Cards to unrestrict



  • The latest so many insane plays podcast asked folks to weigh in on what they would unrestrict and I think that's an interesting discussion to have.

    I don't think the podcast tread is the best place for that because most of the podcast is a review of the newest set and this would derail conversations about that.

    The existing restricted list discussion is mostly about restrictions rather than un restrictions, so I think a separate thread is warranted. As a rule for this thread I would politely ask people to do two things

    1. Have posts mostly be about unrestriction, though if you want a paragraph talking about how you see the format in general, that's ok

    2. Do not reply to or quote any posts or portions of posts talking about restrictions. Reply only to posts or portions of post discussing unrestriction.

    If we all adhere to rule 2 this should be a meaningfuly different discussion than the other thread and it might be interesting.

    To kick things off, here is how I responded to the podcast

    Hey,

    Big fan of your show. I heard your most recent episode and you asked for thoughts on cards to unrestrict.

    Personally, I think a major problem with vintage right now is that power creep in threats hasn't kept up with power creep in answers and too many strategies are shut down by overwhelming powerful answers. So my preference would be to restrict misstep, mindbreak trap, cage, and containment priest and see if that brings back storm / oath / reanimate.

    But, in the spirit of your question here are some cards for unrestriction in order of how dangerous they are.

    Library Of Alexandria

    This is probably on most lists. Very powerful source of card advantage in a control deck that is ahead or even. It can be shut down by forcing interactions, pitch countering, or with wastes. I don't think it breaks the format, but I also don't think it really pushes hard in the directions people want.

    Bargain

    Ad nauseum does much the same thing as bargain for one mana less. What unrestricted bargain does isn't boosting storm or bargain decks. What it does is give rector decks redundantancy so they don't lose if they randomly draw bargain. I think they are still not good enouph though.

    Demonic Consultation

    This is one that I think is probably on fewer lists. In the old days combo was getting two cards together like illusions donate. Today most combo decks are storm style combo where you have a bunch of velocity, a few resource positive cards like rituals, and a single win condition. Two card combo decks have mostly gone away.

    Modern storm style combo decks probably can't safely play consult. (Note, burning long did play consult, but back then you could wish for RFG cards, the change to excile not being wishable was a big nerf to consult compared to when it was restricted). Too much risk of removing a win condition or even their whole deck. But two card combos that play 4 of each piece would get a huge boost from consult. This could create a lot of new archetypes without putting too much additional power into existening decks.

    Fastbond

    Non artifact ramp isn't much played in vintage. Lands decks are a bit too weak to play. Exploration used to be at the cusp of playability (maybe right below), but after the printing of misstep it's clearly not strong enouph.

    I think fastbond adds a lands combo deck to the format and a lands lock deck (with crucible and the new 2/3). The lands lock deck is probably naturally strong vs shops and leads to a big shakeup.

    Risk is that fastbond makes draw 7 style combo too strong with too many natural turn 1 kills.

    Balance

    If unrestricted the balance deck would be the best deck in the format and it wouldn't be close. Any hand that can make some quick mana find balance and balance down to 2-3 cards in hand will be devastating against most deck. It's really hard to function with 2-3 cards in hand. I don't think this makes a fun metagame, but it would be very different. We would see more dredge, and a lot more free counters, and maybe even blue leyline out of shops decks to dump their hand before balance. Maybe it makes reanimate good if you expect to discard 3-4 cards before your first turn.



  • Brainstorm - as somebody noted in another thread recently U control used to work on an instant speed basis. Play spell, pass turn with mana up to counter. If your opponent did nothing use instant speed card draw/filter at eot. Its still a blue control deck but plays out a bit differently. Its not so busted, though people will complain about 'there is only 1 draw engine that chokes out everything else.'

    Channel - Ok, this is risky. Turn 1 emrakul's and such. But with mindbreak trap and fow and we have tools to deal with people on T1 silliness. Shops decks actually have answers - pay 10 -15 life to bring in emrakul and ballista finishes them off. Add in sac lands, phyrexian mana, beatdown decks that chip away life - paying that much life is pretty dangerous. I think its worth exploring but fully admit it may be one of the first to be re-restricted on my list.

    Flash - opens up a whole new archetype. See if we can deal with it as a meta. I would rather see the meta and decks expand from unrestrictions rather than more restrictions. This is the most obvious one on the restricted list to meet that goal.

    Fastbond - This is an enabler card. It was restricted a LONG time ago. I think we need to dust it off and see what we can come up with.

    Chalice of the Void - Not sure why it was restricted in the first place.

    Yawgmoth's Bargain - people usually tutor for it one way or another. Once one is on the table, a second copy is a dead card. I do not see this as a 4-of in any deck. Most that run it would probably stick with 1 copy anyway, maybe 2.



  • Agree with you on bargain.

    For fastbond I agree its a good candidate, but it's a really strong card. I think it might do more than you expect.

    As for channel, I think if channel is playable it's too strong. The gameplay of first turn kill isn't great. And the gameplay of force or die on the first turn also isn't great. It's also resistant to mind break trap if you use ESG as one of your mana sources since that doesn't count as a spell.

    I don't really know the flash deck. On one level, I imagine it's just show and tell at one less mana, but with a vulnerability to graveyard hate / creature removal. It might be safe, but I don't know if it does anything for the meta.



    1. don't take anyone who wants Library of Alexandria or Balance seriously. That would be horendeously bad for the format and I'm convinced anyone who wants this doesn't care about the format.

    2. If you unrestrict Demonic Consultation, Myself, @JACO , and @Smmenen will each come up with a different way to show you why that's a FUCKING TERRIBLE idea.

    Moving on

    Unrestrictions:

    1. Lotus Petal - I don't fear a lotus petal for the same reasons I don't fear Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, or Mox Opal. This card definitely has the least amount of drawback, but being a 1 Time Use (outside Willenium) means It's an interesting unrestriction.
    2. Yawgmoth's Bargain - We have a 7/7 Lifelinking Yawgmoth's Bargain with a split cost of 1G/2U. This card is fine.
    3. Memory Jar - In today's world, both players drawing 7 usually gives your opponent enough misteps/flusterstorms/traps/forces to stop you from killing them anyway. Besides, tapping 5 for jar fucking blows, and we can only play 1 tinker.
    4. WIndfall
    5. Fastbond - Gush is restricted, why is fastbond unrestricted?
    6. Chalice of the Void - Lodestone Golem should have been restricted instead of this card the first time around.
    7. Merchant Scroll - Merchant Scroll wasn't really broken until it started getting Gush. I feel strongly this card can be unrestricted, and would diversify people as they would play Gifts.
    8. Time Vault - Revert this back to having to skip a turn to untap, and not able to untap it otherwise, and then unrestrict it.


  • They've done a decent job cleaning up the list for the most part. There's nothing on there anymore that you have to ask yourself the question why.

    The safest is probably Fastbond now. You would need to build an entire deck around it for it to be broken, and its 1-1'ed by one of the most common counterspells in Mental Misstep. I think it would be fairly tame, and was even on the borderline of being un-restrictable even before Gush's re-restriction. If it does see play, its in a deck that's strong against shops and weaker against blue. That a good type of deck to have in the format.

    I'd be very cautious with any of these cards that are already seeing wide play (Library, Balance, Scroll, ect.). While they themselves are some of the weaker cards on the restricted list, they are still seeing play as singletons. They could quickly vault themselves to prevalent 4-ofs if unrestricted. We should wait until they stop seeing play again, similar to how we waited on Gifts and Thirst.

    That leads us to Bargain, Flash, Windfall, Channel, and 1 mana tutors. None see wide play, but they all have strong build around early game ending potential. We don't really need the format to be faster right now.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    We don't really need the format to be faster right now.

    Why? Do you consider this a particularly fast iteration of Vintage?

    This is a complicated issue because it's really three separate issues that become quickly conflated:

    1. There is the normative issue of what the speed of the format should, as a general matter. This used to be a common debate in Vintage, but hasn't been in recent years because, during the Gush era, Vintage has been so slow.

    2. There is the descriptive issue, of how fast this vintage format is relative to other iterations of the format.
      On this point, I don't think there is any doubt or question that this format is generally slower, on average, than formats of past decades.

    3. Then, there is the balancing issue, perhaps the most complicated of all, as to whether concerns over speed should be/or are subordinate to other concerns, such as diversity.

    I'd argue that the way Vintage is currently constructed, you can simultaneously increase the speed and diversity of the format, but it's harder to increase the strategic diversity of the format without increasing it's speed.

    Put more directly, pushing to make some Turn 2 combo decks viable again could enhance the strategic diversity of the format.



  • @Smmenen

    What current under represented strategy is being surpressed by the restricted list?

    PO and Dredge are still both brutally powerful combo decks that are ominipresent in the current meta.

    In terms of speed, yeah, we've moved away from the time of coin flip magic. That is a great development for our format.

    The coin flip is the worst rule in all of magic. It takes away all skill in terms of deck construction and play converting it all to variance. That is not a good thing for a game that prides itself on being more than just gambling.

    Frankly, until the core rules of magic are revisited on this subject, I think there needs to be a waryness of any cards facilitating turn 1 kills.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    PO and Dredge are still both brutally powerful combo decks that are ominipresent in the current meta.

    I don't consider Dredge a combo deck. I consider it a Reanimation strategy. Granted, some people consider that a combo deck, but I think that's a classification error, if you look at the history of the game, development of the format, and structure and genealogy of the strategy, in particular.

    And, while there are fast PO decks, most PO decks are deliberately slower than they might be. Most of the PO decks I've seen doing well recently are Mana Drain decks, which suggests how fast they plan to be.

    Also, answering that they are "brutally powerful" does not answer, but elides the issue. Power and speed are not the same thing, and power, apparently, is not the same thing as winning. Many of the least powerful decks win more than the most powerful.

    In terms of speed, yeah, we've moved away from the time of coin flip magic. That is a great development for our format.

    When was the coin flip era, in your recollection, of Vintage?

    I'd really like to know.



  • @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @Smmenen

    What current under represented strategy is being surpressed by the restricted list?

    PO and Dredge are still both brutally powerful combo decks that are ominipresent in the current meta.

    In terms of speed, yeah, we've moved away from the time of coin flip magic. That is a great development for our format.

    The coin flip is the worst rule in all of magic. It takes away all skill in terms of deck construction and play converting it all to variance. That is not a good thing for a game that prides itself on being more than just gambling.

    Frankly, until the core rules of magic are revisited on this subject, I think there needs to be a waryness of any cards facilitating turn 1 kills.

    I agree on the coin flip. I, personally believe that the player on the draw should draw 8 cards. Then, we MIIIGHT have some semblance of fairness in who goes first.



  • @Stormanimagus said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @Smmenen

    What current under represented strategy is being surpressed by the restricted list?

    PO and Dredge are still both brutally powerful combo decks that are ominipresent in the current meta.

    In terms of speed, yeah, we've moved away from the time of coin flip magic. That is a great development for our format.

    The coin flip is the worst rule in all of magic. It takes away all skill in terms of deck construction and play converting it all to variance. That is not a good thing for a game that prides itself on being more than just gambling.

    Frankly, until the core rules of magic are revisited on this subject, I think there needs to be a waryness of any cards facilitating turn 1 kills.

    I agree on the coin flip. I, personally believe that the player on the draw should draw 8 cards. Then, we MIIIGHT have some semblance of fairness in who goes first.

    You mean whoever goes first gets 7, whoever is on the draw gets 8 and draws for turn?


  • TMD Supporter

    I don't think anyone wants a coin flip format. That sounds awful.

    But it's a straw man to suggest that a faster format is tantamount to a coin flip format. This is a pretty slow format, and there are lots of fast answers.

    There is a tremendous gulf between a faster format and an actual coin flip format.

    There is ample room for more speed combo decks without degenerating into coin flips. And, the presence of cards like Misstep and Mindbreak Trap, which didn't exist a decade ago, not to mention Cage and Stony Silence, make that even harder.



  • @Smmenen

    Calling it a coin flip format was simply hyperbole. The coin flip is certainly not as important as it was prior to the restriction of Lodestone + Chalice, and less important than it was in the days of flash, dragon, ect.



  • I want to play with 4 copies of channel.

    I want to play with 4 copies of demonic consultation.

    I will not say whether or not these are good ideas, but they would make vintage more enjoyable for me, as I try very hard to make things less enjoyable for my opponent.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @Smmenen

    Calling it a coin flip format was simply hyperbole. The coin flip is certainly not as important as it was prior to the restriction of Lodestone + Chalice, and less important than it was in the days of flash, dragon, ect.

    Could you break this down/elaborate a little bit more?

    I'd like to know exactly which versions of the format (provide months/years if you can) in which you felt the coin flip was unacceptably relevant?

    You stated the metagame prior to the restriction of Golem & Chalice, but do you stretch that back to the printing of Chalice or the printing of Golem or some period after both? There is an 7 year gap between those printings.

    And, you referenced Dragon combo, but which dates in particular? Dragon was most popular in the period in which Psychatog was the best deck in the format, and won it's largest tournament in a Top 8 of 7 Mana Drain decks in 2005. Dragon was not ever known as a "speed" combo deck, so that's a puzzling reference.

    And you mentioned Flash. The errata on Flash occurred in May, 2007, and Flash was restricted in June, 2008. Do you consider that entire period unacceptably coin-flippy? Or just some months/periods? Bear in mind that Flash was almost never more than 10% of the metagame or Top 8s (and usually somewhere between 4-8%), so it's hard to describe a format as "coin" flippy when very few matches involved flash.



  • @Smmenen

    Have I ever said unacceptably coin flippy? Why are you putting words into my mouth?

    What I was saying is: Less reliant on coin flips = A better format.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @Smmenen

    Have I ever said unacceptably coin flippy? Why are you putting words into my mouth?

    Well, you said "In terms of speed, yeah, we've moved away from the time of coin flip magic. That is a great development for our format."

    So, I'd like to know, with more specificity, what that "time" was. With months/years, if possible. You named some strategies and cards, but were pretty vague about that "time." I don't recall the period you are talking about as a "time of coin flip magic," and I've been an active vintage player through all of those periods, so I'd like to know what you experienced or are referring to.



  • @Smmenen

    Lodestones printing until Chalice's restriction was a time period I just gave you that was more coin flippy than it is now. I never once said it was "unacceptably coin flippy" although certainly some people thought that leading to the restriction of Chalice.

    The times in which these types of turn 1 strategies were more prevalent certainly indicate a time when the coin flip was more important.


  • TMD Supporter

    @vaughnbros said in Cards to unrestrict:

    @Smmenen

    Lodestones printing until Chalice's restriction was a time period I just gave you that was more coin flippy than it is now.

    Thank you. But what you actually said was "The coin flip is certainly not as important as it was prior to the restriction of Lodestone + Chalice"

    That's was ambiguous phrasing, because one reading of that sentence is that the "coin flip was not as important prior to the restrictions of BOTH Lodestone and Chalice," as opposed to the clarification you just provided. So, one reading puts the end of that period with the restriction of Golem, and the other with the restriction of Chalice. That's a difference of half a year. You just resolved the ambiguity.

    While that's helpful clarification, you still didn't fully answer my question about you meant when you said "the time of coin flip Magic."

    Is that era, in your view, simply the period in which Chalice and Golem were played together or was there some other period you had in mind? You mentioned Flash, Dragon, "etc." but didn't specify periods. So, I'm trying to understand if those references are superfluous to this "time" or part of how you experienced the format.



  • @Smmenen

    You haven't answered my initial question about how unrestricting combo decks helps with strategical diversity.

    I feel the time periods in which we had a much more size-able amount of combo in the early to mid 2000's also seemed much more coin flip oriented to me than the format is currently. PO is the only deck were I feel there is a substantial difference between my win/loss % if I win/lose a coin flip in the match. Shops has been fairly neutered in that regard.

    Do you feel that decks like Flash, Dragon, and numerous storm variants of that time period were slower than the current iterations of PO? Do you feel we should have faster decks than PO now? How would such a deck help the format exactly?


  • TMD Supporter

    I want to fully understand your position before I provide my counterpoint or answer. I've found it counterproductive to debate with you and simultaneously try to understand your position. That's led to a tremendous waste of time in the past, such as the posts debating what would happen if Gush were restricted, where we were also debating over ranges/data sources, etc. Once I got clarification on your position, I was able to launch my counterpoints more effectively without stumbling over semantics or data discrepancies (btw, I've been proven right in that debate).

    The "early to mid-2000s" is a very large period, that had very different metagames. The 2000 metagame was defined by Necropotence, until it's restriction. Necro-Trix was a brutal deck, but not particularly fast. The 2001 metagame was all about Fact or Fiction fueled Morphling decks. There was almost no viable combo in that metagame, despite some fools playing Neo-Academy. The 2002 metagame, similarly, had very little combo. So it's pretty confusing and extremely imprecise of you to say "early to mid-2000s."

    The period between October, 2000 and May, 2003 (when Scourge was released, and Storm cards like Tendrils were pritned), had very, very little combo in the top performing decks, with the exception of Dragon, but even then, Dragon wasn't printed until Judgement, in May 2002. So that's still nearly a two year period in that block of time where combo was dormant.

    After the restriction of Mind's Desire, it wasn't until at least a few months before Long & Rector Trix actually became a thing, and even then Long was promptly restricted in December, restricting both LED and Burning Wish, driving storm combo pretty much out of the US for years, (altough TPS was pretty popular in Europe through the Trinisphere year) until the legalization of Portal. I remember arguing with you on this point before.

    And finally, Flash didn't even exist in the period you just gave. Flash, again, was errated in May 2007, and restricted in 2008. So, it's simply unclear what "time" you are talking about.

    The year 2001 was probably the least coin flippy year I can ever remember in this format. It was essentially just BBS mirrors and Keeper, with garbage (like Sligh, Stompy, and Suicide Black) behind them. Even 2005 was dominated primarily by Control Slaver, Gifts, and other Mana Drain decks, once Trinisphere was restricted earlier (February) in that year. None of those years were particularly coin flippy, with perhaps the brief exception of the last three months of 2003, before the restriction of LED/B. Wish.

    So, there is some pretty remarkable lack of precision in your claims that requires clarification before I can attempt to contest them.


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