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 Post subject: Newest Bans in Standard (effective Jan 20, 2017)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:26 am 
Battle Buddy
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:17 pm
Posts: 1106
First off, for those not familiar with the bans, here's the source: ... 2017-01-09

The Standard Bans are:

Emrakul, The Promised End
Smuggler's Copter
Reflector Mage

Now, there's already been lots of discussion about this banning done by professionals, but I think they are missing some points. Not to say that they aren't correct, because I think they are (they are, after all, the professionals and devote a lot more brain space to this than I do), but I do think that by being so deeply into it, they're not talking about some extremely important things that affect the average Joe Magic.

The professionals are mostly talking about consumer confidence in cards, and that a smattering ban of 3 cards, with an announcement that they will be having more frequent ban announcements, means that people who purchase cards will be less confident that their purchases will be rewarded. The reaction online has been "I'm not surprised that they banned Emrakul or Copter, but why ban Reflector Mage? UW Tempo isn't that strong.". What they're missing is that there's one deck that is conspicuously absent from being anywhere near the top decks... Red Aggro/Burn, or any "cheap" deck. Now, I have no numbers on what kinds of decks are being played at LGS's, but from what I see online it looks like there's almost no "cheap" decks in the format right now. To be in any way competitive, you needed to be dropping some serious cash.

And for professionals, that's fine! For people really invested in the game, these expenses are a-okay! However, it's not a good way to attract people into those games. You don't want there being too high of a Barrier to Entry, because then people won't enter into the game. I think this set's Limited environment has been phenomenal (one of the best in years actually), but while Limited is a great way to get people playing the set, it doesn't get them to really drop cash like Standard does. For that, you need players who are willing to get their toes wet in Standard to begin with. Once in Standard, then they'll be more willing to start dropping cash on the top stuff, but if the only way to play is to drop cash, well... they won't even get their toes wet.

In Starcraft there is a really low-tier strategy that is easily achieved by new players; the Zerg Rush. People remember it fondly because discovering it was the first step in realizing that things such as "build orders" exist, and that following that build order will result in some big gains if you catch an opponent off guard. The existence of that strategy made scouting for it early also very important, meaning that learning to scout in a competitive environment was also very important to achieving further success. However, neither of these things required a ton of skill, they're just the first stepping stones. Magic needs to have that "low skill stepping stone", and Red Aggro is that deck! It doesn't require a ton of thought to execute, and doesn't require a ton of cash. If there's one or two rares that help the deck become just a little bit more efficient, then players can have some success with a deck even without those cards, and will see how investing just a bit of cash into the game can really improve their performances. This hooks players on investing in their decks.

Somewhere along the way, the designers decided that Battlecruiser Magic was the way to go. Admittedly, it helps sell the game by making it appear more exciting. But if you can't even play the cheap decks, because every card your opponent plays is going to end the game for them in 2 turns if unanswered, then there's no way to play without playing Battlecruiser Magic.

So please, Wizards, less Haymakers. Less pushed cards. I know they help you craft the environment so you know what the top decks are going to be, but that really cuts out the chance for players, especially new ones, from exploring and discovering the path to the top.

 Post subject: Re: Newest Bans in Standard (effective Jan 20, 2017)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:19 pm 
Soldier of Fortune
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:59 am
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Location: Canada
A lot of good information and well-reasoned points in this post. Magic is growing fast, at a pace few can keep up with. The market volatility has become extreme, to the point where 'investing' in Magic cards so you can play a better game overall has become almost a gamble...and their approach to reprints now is completely absurd. What's safe anymore? Force of Will? Nope. Mana Drain? Nope (just a DCI judge reprint, but still!!! Mana Drain!!!). There's no safe place to park your money anymore.

And people playing the game regardless will get burned. I personally spent close to $30USD on a Stronghold copy of Burgeoning, just to see it reprinted twice in short order, and poof, all of a sudden I couldn't get more than $10 (Canadian) for on trade.

Getting back on point about your argument for less haymakers, I couldn't agree more. While they've been scaling back blue's ability to counter spells, there have been other cards printed that completely wreck the game and turn it upside on its head. (Eldrazi is the easy example to point out) They need to slow down the evolution of the game a bit, and this would also allow the public to get a bit more enjoyment out of each set. But in doing so, they'd be starving themselves of money; what would be the financial ramifications on WotC if for some reason a set would be delayed by a month? Two months?

They've basically made a formula to make money and keep the game going without breaking it (so far) and they're only going to continue to use it until there is a backlash among players that unite and stand together against the company...which is unlikely to happen.

It's the same reason why video game makers can get away with having people PREPAY for a video game (I can't believe people do this) before its release. Then, when the game is finally released on time, it's actually put together half-assed and there are tons of bugs/glitches and the game ends up becoming literally unplayable until a fix is applied afterwards. I can't say I've experienced this first hand but have read a few articles on the matter, and again the articles point to one solution only - mass player revolt and action against the company, in hopes that they will listen.

Sorry for the long post on top of an already long post, I just wanted to say: well said.

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