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Silvestri Says – BANNED!

BANNED!

My birthday celebration started a bit early this year when I found out the new banned list was coming out on the 20th and I was excited to see any potential changes come to Standard to stop utter Caw dominance. While I had expected a ban based on the information mined by a good many people across various sites and forums (and I even sold my [card]Batterskull[/card]s and [card]Stoneforge Mystic[/card]s as a precaution), I knew there was a still a chance nothing would happen. One was the most expensive card in the format by a fair margin, so you risked alienating anyone who dropped bills on it… Oh and the other was in an event deck you just released. No pressure.

I hammered on the server like a good many other people at 9pm PST and saw that [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card] and Stoneforge Mystic were both banned.

Wow.

Now I’ve already laid out why I felt bannings should occur and felt there was strong data correlating to a stagnant and awful format. The attendance numbers from recent PTQs and New Phyrexia Game Day show a pretty steep decline from a year ago and while I can’t speak for FNM numbers, Forsythe’s article mentions there was a noticeable shift at FNM as well. I’m still surprised they went that far and took what felt like the culmination of everything I previously discussed in my bannings over history article. They nailed both of the major engines in the format for reasons related to power level, dominance and general affect on attendance and ‘fun’.

So while I was hoping for bans, I honestly thought they would only ban Stoneforge Mystic and data and dominance be damned. Instead they took that extra step and wiped the slate clean of the most powerful blue engine ever printed. By removing both cards at once they theoretically opened up so much deckbuilding space in one swoop it’s only matched by a few other decisions in the history of the game. Of course Valakut still exists and people are worried that will step right in and take over as the new head honcho, but I’m skeptical of this for reasons I’ll outline later in the article. Right now I want to focus on the immediate backlash over banning JTMS.

People complaining about Jace being banned who are actually good at Magic are largely complaining about one aspect of the banning and just covering it up in different ways. To quote my friend Zaiem Beg, “God, the deck that lets me exploit my skill edge more than any other deck in any PTQ format in the last five years is gone?” and the card with the most options of them all? Jace. If Jace were still around they could go ahead and watch Stoneforge Mystic be sacrificed to all the heathens and dead money who cried out for a ban. Meanwhile they just switch over to RUG, UB or rebuild UW as another variation and continue with a slightly less powerful deck and just keep abusing people with one of the top five blue cards of all-time.

News flash, there were control decks before JTMS existed and there will be ones after as well. Every time someone says the color blue is dead as a color either ignores the less dominant blue decks or within six months is enjoy a brand-new absurd blue deck. Now I’m a fan of Jace, just as I’m a fan of Preordain or any other efficient card that let’s me lower the amount of variance in the game. However I can also take a step back and say, “Gee, maybe from a balance perspective this is just a bit over the line.” That seems to be the sticking point for a lot of the ‘OH WHY JACE, GOD WHY!’ commentary.

Here’s the thing about variance, without it this game wouldn’t exist and with only a small amount it would have maybe 1/20th of the audience it does today. Quite frankly if it was 90% skill, I would just play go back to full-time fighting games or RTS or other forms of competitive gaming, because at that point I might as well play and have a 99% skill threshold involved. You need to have the “scrubs” and “dead money” happy to a degree, otherwise they’ll vote with their wallets (as was seen with the attendance drop-off) and soon your high-end tournaments are going to get smaller and less lucrative until you become disenchanted with the game.

Obviously you don’t want to balance entirely for the lowest common denominator or a casual level of play, but the same goes for only aiming at the very highest of levels. The fact is those people will put up with a lot more regardless and at some point you’ll be doing such minute balance tweaks you’ll wonder what the point is when the vast majority of players will never even notice the work you do. Low level players will always complain about what they have problems with and ignoring all of them while catering to 1% of your player base isn’t going to do you any favors in the long run.

As for the elephant in the room post-banning, Valakut isn’t the super power some people like to claim it to be. Let me clear up a common talking point I see everywhere, Valakut was the best deck for roughly a month and there were multiple other decks below it in terms of success and metagame presence. These discrepancies were not anywhere near the numbers of Caw Blade vs. other decks even when you only compare the first month of Caw success compared to every other deck in the format. Let alone post-Batterskull, in which the numbers would not even be remotely close to the pathetic success to percent of metagame Valakut had by comparison.

Caw had the best performance of possibly any Standard deck ever made and the closest relative numbers-wise was Affinity. These decks do not exist every format and people need to stop acting like Jund or Faeries was in the same league, and especially not the few months Valakut was a solid deck. There are very few points in MTG history where you could make this type of claim about dominance and some of you are already talking about it as if it’s a done deal before a single post-ban game has been played. This is ridiculous and just perpetuates the idea that many Magic players just whine about everything while throwing any pesky obstacles like logic or factual evidence right out the window.

With that said it wouldn’t surprise me if the first major Standard tournaments post-banning were headlined by Valakut. The deck isn’t bad; it just isn’t historically remarkable or anymore broken then other top decks were, based on the evidence we have before it fell out of the metagame completely. It does have a solid aggro match-up and it’s possible new control decks will need a few weeks and a clearer sense of the metagame before they emerge. The general builds of Valakut have changed very little over the past months so putting together a list for that isn’t as difficult as say engineering a post-ban [card]Splinter Twin[/card] or [card]Birthing Pod[/card] deck.

By default [card]Primeval Titan[/card]/[card]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle[/card] and [card]Deceiver Exarch[/card]/[card]Splinter Twin[/card] are the most powerful interactions left in the format. People will naturally be drawn to them and attempt to get the most out of them while the metagame is open and Johnny players fall back into brewing and many spikes are left trying to figure out a deck to play. While some will jump to Valakut, there’s a reason many of them refuse to play the deck on principle and it all goes back to the aforementioned variance involved. However there’s a very high chance the metagame will end up rather open-ended for the first few weeks while people find their bearings. Valakut could very well be the top of the mountain, but I simply can’t imagine everyone throwing away whatever else they could be doing to play the deck, especially with such a terrible mirror match.

So almost by choice the metagame won’t be all Valakut all the time and the fact is even if it makes a huge impact Valakut has a clear course of action it needs to execute every single game. There’s only so much room you can make for answers against people trying to challenge you and there will be a variety of these until people have a good grasp of what works. Just off the top of my head you’ll need cards to protect yourself against Splinter Twin, anti-red setups and probably still have Summoning Trap in your 75 to deal with the people that will have countermagic. People may be declaring it the end-times for blue but if you honestly expect a green combo linear deck to dominate; you will see aggro-control or full on control decks return to the scene with [card]Mana Leak[/card] and [card]Flashfreeze[/card].

Three basic strategies and if you actually want to prep for all of them, your board is going to look something like this:

4 [card]Obstinate Baloth[/card]
4 [card]Nature’s Claim[/card]
4 [card]Summoning Trap[/card]
3 [card]Pyroclasm[/card]

It won’t be precisely like that and we’ll see a different mix of cards; maybe some [card]Spellskite[/card] here, some [card]Wall of Tanglecord[/card] there, and a dash of [card]Beast Within[/card] to cover all our bases. There are certainly valid options and you could even maindeck some of these cards without significantly weakening your deck. However you will have to make sacrifices in certain matches and even if you spread your 75 out to cover every base, then you could find yourself lacking in certain matches.

For example, based on what I’ve seen so far of RDW / Burn against Valakut, I’m reasonably sure Valakut has no real chance in the match without god draws or an 11-card board against red. For those wondering how I could make this type of proclamation so quickly you may have noticed Valakut never really went away on Magic Online. In fact a good number of people kept it around purely for budget reasons and play in the queues and PTQ’ed with it before realizing their utter futility against the best UW players. Of course that didn’t stop them from moving back into the 2-man and 8-man queues and battling a good chunk of opposition trying to play other budget decks like RDW and Vampires. So that’s where I come in, I played both my own and Patrick Sullivan’s brew of red for quite some time in the queues when I wasn’t drafting partially for fun and partly for more Scars packs.

I ended up with a fair amount of experience with the red vs. Valakut match-up and what I discovered was that the move back to a goldfish deck and the addition of [card]Dismember[/card] completely hosed Valakut. What frequently was happening was that by removing the worst creature in the deck ([card]Plated Geopede[/card]) with a more aggressive creatures like [card]Furnace Scamp[/card] or [card]Kiln Fiend[/card] made hands without [card]Lightning Bolt[/card] practically unkeepable. They simply couldn’t afford to take the four or more damage from a turn one Scamp or seven off a Kiln Fiend attack and expect to win the game. A [card]Shrine of Burning Rage[/card] on turn two instead also could accomplish the same goal of knocking them off a normally safe life total of 7 or more life. Now throw in the usual [card]Mark of Mutiny[/card] shenanigans and the fact that [card]Dismember[/card] makes it easier then ever to take out an [card]Overgrown Battlement[/card] or [card]Obstinate Baloth[/card] with the bare minimum of investment.

Suddenly just saying you have Lightning Bolt and Obstinate Baloth doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Sure sometimes you’ll still lose with slow hands or Valakut just killing you on turn five, but the additions to RDW just tilt the match further in red’s favor. I fully admit that with tweaking this could change and with a strong enough maindeck and sideboard it could even be a bad match for RDW however the players who believe Valakut will waltz all over everyone would do well to keep that in mind. I’d certainly be worried about someone with multiple walls, Bolts, Baloth, [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card] and a way to deal with Shrine, but at least then I know they’re committing themselves to trying to win the match.

Other than the linear decks getting better with the best aggro-control and pure control strategies out of the picture, let’s take a quick look at what also gets a genuine boost with Stoneforge and JTMS gone. First off all the creatures that were first ballot hall of famers in a Jace-less Standard world: [card]Hero of Bladehold[/card]*, [card]Mirran Crusader[/card], [card]Kargan Dragonlord[/card], [card]Moltensteel Dragon[/card], [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card], [card]Phyrexian Crsuader[/card], and [card]Phyrexian Obliterator[/card] all rejoice. There are a number of other creatures that get better and even in the new world of fast combination decks there will likely be places for these creatures to at least have a shot at relevance.

*As she’s already shown in block constructed

Another key to remember is that while Valakut and Splinter Twin are combo decks that in the traditional sense ‘beat aggro’, you need to keep in mind that this comes with a number of conditions attached to it. By no means does Valakut or Twin measure up to what older combo decks did to aggro even as recently as [card]Dragonstorm[/card], where even average hands would handily crush them. Consistency is lacking in both decks and while they have their own unique ways to downplay it and remain viable, I could honestly never see giving them a 70-30 match-up against any deck in the field due to their own internal issues. Back in the day even with decks like Mono-Green Tokens which was soft to [card]Pyroclasm[/card] and losing on turn five, but I still would race Valakut a fair amount of the time. And if my opponent stumbled at all on mana or [card]Primeval Titan[/card], I would often win the game. Twin felt the same way in the sense that if everything is firing on all cylinders I’ll be dead on turn four or five and not even a Dismember will help, but even with nearly zero interaction on my part I could still race them with some consistency.

Other decks and strategies worth a look now that Stoneforge is down are [card]Eldrazi Monument[/card] and [card]Quest for the Holy Relic[/card] strategies. Neither one could compete with the power level of SFM and Swords while backed by [card]Spell Pierce[/card], but with the key engine KIA they have a shot at making a return. As above with the previous example Valakut and Twin should, on paper, completely demolish these strategies. I can’t speak for Twin, but I’ve done better than 50/50 with Quest against Valakut before I got better one-drops and potentially Puresteel Paladin. Meanwhile Twin also has to deal with Dismember from pretty much every single non-Valakut deck in the format and who knows, maybe even from there as well.

As for green, [card]Fauna Shaman[/card] and [card]Birthing Pod[/card] decks would’ve been in prime position if only Stoneforge Mystic had gotten the axe. Sadly it looks like their day hasn’t come yet, but I would at least give Birthing Pod Twin strategies a once-over as a potential engine swap for the lost Jace. Fauna Shaman strategies are traditionally too slow to compete with Valakut, but it could still be a useful tool and continue to give green decks actual tutor opportunities. What may happen is that playing a few early creatures and powering out Swords could be the ticket for green decks in the future. Speaking of artifacts that could have an impact, Tezzeret and his artifact minions say hello and I’m sure Kibler is at work somewhere on a fresh take on UB now that his former ally and enemy is dead and buried.

Honestly I suspect the metagame will be a bit top heavy with Valakut and various Red, Vampires and Twin decks to start with. After that I could easily see it expanding to Red / Vamps / Valakut / Twin / UB with Fauna and UW Control being real possibilities as well. Even if the worst comes to pass I can’t see the format becoming any smaller than Valakut / Twin / Red and people feverishly working on other strategies. I know Travis Woo will be loving life with Genesis Wave and going OVER THE TOP again, while GerryT and Conley both have excuses to brew again. As with anything fresh and exciting like this, I recommend giving it a chance before automatically declaring everything the worst ever.

Besides if you really miss powerful cards that much you can always play the event deck until Standard rotates. ^^ File that one under weirdest exemption ever. I understand why they would loathe to make their Event Deck unplayable but the solution they ended up with is absurd. With that said, I’m saddened it was never released on Magic Online where I would gladly troll two-man queues with it.

Here’s hoping for a fun summer of Standard and Magic!

Josh Silvestri
Email me at: joshDOTsilvestriATgmailDOTcom

(P.S. This article was written in the immediate wake of the Standard bannings. This means the article was a snap judgment and the same goes for leveling on the criticism made hours after the bans. So while at this very moment I feel this is accurate I reserve the right to be wrong about the latter half of the article or if I’ve misunderstood some of the arguments against the Jace ban. Just a friendly heads-up if the article or opinions are a bit scatter-shot at times.)

144 thoughts on “Silvestri Says – BANNED!”

  1. Not having to hear “Fails the Jace test” anymore is pretty nice. It was getting as bad as “Dies to removal”

  2. Good riddance!
    Lovely article cant wait to see the new brews in the coming weeks.
    P.S. FIRST!

  3. “As for green, Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod decks would’ve been in prime position if only Stoneforge Mystic had gotten the axe.”

    Did you mean *hadn’t* gotten the axe?

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Josh. I’m sure there are a lot of thoughts and emails whirling around about this, and it’s great that you were willing to share yours, even in early stages.

    Hey, look at that — something useful, interesting, and relevant here on CF. Other, slightly more expensive sites could take notice. CoughahemSCGoughahem.

  5. Thank god the reign of terror is over. Blue is reduced to rubble as Mono Black rises to reign supreme. Phyrexian Obliterator just got amazing.

  6. i have feeling that RUG could survive quiet well, at least better than UB or UW, but that is for the future to determine

  7. People seem to be pointing towards decks that existed before Caw as the new tier 1. 2 sets have been released since Val,etc. were the top decks. Surely there’s an archetype that no one has found yet.

    At any rate, thank God for Standard being a format again. Nice article. Snap judgments or not, it’s good to see reactions from the big sites after the 24 hour wait.

  8. Melbourne_junkie

    Many happy returns, and nice article. If you had to PTQ next weekend (bannings in effect), what would be your go-to deck … ? Are you in the ‘kut and twin whilst ppl brew’ camp or do you have an idea of where you want to be.

    How do you see decks like Tempered Steel, Kuldotha Red performing now … ? Should UB and UW adjust their removal suites to anticipate them … ?

  9. I’m sad to see jace go.

    Seriously, Jace lets you out play bad players and it gets banned. Bloodbraid lets bad players lucksack against good players and its ok.

  10. Sorry, I can’t take any player seriously that rejoices at these bannings.

    Not to mention the article has about 1 blatant mistake each paragraph, this just shows how out of touch Josh is/how much he is willing to pretend he enjoys the same mindset as the masses

  11. Great article. An interesting take on the format, and one that I suspect should be fairly accurate. Do you think that there is time for a resurgence of Fauna Shaman/Vengevine? Does Birthing Pod give that deck enough leverage to fight against the new Valakut decks or are they doomed to the pile of midrange decks that couldn’t beat Primeval Titan?

  12. Pick up your Heroes of Oxid Ridge and Koths while they’re cheap, folks. Shit’s about to get really real.

  13. Good article Josh. I have a question about your opinion of combo hate in the new format. SInce the primary combo decks utilize creatures to kill instant speed creature removal MB is useful however I was wondering of your opinion of this list ways to beat combo.(what i misssed what should be removed what should be added Ect)
    Maindeckable Instant speed removal
    Tier one
    Go for the throat.
    Tier 1.5
    Doom blade
    Dismember
    Beast within

    Sideboard staples threaten effects
    Tier 1
    Act of agression (beats valakut with help beats splinter twin by itself if they dont have spellskite)
    Tier 2
    Mark of mutiny (needs help to beat valakut)
    Traderous instinct

    Meh artifacts
    tier 2
    Topor orb

  14. WotC wants to do what’s best for the game right? In this case it was a scenario of balancing two opposing pressures: the pressure to kill Caw-Blade in order to open up the format, and the pressure to keep people invested in Standard happy.

    While they most definably succeeded on the first front, it is also clear to me that they punted on the latter. A loose (but illustrative) analogy: Imagine Microsoft told people that their $350 console with the red ring was scrap material and now they could go F themselves. Well, I know that Jace wasn’t a $350 investment for everyone, and I know it will retain value due to Legacy (and possibly Modern/Overextended plus casual appeal) but they effectively told us to go shove our overpriced cardboard up our collective deluded Sinkholes.

    Was Jace going to continue putting people in the Top 8 if only Stoneforge was banned? Yes. But I doubt it would have been so completely overwhelming. Without the Batterskull plan, aggro decks could now attack Jace productively, and without the Sword of Feast and famine plan alternate control or combo decks could put up a fight.

    Also, I’d like to point that out that labeling people who raise valid concerns about WotC business practices as ‘whiners’ is counterproductive. 95% of the time I think they do a great job, but they cannot continue to ignore the way their decisions affect the behavior of the secondary market. I didn’t even get financially hit with the Extended format revision, but I can only imagine how livid people with substantial investment in Ravnica shocklands must have been.

  15. @melbournejunkie: if you have a PTQ to attend next weekend, play Caw-Blade.

    The bannings don’t take effect until July 1st.

  16. I’m still waiting for WOTC to offer compensation. Sure they admitted they made a mistake. Sure they apologized for it. Printing those cards is their fault not mine so I’m still confused as to why the players are left holding the sack of shit at the end of the day while WOTC calmly gives exemptions as long as players play with THEIR deck and not our own. As far as I’m concerned WOTC needs to pay up or shut up, this is the biggest violation the game has ever seen. Sure enjoy your brewing, it’s great the format opened up blah blah blah but at the end of the day I want to hear about compensation. If WOTC really felt those cards were as toxic to the game as they say they were they should have no problem eating crow by offering a buyback program. At least I won all my money back and then some to pay for my caw-blade deck but I feel extremely bad for the players that weren’t as “lucky” or god forbid I say “skilled” enough to pay for theirs. Anything short of offering 400 dollars worth of card value to recoup the value lost is a slap in the face of everyone that made the mistake of trusting wizards with their money. LET’S GO WIZARDS, WE’RE ALL LISTENING.

  17. @losanas

    ““As for green, Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod decks would’ve been in prime position if only Stoneforge Mystic had gotten the axe.”

    Did you mean *hadn’t* gotten the axe?”

    I assume he means if only stoneforge was banned, but not Jace.

  18. lol @ matt. if you were smart and got value out of them playing them in the year + they were legal you probably got value off them. if not wotc still owes you nothing. the world cares not for your skinned knees and your melting snowflake attitude.

  19. @Matt: umad bro? I’m pretty sure you actually didn’t buy Jaces from Wizards for $400 and I’m pretty sure that the prices on the secondary market are the brainchild of the players like you willing to pay that much for them. I picked up my Jaces when Worldwake came out because, unlike those that waited until he was $100, I realized how strong the card was. I’m not saying I knew he was going to be dominant to the point of being banned, but I understood that a 4cmc card that can do four things and do any three of them on any given turn is pretty good. Especially one that is a draw engine, a game ender, and an answer to large, powerful creature threats. Everyone complaining about WOTC needing to buy their cards back is a whining brat and should probably have never owned the cards to begin with.

    TL;DR – You wasted your money because you have no foresight. Live with it.

  20. Matt, should Wizards also give me compensation for buying Avenger of Zendikar and Primeval Titan for $10/each and $50/each, respectively? Hey, I thought they would keep going up in value, I mean they are great cards. But then Wizards kept printing insane equipment and suddenly the only cards going up in value were JMS and SFM while everything else has dropped in price.

    What about everyone else who bought Fauna Shaman, Abyssal Persecutor, Elspeth Tirel and so forth for much more thinking they were on to something? But in reality there was only one deck worth playing.

    All those who are crying over lost value are barking up the wrong tree. I can bet that
    1) you have already gotten heaps of value out of those cards, i.e. winning boosters and so forth
    2) you would not have sold them before rotation anyway hence whatever value they take on now would have happened come October anyway
    3) as if you didn’t see something like this coming. Mystic had already halved anyway and you could’ve sold Jace last week and bought them back again if nothing happened.

  21. I just can’t believe they actually did it, and then they have the nerve to make their piece of shit event deck the only thing that you can play Stoneforge in. Seriously? Who wants to play a deck that can’t win. I have lost all interest in standard until October. These cards were going to rotate shortly anyways, they really shouldn’t have been banned if Bloodbraid Elf wasn’t banned. I don’t want to be a part of a game where they will ban good cards like that. That is the reason I quit Yugioh.

  22. Darkinsanity, obviously you only play to win and not for the love of the game. Oh so you cannot play with Jace + Mystic for the last 3 months. Poor baby. I guess you can’t stand losing unless you play the best deck and since you dont know what the best deck is you can’t be bothered showing up.

    So many cry babies. Pick up a deck and have fun playing. Brew up something with friends over a beer, it’s part of the charm.

    I think all those people crying have only played caw-blade the last 5 months and nothing else and cannot stand the fact that they may actually need to think a bit. You do own other cards, right????

    P.S. I have definitely seen the drop in attendance at the local FNM.

  23. It seems like Drawingdead hit the nail right on the head.

    If you had Jace, the Mind Sculptor for long enough to play with it and possibly win tournaments, then you have gained value out of it.

    People need to stop looking at it solely in terms of a monetary value. You pay X amount, get Y out of it (Y being fun, winnings, whatever), lose Z dollars because it gets banned! If you ask me, I don’t mind losing a part of my investment if I earned it back in fun and winning a tournament.

    Also, demanding $400 is a little ridiculous, don’t you think? It’s not like Jace, the Mind Sculptor has become absolutely useless. It has established itself as a staple in numerous formats. It’ll retain value and possibly raise over time(Albeit a lengthy amount of time)

  24. The argument that “Jace TMS lets good players exploit their skill advantage” is just BS.

    The pricetag for Jace ensured that only the utmost dedicated mtgo players had access, and even if the blue menace somehow ended up in the hands of a scrub it was still amazing. Its one of the best blue cards ever, don’t think it was your extraordinary skills that got you the wins… it was a 100 dollar rare.

    I’ve got 4 Jace TMS, but im still psyched about this.

  25. @ DarkSanity – Magic was banning/restricting cards long before Yu-Gi-Oh even existed. It’s become rarer and rarer in Standard Constructed, but as you can see it still happens. In fact, I’m not sure I know of a CCG/TCG that didn’t (doesn’t) have some sort of banned/restricted list. Is there one?

    I will say this though, which in a round-about way kind of agrees with your overall point. The creation of Mythic Rares in Magic was a HUGE mistake, and for exactly this reason. Had JtMS just been rare, instead of mythic, the potential loss in “investment” would have been greatly diminished. He would have topped out, at what, $25 – $35 max.

  26. Agree with Berthelsen, the only way it could show your skills was when playing a mirror match. And even there you needed luck. With the rest of the decks, you could be the worst player ever and still win because playing jace -> bounce -> brainstorm, or fateseal to dead when the other screwed mana.

    Nice article and i’m so happy i will be able to play this GAME (some people usually forget what it is) again. Playing against Caw Blade was frustating in every means excepting if you were playing Caw Blade too.

    And all the people worried about Valakut are just hysterics that like thinking that a minimun change in the status quo will kill them. Come on, who ever has played Valakut (i have a lot), know how freaking dangerous is a Mark of Mutiny Effect. And now with Act of Agression EVERYDECK WITH ANY COLOR can play it at INSTANT SPEED. If you expect lot of valakut, sleeve up 3 Act of Agressions board or main and you will have fun, i can asure you. Valakut just doesnt have any answer, and paying 4 life against a deck that takes down all your life all of a sudden isnt really a problem.

  27. “and Quest for the Holy Relic strategies. Neither one could compete with the power level of SFM and Swords while backed by Spell Pierce, but with the key engine KIA they have a shot at making a return.”

    “As for green, Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod decks would’ve been in prime position if only Stoneforge Mystic had gotten the axe.”

    I’ve been playing G/W quest for a couple weeks with Quest, Fauna Shaman, and Stoneforge. The prime target for this deck was Cawblade, had at least a 75% win against them. I’m not sure what you mean you say they didn’t have a chance against SFM, that was one of the cards I cared the least about from my opponents.

    Valakut, on the other hand, is one of the deck’s worst matchups. Maybe I’ll be able to find a build to fix that, but regardless I think your opinion that Quest will be “making a return” is backwards, as the deck’s good matchup is gone and the deck’s bad matchup is coming back.

  28. @Brady – You are just wrong. If the deck was that good against CawBlade, it would have been Top 8ing all over. You didn’t break the format, and your CawBlade opponents are bad.

  29. @Chad:

    Ah, that would make sense, thank you. =)

    @Matt:

    When you buy a card, you are investing in a game. Anyone who paid attention to magic news should have seen this coming when Forsythe made that tweet *at least*, where there was still time to get back a larger portion of your money if you moved quickly.

    Even if you didn’t, you had no guarantee that the card would retain its value (New Phyrexia might have introduced something broken enough to take Caw-Blade down, though it would have to have created an even worse format in the process). If someone wasn’t skilled enough to win back their money, then they deserved to lose their money because either (A) they didn’t buy it to win back their money but because they wanted to enjoy the experience of playing the card or (B) they weren’t skilled enough or invest enough time in order to win back their money, at which point they made a bad decision and shouldn’t get their money back.

    People need to accept the consequences of their actions: having Jace leave the format 4 months before it rotates isn’t going to make people lose money when they could have made it back unless they just bought them, at which point they deserve to lose money because they were gambling it wouldn’t be banned and lost (it was clear that a banning of Jace was a strong possibility, though it was definitely not a guarantee).

    In short, anyone who lost money on Jace deserved to, except perhaps for a few outlier cases which aren’t included in general, blanket statements like this one.

  30. Zaiem Beg, “God, the deck that lets me exploit my skill edge more than any other deck in any PTQ format in the last five years is gone?”

    LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  31. i am one of the ppl who recently purchased my sfm and only got to play one fnm with them, so i feel i have a rite to be compensated for something they sprung on us as a surprise. there was speculation but no one knew for sure what would be banned. i never had jtms but never really got mad about playing against it, you just had to think more. putting caw in just anyones hands is not an auto win, there is alot of skill involved. im strictly a standard player as well so they serve me no use as of july 1, which is different than a rotation because atleast we know when rotation will occur. i enjoyed the game before and during caws reign, and just wanted my shot a playing a version of it, but i suppose that wont happen

  32. To anyone who is losing their jaces playability (proud owner of 4), if you still have them you’ve already lost $20 of value in the price drop that they’ve experienced due to the impending rotation, if you’ve been holding on to them (like I have) you have basically been leveraging the ability to play PTQs and FNMs over the value that you would have gotten otherwise (I made $20 a week on my Jaces). At this point your value loss is just fastforwarded by 3 months for not jumping ship earlier, you still would have lost the money, you just lose it sooner.
    Pity party.
    The point of this being there will be no compensation.

    Yet at the same time, the people saying that they invested in Primevals and Avengers thinking they would go up? There’s a difference between having value ripped out from under your feet a few months early to being a poor investor, both of those cards hit their ceiling when they dominated the format (duh.) and they’re both rotating so…yeah.

    I’d say we’re running in to a rock paper scissors environment, but lets be serious, both RDW and Valakut beat Vengevines, Vengevine just got veritably owned unless some form of control becomes the new best deck. The only way I can see this happening is UB Tezz or a Twin deck being the best.
    On Twins Jace was the primary reason to make the deck viable. Now it should just be a blue splash for the manlands and maybe a few counterspells, RUG and Grixis are both better options that UR right now.

    On the ptq next weekend, I’ll be playing cawblade, but if there were a PTQ the weekend after that, and I didn’t have dignity, I’d look at Vampires or RDW, since aggro is almost always good in a new format. Realistically I would be playing with either tezzeret or splinter twin and plenty of counterspells and maindeck sweepers, but control decks can frequently do it wrong in new formats.

  33. Wizards is a company and subsidiary of one of the most profitable toy companies in the world. At the end of the day, Forsythe didn’t ban Jace back in March and December (when he was just as “broken”) because he drove the sales of product clearing out wwk inventory. Meanwhile attendance was still high.

    Caw Blade was the dominant deck post MBS and wizards has been fine with a dominant deck for at least one expansion cycle. Jund and Faeries dominated about as long. The problem with caw blade was that it continued to dominate and even more so with the idiotic printing of batterskull (a card Forsythe was in charge of designing and pushed for despite the obvious broken interaction with stoneforge Mystic). Now aggro was no longer a problem for caw blade. With preordains and Jace’s and stoneforges to smooth out draws, caw-blade was statistically favored against the aggro decks that preyed on it. It literally had no bad matchups for the most part except for maybe deceiver Twin.

    The balance issue could have been solved by removing batterskull from the game until stoneforge mystic rotated. Caw-Blade as a goldfish deck was incredibly vulnerable to mono-red (even with batterskull it’s a big favorite game 1) and other aggressive decks.

    But people had gotten sick of the game, boxes of WWK had been sold, and the event deck had been printed and sold out (wizards laughs at you who bought them for 30 bucks). SCG had only 200 people for its last standard event and was screaming for something to happen.

    Forsythe certainly wasn’t going to ban his own card batterskull and SFM was legitimately overpowered given she could tutor up protection from every color in the format and a mini-baneslayer angel. Jace was killed by friendly fire. He was undoubtedly really good, but broken? RUG and U/B posted respectable results in general but never dominated top 8’s or top 16’s in general before SFM broke standard with sword of feast and famine. He was just really oppressively expensive and would undeniably lock up the game if you had enough board presence to defend him by turn 4. But that is 3-4 turns of interactivity. The format did revolve around him, but if he was an uncommon like bloodbraid elf or printed in reasonable numbers (for example if ROE had never been a triple draft set and simply drafted with zendikar block so more packs of WWK would have been opened) he would not have garnered as much hate from the masses.

    That Jace was interactive and required some skill to use was also oppressive to the masses. The masses need to be able to get their cheap wins. Like a gambling habit, average magic players need to have the story where they beat some pro with a bomb or by doing lethal on turn 3. The luck-based wins that made Jund so popular with the masses (letting morons top 8 and win PTQs) is evidently the format that the masses want.

    That’s fine; wizards is a company and its employees are there to make money, but lets not mince words, the banning of Jace was excessive and not necessary for balancing the game. It was simply a move to satiate the angry masses that saw a $100 card. Wizards also screwed over everyone who bought the event deck as well; their crappy solution to the event deck is beyond silly. Overall the situation was handled incredibly badly.

    Next time, stick the best cards in standard in sets that are actually drafted and printed for some time. Also, don’t expect anyone to buy an event deck ever again; the solution was hasty, slipshod, and deceptive (banning a week after release? … stupid). And lastly, don’t try and trick us wizards when you say that you ban to balance the game. You ban to satiate the masses and make money. That’s fine. But it’s underhanded to say that Jace was imbalanced when his results pre-stoneforge, while very strong, was in a decent variety of decks and no more oppressive than Jund and Faeries.

  34. @Matt: both the banned cards are not only playable eged printing there’s been one deck that completely dominates the format. in legacy, but are either multi-deck toolbox cards (SFM) or the cornerstone to the deck (Jace). This almost guarantees that they’ll stay up in value, and Wizards knows that. Additionally, if you saw Aaron F’s “mistake” tweet and noticed he wasn’t reprimanded for admitting his product was flawed, it’s pretty likely a banning might ensue. As such, Wizards was confident that they protected your investment while trying to salvage a format.

    @Darkinsanity: they don’t expect anyone good to play the deck; they just want new players to be able to play with the precon they just purchased. Also, standard’s for new cards, and SFM + Jace was getting pretty old quick. play vintage if you want to play exclusively with good cards. Also, Bloodbraid Elf was in standard with 5cc and faeries for a year, then team america and mythic for the other. It’s Top 8’s were derived mostly from Jund’s relatively cheap cost and following popularity. spreading seas proved that you can beat the deck with hate. None of these hold true for Caw-blade. Batterskull dodges artifact removal and hoses the red decks that used to have a percentage on the deck. Jace ruined the level up mechanic for constructed play. There is only 1 top tier deck.

  35. @all those complaining about their lost value

    A company is NOT LIABLE for secondary market costs. Wizards sells the cards in random pre determined packs. They do not control the prices on each individual card. They control the prices of boxes of cards and packs of cards. That’s it. The secondary market is YOUR investment. It’s YOUR responsibility to maintain its value by keeping it in sleeves, prizing them and using them properly. It’s YOUR fault you lost 400$. Yep I said it. It’s YOUR fault. There have been rumors for MONTHS about a banning of JTMS. You know what stockholders do when there are well founded rumors of their stock devaluing soon? They freaking sell. You didn’t.

    Just be grateful Wizards lets the secondary market exist at all. Can you imagine how much they would make if they restricted the secondary market? They take so much crap for the prices of their mythics and rares when they have no control over that what so ever. Sure they have a design department trying their best to make all their cards balanced to some degree but we the public have thousands of us trying to break their game. They simply can’t see all the angles.

    I bet you at least half of Wizard’s hate mail is from people complaining about singles cost to which they have no control over. They knew the shit storm they would get by banning JTMS. I’m damn proud to be a fan of Magic that they did it anyway. They could’ve sat back until October and let the card ruin standard until then. They didn’t. They sacked up and sacked an overpowered card they probably regretted making the day after the spoilers went up.

  36. I DEMAND COMPENSATION!!! They beter let me trade in for the new M12 Jace… Just realized… this is the 2012 of magic

  37. I don’t even care about the lost value part of things. I just wanted to play with the deck I’ve enjoyed playing. I didn’t have much fun when I was playing Valakut or Eldrazi, they are linear decks. I also tried Splinter Twin, but didn’t really enjoy it much either. I don’t even care that Jace or Stoneforge have gone down in price. I have foil four foil Jace, so it will probably just climb in price again after awhile(not that the foil has gone down all that much anyways) but there isn’t really any decks right now that seem fun to play. I will admit I like to win, but more so I like a deck that I can have fun with, and I love multi-color decks with lots of options. I’ve actually been playing Dark Blade for months, no Caw Blade, and there just doesn’t seem to be any good replacement for what has been lost at the moment.

  38. I like that Wizards is trying to teach its little snowflakes the meaning or personal accountability. I’m sorry, but if you pay $100 for a card that’s barely out of print (anddddd about to rotate out of the largest format), a light bulb should go off in your head: “Hey, this is risky.”

    And with risk, comes great reward … and/or great fail. I wish I hadn’t sold my Force of Wills or 30+ dual lands when Homelands came out and bored everyone to tears. But guess what? That’s life.

    Welcome to life. It’s not fair.

  39. @Diogenes
    Amen

    @Jovus
    “They take so much crap for the prices of their mythics and rares when they have no control over that what so ever.”

    No one complains over the price of rares. People complain over the price of Mythics and Wizards had plenty of control over that…

  40. @Jovus that’s a hilarious argument. We are responsible for the value of the cards? Alright bud, I want my Jaces to be worth 1,000 dollars a piece, since I’m the player and I’m in control that means that’s what it’s worth right,,,of course not. Not to mention WOTC has a DIRECT impact on the secondary market…if you don’t believe me do you think jace would have been a 100 dollar RARE…of course not, the fact that he’s only printed 1/8 as much as “normal” rares means there will be less of him in the supply chain which has a direct impact on demand which has a direct impact on….you got it PRICE. You’re a real klutz if you think WOTC has absolutely no impact on the value of cards in this game, there is a reason they haven’t reprinted dual lands, force of will, and ancestral recall and I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out why, in case you’re not, it has NOTHING to do with power level because they’ve released plenty of “older” cards in non standard legal sets, such as from the vaults or whatever the hell they were trying to shove down our throats a few years ago.

  41. @BUG you are really jumping to conclusions about G/W quest not being able to beat Cawblade. Brady wasn’t making anything up when he said quest can beat cawblade. He won 2nd place at a PTQ – http://is.gd/E9FKPW
    His decks performance was then noted on this website – http://is.gd/3z7iuP in disscussion on how to beat the “ever-dominant” Cawblade deck (which Brady anticipated against all day).
    This would have Been his 2nd PTQ win – http://is.gd/hWRQo7 of the year as well further cementing the legitamacy of his playskill. Brady was one or two turns away from having won two PTQ’s in the same year.

  42. [email protected] whoever challenged me to start a petition, I’m doing one better, I emailed Forsythe immediately after the article went live and asked what wizards was going to do to compensate the players, if I don’t hear back from him by next monday I’m calling corporate and if I don’t hear anything from them/get it resolved I’m going to contact an attorney and have them start working on getting compensation on my behalf+legal fees. It’s not so much the money as the principle, WOTC has actively decided to FUCK it’s players over time and time again (anyone who has played MTGO or tournament level magic has seen this first hand). No, Wizards probably doesn’t actually give two squirts of piss about us and the secondary market but that doesn’t mean they’re not responsible and ultimately liable. Enough is enough. It’s their shitty game and they can do whatever they want with it but if they’re going to actively try and throw the players into the wood chipper to line their pockets then you’re damn right I’m going to fight back even if you guys are too cowardly to do it yourselves. As for the primeval titan/avenger argument it’s not the same, Wizards ACTIVELY decided to do something that destroys the value of these cards, making them 100% unplayable. If they banned primeval titan/avenger and they were 100 dollar cards I would be riding shotgun next you 100%.

  43. For those of you complaining about compensation.

    Jace is banned in Standard only, which he and SFM were going to rotate out of in 3 months. One way, or another, there gonna getcha, gonna getcha getcha getcha.

  44. When your cab driver is giving you stock tips in a company, it’s time to sell your shares in that company.

  45. Calling a lawyer seriously? Any lawyer worthy of the name will laugh you out of the room. Entitlement complex leading to you advocating an utterly idiotic course of action.

  46. @ Matt

    Take your self-entitlement somewhere else. You picked up the cards for a prize that was acceptable to you. The cards might be worth less now, but that is your problem and your problem only.

    You have the same mentality that I see in my mother when her stocks fail. It’s not like an investment automatically should be good for you. Sometimes you end up losing money and that’s the risk you take.

  47. @Matt at what point did Wizards ever promise you that your cards would not lose value or be banned? when did the company ever legally tell you “this is what you can expect from us at all times”

    as for your arguement about mythics. yes they are rarer then normal rares. but (and here’s a shocker) most of them dont top 10 bucks. seriously look at all the mythics and then tell me how many of them have reached the cost level of Jace (even remotely close). if people wanted to value Jace at 30 dollars he would have been valued at 30. people decided he was worth more (and proved it by shelling out for him) and thus his price went up.

  48. @Bug

    You are just wrong. I’m playing on MTGO, against dozens of different people. They aren’t all bad.

    Besides, this is Standard, where playskill is almost meaningless anyway. The deck just auto lost so often against turn 2 Fauna Shaman.

  49. LOL at trying to sue Wizards over this. I will be shocked if you can find someone who doesn’t just laugh in your face and hang up the phone. How about suing the dealers for pre-selling Karn at 50 bucks? Now its 18 on SCG.

  50. I play and played cawblade for awhile and this still makes me happy. I would agree that the format was getting stale and have no problem whatsoever with this decision. My jaces and stoneforges will just get shipped to legacy decks.

  51. @Matt: Go die, but please do it in such a spectacular manner that it ends up on world news so that I know you did it and take your frivolous lawsuit and any lawyer that would listen to you with you on your skydiving without a parachute trip.

    @Diogenes: You’re right. Jace TMS didn’t dominate tournaments before CawBlade. I mean, look at Worlds ( http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/worlds10/decks/top8 ) out of a possible 32 copies of Jace TMS there were only 24 of them. Eldrazi Green made it out of the quarterfinals because the UB player countered an Oracle of Mul Daya into a Summoning Trap and then got stuck on 4 land in game 5. Clearly, Jace TMS was good for the format. What was that line? A “decent variety of decks” played Jace TMS? How about we look at Worlds again. That’s usually good barometer. Major tournament, the best players generally don’t skip it, etc. In the decks we see using Jace TMS we have, Blue/Black Control, Blue/Black Control, Blue/Black Control, Blue/Black Control, Blue/Black Control, Blue/White Control. Since you seem to not know what the word “variety” means I will provide you with the definition.

    va·ri·e·ty
    –noun
    1.
    the state of being varied or diversified: to give variety to a diet.
    2.
    difference; discrepancy.
    3.
    a number of different types of things, especially ones in the same general category: a large variety of fruits.

    I know what you’re thinking. “But, Jon. RUG is a legit deck. I swear.” Yeah, remind me, which Pro Tour was RUG good at again? I saw two guys get better than 21 points (I cut off at 21 points because there was an Allies deck with 21 points, yes really) with RUG at PT: Paris and neither of them made top 8. The problem with Jace TMS is that if there was a more effective Plan B out there, most of the people crying about these bannings in this thread would have likely been aborted. You can do whatever you want with Jace. It was great. You could make tribal Knights deck splashing blue for Jace and you will win some games because you happened to draw a Day of Judgment at the right time and fate sealed your opponent out of the game. The only differences between that and BBE -> LOL FASEROLL is about 5 less turns of boredom and about $400 per play set at it’s height. “But I use my 1337 skillz to like brainstorm away extra lands and use a fetch so I always have active cards.” Just stop arguing, no one cares about your 1700 rating or your skillz except perhaps your mother (she’s lying to you). Accept that it is what it is and move on.

    That said, I think it’s cute that you are tying the financial side of things into this, but you are obviously unfamiliar with how any of these processes (or an actual corporate business) work on any level besides the one that your blinders will let you see. Go back to school and let me know when you pass a 200 level Economics course and then learn something about managing a business and public relations.

  52. Oh snap, time to get an e-lawyer to file some e-lawsuits.

    I have to assume that Matt is just trolling as a parody of the other idiots running around crying about Jace, because otherwise it’s just too goddamn funny.

  53. All I know is that this Jace asshole took my mom out for a fine seafood dinner at a nice restaurant and never called her back, what a douche….

  54. Little bit sceptical that people would still play blue as much as they did.

    More of.
    I want to see if anyone is going to play blue after the rotation.
    First Jace, then Mana Leak and Preordain.
    They’ll have to print something good now.
    Blue has nothing left, no good early cantrip, no good counterspell. Mediocre planeswalker.
    As of now even blue Titan gets out while red keeps its Inferno one. I taste more aggressive year coming up.

  55. These bans hurt too many decks other than cawblade, especially jace, as blue is almost unplayable now. boros loses stoneforge, which is probably the card that wins it the most games. it feels like this ban really hurt decks that Wizards didn’t directly try to impact.

  56. hahahahhaha. I haven’t laughed so much at comments in a long time. Thanks! Especially Matt. I can see the conversation with his attorney now.

    Matt: “WoTC screwed me!”
    Attorney: “Really, how?”
    Matt: “”
    Attorney: “… please leave my office.”

    Seriously people. If you really think you are owed anything, think of your purchases as stock. You buy it because it is valuable and want it to stay so, or become more valuable. It goes down. You can’t get your attorney involved. Feel free to get pissed and walk away from the game, we’re all better for it.

  57. LOL at guy trying to get a suit against WOTC, don’t waste your money. Stoneforge Mystic was only 15 bucks since the event deck and the rest of you clamored for Jace to be banned for months. Legacy and extended are formats that still have both of these cards and won’t ever change.

  58. I feel sad that these bannings happened. Just two weeks before I have to play Nationals (In Costa Rica that is). I really like playing blue/white and now I have to look for another deck and have very little time to get other cards. But I do not think that blue is without any good cards left and in combination with white or black there is still a lot you can do. I do hope the rumors are true that there will be a Jace 3.0 in Magic 2012 but that will be known within 2 or 3 more weeks.

  59. Okay Matt is clearly either real hot headed right now or a bit of a special case but hell get off his back, talk about pack mentality just leave the guy be. Seriously Matt don’t get a lawyer involved it will cost you even more money and a lot of time and stress which ultimately its not worth it.

  60. To all players who think jace was fine:
    Go play a zero variance game. I suppose putting fact or fiction in standard is fine too since it lets you outplay weaker opponents? I guess scrabble is a terrible game since it lets people lucksack into sick combinations?

    As for compensation, if you bought boosters from wizards, its arguable that you’re entitled to 1 booster if your rare gets banned. What the secondary market could have offered is none of their concern and neither is wizards liable for any loss you incurred from BUYING FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

  61. I was more of the opinion that SFM should not have been banned – maybe restricted to max 2 ;).

    For those complaining about the event deck, I took it unaltered to FNM last week and won it straight out, sure, not in a caw-blade field, but hey, caw-blade has gone!

    It will finally be nice to look at deck lists again not starting with $400 of mythics. Also, a touch of creativity to standard again, its like the fresh format we were all hoping for post NPH.

    Good. Times.

  62. @Diogenes

    Saying ‘the masses’ three times in a single paragraph…? Sounds like someone is afraid his Jaces are not going to set him apart at the next FNM…

    Seriously, that has to be the single most pretentious thing I have read all year.

  63. You’re such a dipshit, you have absolutely no idea how the legal system works yet you’re threatening to go to court. It’s really depressing how many Americans threaten to go to court when they don’t know a GODDAMN thing about how the law works, and I say that as an American myself. Save yourself the legal fees, please – what Wizards did isn’t against the law and you aren’t getting compensation just because they actively made a decision that devalues your stock that you bought off the secondary market.

  64. Whoops, that above comment was directed at Matt but I accidentally deleted his name when I rewrote the post.

  65. @A. Smith: Mythic had nothing to do with the price of jace. You are crazy if u think jace wouldve stopped at 25-35 dollars. if he was just a rare he would still be just as expensive because he is that good. He would still be played in every deck with blue and his price would still be 80-100. Mythic rareness is not hurting magic because there are alot of mythic rares that suck and are worth a dollar, if that. People need to stop using the mythic rareness as an excuse. Stoneforge is only a rare and it is really powerful, hero of oxid ridge is mythic but is only 4 dollars. What hurt magic is players complaining about something that doesnt hurt the game.

  66. @Leviticus

    You are crazy if you think that Jace would hit 80 or 100 dollars.

    The thing about Mythics is that the limited supply is really noticed when a card is heavily in demand. The closest card I can think of is Bitterblossom. As I recall it hit a shocking retail price of $50 and that was with a relatively popular Standard format. I would expect Jace might have hit $60 if it were rare.

  67. Expected course of action:

    Matt shells out $X for consultation with an attorney about the “Wizards took my money” case.

    Attorney takes Matt’s money and tells Matt he has no case.

    Matt shells out $X for consultation with another attorney about his “attorney took my money” case.

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

  68. @Jon “most of the people crying about these bannings in this thread would have likely been aborted.”

    Disgusting troll is disgusting troll.

    While Jace is very good, was he really anymore format warping than bitterblossom or bloodbraid elf? If you went into competitions not prepared for any of these cards when they dominated standard, you were literally dead in the water. There’s always been a best card in standard, ALWAYS. At worlds 2010 Jace was used in U/W and U/B shells. They were designed to beat valakuut which basically beat everything else. And before worlds and the rotation of alara, Jace was barely used as Jund and other powerful alara cards always owned him. Post alara, Jace was the best guy to take on the big bad valakuut. He was powerful in caw-blade as well but never the key card. You easily shipped Jace hands back against almost everything. You needed early-turn interactions more.

    And if you get insulted by a term as generic as the masses, grow up and stop harboring insecurities about your own average intelligence. Wizards designs this product to make money and it didn’t ban Jace when the reasons he is “broken” were just as true 6 months ago as they are today. What was the difference? Boxes of WWK were still in circulation and wizards supplies wanted to get rid of them. They also saw attendance still doing fairly well. They just followed the money until the trail when cold and then dropped Jace because so many people were complaining about him (being the best card in standard as well as the most expensive).

    Intelligent people can see through the BS. Jace was banned for pure money reasons. If Balance had mattered, valakuut and Jace would have been banned immediately post-alara rotation.

  69. I honestly don’t get why people keep saying the expected Stoneforge to be banned, but not Jace.

    Truth be told, the main reason for low attendance in recent events is that people don’t want to shell out the big bucks to play Jace, and Jace is part of the dominant deck. With only Stoneforge banned, it is likely that UB Control would have taken the crown – and that deck runs Jace.

    I have mixed feelings about the banning, since UW Control has always been my favorite archetype. I understand why it happened, but I sincerely hope Valakut doesn’t rise to dominate the format. Trading the dominance of skill for the dominance of uninteractivity and luck-based mirror matches hardly seems like a good deal.

  70. To be fair, I think Matt makes a valid point (albeit harshly worded.)

    With WoTC releasing the ‘Mythic’ rarity to bolster sales, it has by the same token bolstered card prices and the price of playing Standard. This era is the first in MTG where playing Standard has been so expensive. It is not uncommon now to see Standard staple cards reaching the price of $25, $30, $50, even $90+ per card depending on how degenerate and powerful said card may be. For WoTC to be able to just say “Oh shucks we printed something a little too powerful and even though it caused some of the highest sales numbers of all time while everybody chased after these overpowered cards we’re just going to ban them anyway,”

    Not only will the prices of JTMS and SFM be hurt by the banning, but so will any cards that had notable & relevant interactions with these cards in Standard, including by not limited too SoWaP, SoFaF, Batterskull, etc. Again all cards that could be considered “chase” Mythics and that WoTC was happy to make boatloads of money from while people bought out packs at their LGS.

    Personally I’m not too hurt by it as I tend to get invested in Magic when the prices are lower (got my Jaces when they were around ~$20) but the principle still stands – WoTC creates the huge demand for cards with their terrible Mythic rarity and then fucks everybody over at a later time when their own mistakes (admitting they printed “overpowered” cards) come back to haunt them.

    Oh well, they have our money in their pockets so who really cares at this point, right?

  71. @Diogenes,
    No way can you be serious. BBE and Blitterblossom were just as bad as Jace? Really?

    Blitterblossom went into one linear deck and at best appeared in some token-based decks.Was it powerful? Yes. Was it format warping on its own? No.

    Bloodbraid Elf showed up in a variety of decks but was constrained by the double-coloured cost, limiting the decks that could play it, and by being the easiest permanent to remove.

    We have, however, been playing in a Jace metagame for months. If you’re a Blue deck, you play Jace. An understated indicator of Jace’s power level is its presence in Splinter Twin: the idea of playing a 4 mana, sorcery speed spell i-card combo deck that doesn’t piece together the combo should be madness, yet Jace’s removal is going to weaken that deck too. It is *that* good.

  72. Just the very fact that THERE ARE people who try to argue that “Jace isn’t broken” shows:

    a) There are a lot of dumb people in MTG community
    b) People are pissed that their financial investment got screwed.

    SFM package (4x SFM + 3 equipments + 4 hawks + inkmoth nexus) was strong. But ultimately it required a bunch of deck slots and could be dealt with). Obviously with the printing of turn 3 Baneslayer Angel (arguably even stronger than BSA because vigilance > FS against aggro), SFM was too bonkers.
    Jace is an alternate win condition ALL BY ITSELF. The power level of that card is ridonculous, anyone who doesn’t get why needs to play some competitive games and research what balance is (I know it’s not the strongest suit for most TCG players).

    Reading some of these responses is so frustrating.. I don’t want to generalize, but god TCG players are bad at understanding balance

  73. You can’t use Worlds as an example here though, it’s 18 rounds of swiss with 6 rounds of standard.
    I don’t think Jace was ban worthy at all. The argument that you win when you untap with jace is rather silly. If you untap in a blue based control deck with an active draw engine of any kind, you will probably be winning. It is true that Wizards failed to print proper answers though.
    The question you must ask is this: was Jace too powerful against aggro ? Answer is no, since it was too vulnerable and got sided out. Was Jace too powerful against control mirrors ? Maybe in the sense that the person to get it going was probably going to win (but you both had it, it still took time and the same could be said for a plethora of other cards).
    The only people that thought Jace was overpowered were those playing clunky or weak decks, decks that will just as well lose to other decks now but for a less identifiable reason.

  74. I wonder what percentage of people who buy / play magic care about banning in standard? Don’t you have to be a some what competitive player to actually care? It seems the masses will just continue to have fun in their own home.

  75. @Koen

    I guess some people think Jace was okay because it doesn’t directly win the game. Any better player knows that if Jace is played and doesn’t die the following turn, you won’t win that game most of the time unless you legend rule their Jace out.
    Sure, usually you play it out, but you can’t overcome ridiculous card advantage every turn for no mana investment.

    Any non-all in aggro deck couldn’t play a 3-4 casting cost creatures without EtB abilities/haste, because Jace -> Bounce was gg most of the time due to ridiculous tempo swing.
    Sure, Jaces were sided out against RDW. You know why? Because PWs are supposed to be weak to Hasty creatures attacking them. You know what other cards would you side out against fast aggro decks?

    Enchantment
    3UU
    During your upkeep you win the game.

    Anyone with common sense would realize that this card is incredibly broken though.
    Jace dominated the game way before Caw-blade. Show me the last PT where the top8 decks didn’t feature 80% decks with Jace, be it RUG, U/W control, U/B control or Caw-Blade.

    It amazes me that some people still can’t understand how inherently broken that card is

  76. C’mon people. Stop being selfish.

    If I was a student (most MTG players are) having a part time job at minimum wage and was “loosing” $150-$200 overnight unexpectedly, I would also be pissed.

    I have the chance to be wealthy and also play eternal formats.
    But I’m definitely empathizing with people upset over this.
    I’m sure some players made great sacrifice to acquire a playset of Jaces.

    I even KNOW a player (student) who bought 2 event decks at my local store last friday just to own 4 mystics. I bet he’s pretty upset too…

    (suing is definitely pointless though).

  77. Valakut really does have a 70-30 or better matchup against ‘resilient’ midrange strategies, without devoting any space in the board. I’m referring to any deck, in the general sense, that is built in order to fight through counterspells and removal but has a slowish clock and is still vulnerable to trumping.

    I’d also like to point out that as a columnist, you really shouldn’t use pejorative terms for classes of non-professional player. This website is very different from a private conversation with friends, and you can be pretty much guaranteed to have readers who fall into those groups.

  78. no one card is ever so go that it alone breaks the game. until WOTC prints something like a 11/11 infect trample for 2 colorless, i think we can all agree that any one card by itself can be answered. the problem is that its never been JUST Jace or JUST SFM that you fight. it always the the additional 56-59 cards that make up the rest of the deck that you have to worry about. the fact that these 2 cards allowed so much ability to interact (in different ways) with your deck and against your opponent, made it so answering one rarely helped you win.

    i’d bet that if the ban had instead made it so you can only have 1 of each of the cards in a deck, that people would be complaining just as hard and would have wanted just a straight ban instead.

  79. They were rotating in October. Jesus! Use your brains, make a new deck and go on with your lives. Just imagine the card was never printed. You guys are like Indy reaching for the grail that has fallen into the chasm. Just let it go man! But, but if I just reach. Forget the cards even existed.

  80. @dan Being upset for the card being banned is fine by me. If I played had that much invested I would be pissed too.

    I just hate people who act as if Jace wasn’t broken POS as a card, all the financial reasons aside.

  81. I’m suing Wizards because my Frantic Searches on MTGO are worth less than the .01 tickets I paid for them. DAMMIT.

  82. Wait, did my comment actually get deleted for calling a condescending prick of a writer…. a condescending prick? Silvestri is an average ptq player that happens to have an article on CFB

  83. I’m excited about the banning. Change is what truly defines magic players. The great players will come up with great new decks. Good players will grind with those decks and claim to be great too. And everyone else will have fun mixing it up.

  84. It’s all of YOUR faults anyway for continuously playing both of these cards and winning tournaments. First it giveth…
    The point is (obviously) that you have to use the tools you are given.
    Just find new tools!

  85. If it was the old rarity, and Jace was even as low as 40, cards such as Celestial Colonnade and Seachrome Coast and Inkmoth Nexus would be at least 30.

    That’s the big tradeoff that’s made with the new system. There are expensive chase mythics, but at the same time, things such as land bases are MUCH cheaper than they used to be.

    I actually think the system could and should be made better…I think Mythics should be distributed in other ways. For example, I think that instead of “buy a box promos” being Rare they should be chase Mythics to hold down the value. As well, I wouldn’t mind seeing special Mythic boosters with a guaranteed Mythic from a variety of sets being packed in with things such as Fat Packs and Deckbuilder’s Toolkits.

    It’s a case where we really can have our cake and eat it too. It’s just that the old way wasn’t actually having our cake as much as it was having it splattered in our face. The new way is better for everybody. It’s just not the BEST way.

  86. With Jace and Mystic gone, it will be refreshing to not live under the stranglehold of the 4 best pieces of equipment in standard in addition to having to fight a Jace war every other game. It’s kind of interesting how Jace Beleren used to double as removal, but he’s paradoxically gotten worse now that his big brother is no longer standard legal. My guess is that if any card could take the place of Jace, the Mind Sculptor in decks, it would have to be Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. After all, one man’s Brainstorm is another man’s Impulse.

    I wholeheartedly expect to see a lot more Goblin Guides, Abyssal Persecutors, Phyrexian Obliterators, and a whole lot less Squadron Hawks.

    I however loathe that Caw Blade will still be a force in Extended.

  87. Banning either Jace or Stoneforge would probably have been sufficient to bring Caw-Blade down to earth. However, that’s not what Wizards needed at this point. In order to restore the confidence of the players they’ve been losing from Standard over the past months, Wizards had to make sure that nothing even resembling Caw-Blade remained in the environment. Banning both cards at once accomplishes that.

    Ironic that all of the Caws and Blades are still legal!

  88. actually sfm , jace , swords are so lol balanced that it was clear they broken as shit
    basically wizzards dont care as they want sell cards so bring on broken op cards is nice as everbody must buy new cards and put old cards to trash
    wizzards has my real respect in forcing people to buy expensive cards again and again to play same game
    the only problem now was std was so broken and lol that people stopped playing and possible stopped buying cards
    so this is the ONLY reason we see some awarked bans now
    why ban broken cards 3 month before they rotate out when it was clear they was broken from day 1?

  89. well wizzards tricks peopel in buying new cards again and again for this they need to powerup cards so old cards become uselss
    lets see old days crawwurm 4GG 6/4 vanilla and now compare that to green 4GG 6/6 trample titan with free lands every turn

  90. Well I appreciate the extra hits anyway Undertow. Thanks!

    To answer one of the more common themes I see in the comments:
    Aaron Forsythe – Saying Jace doesn’t win the game by himself is like saying Black Lotus doesn’t win the game by itself. Except Jace actually can.

    Sums it up well. As for my own logic on the bans, I’m not 100% spike and I do try and take a look at the game from a design and balance perspective at times. That’s why I was a big advocate of Caw once I realized just how powerful it was (pre-batterskull even) and then switched views from ‘abuse everyone with this’ to ‘oh jeez this is actually a huge problem for any aspect of the game outside of caw mirrors’. This whole debate reminds me a lot of the Yun / Yang debate in street fighter AE and whether or not the Twins are too good.

    re: Quest – While on paper I always felt Quest had a bad Valakut match, the fact is I’ve never fallen below a 50% win percentage against the deck after Greg Weiss showed me the Refraction Trap tech. Valakut can’t race your nut draws without Nature’s Claim or Beast Within and your ‘normal’ aggro draws can also race unless they Pyroclasm. If they plan on bringing all that in, they’ll be slowing their deck down unless they mainboard some of that (which could happen now). So I can’t actually agree Valakut is a bad match anymore simply based on my results. On paper I agree, but the games just never play out the way Valakut players always pretend it will where they just accel, keep your Armor and go off turn five every game.

    Plus I really like the power Puresteel Paladin brings to the table, worst case the deck’s curve at least got significantly better for the aggro plan with Vault Skirge and Porcelain Legionaire.

  91. agreed it is sad to see the Jacegasm gone but looking at the big picture you know you have to do something when literally all the top decks for the past couple of seasons all revolved around this one card

  92. Wow.. I’m surprised at all the anger in this thread. Honestly, the time to speak up about how much you loved Caw-Blade was before, when public sentiment really seemed against them.
    The message I got from Wizards was that they really didn’t want to ban, but felt that they had to since most players were unhappy. It’s too bad that people seem to only provide feedback when they’re upset, not when they’re happy.
    In any case, no matter what people say in forums, it’s hard to argue with attendance numbers at events. That seems like a fair way to gauge satisfaction with a format.

    Josh, I’m looking forward to reading more thoughts about the new format. Thanks for the article.

  93. People are not upset to see Caw go. They are upset that their $400 investment which they thought would be good forever is completely and totally gone 3 months before it was suppose to be!… people are dumb.

  94. I’m more concerned cuz i was one of many ppl that bought a playset of jaces and now they will rot in my portfolio. How about ppl that spent so much money on Jaces and sfm? Ty Fucktards! I hope that u are happy now…… Hooray for those idiots that like to play with brainless agro decks. You guys won this time!

  95. @Hans

    If it was so clear they were so broken from day 1, why were there a ton of people arguing over whether or not Jace would even be played? Why did it take so long for anyone to put Jace and SFM in the same deck? It’s not that obvious, unless you already know it.

    They understand that if they repeatedly do things like this people won’t play the game any more. That’s why it took the so long to make a ban even after Caw-Blade started putting up such dominating numbers. That’s why it’s been years since they’ve banned a card in Standard.

    They’re not ‘tricking’ anyone. They’re very clear that they can ban any card at any time, and they are loathe to do so unless the format is absolutely horrible, like it was because of Caw-Blade.

  96. oh no. your 80 dollar Jace is now only worth 60………… how dare they make you lose 20 dollars per card 3 months early.

    Jace is still a force in every other format, and chances are that those who had him got him and made money with him (or at least had the chance to). if your so worried that hes going to be worth less, chuck him now while hes “still worth something” i’ll gladly buy peoples Jace’s at 50 bucks each. why? because i can resell them later and make more. Yes his price dipped due to the ban. will he become a $30 mythic? NO! why? because he’s still a power house EVERYWHERE else.

    you want him to make you more money, try playing him in an extended or legacy deck. chances are if your as skillful as you think you are (those who claim caw blade was all skill) you’ll make a lot of money off Jace in his 3 years left in extended and forever in legacy.

  97. Snap call Mason M I’ll gladly sell you my jaces for 50 dollars a piece. Also wotc customer services number is 1-800-324-6496, call and demand compensation. If that doesn’t work here is their corporate number, 1-425-226-6500….it’s time to let them know they can’t just squat over us and piss on our heads and claim it’s the elixir of life!!!!!!

  98. This was the right choice. People who spend $400 in the secondary market on an obviously broken card (why else would a play set cost $400) and then talk about their “skill” make me laugh.

  99. Sure, no problem. Your articles are enjoyable reads at least, even if part of them is laughing at your audacity to put yourself in the same category as players better than you

  100. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar

    Jace’s banning was clearly Mr. Chapin’s fault. I mean, have you listened to that song? You can’t argue with that beat.

  101. @Matt: LOLOLOLOLOLOL Do you actually pay attention to ANY Magic media AT ALL? Even people over on MTGSally knew this was coming, and they’re infinitely stupider over there than people who read this site regularly are (or, well, until you, seemed to be).

    As the stock market saying goes, bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered, and you sir, are a pig. The smart people got rid of their Jaces at least 3 weeks ago. I feel no sympathy towards you.

    @JoshS: Great article, but whoever your editor is needs to be fired. This article was littered with spelling and grammar mistakes which weren’t individually bad but together made the article almost unreadable.

    I kind of would have liked to hear a bit less about what you think isn’t going to work (Valakut, Exarch/Twin) and a bit more about what you think is going to work. How does Quest change with Stoneforge gone? Why is Phyrexian Crusader on the list of cards that get better now that Jace is gone? I understand these reasons, but I would have liked to see a bit more about those and a bit less about Valakut.

  102. Sorry bro I have better things to do than to troll wotc employees twatter accounts trying to leech as much info as possible. As for claiming bad players “knew” this was coming weeks ago…you’re either claiming a segment of the community had knowledge the rest of the community didn’t have (since you’re so keen on making idiotic investment comparasions this would be insider trading) or they were just screaming, ranting, and raving hoping jace would get banned and then it did which doesn’t indicate prior knowledge at all. As for editorial comments maybe you should hold off on giving criticism in the same post that contains the word “stupider” you clown.

  103. i think the reason crusader gets good. is not you have a 2/2 double strike that you can actually use. maybe throw an equipment on it and BOOM super powers

  104. This is terrific news. At least, for those of us who don’t play standard. Maybe now I’ll be able to afford a second set of Jaces.

  105. @Matt – the difference is that there’s no law against insider information in Magic – for example, pros who work for print magazines get spoilers early. Speculators in all fields sometimes lose money. Did you complain when the value of your Jaces went up? No? Then you have no right to complain when their value goes down.

  106. @Matt… I really really don’t know how to take what you’ve written. Either you are a brilliant troll running a sparkling parody of how some feel about the bannings, or an 8 year running dictation to his mother about how his magical cards aren’t worth as much. That line about “my Jace is now worth 1000 bucks”…. I literally felt some of my brain cells die…. unless its satire, then its good. Just to be on the safe side, please study some supply/demand economics…. or get your mother do to it for you because i’m sure her precious little snowflake hasn’t used his indoor voice in a little over 24 hours and keeps passing out from holding his breath. demand > supply = Price. We control demand. We control price. Head hurting. Think I’ll lie down now.

  107. Anyone who recently bought Jace for $100/each knowing they would rotate in 3 months are either buying because they just want to own 4 Jace and love the card and dont care about the value or they are dumb.

    Matt, how can you possible have a case knowing Jace was rotating in 3 months anyway, giving you exactly the same scenario as now. You need to at least prove you would have sold between Monday and October. I challenge you to prove it. I bet you would’ve kept your Jaces beyond October anyway. Prove me wrong. You cant. You have no case.

    There was an article that showed how Mythics have made Standard cheaper than in the past. I agree. Except a handful of mythics most cards are much cheaper now. In the old days Day of Judgment would’ve cost $10 and the SOM duals the same. Now they are much less. I will try to find the article.

  108. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  109. @SR

    If you can find that article you are talking about, I would very much like to read it. If you could post the link that would be cool, I am very interested in this subject.

  110. Why do people keep acting like Jace is a 10 dollar card now? It’ll be 50+ probably forever (until it gets banne in every format). Did you guys forget about Tarmogoyf? Jace is way better than Tarmogoyf. Did you forget that it’s an all-star in every format where it’s legal? It may have dropped 10-15 dollars from where it was, but it sure as hell isn’t dead.

  111. I found the article

    http://www.gatheringmagic.com/mythic-rares-and-fungibility/

    Basically what he is saying is that the cost of Magic is not more expensive than in the past as old normal rares, such as block dual lands, used to cost so much more. Now they are like $4 each.
    BUT, trading is more difficult. Nobody wants to trade away a Jace for other rares. So more people are forced to buy chase mythics instead of trading for them. Gone are the days when you could trade Bird of Paradise for other good rares.

    Conclusion
    Now that we have had time to collect data on mythic rarity, and vendors and traders have adjusted to the new rarity system, we can finally begin to draw conclusions about the role mythics play in the Magic economy. As it turns out, both the naysayers of and apologists for the mythic rarity were, in part, correct. On the one hand, it is a myth that the mythic rarity has made constructed decks more expensive. However, and perhaps more important, because of the comparative scarcity of mythics (and surplus of normal rares), it has become more expensive for tournament players—particularly players first entering the tournament scene—to assemble viable decks. This added expense is because the mythic rarity makes it much more difficult to acquire powerhouse rares, which are typically printed at mythic, in trade.

  112. @Matt

    I don’t troll twitter accounts. I didn’t even know that he *had* a twitter account before he made that tweet. But you know what? I listened to people in the magic community. A lot of people were talking about it. And if you’re not going to even talk to people in the community involved with the product, you DEFINITELY don’t deserve to whine about the possibility of losing money on it.

    You had no expectation that Jace would keep its value. You have no grounds for complaint over the lost value, especially since, as others have stated, you can still make money off of it in other formats.

    @SR

    That was a *really* good read,t hanks for posting that. I agree with what it says based on my own experience: I have oftentimes been frustrated trying to get Mythic rares because few people have them and are willing to trade, and having only 1 or 2 doesn’t do much good, and even when they do have them I don’t always have enough cards that they want to make the trad even.

  113. I own a playset of Jace and even I’m glad it’s banned. You know a card is overpowered if people won’t play with a bunch of sweet fatties (moltensteel dragon, baneslayer angel, phyrexian oblitorator, etc.) because they’re scared of one card that is automatically inserted in every single deck that makes blue mana. I own a playset of Big Jace and yet I still say, Good Riddance.

  114. Obviously Wizards made a mistake; they banned the wrong Jace.

    Jace Beleren is recurrable with Sun Titan. That’s just flat out unfair.

  115. Will I ain’t I dunno what kind of 8 year olds you hang out with at your “jesus juice” parties but I can assure you I’m not a part of that crowd. The arguments presented just keep getting worse and worse….so now because I don’t want to go out of my way to talk to greasy, immature, unskilled magic players I deserve to have my cards banned? Not sure how that links up exactly but whatever gets you through the day. Like I said before, I hope you monkeys enjoy the Valacunt mirror match, there’s no better feeling than getting turn 4 killed by a 6 year old with sleeveless primeval titans. Don’t forget that casual summoning trap into t3 emrakul either, you guys EARNED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  116. in my opinion the ban of StM was necessary just because of the ridiculous powerlevel of batterskull in combination with it. not that the swords caused already enough trouble, that living weapon pushed CawBlade over the top. And yes, WoTC should have known about it since with the release of NPH this was quite obvious to everybody. Anyway, the ban of that card hurts a bit, but is understandable in a format with such strong equipments.

    That said, the ban of Jace seems weird. Yes he is the most powerful planeswalker but there were Jace Decks before CawBlade and the tools to battle it. If its just for a healthier format, then they should have have banned StM & Valakut, so that the more aggressive decks have room to battle Control Decks with Jace.

  117. Wow, we’re still complaining about the bannings?

    1. Wizards doesn’t control the secondary market. Blame your salivating desperation, or your neighboring players, for paying ridiculous amounts for cardboard.

    2. Narrow formats are boring, no matter how “skill testing” they may claim to be. If you want narrow and skill testing, go play Chess.

    3. If you didn’t see some type of ban coming, you had your head in the sand. That’s no one’s fault but your own.

    4. Morton’s is farming this thread for its next decade’s supply of salt.

  118. i started to hate jace when my friends spent more time with him than me. But even worse was after a 3 month lapse from the game (travelling overseas) i turned up to my local ptq to face 6/7 rounds cawblade, sure i beat them all but when it came to the seventh game and he slammed down turn one colonade turn 2 stoneforge i dropped. Hell who wants to vs the same deck 7 times in one day just for a shot at a prize of monetary value, who gives a damn about winning a competition that has been boring and repetitive from start to finish. id rather show up to work on sundays then replay the same match game in game out. For those playing caw it might have seemed a skill intensive deck but from the otherside ofthe board it was a predictable match-up where every consecutive game was indentical to the last. To my credit i stuck with this screwed up standard of caws, caws everywhere and the godam oxy moron of birds carrying swords i mean seriously they have no hands, but i digress us who stuck with the bad meta for the past few months have been rewarded and those who complain about jace being banned and being unable to play there cardboard can go shove it where the sun doesn’t shine for wrecking the game for many players over the past 4 months. Peoples greed becomes obvious now when they dont give a damn that they have wrecked other peoples investments of time and money when they just care about net decking for an easy win, what about the first time fnm goers who rock up with their decks of 20 or more 6 cost beasty creatures, hell we know its not viable but what gave you the right to spoil their fun just because you have a bigger wallet. As far as i am concerned caw blade chased away many players of the game through sheer unfairness and frequency and as such a value decrease on these cards is waranted.

  119. Why blame ourselves for or our neighbors for paying for cardboard? Isn’t that what happens when something becomes valuable that is in limited copies? How should someone blame anyone for what is basic nature of things? When was the last time a 100 dollar card got banned?

  120. “…you are a brilliant troll running a sparkling parody of how some feel about the bannings…”

    DING DING DING. This thread is absolutely awesome. Matt, I salute you.

  121. Matt you are hilarious. I’d say you’re an idiot for trying to get money back but hey, that lady got money from mcdonalds when she spilled coffee on herself so who knows.

    Go get ’em tiger.

    Also, @Caw Go players; Stop pretending that it’s a deck for ‘skilled’ players. We’ve all played it. It’s not hard to win with that deck. The mirror helped ween out the dorks but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to play. It means there was a lot of assholes with 600$.

  122. It’s funny to hear people bitch about losing money on Jace. A playset of Jace is worth at least 3/4 of what it was worth before the ban. No-one lost $400 because it’s not like the ban physically removed the cardboard from your collection, and the banned cards have lots of eternal-format value. So your cards devalued a wee bit early. So what, you probably wouldn’t have sold them in September or October anyways.

    Matt, I hope for your sake that you are satirizing. If not, seek help. Seriously, professional psychiatric help (not the help of a lawyer, you have NO case.)

  123. Matt, please do all of us a favor and chronicle your brave fight on a facebook / tweeter for some real time updates.

    All of us are behind your noble cause of getting your just compensation. Wizard should know better than to expect the masses – who have no knowledge of how secondary markets work – to actually keep up with the prices.

    Without people like you, I don’t know how ANYONE would buy cards with peace of mind.

    You, sir, provide the forum for the weak and oppressed to speak.

    Godspeed.

  124. I have no strong opinions either way for this banning. What really makes me angry is the repeatedly assumed correlation between numbers dropping off at FNM and gamedays is due to JTMS and SM. There are other contributing factors:

    I cannot speak for America but in the UK what has killed FNM, Gamedays and Release Events was the policy by Wizards late last year to prevent anyone other than a shop from running these events. Until that decision I used to take myself and my three boys to EVERY FNM, but my local club (run by enthuisiasts at a University) were prevented from running FNM becuase they were not a shop. The nearest FNM to where I live now is a 55 mile journey of small windy roads and I can’t get home from work in time to make it. At the recent NPH gameday, there were NO events running anywhere near where I live in central England and for the first time since we took up the game two years ago my family couldn’t attend these neither.

    Wizards have messed up big time in the UK, the vast majority of shops are too small to run events, they do not have the floorspace and so they don’t. All the indipendant clubs run by magic Enthuisiast (with no commercial interest) in local pubs and universities are no longer allowed to stage FNM’s or releases. I believe that is a far bigger contributor to dwindling numbers than JTMS or SM.

    Regarding the banning, I am not convinced it will stop individual decks dominating, it will just be something else. I do feel sorry for all those who have spent a great deal of money buying these cards.

  125. @MagicArcher – As of the beginning of this year, SFM wasn’t a problem, so they’d still have a baseline of attendance before and after the rise of SFM with which to judge. You should probably grind this axe somewhere else.

  126. If it is about skill, why not play a stock intro or event deck and prove to everyone you are a skilled player?

    Copying a deck created by a pro player then taking that to your local FNM to beat up on people with more scruples is not a measure of skill. It is a measure of how much stock you put into winning and how little faith you have in your own deck design abilities. I’d rather (and do) lose with decks of my own design than to be a copycat playing someone else’s deck design.

    Creating decks is at least half the fun of this game and if you aren’t doing that, then you aren’t approaching this as a game and that is your loss.

  127. i’ll agree that building ones own deck is quite enjoyable. but i still sleeve up a net deck if i’m going to any large tournament. its not worth it to me, to spend 20-50 dollars on something just to prove “hey look at me i dont net deck, i think I’m better then you”

    for FNM or anything with a limited prize pool (under 200 dollars) i have no qualms using my own list.

    the other big issue is when it comes down to building your own deck 100% versus building the core and then using the net to fine tune it.

  128. Well, the netdeckers have only themselves to blame for the ban.

    If everybody wasn’t copying whatever decks were winning the pro tournaments, then the prices wouldn’t have been so outrageous and the format wouldn’t have been so stale. Doing something that harms the game just because everyone else is doing it is just being part of the problem.

    And if everyone in tournaments are going to play one of the two or three dominant decks, why not just have everyone buy a stock intro deck and use that, along with the contents of the booster as their sideboard? It would be a whole lot cheaper, would let the truly skilled players shine, and would not result in card bans.

    Or is this all a scheme by the card shops/dealers to drive up prices so they can make a pretty profit off a piece of cardboard that Wizards sells for all of a quarter?

    As for those wanting their money back (@Matt), I’ll give you the 25 cents that Wizards sold the card for, if you want to dump your Jaces… LOL Why should Wizards harm the game that is their bread and butter to protect the profits of card dealers who do nothing more than exploit the momentary popularity of any given card?

  129. Holy crap you guys are crazy.
    One, Jace will not go below 60 bucks more or less. It will climb back up in time, just like Goyf when it rotated out of std.
    Two, I will trade as many jaces you have for the new M12 jaces. Literally. The new jace is not going to be a 50 dollar card. It’s a milling PW, and milling cards have never been too expensive.
    Three, Wizards ahs nothign to do with you paying 400 bucks for four cards. They didnt sell the cards for that price, they didn’t make you buy them. You could always just not play (which attendance numbers suggest most of us did) or try something else. Vampires, for instance.

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