Thursday 30 May 2013

Bannings: Mana Crypt

Mana Crypt
It has been a long time coming but it is time to retire the Mana Crypt in my cube along with the rest of the power. I used to argue that only combo benefited from the Crypt with agro decks having too little colourless requirement and control never wanting to risk the life loss in a long game. As combo is the weakest of the three main archetype groups I was happy leaving in a card well above the power level to give level the playing field a little. Sadly now the meta is shifting towards a meta with midrange decks dominating a lot more which changes the dynamic of who wants a Crypt. Agro decks are playing higher curves and more expensive cards to have a little more game against the midrange decks and more combo decks are doing well as they are highly effective against midrange decks. Now midrange, agro and combo all compete for Crypt and make up a much higher portion of the field than they did a year ago. Combo also needs less of a boost with midrange being more prevalent. Crypt is not just a very high power card but it is also very random and swingy. If you get it in your opener with a few cards to play off it quickly then you will really struggle to lose however off the top late game it is rather a dead draw. While you may be able to do some great fun things with an early Crypt it is not so fun for your opponent and doesn't lead to good games of magic. Another issue with Mana Crypt is its unbalance in draft formats compared to more constructed ones. In draft decks all tend to look a little more midrange regardless of the intended aim of the deck and are also much less powerful making a highly powerful, swingy card that excels in and against midrange decks such as Mana Crypt a liability. We have had some good times but in the name of better Magic I am banning Mana Crpyt. This will weaken blue more than anything else with cards like Trinket Mage and Tinker losing some power but as it has remained the best colour consistently I am not concerned about this change. My banned list looks like this at present:

Black Lotus
Library of AlexandriaSol Ring
Mana Crpyt
Mox Jet
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Mox Emerald
Mox Pearl
(Time Vault)

Strip Mine
Tolarian Academy
Library of Alexandria

Time Walk
Ancestral Recall
Cunning Wish
Mana Drain

Living Wish

Buring Wish

The power of the Wishes entirely depend on how you play them in the various ways of doing a cube ranging from pointless to vastly over powered. They really helped round out tight 40 card card decks but were a bit of a cop out in deck design and really just made everything more complicated and tedious than it needed to be. I could have changed the rulings on them rather than just banning them but either way, they make for better cubes when not included despite being very difficult cards with lots of choices and utility. Technically Time Vault should be on this list but I have never had or wanted one, it seems like the Wishes in terms of what rulings you use with it determining whether it is broken or terrible, it is also just a tedious card as soon as it becomes playable. Library of Alexandria is probably the most likely card within this list to become unbanned as the format is a little too fast to reliably be able to abuse the card. Without the cheap universal artifact ramp it is hard to recover the tempo loss incurred by going nuts with the Library early. That said, it would still be very unfair in control mirrors even if man lands are currently one of the best cards in those matchups! I do still like the occasional rotissary, or even a draft, with all the power included. Sure you get some dud games and blow outs but it makes you appreciate the calmer fairer formats and is really exciting to do now and again.

No comments:

Post a Comment