Sway of the Stars

Sway of the Stars

Sorcery

Each player shuffles his or her hand, graveyard, and permanents he or she owns into his or her library, then draws seven cards. Each player's life total becomes 7.

Browse Alters View at Gatherer

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Betrayers of Kamigawa (BOK) Rare

Combos Browse all

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Oathbreaker Legal

Sway of the Stars Discussion

dingusdingo on You Are Now a Member ...

1 month ago

Alright, in hypothetical Larryland where I am now in charge of making decisions, here is what I would do

First, establish criteria for the format

Shouldn't be too complicated, as there has already been lots of time spent discussing the format

  • Bans should serve to stop certain combos or deckbuilding approaches from swallowing the meta.
  • Bans should be justified off of power level for winning, not how fun or unfun the combo or style of deck is to play or play against
  • General rules changes about the format should serve to open deckbuilding and allow for more interesting approaches to the meta and winning.

Rules Changes

I think a couple rules changes should take place to open deckbuilding and allow more options, and allow cards to work as intended with the commander specific ruleset

  • Commanders should hit the graveyard before returning to the command zone. This allows commanders like Child of Alara or other death triggers to actually function as intended while maintaining the command zone. Commanders should have the option of returning to the CZ at will from exile, the graveyard, the library, or a player's hand as an ability that doesn't use the stack, similar to mana abilities.
  • Hybrid mana symbols should be perfectly legal as long as the hybrid symbols fulfill a color identity of your commander. For example, Boros Recruit should be legal in a mono-red deck. If a hybrid mana card has a mana symbol in the text box that it outside the color identity, it should still be excluded. For example, if Boros Recruit had a firebreathing ability for in the text box, it would no longer be legal in a mono-white deck.
  • Restriction of the command zone to a single card. Partner commanders are still legal, but not legal to run them as partners in the command zone. Having a mix and match color identity and having guaranteed access to two cards at all times over one card is too strong. Bigger color identity means wider pool of cards to pull from, and the partner players are effectively starting with a 9 card hand as opposed to non-partner commanders starting with an 8 card hand.

Bans and Unbans

First, I would unban cards that the RC has banned because they are "unfun" or don't fit the spirit of the format

  • Coalition Victory - If you can pull this off and cast the cost, go ahead and win
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn - This costs 15 mana and channel is banned, this isn't going to break decks at all and most likely will only see play as an Ulamog alternate in Gitrog decks
  • Erayo, Soratami Ascendant - This can be countered or removed or smart opponents can avoid triggering it. Once it has flipped, it is still removable although somewhat toxic. It definitely gets good mileage in EDH but people can play around this if they have even half a brain, which is what I would expect from competitive.
  • Iona, Shield of Emeria - This is only banned now because Painter's Servant was unbanned. Certainly reanimator Iona strategies can cause problems, but hitting a 2 card combo for a soft lock isn't game shattering unless you are on a mono-colored deck, at which point it just becomes one of the things you must worry about. If Back to Basics and Blood Moon are totally fine for shitting on 3-5 color mana bases, I'm 100% fine with Iona for shitting on mono color decks.
  • Library of Alexandria - I have no idea why this is banned in the first place. Most competitive decks are so tight on their land base and won't have a slot for this. Also most competitive decks wish to play spells on turn 1 and 2, which makes it harder to get the 7 in hand for the Library draw.
  • Panoptic Mirror - If someone can assemble the ultra fragile Mirror + Free turn spell, and then gets an ENTIRE ROTATION of no one destroying it, I'm 100% fine with them taking infinite turns. Also consider that this combo basically costs to start, 5 for cast and 5 for the free turn. This card is banned because casuals absolutely loathe combos. Its unbanning could make Pox decks somewhat viable in competitive, and would be a boon to stax decks as well
  • Primeval Titan - This card is a double tutor on ETB or attack, but its a double tutor for lands. If someone really wants to set up Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Cabal Coffers + Deserted Temple + Inventors' Fair (which fetches Rings of Brighthearth) then more power to them, as it requires either a blink effect or an entire rotation to THEN get the second set of tutors from attacking. Its big value, but honestly no reason for this card to be banned. It costs to cast
  • Paradox Engine - the banning of this card made the format worse, as it knocked out tons of viable decks simply because "Too many casuals put down rocks and PE and oops into an infinite". The unbanning of this card opens up the format significantly, and allows weird decks like Hannah, Ship's Navigator or Dralnu, Lich Lord to be viable commanders, although definitely not tier 0 picks.
  • Recurring Nightmare - Banned because of griefing almost 100%. Nobody likes being hit by some ETB creature that involves saccing or losing permanents, but it isn't fast enough to warrant a ban. It requires mana, AND a creature on the field, AND a creature in the GY.
  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary - Selvala is basically a more powerful version of this because of the cantrips and you can play non-basic lands. This would probably become a tier 1 deck by basically copying the Selvala list, but I think the meta would be enriched from adding this as an alternate, similar to how Marwen has added instead of detracted from the meta.
  • Sundering Titan - Banned because attacking a player's resources is seen as an unfun way to win. Its expensive to cast and not exactly game shattering when it enters.
  • Sway of the Stars - This costs to cast for a weird Timetwister that sets life totals to 7. Sure there is potential for abuse with Suspend cards, but this costs 10 mana. Nobody is going to play this if it gets unbanned.
  • Sylvan Primordial - Another board state changer that isn't really going to do as much as it looks when it lands. Sure, -3 permanents on board for opponents and +3 lands is neat, but it costs . Decks would rather win than assemble some blink or recursion loop for this card.
  • Upheaval - This is banned almost entirely from a casual and time perspective. It makes games take longer. In competitive though, this card would be used with excess floating mana to THEN rip your combo. Almost definitely wouldn't see competitive play though, and the banning seems silly to me.
  • Worldfire - If you can run a wacky suspend deck that abuses this to win, you have my blessing. It also costs to cast so someone will probably just win before you
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain - This is a Necropotence that costs with the benefit of no-delay on the draws. If necro is legal, this should be legal.

Bans

My biggest reasoning for bans is that some combos are so strong and so hard to interact with that they become the go-to builds for certain color identities. When the optimal way to build 30 different commanders in the same color pairing is Flash Hulk, you have run into a problem.

  • Flash - Arguably the worse part of Flash Hulk. Potential for abuse in a post-Hulk world with Academy Rector. This card has the potential for abuse with every single new creature printed. I don't think this card makes the meta more interesting, and I think it pigeonholes deckbuilding into "well why don't you run Flash Hulk, or Flash _". Flash combos are also difficult for other decks to interact with outside of Counterspell, which means when you're building for playing in a competitive meta, you are almost expected to play Blue due to how strong and warping this card is.
  • Protean Hulk - Even with a flash banning I still wand this turd of a card gone. Finding hulk, reanimating hulk, and sacrificing hulk isn't interesting. There isn't very much skill there. The decks aren't interesting. There is a combo in practically every color combination for winning immediately after you get a Hulk trigger. It can be viewed as a 6-card into-play tutor, or a 5-card into-play tutor, etc. etc. I don't think the meta is more interesting or better for having this card be legal.
  • Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact - More boring and tired combo archetypes. Once again, tutoring for 2 cards and ripping the Consultation + Oracle combo doesn't really require much pilot skill, and it doesn't make decks more interesting to build. These cards are simply too efficient at what they do, and they are hard for non-blue decks to interact with meaningfully. The presence of this combo and Flash Hulk has basically relegated all stax decks to being tier 2 builds, as they have such an impossible time locking down these combos. The banning of these two cards and Flash Hulk would bust the competitive meta wide open. Also, between these cards or the Laboratory Maniac + variants in the combo, these are the cards that are way way way more degenerate than the other part of the combo.
  • Rhystic Study and Mystic Remora - These are annoying and burdensome mono-blue staples that slow gameplay, and are auto-includes in practically any deck that includes blue. They function much better than intended due to the multiplayer nature of the format, and deckbuilding is less interesting and diverse because these cards are legal. They can singlehandedly run away with games when you have a single player in the pod who ignores them, and having your combo shut down because someone draw a Force of Will after getting 6 free draws is frustrating and extremely obnoxious. They also prop up extremely mediocre mono blue decks like Urza, Lord High Artificer and Baral, Chief of Compliance. Once again, I don't really think there is any skill in playing or building around this card, and the power level of "auto-include for any deck with blue" stifles deck building. Blue really doesn't need any help being good in EDH, let alone cEDH.
  • Nature's Will and Druids' Repository - Targeted bans for Najeela, the other obnoxious tier 0 commander deck in the current meta. I'm not a huge fan of 1 card combos with commanders, because you always have one of the cards available at all stages of the game, and tutoring + playing a single card once again doesn't really speak to high skill or interesting deck building. The banning of these cards will peripherally splash and hit other decks, such as Edric, Spymaster of Trest, but I'm fine with that. Najeela and Edric will still have other options for executing these combos, such as Sword of Feast and Famine or Bear Umbra, but these are more mana intensive or more fragile combos with lower utility outside the combo.
  • Tymna the Weaver - I have already advocated for removing partners from the command zone, but this card is so dummy strong as to be included in the 99 of other decks with some frequency. You can get the draws even if Tymna didn't attack (i.e. it just came in). You can get 3 draws a turn for the same mana cost as Phyrexian Arena, except that if done correctly you'll get the draws before you would get the Arena draws. This card is meta warping, this and Najeela are a big part of the reason the meta is so creature heavy right now. Decks either run this card, or they run ways to handle this card because a Tymna sitting on the board for 1-3 rotations gives such a fat advantage the pilot runs away with the game.
  • Timetwister - A card that sees play because you save slot efficiency by spamming TT to create a loop of infinitely recasting spells, plus its a wheel effect for 3 mana that shits on decks assembling combos through the GY with cards. I'm totally hunky dory with high efficiency combos, but losing to a timetwister loop is boring, cumbersome, and takes the pilot 30 years to demonstrate and explain the loop to those who haven't seen it. Combined with the ridiculous price of the card, and the ridiculous powerlevel even outside the combo, this card should go. This is also another card that makes fast mana extremely degenerate, as someone going first and sticking Mana Crypt into Sol Ring into Chrome Mox into Timetwister feels extremely bad, and opponents don't even have the benefit of recurring their starting hand from the GY later on.
  • Sylvan Library - The green Rhystic Study. Doesn't make decks more interesting. Doesn't make games more interesting. Its just cheap ways to get cards that becomes more ridiculous in the context of a format where you have double the starting life of the format this was printed for. The auto-include nature of this card means decks open up more when this card is removed.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond - No, Razakats is not an interesting combo. No, bomberman is not an interesting combo. These are both degenerate and more shoe-horn "oh I need a combo to win" style combos. Bomberman is extremely degenerate as LED can be recovered in the face of targeted GY removal by simply stacking the Salvager trigger on top of the removal if you have extra floating mana, and pretty much the only way to really stop it is a replacement effect like Rest in Peace. Seeing someone play a bomberman combo then dump mana into their outlet from the CZ (whether it be Thrasios, Triton Hero or Breya, Etherium Shaper) isn't interesting, although I will admit it is fast. This card is much lower on my list of requested bans, but it is still there for how annoying Bomberman and razakats are, plus how easy this makes Doomsday piles.
  • Hermit Druid - I want this gone for the same reason Consultation and Pact should go. Boring deckbuilding that becomes "UGx deck can run Hermit and Oracle to win", and thus you end up with twenty different UGx decks that look the same. Once you have seen this combo once, there isn't much merit to seeing it again. This card isn't as bad as Consult or Pact in my opinion, and once again it is a much lower priority for banning than those cards, as it requires a haste enabler to make it truly degenerate, or a way to flash it in at EOT before your untap step.

Cards I would avoid banning

As the title reads, things I think aren't a problem but usually draw comments for bans.

  • Cheap tutors like Vampiric Tutor and Imperial Seal - Every single 1 CMC tutor goes to top of deck (besides Gamble and Steelshaper's Gift), which means you're -1 card advantage for casting them. Having the ability to assemble combos or seek a problem solving card doesn't blow the format out of proportion. Having players be able to assemble threats in a timely manner makes the format faster and more interactive. If you see an opponent tutoring, you know to hold up interaction or try to race them. I'm more interested in removing hyper degenerate combos that are hard to interact with or are resilient enough to win through interaction.
  • Fast mana like Mana Crypt or Mox Diamond - If fast mana is banned, all decks will require Green for speed purposes from the high amount of turn 1 dorks (read: accelerators) available. Stax would become 100% dead as an archetype with these bans outside of Hatebear builds that include Green.
  • Free counterspells like FoW or Pact of Negation - Keeps combo decks in check. Similar to how Force of Will keeps Legacy from being overrun by super speed combos, these cards also keep Commander in check.

Boza on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

SynergyBuild, out of 12 unique responders, 3 have mentioned some of the "big sorceries" to be unbanned. That is a low rate among a low rate of responses. This is not a method to get "uncontroversial" opinions, you will just get people venting about the worst offenders in their local meta.

Same with the unbans - people will not consider why these big sorceries are currently banned, just that they seem to be tame given their cost. The reason they are banned is that they unfairly punish players (biorhytm and Coalition Victory ) or prolong the game unnecesarily ( Worldfire and Sway of the Stars ), but these reasons are not considered or the eternal "it can be answered" is spewed out, the commander equivalent of "dies to removal".

For plantiful examples of this, lets look excerpts for dbpunk's post:

"Emrakul can be Nevermore 'd" - unban a card, because you can answer it by playing a card that bans it from the game?

" Tolarian Academy is only good if someone doesn't wipe out your artifacts. Just like Serra's Sanctuary only works if you have an abundance of enchantments or Gaea's Cradle is only horrifying if you have a ton of creatures. " - that literal Read-the-card right here that does not account for any of differences between the three cards or even attempt to explore why only one of the three is banned.

"Erayo's a vanilla 1/1 until someone casts the fourth spell of a turn and balance can be countered." - every spell can be countered, so lets unban everything.

"Prophets good, but also extremely killable and manipulatable. Same with Griselbrand. " - the literal dies to removal.

"Do these cards make gameplay difficult? Yes. But so do any number of cards when combined correctly. These just don't make you jump through as many hoops." - and then finally, a justification for why cards currently on the list are banned, just for good measure.

I do not mean to single anybody out (sorry dbpunk, but yours are just too succinct illustrations, many more answers like this are present in this thread), I just want to show that these threads cannot provide much to an actual discussion.

I would advise to take some input from here and create a separate thread for just a few of the cards - it can lead to some actual deeper discussion.

SynergyBuild on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

Boza So far my goal with this thread was to see if there were any bans or unbans that were uncontroversial, and so far Stasis was mentioned multiple times for a ban, no one really said it shouldn't, while Coalition Victory , Biorhythm , and Sway of the Stars also seem okay to unban. I want more data to confirm this, but this is a start to see which cards are said should be added or removed most often.

I don't plan to use this info for much, but perhaps it could help others.

dbpunk on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

Here's some thoughts on it:

Unban: Ancestral Recall , Balance the Moxes, Biorhythm , Braids, Cabal Minion , Coalition Victory , Primeval Titan , Sway of the Stars , Erayo, Soratami Ascendant , Library of Alexandria , Recurring Nightmare , Emrakul, the Aeons Torn , Griselbrand , Prophet of Kruphix and Tolarian Academy

All of these cards are strong, but there's so many answers to them now that they can all easily be beaten. Also if someone successfully casts any of the big stuff on there without someone countering it or somehow stopping whatever degenerate thing they're doing with that card, they deserve to win probably. All of them have answers outside of removal as well, such as methods to slow them down or steal their draws.

Ban: all other cards on the banlist, Stasis

All the other cards ruin games pretty much, or at least are just completely annoying. Stasis doesn't really have an answer past enchantment destruction currently, unlike the cards I said above.

dbpunk on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

Sway of the Stars and Biorhythm don't deserve to be banned honestly. Sway is so high costed for what it does it's ridiculous, and biorhythm is extremely easy to play around it feels like.

Worldfire is the ultimate need to be banned red card. It essentially says "No one plays anything for the rest of the game." It makes a situation not where one player can't play or is unable to do things, but where no player is.

SynergyBuild on [COMMUNITY] What cards do you ...

7 months ago

So total, griffstick and Tyrant-Thanatos want Stasis banned, and some people seem to think Iona, Shield of Emeria , Griselbrand , and a few other cards should be unbanned.

Does anyone think the big sorceries should be unbanned? ( Biorhythm , Sway of the Stars , and Worldfire , as Coalition Victory was mentioned already) I think these would be a lot of fun to play with, and because many similar complicated and slow massive cards already exist to these that are unbanned, Warp World , The Great Aurora , Decree of Annihilation , etc., it seems these were chosen almost at random xD.

Raging_Squiggle on Cyclonic Rift replacement.

10 months ago

I’m an advocate for BIG board wipes. Some people may not be for it, but I shamelessly suggest Worldpurge or Sunder . If not playing edh, Sway of the Stars and Upheaval .

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