10/16/2012 SF: "Early Retirement"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I am confused. Ths article makes it look like the original Ravnica Signets never existed (e.g. Azorius Signet). Why would you ever play with the cameos in commander? Also Darksteel Ingot

Was there a format like Commander back during the Invasion days? If so, why does he use Kaervek the Merciless and Wrexial, the Risen as "earliest commander"-deck examples. Those came out way after Signets (and Darksteel Ingot) were printed.

I must be missing something here. But it really makes me want to stop reading because it gives me the impression that I can't get any valuable insight from his articles, when he seems not to be aware of a good chunk of cards in magics existance.
It does seem astonishing to see the Cameos coming out. I mean, those things are nine times obsoleted. Remember when the Shards of Alara Obelisks came out? Bant Obelisk and friends? Those things were awful even by standards of the time: they were inferior to printed cards such as Darksteel Ingot, Spectral Searchlight and Coalition Relic. Since then there's been Manalith and Chromatic Lantern to add to the number of cards strictly better than all five Obelisks. And yet, the Cameos are even worse than the Obelisks

Just... wow. Why would you ever have a Cameo in a modern deck? There's Selesnya Signet and Talisman of Unity, as well as Prismatic Lens (which is far better than Mana Prism) and so on. If you've still got Mana Prism sitting in a deck in 2012, I don't know what to say.

(Unless it's for a non-gameplay reason, of course. I'm completely fine with keeping Mana Prism around because you have a deck themed around prisms, or girls with blue hair, or a Margaret Organ-Kean theme deck. But there's really no gameplay-wise excuse to have Mana Prism unless you're already packing the full set of Darksteel Ingot, Spectral Searchlight, Manalith, Coalition Relic, Scuttlemutt, Alloy Myr, and still want more 3-drop mana rocks. And I think that's unlikely.)

I suppose it could have been worse: it could have been a Celestial Prism...
Good to know I'm not the only one confused by this. Though I have a feeling that the author actually knows all these cards we've mentioned, but felt like cameos were somehow the closest mechanically. Still, really weird choice of cards.
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