As of 07/11/2011, Cranial Plating and Thopter Foundry are banned in peasant tournaments in Groningen. At the same time Ancient Den, Great Furnace, Seat of the Synod, Tree of Tales, and Vault of Whispers will be pulled off the banned lists and are, once again, legal to play at our tournaments.
So, what happened while this little blog didn't get updated? We rebranded our Peasant tournaments to Budget, and have been playing Pauper events for the last few months as an experiment. Our conclusion was that it is not quite as varied as Peasant, and certainly doesn't offer the same amount of build-around-me cards as Peasant. Starting this month we will be running Peasant events again. Playing Pauper did offer a few insights though.
One of our players pointed out (a while ago) that the Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek combo, while seemingly beatable, kept other control decks in check. Playing Pauper reinforced that impression, as that format has a wider range of control decks than our Peasant metagame had, while still having a lot of agressive decks. There doesn't seem to be a playable control deck that can handle both the early onslaught of the various aggressive decks as well as the inevitability of that combo. Once we knew we wanted to kill the combo, the question remained which one of the pieces we had to ban.
This is where our second insight helped us, namely that Affinity isn't a problem in Pauper. The artifact lands have been banned not once, but twice in the, I mean our little history of Peasant. The last few years of Magic have really enriched the metagame with numerous good cards and archetypes, as well as answers to decks that previously seemed unbeatable. When first we unbanned the artifact lands because of this, eventually a gross list incorporating the Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek combo proved to be so much better than anything else that we could bring to the table, that we couldn't think of any solution other than banning the artifact lands again. Our first reaction was to ban Sword of the Meek, but than we asked ourselves, is there a deck that wants to play Thopter Foundry without the Sword? We figured that, without artifact land in the equation, there is no such deck. Then we asked ourselves, do we want to bring back artifact lands? After all, affinity is, as I said before, not a problem in Pauper, and certainly not more explosive than the various infect decks that prompted us to ban Invigorate.
Once we decided it was okay to bring back artifact land, we knew Thopter Foundry was the card to ban. Of course, that meant Cranial Plating also had to go. In the end I think we have a list that more closely resembles the Pauper banned list, adjusted for Peasant concerns. I hope you will enjoy the changes to the banned list and the certain changes to the metagame it entails. Have fun!
To see the full list of banned cards, click here.
PS. In an effort to clean up the rules section, I stopped chronicling changes to the banned list. I hope you can appreciate it.