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The oh-so-broken Rishadan Port!

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Bennie Smith

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Dec 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/2/99
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In case you haven't heard, the Rishadan
Port has drawn the watchful eye of the
DCI and is on their banned "Watch List."
This means it could become banned at
any moment, so you may not want to
sell your sould to trade for them.

Now, I have to sit back and wonder
about that decision. I mean, I don't
hardly think the Port warrants banning.
It's extremely useful, and flexible,
yes that's true. But I don't think
it's warping the environment. Standard
right now is the most dynamic and
eclectic it's been in a long time.
People are playing a wide variety of
decks and winning tournaments. A lot
of the winning decks have Ports in
them, but the Port serves different
functions in different decks. While
taking the disadvantage of only
providing colorless mana, you get
the ability to tap troublesome lands,
or slow your opponent down; this is
also effectively tying up two of your
mana to negate (usually) one of your
opponent's mana. Useful, but not
hardly broken.

I played 4 Ports in the deck I won
States with, and they came in handy
but I'd hardly say they were overpowering.
What I liked about them was they gave
you options-- if you didn't have a
turn 2 play, instead of being punished
for it, you could use your Port to slow
your opponent, too. It also helps combat
counterspells, which I'm always for ;)

What's my point? I don't know if I have
one, really. I just think it's a little
silly to be banning a card like Port just
because everybody's trying them out. I'm
willing to bet after the initial blush
wears off, people are going to realize
that the Ports don't belong in *every*
deck; hopefully, we'll have the time
to come to that realization.

Bennie


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Jason Service

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Dec 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/2/99
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Air Ron <air...@alchemy.on.ca> wrote in message
news:s4ea6v...@corp.supernews.com...

> Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote:
>
> >What's my point? I don't know if I have
> >one, really. I just think it's a little
> >silly to be banning a card like Port just
> >because everybody's trying them out. I'm
> >willing to bet after the initial blush
> >wears off, people are going to realize
> >that the Ports don't belong in *every*
> >deck; hopefully, we'll have the time
> >to come to that realization.
> >
> Just like Cursed Scroll, after a month or two people will recognize
> that Ports are really, really good but not overpowering and then
> they'll find something new to complain about. =)

Just like cursed scroll? The card that defined the entire environment until
the environment became so broken with Urza's Saga that things like card
advantage and damage became irrelevent? I don't see the port as being
inherently as broken as the scroll (only real mistake they made was making
it a rare), but if it IS on the same level as the Scroll, ban it now, before
more people waste their money buying a (soon to be) useless rare.


Jason Service

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Dec 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/2/99
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Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote in message
news:8270ok$3kc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com..


I'm just guessing, because I'm the last person in the world that really
knows what the DCI is thinking half the time, but my GUESS (hope?) is not
that they think it's really broken, but rather that it unbalances standard
by the mere fact that it is rare, and useful in almost ANY deck. If they've
put it on the watch list because they honestly think it's too powerful, then
I can safely say I will never buy another WOTC product, do to the fact that
I no longer have any hope for their policies.

If it's been placed on the watch list (and soon, the banned list, I'll
guess) because it is a card which divides standard strictly into have/have
not, then I can support their decision. Although I really would have to
wonder where this sensibility was when it came to Cursed Scroll and
Recurring Nightmare. Which doesn't let R&D off the hook, but I'm not going
to go into another tirade on that subject; it's barely worth the effort
anymore.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Dec 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/3/99
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Its hardly the most broken card ever printed
but it will get banned - you watch and see.

The reason? Well you said it yourself

> It also helps combat
> counterspells, which I'm always for ;)
>

Anything that upsets a counterspell must be banned!!
Randy Bueller will not be denied!

</sarcasm>

Why would they ban this and not the Claws????????


--
Nigel.

Do it. Do it well.
Do it differently.

Bennie Smith

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Dec 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/3/99
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In article <828bfc$d0$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Zaphod Beeblebrox <zaph...@mailcity.com> wrote:
> Its hardly the most broken card ever printed
> but it will get banned - you watch and see.
>
> The reason? Well you said it yourself
>
> > It also helps combat
> > counterspells, which I'm always for ;)
> >
>
> Anything that upsets a counterspell must be banned!!
> Randy Bueller will not be denied!

You're probably right; having Mr. Buehler join
the R&D team definitely proves the conspiracy
theory of a bunch of blue mages running the
show. I mean, sure green is doing well right
now, but that's purely because they had to
ban all the truly broken blue cards that
would have otherwise dominated the current
environment, and made green look like the
chump color it had been for so long. Thank
god the DCI saved us!

> </sarcasm>

<ditto>

> Why would they ban this and not the Claws????????

I assume you mean the Rings?

Well, the Rings can be counterspelled, of course!

Hopefully, the DCI won't overreact with the
Ports. If they do, well they're a bunch of
bloody Septics!!! ;)

Later,
Bennie

Air Ron

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Dec 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/3/99
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Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote:

>What's my point? I don't know if I have
>one, really. I just think it's a little
>silly to be banning a card like Port just
>because everybody's trying them out. I'm
>willing to bet after the initial blush
>wears off, people are going to realize
>that the Ports don't belong in *every*
>deck; hopefully, we'll have the time
>to come to that realization.
>
Just like Cursed Scroll, after a month or two people will recognize
that Ports are really, really good but not overpowering and then
they'll find something new to complain about. =)

Air Ron

"An apprentice does not become a wizard, he is replaced by one."

Steven Merritt

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Dec 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/4/99
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Bennie Smith wrote:
>
> In case you haven't heard, the Rishadan
> Port has drawn the watchful eye of the
> DCI and is on their banned "Watch List."

You know how they can eliminate the whole problem of the Port? Ban
Masticore. Think about it. The Port just taps a land. Now unless
you're counting on your uberlands, always a risky strategy, you're
probably not going to be hurt too much by the slowdown of being out one
point of mana. Unless... If you run a multiple color deck with a lot of
lock elements and a very, very, very tight mana curve like last season's
Death decks, then Port can be a real problem. I don't see a Fish deck
being upset by losing one point of mana occasionally, especially since
it'd stunt their opponents too if they use it early and often, which is
fine by Fish, go ahead, spend two lands to tap one of mine, here, take a
Sandbar Merfolk up the... Hold a weenie deck in the early game
development stages and you'll really regret it, that's their strength.
The whole problem is Masticore. Weenie decks, which have a flexible
mana base(they don't have to have every point of every color available
at any given time to be effective) just aren't viable right now. Oh
sure, some people are playing massively accelerated token generating
decks, but their only real way of beating 'core is to race it. Or
(*COUGH*) Splinter. And guess what Port does to decks which have to use
their acceleration to win.
A deck with both Ports and Masticore is a fearsome thing. It can
dominate weenie decks via 'core and disrupt faster control decks or
pseudo-combo decks with Port or something like Arcane Lab. Control is
in folks. I don't really have a problem with control being viable, or
even popular, I'm personally a control player at heart, but I think the
environment suffers when two of the major archetypes, combo and
beatdown, both have such powerful foils in Port and 'core.
And if they don't do anything, they had damn well better change the
time limits on rounds again. Control being the dominant archeytpe does
not a fast game make.

> It also helps combat counterspells, which
> I'm always for ;)

I don't really see it as too terribly effective against countermagic.
Yes, it slows a control decks development to their flash point, but the
real "Counterspell" and most of the counters being played in top decks
just aren't that mana intensive. If it becomes a real problem, look for
Hoodwink to make an appearance, it can bounce the Port at end of your
turn so I can drop by a threat with Counter backup early enough to race
you.
People are just building the wrong kind of decks right now. The
tightly tuned, well oiled machines like Death just can't exist in an
environment with so many wrenches like Port which can get thrown into
the works. If people just start building more flexible decks, they'll
have less problems with Port and 'core which both really just hurt
certain strategies. Any deck which can't handle a speed bump like Port
or 'core just will have to phase out in favor of a more versatile and
flexible deck. I think if any beatdown deck can survive in the new Type
II it'll have to be WW. It handles the 'core best with good artifact
control, Muzzle, Afterlife, Arrest, etc. And it can use Port to give it
some extra time in the early game against control.

Steven

King of Casual Play
The One and Only Defender of Cards That Blow

> What's my point? I don't know if I have
> one, really. I just think it's a little
> silly to be banning a card like Port just
> because everybody's trying them out. I'm
> willing to bet after the initial blush
> wears off, people are going to realize
> that the Ports don't belong in *every*
> deck; hopefully, we'll have the time
> to come to that realization.
>

Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
to
I

> > Why would they ban this and not the Claws????????
>
> I assume you mean the Rings?
>

Doh you are right.

> Well, the Rings can be counterspelled, of course!
>
> Hopefully, the DCI won't overreact with the
> Ports. If they do, well they're a bunch of
> bloody Septics!!! ;)
>

Touche - I deserved that. ;-)

--
Nigel.

Do it. Do it well.
Do it differently.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
to
In article <38491E...@startrekmail.com>,

> People are just building the wrong kind of decks right now. The


> tightly tuned, well oiled machines like Death just can't exist in an
> environment with so many wrenches like Port which can get thrown into
> the works. If people just start building more flexible decks, they'll
> have less problems with Port and 'core which both really just hurt
> certain strategies. Any deck which can't handle a speed bump like
Port
> or 'core just will have to phase out in favor of a more versatile and
> flexible deck.

You know I think thats a really major point you made there and I think
its what Wizards really wanted people to do when they made MM.

However I disagree with you on the White Weenie - Green is still the
beatdown colour but as you said it has to be more flexible. Personally
I like Bennie's Blair Witch Green because there isn't anything it can't
handle (theoretically at least). That sort of flexibility and speed is
the way of the future in my feeble opinion.

Paul Miller

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
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On Sun, 05 Dec 1999 10:17:07 GMT, Zaphod Beeblebrox <zaph...@mailcity.com>
wrote:

>> > Why would they ban this and not the Claws????????
>>
>> I assume you mean the Rings?
>>
>
>Doh you are right.

Ring of Gix vs Rishadan Port is no comparison. Ring of Gix is 3 cc with echo
and 1,T activation. Rishadan Port is a land, and has an activation cost of 1,T.
You cannot even play Ring of Gix until turn 2 or 3, and even then you'll be
expending some major resources via the double mana depletion lands or have a
good draw playing green. If you play the Ring on turn 2 or 3, chances are it
will tie up all your mana the following turn, too.

Ring of Gix is balanced enough. It's not as good as Icy Manipulator, and the
Icy was never really a candidate for restriction or banning.

Steven Merritt

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
to

Blair Witch Green, while a great deck, has one major problem. It
RELIES on it's opponents not having a flexible deck. Look at it, Ports,
Plow Under, and Creeping Mold are really key in this deck. As with most
modern control decks, it runs agressive disruption to allow it the time
it needs to set up it's win mechanism. Against a deck which doesn't care
if you tap a land, or if you put a couple on the library, like WW, it'd
have real problems.
Bennie's deck, while fast, just isn't _that_ fast. It really does
count on being able to both accelerate it's own development while
slowing it's opponent. The differential, not the derivivative is the
important factor in BWG. In a matchup against a deck with a variable
"flashpoint" this is hard to do. WW can do many things on many levels.
It can drop cheap effective threats if it's limited to low mana, it can
drop midrange creatures and use some card advantage engines like the new
Rebels if it reaches a comfortable mana amount and it can go all out
control with it's phenomenal sideboard options. Cho-Manno's Blessing is
just the bomb, and I wouldn't be suprised to see a new version of
RancorWhite emerge to take advantage of this fantastic card. It is
basically a White Intervene. While Intervene isn't that great a card in
constructed, think about it in a creature heavy weenie deck which
invests in it's creatures with things like Rancor and you can soon see
it's strength. Added to the mix, WW's legendary first strike abilities
and Mother of Runes. Viable anti-Masticore options like Disenchant and
Afterlife, for the early and later game respectively. Combo breakers
can come in from the board and the deck can run disruption like Port
without hurting itself much.
In an environment which demands flexibility, due to wrecking balls for
certain strategies being common, I see White as the winner. It can't
beatdown like Green can, it can't disrupt like Black can or control as
well as Blue, but it can do all of these things whereas each of the
other colors, Red just isn't that good right now, all have glaring weak
spots, whereas White is solidly meodicre.
Off the top of my head, something like this.

4 Mother of Runes
4 Ramosian Sargeant
4 Rancor
3 Steadfast Gaurd
3 Ramosian Captain
2 Nightwind Glider
2 Thermal Glider
3 Afterlife
3 Disenchant
3 Cho-Manno's Blessing
3 Armageddon
3 Marble Diamond
3 Moss Diamond
4 Rishadan Port
4 Forest
12 Plains

This isn't the old power WW of the days gone by. It's a much more
controllish version. It plays its cards and depending on what you do,
reacts accordingly. If you accelerate like a fiend, it disrupts with
'Geddon and Port. If you try to disrupt, it plays nice and slow while
pounding you and taking a defensive stance behind creatures. If you're
facing a control deck, just go the rebel yell route to gain some card
advantage and hopefully overwhelm them.
Don't forget you can Bless someone else's creatures to make their
spells fizzle. It works against Treachery and if you run into a fat,
fast creature deck, well, they printed Crackdown for a reason, it
belongs in the sideboard if you expect fat.
I really think the strength of White right now is sideboard-oriented.
Build a flexible deck and round it out with the sideboard to up your
chances against any particular deck.

Archimede

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
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Bennie Smith wrote in message <8270ok$3kc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>In case you haven't heard, the Rishadan
>Port has drawn the watchful eye of the
>DCI and is on their banned "Watch List."
>This means it could become banned at
>any moment, so you may not want to
>sell your soul to trade for them.

It was put on the Watch List? I'm truly shocked...
I never saw this coming lol ;-)

>
>Now, I have to sit back and wonder
>about that decision. I mean, I don't
>hardly think the Port warrants banning.
>It's extremely useful, and flexible,
>yes that's true. But I don't think
>it's warping the environment. Standard
>right now is the most dynamic and
>eclectic it's been in a long time.
>People are playing a wide variety of
>decks and winning tournaments. A lot
>of the winning decks have Ports in
>them, but the Port serves different
>functions in different decks.

Ports serve different functions in different decks?
I'm not sure I agree with that. Ports serve the
same functions in all decks. It's incredibly useful.
Here's why it is broken; I know you saw this on the list
a while ago Bennie, but I think that more people will
agree with me now than before.... ok so no-one agreed
with me before, but I think some will now =)

In the days when a broken card was not associated with a
degenerate combo, it had certain attributes.

#1 Undercost.

The Port definitely falls under that point.... it's a land. The toughest
permanent to get rid of, and uncounterable. The Port also adds
colorless mana, so it doesn't slow you down on your mana development;
you can screw an opponent turn 2-3, and still have 4 mana on turn 4 with
only
lands available.

#2 Overpowered.

This is probably the part where I have the most trouble making people
realize how
strong the Port's main ability is. In my not so humble opinion, the Port is
stronger
than Strip Mine was in t2. Why such a bold statement? Here's a situation.

Turn 1

I play a Land, opponent plays a land.

Turn 2

I play a Port, tap opponent's land during upkeep, he plays a land.
***I play a strip mine, kill opponent's land, he plays a land.***

Turn 3

I play a land, I have 3 Mana available, opponent only has one mana,
so I can play a 2-3 cc Spell *or*
I can play 1 cc spell, and use the port *again*!
***I play a land, I have 2 mana available, I can play a 1-2 cc spell...***

So in effect, the port steals a turn from the opponent. It's like a Time
Walk!
....that stays around! If you don't understand that logic, lemme try to
reword
it again, on my third turn, according to the common example aforementioned,
I have 3 Mana available. My opponent only has 1. So while I'm on my third
turn,
my opponent feels like he just had 1.

So that's the main ability. Other useful abilities, since broken cards tend
to have lots of them,
it taps for mana, it stops man lands, or other broken lands like cradle and
sanctum.

#3 Degenerate.

This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
reasons. The Port is and will be
found in most of the top 8 decks in t2 until it's banned. The Port is even
stronger in multiples;
so while Mind over Matter was broken because of its ability, drawing a
second one was useless,
but a second, third, or fourth port is even more abusive. And the last
point I'll make, like Strip Mine,
like the Black Vise, the port thrives on mana screw.... and that's always
been enough to piss off enough
people to get it banned, for this reason more than any other, this is why
it's gonna get banned.

Any retorts?

Archimède

Jason Service

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
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Archimede <Ast...@SPAMBLOCKworldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:82e28i$c50$2...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net...

> Ports serve different functions in different decks?
> I'm not sure I agree with that. Ports serve the
> same functions in all decks. It's incredibly useful.
> Here's why it is broken; I know you saw this on the list
> a while ago Bennie, but I think that more people will
> agree with me now than before.... ok so no-one agreed
> with me before, but I think some will now =)

Hmm, well, if you go back and read any of my posts froma round the time MM
came out, you'll see that I was preaching about how great the Port was. A
lot of people DID see the power and utility of the port back then (although,
to be fair, it really stood out in such a weak set).

Now if I can just get people to realize the awesome power and versatility of
Trade Routes, my job will be done.


>
> In the days when a broken card was not associated with a
> degenerate combo, it had certain attributes.
>
> #1 Undercost.
>
> The Port definitely falls under that point.... it's a land. The toughest
> permanent to get rid of, and uncounterable. The Port also adds
> colorless mana, so it doesn't slow you down on your mana development;
> you can screw an opponent turn 2-3, and still have 4 mana on turn 4 with
> only
> lands available.

Colorless is in itself a drawback. The fact that it generates mana? Well
if it DIDN't. it would be next to useless. Tapping a land, while good, is
not on the same level as stopping a creature, so I'm not sure a card like
this needs a "Maze of Ith" drawback.

It IS surprising to me, that WOTC felt the new storage and "double" lands
needed to come into play tapped, but that this was fine thw way it is. I've
always felt they're too liberal with "comes into play tapped" on otherwise
useful lands, so it doesn;t necessarily bother me, but it seems
inconsistent, since the Port is at least as strong as a storage land
(assuming they both come into play untapped), but that's all part of the R&D
tirade.

>
> #2 Overpowered.
>
> This is probably the part where I have the most trouble making people
> realize how
> strong the Port's main ability is. In my not so humble opinion, the Port
is
> stronger
> than Strip Mine was in t2. Why such a bold statement? Here's a situation.

I've snipped your example, to save space, but I'll say this. The port is
not going to effect your opponent on the first turn... it CAN hurt him on
the second turn, but where you're really going to be hurting him is on turn
3+, because that's when you're keeping him from reaching his mana
threshold... it's not the small stuff you're sweating (or if it is, the Port
really ISN'T going to save you!) it's the game-changing ones... which tend
to cost 3+. On turn 3 and after, strip mine is hurting your opponent more
in terms of mana levels, because it's not costing you 2 lands each turn,
it's costing you 1: the strip mine you already sacrificed.


> So in effect, the port steals a turn from the opponent. It's like a Time
> Walk!

A Time Walk allows you another turn to play cards AND another card.
Rishadan Port doesn;t give you an extra turn, or even steal one from your
opponent (he can still play spells, and attack.. he's just down one land for
that turn), and it doesn;t dig deeper into your deck for you. The Time-Walk
bogey man doesnt fit the Port.

> ....that stays around!

or to rephrase it, "... that you must continue to pay for..." Because if
you don't, your opoonent doesn;t stay a turn behind you, in terms of
mana-developement. And if you do, you're actually putting yourself behind
the opponent.


> If you don't understand that logic, lemme try to
> reword
> it again, on my third turn, according to the common example
aforementioned,
> I have 3 Mana available. My opponent only has 1. So while I'm on my
third
> turn,
> my opponent feels like he just had 1.

Because a) you apparently went first, so he'd always have been a turn behind
you and b) what he really "feels like" is that he just had two first turns.

>
> So that's the main ability. Other useful abilities, since broken cards
tend
> to have lots of them,
> it taps for mana, it stops man lands, or other broken lands like cradle
and
> sanctum.

Those being lands, yes, it does. The fact that it's so versatile and
powerful stems more from the fact that lands themselves are so versatile
(man-lands) and powerful (Cradle, Sanctum)

You'll be interested to know, I think, that Dust Bowl is pretty good at
neutralizing those threats too, and once they're neutralized, you can stop
worrying about them.

>
> #3 Degenerate.
>
> This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
> reasons. The Port is and will be
> found in most of the top 8 decks in t2 until it's banned.

No argument there.

> The Port is even
> stronger in multiples;

Same thing with Grizzly Bears. Ban 'em!

> so while Mind over Matter was broken because of its ability, drawing a
> second one was useless,

Well, a free colorless or blue dark ritual effect is hardly worthless, but
no, they weren't cumulative.

> but a second, third, or fourth port is even more abusive.

The same could really be said for a lot of cards. Unless the cards have an
exponential effect, or allow multiple-step interractions that weren't
possible with just one, this really isn't saying a whole lot. Cards that
are good in multiples are the RULE, not the exception, which is why it's
considered a drawback when a good card is only good in single quantities
(Sylvan Library, Douse, War Tax, etc)

Nate Finch

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Dec 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/5/99
to
On Sun, 5 Dec 1999, Archimede wrote:

>
>Bennie Smith wrote in message <8270ok$3kc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>>In case you haven't heard, the Rishadan
>>Port has drawn the watchful eye of the
>>DCI and is on their banned "Watch List."
>>This means it could become banned at
>>any moment, so you may not want to
>>sell your soul to trade for them.
>
>It was put on the Watch List? I'm truly shocked...
>I never saw this coming lol ;-)
>
>>
>>Now, I have to sit back and wonder
>>about that decision. I mean, I don't
>>hardly think the Port warrants banning.
>>It's extremely useful, and flexible,
>>yes that's true. But I don't think
>>it's warping the environment. Standard
>>right now is the most dynamic and
>>eclectic it's been in a long time.
>>People are playing a wide variety of
>>decks and winning tournaments. A lot
>>of the winning decks have Ports in
>>them, but the Port serves different
>>functions in different decks.
>

>Ports serve different functions in different decks?
>I'm not sure I agree with that. Ports serve the
>same functions in all decks. It's incredibly useful.
>Here's why it is broken; I know you saw this on the list
>a while ago Bennie, but I think that more people will
>agree with me now than before.... ok so no-one agreed
>with me before, but I think some will now =)
>

>In the days when a broken card was not associated with a
>degenerate combo, it had certain attributes.
>
>#1 Undercost.
>
>The Port definitely falls under that point.... it's a land. The
>toughest permanent to get rid of, and uncounterable. The Port also adds
>colorless mana, so it doesn't slow you down on your mana development;
>you can screw an opponent turn 2-3, and still have 4 mana on turn 4 with
>only lands available.

If, by saying that you will still have 4 mana available on turn 4, you are
designating that as "not slowing down your mana development", then it
doesn't slow down your opponent's mana development either. He'll still
have 4 lands on turn 4 too. Because it's a land, it's good. Otherwise it
would be crap. The very fact that it is a land is a slight
drawback. Imagine if it were a 1cc artifact. Then, you'd only be tying
up one of your lands for one of theirs. Because it's a land, it ties up
two of yours for 1 of theirs. Sounds pretty well balanced cost-wise to
me.

>#2 Overpowered.
>
>This is probably the part where I have the most trouble making people
>realize how strong the Port's main ability is. In my not so humble
>opinion, the Port is stronger than Strip Mine was in t2. Why such a
>bold statement? Here's a situation.

There's just no way it's stronger than Strip Mine, allow me to explain
below.

>Turn 1
>
>I play a Land, opponent plays a land.
>
>Turn 2
>
>I play a Port, tap opponent's land during upkeep, he plays a land.
>***I play a strip mine, kill opponent's land, he plays a land.***

With port: both your lands are used, you can't do anything except tap one
of his lands. He plays a land and can still cast something 1cc. That's
disadvantage, you just gave away your turn, and he still got use out of
his.

With Strip Mine: You both lose one land, but are both able to still cast
something 1cc. All you're trying to do is either a) rely on the fact your
deck recovers faster or b) destroy powerful non-basics/disrupt his land
color base. But you don't lose a whole turn doing it. With port, you do.

So far,
Port = -1 turn for you, -1/2 turn for opp.
Strip = -1/2 turn for you, -1/2 turn for opp.

>Turn 3
>
>I play a land, I have 3 Mana available, opponent only has one mana,

On your turn, yeah, he only has 1 mana. On his turn, he'll have 3 unless
you use your port.

>so I can play a 2-3 cc Spell *or* I can play 1 cc spell, and use the
>port *again*! ***I play a land, I have 2 mana available, I can play a
>1-2 cc spell...***

Port: You use port and cast 1cc spell. Your opponent plays a 1-2cc spell.
Sounds like your opponent is still ahead.
Yes, you can now opt not to use the port, but that still puts you
behind in the turn sequence, since you basically didn't get a second
turn.
Strip: Once again, things are equal, and you're just hoping your deck can
rely on a lower mana base than the opponents.

>So in effect, the port steals a turn from the opponent. It's like a Time
>Walk!

No no! It's like half a timewalk for your opponent. He gets half his
second turn, you get none of it. And that's if you stop using it after
turn 2. The longer you use the port, the more advantage you're giving
your opponent. If you hadn't noticed, using ports takes twice as much of
your resources as the opponent's! Sounds pretty fair to me.

>....that stays around! If you don't understand that logic, lemme try to
>reword it again,

Please do, so far, I'm not seeing any brokenness here.

>on my third turn, according to the common example aforementioned, I have
>3 Mana available. My opponent only has 1. So while I'm on my third
>turn, my opponent feels like he just had 1.

Yeah, because you went first and he hasn't had his turn yet! And he
doesn't feel like he's had one, he feels like he's had 2 first turns,
while you feel like you've only had one.

>So that's the main ability. Other useful abilities, since broken cards
>tend to have lots of them, it taps for mana,

If it didn't tap for mana it would completely suck. And like I said
above, if you make it an artifact, even one that costs 1 instead of 0, it
would STILL be better than it is as a land.

>it stops man lands, or other broken lands like cradle and sanctum.

Umm..... so it's powerful because there are other powerful lands that it
stops? So then splinter is powerful because it stops Masticore? So
counterspell is broken because it can stop Time Walk and Memory Jar? Come
on, that's worse than no reason at all.

>#3 Degenerate.
>
>This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
>reasons. The Port is and will be
>found in most of the top 8 decks in t2 until it's banned.

Very true. This is the main reason it is on the watch list. However, I
seriously doubt they'll ban it. They didn't ban Yawgmoth's Will or
Bargain, because they weren't DOMINATING T2. Port doesn't dominate
anything, it just punishes people who play with a tight mana curve and/or
rely on not having their mana disrupted. And it doesn't even make the
game versus those decks. I've never had a port win me a
game. Masticore? Yeah, definitely. He's won many games for me... but
Port? No, it was just helpful.

>The Port is even stronger in multiples; so while Mind over Matter was
>broken because of its ability, drawing a second one was useless, but a


>second, third, or fourth port is even more abusive.

First... as someone else said, this applies to anything whose ability is
cumulative. Second, it's really not that much stronger in
multiples. Yeah, with 3 lands and 3 ports, I can ties down 3 of your
lands... Is that a lot? Hell yeah. But you know what? You should have 3
other lands yourself by then, so you still get to cast stuff. Do you know
how often I use port past turn 5 or so? Hardly ever. You know
why? Because after that it's screwing me a lot more than it screws the
opponent.

>And the last point I'll make, like Strip Mine, like the Black Vise, the
>port thrives on mana screw.... and that's always been enough to piss off
>enough people to get it banned, for this reason more than any other,
>this is why it's gonna get banned.

So should we ban all land destruction then? Yeah, if you're mana screwed,
port hurts you more. You know what the solution to that is? Don't get
mana screwed.

I play a green disruption deck similar to Bennie's, and you know what I
love more than getting a port out turn 2? The opponent getting a port out
turn 2. There's nothing I enjoy more than my opponent doing twice the
work of my port. Tap two of your lands for one of mine? Sure! You just
quadrupled the effectiveness of my port.

As someone said, soon enough, people will start to realize port doesn't
belong in some decks. In fact, port doesn't belong in a lot of decks.
The only reason it's in every deck now is because people aren't realizing
that the port is actually working to help their opponent. Any beatdown
deck should not run ports. A blue control deck should not run ports. A
black control deck may want ports, but I'm not sure if they're optimal.
You know why? Cause all these decks are hurt by ports more than they gain
from them. Beatdown decks need to maximize their mana each turn to race
the opponent... play more threats than the opponent can handle. Port
takes your mana curve and throws it out the window. Remember sligh?
Remember the mana curve?

Here's one sure fire way to test out if port is good for your deck. Take
your first turn normally. Ok, now take your second turn and throw it out
the window. Take the third turn and pretend you're mana screwed and still
only have one land... what does your deck do? If the answer is "it uses
the two 1 drops to maximum efficiency while setting up for a very powerful
4th turn" then use the port. If the answer is "it holds a bunch of stuff
in hand, and then generally has an uneventful 4th turn" you probably
shouldn't use ports.

Ports are good in control decks that use board and mana manipulation to
disrupt the opponent. Ports are good in decks that tend toward a slow
game with gradual build up of power. Ports are bad in any deck based on
speed and/or casting a lot of spells.

If port were truly good in every deck, and the person who got the port out
first generally won, then I'd agree that it is too strong. However, port
does not give you the game. And port is very bad in many decks.

Give people a chance to see what decks port really should go in, and I
think you'll find the number of them in winning decks going down.

Nate Finch
na...@wpi.edu
The Lorax


Bennie Smith

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
to
In article <38473...@news.sisna.com>,

"Jason Service" <el...@sisna.com> wrote:
>
> Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote in message
> news:8270ok$3kc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com..
>
> I'm just guessing, because I'm the last person in the world that
really
> knows what the DCI is thinking half the time, but my GUESS (hope?) is
not
> that they think it's really broken, but rather that it unbalances
standard
> by the mere fact that it is rare, and useful in almost ANY deck. If
they've
> put it on the watch list because they honestly think it's too
powerful, then
> I can safely say I will never buy another WOTC product, do to the fact
that
> I no longer have any hope for their policies.
>
> If it's been placed on the watch list (and soon, the banned list, I'll
> guess) because it is a card which divides standard strictly into
have/have
> not, then I can support their decision. <snip>

Hmm. You know, I admire this sentiment, but I have
to come down on the other side of this. Rishadan
being a rare or not should really have no bearing
on whether it should be banned. I mean card rarity
as a way to balance the power of a card proved
to be silly way back in the days of Unlimited.

I'll agree that it's hardly "fair" to have a card
so popular be a hard-to-find rare, but Wizards
has been walking this road for several years;
I'll even be so bold as to put my finger on
the expansion that began this trend-- Tempest.
I mean, just look a little bit prior to Tempest
and you find power cards sprinkled liberally
in the common and uncommon slots. Visions
especially brought some great power cards to
all the rarity slots. Once the Tempest block
came out, you began to see the "power" decks
with higher and higher percentage of rares
making up the deck. Perhaps this makes more
business sense, but it's a kick in the teeth
to Magic fans who don't have the resources
to chase down the rares necessary to make a
competitive deck.

The DCI isn't (and shouldn't be) in the business
to determine whether a card is unfair because
of its rarity and popularity; they should be
in the business of trying to keep the Magic
tournament scene vibrant and diverse, and
to ban cards that threaten that. Banning of
cards like Time Spiral, Tolarian Academy,
and Fluctuator help accomplish that. I don't
see that the Port is unbalancing like those
cards were.

However, I do agree that Wizards needs to be
more considerate of the gamers who don't have
the unlimited resources to collect the huge
amount of rares to build competitive decks.
The forum to address that is more feedback
to Wizards; let them know you're getting tired
of so many tournament level cards lurking in
the rare slots, and so much dreck in the
common and uncommons lots. A true test of
skill should be in looking at an individual
card and determining it's worth as a tournament
level card, not looking at it's rarity.

Until then, I offer this advise to those
Magic players with limited funds to spend
on the game-- look to beatdown decks for
lower-costed competitive decks. Not too
long ago, a competitive Sligh deck could
be constructed at a fairly reasonable cost
without too many rares; currently, green
creature rush is much the same.

However, if you're a combo or control
player... well, you're SOL :)

Later,
Bennie

Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
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In article <384a6361$0$96...@news.tdi.net>,

Well the usefuleness of the Port drops off quite rapidly after turn 4 or
so until there is only one or two lands that would be worthy of the
effort of tapping whereas the Ring maintains its usefullness all through
the game.

However you are right re the Ring vs the Icy comment.

--
Nigel.

Do it. Do it well.
Do it differently.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
to

>
> Blair Witch Green, while a great deck, has one major problem.
It
> RELIES on it's opponents not having a flexible deck. Look at it,
Ports,
> Plow Under, and Creeping Mold are really key in this deck. As with
most
> modern control decks, it runs agressive disruption to allow it the
time
> it needs to set up it's win mechanism. Against a deck which doesn't
care
> if you tap a land, or if you put a couple on the library, like WW,
it'd
> have real problems.
>

I have to disagree with you there Steven, you are missing the speed
with which BWG plays its disruption. There's a hell of a difference
between Plowing on turn 7 and Plowing on turn 3 - even against a deck
with a handfull of 1 drops.

Having said that I think you are missing some of BWG's abilities -
it beat Wildfire - WW at the moment does not.
it beat Black beatdown - do you think WW will at the moment? I dont.
it beat Speed Green - WW at the moment will not.
it beat Blue control deck - WW *may* also (with Rebels).

So it has already beaten the best of Red, Black, Green and Blue (as
played by a Pro). Do you think it beat WW? In my opinion it would
beat WW very handily simply because it *is* a flexible deck. Bennie
played it to a 75% win ratio against a wide variety of decks which shows
that it certainly isn't a one-trick pony like WW (and a lot of other
decks) is/are.

It requires careful play and it requires thought regarding what to play
and when - but these are all hallmarks of a good flexible deck (ie it
has options). The fact that it can play these options very quickly is
the difference that makes it win.

Trevor Barrie

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
to
In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.wpi.edu>,
Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:

>If it didn't tap for mana it would completely suck. And like I said
>above, if you make it an artifact, even one that costs 1 instead of 0, it
>would STILL be better than it is as a land.

I assume you mean "if you made it an artifact and took away the mana
producing ability" (obviously, no one is going to dispute that turning
it into a Mox would make it stronger), and I'm not sure that that's
true. Yes, as an artifact it would let you slow down your opponent
while not slowing you down as much as the land version... but it
would also take up a spell slot in your deck. The Port does not, and
this is a _huge_ advantage. As it stands now, if a monocolour
deck would only find the Port's ability useful as little as one in
every four times it's drawn, it should still use Ports, as having
four of your lands produce colourless is going to hurt you
significantly less often than that. (And of course, most decks find
the Port's ability useful more often than that.) The artifact Port
would only be played in decks where its ability forms a significant
part of their strategy, which isn't many.

>>This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
>>reasons. The Port is and will be found in most of the top 8 decks in t2
>>until it's banned.
>
>Very true. This is the main reason it is on the watch list. However, I
>seriously doubt they'll ban it. They didn't ban Yawgmoth's Will or
>Bargain, because they weren't DOMINATING T2. Port doesn't dominate
>anything, it just punishes people who play with a tight mana curve and/or
>rely on not having their mana disrupted. And it doesn't even make the
>game versus those decks. I've never had a port win me a
>game. Masticore? Yeah, definitely. He's won many games for me... but
>Port? No, it was just helpful.

Of course, Port will also generally not _lose_ the game for its
controller, as Masticore often does.

>As someone said, soon enough, people will start to realize port doesn't
>belong in some decks. In fact, port doesn't belong in a lot of decks.
>The only reason it's in every deck now is because people aren't realizing
>that the port is actually working to help their opponent. Any beatdown
>deck should not run ports.

Why not? It doesn't hurt them to include it, and delaying the opponent's
Wrath, Treachery, Masticore, whatever by one turn after you've dropped
your load on turns 1-3 will often win you a game.

>A blue control deck should not run ports.

A blue control deck should not double the number of answers it has
to the neomishras just by switching what lands it uses? Again, why not?

>A black control deck may want ports, but I'm not sure if they're optimal.
>You know why? Cause all these decks are hurt by ports more than they gain
>from them.

The only ways I can see Port actually _hurting_ a deck are:
A) The deck is so greedy for coloured mana that it can't afford to run
the 4 colourless lands. I don't see that any of the decks you've
listed fit this criterion.
B) The increased vulnerability to anti-nonbasic cards. With Wasteland
out of Type 2, I don't see this as a major issue.

Jason Service

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
to

Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote in message
news:82eubk$aq4$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

> Hmm. You know, I admire this sentiment, but I have
> to come down on the other side of this. Rishadan
> being a rare or not should really have no bearing
> on whether it should be banned.

This may sound strange, but I agree 100%. it SHOULDN'T. But it shouldn't
become an issue, because R&D SHOULD have learned by now that it's a mistake
to make a power card colorless, and rare. Cursed scroll and Mox Diamond
should have been an indicator of that, and those were cards that didn;t work
in 95% of decks, the way that the Port will (to greater or lesser extent).
Wasteland should be the benchmark for non-color-specific lands, in that it
was an extremely powerful card, that was available to everyone.

> I mean card rarity
> as a way to balance the power of a card proved
> to be silly way back in the days of Unlimited.

In the sense that WOTC thought rarity would be a balancing factor for overly
powerful cards, yes.. the fact is that rarity makes a card MORE powerful for
those who can afford the cost of acquiring enough rare cards. Because not
everyone has access to the same resources, and not everyone has a chance to
play with or against certain rare decks/combinations.

I count myself as one of those players who has access to any cards that
they need and want (being an adult is wonderful, that way...), but it
doesn;t mean it's FUN paying 20 dollars a pop for a card, in order to be
competitive; and more importantly, I don't enjoy thr look of dejection on
some 12 year old kid's face as I crush him in a tournament because I can put
as many rares as I want in my deck, and he's just happy if he can get a
single cursed scroll. It's hard to feel good about being skilled, when
skill has nothing to do with it. And anybody is surprised that fewer and
fewer kids want to learn magic?

>
> I'll agree that it's hardly "fair" to have a card
> so popular be a hard-to-find rare, but Wizards
> has been walking this road for several years;
> I'll even be so bold as to put my finger on
> the expansion that began this trend-- Tempest.
> I mean, just look a little bit prior to Tempest
> and you find power cards sprinkled liberally
> in the common and uncommon slots. Visions
> especially brought some great power cards to
> all the rarity slots.


> Once the Tempest block
> came out, you began to see the "power" decks
> with higher and higher percentage of rares
> making up the deck.

A great example of this is a spell like Sarcomancy, which doesn't do
something totally game-changing or unusual (the old standard for what should
be rare), but it's a card that you definitely want in an aggressive black
deck. It's like making Black Knight rare.

> Perhaps this makes more
> business sense, but it's a kick in the teeth
> to Magic fans who don't have the resources
> to chase down the rares necessary to make a
> competitive deck.

Making powerful cards rare makes a lot of sense if your goal is to sell as
much of set X as possible. Where it makes less sense is in selling as much
of BRAND X as possible. Power-rares hurt tournament play... they hurt
innovation and variety, and THAT hurts Magic in the long run.


>
> The DCI isn't (and shouldn't be) in the business
> to determine whether a card is unfair because
> of its rarity and popularity; they should be
> in the business of trying to keep the Magic
> tournament scene vibrant and diverse, and
> to ban cards that threaten that.

Well I haven't read the DCI mission statement, but the banned and restricted
list (at least in Standard and Block constructed) revolves solely around
covering up for R&D's screwups, to the end of keeping the different formats
as vibrant as possible. (as you've pointed out)... There is a distinction
between banning overly powerful cards, and banning cards which are simply
difficult to get, but it's worth noting, for example, that Starter product
is not legal in Standard (and it was intended to be, from everything I've
read), because overseas markets don't have the same access that the US does
(this was the DCI's rationale, based on what I've read). This is a roughly
analogous example, but it makes it fairly clear that the DCI doesn't see its
mission solely as resolving in-game issues with its lists.


Banning of
> cards like Time Spiral, Tolarian Academy,
> and Fluctuator help accomplish that. I don't
> see that the Port is unbalancing like those
> cards were.

In the sense that you must play Deck X or else lose, you're right. In the
sense that you must play card X or stand a much greater chance losing, I
think it's comparable. the motivation to have Ports may be greater even
then the motivation to get Academies or Spirals, because they will work in
almost every deck you can dream up.

>
> However, I do agree that Wizards needs to be
> more considerate of the gamers who don't have
> the unlimited resources to collect the huge
> amount of rares to build competitive decks.
> The forum to address that is more feedback
> to Wizards; let them know you're getting tired
> of so many tournament level cards lurking in
> the rare slots, and so much dreck in the
> common and uncommons lots. A true test of
> skill should be in looking at an individual
> card and determining it's worth as a tournament
> level card, not looking at it's rarity.

As long as we're talking about a card that naturally restricts itself to a
certain kind of deck or does something fairly narrow (you know, the way
rares were originally supposed to be) I don't have a problem with it. It's
when it's a card that isn;t narrow, that anyone might want to play, and it's
made rare, that I have a problem. i.e.- to me it isn't the fact that a
powerful card has been made rare.. it's that a utility card has been made
rare.


>
> Until then, I offer this advise to those
> Magic players with limited funds to spend
> on the game-- look to beatdown decks for
> lower-costed competitive decks. Not too
> long ago, a competitive Sligh deck could
> be constructed at a fairly reasonable cost
> without too many rares; currently, green
> creature rush is much the same.

Of course, even a beatdown deck would gain a lot from Ports... also,
beatdown gets boring after awhile. It's the ability to throw in twists that
makes them really fun at all, for many of us.

Nate Finch

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Dec 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/6/99
to
On 6 Dec 1999, Trevor Barrie wrote:

>In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.wpi.edu>,
>Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:
>
>>If it didn't tap for mana it would completely suck. And like I said
>>above, if you make it an artifact, even one that costs 1 instead of 0, it
>>would STILL be better than it is as a land.
>
>I assume you mean "if you made it an artifact and took away the mana
>producing ability"

Yes, thanks.

>(obviously, no one is going to dispute that turning
>it into a Mox would make it stronger), and I'm not sure that that's
>true. Yes, as an artifact it would let you slow down your opponent
>while not slowing you down as much as the land version... but it
>would also take up a spell slot in your deck. The Port does not, and
>this is a _huge_ advantage.

You do have a point. I was assuming it was put in a deck to be used
pretty consistantly through the beginning of the game.

Yes, if you put it in a deck that does not often want to use it, then it's
better as a land. But in a deck that does use it often, it would be
better as a 1cc artifact.

>As it stands now, if a monocolour deck would only find the Port's
>ability useful as little as one in every four times it's drawn, it
>should still use Ports, as having four of your lands produce colourless
>is going to hurt you significantly less often than that.

This is a very interesting thought, and not something I had really
considered. I guess you would have to weigh the drawback of it being
colorless against the occasional usefulness. You are right, in most
mono-colored decks, ports would not be a very big hindrance. This assumes
you don't have a lot of low cc spells with more than one colored mana in
their casting cost. WW for example, might not want to run ports because
lots of their spells cost WW (well.. this is from memory, and probably 5th
edition WW, so I could be completely wrong, but you know what I mean).
So if you don't have a lot of hard to splash cards, port might not be
bad. However, that is assuming you are only running ports as your
non-basics. If you're also running cradles, a couple yavimaya hollows,
and maybe a few treefolk villages... then adding in another 4 non-basics
could potentially hurt your deck's performance considerably.
So assume you know this, and take out some of the other non-basics for
the ports.. now you have to weigh whether the ports helped you more than
having those other non-basics would.
The equation is not so simple now, is it? I don't pretend to know
exactly which decks would benefit from port and which would not. But, my
point is, it's not always as simple as saying "yes, port will be good in
most mono-colored decks".

>(And of course, most decks find the Port's ability useful more often
>than that.)

I don't know about that. Many decks would hurt themselves more than
they'd hurt the opponent. For example, stompy vs. blue control. Without
port, stompy drops many creatures in the first couple turns, and the blue
player probably can only counter one. With port, the stompy player gets
to play far fewer spells, and the blue player simply sits back playing
lands, happy to have the game going slower.

>The artifact Port would only be played in decks where its ability forms
>a significant part of their strategy, which isn't many.

I think it's a significant part of many deck's strategies. Green control,
Wildfire, Ponza, all these decks destroy your lands, and being able to
slow the game down until the LD can be cast is very helpful.

Would all the decks that now play with Port play with the artifact
version? Definitely not. You're right there. But the ones that would,
would find it even more useful than they do now.

>>>This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
>>>reasons. The Port is and will be found in most of the top 8 decks in t2
>>>until it's banned.
>>
>>Very true. This is the main reason it is on the watch list. However, I
>>seriously doubt they'll ban it. They didn't ban Yawgmoth's Will or
>>Bargain, because they weren't DOMINATING T2. Port doesn't dominate
>>anything, it just punishes people who play with a tight mana curve and/or
>>rely on not having their mana disrupted. And it doesn't even make the
>>game versus those decks. I've never had a port win me a
>>game. Masticore? Yeah, definitely. He's won many games for me... but
>>Port? No, it was just helpful.
>
>Of course, Port will also generally not _lose_ the game for its
>controller, as Masticore often does.

Usually, you're right. However, I have noticed the tendancy of people to
use ports even when they aren't helping, which can really hurt your
game. You're right that Masticore will lose you many more games, but port
isn't totally devoid of that possibility either.
I think an evolution similar to that which happened to Masticore players
will happen to Port players. They'll realize that just because it's in
your hand/in play, it's not always best to use the ability. Until that
happens, some people will lose games to their own Ports.

>>As someone said, soon enough, people will start to realize port doesn't
>>belong in some decks. In fact, port doesn't belong in a lot of decks.
>>The only reason it's in every deck now is because people aren't realizing
>>that the port is actually working to help their opponent. Any beatdown
>>deck should not run ports.
>
>Why not? It doesn't hurt them to include it, and delaying the opponent's
>Wrath, Treachery, Masticore, whatever by one turn after you've dropped
>your load on turns 1-3 will often win you a game.

Perhaps, but many control decks are now running mana acceleration to let
them drop those bombs earlier on. Plus, one of the biggest threats to
beatdown these days doesn't cost 4-5, it costs 2. I'm talking about
Powder Keg, of course.

>>A blue control deck should not run ports.
>
>A blue control deck should not double the number of answers it has
>to the neomishras just by switching what lands it uses? Again, why not?

Because while you are stopping their man-lands, they'll cast something
else, since you've just used up 2 mana to prevent them from attacking.

Again, it is possible that the benefit of the late game protection versus
animated lands is worth the drawback of not having that extra U early on,
it just seems to me that with a blue deck, if you make it to the late
game, you've probably won anyway.

>>A black control deck may want ports, but I'm not sure if they're optimal.
>>You know why? Cause all these decks are hurt by ports more than they gain
>>from them.
>
>The only ways I can see Port actually _hurting_ a deck are:
>A) The deck is so greedy for coloured mana that it can't afford to run
>the 4 colourless lands. I don't see that any of the decks you've
>listed fit this criterion.
>B) The increased vulnerability to anti-nonbasic cards. With Wasteland
>out of Type 2, I don't see this as a major issue.

Well, there seems to be a miscommunication here. I didn't mean decks were
hurt just because the Port was on their decklist, but that there are decks
that would be hurt if they used the Port. I can tell you that very few
people I have seen that play Ports fail to use them. And yes, you are
right, most decks won't be hurt just by including Port in the decklist,
however, for many decks it also won't help them, because they will very
often not use the Port at all. In which case it might as well be a basic
land, because at least then you can get colored mana out of it.

Bennie Smith

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.WPI.EDU>,

Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Dec 1999, Archimede wrote:
<snip>

> As someone said, soon enough, people will start to realize port
doesn't
> belong in some decks. In fact, port doesn't belong in a lot of decks.

That someone would be me ;)

And thanks for so eloquently explaining what was
more of a gut feeling for me.

> The only reason it's in every deck now is because people aren't
realizing
> that the port is actually working to help their opponent. Any
beatdown

This is a pretty good thought. I often found
that me and my opponent were fighting "port wars"
to shut down each other's ports. The difference
in the fight, though, is that I had lots of cheap
mana producers, so while I could afford the extra
mana to dedicate to fighting the port wars, my
opponent often could not.

> <snip>


> Ports are good in control decks that use board and mana manipulation
to
> disrupt the opponent. Ports are good in decks that tend toward a slow
> game with gradual build up of power. Ports are bad in any deck based
on
> speed and/or casting a lot of spells.
>
> If port were truly good in every deck, and the person who got the port
out
> first generally won, then I'd agree that it is too strong. However,
port
> does not give you the game. And port is very bad in many decks.
>
> Give people a chance to see what decks port really should go in, and I
> think you'll find the number of them in winning decks going down.

Excellent points, Nate. I also think you
will find many folks stop playing Ports,
or playing around them, by loosening and
diversifying their mana supply. This pushes
the game towards a slower-developing environment,
which is something that's gonna feel like a
welcome breath of fresh air.

The port is a great card, no doubt. But,
like the Masticore feeding frenzy that eventually
slowed to a slow boil, people are going to realize
that, like Nate pointed out, the Port can hurt
some decks by being in them.

Bennie

> Nate Finch
> na...@wpi.edu
> The Lorax
>
>

Bennie Smith

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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In article <82hcjh$2dh$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Zaphod Beeblebrox <zaph...@mailcity.com> wrote:
>
>
> >
> > Blair Witch Green, while a great deck, has one major problem.
> It
> > RELIES on it's opponents not having a flexible deck. Look at it,
> Ports,

Hmmm... I wouldn't say BWGreen "relies" on opponent's not
having a flexible deck, though it certainly pounces on those
decks with a vengence. I chose the Plows and Creeps because
they are never useless cards. Even if my opponent has 10
land on the board, a Plow Under is still useful by setting
my opponent back two draws. And what's your problem with
Creep? Destroy the land of a mana-screwed opponent, trash
a key enchantment or artifact. I mean, Creeps are just
fantastic! In the newest version of BWGreen, I've gone
back up to 4 Creeps. Plows and Creeps may not absolutely
wreck weenie decks like WW or Stompy, but they're useful.
Of course, I was running cards like Masticore, Dawnstrider,
Deranged Hermit and Child of Gaea to wreck those little
weenie decks :)

> > Plow Under, and Creeping Mold are really key in this deck. As with
> most
> > modern control decks, it runs agressive disruption to allow it the
> time
> > it needs to set up it's win mechanism. Against a deck which doesn't
> care
> > if you tap a land, or if you put a couple on the library, like WW,
> it'd
> > have real problems.
> >
>
> I have to disagree with you there Steven, you are missing the speed
> with which BWG plays its disruption. There's a hell of a difference
> between Plowing on turn 7 and Plowing on turn 3 - even against a deck
> with a handfull of 1 drops.
>
> Having said that I think you are missing some of BWG's abilities -
> it beat Wildfire - WW at the moment does not.
> it beat Black beatdown - do you think WW will at the moment? I dont.

Just a quick correction (sorry, Nigel), but I actually
beat a control black deck in the tournament; I ID'd with
the black beatdown deck, and never faced it in the top 8.
Black beatdown is a problem, but I haven't playtested
enough against it to come up with a solid solution.
Masticore can help. BWGreen has also got tons of card
advantage engines to dig deeper into the deck; black beatdown
does not. Sure, Negator Black can get the insane Ritual draws
that will crush me, but then it would crush just about any deck
with that kind of draw. You have to rely on the card advantage
engine to pull you through, by letting you draw your power cards
quicker than he does. Green's got some tools to help in the matchup.

> it beat Speed Green - WW at the moment will not.
> it beat Blue control deck - WW *may* also (with Rebels).
>
> So it has already beaten the best of Red, Black, Green and Blue (as
> played by a Pro). Do you think it beat WW? In my opinion it would
> beat WW very handily simply because it *is* a flexible deck. Bennie
> played it to a 75% win ratio against a wide variety of decks which
shows
> that it certainly isn't a one-trick pony like WW (and a lot of other
> decks) is/are.

The deck was surprisingly strong. It surprised me.
It is chock full of utility, card advantage, and the
potential for some explosive mana to drop multiple
bombs. I've tweaked the new version to drop the
2 Lyricists for 2 Llanowars to help with the early
mana development, and the sideboard is constantly
under flux, but if I had to play in a Type 2
tomorrow I'd play it without hesitation.

> It requires careful play and it requires thought regarding what to
play
> and when - but these are all hallmarks of a good flexible deck (ie it
> has options). The fact that it can play these options very quickly
is
> the difference that makes it win.

Thanks for the support of BWGreen, Nigel!
It's a great deck to play, and I wish Wizards
had posted the deck before the 3rd week of
States, so more people could have given
it a try. Don't buy into the Stompy hype!
It's a one trick pony, folks!

Later,
Bennie

Air Ron

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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Steven Merritt <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote:

<SNIP>


>
>4 Mother of Runes
>4 Ramosian Sargeant
>4 Rancor
>3 Steadfast Gaurd
>3 Ramosian Captain
>2 Nightwind Glider
>2 Thermal Glider
>3 Afterlife
>3 Disenchant
>3 Cho-Manno's Blessing
>3 Armageddon
>3 Marble Diamond
>3 Moss Diamond
>4 Rishadan Port
>4 Forest
>12 Plains

Why do people always forget about the Longbow Archers?
2/2, First Strike, Can block Fliers (Morphling) for only WW? Sounds
undercosted to me.

> This isn't the old power WW of the days gone by. It's a much more

Sadly, those days are gone.

Andrew Vance

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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Archimede wrote:

> #2 Overpowered.
>
> This is probably the part where I have the most trouble making people
> realize how
> strong the Port's main ability is. In my not so humble opinion, the Port is
> stronger
> than Strip Mine was in t2. Why such a bold statement? Here's a situation.

What a load of rubbish.

>
>
> Turn 1
>
> I play a Land, opponent plays a land.
>

You both make 1cc drops, probably.

>
> Turn 2
>
> I play a Port, tap opponent's land during upkeep, he plays a land.
> ***I play a strip mine, kill opponent's land, he plays a land.***
>

strip V. You both make 1cc drops.
Port V. You do nothing, saving mana to tap a land. Opponent makes 1cc drop - if
he has a 1cc instant, can cast it in response.

>
> Turn 3
>
> I play a land, I have 3 Mana available, opponent only has one mana,

> so I can play a 2-3 cc Spell *or*
> I can play 1 cc spell, and use the port *again*!
> ***I play a land, I have 2 mana available, I can play a 1-2 cc spell...***
>

Port: You cast either a 1 or 3cc spell. Opponent cast either a two or 3cc spell
(depending on use of port, obviously.)
Stripmine: Both cast 2cc spells.

>
> So in effect, the port steals a turn from the opponent. It's like a Time
> Walk!

> ....that stays around! If you don't understand that logic, lemme try to
> reword

> it again, on my third turn, according to the common example aforementioned,


> I have 3 Mana available. My opponent only has 1. So while I'm on my third
> turn,
> my opponent feels like he just had 1.
>

Crap. Lets add up those cards in you example

With strip
Both make 2 1cc drops, 1 2cc drop.
You have lost stripmine (planned)
Opponent has lost one land of your choice (unplanned)

With Port, not used t3
you - 1 1cc, 1 3cc.
opponent 2 1cc (possibly a 1cc instant) 1 3cc

net result? you are either 1 or 2 1cc spells down at this stage, with no
significant board advantage.

With port, port used t3
you - 2 1cc.
opponent 2 1cc(possibly 1cc istant) 12cc.

I hope you can see that this is causing you to be down a few drops. More to the
point - if you actually use it on the third turn, you are FURTHER behind, as you
just dropped a 1cc rather than a 2cc. Sure, you get to choose when to use it,
and against some decks they will have to few 1cc drops to take advantage of
these opportunities. But it is hardly better than stripmine. Against a lot of
decks, it seems hardly better than a basic land. Sure, you might be able to stop
blue from countering at will - if you can survive the (more or less) two point
powersink that is the rishidan port.

>
> So that's the main ability. Other useful abilities, since broken cards tend
> to have lots of them,

> it taps for mana, it stops man lands, or other broken lands like cradle and
> sanctum.
>

Oh no. Not tapping for mana as well? Gee, I suppose it should, given that it
costs two mana to use it.

>
> #3 Degenerate.


>
> This third category is tough to explain. It's basically the rest of the
> reasons. The Port is and will be
> found in most of the top 8 decks in t2 until it's banned.

Possibly; probably not. The current trend is towards a slower environment - if I
have ten turns before you can kill me, exactly how important is my second turn
drop (given you're not making one either)

> The Port is even
> stronger in multiples;

Great. So are 90% of the cards in magic. 2 bolts, 2 lotus's, 2 grizzlies, 2...
almost anything, are better than one. That's why there is a four card limit -
two much anything is abusable.

>
> so while Mind over Matter was broken because of its ability, drawing a
> second one was useless,

To the extent that an extra untap of your academy was useless.

>
> but a second, third, or fourth port is even more abusive.

Not so much. Lets see - it's the sixth turn. You have three basic land, and two
ports. You draw anotherone. Joyfully, you put it into play. Than you say
'yours'. Your opponent begins their turn, and you tap three of their land in
upkeep. They play another, and drop a three cc critter. Boy, are you trashing
them or what?

>


Leon Workman

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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In article <8270ok$3kc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote:
> In case you haven't heard, the Rishadan
> Port has drawn the watchful eye of the
> DCI and is on their banned "Watch List."
> This means it could become banned at
> any moment, so you may not want to
> sell your sould to trade for them.
>
> Now, I have to sit back and wonder
> about that decision. I mean, I don't
> hardly think the Port warrants banning.
> It's extremely useful, and flexible,
> yes that's true. But I don't think
> it's warping the environment. Standard
> right now is the most dynamic and
> eclectic it's been in a long time.
> People are playing a wide variety of
> decks and winning tournaments. A lot
> of the winning decks have Ports in
> them, but the Port serves different
> functions in different decks. While
> taking the disadvantage of only
> providing colorless mana, you get
> the ability to tap troublesome lands,
> or slow your opponent down; this is
> also effectively tying up two of your
> mana to negate (usually) one of your
> opponent's mana. Useful, but not
> hardly broken.
>
> I played 4 Ports in the deck I won
> States with, and they came in handy
> but I'd hardly say they were overpowering.
> What I liked about them was they gave
> you options-- if you didn't have a
> turn 2 play, instead of being punished
> for it, you could use your Port to slow
> your opponent, too. It also helps combat

> counterspells, which I'm always for ;)
>
> What's my point? I don't know if I have
> one, really. I just think it's a little
> silly to be banning a card like Port just
> because everybody's trying them out. I'm
> willing to bet after the initial blush
> wears off, people are going to realize
> that the Ports don't belong in *every*
> deck; hopefully, we'll have the time
> to come to that realization.
>
> Bennie
>
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.
>

Rishadan Port is right behind Opposition and Masticore in the broken
category. White and Blue cannot remove the Port. The port cannot be
countered. It wrecks the mana-curve of every deck, especially when it
is in a land destruction deck. It picks and chooses the best target to
use its ability on turn after turn. It is completely re-usable every
turn. It's only drawback is that it ties up one other land's and its
own mana-generation capabilities each turn. Only Red, Black, and Green
can destroy lands. Most of green's LD capabilities are too expensive
to cast with Port holding your mana back. The only way to beat Port is
by using the deck that Port is the most often used within: LD. It
forces the environment into land-heavy decks that don't include the big
spells that are usually used in decks with that high of land ratios.
It makes expensive spells unplayable, while making you put more land on
the table to play cheaper spells. It destroys the efficiency of multi-
colored decks leading to a blander monochrome playing environment (as
if this hasn't already happened). It's a rare that only the rich
fanatics can afford to have four of.
It wouldn't hurt my feelings if it was banned.

Leon Workman
check out www.killer-kards.com

sysadmin

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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Air Ron wrote:
>
> Steven Merritt <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote:
>
> <SNIP>
> >
> >4 Mother of Runes
> >4 Ramosian Sargeant
> >4 Rancor
> >3 Steadfast Gaurd
> >3 Ramosian Captain
> >2 Nightwind Glider
> >2 Thermal Glider
> >3 Afterlife
> >3 Disenchant
> >3 Cho-Manno's Blessing
> >3 Armageddon
> >3 Marble Diamond
> >3 Moss Diamond
> >4 Rishadan Port
> >4 Forest
> >12 Plains
>
> Why do people always forget about the Longbow Archers?
> 2/2, First Strike, Can block Fliers (Morphling) for only WW? Sounds
> undercosted to me.

About six minutes after I posted this, I thought, damn I forgot the
Archers! I'd lose the Steadfast Gaurd in favor of three Longbows

Nate Finch

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
to
On Tue, 7 Dec 1999, Bennie Smith wrote:

>In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.WPI.EDU>,
> Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:

>> As someone said, soon enough, people will start to realize port doesn't
>> belong in some decks. In fact, port doesn't belong in a lot of decks.
>

>That someone would be me ;)
>
>And thanks for so eloquently explaining what was
>more of a gut feeling for me.

No problem. You and I seem to think alike often enough :)

[snip]

>Excellent points, Nate. I also think you
>will find many folks stop playing Ports,
>or playing around them, by loosening and
>diversifying their mana supply. This pushes
>the game towards a slower-developing environment,
>which is something that's gonna feel like a
>welcome breath of fresh air.

I can't wait for this :) Already I think we're seeing the effect port is
having on the game. Look at the post by Frank under this same subject,
2/3 of the decks in State Championships were control decks. And control
decks are mid to end game decks. People are playing with 5+ casting cost
cards in their decks.... remember when 3cc was iffy, because it was almost
too slow? This is great for the game. Is it all Port's doing? Nah...
but does it help? Sure.

sysadmin

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
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Zaphod Beeblebrox wrote:
>
> >
> > Blair Witch Green, while a great deck, has one major problem.
> It
> > RELIES on it's opponents not having a flexible deck. Look at it,
> Ports,
> > Plow Under, and Creeping Mold are really key in this deck. As with
> most
> > modern control decks, it runs agressive disruption to allow it the
> time
> > it needs to set up it's win mechanism. Against a deck which doesn't
> care
> > if you tap a land, or if you put a couple on the library, like WW,
> it'd
> > have real problems.
> >
>
> I have to disagree with you there Steven, you are missing the speed
> with which BWG plays its disruption. There's a hell of a difference
> between Plowing on turn 7 and Plowing on turn 3 - even against a deck
> with a handfull of 1 drops.

I'm not saying all the deck does is disrupt. As with any control deck,
it just uses it's disruption effects to slow the game and stunt their
opponent's resources until it's in the late game where it's card
advantage engines can give it too many threats and so many control
elements to back those threats up that it just runs it's opponent over.
This is most effective against decks which have few to no options on how
they can play out their strategy. i.e. decks which nearly autolose if
they don't get cards XYZ and play them sucessfully before their opponent
get's their strategy developed.



> Having said that I think you are missing some of BWG's abilities -
> it beat Wildfire - WW at the moment does not.
> it beat Black beatdown - do you think WW will at the moment? I dont.

> it beat Speed Green - WW at the moment will not.
> it beat Blue control deck - WW *may* also (with Rebels).

I think people are playing WW wrong. Just like people play Green wrong
right now. As BWG proved, a control variation is often better in the
current environment than a pure beatdown version. I posted a W/g deck
with creatures which provide pressure, but the heart of the deck was
really the disruption. 'Geddon and Port along with the creature control
and Cho-Manno's Blessing it's more like a deck built around Bennies "Now
deal with THIS" school. Play out a few threats. If they try to
neutralize them, stop them if you can, eliminating blockers or
protecting your creatures from their stuff with Blessing, Disenchant War
Tax, etc. If you can't, either use the rebels to search for more
threats, or just drop another or two. Try to keep them in their early
game with 'Geddon and Port. Port's effect of limiting your own mana
resources is less of a burden on you because your deck can be productive
in the early game.



> So it has already beaten the best of Red, Black, Green and Blue (as
> played by a Pro). Do you think it beat WW? In my opinion it would
> beat WW very handily simply because it *is* a flexible deck. Bennie
> played it to a 75% win ratio against a wide variety of decks which shows
> that it certainly isn't a one-trick pony like WW (and a lot of other
> decks) is/are.

I'm not saying BWG is a bad deck! Sorry, I just had to say that. And
if you're trying to play WW as a pure beatdown deck, well you're going
to get beat like a red-headed stepchild. It doesn't have enough good
one-drops, sturdy creatures, protection creatures, cheap creature
pumpers(remember Empyrial Armor?) or evasion creatures, or
hard-to-remove creatures(like the en-Kor) to make that happen. What it
does have is enough versatility to get it to a 50/50 with most
archetypes when played as a control deck and the best sideboard options
in the game, at the moment, to up those figures in game two and possibly
three.


> It requires careful play and it requires thought regarding what to play
> and when - but these are all hallmarks of a good flexible deck (ie it
> has options). The fact that it can play these options very quickly is
> the difference that makes it win.

Do me a favor, before you repy to this post. Seriously, build the deck
I posted. Proxies, Apprentice, I don't care. Play it like a control
deck. Build a sideboard of things like Absolute Law/Grace Throw in a
couple more artifact control spells and another Afterlife. Put a couple
Masticore in the board against weenies, Cho-Arrim Legate is awesome
against turn 1 Ritual-Negator. Another Cho-Manno's Blessing allows you
to help negate black and red removal and doubles as a counterspell
against Rancor, Might of Oaks, Symbiosis, Giant Growth, Twisted
Experiment, or any number of creature enhancers/removal. It can also
provide you an evasion creature if you need one. Hell, throw in one of
each other rebel so you can go rebel madness against a control deck to
offset their card advantage engines. Expect Fat Green Beats?
Crackdown stops those pretty cold. First Strikers like Ramosian Captain
or the Archer I forgot to use instead of Steadfast Gaurd will really
stop an attacking creature cold if it has a Rancor on it. Hell, it'll
stop most cold anyway. If a negator has to take it before it can deal it
out, ouch. If you go with an enchantment heavy board, throw in a couple
of Enlightened Tutors too. Side out creatures if you want, the deck is
a control deck with creatures to be a clock, kind of like a necro deck
with only a couple of Skirges. You can even side in Devout Witness to
handle artifact heavy decks. The deck is certainly not a "one-trick
pony."
After you build and play it a little, if you're not too impressed with
it, remember, it's a control deck and it's real strength is it's
sideboard. It's a mediocre maindeck, but it's got awesome sideboard
material.
Once you've had some experience with the deck and have shifted your
paradigm of what WW is and how WW can do things, let me know what you
think of it, and what you'd reccommend as some changes. But when you
see a decklist, don't just think of it in terms of "What archetype is
this a permutation of" then assume the deck plays like that Archetype
generally does. This deck is certainly not your same old WW. If
anything, it's more like Jank.

sysadmin

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
to
Bennie Smith wrote:
>
> In article <82hcjh$2dh$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Zaphod Beeblebrox <zaph...@mailcity.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Blair Witch Green, while a great deck, has one major problem.
> > It
> > > RELIES on it's opponents not having a flexible deck. Look at it,
> > Ports,
>
> Hmmm... I wouldn't say BWGreen "relies" on opponent's not
> having a flexible deck, though it certainly pounces on those
> decks with a vengence. I chose the Plows and Creeps because
> they are never useless cards. Even if my opponent has 10
> land on the board, a Plow Under is still useful by setting
> my opponent back two draws. And what's your problem with
> Creep? Destroy the land of a mana-screwed opponent, trash
> a key enchantment or artifact. I mean, Creeps are just
> fantastic! In the newest version of BWGreen, I've gone
> back up to 4 Creeps. Plows and Creeps may not absolutely
> wreck weenie decks like WW or Stompy, but they're useful.
> Of course, I was running cards like Masticore, Dawnstrider,
> Deranged Hermit and Child of Gaea to wreck those little
> weenie decks :)

Relies was probably too strong a word. Thrives might have been
better. Like I said in my reply to Nigel, I think BWG uses it's
disruption/delay tactics to slow the opponent's deck or deny them
resources while it uses it's advantage engines to build up too many
threats backed up by control elements to beat them. I have no problem
with Creeping Mold, I love that card to death. One of the most
versatile cards ever printed, I think it's recently been ousted from my
"favorite flexible card" list by Cho-Manno's Blessing, but hey, I don't
play Green much(but you better believe I got my four creeps and I ain't
tradin' 'em!)

Michael J. Winckler

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Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
to
Hi Jason, hi all,

On Mon, 6 Dec 1999, Jason Service wrote:

|Bennie Smith <bens...@i-c.net> wrote :


|
|> I mean card rarity
|> as a way to balance the power of a card proved
|> to be silly way back in the days of Unlimited.
|

Agreed!

|> I'll agree that it's hardly "fair" to have a card
|> so popular be a hard-to-find rare, but Wizards
|> has been walking this road for several years;
|

|> Once the Tempest block
|> came out, you began to see the "power" decks
|> with higher and higher percentage of rares
|> making up the deck.
|
|A great example of this is a spell like Sarcomancy, which doesn't do
|something totally game-changing or unusual (the old standard for what
|should be rare), but it's a card that you definitely want in an
|aggressive black deck. It's like making Black Knight rare.

[this contradicts some of your later thoughts. Sarcomancy
was very "narrow". Only a true Suicide-Black needed it.
It's totally different from the Port (in narrowness) and
it's more narrow than the Knight]

On the other hand we got Rancor in the Common slot and
the all-mighty Albino Troll. Putting Might of Oaks in
tha Rares department was the conclusion of a very good
decision about the Common/Uncommon/Rare subject.

They don't always get it wrong.

BTW: If the card in the rare slot is *not* powerful, people
start to complain about the set (cf. MM). Ask a player
about Common Cause if you want an answer. Its a very narrow
card and I don't think it has a real use. But it is so
unbroken (Read: cheap) that I could plaster my living room
with it.

|> Perhaps this makes more
|> business sense, but it's a kick in the teeth
|> to Magic fans who don't have the resources
|> to chase down the rares necessary to make a
|> competitive deck.
|
|Making powerful cards rare makes a lot of sense if your goal is to
|sell as much of set X as possible. Where it makes less sense is in
|selling as much of BRAND X as possible. Power-rares hurt tournament
|play... they hurt innovation and variety, and THAT hurts Magic in the
|long run.

** This starts to go into the 'rant-about-card-rarity' direction.
** WotC try to sell cards. It's their business. As long as they
** go with the Foil as ultra-rares I don't complain. It's a
** balanced way between rip-off and missing a market chance.

You can still play good decks with only a few Rares
in them (Mono-Green: 2 Might of Oaks, 2 Cradles and
a lot of commons and uncommons. Trade for a few more
Power-Cards to go from 98% to 100% tourney-worthy).

If you insist on playing Squirrel-Prison, however,
you have to dig deep into your pocket. That's the way it
is, folks.

|> The DCI isn't (and shouldn't be) in the business
|> to determine whether a card is unfair because
|> of its rarity and popularity; they should be
|> in the business of trying to keep the Magic
|> tournament scene vibrant and diverse, and
|> to ban cards that threaten that.

Yep!

| [e.g.] that Starter product is not legal in Standard (and it was


|intended to be, from everything I've read), because overseas markets
|don't have the same access that the US does (this was the DCI's
|rationale, based on what I've read). This is a roughly analogous
|example, but it makes it fairly clear that the DCI doesn't see its
|mission solely as resolving in-game issues with its lists.

But it's a ridiculous excuse to screw the Magic beginners again.
Some of my Guru buddies bought starter and now they blame me
for it: I still have no clue if they will get T2-legal; kids
invested in them and now have a bunch of cards which will not
form a basis for their (later) T2 carrer.

**And all of the Starter cards are reprints**, so you can trade
for the everywhere.

**And my dealer got Starter 3 days after I asked him for them**
(Germany is "overseas", isn't it ;-)

Getting on that Guru program was a huge mistake!

[end of sidenote]

| Banning of
|> cards like Time Spiral, Tolarian Academy,
|> and Fluctuator help accomplish that. I don't
|> see that the Port is unbalancing like those
|> cards were.
|
|In the sense that you must play Deck X or else lose, you're right.
|In the sense that you must play card X or stand a much greater chance
|losing, I think it's comparable. the motivation to have Ports may be
|greater even then the motivation to get Academies or Spirals, because
|they will work in almost every deck you can dream up.

But they didn't ban Msati (yet). And look how many deck have
at least 2 Mastis in them. Sometimes another phatty might
be a replacement. But in the end it's a sub-optimal variant
to play Thorny instead of Mastercard.

|> A true test of
|> skill should be in looking at an individual
|> card and determining it's worth as a tournament
|> level card, not looking at it's rarity.

Wrong approach. Wizards sell a *huge* amount of Boosters
from DCI/private draft. Putting a game-altering card in
the common slot destroys a lot of the appeal of drafting
(and will reduce their profits).

As a player playing *lots* of drafts I like most of the
rarity decisions that WotC makes. Why do you think is
Pestilence an Uncommon now and Fallen Angle a Rare??
If you are lucky and get *one* in a draft, you start
drafting that color, have *one* powerful card that
might win you 10% of your games **provided that the
rest of the color doesn't screw you up**.

|As long as we're talking about a card that naturally restricts itself
|to a certain kind of deck or does something fairly narrow (you know,
|the way rares were originally supposed to be) I don't have a problem
|with it. It's when it's a card that isn;t narrow, that anyone might
|want to play, and it's made rare, that I have a problem. i.e.- to me
|it isn't the fact that a powerful card has been made rare.. it's that
|a utility card has been made rare.

This might be a good test for rarity. Wizards always claim
that they base their rarity decision mainly on the "is-
it-game-altering?" question. "Is it a narrow or a broad
card?" might be a more reaonable question (example: again
Might of Oaks. It doesn't change the rules, but it
is restricted to a few beatdown decks. In these it is
a powerful weapon ... but you don't need 4 MoO to be
competitive).

|> Until then [...] look to beatdown decks for
|> lower-costed competitive decks
|> [...] currently, green creature rush

Than you! See above.

|Of course, even a beatdown deck would gain a lot from Ports... also,
|beatdown gets boring after awhile. It's the ability to throw in
|twists that makes them really fun at all, for many of us.

So go a different way. Look at the new Rares and trade
for 4 copies of a promising one. Go build a deck around
it. You will have a lot of fun (I had 2 Conspiracy after
the Prerelease and in the following week I bought my
son and daughter *one* booster each ... they traded
hard with Daddy!).

But if you want to win Tournaments on a regular basis,
you either have to be The Upcoming Magic Prophet [TM]
or invest in a lot of $$$-cards


My 4 Pfennig (will be about 2 Euro-cents in 2002),

Michael


---------------------------------------------------------------------
(o- Michael J. Winckler Michael....@iwr.uni-heidelberg.de
//\ http://www.iwr.uni-heidelberg.de/%7EMichael.Winckler/
V_/_ Praktikumssprechzeiten: Dienstags,Freitags 11:oo-12:oo
"One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see" John 9:25

Nate Finch

unread,
Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
to
On Tue, 7 Dec 1999, Leon Workman wrote:

>Rishadan Port is right behind Opposition and Masticore in the broken
>category.

Excuse me? You know why Opposition and Masticore are even close to being
broken? I play Opposition... oops, you lose. I play Masticore... oops,
you lose. Both of these can take a game you are losing horribly and turn
it around instantly. Can Port do that? Nope. Is Port really good?
Sure, but it's not game breaking.

>White and Blue cannot remove the Port.

Armageddon? Sure it removes everything, but it works. And you can't
argue that all lands are bad because blue can't get rid of them. By that
note, all artifacts are inherently bad because black and blue can't get
rid of them. Sure, lands are the toughest thing to get rid of, but that
doesn't make it overpowered.

>The port cannot be countered.

Oh my god no! UU isn't an instant lifesaver! :P Can you tell this line
of thought isn't working?

>It wrecks the mana-curve of every deck

Yeah, it kinda does. So it slows the game down a little... this is bad
why? And so people have to start loosening up their mana curves, damn,
it'll give the game a little variety. No more decks so tightly wound that
losing one land kills their whole strategy.

>especially when it is in a land destruction deck.

How many LD decks are around in T2 right now? 1? Port does what it does,
and yes it's better in a LD deck, but you could say counterspell is broken
in a mono blue control deck too.

>It picks and chooses the best target to use its ability on turn after
>turn. It is completely re-usable every turn. It's only drawback is
>that it ties up one other land's and its own mana-generation
>capabilities each turn.

It's only drawback is that when you use it, it does twice its effect to
you... hrm, yeah.

>Only Red, Black, and Green can destroy lands.

See above under counterspells etc.

>Most of green's LD capabilities are too expensive to cast with Port
>holding your mana back.

Ha! Green is like the LAST color that has to worry about Port. Tap one
of my lands? Fine, I guess I only have 6 mana on turn 3.

>The only way to beat Port is by using the deck that Port is the most
>often used within: LD.

No, you can get around it by diversifying your mana supply and interacting
with your opponent rather than assuming you're not going to get disrupted.

>It forces the environment into land-heavy decks that don't include the
>big spells that are usually used in decks with that high of land ratios.

Bah! Port slows down the environment so that you have more time to get
out the big spells. If you're already playing with weenies, you don't
care about one land a turn. If you're playing with big stuff, the early
slow down is a bonus that lets you lay lands for longer without worrying
about early spells. Will it slow you down a turn? Sure, but if the
opponent uses it every turn, he won't be casting the early drops that
usually threaten slow decks.

>It makes expensive spells unplayable,

No, once the game gets to the point where you can play expensive spells,
ie those that are 5+, ports become mostly useless then anyway, and they
stop getting used.

>while making you put more land on the table to play cheaper spells.

What, no more 10 land green? Yes, I know you can't play 18 mountains in a
sligh deck with Port playing against you, but that's not a bad
thing. Port means your mana isn't going to be perfect, so you can't rely
on a tight mana curve because *gasp* you might get disrupted.
Port = slow = good.

>It destroys the efficiency of multi- colored decks leading to a blander
>monochrome playing environment (as if this hasn't already happened).

You can still easily play two color decks with Port in the
environment. I've seen more, not less, two colored decks since Port came
out. But you are right, you can't just throw in 4 Cities and rely on
getting the mana you need. Port punishes unreliable decks, those that are
easily disrupted or work off an inflexible mana base.

>It's a rare that only the rich fanatics can afford to have four of.

Now this is a sentiment I agree with, though I don't know if you need to
be a fanatic. Rich helps though.

>It wouldn't hurt my feelings if it was banned.

It wouldn't hurt my feelings, but it would piss me off.

-Nate


Jason Service

unread,
Dec 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/7/99
to

Michael J. Winckler <mi...@susan.iwr.uni-heidelberg.de> wrote in message
news:Pine.SGI.4.05.991207...@susan.iwr.uni-heidelberg.de...
> Hi Jason, hi all,

> |> Once the Tempest block
> |> came out, you began to see the "power" decks
> |> with higher and higher percentage of rares
> |> making up the deck.
> |
> |A great example of this is a spell like Sarcomancy, which doesn't do
> |something totally game-changing or unusual (the old standard for what
> |should be rare), but it's a card that you definitely want in an
> |aggressive black deck. It's like making Black Knight rare.
>
> [this contradicts some of your later thoughts. Sarcomancy
> was very "narrow". Only a true Suicide-Black needed it.
> It's totally different from the Port (in narrowness) and
> it's more narrow than the Knight]

Sarcomancy was USED in a very narrow selection of decks. It is not, however,
a naturally narrow card.
What it does is gives you a 2/2 creature, which does not in any way provide
a global effect, but which has a drawback which may or may not be
significant. Calling Sarcomany narrow is like calling Jackal Pup narrow.
Focused, yes, but narrow, no. It's no more narrow than any other small
black creature.

A card like Hatred, on the other hand, IS narrow, and as such I think they
made a good decision making it rare.

When I talk about narrow cards, I'm talking about things like Fluctuator,
Armageddon, Living Death, or Necropotence, which can be incredibly powerful
in a deck that's built specifically around them, but are not generally
useful otherwise.

The simplest way I can relate my definition of narrow is this: if you would
only draft it because it was your last choice, or to beat a specific
opponent, it's narrow, and it should be rare. If it provides the same
advantage or disadvantage to both players, or has a bizarre casting cost or
huge drawback, and is therefore only good in a deck built around it (Stasis,
Winter Orb, Wrath of God), it's narrow, and should be rare.

If you could reasonably play it in any deck with the right colored mana,
it's not narrow, and it should, for the most part, be common.

If it is a card that is so good it would make you want to play a color over
any other (Morphling), it's overpowered, and for purposes of drafting/sealed
deck, should probably be uncommon.

>
> On the other hand we got Rancor in the Common slot and
> the all-mighty Albino Troll. Putting Might of Oaks in
> tha Rares department was the conclusion of a very good
> decision about the Common/Uncommon/Rare subject.
>

I think the Might of Oaks decision stems more from draft/limited balance.
What it does is as vanilla as you can possibly get, it just does it on a
large scale. If they'd made it GG2 or something similar, I think they could
have safely made it uncommon.

> They don't always get it wrong.
>
> BTW: If the card in the rare slot is *not* powerful, people
> start to complain about the set (cf. MM).

As someone who dislikes MM intensely, I can tell you, it's not the fact that
the rares aren;t poweful (something I'd actually dispute, since in my
opinion, the power cards of the set are mainly all rares), it's the fact
that the mechanics are boring and the set as a whole is underpowered and
unoriginal. I'd be happy to go through the set card by card and explain
what I mean and what specific examples I could cite, but unless there's a
big outcry for my opinions on the set, that would have to be by e-mail.

Ask a player
> about Common Cause if you want an answer. Its a very narrow
> card and I don't think it has a real use. But it is so
> unbroken (Read: cheap) that I could plaster my living room
> with it.

IMHO, Common Cause is a perfect example of a card that ought to be rare.
Why inflict it upon me repeatedly?

People may complain, but that's simply because they've got a Pavlovian
expectation that all their rares will be power cards, and all their power
cards, rare. It's only an issue because so many other power cards are rare.
Desperate players buy box after box, despite having all the commons and
uncommons they will ever need, in the hope tnat they'll get that last Port,
or Scroll, or Mox, or [insert expensive, highly sought rare here]. If those
cards were uncommon, it wouldn't be an issue. Rare cards would still fetch
a decent price from those who needed them either to finish a set, or to go
in an off-beat deck (in these ways, rares would be like a foil "treacherous
link"), and not because they were both rare AND necessary to compete.

>
> |> Perhaps this makes more
> |> business sense, but it's a kick in the teeth
> |> to Magic fans who don't have the resources
> |> to chase down the rares necessary to make a
> |> competitive deck.
> |
> |Making powerful cards rare makes a lot of sense if your goal is to
> |sell as much of set X as possible. Where it makes less sense is in
> |selling as much of BRAND X as possible. Power-rares hurt tournament
> |play... they hurt innovation and variety, and THAT hurts Magic in the
> |long run.
>
> ** This starts to go into the 'rant-about-card-rarity' direction.
> ** WotC try to sell cards. It's their business. As long as they
> ** go with the Foil as ultra-rares I don't complain. It's a
> ** balanced way between rip-off and missing a market chance.

Foils as chase cards are fine by me, since foils do not afford any in-game
advantage. I think it's great that those who are willing to spend more have
some way to outlet that desire for status without hurting anyone else's
chances for an even match. Foils fill much the same niche that
black-bordered versions of cards available in the main set serve. The fact
that they help WOTC pad it's bottom line makes them a good thing for
everybody.

>
> You can still play good decks with only a few Rares
> in them (Mono-Green: 2 Might of Oaks, 2 Cradles and
> a lot of commons and uncommons. Trade for a few more
> Power-Cards to go from 98% to 100% tourney-worthy).

Deadguy Red. 4 Rares (cursed scroll). Easy to put together.
Congratulations, Magic "The game of a million possibilities" has now been
reduced to "The game of one possibility, unless you've got a lot of money to
burn". Of course, if you've got the money, you can play Tradewind-Geddon,
Living Death, or Anti-Red White Weenie and destroy Deadguy Red. The guy
without the money can then adjust by... leaving magic, because he can't
afford the cards he needs to put together a deck to beat yours.

I know I'm not necessarily representative of all magic players, but to me,
Magic is more fun, the more people that are playing. When I could walk into
any public place and find someone who had a deck in their pocket, Magic was
a blast. When I could go to my local gaming store and play Magic every
Thursday and Sunday night (albeit against the same 15 people all the time)
it was less fun, but tolerable, As fewer and fewer people play, because
fewer and fewer people can afford to, Magic is becoming less viable, and
less fun. This is after all, a game that involves two or more people
(unless you're playing combo, I guess)... take one of those away and it
ceases to be fun. When it ceases to be fun, it will cease to sell.

Do you see why magic players' best interests are also WOTC's best interests?
I have no doubt that making the power cards rare makes the most sense in
respects to IMMEDIATE profits. What is in doubt is what this attitude does
to long-term sales.

>
> If you insist on playing Squirrel-Prison, however,
> you have to dig deep into your pocket. That's the way it
> is, folks.

Yes, thank you for restating something that I think we'd all taken as a
given.


>
> |> The DCI isn't (and shouldn't be) in the business
> |> to determine whether a card is unfair because
> |> of its rarity and popularity; they should be
> |> in the business of trying to keep the Magic
> |> tournament scene vibrant and diverse, and
> |> to ban cards that threaten that.
>
> Yep!
>
> | [e.g.] that Starter product is not legal in Standard (and it was
> |intended to be, from everything I've read), because overseas markets
> |don't have the same access that the US does (this was the DCI's
> |rationale, based on what I've read). This is a roughly analogous
> |example, but it makes it fairly clear that the DCI doesn't see its
> |mission solely as resolving in-game issues with its lists.
>
> But it's a ridiculous excuse to screw the Magic beginners again.
> Some of my Guru buddies bought starter and now they blame me
> for it: I still have no clue if they will get T2-legal; kids
> invested in them and now have a bunch of cards which will not
> form a basis for their (later) T2 carrer.


I'm not saying it's a correct policy, I'm just saying that it sets a
precedent that the DCI does not deem the power of a card in-game to be the
only consideration when allowing or banning certain cards. So it would be
*consistent* with that policy to ban the Port for the same reasons alluded
to in their policy on Starter product.


> **And my dealer got Starter 3 days after I asked him for them**
> (Germany is "overseas", isn't it ;-)
>
> Getting on that Guru program was a huge mistake!
>
> [end of sidenote]
>
> | Banning of
> |> cards like Time Spiral, Tolarian Academy,
> |> and Fluctuator help accomplish that. I don't
> |> see that the Port is unbalancing like those
> |> cards were.
> |
> |In the sense that you must play Deck X or else lose, you're right.
> |In the sense that you must play card X or stand a much greater chance
> |losing, I think it's comparable. the motivation to have Ports may be
> |greater even then the motivation to get Academies or Spirals, because
> |they will work in almost every deck you can dream up.
>
> But they didn't ban Msati (yet). And look how many deck have
> at least 2 Mastis in them. Sometimes another phatty might
> be a replacement. But in the end it's a sub-optimal variant
> to play Thorny instead of Mastercard.

Masticore is a good example. It is roughly equivelent to the Port in terms
of being non-color specific, being versatile (beatdown, or creature elim)
and being rare. the only thing I can see about Masticore as compared to the
port is that it has a very concrete drawback to it (discarding a card).
It's also very easy to say "Well, you can deal with masticore by playing
discard, or large creatures, or counterspells, etc...". Whether these be
good solutions or not, they are concrete. Most colors don't have a concrete
solution to Rishadan Port, and the Port itself does not have a concrete
drawback (yes, it taps for colorless... which is a drawback as opposed to
having a color, but it doesn;t come into play tapped, cost you any life, a
card, or ANYTHING, really)

I do think you have a point however. Masticore could very easily be put at
approximately the same level as the Port.


>
> |> A true test of
> |> skill should be in looking at an individual
> |> card and determining it's worth as a tournament
> |> level card, not looking at it's rarity.
>
> Wrong approach. Wizards sell a *huge* amount of Boosters
> from DCI/private draft. Putting a game-altering card in
> the common slot destroys a lot of the appeal of drafting
> (and will reduce their profits).

Then Rancor should be rare.

>
> As a player playing *lots* of drafts I like most of the
> rarity decisions that WotC makes. Why do you think is
> Pestilence an Uncommon now and Fallen Angle a Rare??

Wasn't pestilence a common in Saga?

> If you are lucky and get *one* in a draft, you start
> drafting that color, have *one* powerful card that
> might win you 10% of your games **provided that the
> rest of the color doesn't screw you up**.

<snip>

> So go a different way. Look at the new Rares and trade
> for 4 copies of a promising one. Go build a deck around
> it. You will have a lot of fun (I had 2 Conspiracy after
> the Prerelease and in the following week I bought my
> son and daughter *one* booster each ... they traded
> hard with Daddy!).
>
> But if you want to win Tournaments on a regular basis,
> you either have to be The Upcoming Magic Prophet [TM]
> or invest in a lot of $$$-cards

Again, there's no dispute there... in fact, that's sort of my point.


Bennie Smith

unread,
Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
to
In article <384C9DEB...@startrekmail.com>,

sysadmin <smer...@startrekmail.com> wrote:
> Bennie Smith wrote:
>
> Relies was probably too strong a word. Thrives might have been
> better. Like I said in my reply to Nigel, I think BWG uses it's
> disruption/delay tactics to slow the opponent's deck or deny them
> resources while it uses it's advantage engines to build up too many
> threats backed up by control elements to beat them. I have no problem
> with Creeping Mold, I love that card to death. One of the most
> versatile cards ever printed, I think it's recently been ousted from
my
> "favorite flexible card" list by Cho-Manno's Blessing, but hey, I
don't
> play Green much(but you better believe I got my four creeps and I
ain't
> tradin' 'em!)

I haven't had much opportunity to play the Blessing in
constructed, but I have been VERY impressed with them
in limited.

In your other post, you mentioned a G/w control deck...
I've been wondering why no one has decided to run
Cradles in a new WW deck (and you're right, the better
ones are much more like Jank and less like the ol'
WW beatdown). I mean, they're great to crank out
rebels via their gating ability, and can give the
acceleration to play that early 'geddon or
Masticore. Remember Schneider running Cradles
in his Sligh decks? Add Brushland and a few Thran
Quarries to the mix, and you could have a better Moa
Boa, and it would be much more like Jank. I'll have
to throw one together and see what it looks like.

Later,

Bennie Smith

unread,
Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
to
In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.WPI.EDU>,
Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:
> On Tue, 7 Dec 1999, Bennie Smith wrote:
>
> >In article <Pine.OSF.4.21.99120...@wpi.WPI.EDU>,
> > Nate Finch <na...@wpi.edu> wrote:
> <snip>

> >Excellent points, Nate. I also think you
> >will find many folks stop playing Ports,
> >or playing around them, by loosening and
> >diversifying their mana supply. This pushes
> >the game towards a slower-developing environment,
> >which is something that's gonna feel like a
> >welcome breath of fresh air.
>
> I can't wait for this :) Already I think we're seeing the effect port
is
> having on the game. Look at the post by Frank under this same
subject,
> 2/3 of the decks in State Championships were control decks. And
control
> decks are mid to end game decks. People are playing with 5+ casting
cost
> cards in their decks.... remember when 3cc was iffy, because it was
almost
> too slow? This is great for the game. Is it all Port's doing?
Nah...
> but does it help? Sure.

What's really great is that there's control decks
out there that aren't necessarily blue... black control,
green control, red control; you can play control now
without feeling dirty about playing counterspells.
I feel much better about breaking someone's back
with Plow Unders than buyback Forbid with an
Ouphidian breathing down your neck.

By the way, you freaked me out when I first looked
at this thread and saw "sysadmin" under my post.
I was like "uh-oh... didn't know this group was
monitored!!" :)