September 2023 Votes

Greetings everyone ,

the Archon Council decided to put several changes to the vote. You can vote on the following change:

Unban Entomb
Ban Mox Amber
Ban Flawless Maneuver

You can had over to our Discord to cast your vote! You have time to do so until 15-Sep-2022 12:00 CEST.

Here are the reasonings for the proposed changes:

Unban Entomb

Entomb has three main use cases that we wanted to examine through testing and discussion.

Firstly, it bolsters combo strategies by serving as a cheap, instant-speed tutor. However, for some combos, it only partially accomplishes the goal of moving the target to the desired zone. In the case of the Underworld Breach combo, for example, it cannot fetch Breach unless you already have a recursion card like Sevinne’s Reclamation or the Breach itself in hand. It can fuel the combo once you have Breach/recursion, but it also requires a significant number of cards in the graveyard since you would need to cast Entomb multiple times. Additionally, the cards you want to retrieve via the escape cost mana, unlike Demonic Tutor, for instance. In this regard, the advantage of instant-speed and the low one-mana cost is offset by the quantity of cards it requires. Spells like Intuition and Gifts Ungiven, while costing more mana, provide more cards with a single cast, making it easier to combo with a smaller graveyard.

We tested Entomb in the Breya Combo Deck and the Inalla Combo Deck, which we consider to be the strongest combo decks in the format. However, we couldn’t find significant differences introduced by Entomb. You can read the full details of our testing games in the #”Unban Entomb” channel.

The second use case is in reanimation strategies. Entomb is the best tool for setting up a reanimation spell by searching for your ideal target and placing it in the graveyard. However, you also need a reanimation spell, making it effective only when you have a combination of these two very specific cards in your deck. Even then, it can be interacted with, although it’s somewhat more challenging due to its instant-speed nature. Eternal Formats have many A+B combinations that can win games, and Archon is no exception. Getting a turn 2 Iona into play with just two cards (Entomb + Reanimate) can be as devastating as a turn 2 Blood Moon through a ritual effect or other lockout mechanisms or straightforward infinite combos. Reanimator strategies are also relatively uncommon in Archon, with Dihada being the primary choice and Anje occasionally seeing play.

The third case is the value-oriented graveyard strategy. Specifically, in combination with green and blue, you can tutor for something that provides ongoing value from the graveyard, such as Life from the Loam or Uro. These strategies, involving land or other recursion, often struggle against faster metadecks and are not frequently seen in the current Archon meta.

We believe that Entomb could potentially open up new possibilities for grindy or reanimation strategies without significantly boosting combo decks’ power.

We therefore propose to unban Entomb in Archon.

Ban Mox Amber

The primary concern with Mox Amber lies in its potential for high-roll starts, particularly when combined with cheap commanders, and most notably in the case of Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful and Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh. While it’s true that many cards in Magic enable powerful plays, the particular synergy between Mox Amber and cheap commanders tip the balance towards overly explosive and potentially unfair starts where Mox Amber mostly functions as a real Mox that sometimes even produces more than one kind of mana.

Magic is a game known for its intricacies and careful resource management. A Mox that provides such rapid acceleration undermines the strategic depth that many players appreciate. Moreover, these explosive starts lead to situations where games are decided by luck of the draw rather than by skillful decision-making, which runs counter to the competitive and strategic nature of the Archon format.

We therefore propose to ban Mox Amber in Archon.

Ban Flawless Maneuver

While acknowledging the resemblances between Flawless Maneuver and cards like Shoal or Mantra, it’s important to recognize that Flawless Maneuver functions on a 1-for-1 trade basis without any associated cost. This isn’t only specific to Flawless Maneuver; rather, a noticeable disparity in the balance among cost, impact, and applicability is observed across the free commander spell cycle. The sole exception is the green variant.

Although the card’s versatility may be somewhat limited due to its focused nature, it still holds relevance in a variety of scenarios, serving as a safeguard against combat damage, damage spells, and board wipes.

A point of concern arises from Flawless Maneuver’s capacity to generate card advantage through a 1-for-1 exchange, all while demanding considerably less mana than the opposing spells it counters. The fact that it’s a free spell introduces an element of unpredictability, rendering opponents challenged to anticipate and tactically respond. This can potentially lead to less engaging and fulfilling gameplay experiences.

We therefore propose to ban Flawless Maneuver in Archon.