Greetings, Denizens of 2010! So begins Month Two of our noble and diligent effort to entertain and appease you with our grand gaming whimsy! But be warned: this week’s contribution will be bereft of pics, glitz, glamor, tips, and my usual bag of tricks. Instead, let’s discuss the following cards:
100 Card Banned List
For some of you this list represents longstanding, overpowered cards worthy of banning. For others, it merely stimulates your salivary glands with the possibilities of what could be. But the fact remains: the above cards are strictly off-limits in 100 Card Singleton. For now…
For Your Consideration
Before we get this moshpit underway, allow me to dispense with a tirade about the format, bannings, and a few other things:
1.) It’s obvious, by statements made from the moderators of the format, that “varied play” is the primary motivator behind bannings in 100CS. In short, by limiting what’s been deemed “negligent deck manipulation” and/or “lopsided/non-interactive cards” games should be more unpredictable… Or this was what WoTC hoped.
Our format has definitely evolved in this last year plus. Without access to a scant few tutors, players simply substituted them in every way imaginable (using Transmuters to off-the-radar schtuff like Tainted Pact). What does this mean? That despite this notion of imposed randomness, the competitive community (albeit small) desires otherwise.
100CS is hardly the casual passerby format it was intended to be. Armed with the extensive and expensive Classic card pool, how could it be? (MOCS champ yaya3 and even Pro Tour stalwart LSV have been dabbling in the format of late.) Our community is growing. Little by little, our format is catching on. Sideboards were reimplemented. We have weekly PEs. 100CS need only be given the nod from its moderators that it is, in fact, something more than just a fun alternative to competitive play.
2.) Months ago, Grindstone and Upheaval came off the Banned list. To date, both have had a negligible impact on the format, so little in fact that it makes one wonder why, exactly, they were branded ban-worthy prior.
While Grindstone has seen a fair amount of play, it still plays second fiddle in most Belcher Combo decks, more of a fallback win-con than anything else. Gaea’s Blessing is simply too much of a trump (it need only be buried somewhere in your deck to be effective), beyond the Combo itself being quite fragile. (Creature Combos… not so hot, folks. Especially when the dude has the dual vulnerability as an artifact.)
Upheaval, though most definitely one of the more broken spells in the format, has seen little to no play at all. In fact, the few instances I have seen it, it’s been played as a six-mana fog in a fit of desperation- a testimony to how brutally competitive this format can be. I’m still a bit baffled by its minor inclusion in decks as well as those decks’ performance, but hey, no one’s really playing ‘Geddons either so shrug it up.
Could the same be said for some of the currently banned cards? I think so. Consider the limitations that playing a single copy of even the most broken card in a deck composed of 40 plus cards beyond the norm. Most of these cards simply do not function the same way that they do and/or have in other formats given these two considerable factors. If they’re only Restricted elsewhere, why can’t they be played in a format where everything is Restricted? Undoubtedly some of these cards would be used to ape popular 60 card monstrosities. But to what level of efficiency?
Also, a number of deck archetypes remain neutered with the current Banned list. One would think that allowing a more extensive field of potential decks would fall under the “varied play” umbrella, but not if it births dominant, degenerate decks. But on the other hand, if Gobbos and RDW can dole out lethal damage reliably by Turn 5, shouldn’t Combo decks, despite their potential lack of interaction, be allowed that same grace?
With all this said, I think some reconsideration from WoTC is long overdue.