This is why we can't have the Power 9


Rhadamanthus Score: 84


This deck is essentially a rant against several questions I've seen pop up on Yahoo! Answers lately, about why Wizards won't reprint the Power 9, Dual Lands, (insert crazy thing), etc. for the current generation of Magic players to have and to hold. It's actually not because of the secondary-market damage, or even the code of honor imposed by the Reserved List. It's because no one in his right mind would actually want to play the kind of degenerate game their presence causes, even in casual play.

I built this deck on the old Microprose computer game. It's not a difficult thing to be able to win the game before the computer opponent has even taken a turn. The Juzam Djinn s are in there so I can win with beatdown if I'm making a ton of extra turns but can't find a Channel /Fireball combo for some reason.

One major factor in the overall power of these things was that the designers didn't expect people to go out and buy enough cards to collect sets of them. They were already aware the cards comprising what's now called the Power 9 were considerably powerful, but they intended for scarcity to be a natural control on how many copies could ultimately end up in someone's collection (and by extension, any one deck).

Fortunately for them (in a business sense, at least), players loved the game so much that people were very interested in putting as many of these cards together as possible, and the first several printings sold out rather quickly. However, it meant the design philosophies regarding power level had to be changed to adapt to the unexpected pattern of consumption, and the designers exercised a lot more caution in later years. The way I see it, most of the problem cards after that had to do with designs related to the exchange of resources whose value-relationships with each other weren't yet fully understood (Necropotence , Dream Halls , etc.).

Cold says... #1


August 30, 2011 1:57 p.m.

Karnage says... #2

This is disgusting. +1

August 30, 2011 2:11 p.m.

atreides says... #3

Worth some mox opals?

August 31, 2011 2:40 p.m.

theemptyquiver says... #4

I think the important thing to keep in mind about cards like these, is the illustration it provides on how far the game has come to become better at providing parity to everyone.

It's still not perfect, and some cards still have skewed strengths, but nothing compares to some of these old powerhouses.

August 31, 2011 2:41 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #5

One major factor in the overall power of these things was that the designers didn't expect people to go out and buy enough cards to collect sets of them. They were already aware the cards comprising what's now called the Power 9 were considerably powerful, but they intended for scarcity to be a natural control on how many copies could ultimately end up in someone's collection (and by extension, any one deck).

Fortunately for them in a business sense, players loved the game so much that people were very interested in putting as many of these cards together as possible, and the first several printings sold out rather quickly. However, it meant the design philosophies regarding power level had to be changed to adapt to the unexpected pattern of consumption, and the designers exercised a lot more caution in later years. The way I see it, most of the problem cards after that had to do with designs related to the exchange of resources whose value-relationships with each other weren't yet fully understood (Necropotence , Dream Halls , etc.).

I like this comment so much, I'm going to add it to the deck description.

August 31, 2011 3:36 p.m.

Alejandro says... #6

you realize that the only format that they are legal is in vintage where you can only play one copy each, and vintage is almost dead anyways. Players just want them to be in their possession, because they're just that awesome. maybe FtV: Power Nine!

August 31, 2011 5:18 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #7

If a person wants Power 9 but doesn't want to play with the cards, that means he wants them because of how special they are. Reprinting them, even in limited runs, would make them about 90% less special than they were before, destroying the reason for wanting them in the first place.

August 31, 2011 5:23 p.m.

Batcanada says... #8

Well, they COULD reprint it as a special edition, with the same legality as the original ones, just so people like myself, who are not as old as the cards, could own a copy without going bankrupt. I don't think it would make then less special. It's a vicious circle, they are special because they are rare and, they are rare because they are special (and powerful). Even if there are tons of these going around, I would love to have them, just as much as I would love to have any of the original sets.

September 4, 2011 12:14 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #9

Even if printing extra copies doesn't impact the specialness (or even secondary market value) of the originals, there's still the issue of re-introducing cards that warp gameplay in a very unhealthy way. They're not conducive to anything resembling fairness, and like I said in the description of the deck, no one really wants to play the kind of degenerate "game" they bring about.

September 4, 2011 1:14 a.m.

paribecc says... #10

Nice budget deck, +1

September 4, 2011 1:27 a.m.

torridus says... #11

You should replace Disintegrate with Banefire here. You've made a good point too.

September 4, 2011 3:51 p.m.

Batcanada says... #12

That's why I said to reprint but keeping the same legality of the original ones. So, I have a brand new black lotus, with the same art, that is still restricted the same way the original is. That way it wouldn't degenerate the game, it would still keep the value of the originals and keep the new players happy.

September 4, 2011 9:55 p.m.

kingersteve18 says... #13

Thank you for showing that such filth should NEVER EVER be reprinted, I need to show my friend this and maybe he'll finally agree with me.

September 4, 2011 10:44 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #14

@Batcanada When I say "degenerate gameplay", I'm not talking about sanctioned events. Of course, reprints would still only be legal in Vintage, where they are restricted. Introducing more copies of these cards risks seriously damaging casual play. Having to deal with this nonsense at the kitchen table is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many otherwise enthusiastic players.

I'm also not so convinced that the originals would keep their value. More of these cards in existence would make Vintage viable for many more people, and would therefore probably encourage it to be a real, living format again. A price point of even $100 a piece on the reprints is going to exert a significant downward pressure on the secondary market values of the originals, because sellers and traders won't be able to move them as reliably at present values.

September 5, 2011 12:23 a.m.

This is awesome! +1 from me. I got a turn one win in my second playtest of it. Glad there are restrictions on these cards as on their own they are pretty powerful, all together they are just plain sick lol.

September 5, 2011 10:46 a.m.

I had forgotten why Balance was banned. LULZ. +1

September 5, 2011 4:07 p.m.

kyrow says... #17


September 6, 2011 6:13 a.m.

Could you imagine this with metalcraft? >shudders<

September 6, 2011 8:52 a.m.

kyrow says... #19

oh god that scary lol

September 6, 2011 8:53 a.m.

xveedsx says... #20

Cockatrice I know so many people who have it to be a dick. It's annoying. I Understand they are awesome cards, but lets face it:

A) the value would go down on anyone who owns a really old school set of ANY of those cardsB) Games wouldnt be fun/over with before you get to put a card out..

September 6, 2011 9:28 p.m.

JazzCrimes says... #21

Yeah. I made 28 moves on turn one in a playtest and hit the Channel-Fireball combo, after playing upwards of four moxes and two black lotuses, not to mention casting Channel BEFORE refilling my hand with Wheel of Fortune. While hilarious, this simply is too much. Thank you for posting the rant, because it seems like there are a lot of players who don't understand what balancing the game means. Black Lotus is not fair. End of story. The moxes aren't either.

September 7, 2011 6:06 p.m.

Dornith says... #22

Show me these people who say this stuff needs to be brought back! Magic is already having a problem with overpowered cards, but these are just insane!

September 7, 2011 7:35 p.m.

pc49cheese says... #23

September 7, 2011 8:05 p.m.

wizard924 says... #24

Dat Deck cost+1

September 9, 2011 1:05 a.m.

This deck costs more than my car

September 10, 2011 2 a.m.

Sam_I_am says... #26

I think some people could benefit from using the playtest feature on this deck just so that they can understand what the power 9 means.

September 10, 2011 12:37 p.m.

enriq31 says... #27

nice! +1 please check my deck deck:vensers-party

September 11, 2011 3:03 p.m.

Bman2386 says... #28

@ Rhadamanthus What your saying definitely makes a lot of sense. However, there is something overlooked on the business side. Everyone that plays magic wants these cards, but it will cost an arm, a leg, and your first born child to get them lol. If wizards of the Coast was really smart, they would use that to there advantage.

Now your probably thinking to yourself, hey wait a second you can't reprint cards like these in a set!! It would just make everything totally unfair!! Which you would would be 100% correct. BUT!!!

If they reprinted all of the power 9 cards, and anything else ridiculous (ie Jace the Mind Sculptor) in a box 100% SEPARATE and INDEPENDENT of any set out or coming out (the set symbols would be the original symbols), they could make a lot of money!!! I mean really who wouldn't want a box like that?!?! Lol I'd by 5!!

(Also, you have to keep in mind they don't make money off of the sale and trade of individual cards. They only make money off of booster packs, box's and cases.)

September 11, 2011 4:59 p.m.

Just thought of it: replace Juzam Djinn with 3x Tinker 1x Blightsteel Colossus

September 11, 2011 8:27 p.m.

Sage25 says... #30

This deck isn't all that overpowered! It took me 10 turns to pull off a win in play testing! . . . wait, those were all my 10 turns, the opponent never got to have a turn while i time walked and timetwistered my way into enough moxes and lotuses to just fireball for 20 because some how every time I missed channel XD

This is a great example of why the power 9 are just impossible in today's game and should stay out of it. I can't believe anyone would argue otherwise in the first place.

September 11, 2011 10:15 p.m.

You realize he could just hard cast Blightsteel turn one, right?

September 11, 2011 10:42 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #32

@Bman2386 - I agree with you that there is a lot of cash to be made in a special "From the Vault: Unfair" box set, but the bad will Wizards will create by doing so wouldn't be worth the money. Such a set will offend both of the two major subgroups of the base: Collectors and Players. Collectors will be offended because of the damage done to the secondary market value of the originals, and Players will have to experience the unfun and ridiculous (in a bad way) gameplay introduced into their casual groups by people who buy 5 sets of these.

My point about Players not wanting to deal with the nonsense was the entire purpose for composing and posting the deck. Even with suboptimal win conditions (consider all the suggestions for "improvements" on this page), you have something that completely shuts one player out of the game, turning it into a totally non-interactive experience, which isn't even really a "game" anymore.

September 12, 2011 9:42 a.m.

Noblez says... #33

And this Awesome deck for just $11300.10

September 12, 2011 2:04 p.m.

bluemaster says... #34

well i agree with you. but.... you see way back in 2000 here in azores we played magic against the military on the american base in terceira's island. i faced a deck very close to this one. the big diference was the fact of copy restrictions. and to be honest i just loose the match for a very stupid mistake . loose to 2-1 i was using a turbo stasis then. we azoreans had starting playing magic since aliances. so our big gun was force of will. and i used missdirection too. the deck that whin the litle tournament was a oath of druids of a fryend of mine. power nine is very powerfull deck but even now in standart we can have side board against it. chanel fireball? gut shot and you die before i could put a land on table. try to win with zuzan? this is tricky but tempered steel decks would dispatch him. force of will and missdirecton do wonders against this sample power nine you posted. and a lot more cards we can put in sideboard agaisnt it. i could probably give you more examples but i had a 8 year vacation from magic. and only coming back this year. so there isin't a perfect deck you cant assume this deck allways whin. because in a enviroment that use a lot this deck obvious will be allways deck tha can handle this. but then we will ending up with only power nine deck and his nemesys on tournaments and the cards probably will be banned. in this i agree with you. i'm just pointing out that for more powerfull a deck is all we really need is get beaten then use our gray mass and come out wit a nice sideboard. the problem isin't umbalanced cards the problem is they're just too feew. like when i came back to magic a got surprised tha brain storm was no more. oh come on we allways used that card she does what she was intended to do. jace tha mind sculptor was just a a brain storm re-usable for four mana. to be honest the planeswalker that should be banned is the gideon jura. at least in here i allways see people using it just to bye a turn or as a soldier. but in thrut you just only make a deck not very well planed and he allways get to be ataked leaving you safe and geting bigger eatch time.

September 12, 2011 6:59 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #35

I understand that there are counter-strategies to every strategy, but in this extreme case you end up with an arms race situation where there are 3 viable decks at most (in the classic rock-paper-scissors configuration), and the environment is such that the "early game" is the coin flip, the "mid game" is mulligans, and "late game" is turns 1-2. In my mind, that just makes for a really miserable experience for everyone involved.

Again, the point is that even in this suboptimal configuration, we have a deck that destroys the fun component of the game, with the reason for that being the inclusion of extremely unbalanced cards.

September 12, 2011 11:42 p.m.

plewaza says... #36


Os i have a UBW deck im working on and i would really appreaciate any help i can have on it plz help! The link is.

September 13, 2011 7:50 a.m.

kingboo3000 says... #37

All that, for the low, low price of $11,300.16!!

September 13, 2011 1:48 p.m.

Bman2386 says... #38

@ Rhadamanthus your right making a "From the Vault Unfair" box would greatly depreciate the value of these crazy cards, making a lot of people angry. But when you think about it, how many people can really afford power 9's as it is? The reason I ask is because only the people that already owned 1 or more power 9's would be offended.

Also, Wizards already worked out what needs to be banned/ restricted for each set. For example, if you showed up to a tournament with this deck you'd be DISQUALIFIED; almost all of these cards are restricted to 1 in vintage, and its the only set you can play them in!!

Lastly, the quantity and price can be DIFFERENT from when a new set comes out. They could charge $500.00 and only offer a total of 5 packs, (with a bunch of corny cards mixed in). Doing so most certainly cushions the blow to the trading market.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is 1st something like this COULD be possible, second that this move would allow for people who haven't been playing since the 1st set to feel included in the EXPENSIVE world of magic, and Wizards would make a butt load of money in the process.

September 13, 2011 3:20 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #39

There isn't any question about the possibility of reprinting them - they can't be reprinted, because of the Reserved List. To address the repeated complaints I've heard regarding this, I'm trying to illuminate the many reasons why it ultimately shouldn't be done.

When I talk about the health of the game with respect to these cards, I'm not talking about tournament play at all. They're only legal in Vintage, which has been dead or dying for almost a decade. Reprinting these in any notable quantity risks damaging the health of casual Magic, and if the casual game dies, the whole tournament structure will probably come crashing down with it anyway.

How does selling reprints at an exorbitant price point solve the "problem"? The grand majority of players will still be just as locked out of the Expensive side of the game as they were to begin with.

September 13, 2011 3:57 p.m.

Sam_I_am says... #40

Vintage is a dead format anyway.

Most people can spend $500 to $1000 on something if they really want it that bad, The cards are not inaccessible. The reason people view them as such, is because having these cards really isn't important enough to possibly justify spending a thousand dollars on.

I also noticed that there are some bugs with the pricing of these cards. This deck would cost a lot more than $11,300

September 13, 2011 5:54 p.m.

Mawree says... #41

Yeah...power nine is awful. where im from i actually heard of a dude that used to mob to the local card store with his proxy power nine and just school people like a douche.

in my opinion, every magic player needs to proxy a power nine at least once in their lives so they know why theyll never, and should never, print it again.

December 6, 2011 10:56 p.m.

aloehart199 says... #42

if this kind of deck was even close too legal in any format it would be the only deck played in the entire format. If you mull into blue mana with this deck its basically auto-win. Playtesting put me at consistent turn 2 wins.

If you want to make it outrageous drop the balance cards, the game never lasts long enough for it to be useful. Replace with the new card temporal mastery.

Basically winning with this deck is simple, as longa s you have a saphire and any other mox in the opener, its time walk and time twister repeatedly. twister floods you with mox mana and walk lets you reuse it. mulligan correctly and its turn 2 at latest for any victory

April 9, 2012 10:12 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #43

Yeah, BalanceMTG Card: Balance is here because I wanted to add a white card to justify Mox PearlMTG Card: Mox Pearl, so I chose the dirtiest one I can find. The deck purposefully isn't optimized, because part of what's ridiculous is that it can just be the Power 9 plus a pile of random crap and still be nearly unbeatable.

April 9, 2012 10:25 p.m.

aloehart199 says... #44

actually drop balance and chanel for temporal mastery and snapcaster mage and this deck will probably be unstoppable turn 1 victory on the play.

April 9, 2012 10:26 p.m.

cooknathan says... #45

I realise that you are only demonstrating why not to play them but I still have to mention Tolarian Academy just because no one else has.

September 26, 2012 8:37 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #46

I didn't even think about lands because I thought it would be funnier not having any, but holy crap you're right.

September 26, 2012 9:13 a.m.

Overlord844 says... #47

Wow this is good, and i completly undterstand all of the reasons for these cards, but why Balance ?

November 26, 2012 10:42 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #48

Because I wanted to put in a White card and Balance is the dirtiest, most vicious one I could think of.

November 26, 2012 10:55 p.m.

Overlord844 says... #49

yeah its good and viscous. White is lacking overpowered cards though, its more strong on good removal. Also Balance would be one of the weaker cards, u can tell since its been reprinted it probably isn't on the reserve list thingy

November 27, 2012 2:43 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #50

The reserved list doesn't really have anything to do with power (Farmstead , Elephant Graveyard , Mold Demon , many others). It was first put in place after the negative response from collectors to the Chronicles set, and the system for which cards ended up on the list was applied very inconsistently over the years. Wizards stopped Reserving cards after Urza's Destiny.

Balance is a combination of Armageddon , Mind Twist , and Wrath of God , all for just 2 mana. It's astonishingly powerful.

November 27, 2012 9:25 a.m.

Overlord844 says... #51


November 27, 2012 4:05 p.m.

Apoptosis says... #52

As an older player whose just come back, I'd like to add my $0.02. In my humble opinion, anyone who wants the power 9 should go out and spend the money to get them. They should never be reprinted. Anyone who ever got them had to suffer financially to do so.

In the mid 1990s when I was a poor graduate student, I was introduced to Magic by an older classmate who had collected since beta and revised came out right as I started collecting. I went to tournaments in NYC with the best deck I could fund (white weenies with Winter Orb and Meekstone or blue/black with Hymn to Tourach & Force of Will ). Each time I could make it to the 3rd round before I got pasted by insane decks with the power 9. So what did I do?

I trolled MTG newsgroups (this was before Netscape Navigator) and bought a set of moxen, a Black Lotus , an Ancestral Recall , and any power cards I could) so I could compete at that level. And what did Wizards do? They created "Type 2" and told me I couldn't use the cards I had just spent every last penny to collect. Despite the fact that those cards are now worth 10x what they were when I bought them, the memory of that change still stings a bit. Was their call the correct one? Yes. Has the game managed to evolve nicely? Remarkably well. But the sole fact that those cards that I literally starved myself to collect still hold value, both financially and in the mind of players everywhere means something to me. So if you want the power 9, save your money and get them. Wizards promised never to reprint them and they never should, out of respect for those of us who supported the game in it's infancy and for the sheer power that those cards represent.

January 23, 2013 4:47 p.m.

switch says... #53


January 26, 2013 4:20 p.m.

switch says... #54


January 26, 2013 4:20 p.m.

nurjan says... #55

"Legal formats None"


February 22, 2013 3:38 a.m.

Omnislash024 says... #56

Imagine using Stoneforge Mystic in this deck.

February 27, 2013 1:45 p.m.

tkjanacek says... #57

Playing Demonic Tutor instead of Juzam Djinn would make this deck more consistent and then it would be even theoretically possible to make this deck from Alpha cards only.

March 7, 2013 2:10 a.m.

miracleHat says... #58

i have found that Mind's Desire is the most hilarious card in these types of decks. "i Mind's Desire , i play twenty cards in one turn and i win, go!"

June 13, 2013 7:02 p.m.

yuval says... #59

How about 4x Library of Alexandria to help you find your combo? Or even Bazaar of Baghdad might be good. If I had to choose what to take out, probably Juzam Djinn for the same reasons that @tkjanacek mentioned

November 24, 2013 7:55 p.m.

yuval says... #60

Actually, how about 4x Library of Alexandria instead of Balance ? I mean, Balance is one of the most OP cards in the whole game, but since with this "deck" you're just gonna be going off on your own turn all by yourself, I don't really see the point to it. The main thing you'll be doing is making the opponent discard their hand, which will probably just get replenished later by Timetwister or Wheel of Fortune , and probably doesn't matter anyway since you're winning on turn 0

November 24, 2013 8:09 p.m.

I feel that Balance is a bit useless considering you win on turn one anyways.

December 24, 2013 4:37 p.m.

This is a ridiculously overpowered deck i like really much, but can you make it all vintage legal (the power nine cards are restricted, so you can only have one of each in a deck)

January 21, 2014 3:38 p.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #63

I didn't really put this list together to be a sincere "deck". Rather, I made it to prove a point about why the cards shouldn't be printed again for any reason.

January 21, 2014 3:56 p.m.

Ya know what's funny? I want them reprinted. Your deck actually makes me what it reprinted even more. I don't play the game to lose, I play to win. The stronger the card, the more I like it. Even without the Power 9 cards you can build decks that win before your opponent even takes a turn. I wish everyone would accept the fact that the game is more fun when everything is broken. All hail infinite combos and infinite silliness.

April 19, 2014 8:53 p.m.

TitansFTW says... #65

Dr.Woodenstein Please explain to me how degenerate turn 1 wins are fun. If everyone ran the Power 9, the game would be decided by who won the die roll at the beginning of the game. The reason that Wizards have banned and restricted lists is because the game is significantly less fun when everything is broken. I'm pretty sure that this deck is proof of that.

April 20, 2014 6:40 a.m.

Look, I don't get why everyone thinks you always have to only have one deck built. It's ridiculous to me. The friend I play Magic with on a regular has 35 different decks built at any one time. So if he had this deck built he wouldn't play it all the time. He'd play it about 1 out of 35 games. I don't mind getting "wowed" by how quickly he took me down 1 out of 35 games. By the same token, this individual plays a deck now that has infinite mana, infinite life, and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre out by turn 3 or 4. I lose at least 2/3 of the games I play against him. Ya know what? Still having fun. I love to watch crazy things happen, and he delivers. All of you are apparently in FNM and tournament mode, while I'm in kitchen table mode. The Power 9 being reprinted to you means you're gonna lose every Friday and every tournament because you don't have the money to build this deck, whereas to me it means I'm gonna be able to collect the Power 9 and build a stupid fun casual deck (I actually play Vintage so I'd only be able to enter them into a casual deck since they're restricted in Vintage). This is exactly why I find friends to play Magic with and don't attend FNM. They can print anything they want and it probably won't even really affect me. If they print something awesome though, I'm game. So tell me again there TitansFTW why don't you like Power 9?

April 20, 2014 8:41 a.m.

TitansFTW says... #67

I think you need to rethink your idea of casual Magic if you're using the Power 9 in kitchen table games. I do like playing casual games and I can also appreciate good, well thought out and original combos that require a few tuns to set up and end up with funny results, but I wouldn't find it fun to be stomped by a turn 1 win when I wanted to actually play a game of Magic. After all, Magic is a 2 (or more) player game. If you like single player card games, go play Solitaire.

April 20, 2014 9:13 a.m.

I define casual as a format with no card bans/restrictions (sorry felt the need to define that after everything I see on here that's labeled as casual). So that would be only format you could play them in unless they were released in a standard legal set but they'd still be immediately banned from standard. Nevertheless, we are currently looking at a deck using each and every Power 9, that's just one way of using them. I'm a mono green guy primarily, so my first thought is how much faster I could drop mymy Eldrazi using my current elf combo mixed with Mox Emeralds. I also greatly enjoy Izzet so Time Walk would be hilarious to play in a deck that as a rule is focused on crazy instant and sorcery action. What you need to be complaining about isn't the Power 9, it's the people that refuse to use them responsibly. Even this current deck is fine to build as long as it's just something that hits the table say 1 out of 100 games just for laughs. I have no problem with joke decks, I consider this to be one. If the Power 9 are used merely as supplements I don't see the problem. As I stated earlier, my friend has 35 decks so against a player like that you won't see the Power 9 in every deck.

April 20, 2014 10:02 a.m.

Nyne says... #69

Who wants to buy a new car when you can make a deck that nobody wants to play against and isn't legal in any format?

July 22, 2014 12:44 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #70

Hell yeah, nobody wants to play!

And this is almost $10K more than the new car I bought a few years ago. o_O

July 22, 2014 9:12 a.m.

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Date added 2 years
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