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Beat EDH Mechanic Bans in MTG Competitive Play

A few days ago, an employee of Wizards of the Coast Gavin Ferhey He announced that there will be an update to the ban list on Monday. This update only applies to one format in particular: Pauper. While the ban, as a result, will not affect the majority of the MTG community, the story behind this ban is rather interesting. This story is about how a mechanical leader in the name of initiative completely destroyed the poor man.

Turbo initiative

The Turbo Initiative is one of the most powerful formations seen in Pauper history. The strategy is simple: take out one of the legal common creatures in a shape that triggers the initiative as fast as you can. This mechanic is so powerful in Pauper that getting an early initiative is synonymous with ending the game. The desktop list pictured above in a tweet is a stock example of the offending archetype that led to the block list update today. It would be hard to explain why this casual leader mechanic would ruin a competitive format without knowing what the mechanic does, so we’ll start from there.

Initiative: Activate

The initiative refers to a dungeon exploration mechanic released in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate. When someone plays a card that allows them to “take the lead”, they begin to venture into the Undercity. When they do, that player will start in the first room in the dungeon shown above. From there, players can advance to a room connected to their current room by either restoring the initiative or starting their turn with the initiative still in control.

The rest of this mechanic works similarly to Monarch, another powerful mechanic in the Pauper environment. If someone does damage to the player who currently has the initiative, they gain it. As such, this player gets to venture into Undercity once. Here we delve deeper into the initiative.

The initiative fell out of favor

fall out of favor

To prevent a player from entering every turn, your opponent must deal fighting harm to you. The main objective of the Turbo Initiative as a poor deck was to try to take out the initiative-triggering creatures as quickly as possible. evil fighter And the Sneak AarakocraIn particular, they have very defensive stats. It’s hard to deal a player’s combat damage with a quarter 1/4 in the first or second turn in Pauper. Therefore, the initiative player can win the game by venturing into the Undercity again and again.

In the case where other players are playing initiative cards to steal it or have actually managed to contact a creature, then you can play another initiative card to get it back. This likely results in a format in which initiative is the only viable surface. From there, through the card feature, for free lava axs, and mock Throne of the Dead Three final room, you can win the game easily.

As mentioned in the Good Morning Magic video that appeared towards the end of this article, there are not many drivers of long-term benefit available in Pauper. Therefore, when cards that offer these engines that are also very efficient appear, they are usually banned from formatting because they are heavily counterfeited. fell out of favor It is a recent example that led to the operation of the Monarch mechanic. However, the main difference between Initiative and Monarch is that the merits of the initiative directly affect the board of directors. This results in a much more intense clock that players have to deal with when trying to derail this long-running feature engine.

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Banned cards

The four most powerful Pauper Initiative activists were the cards that were banned. here they are:

  • Sneak Aarakocra
  • evil fighter
  • cold stir
  • Underdark Explorer

Not only are these cards very easy to cheat with Dark Rituals and Lotus Petals, but they also provide a body that can easily protect your initiative. There are still some initiative cards available in the format, but these all cost more than four mana, don’t provide bodies that can help you keep the initiative, and are very difficult to cheat with Dark Ritual and Lotus Petals. However, Gavin Verhey and the rest of the Poor People’s Committee have stated that they may also need to be banned. If these problems persist, they may be blocked at the end of October.

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Dark Ritual on the Chopping Piece

dark rituals

This debate, along with highlighting the initiative, has undeniably shed light on Dark Ritual. As Gavin Verhey mentioned, this card was blocked in previous competitive MTG formats to enable powerful spells well before the curve. While Dark Ritual isn’t now banned because “the initiative ran into problems outside of Dark Ritual” (it was also seeing play on other UB decks in high volume), the Poor People’s Committee said it might start soon.

However, they are concerned that some powerful old cores like Dark Ritual have some kind of identity in the format, like Delve cards in Pioneer. Their final decision was to seek feedback from the poor community when banning Dark Ritual. This card allows for a large number of archetypes within the format, so blocking the card is a huge deal. However, the card also causes a lot of non-game games, which means that no matter what decisions players may make, the outcome of the game is determined from the contents of the open hand alone.

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Final statements to ban MTG

The only drawback that these cards have is that they transferred the initiative to a format for which they were not ready. Without the initiative, these cards are hilariously disappointing in Pauper format. As such, the initiative itself was a much bigger problem than the cards being blocked, so seeing how the remaining initiative cards performed should be interesting. Initiative cards weren’t even available on Magic Online for a long time. Only after players expressed their desire to obtain the lost Baldur’s Gate Cards did they begin to appear in treasure chests. Now that we’ve had them, it’s clear the format wasn’t ready for them. As a result, the initiative’s most effective pieces were banned after only two and a half weeks of being available.

If you want to know more about the official ban announcement for Wizards of the Coast, you can watch the video linked above.


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