Yawgmoth's (Bargain Not Will) Unrestrictable?

As an online-only player, I remember when we had 4x Flash for quite a while in Classic (the Vintage predecessor before Power was released). That deck was so consistent, often winning on the first two turns with counter backup, in a variety of kill packages. I've never seen anything so consistent and so resilient before or since.

@BazaarOfBaghdad And now, instead of hulk, you just play Academy Rector, and have a reliable way to get Bargain and Omniscience in play, while playing a far fewer number of 'do-nothings'.

@BandsWithOthers On average, Dredge is a turn 3-4 combo deck. That's why it gets tolerated compared to some others, I think 🙂

You really have to ask yourself what good does unrestricting these cards actually do in terms of balance, and enjoyment of the game?

Most of the cards being discussed here are combo only cards that in a best case scenario would be fringe decks, like Belcher. In a worst case they dominate the format, and turn things into a coin flip.

If the whole goal is to just clean up the restricted list, lets start with Fastbond and Merchant Scroll. They are both fairly safe now that Gush is on the list.

@vaughnbros said in Yawgmoth's (Bargain Not Will) Unrestrictable?:

If the whole goal is to just clean up the restricted list, lets start with Fastbond and Merchant Scroll. They are both fairly safe now that Gush is on the list.

I really don't think un-restricting Merchant Scroll is a good idea. 4 extra 3 mana Ancestrals is already extremely dangerous before you add in the utility of finding Dig, Gush, Chain of Vapor, Force, Flusterstorm, etc into it.

@Lesbimagical said in Yawgmoth's (Bargain Not Will) Unrestrictable?:

@BandsWithOthers On average, Dredge is a turn 3-4 combo deck. That's why it gets tolerated compared to some others, I think 🙂

I think Dredge is tolerated because the Anything vs Dredge matchup is effectively a set of mini-games. Assuming the Dredge deck mulls into Bazaar, you have to find and cast a hate piece while they have to win before you can do it. Once a hate piece lands, they have to find a way to destroy it or slowly play around it, while you have to win before they can do that.

Dredge is a horrifically broken combo deck, but it's got similar momentum swings to a spectator sport or a moba that keep it exciting and enjoyable to play with and against.

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I think flash is actually faster and harder to disrupt than Storm, for a couple reasons. First, it is way easier to run blue protection in the form of force, pact, and flusterstorm. You also don't get nearly as hard by MM. You also don't need a critical mass of cards in hand to win (which I know isn't as true of storm in vintage as other formats) but is still a thing. Yes it is more bomb focused but generally you need mana and bombs. Flash just needs the particular bomb and 2 mana.

The fact that countering rituals/lotus is super good against storm but only OK vs flash is basically the thing I am talking about.

@twerkshops Well only your 1st scroll can get Ancestral. After that every spell they find is now "overpriced". And is 3 mana ancestral that good? Why is no one playing scroll then?

I think this all boils down to how in Vintage there is a very fine line between broken fun and boring coin flips. As @vaughnbros points out, does enabling combos truly increase diversity or just drive people away from Vintage.


Everyone is playing scroll now that 3 extra slots are freed up from gush. Plus, scroll for gush, dig through time, or paradox is totally fine after you've got ancestral already.

@structuremole Only after the unrestriction, and only in formerly Gush decks. I'm not convinced that these decks even stay on Scroll.

I 100% agree that Fastbond could come off. Merchant Scroll being able to grab Acall and Dig Through Time and Gush and Paradoxical Outcome and whatever counterspell means it will always have a target worth well more than the cost. Scroll into Dig is borderline the same as 2 Demonic Tutors. Im on the keep Scroll restricted group.

last edited by Serracollector

Not saying this should happen... but is combo just insane if Brainstorm comes off?


Oh ok, before. I guess I wasn't even trying to shoot down the idea of Scroll unrestriction, but it was worth saying that people are running it now.

@vaughnbros said in Yawgmoth's (Bargain Not Will) Unrestrictable?:

@twerkshops Well only your 1st scroll can get Ancestral. After that every spell they find is now "overpriced". And is 3 mana ancestral that good? Why is no one playing scroll then?

Consistently playing turn 1-2 Ancestral is so powerful that you're probably ahead and can afford to spend 2 more mana to tutor up a situation-specific spell to consolidate your control. You can grab a Flusterstorm or Mindbreak Trap against storm. You can grab a Chain of Vapor as a catch-all for any troublesome permanent. If you're holding Jace + Scroll, you can tutor up Mana Drain and hold up the mana for it to play Jace with counter backup the next turn. If you have a busy graveyard you can pick up Dig and have it be better than Ancestral. At the worst, you can tutor up Gush, which is especially good if you suspect (or know) that they're on a Wasteland deck. If they're on an aggro shops list, rather than one with Tangle Wires and Stacks, you can run a singleton Hurkyll's and tear them to shreds every game.

For me, seeing that my opponent has found space for a Merchant Scroll (in the right decks - not just anywhere) and prioritising the early Scroll into Ancestral line has always been a tell that they are probably a strong player.

last edited by twerkshops

@twerkshops It has a nice build around effect. Effectively a Demonic Tutor in a mono blue deck filled with instants. However, it hasn't seen much play for three main reasons. The tempo loss, the reveal, and the limitation of blue instant.

Sure, you can grab a fluster/trap against storm, a hurkyl's against Shops, or a Gush against a Wasteland (ect). However, they will know about it and be able to play around it. I mean it would certainly be something else if an opponent walked right into a Mana Drain after you revealed with your Scroll.

Also consider the uptick in the mana cost you are adding to all of these cards. Would Drain for 1UUU see play? Would hurkyl's for 2UU+double sphere see play? Of course not. The flexibility of Scroll is its strength, but making every card cost more is a huge weakness.

You highlight Chain of Vapor as a potential tutor target for it. But that is a card that wouldn't really see play in a blue control list without Scroll. These are the types of cards that it forces you to play. Cards more on the fringe of power level, like Fire/Ice.

Merchant Scroll #1 would get either Ancestral Recall or Force of Will. Before Mental Misstep, getting these cards were effective even if you did not have another blue card to pitch to FoW because the knowledge that your opponent would gain due to the reveal would cause him to play around whatever you got. Often times, to play optimally, Ancestral Recall would not be cast at all because it would incentivize the opponent to save their Mana Drain or whatever for the Ancestral. This would allow you to go about your business and cast Merchant Scroll #2 for Gifts Ungiven and most likely resolve that Gifts, which would end the game. If not, it would get Mana Drain. Then obviously, if you Scrolled for FoW against Grim Long, they wouldn't try to go off until they knew they could beat your FoW. And a lot of times, with the Gifts deck, you only needed one extra turn so the threat of FoW would lead to victory. As you can see Merchant Scroll tactics can be more complex than what is written on the card and the reveal can actually serve as an advantage. If Merchant Scroll were to be unrestricted, it would be the best unrestricted blue card and a better turn one play than Preordain.

There used to be a huge debate about Thirst vs. Merchant Scroll in Drain Gifts decks and Merchant Scroll was the better card and it wasn't even close. Just look at the world champs deck in 2006

(And by the way, Scroll also gets Tinker or Time Walk and is the king of chaining spells together)

last edited by Guest

@desolutionist Whose playing Gifts and Thirst? When these cards were first removed they were supposed to break things too. Yet they are fringe playable at best. Even Drain wanes in the current metagame.

Its possible Scroll is still too good, but pointing to results from 11 years ago is a stretch. Preordain fills a much different role of smoothing draws and finding early land drops. Im not sure Scroll can fill that role as its substantially more mana intensive.

How does Scroll get Tinker or Time Walk?

@Griselbrother Mystical Tutor

@vaughnbros There's a different approach to the game for sure. Back then it was all about getting the exact card you needed immediately and not so much about smoothing draws and playing lands; it depends on how the metagame adapts I suppose.

last edited by Guest
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