What's the Deal with Gold Summit?
by Terence Jason Dorman
Card gamers are a vocal group. We like to talk about what we like, what we dislike, what we would do if we were in charge, etc. We even talk about what we think is best for the games we love and what we would change to make them better. More often than not, the “changes” we discuss are the banning of cards.
The Spoils is no exception to this and the forums frequently see players discuss which cards they would like to see banned. While I am personally always against banning (I prefer errata), I still enjoy reading the discussions to see why people think a particular card is too powerful.
Lately, though, there has been one card that I see pop up on various proposed ban lists, but I haven't really seen much discussion as to why this card should be banned.
It begs me to ask the question: what's the deal with Gold Summit?
No Argument: The Card Is Good
There is no doubt that Gold Summit is a good card. It has been a good card since it was first released in First Edition: Part One, and was one of the key cards in Bin Chen's Writ/Bile deck that premiered at Gen-Con 2007 (if one of the old players know an earlier time when this deck emerged, or it wasn't Bin who created it, please let me know).
Following the game's hiatus, Gold Summit returned, but it returned only in the Writ/Bile decks that old players dug out of their closets or new players built based on old lists. The card is definitely good, but I personally cannot fathom why there is so much dislike for this card these days.
Where Is It?
Part of the reason I don't see the power of the card is that I haven't seen it pop up in any prominent or well known decks. The card didn't exist in any deck at Gen Con last summer and was not featured in any of the Top 8 decks from the recent German Nationals.
If the card isn't taking down tournaments (like Research Investment or the various powerful Arcanist cards featured in Barney and German Nationals decks), where is all the hate coming from? I just don't see it.
My other issue with the card is that it is a location. This may just be me and my Team Hopper brethren, but whenever we build decks, we try to include hate for every card type in case we run into particular situations. As such, I will always have some form of location destruction in my deck, even if it is as indirect or as costly as a Forget.
With that said, Gold Summit can certainly be a game changer if it is left unattended, but that can be said for many other cards as well. I don't think a card should be judged by how it is used in its best case scenario (Gold Summit's being going up against a deck that contains no direct location removal) but rather how it is used in the most average scenarios.
Research Investment, for example, will always impact the game when it is played, barring the extremely rare circumstance of neither player having staple resources left in their decks (and if that is the case, why is it being played anyway?). Gold Summit, on the other hand, can hit the table and have no major impact on the game whatsoever if it is never triggered or destroyed before it can be.
Is It Just Writ/Bile?
My personal experiences with Gold Summit have been facing it solely in the Writ/Bile deck that has been popular for so long. The Summit is a critical location for how that deck functions (and basically allows it to do so), but it is far from unbeatable. I don't know about the rest of you, but I certainly do not feel Gold Summit is worthy of banning based on the Writ/Bile deck alone.
There is, of course, the distinct possibility that there is some super-tech out there that involves Gold Summit that I am not currently aware of. If that is the case, please share it with me in the forum thread for this article. I am extremely curious to know what specific reasons cause a number of you to feel this card should be removed from the Constructed format.
Like I said before, this is the primary reason why I don't understand the dislike for this card. Other cards that have been discussed regarding banning in the past (E.O., Meat of the Mountain, Research Investment, etc.) all had powerful combos and decks supporting the arguments for banning. As it currently stands, I have seen none of this type of evidence for the banning of Gold Summit.
Then again, this could just be a case of player's protecting their super awesome ideas and using them while they still can. I can't really blame them for that, but it definitely lends itself to weaker discussion than if all of the information was out in the forefront.
So tell me, Spoils community, what's the deal with Gold Summit?