Many, if not most, Vintage players play this format because it is the final place we get to play all of our cards.
Well, we get to play Gush. Or Mana Drain. But they were nearly mutually exclusive.
Which merely underscores the unjustified and unprincipled nature of these restrictions.
The foundational principle of the format is that players get to play with all of their Magic cards so far as can be reasonably accommodated. That doesn't mean you have a right to have any card be "good."
If Mana Drain wasn't playable because of Gush that doesn't justify restricting Gush. There are literally thousands of cards pushed out or marginalized by other cards in Eternal formats.
Arguing that the restriction of Gush is a "good thing" because it makes Mana Drain better is not only unjustifiable, but it is reminiscent of the darkest days of the format, where Keeper pilots or even Brian Weissman had a heavy hand in B&R policy.
It's completely illegitimate, factional, and unprincipled.
Mana Drain does not have a right to be good in this format. A right to play it, sure. But manipulating the B&R list to make Mana Drain good is completely unjustifiable.
@HouseOfCards I think combo was shut down hard by chalice which is part of the reason it went away. But instead of combo coming back, blue decks just started packing MD flusterstorm, mindbreak trap, etc to shut it down harder. More decks running MD null rod doesn't help either.
I love playing shops and I sort of like the blue meta because it allowed me to tinker with the right lock pieces for an expected meta. I don't think shops should ever be the "majority" because at its core, it's vintage's hatebear/prison deck.
It's similar IMO to how DnT always has game against the different delver variants in legacy, but will never be the most popular deck simply because the cards are individually shit and require a specific meta to shine. If everyone in vintage started playing 20 lands (or something else that makes a taxing effect less power i.e. landstill), shops would stop being as good.
I think we're only as good as the greedy blue meta is.
Which is to say that I don't think the DCI decision is going to be able to evaluated for a very, very long time.
Look at the Lodestone Golem restriction. There are many who felt that it was not warranted by the data. There are those who think it needed to happen.
Many who favored the Lodestone restriction pointed to the development of the Eldrazi deck as proof that it was good for the metagame. They pointed to the flourishing of blue decks and commented that shops had been weakened but was still good.
Six months later there were grumblings that the rise of a third form of prison deck was starting to make events less fun. Monastery mentor driven by a gush engine coalesced into a very powerful deck, and some felt it was perhaps broken. Many bemoaned the "oh look, another mentor mirror match" feel.
Some of the same people that said Lodestone golem needed to go for the sake of the metagame and felt that the DCI was absolutely "justified" in its decision to do so were also saying the the vintage metagame was in shambles and had grown stale.
Magic players love to complain.
I don't know if restricting gush and probe were good.
I think it is too early to tell.
I don't know if restricting Lodestone Golem was good.
The metagame that occurred afterward (in which many people felt something was off/unenjoyable) suggests it was probably hasty.
All I know is I dislike seeing cards restricted because it takes years for them to get unrestricted if it happens.
And I 'd rather see a metagame have time to work itself out rather than needing "course correction."
Apologies for the lack of vault key tags. The tags weren't filled in until I made quick guesses as to the correct tags. An oversight on my part for sure on the thieves lists, but note that it there's a lot of variability in decklists.
I appreciate everyone pointing out the mistags and I'll recheck through the posted decklists as soon as I can stop using a cell phone for internet later this week.
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