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June 27, 2019 at 10:22 pm #1998
So, this is my pitch for the banning of Repeated Reverberation as a signature spell. The reason for my post to ban it is due to the interaction it has with Ral, Storm Conduit. The -2 ability on Ral creates an infinite loop with Repeated Reverberation. This loop interacts with Ral’s static ability, which does one damage to target player or planeswalker for both instants and sorceries and copies of those spells. This means that, unopposed, Ral will win all games on turn 5, at the latest (this is assuming there is no ramp of any kind on the board).
If these cards were just in the deck, they would be just another infinite combo. But, as both an Oathbreaker AND a signature spell, it means the combo is easily accessible to a player and means that there are multiple ways to the combo off, as it will be consistently in the command zone.
The combo also brings forth a toxicity that can affect how people perceive the format. It means that players might feel that they would be forced into playing a specific color in their deck (blue) and specifically build to stop it, which can take away from a players desire to build specific decks, in fear of running into the deck.
I use the example Saheeli the Gifted. Her second +1 interacts negatively with Saheeli’s Directive to create a toxic game state. That, along with how it interacts with other cards, meant that her impact was significant enough to be banned. However, she never created an infinite loop.
Ral, by himself, isn’t the issue. Repeated Reverberation is impactful in the deck, but there are so many factors that can impact it when it’s in the deck that it can still be stopped through other means (bad draw, Ashiok milling it into exile, etc). It’s when it’s put into the command zone with Ral does it become truly impactful to a game state. Even if it’s stopped on it’s first cast, since it’s put back into the command zone, a player would have access to it again.
Anyway, thank you for your time and I look forward to further discussion on this. Apologies for any grammatical errors, as I’m writing this on my phone.
July 3, 2019 at 9:25 am #2006
Given Ral, Storm Conduit, the same could be said about Isochron Sceptre imprinted with Dramatic Reversal or Thousand-Year Storm & Eye of the Storm with two other spells cast.
Izzet Viceroy and/or Grapeshot interact with all of these as well.
Both of those combos make ridiculous things happen with Ral, Storm Conduit or Izzet Viceroy’s ultimate. And that’s leaving out Expansion//Explosion out of the mix to pull the same shenanigans or Reverberate with Storm Conduit’s -2 as you can just target the Reverberate, which makes copies that target the Reverberate forever.
I think it would be a bad idea to ban the whole batch of cards in general because of some crazy interaction that could happen if you’re up against players that don’t want to interact with their opponents. You need to take into account anything the other players can do to disrupt the combo. A random Lightning Bolt, or any spot removal puts a quick end to those shenanigans starting up on or before turn 5.
I don’t think it’s as grim as you might think.
July 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm #2007
While I agree on the combos involved that make Ral gross, there are huge differences between the cards you mentioned and the banning aim talking about. The main difference between the two posts is the access a player has to Isochron Sceptre vs Repeated Reverberation. Isochron Sceptre isn’t in the command zone, while Repeated Reverberation is. Also, I’m not saying ban the card completely. I was stating that the card should be banned as a signature spell. The same will now go for Reverberation. Infinite combos that are in your command zone shouldn’t be there. I believe that it takes away from the spirit of the format. I’m not saying ban them completely from a players deck, but take away the players ability to have automatic access to it. Spot removal is one thing to stop it, but that’s forcing two other players to, basically, build specific answers to another friends deck. I don’t know if that is the intention. If it is, then ignore this post and I’m going to shove Reverberation into my Ral deck and show players the joys of Oathbreaker.
July 8, 2019 at 8:18 am #2008
I think this is where a group needs to police itself and discuss amongst its players whether particular cards should be allowed or disallowed. After all, a group that is more casual in spirit may not like the concept of infinite loops in its SS, but a more competitive group might be all for it as everyone could have access to such shenanigans.
I agree with you that it’s not cool, and it would not fly in my playgroup, which is very casual and relaxed in their gameplay.
I don’t see what specific answers would be required to stop this loop. Basic stuff like Counterspell, Mana Leak, Lightning Bolt etc etc are easily accessible and work to stop many things and not just the loops in this particular infinite deck. Personally I try to put at least a few answers in every deck to help prevent an opponent from pulling these kinds of stunts.
I don’t think infinite loops built into the SS or the OB was intended, but I do believe it’s up to the playgroup (or yourself) to work together to come to an agreement on what should and shouldn’t be allowed should what could be seen as a gamebreaking combo such as Ral, SC & Reverberate. I run a Ral deck but purposely did not put in cards like Reverberate, Twin Cast or any of the others because I, myself, decided that would be not be fun to play.
I don’t think it should be banned as a SS just because of one interaction that can get out of hand. There may be other, less abusive reasons, that a player would want those spells as their SS.
July 8, 2019 at 2:42 pm #2009
My playgroup has discussed it. They believe that they shouldn’t have to make house rules for obvious problems, but instead have to build decks that respond to it. That means the green player of the group has to specifically design something that is a response to that deck, or build a deck out of a color that they might not want to play, because someone in the group decides they want to bust out an easily accessible infinite combo. I don’t find it fun to play a specific deck or color just because someone wants to play a specific combo.
In a perfect world, all playgroups would be able to just talk it out and understand that just because these combos exist, it doesn’t mean that you play it. However, when that player decides to build tribal elves and are finding that a player in their group runs force of will, force of negation, mana drain and other spells in their tribal merfolk deck, it sets a precedent. Then they look in their own toolbox to escalate the situation. Then the playgroup has to discuss their own house ban list. Then people start not having fun because the cards that they are allowed to run by regular rules are not allowed by house rules, so then they turn to a different format where the problem doesn’t exist.
I’d love to say “Hey, don’t run easy access infinite combo” but it wouldn’t be fair. The fair way is to escalate to that level so that people can play the cards they want. The other side of that double edge sword is that if they do, we all escalate into some form of blue where we’re all spending tons of money on the same group of blue cards in order to stop one player or two players or even three players, which takes away from the fun and potentially restricts a players creativity and potentially pigeon-holes them into colours with answers, just in case a player decides to play the combo. This doesn’t even take into account what happens when you head down to your local game store and having to deal with the player you don’t know busting it out.
If both of the cards were banned as signature spells, a lot of this grief is prevented.
July 8, 2019 at 4:06 pm #2010
Yeah, I can see that side of things too. It effectively becomes an arms race as players try to find the META and jack the power of their decks. I’ve seen similar issues in Commander in my area, where some players bring completely busted decks that they bought with lists they found online that tend to win on Turn 3 to a casual/social game where you have guys that find it hilarious to run a Minotaur tribal deck or a Norin the Wary deck. It’s the problem with a format that tends to focus on social/multiplayer/casual play that tries to keep as many cards open to be used as possible and you throw competitive players into the mix.
There’s no real easy fix. You ban specific cards because of very specific combos and cut out things from players that want to do less than abusive things with those cards, or you leave the cards available and the format potentially degenerates into who can hit their recursion combo the fastest when competitive players enter the scene and make the casual fun decks players make around less than ideal OB ineffective.
Either answer doesn’t sound too great, but unless your group can come to a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ on avoid infinite SS shenanigans, about the only thing that could be done to avoid it is for SS ban lists.
I’m just glad my playgroup is casual enough we all just simply avoid the cheap, easy tactics.
July 8, 2019 at 6:57 pm #2011
I wish my group was like that, but they’re not. They enjoy the cards available. And we creep up in power because we have the means to scale up. You’re never going to find a format of magic that doesn’t have some sort of power scale issue (see the unbanning of painters servant in commander). What the whole point of my original post was is not the combo itself, but the access of it being in the command zone. It can’t be exiled, milled, or taken away. There are responses to it, yes. But those responses can be responded to as well. If it is countered or Ral is removed, it has the potential to come back. This is the reason why I suggest banning the two cards as signature spells. It takes the game to a level that requires players to either play a color that they may not want to play, or play an Oathbreaker deck that they might not want to (like Narset/Windfall).
I don’t believe they will be banned, but I can see it having a negative impact as more people take notice of the format. Having your infinite combo, which wins you the game, in the command zone can be very negative when a player experiences it. The fact that their options for removal are reduced due to the cards being in the command zone instead of the deck makes it even more frustrating, especially if your local game store picks up on the format or tries to introduce it to players. All it takes is that one player. That can be said for all magic formats, but none of the other formats have infinite combos easily accessible in another zone, that can be accessed again if stopped the first time.
July 9, 2019 at 7:33 am #2012
I think banning specific cards as SS is too broad a stroke, for the reasons I stated previously.
Perhaps the answer needs to be more focused. Perhaps specific Oathbreaker/Signature Spell combinations would need to be banned. That way the cards are still available individually for use in less abusive manners. After all, Reverberate nor Ral, Storm Conduit are that bad on their own. It’s only that specific combination of cards that breaks the format.
It would feel less restricting as we’re not losing an Oathbreaker nor are we losing access to options for a SS, just a very specific combination. I think that would be more feasible and would solve the issues both you and I are seeing with cards being banned or not banned in general.
July 14, 2019 at 5:37 pm #2030
Just ban Ral. There will always be copy spells, but probably not another card that can loop like Ral can. If Saheeli can be banned, then Ral can be too. If Ral isn’t banned, then say goodbye to Oathbreaker. It will die, and rot forever. This ban is wholly necessary for the format to survive.
July 21, 2019 at 12:56 pm #2032
I’d much rather repeated reverberation go than ral. We have so few options when it comes to oathbreakers but nearly limitless signature spells. I feel ral may become a good storm commander in the future and there aren’t exactly many planeswalkers supporting the storm archetype.
July 24, 2019 at 2:36 pm #2033
I’d hate to see Reverberation banned as a SS just because of a single Oathbreaker combo. Someone might have a legitimate (and not quite as abusive) reason to have that as a SS after all. The same could go for specific OB’s as well. We don’t have a lot of selections for various colour combinations yet, so removing options for an OB could be a very bad thing.
Someone might want Ral SC simply because they intend to create a spell slinger style deck and not some OP storm combo. Hell, the Storm deck I designed only needs a U/R OB just for the colours I want to use and to have access to Grape Shot as my SS. The Ral SC would just be a bit more oil on the cogs, I use Izzet Viceroy which simply allows some extra card draw to try to start the engine.
I still think the most acceptable solution would be to ban particular OB/SS combinations, as an attempt to stop fairly obvious abuses and to keep the format more casual. Ral SC isn’t so bad in a deck that isn’t creating a crazy amount of spell copies, while Saheeli is completely game breaking with her abilities and whatever artifacts you want to make your strategy work. Big difference between the two.
TL:DR – Banning specific planeswalkers and/or instants/sorceries is not a good thing as it cuts out options. I think a more viable solution is banning specific combinations of OB/SS to try to keep the format from spiraling out of control.