Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Current Thoughts on Treasure Cruise

Last week, I asked Standard Pauper player Zoltan to submit his best arguments for why Treasure Cruise should be banned. He had quite a bit to say on the topic, which you can read in full here and here. Let me say that I really appreciate his willingness to put his case out there and open himself up to comments from the rest of the community. I would love to see my blog serve in this function more in the future.

Now no one is questioning that Treasure Cruise is a strong card. The ability to draw three cards rarely sees print at Common anymore. Even so, without Delve, this card would probably not see any play. If you are so far ahead that on Turn 8 you can afford to spend all your mana and not affect the board, you're probably going to win that game anyway. But with Delve, you have the potential to reduce the casting cost all the way down to a single Blue. If you could always cast it for that cost (perhaps by paying life instead of exiling cards from your Graveyard), the card would be absurdly broken and probably would not have seen print at all, much less at Common. So the reality is that Treasure Cruise falls somewhere between those two extremes.

That said I do not believe that Treasure Cruise should be banned. Here's why:
  1. I agree with both rremedio1 and DrChrisBakerDC that Treasure Cruise is helping, not hurting, the health of the metagame. The existence of this card gives players a strong incentive to play Control. Without it, the Aggro decks like White Weenie and Boros Heroic would pretty much dominate the entire metagame. Additionally, I do not believe that banning Treasure Cruise would make space in the metagame for decks that currently aren't seeing play.
  2. Based on the numbers crunched by rremedio1, decks including Treasure Cruise that place in the Top 4 in recent Standard Pauper events make up only approximately 40% of the metagame. Other powerful Commons from previous sets have seen numbers much higher than this without being banned.
  3. While I agree with Adner's comment that Treasure Cruise violates the New World Order philosophy of card design, Rosewater has always been clear that Commons that are pushed in a set due to being part of that set's theme often violate the design tenets of New World Order. New World Order doesn't prohibit such cards; it merely says there must be solid design reasons why those cards should see print at Common. Personally, I am thankful that cards like Treasure Cruise still see print from time to time. The existence of these cards excites players, and when players are excited, they play more Magic.
I do agree, however, that the lack of anti-Graveyard effects is hurting the metagame. I would love to see a Common come into the metagame that allows you to exile cards from your opponent's Graveyard. If I had to pick one way to "fix" Treasure Cruise, this is what I would do. Relic of Progenitus would be my pick, but even Tormod's Crypt would be fine.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on these articles. And for everyone who didn't comment but took the time to read and think about the issues, thanks to you as well! See you next time.

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