Argothian Treehouse
Andy Van Zandt


Card Price Guide

MTG Fan Articles
Single Card Strategy 
Deck Tips & Strategies 
Tourney Reports 
Peasant Magic 
Featured Articles

Featured Writers
The Dragon's Den
Through The Portal
The Argothian Treehouse


Message Board 
Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews



Argothian Treehouse
with Andy Van Zandt

Dark Banishings

Here's where I complain (some more) about the recent bannings from WotC. But first, let me preface this by saying I actually like WotC. They're one of very few corporations that actively takes an interest in the needs and wants of its constituents, and they do indeed strive to make the game better on a regular basis. I was actually sad that they stopped making the
Duelist and Sideboard magazines.

Now on to the complaints. To begin with, this is only in regards to the extended ban list. I've no problem with most of their previous bans. Yawgmoth's Will, Time Spiral, and Replenish, among other things, all needed the axe, big time. Those were were problem cards, thus they got banned.
Recently though, they've been trying to just take out key cards for particular decks. This, in theory, is to leave the spiffy fun cards available for viable tournament play. I understand and accept this theory, but they need to understand that in some cases, they should just ban the

For instance, Frantic Search. This card was banned to stop the Mind's Desire decks. In my ever so humble (and perhaps misguided opinion), the most definitely should have banned the Desire, because basically any deck that really uses it efficiently shouldn't be allowed to see constructed
play. Yes, even the twiddle deck. Especially the twiddle deck. Because it's called the twiddle deck. Not much fun can happen with Mind's Desire besides going off. Frantic Search on the other hand has gobs of uses that aren't nearly as broken, such as madness'ing out stuff, filling your
graveyard, etc. Not broken, but potentially good. You don't usually sigh in contempt when a Frantic Search resolves against you, but when a Mind's Desire does, you probably do.

Another ban I didn't care for was Goblin Lackey. I've a real problem with anyone saying a 1/1 creature is a great detriment to any particular environment. Yes, it puts out big guys for free. But if you can't tune your deck to kill a 1/1 (and potentially anything it puts out), that's probably more the player's fault than the card's. Or maybe they should print more 1 mana answers to 1/1's in various colors. In any case, this guy should not have gotten 86'd. He's a 1/1! He must deal combat damage to be effective! Maybe that's a good argument for printing better (and cheaper) damage prevention effects- since none of those see tournament play outside of sideboards.

Entomb. It is inherently card disadvantage. It puts the card in your graveyard. For this to be useful in any respect, you, for the most part, will need another card. Thus you are, to an extent, playing a combo deck. One that uses at least two cards- to put a fatty out. Not to win automatically. To put a creature into play. One that, in general, will take at least three more turns beyond that one to kill you. While reanimator is good, it's not "wow, half the field is reanimator, what're we gonna do! you can't hardly win!" good. Yes, some other decks do use it to win that turn. These decks do not see much play, and for good reason. Not to mention it totally invalidates my deck with squee from last season

And lastly, the two prior bans they should undo are Lotus Petal and Dark Ritual. If they're going to have those banned but leave in Grim Monolith, Ancient Tomb, and City of Traitors, then they missed out on some key points. Speedy mana is good for a lot of decks, yes. It's not the part
that's winning the game. It's not the bit that's dealing 50 to your head, and could incidentally deal lethal damage to your head on turn 5 without any acceleration or extra deck-thinning whatsoever. Oh ya, almost forgot. Mind Over Matter costs TRIPLE BLUE and is an enchantment. It doesn't make mana itself, it doesn't draw obscene cards itself, it doesn't put things into play for free. Now, while I don't think this card really deserves its ban, I don't think it'd matter if it was allowed back in play anyways. People can untap their Gilded Lotus all they want already.

Maybe I underestimate these cards. But I've played against them before, and I've played with them before. Goblin Lackey does not make me put my head in my hands like Yawgmoth's bargain does, and it really shouldn't be on the list. Feel free to send me an email if you think I'm wrong, (or right) and why.

Copyright 2001

Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.