[ISSUE] An alternative to Banning, increase minimum deck size

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Steven Merritt

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Jul 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/18/99
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This idea just came to me, I haven't really thought it through and I
don't usually build "supercombo" decks anyway so I'm not sure if they
could easily overcome this or not. Obviously they would have to include
more "protection" and "search" cards. But it would effectively slow the
enviroment if we went from the sacred "sixty" card minimum to about a
hundred card minimum for constructed play. Combo decks would have to
spend more time "finding" their combo elements and beatdown wouldn't get
those first turn Jackal Pups so often. Make a Rancor about 40%(I'm
making this number up) more unlikely to show up in your opening hand and
you'll slow this MSG nonsense. The more I think about this idea the
more I like it, but I don't think it'll happen. Wizards hasn't upped the
minimum deck size since the very beginnings of organized Magic, but it's
been so ingrained in players and the market expects it. Starters are
sold as 75 cards now to support a 60 card architecture. Master
Deckbuilders would have to completely re-learn how to build decks. And
of course, some scrub who plays casually with a 100 card deck that he's
been tweaking for about two years will win the next major tournament
while all the "pros" are flopping around in confusion, but it'll be good
for a laugh and it might actually be FUN.
What don't I like about this idea? It increases the amount of
randomness, thereby increasing the luck factor. We've been moving more
towards skill, but the combo nonsense has really set that back. So,
allow the broken combo elements, but make them work for them, make a
combo risky, that's what combo players should expect right? I run this
combo because IF I get it working it creates an autowin, but that's a
big IF. Recently the if has been all to small, it needs to be balanced,
combo decks should be viable, just not so dominant. I think the
increased presence of lady luck might just help this. It has before,
Magic did it years ago, L5R has done it too, it slowed the environment
and made the games more fun and more interesting.
Steven

Christopher Wiegert

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Jul 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/18/99
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It's an interesting idea... a local card shop recently ran a
"Big Brain" tournament (120 card Type 1) and it was pretty fun. I'm the
scrubliest of all players, but I still managed to go 2-3 and I only had
a few of the restricted cards in my deck (Regrowth, Strip Mine).
I was using a not-very-well-tuned red/green artifact smashing, enchantment
destroying, Kird Ape/Orcish Lumberjack type thingy. If even *I* can win some
Type 1 matches like that, I think it's worth a shot. I also discovered that
Price of Progress is "some good" in Type 1. ("Library of Alexandria, huh?
Diamond Valley, eh? You paid how much for those? OK, I'll kill you with them
thanks to a $0.75 uncommon.") Can't beat 16 damage for 2 mana. But I think
a similar idea to "120 cards, 4 of each" would be "60 cards, 2 of each type"
so maybe rather than a bigger deck, you'd just need to limit the number of
each card you can use, like Highlander.

David Chapman

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Jul 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/18/99
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Steven Merritt <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote in message
news:3791FD...@startrekmail.com...

> This idea just came to me, I haven't really thought it through

<snip treatise on the increase to 100-card minimum>

Not kidding, are you?

I think the
> increased presence of lady luck might just help this. It has before,
> Magic did it years ago, L5R has done it too, it slowed the environment
> and made the games more fun and more interesting.

If I wanted to play a game of chance, Steven, I would. Magic isn't meant to
be a game of chance; it is meant to be a game of skill, and part of that
skill is the ability to find great combos. Typically, if you do you tend to
win tournaments alomst continuously for a month or so. This can give a
ratings boost of 50-150 in the format, depending on how many tournaments you
play. Hence, good play is rewarded.

L5R - *bad* example. I've played L5R, and can tell you this; if one player
gets an opening hand more than slightly better than his opponent, he will
win every time. L5R is *wrecked* as a strategic game due to the total
inability to come back from early setbacks. The Magic equivalent would be
to have a rule that said that you couldn't mulligan, and if you had less
than three land in your opening hand you miss your first two draw steps.

I like Magic just the way it is, thank you very much - a game of *skill*.

--
So how would you like to be a *nice*
big round glowing white strange thing...
AND P--S OFF!

Andrew Levine

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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I had a similar idea a few weeks ago. My idea (although this would work best
as a separate sanctioned format, maybe using Type 1.5-legal cards) was to
increase minimum deck size to 75 cards and reduce the maximum amount of cards
other than basic lands to 3 of any card in a deck. Sideboards would be exactly
20 cards. With these rules, lots of deck types are viable; from totally random
creature beatings to Bargain combo (and the larger deck size makes it harder
for a combo deck to consistently get good sraws; do the math).

However, I think that the one best solution to stopping combo decks once and
for all would be to put a new rule in the rulebook:

"No player may play more than seven cards in one turn."

This would end T1 Academy, High Tide, Moma/Stroke, Dream Halls, Bargain, Jar,
Bloom, Fruity Pebbles, infinite Palinchron, Turbo-land,
Ritual/Ritual/Duress/Will/Ritual/Ritual/Duress-three more spells out of
graveyard madness, etc, while leaving a few disruptable combos like
Crab/Earthcraft/Fertile Ground. Can you think of any situations where you can
be playing more than seven cards in one turn and *not* be doing something
degenerate? To be in danger of exceeding the limit you'd have to be drawing
lots of extra cards or bouncing stuff between zones over and over, and those
both usually indicate a combo deck. Any thoughts?

combo decks should be viable, just not so dominant. I think the


increased presence of lady luck might just help this. It has before,
Magic did it years ago, L5R has done it too, it slowed the environment
and made the games more fun and more interesting.<<

Andrew Levine
Atheist #1510
While Lisa philosophizes, and Bart strategizes, and Marge rationalizes, Homer
just is.


Son Goku

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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Steven Merritt <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote:

> Steven

I was had a sorta similar idea for a tournamnet (not an official rule change
though). The tournament would be type 1.5 or Extended, 100 card minimum,
Highlander construction (can only use 1 of any non-basic land card if you
didn't know). None of the local shops were interested in trying this though
since they were testing for PTQs at the time (I think it was during the
Extended season).


-SSJ Goku

"Excuse me, has anyone seen my arm? You can't miss it, its green" -Raditz

theDevil

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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How about this:

Each potential tournament participant pays their entrance fee and
registers their deck in secrecy. If more than 80% of the cards in your
deck match with 80% of the cards in another deck - you are both not
allowed to play in the tournament, and I keep your damn money.

There, steal that tech motherbitch.

theDevil.

______________
Planting the seeds of regret.


Lewis B. Himelhoch

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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Steven Merritt wrote:

> This idea just came to me, I haven't really thought it through and I
> don't usually build "supercombo" decks anyway so I'm not sure if they
> could easily overcome this or not.

Perhaps, instead of increasing deck size, maybe require a certain amount of
creatures in
a deck. This would reduce the number of search cards and mana generators a
combo
deck would be able to include.

L. Himelhoch


ka...@ecn.ab.ca

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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Lewis B. Himelhoch (lhime...@juno.com) wrote:
: Steven Merritt wrote:

Yech.
If I wanted to play *strictly* creature battles, I'd go play Pokemon or
something.

--
Glenn.
------
My illusions are shattered,
That I might build a new one from their pieces.
In chaos, all is possible.

Walker

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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> Yech.
> If I wanted to play *strictly* creature battles, I'd go play Pokemon or
> something.

> Glenn.

I'll agree to that. While creatures are less abusive in their nature,
reducing Magic to all creature-based decks takes away a lot of the
strategy, too.

Since I'm in this thread now, I might as well voice my opinion. The
idea that spawned this thread was on the right course, but didn't quite
hit the nail on the head. The way to stop combo decks is to change the
chance of drawing combo cards, in effect changing the ratio of Combo
Cards to Total Cards. While increasing the deck size accomplishes this,
it also increases the luck factor of Magic.

This is, of course, arguably a good thing. A deck should never have a
bad card, right? You shouldn't be cursing yourself on 'luck', because
in your 120 card deck you drew card YXA instead of card AXY - a good
deck should be designed to be able to use any card at the moment in
order to survive. This once again makes deck-building a rather
difficult thing to do, since you need to use twice as many cards as
before while still keeping the synergy of the cards. Actually, IMHO,
this is better in most ways than what I was originally going to suggest.

However, another way to handle it is (As someone suggested), to reduce
the maximum number of cards in a deck. Certain cards (Perhaps by
rarity... Perhaps by individual judgement). A Highlander approach, or
a semi-Highlander approach (2 max. of every card but basic lands) would
probably be simplest, while a rarity scale would also work (Rares are
restricted, Uncommons are Semi-restricted at 2/deck, and Commons are
unrestricted at 4/deck). They could also choose just to re-instate a
restricted list, and restrict things on a card to card basis... the
only draw-back being that it is now more complicated to make a tourney
legal deck, as you need to read over and memorize (Or have close at
hand) the most recent restricted list as well as the banning list.

But, of course, that's just my opinion. I'll shut up now =)
-Walker

David R. Henry

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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David Chapman writes:

>L5R - *bad* example. I've played L5R, and can tell you this; if one player
>gets an opening hand more than slightly better than his opponent, he will
>win every time. L5R is *wrecked* as a strategic game due to the total
>inability to come back from early setbacks.

Then you haven't played L5R much, obviously. Anyone who can't come back
from an early setback in L5R doesn't know how to balance out their deck.

--
dhe...@plains.nodak.edu * Lion Clan Nezumi * Rogue Fan Club * Fallen Writer
*** Now in scientifically perfected, eye-resting, full sepia Monocolor! ***
What was the question? --Kate Bush /// All you of Earth are IDIOTS! --P9fOS

Steven Merritt

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Jul 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/20/99
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Steven Merritt <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote in message
news:3791FD...@startrekmail.com...
> This idea just came to me, I haven't really thought it through

<snip treatise on the increase to 100-card minimum>

Not kidding, are you?

While it hurts to be on the receiving end of a Chapman zinger, it's
still a thing of beauty.

I think the
> increased presence of lady luck might just help this. It has before,
> Magic did it years ago, L5R has done it too, it slowed the environment
> and made the games more fun and more interesting.

If I wanted to play a game of chance, Steven, I would. Magic isn't meant to


be a game of chance; it is meant to be a game of skill, and part of that
skill is the ability to find great combos. Typically, if you do you tend to
win tournaments alomst continuously for a month or so. This can give a
ratings boost of 50-150 in the format, depending on how many tournaments you
play. Hence, good play is rewarded.

Is it? Is that why Finkel got absolutely smashed at PT Rome? Is that
why the top decks at PTNJ were all combo decks? Magic is a game of chance,
there is no disputing that. Have an arguement with that? Read section
1.3.16 of the Standard Floor rules. Magic, right now, is about who get's
lucky and draws their combo elements/search cards/disruption first and can
"go off" first. While this may be optimized and you get the highest
"chance" of getting this result with good decision making(should I use the
Glaciers to thin a land or should I keep the mana to Whisper with?) or solid
deckbuilding, it still happens, if you don't get the cards before your
opponent does, you just lose. Wonder how many games Flores won with his
Hatred? Wonder how many of those he would have lost if he hadn't drawn it?
I do. Finkel is a good player right? Good play should be rewarded, right?
Personally I'd like to see an environment where all the major
archetypes, control, beatdown, and combo are viable. Magic's minimum deck
size was increased from 40 to 60 and the "4 card limit" imposed because of
the nastiness of a 40 card SRB deck with eighteen lightning bolts, ten
timetwisters and 12 Lotuses. Now we have 60 card supercombo decks with as
ridiculous a win percentage as the old 40 card SRB decks. We could take
either of the precedented steps again, lower the number of repeats, or raise
the minimum number of cards. Or we could go into uncharted territory and do
something like put a boundary on the number of spells one can cast per turn.
I'd rather not see the latter, I don't want combo decks unviable, just
beatable, and not necessarially easily beatable. If you have a non-bannings
based way of achieving this, I'd like to know.
Of course you may be of the opinion that combo decks and the combo
winter aren't a bad thing and therefore don't need fixing. You're welcome
to that opinion and I'll still respect that, just disagree with it. I'll
try to influence Magic to be more like my ideal game and you can influence
it to be more like your ideal game and whoever has the opinion which is
shared by the majority of players/most vocal group of players, can be
satisfied and the other disappointed.


L5R - *bad* example. I've played L5R, and can tell you this; if one player
gets an opening hand more than slightly better than his opponent, he will
win every time. L5R is *wrecked* as a strategic game due to the total

inability to come back from early setbacks. The Magic equivalent would be
to have a rule that said that you couldn't mulligan, and if you had less
than three land in your opening hand you miss your first two draw steps.

Uh oh. Disagreement time. I PLAY L5R and can tell you this. Hogwash.
I've lost provinces for the first three turns and still come back with a
crap opening hand. L5R is intrinsically balanced with it's system of
starting resources, turn structure and built in limitations on number of
copies of powerful cards you can play and the universality of the cards,
Crane can use Charge, Lion can use To Do What We Must. They can all use
Focus, Avoid Fate, and Inheritance. This keeps any one clan from having
dominance like Blue seems to have in Magic right now because of Blue's
versatility. Some strategies work well with others, some have foils, just
like magic, but NO strategy creates an AUTOWIN like some combos do. There
is a much higher degree of player interaction in any L5R game than there is
in combo Magic. Since they did away with the 30-30 standard and neutered
LSD I can't think of a single game I've seen or played in where one player
couldn't recover from an early setback, I've seen some where they _didn't_
but it was possible.
Oh, and your "Magic equivalent" is only a problem for an immature L5R
player who absolutely can't stand to flush their clan champion who turns up
in the provinces first turn and would effectively make that province useless
as far as getting new resources goes for about seven turns or so. Once you
play the game and mature as a L5R strategist and learn that it's not the
same as Magic, you learn to deal with these minor setbacks/dissapointments.

I like Magic just the way it is, thank you very much - a game of *skill*.


On the part of the person who just got comboed? Or the part of the
player who just Hatreded you out on turn two? Or that poor guy who's 1-4
playing the most brilliant control deck ever dreamed of with the current
card pool but has never lived long enough to pay echo on his Ring of Gix?


--
So how would you like to be a *nice*
big round glowing white strange thing...
AND P--S OFF!

Now this I simply won't stand for. You've never even seen me with my
shirt off!

:)
Steven


GottWeiB

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Jul 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/20/99
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>
>: Perhaps, instead of increasing deck size, maybe require a certain amount of
>: creatures in
>: a deck. This would reduce the number of search cards and mana generators a
>: combo
>: deck would be able to include.

oh no.. this is too far I call it faschism
hmm.. that does not look like a right spelling.

Michael Bess

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Jul 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/20/99
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Ooh great, make this game cost more!

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from MAGIC."
A.C. Clarke

iseman

Steven Merritt wrote in message <3791FD...@startrekmail.com>...


>This idea just came to me, I haven't really thought it through and I
>don't usually build "supercombo" decks anyway so I'm not sure if they

>could easily overcome this or not. Obviously they would have to include
>more "protection" and "search" cards. But it would effectively slow the
>enviroment if we went from the sacred "sixty" card minimum to about a
>hundred card minimum for constructed play. Combo decks would have to
>spend more time "finding" their combo elements and beatdown wouldn't get
>those first turn Jackal Pups so often. Make a Rancor about 40%(I'm
>making this number up) more unlikely to show up in your opening hand and
>you'll slow this MSG nonsense. The more I think about this idea the
>more I like it, but I don't think it'll happen. Wizards hasn't upped the
>minimum deck size since the very beginnings of organized Magic, but it's
>been so ingrained in players and the market expects it. Starters are
>sold as 75 cards now to support a 60 card architecture. Master
>Deckbuilders would have to completely re-learn how to build decks. And
>of course, some scrub who plays casually with a 100 card deck that he's
>been tweaking for about two years will win the next major tournament
>while all the "pros" are flopping around in confusion, but it'll be good
>for a laugh and it might actually be FUN.
> What don't I like about this idea? It increases the amount of
>randomness, thereby increasing the luck factor. We've been moving more
>towards skill, but the combo nonsense has really set that back. So,
>allow the broken combo elements, but make them work for them, make a
>combo risky, that's what combo players should expect right? I run this
>combo because IF I get it working it creates an autowin, but that's a
>big IF. Recently the if has been all to small, it needs to be balanced,

>combo decks should be viable, just not so dominant. I think the


>increased presence of lady luck might just help this. It has before,
>Magic did it years ago, L5R has done it too, it slowed the environment
>and made the games more fun and more interesting.

> Steven

Brian K. Miller

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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After having read through this thread, I think the ideas generated are
so-so. If the ultimate goals are:

1> eliminate the excessive power of combo decks
2> make the game more enjoyable
3> make winning viable for all players

Then the Highlander camp probably have the best suggestions. However,
why not take it one step further. If we really want to maximize
creativity and limit the overwhelming power of any one deck, why not
either keep the sixty card minimum (or reduce it back to forty even)
and require decks to contain no more than one copy of any card except
basic lands.

Radical? Yes. Especially if you are in the habit of spending 300-500
dollars a month on cards to insure that you have the four copies you
need of each rare card in a killer combo. I gaurantee you the DCI and
their WOC overseers will never approve this idea because if they did,
singles sales would vanish and everyone except collectors would stop
buying mulitple boxes of cards at one time.

Besides, there is now a large variety of cards with different names
that perform almost identically, so if they really wanted to a player
could still have multiple cards organized around a single strategy
without using four copies of the same card. For example, if you
wanted access to your graveyard you could use:

Unearth
Exhume
Diabolic Servitude
Ill-gotten Gains
No Rest for the Wicked
Victimize

So forth and so on. Decks would become slower, killer combos still
possible but much less likely (and almost never on turn two!), and
variety would become the standard feature of every deck in the
environment. Before turn two Fireballs (?) became a threat to
"viability", this is how magic was played anyway.

Another extreme would be to eliminate constructed tournaments entirely
and just feature sealed deck and booster drafts. You can't get a more
level playing field than that!

Brian
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The pure products of America
go crazy -- William Carlos Williams


Frederick Scott

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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"Brian K. Miller" <NoTh...@DoNotReply.com> writes:

>After having read through this thread, I think the ideas generated are
>so-so. If the ultimate goals are:
>
>1> eliminate the excessive power of combo decks
>2> make the game more enjoyable
>3> make winning viable for all players
>
>Then the Highlander camp probably have the best suggestions.

I think the basic problem with the Highlander idea is that Highlander
just ain't that much fun. Maybe it has a few affectionados but had it
been that good of an idea, Highlander tournaments would be far more
popular than they are.

And there other ways to accomplish the above goals that are better.
Something like increasing deck size or decreasing the maximum number
of card types allowed in a deck is the bludgeon of anti-combo deck
tools. Eridicate (well, greatly reduce, anyway) the synergy between
any and all pairs of cards that work well together because a few such
pairs turned out to be overpowered? Inane.

The real problem is simply that the power of a few card combinations
just got away from the design team. So sue 'em. The game had existed
for several years and the over the course of time, the use of card
combinations has actually been far *underpowered* - NOT overpowered -
for almost that whole time. Generally, with the predominance of
countermagic and the ease of use of cheap control/remomal cards (e.g.
Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolts, Disenchant, etc.), how do you
ever get and keep a combination on the board if it involves a permanent...
let alone *two* permanents.

Frankly, I think the designers got so tired of the impotence of card
combinations in this game, that they finally started creating combos
that win in the only way card combinations can ever reliably be
depended upon: by winning so fast, opponents don't have time to react
and remove the danger (unless the countermagic is in hand and the
mana for it is ready, which is unlikely near the start of a game).
Of course, no one really *likes* games that last 2-4 turns so now
everyone's up in arms about this issue.

Relax. It's not that important. I think the designers will have
realized their errors and hopefully be a lot more suspicious of
potentially superfast combo-win cards in the future. Other types
of combos which are effective have their natural predators, particularly
countermagic.

Fred

aten

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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Steven Merritt wrote:

> Is it? Is that why Finkel got absolutely smashed at PT Rome?

That is precisely why Finkel got smashed at Rome. He was either too lazy or too
busy to do sufficient testing to realise that his Recur deck was absolutely
horrible against The Academy and High Tide (while the latter can be excused
because it was not widely known prior to Rome, it would be absurd to argue that
it would have been reasonable to expect not to face any of the former), and
without Vampiric Tutors, it wasn't even good against Necrodecks. Tossing
Krovikan Horror tricks and the Great Whale infinite combo into a Rath Cycle
Recur deck does not an Extended powerhouse make.

Michael Aten


aten

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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Son Goku wrote:


> I was had a sorta similar idea for a tournamnet (not an official rule change
> though). The tournament would be type 1.5 or Extended, 100 card minimum,
> Highlander construction (can only use 1 of any non-basic land card if you
> didn't know). None of the local shops were interested in trying this though
> since they were testing for PTQs at the time (I think it was during the
> Extended season).

No, none of the local shops were interested in trying it because it was a
ridiculous idea.

See, what you guys are failing to realise is that a constrictive approach to
deckbuilding constraints is as infinitely regressive as an overly libertarian
one. Highlander rules and astronomical deck size requirements lead to as much
luck and randomness as was exhibited during Combo Winter, or whatever it was
called. It's like those six guys out there who staunchly oppose all bannings
always say, eventually, everyone's going to be playing with Mountains and Grey
Ogres. Changing the rules such that the strength of the average deck is
drastically weakened cannot be taken on face as a necessarily good thing,
especially because it tends to lead to a situation in which more luck than skill
is involved. You're arguing the difference between the old 8-card 100% first
turn kill Channel decks and modern Type 1 Jar/Academy nonsense. Is the latter
really any more agreeable than the former?

Michael Aten


Frederick Scott

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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aten <a-...@centuryinter.net> writes:

>See, what you guys are failing to realise is that a constrictive approach to
>deckbuilding constraints is as infinitely regressive as an overly libertarian
>one.

Hey! None o' that!

This is a family newsgroup.

Fred

David Chapman

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Jul 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/21/99
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aten <a-...@centuryinter.net> wrote in message
news:379591C4...@centuryinter.net...

> That is precisely why Finkel got smashed at Rome. He was either too lazy
or too
> busy to do sufficient testing to realise that his Recur deck was
absolutely
> horrible against The Academy and High Tide (while the latter can be
excused
> because it was not widely known prior to Rome, it would be absurd to argue
that
> it would have been reasonable to expect not to face any of the former),
and
> without Vampiric Tutors, it wasn't even good against Necrodecks. Tossing
> Krovikan Horror tricks and the Great Whale infinite combo into a Rath
Cycle
> Recur deck does not an Extended powerhouse make.
>

Or to put it in slightly simpler terms; he got complacent. He fell too much
in love with the idea of his being Officially The Best Magic Player In The
World. He took a normally accurate conception - that a good player with an
average deck is better than a crap player with a great deck - and tried
extending this to the Tour. What he casually overlooked is that there
aren't very many crap players on the Tour, and those that there are don't
make Day 2.

> > I was had a sorta similar idea for a tournamnet (not an official rule
change
> > though). The tournament would be type 1.5 or Extended, 100 card
minimum,
> > Highlander construction (can only use 1 of any non-basic land card if
you
> > didn't know). None of the local shops were interested in trying this
though
> > since they were testing for PTQs at the time (I think it was during the
> > Extended season).
>
> No, none of the local shops were interested in trying it because it was a
> ridiculous idea.
>

Hear, hear! A friend of ours who pretty much gave up Magic after moving
away two years ago comes back now and again asking us to play 200-card
decks, Highlander format. We usually agree to humour him, but God forbid we
should ever do it in a tournament.

> See, what you guys are failing to realise is that a constrictive approach
to
> deckbuilding constraints is as infinitely regressive as an overly
libertarian

> one. Highlander rules and astronomical deck size requirements lead to as
much
> luck and randomness as was exhibited during Combo Winter, or whatever it
was
> called.

Yea, verily. In fact, I think you're somewhat understating the case here.

As it stands, there are typically four to six Tier 1 decks at any given
time - at the moment it's Death, Hatred Black, Waylay White, the obligatory
Stroke combo deck, Stupid Red Burn and mono-green in several minty-fresh
flavours. Factoring in the 10-15% of serious players who will play a rogue
deck like BGE, Oath of Thorns or Tinkerbell, that's enough to keep the
playing field interesting and a little uncertain.

Under Highlander rules, however, deck construction isn't really possible at
all. You *cannot* build a Highlander deck with any kind of strategy in
mind, and therefore every deck becomes precisely the same with only the
individual cards in the deck altering towards personal preferences.

A rather nasty side-effect of this is the elimination of the metagame.
Without any way of predicting the field, and no way of effectively
sideboarding or controlling an opponent's assault, you have eliminated three
of the four strategic angles of Magic - deck synergy, metagaming, and
playing skill are negated, leaving only identification of card power as the
benchmark of your strategic ability.

If Highlander became the standard tournament format, every match would
degenerate into who could get the win-card first.

> Changing the rules such that the strength of the average deck is
> drastically weakened cannot be taken on face as a necessarily good thing,
> especially because it tends to lead to a situation in which more luck than
skill
> is involved. You're arguing the difference between the old 8-card 100%
first
> turn kill Channel decks and modern Type 1 Jar/Academy nonsense.

No; he's arguing for an environment where poorly-skilled deckbuilders and
players like himself (no-one who really understands strategy would ever
argue in favour of such a motion) have a greater chance of winning over
(currently) superior opponents. All his arguments are in favour of a
reduction in card interaction and an increase in the importance of
topdecking - as Michael has already noted.

I find combo decks both annoying and ingenious. People who come up with
such decks should at least be allowed to win with them for a month or so
before a banning occurs; emergency bannings should only take place when a
deck is totally dominating the environment *and* nobody can find an
effective foil for it inside that month.

These things have always followed a pattern - new combo deck appears,
everyone metagames against it, deck fades away, people cease to take it into
account and then the deck starts getting played again. However, the deck
never comes back to its' original level of popularity because by then, the
next combo has come round and people are dealing with that. Law of Magic:
Combo decks are notoriously bad at dealing with other combo decks.

That's my 0.02 currency units, anyway.

Andrew Vance

unread,
Jul 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/23/99
to

David Chapman wrote:

> Yea, verily. In fact, I think you're somewhat understating the case here.
>
> As it stands, there are typically four to six Tier 1 decks at any given
> time - at the moment it's Death, Hatred Black, Waylay White, the obligatory
> Stroke combo deck, Stupid Red Burn and mono-green in several minty-fresh
> flavours. Factoring in the 10-15% of serious players who will play a rogue
> deck like BGE, Oath of Thorns or Tinkerbell, that's enough to keep the
> playing field interesting and a little uncertain.
>
> Under Highlander rules, however, deck construction isn't really possible at
> all. You *cannot* build a Highlander deck with any kind of strategy in
> mind, and therefore every deck becomes precisely the same with only the
> individual cards in the deck altering towards personal preferences.
>

/*rant*/

Dave, you'll hopefully excuse me for saying - what a load of complete BS that
last statement is. Complete, utter BS. I once every 6-10 weeks or so, there is a
highlander tournament run in canberra. They are quite popular. Its 60 card
minimum, some cards worht points ( a good pseduo restriction system).
There is as much stratergy involved here as in type two, if not more. Sure
occasionally people come along with random, unfocused decks - and they usually
get there asses handed to them. In the last toruney, last weekend, one of the
finalists was playing a oath/gaeas blessing style deck - great synergy. I (the
eventual winner)
was playing a msg/secret force-ish deck.


>
> A rather nasty side-effect of this is the elimination of the metagame.
> Without any way of predicting the field, and no way of effectively
> sideboarding or controlling an opponent's assault, you have eliminated three
> of the four strategic angles of Magic - deck synergy, metagaming, and
> playing skill are negated, leaving only identification of card power as the
> benchmark of your strategic ability.
>

Again, no. Playing skill is as important, if not more so. The meta game as alive
and well. Part of what helped me win was my educated guess that the top end of
the field would be very control-heavy, and it was (I believe 6 of the top 8).
The field is no more or less predictable than in type two, as a general rule. Of
course, most often there is some minor variation between similar decks, even
those which are copies of previous winners. Indeed, often cards such as thran
furnace are put in decks because of the belief that there will be heavy
graveyard-reuse decks in the field (for several tournaments, recur-sur dominated
the field).


>
> If Highlander became the standard tournament format, every match would
> degenerate into who could get the win-card first.
>

Which is *so* drastically different from playing stroke/combo decks.
/*rant*/


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