Home > podcast > Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 75 – Now Available!

Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 75 – Now Available!

Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 75 – See Also: Jund is now available!


Download it here or stream it below!
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Joey and Bigheadjoe discuss the results of US Nationals and the events of the GenCon weekend. Then they revisit the Standard bannings six weeks later. Were the bannings effective? Also: Looking ahead to Innistrad, and Joey’s Hall of Fame ballot!

US Nationals Coverage

Is the Banhammer Broken? – article by Harrison Greenberg questioning the bannings

Rumors and Spoilers:

Innistrad Compiled Info

Innistrad Partial Spoiler

New Garruk artwork

Tiago Chan’s Invitational Card

FTV: Legends

Featuring music by Tha Gatherin’
http://twitter.com/thagatherin

Contact us at yomtgtaps [at] gmail [dot] com

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@OMGWTFBHJFTW (Bigheadjoe)

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  1. Mike
    August 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

    I think elements of your CawBlade analysis and Jace/Stoneforge bannings are meaningfully off. An important objective point regards pervasiveness. Pre-bans, there weren’t roomfuls of people running it and not succeeding, as was the case in michaelj’s illustrative story about innovation in the context of Affinity and Jund metagames. There were relatively few pilots for CawBlade, who each rode astronomical win rates into top8 slots. Concentrations of CawBlade increased at every level from full field to top32, to top16, to top8, and wins.

    More subjectively, I think you pooh-pooh the oppressiveness of JtMS and Stoneforge Mystic a little too much. Jace… well, Jace. Vintage power level without being a weirdo niche card; enough has probably been said about him, but in this case it’s worth observing that among the laser eye beams he’s packing, he shuts off non-hasty creatures over 3 mana other than, conditionally, Primeval Titan. More than has been may still be said of Stoneforge Mystic, though. As a two mana permanent-based tutor leading to battlefield dominance, Stoneforge Mystic does a pretty amazing Oath of Druids impression. The Legacy-banned-for-power-level Oath of Druids is the one I mean. Did you ever get to Oath up Morphlings, Spike Weavers, Spirit of the Night? Any opponent who didn’t totally surrender the battlefield to you before Oath activated would lose the game when it did. Trying to fight it at any sort of mana parity (i.e. 1-2-3 mana dudes) was an exercise in futility. Stoneforge Mystic, though itself nominally more fragile than the enchantment I’m comparing him to, is in some ways even more powerful because it’s proactive, such that surrendering the battlefield isn’t good enough to beat it. If you don’t answer the Mystic, it goes ahead and wins without your being complicit. It also leaves behind the meat of the threat even if dealt with, and -oh by the way- that threat it usually tutors up? Sword of Feast and Famine? It’s a sicko. A card every turn it gets in, and provides a ton of extra mana? Jesus, Morphling was just a DUDE.

    Now, the current incarnation of CawBlade does still have its Bitterblossom in Squadron Hawk, but it’s otherwise just a u/w control deck. That style of play has been a fixture in every format larger than block constructed as long as competitive Magic has existed. It’s even an archetype in draft! That it’s been successful in Standard for the last couple weeks is not a negative health indicator for the format. Instead what it shows to me is the nothing-new observation that high level Americans tend to prefer playing control.

    [Aside for supporting data on continental predilections showing: Observe that the Japan Nationals top8 has just two control decks: a U/B spell-based one like America’s winner, and a Tezzeret. A quick skimming of China, Italy, France, Australia Nationals top8s reveals a grand total of three decks in the style of USA CawBlades. A looser grouping of u/w control embraces about double that number.]

    Gutting CawBlade of the high hurdle – low ceiling, Scylla-Charybdis deadly duo was very significant; it just didn’t change whether or not GerryT, E.Flores (and by extension, all SCG barns) or LSV (ChannelFireball~) want to be slinging Mana Leak and Preordain, and those guys “tend to win” :P. If Jon Becker or Mike Turian, or your fellow SCGLive host Adrian Sullivan, were still playing pro magic, they’d be making different choices. Patrick Chapin and Michael Jacob did make different choices, and just fell short on the Booster Draft side. But these are the pros America has, and they “just so happened” to do well. If the deck itself was a problem, the top of the standings would be a logjam of randoms who happened to pick it. Instead, the list of top Standard decks at Nationals (not overall Nats performance bolstered by hot limited play, just Standard Constructed), looks like this: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/usnat11/day2#16

    • Mike
      August 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

      sorry for the book…

      • August 12, 2011 at 3:09 am

        No problem 🙂 I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and you make some good points.

        More and more, I’m realizing I’m just an advocate for less bannings in general, across the board. If something is that much of a problem, I think Wizards should be printing answers rather than banning cards. I want to be the one to decide that a card is unplayable due to other cards in the format. I don’t like WotC taking away my options. 🙂

  2. elliott
    August 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

    But don’t you see? Bannings ADD options almost always. If a card is powerful enough to be banned, then there is almost no reason to run anything else. No matter what kind of deck you design, there is going to be a very high chance that whatever the “bannable” card is is just plain better. By banning that card, you are opening up the slots that EVERY DECK has to attribute to it for something else. If Wizards took your tactic and just printed answers for overly powerful cards, either the power creep would become astronomical, or the “answer” cards would be incredibly incredibly narrow, and printing super narrow cards is a bad thing for Magic as a whole.

    Also, I wonder how much of this would be a problem if SCG wasnt running a tournament every weekend. When a metagame can become “solved” so quickly games tend to stagnate, which is problematic. I am not sure that the current model of Magic (4 sets a year with 2+years of development time each) was designed to live in a world where the best decks got discovered within 2 weeks of a set release and then were broadcast to thousands of people every weekend over and over.

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