5 Color Control - The MtG Webcomic!
| RSS FEED RSS | Twitter Tw | PUN-ishment | Forums | Hall of Fame/Characters | Media/Banners | Contact Us |
Comic #336
Card Tags: Banned Everywhere.

Comptative Magic is Unfair

And, there never has been. I speak from long experience when I say this; it's not just over the recent cheating scandal. No, this has been a constant in Magic since the very beginning.

You might not be aware, but in Vintage, the Power 9 has never been banned. Not since Magic started in 1993 have those cards been illegal to play. This means Black Lotus was legal to play in the format while cards like Mind Twist got banned (I'm not saying Mind Twist is weak, just not as powerful as Time Walk). Why? Because the Power 9 had precedence, while things like Channel didn't. So, one got banned and the other did not.

Currently, the common Treasure Cruise has the same status in Vintage as Ancestral Recall. But, the real injustice is in other formats. In Legacy, Brainstorm is legal, but Treasure Cruise is banned. Why? Precedence. In some way, it's the same mentality where the person at Wizards that loved goblins made sure Goblin Piledriver was printed. [1]

But, Magic has never really been about being "fair." In a very real sense competitive Magic is about doing the most unfair thing you can. Decks must be unfair, or you'll never win. This is different from casual games where the object is often to "have fun" more than "win." In competitive games, this is reversed. People at the tournament don't care if you're using the cards in a quirky way -or the way they "should be used"- they only care if you beat them. "Fairness" never enters into this picture, only winning or losing.
This Darwinistic quality is also what makes life "unfair."

Yet, is this truly unfair? In my science classroom, I've asked my students to think about the Is-Ought problem. Life -like Magic- draws this distinction between what IS and what SHOULD be. SHOULD competitive Magic be "fair?" Or, SHOULD it be about winning? Regardless, from my +20 years of experience, I can tell you what it IS.

And, it is unfair, as it should be.

-Taylor 1/25/14