Top 5: Cards that deserve to be banned

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Rounding out this week with a less-than-serious Top 5, these are my personal opinions on the top 5 most bannable cards in Legacy. Not strictly the most powerful cards in Legacy, just the ones that are closest to the axe.

senseisdiviningtop.hq5. Sensei’s Divining TopNot actually that common in the format, even though it’s the back-bone of arguably the best deck – Miracles, “the top” ranks in on number five on the list. Not because it’s that powerful, it has frustrating interactions with Counterbalance and card-filtering is extremely good with the amount of shuffle effects all the competitive decks play, but mostly because it adds time when piloted by inexperienced pilots. Experienced Miracle pilots would argue that repeatedly activating the top isn’t an issue when it comes to time in tournament Magic, but I think we’ve all been there with a slower player who ponders for ages with each activation. The obvious counter-argument is that people need to call judges on slow plays more frequently, but – being Swedish and terrified of confrontations – this isn’t an option to me. I once asked my opponent to speed up his play when playing a win-and-in at X-1-1, and he informed me that we were deck-checked and had a 20 minute time extension. Guess who the jerk was in that situation?

showandtell.hq4. Show and TellThough not quite as bad as another 2U Sorcery from the same block, Show and Tell is easily one of the most powerful cards in Legacy in a vacuum. Not really on the list because it’s too powerful, however, since the deck it’s most frequently seen in, Sneak and Show, battles with some consistency issues and has somewhat suffered from a metagame more saturated with red blasts, but because I hate playing against it and the card, and the decks it supports, really preys on fair decks. Show and Tell is baby’s first combo deck, and it is as easy to execute as any beat-down plan – get Show and Tell and Emrakul into your hand, get to three mana (or preferably four to play around Daze) and win. The deck’s consistency issues leaves it hilariously underpowered in some cases, where the pilot is stuck drawing extra cards of one side of the combo, and sometimes horrendously powerful, with a turn 1-2 Show and Tell with counter back-up. It’s uninteractive and it’s boring. It doesn’t necessarily need to go, but I wouldn’t weep for long if it did.

delverofsecrets.hq3. Delver of SecretsDelver of Secrets is in the same camp as Show and Tell, but it’s even worse. Not only is it complete easy mode for any tempo deck to just add 4 Delver of Secrets to the list, it cements blue as the best colour since it also happens to have one of the most aggressive creatures in the format. Past generations of blue-based decks had to splash for threats like Tarmogoyf which is now not at all that crucial. Even sadder, contrary to other cards on this list, Delver of Secrets really only fuel aggressive tempo strategies, meaning that all other deck archetypes get no benefit from it.

Delver of Secrets gets the half-way award for being ubiquitous and way over the top of what blue should get when it comes to creatures.

brainstorm.hq2. BrainstormThe card taking the silver medal on this list is by far the most played card in the format right now, according to TCdecks.net. I don’t think it should be banned, for reasons stated in my post “The Brainstorm apologist” but it certainly could be banned for ubiquity and power level – since playing effectively four Ancestral Recall is something only the gold medal winner on this list can do even better.

While I fear the format would head south quickly if it was banned, for reason stated in the post linked above, I do think that Brainstorm comes quite close to the hammer once Fate Reforged rolls around.

treasurecruise.full1. Treasure CruiseThe new kid on the block is akin to a skinny ginger when it comes to how well it’s been received by non-blue players of the format. In fact, everyone in the blue camp has had to answer the question “Are you playing too much hate to support your own Treasure Cruise?” if found not playing at least two or three copies in every god-damn deck.

Treasure Cruise gives these decks opportunities to re-load in the mid- or late game, something they haven’t been able to do before. Sylvan Library has had an equal function in Team America, but is generally a bit too slow and expensive to play against aggressive strategies. Treasure Cruise re-fuels after Force of Will, making that card better too, and abides by the same general rule that Tarmogoyf did back in its hay days, that it gets better “just by playing Magic”. I’m not saying it should be banned, but it’s probably the closest to the hammer on this list, even save number one.

I leave you, dear reader, to figure out why four fifths of the list is made up of blue cards.

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5 Comments

  1. randomName#359 aka Nargluj

     /  December 13, 2014

    Let’s see, becouse the non-blue card is mostly, if not exclusively, played in blue decks?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. psykopatmullvad

     /  December 13, 2014

    Just ban blue altogether? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. psykopatmullvad

     /  December 14, 2014

    Ok, a more serious note. Top and Cruise can get banned. I dont like any of em in Legacy.
    In fact, id like to see cruise go in all formats. Its just to good in my eyes (im not a blue player so i may miss something)

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  4. Grim Lavamancer

     /  December 17, 2014

    Sure, I don’t play Legacy any more, and I don’t play Treasure Cruise in any of my EDH-decks. But I simply love that card, I’m not even entirely sure of why I love it, but I do. I’ll admit that it’s very much on the broken side but Magic need blue to have overpowered cards so people have something to whine about, otherwise Mark Rosewater would lose about 30% of his regular amount of questions.

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