February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement



  • @chubbyrain

    Xerox has a 52% win % against the field in your table with the exclusions. Xerox in the table that you presented at the bottom (I assumed this was with your exclusions, but apparently not?) shows that the deck has great match win %'s pretty much across the board with exception to against 2 fringe decks. Its kind of hard to follow your analysis when your key table doesn't have the exclusion criteria that you believe is important.

    You are basically adding in a bunch of stuff to your argument that doesn't really seem to be based in fact. Does adding Skullclamp make Ravager Shops better or just more inconsistent? You believe Combo should be terrible... Ok well there is really nothing suggesting that it won't still be terrible with Misstep restricted. Lets try to stay on track with what the data is telling us.

    Maybe Ravager is most of Shops, but you have 2% of the metagame split out for other decks (10% of Shops is 2.6% of the meta). If the argument you want to make is Ravager's restriction will fix the issue with Shops than you should show Ravager does by itself vs Shops by itself.

    If we want to generalize blue like you've done here with Shops, Blue accounts for ~55% of the metagame. You are literally analyzing just Blue vs Shops with a hint of Dredge/Fish (where the sample sizes are really too small to draw any conclusion).



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  • @chubbyrain said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @nedleeds So you have no basis for a Misstep restriction except if feels bad to have a 1 drop countered for zero mana. And you have no prognostication for a future metagame aside from vaguely pointing at various one drops and saying "this is a one drop that you can play without it getting Misstep." No actual deck ideas, no actual metagame shifts, no actual anti-shops tech. Great...

    I've stated my basis. It's required to run other one drops because the cost of having a mana investment countered for 2 life and +1 mana is too much to bear. The exchange is so brutally inefficient you either play it or play a deck that ignores it. Nearly all the prominent results of the last 3 years back this up, decks either play 3.8 missteps or are sphere decks that ignore it.

    Is it a feel bad? I guess so, but losing or knowing what you are doing is a waste of time feels bad in most games and sports. So you are priced into just also running your own Missteps (why it's banned everywhere else) or discarding your Deathrite Shaman because you were too stubborn to put Skillstep in your deck (or you have them but didn't in your opener but your opponent did, or your opponent had more ... read about this and more brain teasing scenarios in my new book Understanding Misstep).

    As for my deck ideas, it's a bit of a futile exercise. You look down at the deck you are building and realizing you're out of space because you're cornered into playing Missteps to fight the 65% of the format playing 3.8. It's very similar to the (correct) argument about playing 'dead' cards in blue stew with respect to shops. Nothing beats free, no counterspell is as free as Misstep, it has no deck building constraints, is often +1 mana, +1 token it produces a bifurcated meta of spheres and missteps. Which is all the last 3 years has been sadly. We can build Skillstep dodging decks with Impulse and such ... but it's more an exercise in defiance than something that can be expected to perform in a real event. B/g depths had great results in testing vs. aggro shops but lost to multiple missteps, when I put missteps in my deck I would randomly sometime out misstep the misstep and win but the deck was diluted and of course the sphere matchup was worse. Misstep keeps decks that would prey on shops from even being seriously considered.

    The argument of Gush pushing out all other draw engines applies here (which I didn't necessarily think mattered given how many blue draw spells we have now), Misstep just pushes everything out by way of forcing you to Misstep the Misstep or spin your wheels spending mana while your opponent moves forward.



  • I can name 2 decks that I abandoned because of Mental Misstep - Noble Fish and Dark Times. Given that Vintage lands is kind of a deck now I think it could work if Chalice was back or Misstep was gone. Noble Fish or any Fish deck for that matter is dead until Misstep is gone.


  • TMD Supporter

    @moorebrother1 Noble Fish ran Mental Misstep and did just fine. Young Pyromancer killed Noble Fish.



  • I just hate how much harder it is to get my turn 1 Juzaam online when everyone keeps derpstepping my turn 1 Dark Ritual.



  • @serracollector try a card called duress and don’t just go for turn one dark ritual.



  • @hierarchnoble said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @moorebrother1 Noble Fish ran Mental Misstep and did just fine. Young Pyromancer killed Noble Fish.

    Be sick if you could play Spell Snare huh?



  • You know, now that people mention it, a ravager restriction doesn't seem terrible. It can make ravager MUD weaker while opening up the opportunity for different variation of shops. I don't think the number of shop decks is the problem. However, it is concerning how they're all ravager decks (not sure if it's worthy of being restricted yet).



  • This is the part where I usually suggest something like Unrestricting Channel, because restricted channel is bullshit, but I am going to keep it to myself this time.



  • @shaman-ben said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    This is the part where I usually suggest something like Unrestricting Channel, because restricted channel is bullshit, but I am going to keep it to myself this time.

    Don't know if unrestricted Channel is a good idea (I've suggested it here multiple times myself), but it might well lower the 3.8 Misstep number to some degree.



  • More than anything, we need NEW cards that combat the two primary power centers of Vintage: blue Xerox and Shops w/tax effects. Damping Sphere in Dominaria appears to have been a valiant, but comically-bad attempt at that. I seriously wonder what genius said to themselves, "This will stop Xerox AND Shops."

    Wizards needs to print cards in B/R/G that counteract the dominance of Shops and Xerox (I exclude White because it already has most of the hate bears and functions as a lesser-Shops with less vulnerability to artifact removal).

    We need Root Maze on a (cheap, not the 3cmc Thalia) creature. We need Naturalize as a Channel ability on a card. We need cards that come out early to hamper Xerox (cheap, not the 3cmc Leovold). A red creature that makes instants and sorceries cost 1 more. A green creature that makes artifacts cost 1 more (tax the tax deck). A black card that does something else Vintage-relevant, like 1cmc spells cost 1 more (weird, but maybe it would work). If they can print Cage to nerf Dredge and Oath (in a surprisingly flavorful way), they can spend a few slots on cards to hit the two strongest engines of Vintage.

    At this stage of the game, every color should have tier-1.5 card selection and counter (in a color-appropriate flavor). There should be a green "Force of Wildness" that pitches like FoW to counter artifacts or enchantments, for example. A black instant that says, "For each card target player would draw this turn, they must discard a card or sacrifice a permanent instead."

    Blue can be the best at selection and counter, but the other colors shouldn't be cut off entirely. Blue has been given the best cards and then has fetch/duals to splash their win conditions (Mentor, Oath/creature, Tinker/Blightsteel, Tendrils, etc.). The only reliable counterbalance has been a broken land and all the tax effects that are fit to print. Ravagers Shops has the challenge of its ability to anything in response to removal, but if you could afford to cast more than one removal spell in a given turn (due to tax effects) you might have a shot.

    I'll stop there for now, since I have to go to work in the morning.


  • TMD Supporter

    @nedleeds Nah, Noble Fish didn't want to tap out for counterspells. You spend all your mana each turn deploying permanent threats and activating Wastelands that the only counterspells that worked were Force of Will, Daze and Mental Misstep. I got lucky once with a build that ran Spell Pierce, but that's because it was my first outing with the deck and people kept hands game 1 as though I was Workshops all day.



  • @moorebrother1 said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    I can name 2 decks that I abandoned because of Mental Misstep - Noble Fish and Dark Times. Given that Vintage lands is kind of a deck now I think it could work if Chalice was back or Misstep was gone. Noble Fish or any Fish deck for that matter is dead until Misstep is gone.

    I'm not sure what you categorize as "Fish decks" but if the category includes all hatebear type decks, then the statement is definitely wrong as Misstep does little to nothing against most Hatebear decks.

    I don't get why so many want Misstep restricted. It's certainly not a very powerful card but a situational one for one. In addition it slows down the format and reduces variance.


  • TMD Supporter

    @jhport12 I hope you realize that Damping Sphere was probably designed more for modern. I would be surprised if they gave it serious consideration on the affects on vintage.



  • @hierarchnoble I ran Abeyance and Silence when I played the deck. You could race token generators back then because I played efficient creatures. My deck looked more like a hatebear deck.

    I think hatebear plays differently because it runs about 28 to 30 creature whereas fish run about 20 to 24 and removal and filter or draw.

    The hit to lands and dark times hurts more. I used to play a lands deck but I could not get the discard spells through.

    I’m not advocating for the card to be restricted. I just do not like one sided arguments.

    I am personally hoping to innovate out of this glut.

    The blue decks are inbreed and anything that can play through that and still beat Aggro shop and Dredge can do well.


  • Administrators

    @jhport12 I do think the BEST solution to metagame woes is a new printing, whenever possible. It rarely happens, but it's the ideal fix when it does. I like to look to Dack Fayden as the card that solved Tinker. People argued for the banning of the already-restricted Tinker for years, and I don't know what the format would look like if cards started getting banned. Tinker became less of a problem for a variety of reasons, but Dack Fayden was a big part of it.

    Using that as a model, I think the correct way to design cards to solve a problem isn't to look for answers, but to look for cards that punish the opponent for building or playing a certain way. You're never going to convince people to play less of a card by one-for-oneing that card, there's just no incentive. Similarly, traditional hate cards have a problem if they can be one-for-oned by the opponent (something their opponent has largely already built their deck to do). In order to shift things, the fact that the new card exists has to create more tension for the person running the problem deck than it does for the person running the answer card.

    I also particularly like mirror-only cards for balancing metagames. If they're specialized enough, they create a pressure-release valve for top performing decks to cannibalize their other matchups in order to stay relevant. (Unfortunately if they're not specialized enough, they could backfire and make the top deck stronger, I don't know if Misstep is an example of the first category or the second).

    I have my own set of cards I think would improve the metagame, which overlaps a bit with yours in some places. I'm a game design junkie and I'd love to chat for hours about hypothetical format crafting techniques, but this doesn't feel like the thread to do it :)

    That said, I don't believe that Dack was designed with vintage in mind, I think it was a happy accident. I think the cost of developing cards for vintage is more expensive and potentially riskier than just restricting things, and I don't know that they've EVER designed a card specifically to improve the vintage metagame. More to the point, even if they were willing to print cards just for vintage (which is more possible now in a post-commander-world), I doubt they would be willing to put in the work to build up a nuanced opinion on what sort of cards would help and what would hurt. This isn't a critique of WotC, they have a lot of important stuff to deal with and spending their focus here just doesn't make a lot of business sense, especially when they already have the Restricted List as a much more straightforward tool to use.



  • @brass-man said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    @jhport12 I do think the BEST solution to metagame woes is a new printing, whenever possible. It rarely happens, but it's the ideal fix when it does. I like to look to Dack Fayden as the card that solved Tinker. People argued for the banning of the already-restricted Tinker for years, and I don't know what the format would look like if cards started getting banned. Tinker became less of a problem for a variety of reasons, but Dack Fayden was a big part of it.

    I honestly think there's a fair few of broken cards on the restricted list that we should take off, simply because the general power level of answers and the format is a lot higher than it used to be. I'm like...80% that blue could adapt to defeat almost any combo engine that exist. For example, is Flash really that bad to add to the format? It's a cheaper Show and Tell...but it loses just as hard to Containment Priest and Grafdigger's Cage as Oath does, and it requires even more clunky cards.What about unrestricted Fastbond? It's certainly high variance and exceedingly powerful (and there are some additional enablers that didn't exist long ago), but if we only have 1 gush, it's at least 3 cards to go off.

    You simply aren't going to get there with fair answers, because @ChubbyRain is going to play them in the blue deck. You need actively 'new' deck paradigms pushed into the metagame--and ones which don't get eventually hated out. Paradoxical Outcomes is at least as busted as the other cards I've noted, and it's a meaningful, but largely marginalized deck right now but it was pretty close to being the new, consistent hotness for a little bit. We need more Paradoxical Outcomes type cards to break the current stagnation--and I'd rather let things off the restricted list to get them than wait for Wizards to print them.


  • Administrators

    @neo_altoid said in February 12, 2018 Banned and Restricted Announcement:

    You simply aren't going to get there with fair answers, because @ChubbyRain is going to play them in the blue deck. You need actively 'new' deck paradigms pushed into the metagame--and ones which don't get eventually hated out.

    I don't know that this is strictly true? Dack Fayden was played both in and against Tinker decks, but it put more pressure on Blightsteel Colossus than it did on non-colossus blue/red decks. Cards don't have a fixed value across the field, they do different things to different decks. It should definitely be possible (though maybe difficult) to design an artifact that hurts Workshop decks in aggregate (a better Kill Switch?), or a blue card that makes blue decks worse (Mindbreak Trap for two non-creature spells?)

    But I don't want to make this sound like an argument. I just love talking game design, this stuff fascinates me. I don't consider my ideas of vintage card design to be a serious contribution to the B&R discussion. I don't know that this is a realistic goal to push WotC toward, I just love game-design-as-thought-experiment. TMD has never felt like a great venue for that sort of conversation, but I love the subject so much I can't help but respond :)



  • Just a reminder, Mental Misstep was printed to give non-blue decks an answer to combination type decks and Brainstorm in Legacy. The irony is in the final sentence in that paragraph:

    The risk is mitigated, because if it turns out poorly, the DCI can ban the card.

    They can't do that in Vintage. Mistakes will last the length of the format, provided WotC keeps with its policy of restriction. I prefer WotC take action based on what we observe in the metagame, rather than print cards that are untested to fix problems whose solutions may create additional problems. If new cards do get printed that change metagame dynamics, WotC should then reexamine the restricted list for potential unrestrictions (and I think they can be more aggressive here).

    That said, Flash and Fastbond are awful unrestrictions. Fastbond is capable of truly degenerate things in Vintage cube with Wasteland and/or draw 7s. Flash is not hosed by Grafdigger's Cage, as Flash pilots can shift to Rector Flash to avoid Cage. When the metagame adjusts by running Crypt, they switch back to Hulk. The presence of a 1W hatebear isn't enough to keep that in check. In addition, this is miserable Magic. A clash of overpowered combo vs. overpowered hate card has strategic complexity just barely greater than that of the card game War. "Gee, I hope my hate is in the top 7 cards of my library...6 cards of my library...5 cards of my library...4 cards...Keep, scry bottom, concede. Well that was fun." We already have that with Dredge and I'm of the opinion that we don't need more decks like Dredge in the format.


 

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