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    • Squadron Hawk was in the early brews of Caw-Go that came out of Worlds, when the deck was good but not dominating. Today many lists aren't even running the Hawk, opting for Mirran Crusader instead.

  1. Aaron Forsythe has tweeted that the event decks with Stoneforge went to print last year when SFM was a $4 card in response to the event deck argument. I don’t think that the event deck is anywhere near as big a factor as you’re making it out to be. When it comes down to an event deck having a banned card (that still sees huge amounts of play across multiple other formats) and 6 months of events bleeding players, they’re going to choose the health of Standard every single time.

  2. "but it’s a card which can and has been fought successfully in the past. If Jace were an $8 card instead of an $80 card, I doubt the calls for its banning would have ever reached the level they peaked at."

    I really want to comment on this point. You spin the hypothesis, "if Jace were an $8 dollar card" to essentially argue that he's a fair (or at least, not ban-worthy) card. This is beyond the myopic. The expense of this one card is a significant factor in the calls for a ban, _and that is why those calls are justified_.

    It's not because people are cheap, either.

    It's because Jace is good (and some supply issues, but he's a mythic. Wizards knew he was going to be scarce) that Jace is as expensive as he is. You see, if you need a card in order to compete, you'll pay up to the point where it becomes a perceived loss just to buy the card. Jace is $400 a playset because that's the barrier to entry to competitive play.

    Magic is a game of markets and metagames. You pony up the cash or you come up with an answer to the top deck. The answer to Jace is a card advantage engine that is nearly as good *that precludes Jace from being used alongside it.*

    Bloodbraid Elf wasn't an answer to Jace all by her lonesome. It was Bloodbraid with Blightning, Lightning Bolt, and Maelstrom Pulse that were answers to Jace. 3 direct damage kills him. Pulse kills him, 3 damage and discard two MURDERS him. Two spells for the price of one makes counterspells worse, and there was no Mana Leak to back him up. And Bloodbraid gets in a swing with haste before she can be bounced, NOT THAT YOU'D WANT TO. That's the engine of an entire deck that works counter to Jace's plans before he even made them.

    Now we fight the $80 Jace with the $8 Jace. Maybe a Hex Parasite? And Spellskite? Beast Within? Bad cards that let the Jace player keep their card advantage. I'm not impressed.

    Stoneforge, on the other hand, already has the world set against her. Great targeted discard spells punish players for playing her too early (Inquisition grabs Sword, Duress gets Skulls, too). Then she's just a frumpy Squire. Heck, despise takes HER.

    Not to mention the nice suite of artifact hate available in the other colors: Manic Vandal, Divine Offering, Nature's Claim. Hell, Steel Sabotage is probably underplayed due to its ability to work as an unsummon on opposing swords and batterskulls if it misses the ability to counter them due to the work of SF Mystic. The Stoneforge player has to use multiple cards to accomplish a given task, and is vulnerable to cheap, instant-speed removal or burn, and those colors have a plethora of option to deal with a resolved Batterskull anyway.

    Anyway, Jace is so expensive because he's so good he should be banned. Stoneforge is this format's Knight of the Reliquary: a break-out hit that makes the best card better. Knight was played alongside Jace in the best deck at the end of last Standard format. It's a toolbox card that lets players play with fewer of the even-rarer Swords.

    Jace is so good that he's played in completely off-color decks with relatively bad mana (Lotus Cobra goes a long way, fetch lands are great, but there are no UG or UR duals to make RUG. I mean, look at that monstrosity. It can compete nearly toe-to-toe with Stoneforge on the merits of Lotus Cobra and Titans. You better believe it still needs Jace.

    Look at Boros. This deck has fallen out of favor despite the initial conceptions that it had a good matchup with Caw-blade. Why didn't it do well, if it runs the ban-worthy Stoneforge Mystic alongside the same equipment as Caw-blade.

    The argument for banning Stoneforge is almost as specious as the argument presented on DailyMTG for banning Preordain. It's clearly not the issue. I think the amount of press about her being potentially banned is unwarranted, despite her clear power level. Decks that play her win. Show me another Stoneforge Mystic deck that's been putting up results, and I'll show you two more Jace decks that have been beating it. Stop deflecting blame.

    That said, I'd be perfectly happy to ride out Standard, and let Jace-haters and Jace-players bicker in the back seat while I play whatever the hell I want because that's how I roll.

    (Full disclosure: I have cast Stoneforge Mystic in Standard and Legacy, and I enjoyed it. She's in the same league as Bob, but he was never a candidate for banning. Granted, Ravnica Standard presented a pretty diverse meta, but that's a whole other topic of discussion.)

    • Oh man, that post was a train-wreck of questionable grammar and punctuation. Hopefully I didn't murder my credibility too hard. Here's some extra punctuation and spelling to make it up: ,,,…??? 't, 'd));;

      Sprinkle those as you wish. Hopefully, that makes it a bit more tolerable to read.

  3. I gotta say the Event Deck defense to keep SFM is paper thin, and if WotC cites that as the reason they don't ban SFM, I will have to start calling their judgment into question. They can still be run in Extended, and they aren't even legal if the FNM is block.

    To be honest, if nothing gets done, it's Block FNMs for us until October. This is just unbearable.

    • I don't like using the Event Decks as justification to not ban a card, but it WOULD be extremely confusing to new players. That's the real justification.

      If they do end up banning Stoneforge Mystic, future event decks will be even crappier, if not nonexistent.

  4. "I don’t follow Vintage, but there’s some logic for restricting Preordain to go with the existing Brainstorm and Ponder restrictions."

    If you don't have anything nice to say, it's best to say nothing at all.

    Maybe you could talk about the article one of QS's other sometime authors, Stephen Menendian, wrote arguing for the unrestriction of Fact or Fiction. (Disclaimer: I'm the William he co-wrote it with.)

  5. My hunch is that the DCI will not be banning anything on June 20th. Both JTMS and SFM are rotating out in the fall, so it's a different situation from Affinity, where you still had a whole block to get through before rotation. There's still the possibility that someone will discover the tech necessary to beat Caw-Blade in NPH, and we also have the possibility of new tools in Magic 2012. Is it possible that the falling tournament attendance is partly due to the increased number of tournaments? It may be that the number of competitive players is not rising fast enough to maintain attendance levels, especially if less skilled players are dropping out because they are getting frustrated at the lack of variance. Also, with so many tournaments each month, deck evolution is much quicker than it used to be, so that a format gets "solved" within weeks of a new set release. Reducing the number of tournaments, which is a likely result of falling attendance anyway, would help reverse this trend.

  6. OMG that card is really good.. better than the cards in my deck.. therefore it should be banned !! there are are many answers for the cards that you want to get banned.. ever heard of artifact removal ? just cause this format has no o-rings or pulses doesnt mean you shouldn't run things like naturalize, shatter, divine offering, into the roil.. well black can't deal with artifacts cause they cheat … plus they always print something in the core set for the dominant deck, great sable stag – fairies / obsinate baloth – jund/ blightning.. so quit your crying.. sound like a bunch of babies .. oohh i cant cant win.. ban that whole deck so i can make top 8 in my fmn.. you guys act like caw-blade is unbeatable.. dont get me wrong its a very strong deck.. but not unbeatable..

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