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Magic: The Gathering |OT| Throne of Eldraine - Will and Rowan's Excellent Adventure

Kirblar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
27,331
Astrolabe getting axed in Modern seems like an inevitability. Maybe not soon, but it'll happen.
 

aidan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,097
I haven't played Modern since MH was released. Can someone ELI5 why Astrolabe is so strong? It seems pretty innocuous just from reading the card in a vacuum.
 

f0rk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
413
I haven't played Modern since MH was released. Can someone ELI5 why Astrolabe is so strong? It seems pretty innocuous just from reading the card in a vacuum.
It let's you play with an effectively 56 card deck (which is more consistent than 60) with better mana. The snow requirement is not that harsh.

Deep down I think banning oath of nissa in pioneer is acknowledgement they've gone too far with printing card selection in green (better than blue at this point), but they aren't going to ban Once Upon a Time due to the embarrassment / it being from the latest set.
 
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Sep 14, 2018
711
I haven't played Modern since MH was released. Can someone ELI5 why Astrolabe is so strong? It seems pretty innocuous just from reading the card in a vacuum.
It's just more Urza fodder, he is the problem. At least he's more straightforward than KCI, no need for people to blow a fuse trying to figure out if they had lethal.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,218
716
It let's you play with an effectively 56 card deck (which is more consistent than 60) with better mana. The snow requirement is not that harsh.

Deep down I think banning oath of nissa in pioneer is acknowledgement they've gone too far with printing card selection in green (better than blue at this point), but they aren't going to ban Once Upon a Time due to the embarrassment / it being from the latest set.
Too much of this going around.
 

Beje

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,474
I haven't played Modern since MH was released. Can someone ELI5 why Astrolabe is so strong? It seems pretty innocuous just from reading the card in a vacuum.
Same as Oath of Nissa in Pioneer:
- Cantrips for 1 mana
- Helps fix colours in order to run nonsense piles
- Leaves an exploitable permanent behind that can be a source of more mana (Oath -> Nykthos, Astrolabe -> Urza), more value (reduced costs or amplified effects with affinity/devotion) or repeated effects for almost free (blinking or bouncing effects)

Should have banned saheeli rai
The cat is the only card that insta-blinks any type of permanent without making you wait for end of turn to have it returned, so it can be abused blinking planeswalkers or Nykthos for double effect. Also two cats make infinite ETB/LTB triggers for insta kills with stuff that pings on those events.
 

Bigkrev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,764
Eh, I think Cat is the right piece to ban. They are significantly more likely to print a Planeswalker that creates tokens of a creature in play than they are to create a creature that can blink a planeswalker on ETB again.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,218
716
Eh, I think Cat is the right piece to ban. They are significantly more likely to print a Planeswalker that creates tokens of a creature in play than they are to create a creature that can blink a planeswalker on ETB again.
I think we are both right here. Cat was the right call in this instance, but they’ve got it wrong in the past and will often continue to so long as they value creating and protecting broken mythics over gameplay balance.
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,009
Eh, I think Cat is the right piece to ban. They are significantly more likely to print a Planeswalker that creates tokens of a creature in play than they are to create a creature that can blink a planeswalker on ETB again.
But saheeli is worthless outside of the combo and cat is interesting for shenanigans.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,218
716
A friend of mine suggested WotC should ban all Planeswalkers 3-cmc and less in most formats and we laughed. But then it sunk in a bit and... I kind of don’t hate the idea.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,770
The unco 3CC walkers are fine - except maybe for Narset. Although Pioneer isn’t likely to be a format where Narset is super powerful.
 

Steve Winwood

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,479
Narset has been horrendous for Vintage. Dramatically unfun card, she gets the axe.

Davriel and Tibalt I think are fine cards, but if they're the collateral damage to get rid of the rest of the garbage then tough break for them.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,218
716
I guess it depends on what you think a Planeswalker should be at its core. It’s an interesting thing to consider. What do you think a Planeswalker should be conceptually?

Ultimately I believe they should be powerful but mid-to-late-game style threats/win conditions. So I am on board with 4-cmc and up, with power levels that increase with their mana cost. A six or seven mana Planeswalker should be about Elspeth or Nicol Bolas’ level of power.

I realize this eliminates many of the War uncommons, many of which are fine, but I ultimately think it would be better for the game in the long run.

That said, I’m not a Magic designer, and Wizards obviously doesn’t share this view with me. It’s not going to happen so don’t bother telling me this is crazy or pie in the sky. I know that already, this isn’t a prediction. But that’s how I’d shift the identity of the card type if they gave me the keys to the car.
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,009
They'd need to make hexproof PWs for some high CMC PW to become an actual threat because if you sink 6-7 mana into a glorified removal spell, why bother?
 

cagey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,593
Planeswalkers shouldn't come down in the middle turns of a game and create this silly subgame where the combat step pivots to attacking/protecting this specific card type. It's why I didn't like them when I first learned they existed upon returning in Zendikar, and have never liked the card type, even when piloting decks since returning when closed beta Arena launched that are filled to the brim with them. I just don't like the game-within-a-game.

In other words, I subjectively just don't like the card type and don't think it belongs.
 

TAFAE

Member
Aug 27, 2018
154
Michigan
6cmc Chandra from M20 is kind of there as an uncounterable but slow and expensive threat. I know she's one that some people had an issue with on release, but I think is ultimately fine. A 20-turn clock that starts at 6 mana feels like it's not asking too much of you to deal with it. Giving a similar card hexproof instead of uncounterable seems like it would be fine.
 

Steve Winwood

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,479
Why are we talking about hexproof or indestructible? High-CMC planeswalkers get played right now. A lack of low-CMC planeswalkers wouldn't affect that.
Sagas are better than planeswalkers change my mind
Hadn't thought of this comparison, but strong agree. Pay a cost now for spread-out value, without the silly high-variance subgame of attacking it, where the outcome of that game hinges massively on your board presence on the exact turn the card comes down.

Team "Ban Planeswalkers, end Mythics."
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,009
Mythics are horseshit too ofc
Which high CMC PWs get played other than nissa rn ? Can't think of one. And nissa is just ramped out to explode even harder.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,770
Static abilities on planeswalkers was a huge mistake. They shouldn’t add value just by existing - they already do that with loyalty abilities and being a damage sink. Nissa is what she is because of her static. Take that away and she’s reasonable again. It essentially lets those PWs do two things a turn which is bogus.
 

Izzy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
283
There’s nothing inherently bad about a 3cmc planeswalker. Gideon Blackblade didn’t break anything. But there’s a certain combination of loyalty and abilities that can’t be combined into so cheap of a spell.

I’d say M20 sorin was about the upper echelon of what they should have allowed at that cost.
 

TAFAE

Member
Aug 27, 2018
154
Michigan
There may be nothing inherently game breaking about 3cmc walkers, but it seems so easy to break them at that cost (or below) that there might as well be a design rule that says "don't print these." There doesn't seem to be enough space between "unplayably bad" and "completely format warping" to make exploring that space worthwhile.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,218
716
Static abilities on planeswalkers was a huge mistake. They shouldn’t add value just by existing - they already do that with loyalty abilities and being a damage sink. Nissa is what she is because of her static. Take that away and she’s reasonable again. It essentially lets those PWs do two things a turn which is bogus.
I agree with this. On a pretty deep level honestly.

I think static abilities should be Enchantment space and activated abilities should be Artifact space. Maybe with some overlap but not much.
 

TheYanger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,366
3 CMC PWs really just CANT be allowed to defend themselves easily or repeatedly at least. Like, having an immediate impact at 3 mana and being able to prevent interaction with itself is what usually makes those busted, right? Creatures having summoning sickness and Planeswalkers not, effectively make it so that you have to have a board presence to deal with them the turn before they come into play, and with 3 cmc you're asking a bit too much of the opponent to do that if the PW has any kind of relevant board based ability.

Then you throw in too-high loyalty and suddenly your PW is now out of reach of any creature that could reasonably be in play, AND any potential sources of direct damage, and you're left with 'well hope you got a murderous rider' or something stupid. Like, I'm relatively new to coming BACK to magic but the fundamental difference between PWs and Creatures seems like it is what skews this stuff the earlier you can play one - a 3 mana creature that had some absurd effect would still be answerable before anything happened, with a 3 mana planeswalker you PROBABLY don't have board presence to handle it unless it has like 2 loyalty, and even if you somehow have an answer? it still did what it wanted to the turn it came down. If I oko and just make a food and you respond with removal somehow like, it still went in my favor. It's a favorable exchange basically no matter what you do to me, and if you don't answer me literally the next turn then it's done.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,770
Oko is funny because he doesn’t protect himself super effectively in the early game because the opponent still has creatures. Where they fucked up was making the Beast Within be a + ability AND giving him insane starting loyalty AND you can do it to your own stuff. He got overtuned basically.