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Jace The Mind Sculptor and Standard Bans
Paul's Perspective
06.27.11

I never thought I would see the day. I would have bet my house that they would not ban Jace The Mind Sculptor, reason one it is the poster boy of Wizards Jace is their priority marketing tool and the new “face of magic”. Reason number two he rotated in a short amount of time. The reasons he was banned I believe are two fold lack of attendance for tournaments and a barrier of entry Jace appeared so much at the top tables it was a dominating force of standard players had to deal with this deck or stop playing, I will give you the chance to guess which outcome came true, rather than fine tuning their decks to try and beat Cawblade players, players opted to just play the perceived or true “best deck” making mirror matches the important aspect of the game and crushing most other decks into a tier beneath Cawblade. Even if a player decided to play Cawblade, the deck is highly skill intensive and long time seasoned players had a distinct advantage against players just copying the latest decklist driving even more players to quit the game. Caw Blade is not Jund of even Fae Cawblade was Affinity and had the same effect on format players being disgusted and quitting attending tournaments. The fact that Jace topped at $100 dollars did not help at all proving disheartening to new players and becoming a poster boy for the difference between the have and have not’s of Magic. Anytime a single in standard tops at $100 dollars there is most likely a reason to ban it, though not all banned cards are as expensive the ludicrous amount for Jace proved its own power and popularity was to great and the pinnacle of blue was banned. Do I agree with the banning of Jace? Yes and no. I feel it is us as the players fault instead of trying to beat Cawblade we adopted a if you can’t beat them join them mentality and shifted to the perceived best deck, in truth its all our fault. Sure it doesn’t help that Wizards made a broken card and pushed the envelope of what is acceptable on planeswalkers hopefully we both have learned our lessons.

 

It is easy for me to both lecture and conjecture about banning when I am no one special I just write about a subject I am passionate about and I am as fallible and flawed as the next players. I am only giving my opinion of the banning and to be honest one non world champion, pro tour playing, metagame analyzing man’s opinion doesn’t mean much so this I suppose is my warning if you feel I am wrong call me on what you disagree with. Moving on too the elephant in the room Stoneforge Mystic, the card was too good. Being able to practically Tinker for any equipment and put it onto the battlefield in spite of counters was just too amazing combined with the toolbox and catch all nature of the Swords.

 

       

 

Stoneforge was seeing a large amount of play and allowed players to circumvent paying full cost for equipments as well as providing degenerate searching options while the power of Stoneforge may not be as apparent as Jace it was a lynchpin in a large amount of decks and in order to topple the goliath that was Cawblade Wizards saw fit to put an extra nail in its coffin. While the banning may have upset a few even more players rejoice at finally being able to play standard again and even with a few short months without the winged menace provides much needed variety in a format that had become stagnant and uninteresting and most of all detrimental to the very player base of the game.

I understand this seems to be dragging on but I want to briefly address the decks that are sure to be a force to be reckoned with now that Cawblade is dead, and my predictions for the format as a whole.

 

Blue/ White control will see some play in one form or another the combination of Sun Titan and Jace Beleren with Mana Leak and Tectonic Edge and Spreading Sea’s is too good to pass up combine this with Gideon other cards such as Day of Judgement and Baneslayer Angel blue and white non bird infested looks to be able to hang with the big boys.

 

        

 

Valakut the new boogieman of the format is on every players mind, have we been granted a Caw free meta only to suffer the same fate under Valakut? My prediction is no, everyone and there mom will try to play the deck but relatively cheap and effective aggressive decks such as red deck wins and possible Infect strategies can kill the Valakut player before they can even drop a Titan. It will be a lynchpin and powerful force in the format heck it will most likely top 8 and win a few tournaments and allow well prepared players to dominate a recently shaken up metagame but it is not Cawblade and it is not the new end all be all deck of standard. As Flava Flav said “Don’t believe the hype”

 

        

 

Splinter Twin is a powerful combo deck and will continue to see play until its necessary componenents rotate it has game and can adapt to the loss of Jace by running his baby form, Jace Beleren. I fully expect this to still be a powerful and competitive deck that just takes on a new form.

 

          

 

Well that is all for today an extra long column a little late to the party send your opinions and responses to PlatinumFUBU5@hotmail.com and your Jace The Mind Sculptors to EnderWiggan1337 on Magic Online(Sarcasm)
 

 

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