Blood Moon Debate
I got into a debate with a friend of mine who plays magic over the use of Blood Moon- is it fair to play more 'casually', between us, or not? We both have quite powerful decks and play often for fun, and I personally find that in these kind of environments, where it's not some sort of tournament, we should steer clear of cards that can create bad feelings.
In a general synopsis, I feel like instantaneous feel bads that you can rebuild from (from something like a counterspell to a wrath) are acceptable, but effects that cause people to be unable to do things, like Blood Moon, give opponents no goals (such as rebuilding from a wrath) and are negative. I don't doubt their effectiveness, but it's really the mentality of it.
Summarizing the case against this is a bit more difficult- there are many aspects we likely did not mention, on both sides. For example, I win consistently on turn 4- is playing Blood Moon in a situation like that, no matter how 'casual', unfair? His synposis was this: "Blood Moon is similar to other effects, and the actual results aren't something that won't be produced in other ways. Blood Moon doesn't create a game state that's less fun than other cards in the deck or other decks in the meta create."
Nonetheless, Below, though, are some parts of our debate, if anyone would like to see some of the points and counters. Please note though that I am not trying to get him to stop playing Blood Moon- I'm just debating the ethics of it. I would absolutely love to hear some of the points that the community here can think of and debate, and I hope to create a debative atmosphere without toxicity.
Me (M): while staxxy cards can be effective, is it nor better to just avoid them in more chill games?
Him (H): why do you say that?
Me (M): they can create bad environments where your opponents are unable to do most things. decks with high dork levels (etc.) can do things, but many can't and one shouldn't rework their deck just to not be susceptible to blood moon effects.
Him (H): I feel decks that aren't high on rocks and dorks are also usually at a power level where I wouldn't want to play Blood Moon or other cards of its power, but at metas where mana can be fast and combo kills cam happen it's reasonable. I don't think they're that different from other forms of interaction to the point where you should run those instead
Me (M): Fair, but other forms of interaction are more instantaneous and dont cause your opponents to be completely slowed down. Should we not run cards that can be instantaneous or cards that rather speed ourselves up in this level of power as opposed to cards that slow the rest down?
Him (H):but Imprisoned in the Moon is alright?
Me (M): Imprisoned in the moon affects a single thing, cards that can completely shut someone down completely sets for a bad environment. When were talking cards that are longer term, greater effects, it can be negative. Sphere of Resistance is long term, hatebeary, but it doesn't make people unable to do things in a way that Blood Moon usually does. Its the long term part, combined with its effect.
Him (H): Imprisoned in the Moon completely shuts down many strats
Me (M): how so?
Him (H): it locks commanders
Me (M): that doesnt prevent them from casting other spells, effects like blood moon can completely shut down most use, again, moon has a single targetted effect
Him (H):but it's not complete like that, things can still be done through Blood Moon
Me (M): affecting someones mana like that I feel like is generally a no go though their individual pieces are usually okay.
Him (H): why is that?
Me (M): when you start affecting their ability to do anything whatsover, usually coming from ability to use mana they are unable to do much at all. locking key pieces is to be expected, locking out ability to do things at all is not
Him (H): when you win you take away someone's ability to do things
Me (M): but that is quite literally the point of the game
Him (H): what makes dropping Blood Moon different from me killing you
Me (M): the fact that I now go draw a card, pass until you win if it was a combo, it is instaneous, cleanup, go again
Him (H): but you're okay with me taking turns- what if I did a Charmbreaker loop and took infinite turns
Me (M): taking turns speeds things up for you, like ramping hard. But blood moon is directly affecting me- people usually dont even like that kind of long turns, but for this debate its specifically about an inability for a player to do things because of individual cards.
Him (H): I think Charmbreakers is relevant, but if you also think it's bad then things get more interesting
Me (M): well personally i dont, but when people take long terms some get annoyed they want to play magic so they can play magic not play magic to watch others do things for long periods of time.
Him (H): Storm will always take long turns it's an innate issue with the deck
Me (M): thats fair and fine its bound to happen with some decks, again, its not a huge issue
Me (M): its when people really cant do things on their own turns when they should be able to that bad environments are created
Him (H): but what makes that different from it just being my turn the whole time if the same real world time passes
Me (M): effectively nothing, its the mentality of it- its the ideas that can create bad environments. its the idea that it is now my turn, and I cannot do the things I want to do because of blood moon
Him (H): but that's created by so many things
Me (M): if it is your turn, and your doing the stuff your deck is made to do, it doesnt create as bad of a mentality it can be removal for example can create bad feelings but its instantaneous
Him (H): knowing that they have interaction, getting wrathed, knowing they have the win coming all of that is unpleasant
Me (M): agreed, but I am still able to do things after that even if now I have to start from something else.
Him (H): not if you untap two or three times, can't do things because of the wrath or the threat, and then I win
Me (M): again, the mentality: for me, I am not building up to something: rebuilding blood moon, while same for you wise, now caused me to not have any goal. I cant do anything, I'm not building or rebuilding im just waiting
And that is around when the debate wore off
You can't take away the competitive nature of a game artificially. This is the same reason EDH's biggest problem is the power level discussion; in general, most people who play a game long enough will want to win.
You can house rule a ban, but BM only punishes greedy decks. For reference, it's not even that good in competitive commander.
March 2, 2022 8:52 p.m.
I hear you on this and have been on both sides of similar effects. I know I feel like a Big D when playing something like Hall of Gemstone and one of my mates is playing an entirely gold deck. Having him sit there and put land in or discard until he gets 1 or 2 color rocks in play just makes the game feel flat. He doesn't have a fun game and I end up feeling like I get a cheap win.
I try to avoid hate generators like BloodMoon or the above Hall of Gemstone or even playing the player or board wiping decks that happen turn 3-4 even getting to the point when one of my play group pulled out his turn 3-4 win mill deck and I'd just say you win, next.
If it makes the game unenjoyable for the other players I say leave it out. I like to play the game and if someone wants to play the hate generators I'll just not play.
March 2, 2022 9:53 p.m.
Is it just you and your friend, one on one? Do you use those decks in competitive settings? And which format is this in? (I assume Commander from the debate notes.)
A larger group will naturally have more answers to Blood Moon effects. Even if it's just you and him, that counts as an active meta, and a handful of basic Forests and some Naturalize effects will help counter that. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
Ultimately, if it's just two people, you can come to an agreement or compromise--maybe he gets to ban Blood Moon, and you get to ban a card you don't like seeing. Stax, land destruction, discard, and counterspells are the bane of casual groups/players who want to throw big mana into big creatures and big spells and swing into big combats. There's nothing inherently wrong with that playstyle--it's dynamic, interactive, and memorable. It also clashes with the people who have fun with the prison/hard control playstyle, and that's where tension comes in. Neither is wrong, but they're not especially compatible. Either the control player feels like the big mana player can do whatever they want, or the big mana player feels like they can't do anything because the control player just says no.
Have you tried building or using a prison deck? How many different decks do you, he, and anyone else in the group have?
March 2, 2022 11:48 p.m.
If the decks contain enough non-basics that Blood Moon or Back to Basics hoses your mana base, the power level is high enough that interaction should be expected and you should have ways to deal with it.
March 3, 2022 12:56 a.m.
In my personal experience, cards such as Blood Moon aren't the problem, rather it is the inability to handle them. If you are playing a deck you built, and you know your deck lacks enchantment removal, then you know Blood Moon is a sudden death card.
If I know I can never cast another spell, and I know I can never remove Blood Moon, then I know that I will be perpetually be playing a losing game. So why waste the next 10, 15 or 20 minutes of the night when I can call it game right now and move on?
The negativity isn't for the card - it's for the situation. If there is literally nothing I can do, then I've lost. Sometimes you need to call it and move on. Many players see this as being salty; I see it as wasting my time.
I can't win. I can't play spells. I can't interact. You've won. Good game, let's go again.
March 3, 2022 3:57 a.m.
It has become quite the moving mark to "steer clear of cards that make bad feelings" so many cards do & they will do so in very subjective ways. I have cards that make "bad feelings" for me that don't bother 90% of the community - for example I instantly remove Ghostly Prison from the game even though most people will shrug when they see it. From MY perspective & favorite strategy type (groupslug, damage matters, life-totals moving, goading) a do-nothing card that tries to take you off the table will not stand, it chaps my ass! So, basically, I think Blood Moon fits more into the category of hosing certain strategic styles & build strategies more than others & "feelbads" are kindof subjective at that point. Though 1v1 is extremely limiting in EDH & kindof makes a whole different argument here... I don't have as much of a horse in the 1v1 race because alot of my decks are built to scale better to more players in the game
March 4, 2022 11:22 a.m.
Personally I see little difference between playing Blood Moon and dropping a board wipe on an opponent whose topdecking. You win a war by depriving your opponent of resources.
Not to mention we're approaching 30,000 cards with different names and we have the ability to purchase online. There's no reason why you can't adapt your deck(s) to turn your opponent's strengths against him. That includes, but not limited to, restricting your nonbasic lands to ones that can produce red mana, adding creatures with Mountainwalk, and playing cards such as Conversion, Enchanter's Bane and Mind Bend.
In Casual there's no reason ANYTHING should be banned.