Leaf Arrow, Plummet, Wing Puncture or Mortarpod? They're on-color! They'd kill a Hawk before it can be equipped! The serious point is, none of them (except Mortarpod, of course) look like cards worth considering for Constructed to me, but neither does Autumn's Veil. The fact that a laughable-for-Constructed card that hoses Jace appears in Constructed but not laughable-for-Constructed cards that hose the Hawk should tell you which is the real threat. The only thing in that deck that's obviously aimed at the hawk is Wall of Tanglecord, and that's just stalling, not a definitive answer.


This is the most coherent and well-researched argument against Jace I think I've ever seen.
But really it is all a diversion from getting people to ask the question of why something so insane and powerful ended up at Mythic rare status as a required 4 of, in the 3rd set of a so-so block.

Actually, the 2nd set: Worldwake.

Yes, the article is trying to get people to focus on something else besides the negative of "I need this card to win, and it's too expensive!" - and I can't fault people employed by Wizards for trying to put the best face they can on a bad situation.

But if they print an insanely powerful card by mistake, it will become a required 4-of because its insanely powerful.

If they intend to print a pretty powerful card, of course it's going to be a Mythic; there are exceptions, but in general, power and rarity are closely aligned, and that's not improper.

They made one mistake - Jace 2.0 was more powerful than they expected. And the only way to never make that mistake would be to take no chances, and print bland sets no one wants to buy.

But while I don't buy the line that Wizards is EEEVIL, I do agree that there is something they should be doing better. Even a small set should have two or three good cards in it, not just one. That is, good enough to be "chase" cards - borderline, almost run-of-the-mill chase cards, perhaps, but in that territory. That would keep their prices reasonable, and yet the sets would still be exciting to purchase.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

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