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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-06 3:29 am 

Joined: 2012-May-21 2:31 pm
Age: Drake
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
So on the “silly tribal” versus “might as well be cEDH for all it matters” argument, I (as the second guy in a core group that has two of the first guys) suggest trying to meet in the middle. I have decks I won’t use with them, and have stopped bringing to the shop. I try to build decks that are synergistic but not combo, that are interactive but not oppressive. On the other hand, I won’t (and honestly, wouldn’t know how to) build “silly tribal” in the way my friends sometimes do. Instead, I help where I can to improve play patterns and deck building (simple stuff like “one board wipe isn’t enough” or “where’s your enchantment removal?”). It’s totally possible to do these things while preserving the deck people want to play. Silly tribal is just better with effective ramp, draw, and removal, and you can win games off of well built jank.
Oh, I agree. Just because I build "silly tribal" does not mean that I don't run answers, ramp, removal, draw, etc. Walk the Plank is the perfect card for me in pirates, just as Swords to Plowshares is in my knights. But a deck can only have so many answers for so many problems. I think part of it is the difference illustrated by the desire to ban Cyclonic Rift. I personally don't think it should be banned, but that is because I only use Rift defensively. Unless I'm missing something, I guess the people calling for Rift's banning is because it is used offensively, usually to win a game on the Rift player's next turn.

Spectrar Ghost wrote:
Unfortunately, identifying them usually requires at least one game.
Oh I know who they are, but again it is the difference of playing vs. not playing. That's why myself and presumably others like me would want some support or something from the RC to "reign" in these types of players, but that isn't going to happen for various reasons. Even just expanding the ban list would (IMO) go towards helping players like me have fewer "bad" EDH experiences, but we're the minority we're again not playing EDH as intended by playing at an LGS, even if that is our only venue to play.
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
I can say that for me, while I want to build a sick Chulane deck that wrecks face right now, I’m having trouble deciding on a direction that will both satisfy me and also be something I’ll be okay with putting on the table against all comers. It takes more effort to build something that allows everyone to have fun than it does to just make the best deck. It’s worth the effort IMO, but there are those that don’t agree.
Again, my solution would be to just straight up ban Chulane, Teller of Tales on day one. When I saw that card spoiled months ago, I *knew* that would be a problematic card. Sure, on the surface it looks like it would be a fun card to design a deck around. But I don't see Chulane being used to foster a "format full of wild interactions and epic plays" but instead as a "problematic because of their extreme consistency, ubiquity, and/or ability to restrict others’ opportunities." I'd say the same for Urza, Lord High Artificer, but apparently I'm wrong in this, despite being completely hosed 100% of the time against him because stax is a thing.

Edit: I realize at this point I sound like I am complaining, and maybe I just am. For all it is worth, I am very appreciative for what this format is and what the RC has done for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-06 4:16 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
There is a cost whenever the RC bans/unbans a card. There is also a cost when the RC does nothing. People resist change and so if you make a gradual change there is generally less resistance, of course there can be significant resistance from anything i.e. death threats from banning Iona/Paradox Engine. So if you ban 200+ cards, you will have a lot of resistance, to the point where it is basically guaranteed to splinter the format.

Maybe that is what you want? The super casuals with the 250 (or more) card ban list, the more moderates with their 40-50 card ban list and the super competitives with their "Only Power 9" ban list? It is hard to say how big each camp is, but I do think it will mean fewer games for everybody.

Reality is that people can be casual or competitive with a 400 card ban list, unless we are just all casting Scornful Egotist without morph, there is going to be cards that annoy you or me, there will be cards that cost more than we want to pay and there will be players that employ strategies that we don't like. In fact, many of the competitive players enjoy the challenge of building Stax (or whatever you deem an annoying strategy) with a limited card pool, it means they have to be prepared for fewer contingencies.

Banning cards won't fix player problems. It reminds be of this story: https://medium.com/@penguinpress/an-excerpt-from-how-not-to-be-wrong-by-jordan-ellenberg-664e708cfc3d. I know some people won't want to read it so here is the most importnat part: So many people duringt WWII wanted to protect the wrong parts of the plane (i.e. ban cards) rather than try to protect the engines (i.e. fix the player problem).

Now banning cards seems easy, right? Take away the "bad guys" toys, rather than try to see what is really going on. Why does the "bad guy" want to play stax (or whatever issue you have with him)? If you can fix that you don't have an us vs. them situation but you have friends playing together. It is like the guy that was complaining about playing against "randos" all the time instead of learning names and making friends with the people he played against. Now I get that it is not easy to do what I am suggesting, I go to a shop maybe 3-5 times a year and it is not always the same shop.

There are sometimes several sever issues that cause someone to pick Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur as their commander or ramp into Craterhoof Behemoth/Avenger of Zendikar on turn 5. They might be dealing with an abusive partner/parent, they might have just lost their job or dealing with an addiction or some other problem that makes them want to "grief" others. I am not saying we need to enable them, but if we can understand and help them in some small way they can become better people and better players and then we all win, right?

/endrant

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With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-06 5:41 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
Resource denial=/=prison.

It kinda does. Also, I don't consider classic STAX cards like Smokestack or Braids to be "interactive". Sure, they do things to your opponents' boards, but it's much more about breaking the synergy and letting your opponent decide how to feel bad than about a real back and forth.

Spectrar Ghost wrote:
He lost both games, one to me and one to a Waistora deck that simply flew under the radar long enough. Stax requires good deck building to play through. It rewards strategies that are resilient over those that are simply strong.

Just because a strategy is beatable does not make it acceptable, in the same way that there are many behaviors that are not illegal, but will still get you shunned from polite society, or that are not against the rules of the sports league, but are still considered unsportsmanlike behavior.

Spectrar Ghost wrote:
A healthy playgroup, whether an insular kitchen table group or an LGS group with both regular players and intermittent ones, can and should encourage they types and levels of play they enjoy most

That's great in theory but not in practice. It's not uncommon for posters like Evil Lamp to turn up and express their frustration with the LGS scene, because - and I can't stress this enough it seems - the LGS does not have a healthy established playgroup. This can be either due to a frequently rotating cast of players, where you don't know what you'll get from week to week, or because there are too few players interested in EDH to pick and choose who you play with, or because people aren't willing to compromise on expectations. Banning some of the most egregiously un-fun cards could help these people. It's easier for a group of friends with a common vision to say "We feel this banned card is OK and are going to use it anyways" than for a bunch of less tight-knit players to agree that something needs to go. There's enough people out there whose deckbuilding philosophy is "It's not banned, therefore it's fine and if you don't like it, then F you".

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-06 6:28 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-15 7:09 am
Age: Drake
Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
I can say that for me, while I want to build a sick Chulane deck that wrecks face right now, I’m having trouble deciding on a direction that will both satisfy me and also be something I’ll be okay with putting on the table against all comers. It takes more effort to build something that allows everyone to have fun than it does to just make the best deck. It’s worth the effort IMO, but there are those that don’t agree.
Again, my solution would be to just straight up ban Chulane, Teller of Tales on day one. When I saw that card spoiled months ago, I *knew* that would be a problematic card. Sure, on the surface it looks like it would be a fun card to design a deck around. But I don't see Chulane being used to foster a "format full of wild interactions and epic plays" but instead as a "problematic because of their extreme consistency, ubiquity, and/or ability to restrict others’ opportunities." I'd say the same for Urza, Lord High Artificer, but apparently I'm wrong in this, despite being completely hosed 100% of the time against him because stax is a thing.

Edit: I realize at this point I sound like I am complaining, and maybe I just am. For all it is worth, I am very appreciative for what this format is and what the RC has done for it.

My view is Chulane is pure cancer. Really consistent, and will take 30 minute turns barfing out jank.

As my friend has it, ok for brawl, but not good with eternal card pool


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-06 7:25 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
Resource denial=/=prison.

It kinda does. Also, I don't consider classic STAX cards like Smokestack or Braids to be "interactive". Sure, they do things to your opponents' boards, but it's much more about breaking the synergy and letting your opponent decide how to feel bad than about a real back and forth.
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
He lost both games, one to me and one to a Waistora deck that simply flew under the radar long enough. Stax requires good deck building to play through. It rewards strategies that are resilient over those that are simply strong.

Just because a strategy is beatable does not make it acceptable, in the same way that there are many behaviors that are not illegal, but will still get you shunned from polite society, or that are not against the rules of the sports league, but are still considered unsportsmanlike behavior.


I’d consider Static Orb and Winter Orb to be far more representative of Stax strategies. They slow the game down and force choices, instead of locking players out. Even Smokestack needs several rounds to become really oppressive in most cases. Stax is persistent disruption, but persistence makes it predictable and answerable. My opinion is that many of the things I hear complaints about in commander are a result of the things the social contract frowns on. Excessive land ramp is a problem in large part because once you’ve used Boundless Realms to pull all your basics, there’s effectively no risk of an Armageddon to ruin your day. When your opponents can be assumed to have little persistent disruption, you don’t need to worry about how you play through a Rule of Law. When you try to draw into a huge hand, there’s little risk of someone simply making you discard it, or simply playing Spirit of the Labyrinth beforehand. These all serve to make commander faster, more explosive, and less interactive, again in my opinion. We’re in opposite corners here and that’s okay.

Quote:
Spectrar Ghost wrote:
A healthy playgroup, whether an insular kitchen table group or an LGS group with both regular players and intermittent ones, can and should encourage they types and levels of play they enjoy most

That's great in theory but not in practice. It's not uncommon for posters like Evil Lamp to turn up and express their frustration with the LGS scene, because - and I can't stress this enough it seems - the LGS does not have a healthy established playgroup. This can be either due to a frequently rotating cast of players, where you don't know what you'll get from week to week, or because there are too few players interested in EDH to pick and choose who you play with, or because people aren't willing to compromise on expectations. Banning some of the most egregiously un-fun cards could help these people. It's easier for a group of friends with a common vision to say "We feel this banned card is OK and are going to use it anyways" than for a bunch of less tight-knit players to agree that something needs to go. There's enough people out there whose deckbuilding philosophy is "It's not banned, therefore it's fine and if you don't like it, then F you".

I wouldn’t call my LGS’s playgroup established. There’s regulars and passers by, people whose casual deck is a tuned Eight-and-a-Half-Tails and people who think $50 is too much to spend on a deck. Some weeks no one plays magic at all. Even my core group of friends play magic maybe 50% of the time. Like I said, commander is about relationships, in game and out, and it’s at its best when that is emphasized. What makes a playgroup (I use this really loosely, basically any group of players playing EDH at the same time is a ‘playgroup’ for the purposes of this) healthy is each player being flexible enough to adapt to its character.

I sympathize with people who have bad play experiences at their LGS, but I don’t really agree that players who want lower powered games have the automatic moral high ground in such debates. The cost of playing suboptimal strategies is that your win rate is lower. The cost of playing only competitive is that some groups exclude you. Neither of these is inherently wrong. Expecting others to bear the costs of your choices is. Play responsibly.

I decided i wanted to be able to play magic with my friends more than I wanted to play the best deck i could, and figured out where i felt the happy medium was. I still don’t always get it right, and need to course correct. I keep wanting to put Tainted Aether in decks with a sacrifice theme, and have to remind myself why that’s a shitty thing to do, for instance.

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-07 12:13 am 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
The other thing I think is being missed that there is no clean line of cards that are so obviously bad for the format that banning them would be a guaranteed net positive. For example, take a look at this list. Sure, it includes all of the obvious stinkers like Winter Orb and Vorinclex, but there are also a lot of cards that are seemingly on there for sheer power reasons (Craterhoof Behemoth, Teferi's Protection), cards that are perfectly fine by themselves but are often combined with and/or used to enable garbage (Doubling Season, Narset, Enlightened Master, Atraxa), or cards that are in the same category as Winter Orb and friends but are arguably not as bad (Blood Moon, Elesh Norn).

The point being, the big problem with a 200-card banned list is that banning a lot of cards guarantees unjustified bans. Furthermore, let's ignore reason and talk evidence. It's just a known fact that when formats become obsessively heavy with the banhammer, nobody wants to play those formats anymore. The extra-long banlist is the most commonly cited reason for the death of 5-color Star, which prior to EDH was debatably the premier casual format.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-07 11:17 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
kirkusjones wrote:
So, at what point/percentage of the playerbase do people like myself who play in stores with mostly randoms get help beyond "the social contract is your friend" and "don't like a pod, pick your shit up and find another one"?

I suspect this is something you have a good understanding of, but I think is misinterpreted more broadly. Delineating support and focus.

My understanding is that the RC supports all aspects of the format to the best of their ability, and they consider a wide range of groups, power-levels and play styles when making decisions. However the focus is on kitchen table casual play, which means if a decision is positive for one group and negative for a different group, then the casual kitchen table group gets precedence. If there is anything they can do that would support random pick up players that doesn't make things worse for other people, I expect they would be willing to. I like the idea about the philosophy insert and I hope WOTC seriously considers it.

Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Forgive my ignorance on this subject, but I have a question. I've seen the idea of expanding the ban list for EDH to something like "200+ cards" is almost always considered a "bad" thing. Why is that?

The reason as I choose to see it stems from a baseline assumption: that all cards inherently have value in the format by increasing options. It's doesn't matter how bad, overcosted or uninteresting a card is, more cards is better by default.

We can certainly debate that assumption, but taking it to be true for now, that means that in order to be considered for banning a card must be actively detrimental to the format because banning a card is taking something positive away, the negative has to outweigh the positive.

When you try to apply that idea to most cards you will find a complex combination of good and bad for any card, and a number of proponents and detractors for it. Because of the subjective nature of the majority of these ideas in order to actually ban something you want to be able to demonstrate that a card is very much more negative overall, like in criminal convictions if you're locking something up you want to be sure you're right.

All that adds up to having a small ban list, there are a bunch of cards that are slightly negative to the format, but they add enough as to be not worth taking away from the people that enjoy it so they never make it to the banlist.

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-07 1:38 pm 
EDH Rules Committee

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Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Forgive my ignorance on this subject, but I have a question. I've seen the idea of expanding the ban list for EDH to something like "200+ cards" is almost always considered a "bad" thing. Why is that? I do understand the concept of if 'X' gets banned, then people will just run 'Y' because it is mostly the same thing, but why is this a problem? If card 'X' gets played to the detriment of many games, but card 'Y' does not (at least until card 'X' gets banned), why is this such a problem? Isn't that the idea behind a living ruleset/ban list?


Well, the evidence we have is that a large banlist is an active detriment to a format (and you're talking far and away the biggest banlist ever), is particularly detrimental to casual play where players don't want to spend a ton of time figuring out if their deck is legal, and probably doesn't actually help much. The difference in power levels at LGSes is not usually an access problem or a skill problem. It's a mindset problem. The people who want to win are going to figure out the optimal decks regardless of whats in the cardpool. The people who are playing for fun will likely still be crushed, and wondering where those fun toys they used to get to play with went.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-07 1:54 pm 
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papa_funk wrote:
The people who want to win are going to figure out the optimal decks regardless of whats in the cardpool.

+1.

If it isn't Flash Hulk, it's going to be 5 colour hermit druid. Or bonkers cheerios Urza. At no point is there going to be a competitively healthy metagame with an even distribution between aggro/control/combo, or where a variety of decks all occupy the 'tier 1' slot.

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-09 6:05 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Again, my solution would be to just straight up ban Chulane, Teller of Tales on day one. When I saw that card spoiled months ago, I *knew* that would be a problematic card.
THIS is exactly why we have an RC. so reactionary junk like this does not crap on the format with lame Day 0 bans. How many cards have people said stuff like this about, and it never ends up being an issue. Every set is the correct answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-09 6:23 am 
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Check out the wish thread, that kind of controversy is why we have a rc too. They are the ultimate deciders when there is dissent or confusion. WOTC "supports" commander, but the comp rules do a poor job of it imho


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-09 8:13 am 

Joined: 2012-May-21 2:31 pm
Age: Drake
Sid the Chicken wrote:
That's great in theory but not in practice. It's not uncommon for posters like Evil Lamp to turn up and express their frustration with the LGS scene, because - and I can't stress this enough it seems - the LGS does not have a healthy established playgroup. This can be either due to a frequently rotating cast of players, where you don't know what you'll get from week to week, or because there are too few players interested in EDH to pick and choose who you play with, or because people aren't willing to compromise on expectations. Banning some of the most egregiously un-fun cards could help these people. It's easier for a group of friends with a common vision to say "We feel this banned card is OK and are going to use it anyways" than for a bunch of less tight-knit players to agree that something needs to go. There's enough people out there whose deckbuilding philosophy is "It's not banned, therefore it's fine and if you don't like it, then F you".
Quoted for truth. Especially the last sentence. If it is not banned, then it must be okay, even if it makes games/people miserable.
OldVig wrote:
My view is Chulane is pure cancer. Really consistent, and will take 30 minute turns barfing out jank.

As my friend has it, ok for brawl, but not good with eternal card pool
Again quoted for truth. The few people I know that have tried to build it have come to the same conclusion. I'm not a fan of Day 0 bans either, but sometimes they are justified. I'm so not sorry if other people don't see it that way, but I see Chulane as the next Leovold, Emissary of Trest, but I'm willing to admit that I could be wrong and I am willing to let time tell with it.
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
Furthermore, let's ignore reason and talk evidence. It's just a known fact that when formats become obsessively heavy with the banhammer, nobody wants to play those formats anymore. The extra-long banlist is the most commonly cited reason for the death of 5-color Star, which prior to EDH was debatably the premier casual format.
Now this I can understand as a good reason for not having a super large ban list. My only argument against it would be that EDH seems to be more popular than 5-color Magic ever was. But yeah, I guess an extensive ban list can lead to the death of a format and I hadn't honestly considered that before.
Sinis wrote:
papa_funk wrote:
The people who want to win are going to figure out the optimal decks regardless of whats in the cardpool.

+1.

If it isn't Flash Hulk, it's going to be 5 colour hermit druid. Or bonkers cheerios Urza. At no point is there going to be a competitively healthy metagame with an even distribution between aggro/control/combo, or where a variety of decks all occupy the 'tier 1' slot.
My position, which seems to be the unpopular one, would be to (re)ban Protean Hulk, Hermit Druid, and Urza, Lord High Artificer.
MRHblue wrote:
Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
Again, my solution would be to just straight up ban Chulane, Teller of Tales on day one. When I saw that card spoiled months ago, I *knew* that would be a problematic card.
THIS is exactly why we have an RC. so reactionary junk like this does not crap on the format with lame Day 0 bans. How many cards have people said stuff like this about, and it never ends up being an issue. Every set is the correct answer.
Yes, the sky is falling. I still stand by my opinion on Chulane. I have yet to see a non-degenerate Chulane deck. As I clarified above though, I am willing to admit to being proven incorrect on this point and will let time tell. Besides, I am not the RC, so what I say doesn't matter anyway as to what gets banned or not. But I still will share my opinions on the matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-09 8:29 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Just want to point out that even though you aren't on the RC, you're on a forum which they frequent and will most likely see your posts (even if they don't personally respond to each one). So your opinions DO matter in that voicing them helps to give the RC a larger worldview than they would normally see beyond their individual experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-09 10:08 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
My position, which seems to be the unpopular one, would be to (re)ban Protean Hulk, Hermit Druid, and Urza, Lord High Artificer.
To what end? You certainly are not going to ban every good card or commander. At what point are cards 'ok' by you?
Quote:
Yes, the sky is falling. I still stand by my opinion on Chulane. I have yet to see a non-degenerate Chulane deck.
That is hardly surprising based on the groups you seem to frequent. Why not BUILD a non-degenerate Chulane?
Quote:
As I clarified above though, I am willing to admit to being proven incorrect on this point and will let time tell.
And what will constitute proof to you?
Quote:
Besides, I am not the RC, so what I say doesn't matter anyway as to what gets banned or not. But I still will share my opinions on the matter.
Sure , thats why we are all here. I was merely answering the question asked at the top of the page.

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 Post subject: Re: Why even have a Rules Committee?
AgePosted: 2019-Oct-15 6:02 am 
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Evil_Lamp_6 wrote:
My position, which seems to be the unpopular one, would be to (re)ban Protean Hulk, Hermit Druid, and Urza, Lord High Artificer.

This seems like a 'you' problem, then. The RC doesn't do everything I want, either.

You know what I want? Wishes. I think I outlined a pretty good argument in the other thread. But, I would not be surprised if no action got taken.

So you know what I did? I talked about it with my playgroup.

If you have trouble with the rules, or the banlist, by all means advocate for yourself with the RC. It looks like you're in the minority and your opinions aren't getting much traction. Nor should they, IMO, and I also have opinions™ about what cEDH players should do about the lack of a competitively robust banlist for EDH that are out of the scope of this thread.

But you know what you should also do? Advocate with the people you play with. If it's more than a kitchen table, advocate with the person running the space. Have an open discussion with your LGS owner, or your tournament director, or whatever. Make a competitive ban list and post it in a public place where you play (with the permission of the owner of that space).

That's what literally everyone does. If I had the time, I would screen shot the discussion in my facebook chat we had about cards that aren't even on your radar: We had an open debate about whether Sheoldred, Whispering One was unfun for our meta. We may have disagreed, but we talked about it, and came to a policy agreement within our group.

You should do the same.

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