100 Card Singleton Banned List Survey

[Editor's Note: Please take this survey soon if you play 100CS and have not already. Thanks!]

100 Card Singleton is a unique environment. It deserves a banned list that reflects this unique environment. Some cards that are broken in other eternal formats are fair in a 100 Card Singleton environment, while other cards are broken across multiple formats. It is important that cards be fairly considered and not banned based primarily on their performance in other eternal formats.

In this survey, you will tell us which powerful cards and combos you believe are overpowered enough to be banned in 100CS. Where would you draw the line between powerful and too powerful? How small or large is your banned list?

Factors you may want to consider:

  • How much the deck needs to be designed around it
  • How early in the game it can be played
  • Likelihood of the opponent winning in spite of it
  • The amount of setup required to make it win the game
  • How well it performs against a variety of decks
  • The effect it has on the level of diversity in the metagame

For reference, the following table lists powerful cards and combos in a 100CS environment. Comparing these cards to each other may help you decide which effects are overpowered and which ones are not.

Cards Combos
Mind Twist
Scapeshift
Armageddon
Ravages of War
Natural Order
Tinker
Survival of the Fittest
Bribery
Oath of Druids
Polymorph
Proteus Staff
Enduring Ideal
Price of Progress
Goblin Recruiter
Grindstone / Painters Servant
Time Vault / Voltaic Key
Thopter Foundry / Sword of the Meek
Goblin Charbelcher / Mana Severance
Stuffy Doll / Guilty Conscience
Scapeshift / Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
Earthcraft / Squirrel Nest
Flash / Protean Hulk / win condition
Worldgorger Dragon / Animate Dead / win condition
Lion’s Eye Diamond / Auriok Salvagers / win condition
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind / Curiosity
Dark Depths / Vampire Hexmage
Doomsday / Shelldock Isle / Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Survival of the Fittest / Necrotic Ooze/ Triskelion / Phyrexian Devourer
Survival of the Fittest / Loyal Retainers / Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Cephalid Illusionist or Hermit Druid / Dread Return / Sutured Ghoul
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker / Pestermite

This final table makes comparisons between specific pairs of banned cards and legal cards. You may find these comparisons useful since you can rely on your own experience to judge the power level of the legal cards. Hopefully this will help you estimate how much more powerful (or less powerful) the banned cards would be if they were legal.

Banned Legal
Mana Vault Dark Ritual, Grim Monolith
Fastbond Exploration
Regrowth Yawgmoth’s Will, Eternal Witness, Recollect
Tinker Natural Order, Oath of Druids
Imperial Seal Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Personal Tutor
Tolarian Academy Gaea’s Cradle
Wheel of Fortune Time Spiral, Memory Jar
Mind Twist Armageddon, Ravages of War
Survival of the Fittest Oath of Druids
Life from the Loam / Crucible of Worlds + Wasteland Ruination, Back to Basics, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon, Dwarven Miner, Dwarven Blastminer

Click here to take the 100CS Banned List Survey!

-Zimbardo and platipus10

 
  1. I forgot to mention this (although I don’t think it’s relevant) but they have to worst timings for bannings and they have direct dis-synergy with the most current set.

    Life from the loam and crucible were banned when retrace came online. Sensei’s top is banned when metalcraft just came online. No idea where the love for their new sets go to.

  2. Thanks to everybody who has already responded – this is helping us generate some good data. I think we will be able to create a credible case to present to Wizards once the data rolls in, but this depends on getting a good data set. I’m interested in getting a variety of players in on this. When we’re done, I should have responses from everybody from the most casual players to the top players in the format (we already have a good start). If you have friends with opinions on the banned list, please tell them to shared them! Of course, you can expect a follow-up article with both raw data and analysis.

  3. And a big thanks to you Zimbardo, for taking this initiative. Looking forward to the follow-up article.

  4. We should mention when sending this to WotC that the survey was actually a collaboration, so that they do not think it is all based on the opinion of a single person. Martin’s comment above made me think of that (Chris and I helped as well).

    Anyways, I have taken the survey and let my opinions be known.

    Thanks to everyone who eventually takes this!

  5. If I played 100 CS I would def respond but I only watch. I dont agree with Top being banned at all though. Good thing people have responded to these random bannings

  6. And also thanks to the other members of the mtgoacademy 100CS promotion team: Platipus and Chriskool.

    Much love to all you guys.

  7. Yes, platipus10 and ChrisKool contributed a lot to this effort, and I daresay they aren’t finished yet. Collecting data is only the first phase of the diabolical plan. Platipus and I both sunk a few hours into collaboratively creating the survey and introductory material, so it is definitely true that it’s not just one person on a crusade.

    By the way, don’t be surprised if some writers weigh in on the bannings in the near future! I don’t have any inside info that would allow me to corner the secondary market on Cloudposts or anything, but a few people have told me they might write about this issue. This will be another indication that interest in fixing the banned list is more widely distributed than it might appear to somebody who isn’t as obsessed with 100CS as I am.

  8. I want to echo everyone else’s gratitude for Zimbardo and friends, first of all.

    But second, I want to note, too, that I have less of a problem with the bannings themselves than with the notion that the banned cards won’t be reconsidered anytime soon. The reason I fear that banned cards won’t be re-considered soon is because Imperial Seal is still on the list, and several cards that haven’t even seen play in 100CS on MTGO (from ME4) were preemptively banned. Why ban cards preemptively if you’re planning on seeing how the metagame turns out before making more decisions? It makes me sad that MT, Top, and Survival were banned, but I’m looking forward to a (potentially) new metagame, as long as these cards are allowed to come back into competitive play after not too long.

    In other words, it’s the form that the ban decisions appear to have, rather than the content (the card bannings themselves) that bothers me. Though I will miss Survival.

  9. Well about Survival, my oppinion is that its clearly ban worthy. Its a powerful combination of tutor and card advantage engine for just 2 mana, and its definitely game ending tool on its own.

    That said – I never had any problems with it on the other hand. Yes, I have lost games because of it and yes I don’t like it. Still – I respected it, and have built my deck accordingly. Now I can simply remove 4-5 cards from my deck, just because survival is gone. That will make my life easier, but on the other hand – the format lost a great card, so I will miss it to some point as well …

  10. Survey filled.

    Thanks for all your team to do this job, seems like it was very hard to do, and uses a bunch of time too, so many thanks for do it.

  11. Thanks for putting this together. The most important aspect of this to me is getting some insight into how the banned list is put together – right now its just a black box that spits out seemingly random bannings. If this let’s wizards know we’d like some communication and *gasp* some say regarding the bannings for this format, than that would be mission accomplished.

    Hamdog

  12. Survey taken.
    I never got the chance to play with some of the older cards, and would love the chance to win with them or find ways to beat them. I haven’t seen a deck that is unbeatable yet. Sure these cards are very powerful, but isn’t that the fun of 100cs. I want to play with and against the best cards ever made.I think that a one of card in a deck doesn’t make a deck unstoppable. Until a combo/card dominates the field for a extended time, it shouldn’t be banned. I say unban these cards and let’s see what happens. Thanks for the effort guys. And congrats to zimbardo for the nice run over the weekend, I played the elf list as well and had a lot of fun with it.keep it up!

  13. Thank you for this job and opportunitty to express a point of point of view on such an awesome format . Very interesting and well done. I must indicate you humblingly that my opinions are based on a player who started to play on 2005 for first time and never had a game played in real ever, so I could be contradicted easily since the brainstorming I got its logically limmitated, but I’ll hope to have supported to the cause accordingly in a format I got so much joy) :)

    2005tazylua

  14. Thank you for doing this.

    However, I feel the questions were misleading/biased and pushed for some answers over others. If this effort proves fruitful, I would suggest that next time you go with a setup that places the effort of explanation on the one taking the test.

    Ex: Should Mind Twist be banned?
    ___ Yes
    ___ No
    ____________________________________ why?

    I realize that does require a higher level of participation and your answers become much more diverse. The test as it stands offers the creator’s dichotomous reasons for a banning and assumes them to be sufficient. They probably are but it isn’t exactly an objective exercise.

  15. Tazo, that is a fair suggestion. We thought about going that route. One of the thoughts is that we would get more responses if the survey was easier to take. We did attempt to include all of the most important arguments that we thought would come up, or at least the main categories of arguments. That included a variety of things that we didn’t agree with. Also, the “other” entry field has gotten some use from people who wanted to express a view not listed. For what it’s worth, the wording of the questions hasn’t prevented people from submitting a lot of individual question responses that I disagree with. No surprises there!

  16. Thanks for doing the work to put this together you two. It is a good survey, only slightly blemished by some loaded questions you don’t seem to have been able to expunge. Wizards will make their own decisions as to the value of the data, but let’s hope we at least get some dialogue.

  17. Once I am in a place that will let me take the survey, I will.

    Wotc is usually fairly reasonable. My biggest problem with the bannings is that we don’t get the reasoning behind them. In looking for a ‘next steps’ on where to go after you provide the data, I would suggest that you ask for an explanation on their decisions.

  18. Hopefully if we continue to band together as a community in this sort of way, we can create some changes regarding the B&R and this latest completely undesired change regarding the weekend challenges. I am very appreciative of the work you guys are putting in to help the 100cs community!

  19. I’m sad to see the Weekend Challenges go. I honestly didn’t expect them to last while we were firing at the minimum, so I am glad they didn’t go further by killing our event support completely. I don’t know how this will affect things, because some people will be less interested in playing in events now that the payouts aren’t so lucrative. On the other hand, I am pretty happy to have three events per week. It’s also pretty cool that we can fire with 16 people and have an event finished in four hours. I’m personally willing to lose a bit of on 100CS events as long as I get to PLAY, and as long as I get to win packs sometimes. I don’t know how other people feel about that, but from what people are saying on the survey, most of the people who play this format tend to feel pretty strongly that it’s a quality format.

    It will obviously be very difficult for 100CS to fire a 64 person event. But we should make a good college try at recruiting people to get one to fire some time when the time seems ripe (i.e. not a release event weekend, not a holiday when us family people are unavailable, etc).

  20. I pretty much feel the same way as Zimbardo on the issue of the Premier Events.

    As long as they continued to fire at close to the minimum number of players or not fire at all, WotC couldn’t have been happy with the situation. The current premier events were great for those of us who actively play in the format and have the available weekend time to play in them, however they are not great ways to get new players into the format. Daily Events are less intimidating to new players. (shorter event times, no top 8s)

    I’m just really thankful that they didn’t decide to scrap 100 cs in favor of trying a new specialty format. In some ways we dodged a bullet with this decision. I think the timing of this announcement is not very good as the community is already up in arms about the new banned list, but at least we still have tournaments to play in.

  21. The EV of a 3-1 is actually pretty comparable with the EV of the early T8. What the change does do is cut off the top-end (big winnings for T2) and bottom end (format subsidy of 3 packs for participating at all), but the more I think about it, the more I think this might actually be a good change.

    I personally can’t find time for an 8 hour event very often these days – 4 is much more feasible.

  22. I don’t see how adding daily events is tied to scrapping the premier events. Yes, adding daily events is nice. However that has nothing to do with essentially getting rid of premier events. Switching to 65 player minimums makes no sense for less popular formats, and Wizards’ explanation for a universal 65 player minimum was to “avoid confusion,” as if having a different minimum number for standard events and other formats is somehow too much for a brain to handle. The current rotating, shifting schedule with varying daily and premier events is much more confusing than different tournaments requiring 24/33/65 people.

    In addition, the way they went about asking the question was flawed. Yes, they put up an open survey, but obviously the replies were dominated by people who play standard and have no regards for any other formats. The “one size fits all” approach to premier events is entirely nonsensical and inappropriate, hurting not only 100CS but most non-standard formats as well.

    I don’t see how daily events will attract significantly more NEW players than the better payouts in old premier events. The problems with attracting new players are 1) price barrier to entry, and 2) lack of visibility for 100CS as a format. Outside of this site and the occasional article on PureMTGO, there really is no way to learn about 100CS. 100CS is such a fun, diverse format, and IMO can basically sell itself IF there are avenues for people to learn about it, such as this site and the great articles and videos.

  23. Actually, a lot of people in the feedback thread pointed out that 64 players was inappropriate to the non-standard formats. This is presumably their attempt to compromise.

  24. Not taken the survey, yet. But i will do for sure, cause i think this is a really interesting case.

    But are you really serious with your two tables in the article? I mean comparing Survival to Oath or mentioning Proteus Staff i the same chart with Tinker? Really?

  25. Hi SirGalahad. I think it’s okay to make a loose comparison between Oath and Survival. They’re 2 mana green enchantments that are really tough to beat when the opponent gets them down early. They’re different, obviously, but I think they’re in the same vicinity power-level-wise. If you had to ban one of them and keep the other legal, I think it would be an interesting debate. On Proteus staff, yeah, we could have left that off, but on the other hand it’s not completely out of place. It and Polymorph can give you the same game-breaking end result as Tinker or Natural Order. The cards in that column were meant as cards that can win you the game, or at least heavily sway it in your favor, when you are fortunate enough to draw them. We definitely weren’t saying “those cards are banworthy,” but rather presenting those as some powerful effects and asking where you draw the line.

  26. Oath and Survival are not comparable. Oath requires you to warp your entire decklist around it and may not even do anything on some boards/matchups (U Control). You can build around survival as much or as little as you want, and it simply makes decks better regardless of board state.

    The Polymorph/Proteus Staff vs. Tinker/Natural Order comparison is about as useful and relevant as comparing Mind Twist and Mind Warp.

  27. I’m just going to concede the point. The fact that Oath (and Polymorph) needs to be built around to a very high degree is an important point, and I’m glad that some people think about that when evaluating cards for the banned list.

  28. filled out. how many ppl did allrdy send you their data and how many do you think you need to make the this survey count?

  29. Over 50 people have responded so far. That includes a bunch of really competitive players and a bunch of really casual players and some in between. The data set is shaping up nicely, and I would guess that we already have enough information to get Wizards to strongly consider a few changes. Still, more data is better. For one thing, a high response rate makes a statement that lots of people care about this issue enough to take the time to fill out the survey. Also, a larger sample also makes it easier to trust the findings of the survey and to make comparisons between casual and competitive groups. Thanks for all of the responses so far! I really appreciate the time that people have taken to help out with this effort.

  30. Filled out. It was verry dificult to decide on some cards. It might help me and others though.

  31. I’ve been playing for a while. I’d consider myself competitive even though I’ve never played a major event. I mostly just play the heads-up two ticket matches. The banning of Survival has really saddened me. I’ve been working with a number of mid-range decks and survival really helped to make them competitive again the entire field. My fear is that the meta will now shift to Control vs. Arrgo with little representation in the midrange. Survival gave these types of decks a solid chance in any match-up. It far from straight up won matches. I’ve invested so much time in building my deck that I feel like giving up the format all together.

  32. That’s very unlikely. Scapeshift and Bant variants are both competitive midrange and neither runs Survival.

    I personally think pure control is the weakest format archetype by far. It can T8, but it very rarely wins.

  33. I took this survey a while back. I was actually quite satisfied with the choices that were made for the December 2010 bannings. They have improved the game for me. The removal of Sensei’s Top and Survival where especially wonderful as they save humongous amounts of time wasted, waiting for the opponent to dig through the deck/ or top 3 every single turn in whatever case may be. All that waiting was very frustrating prior to the bannings. Mind Twist is a fantastic card that I had in every single deck, but I’m very happy it’s gone. The Twist was just simply unfair.

    As of now February 2011 , I would not mind at all the banning of other problematic cards that I feel reduce the quality of the format. To me these are (and the reasoning):

    Scapeshift (pushes everyone to counterspells),
    Emrakul (principal problem with Oath and a few other cards),
    Scroll Rack (not overpowered but ridiculously time consuming)

    These are still ok but would not mind at all seeing them go:

    Grindstone.
    Time Vault and/or Voltaic Key
    Sword of The Meek

    Yes I strongly dislike combos, and might be biased accordingly. So be it!

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