10 Awesome Magic Cards I'm Thankful Are Banned

10 Awesome Magic Cards I'm Thankful Are Banned

A few awesome Magic cards we can be thankful are banned.

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Just as a note, the thumbnail on the main page titled correctly, but shows the Intermission logo and presents from this week's column.

Reading these card descriptions makes me thankful as to how simple Hearthstone is.

Having not played the full game in years, my first encounter with the Eldrazi was one of the Magic DotP decks. When I found out about that 15/15 I'm not even going to attempt spelling, I think I choked.

Ancestral Recall is even worse when you consider the set it was a part of: Lightning Bolt, Healing Salve, Giant Growth, and Dark Ritual all gave you three of something within the theme of their colour (black is kind of weird, comparatively). So those four are all pretty neat, until you compare 'em to the fifth one. Though Lightning Bolt was pulled for a while, and I think Dark Ritual was, too. I started playing at the tail end of Unlimited, and hooooleeee crap were things unbalanced in general. I used to play against decks with the Moxes and Black Lotus (not to mention cards like Ancestral Recall), and they didn't guarantee a win but they did stack the deck.

Stoneforge is another one I've only seen in DotP, and I can only imagine how freaking broken it is now.

Out of those 9 cards I've got 6 of them. Some may be later incarnations or different but similar cards.
I stopped playing years ago, so my latest cards are one or two sets after invasion.

I never played in specific formats so when we played we used a mix of all the cards we had.

MTG is still going strong after all these years, heh.

Huh. I actually had Umezawa's Jitte for a time when I first started playing. Didn't think much about it until now. Wish I didn't get rid of that card.

captcha: Join the millions, NEVER!

Wait...if you stacked your deck with 4 Shahrazads, could you end up playing it within the subgame of magic, creating a sub-sub-game? How deep does that card go?

The first deck I ever played with used Stoneforge mystic to great effect, but that was commander, so it wasn't so overpowered.

I'm actually glad Skullclamp was banned in most formats.

In the right kind of aggro deck it was damn near an Ancestral Recall. And not even just a proactive one. You could slap it on your best critter and you left your opponent with the awkward choice of "leave the beasty in play or give it's controller a two card advantage".

I love the hell out of the card, but damn was it a balance tipper.

Furbyz:
Wait...if you stacked your deck with 4 Shahrazads, could you end up playing it within the subgame of magic, creating a sub-sub-game? How deep does that card go?

Yep. You could have several sub-games going. A Magic-ception, if you will.

And worse still, you could do it for more than four instances at a time. If you used Burning Wish you could tutor up another Shahrazad from your collection or even from one of the other "upper-level" games that preceded the current sub-game.

Hypothetically, you could whittle the decks down through sub-games until each player's hand and library had too few cards to count as a playable state.

Vigormortis:
I'm actually glad Skullclamp was banned in most formats.

In the right kind of aggro deck it was damn near an Ancestral Recall. And not even just a proactive one. You could slap it on your best critter and you left your opponent with the awkward choice of "leave the beasty in play or give it's controller a two card advantage".

I love the hell out of the card, but damn was it a balance tipper.

Furbyz:
Wait...if you stacked your deck with 4 Shahrazads, could you end up playing it within the subgame of magic, creating a sub-sub-game? How deep does that card go?

Yep. You could have several sub-games going. A Magic-ception, if you will.

And worse still, you could do it for more than four instances at a time. If you used Burning Wish you could tutor up another Shahrazad from your collection or even from one of the other "upper-level" games that preceded the current sub-game.

Hypothetically, you could whittle the decks down through sub-games until each player's hand and library had too few cards to count as a playable state.

That sounds completely terrible. I mean, I'll happily play 3-4 games of magic at a time, but 3-4 just to finish one actual game? No thank you.

Furbyz:

That sounds completely terrible. I mean, I'll happily play 3-4 games of magic at a time, but 3-4 just to finish one actual game? No thank you.

Oh, it is. It is horrible.

I knew someone who brought a deck built around Shahrazad and Wishes to a friendly, FFA multi-player game.

Nobody wanted to play with him by the end of the night.

I literally used to have a Memory Jar card, my friends let me play it in casual but no tourney's obviously.

But man I wish I had a Tinker for my old school Phyrexian Deck (before the Phyrexian expansion came out and made Phyrexian decks easier)

They sort of remade Tinker in the form of a legendary. Muzzio is just greatness with the right cards.

I stopped playing Magic around 15 years ago, and this article reminded me why.

Some cool history behind Memory jar and Tinker:

The reason the card was emergency banned was because of previous mechanics and cards that could generate a lot of mana, having a draw 7 and a search tool to get it meant it was statistically unlikely that you could NOT win the game by turn 2. Magic had a lot of interactivity problems in its early days.

Torque2100:
I stopped playing Magic around 15 years ago, and this article reminded me why.

Yeah, wallet always beat skill. It doesn't matter how many cards they ban, others just become the winning cards. The worst part is that top level play doesn't even seem very fun, a single overpowered card can win the game, the game is pretty much reduced to playing overpowered cards until you hit one your opponent can't counter or destroy.

One of the things that endlessly amuses me about Android Netrunner is that Diesel is a common card in the basic set that does the same thing as Ancestral Recall except for 0 cost and yet it's perfectly balanced.

From what I got about the rules you can't use stuff like Oblivion Ring and Venser, Shaper Savant against Emrakul because they're all coloured spells who target. From what I got during play, "protection from coloured spells" means you simply can't touch the damn thing with any coloured spell that targets something. And that means you can only get rid of the bloody thing by doing something that doesn't target, like a Mutilate or some other kind of WoG. And that just makes me even more glad Emrakul is banned.

eBusiness:

Torque2100:
I stopped playing Magic around 15 years ago, and this article reminded me why.

Yeah, wallet always beat skill. It doesn't matter how many cards they ban, others just become the winning cards. The worst part is that top level play doesn't even seem very fun, a single overpowered card can win the game, the game is pretty much reduced to playing overpowered cards until you hit one your opponent can't counter or destroy.

Not actually true in the slightest. You have pros with win rates approaching 80% in premier tournaments where 90%+ of the contestants have all the cards they could want for their deck.

Cowabungaa:
From what I got about the rules you can't use stuff like Oblivion Ring and Venser, Shaper Savant against Emrakul because they're all coloured spells who target. From what I got during play, "protection from coloured spells" means you simply can't touch the damn thing with any coloured spell that targets something. And that means you can only get rid of the bloody thing by doing something that doesn't target, like a Mutilate or some other kind of WoG. And that just makes me even more glad Emrakul is banned.

They are only "spells" when they are on the stack, in play the are permanents which does allow them to target Emrakul.

zerragonoss:
They are only "spells" when they are on the stack, in play the are permanents which does allow them to target Emrakul.

That makes the fucker at least a little less scary, as I usually have enough exile nonsense available, or at least destruction stuff. Though I bet that any deck that would run that bozo (friend of mine just ignores the ban for instance, never played against her though) would just tutor him out of their deck and go hogwild again.

Not actually true in the slightest. You have pros with win rates approaching 80% in premier tournaments where 90%+ of the contestants have all the cards they could want for their deck.

Can't deny the game being at least in part being pay-to-win though. Sure, there's still a ton of luck and all that involved, but when I go against, say, a Bant or Trostani Commander deck that runs stuff like Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Elesh Norn and Craterhoof Behemoth I just know shit is going to get down.

Cowabungaa:
From what I got about the rules you can't use stuff like Oblivion Ring and Venser, Shaper Savant against Emrakul because they're all coloured spells who target. From what I got during play, "protection from coloured spells" means you simply can't touch the damn thing with any coloured spell that targets something. And that means you can only get rid of the bloody thing by doing something that doesn't target, like a Mutilate or some other kind of WoG. And that just makes me even more glad Emrakul is banned.

Oblivion Ring works because because it gets around the protection from colored spells. While it's easy to think that it's the Oblivion Ring that's getting rid of their card as it enters play it's actually an ability that triggers when it enters the battlefield. Because it's an ability not a spell it can legally choose Emrakul as a target.

As for Venser, Emrakul doesn't have it's protection from colored spell on the stack and it only can't be countered. So you could force it back to hand, granted they still get to have the extra turn for casting it.

eBusiness:

Torque2100:
I stopped playing Magic around 15 years ago, and this article reminded me why.

Yeah, wallet always beat skill. It doesn't matter how many cards they ban, others just become the winning cards. The worst part is that top level play doesn't even seem very fun, a single overpowered card can win the game, the game is pretty much reduced to playing overpowered cards until you hit one your opponent can't counter or destroy.

I would respectfully disagree. Playing the best deck is important for competitive play, but it're more about giving yourself the best tools and chances to win.

zerragonoss:

eBusiness:

Torque2100:
I stopped playing Magic around 15 years ago, and this article reminded me why.

Yeah, wallet always beat skill. It doesn't matter how many cards they ban, others just become the winning cards. The worst part is that top level play doesn't even seem very fun, a single overpowered card can win the game, the game is pretty much reduced to playing overpowered cards until you hit one your opponent can't counter or destroy.

Not actually true in the slightest. You have pros with win rates approaching 80% in premier tournaments where 90%+ of the contestants have all the cards they could want for their deck.

Of course there is skill in the game, but if you compare it to most other games, 80% is actually quite a low number for pros playing against a scrambled collection of mostly mid to high end hobbyists.

The average high level game is simply too short for skill to matter more than it does, in large part because the cards are so powerful.

eBusiness:

zerragonoss:

eBusiness:
Yeah, wallet always beat skill. It doesn't matter how many cards they ban, others just become the winning cards. The worst part is that top level play doesn't even seem very fun, a single overpowered card can win the game, the game is pretty much reduced to playing overpowered cards until you hit one your opponent can't counter or destroy.

Not actually true in the slightest. You have pros with win rates approaching 80% in premier tournaments where 90%+ of the contestants have all the cards they could want for their deck.

Of course there is skill in the game, but if you compare it to most other games, 80% is actually quite a low number for pros playing against a scrambled collection of mostly mid to high end hobbyists.

The average high level game is simply too short for skill to matter more than it does, in large part because the cards are so powerful.

The 'skill' comes into recognizing the power of the cards, and in building your deck to ensure you can get them out. The game begins with building the deck, not with sitting down against the opponent.

eBusiness:
Yeah, wallet always beat skill.

Scow2:
The 'skill' comes into recognizing the power of the cards, and in building your deck to ensure you can get them out. The game begins with building the deck, not with sitting down against the opponent.

Agreed. And to give a recent example, one of the decks doing well in Standard right now is UW Heroic. This isn't some flash in the pan list either or a streak of luck, it's routinely Top 8-ing large events, including a GP over the weekend. The deck does well because it's designed to prey on the slow green decks and expensive, but powerful, removal that's popular.

Except for the lands, the most expensive cards in the deck are the $2-3 Hero of Iroas. You can easily build the whole deck for less than $80-90. That's several times less than some of the other popular decks like Abzan Midrange, the recent Pro Tour winning deck.

Going to have to disagree with this list by a lot:

Ancestral Recall is super effecient and expensive(Dollar Wise), but in itself doesnt lead to any degeneracy , to use ancedotal evidence as an example in the MTGO Vintage League and LSV was playing a U/R delver deck, the delver player resolved a Recall and Misdirected LSV's recall and LSV still won off of Yawgmoths Will. Id lump Recall and Black Lotus as both very powerful but what makes them broken is other "degenerate" cards.

Id put Yawgmoths Will and Oath of Druids above them in unhealthy for the format cards since both of those cards even as singletons make fair decks unplayable.

Emrakul being banned in Commander highlights how confused the format is, is it a casual format? Then why have a banned list? If its worried about tournament play then its not a "casual format" and Emrakul wasnt one of the dominating commanders.

Jace and Stoneforge were both legal in standard for a full cycle before they became an issue, BBE kept them in check. They had to be banned because standard has become less stable since the FFL was created, and the format was underpowered in comparison to Caw-Blade.

I dont know how you can say Memory Jar because it never got to see the light of day, how about necropotence which led to the infamous Black Summer and was reprinted in a core set even after it proved to be degenerate.

Shazarad, I mean how often was this card ever used, yet Sensei's Diving Top/Counterbalance are legal.

I do agree with Tinker though.

Joseph Hutzulak:
snip

Keep in mind this list isn't about ranking the objectively most powerful cards. It's just a few cards that I thought were interesting to highlight for various reasons.

Ancestral Recall is super effecient and expensive(Dollar Wise), but in itself doesnt lead to any degeneracy , to use ancedotal evidence as an example in the MTGO Vintage League and LSV was playing a U/R delver deck, the delver player resolved a Recall and Misdirected LSV's recall and LSV still won off of Yawgmoths Will. Id lump Recall and Black Lotus as both very powerful but what makes them broken is other "degenerate" cards.

Agreed, I even said as much when talking about some of them. Many of the banned cards are banned because of their ability to generate fast mana, tutor, and/or cheat other powerful cards into play.

Emrakul being banned in Commander highlights how confused the format is, is it a casual format? Then why have a banned list? If its worried about tournament play then its not a "casual format" and Emrakul wasnt one of the dominating commanders.

Heh, the duplicity of the Commander format is an article all by itself - in some ways it's the formats greatest strength and weakness. Short answer, I view the Commander banned list as a helpful suggestion from the group that maintains it in an effort to reach a common ground environment where a diverse number of players can have enjoyable games.

I dont know how you can say Memory Jar because it never got to see the light of day, how about necropotence which led to the infamous Black Summer and was reprinted in a core set even after it proved to be degenerate.

As mentioned, I brought up Memory Jar because it was banned before seeing the light of day.

Shazarad, I mean how often was this card ever used, yet Sensei's Diving Top/Counterbalance are legal.

Not a ton of complaints there, at least with Shazarad you can simply concede out of the secondary game and just take the life loss.

Slycne:
As mentioned, I brought up Memory Jar because it was banned before seeing the light of day.

I think you should make that a little clearer in the article itself, because absent that qualifying statement, it's not the only card that's received an emergency ban:

916.10 - Some cards are 'banned' (see Rule 910.4) for the Mirrodin/Darksteel/Fifth Dawn format. These cards are: [Update 2006/03/01]
AEther Vial, Disciple of the Vault, Skullclamp, Ancient Den, Great Furnace, Tree of Tales, Arcbound Ravager, Seat of the Synod, Vault of Whispers, Darksteel Citadel.

Those nine (Skullclamp in particular) were emergency banned shortly after Mirrodin rotated into Standard because they were what made Ravager into the "use-it-or-get-stomped" deck that it was.

Otherwise, solid article!

Furbyz:
Wait...if you stacked your deck with 4 Shahrazads, could you end up playing it within the subgame of magic, creating a sub-sub-game? How deep does that card go?

The first deck I ever played with used Stoneforge mystic to great effect, but that was commander, so it wasn't so overpowered.

Throw in enter the dungeon and shove them on isocron scepters/panopitic mirrors.
Duplicate them, copy them and watch has your opponent surrenders in annoyance

You can't put Shahrazad on an Isochron Scepter. It's a Sorcery.

 

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