November 26 Banned & Restricted Announcement

  • Alright, I don't think we've gotten out of hand yet but let's step back for a second before things escalate.

    First off:

    @Rat3dE said:
    if I knew how I would report you.

    If you need to in the future, while you're logged in there's a little "three vertical dots" icon on the lower left of each post, and that opens a dropdown menu with a "Flag this post for Moderation" message. Certainly feel free to use this any time, whether there's a serious problem, or even if things are just getting mildly heated, like they are here. If there's something that needs my immediate attention, you'll probably get a faster response from me via Twitter (@TheManaDrain or @tmdBrassMan).

    Moderator hat off and vintage player hat on:
    I don't think anyone would disagree that there are both strong parallels and key differences between Mind's Desire and Paradoxical Outcome. There's enough gray area there that there's some room for argument on both sides, but it might help if those arguments are more clearly spelled out (which similarities or differences cause you to come to the conclusion you've come to?).

    I think it might be good to remember that two cards being similar hasn't always historically been a reason (WotC has used) to restrict something. While Windfall seems to be on the list because of it's association with Wheel of Fortune, you have the case of Ponder vs Preordain and Sphere of Resistance vs Thorn of Amethyst, both of which seem to be examples of "2 of this card is too few and 8 of this card is too many.

    Pragmatically speaking, "will WotC restrict a card" and "why did WotC make a particular restriction decsion about this card" and "should this restriction decision about this card have been made" are qualitatively different questions. New cards don't get restricted unless they cause problems, similarity to existing cards on the list has just never been a catalyst for restriction, just a post-rationalization made after a format imbalance has already appeared.

    Rational objective neutral hat off entirely: (I feel like I need to post in different colors or fonts or something)

    Mind's Desire feels like a dangerous unrestriction to me, even if I agree that there are many ways in which Paradoxical Outcome is a better card. Desire is interesting in that it's never been unrestricted in Vintage. I think it's the only card for which that's true (correct me if I'm mistaken please) ... we've never seen a Vintage with 4 Desires. It's very possibly harmless, but it feels like a high risk/low reward move to me. Of course as always, that depends on what you want out of the format, which there is no consensus on.

  • Scourge was released in late May 2003, and Mind's Desire's ban was announced on June 1, but did not actually take effect until July 1. There may have been no major tournaments in that time, but perhaps it did see some some play somewhere?

  • @Brass-Man When I click the three dots I only get the option to Bookmark the comment. Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?

  • So, essentially Mind's Desire's was banned on release. If anyone played Extended or even Standard at this time you would know that it was a very wise decision. The card is very broken.

    When I played it in Extended the go off was for sure on turn 4 and very possible on turn 3. Add Vintage power to that without Flusterstorm or Mindbreak Trap and you have an almost unstoppable deck. This is before Mirrodin so there was no real Shops deck.

    The comparison with Paradoxical Outcome does not ring true for me. I am starting to really dedicate a lot of time into break Paradoxical Outcome as much as I can, the card has limitations. It is better than Gifts Ungiven which also got restricted because it was too good, often netting 4 cards based on how accessible the graveyard is in Vintage.

    Mind's Desire gives you storm and free play. If I was able to just get it off for 3 or 4, which is very low odds of chaining at that point I gain more cantrips, card draw and mana sources just on doing a 3 to 4. If you go beyond 4 you are almost certain to win the game. The issue is storm triggering more storm.

    In the Extended version, you push it out for 5 or 6 and try to chain it once more then hit a Brainfreeze or 2 Brainfreeze. Imagine someone hitting 2 Tendrils of Agony... It is just brutal. The ability to Chain of Vapor your own moxes then play this card out is by itself a reason for restriction.

    I could only imagine the amount of complaining if Mind's Desire were unrestricted.

    As for Windfall, this was because of the very broken Academy decks back in the late 90's and the crazy Hurkly's Prosperity decks that would kill you before you even drew a card with Black Vise. Fastbond had at least 2 infinite mana combos that made people mad back in 1995.

    I think Gush should come off the list and Fastbond should stay. Having Exploration is enough in my opinion. A never ending Strip Mine is not fun for anyone.

  • Ok. So let’s please just remember that games need to be fun. And I know that is subjective, so I’m sure my opinion that Mind’s Desire adds zero dimension of game play to Vintage isn’t shared by everyone.

    But who are those people who wish to play Solitaire with an opponent? I imagine the goldfishing is interesting but is it twice as interesting as a regular game of Magic? Because I would imagine playing against 4x Desire would be painful, so I’m guessing the net fun had by players wouldn’t go up.

    Change my mind.

  • What is the reasoning behind leaving PO unrestricted while Gush remains restricted? Gush only generates a good deal of mana with Fastbond. Without Fastbond, Gush is a draw 2 that can return two lands to your hand, and maybe generate 1 mana in addition to mana from tapping those lands. PO draws a lot of cards and makes a lot of mana. Sure, it needs artifacts in order to work at all, but usually none of the artifacts are dead draws on their own, and most combo decks want them regardless of whether they use PO or not.

    I'm not advocating that PO be restricted, but it seems to me that the more interesting blue cards are restricted, at least in part, for the sake of PO staying unrestricted. I wish Gush were unrestricted for good. Restrict the problem cards like Monastery Mentor, not the related cards they happen to use, like Gush.

    I'd personally like to see Brainstorm unrestricted. We have Mental Missteps, Mindbreak Traps, Pyroblasts, and many other popular 0-1 drop counterspells that would keep them in check, not to mention sphere effects in creature and artifact forms that can easily be cast T1.

    I don't think Brainstorm would be an automatic 4-of in all blue decks; usually, there is a ceiling for how good Brainstorm can be in each turn. Unlike Ancestral, if you don't have a means to shuffle, Brainstorm is a very temporary solution to whatever bad hand you might have. Having multiples of Brainstorm often doesn't generate too much advantage for the same reasons. It's telling that Portent, a synergistic card also released in Ice Age, has you draw during the next turn, instead of the same turn it was cast, acting as a kind of check to Brainstorm. I doubt the interactions between Brainstorm and Portent were unintended by the creators. With Ponder restricted, I doubt Brainstorm would be at a power level worthy of restriction in Vintage.

    Brainstorm is also one of the more nuanced cards in the game that would add strategic depth to the format as a whole without increasing the power level of certain decks too much. For example, having a way to consistently hide cards from your hand would lead to more decisions informed by more considerations for both players than not having a way to do so, while not giving an overly 'unfair' advantage (which I would loosely define as literal card advantage for little resource cost) to the player with Brainstorm.

    I also personally would like to see more grindy control decks that do more than cast Preordains and a couple of tutors for library manipulation. Decks with draw engines are fun, but there are too few oppressive or sneaky blue decks that are more in the style of 'draw, go.' Almost every deck right now is just so busy to find its combo piece or lock piece. I believe unrestricting Brainstorm is one of the ways to help improve blue deck diversity.

  • @nower1990

    I agree about Gush vs. PO. But Wizards will look pretty silly unrestricting Gush again...

    But Brainstorm will never be unrestricted. As you say, decks are digging for combo pieces. Letting PO dig even harder and faster won't exactly diversify the field!

  • @nower1990 The issue with Brainstorm is that you get too many cards that cost a single blue to dig into your deck. Not to give another history lesson, but back in the Control Slaver days in the late 2000's it was painful watching and waiting for players to resolve Brainstorm/Ponder then to have them do it again and again.

    The large complaint about Brainstorm was the dodge to discard, but now discard is not a thing anymore.

    The case for leaving Paradoxical Outcome alone is the dedication of resources that you need to run the card. You need at least 12 targetable permanents. If someone can deny you the mana or the permanents then you lose.

    The thing about a blue instant that cost 1 blue to DRAW 3 cards is that you only need one blue source. The card turns the format into a homogenous mess.

  • @moorebrother1 100% agree. Brainstorm is what it is, and definitely should stay restricted.

  • Seems like people aren't still understanding what ban/restriction is about. It's not about powerful cards. It's about the decks. It's always been.

    Do anyone thing 'felidar guardian' was too strong for standard? The jeskai saheeli deck was.

    Is paradoxical outcome too strong for the format? No, it's not.

    Are decks that run gush and that would run more copies of gush balanced in the format? Yes, they are. Would they get opressive if gush was unbanned? Probably. The same goes to brainstorm. OH BUT MISSTEP... is usually run as a 4-of in those decks. Do you think those decks wouldn't run more copies of brainstorm? One of the closest card to recall to find relevant/strong cards.

    Would you like to have jeskai mentor dominating the format again, or even other fair blue decks? I wouldn't. The format is each time more balanced in terms of numbers. We don't see any deck with more than 20% anymore, and if I'm not mistaken, when I started playing vintage (last year) it was 50% shops/jeskai. Now the 2 more dominant decks don't have 30% of the total results. And I think their win rate isn't as great as it was.

    You ban/unban cards if you want to see the rise/fall (not the card) of decks. Sure, other decks can show up out of nowhere. But the least they have to do, is see what there is already. Bans should happen only when there's too much opression for a format. Unban should happen if you think no deck would become too unbalanced. There may be some cards worth unbanning, I don't know exactly all cards that are restricted/banned in the format to say "no card should be unbanned", but from those cards you are talking about, I don't see any that fit those requirements.

  • @davidlemon I agree with you that Brainstorm can't be unrestricted with the rest of the B&R list staying the same. 4xPO and 4xBrainstorm would not be fun to play against. I guess part of what I'm trying to say to say is I'd prefer unrestricted Brainstorm and restricted PO than the other way around. Though I don't mind unrestricted PO.

    @moorebrother1 Brainstorm and Ponder together is pretty painful, but I'm guessing with Ponder (arguably the more self-sufficient card) restricted, Brainstorm itself wouldn't restrict deck diversity as much as it did back then. We also have a lot more tools to deal with 1cmc spells than they did back in the late 2000's. Paradoxical Outcome would have to go if (big if) Brainstorm ever becomes unrestricted. I guess a lot of people wouldn't be ok with that.

    Legacy is a pretty diverse format despite both Brainstorm and Ponder being legal. Granted, many of the more powerful cards available in Vintage are banned in Legacy, but without Ponder, the most effective number of Brainstorms in most decks may be less than 4. Obviously I've never played Vintage with 4 copies of Brainstorm, so I'm likely blatantly wrong.

  • Legacy is diverse(ish), but the format still basically balances out to nearly half the format is comprised of decks playing 4 Brainstorm. You are very rarely seeing any deck that plays blue in some capacity that does not want to play 4 Brainstorm. If you had access to play 4 here, I think you would still always want to play 4. The card is just that good.

  • Unrestricted Brainstorm sounds abysmal - and I'm very liberal with regards to unrestricting stuff. I'm not sure how Brainstorm came up in this thread, I don't ever recall a discussion on that card before.

    Ponder would be a much better unrestriction (if you're looking for a blue cantrip to unrestrict). In fact, I'm not sure why Ponder is restricted while Preordain isn't. Preordain is in my opinion a stronger card.

    I think these cards are pretty safe to unrestrict:

    Imperial Seal
    Thorn of Amethyst

    And I think these possible could come off as well:

    Mystical Tutor
    Flash (I didn't play in the Flash era, so I'm not sure about this one)

  • @griselbrother

    You can't have 8 Ponder/Preordain effects in a healthy format IMO. It's one or the other, and Ponder is considered better as it can dig a card deeper, so that's the route WOTC took.

  • Flash would be disastrous. Not even Protean Hulk anymore, but Academy Rector into Y. Bargain/Omniscience.

  • I am grateful nobody here is on the DCI.


  • #FreeChannel

  • Unrestrict Channel, restrict Fireball. Should be fine.

  • I might be missing something, but I don't see how unrestricted Channel would dominate or ruin the format, but I'm very interested in hearing why you think it would.

  • @griselbrother
    I could certainly see a UG Show and Tell/ Channel/Eureka deck with giant Eldrazi dudes being super annoying.