It's been a long time coming. Now that Top has been banned, I think that the door will be opened for other non-Miracles control decks to grow in Legacy. Now, whether or not Terminus will still see play in the format remains to be seen, and I'm excited to see if Miracles still plays miracle cards after losing their best repeatable card selection.
April 24, 2017 11:01 a.m.
Very thankful for this. Miracles was oppressive.
I can see a thopter sword deck potentially coming up as a replacement, until then it's just delver / leovald city.
April 24, 2017 11:40 a.m.
Standstill and Stoneblade might have a resurgence after this, too.
April 24, 2017 11:41 a.m.
This was probably a year too late, but some time is better than never. When miracles was consistently placing top 8 even when it's arch nemesis Shardless BUG, Leovold BUG, Noble BUG, and other attrition decks were doing well they still had to run thoughtseize and hymn to tourach to beat miracles.
April 24, 2017 11:55 a.m.
Personally I'm a fan of the ban. I'm looking forward to seeing what new control decks might emerge, or what old decks might return to the format, like Landstill or Thopter/Sword
April 24, 2017 12:13 p.m.
In my opinion, I think I would've liked it more if they banned Counterbalance instead. Top has other applications in Legacy besides the Miracles (Painted Stone and some various versions of Storm), while Counterbalance is exclusively used only in Miracles. I may be missing something but nothing comes to my mind immediately that abuses Counterbalance.
April 24, 2017 12:13 p.m.
The only thing I'm not pleased with this ban is that they just reprinted top in Eternal Masters last year and now it's banned. Not that it affects me, I play Shardless Bug, but it really sucks for those who are in the process of building this deck or just finished it. But it is what it is.
April 24, 2017 12:18 p.m.
Instead of completely ruining the deck, banning Terminus would have been so much better IMO.
April 24, 2017 12:19 p.m.
I concur that I would've liked to see Counterbalance banned in lieu of Top. Of course WOTC cited slow play as another justification for the Top ban. I'm pleased that Miracles got nerfed, but disappointed that Top is banned.
I wonder if a new draw-go style control deck will come about? / Flash? Jeskai Flash? Could Splinter Twin and/or Kiki-Jikki become a thing?
April 24, 2017 12:31 p.m.
In the article listing the reasons they banned it they actually explained it wasn't as much about miracles being so dominant with counter top as much as it was the fact that all those top spins take so much time out of a match. Basically it got banned for the same reason it has been banned other times. It is a time sink and they would rather avoid games going to time when possible. It seems consistent with their if it takes a ton of time ban the crap out of it. It just took way too long considering that policy.
April 24, 2017 12:57 p.m.
Pretty excited that ~10 slots in ANT are freed up. Now I can play some more cool cards for other matchups. Pyroblast is interesting too.
April 24, 2017 1:44 p.m.
I do wonder what will happen with colorless eldrazi since miracles was one of it's favorable matchups.
April 24, 2017 1:49 p.m.
Ehhhh I kinda wish Sensei's Divining Top stayed in the format, but the ban isn't really surprising. It's kinda the same feeling I had when Birthing Pod was banned in Modern. I like the card and wish there was another way, but I completely understand why the ban. This is especially considering the shitty slow play used to go 1-0-1 every round.
My main concern is Miracles was basically the last truly competitive control deck left in the format. Legacy has really shifted to having a large saturation of midrange. I dunno, we'll see if something else steps in. U/W Control has basically been a thing before Counterbalance was even printed. It's probably the oldest archetype in the format (going all the way back to Weissman's "The Deck").
On another note, I'm really surprised Gitaxian Probe got restricted in Vintage. Gush was a long time coming because of how well Monastery Mentor was positioned in the format. Gush has repeatedly been problematic every time it gets unrestricted. Hopefully, we see more variety between Thirst for Knowledge, Gifts Ungiven, and other blue draw engines. Gush really pushed those out of the format to where everyone has been playing UWxcontrol-midrangegoodstuff.dec because of how much value you get out of it.
But Gitaxian Probe? I guess they're really trying to nerf the shit out of Monastery Mentor and Delver of Secrets Flip. I'm not really sure that's necessary considering how diverse the format is. Swedish Nationals just ended with 5 compeltely different archetypes in the top 8. The 3 decks that were the same were Monastery Mentor lists, and only 2 of them shared colors.
For those unfamiliar with what the difference is, Esper Mentor gives you Cabal Therapy (double prowess triggers for daaaaaaaaaaaaays!), along with the option of playing Demonic Tutor and Yawgmoth's Will. This means Esper allows for more combo finishes where you make a bunch of tokens and get tons of prowess triggers.
Jeskai, on the other hand, gives you far more control options. The main cards are Dack Fayden (who steals Tinker targets) and Pyroblast (which stops Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, while also blowing up Jace, the Mind Sculptor).
I'm not sure what restricting Gitaxian Probe accomplishes, despite the DCI's reasoning. Gush is the main culprit in Mentor, besides Monastery Mentor itself. I feel like this just hurts Delver and Noble Fish strategies. If they're so concerned over Monastery Mentor, I don't see why they don't just restrict the damn thing.
April 24, 2017 3:52 p.m.
Very experienced pilots of miracles don't pilot slowly, however, comparatively speaking to land - bolt target you - pass. It seems like a lifetime.
The reason this got targeted because it was an absolute monster of the format, and defined the meta entirely.
now that miracles is gone, is the format going to get a little too degenerate?
April 24, 2017 5:12 p.m.
I have faith that with Miracles gone, a new tier one control deck will appear, it just won't be the best deck in the format
April 24, 2017 6:48 p.m.
If you want to abuse the miracle mechanic it could still be done with Scroll Rack. If I played Miracle I would try rebuilding the deck to something like what Parfait was, with Scroll Rack, Land Tax and Mox Diamond.
The ban doesn't affect me because I'm playing Stax anyway. I hope it makes people become creative now, instead of just throwing Miracle decks in the trash...There are quite a few slots available now with Top gone and they could be filled with stuff that makes the deck play very differently than before.
April 25, 2017 5:08 a.m.
Off-topic I suppose, but it amazes me how much more civil and thoughtful this thread is compared to anything that has to do with standard. I guess it's probably just older players but still, an interesting difference.
April 25, 2017 12:10 p.m.
@ Winterblast problem is you can't guarantee a lockdown without top, which is the only way miracles could actually perform. You could definitely use the shell to make a U/W control shell, but with that much setup and an extremely slow win-con without the constant protection, it's a much worse archetype.
April 25, 2017 1:31 p.m.
Jhed1 I never said it was the only reason I just mentioned the article said it wasn't as much the dominance as the time. Like if it were just the monster it is in terms of dominance it wouldn't have been top but the time was ultimately the factor that lead them to ban top over the other cards. That's how I interpreted it. It was banned for the mixture of it's dominance and the time it took to win.
As a lantern player trust me I know how long it takes and I try to speed through as much as I can. Though I find it funny wizards has been on record saying they actually like lantern control which is odd for that time thing that they keep sighting for bans like top and second sunrise for eggs (which I agree with that ban before anyone thinks otherwise eggs was degenerate)
April 25, 2017 2:36 p.m.
It's a bit different. Lantern takes several turns to win, but each turn isn't long. Sensei's Divining Top and Eggs, on the other hand, make each turn much longer. It doesn't seem big deal, but there's a significant difference here. Lantern usually go to the 5 turns, but the game ends shortly after that, while Eggs (and to some extent, Sensei's Divining Top) could spend half an hour or more on those 5 turns. I played Legacy a looooooong time ago, and didn't actually play against Miracles, so I don't know if Top really made the games that longer. But I do know that this is the reason Second Sunrise (or Eggs) is banned and Lantern is not.
April 25, 2017 3:24 p.m.
@dan8080 for sure - I didn't mean to imply that's what you were thinking, more just wanted to convey how strange I thought WOTC's thought process went into it, if time was the straw that broke the camels back it makes me all the more confused about the Splinter Twin banning choice and justification for a "format health" and over-meta saturation, because miracles has been the most popular deck for a very long time.
April 25, 2017 3:46 p.m.
Oh I agree the timing is bizzare to say the least. But the reasons are solid? I still don't agree with the twin ban or with the preemptive dtt ban in modern the year before and I didn't even okay twin. Meanwhile if you go on mtg top 8 it's saying 24% of the meta the last 2 months has been Deaths shadow aggro variants and bant eldrazi. I'm fine with both but it makes me miss when twin was 10 ish percent and that was top of the meta (also cause it kept Tron in check for midrange decks to deal with hyper aggro right now most mid-range can't deal with Tron which let's the hyper aggro run rampant.) But I digress. Long story short wizards ban logic is silly like 50% of the time.
April 25, 2017 3:59 p.m.
I think this was the most appropriate move and one that everyone who plays legacy including myself(Sultai BUG, Manaless Dredge) seen coming. Although I would have been fine with taking out Counterbalance for the fact that top is great card that alot of decks (budding controls deck especially)could benefit from. Just taking CB or even terminus would have made the deck mostly even with match-ups, possibly worse. Now the deck is basically very much lopsided and potentially gone without top which is never want to see and actually sad to see go.
Maybe they will take time to see if miracles can still function and potentially give them Dig Through Time to see. One can hope.
April 26, 2017 2:58 p.m.
April 26, 2017 4:36 p.m.
Sensei's Divining Top doesn't add a lot of time to the game, but rather can be used to intentionally stall in a way that is impossible to enforce against.
April 26, 2017 7:14 p.m.
that too. Almost forgot they did the same thing for Splinter Twin during MM 2015. Can't help it, just somehow have to move on for those playing miracles.
April 27, 2017 2:58 a.m.
@ sylvannos That is the best answer I've heard for the Top ban so far, and it's justifiable.