Eternal Warrior #44: You Can’t Ban the Snowman

You are currently browsing comments. If you would like to return to the full story, you can read the full entry here: “Eternal Warrior #44: You Can’t Ban the Snowman”.

  1. I say ban it if it’ll help format diversity. I don’t play Legacy that much on MtGO but I can honestly say that the last 7 opponents I played Legacy against all were using Brainstorm. The funny thing is that I decided to take advantage of this. I’ve been killing people with, believe it or not, Underworld Dreams and Fate Unraveler. I’ve even gone so far as to break out the highly splashable Arcane Denial and Vision Skeins and it’s hilarious how effective this stupid deck is. People have insulted me during the game about playing “bad cards” only to be killed by a Barbed Shocker or Cerebral Vortex out of nowhere. The deck clocks in at about 5 tickets minus the lands so it’s very affordable. It might not take down a major tournament but it’s a fun way to beat on somebody who spent a fortune on their blue deck.

  2. Having a heavier thoughtsieze format is not exactly better than a heavy brainstorm format. Why do we need to add variance to all formats? You get screwed and flooded less in legacy less than any format due to brainstorm. You can argue legacy is stagnant but so are all eternal formats and more importantly than that, getting to actually play magic (not screwed/flooded) far outweighs color diversity.

  3. To the anonymous reply above:

    I think it was proven that even in a format as small as *Standard* both Ponder and Preordain were sufficient to allow the consistent operation of 19-land aggro-control decks, even when only one of those cards was legal at a time. Those cantrips are banned in Modern, and yet land-light U/R/x tempo decks have functioned there as well on the backs of such mediocre cantrips as Sleight of Hand and Serum Visions. There’s nothing wrong with having decks like that in the format, but decks constructed along the TurboXerox principles have such heavy virtual card advantage over other decks – while maintaining a strong matchup against combo – that it skews the metagame too far towards those decks. Other cantrips would continue to support that style of deck, but I do believe that eliminating Brainstorm would weaken the incentives just enough to allow other decks to compete more evenly. In other words, go ahead and have your spells that smooth your draws, but have them at sorcery speed (or at 2 mana) so there’s some kind of real cost to making that choice in deck construction.

    There was a small segment of the Standard player base that loved playing Caw Blade mirrors, and there is a portion of the Legacy player base that loves playing Delver mirrors now, but I don’t believe that’s the best way to market Legacy and maintain interest in the format moving forward.


    I think we’ve seen a proliferation of people maindecking anti-draw measures as a response to horde of Brainstorms everywhere. It’s driven the price of Chains of Mephistopheles through the roof in the paper game. Underworld Dreams likely has the problem of being tough to resolve against decks that play Daze and Spell Pierce, but I certainly like seeing old classics get some love. I actually played Underworld Dreams in a Jund list as sideboard tech a couple years ago:

    And I considered it in this mono-black Zombie list I played last year, and though it didn’t make the cut it in the version I played on these videos, it probably would have been at home there:

  4. RexDart, I don’t think you understand brainstorm. You make it seem as if tempo decks are a huge problem in legacy because of brainstorm, yet, tempo decks are generally the worst brainstorm decks. Delver decks are very linear and do not get the true reward of playing brainstorm. Combo decks and control decks need very specific cards. Unless of course you are calling all blue decks that skimp on lands and kill with creatures tempo decks (e.g. grixis pyromancer, jeskai stoneblade). Banning brainstorm makes tarmogoyf/thoughtsieze style decks better along with other linear beat down decks. If you want that, just play modern.

  5. So…is this article title a Young Jeezy reference?! 1000 gold stars to you, sir! lol

  6. I do agree that Brainstorm is better in decks with a lot of singletons or situational answers, which isn’t most Delver decks. And while I might be a little loose calling ALL blue aggro-control decks “tempo” decks, that’s a pretty common label for them, and anything with Daze in it is certainly planning on gaining early tempo and riding it to victory. There are people who play Delver decks like they were control decks (how Stephen Menendian describes his style in Vintage with Delver, for example). But I think the idea of skimping on lands is very important to Delver, as it has been since TurboXerox and that generation of deck design, because of the virtual card advantage you get, so even if the more linear delver decks don’t benefit as much from the card-selection of Brainstorm, they certainly do benefit from being able to design their deck with access to Brainstorm in mind.

    And yeah, Eli, it’s a Young Jeezy reference :-) All of my article titles since about #8 have been references to album titles, although some have been more perfect fits than others.